Table of Contents
Madison Parish, Louisiana—Earliest Landowners
A compilation of the earliest landowners (patentees) in Madison Parish. These are the first landowners who purchased land from the U.S. General Land Office after Louisiana became a state in 1803. Most purchases were in the middle 1800s. Among other things the book includes 98 pages of patentee names including location and amount of acreage purchased, an index map, and 58 pages of detailed original survey township maps showing the exact location of the acreage, patentee names, and year of purchase. Price $35.00, plus $5.00 shipping and handling. E-mail the author at email@example.com.
By Joan Young
One of the things that made RootsWeb famous was the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). When it was first added to the site around 2000, it was free, was updated more frequently than any other online version, and was accompanied by the best search engine. Today, RootsWeb continues to be one of the most convenient and effective places to access this index. How much do you know about the SSDI and how long has it been since you used it?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps a record of all individuals who have a Social Security number and whose death is reported to the agency. This information is recorded in the SSA's Death Master File.
The SSDI was not created to assist people in genealogy, but it has become a valuable genealogical resource.
Most people in the index are from the U.S., but a few Canadians, Mexicans, and individuals of other nationalities are in the index. Some Americans who worked or died abroad may also be found in the database.
Some individuals who died before 1962 can be found in the SSDI as well.
WHY MIGHT SOMEONE NOT APPEAR IN THE SSDI?
RootsWeb boasts a full-featured SSDI search engine with advanced search capabilities that enable researchers to find individuals with a minimal amount of information.
A simple search allows you to enter the last name, first name, middle name or initial, and/or Social Security number.
You may enter as little or as much information as you know. You may search the last name using either the exact spelling or by selecting Soundex or Metaphone. Soundex and Metaphone are "sounds like" search tools and were previously explained here.
[For the morbidly curious (like me), here is an explanation of the internal source codes you occasionally find in the "Last Residence" field that do not represent a location.]
ORDERING INFORMATION ON SOMEONE YOU FIND IN THE SSDI
To order the SS-5 form from RootsWeb, click the "SS-5 Letter" link on the search results page. Fill out the request form that appears, print it out, and mail it to the SSA. It costs $27.00 to order an SS-5 form.
REPORTING INCORRECT INFORMATION FOUND IN THE SSDI
You can also add Post-em Notes to entries in RootsWeb's SSDI to indicate inaccuracies or give your connection to an entry. To do this, click "Add Post-em" on the search results page for an entry.
By Mary Harrell-Sesniak
"Genealogy is not just a pastime, it's a passion."
Remembering passwords is challenging—particularly for systems that don't allow passwords to be repeated. Two easy-to-remember solutions are mnemonic devices and keyboard shapes. And if you are passionate about genealogy, use it to help you create memorable passwords.
A mnemonic device is a made-up phrase that stands for something else. For example, GINJAPIAP stands for "Genealogy is not just a pastime; it's a passion." There are no numbers in my mnemonic device, but if the program I was using required me to include them, I might replace the "i" with a one (GINJAPIAP becomes G1NJAP1AP). Another example is to use a zero for an "o" or a 2 for "to".
And consider combining phrases with words for readability.
When asked to change a password, make a simple switch.
Another method I like is sketching a shape on the keyboard. For instance, I might draw an "M" (for Mary); or, if named Carla Chang, you could create two Cs.
M — aw3edr5tg
When required to make a change, reverse the sequence, or use a different location on the keyboard.
CC — fde45saq23 or 23esa45tfd
It's important not to disclose passwords, so keep your password selecting method secret. If you are inspired to try a new RootsWeb password, simply click on "My Account" in the upper right-hand corner of the RootsWeb home page to change it. Forgot your password altogether? Visit Password Central by clicking "Passwords" on the main toolbar.
I keep in touch with a distant Morris cousin named Marianne on the Internet. She lives in France and I live in New Zealand.
Her mother, in England, was on another genealogy site and was contacted by a woman named Kristin who was living in Florida, U.S.A. Kristin has been in possession of a Morris family Bible for thirty years and has been hunting for any descendants of the family members whose names were written in the Bible.
The Bible was given by George Morris to his bride in the 1870s in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. It lists George's siblings, children, and some grandchildren. The Bible appears to have left England and possibly gone to Canada (a French inscription is included) before ending up in an antique shop in Tucson, Arizona.
My third great-grandmother is one of George Morris's sisters, so Marianne put me in contact with Kristin after reading the query on her mother's computer. Kristin has offered to send me the Bible and I am excitedly waiting for its arrival.
Sadly, Marianne's mother passed away not long after she had helped Kristin and I find each other. I will be eternally grateful to Marianne's mother and thankful that the Internet has made all this possible.
The main article in the July issue of the "RootsWeb Review," described various symbols used in genealogical records. We received several questions from readers wanting to know what the hyphen (-) in front of the birth dates in the second and third examples indicated:
Musse, Daniel (Johann Daniel)
These hyphens indicate that the dates are baptismal/christening dates rather than birth dates.
The RootsWeb Review Editor
In last month's issue, Carol told us about successfully using an Ott light to read a dark photocopy of an obituary. We received a number of requests for more information about this. Carol has provided the following additional details.
"Ott lights are sold for crafters and for those who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which results from shorter sunlight days.
"If you Google the phrase "ott light" you will find a lot of places that sell them. I purchased my OTT-LITE(r) TrueColorTM Pink Portable Lamp at Staples, so you can see that they are readily available.
"My Ott light is high on my desk, above my head, so I was looking up at the light with the dark copy in front of the light. When I held the paper up to the light, the light was above my eyes, and the paper was between me and the light.
"I actually ended up taping the top of the paper to the light so I did not have to hold on to it.
"I would suggest that users 'fiddle' with their paper, their light, and the angle—each case may be different. Also, I suggest trying at night and turning off any other lights in the room."
As a serious genealogist for 52 years, I spent endless hours researching Williams families. Both my mother and father had Williams lines back to the earliest colonies. Most resources had so many pages to search and always caused so much frustration that I would move on to other surnames that were easier to locate. Only this last year did I discover, through researching some other families, that my mother and father had a common Williams ancestor in the early 1600s in Virginia. This led to dozens of other lines and taught me an important lesson—never give up.
Have a story, question, genealogy resource, or tip you'd like to share with RootsWeb Review readers? Send it to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.
Editor's note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the editor or of RootsWeb.com.
Ancestor Seekers Eleventh Salt Lake City Research Trip
22-27 February 2009—10 Percent Discount for Early Registration
Join others from throughout the U.S.A. and Canada for the dream genealogy vacation. Spend a whole week at the Family History Library, accessing the world's largest collection of genealogical records with help and advice from accredited genealogist professionals. Opening and closing socials, theater trip, and other optional activities!
No new user-contributed databases.
No new/updated freepages by individuals.
If you have a new or substantially revised freepage at RootsWeb and would like to see it mentioned here, send the URL, the title, and a BRIEF description, including major surnames, to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.
If your genealogy- or history-related site is located somewhere other than RootsWeb, you can add the link to RootsWeb here.
DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution
Some of these Web pages might not be accessible yet. They are created
by volunteers, so if one that interests you isn't up yet, please
check again in a few days or next week.
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To find or subscribe to a mailing list, or to search archived posts to more than 30,000 RootsWeb-hosted genealogy mailing lists, go here.
A McCormack Family reunion at William McCormack's house in Otter Lake, Michigan in 1905. The two people sitting in chairs are Michael and Catherine McCormack. The couple at the left shoulder of Michael are my great grandfather, William, and his second wife, LaVina Jane Hemingway.
For a chance to see your ancestor's photo in the RootsWeb Review, send it to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com. Make sure to include your name and a brief description of the photograph.
I was looking through old death notices from Ohio and ran across one that hit me in the funny bone:
"... LITTLE, NATHANIEL, Esq. d. Delaware, Dec. 10th, 1812. He left a small family. (*Jan. 20, 1812)"
Thanks to Randy E.
Early in my research I came across a death certificate for an aged relative, single cause of death—exhaustion. After a smile I assumed this could mean old age, consumption (TB), or a prolonged illness. Several years later I overheard a (living) aged relative moaning to the doctor about poor eyesight, aches and pains, etc. The doctor replied, "It is just Anno Domini."
She quickly responded, "Oh, is there anything you can give me for it Doctor?"
Thanks to Dave Cash
Found a funny name or humorous tidbit in old records, or an amusing entry in census, parish, church, or other records? Send these and other genealogy-related humor/humour items to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.
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