The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

The Online Genealogist goes offline for an MGC seminar



Yes, The Online Genealogist attended his first-ever genealogy seminar over the weekend…offline.

Sure, I’ve been to several webinars electronically, but nothing ever live and in person.

I actually had a wonderful time!  Going in, I had NO idea of what to expect, so it was interesting to see how one of these all-day events was held.  The seminar flowed most excellently; I got the chance to meet several fellow genealogists and listen to some very knowledgeable and engaging speakers.  (Hi, Mary!!)


At the luncheon, MGC did a bit of a “Who Do You Think You Are?” segment with one of the attendees, who was curious to know if she was related to Daniel Boone and Abraham Lincoln.

Even though inconclusive, it was surely looking favorable and further research would be required to confirm (or deny) her connection to Dan and Abe.  And it did make for an intriguing presentation!

The ONLY complaint I had was there were too many great topics and speakers to choose from!  With the four lecture periods, I had to decide which of three to attend for each.

For example, from 10:30 to 11:30, the offerings were Genealogy Research Online *ahem*, Adventures in Italian Genealogy and Scrivener for Genealogists.  I wasn’t quite ready for Scrivener, so I went with Italy.  As I probably could’ve hosted the online session myself, I opted for some possible new tips and tricks regarding my personal Brugliera Italian research.  And the remaining three time period topics were even MORE difficult to choose from!

But I will say the MGC did a spectacular job and it was most definitely worth the trip; I am SO glad I went!!!


And if you’d like to benefit from all that new knowledge, hire ME – The Online Genealogist!!!





On Monday, July 21, held their Worldwide Indexing Event.   The goal was to get 50,000 batches keyed; at least one batch per contributor.  By the end of the 24 hours, they had over 66,000 batches submitted, 16,000 over their goal – NICE!!!!!!!

Of course, being The Online Genealogist, I contributed a few batches and subsequently part of that total.  So, yes…


Or, if I knew Italian…


Congrats to FamilySearch and to all who contributed!!!!

Your reward (besides one of these badges)?…

A genealogy-related funny that I came across the other day!


Yuk, yuk, yuk!!

And if your family tree has MORE than one branch, you’ll need some help…from ME!!!!


Join The Worldwide Indexing Event Tonight Into Tomorrow!!!


Just helping to get the word out on‘s Worldwide Indexing Event.

The LDS’ goal is to get participants to transcribe ONE BATCH for indexing.  Of course, you can do as many as you like, but they figure if EVERYONE that’s into genealogy does that one batch, it will help IMMENSELY with their ongoing effort to have indexes available for many of their wonderful FamilySearch collections.

And you KNOW The Online Genealogist will be there!  As I’m not huge on data entry, I’ve requested to be an arbitrator.  A tie-breaker, if you will.  As I can actually read many of these records (though not ALL are handwritten), I find it more to my liking and skill level.

Also, if you’d like to get all social at any time during those 24 hours, you can join DearMyrtle’s GeneaSleepOver!


There, you can drop in and say hi (via headset and video or on the sidelines with typed-in comments) to many others who will be joining this ambitious undertaking!

If you use at all (their website is FREE; no yearly subscription!), then it is your OBLIGATION to key in that one batch.  As that is ALL they are asking.

And most importantly – have some FUN while you’re doing so!!


But if you have NO interest at all in doing anything genealogy-related online, then I’m your man!!!





Why is the 1900 Federal Census the only one that actually has the month and year of birth?

1900 Census

I don’t know; I thought you guys had an idea.

Census years prior to and after 1900 only show AGE.  Why is that?

I’ve always thought that was a great feature and have been wondering why the Feds went back to AGE only.  I mean, they could’ve made it YEAR and AGE if the month entries were giving them headaches.  Yes, in typical governmental redundancy, the age is also listed in 1900.  Apparently, for those who couldn’t do the math!

Also curious is that for 1910, one of the few changes from 1900 was the removal of that month and year of birth!

So, hopping online, I go directly to the government’s official census website.

Hmmmm, this “shake-up” probably had something to do with the 1910 reversion to AGE only.

1900 Census 02

So, I do a quickie Google search and got only the fact that in 1910, the birth month and year columns were gone.  But not why.

Well, I really hate to Google and run, but as of right now, I’m satisfied with “Month/Year fell victim of governmental reorganization”, which is a very vague and lame sort-of catch-all reason.

Any 1900/1910 Federal Census experts out there with another explanation??


Now, you could always HIRE the online genealogist, if this mystery is really really bothering you now.


Family History Humor, featuring Jean E. Allogee




While researching, I frequently come across records that give me a chuckle; mostly bad name puns and the like.

Or those that are comical all in themselves.  Such as the above 1850 Federal Census extract for Rome, PA.

Yes, Henry Hiney, his wife Sally Ann Hiney and their presumed five children.  George Hiney at the bottom (sorry) could be a younger brother of Henry Hiney.

But the kid’s names are even better… Zepheminah Hiney! C.C. Hiney!!

City directories are a GOLDMINE for such silliness.  Or if not, I just add my own.

Like Jesus Christ is NOT in Buffalo!

No Jesus Christ

He should be between Jacob the carpenter and the John on Clinton Street.

But then I thought, Well, DUH!  Of course Jesus would be UNLISTED!!

And what’s a directory without a few good name and occupation combos?  This from the 1911 Boston Directory.

George Speede Boston 1911

Now, what ELSE would George L. Speed be doing for work??

And a 1932 Columbia, NH entry.

Columbia Directory 1932

E.E. Cass: “You wanna work on my farm and your name is Guy LeGro??  You’re HIRED!!

You know, that’s how many surnames came to be in the first place.

“I am a blacksmith and will forth hence be known as Mr. Smith!”

“Yes, and I own a mill.  Instead of ‘Very Friendly Mill Man’,  I hereby change my name to Bud Miller!!”

“Oh, but I am a DOG CATCHER!  Forthwith and beyond -”

Wait, that doesn’t work out; damn!  Eh, you get my gist.

And maybe we could have farmer Guy above “translate” this ad page from the 1915 Lebanon Directory.

Leb 1915

“Yeah, I need my horse renovated…”

“We’re Rogers & Hubbard!  Your one-stop shop for bone-based fertilizer!”

Cow invigorator??  I don’t even wanna know what that’s supposed to do!  Boviagra?

And don’t forget “Books free. Good books too.”  Ha!

I saw this in unsold ad space in a 1928 Lancaster, NH directory.


A raise of hands…

How many of you have come across typographical errors in city directories?

Yep, everyone but that one dude in the back there.  “Yo!  Henry Hiney!!  Research much??”

So, how many people have THEY offended over the years in hundreds of localities across the country?  They should be apologizing here instead of looking for ad dollars!  OK, rant over.

From the Federal Naturalization Index…


Lewis Superfine from Russia!  Wonder what his Russian name really was.

And I’ll leave you with this almost-triple-play…


Yes, it’s Russel Russ, of Russell, NY!


Thank you and for most of the above images!

Besides being screen captures, these items have not been altered in ANY WAY.  “If you don’t believe me, you can look it up yourself!” (King of California, 2007)  That’s why I always include WHERE they’re extracted FROM.


Because that’s just what The Online Genealogist does.

And don’t forget my Free Quickie Online Ancestor Search!!!  Details upper right.

I would love to research for you!



Online genealogy offerings will keep getting better and better!


It seems like not a week goes by lately without some big announcement regarding new genealogy records being added online.  Like this from the Smithsonian!

Even though the article is quite vague (what does “all their records” mean??), it is very promising news for sure.  And if they do (eventually) put EVERYTHING online, that will be HUGE!  And FREE!!

On my wish list here would be ALL of their Naturalization records.  Especially as ALL of my ancestors came to the U.S. after 1800.  Most were naturalized, but finding their application papers, etc. has always been a bit of a challenge.

You know what *I* have to say about more online records…




Because I’m The Online Genealogist!



Helping to iron out’s rough edges.


On, what can you do when you find a disparity between what’s on the census page and what’s in their index?  Change it to what it should be.  Yes, ancestry lets you do that!  Of course, they have to approve it, and if so, it will be in addition to the “erroneous” name.

With the Kiltons I’m currently researching, I’ve come across some tricky transcriptions.  Like Kitton!

Ancestry Help 02x

Notice how the assumed crosses for both T’s are floating over the “on”?  How would you really know that it only belongs to one T; not both?  I’ve heard of many a census transcriber jumping out the window after coming across a name like this.  So I’ve heard.

Now I want to change Lovett Kitton to the correct Lovell Kilton (and his family to Kilton as well).  I bring up that bottom Index, hit the name I want to change and add a Reason.  In this case, I enter “I am researching the Kiltons of Grafton; no Kittons in that entire area.”  Or Puppees, for that matter.  …Sorry.

This is what it looks like after I’ve submitted the changes.

Ancestry Help 02a

After approves it, they’ll send me a Thank You email with these three names I submitted.  Why is this a big deal?  Because the next person on ancestry to search for Lovell Kilton in this census will see his name come right up near the top of the results.  Same deal if for some bizarre reason you’re actually looking for the non-existent Lovett Kitton.

Right now, if I do an entire US Federal Census search (1790-1940) for Lovell Kilton, how many correct entries will appear?

1840 Census Kilton

Only ONE!  The 1840 Census.  Now I’ll scroll down below ancestry’s patented yellow “maybe these are a match, but probably not” box…

1830 Census Kilton

There he is in 1830 with a last “L” missing from his first name.  Not too far off.  But that is it for the first page of results.  As Lovell lived to the ripe old age of 92, he should be in SIX MORE available census years!

The census I made the correction to back upstream was 1870.  After ancestry gives me the thumbs up, a search for Lovell Kilton in the 1870 census will bring up (all together now)…Lovell Kilton!!

Reason #274 Why You Can Not FULLY Rely On Most Any Online Genealogical Search Function.  The results will only be as good as the index it’s working off of.

When I’m done correcting the remaining years and after ancestry does their thing, anyone will be able to find Lovell Kilton in every census he should be in — 1810-1880.  At the top, ABOVE the ugly yellow box!

Here are a few more census records I came across and added corrections to.

Ancestry Help

Now, this one just plain SUCKS for the transcriber.  Can’t quite tell if that’s an ink blot or a hole in the page.  Either way, the name was in the Index as “-ON”.  Not much help looking for anyone in any index.

Fortunately, I know that Lydia Kilton married Robert Allison in 1846, so I add the correction, again, noting the Reason being a result of researching the Kiltons.  Oh and that’s Lydia’s little sister, Mary, living with them.

Then I come across entries where common sense wasn’t exercised by the transcriber.  Like these two!…

Ancestry Help 03

They had Irving as “Iming” and William as “Willian”.  Now, I’m not researching these folks at all; they just so happened to be on the same page as the Kiltons and I spotted them.

I may have let one slide, but not TWO.  Above, Irving has already been added and I’m ready to modify William.


Willian?  Seriously?? 

Now, if he was a Brazilian soccer player




And if you’ve had your fill of The World Cup, hire The Online Genealogist!!  (OK, lame segue.)





Who says parents don’t play favorites??


Daughters Gets Dollar

For those being-able-to-read-handwriting challenged…

“Seventhly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Lydia Allison one dollar.

Eighthly, I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Kilton one dollar.”

OK, so this was over 150 years ago, but still!  His sons got all the land and another received $100.

Is there any significance to this, besides our being able to use the wonderful info for family-connecting?  Would it have been considered an insult to receive such a pathetic inheritance amount?  Even accounting for inflation, it’s only around 25 bucks!  Was their father “snubbing them”, or was it the norm back then; the sons receiving all the loot while the daughters get pennies?


Speaking of pennies, that’s how much it will cost you for research compared to many other genealogists out there; give me a shout!!






Yes, you read that correctly…it says FREE!!!

One of my favorite words… FREEEEEEEEEEE

free 02



Free Four

Yes, I am offering a GRAND OPENING SPECIAL of a FREE Online Quickie Search for ONE ancestor.  You give me the FULL NAME and one other dated fact including a known relative and off I’ll go to dig up anything I can online in about in hour.  (That means you give me no partial info or name guesses here.)  Whether it’s a long lost aunt or a brick wall ancestor; I’m game!!

From what I discover (or don’t), you’ll be able to see how skillful I am (or not) with “pulling stuff out of my azz” (as a friend so eloquently put it), with regard to the ancestors I’ve discovered.  All online.

So, give me a shot!  You have nothing to lose!  And, hey, I might even find a juicy piece of info you’ve been searching THIRTY YEARS for!

Though, chances are I won’t; but wouldn’t it be cool if I DID??

I await any and all challenges.

Also, if you have any genealogy-related topic or questions you’d like me to do a posting on, I’m up for that as well!

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