Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ingoglia Family Portrait ~ Video Of A Family From Days Past

Ingoglia Family Portrait from AJ Ingoglia on Vimeo.

Brilliantly put together to music by Tom Petty, this short clip shows members of the Ingoglia family in video obviously shot years ago. This is simply a portrait of an American family highlighting various family members. This could be just about any family, but the Ingoglias have a nice keepsake, almost a snapshot of their bygone days.

Seeing this video makes you want to grab the video camera and start filming one's own family. Even when you look at pictures or film of family members that at the time they are taken seem boring or unimportant, take on renewed significance over the years as families age. Having something like this of one's own family could indeed become a family heirloom.

Video From BBC Program Highlights Black Family Research In England

'Black Edwardians' / Edwardian Family Album (BBC4) from George Pagliero on Vimeo.

This is an interesting clip showing one man, Stacy Graham's search for information about his grandfather in London, England. His grandfather, Sidney Graham, who came from Barbados around 1914 and his family has lived in the same area of London ever since. The clip is from an interesting family history program that was aired on the BBC called "The Edwardian Family Album."

I especially liked the advice from the archivist, Jennie Monroe-Collins, who said "You should look even if you don't believe you will find anything. No one is anonymous ~ even if they wanted to be." The program takes it's cue from Jeffrey Green's excellent book Black Edwardians, available from, that reveals a long history of a Black presence in England.

The author uses contemporary records such as newspapers, photographs and memoirs of the time, as well as family papers to challenge the conventional views of Britain's social history on the period.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Phelps Family of Potsdam, New York ~ Family Bible May Connect Family Back To 1400s

This family bible was printed in 1871 by Samuel D. Burlock & Co., of Philadelphia and has lots of genealogical information about the Phelps family of Potsdam, St Lawrence, New York that may connect with a family tree on going back to a Richard Phelps born c1497 at Nether, Tyne, Stafford, England!

First off, the bible itself is in very good condition, and the seller could only find one torn page. The binding is still tight and the pages in the photos look crisp. This was a treasured and well-kept family bible. The births start c1843 and the marriages around 1868.

Looking online, one name in the deaths section showed that a Leslie Fermon Phelps (1871-1878) died at Louisville, Saint Lawrence, New York and he was born at Potsdam, Saint Lawrence, New York. His parents are given as William Fermon Phelps and Ellen Frances Calkins (the bible shows Mrs Phelps' handwriting with the name "E.F. Phelps, Potsdam, N.Y. 1871"). The dates of both William Fermon Phelps and Ellen F. Calkins are given in the bible.

According to the information at Familysearch, William Fermon Phelps (1843-1923) was the son of Samuel Mix Phelps (1806-1856) born Vermont, and Catharine A Hoxie also of Vermont.

Samuel Mix Phelps was the son of Abel Phelps born 1774 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut, and his wife Polly Pelton of Vermont. Abel Phelps was the sone of Lieutenant Abel Phelps born 1739 (possibly a Revolutionary War veteran?) and his wife Lucy Beardsley. The Lieutenant is shown as the son of another Abel Phelps, born 1705 in Connecticut with two spouses, a Jerusha, and a Mary Pennock.

This Abel (born 1705) was the son of Joseph Phelps (1666-1716) and Sarah Hosford. Joseph is shown as the son of Lieutenant Timothy William Phelps born Connecticut (1639-1719) another Lieutenant! and Mary Griswold.

Lieutenant Timothy William Phelps was the son of William Phelps born 1599 Tewksbury, Gloucester, Gloucester, England, died 1672 same, and Mary Dorothy Dover.

And so on, and so on, up to Richard Phelps from Stafford, England. So quite possibly this family bible was for one of the families of Colonial America. This is one family bible that should be kept in the family or donated to a genealogical society. Unfortunately the dates of birth, marriage and death only go back to 1843 (Only!) I wish I could find a family bible going that far back, let alone connecting to one of the old families.

If you would like to take a look at this family bible, the eBay Item Number is 330394307387

British American Ambulance Corp ~ John Burnside Wilson Family Bible

Another interesting family bible is up for auction at eBay. A well worn copy of a bible from the early 1900s printed in London for the New York Bible Society. The bible has some damage from dampness and the pages are yellowed. There is a stamp on the inside cover stating it was printed by the British American Ambulance Corp.

The family history information shows the birth of a John Burnside Wilson born 1857 in Scotland with records of relatives in Brooklyn and Long Island, New York, with other surnames given as Cramer and Forsyth.

Taking a quick look online, there is a record of a John Burnside Wilson born 10 October, 1858 at Auchinleck, Ayr, Scotland to parents Andrew Wilson and Margaret Burnside.

There is a marriage of Margaret Burnside and Andrew Wilson 29 October 1844 at Abbey (Paisley), Renfrew, Scotland - the same area my own Bradshaw family was from, but I have no Burnsides or Wilsons.

More research would be needed to follow up to see if this family is the same as the fellow listed in the family bible, but if you would like a closer look, the eBay Item Number is 180455459134

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kaga ~ Hershey Family Bible On eBay, BMDs From 1793-1916

This bible published in 1883 needs some repair as the front cover is disconnected. It was originally published by B.F. Johnson & Company of Richmond, Virginia and has the following family history information:

Births from 1793 - 1899
Marriages from 1897 - 1916
Deaths from 1875 - 1913

For Kaga and Hersey. Couldn't locate too much given the sparce information, possibly the Kaga (or Kagy, or even Cadjew) may have been from Ohio. They seem to have been connected to a Rudolph Cadjew, but more research would need to be done.

There was also considerable memorabilia tucked into the pages, including pressed flowers, a black funeral arm band (?), newspapers articles (one about a suspicious death), and a lock of baby hair tied with a faded pink ribbon. Very interesting stuff ~ sort of a mystery...

To take a closer look, the eBay Item Number is 190363737623

1880s Family Bibles of Peabody & Ball Families of Queensbury, Luzerne, New York

Another group of antique family bibles are available on eBay. Published by the A.J. Holman co. of Philadelphia in 1883, the seller says there are several bibles and he wishes he could post more than the 12 pictures allowed. Most seem to be in fair condition, but there are some loose pages and a spine missing here and there. The genealogical information is for the Peabody and Ball families of Queensbury, Luzerne, New York.

There is a note of the marriage of Richard Ball of Queensbury, NY and Mrs. Eigearia Hartman, August 7, 1871 "at the bride's mother's home" witnessed by Sanford Hartman and Miss Ella Murry and signed by the Justice of the Peace for Warren County, NY, David Varney.

The dates written in the bible begin in 1851 and go to the 1900s, beginning with the Ball family, Joel, Nora, Wilbur and Adeline. And then Nora Ball Peabody, with Susan Hartman died July 1897, Joel Hartman died 1862. Sanford Hartman born April 1, 1851 and a Joel Hartman born June 11, 1818. The seller mentions Peabody and Ball births and deaths noted from the early 1800s. There is also a PHOTO ALBUM, with all the pictures identified with the names as shown in the bibles!Truly a major find for someone tracing these families. There are about 30 cabinet photos and 16 CDV pictures, with surnames such as Howe, Selleck, "Grama Ball", James Lord, Bristol, Danzt, Dance, White, also "Uncle Sanford's family photos.

The seller asks that if there are questions, to contact him.

The eBay Item Number is 180454433679.

A quick look online shows the following on the 1880 Census for Queensbury, Warren, New York:
Richard Ball, married, age 29, born NY, with both parents born NY, occupation farmer
Eugenia Ball, married, age 27, born NY, with both parents born NY, occupation keeping house
Joel Ball, single, age 6, born NY, parents same
Elnora Ball, single, age 2, born NY, parents same

There's also a George Ball age 31 and family living 2 farms down the road, with his neighbor another George Ball, age 61, a widower, born NY, parents same. Living with him is his son, Philip Ball and Philip's wife Nellie and 3 grandchildren of George.

The IGI shows a Richard Ball born 1851 Hartman Hill, Luzerne, Warren, New York, died 1882. Parents shown as George F. Ball and wife Eliza. And a Philip Ball, parents the same, born 1848 at Hartman Hill. George F. Ball (1818-1893) married Eliza Ball 1837 at Hartman Hill. His father shown as Malboro Payne Ball. Malboro Payne Ball (1779-1850) married Rachel Varley 27 May 1800  Luzerne, Warren, New York.

Malboro Payne Ball born 1779, parents Edward Ball, Fear Young. - odd first name "Fear". Fear Young born c1744, England, married Edward Ball c1774 Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa.

All this with just a quick look online... obviously much more research would need to be done to connect the dots.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Family Maps Of Various Counties Of Alabama

The Family Maps series of Land Patent Books have been published on a county by county, and state by state basis, and the books listed below list original settlers of Alabama whose purchases are indexed in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management database.

You can locate your ancestor's Alabama land purchase by locating their name in the surname index, then an all-name index, which directs you to the map of first-land-owners. The Family Maps books are a helpful visual reference tool that make your Alabama and federal lands research that much easier. Each book has a cover similar to the picture on the right, with each edition of the series for the various counties of Alabama.

All of the counties of Alabama listed below have a corresponding reference book (available at Amazon), entitled similarly to the Pike County edition. If you are interested in Pike County, Alabama for example, you can review the book before you make the purchase.

Each book is laid out in a similar manner, with 3 detailed maps for each of the townships that make up each county. Each Township has a Patent Map, a Patent Index, a Road Map, and a Historical Map, which includes Waterways, Watercourses and Railroads.

The Road and Historical Maps also include the City-centers and cemeteries that can be found at There is also a Surname/Patent Index and a Surname/Township Index to help you locate the right area of the County for your Alabama ancestors. Appendices identify multi-Patentee buying groups and also list the numerous Aliquot (section) parts you might find. This book is constructed to last with a plastic spiral binding, acid-free paper, and a tough, laminated cover.

What Information Can I Expect To Find? And What Are Land Patents?

Land patents are documents that show the transfer of land ownership from the federal government to individuals. In the very early years of the United States, Congress declared it would sell or grant the unclaimed lands in "the West" (given up by the States to the United States) for the common benefit of the United States. The individual States gave up any claims to what is now Alabama, Michigan, part of Minnesota, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The United States could then sell this unclaimed land to settlers to raise money for the Treasury. And in turn, the United States gave up its claims to any land within the boundaries of the original 13 States and other eastern states.

The land was distributed to settlers through various acts of Congress: by sale, granting homesteads, military warrants for military service, etc. One of the major purposes of these public land laws was to encourage people from the East to move West.

In the early 1800's people were allowed to purchase public land for $1.25 an acre. For a time, they could buy up to 640 acres under this law.

Public land was also granted to soldiers instead of pay under various Military Warrant Acts granted public.

One major enticement that brought many settlers farther and farther west was The Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed people to settle on as much as 160 acres of public land. They would be required to live there for five years, make improvements (chop down trees, build homes etc.), and grow crops. This land would become the settler's provided they met the criteria and the only payment they had to make would be a filing fee. Obviously many people took what appeared to be an easy choice - basically free land, and more and more land filled up over time, and then others moved farther west as new areas opened up for settlement.

Monday, January 4, 2010

English Family Land Deeds Online

The Family Deeds project was started because many old deeds and documents were coming onto the open market, being sold to many different locations, which meant that this valuable information was becoming more and more difficult to locate. A need arose for a central location where the information contained in as many documents as possible could be made readily available.

The website Family Deeds Project now has information on thousands of deeds from all over Great Britain, with new documents being uploaded each week.

These deeds can contain a wealth of genealogical information that can assist family historians and so the Family Deeds project created with the aim of trying to preserve some of that information and make it easily available to all.

The information that can be found in Deeds can vary from document to document, and from time period to time period. Don’t assume that because your ancestors weren’t the landed gentry and were, perhaps, labourers that the website won’t be able to help. Many documents also contain information about the tenants of the property as well as the owners.

Examples of the information which might be available are:
  • The description and location of the property in question, sometimes with a plan.
  • Who owned the property at the time of the deed as well as who had previously owned the property with information sometimes going back over a hundred years.
  • Who lived there if it was rented.
  • Who used to live there.
  • Who owned the land and lived in the properties to the north, south, east and west and who lived in those properties.
  • The occupations of many of the people mentioned
  • If someone had recently moved, their former parish is often also given – perfect for knocking down that brick wall!
  • Previous documents are often recited so that you have not only the information for the date of the Deed, but also the information as it was years before.
  • Where a property has passed through a family, there can be details of many generations.
  • If the property has been left in a Will then the date of the Will, date of Death, date of Probate and the place where the Probate was granted are all often included.
  • Sometimes you get the tithe reference number so that you can pinpoint exactly where you ancestors were.
The website has now been amended so that you can purchase and download pdf transcriptions of the documents directly from the website. If you are resident in the UK mainland or Northern Ireland you can also now purchase some of the original documents online, but if you live outside the United Kingdom, they are unable to send documents.

Although Family Deeds accepts these payments, the site assures visitors it is not a commercial venture. The project is still voluntarily run and all the proceeds from the sales are used to purchase the documents and help towards the website costs.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Genealogy And Family History Defined

Genealogy and family history are two terms that people use to describe the hobby of tracing your ancestors, but do they mean the same things? Not really. If you are doing genealogy, then you are basically doing a family tree, locating the vital dates of birth, marriage and death of individuals and moving farther back from one person to the next.

Family history means going beyond the confines of of a literal "family tree" to look at history and a family's place in it. When someone looks at family history, they try to see what was happening at the time a person lived, major events and much smaller, more localized events and how the person reacted with these events.

Of course, when we are tracing our family histories, one aspect of this research is trying to locate records that provide proof of an individual's birth, marriage and death. What makes this information much more interesting than a simple recitation of dates like "He was born..., he married..., he died..." is by trying to find out more about the times that ancestor lived.

As an example, I've found that some of my ancestors lived in Ireland around the end of the 1700s and early 1800s during a time of tremendous upheaval. They lived in Wexford county an area that was in bloody rebellion during the summer of 1798. I've read about many families having their homes torched, people killed, mobs of angry people marching and attacking soldiers and others, as well as battles raging around the county as the people rose up.

Wouldn't you like to know what role, if any, that your ancestors played in these events rather than just knowing their dates of birth, marriage and death? By reading about the Rebellion of 1798 in Ireland, I think I have a better handle on what my ancestors went through. Truth be told, I didn't know very much about that particular Irish rebellion, but now I am keenly interested as it affected my ancestors.

I do have a lot of information about the births, marriages and deaths of these Irish forebears, but what really excites me is the information I've uncovered about what happened to them during this rebellion. How one "had to cross a field strewn with the bodies of dead soldiers" and that they had to hide in ditches as large groups travelled the countryside, killing anyone they thought was not on their side.

That's just one part of my ancestry, a branch of my family tree that I've discovered. There are others who fought in wars, travelled to the far east, and some who simply stayed at home and tended the family farm. All are of interest because when you look at them as people during their life and times, you get a better picture of them - and maybe a better understanding of our own place in the family history.

The bottom line is that this hobby is so much more than simply looking up the date your great-great-great-grandfather was born or died, which in itself is an exciting event when you accomplish it, but also finding out what kind of world he was being born into and the surrounding events that shaped his life.

Pre-1858 Welsh Wills Online Through National Library Of Wales

Prior to the introduction of Civil Probate on 11 January 1858, wills were proved in the Welsh ecclesiastical courts. The old indexes produced by the courts themselves have now been replaced by a new online index. If you have ancestors from Wales, this will likely be of interest to you. The National Library of Wales, itself located at Aberystwyth, offers 190,000 pre-1858 Welsh wills online that can be searched for free. This is the link to the Wales Wills Database.

The dates of the probate records covered are:

Bangor: 1635 - 1858
Brecon: 1543 - 1858
Chester (Welsh wills): 1557 - 1858
Hawarden: 1554 - 1858
Llandaf: 1568 - 1857
St Asaph: 1565 - 1857
St David's: 1556 - 1858

For information about wills after 1858, the Library has custody of register copy wills from 5 registries, covering all of the Welsh counties (with the exception of Montgomeryshire), and a full set of the annual index of all wills and administrations granted in England and Wales, known as the Calendar of Grants, from 1858 to 1972.

In addition to the official probate records, there are also some wills and inventories and other papers associated with probate that can be found in the consistory court papers filed with the diocesan records of the Church in Wales. These can be searched through the online Archives and Manuscripts catalogue - please note that this page is written in Welsh and English.

The Library's collections of family, estate and personal papers contain thousands of wills:
  • some that might not have survived in the official probate records,
  • or may never have been proved,
  • or may have been proved outside Wales.

This is the result of five years of hard work by a lot of people to make this resource available to those unable to visit the National Library. Of the 190,000 wills (over 800,000 total pages!), about one thousand of the wills are written in the Welsh language. The wills are also dated from the 14th century up to 1858.

Making Use Of Genealogy Forums ~ GenForum In Particular

How do forums help family historians? They allow you to network, network, network. The number of people doing genealogy continues to grow by leaps and bounds and we all need help in one area or another. That's the point of GenTips: to help others with their family tree and genealogy research. One of the best is called GenForum, where you can ask questions, respond to others and find people all over the world who might be researching your ancestral line or the locality where they lived.

The forums at GenForum are broken down into three basic types:
  • By Surname - Just about every imaginable surname has it's own forum. If the last name is somewhat common, there is usually quite a bit of activity. Even some of the less common surnames can generate tons of inquiries, so there is always a good chance of finding someone else who is researching your line. Check for maiden names as well. I've been surprised to find someone researching a sister or brother of a great-great-grandparent more times than I can count.
  • By Region - The regions being discussed could be quite general, like England, Scotland, Germany, or the United States. These are good for general information about each country and the records available. The region then becomes more specific, broken down by state, county, parish, etc. Even though someone may not be able to help you with the particular family tree or branch you are researching, there are areas or geographic localities that some researchers have built up a great deal of experience and they can be a tremendous source of information about where to look for certain records and also be aware of certain families if they had lived in the area for any length of time.
  • And by General Topics - This section is broken down by General Topics, such as General Genealogy, Immigration (including Emmigration and Migration), Religions (church records), Wars, Miscellaneous (just about anything related to family history) and of course, Genealogy Software and the Internet (how to navigate the Internet to which software program is best and why isn't it working on my darn computer!)

Another way to use GenForum from their home page is the shortcut option to enter whichever forum you are looking for in the Forum Finder and clicking FIND, and away you go.

Of course, one drawback of such a massive number of forums is that even when you find one that you have interest in, there are usually hundreds and hundreds of posts that you will need to wade through, but when (and I repeat, WHEN) you find something about one of your ancestors, you immediate want to contact whomever posted the message.

There will be posts from years ago as well as messages from just a minutes ago and you will want to read them all. Don't expect an immediate flood of responses if you post a query. You may be lucky, but some posts just don't generate a reply for years, then, presto! some distant cousin says "Hey, I'm looking for them too! Let's compare notes." I've had both experiences, immediate good luck and responses to long forgotten posts.

Either way, read everything you can about your surname and the places your family came from for clues. You never know what may turn up.

Another important point is that GenForum is just one of many family history forums - there are forums dedicated to individual families, countries, states, counties, cities, just about any genealogical topic under the sun will have its own forum tucked away somewhere on the Internet.

Eventually, GenTips will probably have to have a forum when the traffic gets heavy enough to warrant it, but not just yet. In the meantime, definitely go to a forum and read what's being posted and leave a question. That's step one in connecting with the hidden masses who may be able to help with your research.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How To Navigate Around GenTips ~ A Site Map

For those visitors who have trouble figuring how to navigate around this blog called GenTips, here is something of a SITEMAP to make it easier to find the information you are looking for.


The first thing is the SEARCH BOX to the upper right which appears on every posting. You can input any search term and click the accompanying magnifying glass to do a search. You can look for posts concerning census, England, family bible, etc., and ALL the posts with that term will magically be presented before you.


Or there is the BLOG ARCHIVE section located on the right side, which is broken down by year, month and individual post. If you click either "2008" or "2009", all the posts for the final month of that year will be displayed by post title. To find a post from October or November, just click the appropriate month and each of the posts for that month will appear.


The LABEL SECTION is also located in the righthand column, farther below the Blog Archive. Each and every post is given at least one appropriate label, such as CENSUS, IRISH CHURCHES or BEGINNER'S GUIDE, basically each post is given a label to assist visitors to the website find posts that might be of interest to them. By clicking on a label, such as "census" for example, all posts with the label "census" will be brought to the front.


In order to contact this website to ask genealogy questions (always welcomed and encouraged), just go to the Contact GenTips Page.

Photographs Of Parish Churches In Britain And Ireland

If you want to see what the parish church looked like that your ancestors attended in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, you can find over seventeen thousand wonderful photographs highlighting each church. The website is The Churches of Britain and Ireland

The photos are divided by each county in England, Scotland, the Channel Islands, Northern Ireland, and Wales, and then sub-divided by each parish.

So you will need to know which particular parish your ancestors attended, or of course, you could do what I like to do, and just pick a county and go through each of the parishes, one by one, and look at each church for their beauty alone. As I mentioned, there are thousands of individual pictures (usually only one of each church unfortunately).

If it is your intention to use any photographs from the website for any commercial enterprise, there are copywrite issues. You would need to contact the owner of the website, Steve Bulman at the following email address "steve at" (the reason I used that as his email address is to avoid any spam being sent to Mr Bulman). He will then contact the owner of the photo himself.

Map Of The Historic Counties Of England, Scotland and Wales

The following map shows each of the various counties of England, Scotland and Wales. The map is shown curtesy of the Association of British Counties.

This map gives a reasonably accurate large-scale representation of the 86 historic counties of Britain. If this map proves too small for you, a larger size is available at Gazetteer of British Place Names or you could always print off a copy.

Having some idea where your ancestors lived as well as their neighbouring villages, towns and counties can help genealogists locate relevant records. Always be on the look-out for maps that give greater detail to the locations members of your family tree have lived. There are numerous local maps that can give a farm-by-farm view that can be especially helpful to family historians.

Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers

The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers is one of the most fundamental research tools for those doing research on english ancestors. This 320 page book has all the historical maps of each of the parishes of England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as information on the starting dates and locations of parish registers where they have survived, and indexes, such as whether they are included in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) which is, of course, searchable at Familysearch.

Doing research in the old parish registers is difficult unless you know where to look for the information you require. Once your family history research moves back in time before the implimentation of civil registration, in order to move farther and farther back in time, church records such as baptisms and marriages which were kept in these parish records assume paramount importance.

This invaluable book contains topigraphical maps, showing the contemporary road system and geographical features, which helps locate local villages and towns where your ancestors may have lived. These are of couse, very handy, but the parish maps are what will help. They show the boundaries before 1832 and location of churches and chapels for each parish, as well as showing the probate jurisdictions (which assists locating wills and other probate records). The map above is an example of what the parish maps look like and I cannot stress the importance and assistance they provide both seasoned genealogists as well as people just starting their family trees.

Tracing Criminal Ancestors?

If one of your ancestors turns out to have something of a rogue, a rapscallion, a "black sheep" of the family, in the old days most people would try to hide that part of their family tree. Personally, I would love to find out that I had some ancestor who turned out to be that interesting (haven't yet, but hoping). Back in the day, many people were forced to live just outside the law because of the times and circumstances that they lived. There's no need to judge them poorly, and many celebrate their ne'er-do-well ancestors. Many people were sent off to Botany Bay and the penal colonies of Australia for very minor offences.

As a genealogist, finding out that you have a criminal lurking in the family tree will open up an interesting line of research. How exactly do you trace the wayward ancestor through the courts? That's where this book can come in handy. need to know how to trace that person, and for this Criminal Ancestors is .

David Hawkings' Criminal Ancestors: A Guide To Historical Criminal Records In England and Wales proves to be an invaluable guide. This book has now been revised and updated and includes information about the mountains of materials and records held by all County and Borough Record Offices, The National Archives, police archives and other repositories.

Hawkings provides many example cases and illustrations, and includes appendicies with source material. The book shows a case history tracing one individual criminal and the results that can be obtained.

Also, there is another book on the subject, Steven Wade's TRACING YOUR CRIMINAL ANCESTORS which will be available from Amazon in January 2010. Either book would be a welcome addition to any family historian's library, especially if they have any ancestors with a slighty shady past.

1911 Census Online For England And Wales

In case you are not aware, the 1911 Census for England and Wales is available online, but of course, at a price if you want to see the original documents in digital form. The website,, has a searchable database similar to the 1901CensusOnline site, although the site for the 1911 census records does not cover the same material as 1901CensusOnline, which allows searches from 1841-1901.

Both of course are pay sites, with costing 6.95 English pounds (approx. $11.24USD) to review the actual census pages online ~ it may save you a substantial amount to do research through your local Family History Center, and scour through the microfilm on your own. If you choose to purchase the credits needed to view the census pages, the 6.95 paid would give you 60 credits. Each page you look at will cost you 30 credits so this is a very expensive site in my opinion, but if you do know that you have found you ancestor, it is very tempting to see their information immediately, but if the name you are researching is somewhat common (yes, I have a couple of John Smiths I am tracing), then do more groundwork before making the purchase.

The high cost of these census websites is annoying, so if you do need to spend your hardearned money, be absolutely sure that you have the right family. There's nothing so irritating as getting a census page with the head of the family at the very bottom of the page and realizing that you will have to pay twice in order to see who else is in the household.

But ~ it costs you nothing at all except your time to search through the database. Try every surname variation you can think of because there are different spellings for even the simplest names. A name like Webster could be Webbster or Webber. Even Smith has a number of variations ~ like Smyth, Smythe, Smidth etc. I've seen dozens of examples of surnames misspelled due to poor handwriting and pronounciation. Remember, even if your family has "always spelt our name as ..." who knows what how the person hearing the name would spell your surname.

Carll Family From Unity Maine ~ Family Bible

This family bible contains information about the Carll family of Unity, Maine and is available at auction from eBay. The bible itself is leather-clad, and was printed by Greenough and Stebbins of Boston, Mass., in 1809. The family history information shows dates of birth for several members of the Carlls, Sabrina born August 15th 1817, Horace Carll Born Nov. 7, 18??, John Carll born in ?? July 6, 1823, Saloma Carll born July 22, 1826, Mary F. Carll Oct. 15, 1828, Augustus Carll born Dec.21, 1831 Thomas Carll March 16, 1834, A quick online look shows a family burial site at Fowler Cemetery in Unity, Maine (plus apparently their parents, Robert Carll b: 1791 d: 1883; Joanna Carll b: 1794 d: 1881).

Mention of a Robert Carll is also made in a history of Unity that Mr Robert Carll "came from Lyman, Maine" and mentions two trees on the farm of Thomas Carll, that Robert had planted one hundred years before.

The eBay Item number is 360222190893.

If you would like to see all the various bibles that have been GenTips has reported as available at eBay recently, this link Family Bible will show them.

Babcock And Swift Family Bible Published In 1826

The first name listed is Elisha G. Babcock with her date of birth given as December 1st, 1799. The names and births, marriages and deaths continue well into the mid-1900s in this family bible that was published in 1826 by Daniel D. Smith of New York.

The condition appears to be fairly good, with a few detached pages that are included with the book. According to the seller, the bible was owned by the Swift family of Wiscasset, Maine, and would obviously be a treasure for someone researching the surnames Babcock or Swift in that area.

The eBay Item Number is 300379593228 if you want to take a closer look. As stated, there are several pages of family history, with names and dates written in the margins.

Gideon Finks ~ Anna Dyer Family Bible

Another family history treasure is available on eBay with an antique family bible published in 1828 by C. Ewer, T. Bedlington and J.H.A. Frost of Boston Mass. The genealogy information shows information about the marriage of Gideon Finks who, according to the bible, married Anna Dyer in 1799, with further information showing their daughter, Abigail Finks marrying John Lee March 1st, 1820. There are other pages of births and deaths listed.

Looking online, there is information showing that a Gideon Finks marrying an Anna Dyer April 6th, 1800 in Providence, Rhode Island, with Anna Dyer's parent listed as Thomas and Freelove Dyer. Thomas' father is listed as William (but this info is NOT shown in the family bible).

For more information about this family bible, the eBay Item Number is 390138330753.

1878 Family Bible ~ Shultz with Related Coghill Family On eBay

Just recented listed on eBay, a family bible published in 1878 by A. J. Holman & Company of Philadelphia. The bible itself appears to be in fair condition, although the cover is detached and needs to be rebound.

From a genealogical perspective, this seems to be the family bible of the Shultz family of Wyandott, Kansas. The information shows the date of birth of Theodore Shultz as 1834, and Nancy Ann Shultz as 1855. Their marriage certificate was also found in the bible stating that Theodore Shultz and Mary Ann Coghill had been married April 24th, 1873 by Judge W.B. Bowman. There are dates of birth for their children.

Looking online, the Shultz family turns up on the 1880 census for Wyandotte, Kansas as follows:

Theodore SHULTZ, Married, age 46, born GERMANY, Grocer, with his parents both born in Germany
Nancy A. SHULTZ, Wife, age 25, born Iowa, father born Indiana, mother born in Kentucky
Henry A. SHULTZ, Son, single, age 6, born Kansas
Mary D. SHULTZ, Daughter, age 10 months, born Kansas
Mary A. COGHILL, Mother-in-Law, Married, age 62, born Kentucky, father born Kentucky, mother born Tennessee
Andrus RENNER, Nephew, Single, age 16, born Germany, Cigar Makers App., both parents born Germany

Lots of info to follow up on there. Theodore Shultz appears to have been an immigrant grocer from Germany. His nephew Andrus Renner was also born overseas and points to a possible sister of Theodore married someone named Renner. What I liked spotting was his mother-in-law was living with the family, Mary A. Coghill, born approximately 1818 in Kentucky, with her parents being born in Kentucky and Tennessee, information which will give someone tracing the Coghill family some clues for further research.

If you want to take a closer look at this family bible, the eBay Item Number is 150402124724.

As always, I have no connection to the seller of the bible or with anyone selling them on eBay.