1940 Census Action Plan

Census records are the starting point for nearly all genealogical research projects.  Privacy restrictions limit public access of census records for 72 years, so on April 2, 2012 the 1940 census will become available.   Thanks to Archives.com, the records will be available immediately online for free. For those of you who often refer to the […]

Another Reason Why I Love Genealogy

I’ve recently been in contact with a cousin of my father’s, who is also interested in genealogy and still lives in my dad’s hometown. He is older than my dad and has more first-hand accounts of my Oma’s generation. His recent email included an interesting little story – my Oma’s father (my great-grandfather) Valentin Stossier […]

The Ancestors’ Geneameme

Just for fun, prompted from the blog Geniaus.  Here’s “The Ancestors’ Geneameme” KEY: Things you have already done or found: bold face type Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional) Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type Extra comments and details are in brackets. Which of […]

Hutchinson Mystery Men

  William Hutchison – 3rd Great Grandfather (for family reference, this is Robert Lee Updegraff’s great grandfather) Missing 1900 census Unknown death date (estimate  Unknown birth date (estimate 1821-1825) No actual sources for connection to parents (DNA has confirmed though) Williams parents were Forgus Hutchison (1798-1860) and Jane Campbell (1800-1872). William appears in the Census from 1850-1880 […]

Hidden Habitats

Cemeteries are incredible historical resources.  They reveal information about settlement patterns, historic events, lifestyles as well as specific details on your ancestors.    I love visiting cemeteries.  The peaceful atmosphere provides the perfect setting for reflection and contemplation. Cemeteries are also “hidden habitats” with all types of plants and animals.  You never know what you […]

Contacting Distant Cousins

Have you ever followed a lead by contacting an unknown non-genealogist cousin? Websites like ancestry.com, findagrave.com, footnote.com etc make it very easy connect with distant cousins that share an interest in genealogy.  The rewards of those connections can be quite great.  Here’s an example: Last year I found a story on ancestry.com involving my Davis […]

An Unusually Attractive and Popular Girl

On occasion, while researching my family history, I’ve come across a person, photo, or event that touched me personally.  Often it was completely unexpected, and mostly about ancestors that I wasn’t even that closely related to.  One such instance occurred while reading about my great grand aunt Alma Catherine Updegraff.  Thanks to the New Castle […]