Saturday, May 1, 2010
A while back I requested the military service records of a Confederate soldier from the National Archives. This was done online and cost me $25. I got his complete set of 13 records, consisting of information from muster rolls and rolls of prisoners of war.
Here are a couple of the records I received. With them I was able to track him from when he enlisted on 15 May 1862 to when he was capture at the Battle of Helena on 4 Jul 1863 to his transfer to Fort Delaware to when he was exchanged on 7 Mar 1865.
A lot of information about the military units is also included on these records. This one gives his unit when he enlisted, Capt. Green's Company, Arkansas Infantry, as well as information about the different names of that unit. This is useful in researching the history of that unit.
The National Archives has a lot of information and is an invaluable resource in your research.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
On May 31, 2000, Oregon Ballot Measure 58 took effect which required issuing a copy of the original Oregon birth certificate to the adopted person. My dad got a copy of his original birth certificate but I was never able to get a copy and he didn't appear interested at the time. In the years since, the certificate was misplaced. He recently wants to know where he comes from so he got another copy of the birth certificate. What a gold mine of information!
We now have his birth mother's name, primary residence, and age. If she is still alive she will be 90 years old by October. There was no birth father listed. It also stated that he was born at White Shield Home, a home for pregnant teens.
I understand that the babies born there were kept until they were adopted. My dad was supposed to be about a year old before he was adopted so I'm assuming he was there for his first year.
Based on her unusual name, age, and residence, a quick search of Ancestry.com found her living with her mother, step-father, maternal grandmother, and half and step siblings in 1930. She was the oldest child, age 9. From there I found her mother and father in 1920 and her maternal grandparents in 1910.
Unfortunately I have no other information on her. I already know where she was in 1940, the year my father was born, so the new census will probably not bring me new information except maybe some new half siblings. My only hope on finding what happened to her is through any family that may still be living.
One of my favorite sites to just browse around is the Bureau of Land Management Government Land Office.
When a property was initially transferred from the government to an individual, a land patent was drawn up. It gives the Legal Land Description of the property, including the portion of the township that was transferred. Use the Search Land Patents tool for this.
Next you can find the survey plat of the area using the Search Surveys tool. This will give a map of the area so you can pinpoint the land your ancestors owned. This is really useful when you look at the land around your ancestors. You might find that relatives will own some of the adjoining property.
One of these days I'm going to take a trip to find an ancestor's property.
For my genealogy database, I started with Family Origins. I loved that program. But when that was discontinued, I moved on to RootsMagic, from the same folks who made Family Origins. If you are still using Family Origins, the RootsMagic website has a forum online devoted to Family Origins.
RootsMagic is a great program, inexpensive, and does everything I need it to do. It is so customizable. I haven't tried RootsMagic To-Go (included) yet but I can't wait. For a list of features, take a look at their website. I can't imagine a better program to keep up with my databases. Highly recommended! RootsMagic Features
My maternal roots are all in Germany. I came over to the states with my mom as a baby. Since I live in the states, my Germanic research is online right now. Here is a site I found that might help others with German ancestry. German Genealogy - Tracing Your German Roots