Questions tagged [united-states]

For questions about ancestors and records in the USA. This includes previous political entities within the geographical boundaries of the present-day USA, such as the relevant European colonies. Also tag the state if the question is specific to that state.

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8
votes
1answer
129 views

How can I link (or separate) the Civil War soldier and the photographer?

In 1862, John S Shipman advertised in the Brooklyn Standard Union that his services included "pictures taken of deceased persons" as well as "views made of private dwellings." How might I gather ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Instructions for World War I Draft Cards (US)?

I've been reviewing several US World War I Draft cards. Who determined whether someone was "tall", "medium", or "short"? Was there a standard range for "tall"? "medium"? "short"? Just thinking it ...
6
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1answer
89 views

Finding out more about Haynes, Sparrell & Co letterhead from 1901 in Boston?

Sparrell is a fairly rare last name so I google seach it occasionally and search on various sites. On ebay I ran across an envelope from "Hayes, Sparrell & Co." to A.J. Ives, Brandon, VT ...
6
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4answers
329 views

Learning great-grandmothers maiden name when courthouse burned down?

My great grandmother, who I know only as Jennie Maria, was born in Michigan in 1846 and married my great Grandfather there in Lenawee county about 1867. According to what I have found out, the ...
3
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3answers
106 views

How can I find a more specific date of death than that given on a headstone in the US before the 1800s?

Many head-stones only show the year of death, not the full date. Others may record the internment date rather than date of death. Where would I locate more accurate dates of death before the 1800's ...
5
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2answers
195 views

Did US cities like Chicago keep registers of “aliens” in the 1880's-1890's?

Would there be any registers or lists of resident "aliens" in US city, county, state or federal records in the 1880's and 1890's? In other words, registers of those who are not US citizens, such as ...
6
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2answers
193 views

How should I document a surname change from the mid- to late 1700s (US)?

I have a gg grandfather that had a different surname than his father, FIVEASH for the son, FISH for the father. This was in Virginia mid to late 1700s. How could I learn if this surname had been ...
3
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2answers
140 views

Surname “Merriss” (or “Merris”) mid- to late 1600s, New England (US)

Has anyone come across early New Enland records for surname Merriss or Merris? I am looking for parentage of a William Merriss who lived in Rhode Island and was married there at the Second ...
12
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1answer
713 views

World War I Draft Registration (US) card office markings?

My great-uncle Lester Clifton of Springfield, Illinois registered for the WWI draft and on the bottom left side of the draft card is a large zero or uppercase 'O'. I cannot find out what this ...
8
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2answers
2k views

What is the significance of a “right of dower” in this 1830s era deed (Ohio/New Hampshire, USA)?

Working with 19th-century deeds, I often find the wife has executed the deed in what is described as an act of relinquishing her "right of Dower." (Corrections to the way I have described that ...
14
votes
1answer
680 views

Determining whether soldier in US Civil War was German mercenary?

I am looking for ways to determine whether Civil War soldiers were hired mercenaries. I know the name of my great-great grandfather only from a census record when he was living with his son. From that ...
0
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3answers
600 views

Tracing ancestors from 1800 back in Kentucky/Tennessee (USA)?

I have a least three male relatives born between 1800 and 1810 that I cannot trace back further. How should I continue my research? ( they all seem to be USA born Kentucky, Tennessee)
10
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5answers
4k views

Merchant marine - how to research people who worked on ships?

I am researching a relative who disappears from conventional genealogical records. He married and fathered children regularly until his wife died but does not appear in census records with his family ...
3
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4answers
229 views

Researching Native American ancestry

How do you research your native American ancestry, when all you have is old family stories, but no records?
6
votes
1answer
104 views

Meaning of term “Irregularly resigned” for ancestor who served in American Revolutionary War?

While researching an ancestor who served during the American Revolutionary War, I found the term "irregularly resigned" being used. The term, as far as I can see, is only being used when referring to ...
9
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3answers
606 views

Sources for Border Crossings between Toronto and Chicago in early 1890's?

What records might exist for border crossings and travel in early 1890's between Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA, probably via Michigan? The family members involved ...
3
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3answers
334 views

How can a name be corrected in the 1940 census?

A next door neighbor in the 1940 census is listed with a wrong surname. Is it possible to have that corrected?
5
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4answers
206 views

Is there a federal government office that could provide information about a US civil war/military headstone?

I discovered that a Civil War ancestor has a relatively recent headstone that is actually for a distant cousin with the same name. I'd like to know what government office handles these and might there ...
6
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3answers
278 views

Finding New York City/State records relating to Sellars family (British subjects) births/deaths mid 19th century?

On advice of @efgen I split this question into two - one for New York and one for Panama, but left the same detail for both thinking the fact that Robert Sellars was in both geographic areas might ...
7
votes
1answer
114 views

Naturalization not granted: where to look for additional information?

I found a naturalization record for a person I am researching in the "New York, Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in New York City, 1792-1989" on Ancestry.com. On the second page of the ...
4
votes
1answer
192 views

Finding birth record for William R Rediker who was born ca 1832 in USA?

My 2x Grandfather William R Rediker passed in 1884. He is laid to rest at Bennett Cemetery, in Cheatham County, Tennessee, USA. The information I've obtained is as follows: U.S. Census 1880, 1870, ...
7
votes
3answers
460 views

New York City vital records collections

I had the good fortune to start my online genealogical searching on people who lived in Chicago, and then moved to California. Both Ancestry.com and Family Search web sites provide a number of ...
13
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5answers
166 views

How to do research using local resources remotely?

My great great great grandfather spent some of his life in Houghton, Houghton, Michigan, United States, and I would like to find more records for that area regarding his family. The problem is that I ...
5
votes
5answers
335 views

Why aren't census images made available by the US government?

It seems like the cost of digitizing (not indexing, just digitizing) the U.S. Censuses would not be astronomical. Have there been any efforts to either: Encourage the US government to scan these ...
11
votes
9answers
20k views

What are the pre-1993 US Air Force Specialty Codes?

Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC's) are used to denote what responsibility or job someone is performing in the Air Force. The system was overhauled in 1993 to better match recent restructuring and ...
14
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6answers
376 views

How to find wife's maiden name in New England in the 1700s?

All too often it seems I have a family in New England in the 1700s where I know the father and several children but only have a given name for the mother in the family. (The children's birth records ...
8
votes
2answers
98 views

Where are Illinois County Court records archived?

According to the Illinois State Genealogical Society newsletter, between 1867 and 1964, adoptions were handled by the County Courts, which were abolished in 1964. Where does one look now for ...
8
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4answers
3k views

Was Ellis Island the only immigration inspection station in New York in the 1880's?

This question was brought about by the fact that some of my ancestors immigrated from Russia to New York in the 1880's. The source I have for that fact is a citizenship application. Was Ellis Island ...
12
votes
3answers
226 views

What details are needed about ancestor to uncover ship they immigrated to America on?

What basic information do I need to have about my ancestor before I start looking for the ship that he/she came to America on? So that I don't waste a lot of time fruitlessly searching for a ship - ...
10
votes
5answers
942 views

Finding original surname of adopted child from New York?

My late father-in-law was adopted by his step-father when he was 10. My late grandmother-in-law never talked about her first husband and there is some confusion on the first husband's surname. My ...
12
votes
2answers
528 views

Tracing US ancestor back to Germany?

My great great great grandfather came over from Germany, but I don't know how to find when or where. His name is Henry Fischer about 1821-1898, married to Dorothea Holiday Fischer about 1825-unknown. ...
12
votes
4answers
416 views

Finding New York birth record from around 1804?

My 3rd great grandfather, Charles James Sanderson, was born around 1804 in New York according to the 1851 and 1861 England Census (and some other references I've been able to find). The earliest ...
8
votes
2answers
240 views

What did it mean to come of age in 1684 at Saco (now Maine, USA)?

John Presbury died 1679 of Saco, now Maine, USA, but then Massachusetts Bay Colony. John left minor sons including William Presbury. John's estate was administered by others until his son, William, "...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Birth record for Illinois or Michigan birth in 1881?

I am having trouble locating a reliable birth record for a person in my tree. According to the 1900 census record, a certain Mollie Goetz/Getz was born in Feb 1881 in Illinois. "United States ...
5
votes
1answer
53 views

What resources exist for information about ancestors affected by the Expulsion of the Acadians?

I believe I had ancestors in Acadia who were expelled by the British in the mid-18th century. Are there any surviving records from this event? Where can they be found?
15
votes
3answers
229 views

Finding Utah ancestor's parents after exhausting BMD records, census and newspapers?

Though his known life history is quite lurid, I have spent 40 years searching for the parents of my great-grandfather. He was born in 1859, first married in Salt Lake City in 1884, divorced while in ...
10
votes
3answers
748 views

Why did my Uncle's Death Certificate Not Appear in the Family History Library's Archives?

In 1987, an uncle, one of my Dad's siblings, disappeared without leaving any word of his whereabouts. At the time, he lived in Denver, Colorado. Fast forward to 1998, I left the military and took a ...
13
votes
1answer
181 views

Where do I find the record pointed to by a naturalization index?

I found an image of an index record for a declaration of intent in a New York court, published online as part of the collection Alphabetical Index to Declarations of Intention of the U.S. District ...
24
votes
2answers
486 views

What does it mean if a probate index lists a person's record as “Insanity of”, instead of “Estate of”?

I found my ancestor listed in a probate index for McLeod County, Minnesota, USA around the year 1882. His record is in the format "Last Name, First Name, Insanity of", instead of "Last Name, First ...
8
votes
3answers
359 views

Migration route from New Hampshire to Ohio ca1810-1816?

My ancestor, William Preston, resided Rumney, Grafton County, New Hampshire in 1808. By about 1816, he had removed to and settled at Fort Winchester in the area of now Defiance, Defiance County, Ohio. ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Tracking down an adoption in New Mexico from 1916

I am trying to get more information about an adoption that took place in New Mexico in 1916. The laws around adoption and record privacy seem to be varied, but many states simply don't reveal this ...
13
votes
2answers
354 views

How can I get all the military records available through NARA (USA) for an individual veteran?

When requesting the military records for an individual veteran from the national archives, I was only sent the discharge summary. How do I know if there are any more records available for the ...

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