<![CDATA[4YourFamilyStory.com - Blog]]>Sat, 23 Jan 2016 07:34:08 -0800EditMySite<![CDATA[Break It Down: School Census Records for Genealogy]]>Tue, 19 Jan 2016 18:41:12 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/break-it-down-school-census-records-for-genealogy

School Censuses Provide Great Clues To Reveal More About Ancestors

Having problems finding your ancestors in a particular time or place?

Having problems learning who their parents were?

How about confirming their date of birth?

All of these clues/answers (and more) might be found in school census records. In many areas in quite a few states, school districts would take a census of their students to help them properly allocate funds for each school. They did them in various time periods and are incomplete, but if your ancestor was attending a school in a school district where it was taken *and* in a time period they took it, they can be a gold mine of information. 

At the very least, a school census record may place your ancestor in a time and location which can lead to more records and more answers. (And possibly more questions to answer because genealogy. ;) )

TIP: You will want to read each school district's instructions to the enumerator to make sure you fully understand the answers. 
Okay, so let's take a look at and break down the following example of a school census record for Matagorda County, Texas from 1939. (1) [Click on the image for a larger view]

Breaking Down a School Census Record

School Censuses Provide Great Ancestor Clues via 4YourFamilyStory.com #genealogy #familyhistory #schoolrecords
Matagorda County, Texas School Census Record (1)
A — To Census Trustees: Read Carefully — The census trustee's (enumerator's) instructions. [Hint: The census trustees were the enumerators and understanding what their instructions were will help you to understand all of the information in this record. So, you need to read this carefully, too.]
B — Race — Schools were segregated based on race in this time period.
C — School district information; in this example, it was left blank.
D — Phone No. of school district.
E — First and last name of students of the same family household who would be six and under eighteen years of age on April 1st. All were to be listed even if they had different surnames, as long as they were in the same family.
F — Birthday of listed students.
G — Age the listed students would be when they would be starting school 1 September 1939; also gender is indicated by the column the age was put into.
H — Handicap designation: Census trustees were asked to indicate if each listed student had any of the following specific handicaps: blind, partially blind, deaf, partially deaf, speech defect, feeble minded, and/or crippled. For the ones who were characterized as crippled, the trustees were also asked to indicate whether the crippled student had a curvature of the spine, club feet, infantile paralysis, leg amputation, arm amputation, or if they were in a wheelchair.
I — Name of county in which family resided last April 1st.
J — How long has this family lived in this District?
K — Nationality (Indicate by language spoken in home) 
L — Parent/Guardian Certification made by the parent that the information given was correct; that they were a resident of the District as of April 1st; that they had custody or charge of the listed children; and that they had not already been enumerated in this State for the scholastic year 1 September 1939 through 31 August 1940.
M — Names of parents.
N — Signature of Parent, Guardian, or person rendering child [Hint: I would be careful with this information, or at least, I would be careful of the parents names listed before this as that explicitly asks for parent's names while this requires the signature of a parent, guardian, or one in charge of the child. Are they the same? Are the answers the same?]
O — Address (In this example, the trustee only listed the city.)
P — Give name of farm, if on farm (Hint: While left blank on this example, one cannot infer that this meant the family/household was not living on a farm because the trustee left other blanks empty on this form.)
Q — Date subscribed and sworn.
R — Signature of Census Trustee (enumerator).

So, is any of this type of information found on this record the type of information you are looking for when researching your family's history? Could it be useful to your research? You betcha! Not all school districts collected the same information unfortunately. Below are a few more examples of school census records in different states. (2), (3), (4)

How to find these records? Try these techniques and places: 11 Places To Look for Your Ancestor's School Records.

So, are you using school census records to find more information about your ancestors? Will you use them?


(1) "Texas, Matagorda County, School Census Records, 1923-1946." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 11 August 2015; citing State Board of Education. Matagorda County Judge, Bay City.
(2) "Minnesota, Clay County, School Census Records, 1909-1962." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 11 March 2015. Citing State School Superintendent. Auditor-Treasurer, Moorhead.
(3) "Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 11 August 2015. Citing Department of Archives and History. Government Records, Jackson.
(4) "South Dakota, School Records, 1879-1970." Database with images, FamilySearch. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK73-CQJ6 : accessed 11 August 2015), McCook County, 1939.
State Historical Society, Pierre.
<![CDATA[Findmypast Integrates Mocavo To Make Searching Easier for Genealogists]]>Mon, 18 Jan 2016 14:33:30 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/findmypast-integrates-mocavo-to-make-searching-easier-for-genealogists
Findmypast has just announced it will finally integrate its sister site, Mocavo, into its subscription database site. However, they will also be maintaining Mocavo's pledge to remain free forever. That means if a particular collection was free to access before, it will remain free on the Findmypast site. Making both sites' collections searchable from one site, will make searching more convenient for users. Additionally, Findmypast mentions adding more unique US collections during 2016 as they expand into the US market. It will be interesting to see what they add this year. Read the Findmypast release below for more details.

Leading family history website Findmypast, has today announced that sister site Mocavo will be incorporated into Findmypast to create a single experience for customers interested in discovering more about their family history.

The move forms an important part of the US growth strategy set out by Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, and will bring the best aspects and features of both sites into one place.
The two websites are currently working together to transfer Mocavo’s strengths and expansive record collections over to Findmypast.

The transition will begin immediately and is expected to be completed within the next few months.

The move is part of Findmypast’s continued expansion and growth in the US market. By merging the two brands, Findmypast will create a more focussed and efficient business that will offer a more comprehensive experience to US customers while continuing to offer the industry’s best British and Irish collections. 

In 2016, Findmypast will also be publishing hundreds of millions of new and exclusive US records to further enhance the experience for US family historians.

As part of Findmypast’s commitment to sustain Mocavo’s ‘free forever’ promise, Mocavo subscribers will continue to enjoy free access to all of the same records that were previously published for free on Mocavo.  In addition, they will be invited to take advantage of a subscription to Findmypast equivalent to their existing Mocavo subscription.  Mocavo customers can easily import their family trees onto Findmypast and can immediately start to receive hints opening the door to new discoveries that they never knew existed.  A subscription to Findmypast will allow them access to the site’s entire collection of records, containing over eight billion names, as well as the thousands of new records released by Findmypast every week.

Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, said; “A key part of our 2016 US growth strategy is to centralise our efforts on one core brand, Findmypast.  Combining Mocavo’s strengths and Findmypast’s massive collection of British and Irish data will allow us to provide a richer and more comprehensive experience to family historians all over the world."
<![CDATA[11 Places To Find Your Ancestor's School Records]]>Sat, 16 Jan 2016 13:42:29 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/11-places-to-find-your-ancestors-school-records
As I've been getting my daughter situated to go back for her second semester at college, I've been thinking about school records. She will be switching majors and switching to the main campus of her university after this next semester, and her records are completely digitized and handled online. 

A stark contrast to our ancestors' school records, for sure. A smidgen are online for us to peruse once we know where to look, but many of them are not. So, as with all records, trying to find what entities created the records and thinking about where they might be stored — online and offline — is the first step in trying to find your ancestors in them.

And just why would you want to find your ancestors' school records? Well they can, at the very least, put your ancestors in a time and a place — very helpful when you can't seem to find them in more-used records like the federal population census. And even when you can find them in population census records, where were they in between the censuses since they were only enumerated every 10 years? Another good reason to try and find your ancestors' school records is that they may reveal their parents' names or siblings.

So while not an exhaustive list, the following 11 places may yield school records for your ancestors.​
  1. Ancestry.com — Go to their Card Catalog. In the Keyword Search Box, enter in "school census"  or another relevant term depending on the type of school record you may be looking for and click on "Search." This will bring up more than the ones categorized as a school record because some miscellaneous records are grouped together under a different category. As long as Ancestry listed in the description of the miscellaneous record "school census" or another type of school record, it will come up in this search. Also, try other search terms like "scholastic census." Don't forget to check out their yearbook collections; you just might find an image of your ancestor!
  2. FamilySearch.org — Go to their Search Historical Records page, select "Browse All Published Collections" in the middle of the page; select "United States of America" on the left hand side; search terms like "school census" or "educable". Or, after selecting "United States of America" you can then select just the state you'd like to search and then perform searches based on the above terms. A second place to look on FamilySearch.org would be their catalog of microfilm which can be rented for a nominal fee and used at a local Family History Center or a local affiliate (some non-LDS libraries have become affiliates which makes this very convenient for many people). Search their online catalog by place name using the county and/or state of interest. Then rent it. The third place to look is FamilySearch.org would be their scanned books. Again, use a variation of the search terms to find scanned books for school census records and also try out the Advanced Search options.
  3. State Libraries/Archives — State libraries and archives may have the manuscript collections themselves, may have digitized them, or may have them on microfilm. A good example is the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Check out this listing of State Archives to find one in the area you are researching.
  4. Genealogical and Historical Societies — Many genealogical and/or historical societies have indexed, abstracted, and/or transcribed records like these and published them in book format; some may have converted them to PDF (but not usually); and a few more may be publishing them as databases on their websites like the Indiana Genealogical Society. The best way to find a society near where you think your ancestor may have attended school is to use the Federation of Genealogical Societies' (FGS) Find a Society Listing. Once you find a nearby society or a state level society, check out their website or email the society to see what records they have available. They may have their own library as well.
  5. Google Books — Use search terms like "school census for" plus the state name or even the county name. Don't forget to try the word "scholastic" for "school" as well.
  6. University Library Special Collections — Check nearby university libraries' special collections for these records. They could be in manuscript, microfilm, or book format. They could also be in an online collection or offline. Check their finding aids if they're online. Don't be afraid to just contact them; their preference for how they'd like to be contacted should be listed on their website and many include their finding aids on their website. Basically, you need to explore their website.
  7. Worldcat.org — Search for a library that has books of indexed, transcribed or abstracted records; books listing county courthouse inventories; and microfilm. Also, don't forget to check the library's website for more information and to contact the library to ask about their Vertical Files in the genealogy department (if they have one) and any microfilm that may not be catalogued in Worldcat.org.
  8. Advanced Google Search — Again, use a variation of search terms.
  9. County Clerk's Office — School census records may be kept by the County Clerk's Office. Google "county clerk" and the name of the county to find their website.
  10. Also, consult the FamilySearch Wiki for a particular county your ancestor lived in to try to find where records may be kept.
  11. Newspapers — Did your ancestor play a sport, perform in a play, or win awards? If so, they may have made the papers in their hometown. There are all sorts of places to look for newspapers and a great resource for searching online newspapers is The Ancestor Hunt.
Bonus! Three more places to look online for school records:
  1. USGenWeb Project
  2. GenealogyTrails
  3. GenealogyToday.com
Additional reference links:
Like I mentioned, this is not an exhaustive list, but enough to get you started. Have you found school records for your ancestors? What and where did you find them? Share in comments below.

<![CDATA[Recent Findmypast Collection Updates: Pollbooks, Directories, & More]]>Fri, 15 Jan 2016 19:04:32 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/recent-findmypast-collection-updates-pollbooks-directories-more

Did your ancestors make these records?

Today Findmypast added over 2.3 million UK records and newspaper artilces to their collections. Most notably, are the over 62,000 Pollbooks and Directories for England that span 1830-1837, making them a great census substitute for family history researchers with roots in England in that time period. Also, they have added an additional 2.25 million articles to their historic British Newspapers collection. Check out all of their recent updates with brief descriptions below from Findmypast.
England, Pollbooks and Directories 1830-1837
England, Pollbooks and Directories, 1830-1837, contains over 62,000 records. Each record includes both a transcript and an image of the original source material. The information recorded may vary depending on the source and date, although most will include your ancestor’s name, details of the event that was being recorded and were it was recorded. In many cases, Pollbooks will also include details of their residence and occupation, as well as the names of eligible voters who did not vote. In this collection, you will also find The Quaker Annual Monitor. The Monitor is a list of all the British Quakers who died within the last twelve months. For many of the individuals listed, obituaries with short biographies including causes of death were printed. In some cases, the obituary or memorial is several pages long and details the individual’s dedication to the faith. The Monitor is an excellent source for family historians as the obituaries may include the names of other relatives.

Surrey, Southwark, Newington Apprentice Register 1891
The Newington Apprentice Register 1891 lists the details of apprentices who trained in the Newington district of Southwark. Each record consists of a transcripts created using the original apprentice records held at the Southwark Local History Library. Each transcript will reveal an individual apprentice’s name, age, the name of their master, where their master was based and the names of their parents.
Hertfordshire, Parish Registers Browse, 1538-1988
A browse function has been added to our collection of over 1.9million Hertfordshire Parish Registers. It is now possible to browse through over 1,600 register books from cover to cover. The books contain records of baptisms, banns, marriages and burials conducted across 400 years of the county’s history.
British Newspapers Update
Over 2.25 million new articles and 8 brand new newspaper titles have recently been added to our collection of historic British newspapers. The latest additions cover the cities of London and Glasgow as well as towns in the English counties of Devon, Lincolnshire, Shropshire, and West Sussex. Significant updates have also been made to 45 existing titles. 

<![CDATA[Latest Records Added to Family Search: Utah, North Carolina, & More]]>Fri, 15 Jan 2016 18:28:25 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/latest-records-added-to-family-search-utah-north-carolina-more

Did your ancestors make these records?

Check out the latest records FamilySearch added to their collections — more US GenealogyBank Obituaries, Supreme Court case files from North Carolina, more death certificates for Utah, and naturalization indexes for Rhode Island Plus, more updates to international collections. 
<![CDATA[Latest Updates on FamilySearch, 23 Dec 2015]]>Wed, 23 Dec 2015 16:20:26 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/latest-updates-on-familysearch-23-dec-2015
Latest Updates on FamilySearch, 23 Dec 2015 via 4YourFamilyStory.com
Are your ancestors in these latest record updates from FamilySearch.org?
<![CDATA[Latest Updates on FamilySearch, 1 Nov 2015]]>Sun, 01 Nov 2015 11:44:17 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/latest-updates-on-familysearch-1-nov-2015
<![CDATA[Where PBS is Taping the Next Genealogy Roadshow Episodes]]>Fri, 23 Oct 2015 07:30:01 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/where-pbs-is-taping-the-next-genealogy-roadshow-episodes
PBS' Genealogy Roadshow hits the road again to tape season 3. The next two stops will be in Florida and Texas.

If you are in the Miami, Florida area Sunday, November 1st go down to the History Miami Museum, 101 West Flagler St, and visit with genealogy societies, historical societies, and vendors to get help with your family history — no matter your skill level. Plus, have fun being a part of the taping of Genealogy Roadshow! Line forms outside at 8am and taping begins promptly at 9am and continues through about 6:30pm.

If you are in the Houston, Texas area Sunday, November 22nd go down to the beautiful Julia Ideson Building (Houston Public Library system) on 550 McKinney St., and visit with genealogy societies, historical societies, and vendors to get help with your family history — no matter your skill level! I will be there representing the Federation of Genealogical Societies so come visit and have fun being a part of the taping of Genealogy Roadshow! Line forms at 8am and taping begins promptly at 9am and continues through about 6:30 pm.

Season 3 will air 17 May 2016 on PBS.

<![CDATA[The Latest Database Updates from FamilySearch.]]>Thu, 22 Oct 2015 17:38:09 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/the-latest-database-updates-to-familysearchorg

Here are the latest updates to FamilySearch.org's databases. Other than some Italian civil registrations & Russian church books, these are all for the United States. Now, go find your ancestors!

Colorado County Marriages 1864-1995

Iowa County Marriages 1838-1934

Italy Napoli Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1865

Kentucky County Marriages 1797-1954

Louisiana New Orleans Passenger Lists 1820-1945

Louisiana Parish Marriages 1837-1957

New Hampshire Marriage Certificates 1948-1959

New York County Marriages 1847-1848; 1908-1936

North Carolina County Marriages 1762-1979

Ohio County Marriages 1789-2013

Oklahoma County Marriages 1890-1995

Pennsylvania Civil Marriages 1677-1950

Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939

Tennessee County Marriages 1790-1950

United States Passport Applications 1795-1925

Vermont St. Albans Canadian Border Crossings 1895-1924

Washington County Marriages 1855-2008 


<![CDATA[I Spy...a Better Map on Ancestry]]>Tue, 21 Apr 2015 21:27:27 GMThttp://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog/i-spya-better-map-on-ancestryI don't covet much. Besides it being one of the big top 10 Thou Shall Nots (the listicle of all listicles for Christians), it's a waste of time to covet. Okay, there was that time when I was eight that I coveted my best friend Christie's above ground ivy-covered atomic bomb fallout shelter that she had in her backyard. That was SO cool in the late 1970s to play in. One day we were princesses locked in the tower by the mean old witch of a queen. Another, we were mad scientists. 

We played in that thing for hours upon hours until I had to go home for dinner at dark thirty. So, you can't blame me too much for coveting that, right?

Like I said, I don't covet much as an adult. [Hard to beat the fallout-shelter-then-playhouse.] However, I felt a twinge of yearning when I saw this new dynamic search map on Ancestry.

Most of you are probably aware (at least, I hope you are) of the handy dandy clickable search map on the Ancestry Search Page. It looks like this:
Ancestry Collections Search Map
Ancestry Collections Search Map (US)
You simply click on the map the state you want to search the database collections of (or the name of the state below the map) and you get the following.
Ancestry Collections for the US state of Texas (US version)
Ancestry collections list for Texas (US version)
Like I said, handy dandy. You can also click on the tabs above the map to select different countries. All very nice. But then I was on Twitter and saw the Ancestry UK Twitter account tweet this:
So I clicked on their link and then gasped! Take a look at this:
Ancestry Search Collections Dynamic Map (UK version)
Ancestry Collections Search Map (UK version)
You can zoom in and out with the roller ball on your mouse. Or, if on your iPad, you can use your fingers in what I like to call the pinch and anti-pinch moves to zoom in and out. Fancy schmancy. And then when you click (or tap) on the collections map marker, it tells you the number of collections Ancestry has for that state and then gives you this on another page on your computer:
Ancestry Collections List for Texas (UK version)
Ancestry Collections List for Texas (UK version)
And then it looks like this on the iPad:
Ancestry collections list for Texas on iPad (UK version)
Ancestry collections list for Texas on iPad (UK version)
I want that new Explore(r) Map like I wanted that ivy-covered fallout shelter playhouse in *my* backyard. 

Christie never taunted me like this.

Do you have it? Have you seen it?