Monday, April 17, 2017

Brickwall? Follow Religion Migratory Paths

Mennonites in the Vistula Delta and river valley (Northern Poland)

Using Religious Migratory Paths to Follow Ancestors
There are so many patterns of migration that we follow as family researchers: migration patterns due to wars, due to famine, due to plagues and epidemics, but what about politics and religion.  Politics and religion have always had a reciprocal causality effect, where the events in religion (or history) are either a result of ancestors' action; or ancestors' actions are the result of a religion, political or historical event.  By determining your ancestor's religion, you may be able to trace the family to a particular country.  You may even be able to develop a migratory route of immigrants, especially if they followed an expected path following religious persecution or in search for religious freedom.

Where Are the Records?
Did your ancestors come from the Netherlands before arriving in the New World, Plymouth, in 1620 instead of a direct route from England? Perhpas you should be researching Pilgrim migratory paths. It has been confirmed that the Pilgrims had a 12 year stop-over in the Netherlands.  Does this explains why you cannot find the British records expected? Using religious history and timeline references of early American history, genealogists have a useful tool to tracing an immigrant ancestors.  

Narrow Ancestor's Settlement in New World
Southern Baptist, Congregationalist, Puritan/Pilgrams
Often researchers use religious migrations to narrow ancestor's settlements. For one family project a3Genealogy researchers followed a Southern Baptist family.  As expected this Texas family was located in Baptist records in Pennsylvania, and in earlier Congregationalists records after the Puritan and Pilgrims merged. This is the expected religious evolution of traditional Southern Baptist families. Knowing that most Baptists followers were early Congregationalist allowed me to follow this religious family back to Europe. There were more than 575,000 Congregationalist in 1775. New England Historical Society and other new England genealogical societies hold many diaries, letters and reports of these church records. 

History of Huguenots
Much is written on the Huguenots and Moravians, but many fail to understand their religious evolution.  In the New World, early Huguenots settled many towns. It's not well known that many Huguenots that left France about 1562, moved to Germany (Netherlands or England) and later settled in Jacksonville, FL (1562-1565).  For more information visit National Huguenots Society.

Following a Presbyterian ancestor of the Appalachian, a family researcher may be able to trace his Scottish or Irish roots.  In 1775, there were an excess of 310,000 Presbyterians. For my family we found the John Morris, Irish family in Rutherford, NC. 

Catholic Ancestry
We can often make an association of Spanish or French Catholics in Louisiana or in other states involved in the Louisiana purchase, but did you know Maryland can boast the largest settlement of early English Catholics (1634)?  We have located ancestral records at the Maryland State Historical Society.  Perhaps your ancestor can be found in these early settlement records.  For more information visit Family Search Wiki, England Nonconformist Church Records.  
(original, 2011)
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

German / Prussia / Pommern Genealogy Research

Vital Records from Pommern, Petersen
Researching Preußen, Pommern, Ancestors - Germany
The hardest part of researching Pomeranian ancestors is finding the records, then of course it’s off to deciphering the script.  So hopefully you paid attention in your German script courses.

Begin Your Research
As with most genealogy, we suggest you learn about your region.  So be sure to understand the history and territory of Pomerania. Pomerania, today, defines the Germany - Poland border and runs along the Baltic Sea, from Stralsund Germany to the Vistula River (near Gdansk Poland and is now Kolin (Pyrzyce) within the Stargard County in north western Poland.

Compiled Resources
The a3Genealogy researchers are offering a few of our favorite resources that may assist with this search.
Family Search.  The family search wiki on Pomerania Online Genealogy Records is a good resource to have when ferreting out this family tree. 
German Online German Genealogy Records and DatabasesMany online resources are listed.
Vital Records: Census, Marriage, and Death records.  
Pommern Baptism Records
As Pomerania spanned to the far east side of Mecklenburg on the Baltic Sea, be sure to review the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census Records at ($) and the Grevesmühlen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, Marriages, 1876-1920Death records: Grevesmühlen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, Deaths, 1876-1950. Grevesmühlen is one of the oldest towns in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Germany, Prussia, Pomerania Church Records, 1544-1945. 
Pommern Church Records
This collection has an index and images of the originals. Be sure to peruse both and MyHeritage ($). A portion of these records have been transcribed on ($) Pomerania, Germany, Parish Register Transcripts, 1544-1883.

Pomerania, Germany, Passenger Lists, 1869-1901. 
Passenger List
We encourage those with late arrivals. 1869 - 1901,  to review the ships originating in Stettin and Swinemünde (Szczecin and Swinoujscie in Polish). Remember your Danish ancestor may be found on the Stettin Passenger lists also. 

Other Resources
·         Germanic Genealogy Society: Pomerania page.
·         Family Search, microfilm #1496985, Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1794-1874, in German.  Film Description: Protestant parish register transcripts of births, marriages and deaths for Kordeshagen, Pommern, Germany; now Dobrzyca (Koszalin), Koszalin, Poland. 
·         Family Search, microfilm #896089 Kirchenbuch, 1752-1866 in German and Poland (indexed).  Film Description: Parish register of births, marriages and deaths in Kratzig, Pommern, Germany, now Kraśnik Koszaliński, Poland.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Sunday, February 5, 2017

African American Research Tips

Don’t Overlook Year Books
World War I timeframe created a lot of movement across America.  It is a time African American ancestral researchers lose their ancestors thanks to massive migrations from the south, the railroad, and industrial cities.  You may have found Uncle James in the north in 1930, but where was the family in 1920?  Even if Grandpa settled in the industrial town in Ohio, it's possible that your information about him is limited. Perhaps you have uncovered from census records or death certificate his birth state, but what about his youth?

When we are at a loss, the a3Genealogy researchers often scour the “colored school” yearbooks. Sometimes we have to practically exhaust many counties before we uncover the family surname or relative. Sometimes we have to check neighboring counties, because the closest “colored” school was located miles away.  But, we want to offer a few additional tips to discovering your ancestors' past.

What Year Books?
We aren’t always talking school yearbooks.  Have you reviewed the Negro Year Book?  Tuskegee Institute, in Alabama, began gathering information for African Americans across the nation in 1913. They not only have names of persons, but also of pertinent businesses, and social history and race issues that may assist with your family research.
Negro Year Book:  Homes for Negro by State
A favorite resource in the Negro Year Book is the listing of Homes for the Care of Adults and Children Which Are for Negros or Admit Negroes. This listing includes the facilities for orphans, indigents, as well as women homes and may further your research. 

Please know that the institutions' records are scattered, but be sure to check county and state repositories and local county court houses and genealogical societies.  Some of the institutions had newsletters that provided names, updates, deaths, etc.  A few of these yearbooks may be found online.

School Yearbooks


Most researchers check the indices of school yearbooks for their ancestors’ names but we love the advertisements also.  These ads provide us with names, locations and photographs of ancestors.

The Knoxville Colored High School, The Echo, of 1928, is in the a3Genealogy library (donated by the Parker-Douglas Family of KCMO) and we were able to use it to further our research on Professor L. R. Cansler and a few of his students. The Professor was also named in the Negro Year Book allowing us to confirm and further our research project.

Of course, the bonus is your ancestor’s school picture may be uncovered.
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Family Research Using National Library of Medicine

National Library of Medicine
Was Your Ancestor a Physician?
At a3Genealogy we are hooked on researching “off-beat” collections. When researching U. S. Army Surgeon General’s Office Autobiographical Sketches of Medical Officers, or the National League for Nursing records, or the U. S. Army Surgeon General’s Office Autobiographical Sketches of Naval Medical Officers we turn to the U. S. National Library of Medicine Archival and Manuscript (NLM)Collections. 

Our favorite collection at the NLM is The American Medical Association (AMA) Deceased Physicians Master Card File.

What Are Deceased Physicians Master Card File?
Physician Overton: From New York to Newfoundland
Did your physician ancestor disappear?  Or, are there large holes in your ancestor’s life story? The 350,000 physicians biographical cards may hold the answers. Physician biographical cards were collected and maintained by the AMA.

The American Medical Association, established in 1847, created a medical directory of its members.  The first woman became a member in 1876. African American physicians were not included until about 1888. Read: African American Physicians and Organized Medicine, 1846 - 1968. The American Medical Directory was expanded to all physicians in 1906.

The original collection of physician information was written on cards which were compiled into The Medical Directory. The information on these 4x6 cards included those who died between 1906-1969,. Researchers will find death notices and biographies of their physician ancestors who were born as early as 1850ish, to include those who graduated after 1865.

These 350,000 physical files were archived in the AMA Deceased Physicians Masterfile and published in two volumes: Directory of Deceased American Physicians 1804 - 1929.  Once compiled these original cards were discarded and not salvaged.  However, the 1864 - 1968 AMA Deceased Physician File (AMA) cards are digitized and can be retrieved from  Biographical notes of physicians after 1969 to present are maintained in a computer database.

What to Expect?

Abraham Jacobi: Place of birth and date and countries and places of Practices to NY with photo.
In addition to “education, state licensing, and place of practice," researchers may also find their ancestors’ obituary citations, and even a noted cause of death.  a3Genealogy researchers have crashed more than one brickwall while conducting immigrant research. From where in Germany was that ancestor?  Did they practice overseas?  We have also seen ancestor’s card chocked full of controversial notes. Researchers may find a photo of their ancestor, immigrant’s place of birth, overseas practices, and even immigration information. 

One ancestor’s file had a cryptic hint of why he moved from New York to South Carolina.  A subsequent newspaper search was able to confirm and fill in the physician’s life experience.

African American Physicians
Note: High School and Places of Residence (KY, MO, AR)
For those looking for their African American ancestors the cards may not list early hospital practices since only AMA physicians could practice in the hospitals. It is important to note that the National Medical Association (NMA) founded in 1895 was an alternative to the "white-only" American Medical Association (AMA). For more information read: Creating a Segregated Medical Profession: African American Physicians and Organized Medicine, 1846 - 1910

Researchers will also note their African American ancestors were listed as “colored” in the Directory until 1939.  For more information read the following:

Where are the Files?

·       1804 - 1929 Directory is held at the AMA Archives in Chicago. This collection holds 149.000 physician biographical information.  Original cards are not available. has extracted the information from the Masterfile database.
The Newberry has “special indexes to African-American, female, homeopathic and osteopathic practitioners.”
·       1864 - 1968 AMA Deceased Physician File (AMA) cards are digitized and can be retrieved from
·       1906 - 1969 National Library of Medicine and AMA Collections (may overlap with the 1864 - 1968 Collection.)
·       1969 - Present. The AMA Unified Service Center, Chicago, IL, holds and maintains the 1969 to present biographical information on computer database. 

Be sure to review the Finding Aid at the U. S. National Library of Medicine:
             >  NLM Catalog
             >  AMA Deceased Physicians Masterfile 1906-1969

Thanks to the Archival Librarians for a3Genealogy interview on Dec 2016.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

Friday, January 6, 2017

Press Release: Research Job Opportunities

Open Positions - Genealogists

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

Job Assignments
Visit here frequently. a3Genealogy contracts researchers as needed for local/onsite repository research at courthouses, churches, and other local repositories. Each researcher will be issued a Job Description that must be signed and returned upon accepting job. We have in office assistance should researcher need administrative assistance, or if we can help you be successful with research projects.

  • DNA Analysis Expert
  • Family History Library (SLC) Document General Researcher
  • Family History Library (SLC) Document Retrieval
  • Pre-1812 Expert Researchers, especially in VA, NC, PA
Start Package
In addition to a signed Job Description (Agreement), the a3Genealogy  Privacy Act Statement must be agreed upon.  Know that we comply with the Federal Tax Laws set for 1099 consultants and will request the completion of W9 in order to comply. 

Professional Development
For qualified researchers, a3Genealogy offers $150.00 vouchers toward Professional Development. 

Pay based on proven level of expertise. Always submit your hourly rate when applying and a copy of a non-published final report.

Send resume with pricing structure to:
Kathleen Brandt