Archive for January, 2016

This week in my short research time frame I decided to revisit newspapers. Newspapers newspaperhave been around longer than you imagine, and are appearing with more frequency online. Early Newspapers especially in the US and Canada, recorded many of the day to day events of our ancestors.

In researching Sally/Sarah  (?) Tuttle Bliss, I discovered that she was in Otsego New York at least by 1804. There was no mail delivery in that time period and mail that came into the post office needed to be picked by the residents.  The Cooperstown, Otsego Newspaper lists a Sally Tuttle among the residents of Richfield, Otsego, NY  who has mail being held at the post office. Because she is listed as a resident of Richfield, I can continue my search for her in that town. Since I know she was in Massachusetts in 1800, I have also narrowed down the time period during which she moved. That gives me a smaller window of time to look for other records,such as purchasing property, that she may have made when she relocated. I will also want to see if there were other Tuttle’s living in Richfield when she arrived. The area she moved to was truly a wild wilderness in the early 1800’s. A brief re-read of James Fenimore Cooper’s recount of his early life in Cooperstown in the Last of the Mohicans should give pause for thought. This was not a place a woman would go by  herself and take 3 young children, unless she believed she wold have a good support system when she arrived.

Many clues can be found in newspapers; the trick is to find the papers themselves. A State or University Library may house the newspapers, or they may be available digitally online [Utah for example has their newspapers free at Utah Digital Newspapers].You might want to check  wiki.familysearch.org and go to the State or Country  you are researching, and then check out the listed newspapers from that area which are available online. Ancestry.com has a great collection of newsapers, and there are several newspaper websites that are free to you at your nearest FamilySearch Library. Because I do a lot of newspaper research I do subscribe to Genealogy Bank – which is subscription website, but I feel it is low cost and, for me, worth the money. There is also the  Google News Archive at news.google.com/archivesearch. If you need more help, try locating a local historical society for the area you are searching and find out about their newspapers. And, of course, you can always do a Google search, with the added word free.

Read Full Post »


What is in Your Basket?

As I will have limited time during this next year to work on my own family history. I have decided to focus my Blog on Brick Walls.  Each blog will give tools for breaking through brick walls. The purpose is to help me focus on one ancestor, use the tools I’m familiar with, and have some successful research. Hopefully, this will help you also. If you follow each week you will basically have my entire Brick Walls class in a few months- or more depending on my own time frame.

I have found that I am more successful when I stay focused on one family or individual. I’m starting with Sarah/Sally (?) Tuttle.

First Steps:

  1. Grab, or start, a research log. To know where you are going it is helpful to know where you have been.
  2. Create a timeline – I’ve covered this one on more than one occasion, so you can search previous blog articles.
  3. Go to the FamilySearch Wiki at familysearch.org and look at the research guides. There is no use looking for records that did’t exist in an area.
  4. Make a list, using the Wiki, of the records you want to search.
  5. Get a map of the area you are researching, as close to the time period as you can. The FamilySearch Wiki can help you find one.

Start at your last FACT. That means something you can prove. A death record, headstone, marriage record, or if you only have a family tradition, then you need to find some facts to prove or disprove it.

My last fact on Sarah was that she is buried by her second husband, Eleazer Elias Bliss in 1833 in the Field Cemetery in Hartwick, Otsego, New York. A number of people believe they know who her first husband was, and who her parents are; however, there is no proof and the timeline makes some of these assumptions suspect. I do know that the same year Sarah/Sally married Eleazer, her daughter Fanny married Eleazer’s son Jesse Bliss.

I now have my focus person, I have a log, and my timeline will help me sort out the wheat from the chaff. I have a map and list of available records compliments of the Wiki, and I’m ready to research.

Read Full Post »