Thursday, March 10, 2016

The 21 Day Genealogy Challenge - Day 13: A Week in Review

“Absence of Proof is Not Proof of Absence.”
– William Cowper

Congratulations! You have made it to day 13 of the 21 Day Genealogy Challenge!   We have been quite busy the past few days.  Today is a good day to review and catch up with any areas you may have missed in the past week.

U.S. Federal Census

United States Federal Census records hold quite a few clues about our ancestors.  In Day 8 of this challenge, we compared the 1910 and 1940 census forms.  While the 1910 census gives us information on the number of children a mother gave birth to and compared it to the number of children living, the 1940 census gave us a peek into where our ancestors were residing in 1935.

What new information were you able to glean from taking a fresh look at census records?  If your ancestor emigrated from Great Britain, you may want to look at the census records from the decades they were residing there.  Keep in mind, Great Britain runs their census on the 1s, meaning 1901, 1911, 1921, etc.

City Directories

If you had never before consulted the city directories, were you surprised at the information you found there?  I know I was.  By consulting the city directories, we not only can track the movement of our ancestors between censuses, we can also see who they were living with and were they were working.  A census will tell you the kind of employment, but the city directory may reveal the name and address of the employer.

 WWI/II Draft Records 

What I love about the military draft records is the personal information the documents provide.  Not only do we see the signature of our ancestor, but we also learn height, weight, and hair and eye colour.  For me it adds a personal touch that goes beyond the black and white or sepia photos we may have seen.  Did your search in the draft records reveal information that surprised you?  

Google Maps

Google maps can be fun.  When I was researching my family in Wales, I was interested in seeing the village that my relatives lived in.  One of the addresses I entered took me to a highway location.  The house had been demolished decades before and a highway ran through the neighbourhood.  I was still able to see the village with its narrow streets, row houses and tiny shops.  Years later, when I was able to travel to Wales, I felt as though I knew the village and enjoyed walking the streets and looking at the centuries old church that my ancestors would have attended and married in.  I even toured the churchyard cemetery and located their graves.  I have a photograph of the headstone of my great-great grandmother.  I was able to locate the exact spot of her resting place.  While her headstone no longer exists, I took a photograph at the same standing location of the original photo to use for comparison and shared both pictures in my genealogy program.


I am asked quite often which newspaper site I favour.  I will tell you, I like any site that gives me search results.  Sometimes those results are in Ancestry, and other times I find information in GenealogyBank or  You cannot rely on just one outlet.  When researching our ancestors we should leave no stone unturned. 

How did your newspaper search go this past week?  Were you successful?  Did you find that your ancestors were listed as guests at a party?  Or perhaps you found them listed in an article about a family reunion?  Often times we only find marriage and obituary announcements.  Those are good, too, because they provide us with names of relatives and possible vital record dates.


I don’t know about you, but scanning, recording and sharing photographs is going to be a long term project for me.  The upside is that I am blessed to have these photographs.  I would rather have a long project ahead of me than to not have any photographs at all.  I once had a relative ask me if I ever get frustrated doing family history work.  Absolutely not!  It has never crossed my mind to be frustrated.  Genealogy is a journey and we know it will be long and have stumbling blocks.  When we come across that one new piece of information we’ve been waiting for, it makes all that waiting and hard work worth it!
Coming soon!

In the coming week we will continue to discuss where to look for evidence of your ancestors.  If you have any questions regarding the information covered already, feel free to leave a message in the comments below or email me at the address on the sidebar of this blogsite.

Congratulations on completing the thirteenth day of the 21 Day Genealogy Challenge!  Please invite your friends and family to join this challenge by sharing this blog with them on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.  The share icons are just below this blog entry.

Thank you for joining this challenge and remember…..

History not shared is History forgotten!