Legacy Tree Genealogists' Shelbie Drake specializes in German and Austrian research. In this article, she provides valuable tips and resources to help you find records in the area that was once known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.The Austro-Hungarian EmpireAt face value, the name of the Central European country Austria seems straightforward. However, the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - the dual monarchy of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary - is a prime example of why learning the history of where your ancestors originated is critical when researching genealogy. For example, Ludwig Zabran was recorded in the 1910 U.S. census as having lived in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. According to his entry, he was born in Austria in about 1886 and immigrated to the United States in 1907.(1) However, two things complicate matters in identifying Ludwig’s country of origin. Firstly, Austria, as we know it today, did not exist in 1910, and secondly, he indicated that …Read more
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Legacy Tree Genealogists has served families with professional, traditional research and reporting for more than 18 years. But we also provide forensic probate research for legal professionals and estate administrators. And over the years, our probate department has developed an excellent reputation for successfully identifying and locating heirs for estates around the world. We typically locate heirs in accordance with a will, but in some states, a will alone is not enough to satisfy legal requirements for estate settlement.Our forensic probate department at Legacy Tree Genealogists spends many hours searching to identify the correct heirs at law for individuals who have passed but left no will in place or a will could not be found. Such a situation is called “intestate.” An “heir at law” is someone that would inherit, according to applicable state laws, if a person died intestate.Here is one example of “heirs at law” and how you can assure your estate will be divided in a …Read more
Legacy Tree Genealogists' Melissa Finlay has more than 30 years of experience in genealogy research and a bachelor's degree in family history genealogy from Brigham Young University. She also has a professional credential through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogist with a specialty in the U.S. Mid-South region. She has been involved in Native American research in the United States for many years. We asked Melissa about her experiences in Native American research and learned that her interest in American tribes and groups started close to home. Q: What got you interested in genealogy and specifically Native American research?A: My grandmother was the person that got me interested in Native American genealogy when she told me about my grandfather, who I never met. He was Native American and died when my dad was 11 years old. His family line was Cherokee.That was where I started. My first genealogy research was learning about my …Read more
Legacy Tree Genealogists' Elyse Hill specializes in African American and Southern States research. In this blog, she provides information about a private savings bank established in 1865 in emancipated communities. In addition to inventory lists included in wills and probate records of enslavers, these bank records can be a valuable source to find an ancestor’s name and other information.The Freedman’s Bank, also known as Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, was established in 1865. The initial goal of the bank was to assist formerly enslaved African Americans to have a safe place to deposit their funds after the Civil War. During a period of time when few documents recorded the identities and relationships of these individuals, the bank records can provide a rich resource for genealogists.The Freedman’s Bank was a private financial entity with no connection to the Freedmen’s Bureau. Its headquarters was initially located in New York City and later relocated to Washington, …Read more