Kinsearching October 10, 2010




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     With the holiday season fast approaching, many people are making plans to visit relatives, some of whom they may only see during this time of year. Have you wanted to research your pedigree but don’t know anything about your family background? If that is the case, the holidays provide a good opportunity for you to talk to family members and ask questions about your ancestors. But how do you begin? You can find the information you need in the new fourth edition of Emily Anne Croom’s book, UNPUZZLING YOUR PAST.

     Like the earlier versions of Croom’s popular manual, the expanded, updated, and revised edition discusses all facets of genealogical research from suggesting interview questions to utilizing various types of records to documenting sources to writing a book. In the process, the book explains how to interpret and comprehend family legends, keepsakes, and papers and introduces beginning researchers to methodology and the variety of materials used to trace your forebears. Throughout the publication, the author furnishes charts, examples of documents, interesting ideas (making a migration map to show the numerous places where your ancestors lived, for example), sidebars, and proven strategies for successful research (the application of “cluster” genealogy, for instance).

     Appendices furnish a wealth of data including a glossary of frequently used genealogical terms, a relationship chart, addresses and phone numbers for the National Archives and its regional branches, details found on various census reports, and blank forms for a five-generation pedigree chart, family group sheets, and information from the different censuses. Besides a list of cited and selected works for further reference, the bibliography supplies an alphabetical index to short topical bibliographies featured in the text.

     Intended for individuals with little or no knowledge about tracing their ancestry, Croom’s publication focuses on the potential questions and needs of beginners. However, experienced genealogists may also find some useful ideas and up-to-date material due to expanded information on public records and internet addresses. A well-organized and well-written guide, UNPUZZLING YOUR PAST has much to offer family researchers.

     Containing 278 pages, the book has an attractive soft cover on the front and includes a subject index. To the book's price of $34.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order number 1222) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Although divorce was not a common practice prior to the twentieth century, the drastic action did sometimes occur. A few examples appear on page 1, column 3, of the 15 June 1866 issue of The Semi-Daily Times, published in New York, NY.

     Two decrees of divorce were granted on 13 June 1866 by the Supreme Court of New York City for Smith S. EATON vs. Julia D. EATON and for Annette B. MUIR vs. Alexander MUIR.

     Justice INGRAHAN presided over the court that granted a divorce in the case of Sarah ALBERGANTI vs. Joachim ALBERGANTI on 12 June 1866.

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