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A Century of Population Growth: From the First Census of the U.S. to the Twelfth 1790-1900

a0131By an Act of Congress in 1907 and “In order to permanently to preserve the valuable but vanishing census records which still remain, relating to the first year of constitutional government, and in response to urgent requests from many patriotic societies…Congress authorized…the publication, by the Director of the Census, of the names of heads of families returned at the First Census.”

After publication of multiple volumes it was determined a final volume was needed. This final volume was to act as historical reference to the First Census and present statics regarding change since the 1790 census up to 1900. The task fell to W. S. Rossiter, chief clerk of the Census. The results were A Century of Population Growth: From the First Census of the U.S. to the Twelfth 1790-1900. The latest printing was done in 1989 by Heritage Quest Press – and while technically out-of-print, a very few copies are still available.

This reference title relates histories of censuses that were taken in the United States, beginning in 1790. It reports population in the Colonial and Continental periods, population of counties and their subdivisions, white and black population, and proportion of children in white population. A Century of Population Growth also contains information on surnames of the white population in 1790, nationality as indicated by names of heads of families reported at the first census, interstate migration, foreign born population, statistics of slaves, and occupations and wealth.

One of the most interesting parts of the book runs from pages 227 through 270 – found under the heading of General Tables, and Nomenclature, Dealing With Names Represented by at Least 100 White Persons, By States and Territories, at the First Census, 1790. This section lists the surnames and their variations (some with a dozen or more variations) of white folks with a least 100 persons in the census. It shows the average size of the families, and how many heads of families, as well as how many other family members were enumerated. – then it breaks down how many families were to be found per state.

This book is a treasure trove of information about censuses and provides a unique perspective through statical analysis. The book is filled with tables, charts, and maps making review and comparison quick and easy.

Table of Contents

Population in the Colonial and Continental Periods

  • Census procedure in colonial and continental periods
  • Population prior to 1790
  • Recent estimates of early population
  • Population of cities
  • Changes in urban population, 1710–1900

The United States in 1790

  • Boundaries and area
  • Currency
  • Transportation
  • The postal service
  • Industries
  • Education
  • Newspapers and periodicals
  • Slavery
  • Indians

The First Census of the United States

  • The First Census Act
  • Debates in the Congress
  • Provisions of the Act
  • Execution of the law
  • The enumeration
  • The returns
  • The enumerator’s schedules

Area and Total Population

  • Area
  • Population
  • Population by areas of enumeration
  • By states and territories
  • Density of population

Population of Counties and Their Subdivisions

  • County areas made comparable
  • Population of minor civil divisions
  • Names of towns not returned separately at the First Census
  • Population of cities

White and Negro Population

  • Survivors of 1790
  • Whites and negroes in total populations
  • In four principal cities
  • Comparison of increase in the United States and Europe
  • Increase by immigration
  • Natural increase
  • Of whites
  • Of negroes
  • Summary

Sex and Age of the White Population

  • Decrease in proportion of males
  • In proportion of each sex under 16 years
  • Influence of immigration
  • Of modern sanitary science

Analysis of the Family

  • Average size of private families
  • Slaveholding and nonslaveholding families
  • Proportion of children
  • Dwellings

Proportion of Children in the White Population

  • Ratio of white adults of self-supporting age to white children
  • Of white children to adult white females
  • Effect of changes in the proportion of children

Surnames of the White Population in 1790

  • Approximate number
  • Nomenclature
  • Preponderance of English and Scotch names
  • Unusual and striking surnames
  • Distribution of surnames
  • Concentration of population under certain names
  • Absence of middle names

Nationality as Indicated by Names of Heads of Families Reported at the First Census

  • Nationality in states for which schedules exist
  • In those for which schedules are missing
  • Composition of population of typical counties in 1900
  • Slaveholding by nationality

Interstate Migration

  • Analysis of population according to geographic division of residence and of birth
  • Decrease in contribution of original area of population of added area

Foreign Born Population

  • Proportions contributed by original and added areas
  • Change in character of population
  • Small proportion of foreign born in Southern States
  • Country of birth

Statistics of Slaves

  • Number of slaves in United States
  • In original and added areas
  • Slaveholding families
  • Number of white persons directly or indirectly connected with slaveholding
  • Ration of slaves to whites
  • Value of slaves

Occupations and Wealth

  • Occupations
  • Of heads of families in Philadelphia and Southwark in 1790
  • In United States in 1850 and 1900
  • Approximate wealth in 1790
  • Industry and wealth, 1850 and 1900

Order a copy of A Century of Population Growth: From the First Census of the U.S. to the Twelfth 1790-1900 for yourself or your library from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $44.10.

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Jamestown People To 1800, Landowners, Public Officials, Minorities, And Native Leaders

gpc3506The year in which this year’s newborns become teenagers, this country will celebrate its Sestercentennial birthday. To a child that may seem a lifetime, to us adults, such years come with increasing speed. Yet, even with our nation’s 250th year in sight, the first, permanent English settlement established on this continent is already over 400 years old. Approaching its 400th year in 2007, the National Parks Service commissioned a “collaborative study know as the Jamestown Archealogical Assessment.” This wide-spread, multidisciplinary study involved scientists, historians, librarians, and technologists form a wide field of studies. This study provided the first comprehensive ‘reconstruction of property ownership and land use from the first decade of establishment’ through modern times. Martha W. McCartney was an active participant in this study. Using information gathered from the study, she has put together Jamestown People to 1800: Landowners, Public Officials, Minorities, and Native Leaders.

This books contains a comprehensive  collection of short biographies on the people living in and doing business with Jamestown, from its establishment through 1800. The biographies fall into two main categories, landowners and residents (slave or free) of Jamestown, and public officials. Officials include “governors, members of the Council of State, and burgesses, and Native American leaders who visited Jamestown through 1699.”  These collective biographies contain more than 100 Native American leaders, plus another 100 plus Africans and African Americas. Many were slaves.

Here is a sample of a short entry:

Thomas Crust: Thomas Crust came to Virginia in 1620 and on January 24, 1625, was an indentured servant living in household of John Southern in urban Jamestown (VI&A 237)

A longer sample:

John Curtis (Curtys): In August 165 John Curtis, a surveyor and resident of Lancaster County, took the required oath. Throughout the 1660s he performed surveys for county residents and began speculating in real estate, sometime generating income by leasing his land to tenants. By 1656 Curtis had commenced serving as a justice in Lancaster County’s monthly court, an office he held for many years. He made numerous court appearances as the late Abraham Moone’s administrator, and in 1657 he became a Lancaster Parish vestryman. In May 1659 Curtis was elected to the assembly and represented Lancaster County in both sessions that were held in 1660. In September 1660 he and his wife, Anne, disposed of a piece of land, and the following year he sold a large parcel in Westmoreland Count. In 1669 John Curtis obtained from the Lancaster County court a license that allowed him to keep a tavern. When applying, he noted that he lived on a major road. Curtis died intestate sometime prior to September 13, 1671, at which time Richard Robinson began serving as administrator of his estate (LEO 36; Lancaster County Deeds &c 1652-1657:253, 284; 1654-1661:141, 147; 1661-1702:382-383, 390; 1656-1661: 81, 129; Order Book 1656-1666:1; 1666-1680:1, 104, 200, 206; Northumberland County Order Book 1652-1665:315; Westmoreland County Deeds and Wills No. 1[1653-1671]:199-200).

These short biographies go on and on, for 465 pages, plus an index.

McCartney’s gained access in her research to obscure records few know about or have access to. Her research covers both public and government records, as well as private archives. Together, these records were used to create a rich and detailed description of the population in early Jamestown.

About the Author

“The author of the acclaimed Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary, Martha W. McCartney is the recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s National History Award. Her prize-winning history, Jamestown: An American Legacy was published by the National Park Service in 2001. In 2010 her book Hanover County, Virginia: Nature’s Bounty and Nation’s Glory was nominated for the Library of Virginia’s Virginia Literary Award for best nonfiction work.”




Sources and Abbreviations


Jamestown’s History

Biographical Dictionary



This fascinating volume, Jamestown People to 1800: Landowners, Public Officials, Minorities, and Native Leaders, is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $39.15

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Lands of the German Empire and Before

o-germanlands1Most countries, if not every country, in the world have experienced ebbs and flows in their political boundaries and territories. Some countries and fallen forever to be replaced by new ones. However, both as a people and a nations, few have probably seen as much change in the past 1200 years, as the German people have experienced in the area of modern day Germany. Over the centuries literally hundreds of small kingdoms and territories existed, swelling and falling through war and domination. Beginning as early as 843, larger territories were broken up into hundreds of small lands. The people of these various lands spoke a similar language and shared many of the same customs; yet, no leader could bring them under the control of a single king or government. The squabbling and constant border changes lasted until 1871, when the German Empire was established.

As genealogy is about people and places, when places change, you need a guide to provide direction. A very popular book on the subject of political boundary changes in Germany, and of immense use to the genealogist with German ancestry, is The Lands of the German Empire and Before. This book examines the history and maps of the ever changing lands which comprise, for the most part, today’s Germany. Author Wendy K. Uncapher has take the map of the German Empire and broken it down by individual states. She then examines each state in detail, providing maps and key historical facts for each. Uncapher also takes a detailed look at Prussia, dedicating a chapter to describing exactly what and where it was.. Chapter 3 of the books takes a quick look at the overall map of the German area through major historical periods, broken down as follows:

  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Confederation of the Rhine
  • German Confederation
  • North German Confederation
  • German Empire
  • Weimar Republic
  • Third Reich
  • Allied Occupation
  • Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic
  • Federal Republic of Germany

To genealogists researching their Germany heritage, especially prior to 1919, The Lands of the German Empire and Before is an indispensable tools for finding place names for cities and lands which have come and gone, or may exist today under a different name. With historic timelines, points of interest, and alternate names, this book is not lacking in interest or useful information.

Table of Contents


Turning Points for the German Empire

Chapter 1: States of the German Empire

Chapter 2: Prussia

Chapter 3: Eras of German Political History

Lands of the Holy Roman Empire

Rivers and Ports

Rulers of Major German States and Dynasty Families


Internet Sources for Town Lists




Following is a List of Maps provided in the book (note: the individual states are grouped together as Kreise Maps covering pages 9–70):

  • Allied Occupation
  • Berg, Mark, Kleve, Julich
  • Bishopric and Archbishopric Territories
  • Black Forest
  • Confederation of the Rhine 1806–1814
  • Europe in 1871
  • Federal Republic of German Democratic Republic 1949–1990
  • Federal Republic of Germany (Deutschland) 1990–present
  • German Confederation 18115–1866
  • German Empire 1871–1918
  • Grand Duchy of Berg
  • Grand Duchy of Frankfurt
  • Grand Duchy of Warsaw 1807–1815
  • Grenzmark Posen-Westpreussen 1918–1938
  • Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation 800–1806
  • Kingdom of Westphalia
  • Kreise Maps (individual states)
  • Luxemburg
  • North German Confederation 1867–1870
  • Partitions of Poland 1772, 1793, 1795
  • Polish Corridor
  • Prussia, Growth of
  • Rivers and Ports
  • Saarland
  • Schaumburg
  • Stem Duchies 843
  • Sudentenland
  • Swedish Land in Germany
  • Teutonic Knight’s Land
  • Third Reich 1933–1945
  • Weimar Republic 1919–1933


Get a copy of The Lands of the German Empire and Before for your own or a society library; available at Family Roots Publishing; Price: 24.50.

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Books Added to FRPC Web Site 10-7-2013

Books added to Family Roots Publishing web site for October 7th 2013

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Finding Grover

The following article was written by my friend, Thomas Fiske
Thomas Fiske

Great Uncle Tom fled from the KKK in Kentucky in 1875. He went out west and stopped in a small town on the prairie. Tom’s job in Kentucky had been clerking and sweeping in a small general merchandise store. That’s almost all he knew. That and credit for his customers. He was single, so he didn’t have to know a lot more.

Immediately, Tom saw that the immigrants on farms and in villages out west needed a source of supply for all kinds of things such as needles, pots and pans, magazines, cloth and flatware. Since they depended on farm crops for income, these folks also needed credit. Needs presented themselves all year while crops were harvested once or twice per year. Animals could be sold all year, however.

How Tom did it, I don’t know. But he managed to set up a store. I have an old drawing of his first store out west. He developed an interest in railroads. He wanted to know their routes for the future. Towns which had nearby trains were likely to grow. They would need stores and banks. So with advance knowledge he established a bank in several towns before the railroad moved in.

Tom went one step further. He realized that people in one region of the country harvested crops at a different time from people in another region. Thus, he could set up corresponding banks that would supply funds to each other at different times in different regions.

Grover Walker 1908

Grover Walker 1908

Tom also did some farming himself and experimented with new crops. After all, the West was new to people and they did not know how bountiful their land could be.

Communication was poor in 1875. Railroads used the telegraph with wires running along railroad-owned poles on railroad-owned land. Tom took advantage of the telegraph by installing branches of the railroad wires in or near his banks. Then he hired relatives to run his banking system. He felt he could trust relatives.

In about 1880 Tom gave a bank to his nephew, Grover. Grover’s dad had been murdered by the KKK. Tom set up his dead brother’s kid in the banking business.

Grover was quite successful as a banker and was very well liked in the small town where he lived. I know that because of newspaper articles my grandmother collected about her brother.

Grover married Nellie Graddy, a small, pretty girl from Kentucky and took her out west to live. Early photos of her indicated that she probably came from money. Grover and his new wife had a son, who died when he was about five years old. They did not have any other children. But they seemed to have lots of money. Then Grover bought a fancy new automobile.

On Easter day of 1909, Grover tried out the new car. He loaded it with friends and took it for a spin. It spun, all right. It spun on its side and threw people out. Grover seemed to be the only one seriously hurt. He was under the car. And that evening, he died. Grover’s death was a terrible shock to his mother and two sisters. At least that is what my grandmother told me. She was his sister.

Nellie imposed on Uncle Tom to run the bank for her, but she was the actual owner of the bank. A few years ago, the bank’s president wrote to me that Grover’s and Nellie’s photos were still on the wall of the bank, which had become the First National Bank of the region.

Uncle Tom died in 1931 and the bank’s teller was promoted to run the bank totally. I met Nellie in the 1950’s and she died a few years later, still a widow and still living in the western town where she had moved as a new wife so many years before.

Nelly Graddy Walker

Nelly Graddy Walker

And that should be the end of the story. But it isn’t.

Two weeks ago I got an email from a young woman who lived in Nellie’s and Grover’s small town in the West. It seemed that she was charged with the responsibility of setting up a reference and museum room in a historical society building. The room was to be dedicated to Grover and Nellie. The emailer wondered if I had any information about Grover and Nellie.

“Yes,” I emailed back. “I have pictures and family history about Grover.” “And,” I continued, “I would be willing to swap photos and documents.” I made it clear that I wanted materials in return.

Of course, the young lady’s request answered my question about what I was going to do with all the junk I had collected concerning Grover’s family. But I did not tell her that. I also did not tell her that my children have seen my genealogical collection. Though they have promised to take care of my precious papers, I know that in their hearts, there lurks a Dempster Dumpster.

So for the last two weeks I have been researching old photos and documents that would be interesting to a neophyte collector with lots of room to spare. For instance, I found a photo today and shipped it to the little town. It was a portrait of Tom’s wife, Carrie Nixon, from Illinois. She was from the same county that President Nixon’s ancestors were from. It is an unusual name, so I am pretty sure, RMN was her cousin.

I found that Uncle Tom (for whom I am named) and Aunt Carrie finished their days in great wealth. But not happiness, because their last surviving grandson was gay. Their line ended with him. I would like to have known Uncle Tom. He was a very successful entrepreneur. My mother knew him and of course my grandmother also knew him. He was quite nice to both of them.

The search continues. I found a news story about the death of Grover, and I have quite a bit of material about his grandparent, Congressman Asa P. Grover. That’s where he got his first name.

Over time a large amount of papers will slowly shift their address from Fullerton, California to a small town out west.

How did this young researcher find my email address? I took the trouble, several years ago, to write something about Grover on one of those many Q&A sections of a genealogy web site. She tracked me down from there.

It appears that Grover and little Nellie will live on, while I quietly slip away into obscurity. I have been required to protect the Grover papers for only about twenty years and my usefulness is over. Unless of course, you want to know about the Leonards of England.

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Showcase Your Family Tree

I met the folks from Keepsake Threads at the FGS conference in Fort Wayne this last Summer. I was impressed with their project, and wish to share the following with my readers.
The following is by Kathy Carrier, Seamstress, with Keepsake Threads.

Holiday gift planning has certainly begun now that the kids are back to school and autumn is upon us. Share your genealogy passion and research with your family by transferring your family tree to one-of-a-kind treasured gifts, including pillows, quilts, wall art and neckties.

I have always been a seamstress. I learned how to sew in Girl Scouts and am as passionate about it today as I was 40 years ago. A few years ago I was thinking and praying about new business ideas around the same time my father-in-law died. My mother-in-law made teddy bears that year for all of us out of his favorite shirts. Once I saw the impact and meaning these bears had to our family, I realized that it would also bring meaning into other people’s lives. Voila! Keepsake Threads was born to repurpose clothing, pictures and documents that people are sentimental about.

In May, the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) Genealogy Center launched an initiative to offer personalized textile products to genealogy enthusiasts. Using our company, Keepsake Threads, the Center has developed an initial product line with ideas for future product launches. These items can be ordered using the button in the top left-hand corner of the ACPL Genealogy Center website. The new product line is now “live” at:

These inspiring products will be created using your family tree, your family crest or cherished family photos. All of these items can be transferred to fabric and incorporated into the finished products. Larger, custom orders can also be placed that will utilize more complex family trees for an additional charge. Also, if you have a particular color preference for the fabric and the look of the product, Keepsake Threads will customize your order with your color preference as well.

The initiative was created with the genealogy enthusiast in mind and also to build the ACPL Foundation. A percentage of the sales from this strategy will be directed into the Foundation which was created in 1984 as a private, non-profit 501(c) 3 trust to receive, administer and distribute income exclusively for the charitable and educational purposes of the Allen County Public Library. The Foundation raises private dollars to enhance the library’s acquisitions, innovations and special projects beyond the capacity of the normal operating budget.

Keepsake threads products

These products were debuted last month at Federation of Genealogy Society conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

If you have questions, here is our email address:

Or you can give Deb McClintock a call at 877-99THREADS.

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Saving Google+ Posts to Evernote


Genealogists are using Evernote more everyday. The program is known three things (and more…)

Create a New Note – you can save your ideas, to-do lists, research, meeting notes, and more.

Snap a Photo – It allows you to capture images that you want to remember — from family pictures to documents.

Sync Notes & Find Them Anywhere – Better yet, the program allows us to search for anything, even text within images, on any computer, phone or tablet that we might be using.

Now I see that Jason Frasca has posted a great blog on how to save Google+ (another program genealogists use a lot) posts to Evernote. Check it out.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

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

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According to the tour website (  there are only 62 days left until the 2013 tour begins! Those of us already signed up are counting the days. If you are thinking about joining the tour, “think” no longer and just do it……….. quoting that swarmy guy on TV, “I guarantee you’ll like it……….. you’ll be glad you came.”

One reason why the Christmas Tour is such a success is that we have fun. Lots and lots of fun interspersed with genealogical researching. One fun thing is that we all wear name tags to identify us as attendees of the Christmas tour and each tag has a number. Every morning numbers are drawn (Bingo circles from a bag) and the lucky winners come front to claim their prizes. The prizes from from the tour members; each attendee is asked to bring an inexpensive genealogy-related gift for this morning gift exchange. (Most bring six for we do this for six days.)

Why do we do this? Just because it is fun! Look at the pink walrus…… don’t think he was genealogy-related but he surely was fun. Please do come join us this December for the best genealogy fun you’ll ever have.

Donna, aka Mother Hen, until next peek.

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BCG to Sponsor Free Lecture Series in Salt Lake City Oct 10 & 11

The Board for Certification of Genealogists wishes to send an invitation to all to attend a special lecture series in honor of the 50th Anniversary of BCG.

Everyone is welcome to attend these lectures held in the auditorium of the Church History Museum (located next to the Family History Library).
Pre-registration is suggested by emailing or calling 801-240-4950.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

  • 10:45 a.m. to noon: BCG Certification Seminar with Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL and F. Warren Bittner, CG
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.: It Takes a Human: Genealogists and Writing by Jeanne L. Bloom, CG
  • 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.: Should You Believe Your Eyes?: Sizing Up Sources and Information by Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS.
  • 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.: Write While You Research: Let the Joy of Research Infect Your Writing by Barbara Mathews, CG.


    7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. “Kinship Determination” with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

Friday, October 11, 2013

  • 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Complex Evidence: What it is, How it works, Why it Matters by F. Warren Bittner, CG.
  • 10:45 a.m. to noon: Proof Arguments: For the Next Generation by F. Warren Bittner, CG.
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.: Reach for the Power Tools: Record Transcription & Analysis by Rev. David McDonald, CG.
  • 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.: Bringing Josias Home: Using Circumstantial Evidence to Build a Family by Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL.
  • 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.: Baker’s Dozen Steps to Research Reports by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL.

Also open to the entire genealogical community, an all-you-can-eat buffet banquet will be held on Saturday, October 12, at 7 p.m. (social hour at 6 p.m.) at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City ($40 per person). This celebration of 50 years of genealogical standards is co-sponsored by the American Society of Genealogists, Board for Certification of Genealogists, and FamilySearch. Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL, (aka “The Legal Genealogist”) will be the banquet speaker and promises to have us laughing and reflecting over the 50-year history of our field with the following topic: We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby” — Standards for the 21st Century

From no formal standards to the Genealogical Proof Standard, the field of genealogy has come a long way in establishing criteria by which excellence can be measured. And we face a long and perhaps even more daunting road ahead as we consider the 21st century challenges posed by technology, DNA and more.

To reserve your banquet seat, please make checks out to “ASG” for $40 per person and sent to the ASG treasurer, Myrtle Hyde, FASG, 3628 Iowa Avenue, Ogden, UT 84403 by October 7.

Parking will be free for those who drive courtesy of FamilySearch. For more information see:

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Call for Presentations – APG Track at RootsTech, Salt Lake City, February 6, 2014

The following is from Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, Executive Director, Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists announces a Call for presentations at RootsTech 2014, Salt Lake City, Utah. The focus of the conference is on technology in the field of genealogy. APG will be sponsoring a track of four lectures on Thursday, February 6, 2014.

Presentations are 60 minutes including a ten minute question and answer period and should be topics covering advanced uses of technology in the genealogical field. The focus should be on new technology, or new and creative uses of technology. These lectures would be of interest to both aspiring and/or experienced professionals.

APG offers an honorarium of $250 for the 60 minute presentation.

Proposals should include:
• Speaker’s full name, address, telephone, and e-mail address
• Lecture title
• Short summary of the lecture, not to exceed 40 words
• Brief speaker biography, not to exceed 50 words

Send proposals to the APG office via e-mail to

DEADLINE: 19 October 2013

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Piles of Paper – Part 1

The following article was written by my good friend, by William Dollarhide.

Dollarhide’s Genealogy Rule No. 44: Genealogy is an addiction with no cure and for which no 12-step program is available.

When people first get interested in their family history they are not fully prepared for what is about to happen to them. Genealogy is an addiction. New genealogists discover that they now have to do this hobby for the rest of their life! The first few weeks of intense genealogical research turns what used to be lovely, well-ordered persons into compulsive, determined zealots with only one thing on their minds – get that genealogy stuff! Husbands go night after night without their dinner, children are left to fend for themselves, and relatives begin answering their phone with, “Oh, it’s you again . . . but I thought I already told you everything I know”.

It is a genealogical fact of life that something strange happens to nice people – they lose control of their lives. Those of you who are just starting out in genealogy and have not learned this yet should stop reading NOW. I would not want to be the one who caused you to spend the rest of your life looking for dead relatives. But, if you are already hooked and have a large collection of paper that is taking over your house – then you should stay with us. I will try to give you some ideas for organizing your genealogical records (otherwise known as “piles of paper”). Those who have become a member of the “paperless society” are excused from reading further. And, if there are any people who still believe that a personal computer will REDUCE the amount of paper you collect – you are also excused.

The Paper Problem
Aside from the irritating experience of discovering that some of your ancestors had no parents (your ancestor just appeared on the planet one day), perhaps the most common problem experienced by genealogists is the stack of paper that begins to collect. As the paper grows, genealogists move gradually from a file tray to a series of file trays; to a file cabinet, then several file cabinets; and for some, a loss of several rooms of their house to the mountain of paper. Getting that first computer did not help a lot, because now you could print out even more paper than you had before.

I once described my genealogy collection as “those piles of paper” and if this description is not completely foreign to you, then you may be interested in how I found a way to organize those piles. My first success with organizing my genealogy mess came after a disaster. Back in 1974, after about two years of doing genealogy, most of my paper files were neatly stacked (in manageable piles) on a drafting table built from saw horses and a flat door. When one of the saw horses collapsed, one end of the table came crashing down and scattered all of my two-years of genealogy all over the room. My experience of picking up the paper from the floor is where I first began developing a method of organizing that mess.

So, if you truly want to get organized too, then I suggest that you start by throwing your entire paper collection into one large pile in the center of a room. With that done, let’s see how you can pick them up, and in what order. But first, let’s identify what is in that pile of paper.

First Step: Turn One Pile into Three Piles
When you first started in genealogy, you could put everything you had in one neat 3-ring binder. It wasn’t long before it was several binders, then file cabinets. . . and you know the rest. When the collection was small, you could have marriage certificates, photos, pedigree charts, family group sheets, notes you had taken, copies from censuses, etc., all together in the same small notebook. In fact, if you dumped the contents of the small notebook into one pile of paper, you would still only have a small pile. Now multiply that small pile by the number of years you have been doing genealogy, and dump the contents of your file cabinets, boxes, etc., into one pile. You would find that the entire pile can be broken down into different categories of paper. So, let’s start by separating the sheets of paper in the large pile into categories. We only need to identify three. Thus, your first step in organizing the one large pile of paper is to turn it into three piles of paper.

Category 1 – Notes and Documents
This category will have the largest number of sheets of paper. It contains the photocopies of pages from books, copies of census extracts, birth certificates, marriage licenses, deeds you have copied, and so on. The paper in this category pertains to all of your families and many different surnames. This is the heart of your genealogical research. This category has the raw research notes, documents, and copies of any source that mentions your ancestors.

The nature of this category has to do with the way we do research on our ancestry. We identify genealogical events for each person who appears on our pedigree charts. Information about an individual person is gathered and recorded first, in the form of notes and documents. Then, a family group sheet and pedigree chart is the way the facts are all put together. Family group sheets and pedigree charts are the genealogical presentation of the family tree. The facts we collect before these forms were prepared represent the genealogical research for the family tree. The facts gained in genealogical research are almost always oriented towards one person, with the collection of facts about that person’s life, or the genealogical events for a single person.

Of course, we want to link people together as married couples, as members of a family, or the blood-line connection of a person to his parents, grandparents, and so on. But remember that all of the presentation work must be preceded by the gathering of documentation. The most important part of genealogical work, therefore, is the research to identify the significant genealogical milestones for individuals. From a collection of these facts, a family can be put together, or a pedigree chart can be extended.

The significant genealogical milestones of a person’s life begin with a birth. A date and place of birth is followed by a date and place of marriage, and ends with a date and place of burial. But in-between these basic vital statistics are a myriad of events in a person’s life. We are talking about recorded events, which includes anything that happened in a person’s life that can be recalled from memory or from written accounts. These include, for example, a baptism, christening, or an event in which a person was recorded in history for some noteworthy deed, good or bad. The day someone entered school is a genealogical event, as is the graduation day. A name of a person mentioned in an obituary as a survivor is a genealogical event, perhaps confirming a date and place where a person lived, as well as a relationship to the deceased. In addition, an event such as a land record showing the residence for a person and the date of the land transaction is a genealogical event. Any written account of a person, however slight, is a genealogical event, and adds valuable knowledge about a person’s life.

All along the time-line of a person’s life are events that confirm that a person lived in a particular place at a particular time. If a chronological listing of all of the events in a person’s life were possible, it would give a biographical account of a person’s day-by-day existence, plus it would identify all of the places a person lived. Such a complete listing is not possible unless someone has kept detailed diary entries every day for an entire lifetime. But many of the recorded events of a person’s life exist, even though they may not be obvious. For example, a record of a person’s school attendance may still exist, or a record of the first piece of property a person owned exists in the form of a recorded deed in a county courthouse. A genealogist’s job is to find these recorded events and extract them using the same techniques a detective uses. But these diligent activities will make this category of paper very large.

This first category could be called your “database”. This is a paper database of facts about your ancestors, and no computer is required – not yet anyway. After separating this category from the others, your goal should be to have every fact you have ever found on your ancestors in one group: the Notes and Documents.

If you have facts in your memory that have never been written down, now is the time to do that. The Notes and Documents category is going to be your complete database of information. And later, we are going to organize it in such a manner that you will be able to find any particular piece of paper in seconds! For now, just get every one of the sheets of paper that belong in the Notes and Documents category separated from the other two categories.

Category 2 — Compiled Sheets
This second category includes any family group sheets, pedigree charts, surname lists, descendancies, or any compiled genealogical information that derives from different sources. Most of these sheets of paper were compiled by you. The information on them came from the notes and documents you have collected. They are different from the Notes and Documents category because they are compiled sheets, not original documents or notes you collect. If you want to organize them, they should be separated from the notes and documents.

Dealing with the paper to be separated into the Compiled Sheets category will not be difficult. You can put family group sheets in one notebook or file folder, for example. The same is possible with pedigree charts and descendancies. But, you cannot organize these types of records very well if they are interfiled with the other categories. After all of these materials are separated from the rest, you may want to organize this category first, because it will probably be the easiest to do. Make file folders or notebooks to separate the various types of sheets in this category, such as family group sheets, pedigree charts, and others. When you are done, take your entire family out to McDonalds to celebrate your incredible achievement. For now, ignore that still very large pile of paper that is in the middle of your kitchen.

Category 3 — Research Aids
This category does not necessarily give names of people, but is important to your research project, because it includes “how to” items, lists of libraries in Ohio (because you have an interest in Ohio research), maps, lists of professional genealogists, societies, clubs, commercial vendors, etc. This category also includes your personal library of books pertaining to genealogical research, and of course, would include articles from GenealogyBlog and other newsletters and magazines.

Items in the Research Aids category are not difficult to organize. You can simply start file folders to collect all of the things that relate to Ohio, and label the file “Ohio.” You will find that the majority of the Research Aids category can be organized by its geographic origin, e.g., libraries in Indiana, lists of genealogists in Ohio, how to do research in South Carolina, and so on. Research books will organize themselves by being placed on a bookshelf. However, if any of your books contain information about your families, you need to copy those pages from the books and include the copies with the Notes and Documents category.

You should be able to organize all of your Research Aids (or call it your “personal library”) in no time at all. These materials seem to sort themselves by place, so to get some quick gratification, get the Research Aids organized along with the second category, Compiled Sheets, and you will be left with just one large pile of paper.

Separate the Notes and Documents
As it turns out, you can not really organize the Notes and Documents category until they are separated from the other two categories — so just leave them in the middle of the room as a neat stack of paper until you have the first two categories done. Before wading into the Notes and Documents, reward yourself with a large hot chocolate sundae for having done such a marvelous job of it so far. It would be advised that before starting on the Notes and Documents that you have at least a one-week break. The next steps get harder.

With category two and three done, you have accomplished a great deal. You will have your compiled sheets in order, and you will have your research library in order. But you still have the first category, Notes and Documents, which is still a very large pile of paper. In this pile are notes and documents on everyone you have collected. You have your paternal side of the family as well as the maternal side of the family in there.

In the next article in this series, “Piles of Paper – Part 2,” we will demonstrate some techniques in organizing the Notes and Documents category — the area with the largest amount of paper. Meanwhile, please cover the pile of paper in your kitchen with plastic wrap to keep the dogs and cats away.

For Further Reading:

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RootsMagic Webinars on CD, Volume 1

rm04Webinars have become popular among many genealogists. Bloggers, software vendors, professional researchers, and others use webinars to communicate with the genealogy community. Webinars provide interaction with an audience in an engaging manner. One excellent use of such interaction is for training.

The folks at RootsMagic, one of the most popular genealogy programs on the market, use webinars to prove training and help for their user base. These webinars are available for free online. However, for those with slow or limited Internet connectivity, or who simply prefer to have a copy on hand, RootsMagic has provided a collection of their webinars on CD. There are currently two volumes in the collection.

RootsMagic Webinars on CD Volume 1 includes the following episodes:

  • Getting Started with RootsMagic
  • Publishing a Family History with RootsMagic
  • RootsMagic & FamilySearch for Family History Centers
  • FamilySearch Made EAsy with RootsMagic
  • RootsMagic To-Go: Running RootsMagic on a Flash Drive
  • Sources, Citations, and Documentation with RootsMagic
  • Working with Files and Folders in RootsMagic
  • Cleaning Your Family Tree in RootsMagic
  • Personal Historian: Bringing Life to Your Life Stories
  • Creating Custom Reports with RootsMagic

In all, there are over 13 hours of training recorded from live, online classes. These recordings are in standard .mp4 format, watchable on most Windows and Mac computers and portable devices. The CD opens with a browseable menu of classes with printable notes of topics covered in each webinar.

Order a copy of RootsMagic Webinars on CD, Volume 1 from Family Roots Publishing for $9.75; Item #: RM04.

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NGS Research in the States Series: Missouri

ngs06“Missouri was the land of the Osage and their rival tribes. The jumping-off place for Lewis and Clark’s expedition of discovery. The early home to French trappers, mountain men, and Spanish garrisons and churches. In the wake of the American Revolution, it was the siren call for frontiersmen and land-hungry farmers out of British America. By teh mid-1800s, it was the gateway to the West for thousands of migrants headed for the gold mines of California, for the unspoiled new lands of Oregon, and for the trade riches offered by the Santa Fe Trail. Hundreds of thousands passed through or stayed a while, leaving traces for descendants who seek their records. This guide is intended to familiarize researchers with the state’s original and published resources, as well as the repositories that preserve this material.”

Beginning in 1987, the National Genealogical Society began publishing a series of state guides in the organization’s magazine, the Quarterly. These guides were later issued as special publications. The latest version of the series contains revised guides, plus additional states not included in the previous releases. NGS Research in the States Series: Missouri was written by Pamela Boyer Porter and Ann Carter Fleming.

In the following words of the authors, the real purpose of this book is uncovered:

“People of every hue, creed, occupation, and origin left their tracks on Missouri’s hills, plains, and prairies. Their footprints are found throughout the state’s archives, libraries, and government offices. To study Missouri families, however, one must know the history of the state; and one must understand its records and their access”

This guide, as are all the state series guides, provides the researcher with the understanding of available resources and how to access these repositories.

Both authors are native Missourians with strong backgrounds in research, writing, and lecturing. Both are certified Genealogists and Certified Genealogical Lecturers. Pam has served on the boards of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Missouri State Genealogical Association. Ann is a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and is the course coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and has served on many other boards in the past.


Table of Contents

History and Settlement

Archives, Libraries, and Societies

  • Missouri State Archives
  • State Historical Society of Missouri
  • Western Historical Manuscript Collection
  • National Archives and Records Administration
    • National Archives–Central Plains Region
    • National Civilian Personnel Record Center
    • National Military Personnel Record Center
  • Missouri Historical Society
  • Other Libraries
  • Other Societies

Major Resources

  • Aids to Research
  • Atlases, Gazetteers, and Maps
  • Biographical Guides
  • Cemetery Records
  • Censuses and Census Substitutes
    • Colonial Censuses
    • Federal Censuses
    • State Censuses
    • Miscellaneous Censuses
  • City and County Directories
  • City-Level Research
  • Court Records
    • County-Level Courts
    • District and State-Level Courts
    • Federal Courts
  • Ethnic Records
    • African Americans
    • Native Americans
  • Land Records
    • Colonial Grants
    • U.S. Land Distribution
    • State-Level Land Records
    • County-Level Land Records
  • Military Records
    • Militia and National Guard Service
    • War of 1812
    • Indian War
    • Mormon War
    • Iowa or Honey War
    • Mexican War
    • Civil War
    • Civil War (Postwar Activities)
    • Spanish-American War
    • World War I
    • Other Military Actions
    • Military Records: Benefits
  • Naturalization Records
  • Newspapers
  • Religious Records
  • State Records
  • Tax Records
  • Vital Records
    • Adoption Records
    • Birth and Death Records
    • Marriage and Divorce Records
    • Miscellaneous “Vital Records”
  • Voter Registration
  • Women of Missouri
  • Conclusion


These guides are an excellent resource for state by state research. Available guides, including NGS Research in the States Series: Missouri are available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $15.79.

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New York State Censuses & Substitutes

gpc1494William Dollarhide is well know by experienced and professional genealogists as an expert on census records. Dollarhide pours all his expertise into his book New York State Censuses & Substitutes or by its full title, New York State Censuses & Substitutes: An Annotated Biography of State Census, Census Substitutes, and Selected Name Lists in Print, on Microfilm, or Online; with County Boundary Maps, 1683-1915; and State Census Examples and Extraction Forms, 1825-1925.

The book uncovers surviving state census manuscripts and microfilmed copies for each of New York’s 62 counties. In addition, this book identifies published extracts or indexes, census substitutes, and selected name lists; plus, many county originals of federal censuses are uncovered as well. Because county boundaries have changed over the centuries, this book includes a series of maps showing these changes between 1683 and 1915. Also included are sample copies from the different lists on facing pages with blank reproductions readers can copy as a research tool.

Here is a short list of just some of the many valuable insights this book uncovers for the researcher:

  • Identifies 448 state census originals for New York’s 62 counties, located at 68 different New York repositories, plus transcripts/extracts, abstracts, or indexes in print, all with library call numbers and FHL film numbers.
  • Identifies 120 statewide and regional name lists for New York, including tax lists, land records, military lists, newspaper indexes, CD-ROM publications, and online resources.
  • Identifies 105 original 1850-1880 federal censuses held by 30 New York counties. (County duplicate originals on microfilm that can be compared with the microfilmed federal copies).
  • Identifies over 1,200 census substitutes and selected name lists. Substitutes include tax lists, voter registrations, military lists, and deed indexes. Selected lists include county histories, city directories, naturalization indexes, vital records indexes, or other unique name lists for a particular county.
  • Identifies over 1,500 online town references to find direct links to census extracts, indexes, or other name lists online.
  • Identifies over 3,700 bibliographic citations in total, each with detailed descriptions and notes, library call numbers, and FHL film numbers.
  • Includes 19 county boundary maps for the period 1683-1915, showing the evolution of all New York counties and adjoining jurisdictions in bordering states and Canada.
  • Includes 26 NY State Census Extraction Forms, 1825-1925, with all NY population, military, agriculture, industry, births, deaths, and marriage schedules; plus the 1890 NY Police Census, and the 1880 Short Form; and includes 26 New York State Census Facsimiles, showing the actual state census schedules, tables, pages, and columns.

The contents section below outlines the breadth of information covered in this book. For each county, the book provides a complete source listing for censuses and name lists. By way of example to the thoroughness of this book. Here are all the state-wide resources listed in the first fifteen pages of the book:

  • Guides to New York Colonial & State Censuses and Name Lists
  • Pre-1750 New York Lists, by Henry B. Hoff
  • New York State Censuses and Tax Lists, by Roger D. Joslyn
  • Finding Aids at the NYG&B Library for New York State Censuses, by Laura LeBarron
  • Guidebooks & Publications With Miscellaneous Name Lists
  • The Documentary History of the State of New York, arranged under direction of the Christopher Morgan, Secretary of State, by E. B. O’Callaghan
  • Early New York State Census Records, 1663-1772, published by RAM publishers
  • Lists of Inhabitants of Colonial New York: Excerpted From The Documentary History of the State of New York by Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan
  • Genealogical and Biographical Directory to Persons in New Netherland: From 1613 to 1674, prepared by David M. Riker
  • Supplement to the 1999 Directory to Persons in New Netherland from 1613 to 1674, by David M. Riker
  • The Register of New Netherland: 1626-1674, by Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan
  • Settlers From the Netherlands in America Before 1700: A Compendium of Genealogical Information, compiled by William J. Hoffman
  • Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York: Procured in Holland, England, and France, by John Romeyn Brodhead
  • Denizations, Naturalization, and Oaths of Allegiance in Colonial New York, by Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda
  • Calendar of Wills on File and Recorded in the Offices of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, of the County Clerk at Albany and of the Secretary of State, 1626-1836, compiled and edited by Berthold Fernow
  • Complete Index to Colonial Laws and Ordinances of New Netherlands and New York, 1638-1775, published by Bookmark
  • Calendar of Council Minutes, 1668-1783, by Berthold Fernow
  • Directory to Collections of New York Vital Records, 1726-1989, With Rare Gazetteer, by Fred Q. Bowman and Thomas J. Lynch
  • Inhabitants of New York, 1774-1776, by Thomas B. Wilson
  • Tax Assessment Lists Under Laws of 1779, 1780, 1786, 1788
  • New York Treasurer “Assessment Rolls,” laws of 1779, 1786, 1787, 1788
  • 1799-1802 Tax Lists. See Gerrit V. Lansing Papers Tax Lists and Assessment Rolls
  • New York Marriages Previous to 1784: A Reprint of the Original Edition of 1860 with Additions and Corrections
  • Ship Passenger lists, New York and New Jersey, 1600-1825, edited and indexed by Carl Boyer, III
  • 1792-1906 Index (Soundex) to New York Naturalization Records
  • 1798 Federal Direct Tax, New York Locations
  • New York Alien Residents, 1825-1848
  • Revised Master Index to the New York State Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Records Volumes
  • Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, by William Wade Hinshaw
  • Quaker Census of 1828: Members of the New York Yearly Meeting, the Religious Society of Friends (in New York, Ontario, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Quebec) at the Time of the Separation of 1828, compiled by Loren Fay
  • 1842-1859 New York (State) Directories
  • 1845 New York State Census, Population Census of Indian Reservations
  • 1862-1866 Assessment Lists of the Federal Bureau of Internal Revenue
  • The New York State Biographical, Genealogical, and Portrait Index, a card index to over 750,000 names from more than 6,000 histories
  • Special Schedules from 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Federal Censuses
  • Land Records
  • Patents of the State of New York, 1649-1912
  • 1659-1846 Recorded Deeds
  • Calendar of N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts, Indorsed Land Papers; in the Office of the Secretary of State of New York, 1643-1803, by E. B. O’Callaghan
  • Landholders of Northeastern New York, 1739-1802, by Fred Q. Bowman
  • 1789-1835 Holland Land Company Records
  • Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase of Western New York, Embracing Some Account of the Ancient Remains: A Brief History of Our Immediate Predecessors, the Confederated Iroquois, Their system of Government, Wars, Etc., a Synopsis of Colonial History, Some Notices of the Border Wars of the Revolution, by O. Turner
  • Complete Name Index to Pioneer History of the Holland purchase of Western New York by O. Turner, 1849 and 1850, compiled by LaVerne C. Cooley
  • 1804-1824 Western New York Land Transactions Extracted From the Archives of the Holland Land Company, by Karen E. Livsey
  • 1825-1835 Western New York Land Transactions, vol. 2, by Karen E. Livsey
  • Military Lists
  • Guide to New York Civil War Records. See The Union Preserved: A Guide to the Civil War Records in the New York State Archives, edited by Harold Holzer
  • Annual Report of the State Historian of the State of New York, Colonial Series, Transmitted to the Legislature March 3, 1896-March 14, 1898. 2 Vols
  • New York Colonial Muster rolls, 1664-1775: Report of the State Historian of the State of New York
  • Muster Rolls of New York Provincial Troops, 1755-1764
  • Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783-1821, compiled and edited by Hugh Hastings and Henry Harmon Noble
  • New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, these records were discovered, arranged and classified by James A. Roberts
  • New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, v. II A Compilation of Documents and Records from the Office of the State Comptroller, Frederic G. Mather
  • Index of Awards on Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812
  • 1861-1865 – Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of New York
  • Index to Soldiers & Sailors of the Civil War, a searchable name index to 6.3 million Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers
  • Town Clerks’ Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca. 1865-1867
  • 1917-1918 Civilian Draft Registration Cards, New York State
  • World War I Veterans’ Service Data and Photographs (bulk 1919-1924)
  • Newspaper Indexes
  • 1784-1829 American Deaths and Marriages, reproduction of a card file compiled by Joseph Gavit
  • Joseph Gavit’s American Deaths and Marriages: Index to Non-principals in Microfilm Copies of Abstracts in the New York State Library, Albany, New York, compiled by Kenneth Scott
  • Genealogical Data From Colonial New York Newspapers: A Consolidation of Articles from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, compiled by Kenneth Scott
  • 10,000 Vital Records of Central New York, 1813-1850, by Fred Q. Bowman
  • 10,000 Vital Records of Eastern New York, 1777-1834, by Fred Q. Bowman
  • 8000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1850, by Fred Q. Bowman
  • 10,000 Vital Records of Western New York, by Fred Q. Bowman
  • 7000 Hudson-Mohawk Valley, (NY), Vital Records, 1808-1850, by Fred Q. Bowman
  • Personal Name Index to the New York Times, 1851-1993: With Additional Supplements to 1996, and to 2001, compiled by Byron A. Falk, Valerie R. Falk
  • General Index, 1869-1921, Editorial Index, 1902-1923, New York Evening Post
  • CD-ROM Publications, Census Substitutes
  • New York Abstracts of Wills, 1665-1801
  • New York 1675-1920
  • Early New York Families, 1600s-1900s
  • Early Settlers of New York State, 1760-1942
  • Heads-of-Household Listing New York as Birthplace in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • City Directories: New York 1886-1894, Selected Cities & Years
  • Genealogies of Long Island Families, 1600s-1800s
  • Immigrants to the New World, 1600s-1800s
  • Index to Upstate New York Source Records, 1685-1910
  • New York, 1675-1920 Genealogical Records
  • Selected Areas of New York, 1639-1916 Marriage Index
  • New York #2, 1740s-1880s Marriage Index
  • New York City, 1600s-1800s Marriage Index
  • New York in the Revolution and War of 1812
  • New York Passenger and Immigration Lists, 1820-1850
  • New York Revolutionary War Records, 1775-1840

Now envision what this list looks like when added to the county by county listing on the next 140 pages. Plus, there are all the maps and samples in parts two and three of the book. The full contents are listed below.


Order New York State Censuses & Substitutes from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: GPC1494, Price: $35.28.




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New Book! Without Indentures: Index to White Slave Children in Colonial Court Records (Maryland and Virginia)

Every parent has the fear that their child might disappear. And I can tell you that grandparents also have the same fear. As a grandparent of 3 small children, when they are under my care, I watch them like the proverbial hawk.

Believe it or not, based on an English law passed in 1659, minor children could be kidnapped by justices of the peace if they happened to be begging, or just seemed to be vagrant. These children were shipped to the plantations as servants without indentures. According to the author of “Without Indentures: Index to White Slave Children in Colonial Court Records (Maryland and Viginia),” the younger the child, the longer the sentence, and the county courts were the judges of their ages. The judges decided their age – and many of the kids were placed in servitude to the very judges who sentenced them.

Over 5000 children were picked up in Ireland, Scotland, England and New England, and shipped to Virginia and Maryland between 1660 to 1720. The names of these kids, their assigned age, the owner, and the date they appeared in court are found in Richard Phillips brand new book, “Without Indentures: Index to White Slave Children in Colonial Court Records (Maryland and Virginia).” The book also contains an index to ships and their captains that imported the children. A surname index is included.


If you are wondering if your surnames of interest are included in the book, email me with the surname in the subject line of the email. Please – just the surname, no more. I will reply with just one word – yes or no. Send index checking requests to me at .

I got really excited about the volume when, on page, 88, I found an entry for Charles County, Maryland that reads thus: Cornute, Hendrick, 14 June 1670, age 20, John Okeane. I’ve got to wonder, is this possibly a progenitor, sibling or cousin pertaining to my Cornute/Cornett family line? This Cornute is on of the earliest I’ve seen in America. This is a lead I didn’t have before.

Exacting information is given in the book as to where to locate digitized, microfilmed and in some cases original copies of the County Court books from where to the information for this book was taken. Now I can take the next step and view the original document. In my Cornute case mentioned above, the data is actually digitizing and available online!

The following is from the table of contents:

  • Preface
  • Guide to the Records
  • Guide to the Indexes
  • Northampton County, VA
  • Accomack County, VA
  • Somerset County, MD
  • Talbot County, MD
  • Queen Anne’s County, MD
  • Kent County, MD
  • Cecil and Dorchester Counties, MD
  • Baltimore County, MD
  • Anne Arundel County, MD
  • Prince George’s County, MD
  • Charles County, MD
  • Stafford County, VA
  • Westmoreland County, VA
  • Northumberland County, VA
  • Lancaster County, VA
  • Old Rappahannock County, VA
  • Richmond County, VA
  • Essex County, VA
  • Middlesex County, VA
  • York County, VA
  • Charles City County, VA
  • Henrico County, VA
  • Surry County, VA
  • Isle of Wight County, VA
  • Norfolk County, VA
  • Princess Anne County, VA
  • Index to Ship Captains
  • Index to Ship Arrivals
  • Surname Index
  • Appendix: Jacobite Rebels
  • I recommend this book to anyone researching early colonial American relatives, especially for those with New England, Maryland and Virginia ancestry.

    Without Indentures: Index to White Slave Children in Colonial Court Records (Maryland and Virginia); by Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D.; Baltimore MD; 2013; 320 pp, 5.5×8.5; Item #:GPC4606 $29.35.

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