Ancestry Daily News, 25 August 2004
"Ancestry Daily News" <> on 08/25/2004
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Your Daily Dose of Genealogy for 25 August 2004
** You can view this issue of the "Ancestry Daily News" online **

In this issue:
- U.S. Census Collection Update
--- 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Ohio
- New U.K. and Ireland Records Collection Database
--- England Manorial Law and Customs (Images online)
--- 1901 England Census (Images and indexes) Update adding
Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Rutland
- Today's Featured Map
--- Germany and Italy, 1803
- Research Paths and Byways: "Why Didn't I See That?" by Patricia Law
Hatcher, CG, FASG
- Ancestry Quick Tip
- Fast Fact: Take a Tour of Family Tree Maker 2005
- Thought for Today
- Clipping of the Day
- Ancestry Daily News $10 Product Pick of the Week
--- "Honoring Our Ancestors," by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
"Honoring Our Ancestors" provides fifty stories that hold one common
thread--the seemingly endless ways to creatively pay tribute to those
who came before us. The heartwarming stories found within the pages
of "Honoring Our Ancestors" are just what the family historian has
always needed. And it just may be the spark that inspires you in your
own quest!


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send it on to them and let them know about our free service? The
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1900 U.S. FEDERAL CENSUS FOR OHIO has just added an every-name index to the 1900 U.S.
Federal Census. This update adds 4.1 million records for the state of
Ohio. Additional postings will be made regularly to this database.

This database now indexes Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, the
District of Columbia, Indiana, and Ohio, with each entry linked to
images of the actual census schedules.

This is a particularly important release in light of the fact that
the 1890 U.S. Federal Census was almost entirely destroyed in a fire
at the National Archives. Important information found on this
enumeration includes:

--- Street address (in cities)
--- Name of every person in each household (all are indexed)
--- Relationship to head-of-household
--- Color or race
--- Gender
--- Month and year of birth
--- Age at last birthday
--- Whether single, married, widowed or divorced
--- Number of years of present marriage
--- Mother of how many children
--- Number of these children living
--- Nativity of individual, their father and mother
--- Year of immigration to the U.S.
--- Number of years in the U.S.
--- Naturalization status
--- Occupation
--- Months not employed during census year
--- Education (how many months attended and whether individual can
read and write and speak English
--- Ownership of home and whether farm or home

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census is at:
(The index is available to subscribers with access to
either the U.S. Records Collection or the U.S. Federal Census
Collection. U.S. Federal Census Collection users can also click
through to see images of census records.)



This database contains a work explaining about the law and customs of
England, relating to manors, lords of manors, their stewards,
deputies, tenants, and so forth. This database is valuable because it
is important to understand the manorial system in order to
successfully perform research in English land and property records.
This record type becomes increasingly more valuable the further back
in time you go because they pre-date the existence of many other
record types and are one of the most genealogically useful records
for that early time period.

Source Information: "England Manorial Law and Customs"
[database online]. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2004. Original
data: Nelson, William. "Lex Maneriorum: or the Law and Customs of
England." London: E. and R. Nurr, and R. Gosling, 1726. subscribers with access to the U.K. and Ireland Records
Collection can search this database at:

1901 ENGLAND CENSUS (Images and indexes)
Update adding Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Rutland

Counties now available:
Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cornwall,
Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire,
Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire,
London, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland,
Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex,
Warwickshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire. subscribers with access to the U.K. and Ireland Records
Collection can search this database at


Regional map of central Europe showing the political divisions of
Italy and Germany in 1803.

To view this map, go to

For best results viewing maps, download the free MrSID
image viewer at:

by Patricia Law Hatcher, CG, FASG

When I review the written compilations and conclusions of other
researchers, I often see things that the author has overlooked. I
suppose it would be nice to say that such observations are brilliance
on my part, but that rarely is the case. They usually are things
obvious enough that the researcher exclaims, "Why didn't I see that?"

"Why didn't I see that?" This is a question worth answering, because
the answers can help us avoid problems in our own research. Let me
begin with a disclaimer. Some of the vision problems described below
are familiar to me as my own. I've exclaimed, "Why didn't I see
that?" on more than one occasion myself.

Let's take a genealogical vision exam.

Most of us are searching for our own ancestry. We find an ancestor
and then seek his or her parents. When we find them, we shout
"Eureka!" and immediately begin seeking their parents. We are wearing
ancestral blinders. We ignore everyone other than OUR ancestor.

The corrective prescription would read, "Equality for siblings!"

Your ancestor's siblings have the same parents as your ancestor. If
you can't find your ancestor's parents, the solution may lie with
siblings. Furthermore, it's awfully easy to make a mistake. I rather
like the quality control of confirming that my ancestor's siblings
have the same set of parents as my ancestor.

Many of us are too goal oriented. Our eye is drawn to the unknown
distant past instead of focusing on the portion of the past with
which we have already connected. We are so anxious to push onward
that we don't take the time to establish a firm base from which to do
the pushing.

The corrective prescription would read, "Slow down. Observe the
scenery. Get to know the people."

Be thorough. Spend ample time in the locality and with the
individuals you have identified.

This problem has become more common in recent years. People seem to
over analyze each piece of evidence, discussing various reasons why
the document might say what it does. It is true that we need to keep
in mind the reasons a document was created and any legal or religious
restrictions of the time, but too much analysis can detract from what
is explicitly stated in the document.

The corrective prescription would read, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Those of you who remember Dragnet will remember that Joe Friday
understood perfectly well that the extra information being imparted
would often obscure (intentionally or unintentionally) the
information he needed.

I would rather see a straightforward presentation of all documents,
unclouded by analysis, than to see something I recently encountered:
several pages analyzing a document, without once telling me precisely
what the document said.

One of the things I often see in narratives is smudged identities.
Let me explain. Over and over I see a sentence such as "Henry deeded
his land to his son John in 1830." Immediately, I want to know what
the deed REALLY said. Did Henry say "my son" or did he merely say
"John?" I am left to puzzle whether the researcher knew there was a
son John, assumed there was a son John, or WISHED there were a son
John. When we add these "helpful" phrases, we smudge the identity of
the individuals involved (in this case, perhaps, a second cousin once

The corrective prescription would read, "Always present literal
transcriptions of names and relationships."

Until your research has been compiled and reviewed, William should
remain William, Billy should remain Billy, Will jr. should remain
Will jr., Wm. F. should remain Wm. F., and so on.

This is the old-fashioned "can't see the forest for the trees"
problem--or perhaps the "can't see the trees for the forest" problem.
We need to maintain a balance and examine BOTH the individual records
and the records in relationship to each other.

The corrective prescription would read, "Step back, blink twice, and
look again. Then step forward, blink twice, and look again."

My favorite mechanism for doing so is to create a chronology with
extracts of all records (including places), with names given exactly
as in the records. It is amazing what is revealed when we let our
ancestors live their lives in chronological order.

The genealogical manifestation of monocular vision is only
researching half of a couple--almost always the male half because of
the focus on surnames. We can all fall into this trap because women's
birth surnames disappear upon marriage. But that is no reason to
ignore the wife. Are we sure he had only one? What records do we have
indicating her name? For exactly what years do we know the name of
the wife?

The corrective prescription would read, "Give her a paragraph of her

If we force ourselves to discuss the wife as an individual,
specifically identifying when we know of her presence, even if
nameless (birth of a child, "Henry and wife received communion"), we
are less likely to miss clues of identity or to latch onto the wrong

but these prescriptions for clearer vision can be filled at any time
--the sooner, the better for your research.


Patricia Law Hatcher, CG, FASG, is a technical writer, instructor,
and professional genealogist. Her oft-migrating ancestors lived in
all of the original colonies prior to 1800 and in seventeen other
states, presenting her with highly varied research problems and
forcing her to acquire techniques and tools that help solve tough
problems. She is the author of "Producing a Quality Family History"
( ).

Copyright 2004,




In reading D. Rychlak's "Quick Tip" (17 August 2004) regarding her
computer crash, I was also reminded of the total loss of my files due
to three crashes in 2003. I had backed up some of the files to
WorldConnect. However, I had done it quite a long time ago and never
thought to return and update the file. So I still had a great deal of
rebuilding to do.

Now I make certain to resubmit my file on the first of every month--
or sooner if I added a great deal of information since my last
update--so that if I have another computer crash, I will be able to
obtain a fairly up-to-date file from WorldConnect.

Leilani (Kuntz) Spring
Corfu, New York


Thanks to Leilani for today's Quick Tip! If you have a tip you would
like to share with researchers, you can send it to:

Quick Tips may be reprinted, with credit to the submitter, in other
Ancestry publications, so if you do not want your tip included in a
publication other than the "Ancestry Daily News" and "Ancestry Weekly
Digest," please state so clearly in your message.



Interested in learning more about the latest version of the best
selling genealogical software program--Family Tree Maker? Take an
online tour of the program and check out the great features it


"The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in
having new eyes."
--- Marcel Proust


From the "Ohio Repository" (Canton, Ohio), 25 August 1852, page 4:

The drought and grasshoppers in the northern part of New Hampshire,
have destroyed all signs of vegetation in pastures and fields--and
many are compelled to go into the woods and cut down the underbrush
for their stock to browse upon to sustain them.


Subscribers with access to the Historical Newspapers Collection can
view this clipping at:

To subscribe to the Historical Newspapers Collection at,
go to:


"HONORING OUR ANCESTORS," by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
"Honoring Our Ancestors" provides fifty stories that hold one common
thread--the seemingly endless ways to creatively pay tribute to those
who came before us. The heartwarming stories found within the pages
of "Honoring Our Ancestors" are just what the family historian has
always needed. And it just may be the spark that inspires you in your
own quest!


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Have a great day!
Juliana Smith, Editor, "Ancestry Daily News"
Anastasia Sutherland, Online Editor

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