Month: September 2017

Ancestral Clues and Connections: Christianna (DeMoss) Rampley

Christianna (DeMoss) Rampley was born in the later 1770s, probably in what is now Harford County, Maryland. She married Thomas Johnson Rampley in 1800 and died after 1830, probably in Coshocton County, Ohio. Some things I’ve learned from researching Christianna: the importance of somewhat unusual names. While Christianna is not the most unusual name, it […]


A Prairie Farmer Directory is Coming My Way

Those of us with rural ancestors don’t have regular, annual directories like those often used by urban researchers. Generally speaking that was because “everyone knew where everyone lived anyway” and the publication of such directories in rural areas was not worth the expense. Most of the time we are lucky if there are a directories […]

Clark Sargent’s Double Birth Record Was Not Unusual in His Family

Clark Sargent (born 1806 in Vermont to Samuel and Sarah (Gibson) Sargent) was not the only one in his family whose birth was apparently recorded twice. An admittedly quick search of “Vermont Births, Marriages and Deaths to 2008” at (Vermont Births, Marriages and Deaths to 2008. (From microfilmed records. Online database:, New England Historic […]

Finding the Prairie in 1849

The location of places whose names may be less than official can sometimes be difficult. In “Newspaper May Give What the Marriage Record May Not,” a place name of Prairie Precinct was given as the location for the 1849 marriage of Asa Landon and Mary Sargent in Winnebago County, Illinois. Marriage licenses in Illinois were […]

Ancestral Clues and Lessons: George A. Trautvetter

George Adolph Trautvetter was born in 1869 in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois, and died in Jacksonville, Morgan, County, Illinois, in 1934. Some things I’ve learned about research from George: the importance of keeping people with the same name straight. George had a paternal uncle George and paternal first cousins named George. Since they all […]

I’m Out of Another AncestryDNA Circle

I’m starting to think that Ancestry DNA’s “circles” are going in circles. On 30 August I was in ten circles on AncestryDNA. Circles are “descendant groups” based on the DNA submissions and submitted trees of AncestryDNA users.  The circles are in “beta.” On 9 September I was in eight. I’m now in seven circles (I’ve been […]