A recent case we were asked to work on revealed some extraordinary family history. With the help of a large Civil War pension file, we were able to discover that an ancestor died of what was unofficially called "Black Tongue" but more specifically resulted from eating a poisoned pie. How did that happen? We'll explain.The Poisoned PiesThis ancestor served in the Civil War near Louisville, Kentucky - an area where for a time, a great number of soldiers suddenly took sick and died; some quite suddenly, while others “lingered a short time before death.”This illness - "Black Tongue" - lasted just a few days as a person suffered from severe spasms and was out of his mind from the pain. This ancestor's pension file stated that witnesses claimed he was poisoned through the medium of pies that were distributed among the soldiers by local women.Subsequent research turned up several other historical accounts, documenting that Southern women, in their own efforts to participate in the …Read more
Hand-picked, tested and trained, our professional genealogist team knows how to find your story. We search the world for answers. Find the un-findable. And we’re experts at everything from tracking down rare international records to analyzing DNA test results. Based near the world’s largest family history library in downtown Salt Lake City, we also work with researchers and archives around the globe. Contact us today if you would like help discovering your ancestors!
Lithuanian family history may be difficult to uncover; however, patience and perseverance can payoff! We share how our researchers were able to break through genealogical brick walls to bring our client's family history to life. One of the stories on our website talks about a case we’ve been working on for several years in Lithuania. This case is a prime example of how patience and perseverance can pay off in a big way. Last year our onsite researcher for this case was able to locate nobility records for this client’s family, which documented the family line back to an ancestor born in about 1450 AD. In the nobility papers were references to land transactions and other documents that the family had apparently presented to the Russian Empire in 1835 to prove their noble status. In recent months, the client’s goal was to determine if any of the ancestral estates/villages still exist today, and where they would be located.Doing the ResearchWith this goal in mind, our researcher …Read more
The conflicting information in sources can be a brick wall in your genealogy search. If or when you run into this unfortunate situation, here's some tips to help resolve those conflicts!We’ve all been there – tracking down an ancestor and finding an answer we've been looking for on a document, only to find another record that says something different!The death certificate has a different date of death than the headstone, a census gives a different place of birth than a marriage record, and so on. This is a common occurrence in records from earlier time periods when people didn't put as much importance on ages, spellings, etc. as we may now. Do you ever find yourself stuck when this happens, uncertain which one is correct? Next time you hit that wall, follow these two guidelines for dealing with conflicting information. While they aren’t foolproof every single time, they tend to be helpful in most instances.1) Consider Whether the Record is a Primary or Secondary SourceYou …Read more
Genealogy may not appeal to everyone, but those who catch the "bug" tend to get it bad! Do any of these 10 things sound familiar?* If you carry a “relationship calculator” card around in your wallet, you might be a genealogist. (Second cousin twice-removed, great-grandniece...)* If your Google home page displays the home pages to MyHeritage.com, FamilySearch.org, Ancestry.com, or FindaGrave.com, you might be a genealogist.* If every time someone mentions a major U.S. city, you silently name the county it’s in, you might be a genealogist. (Chicago, Cook County; Nashville, Davidson County…) Bonus points if the city doesn't even have to be major!* If the idea of walking through old houses and cemeteries thrills you more than sitting on a beach or riding a roller coaster, you might be a genealogist.* If you can read this, you just might be a genealogist:* If you get the amazing privilege of handling dusty old land record books in the back of a Kentucky courthouse, …Read more