Thursday, April 6, 2017

Caring for the Aged

I was introduced to one of the neatest record sets at RootsTech 2017.

I have known Michael Benson for quite awhile.  He lived not far from me, and was one of the microfilmers over areas east of the Mississippi River.
Even with 30,000 people to wade through, we always manage to find each other.

Just as we were saying our goodbyes, he asked me what classes I had taught at RootsTech.  I told him that one of the classes was "Substitutes for Vital Records".  He then asked me if I had ever seen the Old Age Assistance Tax images.

My interest was piqued, and I asked him what they were.  Apparently, they were set in place just before Social Security began.

And, he had just finished filming a set in Iowa.
Look at the information on these cards!  Each one has space for:
1.  The full name of the applicant.
2.  The date and place of birth.
3.  The parents' name, including the mother's maiden name.

Oh, this is good.

Here is the bread crumb trail on how to find them.



Go to the FamilySearch Wiki and look under the state you're researching.  Pay close attention to the taxation links.


Notice that #2 references Old Age Assistance Records, 1934-1936.  There is a clickable link at the end of that line.


This is the landing page.


Here, you'll see a camera at the end of each line.  There are four collections, all alphabetized.


And, there you go!  Many, if not most of these individuals were born in the late 1800's -- before most states began keeping vital records.

So, check the FamilySearch Wiki to see if there are collections available for the states you are researching.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This Land is My Land!

This evening I finished up teaching a series of classes at a local library that has been hosting me for just over twenty years.

I do believe I taught them something new -- and fun!

It's all about land.

The Bureau of Land Management has a terrific website, if you have ancestry in a state that used the township and range system.  Very few, if any, of my ancestors lived in such a state.  They were generally from states that used the metes and bounds system.  (Beginning at a black oak, hence 13 poles...)

Let me take you through the steps I showed the attendees this evening.

1.  First, you want to go to the BLM site.  Here is the link:  https://glorecords.blm.gov


2.  I use Mr. Kerry's relatives as an example. so I began to fill in what I knew about his ancestor, Thomas Oakley.
Notice that I don't have much information other than his name and the county in Ohio.

3.  Soon, I had an image that showed his name, and the township and range numbers of his property.

4.  Under "Image", there is an indicator of a document, which I clicked.
Look at that!  I can download the Land Patent!

5.  And, if I go back to the home page, I can see who his neighbors were.

Thomas appears three names up from the bottom.

6.  Here comes the fun part!  

Open another window in your browser, and go to Earth Point.  Here is the address:  http://www.earthpoint.us



You will see the space in the center of the page where you are to fill in the Principal Meridian, Township, Range, and Section.  Those are items you can obtain from the BLM window that you still have open.

7.  Once you fill them in, tell it to "Go Fly..."

Is that the coolest thing ever?  

When I added a layer of roads to the image, I discovered that we drive past this area all the time.  Just last year, we decided to turn down one of the roads that surrounded the property.

We were looking at the land Thomas Oakley owned!

8.  GoogleEarth allowed us to see it from a street view, too.   It's more fun to actually visit the area, but this can be the next best thing.



By combining the sites of the Bureau of Land Management and EarthPoint, you can visit the land of your ancestors and see what they saw.

Go ahead and give it a try!