Tuesday, June 14, 2016

For Your Trust and Estate Planning

WSJ, 13 June2016 Family Genealogy by Financial Networks Video (After Ads)

From Whence "It" Came
Since 2008, a3Genealogy has seen a steady increase in our “Genealogy for Your Estate Package.” Although most clients wish to include this package as part of personal estate planning or filed with family trust papers, we also have seen an increase of genealogical books detailing information on corporate founders, successful entrepreneurs and politicians. (See Genealogy and Corporations). 

Corporate investors, French and Napa Valley vintners, media and communication families, and commercial real estate successors all have the same goal:  “please provide a thorough documentation of our family history.”  They wish to have their history preserved. Some have inherited their assets, while others have built from nothing, but each want their descendants to understand the source, the drive, and often the DNA.

6 Things to Look For:
  1. DNA. Yes, as mentioned in the WSJ video, clients will want a package that includes a full DNA analysis.
  2. Destination Genealogy. Many clients wish to travel overseas for reunions, or visits of origin.  Your researcher should have the overseas connections, and preferably multilingual, willing to travel with or meet the family in destinations.  You’ve seen this on the popular TV shows like NBC, Who Do You Think You Are?
  3. Proper Citation.  This is a research project. It is imperative for descendants and heirs to have a properly sourced book.
  4. Hardcover Books.  Your family book should include embedded family photos and images of research with text.  It’s not enough to just have a family tree. Be sure your researcher is a historian and will include the social history and times of your ancestor for clarification.
  5. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).  If you wish to have 5 generations or 15 or more, be sure your researcher signs a NDA.  Most professional forensic genealogists will offer this as part of their services.
  6. Anonymous Research.  If you choose to be anonymous, your researcher should also be your voice. This is most important in cases of adoption, or other private family relations.  For complete privacy we suggest your researcher be a licensed private investigator. 
Other Services
  • Adoption and Guardian Research
  • Probate Research
  • Locating Heirs and Heir Searches
  • Deed and Estate Research
  • Locate Beneficiaries
  • Inheritance, Estate and Trusts Research
  • Citizenship and emigration
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers
History Channel, Travel Channel, NBC, TLC & PBS

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Remembrance of Veterans

Obtaining Veterans' Ribbons, Medals, Certificates
It’s Memorial Day and we are remembering the stories of our veterans. Did they serve overseas?  Did they participate in a campaign in WWI or WWII?  Were they Korean War or Vietnam veterans. Your veteran may have served in the Cold War or one of the early wars.

Replacement Awards and Decorations

Often we hear of their heroic actions, or details of their battles. Yet, the earned awards have been lost or misplaced over time.  But did you know veterans, next of kin, and even the general public can receive replacement military awards or decorations? This can include certificates of service, copies of your veteran’s discharge papers, medals and ribbons. Veterans may even obtain a Cold War Recognition Certificate.

What Is Needed

  • Discharge Papers specifying eligible awards, ribbons, medals
  • Proof of Relationship: Birth Certificate (next of kin), Driver’s License (veteran)
  • Death Certificate, obituary of Veteran (if next of kin)
4 Tips / Hints
  1. Obtain the veteran’s military service record online, by mail, or by fax.  Submit Request.
  2. If your veteran’s separation documents were lost in the 1973 St. Louis Fire (read about it here), there are alternatives to locating discharge papers which will list awards and decorations.
  3. Visit the National Archives Military Awards and Decorations page, for complete procedure and costs information for replacement medals and ribbons.
  4. Cold War Recognition Certificate may be available to members of the armed forces and qualified federal government civilian personnel between 2 Sept 1945 to 27 Dec 1991.
More Information
Expect a 60-90 day response time to receive your awards/decorations once all paperwork has been submitted.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Are You Overlooking Chancery Court Records?

Sally Grimes, daughter of Gabriel Winston
Kinships Named: Parents and Maiden Names
As family researchers and genealogists, one of our common brick-walls is a result of the lack of resources to confirm kinships. Familiar relationships, parents’ names,  maiden names are all needed to complete family units, but what happens when we’ve exhausted all the normal resources - census, wills/probates, deeds, vital records, church records…etc.? Well, hopefully the researcher has not overlooked Chancery Records when they are available.

What are Chancery Court Records?
Chancery Court records hold a wealth of genealogical information. Although not necessarily a part of every states’ historical legal system, when available it will behoove the researcher to take more than a cursory glance at these genealogical-rich documents. Researchers will find personal testimonies that include family relationships. In some states (i.e. Virginia, Tennessee, etc) chancery court records are available from the early 18th century through early 1900’s. In Virginia alone there are over 233,000 multi-paged cases. More on Virginia Chancery Courts can be found at this informative piece on ancestry.com. 

What is "Next Friend?"
Of course the key to understanding any court record relies on period vocabulary. In the Chancery Court record of Sally Grimes of Hanover County, VA vs. Joseph Grimes, Sally’s father Gabriel Winston is identified as both “father” and “next friend.”

A "next friend" can be considered the person who represents and speaks on behalf of the plaintiff. The next friend may be a parent, a guardian, an older sibling , etc.  By no means should the researcher assume it is a parent or even a relationship. We have uncovered many next friends proven not to be of blood relation.  In many cases the next friend is identified, removing the tempting guessing game and solidly identifying kinships. This is most useful, when also looking for a maiden name.  

Unlike many states, Delaware's "Court of Chancery" has survived since 1792.  Of course its roles, jurisdictions and litigation realms have been consistently updated to meet the needs of the court to include corporate litigation. Visit Delaware Courts for a quick history of the English Origins of the "Court of Chancery." 

As the times have changed, so has the role of the Chancery Court. In current day Mississippi Chancery Courts are the repository for land records.  Researchers will also find divorces, guardianships and wills in the Mississippi Chancery Courts.

Other states like Missouri, may boast of early records of the Chancery Court.  For St. Louis MO. Chancery Court Records may be found as early as 1811 to about the Civil War.  These records can be found at the Missouri State Archives. Like other states, Missouri researchers may find other counties with salvaged Chancery Court Records.  

Be sure to check FamilySearch Wiki for your state / county. 
(Updated from Chancery Court Records for Genealogy Brickwalls posted 12 Oct 2013).

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Monday, April 18, 2016

Thank D.C. Emancipation Holiday for 2016 Tax Date

Compensated Emancipation Act
Why Tax Day is on 18 April (for Some)
April 15 is synonymous with tax day, until it interferes with the Compensated Emancipation Act, signed by Abraham Lincoln. This holiday is observed annually on April 16.  The Washington D. C. Emancipation Day (only observed in the District of Columbia) is a legal holiday in D. C., but affects all Americans when it is celebrated on Tax Day.  Yet, it still is fuzzy. Why was tax day moved from Friday April 15 to April 18 when the D. C. holiday is the 16th of April?

Well…the practice is the 16 April Washington D. C. Emancipation day is celebrated on the closest weekday.  That landed the holiday recognition on the 15 April in 2016 and allowed the D.C. public employees a long weekend to celebrate this historically significant day.  Click here to see the tax code for a more confusing explanation.

Know that this date change only affects Federal Taxes, not local taxes such as KCMO Individual Earned Tax which was due 15 April (yes, I learned the hard way, and gladly had to donate a late penalty fee toward bettering our city). 

Research D. C. Slave Owner and Emancipated Slave Records
Slave Record
D. C. slaves were emancipated on 16 April 1862, abolishing slavery 8.5 months prior to the Emancipation Proclamation that was issued 1 Jan 1863. 

Thanks to the Compensated Emancipation Act, slave and slaveholder information was detailed leaving a money trail to follow for the researcher.
This new act permitted slave owners to file petitions for compensation promising loyal Unionist masters up to $300 for each slave as well as voluntary colonization for former slaves outside the United States. An initial 966 petitioners filed claims for 3,100 slaves and another 161 persons submitted claims after the July 12 supplementary act including former slaves whose owners had not filed petitions. These are the records contained in this database.(ancestry.com)
Records on the compensation leads DC slave and slaveholder researchers with useful documentations that most often shares names and ages of emancipated slaves, the names of their parents, and how these slaves were acquired.  
Slaveholder Petition
Combining the slaveholder petitions and statements of the emancipated slave paints a larger picture for researchers.  The Washington, D.C. Slave Owner Petitions, 1862-1863 records may also be found on ancestry.com
Minutes of Meetings
Be sure to also review the Minutes of Meetings, April 28, 1862 -  January 14, 1863 and the summary List of Awards to Slave Owners which have been digitized on ancestry.com for a final amount awarded to the slaveholder and the number of “servants” allowed per slaveholder claim. Researchers will also find digitized Slave Emancipation Records 1851-1863 for Washington, D. C. on ancestry.com.

Tax Day on the 19th For Others
Maine and Massachusetts Holiday Moves Tax Day To 19th April. Because being an American and Tax Day is intertwined, we can’t forget the Revolutionary War patriots and their impact on tax day causing Maine and Massachusetts to have a different tax day in 2016 than the rest of the Union. Maine and Massachusetts traditionally celebrate Patriot’s Day on the 3rd Monday of April, so those tax payers have until Tuesday, 19 April.   As expected, the tax code explains why Maine and Massachusetts do not have to file taxes until the 19th of April (note I did not say “pay”, but “file. I’m not an accountant).” Again, see tax code for a complete ‘confusing’ clarification.

What is Patriots’ / Patriot’s Day?
Patriots Day - a holiday never celebrated in my birth state of Kansas or adopted state of Missouri - commemorates the first battles of the American Revolutionary War - 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord. From what I can gather, this holiday is most celebrated by the Boston Marathon. I’m sure there’s a link to the Greek Battle of Marathon, but that’s out of my pay grade.  

Don’t let me misguide you.  Patriots’ Day is a HUUGGEE day in New England - even to include the New Hampshire Minute Men. Check out Nutfield Genealogy blog entitled Patriot’s Day! Answering the Lexington Alarm from Hudson, New Hampshire. In this entire region there are reenactments and celebrations of patriotism.

Why Maine?
In Maine, like Massachusetts, Patriot's Day is an official holiday.“Why Maine?” is the most common question that we get.  And with a little understanding it makes sense. A simplified explanation is Maine, a former province of Massachusetts is 30,000 square miles of land carved out of Massachusetts – Massachusetts Bay Colony. Maine gained statehood in 1820 but that stretch of land and its citizens must be remembered for their quick response to serve in the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

To show their independence from Massachusetts, Maine celebrates “Patriot’s Day” whereas Massachusetts celebrates Patriots’ Day.  (Please let us know at a3Genealogy if you know the real history of the name distinction).

Thanking Your ME, MA Ancestor for Extra Tax Preparation Day?
I checked and none of my ancestors were brave enough to join the minutemen of 19 April 1775 (or free to do so).
Lexington Minute Man Memorial
For the rest of the U.S.A. we can pick up this conversation in July, but for now, hoping you are either wrapping up your tax forms or filing an extension!

Happy Tax Day!

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Civil War Invalid Corps Record Research

Was Your Ancestor in the Invalid Corps or Veteran Reserve Corps?
Your Civil War ancestor’s "active duty service" may have been shortened due to a disability, but did his service come to an abrupt halt, or did he transfer to the Invalid Corps or Veteran Reserve Corps?

Many veterans were wounded while in the military or contracted a disease in the line of duty, but still wanted to serve and could perform light military duty. In 1863 the Union Army and Marine Corps officers and soldiers were allowed to be admitted into the Invalid Corps to continue their military service.  This was not unique to the Union soldiers.  Disabled Confederacy soldiers also served in an Invalid Corps. 

Your Union Civil War veteran may have been one of the 60,000 men who served in the 24 regiments between 1863 - 1866.  There were two battalions: 1st battalion was created 23 Feb 1864 - 27 Nov 1865. Visit here for a listing of the 2nd Battalion companies.

History and Timeline
An Invalid Corps was far from being a new idea. During the Revolutionary War an Invalid Corps was also formed as an alternative to medical discharge. 

28 April 1863 - 18 March 1864   Invalid Corps (Union)
Invalid Corps soldiers who were unable to march or hold a musket were able to be cooks, nurses and guards, etc.  They were given unwelcomed distinct uniforms.
March 1864 Invalid Corps (Confederacy)
Mandatory service was required of officers and soldiers  who were disabled in the line of duty in order to receive pay.
18 March 1864  - 1866  Veteran Reserve Corps (VRC – Union)
Invalid Corps was renamed as the Veteran Reserve Corps (VRC).  
Where to Find Your Ancestor's VRC Records
A good place to start is with the understanding of the regiments and battalions. Visit Veteran Reserve Corps to narrow your veteran’s possible regiment.  Most enlisted close to home. Note: Although hosted on the PA roots website, this website offers a nationwide overview.

Congressional Serial Set and National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers may provide additional information of your veteran.
For Veteran Reserve Corps Civil War Pension Records visit Fold3 and peruse the 29,000 plus indices and request originals from National Archives I, Washington, DC.

Where to Research at NARA
Record Group 110, Provost Marshal Records are a great place to obtain additional information on your Civil War veteran. Here are just a few links: 
Veteran Reserve Corps Headstone Application
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Monday, February 29, 2016

Was Your Ancestor a Miniaturist - Artist?

one of the oldest known dollhouses dated 1639...in a museum in Germany! LOVE!:
Stomer House (Dollhouse), Germany, 1639
Researching via Miniatures - Portraits and Toys 
The art form of miniatures can be seen in the works of early portrait painters and skilled toymakers.  German, French, Italian and British immigrants, and Irish immigrants began introducing their skills of toy making and miniatures in the New World by the end of the 18th century. Your ancestor may be uncovered in apprentice or bond records, or in the records of a beloved artists who tutored and apprenticed others. Famous artists, like the Irish miniature portrait painter Walter Robertson, abt 1793, records may lead you to an ancestor.  Read more on the Met Museum website.

1-2-3 Where to Begin
Albert Jackson, line 4, painter miniature, England
1.   Census. The 1920 census provides researchers with wonderful hints. Take note of the occupations of your ancestor and the industry.   
2. City Direoctories. You may find your ancestor listed as a miniaturist in the city directory. 
3.  Biographies and Obituaries. 
We find many portrait painters also specialized in miniatures. Often this specialized art form is provided in their obituaries and bios.
4.   Newspaper articles. 
Female Miniaturists, Burlington Evening Gazette, 22 Jul 1899
Women were active artists in miniatures.  Be sure to reference North American Artists of the 20th Century by Jules Heller and Nancy G. Heller.

Thomas Middleton
Met Museum Website
For More Research
  1. Patents. In addition to census records and city directories, the occupation of these specialized artists may be noted in and in both Foreign and US patents allowing the family researcher to learn a bit more about their ancestor.
  2. Society Records. For miniaturists research be sure to visit the Miniature Art Societies. Your ancestor may be named as a member, sculptor, graver, or painter. The Société des Miniaturistes et Enlumineurs de France, was found in 1890; whereas The American Society of Miniature Painters was founded in 1899.
  3. Museums An artistic end . product - portraits, toys, miniatures - may have been salvaged and on exhibit in a repository. Have you seen a replica of your ancestor's home? Miniature dollhouses may even be an exact replica of an existing or old structures.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures in Kansas City holds a wonderful collection of modern craftsmanship of Miniatures. Be sure to visit their collection. 

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Sunday, February 21, 2016

National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Surgeons, Nurses, Soldiers & Hospital Research
As genealogists we are always looking for more information on our ancestors and our veterans in order to ferret out our family history - our story! So when we are introduced to one more repository, especially one that has an online presence of information and photos, we, at a3Genealogy, want to share. Have you perused the National Museum of Civil War Medicine website?

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine “focuses on the many aspects of Civil War medicine, including surgeons, nurses, patients, medicines, diseases, and hospitals.” We know Union surgeons treated more than 400,000 wounded men; about 245,000 of them for gunshot or artillery wounds, and performed at least 40,000 operations.  At the beginning of the war there were 113 surgeons in the US Army, but by the war’s end, there were more than twelve thousand surgeons in the Union and 3200 in the Confederate.

1-2-3 Where To Begin Research
Preview of document
Confederate VA Soldier, Arm Amputated Noted 
In each of the content areas mentioned - Surgeons, Nurses and Women, Soldiers - research begins with the National Archives of Records Administration, D. C. (NARA - Archives I) collections. Be sure to check the online digitized resources of ancestry.com, fold3.com and other free and subscription databases.

Step 1 Veteran Pension Files and NARA Records
For Surgeons 

For Nurses and Women
At the beginning of the war there were approximately 600 women serving as nurses in 12 hospitals. By the end of the war, over 2000 nurses had served. The actual number is not known. 
  • Review the pension records for Union nurses. 
More information may be obtained from the following books:
For Soldiers

This name-based search may yield photos or other artifacts of an ancestor.

Step 3 The Bettie Delaplaine Research Center Library
This Research Center Library associated with the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is open to the public. Of genealogical interest is the possibility of uncovering more information on the following “contents” as listed on the National Museum of Civil War Medicine website:
This Research Center has an impressive collection of books, and artifacts.. These books may assist the researcher in understanding the referenced wounds and disease mentioned in medical / pension files.

Noted African American Contributors
It is well known (see video) that there were at least 12 African American surgeons or assistant surgeons serving in the Union Army. Most were educated overseas or in Canada.  These records are best found in service and pension records. Using the key word “colored” four “Person Records” accompanied with photos popped up. 
  • Joel Morse, born in OH in 1823, his spouse Lucy Maria Sprague and children were named. Joel, a surgeon for the 117th Regiment of the USTC was murdered in Texas in 1866.
  • Martha Canfield established the Colored Orphan Asylum in Memphis after the Civil War
  • Nelly Chase, born in 1838 in New Hampshire, the wife of Capt. George W. Ernest, of the 13th USCT
These are the common names known to most researchers.  However, few can name the African American doctors who served soldiers in the Civil War.  Be sure to read Prologue to Change: African Americans in Medicine  in the Civil War Era.

Other Places to Research
Be sure to also review U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center, at Carlisle Barracks. The Civil War Photographs Database is populated with just shy of 27,000 photographs. 

U. S. National Library of Medicine offers Maimed Men as an informative resource.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers