United States

  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

    Aug 21

    These maps known as Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps are of small, medium and large sized towns and cities date back to the 19th century and well into the 20th century. They can be very important in locating where a family business, shop and neighborhood would have been at a specific time frame. The Sanborn Company (started by Daniel A. Sanborn), an Am...

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  • What Was Your Ancestor’s Occupation?

    Apr 5

    Many times that question is very easily answered – they were a farmer. In 1790 with the first US census there was a total population of approximately 3.9 million, of which 90% were in agriculture – farming. Going fifty years later, 1840 census, the population was 17 million of which 69% were in agriculture. The very beginnings of the industrial...

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  • The 1930s Writers’ Project

    Mar 18

    One of the many New Deal projects to help get people back to work during he 1930s Great Depression was the WPA (Works Project Administration) for writers. One was named 'Folklore Project' and the other 'Federal Writers' Project'. This paid writing assignment put over 6,500 men and women around the country to work, paying them a subsistence wage ...

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  • Civil War Photos

    Feb 22

    With the the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War (1861-1865), people are infatuated with finding as much information as possible. They are interested not only in the events, battles, people, Lincoln assassination, etc. during those years, but mostly learning if they had any relatives involved with the war directly related or part of the ex...

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  • Menus and Photos 1851 to 1930

    Dec 30

    In a past FamilyTree.com Genealogical Blog, I had written about cruise lines, railroad and airlines menus and locating them online in a digital format. The New York Public Library has an even greater collection of menus from restaurants, hotels, banquet rooms all over New York and other locations – also in digital format. It is the Miss F...

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  • Cushman Photos and Slides 1930s to 1972

    Dec 18

    It is nice to come across a large collection of photos that cover or represent a certain region or time period. Photos are the best method to get an idea of how our ancestors looked, dressed, their activities and what their state, region or community looked like at a certain time period. The Indiana University Archives – Digital Library Progra...

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  • Slave Insurance Registry

    Nov 20

    It is said anything can be insured for the right premium. Well, this was the case even for slaveholders of the southern states in the first half of the 19th century. Recently several of the archives from the old established insurance companies from the 1800s have been discovered by present-day insurance companies. In these archives was documentati...

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  • Missed Someone in the US 1940 Census?

    Sep 17

    If you have a large database of ancestors, you can easily overlook a relative who might appear in the 1940 census. Since there is so much information on this newest census, you will want to check for every person. I found a second cousin I did not have on a list. It turns out he was a young man of 18 years old living with an aunt and uncle lear...

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  • The Faces of Child Labor

    Aug 19

    It is hard to imagine that for decades in America and other countries, children served as a major backbone to much of the work done on farms, in coal mines and factories.  Your ancestor may well have been a part of that massive group.  It was not uncommon for children at age 10 and up working, not attending school, to help support the family inco...

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  • Remembering My Mother – the WAC

    Aug 9

    An example of writing up a life event (based on an interview, vital records, newspapers and photos) about an ancestor is the following, my mother, the WAC, done for her birthday anniversary. Nan M. Everhart was born August 9, 1915 in Frederick, Maryland and came from a long family history of military service to the United States.  Some ancestor...

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