Below are Hints, Kinks, Shortcuts and methods of doing Genealogical
research That have been either used or sugested by various researchers

Among The Ulster Scots

Civil Parish Maps Of

Antrim,  Armagh,   Donegal,  Down,   Fermangh,  Londonderry,   Tyrone

Maps Of

Ulster Townlands By County,   Barony Map Of Ulster  


Location And History

Where They Lived In Ireland,   A Brief History of The Ulster Scots,   The Scotch-Irish Migration   Irelands History In Maps

Other Irish Links

Gen-UK Ireland, (A Rich Source of links in England Scotland and Ireland At the Parish Level)

A wealth of useful Irish Links

Among The Border Scots


old-maps.co.uk/GazetteerScottish County Map,   Area Map Of Scotland,  
The Searchable Digital Library Maps Of Early Counties


  Ellis Island OnlineWelcome To Scottish Roots, A History Of Scotland
Odom Genealogical Library

In The Records

Joseph J. Carr

A keen interest of a large number of family members is kinsearching their KERR, KER, KARR, CARR or CARRE ancestors; the "Kinsearching" column remains a popular feature of The Borderline. For the past several years I've been searching out not only my own CARR line, but as much of the history of the family at large as possible. In this article, some of my experiences will be shared for the benefit of others.

There are actually two activities in kinsearching. Genealogy is the finding of the vital statistics on your ancestors and their relatives. The stats needed are names, dates of birth, death and marriage, two whom married and where, places of birth and death. A pedigree is a genealogy, but is limited to your own specific descent, usually through the paternal line. The other activity is family history, which incorporates not only at least some genealogical material but also deeds, adventures, life styles, and the history of the times and places in which your people lived.

The first place to start kinsearching is with yourself. You know your own birthday and those of your parents. I keep as much data as possible, but at first you might want to organize only the specific lines of interest (they branch out to a "too big" task real quick!), for example the paternal or maternal line. Ask your parents and grandparents for their dates and other data (if they are still living). Also, ask them to reminisce about people and events in the line, and about where in the country they came from "originally." Oral history can be very interesting, as well as informative.

Look for old family photos, letters, diarys and other memorabilia. These items often open new lines of research or answer questions that dog your previous efforts. For example, if an old letter talks about cousin Millie, who happens to be your gr-gr-grandma, being alive in 1876 then you know that the 1874 date for her death is probably an error. Letters from collateral lines (cousins, etc) are often valuable in identifying persons in your own line, so don't stick just with the direct line. Also ask elderly aunts, cousins and others in the extended family for help.

Write to the various state vital statistics offices where your kinfolk lived to obtain copies of birth certificates and death certificates. Sometimes, marriage license applications and certificates can be found in local government offices. These records often record such facts as parents names, dates of birth, place of birth and so forth. Copies of these certificates are cheap, and are among the best of proofs.

Another source of information is other people doing research. You shouldn't both covering the same territory, for it's a waste of both people's time. Exchanging a few Xerox copies would save both people a bit of effort. Be careful, however, for I've found a tremendous variation in the abilities of other researchers. Some are outstanding, and follow all of the protocols of scholarly research, while others tack members of the family onto trees where they don't belong. For example, there are at least two major lines of CARRs in Virginia from the Colonial Period, including mine. I found one correspondent had grafted my own immigrant ancestor (a remarkable chap named John Carr of County Down, Ireland, 1684-1794, aged 110-years) onto the downstate line, as well as an unrelated Pennsylvania CARR line, without any documentary evidence in support other than the very common christian name "John."

Unfortunately, the naming practices of the Scots leave us with a few problems in doing research. It seems that there is a strong concentration of about a dozen male christian names. When looking for my own "John Carr" I came across scores of John Carrs in the same time period! Female names are similarly concentrated. Of course, it makes it a little easier when someone had a name that was not one of the common ones, for they stick out in the records.

You will eventually (perhaps very soon) exhaust the memories of your own immediate family, and have to do some library work. If you know the area of the country where the family originated, then write to the county or city library in that area. Many of these libraries have a local history room, and some have genealogy rooms. As part of your letter, ask about any local historical or genealogical societies, as they are often more likely to be able to help than the library (who is a busy person serving local taxpayers).

Local tax, land and court records are an immense asset to the kinsearcher. In some locales, these are well indexed and the indexes are published. In other cases, it's the old fashioned fingerboning method. In either event, it's probably best to go to the county office that contains the records, although some local governments either will do the search for you or refer you to a local historical society who'll do the job for a fee. The primary records in local governmental offices are the Will Books, Land Deed Books, marriage records.

In some states, the very old local records are filed, or kept in microfilm form, in a state archive or library. These organizations can be of immense use to the researcher, especially when looking at tax rolls and other data.

Overlooked by too many researchers are the local court records where common pleas or ordinary law suits are heard (often called Chancery Court, or something else to distinquish it from the criminal courts). I found some very interesting records on my own CARR of Loudoun County, VA line in the Chancery Court records circa 1810.

Local government and court records are often indexed by volunteers or commercial publishers. Check genealogical, local histgory and the local public library in that area for indexes. Also, don't overlook university libraries and any special libraries that might exist for both published and manuscript materials. It is the custom for prominent members of some communities to leave their papers to a university library.

While searching for court records, by the way, be sure to look at the criminal courts as well ...if you're prepared for what might be there.

Church records are often a good source of marriage and death dates. There are churches in the east that date back to earliest colonial times, and some of them retain records to that time. Unfortunately, many KERRs, KERs, KARRs and CARRs were Presbyterians, and that denomination regarded the record books as property of the minister. However, the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia maintains a library, although not a genealogical library, in which many early church records are maintained.

Cemeteries are often good sources of research material, especially since grave stones tend to have the correct dates on them, as well as the names of wives and children. Many of the cemeteries are either attached to churches even today, or are on the sites of old churches. In most states, cemeteries are protected against developers, altough when no one is looking "abandoned" cemeteries tend to be uprooted illegally. If you go "cemetery hopping," then take a rubbing kit with you. These kits are available from genealogy bookstores, or can be improvised. The transfer medium is thin paper, either "tracing paper" or "rice paper," while the contrast medium used to make the rubbing is either colored chalk, crayon or colored wax.

If you plan to photograph the tombstone, bring some white chalk with you to highlight the lettering. Rub the chalk on the stone sideways to cover a broad area. The background will then show up white, with the letters darkened. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES use wax or any other material that is not water soluable. These materials damage the tombstone.

The Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington, D.C. has a tremendous amount of genealogical material, and even sports a genealogy room. There are registers of LOC genealogical materials in many local libraries. It is best to travel to Washington, D.C. to do your research. The subway ("Metro") Capitol Center stop is a couple blocks from the library. While there, also be sure to visit your Senators' and Representative's offices to get a Gallery Pass for either Senate or House. You can watch the daily business of Congress (the real action is in the committee hearings, however, and most of these are usually open to the public without a pass).

The United States Archives in Washington, D.C. is a repository of a large amount of papers, including many of the local and state tax and land records that you will need. It also has the U.S. Census data prior to 1920 (because of privacy laws, they cannot release a census for 72 years, so the 1920 census was released in 1992). If your immigrant ancestor arrived in the 19th century, then there may well be a immigration record in the Archives. Also housed in the Archives are military records back to the Revolution, including Confederate records from the War Between the States. The Achives operates regional offices around the country for those who can't travel to Washington, D.C.

If your ancestor was in America during or prior to the Revolutionary War, then there may be a record on file in the library of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Washington, D.C. Many of these records are in the form of applications for membership, which requires an ancestor who either served in the armed services or achieved patriot status, and are reasonably reliable (but not absolutely so).

Although it surprises many people, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS, or "Mormon") is a major player in the genealogy world. Although I don't know why, their doctrine makes ancestor hunting appealing. They maintain an extensive library in Salt Lake City, as well as many local Family History Centers (FHC) in local Mormon churches. Sometimes the yellow pages listing under "Churches" will show separate listings for the FHC libraries. The Mormons are most generous with their resources, and you don't need to be a member of their church to use the facility. Indeed, in several years they have never attempted to even proselytize me, or even ask my address.

One of the first sources to use in the local Mormon FHC is the International Genealogical Index (IGI). It is on microfiche at nearly all centers, and in a great many of them there is a computerized IGI. The computer version is easy to use, and the staff will show you what to do (or you can follow the on-screen commands ...and don't need to "know how to use a computer" ...only be willing to follow directions). The computer, by the way, is backlogged quite a long time. In my local FHC, it is necessary to sign up as much as two weeks in advance for a two hour session.

The IGI will list surnames, christian names and indexes some time of record (birth, death, marriage). A source code tells where that record came from, and points to another index that will permit access to the record. The staff can show you how to get copies of the records from Salt Lake City at a very reasonable cost.

An advantage of the Mormon FHC in your area is that it can put you in touch with other researchers who can either provide information about your line, or (more likely) serve as a mentor until you no longer need instruction in research. This is not an official function of the FHC, but the number of knowledgeable people who frequent the places make them good for networking.

Another advantage of the local Mormon FHCs is that those in the area where your family once lived, say for several generations prior to moving out west, is that they may have collected a large number of local family histories, genealogies or records.

Don't overlook local genealogical bookstores. Most large towns and cities have at least one bookstore that specializes in genealogical materials. Although it is unlikely that you will find a book on your line, what is available is a large amount of "how-to" books on research, regional interest books on the area where your family originated, and the indexes for records available. In addition, they will have a copy of Genealogical Books in Print, which can guide you to materials on the family that are published.

Records for 19th century persons are relatively easy to come by, for by then society was addicted to writing things down. But the records for the 18th century and before become sketchy. Indeed, the British government did not even require passenger lists of emigrant ships leaving England, Scotland or Ireland (a lot of us were in Ulster, especially following the Killing Time 1680-88) until 1803.

KERRs, KERs, KARRs and CARRs emigrated from Scotland to a number of other countries, and arrived in America at times ranging from about 1610 (the earliest record I've seen, at Jamestown, VA) to yesterday. Once you have an idea when your ancestory emigrated to America, you can form theories about where they settled, or the route of their travels, from the history of the era.

Although 19th century arrivals had many options open (which confuses your own efforts, unfortunately) earlier arrivals followed certain patterns with some regularity. For example arrivals in the early 18th century tended to land at Boston, and then settle in the Vermont and New Hampshire areas. Later in the century, circa 1740s, the Boston area was filled up, so landless, penniless immigrants seeking cheap land often wound up in Pennsylvania west of Philadelphia (check Chester, Lancaster, Westmoreland and Cumberland counties for those years). After indentures were served, the immigrants went westward towards Pittsburgh, and then often headed south over roads with such picturesque names as the Warpath Road, the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, the Carolina Road, and other such names. Many of these roads still exist today with such boring names as "U.S. Route 15" (the portion of the Carolina Road in Virginia). In that era, immigrants tended to be "Scotch-Irish," i.e. Scots who lived in Ulster, Northern Ireland for a time. As a result of this 18th century emigration, a lot of our families trace their ancestors to Virginia, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee (where even today place names are overwhelmingly not only Scottish but Border names!).

In searching for my own people, I found quite a cluster of KERR and KER spellings (along with the KARR and CARR variants that were obviously the same people) in the southern Pennsylvania area, near the Mason-Dixon line (border with Maryland). It seems that Chester and Lancaster counties had their share of our colonial kinfolk. While researching a Borderline article on Kerr/Carrs who served in Congress, I found that Chambersburg, PA was once called "Kerrville."

If you own a computer, then buy a MODEM and you can check into various local bulletin boards (BBS) via your telephone lines. There is a service called the National Genealogical Conference Echo that allows you to exchange messages with other genealogical researchers who may have a line on the information you are seeking. I've checked into the NGC more than 100 times, and found it very valuable. Also, some local BBS can link you to the European Genealogical Echo, and that permits exchange of messages with researchers in England, Scotland and Ireland. If your local BBS does not subscribe to the NGC, then call long distance to the National Genealogical Society (NGS) BBS (703-528-2612) and link with them.

The major on-line services are another source of information. I've located a number of items on the KERR, KER, and CARR surname through my e-mail address at America On-Line ([email protected]). I was even able to track the "missing" line of my grand-mother. It turns out that they were not from Virginia, but from a nearby county in Maryland! Join one or more of the major on-line services, especially one with good Internet connection service.

In fact, if you're serious about your research, then join the NGS to gain mailorder access to their library. It's really great, and when you go to Washington, D.C. to research the Archives, LOC or DAR, a trip across the river to NGS in Arlington, VA is in order.

Kinsearching is a very satisfying endeavor, even though very frustrating at times. In the beginning, you will wonder if you'll ever find anything. But as time goes by, you will both gain your own personal skills as well as network with other researchers (some of them kinfolk) who can help you.

SOURCES THAT I'VE USED (some via mail)

City of Edinburgh District Libraries
Central Library
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EG
Scotland, U.K.

LDS Family History Library
35 North West Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150

Ulster Historical Foundation
12 College Square East
Belfast, BT1 6DD, Northern Ireland, UK

State Archivist
Virginia State Library
Commonwealth of Virginia
Richmond, VA 23219

Hibernian Research Company, Ltd.
Windsor House,
22 Windsor Road
Dublin, 6, Ireland.

Monaghan County Museum
St. Mary's Hill
Monaghan, County Monaghan,

United States Archives
8th & Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20408

National Genealogical Society
4527 North 17th Street
Arlington, VA 22207-2399

National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EW

Midlothian District Library
7 Station Road, Roslin
Midlothian, EH25 9PF
Scotland, U.K.

Jamestown Philomenian Library
26 North Road
Jamestown, R.I., 02835
(For descendents of the Carr's
of Rhode Island, including Gov.
Caleb Carr)

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Register General of Scotland
New Register House
Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 3YT
(Sells microfiches by of records
and their sources)

Scots Ancestral Research Society
3 Albany Street
Edinburgh, 1, Scotland
(Will do preliminary kinsearching for
a modest fee)

Subject: CARR China Co. Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 08:01:46 -0500 (EST) From: [email protected]
There was a CARR China Co in Grafton, WV producing up until sometime in the early 1950's.

(c) Linda Haas Davenport

Everyone who researches their family history hits a "brick wall" sooner or later, those barriers that seem insurmountable and are "oh so frustrating". One line of research that is often ignored in trying to knock down a "Brick Wall" is Military Records.

Walking into any genealogical library and looking at the number of books on the Revolutionary War or the Civil War can cause the strongest of researchers to turn to other shelves, yet these records can usually unearth an ancestor.

Maybe not your direct ancestor, but perhaps a brother, cousin, uncle or other indirect ancestor. A clue that an ancestor served in a war (conflict, action, or whatever term was applied to a particular engagement) can start chipping away at your "brick wall".

The very least that you can find will be a place of residence at a particular time and the very most is a pension application file that contains a copy of (if not the actual) family pages from a Bible and a statement of almost every event is a person's life since they left the "service".

As an example, the pension application file for my BROWN ancestor contained an account of his service in the American-Mexican war; his injuries; his health problems; where he had lived after the left the service;

the names and birth dates of all of his children; marriage information; affidavits actually signed by his sons; an affidavit by his wife with her history; and a land warrant.

I can't imagine any researcher who would not be more than delighted to receive this kind of information on a family member. Not every serviceman put in an application for a pension.

By far most applied for "Free Land", well actually not really free. From the time of the Revolutionary War until about 1855 the Government issued Bounty Land Warrants in lieu of pay for military service.

The Application Files for Bounty Land normally doesn't contain a lot of information but they do give you information on an ancestor's service. Both the Bounty Land and Pension Files are found at the National Archives. (See Land Records for more detailed information on Bounty land Warrants).

Not every war left these kinds of records. Some early Colonial servicemen received pensions from their colonies, but the bulk of the records are after the Revolutionary War when pensions and Bounty Land Warrants were granted to servicemen or their families.

It is the Pension Application files contain the most valuable genealogical information. But, even if your ancestor didn't apply for a pension or Bounty Land, it's still fun to find an enlistment record that gives his physical description.

I know when I found an enlistment record for one of my ancestors and read that he had black wavy hair, blue eyes, was 6 foot and was of light complexion I was astonished! For, I had only to look in the mirror or at any of my cousins, aunts and uncles to see that these physical traits had carried down from the civil war to now.

So, even if you never find that pension file which will fill out a complete generation or two, don't overlook Military Records as a wonderful source of information.

Military Records cannot compare with such research tools as Land Records, Census Records and Court Records, but they should never be ignored. Finding an ancestor's Military Unit can lead you to records about the Unit itself, where it was formed, who was in charge, where the unit went, what towns they were stationed in or by, battles engaged in and often Rosters of members. This information can be used to "flesh out" the bare bones of name, date of birth and date of death.

It can also sometimes lead to the finding of a marriage record. In her book, "Mothers of Invention; Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War"

Ms. Faust describes the every day life of women during the Civil War (using excerpts from the women's own diaries). Many women left their homes and went to live with friends and relatives in other areas. Since the War occurred between the 1860 & 1870 Census there may be no record of this move.

Ms. Faust notes the lack of men of marriageable age in most towns except for the soldiers quartered or stationed in or near the town. What little social activity there was included these soldiers and since the major occupation for Women (until the late 20th Century) was being a wife, many marriages resulted from these encounters.

If you haven't been able to find a marriage record for your ancestor don't overlook checking the marriage records of the towns where you ancestor was stationed. The US was engaged in several wars, actions, conflicts or engagements. If one of your ancestors lived during these time frames, be sure to check the Military Records that are available.

Major Conficts In Which the US Furnished Servicemen

Colonial Wars:

King Philip's War 1675-76
King William's War 1689-97
Queen Anne's War 1702-13
King George's War 1744-48

French & Indian War 1754-63
Revolutionary War 1775-83

Post-Revolutionary Wars (there are several conflicts not listed below
that your ancestor might have served in):

War of 1812 1812-14
Indian Wars 1817-58
Mexican War 1845-48
Civil War 1861-65
Spanish-American War 1898

Modern Wars:

World War I 1917-18
World War II 1942-45
Korean Action 1950-53
Vietnam Action 1961-73

What Records Are Available? The Federal and State records of a man's service in any war is usually limited to his name, rank, military unit of service, where he enlisted and sometimes his physical description. Until the Modern Wars this is about the extent of information available. However, it's not the actual war record that knocks down the brick wall it's the Pension Application Files, Bounty Land Application and after the Civil War, the Homestead Files that can supply a wealth of family information. Most of the Pension Application Files have been indexed and the Indexes are available on microfilm. You can head directly to these Pension file indexes and start searching. By traveling this route you will be missing information that can add stories to your family history and give you insight into the life of an ancestor. And most men enlisted close to their homes and usually with friends or family. Enrollment / Enlistment records and Unit Rolls list all men who served in a particular unit. From the Civil War on there are Pension Indexes available that list everyone in a given Unit who received a pension but, it's still a good idea to look at the Unit Rosters. You may very well find an ancestor who did not apply for a Pension, spot neighbors or find collateral ancestors. Another thought to keep in mind at all times is that many more men applied for Military Bounty Land than ever applied for pensions. I cannot tell you the number of researchers who have failed to find an ancestor in the indexes or service records because they checked only for the correct spelling of their ancestor's name. The man who filled out the paperwork for enlistment's, muster rolls, hospital records, etc. was usually a soldier himself or someone on the injured list who said they could read and write. Names were written AS THEY SOUNDED or as the man "thought" they should be spelled. The NARA web site offers an example of two brothers, one who's record is recorded as William P. Western and the other as Frederick Weston. My ancestor who's name was Haas (pronounced as Hass) was found as Hassey. Why the "ey"? Who knows, but if I had searched only for Haas I would never have found the record. Another common error occurred in the transcription of some records, the misinterpretation of the 1st letter of a name. One record for my Haas (Hass) ancestor was found under Bass. The old style H and B looking much alike and the name Bass being a more common name than Hass. Never assume your ancestor is not in the records until you have exhausted all possible spellings. Remember that the vowels (a,e,i,o,u) were used interchangeably within a name. My Haas name has been found as Hoss, Hiss, Hess, Huss and of course as Horse in the south where Hauss was the way to pronounce Horse.

Information, War by War The earliest wars, The Colonial Wars, offer little information beyond the name of the soldier and the unit he served in. The LDS library has microfilmed most of the records that are available. Colonial War records are also scattered within the colonial state records. When searching for an ancestor during the colonial period comb all local records available while keeping an eye open for mention of military service. During the Colonial Wars men that were disabled were supported by the town they lived in since the English Government didn't extend disability payments to the men in the Colonies. The provision for benefits (pensions) to veterans was not widely adopted until after the Revolutionary War (disability pensions began in 1775, but the records were burned in 1800 and 1814 fires). Claims for supplies, equipment, etc. for fighters in the Indian Wars are usually found in local court records also. When looking for records for claims always check with the State Archives since many of these early records have been moved from the local Court Houses to the Archives.

The Revolutionary War produced more records of genealogical interest than the Colonial Wars. Some of the original military records for the Revolutionary War were destroyed by fire in 1800 and 1814. The majority, if not all of the existing records, are at the National Archives. Most of them have been microfilmed and many have been indexed. These records are available at all of the Branches of the National Archives, the LDS FHC (Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints Family History Centers), many local genealogical libraries and places that rent microfilm such as AGLL. The Service Records were compiled (in the later 1800s and early 1900s) primarily from rosters and rolls of soldiers serving in the Continental Army and the colonial/state militia units with additions from correspondence and field reports of military officers. The records contain at the least the name, rank and military unit of the soldier. Included in some records are the name of the state from which he served; the date that his name appears on one or more of the rolls; sometimes the date or dates of his enlistment or the date of his appointment; and rarely, the date of his separation from the service. His physical description, date and place of birth, residence at the time of enlistment and other personal details are also included in some categories.

The first congressional legislation authorizing the payment of pensions for Revolutionary War Service was dated 26 Aug 1776 for Invalid officers and soldiers and 24 May 1780 for widows and orphans of officers, but the government did not begin paying pension allowances until 28 July 1789. The Act of 1818 provided for pensions for non-disabled Continental officers and enlisted men. The Act of 1820 required that anyone receiving a pension had to "show a need" and many men were struck from the pension rolls. The Acts of 1826 and 1828 reversed the 1820 Act and restored pension benefits. The Act of Applications for pensions was made to the federal government from that date. Many of the early applications were destroyed by fire in 1800 and 1814. A partial record of the earlier pensions is included among reports to the Congress in 1792, 1794 and 1795. Officers became entitled to payment for life under the act of 15 May 1828. The Act of 7 June 1832 was the one that enacted Service Pensions for all Revolutionary soldiers, sailors, militia, continental and state who had served at least six months or until the end of the war. Widows and orphans were entitled to the balance of money due a pensioner until 1864. Anyone still alive in 1832 (or their widows or minor children) were eligible to apply for a pension. These application for pension files are rich in family history, even those applications that were rejected contain a wealth of information. A rejection does not mean that your ancestor didn't serve in the War. The War ended in 1783 and this act was enacted 49 years later. If an ancestor was 30 at the time he got out of the service he would have been 79 at the time of this offer of pension. Many men or their survivors could not support their claim of military service. Discharge papers had been lost or destroyed by fires, men the soldier served with who could support their claim were dead or where not available to testify before the court and widows often didn't know the information on military units or commander names or where her husband actually served.

Pension Record Files for the Revolutionary War have been microfilmed by NARA. An index to these records was published by the National Genealogical Society, Index of Revolutionary War Pension Applications in the National Archives; National Genealogical Society Special Publication no. 40 (Washington, D.C.: National Genealogical Society, 1976), p. 202. Almost all of the Pension Applications for all wars have been indexed. The index is arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the soldier. A separate set of microfilm contains the pension application files themselves. Copies of both the Indexes and the Application Files can be found at the NARS, LDS and many local libraries or state archives. Once an ancestor is located in the index the pension file can be ordered from NARS or the microfilm of pension applications can be searched. One thing you must remember is the microfilmed application files are limited to "selected records" from the file. If the application file contains over 10 pages then the "10 most genealogically important" papers were selected to be microfilmed. However, the microfilm gives no indication of how many pages are in a file. Sometimes the 10th page ends in such a manner that you KNOW there should be more, but that's not always the case. If you find that your ancestor applied for a pension, ALWAYS order copies of the complete file. You might end up with the same 10 pages only, but you have no way of knowing. Although applications for pensions were made to the US government, they were initiated in the courts of the county and towns in which the veteran lived. Local court records should be searched for these records. The pension records for the Revolutionary War contain such items as; affidavits made by the veteran; character references by friends and neighbors; summaries of his service; his military unit; dates of service; names, date of birth, names of heirs; relationship to others who served with him; his places of residence after he left the service and sometimes Bible records to support his claims.

Often as the army was on the move food and supplies were "requisitioned" from local farmers and businessmen. "Scripts" were given for the value of the items requisitioned which could later be turned in to the government for payment. These "scripts" can locate an ancestor in a particular time and place. After the Revolutionary War many of these scripts were presented to the government for payment. However, after the War the new, fledging government was flat broke. There was no money to redeem these scripts and they were recorded in many local courthouses or State Government records as debts from the Federal Government to the individual. Some were redeemed for Bounty land. These scripts list the items the army requisitioned and give a researcher insight into what supplies or farm animals an ancestor possessed. Always check with the State Archives for records from the Revolutionary War. I have received from the NC State Archives copies of actual "scripts" some of which were paid and some that are still unpaid. Another source in your hunt for a Revolutionary War ancestor that should be searched is the DAR. (Daughters of the American Revolution) Records. Although many of the early submittals were not completely accurate they can be used as guides to search for original records. The D.A.R. indexes may be searched at Ancestry's site. Many of the larger genealogical libraries have the 100 volume Indexes. Many Revolutionary Service men were still alive in 1840. The 1840 census lists the name, age, residence and heads of families with whom the pensioners resided on 1 Jun 1840. As you search the 1840 census keep a look out for these servicemen.

Many researchers become frustrated when there is no evidence in any of the records of ancestors who would have been of prime age to have served in the Revolutionary War. But all researchers need to remember that 30% (minimum) of the population in 1776 in some areas were Loyalist. Many Loyalists went to Canada, Florida, the West Indies, or even to England to avoid the conflict. There are many printed sources for Loyalists and these should be searched if no record of your ancestor exists in the US records.(4) There are service records for the War of 1812, Indian Wars and the Mexican War. The information included, similar to that in the service records of soldiers in the colonial wars and the Revolutionary War, have been indexed and microfilmed. Copies of these indexes and microfilmed service records and pension Indexes can be found at NARS or the LDS Family History Centers. Each of these wars produced Pension Application Records which are on file at the National Archives. Pension records for all wars from the close of the Revolutionary War to the Civil war are located in the National Archives. Most of these have been indexed and the index is available from the LDS FHCs (check the Military Records Register for the call numbers). Order the full pension file from the National Archives. Pension files for these wars contain such items as the veteran's name, age, place of residence, if married or not, name of wife, the unit he served in, the date and place of enlistment, and the date and place of discharge. The widow's file will contain such items as her name, age, place of residence, marriage information, date and place of veteran's death and the date and place of his final discharge. Other information may be affidavits for character, etc. Footnotes: The Source ed. Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny; (Ancestry Publishing Company, Salt Lake City, UT 1984) pgs 255-298 (1) ____ pg 255 (2) ____ pg 272 (4) ____pg 257 (5) ____ pg 261 (7) ____ pg 265 (3) "Mothers of Invention; Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War" by Drew Gilpin Faust; published by The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill & London; 1996 (4) Wallace Brown, The Good Americans: The Loyalists in the American Revolution. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1969 (6) National Archives web site (http://www.nara.gov) May 1998

(c) Linda Haas Davenport

Pensions for the War of 1812 were not authorized until 1871 and were granted to all of those still living in 1871. However, disabled soldiers from the War of 1812 received pensions under the Old Wars Act prior to 1871.

The Indian War Pensions are microfilmed and most are indexed. They are found under; Indian Survivor's Originals; Indian survivor's certificates; Indian widow's originals and Indian widow's certificates.

The Mexican War Pension files are much the same as other files, except they required the maiden name of the wife, the names of any former wives, death or divorce information about previous wives and the names and dates of birth of all living children.

There cannot possibly be a war that has produced as many books as the Civil War, especially in the Southern States. Walk into any library in the south (regular or genealogical) and you will find shelf after shelf of books about the Civil War. This War touched so many families and wrought such devastation in so much of the young USA that it has produced an unbelievable amount of information.

This War produced a multitude of records that contain valuable genealogical information. The majority of these records have been indexed and many of the actual compiled service records have been filmed.

When a record for an ancestor is found in one of the indexes the actual service record abstract card(s) may be ordered from the National

Archives. Some of the Compiled Service Records have been microfilmed and are available to you to search, but some states records have not been filmed.

Most of the confederate, all Union in Confederate States and all border states are on film. Smaller states are still in the process of being filmed.

Check to see what states and areas are available. Union Army Records: By act of Congress, March 1863, the federal draft system was created.

Men between the ages of 25 and 40, both white male citizens and aliens who had declared their intent to naturalize, were eligible for the draft. Males 20-35 and unmarried males 35-45 had to serve unless physically disabled.

Males 17-20 could serve with the permission of a parent or guardian. The draft applied only to men residing in the US under Union control.

The draft created 3 kinds of records:

(1) Consolidated Lists:

These are the most important individual records. An entry gives his name, place of residence, age as of 1 Jul 1863, occupation, marital status, state, territory, or country of birth, and the military organization (if already a volunteer) of which he was a member. The records are arranged by state and thereunder by congressional or enrollment district.

(2) Descriptive Rolls:

These rolls give additional information of men eligible for service. Although many of the entries are not completely filled out, they may give a personal description, exact place of birth, and whether accepted or rejected for service.

These records are also filed by state and thereunder by congressional district. To the best of my knowledge Neither of these Lists has been microfilmed yet. They are a part of Record Group 110 and are available only at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

To use these records you must know the number of the congressional district for the county in which a man lived.

This can be determined by using Congressional Directory for the Second Session of the 38th Congress of the United States (Washington DC: For the Joint Houses of Congress, 1865) available in many large genealogical libraries, in many local libraries and most college libraries and from the Government Printing Office.

Once the Congressional district has been determined a request for a search can be sent to the National Archives.

(3) Case Files on Drafted Aliens. These files concern only aliens who were drafted and released between 1861-64. These files may include name, district from which drafted, country of citizenship, age, length of time in the US and a physical description. The records are in alphabetical order by surname in record group 59 available only at the National Archives.

(5) Union Army (for non regular army men) records contain enlistment papers, muster rolls, prisoner-of-war papers, death reports and others.

The records are indexed by state and by military units for those units organized within a specific state. You must know the state in which a solider served or the unit with which he served to obtain his service record.

Enlistment papers often contained a description of the soldier and the place where he enlisted. Typically, a soldier enlisted near his home.

If you cannot find your ancestor's military information and you know he was eligible (or the right age) for military duty in the Civil War remember, many men were rejected from Civil War service because of illness or injury.

Medical records of drafted and rejected men are at the National Archives, Record Group #110. They are arranged by Congressional District as of 1863. Data may include residence, occupation, age, place of birth, physical characteristics or reasons for rejection.

Confederate Service Records: When Richmond was evacuated by the Confederate Government in April 1865 the centralized military personnel records of the Confederate Army were taken to Charlotte, NC. These records were later taken to Washington DC along with other Confederate records captured by the Union Army.

Between 1878-1901 The War Department tried to locate as many Confederate Records as possible. In 1903 The Secretary of War asked all governors of the Southern States to lend all of their Confederate Records to the War Department for copying.

(6)The Union Army kept fairly accurate records of units mustered and furnished the states with this information. The Confederate States didn't.

The muster rolls and other military paperwork stayed with the commander of the unit and thus were scattered everywhere.

Some were turned in to the Confederate Military Personnel Office or Southern State government, some were kept for years by the commander or his family.

With the decision of the Southern States to issue pensions to Confederate Servicemen the need for these records became acute.

The War Department with the help of the Southern States began to actively seek out these records. The War Department began to compile service records for those soldiers who were applying for a pension.

The Service Record was compiled from what original records were available; Confederate muster rolls, returns, descriptive rolls and Union prison and parole records.

Later the War Department began to compiled service records for all Confederate Soldiers. This project went on until 1927 when it was finally completed.

All of the War Departments records (both Union and Confederate) were moved to the National Archives where they are today

This huge project is referred to as the "Compiled Military Service Records". The compiled military service record of a Confederate soldier is kept in a jacket envelope filed with envelopes for other soldiers in the same regiment or similar unit.

The compiled service records usually provide the following; age, place of enlistment, places served, place of discharge or death and often a physical description.

The National Archives has microfilmed indexes to the service records and most of the compiled service records themselves. Indexes will provide the rank, unit and name of the soldier and the pertinent file can then be ordered from the NARA.

The War Department's Compiled Confederate Records are not complete, even though great efforts were made to assemble all official information. A soldier may have served in a state militia and never mustered into the Confederate Army.

It is wise to check the State Archive, in the state you believe your ancestor lived in for all of their Confederate Records. Many of the southern state archives have copies of their state's NARS microfilm and, many times, records that were never sent to the War Department to be copied.

The LDS is continually releasing new microfilm records. Check the Military Records Register at your local FHC.

Two other sources should be checked for Confederate ancestors: V (1) Military Academy Records.

Try Biographical Resister, Officers and Graduates of the US Military Academy, West Point, New York 3rd ed., 9 vols. (Boston: Houghton-Miffli, 1891)

Many of the officers of the Confederate Army were graduates of West Point and had to choose sides when the war began. And

(2) probably the most overlooked of all sources, local court records. Reconstruction brought about many bitter and lengthy court battles.

Pension files for the Civil War are found in 9 categories:

Navy survivors' originals, navy survivor's certificates, navy widows' originals, navy widows' certificates, survivor's originals, survivors' certificates, widows' originals, widow's certificates, "C" and "XC" files.

These pension files contain such items as; Name of the veteran, the military or navel unit in which he served, the date and place of his enlistment, his birth date and place, the date and place of his marriage, the names and birth dates of his children, the maiden name of his wife, information about subsequent marriages, the date and place of his discharge, the physical disabilities connected with his service-related injuries, and his residences since his discharge.

They will usually contain affidavits of individuals who could attest to his disabilities, character, etc. Once again, these pension files have been indexed and the indexes are found at the NARS, the LDS FHCs and many libraries.

One of the most valuable things found in the pension files is the list of places the veteran lived. With the westward expansion people moved many times between census years and this record can be the key to finding them between the census.

Post Civil War Service Records for soldiers serving in the armed forces after the Civil War are not as readily available, even though the records of these later Wars are more detailed.

Using records for soldiers who served within the last 75 years is restricted to immediate family members under the provisions of the Right-to-Privacy Acts.

Most of the federal records are housed at the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132. A fire in 12 July 1973 destroyed millions of records and damaged millions more.

According to the Record Center - 80% of the army records for 1912-50; 60% of the air force records for 1947-63 and 1 % or less of Army records for people discharged after 1973 were destroyed. Records for active veterans have been reconstructed, there are no plans to reconstruct the other records.

Documents issued to the veteran at the time of discharge (or to his/her next of kin in the case of death) usually contain important genealogical information.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA as amended in 1974) does require the release of some information from the National Personnel Records Center.

If the serviceman/woman is deceased be sure to send a copy of the death certificate with your request for information. The center charges for searches, copying, etc. contact them for current rates.

(7)Original draft card records for WWI were transferred to the National Archives Regional Branch in East Point, GA in 1990.

The LDS filmed all cards and the microfilm is now available at the FHCs. Ancestry has WWI draft cards on-line at their site, but be forewarned that they are not complete!

In searching for 6 of my male ancestors in their records I did not find a one, even though I made copies of the original draft cards at the East Point Archives.

Stick with the LDS film. I was at the Archives several times while the filming was going on and the volunteers did an outstanding job of making sure the microfilm was accurate.

The cards are arranged by state and then draft district. Within the district the cards are filed alphabetically by last name.

As people were discharged from the Service they were requested to file their discharge papers at their local courthouse. Most of these records have not been microfilmed and must still be researched at the local level.

Now I Know About Military Records What Do I Do? If you have managed to read this far you should have an excellent idea of what to do to find your ancestor in the existing Military Records. But a few tips may help.

1. Never assume an ancestor DIDN'T serve in a war. Many young men lied about their age to get into the service.

2. Never overlook a non-direct ancestor if your direct ancestor's age or health shows he couldn't have served.

3. Keep on the look-out for mention of military service in local court records, land records, tax lists, etc. Check all State Militia lists.

4. Always check unit rosters even if you believe you ancestor never served in the military, watch for names of neighbors and misspellings of family names.

5. Once an ancestor is found in a military unit, find all information available about the unit. Use this information to "flesh out" your family history Check printed sources for information about your ancestor.

Remember that if you ancestor disappeared right after a war he may well have moved to a location where he was stationed during the war which appealed to him.

He might have taken his Military Bounty Land Warrant and moved. He may have married while in the war and moved to the area where his wife had family.

6. Check for Pension or Military Bounty Land files. Check NARA indexes for both.

7. If an entry is found in the Index - order the pension file (remember the 10 page rule)

8. If your ancestor lived in the South, check local court records for confiscated land and slaves. Don't overlook the records for the "Freedman Bureau".

There are many War Sites on the Internet, especially for the Civil War. Many have searchable records on-line, information submitted by people who have already found their serviceman and these sites continue to add information daily. Be sure to visit all of the sites you can find for the War you are interested in. The Source ed. Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny has a wonderful chapter on Military Records with examples of Compiled Service Records, Pension Files and Bounty Land files. This book is available at most Genealogical Libraries or can be ordered from Ancestry


The Source ed. Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny; (Ancestry Publishing Company, Salt Lake City, UT 1984) pgs 255-298

(1) ____ pg 255
(2) ____ pg 272
(4) ____pg 257
(5) ____ pg 261
(7) ____ pg 265
(3) "Mothers of Invention; Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War" by Drew Gilpin Faust; published by The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill & London; 1996
(4) Wallace Brown, The Good Americans: The Loyalists in the American Revolution. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1969
(6) National Archives web site (http://www.nara.gov) May 1998

Queries Please remember one of the best lists for your queries is the ROOTS-L. It's the oldest on the Internet and the original mailing list of RootsWeb. To subscribe to the list, please send an email message to: [email protected] In the message, type: subscribe

1. History & Use of Land Records By:
Linda Haas Davenport (c)


Our ancestors came to America for many reasons. To escape a war or the aftermath of war, to seek religious freedom they were denied at home, to follow a personal dream or to try to better themselves in this big new county. But, nothing enticed them to the shores of the New World more than LAND. Land was the symbol of power, wealth and social status in the Old Word and immigrants flocked to the new world to acquire the one commodity the New World had to offer in rich abundance - land.

Land, the most desired commodity, also attracted the crooks, the swindlers and get rich quick artists.

In reading the history of the US one common theme is found in every colony, county or state - Land fraud. Land schemes abounded, people were cheated, swindled and still they moved on too try again to secure land.

And, then there were the ancestors with the "itchy feet' always looking over the next hill or mountain, sure that if they moved just "one more time" they would finally fulfill their dream.

Or, some of our ancestors were the "never do wells" who could never be successful and were always on the move. Failing in one place and moving to another to start over again.

In all of these instances our ancestors left their footprints - on the pages of the Deed Books in county after county, state after state. Land Records and the Genealogist

For each family researcher there comes a time when Land Records must be searched. The novice researcher often doesn't understand the importance of Land Records and doesn't bother to wade through volume after volume of Deed Books.

Yet, Deed books are a wealth of information, they can be used to distinguish one man from another by locating him on a particular piece of property. They will often show family relationships, in the instance of land being split between heirs.

Security deeds reflect indebtedness of an ancestor and often list securities other than land. For example on one security deed for my John Haas I found he had "a matched team of bay mares, 2 years old, a racing surrey and 4 spotted oxen.

" Transfer of ownership of slaves is also usually found in Deed books as they were considered property until after the Civil War. Deed books can also contain such items as "Powerof Attorney", leases, partnership papers and performance bonds, but the bulk of the records are transfers of real estate.

For someone looking for African American ancestors land records along with court records must be searched.

And, Court Clerks recorded most anything on a handy blank page; wills, probate records and in one instance I found the court clerk simply wrote out a family tree for his own family!

The majority of the men in the early US were farmers. They left few records in the courts or the newspapers and most didn't become famous. Even the man who was a lawyer, doctor or local store owner usually owned their own property, if not their business property they owned their home.

All of these men left a record in the Deed Books and most of the time this is the ONLY record that can be found to place an individual in a particular time and place.

After every War men moved. For many - they had never been out of their own "neighborhood" and during a War these men saw other areas, fertile land, new sites and got itchy feet. It also helped that the Federal Government issued Bounty land warrants in lieu of pay.

A Bounty Land Warrant could be sold for cash. A man could sell it and have cash in hand or find a newly opened area and have the chance to start over again.

After the Civil War it seemed as if the entire nation was on the move. The move was westward as men tried to rebuild their lives after the war.

As with any endeavor knowledge and understanding are the keys to success. For land records to yield their secrets to the genealogist it is necessary to know the history of land records.

A Look At the History of Land Records

As the original 13 colonies were established land was owned by a group of Proprietors. These were men who had been granted land from the English King.

They in turn sold land to individuals and established common areas within the towns.

These early states used a surveying system call "New England Town Surveys" or modified "metes & bounds".

After the Revolutionary War the Congress of the Confederation opted for a policy of land settlement with the adoption of the Land Ordinance of 1785.

This ordinance provided for the survey and auction of public lands. The Government allowed the original 13 colonies to retain the rights to all undistributed land within their borders and they were never included in the Governments distribution of land.

These states along with Texas and Hawaii are called "State Land States".

The land in the states that the Federal Government controlled is referred to as The public lands (or public domain) and are the part of the United States acquired by the Federal Government from the States or another government or by the taking of Indian Land, by treaty and by purchase.

These are the lands that are now the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The first public-domain surveys (1785-88) were in Ohio and all land was required to be purchased for cash or with bounty land warrants.

The land office was located in the Treasury Department in New York, a long, long way from Ohio.

In 1800 President John Adams signed a new public land law that moved the land office to the area where land was being distributed.

In 1803 the Louisiana Purchase added more than 500 million acres of land to the public-domain. Congress established 14 new land offices and set up for business.

Legal Descriptions: As I said above there are 3 types of surveys or legal descriptions for land. The 1st, The New England Township survey laid out the land in orderly town lots, usually squares or rectangles. Each lot was assigned a number along with a simplified "metes & bound" survey and the common area (for grazing of animals, farming etc) were described in the same manner.

The metes & bound survey uses descriptions of the local flora, fauna, physical features of the land such as creeks, roads, mountains, neighbors, etc., to describe the land. An example: "Beginning on a white oak the north west corner of Sammuel Vanatres tract of land thence east with the same to John Haas his east boundry line, thence north with the same to where it crosses the Publick road leading from James Goodners into Hanyard to Liberty then with the meandering of said road to the beginning."

A public domain state is laid out in a large grid broken down by Meridian, Section, Township and Range. Each "square" is continually broken down into smaller pieces, while still keeping the land in a square.

For example: "... the following tract or parcel of land lying in the county of Itawamba and State of Mississippi, known and described as the SW 1/4 of Section 1, Township 10, Range 7 East of the base Meridian of the Chickasaw cession"

Let's gain some understanding of these things called Land Records:

DEEDS: The first purpose of a deed is to transfer ownership of a piece of property, usually real property, from one person to another. To make this transfer legal the deed must describe the property in such a manner that it cannot be confused with another piece of property.

In the case of land in a public domain state the description will list the amount of land and the section, township and range the property is located in.

In a State Land States the description will include natural features of the property, the name of a creek, a road, etc, the names of neighbors or maybe the former owner. A deed may state that the land was granted by the state or federal government in exchange for a patent or warrant. Whatever the wording the land is described.

If the person selling the land is married then his wife must also sign the deed and must be examined in private, swearing under oath, that she is agreeing to the sale of her own free will.

In many instances this the ONLY place you will ever find the name of a wife. And sometimes you will find the name of a wife that you did not know existed. True you won't find her maiden name, but you will find her first name which is more than some of us ever find.

There must be subscribing witnesses to the deed. These may be friends, neighbors or family. Don't ignore these names, often when a family moved friends and neighbors moved also.

The purchaser brought their deed to the courthouse and the county clerk copied the deed into the Deed Books, returning the original deed to the purchaser. The signatures on the deeds are the court clerks handwriting, not the actual seller's or witnesses' signatures. The original deed stayed with the buyer just as it does today.

A man who signed his name with an X can help distinguish him from the man who could write his name. Watch for the change in spelling of a name from the body of the deed to the signature.

Deeds were not normally written by the buyer or the seller. A lawyer, a court clerk, a judge, etc. usually prepared a deed and the buyer, seller, seller's wife and witnesses then signed the document.

The earlier the date of a deed the more likely it was that the person preparing the deed knew everyone involved and the preparer wrote everyone's names as they were pronounced. For Example: My family name of HAAS is pronounced as HASS. Usually in the body of the deed the name is spelled H-A-S-S, yet the clerk copied the signatures as H-A-A-S.

This change of spelling can often give you a clue as to how the name was pronounced at the time your ancestor was alive. This is a spelling that you should always check for.

Deeds also often state relationships, for those that don't, relationships can be interred from the transactions themselves.

Records of ownership will tell where the land came from-often the estate of a parent or grandparent; dower rights include the name of the wife who must assent to the sale before witnesses or the land title is not clear; quit-claim deeds list married names of daughters and signatures of heirs to undivided land; deeds of gift include slaves given to grandchildren or aging parents: settlements describe property divided among heirs.

Deeds are thus indispensable for all pedigrees even for ancestors who resided in cities. Every piece of property in the US can be traced back to the federal government, state government, foreign government or English owner.

Let'stake a look at the terms that are found in land records and what they mean.

GRANTS & PATENTS: This is the "First Title Deed" to a piece of property. Usually granted by the government (either federal or state) or in the 13 original colonies a Propertier. All property in the US can be traced back to the First Title Deed.

LAND CLAIMS: Private Land claims document titles for land originally owned by France or Spain. If your ancestor lived in an area that changed flags, you may find up to 6 generations of genealogy in the case files.

BOUNTY LAND: Veterans in many military engagements, not just formal wars, were eligible for land grants in lieu of pay for services.

And many soldiers claimed but promptly sold their land, so don't conclude there was a move unless other records support such a hypothesis.

SOUTHERN LAND GRANTS/"TOMAHAWK GRANT": So called because the buckskin clad squatter cut blazes on trees and then went off to "file his claim". Most of the early southern states used legal descriptions called "meters" and "bounds" (named for "measuring" and "naming). Distance was measured by POLES, RODS or PERCHES (all meaning 16 1/2 feet per) and in CHAINS (meaning 66 feet per).

FOUR STEPS TO ACQUIRING LAND: 1) PETITION. A request to take up land. The petitioner may go before the appropriate officials, the colony's council or the land office clerk and present a satisfactory reason for getting land. Such as paying the purchase price, being promised land for military service, bringing an immigrant into the colony and thus becoming eligible for the headright land bounty (especially used in the South), or being able to produce a government order for a specified amount of land.

2) WARRANT: A Warrant was then issued which certified the right to a specific acreage and authorized an official surveyor to survey it, assuming no prior and conflicting claims. Warrants could be used in any county or state, not just areas opened by the government for settlement. Warrants were used in the place of cash to purchase land in many settled areas.

3) SURVEY/PLAT: Once a Warrant was received the next step was to get the land surveyed. A Survey/Plat is the surveyor's drawing of the legal description so the land is identifiable, his certification that everything is in order so far as the warrant's approved acreage and legal description is concerned. The Eastern Division of the BLM has along with surveys for the states under their jurisdiction the field notes by state in 1,745 volumes.

4) PATENT/GRANT Once the survey was complete a Patent/Grant was issued. This is the government's or proprietor's passing of title to the patentee/grantee. This is the first-title deed and the true beginning of private ownership of the land. For public domain states these patents/grants are well documented and found in the appropriate BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Office. For the original 13 colonies, Texas and Hawaii their land patents/grants are usually found in their State Archives or State Land Office. I have listed each state and the location of their patents/grants. (Patent Locations)

The Government's Disposed of Land

The US Government has sold or given away over one billion acres of land not including Alaska. In the process it has granted more than 5 million patents, kept in 8,978 bound volumes in the Bureau of Land Management - Eastern States Division, Attn: Public Services Section, 7450 Boston Boulevard, Springfield, VA 22153 (Phone: 703-404-1600) . An even greater mass of records in the National Archives (Reference Service NNRS, National Archives and Records Administration, 8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20408 (Phone: 202-501-5400) represents the paperwork granting those patents.

Hunting for the record of a particular land grant from the Federal government requires contacting both the BLM and theNational Archives (During 1997 and continuing into 1998 the BLM is makingavailable all of their land grants on CD ROMs.

These disks can be ordered from the Bureau of Land Management (not above address). Also many counties have these records on-line to search or you can search them at Ancestry.) In May 1998 the BLM Eastern Division established a web site where records may be searched on-line for the states who's records they hold).

When the government made the decision to open an area of land there were certain steps taken to dispose of the land. The first step in opening land for settlement was to survey the entire area to be disposed of. Once the land was surveyed and could be legally described, a local land office was opened and a public auction was held. The Act of April 24, 1820 set the minimum price for sale of public land at $1.25 an acre and the minimum amount of land at 80 acres.

If all the land was not sold at Public Auction,it became available at $1.25 acre on a first come, first serve basis and the 80 acre minimum was dropped. Bounty Land Warrants could be used in place of cash at all public auctions.

In the Homestead Entry Act of May 20, 1862, public lands were available to settlers. The Homestead Act required residence, cultivation and some improvements on a tract of land of not less an 160 acres.

Any person was eligible who was the head of a family or had reached the age of 21, who was a citizen or intended to become one, and who did not already own as much as 160 acres.

After living on the land and farming it for 6 months, he could buy the homestead for $1.25 an acre. If he lived on the property for 5 continuous years he could apply for and receive a patent or title to the 160 acres for a $15.00 filing fee.

When a Land Office was opened it was assigned two officials. One who received and accounted for the money paid for the land and one who kept track of all tracts of land, which were sold and which were unsold. As each tract of land was sold an entry was made on the survey (or township plat as it was sometimes called) and the tract of land was marked as sold in the TRACT BOOK.

A daily journal was kept of all transactions and summaries of all transactions were sent to the Treasury Department until 1812 and after that they were sent to the General Land Office (GLO). The Local Land Office kept the detailed files.

A file was set up for each purchase of land. These are the "Land Entry Case Files" that are so valued by genealogists. If the land was purchased for cash, the only item in the case file is a receipt for the cash received. This receipt gives the man's name, date, amount of acreage purchased, legal description and the amount of cash received.

For those who paid for the land with a warrant the Land Entry Case file contains such items as; Declaration of intent to purchase land; supporting documents that prove the man is entitled to the land (such things as Bounty Land Warrants issued in lieu of pay for military service); naturalization papers and sometimes witness testimonies as to honesty and character of the purchaser.

For those who were filing for Homestead the files usually includes the homestead application, certificate of publication of intention to complete the claim and a final certificate authorizing the patent to be issued.

When a homestead application was completed, either through payment of the price of the land or having lived on the property for 5 years the file was updated with such items as; Claimant's name, age and post office address (if such existed at the time), a legal description of the land, a description of the house, outbuildings, crops, acres under cultivation; the number and relationship of persons living on the property and testimony of witnesses that the man really did occupy the land for the required 5 years.

Once the Land Official was satisfied that the purchaser had met all the requirements to take title to the land (either through a cash purchase, homestead application or warrants), the land office official issued a "Final Certificate for a Patent" and the Land Entry Case file was sent to the GLO Office in Washington.

The GLO recorded these patents chronologically in a bound volume by state and then land district. The Land Entry Case files were marked with the patent number and filed in numeric order by patent number. (This is reason that you MUST have the patent number to get copies of the Land Entry Case File).

After 30 June 1908, the GLO began to file patents chronologically regardless of the state. This series of patents is indexed by the patentee's name.

It was normal for the purchaser to take a copy of the patent to the local courthouse in the county where the property was located and have the patent recorded. In some newly opened areas the land was exempt from taxes for a certain period of time and the land office officials notified the local courthouses of the purchases.

The BLM is divided into Eastern and Western states, Its working records, the tract books. plats and patents, for all the Eastern states are at the Eastern States Office, 7450 Boston Boulevard, Springfield VA 22153. The Eastern states are all public-domain states east of the MS River, plus all states on the river's west bank (Louisiana to Minnesota).

Each western state usually has its own office with the exception of Washington. The local land office and the GLO headquarters has made duplicate tract and plat books, so the researcher has a choice of several repositories for microfilm or original records. FOOTNOTES: "THE SOURCE A Guidebook of American Genealogy"; Edited by Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny; Published by Ancestry Publishing Company, Salt Lake City, Utah 1984; Chapter 7 "Land and Tax Records" by William Thorndale, Pages 217-253. Order this book from ANCESTRY

History & Use of Land Records Part 2 By:
Linda Haas Davenport (c)

Each step of the process from survey to patent has left a record that is potentially helpful to the genealogist:

SURVEY & SURVEY FIELD NOTES: Prior to the land auction being held, a survey was necessary. As each tract of land was sold the purchaser's name was entered on the correct area on the survey. These surveys are usually found at the GLO and most have been microfilmed. Some are found in the State's Land Office and some in the National Archives. The use of the survey for a genealogist is that you can readily see the neighbors who surround an ancestor's tract of land. The surveyor not only surveyed the land, he also made notes of any people already living in the area, sometimes including crude drawings of houses and outbuildings. Sometimes simple notes giving the owner's name, amount of property and a legal description of the owned land. If field survey notes survive they are usually found in the state's land office or sometimes the state's archives.

TRACT BOOKS: These books were set up by Section, Township and Range. As each piece of land was sold the purchaser's name was entered on the page that corresponded to the parcel of land purchased. These tract books are found at the GLO and many have been microfilmed. Some are at the State's land office or state archives or local county courthouses. Local Tract books are still kept at most courthouses. The books contain the "chain" of ownership, listing the name, book and page number of each owner, one after the other across a large ledger page. In State Land states tract books are much harder to find, especially on older deeds. Always ASK the courthouse if they have Tract Books and be prepared to describe them since not all courthouses in non-public domain states call them "Tract Books". Land ownership is an on-going thing and each time a piece of property changes hands the title attorneys must certify that the title is "free and clear" and that each section in the chain of ownership is accounted for, from the seller back to the first deed issued. No attorney wants to research a title chain from scratch every time a piece of property is sold, so even in State Land states there are records of this chain of ownership that can be consulted by title attorneys. This is the book you are looking for.

In public-domain states each piece of property has an "abstract". This is a bound set of papers that contains a copy of each deed that transfers the property, from the first deed issued to the current owner. If a piece of property is mortgaged, the abstract is found in an abstract office. If the property is free and clear the abstract is given to the property owner. Most abstract companies WON'T make the abstract available to a casual researcher and it's sometimes difficult to locate the correct abstract office. However, some abstract companies WILL let you come to their office and review the abstract. The local courthouse can tell you the abstract companies that are located in their area. It never hurts to ask!

TOWNSHIP PLATS: After many years of being written on and over, the plots are often rather illegible and the tract books are a better finding tool for the legal description. The plats have been microfilmed and are usually deposited at the same locations as the tract books

PATENTS: These are the "first entry of ownership" or the 1st private ownership of what was public land. From the Colonial Period to the early 20th Century over 5 million federal grants have transferred land to individuals in various parts of the US. The original 13 colonies, Texas and Hawaii issued several million more. To secure a patent a person either had to pay cash for the land or furnish proof of why the land should be granted to them. If the person was getting a patent for any reason other than paying cash, an application "Land Entry Case File" was made for all public-domain states. For state land states there are documents that support the reason for issuing a grant.

These grants are essential for searching a Colonial ancestor, especially frontier families. The application files give more genealogical details than the actual patents. Post-Civil War homestead files are rich in personal data, often including naturalization papers. (Before Mar 2, 1988, all original patents were actually signed by the President of the United States; after that, designated officials signed in his behalf).

The patents for public-domain states are recorded in chronological order by state and then by land district. A list of where to locate patents / grants, by state. To order a patent from any of the BLM Offices you MUST have the patent number, the county (land district) and state. For patents in the State Land states you must research the state archives or state land office.

The Patent/Warrant number for public-domain states is found in the indexes of the BLM's new CDs. The number is also found on the deed recorded in the local Deed Books. All Patents/Warrants for the Eastern States are now on-line and can be viewed or downloaded from the BLM site. Remember that you MUST have the Patent/Warrant number from the BLM to access the Patent/Warrant information and Land Entry Case Files.

Once you have secured this Patent / Warrant number and received a copy of the Patent / Warrant (or downloaded it from the BLM Eastern States web site) you can then order the entire land entry case file. If you find on the Patent that your ancestor made a "cash purchase" the land entry case file will contain nothing except a copy of the cash purchase receipt. If the patent/warrant was issued for military service, homesteading, or any other type of service you have hit pay dirt!

LAND ENTRY CASE FILE: These are the files that are most sought after by genealogists. When a man purchased land in any public-domain state for anything other than cash, an "application file" was prepared. In this file was placed all of the supporting documentation as to WHY this individual should receive land without paying cash for it. The files contain all kinds of information on the man since the local land office official wasn't going to hand over land to just anyone who said he didn't have to pay for it. These files contain such items as the purchaser's declaration of intent to purchase a piece of property, supporting documents from friends, neighbors and family certifying the man is who he says he is, bounty land warrants (if a warrant was used in lieu of cash) and sometimes copies of naturalization papers.

The Local Land Office sent all of these Land Entry Case files to the GLO who later transferred them to The National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001. The files are arranged by acts, state, land district, and thereunder numerically. Which means that you cannot get a copy of a land entry case file without knowing which "Act" of Congress the patent was issued under, the patent number, county (land district) and state. The Patent itself contains this information. Securing a patent number only is not sufficient to order Land Entry Case files, you must have the information from the actual patent.

MILITARY BOUNTY LAND: To get a federal bounty land warrant it was necessary under any act from 1788-1855 for the soldier or heirs to apply. The government gave no warrants for any military service after 1855, but Union veterans received special homestead rights. Warrant applications are found in RECORD GROUP #15, Military Service Records in the National Archives.

Genealogists find bounty-land records especially attractive because they serve the dual roll of locating persons in time and place and of proving military service. One thing that each researcher should remember is that the act of 1788 stipulated that warrants were assignable, meaning the solider could sell his warrant. This created an instant market in bounty warrants and allowed land speculators to accumulate large quantities of warrants and land. Since few soldiers actually used their warrants to patent land, patents and land-entry case files are much less valuable than the warrants and the warrant applications in locating a soldier's military service.

How To Use Land Records Deed Books and Indexes Now that we have learned a few things about how land ownership came about and have some clues as to where we can obtain additional information let's look at the steps necessary to use land records most successfully.

The one mistake that most beginning genealogist make is to ignore or be ignorant of the changes of county or state boundary lines. Before embarking on a search of land records knowledge of the correct county for the time frame being searched is absolutely necessary.

Everton Publishers publishes a book called The Handybook for Genealogists. This book contains a map of each state laid out by counties, a list of counties, a list of courthouses (addresses, the records they hold) and other general information.

The primary value of this book is the information on the dates the counties were formed and the counties they were formed from. Your ancestor might be found on the census as living in xx county, but the deed might well have been recorded in a different county.

Maybe because the courthouse in another county was closer or because when he recorded the deed to his property, the property was located in a county that later got split into different counties.

William Dollarhide has a wonderful set of maps, by state, that show the location of each county in 10 year increments (to match the census).

There are many published books that contain abstracts of Deed Records. Begin your search by checking the LDS indexes to see if such a book has been published for the county you are searching. You can then order the microfilm of the book.

If you do not have access to a local LDS FHC (Church of the Latter Day Saints, Family History Center) then contact the local Historical or Genealogy Society in the county you are researching.

Ask them if they know of any such books available and their location. Some of these books can be ordered through inter-library loan although most cannot.

If the book(s) cannot be ordered through inter library loan then you can write to the location where the book is found and ask for copies of the pages that contain reference to your ancestor.

This is the least best way because of the variants in spelling. And, remember that deed abstracts usually only contain the name of the buyer and seller and, for State Land states, the names of any neighbors or creeks, roads, etc.

If you find your ancestor listed in an abstract you can then order a copy of the deed from the local courthouse. (Be sure to include the book and page number). However, by ordering only the ONE deed for your ancestor you will be missing a lot of critical information of neighbors or deeds with spelling variations.

Once you have combed the printed abstracts the next step is to search the actual microfilmed copies of the deed books. Most beginning genealogists don't want to hear that the VERY BEST way to locate deeds is to search the microfilm copies of the actual deed books.

You will recognize your ancestors name, other family members and neighbors better than anyone else can. Most deed books have been microfilmed and can be ordered through your local LDS History Center.

As land was sold, traded or passed by inheritance the transfer was recorded in a county courthouse in large bound books. Deeds were recorded in the Deed Books in the order they were received at the courthouse. This is still the way Deeds are recorded today. It can take hours to look at each and every deed found in the Deed Books.

To facilitate the finding of a deed each Deed Book contains Indexes. These indexes are usually found at the front of the book and there is a page for each letter of the alphabet.

There are two indexes maintained, one for the grantor (seller) and one for the grantee (buyer).

The names on these pages are not in alphabetical order, but rather are entered when a deed is recorded. If your ancestor's name began with an H then all entries on the H page must be searched.

The Index is an Index to ONLY that Deed Book. Each Deed Book has its own index. As we all know indexes are subject to human error so if you feel sure that your ancestor was in a given area and cannot be found in the index, you will have to look at each deed (and don't forget to check for boundary changes - you might be checking the wrong county). Fortunately for us the LDS Family History Centers can supply us with microfilmed records of the deed books of most counties.

While we are on the subject of Indexes - remember that the county clerks of the day were not chosen for their academic skills they were chosen because of their connection to the local politicians of the day.

The handwriting, spelling and grammar of many county clerks was atrocious. They wrote the name of your ancestor as it sounded to them. (An example in my own family is the name AMBROSE. My father-in-law pronounced the name AMBERS. If I had not heard him mispronounce this name I would never have thought to check for that spelling and would have had a much harder time finding my ancestors).

I have found county records where a name was spelled several different ways within the same document. About the only time you can be sure the spelling of the name is the person's actual name is the signature on the deed.

The county clerks did, in most instances, copy the signature exactly as it was written. Another thing to remember when checking old deeds and indexes is the vowels (a,e,i,o,u) were used interchangeably.

Make a list of the name you are researching and change the vowels until you have a list of all possible combinations and then check the indexes for every conceivable spelling.

Deeds and Tract Books After locating the book and page number of a deed in the Index a copy of the actual deed should be made.

You will find yourself reading and re-reading these old deeds as you discover more information about your family. As I mentioned above the handwriting of many of the county clerks is more than terrible.

Make yourself a "cheat sheet". Copy / trace words or letters that you KNOW the meaning of. For example you can use the name of the state (or county) to determine how the clerk forms the letters found within the name. This will help you to decipher words in the deed that contain those letters. (There is a web site that offers a lesson in reading old handwriting. )

As with all legal documents there is a semblance of order to they way they are worded. Usually they followed this order:

The name of the State and County and date I xx (name of seller) of the county of ___ and State of _____ have this day bargained and sold to xx (name of buyer) if the buyer resides in a different county or state their location is usually stated for the consideration of $___ (if a warrant is used to pay for the land the type of warrant is noted and the warrant number) to me in hand paid a certain tract or parcel of land situated in said county and state bounded as follows: Then the legal description of the property is stated. In public domain states the description will include the acreage being sold, the section, township, range and meridian. If a State Land state the description will contain neighbors names and all kinds of information. To have and to hold the said land within described and all Appurtenances (old word for improvement - spelled a hundred different way in old deeds) belonging thereto, to the said ____ (buyer) and every part of the same. I do covenant that I am lawfully seized of said land and have a good right to convey it and that the same is unencumbered. I do further agree to warrant and defend the title to the same ___ (buyer) his heirs forever against the lawful claims of all persons whatsoever. Witness my hand and seal this ___ day of ____ of ____. The signature of the seller and the witnesses follow. The next section is by the court clerk.

If the seller is married his wife must be examined in private and state that she agrees to the sale. If the seller is unmarried then the next section will be information of the court clerk about the recording of the deed.

Even the oldest deeds follow the above outline. If the deed is a security deed (a deed given as a guarantee of payment of a debt) the debt is described, if the deed transfers ownership of a slave the information about the slave will be in the place of the legal description of the land.

Remember that deeds transferred ownership of things other than land. Once you have located deeds and deciphered the handwriting of the county clerk to determine the legal description, check the deed description in the Tract Book, if one is available.

Gather the information of the owners before and after your ancestor. These deeds may contain information on inheritance, may name family members, show a division of land between heirs or if the land is sold at a minimal price it may be a giving of land to a child at their marriage.

In State Land states it is harder to track the "chain" of ownership, but remember that land and title insurance attorneys must show clear title to a piece of land for the closings that happen everyday. They have no time to spend researching each deed back to "first title" every time a piece of land is resold. Usually each courthouse has some type of record showing the chain of ownership.

Ask the courthouse employees what type of record this is and where it is located. Go as far back as possible, you have no way of knowing who may be related to whom.

Since most old deeds are very hard to read they must be studied and restudied. You cannot gleam every piece of information by a casual reading of the deed on the microfilm machine. Collect copies of the deeds for neighbors so that you can study them at your leisure. Once again let me remind you that most neighbors were family or friends that moved together. And spouses were chosen from neighbors or members of the church or town.

You need to compile names of neighbors to help locate your ancestors in a time and place or to find the elusive name of a female ancestor.

For many years there was no Federal Income Tax, rather people were taxed on land, property, slaves, etc. Land Tax Lists should always be searched. If a man was taxed for land, you know he had ownership to the land. If you could not located a Deed and yet the man is being taxed, it's necessary to start over and look again for a Deed. Check the surrounding counties if necessary.

Where Were They Really? Where's that Today? Armed with the legal description of the property and the names of neighbors we want to know where the place our ancestor lived was or is today. Most of us who research our family history want to see and walk on the property where our ancestors lived.

Curious? Nosey? Or maybe we want to see what our ancestors saw everyday. The more practical need is to locate old churches, cemeteries or old newspaper offices. Most family researchers feel the need to fill out the bare bones outline of name and vital statistics.

It helps to be able to establish the physical location of your ancestor's property and his neighbors, both in the time in which your ancestor lived and today.

This can be done using graph paper, a computer program or simply rough sketches on a piece of paper. By seeing the layout of the land and who borders which side of the property it is sometimes possible to tie together many loose orphans.

The United States Genealogical Service (USGS) sells maps of many different sizes for each state. The 1:24,000 maps includes all natural features of the land including churches, cemeteries, etc.

This size map is the right size to locate the physical location of your ancestor's property. By overlaying these maps with tracing paper you can plot your ancestor's property and see where that property is today.

For an excellent step by step case study for plotting an ancestor's land see Richard Allen Pence's great example. Since these maps reflect churches and cemeteries, many of them old, they provide a lead to other records. Armed with the information on churches and cemeteries your next step is to begin searching for those records.

The farther back in time you travel the smaller the communities your ancestor lived in. His neighbors were many times his family and a person usually chose a spouse from those people they saw in town or at church.

It is important to look at neighbors and plotting your ancestor's land is an excellent way to gain a view of his neighbors. Once your ancestor's property is located on a "today" map most family researchers itch to visit the site. I know I do.

Look I found A Warrant Number !!!

How lucky you are if your ancestor's deed says the land was paid for with a warrant. Usually the warrant number and type of warrant is listed on the deed. If no number is listed check the BLM records and order a copy of the patent or warrant (which are now on line). With the warrant number in hand (you have to have the number) you can then order the land entry case files from the Archives.

Many of the bounty land warrant and homestead files contain a wealth of family information. One researcher received copies of all of the family pages that had been torn from a Family Bible used to establish the right for a heir to receive a bounty land warrant for a deceased relative.

The Archives will send you copies of 20 pages from the land entry files for a $10.00 fee (this changes so check the price at the National Records Center). If there are more than 20 pages then the clerk at the archives will decide what you "probably" need. The best way is to request copies of ALL pages in the case file.

The Archives will then send you an invoice for the cost of copying all the pages. It takes a little longer but is usually worth the wait. Another thing to remember is that if your ancestor purchased the land for CASH there will be nothing in the case file except one sheet of paper giving the same information as found on the warrant from the BLM.

RECAP The information in deeds provides clues that lead us to other research. Physical location leads us to church and cemetery records. Deeds of Trust leads us to court records for loans or securities.

Division of land leads us to search for wills, probate records or court records for the deceased owner.

Neighbors help us find family and spouses.

Warrants lead us to search for land entry case files or lead to military service records.

Very seldom does a deed leave us with no information on where to go next. I have only touched lightly on Land Records. I strongly suggest that you consult The Source: (see footnote below) for an extensive discussion of Land Records. To date this is the best source of information I have found. I know this essay is lengthy, but knowledge is never gained in "10 easy steps". I wish you the best of luck in your research and I will appreciate any additions, corrections or comments.

Subject: [CARR-L] Virginia County Records Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 17:10:04 -0700 From: "Wilcox" [email protected] Many of you who research the Virginia Carrs might want to check out the Library of Virginia Digital Collections at http://image.vtls.com/. The Court Records is the guide (index) to the Virginia County Court Records and is filmed from the microfilm Reel 461 that many genealogy libraries have. You can order up to 5 rolls of microfilm for up to 4 weeks through your local library using Interlibrary Loan. The Virginia Library does not charge but your local library might charge for the search (I have to pay $1.00 a reel here in California). You order by county and reel numbers. Albemarle County lists 220 reels which covers the will books, marriage bonds, land deeds, court order books, etc. I have been using this service for the last 10 years and am still amazed that many genealogists do not realize they can get these films--they are a valuable primary source for that never-ending search for ancestors. Kathy Wilcox

From: [email protected] Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 10:36:09 EST Subject: [CARR-L] Carr Books and Genealogylibrary.com We talked about Carr books a few months ago. Genealogylibrary.com, a pay service on Familytreemaker.com, has Carr Family Records, by Edson Carr, and The Carr Family of Duplin County (NC), by James O Carr. Maybe other books on Carr, too. It has wills, marriages, all sorts of things. Cost me about $50 for a year's subscription. They also have monthly rates. Copies of the Carr Family Records book cost about $100, so it might be worthwhile getting a subscription, even if only for a month. FYI. The Carr Family of Duplin County Author: James O. Carr Call Number: CS71.C37x Between 1737 and 1749, Joseph Carr, the original ancestor of the Duplin family, came to Wilmington, North Carolina on a sail vessel and moved fifty miles north, where he settled on "Maxwell Swamp," a branch of the North East River. Hundreds of names included. Bibliographic Information: Carr, James O. The Carr Family of Duplin County. Wilmington Stamp & Printing Co., Wilmington 1939.

From: "Diana Davis" [email protected] Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 08:38:42 -0500 In case you ever wondered why a large number of your ancestors disappeared during a certain period in history, this might help. Epidemics have always had a great influence on people-and thus influencing, as well, the genealogists trying to trace them. Many cases of people disappearing from records can be traced to dying during an epidemic or moving away from the affected area.
Some of the major epidemics in the United States are listed below.

1657 Boston: Measles
1687 Boston: Measles
1690 New York: Yellow Fever
1713 Boston: Measles
1729 Boston: Measles
1732-33 Worldwide: Influenza
1738 South Carolina: Smallpox
1739-40 Boston: Measles
1747 Conn, NY, PA & SC: Measles
1759 North America (areas inhabited by white people): Measles
1761 North America & West Indies: Influenza
1772 North America (especially hard in New England): Epidemic (Unknown)
1775-76 Worldwide: Influenza (one of worst flu epidemics)
1788 Philadelphia & NY: Measles
1793 Vermont: Influenza and a "putrid fever"
1793 Virginia: Influenza (killed 500 people in 5 counties in 4 weeks
1793 Philadelphia: Yellow Fever (one of worst)
1783* Delaware (Dover) "extremely fatal" bilious disorder
1793 Pennsylvania (Harrisburg & Middletown) many unexplained deaths
1794 Philadelphia: Yellow Fever
1796-97 Philadelphia: Yellow Fever
1798 Philadelphia: Yellow Fever (One of worst)
1803 New York: Yellow Fever
1820-23 Nationwide "fever" (starts on Schuylkill River, PA & spreads)
1831-32 Nationwide: Asiatic Cholera (brought by English emigrants)
1832 New York & other major cities: Cholera
1837 Philadelphia: Typhus
1841 Nationwide: Yellow Fever (especially severe in South)
1847 New Orleans: Yellow Fever
1847-48 Worldwide: Influenza
1848-49 North America: Cholera
1850 Nationwide: Yellow Fever
1850-51 North America: Influenza
1852 Nationwide: Yellow Fever (New Orleans 8,000 die in summer)
1855 Nationwide (many parts) Yellow Fever
1857-59 Worldwide: Influenza (one of disease's greatest epidemics)
1860-61 Pennsylvania: smallpox
1865-73 Philadelphia, NY, Boston, New Orleans, Baltimore, Memphis & Washington DC: a series of recurring epidemics of Smallpox, Cholera, Typhus, Typhoid, Scarlet Fever & Yellow Fever
1873-75 North America & Europe: Influenza
1878 New Orleans: Yellow Fever (last great epidemic of disease)
1885 Plymouth, PA: Typhoid
1886 Jacksonville, FL: Yellow Fever
1918 Worldwide: Influenza (High point year) More people hospitalized in World War I from influenza than wounds. US Army training camps became death camps - with 80% death rate in some camps.

Finally, these specific instances of cholera were mentioned:

1833 Columbus, Oh
1834 New York City
1849 New York
1851 Coles Co. IL
1851 The Great Plains
1851 Missouri

Some old names for illnesses found in old medical records
or listed as causes of death on old death certificates or in old family bibles.

Ablepsy - Blindness
Ague - Malarial Fever
American plague - Yellow fever
Anasarca - Generalized massive edema
Aphonia - Laryngitis
Aphtha - The infant disease "thrush"
Apoplexy - Paralysis due to stroke
Asphycsia/Asphicsia - Cyanotic and lack of oxygen
Atrophy - Wasting away or diminishing in size.
Bad Blood - Syphilis
Bilious fever - Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile emesis
Biliousness - Jaundice associated with liver disease
Black plague or death - Bubonic plague
Black fever - Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate
Black pox - Black Small pox
Black vomit - Vomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever
Blackwater fever - Dark urine associated with high temperature
Bladder in throat - Diphtheria (Seen on death certificates)
Blood poisoning - Bacterial infection; septicemia
Bloody flux - Bloody stools
Bloody sweat - Sweating sickness
Bone shave - Sciatica
Brain fever - Meningitis
Breakbone - Dengue fever
Bright's disease - Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys
Bronze John - Yellow fever
Bule - Boil, tumor or swelling
Cachexy - Malnutrition
Cacogastric - Upset stomach
Cacospysy - Irregular pulse
Caduceus - Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy
Camp fever - Typhus; aka Camp diarrhea
Canine madness - Rabies, hydrophobia
Canker - Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex
Catalepsy - Seizures / trances
Catarrhal - Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy
Cerebritis - Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning
Chilblain - Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold
Child bed fever - Infection following birth of a child
Chin cough - Whooping cough
Chlorosis - Iron deficiency anemia
Cholera - Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing
Cholera morbus - Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. Could be appendicitis
Cholecystitus - Inflammation of the gall bladder
Cholelithiasis - Gall stones
Chorea - Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing
Cold plague - Ague which is characterized by chills
Colic - An abdominal pain and cramping
Congestive chills - Malaria
Consumption - Tuberculosis
Congestion - Any collection of fluid in an organ, like the lungs
Congestive chills - Malaria with diarrhea
Congestive fever - Malaria
Corruption - Infection
Coryza - A cold
Costiveness - Constipation
Cramp colic - Appendicitis
Crop sickness - Overextended stomach
Croup - Laryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat
Cyanosis - Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood
Cynanche - Diseases of throat
Cystitis - Inflammation of the bladder
Day fever - Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness
Debility - Lack of movement or staying in bed
Decrepitude - Feebleness due to old age
Delirium tremens - Hallucinations due to alcoholism
Dengue - Infectious fever endemic to East Africa
Dentition - Cutting of teeth
Deplumation - Tumor of the eyelids which causes hair loss
Diary fever - A fever that lasts one day
Diptheria - Contagious disease of the throat
Distemper - Usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexia
Dock fever - Yellow fever
Dropsy - Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease
Dropsy of the Brain - Encephalitis
Dry Bellyache - Lead poisoning
Dyscrasy - An abnormal body condition
Dysentery - Inflammation of colon with frequent passage of mucous and blood
Dysorexy - Reduced appetite
Dyspepsia - Indigestion and heartburn. Heart attack symptoms
Dysury - Difficulty in urination
Eclampsy - Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labor
Ecstasy - A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason
Edema - Nephrosis; swelling of tissues
Edema of lungs - Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy
Eel thing - Erysipelas
Elephantiasis - A form of leprosy
Encephalitis - Swelling of brain; aka sleeping sickness
Enteric fever - Typhoid fever
Enterocolitis - Inflammation of the intestines
Enteritis - Inflations of the bowels
Epitaxis - Nose bleed
Erysipelas - Contagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions
Extravasted blood - Rupture of a blood vessel
Falling sickness - Epilepsy
Fatty Liver - Cirrhosis of liver
Fits - Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity
Flux - An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea
Flux of humour - Circulation
French pox - Syphilis
Gathering - A collection of pus
Glandular fever - Mononucleosis
Great pox - Syphilis
Green fever / sickness - Anemia
Grippe/grip - Influenza like symptoms
Grocer's itch - Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour
Heart sickness - Condition caused by loss of salt from body
Heat stroke - Body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Coma and death result if not reversed
Hectical complaint - Recurrent fever
Hematemesis - Vomiting blood
Hematuria - Bloody urine
Hemiplegy - Paralysis of one side of body
Hip gout - Osteomylitis
Horrors - Delirium tremens
Hydrocephalus - Enlarged head, water on the brain
Hydropericardium - Heart dropsy
Hydrophobia - Rabies
Hydrothroax - Dropsy in chest
Hypertrophic - Enlargement of organ, like the heart
Impetigo - Contagious skin disease characterized by pustules
Inanition - Physical condition resulting from lack of food
Infantile paralysis - Polio
Intestinal colic - Abdominal pain due to improper diet
Jail fever - Typhus
Jaundice - Condition caused by blockage of intestines
King's evil - Tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands
Kruchhusten - Whooping cough
Lagrippe - Influenza
Lockjaw - Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days
Long sickness - Tuberculosis
Lues disease - Syphilis
Lues venera - Venereal disease
Lumbago - Back pain
Lung fever - Pneumonia
Lung sickness - Tuberculosis
Lying in - Time of delivery of infant
Malignant sore throat - Diphtheria
Mania - Insanity
Marasmus - Progressive wasting away of body, like malnutrition
Membranous Croup - Diphtheria
Meningitis - Inflations of brain or spinal cord
Metritis - Inflammation of uterus or purulent vaginal discharge
Miasma - Poisonous vapors thought to infect the air
Milk fever - Disease from drinking contaminated milk, like undulant fever or brucellosis
Milk leg - Post partum thrombophlebitis
Milk sickness - Disease from milk of cattle which had eaten poisonous weeds
Mormal - Gangrene
Morphew - Scurvy blisters on the body
Mortification - Gangrene of necrotic tissue
Myelitis - Inflammation of the spine
Myocarditis - Inflammation of heart muscles
Necrosis - Mortification of bones or tissue
Nephrosis - Kidney degeneration
Nepritis - Inflammation of kidneys
Nervous prostration - Extreme exhaustion from inability to control physical and mental activities
Neuralgia - Described as discomfort, such as "Headache" was neuralgia in head
Nostalgia - Homesickness
Palsy - Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles. It was listed as "Cause of death"
Paroxysm - Convulsion
Pemphigus - Skin disease of watery blisters
Pericarditis - Inflammation of heart
Peripneumonia - Inflammation of lungs
Peritonotis - Inflammation of abdominal area
Petechial Fever - Fever characterized by skin spotting
Puerperal exhaustion - Death due to child birth
Phthiriasis - Lice infestation
Phthisis - Chronic wasting away or a name for tuberculosis
Plague - An acute febrile highly infectious disease with a high fatality rate
Pleurisy - Any pain in the chest area with each breath
Podagra - Gout
Poliomyelitis - PolioPotter's asthma - Fibroid pthisis
Pott's disease - Tuberculosis of spine
Puerperal exhaustion - Death due to childbirth
Puerperal fever - Elevated temperature after giving birth to an infant
Puking fever - Milk sickness
Putrid fever - Diphtheria.
Quinsy - Tonsillitis.
Remitting fever - Malaria
Rheumatism - Any disorder associated with pain in joints
Rickets - Disease of skeletal system
Rose cold - Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy
Rotanny fever - (Child's disease) ???
Rubeola - German measles
Sanguineous crust - Scab
Scarlatina - Scarlet fever
Scarlet fever - A disease characterized by red rash
Scarlet rash - Roseola
Sciatica - Rheumatism in the hips
Scirrhus - Cancerous tumors
Scotomy - Dizziness, nausea and dimness of sight
Scrivener's palsy - Writer's cramp
Screws - Rheumatism
Scrofula - Tuberculosis of neck lymph glands. Progresses slowly with abscesses and pistulas develop. Young person's disease
Scrumpox - Skin disease, impetigo
Scurvy - Lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of weakness, spongy gums and hemorrhages under skin
Septicemia - Blood poisoning
Shakes - Delirium tremens
Shaking - Chills, ague
Shingles - Viral disease with skin blisters
Ship fever - Typhus
Siriasis - Inflammation of the brain due to sun exposure
Sloes - Milk sickness
Small pox - Contagious disease with fever and blisters
Softening of brain - Result of stroke or hemorrhage in the brain, with an end result of the tissue softening in that area
Sore throat distemper - Diphtheria or quinsy
Spanish influenza - Epidemic influenza
Spasms - Sudden involuntary contraction of muscle or group of muscles, like a convulsion
Spina bifida - Deformity of spine
Spotted fever - Either typhus or meningitis
Sprue - Tropical disease characterized by intestinal disorders and sore throat
St. Anthony's fire - Also erysipelas, but named so because of affected skin areas are bright red in appearance
St. Vitas dance - Ceaseless occurrence of rapid complex jerking movements performed involuntary
Stomatitis - Inflammation of the mouth
Stranger's fever - Yellow fever
Strangery - Rupture
Sudor anglicus - Sweating sickness
Summer complaint - Diarrhea, usually in infants caused by spoiled milk
Sunstroke - Uncontrolled elevation of body temperature due to environment heat. Lack of sodium in the body is a predisposing cause
Swamp sickness - Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis
Sweating sickness - Infectious and fatal disease common to UK in 15th century
Tetanus - Infectious fever characterized by high fever, headache and dizziness
Thrombosis - Blood clot inside blood vessel
Thrush - Childhood disease characterized by spots on mouth, lips and throat
Tick fever - Rocky mountain spotted fever
Toxemia of pregnancy - Eclampsia
Trench mouth - Painful ulcers found along gum line, Caused by poor nutrition and poor hygiene
Tussis convulsiva - Whooping cough
Typhus - Infectious fever characterized high fever, headache, and dizziness
Variola - Smallpox
Venesection - Bleeding
Viper's dance - St. Vitus Dance
Water on brain - Enlarged head
White swelling - Tuberculosis of the bone
Winter fever - Pneumonia
Womb fever - Infection of the uterus.
Worm fit - Convulsions associated with teething, worms, elevated temperature or diarrhea
Yellowjacket - Yellow fever.

Subject: Great new source, CARR, ETC> Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 08:37:59 -0500 From: "Jean Stutz" [email protected] To: [email protected] Hi Everyone! Saw the discussion regarding Caleb Carr, Job Carr, etc. I just received two new books last Friday that are a great source for early ancestors. I have been reading these books nonstop since I received them! Both books contain many references to Carrs as well as many other New England persons. The books are: Rhode Island General Court of Trials 1671-1704 and Gleanings from Newport Court Files 1659-1783. The first was transcribed and the second abstracted by Jane Fletcher Fiske. There is so much information in these books, not only about Rhode Island people, but MA, CT, NY, the West Indies and some from several other colonies. The books give occupations, relationships (sometimes whole families), ages, locations and many other tidbits. The history of colonial life itself is worth purchasing the books. I would heartily recommend these books, especially the Gleanings..to anyone doing New England research! I don't know the price of each book since I bought both but interested persons can reach Mrs. Fiske at: [email protected] Hope this helps someone! Jean

The New England Historical Genealogical Society listing of genealogies & histories (index "C") - Carr CARR, Edson I. The Carr Family Records. Embracing the Record of the First Families who Settled in America and Their Descendants, with Many Branches who Came to this Country at a Later date. (1894). CS/71/C312/1894 CARR, Watson, W. L. The House of Carr. A Historical Sketch of the Carr Family from 1450 to 1926. (1926). CS/71/C312/1926 CARR, Arthur A. The Carr book. Sketches of the lives of many of the descendants of Robert and Caleb Carr, whose arival on this continent in 1635 began the American story of our family. (1947). CS/71/C312/1947 BENT, RALPH D., "Four Families", 1988 Library of Congress #88-92679 The genealogy of Ralph D. Bent, and immediate ancestors of his parents: CARR, BENT, MASON & WETHERILL.
The Kerr Clan of New Jersey ; Beginning with Walter Ker of Freehold and including Other Related Lines;By William C. Armstrong; The Shawver Publishing Co., Morrison, IL;1931; Reprint 1980 by The Bookmark; PO Box 74; Knightstown, IN 46148 Ancestors and Descendents of Amasa Carr, Charles W. Carr, published in 1981. The book contains the direct line back from Amasa who descends from Robert of the Caleb and Robert, sons of Benjamin. It goes forward from Amasa and contains all the descendants that Charles W. Carr could locate. Bruce, Maupin, Carr and Some Related Families by Paul R. Bostic. Privately published by Mr. Bostic in 1995. It has the Benjamin Carr, Martha Hardington familiar to most Carr researchers. It says that their son, Andrew, had a son, John. The are quite a few descendents for this John Carr. Rhode Island General Court of Trials 1671-1704 and Gleanings from Newport Court Files 1659-1783. The first was transcribed and the second abstracted by Jane Fletcher Fiske. There is so much information in these books, not only about Rhode Island people, but MA, CT, NY, the West Indies and some from several other colonies. The books give occupations, relationships (sometimes whole families), ages, locations and many other tidbits.

Subject: Books on CARR familiesDate: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 08:24:03 -0500 From: "steve & nancy weston" [email protected] Date: 4/29/98 2:57:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: [email protected] (Lonnie S. Weston) I have the following book on Kerr: The Kerr Clan of New Jersey ; Beginning with Walter Ker of Freehold and including Other Related Lines;By William C. Armstrong; The Shawver Publishing Co., Morrison, IL;1931; Reprint 1980 by The Bookmark; PO Box 74; Knightstown, IN 46148 My lines include the spelling Kerr, Karr, and Carr but I did not find any connection in this book. It is a hard book to scan because it doesn't have an index but will be glad to attempt look-ups for anyone interested. Nancy Weston [email protected]

Subject: FREE Genealogy Tips Online! Date: Thu, 18 Mar 1999 01:07:33 -0800 From: "Shirley" [email protected] Looking for genealogy charts, ancestor charts, Soundex cards, definitions, old time occupations illnesses, and more? Check out this web site: http://www.genrecords.com/ shirley

How to Figure Birthdates
From "Compendium of Historical Sources" by Ronald Bremer

Often tombstones have a notation such as: "Died 15 June 1872, Aged 77 years, 10 months, 3 days." How do you determine the correct birthdate?

First of all, make the sequence read days, months, years: thus 15-6-1872 minus 3-10-77.

Since the 10th month cannot be subtracted from the sixth, borrow 12 months from the year of death, making the year 1871 and the month 18. (If you borrow from the month to make days, borrow 30 days, even though the month might have 31.)

The equation now looks like: 15-18-1871 minus 3-10-77.

Begin the calculations on the right hand side. Therefore, 77 years from 1871 means that the person was born in 1794.

Subtracting 10 months from 18 gives you eight months, or August. So the correct date of birth was 12 August 1794.

True or False? A Census is a Head Count...
Contributed by Donna Potter Phillips

Ready to use the US censuses in your family history research? Do you understand what information is contained in these records, and how to find and use them?

Here's a True-or-False quiz to test your knowledge.

1. For genealogy purposes, a census is a population enumeration or counting.
2. The first US census was taken in 1776
3. The census is taken every 10 years because our Constitution says to do so.
4. The first six censuses list only the names of the heads of household.
5. There are no women's names in those first six censuses.
6. The 1850 census was the first to list the entire household by name.
7. It is vital to know how state and county boundaries changed over the years.
8. The Map Guide to US Federal Censuses 1790-1920, addresses the above problem.
9. Packets are available for maps of individual states, as found in the above book.
10. Census records after 1920 are closed for 72 years due to rights of privacy.
11. The 1930 and later censuses, cannot be freely accessed by the public.
12. The 1890 census was destroyed by a fire in Washington, DC
13. All census records from 1790-1920 are available on microfilm.
14. All of these microfilms are available in your local genealogy library.
15. There is a book-form census index for all available censuses.
16. Your local genealogy collection has a complete set of these indexes.
17. Your local Family History Center can order in any census film you need.
18. Census Day, or the day when enumerators could begin their work, is important.
19. Using the Soundex, when available, is the right thing to do.
20. The Soundex is by sound of surname index.
21. A Soundex Code for any surname is a letter followed by four numbers.
22. A Soundex Index exists for the complete 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses.
23. You should try to locate your ancestor on every census taken during his or her life.
24. It is important to note your ancestor's neighbors.
25. You should photocopy the census information you find.
26. US censuses are the most important genealogical tool available.
27. You can use census records in your local genealogy library, Family History Census, National Archives, or, you can borrow them from commercial companies delivered to your home. So, how did you do?
All answers are True except for:
2. The first federal census was taken in 1790 NOT 1776.
5. There are women's names listed IF they were the head of the family.
14. This depends on your local library.
15. NO!!!!
16. False
21. A Soundex Code for any surname is a letter followed by THREE numbers.
Several sources to improve your understanding of how to use the US censuses are:
"The Source," by Szucs and Luebking, 1996
"The Map Guide to the Federal Census, 1790-1920," by William Dollarhide "Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives" by the Archives.
Ms. Potter writes a  column for The Spokesman-Review.
She is the past president of the  Eastern Washington Genealogical Society,  past vice president of  the Washington State Genealogical Society and she teaches at the local community college.
Her current brick wall is: Phillips in GA, 1780-1860, with affiliated lines: Story, Stout, Veazey, Hunton, Cox, Vickers

Dating Old Photos
Contributed by Dave Rozzana
Classy Image Restorations, Portraiture & Imaging

By determining the type of photographic technique used to make your old family photos, it's possible to date, with reasonable accuracy, the date the original was created.

Following are the most common photographic processes. With this information, see if you can narrow-down the age of the photograph.

DAGUERREOTYPE (1839 - 1870, approx.) The case resembled a double frame. Very decorative. The photo image is on a silver clad copper sheet which is attached to a sheet of glass by a foil-like brass decorative frame. This sealed packet was then force-fit into a special wood case and was often padded with velvet or silk. Many times, the silver image tarnishes with silver sulfide in the same way as silverware. The cost $5.00 (more than a weeks pay for most people).

CALOTYPE (1845 - 1855, approx.). The first photographs on paper. A two-step process. The first step was to make a negative image on a light-sensitive paper. Step two was to make a contact [print] with a second sheet of sensitized paper to make a positive print. Calotypes were never widely popular, and most of those surviving are in museums. Apparently Talbot (the inventor) did not fully realize the importance of washing his prints long enough to remove all the residual chemicals, or perhaps his fixing was inadequate. Either fault leads to the same result fading image, discoloration, etc. These defects are now noticeable in many calotypes, some of which are today little more than pale yellow ghosts.

AMBROTYPE (1854 to the end of the Civil War) The ambrotype is a thin negative image on glass made to appear as a positive by showing it against a black background. Similar to daguerreotype in assembly of parts 1- Outer protective case. 2- Backing of black paper, cloth, or metal. 3- The on-glass-image, emulsion to the front and black varnish on the back. 4- Brass die cut frame 5- Gilt border of thin brass to edge wrap the frame, glass, and backing. It was common for the ambrotype to be colored. Suggestions of rouge cheeks or lips suggested a person of substance. Buttons, watch chains, pendants, broaches were often tinted with color.

Disadvantages of ambrotypes
1. A very slow (up to 20 sec.) exposure, compared to 2 sec. for a daguerreotype.
2. The glass was very fragile.
It couldn't withstand travel or being carried in a locket as a daguerreotype could. Advantage of the Ambrotypes Price. It could be sold profitably at a low price, approx. 25 cents. The cost of the ambrotype was less than half of the daguerreotype.

THE TINTYPE (1856 to W.W.II) "The penny picture that elected a president". Price- sold for a penny or less, making photography universally available. The cost of an image at the time the process became obsolete was about 25 cents.

1. Lighter and less costly to manufacture.
2. Camera was lighter and easier to handle.
3. Wouldn't shatter as a glass image photo would.
4. Could be colored or tinted.

As the public sought lower prices, the cases (which cost more than the finished photographs) were eliminated. In their place, paper folders of the size of the then popular card photographs were used for protection.

Instead of a glass cover, the photographer covered the tintype with a quick varnish to protect any tints or colors added to cheeks, lips, jewelry or buttons.

Popularity The tintype was very popular during the Civil War because every soldier wanted to send a picture of himself with his rifle and sword home.

They could be mailed home safely without fear of shattering.

The tintype actually does not contain any tin, but is made of thin black iron. It is sometimes confused with ambrotypes and daguerreotypes, but is easily distinguishable from them by the fact that a tintype attracts a small magnet.


Introduction 1856 - 1860. The earliest tintypes were on heavy metal (0.017 inches thick) that was never again used. They are stamped "Neff's Melainotype Pat 19 Feb 56" along one edge.

Many are found in gilt frames or in the leather or plastic (thermomolded) cases of the earliest ambrotypes. Size range from one-sixth plate to full plate.

Civil War Period 1861 - 1865. Tintypes of this time are primarily one-sixth and one-fourth plate and are often datable by the Potter's Patent paper holders, adorned with patriotic stars and emblems, that were introduced during the period.

After 1863 the paper holders were embossed rather than printed. Uncased tintypes have been found with canceled tax stamps adhered to the backs.

The stamps date these photographs to the period of the Wartime Retail Tax Act, 1 Sept. 1864 to 1 Aug. 1866.

Brown Period 1870 - 1885. In 1870 the Phoenix Plate Co. began making plates with a chocolate-tinted surface.

They created a sensation among the photographers throughout the country, and the pictures made on the chocolate-tinted surface soon became the rage.

During this period "rustic" photography also made its debut with its painted backgrounds, fake stones, wood fences and rural props. Neither the chocolate tint nor the rustic look are to be found in pre-1870 tintypes.

Gem Period 1863 - 1890. Tiny portraits, 7/8 by 1 inch, or about the size of a small postage stamp, became available with the invention of the Wing multiplying cameras.

They were popularized under the trade name Gem and the Gem Galleries offered the tiny likeness at what proved to be the lowest prices in studio history.

Gem Galleries flourished until about 1890, at which time the invention of roll film and family cameras made possible larger images at modest cost. It was no longer necessary to visit a studio that specialized in the tiny likeness.

Gem portraits were commonly stored in special albums with provision for a single portrait per page. Slightly larger versions also existed. Some Gems were cut to fit lockets, cufflinks, tie pins, rings and even garter clasps.

Carnival Period 1875 - 1930. Itinerant photographers frequently brought the tintype to public gatherings, such as fairs and carnivals. They came equipped with painted backdrops of Niagara Falls, a beach, a boat, and other novelty props for comic portraits.

In the nineteenth century it was common to request a photographer to make a deathbed portrait of a loved one.

THE CABINET CARD (approx. 1866 - 1906).
A card stock product, nearly four times the size of previous photographs on card stock. The larger size created new problems of photographic quality. Flaws that were not obvious in the smaller cards now became very visible. This gave rise to a new skill of photo retoucher.

Success in retouching led to innovations in the darkroom and at the camera. Diffusion of the image reduced the need for retouching. This led to verbal skirmishes between photographers who insisted in "truth in photography". Opponents called retouching degenerating, demoralizing, and untruthful practices. Cabinet cards can be further dated by color of stock, borders, corners and size.

QUICK DATING GUIDE TO CABINET CARDS The earliest American-made cabinet cards have been dated only to the post- Civil War period, beginning in 1866.

Design and colors of these cards followed those of the cards of that time. Cabinet cards are rarely found after 1906.
Card Colors 1866 - 1880 White card stock of a light weight.
1880 - 1890 Different colors for face and back of mounts.
1882 - 1888 Face of buff, matte-finished, with a back of creamy-yellow, glossy.Borders 1866 - 1880 Red or gold rules, single and double lines.
1884 - 1885 Wide gold borders.
1885 - 1892 Gold beveled edges. 1889 - 1896 Rounded corner rule of single line.
1890 - 1892 Metallic green or gold impressed border.
1896 Impressed outer border, without color.Corners 1866 - 1880 Square, lightweight mount.
1880 - 1890 Square, heavy board with scalloped sides. -Photographs mounted on card stock-

The most popular mount sizes were

Carte-de-visite 4 1/4" x 2 1/2"
Cabinet card 6 1/2" x 4 1/2"
Victoria 5" x 3 1/4"
Promenade 7" x 4"
Boudoir 8 1/2" x 5 1/4"
Imperial 9 7/8" x 6 7/8"
Panel 8 1/4" x 4"
Stereograph 3" x 7"

contributed by Shirley Hornbeck
[email protected]

OWNER OF Rootsweb Discussion Lists for
Hornbeck and Hardwick - anywhere, anytime
Berger, Benz, Myers, Hauf of Schenectady, NY
Hetzel, Giessle, McClean of Allegheny Co., PA

Here are a few tips to make your visit to that old cemetery a pleasant  experience.

You will be lucky if the cemetery is in a well-kept, suburban area, and is well documented by a local church, funeral director, or county courthouse.

Unfortunately this is usually not the case. Be sure to have a good county map and hopefully it will show locations of cemeteries.

  Marriage, Birth, and Death certificates should be consulted first. These will pinpoint your ancestors in time, as well as provide you with the proper names. The locations listed on these records may assist you in finding the place that they lived and possibly where they died.

Church records and obituaries may be your best bet for finding burial sites for your ancestors. Sometimes funeral directors may also be able to provide you with burial information.

Deeds and Grants should be checked. The GRANTEE index at the Local County Courthouse will be invaluable for determining places of residence as well as Probate records.

You may also find a plat map of the cemetery at the County Courthouse or a local historical society. These plats are drawings of the cemetery, much like a floor lan of a house, that indicates not only who is buried in the cemetery, but the exact gravesite within the cemetery.

When searching for the cemetery that contains the remains of your relatives, remember that most people were buried within 5 miles of their homes.

Prior to 1850, particularly in rural areas, many people were buried in small, privately maintained cemeteries, located on the family property or in cemeteries associated with the church of their particular faith.

If the cemetery is still maintained, you should contact the caretaker, church secretary or pastor, or other official before you disturb any plantings, dig away dirt or grass from around a head or footstone or attempt to lift fallen stones.

Before you go trekking into the woods, you need to be properly prepared for the excursion. Build yourself a "Cemetery Kit" and consider first protecting yourself. You need to wear clothing appropriate for the terrain and weather that you will be facing.

Wear protective clothing (jeans or work pants, and a flannel shirt are advisable). It may be hot out, but don't be tempted to try to make your way through heavy overgrowth wearing shorts and a "T" shirt. A wide-brim hat can be a lifesaver on a hot sunny day. Be sure you have good walking shoes or boots and thick socks. Don't wear thongs, sandals or canvas.

Make sure you have plenty of drinking water and perhaps some snack foods. You would also be well advised to take enough water to enable you to wash off your arms, legs and face once you return to your car.

Use plenty of insect repellant on your shoes, socks, and pants legs and consider treating your skin with repellant. Be sure to bring a small First Aid Kit and possibly a Snake Bite Kit. First Aid Kits for campers will be light and compact and probably available at most department stores or sporting goods stores.

Don't forget the sunscreen blocker cream or lotion. Beware of poison ivy or poison oak. The other caution is yellow jackets and bees. They are attracted to the sugar in open cans of soda and half eaten fruit. It is especially painful to take a swallow of soda pop and find that a yellow jacket was drinking in the can and is now in your mouth.

A few tools will also come in handy. In areas that are particularly wild or overgrown, a machete will just about be a necessity. You will need something to break a trail through dense brush.

You also need to take a small set of hand garden tools including a small garden shovel and hand held hoe. The two tools will be needed to clear grass and dirt away from headstones and footstones that may have sunk.

And lastly you should take a small pry bar. You will find that some headstones may have fallen over and if lying face down will have to be turned. A pry bar will help you do this. Include a pair of heavy canvas gardening gloves in your kit. Another good idea for the tool kit is a four-foot rod of reinforcing bar (rebar) used for probing for sunken headstones.

Assuming that no plat map was available to lead you to the exact site, you will have to walk up and down the row of graves, examining each stone.

At cemeteries where woods closely bound the cemetery, be sure to go a bit into the trees in each direction to be sure that you have found all of the gravesites. Look for fences, stone walls, or corner stones that may mark the boundaries of the cemetery.

You may want to bring some graph paper along to diagram the layout of the area where your ancestors are buried. This will help to remember where the graves were. Be sure to write down any fixed objects that will help locate the grave and the drives and also include compass directions (N, S, E, W).

A great way to save your memories of that visit is with a video camera. Take extra batteries and extra videotapes with you. Video taping creates a record of the condition of the tombstones at the time you visited. Some tombstones may not be readable in five or ten years but the videotape will always be there. Why not do a test taping at a local cemetery to develop a technique before you embark on your trip to that distant cemetery.

If you don't have a video camera, take along your tape recorder and a couple of cameras instead. A tip for photographers is to bring a roll of aluminum foil with you and set it up to reflect the sunlight onto or away from a poorly lit stone - or better yet - use a large mirror.

Take along lots of film and have one of the cameras loaded with black and white film. Take pictures with both cameras in case one doesn't come out.

Hopefully one of them will have a long cable release or take along a friend to help you. A tripod would be most helpful. Once you set up your camera and focus as best you can, use the mirror to reflect light onto the stone and take your pictures from different angles with the mirror placed in different locations.

You should definitely make a written record of what is inscribed on the headstone and the footstone if there is one as photographs will often fail to pickup all of the inscriptions on the stone.

Whether you take photographs, rubbings, or both, you may need to clean the stone first. You can try a block of Styrofoam to clean off some of the lichen and soil. If will not damage the stone and it leaves a certain amount in the grooves making the stone easier to read. You should not scrub away all of the lichen as lichen will actually help to protect the stone.

When cleaning a stone, remember that you must not cause any more damage than is already there. Most accumulated dirt and debris can be removed with a brush. Select a brush that is soft enough to not damage the stone but strong enough to remove clods of dirt.

Or use your garden tools to remove grass and dirt from the base of the stone until all of the inscription is revealed. Don't dig farther than necessary as you don't want to cause the stone to topple over. You may need to use some water with a solution of GENTLE soap to get dirt out of the inscriptions. Inverted carvings can be made to stand out better by filling them with shaving cream - although there is some controversy about this method and some say it may cause damage to the stone. If you use it, remove excess cream before you leave.

Another method - place a soaking wet lightweight piece of white cloth flat on the stone - "ironing" it with the fingers. The words will show up, especially if incised. It is also safe to use chalk or mud.

Rubbings are perhaps the most popular way to record headstones. There are many techniques for making rubbings and many materials that can be used. Make some trips to a local cemetery and practice making rubbings using different materials and techniques until you are happy with your results before you make a potentially expensive trip to a remote cemetery. Take something to sit on, especially if there are chiggers around, or use a small stool if your knees are stiff.

Many types of paper can be used to take the rubbing on, including newsprint, tracing paper, architects paper, shelf paper, or pellon. You can purchase pellon at just about any fabric or craft shop and other papers will be available at most art supply stores.

You are going to need some medium to transfer the rubbing. There are many things you can use; crayon, graphite, charcoal and boot wax are a few of the choices. Bootwax on the pellon makes an attractive rubbing, and graphite or charcoal on newsprint is another good selection. You can get boot wax at most shoe repair shops and sticks of charcoal and graphite are available at art supply stores. Graphite sticks are often available in several colors and other drawing sticks are also available.

You will need some tape to hold the paper in place on the stone while you make the rubbing. Freezer or masking tape doesn't leave a lot of residue when you remove it from the stone and it will also stick to a damp stone.

Cut a piece of your material (paper or  pellon, etc.) approximately the same size as the stone and secure it tightly across the surface of the stone using the tape. Begin rubbing at the upper left corner of the stone and work across and down. Rub in a diagonal direction as rubbing straight up and down or side to side will tend to stretch the paper and cause it to tear or make a distorted image. Whatever you have chosen to make the rubbing with, use a broad side or edge (several inches long) to rub with. You do not need to rub hard but rubbing too gently will cause you to lose the detail. Be sure that you are happy with your results before you remove the paper and that all lettering is legible.

Once you remove the paper don't try to replace it in the same location. When you are done with the rubbing remove it carefully from the stone, and lay it flat. Remove all tape and residue from the stone.

You should now "fix" the rubbing. If you are using charcoal, or graphite the image can be easily fixed with either hair spray or a commercial fixative available at the art supply store. Other mediums may need the commercial fixative or some other special treatment. When spraying the fixative do not spray it on the stone. Use a gentle side to side sweeping motion, and do not apply it too heavily. The fixative will usually cause your rubbing to darken. Follow the instructions on the bottle or can.

I store my rubbings in tubes such as from wrapping paper. They are particularly good for this but you can buy mailing tubes commercially if you like.

Cemetery rubbings are fun to do. They can be mounted or framed and make an interesting conversation piece. The rubbings can be stapled to a couple of dowels or matted and framed. They are particularly interesting if you use more than one color in your rubbing.

The Oldstone Enterprises, 77 Summer Street, Boston, Mass. 01110 sells a kit with directions for making rubbings of gravestones.
Their materials may also be purchased from the Hearthstone Bookshop, 8405-H Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Va. 22309.

The paper you want to use is sometimes referred to as "synthetic rice paper" or "print makers paper". Anything that does not tear easily will probably do. You may also use the non-woven interfacing or pattern materials that are sold at dress fabric stores, such as PELLON (non-fusible variety).

Oldstone sells a crayon that is about the size and shape of a bar of hand soap. Carpenter's crayon or Lumberman's crayon may also be used, or a crayon from the thick box of crayolas would do. If you find the right kind of paper, no spray or protective materials need be used.

A "leave-behind" might be several miniature pedigree charts in a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. I use a copy machine that reduces a 4-generation pedigree chart to index card size. Be sure your name and address are on each one either with a stamp or a sticker or type it on the back. Put a few of these in a jar and leave it by the headstone.

Be sure to clean up the site before you leave. Once you get back to your car rinse off your arms and legs using either water or a gentle antiseptic. If you have ever had chigger bites you will understand why this is advisable. Once back to the hotel or your home, be sure to wash thoroughly and apply astringent all over. Be careful of tics that you may pick up in the woods.

From: "Ellen Bisson"
[email protected]
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 00:15:23 -0500


1st son = father's father
2nd. son = mother's father
3rd son = father v 4th son = father's 2nd oldest brother or mother's oldest brother
1st daughter = mother's mother
2nd daughter = father's mother
3rd daughter = mother
4th daughter = mother's oldest sister
5th daughter = mother's 2nd oldest sister or father's oldest sister

Regards, Ellen

Glossary of Occupations
by Daniel H. Burrows

Accomptant Accountant
Almoner Giver of charity to the needy
Amanuensis Secretary or stenographer
Artificer A soldier mechanic who does repairs
Bailie Bailiff
Baxter Baker
Bluestocking Female writer
Boniface Keeper of an inn
Brazier One who works with brass
Brewster Beer manufacturer
Brightsmith Metal Worker
Burgonmaster Mayor
Caulker One who filled up cracks (in ships or windows) or seems to make them watertight by using tar or oakum-hemp fiber produced by taking old ropes apart
Chaisemaker Carriage maker
Chandler Dealer or trader; one who makes or sells candles; retailer of groceries
Chiffonnier Wig maker
Clark Clerk
Clerk Clergyman cleric
Clicker The servant of a salesman who stood at the door to invite customers; one who received the matter in the galley from the compositors and arranged it in due form ready for printing; one who makes eyelet holes in boots using a machine which clicked.
Cohen Priest
Collier Coal miner
Colporteur Peddler of books
Cooper One who makes or repairs vessels made of staves & hoops such as casks barrels tubs etc.
Cordwainer Shoemaker originally any leather worker using leather from Cordova/Cordoba in Spain
Costermonger Peddler of fruits and vegetables
Crocker Potter
Crowner Coroner
Currier One who dresses the coat of a horse with a curry
comb one who tanned leather by incorporating oil or grease
Docker Stevedore dock worker who loads and unloads cargo
Dowser One who finds water using a rod or witching stick
Draper A dealer in dry goods
Drayman One who drives a long strong cart without fixed sides for carrying heavy loads
Dresser A surgeon's assistant in a hospital
Drover One who drives cattle sheep etc. to market; a dealer in cattle
Duffer Peddler
Factor Agent commission merchant; one who acts or transacts business for another; Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate
Farrier A blacksmith one who shoes horses
Faulkner Falconer
Fell monger One who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation for leather making
Fletcher One who made bows and arrows
Fuller One who fulls cloth; one who shrinks and thickens woolen cloth by moistening heating and pressing; one who cleans and finishes cloth
Gaoler A keeper of the goal a jailer
Glazier Window glassman
Hacker Maker of hoes
Hatcheler One who combed out or carded flax
Haymonger Dealer in hay
Hayward Keeper of fences
Higgler Itinerant peddler
Hillier Roof tiler
Hind A farm laborer
Hoslter A groom who took care of horses often at an inn
Hooker Reaper
Hooper One who made hoops for casks and barrels
Huckster Sells small wares
Husbandman A farmer who cultivated the land
Jagger Fish peddler
Journeyman One who had served his apprenticeship and mastered his craft not bound to serve a master but hired by the day
Joyner/Joiner A skilled carpenter
Keeler Bargeman
Kempster Wool comber
Lardner Keeper of the cupboard
Lavender Washer woman
Lederer Leather maker
Leech Physician
Longshoreman Stevedore
Lormer Maker of horse gear
Malender Farmer
Maltster Brewer
Manciple A steward
Mason Bricklayer
Mintmaster One who issued local currency
Monger Seller of goods (ale fish)
Muleskinner Teamster
Neatherder Herds cows
Ordinary Keeper Innkeeper with fixed prices
Pattern Maker A maker of a clog shod with an iron ring. A clog was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end
Peregrinator Itinerant wanderer
Peruker A wig maker
Pettifogger A shyster lawyer
Pigman Crockery dealer
Plumber One who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows.
Porter Door keeper
Puddler Wrought iron worker
Quarrier Quarry worker
Rigger Hoist tackle worker
Ripper Seller of fish
Roper Maker of rope or nets
Saddler One who makes repairs or sells saddles or other frnishings for horses
Sawbones Physician
Sawyer One who saws; carpenter
Schumacker Shoemaker
Scribler A minor or worthless author
Scrivener Professional or public copyist or writer; notary public
Scrutiner Election judge
Shrieve Sheriff
Slater Roofer
Slopseller Seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop
Snobscat/Snob One who repaired shoes
Sorter Tailor
Spinster A woman who spins or an unmarried woman
Spurrer Maker of spurs
Squire Country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace
Stuff gown Junior barrister
Stuff gownsman Junior barrister
Supercargo Officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the commercial concerns of the ship
Tanner One who tans (cures) animal hides into leather
Tapley One who puts the tap in an ale cask
Tasker Reaper
Teamster One who drives a team for hauling
Thatcher Roofer
Tide waiter Customs inspector
Tinker An itinerant tin pot and pan seller and repairman
Tipstaff Policeman
Travers Toll bridge collection
Tucker Cleaner of cloth goods
Turner A person who turns wood on a lathe into spindles
Victualer A tavern keeper or one who provides an army navy or ship with food supplies
Vulcan Blacksmith
Wagoner Teamster not for hire
Wainwright Wagon maker
Waiter Customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on the tide to collect duty on goods brought in
Waterman Boatman who plies for hire
Webster Operator of looms
Wharfinger Owner of a wharf
Wheelwright One who made or repaired wheels; wheeled carriages etc.
Whitesmith Tinsmith; worker of iron who finishes or polishes the work
Whitewing Street sweeper
Whitster Bleach of cloth
Wright Workman especially a construction worker
Yeoman Farmer who owns his own land

Protecting mementos
By Denise Cross

Milk of Magnesia? -a bit messy and a soak in liquid for that long could disintegrate an old clipping. (Note: The original posting had a suggestion about preserving clippings in an MOM soak.)

There are 2 excellent spray products on the market. Bookkeeper and Wei To Sprays. University Products (800-628-1912) . Just spray on and let dry.

Lamination is ok...but it is actually a mixed bag. Your lamination film and adhesive MUST be free of anything that will contribute to yellowing.

The item cannot "breathe" in this environment and if the chemicals present are destructive over time, the item will yellow badly.

It won't crumble because of the support from the laminate, but it can get hard to read. I've seen some laminated newsprint stay relatively fresh and some turn brown.

A better option (and the one archives use) is micro-encapsulation. Using sheets of mylar and acidfree/archival quality double sided adhesive, you sandwich the item between two sheets and seal all around the edge (leaving a tiny gap for "breathing").

Backing the document with a buffered sheet of lignin free paper or treating with a spray above will help arrest the deterioration.

The item itself is not adheared in anyway, so the mylar can be cut open to remove it at a future date. The mylar lends great support to the paper as well. The mylar sheets come in many sizes, small sheets for cutting to preserve clippings to big enough to encapsulate broadsides.

Copying onto acid free, lignin free paper is the way to go for long term preservation of the info.

Ellen's note: I have purchased acid-free album sheets, clear mylar protectors and archival glue from a catalog company called Exposures in Oshkosh, WI (1 800 572-5750).

The glue is abt $7.95 per tube and it's a small tube. The glue is sort of rubbery and you can actually remove a photo to replace it or move, provided it isn't fragile. You would not be able to move a newspaper clipping, however.

On another list, I believe someone also said acid free album sheets were available a Wal-Mart.

Regards, Ellen Bisson