Month: April 2016

The Reality of Sarah’s Realty

Note: This article originally appeared in the Ancestry Daily News on 20 March 2002. The Reality of Sarah’s Realty The 1760 Orange County, Virginia, will of Sarah Turbervile has probably generated more discussion in 2002 than it ever did when it was probated in 1761. For the past two weeks, I’ve discussed in this column various […]


Female Ancestors: After the Marriage

Note: This article originally appeared in the Ancestry Daily News on 13 October 2004. Links to the articles referenced will be posted here in future blog entries. ——————————— Female ancestors present special research problems for two main reasons. A significant part of the difficulty stems from the fact that at the time of their marriage most American […]

Captioning Photographs So They Don’t Appear to Come From Heaven

I’ve used this photograph as an illustration for blog posts before, but I’ve altered my caption and hopefully improved it. While I understand metadata and how that can be incorporated into a digital image, I’m a firm believer in including that information on the actual photograph itself. Images get “copied and pasted” into other graphics […]

Named-Based Keyword Searches on the US Census at

A “Search Wish for” got me to thinking about databases where one can take advantage of the family structure at The US census is one database where one can do that, but there are limitations. 1790-1840 Family-structured based searches are a moot point during this time period. These census records are head of household […]

A Twenty Year Old Buys a Flower Pot in 1823

Literal interpretations can create confusion. At the sale of his father in 1823 in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton County, Ohio, James Rampley purchased a “flower tub.” Literally it’s called a “flower tub” and James purchased it for $.25. We won’t even compare that to a modern value as that’s really difficult to do for something purchased […]

Great Grandma Ufkes Would Be 111 Today–Confirmed by the Baptismal Entry

My great-grandmother Trientje Maria (Janssen) Ufkes was born 111 years ago today, on 17 April 1895. That’s the date I was always told she was born. Fortunately that’s the date of birth given for her in the records of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Basco, Hancock County, Illinois, where she was baptized. Her baptismal entry […]

A Search Wish For

Some days I wish would add more functionality to their search. I don’t need slicker trees and auto-generated historical timelines for my ancestor. I don’t need to be told that someone who was born in 1895 and died in the 1950s lived through the Great Depression. If I need a computer to tell me […]

A Postcard from 1910

I almost forgot I had this little gem. This postcard was written by Foche Jansen Goldenstein to B. Dirks (Bernard Dirks, father of Foche’s wife Anna) of Coatsburg, Illinois. At the time of this writing, the Goldensteins were living in Golden, Adams County, Illinois, but Foche was on a trip to Ostfriesland visiting relatives. Sometimes […]