Genealogy: Changing boundaries affect where you find ancestor records

Changing boundariesBy Barry J. Ewell
From its earliest foundation, the population of the United States continued to grow and move west.  The expansion was cause for constant geographic boundaries changing with counties dividing and sub-dividing, new states being created, towns growing into cities, communities changing their names.  Changing boundaries will affect where you find ancestor records. Records created in a specific time and location usually stayed in the county where they were created. Continue reading

Genealogy Immigration/Migration: Using Federal Census records in researching immigrant ancestors

Using Federal Census records in researching immigrant ancestorsBy Barry J. Ewell

The following are records and resources that genealogists find extremely helpful and full of clues to find immigrant ancestors. The information is designed to provide a quick reference and direction of where to find and search for records as probable places to find information.

Federal census records provide the building blocks of your research, allowing you to both confirm information and learn more. The following is an outline of the type of information Continue reading

Genealogy: Don’t forget to research U.S. state census records

State censusBy Barry J. Ewell
State censuses were conducted by states in off years in between the Federal census. Every state was in charge of whether and when they would conduct a census.  This article includes a chart the will provide an overview of the census records that are available by state. These records usually contain the same type of information as in the Federal census as well as additional questions that are unique to that state such as naturalization, military service, occupation, state and county of origin, mortality, education and voting status. Continue reading

Genealogy: Finding nicknames in genealogy research

NicknamesBy Barry J. Ewell
As a genealogist you are going to regularly find family members who use their birth name, nick name, initials and variations thereof in all the documents you research. For example my father was named James Neil Ewell, but to his friends he was referred to as “Frip” which was listed in his obituary, news articles, gravestone, correspondence, and other records. If I didn’t know my dad and the story behind the nickname, I would have had difficulty associating the two names as being one individual.  Every one of my dad’s brothers had nicknames they used as their first name.  I regularly used these nicknames throughout life long association with them.  I didn’t know their real names until I was into my adult years.  Their names were: Continue reading

Genealogy: World War II 1941-1945, Researching and finding military records

Soldier 4By Barry J. Ewell
The following categories and additional resources are provided to aid your research and finding of military records for World War II 1941-1945:

  • World War II Overview
  • Researching World War II military records
    • Build a search profile for each male
    • Where to find the personal information
    • Sample World War II male search profile
  • Search World War II Records
    • World War II Draft
    • Service records
    • Pension records
  • Military history
  • Search the cemetery
  • Search Home

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Genealogy: Using the census to calculate the birth year of your ancestor

Census BirthBy Barry J. Ewell
As you track your ancestor through the U.S. Federal Population Censuses, I have often used the age to help  me

  • Identify individual members of the family
  • Provide clues to confirm I have the right person/family unit as you search each census
  • Provide clues as to relationship in the family
  • Provide clues if I have the right female when surnames change through marriage
  • Provide clues when people use nicknames and other name variations from one census to the next

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Genealogy census tip: Know the difference between primary and secondary information

Balance 3By Barry J. Ewell
Know the difference between primary and secondary information. Remember the census taker asked questions to a residence of the household and answers were provided based on the knowledge of the person being asked.

The census includes both primary and secondary information.  Primary is the most reliable (i.e.,location and address).  Secondary information is less reliable such as the memory of an individual which includes.  Secondary information in the census includes information such as names, head of house, ages, marital status, education, military service, birth place, occupation and citizenship. Continue reading