The Whys That Are Not There

The records our ancestors left behind only tell us a part of the story. One has to be careful reading more into documents than is actually there. Johann George Trautvetter and his wife Sophia Elisabeth (Derle) Trautvetter immigrated from Wohlmuthausen, Thuringen, Germany, in June of 1853 with their three sons and one daughter. They arrived […]


Google That DNA Username

Individuals who set up internet accounts often use the same username on multiple sites. If a DNA test submitter has no tree and does not respond to messages and you can’t figure out who they are, try a Google search on their username. That’s helped find quite a few people who had profiles or accounts […]

More Pooling DNA Matches

Analyzing DNA matches is part science and part art. It also takes some practice. While working with the results of a new DNA test, I’m “grossly” sorting the matches into three categories based upon the known heritage of the testee with a Chicago-born mother and a Missouri-born father. The Chicago-born mother had a father of […]

Virginia Births in 1640 Can Exhaust Major League Ball Players

We’ve mentioned “exhaustive search” several times in various posts on this blog. Generally it’s the idea that you search all records that would reasonably expect to provide information to assist in answering a specific research question. Genealogy professionals and academics espouse the “exhaustive search” as a part of the Genealogical Research Standard. Exhaustive search does […]

A 1909 Confirmation Suggests Life in 1956

Anna Katherina Tammen was confirmed on 4 April 1909 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church south of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. This image was obtained from digital images of the church records at Ancestry.com made from microfilmed materials from the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). There is a notation that her confirmation entry was copied in March […]

“A Good Farm Out In the Sticks” and What’s Not In the Paper

Real estate is often about one thing: location…at least on the surface. Genealogical research is never about one source. The value in location was apparently true about the Riley Rampley farm in Hancock County, Illinois. At least that’s what the newspaper seems to be implying. The Warsaw Bulletin mentioned the partition sale of the sale of […]

ELCA Database at Ancestry.com Updated–Just Don’t Ask How

Ancestry.com has again that their database of microfilmed materials from the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) has been updated. The title of the database is now “U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1826-1945.” I’m not exactly certain how the database has changed (their blog is silent on the issue), but I suspect that there are […]