Archive for September, 2015

Searching for Parents Long Before Social Security in Applications

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

When searching the “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007″ at, consider just entering in the last names of parents for any couple who might have had a child born from around 1875 or later. ssa-applications


Pennsylvania Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Monday, September 14th, 2015

There are a variety of Sanborn fire insurance maps online on the website of Penn State University Libraries.

Illinois Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Online

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

The University of Illinois Map Library has some of the Sanborn fire insurance mapsanborn-fireinsurances for Illinois online on the library’s website.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Texas

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has Sanborn fire insurance maps for the state of Texas on their website.’s Probate Materials Part 2 Webinar

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

I’ve just finished up More on the Probate Materials on (order here).

I really enjoyed giving my first presentation on the probate materials on and learned a lot doing it.  Now that I’ve had time to get into the materials more deeply and have had questions from attendees, viewers, and blog readers, we continued our discussion and discovery with “US Probate Materials on Part II.”

Part 2 will cover:bookforbarbara-115x300 (1)

  • Searching the unindexed probate materials at–remember that the index on only scratches the surface of what is on the site
  • Navigating the several search boxes and inventory interfaces
  • Making certain you have gotten all the probate references for your person of interest that are on
  • Determining what additional may be on microfilm at FamilySearchand onsite at the courthouse
  • Comparing‘s coverage with that on  does not have all FamilySearch microfilm on their website.
  • And more–based upon your questions.
  • Discussion will partially be via several examples

The medial file for the presentation and the handout is available for $8–download is immediate.

Information on Part I is here.

Contrats de mariage de la région de Québec, 1761-1946

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

This site indexes marriage contracts in Quebec between 1761 and 1946. It is in French.


BLM Tract Books May Answer Your Question

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

I’m looking for a potential homestead file on a relative from Nebraska. He’s not in the indexes to homestead records at or (which I suspect are the same index). I need to search the BLM tract books for him in the area where his farm was located because:

  • the name is spelled wrong
  • he never completed the homestead claim, but did have a claim that was incomplete–that incomplete claim would still be in the tract book, but not in the homestead index which is only to completed records

Our old tip on the BLM tract books.

Wisconsin Area Research Centers

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

If you have Wisconsin ancestors, you may wish to take a look at this page which discusses the network of Area Research Centers (ARCs) located at UW campus libraries throughout the state and at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. This system is the result of a cooperation of the Wisconsin Historical Society and the University of Wisconsin (UW) System.

Webinars: Ancestry’s Probate, Terminology, and Pre-1850 Research

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

We’ve just released recordings of our three new webinars:

bookforbarbara-115x300 (1)The “Probate Records on” presentation was held on 5 September. The presentation on the new probate records database on included:

  • determining what is in the database
  • search techniques and strategies
  • limitations of the records
  • limitations of the search interface
  • interacting with images

Learn how to make effective use of this large database. Michael has thirty years of research experience using probate records. Order the presentation and handout (download immediate) for only $8.

Original, Derivative, Primary, Secondary, Direct and Indirect, Evidence and Proof and More!: Troubles with Terms

This session will look at just what is typically meant by these genealogical terms. Anyone’s research can benefit from an understanding of “proof” terminology, even if publishing in a journal is the furthest thing from your mind. Knowing the differences of these terms and when to use each one will improve your research skills and your ability to reach conclusions. Aimed for the advanced beginning or slightly more experienced researcher. Purchase for immediate download–handout and presentation included.

US Problem-Solving Outside New England Before 1850

There are several challenges to researching families outside of New England before 1850. There simply are not the vital records that there are in New England; the census does not name every person; records on the frontier are not as detailed. We will discuss research strategies for families during this time period, concentrating on after 1700 and before 1850. Aimed at someone who has not done too much work in this time period. Purchase for immediate download–handout and presentation included.

ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Archives, etc.

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

The Archives section of the ELCA website has a search function and a list of downloadable resources (including an ELCA family tree).