Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spanish-American War/Philippine Insurrection

6 More Places to Locate Records
So you’ve checked with the microfilm, M860, General Index to Compiled Military Service Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers, and M881, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. And, your ancestor is listed as having served in the Spanish American War (1898) or Philippine Insurrection (1899 - 1902).

So you filled out National Archives Trust Fund (NATF) Form 86 Military Service Records and the patented response of “No. We are unable to locate the file you requested above. No Payment is required” is in your mailbox. Why?  We know the compiled military service records and the carded medical records of volunteers for those who served in the Spanish American War and Philippine Insurrection should be in Washington, D.C Archives I.  (See An Overview of Records at the National Archives Relating to Military Service).  But, your ancestor’s files can’t be “located!”

Where Are The Records?
Many years have passed since the 1898 - 1902 era and this war…well… barely made the history books requiring the typical researcher to piece together disjointed service record information with troop information to recreate their ancestor’s military experience. We have found Spanish American War records in the most obscure places. Learn more about the Spanish American War (1898) and Philippine Insurrection (1899 - 1902) 

1. Adjutant General's Office
In many cases soldiers were called up from the National Guard to serve in this war. So you will want to begin with the Adjutant General’s records for the states of enlistment (and discharge if different state). Many of these records are no longer housed at the Adjutant General’s Office but one key to a successful search is knowing your ancestor’s specific infantry, regiment and company.
Four key searches:
  • ancestry.com Adjutant General records (not all states)
  • Hathi Trust collection which includes additional states.
  • National Archives RG 94.
  • Adjutant General’s Office for hints on archival locations. 
2. Troop Activities
It is possible your ancestor served under more than one troop. The key to following an ancestor’s movement within the military may be told by following the troop's activities. Be sure to keep an eye out of where did the troop go and where /when was unit discharged. You may wish to begin with RG 391: 

3. Pension Application Files
If your ancestor lived past 1922, a veteran, widow or dependent pension application file may be included. Review NARA, RG 15.7.3 Pension application files based upon service in the Civil War and Spanish-American War("Civil War and Later").

4. Bibliography Search for Record Keeping Hints
Here's a bit of information that may give you a lead. The Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection, 1898-1902 by Mark Barnes is our go-to book on this topic: Be sure to check the bibliography for hints to where author got information.  

5. State Archives
Certificate of Disability for Discharge
Some state archives hold volumes of textural (not microfilmed) Spanish American War records.  New Jersey State archives “has 122 volumes of Spanish-American War records.” For an easy access to these records, be sure to reference familysearch.org catalog for your ancestor’s state.  Where as Kansas Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection records may be found at the Kansas Historical Society.

6. Spanish American War Centennial Website
Have you reviewed the Spanish American War Centennial Website?  This site is great for battle reports and accounts, and gravesite recordings. The Unit Profiles, Rosters, and Photos have proven to lead researchers to bringing down brickwalls.

Kathleen Brandt
Website: a3genealogy.com

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Press Release: Research Job Opportunities

Five Open Positions - Genealogists

a3Genealogy research jobs are assigned based on clients' needs. Research applicants must meet the following requirements: 1) expert in research topic 2) familiarity with local repositories and 3) location requirement

a3Genealogy  research jobs are assigned based on clients' needs. Research applicants must meet the following requirements:
1) expert in research topic
2) familiarity with local repositories and 3) location requirement

Job Assignments:
Local/onsite repository research at courthouses, churches, and other local repositories as specified on the Job Description. Each researcher will be issued a Job Description that must be signed and returned upon accepting job. 

Researcher Locations Needed
= Indicates Job Closed
£  Kane County, IL
T  Hampden County, MA   - Job Closed
T  St. Joseph County, MI
T  Lucas County,  OH
T  Wood County, OH

Researcher must present traceable citation/sources for each document plus research list of repositories for negative searches. GPS standards preferred. 

We have in office assistance should you need administrative assistance, or if we can help you be successful with this search.  

Start Package 
In addition to the signed Job Description (Agreement) the a3Genealogy  Privacy Act Statement must be agreed upon.  Know that we comply with the Federal Tax Laws set for 1099 consultants and will request the completion of W9 in order to comply. 

Send resume with pricing structure to:

Updated 19 Sept 2015

Kathleen Brandt
Website: a3genealogy.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rival Research Ohio vs Michigan

Library of Congress
The Toledo - Michigan Strip Records
When a war fails to produce even one casualty, and  the only shots fired were warning shots up in the air, not much is written on the conflict. Researchers are accustomed to finding an abundant of documents on wars but the Toledo War, also called the Toledo- Michigan War, or Michigan-Ohio War, 1835-1836, is mostly unknown.  This bloodless war stemmed from the pending ownership of the Toledo Strip.

Researcher Woes
Our ancestors may have settled in the Michigan Territory as early as 1805, with a large settlement encouraged by the 1812 War. But Michigan was not admitted to the Union until 1837. Of course Ohio had been admitted into the Union in 1803, two years before the establishment of the Michigan Territory. For information on the conflict read Settlement of Michigan Territory, George N. Fuller, written in The Mississippi Valley Historical Review.  Additional history can be found in ‘Governor In and Over the Territory Michigan,’ Michigan History Fall 1975, 153:170.

This conflict however has caused family researchers scrambling on both sides of the strips to find ancestral records. To add to the confusion, know that the settlers moved from one county to another and rarely stayed loyal to a community. 

A-B-Cs to Follow the Conflict

Toledo Blade, 26 Apr 2003
A.  Where's your Ancestor?
The first challenge is to locate your ancestors’ movements throughout the region. Starting with a full cluster of family unit names, we suggest you follow the Territorial Papers.  Territorial Papers were full of appeals, petitions and memorials to Congress where our pioneer ancestors signed their names for the records. 

B.  Who has Records / Documents?
Contact local, county and state repositories for possible deeds, wills and probates and land records. Know that they are rarely where you expect, and as usual counties shifted boundaries. 

C.  Star Record Group?
Many of the settlers served in the 1812 war. Fold3.com may have digitized your ancestors’ records.  Interestingly, the soldiers or widows petitions often include births and names of each child. It may also include full names of previous wives or subsequent husbands.  In one case we uncovered that both the husband and oldest son died in war.  These records were the key to unscrambling a pesky common surname research project. The same widow’s pension produced information on the marriage county and date, leading us to obtaining a copy of the original marriage record.

7 Key Research Suggestions

  1. The Territorial Papers of the United States, v.10. 11 and 12
  2. Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections  vols. 36 and 37.  Other volumes may also be relevant.
  3. U. S. Serial Set. Petitions and memorials were uncovered in the files of the Senate and House of Representatives.
  4. Detroit Gazette. A nice collection for issues published between 1817 to 1827  has been digitized by Google News. There is also a splattering of 1828 issues.
  5. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library
  6. Western Michigan University Archives.
  7. Michigan- Toledo Strip Land Grants / Patents.  Using the “Michigan-Toledo Strip” Meridian for both Ohio and Michigan may give information on your ancestors’ residence and migratory path.
Expand Your Research
Nearby Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin repositories also proffered relevant documents.
Kathleen Brandt - A Wolverine!
Accurate Accessible Ancestors

Monday, July 27, 2015

Court and Prison Records for Narcotics and Liquor (WDYTYA)

Leonard McCray, Inmate Number 2541, at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, National Archives
Was Your Ancestor a Federal Inmate? ( Like Ginnifer Goodwin's)
We were all glued to our TV screen as Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA) featured the family of Ginnifer Goodwin.  During the show, the questions poured in.  So here is the promised research blog of how to find records of your incarcerated federal prisoner. 

Opium, 1922
Most would believe that during the 1920’s prohibition violations would have populated the prison system.  However, in reality it was drug offenders: morphine and cocaine.  The KC NARA webpage states “Leavenworth had so many drug violators that they formed their own baseball teams. The "Morphines" and the "Cocaines" squared off in an annual contest to determine the best baseball-playing dope violators in the institution.” 

Palatka Florida News, 1921
However, narcotic records were not classified as archival, and were marked to be discarded after 30 years.  For example the Leavenworth Federal Narcotic records for prisoners held in the Leavenworth Federal Annex were destroyed.  But many of these inmates appear later with other offenses.  To ferret ancestor's prison records, be sure to review each regional branch of the National Archives (NARA).  We have found inmates convicted in Arkansas. sentenced to Leavenworth, but court records were archived in NARA-Atlanta.
Liquor Licenses
Federal Prohibition Agent
If your ancestor requested a liquor license, you may find his application in the records created by the Federal Alcohol Control Administration “Liquor Licenses,1920-1934".  You may also find earlier IRS license stamps in other local repositories.

Federal Court Records
U. S. District Court Records are located at all of the National Archives locations, with each holding the District Court records for the states in their region. However, the Federal Penitentiary Inmate Case Files are held only at the following NARA regions: Kansas City, Alcatraz, Atlanta and McNeil (state of Washington).*
(*Paragraph Correction Made: 7 Aug 2015)

 10 Hints in Federal Prison Records 
  1. Mug Shot - These pics are clear, and the person is definitely identified.
  2. Record Sheet -To include name, crime, violation (some surprisingly minor) and dates.
  3. Personal Data Sheet - Birth, education and religion. Often includes spouse and parent’s name.
  4. Fingerprints - These records include marks and scars.
  5. Daily Work Record -Reports our ancestors’ daily life in prison. 
  6. Hospital Record - Medical records are often difficult to obtain for ancestors, but prison records proffer the information without a fuss (up to 1952). 
  7. Correspondence Log -These records may hold the post office and state of correspondence. This kind of information may assist a researcher to a family’s whereabouts. 
  8. Personal Correspondence - Although letters were considered private property of inmates, they may have been confiscated and preserved due to a violation
  9. Trusty Prisoner’s Agreement - Perhaps your ancestor was remorseful and on the mends.  He may have been allowed to work outside the walls or in a low level job inside.  That might give a happy closure to those sleepless nights.
  10. Sentence of Court Case -We all have used court cases to further our research and you definitely wouldn’t want to disregard this one.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Sunday, July 26, 2015

a3Genealogy and Who Do You Think You Are?

Kathleen Brandt of a3Genealogy researched for 
Ginnifer Goodwin Episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, 
aired TLC, 26 Jul 2015. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

9 Resources for Researching Your Alaskan Veteran

Alaska Veterans from 1867 -- 
What You Should Know
To review the Military History in Alaska, 1867-2000 visit the Joint Base Timeline.

African American Army Engineers – WWII Alaska
Many know about the Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen, but few remember the African American Tuskegee (Alaska – Canada) Alcan Highway contributions during WWII. Be sure to read the history on American Experience. The completion of the Sikanni Chief River Bridge in Oct 1942 is credited as ending segregation, after a long fight, of the U. S. Military in 1948.

Women Veterans
By 1994, over 1500 Native American women and Native Alaskan women served in the military. At least 60 Native American women served in the Eskimo Scouts before 1980.  According to a 2013 Alaska Business article Ceremony Honoring Alaska’s Women Veterans at State Capitol over 8500 female veterans live in Alaska.  Be sure to read Native American Women Veterans.

Where to Begin Veteran Research
1.      Alaska History and Cultural Studies provides an overview of the importance of military forces in Alaska. 
2.      Federal Records may be located at the National Archives - Pacific Alaska Northwest Region in Seattle, WA.  This collection holds Alaska Military Post Returns (1867 – 1916) and is a great resource for officer research, as well as reviewing unit events.

WWI Selective Service System Draft Records, 1917-1918. 
3.      With Alaska having such a reputation for WWII, many researchers fail to review the Alaska WWI Selective Service System Draft Records, 1917-1918.  Over 16 thousand WWI draft registration cards can be located on the FamilySearch website.

Alaska State Archives – WWI
4.      WWI Service Personnel Information 1923 lists WWI soldiers, residence, branch of service, enlistment and discharge dates, and more for the Territory.
5.      Alaskans Military Deaths compilation provides death dates and cause of death along with branch and additional military information of service personnel. 

National Cemeteries
6.      Fort Richardson Cemetery archives in Anchorage, holds information on WWII military burial records. Although many veterans were re-interred in their home cemetery, many remained at the Ft. Richardson Cemetery.  Read  history of National Cemetery of Ft. Richardson. For a listing of Veteran Administration (VA) recorded burials visit the Interment.net Ft. Richardson website or Find-A-Grave (6678 names provided).
7.      Sitka National Cemetery, 1868-1870 established in Sitka, AK is administered by Ft. Richardson National Cemetery. Review VA burial records at Interment.net for Sitka National Cemetery. or Find-A-Grave.com (1317 names provided).

Alaska Veteran Museum
8.      The Alaska Veterans Museum, located in downtown Anchorage, opened April 2011. Read news article: Veteran Musuem Opens Downtown. Visit the Alaska Veterans Museum website for their oral history collection, documentaries, and other military artifacts.

Looking for Native American Veteran Research?

9.      Researchers of Alaskan Native Americans must not bypass information on the WWII (1942 – 1947) military reserve force Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG), often referred to as the “Eskimo Scouts.” Begin research efforts by reviewing Office of Veterans Affairs ATG.  An ATG roster may be found here.  Be sure to visit Searching for Veterans on Alaska’s Remote Edges.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Monday, July 13, 2015

Researching Alaskan Settlers, Railroad Workers & Gold Seekers

Anchorage Centennial Highlights Genealogy
Part I of Alaska Series
If you have ever attempted research on that adventurous ancestor who headed for Alaska, you have probably found a shortage of records.  But this is one region that you must periodically revisit to uncover newly found records. Alaska seems to be late bloomers in jumping on the genealogy train, but it is chug-chug-chugging along now. And, with Anchorage celebrating their centennial, my recent visit (Jun 2015) introduced us to some new finds that helped meet research goals.

Celebrating the Anchorage Centennial has forced many to take a strong look at the history of this “tent city” which exploded in 1915 thanks to the commitment to building the Alaskan railroad. Know that the city was not incorporated until 1920.  

5 Anchorage Resources  - Not to be Missed
Tent City. Anchorage Museum
  1. Land Auction Records: 10 Jul 1915 there was a Great Anchorage Lot Sale / Land Auction. Read about the 1915 land auction.  The Alaska Engineering Commission Record Book, salvaged from the trash, was noted in the Alaska Dispatch News on 14 Jun 2015. This is the earliest ledger book that bridges the tent city to land ownership in Anchorage.  This record book holds names of Japanese, Slavic and Scandinavian settlers of Anchorage. It “lists purchasers, sales prices and initial payments of townsite lots …between 1915-1917.” 
  2. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records:  this resource will confirm the land patent of your ancestor.  And, don’t forget in Anchorage the town was settled in 1915, but most land patents were about 1921. These records were vital in a study of the expansion of the Russian Greek (Eastern Catholic) Orthodox Church. For more information on the Russian Church and native Alaskan Culture visit the Library of Congress website.

    Although an image is not online, we were able to confirm the 1964 Alaska homestead of Mahala Ashley Dickerson, the “first black female attorney of Alabama” who homesteaded and practiced law in Alaska. For more information on M. Ashley Dickerson, read her autobiography Delayed Justice For Sale.

    Side Note: Many overlook the ex-slave and free-coloreds that settled in Alaska before the turn of the century. Here is an 1897 account of an ex-slave who made a handsome amount panning in the Klondike. He was returning to Georgia to save his late slavemaster's daughter.
  3. Black Gold Miner,  ex-slave St. John Atherton, 1897
  4. Consortium Library’s Archives and Special Collectionsthe University of Alaska Anchorage houses Alaska’s Archives and Special Collections. This holding includes historical manuscripts, photographs, audio, books, and exhibits. One of the favorites is George Harper’s Black in Alaska Exhibit, which included “Blacks in the Gold Rush.” For more information on Blacks in Alaska visit the Guide to George Harper’s Blacks in Alaska History Project.
  5. Cook Inlet Historical Society: a great place to start if your ancestor settled in Anchorage in the “early 20th Century.” Search the database list for Anchorage 1910-1935  Legends & Legacies for your ancestor’s name, or contribute facts on your ancestor for inclusion. Some settlers came for the gold rush, others for the Alaskan railroad. We also see Natives Americans who chose to settle  in Anchorage, miles away from their home community. We suggest the sources of the stories be confirmed, as some may be of undocumented oral history. 
  6. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): located in Seattle, WA., researchers can access microfilm holdings of “censuses of Alaska Native villages; naturalizations; records of the Alaska Railroad, the Russian-American Company, and the district and territorial governor of Alaska, 1884 -1958; and townsite deeds and deed books.”
Other Great Resources
There are so many other outstanding places to research in Anchorage (and other cities in Alaska).  Before visiting Anchorage, be sure to visit the Familysearch website. We have found the Probate Collection to be a key to unlocking that adventurous ancestor.

If you are looking for the best Photograph Collection, visit the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson CenterThis collections houses more than a half a million photographs.  Be sure to review the Collection Guides.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers