Genealogical research in England often relies only on census records, parish register entries, and civil registration. But there is so much more information to be found! We’ve previously discussed records of the parish chest and apprenticeship records, but genealogists should also look to lesser-known English records such as court records. The English court system was complicated, but the quarter session records are generally the most useful for most genealogists.What are the Quarter Sessions?The Quarter Sessions met four times a year – Easter (April-May), Trinity (June-July), Michaelmas (October-December), and Epiphany (January-April). Topics covered include both non-crown criminal offenses and local administration such as taxes, vagrancy, roads and bridges, markets and ale houses, settlement orders, bastardy examinations, and records of local jails (goals).Quarter Session courts began in 1277 with Keepers of the Peace, who were made into Justices in 1361. These courts began …Read more
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A genealogist's letter to Santa--what we really want this year!Dear Santa,I have been a good genealogist all year. My research always conforms to the Genealogical Proof Standard: my research is reasonably exhaustive, my citations are complete and accurate, my analysis is thorough, I correlate records and data fully, I resolve conflicting evidence or offer some valid explanations for the conflicts, and my conclusions are soundly written.In addition, I use outside-the-box thinking to solve the many brickwall projects that cross my desk. Narrative research reports are filled with documented historical and geographical details. And Legacy Tree Genealogists was honored as one of Utah’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies for the third year in a row. All-in-all, it has been a good year.My holiday wish-list isn’t filled with the usual requests you may get from genealogists. The loss of the 1890 U.S. Census is a pain, but there are often other sources (such as the 1890 Veteran’s …Read more
An often overlooked resource in genealogy are voter registration records. We'll show you where to find and use these helpful records in your family history.Genealogists have many resources available to them to aid in their research. Census records, church records, city directories, land records, and probate records are just a few of the more commonly used resources. Many of them are available online, thanks to web sites such as MyHeritage, FamilySearch, and Ancestry, making research possible from the comfort of one’s home. However, so many records are available online that it can be difficult to decide what records to search when researching one’s ancestors. An often overlooked resource in genealogy is that of voter registration records.Voter registration records, like city directories, list an ancestor’s place of residence and the exact years he or she resided there. Naturalization information and the estimated year of immigration can sometimes also be found on an ancestor’s …Read more
If you're not including university special collections in your genealogy research arsenal, you may be missing out on finds that add valuable context to your ancestors' lives. The Civil War diary of my first cousin, five times removed, detailing his experience at the battle of Vicksburg.The original botanical sketches for my great-great-grandfather’s work on South African flowers, including his handwritten notes.Advertisements for the barbering business of another great-great-grandfather, found in the quarterly magazine of the private academy attended by his son, my great-grandfather.Insurance maps and plat books detailing my neighborhood’s development over more than one hundred years, from a rural township to an established city neighborhood.Without college and university libraries and archives, I might never have known these treasures existed.College and university libraries and archives often have special collections related to their institution’s history and …Read more