Manuscripts For Your Research

 During your LDS family search, you may happen to discover a diary or a bundle of letters written about your ancestors by their neighbours, friends, and other acquaintances. Your ancestors lived in neighbourhoods where they were in constant communication with store owners, school teachers, clergy, or members of their local church, and midwives or in some cases, country doctors. You may even stumble upon documents left behind by your ancestors, or they may even be mentioned by their friends and neighbours in their manuscripts.

 What Is a Manuscript?

 Letters and diaries or journals can be considered manuscript documentation. Although a manuscript is considered an author’s original writing before it is presented to a publisher for publication; however, when repositories refer to manuscripts or collections of manuscripts, they are referring to unpublished documents such as letters, diaries, journals, and other such documents. Other items that fall under the category of manuscripts, other than letters and diaries include: autograph and photo albums, birthday books, business correspondences and other official documents, maps, church and other membership records, and scrapbooks. If these documents are unpublished, or if they are part of a person’s records, they are considered manuscripts. Manuscripts can be written by government officials, churches and/or other religious organizations, membership groups such as clubs or societies, businesses, non-profit organizations, family members, and friends or acquaintances, and individuals. These types of manuscripts can be located in places such as museums, all types of libraries, genealogical and historical societies, county and state archives facilities and other such repositories.

 Searching Manuscripts

 Searching for information about your ancestors in manuscripts is much different than searching through genealogical databases online, or through indexes at local repositories. When searching for your ancestors through traditional genealogical databases, you can search for the surname, specific dates and locations to find what you are looking for. However, when researching catalogues of manuscripts, searching for a particular surname won’t be as helpful for you during your LDS family search. Library catalogues are categorized by title, subject, author’s name, Reference number, (for non-fiction titles), and keywords. The catalogues aren’t searchable by each word in a book or magazine, and manuscript research is the same way. You will want to broaden your LDS family search beyond the ancestor’s surname, unless there were some documents he or she specifically wrote, such as a diary, letter, or other business document. You may want to try searching for the places your ancestors lived, members of their family, the schools they attended and possibly graduated from, churches and other clubs or membership groups they were associated with, their specific occupations , and whether or not they served in the military, when and where they served. In order to find these people, you may have to search for the people they worked for and/or with, such as military officers, employers, school teachers or administrators, etc., to find where your ancestors were mentioned. Although your ancestors may not have been mentioned by name in these manuscripts, you will be able to learn a bit more about their lives through these other records.

 Solid Keyword Research

  Now that you have discovered which keywords to search for, you will want to find local repositories that preserve these types of manuscripts. For instance, search for public, academic, city, county, and state libraries ; genealogical and historical societies, museums; and city, county, and state archives that house manuscripts and other such official documents which are still in existence and are located in the places where your ancestors once lived and conducted their daily lives. Libcat is a web site that can help you find listings of libraries that house ancient manuscripts in their collections. Although this web site is primarily for libraries throughout the United States, you may be able to find a few libraries in other countries as well. Begin your LDS family search along these lines, by searching for a specific state, and then search for libraries of special interest within that state. The web site will give hyperlinks to each particular library’s individual web site, so you can get more information about the library itself. If you are unsure of what other repositories house ancient manuscripts, try visiting web sites such as repositories of primary resources, or Columbia University’s manuscript collections throughout the United States. Genealogical and historical societies may house special manuscript collections as well. Check the Federation of genealogical societies’ society hall web site for a list of societies along with mailing addresses, and links to their web sites.

 Manuscript Catalogues

 Another way to find manuscripts is by searching through Union catalogues, which contain indexes of collections from many different libraries, museums, and other repositories in a single resource. The world Cat catalogue is the ideal place to start, because it has billions of items listed in over ten thousand libraries around the world. We typically think that libraries are places that house books, magazines, and newspapers; however, in the World cat catalogue, you will find listings of dissertations, photos, and archival collections, among other things. You can narrow your research to only include maps, or other particular archives. Two other catalogues you can search online are the National Union Catalogue of Manuscript collections (NUCMC), which is an index of manuscripts located in many different repositories throughout the United States; and Archive Grid, which is a primary source for manuscripts housed in repositories around the world. Archive Grid was only accessible within a repository at one time, but now has a platform which makes it accessible to users in their own homes. Unlike NUCMC, Archive Grid may have listings of manuscripts that have records of your ancestors who resided outside the United States altogether. These are just a few of the many Union catalogues available to genealogists; however, some catalogues only have listings for digital manuscripts, which will allow you to view, and/or download photos and other images online.

 Now that you have some resources to help you with your LDS family search, utilize these listings to find online databases, and conduct specific keyword searches to help you find the most productive information within these manuscripts that make mention of your ancestors. Remember that the manuscripts you are searching for were written during the time periods in which your ancestors lived. Although it takes much more time and effort to find any information about your ancestors within these manuscripts, the time and effort you put into your LDS family search will be more rewarding, when you can find these missing pieces of your family history.

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Volunteer Research Sites For LDS Genealogy

 Have you ever wondered what it would be like to learn everything there is to know about your family’s ancestors? It is extremely interesting to know more about the people that are your distant ancestors. By knowing more about them you are going to be able to understand more about yourself! Some people simply do not know how to do that, or even how to start researching; however there are many great sources that will certainly help you in this new quest!

This article is full of valuable information that has been compiled over the years in order to help people get to know more about their ancestors. This article will show you many websites that have been created by volunteers that are especially dedicated to family history data. These sites are totally free and they also accept the help of those who are willing to becoming a volunteer. The internet is a great source of information, especially now that it has expanded. If you do not know where to start with your LDS family search then the first thing you should do is start by using the information that you already know, after that you will find out other facts and from there you can then deepen you research. Now we are going to take a look at some helpful sites.

USGenWeb Project

This site has a group of volunteers specialized in genealogy the information covers every single state in the USA. There are many sites that are connected to each other; together these will assist you in having a variety of different resources at your disposal. You will have access to queries, message boards, listings of places, the history of the state/country/county, genealogy books, some tips on how to research, maps, groups of families, pictures, last name registers and many others. You will also have access to old articles, censuses, death historic and a whole host of other genealogical data at your fingertips all of which is extremely useful for your LDS family search.

USGenWeb Project Files

The USGenWeb Project Files was also created in 1996. It has the transcriptions of public domain files in electronic texts. They also provide pictures, census data and private records. They also have marriage data, obituary files, census pictures, maps, yearbooks and historical publications available.

 Other great projects are The Tombstone Transcription Project and the Tombstone Photo Project. These are also linked to the USGenWeb Files. This project allows people to have access to the information found on their ancestor’s tombstones that have been recorded online rather than having to visit the cemetery themselves, increasing their findings about their ancestors. They make sure the damaged tombstones will not get lost in time. Finding information from your ancestors tombstones can be particularly useful in filling in some of the blanks about your ancestors that you found after performing your initial LDS family search.

 Census Projects

 There were Census Projects named “The USGenWeb Census Project”. These two census, and later two distinct websites, are dedicated to family historians. You can find more about these censuses on the following sites: and

 Genealogical helpers! (RAOGK)

 Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) is a worldwide community of over 4 thousand volunteers. These volunteers do a research at least once a week, always gathering new information from their local areas. They do the researches for free however in case you need any copies or help then there may be a small charge for their services.

 FamilySearch Indexing

 This index is part of the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This project is being run by volunteers and they have information available on a global scale. You will have contact with people from all sides of the planet! This data can be seen online by anyone.

 Wondering how to help?

There are many ways that you can help! If you have any kind of information you think is relevant to others why not share it with the community right now. You can try to record tombstones, inscriptions, take pictures of cemeteries and submit it to the appropriate sites. You can be the host of one of the USGenWeb Project websites and research more on books and documents you have access to, you may also subscribe to mailing or message boards, share your old pictures, do file transcriptions, take a look at local obituaries and put the information online, be a volunteer at a library or even register at the RAOGK and guide others during their own research. After all there are many ways to be an online helper! You will be able to know much more about the history of not only your own family but the families surrounding you! Start researching today!

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Using Technology To Aid Your Research

When you visit the genealogical department of your local library, or a library specializing in genealogical research, you are likely to see people pouring over dozens of books, making notes to pack in their huge briefcases, or satchels, and they would be lined up at the photo copy machines with coins jingling in their pockets. Years ago, I was one of those many people lugging a load of books and papers and buying photo copies. That is until I discovered the endless electronic sources for scanning and digitizing information, and the countless online resources for downloading digital pictures. The tools you will need to find and gather information for your LDS family search include, but are not limited to: flash drive or external hard drive, digital camera, laptop computer, a simple flatbed scanner or an all in one printer/scanner/copier, (preferably wireless ), and a digital recorder.

Connecting a flash drive or an external hard drive to a USB port on a computer has made information more accessible and portable than ever, without breaking the bank. Although flash drives are more portable than external hard drives would be, you are limited on how much information can be stored on the flash drives. However, if you only want to save a few images, and put your notes in an electronic document, flash drives are ideal. On the other hand, when you are doing your LDS family search, you may find several pictures and other sources of information that you want to save for your family tree. If you have a 500 GB or 1 TB hard drive, you can save more information to add to your family tree, which can also be stored on this device.

Since the early days, when astronauts used digital imaging devices aboard spaceships, technology has improved to make taking digital pictures more portable and cost effective than ever. Nowadays, you can purchase a digital stand-alone camera, or you can get cell phones, and hand held iPads and tablets with cameras built-in. Inexpensive smart cards can be purchased to store thousands of photos in one place. These cards can then be used to transfer all your pictures to your computer.

Over the years, technology has changed to the point of making computers more compact and portable. However, if you prefer to type on a keyboard versus using a touch screen, you will want to look at either the standard laptop or a smaller computer.

In order to scan your old photos into your computer, to digitize your family tree, you have the option to purchase a flatbed scanner, or you can purchase an all in one printer. Whether you get the wireless variety or the printers that connect to your computer via USB port, you have more features with these machines than with a simple flatbed scanner. Not only can you transfer images to your computer, or storage device, but you can also make prints of documents and photos, and make print copies of documents to share with other family members. The wireless printers also allow you to print photos and other items directly from the web.

A digital recorder, which has now taken the place of a tape recorder or even, your smart phone or other handheld device with digital recording capabilities, will be an asset to you when you want to make notes or interview any of your relatives to help you put together your family tree. There are even some digital recorders with a USB connecter built-in so you can store your notes or interviews on your computer, or storage device for later use.

Now that you have the essential tools, it is time to plan your research trip to the library. Before you take a research trip to a genealogy library or repository, it is important to make a list or outline of your research tasks, so you will have a written agenda to follow. There are genealogical database programs available to help you put together your to do list. These programs list research topics by library or repository, so you will not only have a list of research topics you are looking for, but an idea of which outlets to research. These programs can also pull up the library’s online catalogues so that you have reference numbers for the information you are looking for. Be sure that the library you visit allows digital recording, scanning, and downloading of their resources.

Once you have a list of search topics, here are a few tips for gathering your information. When you find the information you need in one or more books, papers, or periodicals, you can use your digital camera or portable all in one printer to take a picture or scan the pages you need for your research. If the information you need is on microfilm, find out whether your library has a digital micro film machine, because information and images can be downloaded onto a flash drive or external hard drive. If the library or repository uses the old microfilm machines, you can take a picture of the text on the machine’s display screen. After visiting the library and gathering all the information and reference citations you need, visiting the cemetery to take pictures of grave markers, and getting photos of burial records, you can use your digital recorder to record interviews with your relatives. These can be transferred to your computer or storage device. These are a few helpful hints to get you started on your LDS family search.

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Using Common Spelling Mistakes To Assist Your Research

Misspellings can make your LDS family search a bit of a challenge, but it can be done. Many years ago, your ancestors’ names were commonly misspelled, or record keepers came up with variations of the spelling of a person’s name. There are several reasons the names were misspelled. For instance, spelling may not have been as important back then as it is now, foreign accents were hard to understand, handwriting may have been sloppy, the indexer was in a hurry, or a number of other factors could have played a role in this spelling confusion. No matter the reason for the misspelling challenges, be prepared to search for your ancestors using different spelling variations of the person’s name. If your ancestors can’t be located in the records you are searching through, this is the best time to look for spelling variations. However, when the ancestor for whom you are looking has been found, it makes your LDS family search much easier. When you can’t locate what you are looking for, you must widen your search parameters, which can be discouraging for some, but a wonderful challenge for other genealogists. This is the point where you need to get creative in your search. For instance, if your family line has a strange last name, try looking for it under a different spelling, such as gastera, for Zastera, etc. You have to be the investigator and think outside the box, to find these misspellings in your LDS family search.

Do Your Research

Take the time to learn as much as you can about your favourite search engine on the Internet. One way to do this is by reading more about and using their advanced search feature to get the most out of your genealogical research. Also read the tips they offer on using spelling variables, such as quotes, dashes, or asterisks to help you find what you are looking for. By using these symbols and other spelling variations, you may be surprised to find many useful search results. However, if the search engine shows no results found, go back to the search page, and click on cashed. There you should find a few results that can help you advance your research. Depending on the amount of time you have to search, and how important the information may be for your LDS family search, you can take time to search for your ancestor’s name under several misspellings. You can try searching by dropping a letter in a name, or transposing the letters to find your ancestors. If you are having trouble finding any results, use the name thesaurus to find a list of spellings for a particular name.

Phonetic Pronunciations

If spelling variations don’t help you find the person for whom you are looking, use phonetic pronunciations of the ancestor’s name. When in doubt, sound it out. By this I mean spell the name the way it sounds, and use the different possible pronunciations to come up with results. Sometimes finding the way your ancestor’s name was spelled can be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, by trying to fit each little piece to the last one, until you find the perfect fit. Doing this type of Genealogical research is not easy by any means; on the contrary, it can be the most difficult challenge to find information when a person’s or family’s name is misspelled. However, if you are dedicated to finding information for your family tree, the informational treasures are worth all your hard work. The researches you’ll remember the most are the ones that the hardest to do, took the longest, and were the most rewarding, when you found your great, great, great grandparents hidden under a misspelling or a spelling variation.

It is important to note, during your research, that foreign names may have been changed after the people landed in the United States, so this could be one reason you can’t find your ancestors. If none of these methods help you find what you are looking for at the time, try a new search tactic, and come back to this one later on along your Genealogical journey. You will be pleasantly surprised to find something that you may have missed, and you may even unexpectedly find some new information you didn’t even realize you were looking for. Also, keep an eye out for new resources, because more sources become available to genealogists each and every day. The thrill of new discoveries is what keeps family historians plugging away at building their own family trees.

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Using Antiques To Progress Your Family History Research

Have you ever wondered about the professions of your ancient family members? Maybe they were locksmiths, carpenters, cooks, who is to say? Maybe your family had their own business and still have their advertising stored somewhere on the internet! You will be able to find old papers and many other ancient treasures on online auction sites! Using the details you found in your LDS family search as a starting point you can then move on to looking into the background professions of your ancestors.

You must be wondering how such old papers and pictures are still intact today. Well the answer is simple: the paper back in the 1900s was much more resistant if compared to the paper we use today. Some of these documents were much thicker and some even had fabric! You will be able to find ancient picture albums from a good auction site and all you have to know is a little bit more about genealogy antiques and the specific vocabulary that is used when working in this field.

Surnames, pictures and other data from the 19th century

There are several materials from this time that can be found that can help you in your LDS family search and family tree research. You can find, for instance, trade advertising cards from the 1800s, these were small and colorful advertising cards with some nice Victorian scenes. These trade cards are the old versions of our business cards that we use nowadays. These ancient cards had beautiful handwriting and were used in family businesses. Other interesting findings are the legal documents (including deeds and wills). These were handwritten in papers that seemed like rags.

Bibles that belonged to specific families could also be found. These have special handwritten family messages. You can usually find these with online booksellers. Postcards which were very popular back in the 1900s are also great sources of ancient information, as they usually hold information about the locals. Some postcards even had real pictures of families. You may also find funeral cards. These contain many symbols, post mortem pictures and information about the age of the person.

Other great sources of information are the diaries, journals and letters from the 1800s and 1900s. These were important Victorian activities and can be found online. Other pastimes of that era were the Calling Cards that were handed out giving the family name and showing social status. For more information about families you could check the genealogy and family records. These can be found online and contain a lot of important information.

There are also some Photographs from between 1840 and 1900. You could find images in copper plates, mirrors, wooden cases, glasses and others. Some kinds of these pictures lasted more than others; however all of them are of extreme importance to us. Some names of these photographs are Tintype, Ferrotype Photographs (in iron plates), Carte de Visite photographs (pictures on card stocks, very used in the civil war), Cabinet Card Photos (larger portrait pictures), Stereo view Photos (pairs of pictures to be seen in a wooden stereoscope), Dry Plate pictures (big pictures that opened way for the picture types we have today.)

Wondering how to begin?

If you are not too sure as for where to begin you search you can try EBay! Yes EBay is a great source of material. They have new things on a daily basis. You might manually search or have the site send you alerts whenever something that might interest you appears. You can try different combinations in order to find the best results. It only takes a bit of patience and time. You can refine your searches and narrow the results, that way you will end up finding what you have been looking for. You will be able to find pictures, maps, albums, books and many other relevant materials. The web also has other sources such as the websites Ruby Lane, TIAS, Go Antiques, Etsy and others. These sites also provide refined search tools. For last but not least you can also have Google that is going to provide you many different options. You can simply type a surname there and start your research. From there on you will be able to narrow your results and find exactly the information you have been looking for. It does not matter how hard it might seem, all you have to do is give it a start!

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Tracing Your Maryland Ancestors

 If you are searching for your Maryland heritage as part of your LDS family search, being knowledgeable about these colonial records is very important. The following information about these records will assist you as a genealogist, when you start looking for your colonial ancestors. When the first settlers landed on the Maryland colony in 1634, this colony became one of the first English settlements in the United States. Several aspects of the Maryland colony during this early period in history distinguished it from any other colony. The land that comprised of the Maryland colony was granted to George Calvert, Lord Baltimore by King Charles the First in 1629, which meant that no one actually owned the land, but had to pay rent on it each year. This was true, although people were allowed to buy and sell land as they wished. After the revolutionary war, annual rents were replaced by property taxes that were paid by land owners.

 Plantation Acts

 Lord Baltimore passed plantation acts into law throughout the Maryland colony, to encourage people to settle on the land. These plantation laws provided so many acres of land per each settler. These acts were known as head rights, which were land rights for every person who settled in the colony. Head rights were not only common in Maryland, but in other colonies as well. If a settler paid passage for another passenger on a ship bound for the new world, that person was entitled to the rights of the land that was set aside for the extra passenger. For example, if a person owned indentured servants, he would receive land for them. A married man with children would receive the land allotted for his wife, children, and any other family members who settled with him. To receive the land, the settlers would have to follow a three step application process. First, the potential land owner would submit an application for a land warrant from the provincial land office, the allotted acreage would be surveyed, and claimed, and finally the potential land owner would apply for a patent on the land.

 This patent, once approved, would give the settler and his family, or indentured servants full ownership rights to his land. If you are looking for information about these land patents for your LDS family search, you may want to look for information about the land ownership process, called patent records at the Maryland state department, located in Annapolis. These patent records have also been recorded onto microfilm, and have been made available for you to view at the Family history library, located in Salt Lake City Utah. These records include, warrant applications, land survey information, and land patents. These records include settler information that was included in the applications for land warrants and patents. This information often included passenger lists for the ships that sailed to America during that time period. These lists contain the name of the ship, the captain’s name, the names of each passenger, and the date the ship arrived in the United States. You may also be able to find the port that the ship departed from listed in some cases.

 Head Rights

 Head rights were discontinued in Maryland in 1680, so the land patent records were no longer kept after this time, because they were unnecessary. Land warrants and patents were applied for and granted by the land office, although the application process was similar to the one during the year’s land patents were in existence. However, if you have ancestors who settled in Maryland during the 1630s, you may be able to find more information about these people through land patent records, than you thought possible for your LDS family search. During the patent process, the plots of land surveyed and allotted to the eligible settlers were given a specific name.

 Land Names

The land names are still used today, unless the land has been re surveyed. The probate and tax records only have the deeds to the parcels of land that was patented by the settlers as they applied and were approved for them by the land names themselves, and not by the descriptions of the land boundaries. The only reason a land’s name was changed, was due to the fact that it was re surveyed and issued a new patent. Land was often re surveyed if someone wanted to ad land that was unclaimed nearby to his land, or to combine earlier parcels of land to other parcels to make a completely new parcel that was patented by a new owner. In so saying, if you had an ancestor who owned land prior to 1786 may have received the land after his father died, if the original owner had no will that is, as the land was controlled by primogeniture. However, after Primogeniture was discontinued, if the land owner didn’t have a will, once he was deceased, his relatives received his land. If you know the name of the land your ancestor’s owned in Maryland, it makes your LDS family search much easier, because of the fact that once you have the name of the land, you can then find records such as deeds, probate records, and tax lists.

 King William the 3rd, declared the Church of England, also known as the Protestant Episcopal Church, as the state church of the British Empire. This included the American colonies where British settlers lived. In 1695, however, Maryland legislature required that all births, marriages, and deaths be recorded by the parish vestry clerks. The records are found in the registries of each individual parish. However, the law didn’t require that the records specify what religion the perish members were affiliated with. Most of these parish registers have been transcribed; some were even recorded onto microfilm. Some of these original records have been preserved at the Maryland State department, or the Maryland Historical society. Those that have been microfilmed may be available through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Utah. There are some records, however, that were in such poor shape, that they are no longer being circulated to the general public. Although local protestant churches were no longer required to record vital records for their members after 1776, if your ancestor lived in Maryland during the eighteenth century, these parish registers would be a great place to begin your research for information about them.

 Estate inventories are considered to be the most undervalued of all probate records, because many people refuse to read about items like clothing, furniture, and any other personal possessions. However, estate inventory records can provide you with more information than you realize. If you study lists of a land owner’s possessions, you can find a wealth of information, such as tools leading to the type of work a person might have done, crops giving you information about the size of the farm, and an evaluation of the entire estate gives you some idea of your ancestor’s wealth, or lack thereof. If you can identify your ancestors through the signatures on the estate inventory lists, then you may be able to find more links to your family history. Understanding the above mentioned resources will help you find your colonial ancestors as part of your LDS family search.

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Tracing Your Female LDS Ancestors

Tracing some of your female ancestors when performing an LDS family search may be a little frustrating, especially if you do not know or are unsure of their maiden names. Another problem that you may face when researching your Mormon family tree’s female ancestors is a missing paper trail where you do not have enough solid research material to pin down a name. In this article we will cover five simple ways that can assist you in reading records and tracing your female ancestors from your LDS family search.

One of the first places you should look when trying to trace down any of your latter day saints family tree and not just female ancestors are census records. The United States census records from 1790 to 1794 can be extremely useful in tracing down your missing ancestors. When you are searching for female ancestors the information that you are going to be interested in researching will be dates of marriage, if you do not have the exact date of marriage for the particular ancestor you are tracing but you do know how long they were married then certain columns within the census records will be of significant interest to you. For example column 10 of the 1900 census and column 9 of the 1910 census display the total length of time in years that person was married. Using simple subtraction you should be able to ascertain an approximate date when they were married. You can then follow up your research by checking the data on applications for marriage licenses to help you narrow down your female ancestor.

The next tip that will help you with tracing your female ancestors from your LDS family tree involves researching naturalization records. If the female ancestor that you are tracing made an application to become a citizen of the united states then seeking out the official application documents which will include the petition for naturalization and your ancestors declaration of intent. One thing to bear in mind when researching naturalization documents is that until around 1922 wives would occasionally be listed on the naturalization records of their husbands, so if your ancestor applied to become a US citizen before this time you may want to trace the naturalization records of her husband. Before around 1906 all immigrants will have filed for naturalization in their county, municipal, federal or state court. If you are looking for a good place to research naturalization records pertaining to your LDS family search then you may want to try

In order to obtain information for naturalization records after 1906 then you should submit a request under the freedom of information act to the US citizenship and immigration services or USCIS. If the female ancestor you are researching for your LDS family tree did not naturalize then you should try checking the alien registration records. From inside the main USCIS website you can click the more history and genealogy link which is located on the left hand side of the main page. Be advised that this service is not free and there will be a fee involved, typical processing takes between 90 and 120 days.

 The right for women to vote on federal elections was passed in August of 1920, but when you are taking voting records into consideration when searching for your female ancestors you should also realise that they may have been voting at a local level such as in school or community elections before this date. Another thing to take into consideration as well is that depending on which state your female ancestor resided at the time she may have also been eligible to take part in elections at a state level. An example of this was found in New Jersey where women were granted the temporary right to vote from around 1790; however this right was then revoked back in 1807. For more information on women’s suffrage (right to vote) then you should check the archives library information centre.

You should never assume that your female ancestor that you are researching was purely a housewife and that they never worked outside of the home, even if family members have told you in their personal stories back when you first started your LDS Family tree research. Women would have worked in many different professions and occupations. An excellent resource pertaining to working women including pamphlets, books memoirs and diaries that you can use for tracing you’re working female ancestors is the Harvard University Library open collections program titled “women working 1800 – 1930”. You would be surprised to know that many women would have served in the military throughout history, for more information on this you can check out the women and military section of the ALIC site.

Your LDS family female ancestors may not have had access to social networks sites but they certainly were social people. The final tip in researching your female ancestors is to find their friends, in order to do this you may need to go back to your initial LDS family search and check census records and family documents to find friends of your ancestors. Go over your records that you have already researched, when your female ancestor immigrated did she travel alone or was she with another family member or a companion? Were there friends present that witnessed the marriage, go back and track the marriage records of your ancestor.

Use these five tips to help trace down your female LDS ancestors.

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Tracing Records That Have Been Destroyed

 During your LDS family search, you may wonder how to find alternate records that were destroyed in a war, earthquake and fire or by some other means. This article will show you how to find records that were reborn or kept in alternate files as part of other city and county records. The term Burned County originally was applied to records that were burned in the courthouse fires sparked in the civil war. However, this term applies to missing records due to fires, natural disasters, or less than adequate record keeping. Here are a few tips to help you find burned county records for your family tree.

 Go Over What Information You Already Have

 It is recommended that you start by reviewing your own personal and family records, family bibles, photos, Journals, deeds, business records, or any other artefacts you can find to begin your LDS family search. You may also want to review any genealogies, family histories, (written or oral), and pedigree charts that your family may have kept through the years. When searching through family histories and records, it is important to interview your living relatives to obtain information and oral accounts of historical life experiences. If possible, ask your family members to find any property deeds and other records they may have on hand to help you with your LDS family search. After checking your family records check the records in neighbouring cities and counties for more information regarding friends of your family, who may have preserved other artefacts, letters, and oral stories of your family that were passed down through the generations.

 County State Records

 Although some of your family records may have been lost during the fires sparked during the Civil War, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, or any other disaster, these records may have been reborn in family journals, letters, from survivors of the 1906 earthquake, to military files of the Civil war veterans, and/or any other documents and mementos saved by survivors of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes etc. Genealogical web sites have been created in memory of the anniversaries of both the Civil War and the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Check your state’s genealogical and historical societies for more information about these and other records. Although the records for the county in which you live may have been burned or destroyed due to fire or natural disaster, check the records from a neighbouring county, because that particular county may have alternate records still intact. Check your states genealogical society or historical society for more records and other resources to help you build your family tree. Your state’s web site, county Chamber of Commerce, and other such resources are also good places to look for alternate records in order to continue your LDS family search. Check your state’s archives for copies of court case records, deeds, and records that were kept in your ancestor’s family bibles. Many of these records may have been digitized, and can be found online through the state archives for the state in which your ancestors lived.

 Other Places To Check

 For information about your ancestors who fought during the civil war, you can check the national archives web site for important military records that show when and where your ancestors served and any other military information that has been made available to the general public. Take a trip to a veteran cemetery to find information about your veteran ancestors, which can be found on their headstones, grave markers, or if they served in the union army, their Grand Army Medallions.

If you check the censuses between 1850 and 1880, and the agricultural, manufacturing, and industry non population records, you will likely find more information about your veteran ancestors, such as places of residents, occupations, number of people living in the households etc. These records can be found in the national archives, at More recent census records may give information about your ancestor’s descendants after the veterans were deceased.

Two more great resources for find alternates of records that have been destroyed during war, fire, or natural disaster are: vital records, which include birth, marriage, and death announcements; and notices or obituaries in local and state-wide newspapers. These records will help you further your LDS family search.

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Tracing Ancestors With Common Names

One of the biggest problems you can come across when trying to perform an LDS family search is that involving common names. In fact trying to gather information on an ancestor that has an extremely common family name can seem like an impossible task. Thankfully it really doesn’t have to be as difficult as it first appears. Usually when you are performing an LDS family search you would start with immediate family members before starting to work your way back, however when dealing with an ancestor with a common family name you will realize that it becomes much easier to reverse this process. Start your LDS family search by using information you have on their later life first, by finding out all that you can about their friends, family neighbors or even information on people that they conducted business with. You may also find it helpful to determine their occupation, religion, whether they served in the military, whether they owned land or even if they left a will.

As you begin looking at records about someone with the same common name as your ancestor, it would be extremely useful if you knew who their children and spouse were. The names of your ancestors other family members such as spouses, grandparents, children, parents will assist you in determining which of the records belong to the ancestor that you are currently researching. For example the information contained in a will should include the names of some children. If during your research you stumble across a will that you believe may be that of your ancestor and it includes the names of children who you know did not belong to your ancestor then you will know that this particular will did not belong to them and you can continue your research.

Knowing the religion of your ancestor will also help you when it comes to determining whether a person with the same common name is your ancestor or not. Although there were cases of people changing religion this was not as common practice as it is today.

During your research you may come across a number of people with the same name living in a particular county or city. In order to determine if one of these is your ancestor then knowing who their neighbors were could be very useful in narrowing down your search. Census records are a good way of determining who they may have lived near to. Sometimes deeds may also have a record of neighbors listed in the description of the newly purchased property. This type of description on deeds usually recorded the names of the people who owned the property on the adjoining land that was being purchased. This information should be enough for you to determine which person out of the few in that particular county or city is your ancestor.

Other times during your research you may find someone with the same name as your ancestor with records created at the exact same time in 2 different places, this cannot possibly be the same person. In cases like this you will need to determine which of the 2 your ancestor’s records are. The answers that you are looking for in this case may come from the witnesses to those records. Your ancestor’s neighbors may have acted as witnesses, for example they could have witnessed the signing of your ancestor’s will, deeds, or other legal documents.

Working out which documents your ancestor may have signed will also be made easy if you have a copy of their signature. Ideally you should trace down a document that you know that your ancestor signed and then this can be used as a comparison for any future records that you find that may or may not have been signed by your ancestor. Remember you will need an original signed document. Certain records such as deeds or wills often get copied into deed or will books and will not contain the original signatures that you are looking for. In the majority of places the original legal documents such as wills or deeds will be housed in probate files which are kept separate and in the majority of cases these will be held at the relevant county courthouse.

As you can see tracing ancestors with common names can indeed be difficult and at times frustrating but if you take note of the information contained in this article you should soon realize that it is not impossible.

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Tracing African American Civil War Soldiers

 African Americans Have an outstanding history of service in the military, which includes the 175 thousand African American or “coloured” troops who served in the military during the civil war. While you are doing your LDS family search, you may come across some fascinating information about the coloured troops that served in the military throughout the Civil War, and even in some cases, the troop members’ post-war lives. Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your LDS family search for your military ancestors. There are several ways to identify your ancestors who served as coloured troops during the Civil War.

 One way to get this information is through stories that have passed down from generation to generation in your family. If you interview the elders of your family, write down these oral accounts if your family has them, if not, there are several records you can search to find this wealth of information about your military ancestors. For instance, the 1890 census contained records for Civil war Union veterans and their surviving widows who lived anywhere from Kentucky to Wyoming. The names of these soldiers and their widows are listed in alphabetical order, to make them easier to find.

 Resources for Tracing African American Civil War Soldiers

 Both the 1910 and 1930 censuses question airs asked questions about military service in general, including more specific questions about the family members of those veterans who served as coloured troops during the Civil War. Several newspaper obituaries made mention of a veteran’s military service, which included whether or not the veteran was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R), an organization that was established for union veterans who were honourably discharged from military duty. Gravestones or cemetery markers that were issued by the federal government may or may not list a veteran’s military service. However, other tombstones may contain more information about whether the deceased was in a regimental unit, or if he was a state Civil War veteran, while others have the G.A.R logo on them for union veterans. Along with these particular records, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) have compiled several microfilm indexes of records for volunteer soldiers who served in the Union army, with coloured troops. This microfilmed index also served as a resource for the national park service’s database of civil war veterans and sailors.

 If you are searching for compiled service records, here is an interesting bit of information you can use to help you find information for your LDS family search. Throughout the 1890s, the records for Civil War military service were copied onto individual cards. One card had all the information for each individual veteran that was taken from the original records. This meant that each soldier had his records on one card. These cards were then compiled and placed into files for each individual soldier, thus they were called compiled service records, or compiled military service records. These compiled records contain a vast amount of information for each individual soldier, including: place of birth, soldier’s age, occupation, when and where he served during the Civil war, by whom he was in listed, when and when he was listed on the bimonthly muster rolls, and where and when he mustered in and out. The records may also include information such as injuries, illnesses, and/or promotions that veterans may have sustained or received during the war.

 Compiled Records

 These compiled records are available for public view at the Archives I office in Washington, D.C. Although some of the records for National coloured troops have been recorded on microfilm by the National archives, not all of them are available. These records are listed by regiment, and both indexed and digital records can be found at When they are available, a Civil War veteran’s pension records are a valuable resource for family historians and genealogists alike. The circumstances of a veteran’s disability case depend upon what information can be found in his pension record. These records may include depositions of the soldier’s vital records such as date and place of birth, date and place of marriage, slave ownership, if he was a slave, kinship, migration, disabilities, and death of the soldier and his other relatives, such as spouse, dependent children, and aged parents. These records may also contain information from family bibles or baptismal records. If you want to find out whether your Civil War veteran ancestors received a pension or not, there are two microfilm indexes of records, that have been compiled by the National Archive.

 The general index to pension records is indexed alphabetically by the soldier’s surname. This index and other digital pictures can be found at The organized index of pension records is categorized by the Unit in which the veterans served, and then alphabetized by surname. This index is for veterans who served in the military between 1860 and 1900. The original records are housed in the Archives I facility in Washington, D.C. These records have never been recorded onto microfilm, although fold3 has uploaded about 4% of this collection as digital images. Pension records for your veteran ancestors can be ordered from NARA for a nominal fee.

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