Some Sources of Good Information

Newspapers

The newspaper can be a very good source of information. Books at your local library may be another good source. If you can travel to the location where your ancestor lived you will probably find even more information at the library and probably at the court house as well.

Family Bibles

They are a well-known source and they are another accepted source by the genealogy societies. As you can see in this one has a record of marriages.

National Archives

This is the copy of a document by Daniel Tobias’s application for a Bounty Land  Warrant that I found in the National Archives, Washington DC. Note the spelling of the Colonel’s name. We find error in all types of old or even newer documents. So, check each document carefully.

This is a record  found in the National Archives where Daniel Tobias did apply for and was given a Bounty Land Warrant for his service in the Revolution. Most of these land grants were for land near the finger lakes region of New York (which is north and west of Bath). Some of the information regarding this document was destroyed when the British burned Washington D.C. during the War of 1812. The National Archives did have a record of Daniel’s military service.

Daniel Tobias is listed on the muster roll of the 2nd Connecticut Regiment as of March, 1781. He is a private in Thaddeus Weed’s Company (sometimes known as 5th Company), and Col. Herman Swift commanded the regiment. From March, 1781 to Aug. 2, 1781, Daniel is listed as being “on command” (on loan, or temporary duty assignment) at the Clave or to Col. Scammell (one of the joys of research: Scammell’s name is spelled differently each of the three times it is mentioned).

Alexander Scammell was a well-loved officer. He served early in the Revolution as Washington’s aide de camp and later as his Adjutant General. Curiously, it was Scammell’s duty to execute his British counterpart, Major John Andre, who was captured as he traveled in civilian clothes with a note in his boot for Benedict Arnold.

Scammell resigned from Washington’s staff in January of 1781. It is entirely possible that Daniel Tobias was with him before his muster roll records start in March of that year. It’s fairly certain he was with Scammell during the Yorktown Campaign and the preliminary operations against Manhattan in July of 1781.

Scammell was shot on Sept. 30th, 1781, as he reconnoitered the enemy position at Yorktown with a small mounted troop. Apparently he was surprised by some Hessian mercenaries of Tarleton’s Legion, commanded by Lieutenant Cameron, and after he surrendered he was shot. He was returned under parole and died of the gunshot wound on Oct. 6, 1781, at Williamsburg.

The muster roll stops at this point and doesn’t pick up again until March of 1782. Scammell is no longer mentioned, of course, and the only other change is that the term of enlistment is now filled in with “During War.” The last roll is dated May 26, 1783. 

Ancestry.com

If you have an account with ancestry.com you may not know that they have a Card Catalog. Look under the Search button. The card catalog is in the list and Search lists all of the new sources, which are typically plentiful. Under the search button I found the following source when I clicked on the link:

New York, State Employment Cards and Peddlers’ Licenses, 1840-1966

Related data collections

Massachusetts, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1949-1957

If your ancestors’ travels took them through Massachusetts, check this collection of manifests from ships and planes arriving between 1949 and 1957.

Massachusetts, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1798-1950

This database consists of naturalization records for Massachusetts from U.S. District Courts, as well as from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The INS records are copies of the originals, compiled from various federal, state, and local courts by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during World War II.

Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915

Vital records are a cornerstone of family history research. Find death details for your Bay State ancestors in these Massachusetts death records, 1841–1915.

There is also a wealth of other information under Search. For example, under Census it states the following:

Census Records and Data | U.S. Census | Ancestry

First & Middle Name(s) 

Collection Information

“Census records can be rich with details about your ancestor. Be sure to look at each and every question that was asked and think about what the answer meant to your ancestor. Those answers tell your family’s story. They also provide clues that will help you to locate even more records.

Many counties took periodic censuses to keep track of various aspects of the population. When available, these records often include helpful details about your ancestors and their families and allow you to pinpoint their location at a particular point in time.

While the questions in census records vary from place to place, and year to year, you can find information like names of other household members, ages, birthplaces, residence, occupation, immigration and citizenship details, marriage information, military service and more.”

This is excellent advice as a census is so much more than the time and place for an ancestor. You may find other family members and in-laws also.

Rhode Island Vital Extracts, 1636-1899, Vol. 11, Church Records: Members List, Baptisms, Confirmations, Births, Marriages, Deaths

There are numerous books where you can find a great deal of information. Books, of course, are found in libraries, but exerts are also found on the internet. This particular one gives me information on a patriot in my ancestry line.

“July 7, 1774 an invitation was sent to elder Solomon Sprague, Ebeazer Brown, and Simeon Brown to constitute as a church Aug. 11, 1774. There was considerable friction about coming to this agreement. The church was not constituted until the last Monday of November, 1774 with 19 members as follows:”

The amount of information available will take a considerable amount of time to investigate and to make sure it us accurate for your ancestor. Libraries can be a great source of information.

4 thoughts on “Some Sources of Good Information

  1. Hi Pamela,

    You are putting good information on this site which may help countless others if and when they wish to delve more deeply into family histories.

    Like

      1. Hi Pamela,

        I have been working on mine for 3 years now and still have much to learn. It takes time…especially at our ages. Ha!

        Like

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