GERMANNA_COLONIES-L ArchivesArchiver > GERMANNA_COLONIES > 2007-12 > 1197332207
Subject: [GERMANNA] Useful Research Tool Available in Many Family HistoryCenters
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 19:16:47 EST
If any of the subscribers live near an LDS Family History Center, there is a
useful--but flawed--tool available for your use. If you don't know the
locality of an FHC, check this URL _www.familysearch.org_
Ignore the *fill-in-the-blank* stuff because it will lead you away from the
*meat* of this very useful tool. This URL, which has links to the FH Library
Catalog [on the far right], a list of over 3,000 centers world-wide, links to
several censuses of 1880 [US], and Canadian and UK censuses of 1881, forms
of all kinds, guides, etc.
However, the following paragraphs refer to a specific tool [finding aid for
genealogists] available at most FHCs.
Click on the link to a list of the centers around the world to find whether
one is in your neighborhood. You will have to click on the first thing that
shows up and be more specific in your quest for a center near your home.
Just filling in the blank with your home town won't do the trick.
I know there is a center in McLean, Virginia, but I had to answer a bunch of
questions first, and then found its name is Annandale!!! But the telephone
number is there and the operating hours. Were I you, I would not rely on the
hours which are given. These centers are staffed by volunteers, not paid
workers, and volunteers have emergencies, etc. I would telephone the center
and ask what hours they currently have. And do that the day before you
intend to go to the FHC. And even the morning of your planned visit.
Anyway, the next question to the volunteer at the FHC will be:
Do you have hundreds of microfiche called AIS = Accelerated Indexing System?
I am told that most FHCs when they opened were provided with this group of
microfiche (as well as many others).
What is AIS? It is more or less a census index for the entire United States
in its various stages of growth through the 1850 census. This way, you may
be able to pick up the migration patterns of your ancestors--and did they
move!!! (Remember how the Louisiana Purchase expanded our country greatly? And
all the Indian *cessions*?)
As stated in some of the Germanna messages, many Germanna descendants
migrated from Virginia to Kentucky, and from there to Missouri, and then everywhere
else!!! Even to Mississippi and now out West.
Since AIS groups all the census indexes for all the states together in this
index, you may be able to find your Germanna family in other states besides
the one or ones you had in mind.
Warning--there are plenty of errors in this index, but that should not
prevent you from using it. Since you are a descendant, you must know something of
one or two of your ancestors. If you know where the family was in 1850,
start with that census and work your way back through the indexes for earlier
censuses. Each census year, except for the first, is called a Search. The
first census called Search One, really combines a lot of tax lists to make up
for the largely missing 1790 census and some of the earlier censuses, I believe
through 1820, but it may be 1810.
Do not overlook the last Searches in AIS. They are indexes to the mortality
schedules for 1850 and 1860. I found a couple of ancestors' deaths listed
in those Searches.
Example of how AIS helped me, after I learned about it at a lecture at my
local FHC. We had an old letter in our extended family dated 1845 and sent by
packet to *Vixburg*. It was addressed to my great-grandfather, about whom we
only knew that he was born in Kentucky in 1818. (That info was in the
Kemper Family Genealogy, probably provided by his widow, but the actual town was
wrong!) He was in Texas in 1852 or so, as reflected in a county deed book.
If one makes a time line, one finds quite a few years--not to say
events--are missing in this man's life!!! I used the AIS--and bingo--I found him
listed in the 1850 census in Warren Co., MS. When I read the actual filmed
census, I found he, along with an older partner, was operating a tavern. I then
hired a genealogist who did work in Jackson, MS State ARchives, The dear man
sent me not only deeds for the purchase but also the sale of the tavern [to
his older partner], but also a marriage record, and a handdrawn map of where
the tavern was located. We had other letters written after 1845 which
indicated the bride my ancestor had acquired in Vicksburg had died later of
*consumption*--and childless. Afterwards, my great-grandfather married my old-maid
school-teacher named Kemper, and she gave him three children.
Can the AIS help you solve a problem? Only you will know. Do become
acquainted with this tool if you can. Online censuses may help, but people who use
them a lot tell me the indexing is very flawed. Even the filmed ones are
sometimes flawed. One experienced volunteer at my local FHC found a family
with the head of the family listed at the bottom of the page. On turning to the
next filmed page, she found the family was of a different race. Apparently
a page or two had not been filmed!!!! (I still cannot find my husband's
German grandparents in the place where they are *supposed to be*--even with
Ancestry.com and its pretty good search engine. I am suspecting that only parts
of that town's census was filmed. I need to recheck.
How many of us have found a big blob of ink just where our immigrant
ancestor, for the only time in a census, gave the German state where he was born!!!
Even if you have no intention of using this tool right away, educate
yourself as to how it works.
Go back to _www.familysearch.org_ (http://www.familysearch.org) Look
for a tab entitled *Research Helps* near the top. On the next screen on the
left side, click on *Search by Title*
The A list will pop up. The second title is the one you want *Accelerated
If you cannot digest what you read on the screen, print it out [pdf] and
study it. Get the person at FHC to help you understand. He/she may not know
about this, so be persistent and ask where the microfiche are stored. Just be
sure to put a cardboard marker where you take out a microfiche, so that the
next person can find the one you are using after you finish. (And explore the
other collections of microfiche which are stored there. There are some
great distractions, need I say?)
If this does not make sense, e-mail me. If I have left out a step, correct
me! That is how we learn--by helping one another! I get some of my greatest
tips by overhearing an experienced genealogist give instructions to a
**************************************See AOL's top rated recipes