19th century

  • Not Using Married Lady’s Given Names

    May 19

    It can be hard enough trying to research the female ancestors on the family tree, especially in the 1800s into the first half of the 20th century. It was a practice that once a woman married, from then on especially in any newspaper articles or journals / reports by organizations, she was referred to as: 'Mrs. Henry Wilson'. It was not acce...


  • How Did A Couple Meet?

    Mar 23

    Don't miss an opportunity to answer this family question. The best source is the couple themselves or at least one of the spouses. This should also be answered by yourself – the researcher, write of how you met your spouse. Even if a couple separated or divorced, the information on how they met should be noted. There can be some really i...


  • Importance of the US Census

    Mar 9

    The first census in U.S. history took place in 1790, and it continues today. The census is conducted every decade (10-year counts), meaning if your ancestors lived in America (states and territories) as of 1790 or after, then it’s likely they’re in the U.S. Census. Such a treasure chest of information. Only problem, not every person's name wa...


  • City Directories for Westfield, NJ

    Feb 29

    City Directories are very important in learning more about where your ancestors lived, their occupations, and names. Now if you had any ancestors from the Westfield, New Jersey area any time between 1885-1896, 1901-1930, 1936-1939, 1941, 1944, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1955, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971-1980 and 1982 – you are in l...


  • Was There a ‘Circuit Rider’ with your Family Tree?

    Feb 19

    The phrase 'circuit rider' is not a commonly known expression anymore yet at one time it was very well known. A Circuit Rider was a clergy member who traveled a certain region across the United States to minister to settlers in sparsely populated areas and even for organized congregations who could not afford a regular permanent minister. ...


  • Strange Valentines of the 1800s

    Feb 12

    Valentine's Day - February 14th is always a favorite holiday for everyone. It is a method of sharing your deep loving feelings with any family member or friend. During the 1800s, with the use of cards and postcards sent for Valentine's Day, secret admirers had an opportunity to confess their love without fear of direct rejection. However, ...


  • Bottle and Canned Foods Thanks to Appert

    Oct 23

    Nicolas Appert—the inventor of hermetically sealed food preservation and the "father of bottled - canned foods"—was born November 17, 1749 in France. He was a chef in Paris, France 1784 to 1795. In 1795, he experimenting with ways to preserve foodstuffs, succeeding with soups, vegetables, juices, dairy products, jams and syrups. He...


  • Great Book Scare – 140 Years Ago

    Oct 13

    It sounds a bit like something just before Halloween but instead was truly a major event not just in 1879 but lasting well into the 1880s and 1890s. Your ancestors, especially if they lived in a larger town or city may have been directly affected. If their hometown had a public library and your ancestors liked to read the borrowed books, th...


  • Medical Treatments for Our Ancestors

    Oct 3

    There are many common and not so common medical treatments used over the decades. Some started off from nature and were developed into well-known products. A good example is the chewing the white willow bark to help relieve pain. Willow bark would eventually become the basis for one of the most widely used painkillers in the modern world ...


  • Double Beds vs Twin Beds

    Sep 15

    Here is an idea most people have not thought about and how it affected their ancestors. Did a husband-wife relative sleep in a double-size bed or two twin / single-sized beds? For years, decades ago, most slept in a double bed. The vintage four-poster bed I inherited from my 3rd great grandmother, made by her father for her wedding in 1849...