Census Extraction

100 years ago… someone lived with family X in the city county state/province and country.

That is not all the data they captured. Long form census tells a lot of data…

This is one from 1920 when data capture was amazing and relatively more legible.

Look at the headers…

The address at that specific date, names, birth, a birthplace of a person , birth places of parents, occupation, education level.
You get a glimpse in plain English into the lives at the time… it is fantastic but there are less lucky ones too.

There are many where English is a backup plan but the one I wanted to share but I derped and saved it as a PDF instead of an image. Time to find dots to connect for more sources. Start with the same location 10 years apart… to find trends and patterns. 1-year-old grows to 11. Did the family move area or pass away?

Notes to expand on from these censuses:

  • Build the family units, check ages of persons listed… the brother or parents of the head of the household may be listed
  • Employment trends in the generations 2 or 3 generations of basket makers or brick layers
  • Where did they move from? from France or England.. chase movements
  • From the smaller gaps between each census (less than 10 years) who is still there? what happened if the toddler or babies drop off? who died or moved with others
  • Education trends eg. they stop at read and write or the teen moved to get more education
  • Naming trends
  • Religion can lead to more sources like baptisms or burial location
  • Building a person’s life using sources is amazing.

FOIP & ID Theft

​Due to FOIP (Freedom of Information Privacy) and the statute of limitations generally the dead(or aged living) must be dead (or aged event) of certain given time before documentation is easily accessible. Contacting your local county or provincial registry for specifics. 

Contact the Provincial Archives Of Alberta for copies of

  • birth records that are 120 years old or older (from the date of birth)
  • marriage records that are 75 years or older (from the date of marriage)
  • death records that are 50 years old or older (from the date of death)
  • stillbirth records that are 75 years or older (from the date of stillbirth)

When creating a family tree ,persons not dead yet are traditionally kept private due to ID fraud potential . All it takes is birth date name and piece of ID to mangle someone’s life. Score for freedom of information and privacy acts-protecting you and your immediate family.

The idea of life’s details being shared is not for everyone-even when dead. This needs to be honoured.

Death Happens… 

The part of genealogy that makes the researcher cold is straddling the line between considering a family member’s death as just a number/statistic or a memory that was a part of very interesting part of their life story.

While 6 months pregnant with my first child I scanned this into the shared drive and was shattered. To look at the idea of losing 4 children under the age of 3 to anything breaks my heart… and then to add to that people are actually still debating vaccine use.

You need to remember the dead were people, had lives,  loved and been loved.  The best way to honor their death is to remember them.

Today is Remembrance Day (November 11)is here in Canada. We honor the fallen of our armed forces to thank them for their absolute sacrifice. The thought for many is a day off for 5 minutes of unified silence -the part many forget is the lives.

The lives we forgot…

My grandparents were born in 1921, 1923 and 1930. The stories I was lucky enough to read and hear. This is a modified version.

The newspapers are taking about the draft. It is that he will get to go to serve to save our country. All able bodied men. And all dad has been talking about is not having food from the farm to help the boys that are not yet men. We’ve been knitting in class many things for the men already at the front.

~could you imagine your brother, cousin, neighbor whose over 16 excited to go save the neighborhood…

He sends letter from the bay of something. The Christmas letter came in February. We sent him pictures and some personal items like the picture of his fiance who is pregnant and due when he should come home. Mom is furious that she is due before he could come home but happy he found love.

And doesn’t come home.

A moment of silence doesn’t fix the stupid that is war. It doesn’t heal the broken hearts that can not heal. Silence does not restore the lives shattered by choices made by foreign leaders and choices thousands of miles away. 100 years later, silence and prevention is a good start.

When reading that my tree has lost over 10 young people. Under 30 years old-I am not even there yet and dying from someone else’s fight leaving my child without me is just- just that. The idea that the body doesn’t come back for closure -the family will never heal.

Here is perspective for today:

Everyone has lost someone to cancer or has been impacted by cancer now. Replace the word cancer with the “great war”. After all, that loss- mankind does it again not even 20 years later with more cancer deaths- senseless deaths.

The winner writes the history books for all to read. When we voted him in. He was going to make Germany great again!

The Super Power- Citation

Deep down that word is reserved for proving someone wrong in the English lit world, but for our purposes in genealogy it actually allows you to have super powers. Hearsay or 2nd hand accounts need proof and power. Without where you found your data,  it stands unreliable. In some places and cases sans source is not accepted or leads to following “cyclic redundancy errors” or “circle jerks”.

I have had the desire to cry when a person took my tree and placed a great-grandfather as the son of that great-grandfather because the name of the weird daughter was identical less birth dates.

I am currently in the large project of sorting sources per person of 6475 people and I am hunting proofs for all of these specific persons. Massive corrections and massive work.

Remember when your living classification changes, your citations are someone else’s sources and it may be all they have to make their tree accurate.

 

Citation & Source Notes:

 

What data:  Define what you expect to see because people can error in the search of that document-employment on some census data capture is the item we are looking for not the improper spelling of the room mate’s name)

Where was it captured: Websites change constantly, opinions vary and stories can change)

How was it captured: Verbal on recording, transcription errors occur, sadly not recorded but over should entry from (was-)living

When was the data captured: Websites change and so do sources- like books.

Reliability and environmental condition: reliability can vary from mental health of source, the translations/ transcriptions can be super hard to convert to and from. Environmental conditions may include the fact the paper is scorched or the audio recording is fading, the persons in the room during recording can impact the source, the mental health could be noted here too.

Site of Original Source: Census and birth certificates can be actually scanned from source but the more hands it touches prior to making it to your collection the more error layers can be added. Google drive has first- hand picture of his baptismal certificate- bad angle.

[Provider of Translations/Transcription]: Translation is an art and science. Some artists are just that -Artists.

Notes:  (having fun with notes)

  • Original scan of a document found in an envelope in [users] notes. The hard copy was destroyed upon digitization due to condition – coffee rings.
  • The hard copy was accidentally burned during [user] house fire.
  • The soft copy was lost due to a computer virus, and the hard copy was recycled. This source was verbally confirmed by said person.
  • This source is from a book with more grammatical and spelling errors than acceptable.
  • The hard copy has a layer of artistic color. [toddler art]
  • Auntie was near Abuela [Source person] during the capture and would not discuss conditions of Abuleos death. Auntie doesn’t know he is dead.
  • Teo was drunk. Source not credible- but it is all I have.
  • Robyn is unisex- I assume that she is a girl cause I am Robyn and a girl. Gender not provided.
  • Cemetary was moved twice. Body location undefined.
  • Death cause provided but no date… it has been 250 years I assume the person is dead. No images to conclude vampire or zombie effects.
  • Mass grave indicated. No specifics.

Ancestry.ca’s:

Citation - What are the specifics of the information or evidence provided by this source?
Detail (required) Enter the title, or the film number, volume, etc.

DateEnter the publication date of the document or material.

Transcription of text
 Transcribe or cut-and-paste exact wording from the source.

Other information
 Enter any other pertinent information related to this citation.

Web Address If the source was found on the Internet, enter the URL here.

 

Before my super power:

Where is the file:

File name:

 

A great example source citation  of an easy one:

What data: Name, Birth, death, funeral, burial location. Funeral Card

 wendelin-senger-funeral-card

Where was it captured:  Original from Event when descendant attended in 1975. Scanned digitally by Robyn Morales August ‎18, ‎2012, ‏‎11:14:46 PM

How was it captured:  Hard copy by attendance. Soft copy by computer scanner

When was the data captured:  August ‎18, ‎2012, ‏‎11:14:46 PM

Reliability and environmental condition: 4.5/5 original is in good condition if re-scan is needed.

Site of Original Source:  soft:C:\Users\robyn\Google Drive\Genealogy\Person\Wendelin Senger [L89N-5FV] and hard: FJ Senger document collection

 

Citing sources you can find again makes it shareable… both ways more “provable”data to share.

Getting Relationships

Blood is blood. We are not all blood. Even if your sorta-uncle is there more than your real one. Genealogy is really pro blood connections. Adoptions are harder to adopt but can be done.

Here is a video and quick chart to help you define your connections.

Or

When you get to larger trees you start to realize areas were small and so were populations so we may all be cousins  especially once you’re in a SIG (Special Interest Group).

Talking to Paper (in this generation)

So BS or health inhibitors can be valid reasons why you don’t trust living sources… There is always “Talking to paper” is my way of saying use vital statistics from the externally sourced documentation.

Great ideas for living data verification include:

  • Divorce decrees (local archives have up to date ones as soon as they clear)
  • Birth certificates (your own long versions)
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Adoption papers
  • Legal land titles (local registry-FOIP/location pending)
  • Phone book
  • Dare I say social media… LinkedIn, Facebook etc.
  • Your local religious leader your family members affiliated with
  • Other people at arm’s length
  • Clubs or organizations that knew said person
  • Business ownership notices or history
  • Obits of other family members
  • Open/closed court documents (family settlements or child payment arrangements where you are the benefiting party or custodial agreement)
  • On line sources like Facebook, and Linkedin etc.

Aiming for multiple data verification records per person validates accuracy and future problem prevention.

Religious leaders may know the last 2 generations even if you don’t.

Ever look at the history of a local family run business? It tells father and sons name or more.

When creating a family tree ,persons not dead yet are traditionally kept private due to ID fraud potential and because you may not have permission to share the data of the living for up to 50 years after there death pending on the country. Score for freedom of information and privacy acts-protecting you and your immediate family.

Start with the living

When starting into the creation of your tree I would personally start with the people around you. Immediate family members one generation up if available may be easy to talk to.

If you’d rather discuss with paper (which I understand – it may not be an option)  skip this posting.

Great segways into the conversation may be:

  • Hello, So I was wondering if you’d mind confirming some things I remember when I was little?
  • Oh hey, I thought I would update the birthday list for uncle smelly pants, can I get your kid’s birthday?
  • Mama could you tell me where you got my name from? It seems odd that Robyn is spelt this way.
  • Do you still have grandpa’s recipe card for ___? Where did he get that… My drool woke me up dreaming about it.
  • I know this is awkward but can we talk health issues gramma? When did great aunt pretty lady pass away? I wanna know if I am at risk. Did you have it?
  •  Hey sis did you notice mom the other day,do you think that is genetic? That mouth twitch thing- didn’t grandma do that too?

Asking questions about health opens a two prong convo about concerns for health and vitals capture for family. Health concerns can help idea potential death reason tracking (and location hints), potential things to watch out for in the future and unfortunately can also relate reliability levels. Mental health conditions like Alzheimer’s or mental depreciation can reduce reliability in some cases. Also it can point you toward data capture control… Example grandad doesn’t remember or is touchy about great gram maybe I can ask mom. Or another is grandma is not all there I may want to capture audio and try again on the same story another day or try her brother she mentioned.

Food almost always brings people together. It is safe even when relationships are strained. Especially if it is for someone cuter  like a grandchild or nephew. Asking for a recipe tweak can start the dough rolling literally.

It can be as simple as asking for a back story to a vital statistic of yours to find out that things are inherited. Example- a friend of mine has the middle name is the first name from his father, all names start with one constant letter and that tradition is many generations old… Roland Raymond Real-not-nom has Roger Roland Real-not-nom  who has Ricard Roger Real-not-nom… Another common one is many are using there middle name as preference since the first name is a constantly passed down. 6 generations of Johann in family tree….

When capturing data from the family use video, sound or written documentation. Emotions on topics can change and so can the storyline that comes from a dynamic memory. Also one family member may ask and get a lesser version than another. An dynamics is closeness of children vs grand child who had the better first hand account. Or the memory changes with age about when marriage dissolved or even deaths from 10+ years ago.
When sourcing verbal information it is good to capture:

Names of parties involved:

Date and time of capture:

Location of capture:

Environmental conditions:
Format of Capture:

Images or audio or video file name associated to data capture:

Reliability of source:

Additional notes:
There are many reasons to gather that kind of data but remember you’re not just capturing for you at some point. You may be sharing data or preserving it for future generations.

Genealogy 

It all starts with a simple question… where do you come from? Genealogy is really the study of the family ties. I became more interested when I got married trying to find my traditions to include. My family had mouth watering recipes I had been taught over time, but none of them seemed similar. 
My grandfather had been doing research prior to cancer winning and I was lucky enough to inherit his works. But going further than word of mouth is my specialty. I have been asked a few times how to get started and where I get that? This blog will hopefully get you on a journey of your history. 

Digging Into Your Past

Hello, 
So you are curious about your family tree… 

Genealogy is still a big word that you may look up later and the ancestry family tree websites or you want to do the DNA thing you’ve seen on TV …  “taken in by the click bait” but it costs money… and I just missed their long weekend.

Genealogy is more that just the vitals of some dead people that have your last name. It is more than knowing where your grandparents are. It is more than knowing where you come from. 
Every one has a story… and every story has a beginning a middle and an end. To be honest I used to look just at vitals to see if the puzzles pieces could match.

It,s the devil in the details…

 It is finding the truth in your opa’s stories. It is explaining why the German family food handed down is perogies. Why you’ve heard your gram talk about the aunt no one has met. The lady grand dad won’t talk about. It is discovering that the last 5 generations of that part of the tree had heart problems pre 40 and its time to get tested. It is finding out that vaccines actually work by reading about one family who lost 5 daughters before they were 5 to the same dieseases. 

There is so much to discover and learn from your own roots-its time to discover it. I hope to cover a range of topics on hunting your tree based on my experiences hunting mine down. Good luck and happy hunting.

Pre Amble

Hello…

Please note I am an amateur genealogist. I am not claiming to know all and my sharing my knowledge on the topic is not meant to offend or promote any product or idea. This is a personal blog and not professional services or advice. My choice of product is my own and not promotion unless indicated on the post. I have not had formal training and there for do not qualify to know trade secrets. I am sharing my discovery on the topic. Any questions or concerns can be sent to my Gmail.