Category Archives: Genealogy news/tips

Genealogy news/tips/resources.


Follow Friday:

I found this site last week while doing a search for Vogel Center Cemetery as I mentioned in another post.  I was amazed by the level of detail and the sheer amount of data.  Digging further reveals that Histopolis has over 125,000 links to genealogy sites.  Um, that’s alot!  Their database includes over 125,000 cemeteries and information on over 200,000 towns, cities, states, etc.  Amazing.

It’s easy to use.  Give it a try.  You’ll want to automatically add it to your favorites!

Kuhns family & 1860 census

1860 census-kuhns family

Kuhns’ 1860 census contribution

I was very excited to find my maternal third great grandfather and his family in the 1860 census.  Some interesting information that I didn’t know was that Isaiah Kuhns was a gunsmith and his father, Jacob Kuhns, was a shoemaker.  That’s awesome!  By the time of this census, Jacob Kuhns was living with his son at the age of 76.  It’s apparent that his wife had already passed as she wasn’t included in this census.

For me, this census is a snapshot into my ancestor’s lives – how they were employed, their love of family, etc.  It can give you a “guesstimate” on birth/death dates even how long a couple has been married.  Other census records that I’ve seen recorded where they came from and when they emigrated to the United States, what language they spoke, etc.

1860 Important Facts

The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321 — an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census. The total population included 3,953,761 slaves.

By the time the 1860 census returns were ready for tabulation, the nation was sinking into the American Civil War. As a result, Census Superintendent Joseph C. G. Kennedy and his staff produced only an abbreviated set of reports, which included no graphic or cartographic representations. This new round of statistics did allow the Census staff to produce a cartographic display, including preparing maps of Southern states for Union field commanders. These maps displayed militarily vital topics, including white population, slave population, predominant agricultural products (by county), and rail and post-road transportation routes.

The 1860 census collected the following information:

  • name
  • address
  • age
  • sex
  • color (white, black or mulatto) for each person
  • whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane or idiotic
  • value of real estate and of personal estate owned (required of all free persons)
  • profession, occupation or trade of each male and female over 15 years of age
  • place (state, territory or country) of birth
  • whether married within the year
  • whether attended school within the year
  • whether unable to read and write (for persons over 20)
  • whether a pauper or convict
Census – Where Can I Get Mine?

I’ve found a few good sources for census records.  The most popular is  Yes, they do charge for membership.  They’ve spent considerable time and resources gathering this information.  They also have 14-day trials and occasionally allow non-members access to their records free of charge.  Another service is  Basic membership is free but to use its full resources you will need to pay.  Let me say this though – it’s resources are considerable! claim  to fame is source documents provided by people like you and me as well as organizations like the National Archives!  Last on my list is FamilySearch Record Search.  It’s a wonderful service and free.  I’ve found many documents that I didn’t find on the other two.  I believe (and this is just my opinion so I could be wrong) that FamilySearch Record Search is probably the biggest user-contributor database project available today.  Countless thousands (or more) volunteer their time to transcribe census records not just for the United States but other countries as well.  The only downside so far to the Record Search is searches can’t be saved or marked for later research.  You’ll have to search for it all over again and try to find where you left off.

If you have further information on the Kuhns family OR would like to provide more information on census records, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  I encourage participation!


Follow Friday: Place Standardization and GPS

Two website that I’ve found extremely useful in the last few days have been GPS Visualizer and the new FamilySearch StandardFinder.  These are both gems!

GPS Visualizer

GPS Visualizer is super simple to use.  Just add the address, city, state, whatever and it will bring it up on a map – Google or Yahoo.  It not only finds the correct addresses but GPS coordinates as well.


StandardFinder lets you get that defined location.  Genealogists love details.  We thrive on it!  Place names are commonly broken down  into the following: city, county, state (province), country.  So Missoula, Montana (where I’m from) would be broken down to Missoula, Missoula, Montana, United States.  Where StandardFinder comes in is if you don’t know the full place name.  Like I said…a gem!

Hopefully these help you out as much as they have me!


Stay tuned for next Friday because I have one that’s going to blow your socks off!

Vogel Center Cemetery fun facts

There are times when researching can actually be fun.  Sure, I love finding out names, birth dates, etc. but genealogy is so much more.  Today was just one of those fun times.

Believe it or not, it all started with me updating my  new gallery.  I’m trying to move everything over to nextgen gallery (a WordPress plugin) and was adding descriptions so I had to open up RootsMagic v4 to get the information that I needed.  Since I just switched from Legacy to RootsMagic, I’m still trying to learn everything available to me.  One is adding the GPS coordinates just not for the place name but the place detail. Continue reading

Genealogist’s Christmas Eve

‘Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even my spouse.

The dining room table with clutter was spread
With pedigree charts and with letters which said…
“Too bad about the data for which you wrote;
Sank in a storm on an ill-fated boat.”

Stacks of old copies of wills and such
Were proof that my work had become too much.
Our children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And I at my table was ready to drop
From work on my album with photos to crop.
Christmas was here, and such was my lot
That presents and goodies and toys I’d forgot.

Had I not been busy with grandparents’ wills,
I’d not have forgotten to shop for such thrills,
While others bought gifts to bring Christmas cheers,
I’d spent time researching those birth dates and years.

While I was thus musing about my sad plight,
A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a great fright.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the drapes and yanked up the sash.

When what with my wondering eyes should appear,
But an overstuffed sleigh and eight small reindeer.
Up to the house top the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and ‘ole Santa Claus, too.

And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of thirty-two hoofs.
As I drew in my head, and bumped it on the sash,
Down the cold chimney fell Santa–KER-RASH!

“Dear” Santa had come from the roof in a wreck,
And tracked soot on the carpet, (I could wring his short neck!)
Spotting my face, good ‘ole Santa could see
I had no Christmas spirit you’d have to agree.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings, (I felt like a jerk).
Here was Santa, who’d brought us such gladness and joy:
When I’d been too busy for even one toy.

He spied my research on the table all spread
“A genealogist!” He cried!  (My face was all red!)
“Tonight I’ve met many like you,” Santa grinned,
As he pulled from his sack a large book he had penned.

I gazed with amusement–the cover it read
Genealogy Lines for Which You Have Plead.
“I know what it’s like as a genealogy bug.”
He said as he gave me a great Santa hug.

“While the elves make the sleighful of toys I now carry,
I do some research in the North Pole Library!
A special treat I am thus able to bring,
To genealogy folk who can’t find a thing.”

“Now off you go to your bed for a rest,
I’ll clean up the house from this genealogy mess.”
As I climbed up the stairs full of gladness and glee,
I looked back at Santa who’d brought much to me.

While settling in bed, I heard Santa’s clear whistle,
To his team, which then rose like the down of a thistle.
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
“Family history is Fun!  Merry Christmas!  Goodnight!”

Author Unknown