Sunday, May 24, 2015

1-2-3 Researching Revolutionary War Veteran - Virginia / Kentucky

Celebrating Memorial Day - Early Veterans
For Memorial Day, we have decided to highlight land patent research for VA-KY Revolutionary War Veterans.  Land patent and bounty research of our ancestors is a great way to show their contribution and war service.  

Kentucky,separated from VA, was admitted as the 15th state, 1 Jun 1792. So early researchers may find their VA - KY Revolutionary War ancestor’s land warrants on the Kentucky Secretary of State website: Revolutionary War Warrants Database. 
“Patents issued for service in the Revolutionary War are filed with the Virginia Patent Series (VA), Old Kentucky Patent Series (OK) and the West of the Tennessee River Military Patent Series (WTRM).”

Step 1. Where to begin?
Visit the Kentucky Secretary of State website. We have had wonderful success on the Virginia and Old Kentucky Patent Series, where researchers can access patent images using a “name” database.  There’s also the Index forVirginia Surveys and Grants posted by the Kentucky Historical Society online. 

Step 2: Tracing Deeds.
Tracing the deeds may be possible using online databases as that in Edmonson County, KY where images of the deeds are available. At a3Genealogy, if needed we use Deed Mapper to help us identify and track land descriptions. But even with metes and bounds and the lack of official surveys and platted land maps, you can uncover the general area of your war veteran and ancestors’ Kentucky early settlements. Visit here for Metes and Bounds Primer for Genealogists

Step 3: Ready to Walk Ancestor’s Land?
Once researchers have traced the early land patent to the current owners, we have found that the local Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) office is the best resource to mapping current day location. In Edmonson County, KY the Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) office aerial maps were used for outlining the original land patent of a recent client. However, for a “forensic genealogy” case in the same area, we used a property title search company / attorney with a surveyor to verify our findings and certify land boundaries for a court case. This however, is an expensive solution for genealogical research.  
Edmonson County Aerial Map - Ancestor Land Identified
There is also an online tool for ancestral researchers who wish to do the current-day mapping work themselves. After you have traced your 18th century patent to today’s current owner researchers may wish to visit If map aficionados and “deed tracers” haven’t used this tool, you are missing a genealogical treat! It is available in many counties across America and is such a life-saver when working with metes/bound land descriptions from Napa, California to Kentucky.

Top 3 Roadblocks
1)      Deeds may not be readily available on line. More than once we have had to use our a3Genealogy Kentucky deed experts to ferret original patents and trace the deeds.  However, our Revolutionary War patent projects have thus far been 100%. To trace these patents to current day, however, requires research in wills, probates and minute books.
2)      You may wish to not have an aerial map (birds-eye) view.  For these clients we use Google Maps, but in some rural areas, exact locations may not be discernable on the map. Yet, an overlay from historical maps using Google Maps is an acceptable tool.
3)      From the original patent to current day the watercourses have shifted and the descriptions vary from one owner to the next. It’s not exact. Be sure to widen your deed trace to include neighbors. Few have paid for official surveys. However, this is changing due to boundary disputes.

As we celebrate our war veterans, have a safe Memorial Day. And let’s not forget our Revolutionary War soldiers laid to rest in the most remote locations.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Join Me In Wichita, KS

Looking forward to this full day conference (8:00am - 4:00pm) 20 Jun 2015, held at Wichita State University's Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex. Early registration closes 10 June and registration includes the syllabus and catered luncheon.

The website has all the details: 

Will see you there!

Accurate, Accessible Answers

Monday, May 18, 2015

Slave Death Records Before the Civil War?

Where Might They Be Hiding?
Sometimes, there's a record collection that elicits "pause!" A grouping of records that shatters a truth so ingrained in the slave researchers' psyche, that even the slightest hope of uncovering the pre-Civil War slave ancestors is dismissed. Sure there are Civil War records, pension records being one of the favorites. There are Civil marriage records as early as 1865, slave master personal records, probates and wills that may give us a hint of a slave's name and even age. But what about death records? Are you bypassing death records, because you consider finding death facts on your slave ancestor to yield a low success rate?

Names Slave and "Name of the Owner of Slave"
Try It Anyway
There are two main questions needing to be answered when doing slave research: 1) Names of parents?  2) Who was the slavemaster(s)? Researchers most often give up too early to really ferrett the answers to these questions.  This was the case in a recent Virginia / West Virginia slave research project. Yet, both questions were answered. Perhaps a quick peak at county death records will surprise you.  In this West Virginia slave research project, an "ah shucks...let's just check" attitude yielded a hosts of slave names, their slavemasters, death circumstances and even parent's names (as known by the informant). The results were numerous and outlined not for one, two, or three slaves, but for many.

Names Parents and Birthplace

Where to Look and Tips
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History holds the death record database and images. But, to recreate this type of research conduct your keyword searches by the county using a first name search, not the expected surname. Keep identifying characteristics (age, location,etc.) in mind when conducting your search to pinpoint your ancestor.

Where to Go From Here?
First stop should be to slave master deeds and records. These deeds may explain how the slave was acquired, and name previously known slavemasters.  Through slaveholder lineage, wills and probates may name your slave ancestors also.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Genealogical Book Reviews

I woke up this morning to another request for a rather popular Missouri slave marriage book, compiled a year ago. Lately, a more-than-expected number of orders and inquiries for the Colored Marriage Records of Saline County, MO, 1865 - 1875 book published by Two Trails Publishing, 2014 have crossed my desk.  But today's request did provide a hint as to why.  The book had recently been reviewed in the Missouri State Genealogical Association: MoSGA Journal, XXXV No 1, 2015, pg 41. What a pleasant surprise! I had yet to read the journal. (Reading backlog.)

How and Why to Get Your Book Reviewed
MoSGA Library Program
This particular book review was initiated by my answering a call for book donations to the State Genealogical Association. This appears to be the normal procedure. I also encourage authors to have membership in the association/society in the towns, states, and counties of research interest.  It's a way to keep a pulse on what is needed: "how can the author in you fill a void?" 

Plus the avid genealogists subscribes to many of these organizations, just for the journals and newsletters. It's a great way to get research tips, hints and history, as well as another place to uncover family surnames, and connect with fellow researchers.

Advantages to Donating a Book: 
MoSGA Book Review, Missouri Genealogical Society Association
I know when we spend hours writing and compiling we want to sell the book, the knowledge. But I should encourage writers to donate the book, ask for a review, and wait for the returns. You will be assisting a larger community. Here are a few advantages (for you and the researcher) should you chose to donate your book in return for a book review:

Complete book reviews from a reputable organization will be available for researchers and libraries.

  • Libraries rely on these organizational  book reviews to make a decision on limited purchasing funds. 
  • Donated books may be placed in the "genealogical circulating collection" of a genealogy center, like the Mid Continent Public Library. 
  • Once in circulation, these books are most often available via inter-library loan, reaching far-away researchers.
Thanks to MoSGA and Belinda Luke, Mosga Library Director for the review and white space!

To Order the Colored Marriage Records of Saline County, MO, 1865 - 1875, visit the a3genealogy site. 

Kathleen Brandt

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Genealogy Research via the State Judicial System

From Circuit Courts to State Supreme Courts
More than often researchers stop short of finding the full story. But five (5) cases were solved 1st quarter 2015 by scouring state court cases and appeals. 

A Reasonably Exhaustive Search
At a3Genealogy, we usually assume that for every court case, there was probably an appeal. Why? Because there’s a 100% chance that half of the parties (party) represented by someone or some company did not like the result of a lower court.  So the research is not over until the possibility of an appeals court case has been eliminated.

5 Answers via Court Cases
All court cases seem to give us at least some genealogical, social, or family history, but our favorites are the Appeals Court Cases.  Some researchers question if the extra ferreting is worth it, but we profess that it almost always has a high return on (time/money) investment – what we call a “Return on Genealogical Investment” (ROGI©).

Here are recent brickwalls annihilated using court records dating from a 1797 in Delaware to a more recent 19th century Indiana death:
  1. A wrongful death (often caused by company/railroad neglect), providing a death date and details of the incident.
  2. Names of a family unit that can be used to unscramble common names.
  3. Immigration, settlement and estate details most often come to the forefront when discussing land and property cases.
  4. Unearthing your colonial ancestors.
  5. Slave research holes and slave holder names (and sometimes slave parent names), manumission dates, etc.  The Delaware Reports that reviewed cases decided through appeals proffer answers (and questions) of the fate of a few slaves.
Don’t Overlook the Following
Although most court records and cases can be located in the local courts, state archives or state historical societies, you will want to expand your court case search to the following:
·         Google Search. A simple google search may yield answers to your ancestors' (or his heirs') court cases.  We were able to find answers using the Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Judicature of the State of Indiana, for details of a railroad accidental death. This case also provided proof of (sibling) orphans, and grandparents’ names, taking our research back one more generation.  For this search we gathered hints, but not details, from the newspaper: The Indianapolis Journal.
·         National Archives, County Record Group 21 (RG21). Records of District Courts of the United States: If the researcher is looking for a trial court for federal jurisdiction, begin your search with RG21 (Record Group).  Remember these records are housed by regional National Archives. Here is an idea of what can be found at the National Archives at Atlanta. These records may date as early as 1790 as in the case with Delaware 1790-1988.

Kathleen Brandt

Saturday, March 14, 2015

2015 Presentation / Speaker Calendar

Check Calendar Frequently!

Kathleen Brandt Speaking Calendar
    26  Private:  Washington, DC / New York City
          Immigration / Naturalization
          Puerto Rico Research
          Domincan Republic Research


     28   Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition (MAGIC), Independence, MO
             Leaping Over Brickwalls: Using African American Research, 11:00
 Missouri Slave Research Tips: Researching in the Black Belt, 1:30

       28  Private: Las Vegas, NE
       15  NGS Conference
             7 Tips to Researching Slaves and Slaveholders in Little Dixie - Mo,
             St. Charles, MO. 8:00am
       20   Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Wichita, KS
              Keynote Speaker 8:30 - 4:00
              -  Military Records Were Destroyed? What To Do
              -  How We Were Freed
              -  Who Do You Think You Are? Research Q/A
              -  Leaping Over Brickwalls
              -  Sharing Our Ancestors

        11  Wiley J. Morris Family Reunion, Omaha, NE  6:00pm
               DNA Analysis

To Book Kathleen, Call 816-729-5995          
(Revised 3/14/2015)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Begin Your Delaware Tribe Ancestral Research?

8 Key Resources to Native American Research?

Algonquians of the East Coast
The Delaware Indians derived from the Delaware River, and originally occupied the state of New Jersey. In general the Delaware Indians moved from New Jersey to Ohio and then they were pushed west of the Mississippi in the 1820’s.

Many Delawares renounced their Native American citizenship as early as 1795.  They, (and other Ohio native American tribes), surrendered most of their Ohio lands with the signing of the Treaty of Greeneville in 1795; and the remaining lands in 1829 when the United States forced the Delawares to  relinquish all lands in Ohio and move west of the Mississippi River. Visit the Official Webstie of the Delaware Tribe of Indians. 

Using Census Records
1860 - The 1860 federal decennial census did not enumerate Native Americans, unless the families renounced their “tribal rule.”  If families were enumerated that would indicate that they were taxed in that community and not a part of a tribal life at the time of the census enumeration. 

Native Americans not living on a reservation or on designated Indian lands in 1860 were identified, often as white, for tax purposes on the census record.

1870 - On the 1870 census there was a specific indicator used to designate American Indians. 

The Delaware Indians were absorbed by the Cherokees (one of the Five Civilized Tribes). Others Delaware Indians who lived in the Cherokee territory may have participated in the “open land runs” or staked and purchased land, or married an Indian Citizen.

1880 - The Dawes Severalty Act, 5 October 1894, provided 160 acres to be given individually to each Native American family, and to slaves of the Five Civilized Tribes.  Many of the Delaware/Cherokee Natives claimed this land, since persons who were authenticated in the 1880 Cherokee Nation citizenship, or earlier, were eligible for these benefits.

It May Be Unlikely
It was unlikely for Native Americans of the Delaware tribe to:
  • not claim their land and government rights as they merged with other Native Americans to include the Cherokee Indians
  • be a part of the Ohio Militia or Iowa Militia, as these groups were formed to fight the American Indians
  • be enumerated as white citizens in the census prior to 1880.  According to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website “few American Indians were included in the Federal census.” This resulted in them not being identified or enumerated between 1790 and 1840. [1]  
8 Key Resources
However, all of these sources, although unlikely, should still be checked closely, as well as the Native American rolls listed below which may be found on, National Archives and Records Administration microfilm, etc. The webiste, has compiled over 285,000 records which includes almost 18000 surnames. These indexed entries include the tribe, blood percentage, card and roll numbers, and lists associated family members.
1.      Dawes Final Roll 
2.      Drennen Roll
3.      Reservation Roll (Arkansas Lands)
4.      1896 Census Application
5.      1880 Cherokee Census
6.      Guion Miller Roll
7.      Baker Roll
8.      Kern Clifton Rolls

Kathleen Brandt 
Accurate, accessible answers

Previously Titled: Searching for Delaware Native Indians
Posted 26 Nov 2010 / Updated 17 Feb 2015