Jun 2018

Surname Shapes and Sounds: Circumnavigating Spelling Variations, Mistranscriptions, and Clerical Errors in Electronic Indexes

Most researchers are at least somewhat accustomed to thinking about surname spelling variations when conducting record searches. Thankfully, many search engine results automatically include some of the more basic spelling variations for us. Augustus and Mary Ann (Michell) Chevalier were French immigrants who arrived in New York City about 1822. Surprisingly, only about a third […]
Jun 2018

Business Records

In the March issue of NGS Monthly, “Occupations” reviewed some resources from NGSQ and the NGS Family History Conference for exploring how best to use your ancestors’ occupations as a research tool. In a posted comment on that article, member Sue Kratsch referred me to her NGSQ article from 2015: “James Wesley Mooney of Will County, Illinois: […]
Apr 2018

Genealogy: What Matters to You?

The New York Times recently published an opinion piece by author John Sedgwick with a title that refers to an old, familiar conflict: “The Historians Versus the Genealogists.”[1] Sedgwick begins by describing how historians typically view genealogists.
Apr 2018

Using Spreadsheets as Research Tools

Some researchers use genealogy software to record and track their research. Others use word processing software, writing as they go. I’m probably like many in using a combination of both. But in certain instances, neither of these options are as useful as we might like. Difficult research problems that require the collection and analysis of […]
Mar 2018

Occupations

As far back as I’ve yet been able to discover, my ancestors were rural farmers like most of their neighbors, whether they lived in the Mid-Atlantic, the South, or the Midwest. Among that set, I’ve yet to find their occupations a useful tool in solving any of my research problems. When I research other people’s […]
Mar 2018

Uxornecronyms: A Little-Known Naming Practice

In his slim and excellent volume, The Name Is the Game: Onomatology and the Genealogist, NGS Fellow Lloyd de Witt Bockstruck coins the term uxornecronym: “the name of the first daughter born unto a second wife honoring the name of the first wife, who had died.”[1] The word combines the Latin term uxor (wife), the Greek […]
Feb 2018

Early 19th Century Vital Data from the National Intelligencer

The National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser began publication 31 October 1800. In 1810, the Washington Advertiser portion of the name was dropped, and the paper continued as the National Intelligencer until 1869. It then merged with the Washington Express to become the Daily National Intelligencer and Washington Express, which ended publication 10 January 1870.[1] In […]
Feb 2018

When Deed Books Are More Than Land Records

In Locating Your Roots: Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records, author Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG, FGSP, spends a couple of pages on one of her favorite topics: “Records in Deed Books That Aren’t Deeds.”[1] Hatcher uses the example of Barren County, Kentucky, in which she found agreements, apprenticeships, bills of sale of personal property, bonds, […]
Jan 2018

Dutch Naming Systems in Early America

Among the NGSQ Archives are countless articles on sound genealogical research methodology. Some of those articles are so well-written and useful that they have become must-use resources for genealogists ever since. One such timeless contribution comes from NGS Hall-of-Famer Rosalie Fellows Bailey (elected in 2010). In 1953, she published the two-part article, “Dutch Systems in […]
Dec 2017

Four Ways to Give Back to the Genealogical Community

  Giving back is critical for a community such as ours, one that is uniquely self-supporting and depends whole-heartedly on the kindness of strangers. The financial burden that societies bear to digitize records, create indexes, and educate our ranks is impossible to meet without each of us volunteering time and donating money. Here are just […]