Wednesday, March 25, 2020

From 1940 to Present Day Research Resources

8 Resources for Descendant / Forensic Genealogy

Genealogy vs Descendant Research Your project may have the objective to locate living descendants. Thirty percent of a3Genealogy research projects are classified as "descendant research." Some like to call it "forensic genealogical research." 

Genealogical research typically requires us to start with ourselves or present day and work backwards. But, what if we have an ancestor (subject) from the past and we want to uncover present day descendants? This is Descendant Research.  Also called forensic genealogical research, descendant research may be tied to the legal system to prove kinship or requires the research proof argument to include scientific support - like a DNA test result analysis. If the legal system is not involved, or DNA test analysis is not required, a3Genealogy researchers call it descendant research. We all can do this!

What needs to be done?

Your project may have the objective to locate living descendants. A well thought out research plan will be the key to your success. For our Sebastian Glos descendant research project the plan had the objective to identify addresses, emails and phone numbers of living descendants. 

Tips to Uncover 
In the Sebastian Glos descendant research project we began with a living Glos client in California. His genealogical research was traced back to Klingenm├╝ster, Germany - a normal genealogy project - start with present day and work backwards. It was proven that the Glos children came to America between 1867- 1883. 

Now we turn to Descendant Research. To uncover the descendants we put in two practices: 
1) use wildcards for names because in the Glos case, six of them changed their names early. Most were simple changes (i.e. Fanciscus became Frank); but then there was Magdelena who became Helen. HELEN???  
2) never be attached to the spelling of the surname. At least two of the Glos sons adopted the surname "Gloss." (This had to be to purposeful in order to make it more difficult for the researcher!)
8 Resources: From 1940 to Present Day Research 
The plan gets complicated between the 1940 census to present day. What resources are available to meet our objective: "identify addresses, emails and phone numbers of living descendants." Here are a few suggestions: 
1) land deeds at the county court recorders offices.  Many of these may be online.
2) city directory research and analysis
3) state voter registration cards
4) social media ferreting to include Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.
5) newspaper research for obituaries and community social news that may name parents or descendants.
6) public record research. Start with Google search. At a3Genealogy we use several databases to include our subscribed Private Investigator (PI) database.
7) vital records: available birth, death and marriage records may connect ancestors to descendants living in current day.
8) recorded wills and probates 

At a3Genealogy we often ask for Y-DNA tests results from familytreeDNA, and autosomal DNA tests results (i.e. ancestryDNA, myheritageDNA, 23&Me, etc) when applicable. These test can assist in identifying surnames and family units as we uncover "new" cousins. We were easily able to connect the Bernzott family connection - Frank Bernzott married Barbara Glos . But, to connect the Quist, Lang, Patz, & Eliason descendants of Barbara (Glos) Bernzott we turned to all eight of the suggestion resources above. These same key 8 resources apply to all Descendant Research projects.

Stay healthy and safe as you use this social distancing time for discovering ancestors and identifying cousins.  We will all want a family reunion after this is over!

Kathleen Brandt
Be sure to follow us at our a3genealogy online sites and social media (below) for updated information. 

Shelter in Place Order
Extended Deadlines
Know that many job deadlines will be extended as we work with repositories (courthouses, state archives, national archives, etc) that may be in a mandatory shutdown mode or under-staffed.

Note: a3Genealogy researchers are now scheduling for April and May projects. We are also still conducting our Do-It-Yourself Genealogy Consultation client and tutoring sessions which are in high demand. Let us know, if you wish to be added to our wait list. Contact us at 816-729-5995 Monday -Friday 10:00am - 3:00pm or by appointment:

Monday, March 16, 2020

Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Image result for coronavirus image
Get to Know Your Ancestors!

No Social Distancing Required to Get to Know Your Ancestors
Amidst the corona-virus pandemic, a3genealogy researchers will continue scheduling and working on client projects. 

Existing Clients 
To include retainer clients and media clients: 
Client questions and discussions may be conducted by via the internet - zoom, skype, facetime, or by phone. 

Onsite Research
We have halted all onsite and travel required research until April 20th.  At that time we will be able to give you an update or reschedule our travel schedule based on CDC recommendations and repository availability. 

New Clients
We are now booking new clients for a start date of April 1st.  

We have been receiving a lot more requests for our "Genealogy Consultation Package." This is our "do-it-yourself" package.  Keep in mind that it too is a 10 session package, that must be used within twelve months. Each session can be up to 45 minutes of phone / internet time, or it can include us reviewing your work and sending you a Next Step Research Plan.  Actually YOU decide how you wish to use the Consultation Package. (In the last two weeks you all have been pretty creative)!  But this do it yourself package will help you as a beginning family researcher, or working through a brickwall, or expanding your opportunities as a professional genealogist.  True to the mission statement for the a3Genealogy blog, the purpose of this package will help you with your ongoing research projects, and learning the steps and resources along the way. This is the only package that will allow you to jump around between projects (DNA analysis, Adoption, Grandma 1 and Great-Granpa 4).  Who knows? You may have that brickwall solved before this "slow-down" ends. 

Extended Deadlines
Know that many job deadlines will be extended as we work with repositories (courthouses, state archives, national archives, etc) that may be in a mandatory shutdown mode or under-staffed.

Please visit our a3genealogy online sites and social media for updated information. 

Kathleen Brandt

Friday, February 14, 2020

Resources for Military History Research

Tips for Everyone
America's History Part 2

I was interviewed by the Mid-Continent Public Library of  the Kansas City area. This of course is the home of the Midwest Genealogy Center.  I will be posting questions and answers from the interview here. As you already know, Military Research is basically the same for all veterans, however this series of questions was posed as a precursor to the presentation Military Service by African Americans. So although the class points out nuances caused by segregated troops, the sources, tips, hints and documents apply to all. Three sessions of this title are being offered by Mid-Continent Pubic Library beginning 11 Feb 2020.  Check the link for the different branches. One session at the Daniel Boone Regional Library of Columbia, MO. on Feb 18;  and one at the Leavenworth Kansas Public Library, 23 Feb 2020.

What are your top three tips for military history research?

1.       Don’t forget the National Archives Records in Washington DC, Archives I for the early wars: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and Philippine War. 
For early war research, remember you must also exhaust the militia, which includes State Historical Societies and repositories,.  You will also wish to visit the Civil War records held at the associated Regional Branches of the National Archives.  They hold all the Provost Marshal Records
The Philippine War service records are quite challenging to uncover. They should be in the collections held at the Archives I, NARA -Washington, DC, but photos were found in Archives II, College Park Maryland.  Also we most often had to do a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for assistance in locating the Personnel files for these veterans.  Many of them also served in the WWI. If that is the case, you will want to retrieve that full record, if available to get a more complete account of your veterans full military service. 
Read here for additional articles. 
2.      Remember the modern war records (WWI to present day ) are in both National Archives Records in College Park Maryland and in National Personnel Resource Center (NPRC) in St. Louis.  Yes, there was a fire in 1973, but many troop records, and other types of records can be used to reconstruct your ancestor’smilitary service story and provides a working timeline.
The National Personnel Resource Center (NPRC) requires the proper forms for research. Be sure to contact them in advance if you wish to research onsite: microfilms of troop rosters, morning reports, and personnel records, etc. 
Read here to get more ideas on how to reconstruct your WWI veteran. 
3.      Don’t forget the value of the Veteran Administration records.  This may take an additional step of sending out FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, but the time is well worth the effort. Plus, it is possible that the VA holds the original records or duplicates thought to be lost in the fire. A recent FOIA case produced over 400 pages of military records that had been presumed to have been lost in the 1973 fire. Be sure to complete the SF180 form for FOIA requests as well as Modern War records. 
      Where are Veteran Pension Files?
 Be sure to join me at one of the five presentations in February on the topic! Check out the monthly calendar here.

Kathleen Brandt

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Military Service by African Americans

America's History Part 1
I was interviewed by the MidContinent Public Library of  the Kansas City area. This of course is the home of the Midwest Genealogy Center.  I will be posting questions and answers from the interview here. This is a precursor to the presentation Military Service by African Americans. Three sessions of this title are being offered by Mid-Continent Pubic Library beginning 11 Feb 2020.  Check the link for the different branches. One session at the Daniel Boone Regional Library of Columbia, MO. on Feb 18;  and one at the Leavenworth Kansas Public Library, 23 Feb 2020.

I'm Not African-American
Remember this is America's History.  Your non-African-American Ancestor may have been an officer of these troops and the research tips provided might uncover your hidden veteran regardless of troop affiliation. Here is the course description. 
African American military service history began with Colonial America. Researchers must locate veteran records while also uncovering under-utilized holdings of military service collections. In addition to the Civil War, WWI and WWII, your African American ancestors may have served in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Spanish American War, Philippine-America Insurrection, or the Indian Wars. Plus, women contributed in large numbers to the modern wars also.
Kathleen Brandt

In researching the military service of African Americans, what are unique factors that researchers must consider?

Through the different eras of America, the status and challenges have changed for African Americans in the military.  This forces the researcher to follow tailored strategies for ferreting out their African American veteran ancestor.   To determine if your African American ancestor served in the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812, we must take into account that free-coloreds, black indentured servants, and slaves served in the war.  Research may include following researching seamen records, slaveholder records to include deeds and minutes and  as other court records.  Court records may uncover manumission records due to military service or detailed court cases that hold freedom records.  African Americans who served as a substitute in these wars may have had a manumission clause in a court recorded agreement with their slaveholder.  Of course, the research to uncover your African American early war ancestor may include England and Canadian records also. 

Researching African Americans who served in the Civil War must include, federal and state records.  This research must not be restricted to your ancestor’s state of residency but also include neighboring states.  Researchers must understand and follow the role of the Underground Railroad and Freedmen’s colonies.  Often overlooked are the over 100 contraband Union camps for runaway slaves that existed in the South. Many of these slaves became veterans of the Civil War.  The records at the Provost Marshal Records at the regional National Archives are a treasure trove, as well as local newspaper clippings. 

Tracing your early war African American soldiers may be complicated by name changes, especially post Civil War. Reconstructing your veteran’s family unit to ensure tracing common names can also be challenging.  In genealogical research we always state “follow the money.”  For African American research this may begin scouring the Freedmen Bureau’s records, and including exhaustive research in county deeds and minutes. 

The biggest myth is to assume your present family name was that of a slaveholder.  The truth is many of our African American soldiers served under a name not associated with a slaveholder and after the war maintained that name or assumed an alias.  Of course DNA results, and strong genealogical research may assist in uncovering your military veteran.

America was not a safe place or a place of equality for African Americans whereas other countries or communities welcomed their contributions.  We find many of our Philippine War veterans, as well as WWI and WWII African American veterans settled in foreign countries where they served. Uncovering these ancestors may require expanding our research to include overseas documents, passports, ship and passenger records, and American consulate records.