Thursday, January 28, 2021

DNA vs mRNA for Genealogists

DNA is still at the forefront of family historians. The use of DNA for investigative and family lineage, and medical / genetic genealogy is a daily tool to identify and advance our family lineage. We already know the language (CGAT, CGAT. CGAT, etc); we know how to use tools to discern answers, when possible, we already have our favorite database tools. We love it.  

And then the world falls in love with little brother mRNA. Yes, we knew messenger mRNA existed; but only in the shadows of our mind. Remember that one course? It appears mRNA has become the Covid19 Hero.  For genealogists that's like saying Robin's importance surpassed that of Batman.  

So to give mRNA respect, the a3Genealogy team thought we'd post the above video. As you review the video we also have provided a few key tips that will accelerate your mRNA street cred: 
DNA vs RNA - Similarities and Differences
  1. DNA is the acronym for Deoxyribonucleic Acid; mRNA is messenger Ribonucleic Acid. Both are nucleic acids; but yet, not the same. I suggest looking up the difference of deoxyribose vs. ribose. My rudimentary understanding is for the purpose of genealogy and interest in medical science. I would have to talk about tRNA, rRNA, and miRNA / siRNA, etc. which is out of the scope for this blog.

  2. DNA as we are accustomed of seeing is a double-stranded DNA; RNA is a single stranded module

  3. DNA transcription, ais through the nucleotide bases CGAT; RNA translation CGAU.  So this is the explanation we like: "DNA encodes your genes, RNA job is to instruct how those genes get expressed. RNA reads DNA. And so it is!

  4. When talking about the Covid-19 vaccines a subtype of RNA - mRNA or messenger RNA - is what carries the DNA information to create proteins. The proteins (instruction to cell) is what makes changes in the body via (in our pandemic case) vaccines. Yes, that is simplified, but I'm not attempting a dissertation or medical paper.  

Covid-19 mRNA Vaccine
Bless their hearts.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a whole gob of information on the Covid-19 mRNA vaccine.  But, they failed to put in pictures.  We need pictures (with bright colors, I might add). So let me summarize: 

The Conversation

mRNA vaccines provide instruction to our cells for making a protein.  This protein triggers an immune response that promotes the development of antibodies. So now with the instruction already in our bodies, the antibodies protects us from getting infected should "the real virus enter our bodies" (CDC). 

MIH Director's Blog

Since it's only the instruction, this is harmless to our DNA. Actually mRNA can't even combine with our DNA to change the genetic code. Plus, it's short lived. It's a "messenger," that hangs around for about 72 hours before being degraded. (Article)

Quick Vaccine?
By the way, the reason the mRNA vaccines were quicker to develop and test is because scientists already knew how to manipulate the instructions. The flow from DNA transcription to manipulating mRNA to form the protein needed for a vaccine had already been explored. This process and the development of mRNA vaccines had already been studied for cancer, rabies, and ways to trigger the immune system. what was needed for the Covid - 19 was to target the vaccine instructional detail for this pandemic virus.  

Rudimentary, yes. But this is DNA - mRNA for Genealogists! Follow us also at the DNA for Genealogists Flipboard page.  
(Please advise if there are any errors).  

Be Historically Correct  

Kathleen Brandt 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Poor, Insane, & Abandoned (PIA)


Fulton, MO Insane Asylum
White Inmates (1863); Colored Inmates (1865)

Researching Poor Farms, Home for the Friendless, and Asylums
They came to America and they were poor.  Or, she was divorced, deserted, and penniless. What about the children? A client mentioned today “I know they had almshouses, poor houses, and insane asylums in New York and in the eastern states. She continued, “I’ve heard about them in the south too like in South Carolina and even in Virginia.”But,” she said, “they didn’t exist in the Midwest. We took care of our own.”

Double Take…WHAAT!?!!? What history is that? Although true, NY was stuffed full of benevolent societies, poor farms, the Home for the Friendless, asylums and almshouses, but these havens for the paupers and homeless cross America from NY to Oregon. The Midwest too had them to house and hopefully protect, feed and care for our ancestors. Many of the buildings still stand. Have you checked the history of that old jailhouse or workhouse in your ancestor's county? Let’s explore how to find your PIA ancestral records.  Yes, PIA is coined by a3Genealogy - Poor, Insane, and Abandoned.

Where Did They Go and Who Supported Them?
For today we are only going to tackle Asylums, Poor Farms and Home for the Friendless. For additional information you may wish to review Orphanages, Almshouses and Researching Institutionalized Ancestor Records

State Asylums for the Insane

Most asylums were state run, but others, like today, were ran by religious groups or private benevolent groups. Asylums weren't just for adults. Many took in children. In Chicago, Illinois there was a Catholic Orphan Asylum as early as 1849, and a Jewish Orphan Society in the 1890’s. Other groups also took in children. 

Many county almshouses across America had a “colored” ward.  Most often this ward was in the same building, but housing and care was segregated. 

In Missouri the Fulton Insane Asylum, (one of four), began caring for colored inmates as early as 1865, within a few years after its opening. These Asylum records are still held at the facility.

Knowing how to obtain the records can be tricky. In Missouri, ancestral patient records may require a written request through the court. Like Missouri, the need to conduct family history research and genealogy is most often accepted as a reason to obtain ancestral patient records. I've also had great luck in other states like Pennsylvania. An alternative is to review the County Court Minutes, County Clerk Records, or those of the County Registrar. 

Poor Farm
A poor farm may be known by many words: poorhouse, poor asylum, county farm, county infirmary, or the county home. Indiana, Switzerland County had a Poorhouse in 1832. Benton County Arkansas had one of the early state poorhouses, 1858. The idea was to make every county responsible for their own paupers and “misfits.” 

Be sure to check online databases and resources. The Multnomah Oregon County Farm records can be found digitized on Other’s may be held within State Archives or within the former facility.

Home for the Friendless 
The oldest Home for the Friendless in the USA known to the a3Genealogy crew is New York’s 1847. This Home for the Friendless was constructed by the American Female Guardian Society. 

In St. Louis Missouri Charlotte Charless established a Home of the Friendless in 1853. This Home offered relief for elderly women, widows, and destitute women.

Remember, there were also Home for the Friendless who took in children in the 19th century.St. Paul, MN had a Home for the friendless that sheltered women and children as early as 1867.

14 Sources to Ancestral PIA Documents
Again, we don’t want the researcher to forget the women. So here’s a hint. Your female ancestor may be found under convent care. The a3Genealogy team recently found a Swedish ancestor ensconced in an Illinois Catholic convent. She was determined insane by the court.

Remember your research must cover both county and state repositories and records to uncover these ancestors. It's not an easy search, but it can be quite rewarding. 

1. County Court Minutes

8. Guardian Records

2. State Archives

9. State Historical Societies

3. Deed Books

10. Church Records

4. Death Certificates

11. Benevolent Society Records

5. Warrants

12. Hospital Records

6. Divorce Records

13. Wills

7. Newspapers

14. Convent Records

Be Historically Correct  

Kathleen Brandt 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Did Martin Luther King Learn from the Ancestors?

Presentation: You Are A Pioneer, a3Genealogy

The Invisible Staircase 
In Jan 2011 I began my College and University circuit as a speaker. I have always, since 1984 spoken as a corporate speaker, but this was new. The issue was I was being asked to speak at private schools, university business schools, to entrepreneurs, women organizations, and marketing and executive departments of corporations. These invitations extended to celebration events that honored Martin Luther King. With these events, I was being asked to meld genealogy while inspiring future graduates or corporate execs. Great! That posed an ideal conundrum! I can plop genealogy and our ancestors into any conversation seamlessly. Challenge accepted!

Stephens College, Columbia, MO. 2014

Be A Pioneer
Let it be known that as an ex-executive in corporate America, my interest in Martin Luther King was not so much his “I Had A Dream” speech, but was engulfed on his use of the “Invisible Staircase.” It is here that I stress a basic mantra: the problem is people confuse what is hard with what is impossible. I can’t count the times I have had to bat down perceived obstacles, to remind the listener it really is possible to change your "business from routine" as usual to "NEW."  Our ancestors did it! "Be a Pioneer," I would say.

Presentation: You Are A Pioneer, a3Genealogy

The Invisible Staircase MLK Quote?

Presentation: The Invisible Staircase, a3Genealogy

When asked to speak for MLK Day or Black History month, or even to share a motivational speech, I usually turn to the MLK quote: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” It is from the resistance for change that The Invisible Staircase: Know Thyself” presentation was created. Maybe if we make it personal, peek at our ancestor’s invisible staircase that we may draw courage. 

What does this have to do with genealogy? Oh, so much! Our paths today share the same struggles, fears and triumphs of our ancestors.  Through every struggle it is through that “first step” without the assurance of the results that we move the needle while experiencing our life, our businesses, our new endeavors take shape.  

And, yes, I purposely weave The Invisible Staircase: Know Thyself presentation with examples of Martin Luther King’s quotes and the courage of our ancestors. 

  • Did they willingly leave family and friends behind in a country across great waters?
  • Did your ancestor leave the cotton fields to explore the industrial northeast or Midwest?
  • Did your ancestor choose to fight for a country in hopes for freedom? Or, naturalization? Or, to defend a country that questioned their ability of constitutional rights, or the legality of their right to citizenship?
  • Did your ancestors follow a path to settle unexplored lands in the west of a vast country?

The list is endless.  My own ancestors, sold their land in North Carolina and Tennessee to settle in the middle of Kansas on unimproved lands.  A new start, leaving family and friends behind in hopes of the American Dream. They traveled with a group of 52 members of their extended family. But, the uncertainty of what western Kansas would offer them in the 1880’s? This had to be a leap of faith…just take the first step - MLK would say decades later.  I mean, most Kansas don’t know where Comanche and Harper counties lie even now! 

Ancestors Who Worked Outside of the Box
This is the working outside of the box theory in Corporate America. It is the spirit of the USA entrepreneur; the newly settled immigrant; the uncomfortable change of a political party every four or eight years; the acceptance of a new job, a new location, or evaluating if “old comforts” still serve their purpose.

Regardless of the circumstance, like our ancestors, we must walk boldly toward new endeavors, or through uninvited experiences. And, Martin Luther King gave us the first step in the quote itself: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 

Like our ancestors, we must forge along through the steps of a winding staircase before us.  For me it’s simple. Where faith begins, the staircase holds at least the following components:

Presentation: The Invisible Staircase, a3Genealogy

Remembering Martin Luther King my way, is how seven years later from my first The Invisible Staircase presentation, that I wish to share his teachings. 

Happy Birthday, and Thanks Dr. Martin Luther King! 

Be Historically Correct  

Kathleen Brandt

Thursday, January 14, 2021

8 Tips - Researching Midwest German Ancestors

1870 German Population Map

Midwestern German Ancestors - Where To Begin?
Researching early German settlers who helped establish Jamestown, the Dutch colony of New York, the  New Amsterdam, and the northeastern Quakers supports why Pennsylvania German settlements are so prevalent that family historians may come to believe that German ancestors populated these northeastern states and leaving only a smattering of German ancestors to settle in other regions - like the Midwest.  Nothing could be further from the truth! Historical documents, newspapers, and local histories tell us otherwise. Surely researchers are familiar with German Amish and Minnonites. (As a 6 generation of western Kansans, boy, do I know their story). But what about the German settlements in the Midwest? 

 German Settlements in Kansas

In Kansas researchers will find Russian - German settlements that were either Mennonites or Volga Germans. Read more at the Kansas Historical Society. 

The state of Kansas, (where I was born and raised and my mother’s family attended the Mennonite based school of Buhler High), has plenty of German ancestral resources that need to be unearthed. Ellis County, known as the “German Capital” was established in the 1870’s. Just to name a few known communities: Catherine, Herzog, Pfeifer, Liebenthal, Munjor, and Schoenchen. 

The Mennonite college archives of Tabor College must be researched. The Center for Mennonite Brethern Studies at Tabor College has a wealth of information on congregational and family records.  These records include church records, church histories, local histories and genealogies. 

In addition to the Mennonites,  let’s not forget the Bukovina region (historically Austria) of Europe immigrants who settled in Kansas in around 1886.  The Bukovina Society in Ellis Kansas offers a quaint museum for tracing Bukovia ancestors.  We can’t under estimate the need of comprehensive research of German-Ancestors in USA before tracing place of origin. The Bukovina ancestral research will lead you to the Eastern bloc as Bukovina is now part of Romania and Ukraine. Be sure to review the Bukovina Society of the Americas. 

Another great repository to visit for this research is at the Fort Hays (Ks) University’s Forsyth Library.

German Settlements in Missouri
Figure 1 Ozark Watch website
In Missouri, the early settlers of the “Rhineland” region covers 11 counties.

These settlers put grave interest in preserving their culture - language, food customs. The Missouri State Historical Society in MO collections can keep the attention of researchers in this midwestern state busy for an indefinite period of time.  

German Settlements in Indiana

We must not forget German settlements in Indiana, like the New Harmony German Settlement[1]  German researchers for Indiana will benefit by starting their research at the Indiana State Library.  Although not exclusively Indiana resources, this listing of resources compiled by The Indiana Chapter of Palatines to America is held on the Indiana State Library website.

Early German settlers of Indiana migrated to the larger cities or to German speaking communities (usually Swiss) after about 1825. Due to this early melding with other ethnic groups, I suggest German researchers in Indiana begin their search with the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center

Researching Germans in Iowa

To begin German ancestors in Iowa it would behoove the researcher to start with the resources at the 

However, one of the a3Genealogy favorite online references is the Foundation for Eastern European Family History Studies. It is here that we located the Oldest Germans of Iowa List - 1895

Summary: 8 Great Resources
Clearly one blogpost cannot cover all of the midwestern states, but if you are looking for other midwestern state resources to move your German Ancestors here are 8 resource / repository tips: 

1. Historical Books

5. Society Journals

2. HathiTrust

6. Church Records

3. University Special Collections

7. Newspapers

4. History Museums

8. State Historical Societies

One last favorite share is  Don Yoder’s book entitled Rhineland emigrants: lists of German settlers in colonial America. This reference book can often be found local libraries in your community.

Happy German Ancestor Researching

Be Historically Correct  

Kathleen Brandt


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Using Freedmen's Pension Bill to Uncover Slave Ancestor

National Archives

Ex-Slave Pension Correspondence and Case Files 1892 - 1922
In an effort to share overlooked research records that may assist in slave ancestry research, here is a small collection, but yet powerful, if your ancestor is named. The “Freedmen’s Pension Bill” was led by a Nebraska white newspaper editor but was championed by the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association (MRB&PA). It is often referred to as "the first mass reparations movement led by African Americans."

What was the Freedmen’s Pension Bill?”

The purpose was to obtain pensions for former slaves from the Federal government as compensation and reparations for unpaid labor and suffering. These records are held at the federal level in the Law Division, Bureau of Pensions, in Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs - Case Files Concerning Ex-Slaves (digitized) and M2110  but some digitized records  and add postings may be found on : Washington DC., Ex-Slave Pension Correspondence and Case Files,
1892 - 1922.
Information from Alabama to Colorado, etc. are represented in these case files.

Research Note: the effort did not yield the expected membership and was "shut down" by seemingly unsubstantiated fraud charges against leader Callie House. However, we often find that one town or county may have quite of few of his African American residents as members (i.e. Columbia, Boone County, MO).

Membership  Dues and Cards

Membership cost was just cents a month (ten cents to .twenty five depending on the year.. But for the genealogists, ex-slave ancestors name, age at time of membership, and place of residence. Often both husband and wife joined; carrying separate memberships which left genealogists with two membership applications, sometimes two case files.  

Learn More:

Note for SLIG participants: This topic was designed as supplement for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) Show Me Missouri:  Uniquely Missouri  - African American Research, presentation 13 Jan 2021. Keep checking back and follow blog, facebook page or linkedin to get updated postings (see below buttons). 

Be Historically Correct  

Kathleen Brandt

Friday, January 8, 2021

Locating Ancestor's Commonplace Book

Charles Lamb, Chronically America (LOC)

Let’s begin with What is a Commonplace Book?

Those who study history know that commonplace collections were not unique. It was a book that held tidbits: quotes, observations, information or points from literature or poems; a collection of knowledge for future references. I liken it to this blog. Although it’s questionable if one could call it commonplacing (yes, that’s the verb), it does not rely on my opinion, or hindsight thoughts, it's a collection of knowledge that can be used at anytime in the future (for the most part).  As I learn terms, research places, historical quotes, etc. I want to capture it in an loosely organized, but findable fashion as a reference.  Like a commonplace book, the idea is to capture these tidbits in a central, easily accessible holding place - a "commonplace.".  Whereas some of our ancestors used commonplace books to meet this objective, others used index cards.  Again the idea was the same.

In genealogy we use it most to understand the social impact and confines of one's ancestor; educational level, literary, philosophical, spiritual, and preferences relating to the arts. We learn of the people that influenced our ancestors.

But, let’s be sure not to confuse a commonplace book with that of a journal.  A commonplace book is a collection of other’s works, quotes, passages, etc.  A journal is a collection or capturing of ones’ own thoughts and are introspective and chronological.   

John Locke's Commonplace Book 
 Library of Congress

Researchers may find the mention of a commonplace book in Special Collections, University Libraries, Local Archives or amongst family files.  In the University of North Carolina Collections, the researcher will find a series of Memoranda, Commonplace books and Scrapbooks of Charles Fisher between 1821 – 1845. 

Commonplace books were quite popular in the early 18th century.  Think about the founding fathers.  It is through the commonplace books of Jefferson that we learn most about his daily life and endeavors in law. Jefferson’s Commonplace Book is digitized from 1762-1767 on the Library of Congress website.  But commonplace books were not just for the known and famous, your ancestor may have had one. The Library of Congress website is a great place to begin your research; however. 

Manhood, John Locke Commonplace Book

One actually can find commonplace books back to the 14th century - Renaissance Era - as they were common in Scotland and France and a preferred method of teaching and mentoring young scholars.  Many of the historical tutors required them for the learned. Early commonplace books appear to be filled with quotes and memorized or copied passages of literature. It is in these books that we can follow our ancestors’ interests, their biases in philosophies, and their preferences in the arts. 

Writers have historically maintained commonplace books. It’s great way to capture a quote once stumbled upon, but can retrieve for one’s writing in the future. 

Emerson: Newspapers across America, Sep 1912

A familiar author of a Commonplace Book was the clergy in early America. The a3Genealogy team located Joshua Bowles’1737 commonplace book at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEGHS) in Massachusetts. But they have everything we love!!

And yes, the priority of the family was to educate the men, giving women the basics to accompany domestic duties.  But women, too, had Commonplace books.  We found one useful one penned by Emeline A. Adens at the Kenneth Spence Researcher Library, on the University of Kansas Library. It was most of poems, but it leads descendants to learn more about Emeline and her scholastic learnings. 

Index of Kate Chopin

In the Missouri Historical Society the 214 pages of the 1867-1870 Commonplace book of Kate Chopin, is digitized. It is appeared she used the Locke method, based on her indexing style.

Entry from Kate Chopin

 Know that commonplacing is popular again. Not that it ever went out of style, but the practice has gathered steam in recent years especially among writers. 

May you have a commonplacing 2021.

Be Historically Correct  

Kathleen Brandt 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

5 tips to Researching Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Records

Was your Civil War ancestor one of the 400,000 Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) members? Finding these G. A. R. records and other state-held Civil War Union Veterans’ Association records can be challenging. Here are few tips, strategies, and resources to ferret out your Civil War soldiers’ post-war memberships to the GAR and other popular veteran associations. These records may include parents’ names, dates of births and deaths, and “new” military information. 

Finding G.A.R Posts Names and Locations
There are some resources that you want to protect. What if it disappears from the internet? When I found this G. A. R. posts name list with information on both the honored person name, remarks on the posts and references named I panicked. 

The a3Genealogy researchers as we find these lists across American states, we capture and save.  Why is this so important? Because it is through the names and locations of posts that we can chase our ancestors from one state to another.  

This Coffeyville, KS Post No 153 record located in the online Kansas Memory website allowed us to learn that one resident of Coffeyville, a member of the Post,  was actually born in OH.  As you review this book, you will note that none of these veterans were actually born in Kansas.  Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Alabama Civil War vets were found in Coffeyville, MO as members of this USCT post. In addition to finding birthplace, these records can lead me to their military service term and troop; the age leads us to otherwise hidden ages. 

Other Places to Research
1. Local Newspapers

2. The National Tribune
Did you know the newspaper "The National Tribune" pinpointed and detailed the activities of the GAR between 1877 - 1917? This newspaper can be found on the Chronicling America (Library of Congress)
The National Tribune

3. Library of Congress
The Grand Army of the Republic and Kindred Societies provides the researcher with many resources.  Visit: Library of Congress onsite for more information. 

Library of Congress - G. A. R. by State

As mentioned earlier, the issue is that researchers need to not only the location of the post, the naming of the post and the members of the post are more difficult to find.  But this state list of G. A. R. posts does provide us with the post name and the location when known.   
4.  Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War - G.A.R. Records Program
The depth of information compiled at the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War - G. A. R. Program is a treasure trove. That is why a3Genealogy researchers rushed to print the full copy. It is here that researchers can explore the GAR posts by state.  

5. African American G. A. R. Comrades
Africans Americans too served in the Civil War, Union Troops. These U. S. Colored Troops (USCT) veterans were allowed to join their white Comrades across America. Others established colored posts in their small and large towns across America.  
Integrated G.A.R. Post

How to Research for African American GAR Comrades
Here are a few tips to aiding your research for African American Civil War veteran ancestors through G.A.R. records:
  • Identify the "black" posts : Search the GAR Records by State on the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War website.  
  • Find (ctrl + F) the word "African" "colored" and/or "black" within the listing to narrow your search to your African American Ancestors
  • Remember encampments: As mentioned earlier, African Americans may joined their white Comrades across America in integrated (or at minimum "open" posts.) But to narrow your search be sure to check newspapers for encampment lists of attendees.

Researchers may also note veterans / GAR black members listed in newspapers.  In the example above of newspaper searches, we were researching a Willis Cox, USCT.  There were other Willis Cox - which one was ours? Our brickwall was solved through GAR records when we learned one joined the military under the name of "Willis Mills." Military records further explained his name change in his pension files.  

For more information read the Introduction to the G.A.R. 

May 2021 find you healthy and in good cheer!
Kathleen Brandt

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Married by Indenture - What is This?

What Is Indenture / Indentured?

An indenture is a legal contract between two or more parties which reflects an obligation or covenant between those parties. An indenture may also be called a "secured contract." We see them in Europe, Africa, and the Americas repositories when researching our ancestors. Here are a few common types of indentures that we may come across in our genealogy research.  (

  • leases
  • bonds
  • apprenticeship agreements
  • marriage agreements

Indenture is not race based.  It is a legal binding contract.  So the term "indentured servants" which we are so familiar worth as it is commonly used in genealogy must be dissected. In this case we are talking about the legal work contract of servants. Note: slavery is not equivalent to indentured servitude, as it is not voluntary; thus not an agreement at all! 

"of his own free Will and Accord..."

I am not going to review indentured servant in the 17th and 18th centuries; but to again emphasize all indenture references do not imply "indentured servant" or labor contracts. In this case an indentured servant is contracted to labor for multi-years in exchange for passage or expenses of room and board. If the researcher is working in Colonial Courts contracts of indentured servants contracts were particularly harshly enforced. But, to summarize an indentured servant is essentially bound by a rather detailed labor contract. Again, race or nationality may be noted, but this was for the purpose of distinguishing physical, or personal detail.  

Indentures and Bonds
Other indentures are as common in our historical and in present day practices. Like the agreement of an indentured servant, these indentures may be tied to a bond contract with specifications outlined. Researchers will note that references of indenture often is associated with an issued "bond." A legal binding indenture governs all of the terms of a bond before a bond is issued. An indenture may include an obligated fee (or not).  It is a contracted agreement between a bond issuer and the bond holders or at minimum a court recognized contract. 
Irish Indenture 1766

What is most interesting is that many genealogists only appear to recognize the term "Indentured Servant." But, let's take a look at "married by indenture." Again, I want the genealogists to recognize that the word indenture is used in present day courts even in USA. And, it has nothing to do with servants, but again contractual agreements recognized by the courts. Take a look at this 1994 reference of "married by Indenture" in Burlington County, New Jersey (public notice: new Jersey Press Association: //

How does a Marriage Indenture Benefit?

British indenture, 1831

In today's world we know quite a bit about a pre-nuptial agreement. Yet, marriage by indenture has terminology is not as common in daily language. But, it too is a contract - financially or not - tied to the marital property or the marriage itself.  It is always a pleasure when a widow's assets does not translate to a "payment for marriage," as that described above in the British 1831 case. An indenture of marriage can assist the "wife."  Read on about Alice Thaw and her indenture of marriage that protected her dower ( 

Readers of the a3Genealogy blog know that topics explored are most often reader generated. A question initiated by a facebook post led a reader to write for clarification of what does "married by indenture" mean? As I am not a lawyer, I can only share with you the genealogical application of this topic (I did reference the a3G office's copy of Blacks Law Dictionary). For a legal explanation, consult an attorney. 

Happy 2021
Be Historically Correct  

Kathleen Brandt