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Rifling and the Minie Ball Made a Revolution in Battlefield Warfare During the Civil War

The following teaser is from a very interesting article by Mike West, published in the March 19, 2014 edition of the

Minie ball design plans from Harpers Ferry.

Minie ball design plans from Harpers Ferry.

When it comes to weaponry, the Civil War is best described as the first modern war.

Unfortunately, for the troops, the conflict was generally fought with tactics dating back to Napoleon Bonaparte and with medical care not unlike the Middle Ages.

The era’s fighting methods didn’t take into account the evolution of small arms … an evolution, which began with a twist.

That twist was imparted by spiral rifling grooves cut into the bore of what was once called a musket.

. . .

In the mid 1840s, two French Army Captains Claude-Étienne Minié and Henri-Gustave Delvigne developed what was later called the Minié ball (or minie ball), which was the first modern bullet.

The minie ball was shaped like a blunt cone with a hollow base that had three grooves packed with grease. The bullet was slightly smaller than the barrel’s diameter so it could be loaded quickly. It came packed in a paper cartridge filled with gunpowder.

Read the full article.

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PROMOTIONAL REWIND! Dollarhide Name List Books with 2,637 Unique Clickable Links – Print & eBook on Sale through the May 15, 2014


Based upon all the folks who have called me over the lat year, saying they missed a particular FRPC Exceptional Bargain Offer, and in celebration of the NGS Conference in Richmond, Virginia, Family Roots Publishing is now running a PROMOTIONAL REWIND sale, offering many of the items previously promoted at really great prices once again – all at the same time. Included are all 16 of the printed Dollarhide Name List books, Alabama through Iowa, with a FREE IMMEDIATE PDF eBook download of the entire book, on sale for 21% off through midnight Thursday MDT May 15, 2014 (making them just $14.97 each).

PDF eBooks also on sale.

In addition, the immediate PDF eBook downloads themselves are also on sale for 10% off, making them only $11.25 each, also through midnight Thrusday, May 15, 2014.

What I think makes these guides so eminently valuable is that every book is loaded with links – links that are clickable in the PDF ebook download. Whether you get the eBook as a FREE download with purchase of the printed book – or if you just purchase the PDF eBook itself, you can be finding links of interest to you, clicking on them and very possibily finding ancestors within 5 to 10 minutes of the time that you make your online purchase. There’s no longer any need to wait for the book to arrive!

Following are some stats showing the number of clickable links in each book:

Every state book includes a National chapter with USA links, e.g., Find a Grave, Social Security Death Index, Federal Censuses, 1790-1940, etc., and all of the 244 national sites include information specific to a particular state. See below:

Alabama – 156 Alabama specific links
Alaska – 26 Alaska specific links
Arizona – 54 Arizona specific links
Arkansas – 180 Arkansas specific links
California – 171 California specific links
Colorado – 107 Colorado specific links
Connecticut – 92 Connecticut specific links
Delaware – 63 Delaware specific links
District of Columbia – 73 District of Columbia specific links
Florida – 129 Florida specific links
Georgia – 202 Georgia specific links
Hawaii – 59 Hawaii specific links
Idaho – 110 Idaho specific links
Illinois – 263 Illinois specific links
Indiana – 212 Indiana specific links
Iowa – 496 Iowa specific links

All Dollarhide state Name List books currently come with a FREE download of a PDF eBook. Upon placing your order, you will be able to download the FREE PDF eBook directly from the FRPC screen. You will also be sent an email from where you can click on the link and download the item. You can only download the PDF eBook once, so if you make your order from a computer other than your own, you might want to wait until you get to your computer and do the actual download from the email. If you purchase a printed book, the book itself will be mailed by USPS media mail, and can be expected to arrive within 7 to 10 days within the United States.

After downloading the FREE eBook, click on “File” in the Adobe Acrobat menu bar at the top of the screen, then click on “Save As,” and save to a location on your hard drive or other storage device.

William Dollarhide is best known as the co-author and cartographer of Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, a book of 393 census year maps, and one of the bestselling titles ever published in the field of genealogy. Mr. Dollarhide currently lives in Utah. He has written numerous guidebooks related to genealogical research.

With this series of genealogical guides, William Dollarhide continues his long tradition of writing books that family historians find useful in their day-to-day United States research. Bill’s Name List guides give a state-by-state listing of what name lists are available, where to find them, and how they can be used to further one’s research.

Name lists are key to success in any genealogical endeavor. Name lists, be they national, state, county, or even city or town in scope, can help nail down the precise place where one’s ancestor may have lived. And if that can be done, further records, usually found on a local level, will now be accessible to research. But success depends on knowing where the ancestor resided. This is where Dollarhide’s Name List guides can make the difference.

Not only does these volumes give a detailed bibliography of Name Lists available for the state, but links to websites, FHL book & microfilm numbers, archive references, maps, and key historical information make this volume invaluable to the researcher looking to extend their lines and fill in the family tree.

See Bill Dollarhide’s article, “What Are Name Lists?

The following Name List Guides, all written by William Dollarhide, may be purchased from Family Roots Publishing Co.:

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Medical Miscellany

hbj0375What did your ancestors die of? What exactly is that condition mentioned on my ancestor’s records? These are the questions Dr. Jeanette L. Jerger asked herself while researching her great-grandfather’s pension record. Dr. Jerger discovered her Civil War great-grandfather was “salivated” during the war. A 30 year experience nurse and she had no idea what this meant. She discovered that people did in fact suffer “salivation,” or an excessive discharge of saliva. Turns out, most suffered this problem as a result of mercurial treatments, used at a time before doctor’s new the risk of mercury poisoning. Learning from this lesson, Dr. Jeger was inspired to write A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists.

A Medical Miscellany is a reference guide to diseases, conditions, and homeopathic cures common to our ancestors. Taking a dictionary style formatting, the terms are listed in alphabetical order and cross-referenced where appropriate. Some of the terms related to myth and magic as people believed in such. Healing terms for antiquated remedies also make up part of the list. Here are some sample entries:

Great White Scourge (The)

also tuberculosis


also mojo


Also boco, boco. A voodoo cult pries that read the future regarding health and food supplies through shells, small sticks, or ashes.


Also backache. A rheumatic condition of the lower back characterized by pain and rigidity.

This book is fun to read. More importantly, this book is filled with the definitions for words researchers are likely to encounter when reading journals, accessing family stories, and reviewing death certificates and other documents from the past.


Table of Contents


Guide for Use

A Medical Miscellany A-Z



Get a copy of this enjoyable reference guide. Order A Medical Miscellany for Genealogists from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBJ0375, Price: $21.56.

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Call for Papers for the Florida State Genealogical Society Webinar Series

The following was received from Ann Staley:

Webinar presentation proposals are welcome by 1 May 2014 for the Florida State Genealogical Society (FSGS) 2015-2016 “Poolside Chats: A Genealogy Webinar Series“. The webinars are presented to the FSGS membership and to the public on a monthly basis.

Among the topics being considered are presentations on Computers/Technology, Beginning Genealogy, Research Sources, Immigration/migration, Florida Research (i.e., history, available records, repositories, ethnic and religious groups, etc.), Society Management and broader genealogical topics including methodology, problem solving, publishing, military records, land records, etc.

Compensation will be limited to $100 for selected presentations.

Proposals should include the following information:

  • Speaker’s Name, address, and telephone number
  • Speaker’s Email address and website URL
  • Title of the Presentation
  • Summary of the presentation
  • Detailed description of the presentation (not to exceed 1,000 words)
  • Audience skill level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc.)
  • Biography of 150 words for publicity
  • Resume of previous (within the last 18 months) experience

Each presentation will be limited to a total of one hour (50 minute presentation and a brief five-minute question-and-answer period). Handout material will be required for each presentation and will be hosted on the FSGS website on the “Members [Only]” page.

Interested individuals should submit up to six proposals to the FSGS e-mail:

Email submissions on or before 1 May 2014 in a PDF file or an MS-Word Doc file.

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The 1911 New York Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Triangle Fire 1911

This morning I happened across an article published in an August 2006 online edition of Smithsonian magazine. The article was by David von Drehle, the author of Triangle, The Fire That Changed America. In the article, he tells of his search for records to document just what happened in what is known as the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911. The garment factory fire took place near Washington Square in New York City, and was for many years the worst workplace disaster in the city. One hundred forty-six workers were trapped and killed within 18 minutes in the fast-moving fire.

I found that although many records are missing, there is a wealth of information on the Internet about the fire, and those hapless individuals who lost their lives.

The Cornell University site has a terrific section titled Remembering the 1911 Triangle Factory Fire. The website includes original sources about the fire which are held at the ILR School’s Kheel Center, an archive of historical material on labor and industrial relations.

Following are links to the Cornell site:

Read the story of the fire
Review original text documents
Listen to and read interviews of survivors and witnesses
View photographs and illustrations

View a timeline of events
Explore a model of the 9th floor

Find bibliographic resources
High school students: Get tips on using primary sources

Remember the victims
Final six victims identified
Learn about reforms and outcomes of the fire’s legacy
Triangle fire commemoration events

Read the Wikipedia article about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire.

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It’s Time to Make Reasonable Access to the Burial Place of Nearly 1 Million New Yorkers

The following excerpt is from a fascinating opinion article posted March 18, 2014 on the New York Times website. The author’s opinion is that Hart Island should be transferred from the Department of Corrections to the Department of Parks and Recreation – making it much more available to he public.


ON New York City maps, Hart Island drifts off the edge of the Bronx like an amputated leg. Among overgrown vegetation and ramshackle buildings spread out over 101 acres, about a million bodies are buried — the homeless, the poor, the stillborn, the unidentified and the unclaimed. The island is said to be home to the largest active potter’s field in America. Until recently, it was off limits to all but the most persistent.

Hart Island is controlled by the city’s Department of Correction. The burials — up to 1,500 a year — are performed by inmates from Rikers Island who are paid 50 cents an hour.

Read the full article.

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The following news release is from Marketwired:

PROVO, UT–(Marketwired – Mar 13, 2014) – announced today the addition of over three million historical records that will help people of Irish descent explore their connections to the Emerald Isle. These include more than 25,000 birth, marriage and death records as well as 2.7 million new records that form the 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts state censuses. Made possible through a relationship with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the new records will provide further insight for Irish Americans, the nation’s third most common ancestral group, and give them the resources to discover more about their family history.*

Hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrated to the United States in the 1600s and the 1700s, but the greatest period of immigration occurred between 1820 and 1860, when nearly two million Irish immigrants came to America. Some came seeking a new life for themselves and their families, while others sought refuge from the Great Famine of the late 1840s. With many settling in cities near their port of entry, states like Massachusetts became home to the nation’s biggest Irish communities. Today, Massachusetts accounts for 20 percent of the U.S. population that claims Irish descent.**

“The people of Ireland have always had a pride and passion for their land and traditions. When they immigrated they maintained these traditions and weaved them into the fabric of their new communities,” said Kyle Betit, a Senior Genealogist at and expert in Irish genealogy. “Nearly thirty-five million** Americans today claim some Irish ancestry. With eastern Massachusetts having become home to many Irish immigrants, these new records will hopefully provide a better understanding to the millions of Irish Americans in the country looking to discover their family’s history and heritage.”

Boston is home to many great Irish Americans who have influenced everything from politics to sports. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 2nd great-grandfather, Patrick Buckley, was from Inniscarra, County Cork, Ireland, while former President John F. Kennedy’s ancestral roots can be found in counties Wexford and Limerick. No matter your ancestors’ role in history, the new record collections will help you learn more about the names and places that are a part of your Irish heritage.

To help celebrate the nation’s Irish American heritage, is also announcing the addition of more than 750,000 new records to its Irish Roman Catholic Church collections — record keeper for major life events such as baptism, confirmation and marriage. These records include:

  • Baptismal registers spanning 71 parishes (1812 to 1900)
  • Confirmation registers from 12 parishes (1873 to 1912)
  • Marriage registers covering 59 parishes (1780 to 1912)
  • Death and burial registers from 19 parishes in Ireland (1780 to 1912)

“The additions to our Irish Catholic Church collections are a valuable set of records for those who are looking for information about their Irish ancestors before they came to America,” said Betit. “Because Ireland’s population was overwhelmingly Roman Catholic — almost 78 percent of the population in 1861 — the Catholic parish registers are particularly valuable sources of information for Irish family history.”
To explore your Irish ancestry, visit In addition to helpful research guides, web tutorials and a simple 1-2-3 approach to getting started, offers a free 14-day World Deluxe membership, which provides access to all records.

* Source: 2010 U.S. Census
** Source: 2013 American Community Survey, United States Census Bureau

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Ohio Opens 1964 – 1996 Adoptions Starting in March 2015

The following teaser is from an excellent article written by Betty Malesky, posted in the March 16, 2014 edition of

Ohio has joined an elite group of states that have made it easier for adoptees to access their original birth certificates. More than 400,000 Ohio adoptees will be able to obtain their original birth certificates starting in March 2015 under Substitute Senate Bill 23 signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich at the end of 2013.

When those born before 1964 reached adulthood, they have been able to request their original birth records from the Ohio Department of Health. Since 1996, those born after September 1996 have also been able to request their birth records when they reached age 21 unless their biological parents had the file sealed.

Persons born between 1964 and 1996, however, were overlooked and previously unable to obtain their birth information. The new law was passed unanimously in both the Ohio House and Senate in December with a 90-day enactment period and then a one-year waiting period during which birth parents have the opportunity to request their names be redacted from an adoptee’s birth record.

Read the full article.

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Salt Lake Christmas Tour………….. Week’s Peek

Vote now for your “Best Reason To Come On The Salt Lake Christmas Tour So That I Can Break Down My Brickwalls”:

1.  Your chance of successfully breaking through a brick wall is with the SLCT and our team of profession genealogists. Our ratio of helpers to tour folks is about 1 to 7….. the very best of any tour to Salt Lake and the Family History Library.

2.  You’ve spent way too long hoping for a break on your brick wall problem! Come on the SLCT where our track record for attendees finding new ancestors (i.e., breaking through a brickwall) is about 80%.

3.  If your brickwall is going to be broken down, it very likely will be during the SLCT. Our army of professionals practically guarantees results.

4.  Bottom line, come let us help you deal with your brick wall problem. Unless your ancestor beamed down from the planet Klingon (or any other planet!!) we will deal with and at least give you new insight onto that problem.

P1070129 (640x480)


This is a “tombstone” or burial mound constructed of lava/basaltic rock that I photographed on Maui in February 2014.

Come let us of the SLCT help you break down your “lava/basaltic” brick wall and make a burial mound from it……… ie, we’ll help you find out where that ancestor is buried!!

Donna, aka Mother Hen, until next peek.

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Genealogical Resources in English Repositories

cf3924While the information so nicely gathered into this single book, Genealogical Resources in English Repositories, can be found in many other locations; sometimes, it is nice to have this type of information in one place, as a quick and easy reference. This book represents an exhaustive listing of available genealogical resources available in Britain. Listed in these pages are major national archives and libraries, repositories in the greater London area, and county by county listings. This book is also the winner of the National Genealogical Society’s 1993 Book Award for Excellence in Genealogical Methods and Sources.

Genealogical Resources was designed to provide “genealogists and historians with…information on resources in the key repositories in England. It categorizes manuscript records, as well as printed, transcribed and microfilm materials, with respect to their contents, and in most instances, lists covering dates.” Originally intended to help Americans find ancestral information.

County listings represent the bulk of the information. Each county opens with a short review of local geographical and political/administrative boundary changes made over the years. The listing of each library, archive, records office, or other repository is complete with address (mostly likely not changed over the years), phone number (possibly changed over the years), and holdings of genealogical value (which most likely have only expanded over the years). Publications of possible interest are also listed.

Please note that there have been significant changes in the PRO over the years, and it might be necessary to use Google to locate the exact location of some records listed within this volume.

While this book predates web usage as we know it today (including Google), is still serves as a great one-stop listing for finding genealogically important holding in England. Think of running a search at Google for English repositories, then reducing the results to an accurate, non-repeating listing of resources and then printing those results with a listing of holdings at each repository. That pretty well describes Genealogical Resources in English Repositories.

Each book comes with a 1992 and 1996 update supplement. Just having the names of the various repositories gives the reader the name to search for when using the Internet.


Get a copy of Genealogical Resources in English Repositories for yourself or your favorite society’s library.





List of Abbreviations

List of Symbols

Part I: Greater London Repositories

Baptist Church House
British Library, Department of Manuscripts
British Library, India Office Library and Records
British Library Newspaper Library
College of Arms
Corporation of London Record Office
Guildhall Library
House of Lords Record Office
Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland
Lambeth Palace Library
LDS Hyde Park Family History Centre
National Army Museum
National Maritime Museum
Principal Registry of the Family Division, Somerset House
Public Record Office, Chancery Lane
Public Record Office, Kew
Public Record Office, Portugal Street
Religious Society of Friends
Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts
Society of Genealogists
Unitarian Historical Society
Untied Reformed Church History Society
United Synagogue, Archives of
Wesley Historical Society Library
Westminster, Diocesan Archives
Dr. Williams’ Library

Part II: County Repositories (summarized)


Each county listing includes:

  • Record Office(s)
  • Other Repositories
  • Genealogical and Family History Societies

A few counties and metropolitan areas include sections for:

  • Metropolitan District Archives and Local History Libraries, OR
  • District Archives and Libraries

Counties are listed alphabetically as follows:

  • Avon
  • Befordshire
  • Berkshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Cheshire
  • Cleveland
  • Cornwall
  • Cumberland
  • Cumbria
  • Derbyshire
  • Devon(shire)
  • Dorset
  • Durham
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Hampshire
  • Hereford and Worcester
  • Hereforshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Humberside
  • Huntingdonshiore
  • Kent
  • Lancashire
  • Leicstershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • London, County of Manchester, Greater
  • Meseyside
  • Middlesex
  • Midlands, West
  • Norfolk
  • Northamptonshire
  • Northumberland
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Rutland
  • Shropshire
  • Somerset
  • Staffordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Suffolk, East
  • Suffolk, West
  • Surrey
  • Sussex
  • Sussex, East
  • Sussex, West
  • Tyne and Wear
  • Warwickshire
  • Westmorland
  • Wight, Isle of
  • Wiltshire
  • Worcestershire
  • Yorkshire, East Riding
  • Yorkshire, North Riding
  • Yorkshire, West Riding
  • Yorkshire, North
  • Yorkshire, South
  • Yorkshire, West

Part III: London Borough Repositories

Greater London

Barking and Dagenham

  • Valence Reference Library
  • Barking Central Library


  • Local History Library
  • Chipping Barnet Library
  • Church End (Finchley) Library


  • Bexley Libraries and Museum Department


  • Grange Museum of Local History


  • Bromley Central Library


  • Swiss Cottage Library
  • Holborn Library


  • Croydon Public Libraries


  • Local History Library


  • Local History Unit


  • Greenwich Local History and Archives Centre


  • Hackney Archives and Local History Department

Hammersmith and Fulham

  • Hammersmith and Fulham Archives


  • Haringey Libraries


  • Harrow Civic Centre Library


  • Havering Central Library


  • Hillingdon Local History Collection


  • Chiswick Public Library
  • Brentford Public Library
  • Hounslow Public Library
  • Feltham Public Library


  • Islington Central Library
  • Finsbury Library

Kensington and Chelsea, Royal Borough of

  • Kensington Central Library
  • Chelsea Library

Kingston upon Thames, Royal Borough of

  • Kingston upon Thames Heritage Service


  • Lambeth Archives Department


  • Lewisham Library Service


  • Mitcham Library
  • Morden Library
  • Wembledon Reference Library


  • Local Studies Library


  • Redbridge Central Library

Richmond upon Thames

  • Richmond upon Thames Central Reference Library
  • Twickenham Reference Library


  • Southwark Local Studies Library


  • Sutton Central Library

Tower Hamlets

  • Tower Hamlets Central Library

Waltham Forest

  • Vestry House Museum


  • Battersea District Library

City of Westminster

  • Westminster City Archives Department
  • Marylebone Library Archives Department

Other Repositories

  • LDS Family History Centre (Staines)

Genealogical and Family History Societies

  • Central Middlesex Family History Society
  • North Middlesex Family History Society
  • West Middlesex Family History Society
  • Waltham Forest Family History Society
  • Woolwich and District Family History Society


Appendix: Useful Addresses


Maps (enlarged)

  • Pre-1974 Counties of England
  • Post-1974 Counties of England
  • Post-1965 London Boroughs


  • Supplement to Genealogical Resources in English Repositories (1992)
  • 1996 Supplement Update: Genealogical Resources in English Repositories

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The Genealogist’s Guide to Researching Tax Records

hbd4298We’ve all heard Benjamin Franklin’s sardonic quote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We feel the pain in our pocketbooks every time we pay taxes. However, as genealogists we are fortunate to have tax records as a tool to researching the past. Tax records contain mountains of data, are often highly accurate, and cover a large variety of taxes, or tax types. The Genealogist’s Guide to Researching Tax Records is the family historian’s educator to the world of tax document.

As the authors, Carol Cook Darrow and Susan Winchester, say, “the census taker came every ten years and often missed people, The tax collector came every year and seldom missed anyone.” North American tax records date back to the earliest colonial period, back to the 1620s. Records can help establish location, real estate, personal possessions, economic status, occupations and businesses, and sometimes even relationships between individuals, helping link you to your ancestor. This guide was written to help the researcher find the various tax records and understand the information they provide.

The first two chapters provide the necessary background and skills needed to successfully search tax records. The remaining chapters cover the different types of tax records, including:

  • Poll taxes
  • Real Estate taxes
  • Personal Property taxes
  • Federal Taxes
  • Inheritance taxes
  • School taxes
  • Liquor taxes and more…

No two taxes are collected in the same way. Government at all levels can imposes taxes. This book examines the history of tax records in the United States, including early colonial taxes, along with common tax forms and collection procedures. Learn how to evaluate tax records and compare records of different years to track your ancestors and possibly gain additional information about their families.

In addition, tax records are especially helpful for the period prior the first U.S. Federal decennial census in 1790 and for the period between 1880 and 1900, with its missing 1890 census.


Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables


Chapter 1. Getting Started in Tax Records

  • Benefits of Tax Record Research
  • Research Can Be Tedious – Until You Succeed
  • Tax Process
  • Locating Tax Records
  • Research Tax Records at Courthouse or Archive
  • Tax Records as Substitutes for Census Records
  • Verify County Formation Date
  • Following the Records Year By Year
  • Isolated Records
  • Indexes: Never the Final Answer
  • A Word About Slaves
  • Finding the Right Record in the Wrong Place
  • Ready to Begin?

Chapter 2. Research Techniques

  • Types of Taxes
  • Tax Records May be Combined
  • How to Approach a Tax Record
  • Identify Information Being Collected
  • Sources for Interpreting Tax Information
  • Consider Spelling Variations
  • Become Familiar with Notations and Abbreviations
  • Research Example: Separate Men with the Same Name in the Same County
  • Doing the Math
  • Research Example: Estimate Wealth of an Ancestor
  • Records That Report Only Assessed Value
  • Paying Taxes in the Coin of the Realm
  • Calculating with Pounds, Shillings, and Peace
  • Research Example: Estimate Wealth of an Ancestor
  • Forming a Hypothesis
  • Summary of Research Techniques

Chapter 3. Poll Taxes

  • Taxes “By the Poll” Were Earliest American Taxes
  • Massachusetts Poll Tax, 1646
  • Virginia Tithables
  • The Tithables Process
  • Poll Books and Voting Rights
  • Research Example: Separate Men with the Same Name int eh Same County
  • Tracking Changes Through Tax Lists Over Time
  • Research Example: Identify Men as They Become Adults
  • Finding the Landless Ancestor
  • Research example: Research A Landless Ancestor
  • Poll Tax Records Can Replace the Census

Chapter 4. Land Taxes

  • Colonial Land Distribution
  • Land Taxes After the Revolution
  • Land Exemptions Used to Encourage Settlement
  • Tax Records Can Identify the Land and Location
  • Research Example: Separate Men with the Same Name in the Same County
  • Research Example: Use Tax Information to Lead to Other Valuable Records
  • Delinquent Land Tax Sales
  • Tracking Delinquent Land Tax Sales Records
  • Land Tax Records Can Point to a Migration Trail
  • Land Holdings May Imply Arrival Date
  • Tax Ledgers Arranged by Legal Land Description
  • Additional Information Collected in Tax Records
  • Information Common to Land Tax Records

Chapter 5. Personal Property Taxes

  • Paying for Government
  • Estates Are Taxable
  • Research Example: Establish a Year of Death as Estate Becomes Taxable
  • Land and Personal Property Tax Lists Combined
  • Research Example: Estimate Wealth of tan Ancestor
  • Property Tax Lists Expanded Over Time
  • State Income Tax Replaces Some Personal Property Taxes
  • Homestead Exemptions Enacted
  • Personal Property Tax – “Everyman” Tax

Chapter 6. Federal Taxes

  • Direct Tax of 1798
  • Tariffs and Import Duties
  • Direct Taxes of 1813, 1815, and 1816
  • Direct Tax of 1861
  • Federal Income Taxes (1962-1872)
  • Confederate Taxes
  • Tariffs Decline in Significance
  • Income Tax Reconsidered
  • Tax Protests
  • Tax Assessors and Collectors

Chapter 7. Inheritance and Estate Taxes

  • Federal Estate and Inheritance Taxes
  • State Estate and Inheritance Taxes
  • Research Example: Identify the Heirs of an Estate
  • Estate and Inheritance Taxes Can Prove Relationships

Chapter 8. Miscellaneous Tax Records

  • Militia Service
  • Road Orders
  • Ecclesiastical Taxes
  • Faculty Taxes
  • Business Licenses
  • Liquor Taxes
  • School Taxes
  • Federal Head Tax on Aliens
  • Old Age Assistance Tax

Chapter 9. Summary

  • Summary of Research Techniques

Appendix A Textural Records of the Direct Tax Commission in the Southern States

Appendix B Microfilmed Records of the Internal Revenue Assessment Lists, 1862-1874

Appendix C State Inheritance Tax Laws Through 1913

Appendix D State Old Age Assistance Laws, as of 1934


Research Bibliography

Bibliography of Selected Tax Records



We cannot help you with your Taxes, but we can take some of the burden off researching tax records by offering The Genealogist’s Guide to Researching Tax Records at the Family Roots Publishing website.

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Blogging on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Tablet


A few days ago, I made some changes to my Sprint cell phone service and got a free tablet in the process. It’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. It has a 7 inch screen, bigger than my iPhone, but still much smaller than any computer I have used before.

Now don’t get me wrong… “Free” also meant that Ì was obligated to a two year data contact about $15 per month. I almost declined getting the free tablet, but decided maybe I could use it for blogging. This blog is being written using the tablet.

I purchased a case and external bluetooth keyboard for about $40, thinking that this might keep the tablet in better shape, as well as allowing me to type a little easier. Thus far, I am finding the slight delay between the keyboard and screen to be a bit disconserting. I find that I have to press the keys a lot more solidly than I am used to. It’s also really easy to accidentally turn on the caps lock key when hitting shift. I imagine that these are things I can get used to. Note that these are all keyboard issues, and have nothing to do with the operations of the tablet itself.

I just imported the photo, and that process seems to work okay. This just might work. Only time will tell.

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An Historical Timeline for Indiana, 1614-1911

The following article is excerpted from Bill Dollarhide’s new book, Indiana Name Lists, Published and Online Censuses & Substitutes 1783-2007.


For genealogical research in Indiana, the following timeline of events should help any genealogist understand the area with an historical, jurisdictional, and genealogical point of view. Refer to the recent Illinois Timeline article for maps and illustrations that apply to Indiana and the old Northwest Territory.

1614. Samuel de Champlain, Governor of New France and the founder of Québec, was believed to be the first of the French explorers to visit the Miami du lac region between present Toledo, OH and Fort Wayne, IN. Later, the name Maumee was an anglicized spelling of the Ottawa name for the Miami Indians, and became the origin of the name for the present Maumee River, the main water access to Indiana via Lake Erie.

1679. French explorer René-Robert Cavelier (Sieur de LaSalle), began negotiations with the Miami Indians to secure an area near the confluence of the St. Marys and St. Josephs rivers forming the Maumee River at present Fort Wayne, IN.

1702. The area of present Indiana was first inhabited by French fur trappers, from Lake Erie via the Maumee River to present Fort Wayne, and a short portage to a stream flowing into the Wabash River. A continuous canoe route now existed from Lake Erie, connecting with the Wabash, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers.

1717 French Louisiana. The French jurisdiction, la Louisiane Française, extended from the Highlands along the Wabash River, down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, to include New Orleans and several ports on the Gulf of Mexico. The Highlands, in French, Terra Haute, became the division line between the Québec and Louisiana jurisdictions.

1721. The French established Fort Philippe, later called Fort Miami, on the St. Marys River, where the St. Marys and St. Josephs rivers form the Maumee River. Fort Philippe/Fort Miami was administered as part of French Québec. The original site is encompassed by the modern city of Fort Wayne, IN.

1732. Vincennes was established on the Wabash River, becoming Indiana’s first permanent settlement.
It was named after Jean Baptiste Bissot (Sieur de Vincennes), the military commander of Quebec. The town of Vincennes became the largest French settlement in Upper Louisiana.

1733-1762 French Colonies vs British Colonies. Lower Louisiana, with its ports on the Gulf of Mexico, had been the destination of colonists directly from France and other French colonies in the Caribbean. Upper Louisiana, however, was mostly inhabited by French Canadians, coming into the area from Québec. From 1733 to 1762, no new farming communities were ever established in French Louisiana. The French presence in the Mississippi Basin and around the Great Lakes consisted mainly of single French trappers and traders paddling their canoes from one outpost to the next. The French established military/trading posts at strategic locations, partly as a means of protecting the trappers during their contacts with the Indians. Unlike the French Québec settlements, French Louisiana had very few farming communities, and there was little exchanging of goods or produce, except for the trapping and trading of furs. During this period, the French had built one road (the Wabash-Erie Portage Road), a road less than 12 miles long, and that was only to provide portage between rivers. In comparison, the British colonies by 1762 had over 2,500 miles of improved wagon roads, between Boston and Savannah. The British colonies had an economy based on town tradesmen surrounded by small farms, with the exchange of goods and produce up and down the Atlantic coast.

1763. The Treaty of Paris of 1763 ended the French and Indian War. In Europe and Canada, it was called
the “Seven Years War.” The treaty required France to surrender all of its claims to land in North America, with the exception of fishing rights and a couple of fish-drying islands off of Newfoundland. The treaty gave Spain all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, while Britain gained the areas east of the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains. Great Britain also acquired the Province of Québec from France.

1764-1770 Transition Period. After the departure of all French military personnel by 1764, the French-colonized areas of Louisiana and Québec were still inhabited mainly by French settlers and trappers. The transition from French control to Spanish or British control took several years. In former French Louisiana, French civilian settlements still operated at Prairie du Chien, now Wisconsin; Kaskaskia, now Illinois; and at Vincennes, now Indiana. In 1764, a French trading company established the trading post of St. Louis on the west side of the Mississippi River, after obtaining a trading license from the Spanish government. And, per terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1763, British forces began the evacuation of French Acadians from their homes in present Nova Scotia. The first shipload of Acadians arrived in Spanish Louisiana, just west of New Orleans, in February 1765. The Louisiana Rebellion of 1768 was an unsuccessful attempt by Creole and German settlers around New Orleans to stop the handover of French Louisiana to Spain. Meanwhile, the French influence in Upper Louisiana continued –
although part of Spanish Louisiana, St. Louis operated under French civilian control until it was occupied by Spanish soldiers in 1770. About the same time, the British established military jurisdiction over the French settlements at Prairie du Chien, Kaskaskia and Vincennes.

1774 Québec Act. After deciding not to repeat the evacuation of all French Acadians from Nova Scotia in the mid 1760s, the British Parliament passed the Québec Act, permitting the French Canadians to retain French laws and customs, and allowing the Catholic Church to maintain its rights. The French settlements along the Wabash River near Vincennes in present-day Indiana were included in the Province of Québec, under British rule since 1763.

1778-1779. French Acadians (the Cajuns) resettled by the British in southern Louisiana rallied in support of the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. They were joined in their support by the left-over French settlers of the Wabash Valley, who were instrumental in General George Rogers Clark’s capture of Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River and Vincennes on the Wabash River.

1783. Post-Revolutionary War. The 1783 Treaty of Paris recognized the United States of America as an independent nation, and defined its borders from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. Although the old Upper Louisiana and Great Lakes regions were to be included within the United States, British forces continued to maintain control of Prairie du Chien, Fort Detroit, and a few other sites for several years after the Revolution.

1784. Connecticut, Virginia and Massachusetts relinquished their western claims to lands in the Great Lakes region, a large area that was to become the Northwest Territory. Title of the state’s claims were transferred to the “public domain” of the United States Federal Government.

1787-1789 Northwest Territory. The Ordinance of 1787 established the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, and defined the procedure for any territory to obtain statehood. The first territory of the United States included the area of the present states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and that part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River. An October 1787 census of the male voters of “Poste Vincennes” was made up of almost entirely French surnames. In 1789, Vincennes became the county seat of the newly organized Knox County, Northwest Territory, an area that included all of present Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, part of Michigan, and part of Minnesota.

1789-1815 Flatboat Era. After the opening of the Northwest Territory for settlement, migrating families heading to the Ohio River via horse-drawn wagons might stop at Brownsville, Pittsburgh, or Wheeling. There they would buy or construct a custom-built flatboat capable of holding wagons, household furniture, barrels of food and commodities; plus horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and children. They would first hire a boatman, usually recruited out of a local tavern. The boatmen were experts in navigating streams, and provided another long-rifle to ward off bandits en route. After arriving at his client’s destination, a boatman would walk back up river to his starting point (or to the closest Tavern). The migrating families would use the flatboat lumber and nails for their first shelters upon their arrival at their new homesites along the Ohio River and tributaries. The earliest settlements in the southern portions of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were mostly settled by flatboat travelers. Although steamboats were introduced to the Ohio River in 1812, they did not dominate transportation until the classic flat-bottomed steamboat design took hold in 1815. That ended the flatboat era.

1796 Great Lakes Region. The British evacuated Fort Detroit and abandoned their other posts on the Great Lakes, ending all British hold-outs in the Old Northwest.

1800. Indiana Territory was established from the Northwest Territory with William Henry Harrison as the first Governor and Vincennes the capital. The area of 1800 Indiana Territory was nearly identical to the 1789 area of Knox County, Northwest Territory, an area that included most of present-day Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the western half of Michigan. The Northwest Territory was reduced to the present-day area of Ohio and the eastern half of Michigan. See the Illinois Timeline article for a map showing the Northwest and Indiana territories as of the August 1800 federal census.

1803. Ohio was admitted to the Union as the 17th state, with Chillicothe as the state capital. The portion of present Michigan included in the Northwest Territory 1800-1803 now became part of Indiana Territory. Upon Ohio’s statehood, the name Northwest Territory was dropped.

1805. Michigan Territory was separated from the Indiana Territory. The original area was between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, as today, but did not include much of the Upper Peninsula, which was still under control of Indiana Territory.

1809. Illinois Territory was separated from Indiana Territory, with Kaskaskia the capital. The original area included present-day Illinois, Wisconsin, a portion of the Upper Peninsula of present Michigan and that portion of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River. The area of Indiana Territory was reduced in size to the area of the present-day state, plus a portion of the Upper Peninsula of present Michigan.

1810. Indiana Territory. The 1810 population of 24,320 people was within four counties: Clark, Dearborn, Knox, and Harrison. The 1810 federal census manuscripts for all four counties were lost. See the 1810 map as part of Illinois Timeline article.

1811. Battle of Tippecanoe. Tecumseh’s forces were defeated at the Battle of Tippecanoe. The American forces were led by Governor William Henry Harrison, who later used the presidential nickname “Tippecanoe.” The victory over a large force of Indians opened up much of Indiana for settlement.

1813. The Indiana territorial capital was moved from Vincennes to Corydon.

1814. Treaty of Ghent. The War of 1812 ended, reopening American settlement of the Great Lakes region of the Old Northwest.

1816. Dec. 11th. Indiana became the 19th state with the same boundaries as today. The first state capital was at Corydon.

1825. The Indiana state capital was moved from Corydon to Indianapolis.

1911. The first Indy 500 car race took place in Indianapolis.

Recommended reading: Indiana Name Lists, Published and Online Censuses & Substitutes 1783-2007

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Hundreds of Headstones Charred by Fire at Chattanooga National Cemetery

The following teaser is from an article in the March 11, 2014 edition of


For the second time in less than two months a Sunday afternoon grass fire has scorched tombstones at Chattanooga National Cemetery, and state and national investigators want to know why.

A 911 call came in at 1:54 p.m. Sunday informing authorities of the fire that covered an acre and affected about 500 tombstones, severely charring some in the cemetery that houses the graves of military veterans.

The call came nearly seven weeks to the minute after a similar fire with an unknown cause engulfed five acres of the cemetery and affected 1,800 tombstones, requiring some to be replaced.

Sunday’s blaze hit a different portion of the 120-acre cemetery’s 43,000-plus grave markers.

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Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox Opens Veteran’s Exhibit

The following excerpt is from an excellent article by Katrina Koerting, published in the March 7, 2014 edition of

Visitors browse artifacts on display in the new exhibit at the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox, Va., March 6, 2014. (Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce/The News & Advance)

Visitors browse artifacts on display in the new exhibit at the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox, Va., March 6, 2014. (Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce/The News & Advance)

Many people can recite facts about battles or describe the cultural environment during the Civil War, but not as much is shared about the men after the war.

These are the stories told in the first new exhibit at the Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox. The exhibit, entitled, “When Johnny Came Marching Home: Veterans in the Postwar South,” shows visitors what the veterans faced after returning home, touching on the human cost of war, trying to reconcile what happened and the legacy the veterans and their descendants left behind.

“This is somewhat of a universal story to tell,” exhibit historian John Coski said.

This exhibit depicts what it was like for veterans during the late 1800s and early 1900s, Linda Lipscomb, the site’s director, said.

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