Author: mjnrootdig

An Elusive Grandfather’s Granddaughter Agrees to a DNA Test

When there is no paper trail, DNA has the potential to open genealogical doors. And that’s what I am hoping to do. I have a relative who was adopted by two different families in the 1890s. The first set died when the relative was small child and another family took him and a brother (perhaps […]

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Ancestry.com Updates “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007”

Ancestry.com is indicating that “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007” has been updated as of today. It’s been on the Ancestry.com site for some time. There’s no indication of how the database has been updated or how significant that change is. The database is a wonderful source for 20th century United States research, but […]

DNA Might Alter Your Reality

People lie for a variety of reasons. Sometimes those reasons are to hide scandal or the eyes of law enforcement. Sometimes those reasons are to protect individuals from knowing certain information. I’m not going to debate the ethics of lying–whether or when it is appropriate or not. Paper documentation, since it contains statements by people, can […]

A Widow Acknowledges In1867

In July of 1867, Catherine Belless of Fulton County, Illinois,  signing her mark and only referenced by her initials, acknowledged her receipt of property from the estate of her husband. It was her right to receive personal property from her husband’s estate. Illinois State Statute allowed widows an allotment from their deceased husband’s estate to support […]

My Beginnings with AncestryDNA Circles: Part II

The circles AncestryDNA at are still in beta stage (part I on the “circles” appeared here earlier). The content in this post is current as of 2 August 2017. These comments reflect my own experience with the circles. That experience is largely based upon the amount of research I’ve already done, what families I’ve concentrated on, […]

Ostfriesen First Names Poem

I first encountered this poem while searching the issues of the Ostfriesische Nachrichten for something or other in the 1903 issues. To find a poem comprised entirely of Ostfriesen first names was highly unusual, so I made a copy and transcribed it. I’ve always loved the sound of the Platt first names–interestingly enough, my great-grandmother’s name of […]