Who are you looking for? Find them in Census Records

Ok you are seeking family members, you know their names and your know where they lived. Census Records provide you with a lot of information. Names, sex, race, occupation, relationship to the head of household, names of children born before that year, names of any other person living in the household and their occupation and much more.

Looking at Census records every ten years also provides clues if they lived for a long time in one place or moved may times or living with another family. Census records can also reveal immigration information such as where they are from, another State or Country.

Migration patterns changes as events in history take place, such as land grants after the Wars to pay soldiers for their services, or a famine. The depressions of the ages as well as families moving west to populate the new territory of Louisiana around 1803. The Texas Wars with Mexico and the migration into Southern Texas.

Here in South Louisiana it was the migrations from Indian to French and Spanish , African, Italian, Irish, Scots, Americans, Czecs and Slovacs, Vietnam and many more. The country, state or place of origin will be on the census records. Also check for Slave schedules and applications for slaves and apprentices etc.

Remember that census records were not always very literate. NAMES can be misspelled easily. Try saying the name to yourself and try to spell what it sounds like. THIS MAY HELP YOU FIND MISPELLINGS OF THE SURNAMES. The nationality of the census taker is also a hint. Check their surname for hints as to their nationality.

Check the family members and others living in the household. Servants, slaves, Indians etc as well can be included. Many Indian males were hunters for families. Servants were of different nationalities.

Announcing that in 2022 the 1950 Census will be put out to the public. It will probably be available after the first half of the year.

Any Questions? Please ask, I will try my best to help. Christ has risen, that is what our story is all about. God Bless you and your family for the Resurrection celebration is the biggest event in history, he was only 32 years old. I can’t imagine how his mother felt at this atrocity toward her son. Pray for us in Jesus name.

Part III: Resources reveal specific vitals and proof of existence.

Land records track ownership listing names of the buyer and seller which may prove their residence or place of business or acreage for farming etc. It is important keep the dates in mind when you research a family especially if they have moved from another place. Check to see if there is access online first, then search the parish courthouses as most have started online access. Also check mortgage records as well, if possible. The Bureau of Land Management has an online title records search available glorecords.blm.gov. Land donations to children are not uncommon and therefore names of children may be included.

Death certificates include date and location of death, the causes, and often information about the spouse and parents. Most are located at the state level since the 1900s but may be available by applying at the local courthouse these are the state records. You will see the name of the doctor who pronounced their death, which may have been their family doctor as well depending on the dates from years back. Sometimes occupations are also included.

Probate and will records are great sources for names of children and other relatives. They may include clues about property locations and other records in the courthouse. Also included would be any underage children who would need a guardian. Guardian would be listed as well as the widows’ name, sometimes a maiden name for her.

Obituaries list not only provides the decease’s full name, date and place of death but also parents, spouse (s), children and grandchildren. Sometimes it may include the date of birth, but most often just their age. Online obit indexes include Legacy.com and Obituaries.com can also be searched at the newspaper’s website or Newspapers.com. Remember that the older the obituary the less information is included. Sometimes newspapers put a short biography of a person in the newspaper around the time of death, stating the importance of that person to the community.

Cemeteries record almost every interment including date and place of death and sometimes as well as their place of birth, their parents, spouse, and even names of children. Cemetery records can be found online and many you will need to contact in person. First try to see if they are posted on  Findagrave.com. Once you have found their gravesite, you will possibly be able to read their Headstones with information on their birth and death dates. Check the nearest tombs for other family members. Take pictures of the whole grave or tomb and then zoom in on markings. Remember that family members will tell you for sure a certain person is buried in a specific cemetery but the record could be so old no one else remembers. Write down the information and record an interview with that person for the documentation of the place of burial and let them tell you why they remember as they may have attended the funeral.

See free genealogy websites: Check on genealogy websites for your ancestors. Sometimes if you cannot get your ancestor, their brother or sister maybe online. From this you may be able to obtain an email address to the person in charge of that information and ask about your ancestor, with whom they may or may not have information, it helps to know even if they do not have information. You can ask where their information came from and it will lead to an interesting encounter with that person if they are still living. Website information should always be checked for accuracy and always list the site or person on the site’s information to providing that specific photograph, document or hints of information. Use this information as a guideline to your ancestor not as actual fact unless they have included the documented sources.

More information on how to do your family search is coming.

Please ask any questions you would like on doing your search and I will respond. If you are interested in this blog or website please click Like on your page. It would encourage me to do more for you and others as pertaining to doing research on family trees, etc. God Bless you in your search.

Part II: Resources reveal specific vitals and proof of existence.

City directories were established long before phone books. They reveal not only where your ancestors lived but also possibly their occupations. They can be available online or found in local libraries. These are of particular interest if the family lived within the city limits. The City Directories include companies, their addresses and sometimes names of owners and workers and their job titles or occupations. Photographs are also included in the advertisements sometimes of people and their stores and merchandise sold or services rendered. Don’t forget phone books as well, call and check the libraries.

The Social Security Death Index reveals the date of birth, date of death, where and when the number was issued, and where the benefits were last paid. If the person did not apply for number as before 1950s and records are incomplete to about 1970.

Draft cards were issued during several drafts that took place in U.S. history. Whether not the ancestor participated the men were required to apply and fill out a draft card. They proved names, dates, births, and where they were living as well as a physical description of the person by the recruiter. Now, these records were given by the applicant and so their responses are not always perfectly accurate. Some are available online at the National Archives and Records Administration www.archives.gov

Passenger List’s include passengers who migrated to the US, so they are great for linking spouses and their children often listing ages and country of origin. The name of the ship, captain and crew are also interesting as well as where they boarded and where they were from and where they unloaded. Relationships are sometimes noted for parents and other relations.

Applications for naturalization and citizenship include names, dates of birth, places of birth, and place of immigration as well dates. This evidence may be found online, parish or district court records. In order for them to complete this process they were required to bring two witnesses as to their living requirements.

Marriage records reflect not only the date of the marriage but many times their ages along with their parents’ names. Older records such as those at the Justice of the Peace, many times do not include the parents names. Most marriages took place around the bride’s hometown or church. You will find a list of witnesses who are family and friends of the couple. These records may also be filed in Courthouse parish and church parish records, some can be found online. Keep in mind that public records will often only include past 100 years for privacy concerns. If the local church does not have the records due to the age, it may be housed in another regional location. Ask the records keepers for that information. Checking the library and local papers for engagement and marriage announcements.

Old birth, marriages and deaths in church and courthouse records are included in Father Hebert’s Books. South Louisiana Records and Southwest Louisiana Records which can be found at the local libraries in those areas.

I know that you are creating a fantastic family story to tell your descendants, please keep in mind that you will eventually need to hand down this research to family. You can see by their interest which one of your children or cousins would be totally into doing family research.

God Bless you in your journey to the most important people in your life. Have fun and don’t forget to treat them to a lunch when you spend the day. Call ahead and bring food, they will love it.

Organize what you know and prepare for what you are going to find

Yep, you will have to make a choice.

Choose your Methodology: Manually or Digitally

Manually

Physical papers and documents will need a storage place, begin with a folder and then a place for the folder like a box or file cabinet. Start with a father and his family using Family group sheet for the recording and then put any documents and photos or newspaper clippings on that family in the folder. You will notice that the folder will accumulate in no time. Then separate by the children’s names and so on.

My manual storage in one family tree for documents is stored in date order as it begins with first ancestors in early 1700s. I have 4 storage boxes and the 1st one is in date order. When I get to a certain generation, I then put them in name order for it is easier for me to find. Family name order is recommended and knowing your family’s names being easy to recognize on folders. You will want to keep photos, newspaper clippings, articles, documents like land records, wills, successions and organicational memberships information in books and magazines are copies with source information and some cases just purchased the book or magazine.

I don’t want to scare you off with my collections since 1982 but making sure you have the space as you continue your searching takes years of wonderful exploring your family and their history, immigrations, citizenships, countries of origin and much more. I also have computer storage both in program and online in several sites.

Digitally

There are many programs for computers or apps for computer storage just make sure you have your information backed up in several places such as flash drives and computer drives, just begin with your computer, and then keep backing up until you need more space, them move on to flash drives and passport drives as needed. The program I use is Family Tree Maker and I have updated once I need the newest version which has been available for years.

All costs for your needs are your decision to make you can spend very-little money or a lot. To me purchasing the FTM program was a one-time thing and I store it all on my computer drive and back up to a flash drive. Later, when I could afford to invest in a membership, which I have on hold at this time, I can restore my membership at any time.

Computer storage can also include website built for genealogy such as FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com, Geni and many more take your choice. Some are free and you just have register in their site, but many have subscriptions or memberships and as long as you pay your bill you are given access. On these sites you can post and store your files in FTM or other formats and you need to download them when you leave the site or your membership is going to expire. Once the membership is over, you will not have access until you renew the membership.

NOTE: You will have to probably do both manually and digitally and eventually as paperwork will accumulate and computers make it very easy to keep these records.

Remember what you are doing is important not only to you but also your family as you are preserving your history, culture and names. Also remember God loves you and he is blessing you every step of the way.  

Part I: Resources reveal documentation of vitals and Clues to family history

The old family bible treasured by genealogist is the number one go to for information if one exists. Some families recorded just about every birth, marriage, and death in that old family bible. Sometimes several generations are recorded.  This would be my first go to if one exists. Don’t just copy the information on your family but all if possible. Take photos of entries and log them into your resources. Take pictures of the whole bible I mean to show what it looks like, take several. List the family name and its owner as well as their phone number and complete address as well as email address. You will also want to list the date, place and time of this viewing. I would also do an interview and tape it with pictures of these family members who have kept this bible special in their lives. You may also want to check online to see if family members have posted any bible statistics.

Handed down through generations of family, family bibles record generation information on history inside it. The most common information it contains are of births, deaths, baptisms, confirmations and marriages and an excellent source for genealogical research.

Finding photos of your family begins with your own family. Then contact living relatives beginning with the oldest and see if you can find the old family photos. Remember to be polite and ask if they would have the time to show them to you. Ask if you can bring a camera and take pictures of them. Search newspapers, yearbooks, local histories, business directories and military records and passport applications. Libraries and historical societies should be contacted in the areas where your ancestor lived. Check for local oral history collections. If you find old photos don’t forget to look on the back of them for further clues and photograph anything written there.

Interviewing family (oral history) helps to understand family situations and can put an end to rumors. Contact the elders in the family as soon as possible. Record their interview as you will need to get their permission on tape at the beginning say the date into the microphone or phone and say this is name of person and they were born date of birth in location say, city, parish or county and state. You can mention their relation to people you are going to talk about. Make sure you have your list of questions. Make sure these questions will answer the questions you are wanting to find out plus more. Some sensitive questions should be mixed with simple ones, not to disturb the person you are interviewing, especially if they are elderly. This one was covered in an earlier post.

Birth certificates can tell you not only when someone was born but where, and give important details about the child’s parents, often including when and where they were born and their occupations and more. You can obtain these through the parish courthouses via their vital records applications and some states provide online service, or you make a request by mail. Before the 1900s, birth records were filed by parishes, but most have been transferred to the state vital records. Births of earlier dates can be found in courthouse records, plantation journals and baptism recordings.

Baptism records list dates of the baptism and births as well as parents and sponsors who again may be family or friends. Although found in church records and be also found in bibles of the family as well as Father Hebert’s Books. South Louisiana Records, Southwest Louisiana Records. Check out the church for which the family belongs. Were they always that religion or did they change? Call to contact the churches and find out where their records are kept. Sometimes they are kept at another location.

Check out Part II: More resources

Family Research Intro

Hello, I am Trudy Voisin-Hebert and I would like to assist you in finding your family.

I have been working on family trees doing research since 1982. I can offer you assistance in the how to’s of doing your family research. How to find resources, how to record your information, and how to contact family, how to obtain documentation or recording stories of your family. My assistance for telling you the how to’s in your searching is at no cost to you and you must do the searching yourself, which is the fun of doing it all. The people you meet and the places you visit will remain a great memory for you.

Recording your family search

This Blog was created for people doing research in North America. I have done some European research but only in the confines of the World Wide Web.

Beginning your family search should start with what you already know about your family that includes their names and relationships and dates you know like mama’s birthday and their anniversary etc.  Put this information in a spiral notebook or special pages you have copied or purchased from genealogy websites. The best I use are the Family Group forms and the Five Generation chart.

Keeping the family in a Family Group form is easy, just list the parents and their birth, marriage and death information that you know, what you don’t know is what your searching is all about. Then list the children in date order, first born first. List their birth, marriage and death dates along with the name of the spouse with their info as well.

On the Five Generations charts you will begin the first one on the left by filling out your information. Then the top will be your father info and the bottom will be your mothers. This will follow suit, father top, mother bottom on the following generations.

Again, fill out what you can on their vitals birth, marriage and death dates and places. If you are using the forms you can put them in ascending for descending order as you prefer, but always keep them in a folder or binder which ever you prefer. Once you have the first page started, then you need to look at the missing items and begin to get that information.

NOTE: When you fill out the information with what you know please put in your Source or right behind the information OH, self or your name. This represents Oral History, Jane Doe. Once you obtain documentation of these items you can change the Source info to where you got it. Such as HR Church, Houma Bt Vol 4 No 2, meaning the Holy Rosary Church in the Baptism book Vol 4 and No or page. Notice I put Houma after the church name as the is another Holy Rosary Church in a nearby parish.

MEMO: Born in Louisiana, I am used to saying parish as that is what our counties are called. Please relate any information when I say Parish to County in your neck of the woods.

  1. Name of relative or self
    1. Date of birth, location and source
    2. Date of marriage, location and source
    3. Date of death, location and source

Please spell the name correctly and it can change as you go back in time with family names.

  1. Date of birth sometimes as b. or bn. is preferred, sometimes all you have is a baptism bt. date if that is the case use this date and show the Bt. And the source, church name, location, Bt. Book # and Volume and page numbers.
  2. Date of marriage, again this can be deceiving. In Louisiana, there are civil and church marriages. Usually, the civil marriage date is just the date the license was acquired at the local courthouse or the date a bond was posted. The church marriage usually followed with a different date. If I have both I put both, but for documentation on this form, there is no room for both, choose the one. you prefer or write the other on the back of the page of your form with the corresponding number from the front form. Example: Date: TPCourthouse MGs Book #, page# doc #.  & Date: HR Church Houma Mg book # page# doc#
  3. Date of Death:  DATE: Location, Bur. HR Houma Cemetery Main St Lot # Blk #, if this person died at a different location then put where they died in location city, state and or country, then put Bur. Location. Now this person could be living so this area is left blank.

NOTEs: If the person is single and not married then the marriage section would be left blank as well. If the person never married then put that in the marriage section, but if they had children, then you would ask permission from the persons to include the father (s) of their children as well as putting never married. For genealogy’s sake I always include the father’s names and put a note they were never married. That way the biological father would be named for medical reasons. If someone has been adopted, you may prefer to have one or both families listed and there are apps where you can place them as biological children or parents and adopted children or parents. If you have both and want to include them. Your choice. If you are writing them on the form or sheet then just create a second form for the adopted parents.

These are all choices you will need to make for yourself, no one else should make these decisions for you. Make sure that your reasons are on the up and up and not to hurt anyone. May God Bless you in a special way for taking up the genealogy of your family.

Hello, I am Trudy Voisin-Hebert and I would like to assist you in finding your family.

I have been working on family trees doing research since 1982.

I can offer you assistance in the how to’s of doing your family research.

How to find resources, how to record your information, and how to contact family, how to obtain documentation or recording stories of your family.

My assistance is advising you on the how-to in your searching is at no cost to you. You do the searching as the fun of doing it all is the people you meet and the places you visit that will remain a great memory for you.

The pictures you see above are just a tiny collection of pictures and documents gathered over the years. Pictures of people and places obituaries and documents such as draft cards and much much more.

What you know gets recorded

This Blog was created for people doing research in North America. I have done some European research but only in the confines of the World Wide Web.

Beginning your family search should start with what you already know about your family that includes their names and relationships and dates you know like mama’s birthday and their anniversary etc.  Put this information in a spiral notebook or special pages you have copied or purchased from genealogy websites. The best I use are the Family Group forms and the Five Generation chart.

Keeping the family in a Family Group form is easy, just list the parents and their birth, marriage and death information that you know, what you don’t know is what your searching is all about. Then list the children in date order, first born first. List their birth, marriage and death dates along with the name of the spouse with their info as well.

On the Five Generations charts you will begin the first one on the left by filling out your information. Then the top will be your father info and the bottom will be your mothers. This will follow suit, father top, mother bottom on the following generations.

Again, fill out what you can on their vitals birth, marriage and death dates and places. If you are using the forms you can put them in ascending for descending order as you prefer, but always keep them in a folder or binder which ever you prefer. Once you have the first page started, then you need to look at the missing items and begin to get that information.

NOTE: When you fill out the information with what you know please put in your Source or right behind the information OH, self or your name. This represents Oral History, Jane Doe. Once you obtain documentation of these items you can change the Source info to where you got it. Such as HR Church, Houma Bt Vol 4 No 2, meaning the Holy Rosary Church in the Baptism book Vol 4 and No or page. Notice I put Houma after the church name as the is another Holy Rosary Church in a nearby parish.

MEMO: Born in Louisiana, I am used to saying parish as that is what our counties are called. Please relate any information when I say Parish to County in your neck of the woods.

  1. Name of relative or self
    1. Date of birth, location and source
    2. Date of marriage, location and source
    3. Date of death, location and source

Please spell the name correctly and it can change as you go back in time with family names.

  1. Date of birth sometimes as b. or bn. is preferred, sometimes all you have is a baptism bt. date if that is the case use this date and show the Bt. And the source, church name, location, Bt. Book # and Volume and page numbers.
  2. Date of marriage, again this can be deceiving. In Louisiana, there are civil and church marriages. Usually, the civil marriage date is just the date the license was acquired at the local courthouse or the date a bond was posted. The church marriage usually followed with a different date. If I have both I put both, but for documentation on this form, there is no room for both, choose the one. you prefer or write the other on the back of the page of your form with the corresponding number from the front form. Example: Date: TPCourthouse MGs Book #, page# doc #.  & Date: HR Church Houma Mg book # page# doc#
  3. Date of Death:  DATE: Location, Bur. HR Houma Cemetery Main St Lot # Blk #, if this person died at a different location then put where they died in location city, state and or country, then put Bur. Location. Now this person could be living so this area is left blank.

NOTEs: If the person is single and not married then the marriage section would be left blank as well. If the person never married then put that in the marriage section, but if they had children, then you would ask permission from the persons to include the father (s) of their children as well as putting never married. For genealogy’s sake I always include the father’s names and put a note they were never married. That way the biological father would be named for medical reasons. If someone has been adopted, you may prefer to have one or both families listed and there are apps where you can place them as biological children or parents and adopted children or parents. If you have both and want to include them. Your choice. If you are writing them on the form or sheet then just create a second form for the adopted parents.

These are all choices you will need to make for yourself, no one else should make these decisions for you. Make sure that your reasons are on the up and up and not to hurt anyone. May God Bless you in a special way for taking up the genealogy of your family.