URBAN-L ArchivesArchiver > URBAN > 2000-03 > 0954264425
Subject: [URBAN] Ancestry Daily News, 28 March 2000
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 12:27:05 EST
Ancestry Daily News
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28 March 2000
In this issue:
- Database of the Day:
----- Portland, Oregon City Directories, 1890-1893
----- WWI Civilian Draft Registrations (Update)
----- Louisville, Kentucky Directory, 1887 (Update)
----- Reminiscences of a Wisconsin Pioneer Missionary
----- Christian Science Monitor (Boston), Obituaries, 1999
- Today's Featured Map:
----- Milan, 1913
- "The Long Form," by Michael John Neill
- Share Your Opinion
- Ancestry Quick Tip
- Thought for Today
- Product of the Day at the Online Store
ANCESTRY STATE AND COUNTRY RESOURCE PAGES
Use the Reference section to learn how to advance your research from a
geographic perspective. Our State Resources will acquaint you with
state-specific resources using fact sheets, databases, links, and maps of the
fifty United States and the District of Columbia. Also, access Country Fact
Sheets from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
DATABASE OF THE DAY (Free for 10 Days!)
PORTLAND, OREGON CITY DIRECTORIES, 1890-1893
Located near the confluence of the Columbia and Williamette Rivers, Portland
one of the largest cities in Oregon. This database is a transcription of two
city directories originally published in 1890 and 1891. In addition to
the resident's name, it provides information regarding their address and
occupation. This collection includes the names of over 62,200 people, mostly
heads of households. For those seeking ancestors from western Oregon, this
be an informative database.
Source Information: "Portland City Directory, 1890." Portland, OR: R. L.
and Co., 1890. "Portland City Directory, 1891." Portland, OR: R. L. Polk and
To search this database, go to:
This database is also included in the 1890 Census Reconstruction Project and
be searched through its main page at:
WWI CIVILIAN DRAFT REGISTRATIONS (Update)
In 1917 and 1918, approximately 24 million men, (ninety-eight percent of men
present in America), born between 1873 and 1900 completed draft registration
cards. During these two years, three registration days were held in each
district where the registrant completed the registration card. Information
on these cards generally included, among other information, birth date, birth
location, father's birthplace, and the address of next of kin. This civilian
registration is often confused with induction into the military; however,
small percentage of these men were actually called up for military service.
Originally posted to Ancestry.com in January of 1998 and taken from the
draft cards, this database provides information on some of the men
This update, part of an ongoing project, adds over 300,000 names to the
previously posted database and brings the total number of names provided to
million. It adds information on registrants from Florida, Mississippi, and
Source Information: Banks, Ray. "World War I Civilian Draft Registrations."
Vegas, NV: Ray Banks, 1995, 2000.
To search this database, go to:
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY DIRECTORY, 1887 (Update)
The largest city in Kentucky at the turn of the century, Louisville was home
an estimated 160,000 residents in 1890. Originally published in 1887, this
database is a directory of city residents. This update brings the total
to over 41,100 with surnames ranging from A-T. Each record provides the
resident's name, occupation and other helpful notes. For persons seeking
ancestors who lived in the Louisville area before 1900, this can be a helpful
and informative database.
Source Information: Cravin, Amy, ed. "1887 Louisville, Kentucky City
Directory." [Database online] Orem, UT: Ancestry, Inc., 1999-2000. Taken
"Louisville City Directory, 1887." n.p., 1887.
To search this database, go to:
REMINISCENCES OF A WISCONSIN PIONEER MISSIONARY
Emigrating in 1848 from North Brabant, Holland at the age of seven,
Verwyst arrived at the port of Boston and eventually made his way to
This database is a narrative written by him and originally published in
contains his account of settling in Brown County, attending Catholic seminary
near Milwaukee during the Civil War, and joining the Franciscan order in
Chronicling his pastoral travels, it provides descriptions of such
as New London, Keshena, Hudson, Seneca, Duluth, and Superior. Additionally,
recounts a variety of festive celebrations and agricultural practices. For
Ancestry.com patrons attempting to better understand the life of Midwest
Catholics in the nineteenth century, this can be a helpful narrative.
Source Information: Library of Congress. "Pioneering the Upper Midwest:
from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910." [Database online]
Washington: Library of Congress, 1999. Verwyst, Chrysostom. "Reminiscences
Pioneer Missionary." Madison, WI: n.p., 1916.
To search this database, go to:
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR (BOSTON), OBITUARIES, 1999
Source Information: Bell and Howell Information and Learning Company.
"Obituaries from the Christian Science Monitor, 1999." Orem, UT: Ancestry
To search this database, go to:
TODAY'S FEATURED MAP
Today's featured map is:
To view this map, go to:
"THE LONG FORM," by Michael John Neill
It was hanging on the door when we got home: the long form of the year 2000
And it was full of questions.
For starters, the form requested my sex, age, and exact date of birth. There
were also questions regarding my race including several Spanish, Hispanic,
Latino choices; several Asian choices; Black (group with African American and
Negro); American Indian (with place to indicate tribe); White; and other. I
also asked for my marital status, whether or not I had attended school the
year, and the city and county I was residing in five years ago.
I was asked if I had a serious hearing or vision impairment or if I had
remembering and getting dressed due to a physical, mental, or emotional
condition. Since I am over sixteen, I was also to answer whether or not I
difficulty leaving the house or working at a job or business.
There were questions regarding any grandchildren I might have living in the
house and my military service. I was to indicate the current grade of school
attended and the highest level of education completed. My ancestry or ethnic
origin was also asked. I entered Ostfriesen as it represents half my
ancestry--everything else was not going to fit.
I was asked about my citizenship status, how well I spoke English, and where
was born. I did not need to give the year I came to the United States. The
of my employer and the nature of the business or industry were also asked,
with my occupation and the most important duties of my job. The number of
worked per year and hours worked per week were included as were several
questions regarding my personal income. There were questions about interest
income, social security income, SSI, public assistance and retirement
Fortunately the census comes around tax time.
I also indicated that I traveled to work in a car, driving alone leaving at
a.m. each day and driving for twenty minutes. I was not laid off from work
had not been temporarily absent from my job. I had not been informed that I
would be recalled to work, nor had I been looking for work in the last four
Our home, built between 1970 and 1979, is detached from any other home and is
mortgaged. There are three bedrooms in our house, complete plumbing
(that is: hot and cold piped water, a flush toilet, and a bathtub or shower)
complete kitchen facilities (sink with piped water, a stove, and a
refrigerator). We have telephone service, gas heat, and two cars. Our lot is
less than one acre. It only seems larger when I am mowing it.
There were questions regarding the amount we spend annually for electricity,
gas, and water.
Other members of my household (not my family but my household--an important
distinction) answered the same background questions that I did. They were not
asked the questions regarding the place where they were living.
Answering all these questions reminded me of a few pitfalls that we encounter
when using the census to learn more about the lives of our ancestors:
IT'S TRUE BECAUSE I SAID SO
The vast majority of the information contained in my returned census form was
not validated with primary records. Most notable were my birth date, age, and
state of birth. I simply provided the information. There was no place to
pictures of the home showing the "complete plumbing facilities" or
of our utility bill. How many of our ancestors were absolutely certain of
age, birth places of parents, and other information contained in their forms?
A few people filling out the 2000 census form will have this attitude,
especially regarding the financial information requested on the "long" form.
your ancestor have a "mind your own business" state of mind when the census
taker knocked on the door?
I wonder how many people will get out their last twelve utility statements in
order to obtain the annual amount spent on utilities. Might give one cause to
reflect when great-great-grandfather indicates he spent $250 in repairs to
barn in the 1880 Federal Agricultural Census.
Genealogists are probably more patient with the long form than most people.
However, my patience was tested as my wife continued to ask me question after
question as she filled out the form. Were our ancestors tempted to just give
answers in order to get the census taker out of their house?
Despite potential frustrations, I am not encouraging you to misrepresent
information on your census form. It is in our best interest to complete the
2000 census form and to encourage accurate counting. People will always be
missed, and it is important to remember that a variety of federal and state
programs are impacted by census results. Schools are encouraging students to
remind their parents about the 2000 census and one child gets a party at
if every parent in her class returns a slip indicating they have returned
However, when we return to our genealogical work and use census records it is
important to remember that our ancestor's attitude toward the census may have
impacted their answers. When coupled with language difficulties and poor
taker handwriting, the potential for error in census records used for family
history research is greatly increased.
In seventy-two years everyone will be able to find out what I put down for my
annual electricity bill!
NOTE: Readers wanting to learn more about the long form for the Census 2000
find the following sites helpful.
Census 2000 Forms for Download (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Census 2000 Long Form Help
Census 2000 Frequently Asked Questions
Don't forget in your quest to leave information for your descendants to leave
other information as well. Last week's article "Copy Your Census Form?"
addresses some of these concerns.
Copyright 2000, Michael John Neill. Michael John Neill, is the Course I
Coordinator at the Genealogical Institute of Mid America (GIMA) held
Springfield, Illinois, and is also on the faculty of Carl Sandburg College in
Galesburg, Illinois. Michael is the Web columnist for the FGS FORUM and is on
the editorial board of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly. He
conducts seminars and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical and computer
topics and contributes to several genealogical publications, including
and Genealogical Computing. You can e-mail him at:
or visit his website at: http://www.rootdig.com/
ANCESTRY QUICK TIP
When I am doing my genealogy on the Internet, I have my Family Group Sheets
close by as a quick name reference, along with my Research Log Sheets as to
where I have been in my searches for each name, and my handy maps of each
that I have found my ancestors living in. These state maps show the counties
only. I highlight the counties that my ancestors have been located in. With a
quick glance at the counties, I can choose what county to check next. I
add the county to my Research Log Sheet and add any notes according to what
found if anything.
I always know where I'm going and I always know where I've been. If you do a
thorough job the first time around, your find will be most rewarding in the
Keep your Research Log Sheets also for brainstorming later in case you've
something! You can back tract much faster when you know where you've been.
Thanks to Barb for today's Quick Tip! If you have a tip that you would like
share with other researchers, you can send it to:
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
"The Possible's slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination."
-----Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886
SHARE YOUR OPINION
HOW WOULD YOU CATEGORIZE THE WAY YOU DO ONLINE GENEALOGY?
----- I use Ancestry.com as my primary source for online genealogy.
----- I have more than one primary source for online genealogy.
----- I use Ancestry.com as a secondary source for online genealogy.
To share your opinion and see what others are saying, go to:
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Juliana Smith, Editor, Ancestry Daily News
Jennifer Browning, Associate Editor
Please feel free to circulate this newsletter to other genealogy
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