Month: October 2015

This was My 6th…Err 4th Marriage

This started out as a post about how one individual record can be wrong, but that’s only the start. Canadian native Emmar Sargent was married six times. The images accompanying this post are for her fifth and sixth marriages. On her 1883 marriage to to David Snavely, it is indicated that this marriage was her […]


Webinars: Pensions, Passenger Lists, and Probate

We are excited to announce three new webinars. Register to reserve your spot. Registrants who cannot attend live will receive a complimentary copy of the recorded presentation. Prices for download after the presentation is over will be slightly higher.  Determining if Your Soldier with Pre-1866 Military Service Received a Pension or Benefit Offered on 3 November […]

When It’s Mandatory That Changes My Understanding of the Records

Reading record descriptions and learning about the records being used is an integral part of the research process. Even if one has no interest in the Ostfriesian fire insurance records on, the description of those records served to remind me that it’s always necessary to know what one is researching and how that record […]

Superscripts are in the Air

Record clerks can use a variety of abbreviations, annotations, and customized shorthand when creating and maintaining records. Some of these markings are common and others are not. The conscientious genealogist will try and ascertain the meaning of these items as sometimes they hold significant genealogical information. The index entries for John Lake’s estate in the […]

Does It Matter If You Remove the Blank Space?

The image accompanying this post is one I plan on using in an upcoming post on the records from the “East Frisia, Germany, Fire Insurance Registration, 1768-1937“ which were recently released on This post isn’t about those records. It’s about whether or not I need to include a comment on my image indicating that I modified […]

Reminders from Hinrich Ufckes’ 1778 Fire Insurance Entry

The entry for Hinrich Ufckes in the 1778-1790 Ostfriesian fire insurance books on (“East Frisia, Germany, Fire Insurance Registration, 1768-1937“) makes a few good points about these records and research in general. The names of places can change. The village of Holtrop where the Ufkes family lived was not always known by that name. […]

Ostfriesian Fire Insurance Registrations, 1768-1937 recently added this wonderful database of fire insurance records in Ostfriesland, Germany (between 1768 and 1937) to their site. Admittedly I have a slight learning curve with these records. The other problem is that since half my ancestors hailed from Ostfriesland, I have numerous ancestors in these records. The illustration chosen is from entries in […]

6 Signatures for Christian Trautfetter

Handwriting and name spelling presents all sorts of problems for the genealogist. The “signature” of Christian Troutfetter appears six times in his completed homestead application file. At least the documents claim his signature appears six times. The signatures look similar, except for the one on 8 June 1891. There’s little doubt that Christian didn’t actually […]