Month: April 2016

Three Lessons I Remembered and One I Forgot

Somewhere online (the precise location I will not mention) I recently read that all the Bureau of Land Management Tract books were online at FamilySearch.  The last time I checked FamilySearch Missouri’s books were not online. There were some families in Chariton County who filed pre-emption claims and I wanted to see if there were any neighboring families […]


Finding An Database Online For Free recently indicated that the database of name changes in Massachusetts (titled as “Massachusetts, Name Changes, 1780-1892”) was “new.” How “new” it is I can’t say as the line at between “new,” “updated,” and “changed one out of 10,000 entries” is a very tenuous one. Despite that, the announcement makes for a good point to […]

Is It a Handwritten Copy?

Researchers should always note if the record they are using appears to be a handwritten copy of the actual record. Some record books, when they began to start falling apart, were handcopied by clerks in order to preserve them.  It is easy to see how this could happen in the days before other duplication techniques […]

A Surprise Swampy Entry in the BLM Tract Books

Looking at everything takes time and is not always practical, but it often brings about unexpected results. I’ve known for years that William S. Newman purchased via a cash sale 40 acres of property in Tipton County, Indiana. Newman probably did not actually live on the property and sold it a few years after he […]

Organizing Genealogical Information Class July-August 2016

By popular demand, we’re bringing this course back…. (if you enrolled in a previous section and had later difficulties, email me to be put in this section of the course at no charge) With Michael John Neill (scroll down for specific schedule) Organizing information is an important part of genealogical research-perhaps more important than the actual research. This […]

United States Probate Research Class-July-August 2016

We are excited to offer a new class on probate research in the United States cleverly titled “United States Probate Research.” This class will have four lecture downloads and four discussion sessions. Content is detailed below. The discussion dates and times will be: 24 July  2016–8 pm central 31 July  2016–8 pm central 7 August  2016–8 pm central 14 […]

Platting out a Plat Book Strategy

Beginning in roughly the middle of the 19th century, a variety of publishing firms began publishing what are commonly referred to as “plat books.” These books show the sizes, shapes, and acreages of farm properties along with the name of the owner. Typically drawn from information contained in property tax and real estate records, modern […]