Thursday, January 31, 2013

Press Release: Genealogy and Corporations

Corporate Services to Offer
a3Genealogy has been called on for museum research for clients in Japan and Germany; documentary research for British clients; research for TV and media; and, even to research for marketing blurb for our favorite Napa Valley vineyard.

Did you know politicians, museums, banks, courts, law firms, and  TV, movies/films all use genealogists?  And it doesn't stop there.  No longer is genealogy just for family historians.  Corporations seeking genealogy services is on the rise.

Consultant, Presenter, Writer
Popular corporate services include historical and genealogy research, consultant services, corporate presentations and keynote guest speakers, as well as expansive and detailed writing projects (articles, white papers, etc).

To share relevancy to corporate clients and think tanks we embed social history and share evolution of thought, technology, and trends.  We trace family trees, aide in heir research, and connect the past with the present for many VIP clients.  As genealogists we provide historical context and consultant services to the media.

a3Genealogy clients find us mostly by word of mouth and referrals.  But we have implemented  3 client profiles:
1) Individual - family research
2) Corporate research (consultant, presenter, writer)
3) Ancestry and Academics - Genealogy in the School project

Case Study - The Will of Wellington Burt
Wellington Burt, lumber baron who died in 1919, was really a mystery until this year. Ninety-two (92) years after his death, Burt's estate was divided between his 12 living heirs.  Two of these heirs were the 6th generation - great-great-great-granddaughters.  But his will, which specified his fortune to be shared by his heirs "21 years after the death of the last grandchild born in his lifetime" according to CBS News 9 May 2011, leaves a wonderful case study of how courts, law firms, banks and heirs might be able to use a genealogist. 

Heirs often want detailed history of their ancestor. Others may benefit from an accurate account of Wellington Burt's life and that of his 6 children (and their descendants).

Genealogist and Politicians
Politicians have historically known that their past and their ancestral histories are of public interest.  Records - ship manifest, census, land,  marriage. birth/death records, and county histories await to illuminate ancestral pasts. Genealogists are often called upon to check ancestral facts. 

Migratory studies of ancestors may include the settlement of towns. This is just one key to determine migration patterns whether Norwegian, Swedish, German, etc.  

City and State Agencies
Genealogist work with city and state agencies. We know when the government proffered land grants, and we can outline when Iowa was settled by counties and when new counties were created. Using social histories we offer reasons to not only why your ancestor might have chosen Iowa,  but we can analyze counties and settlements to support their choices. Sure, we don't know what they were thinking but we can pull weather and news from early newspapers, diaries and books to determine what they persevered.

Kathleen Brandt

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Metes and Bounds Primer for Genealogists

…on a south branch of White Oak on the south south side as follows. Beginning at a pine thence So67W 140 poles to a branch to three pines thence So7Et 120 poles to a post…to the beginning Containing 100 acres more or less.
From the White Oak Tree
We believe DeedMapper website best gives the advantages of platting your ancestors' land:

  • Find the location of a particular plot by anchoring a group of neighboring plots against a stream. We then overlay it using a current Google Maps , but that’s for another blog.
  • Discover genealogical relationships by showing that person X sold a part of person Y's land. Plus land platting results may give you kinship hints.
  • Untangle people having the same name by analyzing their landholdings and transfers.
  • Create a map of original landholders in a region. Or at least a map of your family in the region.
  • Trace changes in parcel ownership over the years.
Ancestors’ Land ?
There are two very different types of land surveys conducted in the United States: (1) “metes and bounds” and (2) “grid” or “rectangular” surveys. Metes and bounds surveys trace land boundaries based on physical features of the land, such as trees, boulders, roads, and fences. The original 13 colonies plus Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and parts of Ohio make up the 20+ states that use the metes and bounds land descriptions.  

Let’s Do Math - Metes
I know this metes and bounds measurement “thing” seems random, but it really isn’t. It’s all based on a standardized length of chain determined in 1620 by Edmund Gunter. (No we cannot shun him).

Metes refer to distance (as in feet and inches); bounds describes the direction in degrees of a compass. And the total distance is described in terms of chains (Gunter Chain).  The Gunter’s chain measures 66 feet in length. So all of the units of measurements - poles, rods, or perches – are divisions of the chain.  One rods, pole or perch equals  16.5feet (or 25 links) on a 66 foot Gunter's chain.  Four of them add up to a full 66’ chain. (4x16.5ft= 66ft).

So Gunter figured fields were measured in acres, which is 1 chain (or 4 rods) by one furlong (group of 10 chains). I know what you are thinking…why can’t an acre just be 11 chains?  Well it is, but I’m guessing in the 1600’s categorizing groups of chains was really important – thus a furlong is a group of 10 chains. Either way, the metes and bounds measure boundary lengths in rods, poles and perches instead of feet or meters.

…And Bounds
As already mentioned, bounds describes the direction in degrees of a compass. Just remember very few places run due north, south, east or west, and very few plots were wonderful squares, so in the metes and bounds system, the directional degrees of boundaries are important. For this reason the degree (i.e. N33W) should be noted.

Where to Begin
You could draft your map with a protractor and ruler, but software like DeedMapper offers a platting tool.  Even if you are using a platting/mapping program, like DeedMapper, you must be familiar with the terms and the survey. I suggest you transcribe what you have before entering it in any software.

Here are a few more vocabulary tips:
Corners. Your survey will always begin at a corner. It may be a corner at the big Oak tree, but still a corner. The idea is you should make your various turns and movements and end back at “that” corner. Seems insignificant, but the big Oak tree was later the center of a lawsuit (became kindling for a few bad neighbors) and the court case proved to be a treasure trove of family information and names.

Shared Lines/Boundaries. This is a genealogical treasure. We already know cluster research gives us hints to family units. So we want to know whose land our ancestors bordered. Sometimes this leads us to children, parents, female maiden names, etc.

Meanders. My ancestors loved streams and rivers. I know that because their surveys all meander along the French Broad River, or another waterway.  The key is up or down stream. Surveys may also “meander on a road.” Note: always access an old map this will assist with not only identifying the land, but the meandering pattern.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Thursday, January 24, 2013

American Railroads and Records

Amtrak River Runner, Missouri, 2013

As historians and genealogists it’s hard to ignore the importance of the railroads to our American history. Every time I board a train to commute between Kansas City to St. Louis, or leave Washington DC bound for Philadelphia or New York, I think of our ancestors who laid the tracks, sold land and “human property” to the railroads, made a fortune investing in railroads, and those who lost everything on a gamble.  The railroad led the Industrial Revolution - building bridges, new depot architecture and production of rail cars.  The expansion of the railroad post-Civil represented the faces of America with its immigrant and its ex-slave workforce. As you trace your ancestors from about 1830 through the Industrial Revolution, remember to follow the tracks. 

Finding Your Railroad Ancestor
“Follow the tracks” is not just a motto, it’s what our ancestors did. Men, and sometimes entire families and communities, left their home base for work. Skilled and unskilled labor (and skilled)  men were on the railroad labor rosters. This may have landed your ancestor in the next county, next state, or on the route of the Transcontinental Railroad. 

Practically every newspaper across America from San Francisco (Central Pacific) to Omaha Nebraska (Union Pacific) reported daily news of the Transcontinental Railroad.  Irish settlements lined the Union Pacific tracks, and many Chinese Americans worked on the Central Pacific. Railroads bought and sold slaves, and was the largest employer for ex-slaves after emancipation. These workers also lined regional and local railways.  

Where to Find Records
"I have known the slave Jerry"
 Looking for Slave Ancestor?: It has been suggested that over ten thousand enslaved men, women, and children worked on southern railroads between 1857 and 1865. For documents/records be sure to review local railroad deeds, contracts and lawsuits. These records may list your ancestor by name as contractual labor.  Letters between slave traders and railroad company officers can be located in State Archives and Special Collections.

Irish Railroad Workers: When researching your immigrant ancestor if you follow the tracks, you will find not only railroad documents, but a bit of their day to day life. Be sure to map out the historical churches and cemeteries along the tracks and review the records. The B&O Railroad employed low paying Irish workers even before 1850 (the heyday of the railroad). And the nearby St. Peter the Apostle Church and Cemetery holds accompanying family data. Have you visited the Irish Railroad Workers Museum in Baltimore, MD?

What Other Records Are Available?
Railroad Retirement Board. Some of the records that hold valuable genealogical information are the U. S. Railroad Retirement Board records (RRB) claim and pension files. These records document railroad workers’ claims after 1936. When researching for this timeframe, be sure to check both the RRB and the National Archives (NARA) Southwest Region Atlanta facility. 

State Archives and Museums. Family researchers may find in State Archives or area repositories additional railroad collections. Often these collections have information on sick, injured, deaths and dates of service. A favorite is the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission -Pennsylvania Railroad Company

Unions and Rosters. Many railroad union membership records and rosters have been salvaged (early 1900’s), and may have been compiled and digitized for online viewing. The New York Central Railroad Seniority Roster provides names, dates of service and positions; whereas the larger Northwest Railroad Employees Rosters provide location details specifying the railroad line worked. 

Historical Society and Special Collections.  A great place to begin your railroad research is at the local Historical Society or public library and university’s special collections. The Indiana Historical Society is the repository for the Monon Railroad Collection (1851-1971).  From their website: 
"Material regarding Monon employees consists of engineer lists (1878-1923), pension lists (1930s-1970s), retirement dinner programs (1950-1963), fifty year pin lists (beginning 1943), and funeral bulletins (1960-1970s). A scrapbook contains newspaper articles (1947-1949)."
Know that many records have not been preserved or are in far-reaching archives. For example the Missouri Pacific Railway, operated from 1851-1997.  Their records are not held with the Missouri Pacific Historical Society but in the Hutchinson, KS salt mine storage facilities.

For More Information

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

Monday, January 21, 2013

From Research to A Book - Who Is Alice Eversman?

Press Release 
Alice Eversman, 1884-1974
Alice Eversman, Dramatic Opera Soprano
a3Genealogy congratulates Ms. Mary Ellen Eversman for her newly released 2013 account of Alice Eversman, Dramatic Opera Soprano. The Eversman story uses documents and photos, uncovered in family records and an extensive Library of Congress collection, to carry the reader from Germany in 1808 to Illinois. 

What makes this ancestral story intriguing? It's the story of how a 25 year old American soprano, Alice Eversman, entered the opera scene at a time when European- particularly Italian - Prima Donnas dominated the stage. Alice Everman's operatic career included top international opera companies, and renown voice trainers. Her family, friends and even White House invites, from U.S. President Taft to Nixon, are shared in her story. Mary Ellen, author, gives us a look into the close-knit family, their successes and challenges.

Researchers at a3Genealogy are honored to have contributed to this ancestral story. And, we thank Mary Ellen Eversman for giving us the opportunity to learn of one of American's leading dramatic opera sopranos.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Your DNA Results

Who Are These Cousins?
I went to bed knowing I had 2 brothers (1 deceased), 3 first cousins, and with my father and grandmother being an only child, not too many distant cousins. To exhaust all 10 fingers with names of cousins, I had to include the second cousins on both my mother and father’s trees (a total of 15 first and second cousins).* But, I woke up to a slew of cousins, of all races, all ages and surnames that I never knew existed. Thanks DNA results…I now have a large family.  But who are these people?

The Autosomal Salad
Unlike the rather clean results of Y-DNA testing of the male line, or the Mitochodrial  DNA testing of the female line, the Autosomal option tests DNA inherited from both father and mother for about 5 generations. So let’s stop here…

Definitions: The Y-DNA tests your paternal ancestry. A male participant, and provides data on the father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc (male line). Likewise to trace your maternal ancestry, the Mitochodrial  DNA test will reveals data on a female participant, her mother, her grandmother and great grandmother, etc. But the Autosomal DNA is not gender specific. Participants will get results to include both their male and female line and the participant’s ethnic percentages. 

Sounds Great but Not So Fast
We often use DNA to help us find relatives; those distance cousins that closely match our DNA. With the autosomal tests, you will still get a lists of names of your possibly-new found cousins, but not the actual kinship. Of course that’s where genealogy and DNA analysis becomes very important. Many of these distant cousins are providing cheek swab samples and tubes of saliva even as you are reading this.
 This blurb is from the DNA Testing Adviser website:  
Count out five generations to your great-great-great grandparents. You have 32 of them and most of the 16 couples probably had several children. Most of those children eventually married and had several more children and so on. Imagine those sixteen families all multiplying and branching out for five successive generations. You could easily have thousands of living cousins in parallel branches you know nothing about.
 4 Good Uses of Autosomal DNATests
  1. Forensic Genealogy Cases. When tracing “war babies”, this is the a3Genealogy DNA test of choice, especially when crossing genders (female participant with male soldier/father research). Also used for adoption cases.
  2. Ethnic Breakdowns. Clients sometime need/want to know their ethnic breakdown. Of course we suggest you not do this test for this reason unless you are ready for shocking news. More than once have the results been “disturbing” to clients. The test will give an overall ethnicity percentage using both father and mother’s combined DNA in the autosomal test.
  3. Cross-gender tests. If there isn’t a living male to tests for the paternal line ancestry (Y-DNA) or no female to provide DNA samples for mitochondrial tests, this may be your only option.
  4. Medical hints. The 23andMe DNA Kit tests offers a look at your health genes. 
When Not to Use Autosomal Tests
At a3Genealogy we suggest you have completed an exhaustive genealogical research for up to 5 generations.
  • Without the paper trail of your family history, unscrambling the autosomal results is, well…., probably impossible. So this is not the test to use if you have not tackled a pretty strong 5 generation family trace.
  • It is important to remember this test is for “recent ancestors”; 5 generations back. If you are trying to determine your eligibility for the Society of Charlemagne or Magna Carta, this is not the test for you (unless of course you happen to be a cousin of a society member and just need to prove the last 3-5 generations).
  • The  autosomal test (Biogeographical) does provide participant’s ethnic ancestry. This will reveal a percentage of  Native American, African American (Sub Saharan) and other ethnic percentages but it will probably not be accepted as evidence for Native American Citizenship
What’s Next?
You’ve exhausted your genealogy trace and your DNA test results have been returned;  but you will probably still need assistance with an analysis of the results. How to make sense of your new possible cousins? The DNA Analysis, that includes marker mutations, family trees and comparisons, may help with defining kinships and answering questions on your family tree.

At this time a3Genealogy only uses the reliable tests of 23andMe DNA and FamilyTreeDNA. Visit these sites for more information.

*These are the cousins of my generation and does not include the first cousins once removed.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Analyze Historical Deeds: Taking a Close Look

Genealogy Research Under a Microscope
One of the first steps to analyzing a deed is to identify the relationship, kinship, and even community role of every person named in a deed. Why? Because your ancestor did not live in a vacuum!  So many people (neighbors, doctors, elected officials, and other family members) add to your ancestor’s story. The details of a deed may lead researchers to their ancestor’s home place or final resting place. Persons named in documents may introduce new family members, in-laws, female maiden names, neighbors or even enemies. 

Types of Deeds
Deed of trust, warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds are filled with genealogical hints. I must say I’m partial to deeds of trust, because they often name the daughter(s) and in-laws and their current state/county residence.  But, of course, there are plenty other deeds of genealogical value: Sheriff deeds, deeds of gift or division, deed of release.  Each offer names, times and place of event and can lead us to related documents

3 Clues to Follow
Often legal land descriptions are provided in deeds, they may name neighboring lands, schools or even cemetery boundaries. This information is not limited to land deeds. They are provided in Sherriff deeds, law suits, probates, etc. Why is this important? A recent deed mentioned a bordering cemetery of the late 1800’s. Older plat maps also showed the cemetery to be exactly where it was described with all the neighbors surrounding. But the original records were ensconced in a local University Special Collections. Without the name of the cemetery, I would not have located papers on the family that gave detailed information to include veteran troop information. Sure, the plat map (sometimes you have to plat the land) helped this search, but it was the original deed that made this research project a success.

Another arduous brickwall wall research was solved by tracing land deeds that led us to locating Cherokee Freedmen and the unscrupulous practices of an ancestor. Seems, our ancestor used his negotiating skills to acquire land from the less fortunate by loaning money with impossible payback schedule. Yes, he was a true user of usury! However, he quickly acquired a lot of land in Nowata (OK).

A recent deed provided three great finds. 1) The migration of the family, 2) the daughters surnames, 3) and spouses names.  With names like Jane and Ella Gross, the likelihood of finding these girls was nil. But a North Carolina deed submitted to the court almost 29 years after the death of their father, not only gave the legal land description but the residence of Mary and Ella and their respective husband’s names.

It is not uncommon to find a deed to be submitted to the court years later than expected, so be sure to span your time frame when researching these documents.

“Property’ does not always translate to land. Slaves, for one, were also property. Following an inheritance deed, I was able to follow not only the slave, but the slave master who migrated from Virginia to Charleston, S.C. Elaborate details of the migration and terms of the slave’s purchase agreement were outlined.  

Other property may include the inheritance of a horse, a printing press, or barrels of wine.  These are just some property deeds that have lead us to finding families and kinfolks migrating from the south and moving west. 

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers
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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Researching War of 1812 Seaman

Impressed Seamen Records 1796-1868

After the revolutionary war, the British, under the motto “once a British subject, always a British subject”, took liberties on the sea and captured US flagged vessels.  The result: “Impressed” American mariners into British service, and of course, the War of 1812. For this reason, many will tell you the Revolutionary War did not end until the War of 1812. Yet, impressed seaman protection certificates were available to seaman until after the civil war. And actually they have been used at different times in U.S. history.

In order to track American sailors and their ships, a plethora of detailed paperwork and records were generated on merchant seamen.  These salvaged papers can be a treasure chest for the family historian. 

Quick Primer
A quick primer on the Seamen’s Protection Center can be found on the the Learning Center. 

Search for Seamen's Protection Certificate Learning Center
As you can see in the photo above the seaman came from all states. The collection holds certificates for seamen between 11-77 years of age.  Above, John Finn, was 14 year old and was from Hermann, Mo.  He worked out of the Port of Philadelphia. So, don’t limit your research.

It is possible your seaman was captured and his original (or second or third) certificate was confiscated. So it is not uncommon to find several applications for one seaman. 

Begin Your Search has a digitized collection of U.S. Seamen’s Protection Certificates.  
African American Seamen
Historical Trivia
Question: What African American slave ran away with the assistance of a U.S. Seamen’s Protection Certificate.
Answer: Frederick Douglass who borrowed a Seamen’s Certificate to aid in his runaway. He was also donning a sailor suit. 
African Americans seamen were in abundance.  The records identify them as “black”, “negro”, “colored”, “sambo”, “ethiopian” and “mulatto”.  

Four Bonus Finds
1) Physical Descriptions. As you can see, physical description to include scars and marks are noted.  Statement of “native” hometown and stated is also noted.

2) Emancipation Information. In the above example of Samuel Ridley, an ex-slave, informs the intaker that he “was manumitted in the year 1792 by Stephen... Samuel’s application goes on to tell us that he had to serve nine years for a man (name given) in Philadelphia for his freedom. 

3) Naturalization Information. Of course to have protection of the United States, you had to prove citizenship as Bernard Tobin did below on his application. 
Do hereby declare that I am a Seaman and an affiliated Citizen of the United States, having been born in the Town of St. Johns Newfoundland and have declared my Intention of becoming a citizen of the United States in the Circuit Court holden in Philadelphia on the 27th of December 1856 a certificate whereof I herewith present . . .
4) Family Information. As in the example above all the certificates are sworn by a witness. This witness is often a family member.  Sometimes, we find wife’s or mother’s names on these applications.  

1930 Census, Merchant Seaman
Know that the War of 1812 is not the only time merchants were enumerated. In 1930 census Merchant Seamen were enumerated if serving on a US flagged vessel. There was a special Merchant Seamen schedule.  This schedule provided genealogical data and can be searched on the 1930 Census of Merchant Seamen on or with in the NARA (microfilm). View the  Family website for more information.

For More Information
Be sure to read the following articles:
National Archive Resources
  • M2025: Registers of Applications for the Release of Impressed Seamen (microfilm)
  • M1839: Miscellaneous Lists and Papers Regarding Impressed Seamen, 1796-1814  (microfilm) 
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Military Records Were Destroyed?

All Is Not Lost. What Are the Next Steps?
Military Pay Voucher of Benjamin Earl (Service Fire Destroyed in Fire)
With a bit of perseverance and legwork family researchers can rebuild an ancestor's military service history even though the July 12, 1973 fire at the St. Louis National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) destroyed between 16 to 18 million military service files, including those for WWI and WWII. But a researcher with the spirit of determination, can rebuild their ancestor's records. 

The ABC of Rebuilding Military Service Records
The article dated 4 Aug 2011 Your Ancestor's Military Records Were Destroyed? What to Do?  gives the ABC's of recovering from a disaster.

A         Access all the information you DO have on your Ancestor.  It's ok not to have the service number
B         Battles, campaigns and awards/medals can be uncovered in the Adjutant General discharge records of each veteran. Injured veterans' information may also be found at the VA
C         Collection of 19 million final pay vouchers hold a wealth of genealogical information on each veteran. These vouchers were not destroyed in the file.

More detail and resources are given in the Your Ancestor's Military Records Were Destroyed? What to Do? (No subscription required).  For an accompanying handout of useful websites, click here

Kathleen Brandt

(Disclosure: Kathleen Brandt is a freelance writer for the Expert Series, and writes White Papers and provides other writing projects as needed. As a freelance writer she is given compensation and free annual subscription.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Slaves, Slave Owners, and Compensation

Emancipation Act - Washington, DC. NARA
Emancipation Act, D.C.
As family researchers we know that one of the keys to successfully tracing our ancestors, is to follow the "money trail." This is a key to following both slave holders and their slaves.  As with any property transaction,  records were generated; and since money was involved when selling, or even emancipating slaves, you may learn more about your ancestor, the slave owner, or even your slave ancestor.

More Than One Emancipation 
Some would say slaves were freed by the Union government three (3) times. Although this posts emphasizes the Emancipation Act, District of Columbia, knowing where to look for records becomes much clearer when we understand accurate history. 

Slaves Freed, Slave Holders Compensated 
1) Jan 1 1863
Slaves were not freed due to the Emancipation Proclamation. This was absolutely impossible since President Lincoln did not have recognized jurisdiction over the ten rebel states that had seceded from the Union. But the Union Army did free approximately 20-50 thousand slaves as they marched through and gained control of Confederate territories.

Even as it were, slaves from Confederate states that did not attempt to secede from the Union, were not affected by the proclamation. Kentucky, Missouri, eastern Tennessee, West Virginia (western part of Virginia , to include the border states of Maryland and Delaware and the New Jersey "3500 apprentices for life" were exempt from the proclamation and the slaves remained in bondage. Keep in mind the Emancipation Proclamation, although it was a step to the 13th Amendment that freed of all slaves, was designed to encourage rebel states to reunite with the Union. Of course after its signing on 1 Jan 1863, the war emphasis expanded to not only preserving the Union, but instating a slave-free reunited Union.

2) Dec 18, 1865
Slavery was actually abolished 18 Dec 1865 upon the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Where as the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves of the Confederate states that seceded from the Union, the 13th Amendment freed all slaves - approximately 4 million slaves.

3) April 16, 1862
The District of Columbia Emancipation Act freed approximately 3000 slaves 16 April, 1862, beginning nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation of 1 Jan 1863. To encourage the freeing of the D. C. slaves, slave owners were compensated from $1 - $300 for each slave. There are cases where slaveholders sought for higher compensation. A 15 July 1862 deadline for submitting petitions to receive the compensation and free slaves gave a sense of urgency. Over 161 slaves also petitioned directly, usually after the 15 July deadline. 

Where Are the Records?
Emancipation Act, District of Columbia
Federal records held at the NARA include the emancipation of District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. If researching these files be sure to reference both the last name of the slaveholder and that of the slave. These records are digitized on and Fold3: 

  • Records of the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862–1863 (Microfilm M520) relates directly to dispensation of the emancipation acts of April 16 and July 12, 1862 and information on the 966 petitioners. Reference Record Group 217: Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury
  • Records of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Relating to Slaves, 1851–1863 (RG 21, M433). These records include manumission papers, and certificate of freedom" of free blacks and documents of enslaved blacks living in Washington, DC
  • Habeas Corpus Case Records, 1820–1863, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (M434), contain records relevant to runaway slaves in the District of Columbia. However, due to the nature of the cases, researchers may find manumission papers and detailed statements of freedom. 
For more information be sure to visit the National Archives Prologue Magazine article: Slavery and Emancipation in the Nation's Capital.

Kathleen Brandt

Leaping Over Brick Walls: - G101

 10 Research Tips to Fast Forward

"We don't always have years to research and develop interesting ancestral stories, so the key is to partner your sleuthing skills with effective genealogy research tips to fast forward your research."

Based on a successful model to build your ancestors' life stories, Kathleen Brandt of a3Genealogy shares 10 tips to effectively fast forward your genealogy research. These techniques are applied when conducting celebrity and VIP client research. 

Kathleen Brandt's research can be seen on NBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are?. She was a featured genealogist on the Tim McGraw episode (Season 2) and worked on episodes for Reba McEntire and Ashley Judd. She has also researched for PBS - Finding Your Roots.

This lecture is offered to beginning and intermediate genealogists, as well as for those who wish to pursue genealogy as a career.  May be tailored as a course, workshop or keynote speaker lecture.

Kathleen Brandt is a Professional International Genealogist and Consultant and is a published freelance writer for genealogy magazines and columns. She is also the author of the a3Genealogy ( educational and skill building blog that explores various cultural and ethnic folk life, traditions, history, and genealogy research tips. Utilizing twenty years as an international corporate executive and five years of teaching college level Spanish, French and English writing courses, Kathleen offers workshops and lectures to the genealogy community and is a consultant for various corporate historical, cultural, and genealogy projects. As a multilingual speaker, she translates Spanish, French, and Italian records and has experience researching German, Swedish and Hellenic records.

Press Release: Genealogy Speaker Series - 2013

2013 Offerings for Corporations, Genealogists and Schools

Due to high demand, Kathleen Brandt and a3Genealogy will continue offering courses, workshops and lectures for the 2013 Speaker Series.

Speaker Series for Corporations.  Kathleen Brandt incorporates 20 years of international business dedicated to "implementing new business strategies" with an inspiring presentation to discovering the Pioneer in you. As an Executive for top-tier corporations she encourages and motivates her audiences to find new roads and discovering that You Are A Pioneer!©   

You Are A Pioneer!©

  • Ruts Seen Ahead
  • In Anticipation of Open Territories: Preparing To See The Elephant
  • Building Settlements; Not Settling
  • Join the Wagon Train: Transforming Your Travels to Future Adventures
  • The Path of a Pioneer 
For more information contact Kathleen Brandt,, 816-729-5995.  
Speaker Series for Genealogists.  Kathleen Brandt, a successful Professional International Genealogist and Consultant and published freelance writer for genealogy magazines and columns, presents a speaker series to beginning and intermediate genealogists, as well as for those who wish to pursue genealogy as a career.  (May be tailored as a course, workshop or keynote speaker)

  • Leaping Over Brickwalls: 10 Tips to Fast Forward.  We don't always have years to research and develop interesting ancestral stories, so the key is to partner your sleuthing skills with effective genealogy research tips to fast forward your research.
  • Military Records Were Destroyed? What To DoSteps to Reconstructing Your Veteran's File. Between 16 to 18 million military service files, including those for WWI and WWII, were destroyed by the 1973 St. National Personnel Records Center fire.  However, this loss should not discourage researchers from uncovering an ancestor's military experience.
  • War of 1812 Records: 10 Places to Search. Although pivotal in the history of America, the War of 1812, often called the "Second War for Independence" is mostly forgotten. But understanding this "battle for borders" may guide you to your 1812 Soldier and family. Ten (10) tips to researching your War of 1812 ancestor will be presented.
  •  Civil War Series (for details of following workshops use link)
    CW101: 10 Best Bets to Civil War Research
    CW102: Finding the Elusive Civil War Ancestor
    CW103: African Americans Served Too
    CW104: Civil War POW Records
  • Saving Alice: Have you noticed when you speak of long ago ancestors your family friends seem disinterested. This workshop offers 10 fun ways to keep your audience enthused and your ancestors alive. 
  •  How We Were Freed - From Indentured Servants to Slavery. Prior to the Civil War there were free coloreds, ex-slaves and indentured servants who secured their freedom. This workshop outlines 5 ways to freedom
Speaker Series for Schools. The Ancestry and Academics©  workshops create a learning community between genealogy and history, English, computer, math, art and writing subjects. For more information visit Case of Grandview High School Grandview, MO.

Popular Offering
  • How We Were Freed - From Indentured Servants to Slavery for the Classroom. 
  • Beginning Research Database. A great place to start your genealogy! This course will give an overview of HeritageQuest online database to research your ancestor. HeritageQuest may be accessed from home, using your library card.

All workshops, courses and lecturers may be tailored for your needs.  Contact Kathleen Brandt,, 816-729-5995 for questions and scheduling.