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

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Puerto Rican WWI Era Research, PartI

U. S. Employment service Bulletins, published weekly

War Time Labor Shortage.  
Where Was Your Ancestor?
In 1918, the U.S. A. government began recruiting its new Puerto Rican citizens (as of March 1917) as mainland laborers. The idea was to place workers in New York and other states to assist with the shortage of war time in manufacturing, railroad, agriculture, construction, etc. Initially the goal was to register approximately ten thousand people, but that increased to over seventy-five thousand registered Puerto Ricans agreeing to the .35¢ per hour plus military housing/boarding and transportation via military vessels. Your ancestors may have been one of these registered laborers.  

Where to Begin?
Like all genealogy research, gather as much data as possible on your ancestor. This information should include full name, sibling’s names, parents, etc. Since names are quite common, determine distinguishing characteristics - occupation, city, nickname, etc.

6 Vital Record Collections
  1. New York National Archives (NARA). The Guide to Puerto Rican Records in the National Archives, New York City, is a great place to begin your Puerto Rican ancestor research. 
  2. Civil Records. Vital records  of births and deaths were recorded, in Spanish at the local Puerto Rican “Oficina del Rigistro Civil.”  Visit “Puerto Rico, Civil Registrations, 1885-2001 in the catalog or locate in the subscriber database.
  3. Newspaper Search. The New York Puerto Rican newspapers reported news of its community. Although much was in Spanish, these OCR digitized copies are easily available with the New York Public Library database resources, or other comprehensive historical/genealogical libraries that hold newspaper database subscriptions (i.e. Midwest Genealogy Center, MO. -  library card will get you home access).
    - La Democracia
    - La Correspondencia de Puerto Rico
    - El Tiempo y Union Obera

  1. Passenger Lists.
    - Puerto Rico, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1901 – 1962,
    - National Archives Record Group (RG85) Manifests of Ship Passengers Arriving at San Juan, PR in Transit to Other Destinations, 07/01/1921 – 06/30/1947 (microfilm only)
    - RG 85.3.1 Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Juan PR 10/7/1901 – 6/30/1948

  1. Military Records. Selective Service System draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 are digitally available on
  2. Consular Records and Passports.  Many Puerto Ricans worked in neighboring countries, (i.e. Dominican Republic).  For easier entry and exist many applied for their U. S. passports.  Visit U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 on For Puerto Rico, this collection holds records from 1907-1925. This is a good place to begin your passport research, but know that more information on Consular Records will be shared in Part II.
Thinking of a warm romantic island on this cold Valentine’s Day.
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Friday, January 16, 2015

DNA Successes for Genealogists

source: Will Lorton (public domain)
Genealogy and Genetics - Adoption to New Zealand
In 2014 the a3Genealogy team saw DNA requests increase by 175%. Well no wonder, using this vital tool, we have successfully knocked down brickwalls, proven and disproven kinships, helped to connect unknown military families and uncovered adoption secrets.

***All Names Have Been Changed, But Cases Are Real…
Kathy’s adoption was not a secret, but her biological parents were. Her biological mother was easily identified by analyzing ancestryDNA and FamilyTreeDNA results. But, her biological father is still unknown. More research is needed and a more in-depth analysis of her DNA results will assist us identifying her biological father.  Kathy’s DNA revealed the shocking news that she is approximately 76% Jewish (Ashkenazi).

Solving A Military Case
Susie, from the South Pacific Islands waited over 70 years to finally connect with her half-brother and other relatives in the U.S.A.  Her birth father had a common name - as common as Bill Smith. But, by the time Susie moved away from her South Pacific birthplace and created her adult life in New Zealand, she had etched his name into memory. Her half-sister was not interested in bringing dad’s military secret into the fold, and declined a mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) test to prove kinship. Yet, thanks to an autosomal DNA test and a Y-test from her half-brother, her birth father was verified. Plus, with military records we were able to pinpoint the man “with the common name” in the South Pacific at the time of conception.

What’s My "Real" Surname and What Did You Say?
Georgia Ann Davis loves dabbling in genealogy.  It’s a diversion from her intense medical practice and genetics has always intrigued her. So, no one was surprised when she asked her father for a cheek swab. But, she and her father were surprised at the results – it was a double whammy! His Y-DNA matched perfectly with the Ball surname; but not one of his 36 matches had his surname of Davis.

Who were the Ball’s? His closest match was an African American man of Irish descent. This African American DNA match was a descendent of an ex-slave who was emancipated in 1855, 10 years before the end of the Civil War. The ex-slave’s father was one of 8 Irish “Ball” brothers.

Several DNA samples for the Ball family were tested as well as Georgia Ann’s uncle and  several cousins. DNA suggests the African American Ball family and Georgia Ann’s father share the same 4th great-grandfather.  At least Georgia Ann and her father know the non-paternal event (NPE) did not occur with beloved Grandma!

But it’s Not all Good News
Carol didn't have much to go on, just a photo, a name, and a place. The a3Genealogy researchers were able to verify a specific timeframe placing the man in the photo in the right place and time. A military photo matched the one Carol had in her bedside drawer. Her father was a single serviceman at the time of her conception. He never knew Carol’s mother was pregnant. He married immediately upon discharge, before Carol turned one years old. He and his wife raised two very successful daughters.  But, both of Carol’s genealogy-proven half-sisters have refused to take a DNA tests. So, we wait for another cousin on that line to take the tests and give Carol a positive match.  

The good news is that DNA testing has become an American obsession, so chances are good that someone on Carol’s paternal side will take a test. We already have the family tree mapped out and her DNA tests are accepting matches. So we will wait patiently for the cousin, niece, nephew, etc. to take the test and match with Carol.

***All Names Have Been Changed, But Cases Are Real…

As we are embracing science to help verify, confirm and deny brick walls (and open new ones - like some of the surprises mentioned) we hope you share our love for DNA. We are learning more about this wonderful genealogical tool every day! 

Join us at DNA for Genealogists Flipboard for a magazine of articles. And, be sure to visit the various author's webpages and blog sites. 

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Following Female Ancestors - No 2015 Resolutions

2 Jan 1952, Zanesville Signal
Women "Never" Make Resolutions...
Recently I stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. What a fascinating history! Readers already know that I love the opportunity to research historic hotels for clients. It's a great place to find our ancestors, discover their lifestyles and activities, and to have a snapshot of them in a location at a specific time in history. (Our ancestors were more than census records). If you missed it, review Research Ancestors in Historic Hotel Records - Part 1.

In my recent research of New Orleans historic hotels, I uncovered social histories, hotel histories, information on German settlers, bar histories and cocktail creations, while trying to identify early members of the Krewe of Venus. In 1940's, it was reported they had a secret membership, even though they sometimes did public acts.
But a 2015 Toast! 
In my research findings there was a popular 1952 article (above) explaining how "women, generals, and prophets" never make New Year Resolutions. What great timing! Personally for 2015, I think I will follow these female ancestors (ignore the ridiculous female stereotypes) and save myself from making breakable New Year's Resolutions. But, I have chosen to declare the Sazerac Cocktail as the New Year's drink choice for women for 2015.
24 Mar 1949, Madison, WI State journal
The Sazerac Bar, inside the Roosevelt Hotel, is known for its exclusive Sazerac Cocktail.

From Krewes to Sazerac
By 1950, New Orleans women were allowed to be served at the Sazerac Bar freely (begrudgingly, but freely). Previously, Mardi Gras was also the only day women were served in the Sazerac Bar. Mardi Gras only! 

Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, abt 1949
3 Oct 1940, Hammond Times
But the road to opening the Sazerac's doors to women was considered one of the many "feminine invasions" of the 1940's. As early as 1941 another unpopular "feminine invasion" took place in New Orleans. The Krewe of Venus women decided "the men have been monopolizing the fun long enough" and added their float to the Mardi Gras.

I offer all a3Genealogy readers a Sazerac Cocktail toast to 2015!

Kathleen Brandt