Saturday, April 02, 2011
Genealogy; Determining the Age of a person
In doing family tree research I generally like to have two different sources verify the same data, so I feel it may be right. One source I have recently had reason to use is the Delayed Certificate of Birth Form. Delaware did not start issuing Birth certificates until about 1915. This means anyone who was born before then had to prove his birth by other means – usually a family bible. As this batch of people became older and started to apply for social security one form they found useful to get was a Delayed Certificate of Birth Form. This form is issued for all births registered six months or more after the date of birth.
As I said I like to have at least two sources to verify information in the family tree. Frequently one source will be the census data which not only gives a year the person was born but also related family members. Other useful sources are the tombstone (sometime what is carved in stone is not always correct), family bibles, obituaries, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates. Remember errors can be made with all these sources, so use two sources.
Birth records, marriages, death records are held in a secure fashion by the government. The records, generally, are held until 72 years have elapsed after the date of birth, or 40 years have elapsed after the date of death or marriage. Such records in the custody of the State Registrar shall become available to any person upon submission of an application containing sufficient information to locate the record. It is also put on various on-line websites after that passage of time.
So looking for the date of death or birth can be determined from census records which are on-line up to 1930. For more recent deaths an obituary from a newspaper is good as many newspaper have them on-line. If the on-line service for the obituary turns out to be a paid on-line newspaper service look at your google search for that word at the end of the found item that says "cache." Google takes a snapshot of each page it examines and caches (stores) that version as a back-up. The cached version is what Google uses to judge if a page is a good match for your query. Since it is not going to the website but using googles own storage you can sometime bypass the paid service by clicking on the cache instead.
When talking about on-line genealogy research you will have to start at ancestry.com. Ancestry.com has one of the largest data bases for genealogy research – however it cost money. Now you will often see the ad for a free trial for 14 days but I don’t know anyone who has escaped without paying a fee. When you sign in for the free trial you have to give credit card and if you don’t cancel your free subscription in the manner they dictate you get charged a fee.
When I want to use Ancestry I go to a public library that has it, for me it would be either Salisbury or up to Dover at the Public archives. It’s free there.
My current favorite website, and it has worked well for this “Taylor” family connection, is the Latter Day Saints website Family Search at https://www.familysearch.org/
The best part is it is simple, with no popups. The person I am looking for is George Taylor. He was not a direct family member but I needed information on him to complete a family tree writeup am doing.
At the website; Fill in first name”George”, last name” taylor”, location “Delaware” time period start “1896” end “1955”
In this case the search bought up a hundred or so George Taylors and combinations of the name.
Looking thru them I found the George Taylor I was looking for in a census (with image to look at), a marriage certificate, his daughter's birth certificate and a copy of his delayed birth certificate.
From these forms additional family members, middle names, and birthdates can be found plus a series of evidence from marriage records to child birth records. From this you can search for other members of the family
Remember the above criteria for records; if it is something less than 40 years or 72 years you probably won’t find it here.
Not everyone is in their data base but it is a good gold mine to mine until the vein runs out. Usually in reseaching you do well for short period of time and than the data connections run out. At that time you can search other family names in that time period in hopes that they will have a scrap of information about the person you are hunting.
A second source is Ancestry.com for Delaware. Sometime back, the Public Archives in Delaware made a deal with ancestry.com that Delaware records could be copied and put on their website and Delaware residents (at least those holding a library card with a pin) could look at those records at ancestry.com for free - Only the Delaware records are free. Well it was a questionable deal, but I will give you the steps to access them – if you can. You will need a Delaware library card and a pin for that card number. Remember if you are a Maryland resident with a delmar delaware library card you can do this for free also.
1.Go to the Delaware Library Catalog page at http://ilsapp.lib.de.us/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/x/0/49/
2.In the upper right corner of the Delaware Library Catalog log onto that site with your library card number and PIN. This will give you a new Delaware Library page.
3.Click on "Delaware Genealogy Online" in the menu at center - top of the page. This will take you to the Delaware page of Ancestry.com.
4.You may now search the vital records, but in order to view and print the record you must click the link to sign up for a free Ancestry.com trial account. Ancestry.com will ask you for your name and an email address. Ancestry.com will then email you a user name and password. Based on the Web path you took to get here Ancestry.com knows that you have a Delaware library card and will issue a non-expiring free membership limited to Delaware vital records. The problems I had with it was Another family member has a family tree and membership on ancestry. He gave me a limited membership to just look at that family tree. When I tried to use the email address to sign up for the Delaware part Ancestry refused to recognize it as a Delaware resident. I had to use a different email address that ancestry.com had not seen before.
I have had much trouble with this site but I have been able to get a few things Family Search was not able to provide.
5.Once you have received your user name and password, you can not only search but also view the digitized records from the Delaware Public Archives anytime. But not print. It is very difficult to use this program. Every chance it gets it keeps popping up with their free trail offer. Put simply Delaware got screwed taking this offer up from Ancestry.com.