Month: February 2019

A Grave Pension Matter

This Civil War veteran was survived by his wife, Sarah Ellen Graves, who died in Macon, Missouri, in 1931.  Thomas’s card is from the National Archives’ General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (NARA microfilm publication T288). There is no notation for a widow’s pension on this card. The obvious reason for the omission is that Sarah […]

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Ancestry Separates an 1870 Household

According to Ancestry.com‘s 1870 census “index entry” for William L. Newman in Prairie Township, Hancock County, Illinois, there are only five individuals in his household–all of them named Newman. Yet when one looks at the actual enumeration for William, it’s clear there are two others in the household: Oscar Williamson and Sarah E. Williamson. The five […]

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Inductive Versus Deductive Reasoning

People throw around the phrase “deductive reasoning,” but I’m not certain that everyone really knows the true meaning of the phrase. “I looked at other handwriting by the clerk and using deductive reasoning I concluded that the letter that was difficult to read was an ‘M.’” The conclusion that the letter was an “M” may […]

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Do You Save DNA Match Information?

When I first started working on the matches for one of my DNA tests, I discovered that one of my correspondents was adopted and was trying to locate her birth parents. No big deal. Their test results had a tree attached to it (with the name of the birth parents and nothing else). We corresponded […]

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