Using Plats.net for Maryland Court Records

Plats.net is a land record site of the Maryland State Archives. It contains surveys for all land records, especially for early patents.

Would you think about using this site to search for online court records? Well, you should. This site contains miscellaneous court records for Allegany, Frederick, Carroll, Harford, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset and Washington counties.

How To Use the Site

To access these records, click here or got to www.plats.net.

Home Page of Plats.net

Home Page of Plats.net

As the image shows, you are now on the home page of plats.net. The site may prompt for a user name and password. If so, use the following:

User name:   plato   Password:     plato#

To walkthrough an example, select “Carroll County”.

On the Carroll County Circuit Court page, select “Carroll County Miscellaneous Court Records”.

Now select one of the choices below:

  • Equity Record, 1837-1851, CM1360 (Court)
  • Equity Record, 1851-1983, CM277 (Circuit)

You will be taken to a page in the Maryland State Archives Guide to Government Records and you will see a list of records in a table. Select the book you wish to view and click on the word Link in the Link column. These books are large and it loads the entire book before you can view it. Book 1 (1837) is 401.54MB and took 6 minutes to load on my fast computer. The indices are in the front of the book just like the paper version. If you are going to use the book frequently, I suggest saving it to your own hard drive or a flash drive, where it will load much faster. Most of the other counties links will work in a similar fashion.

Lists by County of Available Court Records on Plats.net

Allegany county’s miscellaneous records list the following Circuit Court records:

  • Abstracts of Release, 1949-1970, CM51
  • Charter Record, 1969-1971, CM56
  • Chattel Records, 1969-1971, CM57
  • Conditional Contracts of Sale, 1951-1952, CM 58
  • Divorce Decrees, 1970-1971, CM 59
  • Judgment Record, 1965-1971, CM68
  • Marriage Licenses, 1851-1865, CM71
  • Marriage Record, 1865-1914, CM72
  • Mechanics Lien Record, 1971, CM74
  • Miscellaneous Record, 1970-1971, CM75
  • Naturalization Docket, 1851-1904, CM77
  • Boundary Record, 1898, CM80
  • Military Discharges, 1971, CM81
  • Agency Record, 1971, CM761
  • Commission Record, 1971, CM786
  • Bond Record, 1971, CM793
  • Court Docket, 1798-1850, C3015
  • Judgment Record, 1791-1868, T3720

Carroll county’s miscellaneous records contain:

  • Equity Record, 1837-1851, CM1360 (Court)
  • Equity Record, 1851-1983, CM277 (Circuit)

Frederick county’s equity records list the following:

  • Frederick County Court (Equity Record) 1815-1851 Ce7
  • Frederick County Circuit Court (Equity Record) 1851-1988 Ce8

Harford county’s miscellaneous records list Test Book, 1801-1978, T4141

Queen Anne’s county miscellaneous records list the following:

            Circuit Court

  • Charter Record, CE417
  • Civil Index, CE214
  • Civil Docket, CE503
  • Declaration of Intention, CE465
  • District Court Liens, CE279
  • Divorce Decrees, CE446
  • Equity Docket, CE504
  • Equity Record, CE454, 1870-1936
  • Federal Tax Liens, CE278
  • Homeowners Association Records, CE421
  • Judgment in Extenso Record, C3013
  • Judgments, Index, CE215
  • Law Docket, CE505
  • Manumissions, Index, CE435
  • Marriage License Applications and Returns, CE275
  • Marriage Record, CE276
  • Marriage Licenses, CE277
  • Maryland Liens, CE280
  • Military Discharges, CE420
  • Miscellaneous Docket, CE506
  • Naturalization Certificates, CE466
  • Naturalization Petitions Granted, CE468
  • Naturalization Petitions, CE467
  • Ordinances, CE419
  • Paternity Docket, CE507
  • Paternity Docket, Index, CE516
  • Test Books, CE448

             Court

  • Judgment in Extenso, Record, C3012
  • Judgment Record, C1416
  • Judgment Record, CE450
  • Land Commissions, CE45

           Special Collections

  • Kent County Circuit Court Collection of William R. Nuttle Survey Records, MSA SC 5593

St. Mary’s county miscellaneous records list the following Circuit Court records:

  • Bond Record, CE183
  • Divorce Decrees, CE181
  • Election Returns, CE177
  • Homeowners Association Record, CE179
  • Metropolitan Commission Record, CE176
  • Notice of Sale, CE180
  • Ordinances and Resolutions, County, CE178

Somerset county miscellaneous records contain Equity Record, CE210.

Washington county miscellaneous records contain the following Circuit Court records:

  • Insolvency Docket, 1819-1907, T3053
  • Chiropractor Register, 1920-1983, T3219
  • Midwives Register, 1911-1942, T3058
  • Optometry Register, 1914-1976, T3057
  • Osteopath Register, 1914-1976, T3059
  • Physicians and Surgeons Register, 1894-1972, T3048
  • Podiatrists Register, 1918-1970, T3056
  • Charter Record, 1803-1993, T3042
  • Charter Record, Index, 1803-1993, T3437
  • Docket and Minutes, 1778-1800, CE395
  • Coroner’s Inquests, 1853-1939, CE396
  • Judgment Record, 1782-1849, CE457
  • Equity Papers, 1815-1984, CE464
  • Certificates of Freedom and Manumissions, 1806-1851, C2938
  • Docket and Minutes, 1801-1850, C3004
  • Docket and Minutes, 1851-1953, C3005

 

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Do You Know About Maryland Databases on Ancestry.com? (Tuesday’s Tip)

Posted on August 25, 2015 in Genealogical Tips, Genealogy Databases

Ancestry.com has databases online for Maryland and for Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick and other Maryland Counties. The best way to access this information is to go to www.ancestry.com. You must have a paid subscription or go to your local library to use the free Ancestry Library Edition. Select Card Catalog from the Search menu. Under Filter Titles, go to Filter by Location and select USA, Maryland and then the county of your choice, for example, Frederick. In the results page, select the database you wish to search, for example “Western Maryland History”. You now have the choice between entering search terms in the Search form on the left or browsing the volumes through selections on the right called Browse this collection. At the bottom of this page, you will find the source information and some interesting background on what is contained in this database.

Example Some Frederick County Databases

The following is a selected list of databases that may be of specific interest to Maryland researchers. These databases are defined as they were designated on Ancestry.com.

Maryland
Maryland Marriages 1655 – 1850 – Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp., Maryland Marriages, 1655-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: Most of the records in this index may be found at the Maryland Historical Society or the Family History Library.

Maryland Marriages 1667 – 1890 – Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp., Maryland Marriages, 1667-1899 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data by county: Carroll County, Maryland, Marriages, 1837-99. County court records located at Westminster, Maryland. Records extracted from the Maryland State Historical Society in Baltimore. Frederick County, Maryland Marriages, 1778-1865. County court records located at Frederick, Maryland or Family History Library microfilm #0014082.

Maryland Records Colonial, Revolutionary, County, and Church from Original Sources Vol. I – Original data: Gaius Morcus Brumbaugh M.S. M.D., Maryland Records Colonial, Revolutionary, County and Church from Original Sources. Vol. I. Baltimore, MD, USA: 1915.

Maryland Records Vol. II – no sources listed.

Baltimore County
Marriage Records of Baltimore County, Maryland, for the period of 1823 to 1826 – Original data: Burns, Annie Walker,. Marriage records of Baltimore County, Maryland, for the period of 1823 to 1826. Washington, D.C.: H.A. Walker, 195-?.

Marriages and Deaths from Baltimore Newspapers, 1796-1815.

St. James Parish Register, Maryland, 1787-1815 – Kinard, June. St. James Parish Register, Maryland, 1787-1815 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data:  records compiled by Rev, John Coleman.

Register of the First English Lutheran Church, Baltimore – Original data: Register of the First English Lutheran Church, Baltimore : from February, 1827, to March, 1859. Baltimore: Printed by F.A. Hanzsche, 1859.

Baltimore, Maryland, Deaths and Burials Index 1877-1992 – Original data: “Maryland Deaths and Burials 1877–1992.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.

Baltimore, Maryland, Loudon Park National Cemetery, 1862 – 2010 – Ancestry.com. Baltimore, Maryland, Loudon Park National Cemetery, 1862-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Digital images of gravestones.

Baltimore County Land Records, 1665-1687 – Original data: Sisco, Louis Dow. Baltimore County Land Records, 1665-1687. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992.

Early parishes and hundreds, Baltimore County, Md., including tax lists, years 1692, 1694, 1695 – Original data: Headington, Clifford E., Early parishes and hundreds, Baltimore County, Md., including tax lists, years 1692, 1694, 1695. Baltimore, Md.: Ida Charles Wilkins Foundation, 1954.

Real stories from Baltimore County history – Original data: Davidson, Isobel,. Real stories from Baltimore County history. Baltimore: Warwick & York, 1917.

Carroll County
Western Maryland History – Original data: Scharf, J. Thomas, History of Western Maryland. Vol. I-II. Philadelphia, PA, USA: 1882.

Inventory of the county and town archives of Maryland: Carroll County – Original data: Inventory of the county and town archives of Maryland: Carroll County. Baltimore, Md.: The Survey, 1940.

Frederick County
The News (Frederick, Maryland) – Original data: The News. Frederick, MD, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper for the following years: 1883-1917, 1919-38, 1942-44, 1947-56, and 1958-77.

The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) – Original data: The Frederick Post. Frederick, MD, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper for the following years: 1913-48, 1950-57, and 1959-77..

Names in Stone, Maryland, Vol. 1 – Original data: Holdcraft, Jacob Mehrling. Names in Stone: 75,000 Cemetery Inscriptions From Frederick County, Maryland. Vol. 1. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.

Names in Stone, Maryland, Vol. 2 – Original data: Holdcraft, Jacob Mehrling. Names in Stone: 75,000 Cemetery Inscriptions From Frederick County, Maryland. Vol. 2. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.

Pioneers of Old Monocacy – Original data: Tracey, Grace L. Pioneers of Old Monocacy. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.

Western Maryland History – Original data: Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Western Maryland. Vol. I-II. Philadelphia, PA, USA: 1882.

History of Carrollton Manor: Frederick County, Md. Vols. 1 & 2 – Original data: Grove, William Jarboe. History of Carrollton Manor: Frederick County, Md. Lime Kiln, Md.: unknown, 1922.

This Was the Life, Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765 – Original data: Rice, Millard Milburn. This Was the Life: Excerpts from the Judgment Records of Frederick County, Maryland, 1748-1765. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.

New Facts and Old Families, From the Records of Frederick County, Maryland – Original data: Rice, Millard Milburn. New Facts and Old Families, From the Records of Frederick County, Maryland. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002.

Evening Post (Frederick, Maryland) – Original data: Evening Post. Frederick, MD, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper for the following years: 1910-13.

Daily News (Frederick, Maryland) – Original data: Daily News. Frederick, MD, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper for the following years: 1916-18.

Weekly News (Frederick, Maryland) – Original data: Weekly News. Frederick, MD, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper for the following years: 1883-84.

The Frederick News Post (Frederick, Maryland) – Original data: The Frederick News Post. Frederick, MD, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper for the year 1975.

The Frederick Town Herald (Frederick, Maryland) – Original data: The Frederick Town Herald. Frederick, MD, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper for the following years: 1799 and 1830-32.

Historical notes of All Saints’ Parish, Frederick, Md., 1742-1908 – Original data: Helfenstein, Ernest, Historical notes of All Saints’ Parish, Frederick, Md., 1742-1908. Frederick, Md.: Marken & Bielfeld, 1908.

 

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The Tracey Collection: Colonial Land Records in Carroll County, Maryland

Posted on August 21, 2015 in Genealogical Tips

The Tracey land records are a unique collection held by the Historical Society of Carroll County that cover early land patents and settlement patterns in western Maryland, primarily Carroll, Frederick, and Washington counties. Many researchers have used these records to find property that their ancestors owned in this area during the Colonial period.

During the 1930s, Dr. Arthur G. Tracey, an optometrist living in Hampstead, collected information relating to these earliest landowners. He made surveyor’s drawings and maps on onionskin paper and kept indexes on 3” x 5” cards. In the 1950s, his daughter also added to this material. Using this information, Grace L. Tracey and John P. Dern compiled Pioneers of Old Monocacy, a publication focusing on Frederick County land ownership. The Tracey Collection comprises a wealth of material valuable to historians and genealogists alike.

With funds raised with the help of the Carroll County Genealogical Society, volunteers at the Historical Society of Carroll County began digitizing the Tracey Collection starting with Carroll County. The Carroll County maps have been completed and are available on a dedicated computer in the library of the Historical Society. The maps may be printed for a small fee.

An index to the Tracey Collection is available online. Years ago, the Historical Society of Carroll County donated two rolls of microfilm to the Washington County, Maryland Circuit Court. Washington County digitized both microfilms and placed them online. The index can be accessed at Dr. Arthur G. Tracey Patent/Tract Index and Map Locations for Carroll, Frederick and Washington Counties. There are some excellent directions provided on how to understand the index cards.

Sample Page of Tracey Collection Index Cards - Vs

Sample Page of Tracey Collection Index Cards – Vs

The images are alphabetical by property name. This online index is not searchable but it is browsable. If the property name is known, select its starting letter.  That will jump you to the names beginning with that letter. For example, to find the card on the property named “Valleys and Hills Toms and Wills”, select the letter V. The first page is a marker for the letter of the alphabet. The next pages contain the card images beginning with that letter. There are 30 cards per page so “Valleys and Hills” can be found on the first full page of the Vs. Once you have identified the “sheet” that contains your property, the tract map can be viewed and printed from the Tracey Collection computer onsite at the Historical Society of Carroll County Library.

The Historical Society of Carroll County is located at 210 East Main Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157. Their phone number is 410.848.6494. Please see their website for hours or click here.

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52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #32 Margaret Bettinger Meisberger (1807 – 1879)

Posted on August 13, 2015 in 52 Ancestors, Family History

The theme for Week 32 is “32”. Let’s focus on one of your 32 3rd-great-grandparents.

Extract of marriage record of Margarethe Bettinger and Michel Meisberger 1837

Extract of marriage record of Margarethe Bettinger and Michel Meisberger 1837

Margarethe Bettinger is one of my maternal 3rd great-grandmothers.  According to her marriage record, she was born on 17 February 1807 in Dörrenbach, Südliche Weinstraße, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Her parents are Johan Nicolaus Bettinger and Magdalena Holzer

Margarethe (Margaret) Bettinger married Michel Meisberger on 10 August 1837 in Sankt Wendel, Saarland, Germany. Together, they had seven children: Theobald Casper, Michel, John, Elizabeth, Eva, Magdalena and Barbara.  Margarethe and her family arrived in the United States around 1855 but no passenger lists have been found to date.

Margarethe and Michel Meisberger are believed to be buried in St. Edward’s cemetery in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.  In the family plots there are two headstones that are not legible.  Cemetery records show they belonged to Michel Meisberger.

The closest I have to a death date for them is now estimated as January 1879.  I had an earlier date of 10 April 1878 for Michel Meisberger based on a family book, but this date appears to be inconsistent with the death notice found in the Juniata Sentinel and Republican (Mifflintown, Juniata County, Pennsylvania) dated 15 January 1879, which was syndicated from the Selinsgrove Times from the previous week as follows:

The Selinsgrove Times of last week said: “Michael Meisberger and his wife, near Shamokin died the same day, only twelve hours apart. He sat by her side when she died, and twelve hours later he followed suit.”

 

 

Week 32 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #31 Candido Furlani (1888 – 1938)

Posted on August 10, 2015 in 52 Ancestors, Family History

The theme for Week 31 is “Easy: We ended July with “Challenging”, so it seems fitting to begin August with “Easy”. Which ancestor has been easy to research? (Come on, there has to be one!).”

Wedding of Anna bianchi & Condy Furlani 1911 Mt. Carmel PAFor this theme, I selected my paternal grandfather, Candido Luigi Furlani, who immigrated to the US in 1907. All my lines hit the proverbial brick wall trying to go overseas except for my Furlani line. He was easy!

You can read more about Condy’s early days and his brothers in my earlier post Three Brothers from the Tyrol. In this post, I would like to focus on the research experiences related to Candido that made it easy for me to research him.

Candido was known as Condy Furlani. I never knew him as he died in 1938 of pulmonary tuberculosis or black lung at the age of 50. When I began researching my family, I started with him because Furlani was my birth surname. This was in the mid-nineties and still early days for the Internet.

When I started my research, there was no one alive able to answer my questions and growing up my parents never really spoke about their family. My father’s middle name was Condy. Once I asked him about it and he explained that it was his father’s name. Therefore, I knew that Condy was my grandfather; that he was Tyrolean and that he had lived in Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. That’s all.

f-vmcanbriI realized that it was time for a research trip to Mount Carmel. While searching the internet for a place to stay in or near Mount Carmel, I stumbled on a site dedicated to the Tyroleans who immigrated to Mt. Carmel from Vigolo Vattaro, Tyrol, Austria and there was a photo of my grandfather–my first genea-miracle. I thought, “OMG, my grandfather is on the Internet.” It was from this web site that I learned how these men and women came from one town in Austria to Mount Carmel. Many of them were coal miners, including my grandfather. Now I had a birthplace.

My second genea-miracle occurred with my discovery of the Family History Centers via Cyndi’s List. I found my nearest center and paid a visit. The staff was very knowledgeable and helpful getting me started. They were able to discover that the Family History Library had microfilmed all the baptisms and marriages for Vigolo Vattaro back to the 16th century. I ordered my microfilms and became a regular visitor to the center. I was able to find my grandfather’s baptismal record in the church register. I have traced his family back to about 1750, but there is still much more on the microfilm–a work in progress.

Vigolo Vattaro is now in Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. About fifty residents of Vigolo Vattaro, Tyrol, which prior to WWI was part of the Austrian Empire, immigrated to the US from about 1880 through 1915, settling in Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania to mine for anthracite coal. At the end of WWI, the 1919 Treaty of St. Germain divided the Tyrol, with one part remaining in Austria and the western portion being absorbed by Italy as Trentino province.

 

 

Week 31 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #30 Andrew C Gunther (1858 – 1931) – A Research Challenge

Posted on July 28, 2015 in 52 Ancestors, Family History

The theme for Week 30 is “Challenging: It’s a good time to take a look at another challenging-to-research ancestor.”

The Gunther Family. first row: left to right, Raymond Peter Gunther, Andrew C. Gunther, Marguerite Gunther, Eva Meisberger Kestener Gunther, and Ilene Lorraine Gunther, second row: left to right, Mary Viola Gunther, Wilson Francis Gunther, Annette Geraldine Gunther, and John Albert Gunther. Photo courtesy of Lynne Maminski

The Gunther Family. first row: left to right, Raymond Peter Gunther, Andrew C. Gunther, Marguerite Gunther, Eva Meisberger Kestener Gunther, and Ilene Lorraine Gunther, second row: left to right, Mary Viola Gunther, Wilson Francis Gunther, Annette Geraldine Gunther, and John Albert Gunther. Photo courtesy of Lynne Maminski

 

My great-grandfather, Andrew (Andreas) C. Gunther, is one of my major brick walls. He is challenging to research on several points. According to his death certificate and supported by the 1900 US census, Andrew was born 11 February 1858 in Germany. I am trying to find his birthplace but do not have a town of birth just a country; and, Andrew’s surname, Gunther, is very common in Germany.

Andrew’s naturalization papers state that he arrived in the US on 2 Jun 1881 sailing from Hamburg with a destination of Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. The ship’s name is not provided and his place of birth is listed only as Germany. The 1900, 1910 and 1920 US censuses all support the year 1881 for his immigration.

I found the following Andreas Gunther entries in the New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 on Ancestry:

  • Andreas Gunther, b. abt. 1858, arr. 20 May 1872, from Hamburg on the Vandalia
  • Andreas Gunther, b. abt. 1857, arr. 23 May 1874, from Hamburg on the Rhein
  • Andras Gunther, b. abt. 1859, arr. 7 July 1881, from Bremen on the Elbe
  • Andreas Gunther, b. abt. 1856, arr. 13 July 1885, from Hamburg on the Lessing
  • Andreas Gunther, b. abt. 1854, arr. 31 August 1872, from Bremen on the Weser

As you can see, none of them really matches the information that I have for my great-grandfather. The 1930 US census also gives his immigration year as 1881 and possibly provides one clue to a town/city of birth:  the enumerator lists Frankfort, Germany as the birthplace of Andrew and his parents (US Census, 1930, Pennsylvania, Northumberland, Coal, District 5, image 27 of 71).

I have all the documentation I could find on Andrew and I am now beginning to do some collateral research on this family. It is a challenge but I love it!

 

 

Week 30 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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More Genealogy Mysteries

Posted on July 23, 2015 in Genealogy Mysteries

In 2012, I published my first post, which was titled Genealogy Mysteries. It provided a summary of the genealogy mysteries I discovered at that time. In 2014, I published Genealogy Mysteries – Expanded and earlier this year, I published Genealogy Mysteries – Expanded and Updated.

Since then, I have been accumulating and reading new books, authors, and series in this sub-genre. For those of you who also enjoy genealogy and reading mysteries, I would like to share these recent discoveries.

Privy to the Dead corr smIn addition to the Orchard series that I have previously mentioned, Sheila Connolly authors the Museum Mysteries set in Philadelphia and featuring Nell Pratt. Sheila Connolly used to work at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See below for more on this series.

The latest news is that two of my favorite genealogy mystery writers are releasing new books this year.

The new Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist book, The America Ground, by Nathan Dylan Goodwin will be published in September 2015, and Steve Robinson just submitted his next Jefferson Tayte book to the publisher. I am really looking forward to these new releases.

The Museum Mysteries by Sheila Connolly star Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society (think Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia) who spends much of her time solving murders through research in their collections. These books are fascinating for their mysteries, their history, and our glimpses into the lives of the archivists. Highly recommended.

  • Fundraising the Dead (2010)
  • Let’s Play Dead (2011)
  • Fire Engine Dead (2012 )
  • Monument to the Dead (2013)
  • Razing the Dead (2014)
  • Privy to the Dead (2015)

In the Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist series by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, we discover a stubborn, determined man who uses whatever means necessary to uncover the past. Great series! If you haven’t already read these, I highly recommend them. I can’t wait for September.

  • Hiding the Past (2013)
  • The Lost Ancestor (2014)
  • The Orange Lilies: A Morton Farrier novella (2014)
  • The America Ground (2015) – scheduled for September release

The Jefferson Tayte mysteries by Steve Robinson feature a professional genealogist who ferrets out family secrets and old mysteries using genealogy research primarily in the UK. This series is a page-turner and keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait for the next one later this year; the title and publication date have not been officially announced yet.

  • In the Blood (2011)
  • To the Grave (2012)
  • The Last Queen of England (2012)
  • The Lost Empress (Oct 2014)

In the Family History Mysteries by Brynn Bonner, genealogist Sophreena McClure is an expert at unearthing other people’s secrets. Using old documents and photographs, Soph and her business partner, Esme Sabatier—also a gifted medium—trace family histories and create heritage scrapbooks.

  • Paging the Dead (2013)
  • Death in Reel Time (2014)
  • Picture Them Dead (2015)

Geraldine Wall writes about probate researcher Anna Ames in this trilogy. These are mystery thrillers and we are drawn in to Anna’s family, life and work.

  • File Under Fear (2014)
  • File Under Family (2014)
  • File Under Fidelity (2015)

In Silent Legacy: Discovering Family Secrets by Diana Church (2014) some German immigration history with new finds from a research trip helps Ellen O’Donnell solve a long-standing family mystery.

In Finding Eliza by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman (2014), an old diary leads Lizzie Clydell down a dusty road of lies, hidden family secrets, and a lynching that nearly destroyed her family.   I loved the quote “It’s just a little family history. What could go wrong?”

Where’s Merrill? A genealogical thriller by Gearoid O’Neary (2013) mystery thriller based upon real life historical events. The story unravels as Irish genealogist, Jed, researches his client’s mysterious maternal ancestry.

Benjamin’s Ghosts: An Enid Gilchrist Mystery by Sylvia A. Nash (2014) is a cozy genealogy murder mystery set in West Tennessee. This is the start of a promising series. I hope we hear more from this author.

In the Tainted Tree by Jacquelynn Luben (2013) Addie Russell inherits a house in Surrey and begins researching her English family Her research takes her back three generations to the First World War.

All of the books mentioned here are available in Kindle editions and can be found at Amazon.com.

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52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #29 Christopher McGinn (1871 – 1903) – Tombstone Tuesday

Posted on July 21, 2015 in 52 Ancestors, Family History, Tombstone Tuesday
Tombstone of Christopher McGinn, St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Locust Gap, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

Tombstone of Christopher McGinn, St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Locust Gap, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

Christopher McGinn is the son of Christopher McGinn and Anna Delaney McGinn and he is my 2nd great uncle.

According to another researcher, who has a copy of the marriage license, Christopher McGinn married Mary McDonnell on 20 Oct 1899 in Locust Gap, Northumberland Co., PA by Leo Fair. In the 1900 US census, Mary and he were living in the residence of her parents. With the 1910 US census, Mary was head of household with children John, born about 1902 and Mary, born about 1904 (based on ages in the census record).

According to the obituary in the local newspaper, Tuesday, September 15, 1903, Christopher McGinn died of cholera morbus (an archaic term assigned to all illnesses resembling cholera) on 14 September 1903 in Locust Gap, He was 32 years old and left a wife and two small children. If so, both children were born prior to their father’s death and their ages in the 1910 census may be incorrect.

Christopher’s wife Mary never remarried finally dying on 25 May 1945 in Philadelphia, PA.

 

 

Week 29 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #28 Edward A. McGinn, Sr. (1859 – 1914) – Sunday’s Obituary

Posted on July 19, 2015 in 52 Ancestors, Family History, Sundays Obituary
Obituary of Edward McGinn, Mt. Carmel Item, Vol. XXVII No. 43, Dec. 21, 1914, page 1

Obituary of Edward McGinn, Mt. Carmel Item, Vol. XXVII No. 43, Dec. 21, 1914, page 1

 

Edward McGinn is the son of Christopher McGinn and Anna Delaney McGinn and he is my 2nd great uncle. According to his death certificate, he was born 14 April 1859.  He married Ellen T. Hogan and fathered eight children: Christ, John, Edward, Irene, Leo, James, Margaret and Aloysius.

He died of heart disease on 19 December 1914. There are a couple of discrepancies between this obituary and his death certificate—Edward’s age, a missing daughter, and a new daughter.

As you can see, the obituary places him at age 66. The death certificate gives Edward’s age as 55, which is correct if he was born in 1859, otherwise the birth date is inaccurate. The birth year of 1859 is supported by the 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910 censuses.

The new daughter mentioned in the obituary is Catherine. I find no reference to her in any of the census records from 1900 through 1930.

The missing daughter is Margaret. In 1910 US census, their youngest child is Aloysius, who was born after Margaret. Margaret is not mentioned as a surviving child, although she was 4 years old in the 1910 census. I did find a death certificate for Margaret and she died 24 March 1915 of heart failure. I wonder if she was the child, mentioned in the obituary, who was seriously ill.

 

 

Week 28 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

Posted in 52 Ancestors, Family History, Sundays Obituary | Leave a comment

Using FamilySearch to Discover Maryland Wills

Posted on July 15, 2015 in Genealogy Databases, Genealogy Search Tips

Family Search has a database containing many records from the Register of Wills office of various counties in Maryland. It was updated November 3, 2014. This database contains administrative indexes, administrative accounts, administrative bonds, claims dockets, estate papers, executors and administrators, guardian accounts, indentures, inventories, minutes of proceedings, releases, sales of personal property, sales of real estate, will indexes and wills.

To access the wills go to www.familysearch.org. If you are not already a member, use the Free Account option to register. Once you are signed in, select the Search icon on the home page. On the map select the United States; then select Maryland. A list of databases for Maryland will appear.

Scroll down the page until you see Probate and Court. Select the database named Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999. On the next page, select “Browse through 1,933,787 images (the number of images will increase as they add records)”. You are presented with a list of counties. For this exercise, select Carroll. Scroll down the page of databases until you get to the ‘Ws’ and ‘Wills’.

To access the will books, first view the index for the years you are researching. The index is alphabetical by testator and provides the Liber No. [Book no.], Folio [Page], testator name, executor or administrator name, and date of probate. For example, “Will index 1837-1939 Vol HGB, no 1” contains as the first entry:

Ann Maria Angel is in Liber J.B. 1, Folio 428. The executor was J. Henry Hoppe and the estate was probated Aug. 10, 1846.

Using this information select “Wills 1837-1852, Vol JB, no. 1.” Then enter the folio number in the image box. This takes you to page 384 in the will book, which is 44 pages less than the page desired. So add 428 + 44 = 472. Then enter 472 into the image box, which takes you to Folio (page) 428 in the will book. At the bottom of the page is the start of the will for Ann Maria Angel. Adjusting the Folio or document page number is necessary to equate it to an image number.

Ann Maria Angel, Liber J.B. 1, Folio 428 (database image 472)

Ann Maria Angel, Liber J.B. 1, Folio 428 (database image 472)

Scrolling past the will book databases, you come to the will manuscripts. If the database name does not contain a vol (volume), then it is most likely one of the collections of loose wills rather than a will book. These wills are more difficult to access since they are arranged by year/month and then will number. To access, just select the years/months you wish to browse, for example, “Wills 1872 Apr-Dec, no 1121-1160”. This database contains 242 images, which you need to browse to see if the will you want is in this database. Most of these databases are under 300 images to make it easier to browse, so if you have a good idea of the date range, you should be able to find your will.

Please feel free to explore these and all the other Maryland databases available in this collection on Family Search. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this collection possible.

 

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