Jan Murphy
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  • Member for 8 years, 2 months
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What could explain that somebody is buried half a year after dying?
26 votes

Note the time of year of the death and the time of year of the burial. In New England, I've seen several obituaries from winter deaths that say someone will be buried later in the spring. In the post ...

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How many sources/citations is too many?
18 votes

To me the whole question of how much to cite is an artifact of trying to use lineage-linked software as a tool for recording what we find in evidence. It took me years to figure out that these ...

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Why would someone born in the U.S. file a petition for naturalization?
Accepted answer
16 votes

The crucial question here, for the women who married alien couples, is when did the couples marry? Between 1907 and 1922, women who were US-born lost their US citizenship when marrying a foreign (aka &...

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Determining what records are available in a particular locale?
13 votes

For me, the answer to the question "Is there one generic process a researcher can follow to figure out what records are available for a particular place and time?" starts with a review of ...

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Generational Loss of Data with DNA Testing
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13 votes

(Note: I did not view the updated part of the question before writing this answer, so my original answer does not address the specific scenario added in the update. See the section below the dividing ...

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Where were my parents married?
11 votes

With a marriage that took place before Loving vs. Virginia I see three possibilities: Your parents didn't disclose your mother's heritage (i.e. she could 'pass'). Your parents married somewhere else (...

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How would you handle a census record that is almost certainly the target family but which has too many discrepancies?
11 votes

I have a similar case in the 1930 Census. I have city directory listings showing where my focus family might be, but I cannot find a 1930 Census record. Ancestry.com suggests a match to me where the ...

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What do Family Tree Maker users do, now that FTM has been discontinued?
Accepted answer
10 votes

In late December 2016, MacKiev announced the free update for users who had previously purchased FTM2014 from Ancestry. (This was an update for users who had Ancestry's FTM2014 to MacKiev's version of ...

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Seeking English term for relationship between two members of extended family?
Accepted answer
10 votes

The determination of relationship terms -- what is X called -- is a task best suited to linguists and anthropologists, who ask informants to describe what is happening in their own culture. Software ...

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Where to find information on villages Jablonow & Suchostaw, Husiatyn, Ukraine (Galicia area, formerly Austria & Poland)?
10 votes

Both towns are listed in Gesher Galicia's All-Galicia Database. Gesher Galicia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that promotes and conducts Jewish genealogical and historical research for ...

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Two ships, two manifests, same passengers?
9 votes

Entries on passenger manifests were lined out when the passengers did not sail, were changed to a different class of travel, or did not embark or disembark at the port stated on the manifest header. ...

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Getting started in Irish research?
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9 votes

I've been putting off research in Ireland, because I haven't been able to get far back enough in the USA to make the leap across the water, so this answer will be based on search results more than ...

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Which FHL microfilms are available to view online?
9 votes

2020 Update: For the content in this answer, assume that the user has an account with FamilySearch and has logged in to their account. 2017 Update: As of September 7, 2017, FamilySearch has ...

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If my Ancestry subscription lapses will my links to premium data still be valid?
Accepted answer
9 votes

Since this question was originally asked, Ancestry has not changed the policy quoted in Gene Golovchinsky's answer. Your tree remains intact, including the links to the content you've attached to your ...

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How to incorporate large amounts of data from Ancestry.com
9 votes

To complement the previous answer -- sites do exist where people have shared their GEDCOM files for download. Here are some things to consider if you could download the entire tree. 'Best practice' ...

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Can 19th century US Census records be reliably used to identify a family of origin?
9 votes

Questions of this kind are a sign that the researcher needs to consider making the transition from person-based to source-based genealogy. In a post dated Tuesday, March 22, 2011 titled The Chasm, ...

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What is "Canada E" in the 1860 US Federal Census?
Accepted answer
9 votes

To answer this question, it helps to understand some Canadian history, especially basic facts about Canada's creation. A good overview can be found in Yvonne Sorensen's webinar Using Canadian Census ...

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What can analyze a tree and suggest what your next research goal(s) should be?
Accepted answer
9 votes

In addition to GenSmarts, there are other programs that will help you track your research progress. GenDetective by Rumblesoft, Inc., like GenSmarts, reads files from genealogy software (see ...

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What do these extra numbers mean on this ship manifest?
Accepted answer
9 votes

Adrian is correct -- as he suggested in the earlier answer, we can find some clues in Marian L. Smith's Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations. Let's look at the two lines you are most ...

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Seeking 1912 Passenger Lists into United States for ships near RMS Titanic?
Accepted answer
8 votes

There are multiple approaches to this problem -- here are my recommendations for how to go about the search. Important note: Do not assume there is only one passenger list -- many families had family ...

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What fields are available from a Social Security Death Index (SSDI) search at different websites?
8 votes

Over the past few years, there have been efforts to restrict ALL access to the SSDI. Some background to explain why RootsWeb's search form was taken down, and why other websites now have redacted ...

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Missing Enumeration District/Families in the 1920 U.S. Census
8 votes

This answer is an overview of the 1920 Census microfilms and aids for using the census, using your missing ED as a case study. It will cover some of the resources you've already consulted for your ...

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Evaluating birth year when different on SSDI and gravestone?
8 votes

My first question in response to this would be why you are settling for only two sources that give direct evidence about when your research subject was born, and trying to decide which of them is more ...

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

Your question "Why did my uncle's death certificate not appear in the Family History Library's archives?" contains several hidden assumptions. I'm going to make these explicit, not because I want to ...

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What is the meaning of the handwritten notation on the pension record of Charles Clements?
Accepted answer
8 votes

The descriptive pamphlet for NARA microcopy publication T718 is a reproduction of its entry in the print catalog of microfilm publications. It contains a roll list and a brief description of the ...

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Reading a will to get land information?
8 votes

Here are some links to handwriting tutorials and other articles to help you get started: Palaeography: reading old handwriting 1500 - 1800: A practical online tutorial from The National Archives (UK) ...

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Finding vital records in Upper Silesia (Prussia/Germany)?
8 votes

I wanted to address a point that originally came up in the comments to bgwiehle's answer. Places are known by different names throughout their history. If a place was called by a particular name ...

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Predicted percentages of shared DNA for DNA tests of half-siblings?
8 votes

The ISOGG Wiki's article on Autosomal DNA statistics explains the concepts in the previous answer in much more detail -- and includes links to the AncestryDNA white paper that explains Ancestry's ...

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Saving guest comment books from funerals, baby namings, anniversaries, etc?
8 votes

Don't throw out funeral books! They are an important record of other family members, friends, associates, and neighbors -- what Elizabeth Shown Mills has called the family's FAN Club. Studying my ...

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Where might I find General Orders No. 77 dated 11 Nov 1943?
Accepted answer
8 votes

When a straightforward search for a record comes up empty, I think it's important to step back and look at the larger picture, so that one can understand the context of the record -- that often leads ...

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