Thursday, December 27, 2012

Free Access to Records at

Free until Midnight, 29 December 2012*

Like genealogy? Looking for info on your long lost relatives? is offering free access to millions of records. Go and find those pesky lost relatives! Free Records

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Massachusetts National Guard Museum and Archives

*Updated 8-2015

Hours are 9am-4pm and researchers are encouraged to contact the Archives a day in advance prior to coming over for research.

The NG Museum & Archives has moved to the Concord Armory, located at:
91 Everett St
Concord, MA 01742

And they can be reached at:

Phone: 978-369-4807

As a genealogist, I believe in being familiar with all of the records repositories in my region. A few days ago, someone asked me a question about military records held within the state of Massachusetts.

The State of Massachusetts military records are maintained at the MA National Guard Museum & Archives located in Worcester, MA. Their website is easy to navigate and provides a reasonably good idea of what records they have.

MA National Guard Museum & Archives Website

Their records are not online, so you would need to either go there yourself or arrange for a researcher to visit for you.

According to their website, they have records dating from 1775 to the near present and are not limited to service and unit records.

The Museum is open Monday- Friday from 9am - 4pm and researchers are encouraged to call ahead a day in advance.

Gun port in the walls of the Massachusetts NG Archives and Museum. 

The pictures on this post are of the Worcester NG Armory, which housed the Museum and Archives at 44 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609 until 2014.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pardon my Quietness This Summer! or Enjoying the Summer!

Nothing genealogy related here today. Too hot and too humid. Taking some time to enjoy the summer since my last posts.
Her I am (L) on the 5th tee at the Green Meadow Golf Course in Hudson, NH. My oldest son, Robert is on the Right. 

Below are both of my sons. Shawn on the Left and Robert again on the right. We had a lot of fun on the course on Father's day. 

It is always nice to spend time with my sons, and golf let's me do that! We also played this past weekend! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Massachusetts BMD Records Prior to 1921

In Massachusetts, Birth, Marriage and Death records recorded prior to 1921 are located at the Massachusetts Archives in the Dorchester section of Boston, Massachusetts.

The MA Archives has many records housed there, however for the purposes of this post we are restricting ourselves to just BMD records.

The MA Archives has all BMD records on microfilm from 1841 to 1915 available in their reading room. They only charge for copies and the staff is very friendly.

BMD records from 1916-1920 are only available in the form of index books at the MA Archives. Once you locate the record in the index book, you can order a certified copy for $3 from the staff. They will mail it to you within 6 weeks.

Researchers must register the first time they visit the MA Archives and are issued research cards that must be displayed while in the research room.

More about what records the Massachusetts Archives has can be found on their website at:

The MA Archives has other various vital records prior to 1841, however they acknowledge that most vital records prior to 1841 are located at the local cities and towns.

I travel to the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and the MA Archives on a weekly basis.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Records Access in Massachusetts - State Registry Versus the Local Records

With regards to this post, we continue to work with Birth Marriage and Death (BMD) records in Massachusetts from 1921 to present.

All Birth Marriage and Death Records are not just available at the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records (MA RVR), they are also available at the local city or town clerks office.

I have not visited every city or town clerks office in the state so I am speaking in general terms. Very few charge you to access and view their records and will let you transcribe them for free. Some will let you photograph them. All will charge you for a certified copy and their rates seem to vary. I have never had any bad experiences with viewing or receiving records from the local cities or towns.

The only issue I have had is not finding a record for someone in the town I thought they were in and is the main reason I prefer to use the MA Registry of Vital Records. If someone lives in one town and is taken to the hospital in the other town, the death record will be in the other town. This can be a huge problem when working with the city and town clerks office as their indexes only cover their city or town. The MA RVR has them all.

I am fortunate that that the MA RVR is not that far for me and I am able to visit weekly.

Next week, records prior to 1921!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Records Access in Massachusetts - MA Registry of Vital Records - Restricted Records

Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but in Massachusetts, very few records are restricted. According to the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records Website (on 6 June 2012) the following information is supplied regarding records access and restrictions:

"Access Policy for Massachusetts Vital Records

Access to restricted birth and marriage records is limited by §2A, Chapter 46, M.G.L. For those persons with access to restricted records, proof of identity (a photo ID) is necessary, and in some cases additional documentation is also necessary. Access to persons other than listed below require a court order.

Out-of-Wedlock Births

Access to non-marital (out-of-wedlock) births is limited by §2A, Chapter 46, M.G.L. to the following:

Subject of the record (child)
Parents listed on the record
Father not listed on the record with documentary proof that he is the father (such as a paternity adjudication, stipulation or properly completed Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage)
Legal guardian of the child
Legal representative of the child
Marriages of Person Born Out-of-Wedlock

Access to marriage certificates when the bride or groom was born out-of-wedlock is limited by §2A, Chapter 46, M.G.L. to the following:

Bride or groom
Legal representative of the bride or groom
Parent or guardian of the bride or groom
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics within the Department of Public Health."

(From: )

Please note that there does not appear to be any restrictions of death records, and from my own experience I have never been denied a death record. (Death certificates may contain restricted information on the back of them, and I encountered this on one occasion.)

My series on Massachusetts BMD records continues next week.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Records Access in Massachusetts - The Registry of Vital Records

Recently I have seen discussions on various boards and blogs about access to records in various states. For the purposes of this post, I am strictly referring to BMD (Birth, Marriage & Death) records in the state of Massachusetts.

The state of Massachusetts has some of the most extensive BMD records in the US, however they are not free!

All BMD records from 1921 to present* are located at the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records (MA RVR) in the Dorchester section of Boston, MA. All records are available for public viewing in the research room, however they charge $9 per hour to use their research room and the hours are limited to just a few hours  per day. There are no research hours on Wednesdays or weekends. All of the indexes are open for inspection and the staff will pull your records for viewing and transcribing the records.

If you want a copy of a record at the MA RVR, you have to pay the $18 fee for a certified copy. Photography and scanners are not permitted at the MA RVR.

*An exception to the 1921 to present is that cities and towns have a period of time before they are required to send the records to the state. So records that are within 3 months of their occurrence may only be found at the local town clerk's office.

In my next posts I will cover records that are restricted, records from the cities and towns and the MA Archives.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Great News From Ohio

I was just reading the Hamilton County Genealogical Society of Ohio, Blog (HCGS) and there is a great article there about the Works Progress Administration (WPA) veterans grave survey of the cemeteries in Cincinnati that was done in 1939.

I won't spoil the fun. Hop over to the HCGS and check it out or jump over the the Hamilton County Ohio; County Recorders website and check it out.

Great job to Mary Remler and Jim Dempsey for making sure valuable information about our veterans wasn't lost forever!

This is our heritage and our history and if we don't preserve it, it will be lost forever!

Wordless Wednesday 25 April 2012

Edson Cemetery, Lowell Massachusetts

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FBI Posts Update Regarding the DNS Malware

On 12 March 2012, the FBI issued an update regarding the case of the DNS Switcher Malware Case they busted in November 2011. The DNS Malware, if it infects your computer could cause your internet page to be directed to a website you don't want it to go to, or even prevent you from using the internet. 

If you want to see if your computer might be infected by this malware, the FBI has partnered with DCWG to check your computer for free;

As of 22 March 2012, DCWG reports that they estimate over 350,000 computers are infected with this malware. 

Check your computer out today. Make sure you have valid, active Anti-Virus on your computer. 

I encourage everyone to run this check today! I checked mine and I am not infected!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Technology Thursday!

I subscribe to a host of blogs and one in particular caught my eye today. Over on the Indiana Genealogy Society Blog Meredith Thompson, the IGS Website Manager writes about an innovative use of technology that I'm sure few of us are aware of. I won't spoil the treat. Click the link above and found out about the latest use of QR Codes!

Or use my QR Code to find out about this innovative use of QR Codes! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

The 1940 US Census; Who have You Found?

So I have been trying to find my family in the 1940 US Census. My Mom's family has been pretty easy. But my Dad's family was in Jackson Township, Dearborn County, Indiana in the 1930 US Census. The lived on 5 Points Road in a wide spot in the road called Hubbells Corner.

If you have followed my blog you may have seen a post yesterday about the Hyland's. The Hyland's roots are in Dover, Indiana which is about 5 miles East of Hubbells Corner right down North Dearborn Road and through New Alsace, bear left at the fork and straight into Dover.

Small world, isn't it?

Oh yeah, the 1940 US Census. The Ankenbauer's were pretty transient in those days. My Grandfather; Martin Ankenbauer was a salesman and the family moved to where he could find work. My guess is they are probably in Cincinnati since that is where my mom and dad met and married. But at this point I haven't located them. I know they are out there and I will find them soon enough.

My wife's family has been easy to locate. She grew up in Somerville Massachusetts. All 7 square miles of it. A census hunters dream.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Brick Wall Week

I am going to skip forward a little in my Brick Walls! On my mother's side of the family I am working on my GGG-Grandfather and Grandmother. Their names are Richard Hyland and ___???__. Yep you read that right.

No clue at this point. I know she existed as she gave birth to my GG-Grandmother Margaret Jane Hyland Smith in 1833 in Dover, Kelso Township, Dearborn County, Indiana. Margaret was the oldest of the four children born to Richard's first wife, who at this point probably died during childbirth. The other children were Matthew Francis Hyland, born in 1834, Mary Hyland, born 1837 and Richard Hyland, born 1841.  We then located a marriage record between my GGG-Grandfather; Richard Hyland and Zemah Caldwell on 13 July 1843.

My cousin Kitty came up with a great idea last night and started a Yahoo Group called HYLAND_GENEALOGY for members of the Indiana and Ohio Hyland's to meet and discuss the brick walls in their lines.

Are you a descendant of the Hyland's of Ohio or Indiana? We know our GGG-Grandfather Richard Hyland deeded land to a Matthew Hyland who was a blacksmith in Cincinnati in 1836. The land was located in Dearborn County, Section 26, Township 7N, Range 2W which is in the present location of the town of Dover, Dearborn County, Indiana.

We are under the belief that Matthew and Richard were probably brothers. And then there is Mary Hyland who married Lawrence McGuire and moved into Dover as well. The McGuires and Hylands are neighbors on several of the US Census' in the late 1800's.

Join us on Yahoo groups where we can all discuss what we know about the Hyland's and just hang out. Hope to see you there!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The 1940 US Census is Here... Are you 1940 US Census Challenged?

Are you have difficulty locating relatives, or even friends, neighbors and associates in the 1940 US Census?

My wife's family is listed at the right house number, but the enumerator wrote in the wrong street name. Talk about a nightmare!

Hire a professional to help you navigate the index-less 1940 US Census. It could be months maybe a year or more before the friends and loved ones you are looking for will be included in an index.

A professional genealogist can get the job done for you, quickly and affordable, too! Let my years of census experience work to your advantage.

I have the tools and knowledge and I can quickly get the answers you need fast!

A special rate awaits those who need some help.

Check the Yesterday's Mysteries "ABOUT" page and send in your request!

Monday, March 19, 2012

February 1978, The saga continues...

The War in Vietnam (Conflict as they called it every night on the news. Sure looked like we were fighting a war to me.) As a child, every nightly news show was filled with stories and video from Vietnam. I can remember that several of my own cousins were serving their time in Vietnam. After watching the horrors of war every night on TV for all of those years, the last place I ever want to be was in the military. I was scared to death of war, as I grew up.

But there I was standing outside the door of the recruiting station in Western Hills. I seem to recall being very nervous about pulling on that door. As I finally stepped in, I remember seeing that all  of the recruiters had signs outside their doors. I saw the Marines, The Navy, The Air Force and there at the end of the hall was the Army recruiter office. I had already spoken to several of the recruiters on the phone over the last few months and I knew what each had to offer.

The Army recruiter was who I was there to see. I knew that I could take a test and then they would send me to a school I qualified for. They would even guarantee my first duty station. A little stability in the chaos that I was looking at.

I took the ASVAB test as it was called and the list was a good one. Down the list a bit was the job called "Military Police". My thoughts immediately turned to Officer Sweeney, who I mention a few posts ago. I recall laughing and telling the recruiter that there was an error on the results and he told me that I was qualified and that it was not an error.

I drove away a few minutes later, still chuckling to myself about the thought of being a police officer. A career I had never even considered.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Roots?

My Last name is Ankenbauer. Doesn't sound very Irish, does it? My mothers maiden name was Trenary and her mothers maiden name was Cormican. Sound a little more Irish now?

If you are like me and want to learn more about tracking down those Irish roots, then you need to checkout Geneabloggers Radio. Episode 59, "Tracing Your Irish Roots" which airs tonight at 9pm
Eastern time.

This should be a really great show tonight (Actually, they all are). But tonight will be special for us Irish folk. The show is on at 9pm tonight and you can find out more on the Geneabloggers Website or through this really tiny url (pun intended):  

So finish off the Corned Beef and Cabbage early tonight and catch the show! You will be glad you did!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

February 1978, continued

In February 1978, the economy in good old Cincy was as bad as it could be. I had graduated  from Oak Hills High School on Ebenezer Rd in Bridgetown in 1977 and times were tough. Gas prices were through the roof at about $1.10, up from $.62 a gallon just a year before. (imagine only paying $1.10, as the prices here climb beyond $3.70 a gallon as I write this)

Oh, and I had just quit my job. I worked in an auto parts warehouse in the Over-The-Rhine section of Cincinnati, right around the corner from an old Cincinnati brewery. I worked for Ray, the manager and Joanne the book-keeper. I liked working there, but anyone who has worked in the auto parts business knows that advancement is very difficult.

February 1978 was a tough time for me. I was 18 years old, no job, a very unsure future and very real understanding of who I was. I was also broke. Not just a little broke, a lot broke. Actually completely broke.

Also, due to some youthful exuberance, I was also somewhat well know to the local Green Township Police, especially Officer Sweeney, who patrolled the area of the township I grew up in. I wasn't a criminal by any stretch, but I seemed to always draw the attention of Officer Sweeney. Maybe he recognized the potential I had... whatever that means.

After trying to figure out where I was headed in this life, I got a phone call one evening from the US Army recruiter. Talk about timing. I had received twenty or so calls since graduating high school. My Dad had been in the Marines, so this was such a long shot and I had been thinking about the military for quite sometime.

So what's a boy to do?

Check back next week for more on February 1978!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Times They are a Changin'

Really, they are! Last night we changed the clocks here in the USA! Did you "Spring Forward" at 2am? If not you are probably going to be late. I love this time of year, even though we lose an hour, we gain an hour of evening daylight.

Sort of the signal of the beginning of spring to me. How about you?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

RootsTech 2012 Sessions now Available

Here is the link to view the sessions from RootsTech 2012 held in Salt Lake City that were recorded. Not all sessions were recorded, however quite a few were. Check them out, you won't be disappointed!

Not familiar with RootsTech? Think of it as the technological version of genealogy. There is something here for everyone.

If you are reading this blog, you may be more technology inclined than you thought. Everyone has to start somewhere.

More advanced technology wise? Don't worry, there are several sessions there for you too. I usually try to watch as many of them as I can, as even the beginners level sometimes contains something I may have overlooked.

Enjoy the videos at your leisure!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Hunt for Mary Louise Smith; Dearborn County Indiana

Dearborn County, Indiana has a great library in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The Lawrenceburg Public Library has an obituary index right on their Genealogy website. A quick check of the last name of Cormican turns up four hits. The first two are unrelated, but two are for Mary Louise Cormican and Mrs. Hugh D Cormican. Hugh Cormican was the husband of Mary Louise Smith so the last two obituaries are probably going to be for my Great Grandmother.

The index itself has a lot of information on it that helps build my confidence:

Lawrenceburg Public Library District Obituary Finder

Last Name: Cormican
First Name: Mary
Middle Name/Initial: Louise
Maiden Name: Smith
Date of Death: 10/25/1924
Birth Date: 09/20/1853
Spouse: Hugh
Survived By: husband;nine children;twenty-nine grandchildren; two sisters; one brother.
Other: was married Jan. 11, 1874. Preceded in death by one infant.
Cemetery: New Haven, OH
Obituary Source: Register Oct. 30, 1924, Register November 6, 1924, Press Oct. 30, 1924
Source Information:
Obituary File:
Other File:

There are also some clues above that may help me down the road, when I try to find her before she married Hugh.

Right on the Genealogy Page of the Lawrenceburg Public Library is their mailing address and the procedure to follow if you need copies ($1 per obit and a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope). An email address is provided if you have questions. So off goes the check for $3 and an SASE and we will see what we get back in the mail. The hardest part about genealogy is the waiting!

See you next Wednesday.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Reflections of Times Past; The Blizzard of '78 and...

I am amazed at how much time has gone by. Let's zip back to the winter of 1977-1978. Now for many you will no doubt recall the blizzard of '78. Most most folks do not realize is that there were actually two major blizzards in 1978. One named "The Great Blizzard of 1978" that affected the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley that struck January 25-27, 1978. A second blizzard struck the North East of the United States from February 5-8, 1978.

But that's not why I remember that particular winter. Well, I shouldn't say that. I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1978. I grew up there in the 1960's and 1970's on the "West" side of town. Actually only a few miles West of Cincinnati and the town to this day, as far as I know is still unincorporated. Bridgetown is a traffic light and a great place for me to grow up. I really miss the old place on Biehl Ave.

We got 7 inches of snow. The temperature dropped almost thirty degrees when the storm hit and the wind gusted to 60 miles an hour. There were snow drifts like I had never seen in my life (until I moved to the North East, I should have known better!) A Great link for Blizzard of '78 information:

Next Week... More of the story!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Newspapers are for News!

So, I was bouncing around the internet trying to do some research for a client in Arkansa and I ran into an interesting "Brick Wall Buster".

On the  website they have Research Wiki's for every state. As I was looking around the Arkansas Birth, Marriage & Death (BMD) page  I found a section called "Substitute Records"

Substitute Records has links to websites that have church records, cemetery indexes, and other links of interest.  On this particular Wiki that have a listing for the Library of Congress website that lists what libraries have what newspapers. I had no idea such an index existed. I seem to always spend a great deal of time emailing different libraries and searching their websites to see what newspapers they have.

The Library of Congress has done it for us:

A quick check of their search power for the simple term of Somerville Journal (Somerville, Massachusetts local newspaper) returns a 4,735,315 page search of all newspapers published between 1690 and 2012. It returned 4 hits. Three for Somerville, MA and one for Somerville, TN.

The Library of Congress index is Fast, Easy to use and looks to be fairly Accurate! Which meets all of my minimum requirements! 

Back On the Hunt for Mary Louise Smith

For the last several weeks I have been talking about my Great-Grandmother, Mary Louise Smith Cormican. To recap, she married my grandfather in 1874 in Hamilton County, Ohio and I was unable to locate a record of their marriage other than an index entry on the Hamilton County Genealogical Society website.

A check of the US Census for 1860 and 1870 turned up several hundred Mary Smith's in Indiana. Since I looked at the US Census in 1900 and located Mary and Hugh in Harrison Township, Hamilton County, Ohio and it shows Mary has a date of birth of September 1853 and that she and her mother were born in Indiana and her father was born in Ohio. This still doesn't narrow the search down far enough as I still don't have the names of her parents, but I have now some hint that she was born in Indiana in September in about 1853.

Of course, the US census is only as good as the person reporting the information and the person writing it down. It is far from an exact science and the US Census should not be relied upon as your sole source of information.

Around 1920 Hugh and Mary moved to Miller Township in Dearborn County, Indiana and they were there during the 1920 US Census.

Here again, numerous family trees on have Mary Louise listed as deceased in 1924, with no sources to support this information.

Strike Three?

Well, it was a foul tip, anyway. next week we can talk about where I went from here. See ya next Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) Webinars

* Membership in APG, not required!

From the APG Professional Development Committee:

"We hope you can join us for the following *free* webinars, part of an
ongoing APG Professional Development webinar series sponsored by the
Association of Professional Genealogists. Please feel free to share this
invitation on relevant mailing lists, with your local society, or with
anyone else who might have an interest. The live webinars are free for both
members and non-members to attend. The webinars will also be recorded, and
the recordings made available to APG members on the Members Only page of
our website for any member who is unable to attend the live session or just
wants to review the material again :)

*Don't Neglect the Stories: Add Story-writing to Your Professional Services*
Saturday, March 3, 2012   2:00p.m. Eastern
Presented by Mary Penner

You've finished the client's research and written a concise, fact-based
report. Case closed, right? Not so fast. What about the stories you
uncovered? What about those tantalizing tidbits that point to colorful
characters and unusual events? Your clients may not ask for a written
story, but, often, that's what they really want from your diligent research
efforts. They want to embrace the stories that their ancestors neglected to
pass down to them. Join APG member Mary Penner as she offers tips on
developing a writer's instinct for story. She'll address the differences
between a genealogical narrative and a genealogical story, how to spot
story-worthy events and characters, how to research a story, how to write a
lively story, and how to earn additional income from story-writing.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

*Juggling Complex Projects While Staying on Track*
Tuesday, March 27, 2012   8:30p.m. Eastern
Presented by J. Mark Lowe, CG

Learn to manage multiple projects without derailing the research in this
engaging presentation by professional genealogist J. Mark Lowe. Discover
the techniques & skills needed by every professional to keep your clients
on board. This will include time planning, scheduling, and decision-making
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

System Requirements:

PC-based attendees
Required: Windows 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh-based attendees:
Required: Mac OS X 10.5 or newer

We hope you enjoy them!

The APG Professional Development Committee"

Monday, February 27, 2012

How My Life Changed in February 1978

There were two blizzards in 1978. One in the North East of the US and another centered on the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. I lived West of Cincinnati in Green Township, Hamilton County, Ohio and saw weather I had never seen before.

On the 23rd of February 1978, I raised my right hand and pledged to defend my country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. I joined the US Army and headed off to Military Police School at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Ft. McClellan is located in Anniston, Alabama.

The story behind the story. This will be a weekly blog talking about the events of 1978.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The 1940 US Census Community Project, 25 February 2012

The 1940 US Census is being released in 37 days. It will take a great effort by a lot of folks to index the census. Now is your chance to volunteer.

Click on the 1940 US Census logo to the right and check out the latest about the release of the1940 US Census on 2 April 2012. That is a lot of great information on the website and some greatvolunteer  opportunities for individuals and societies as well.

Do you have questions or comments on the 1940 US Census? Send me an email or leave comments below the post!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Who Do You think You Are? Season Three, Episode Three: Blair Underwood

Have you been following the show this year? Blair Underwood will be the subject this week. The show is on NBC at 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central time.

Martin Sheen and Marisa Tomei have already been on this year. You can catch up by watching the past episodes from the "Who Do You Think You Are" Website

I would imagine that folks new to genealogy may be wondering how to get started? I will bet this can be a daunting task for most folks. A great way to get going is to spend a few hours on a personal consultation with a genealogist. Click on the tab above or the link on the right side for more information!

Are you who really who you think you are?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do you Have a Genealogy Brick Wall?

In my title, I ask if you have a brick wall. If you are in the learning mode, and you have some time to spare (about an hour) and you want to learn some great brick wall "busting" tips, then you need to watch this free webinar by Marian Pierre-Louise:

Ten Brick Wall Tips for Beginners

From the Legacy Family Tree Webinar website at

"Ten Brick Wall Tips for Beginners. Marian Pierre-Louis, the genealogist who cracked the case of Nathan Brown's parents, is at it again. Once again she's tackling the topic of brick walls. Everyone needs a little help and encouragement to jump-start the research, especially on hard-to-solve cases. In this webinar, Marian will present 10 brick wall tips that will help every genealogist look at their research challenges in a fresh way. This webinar will bring you the momentum you need to get your family history research back on track."

The catch? None really... except it will only be *FREE* on the website until the 27th of February, 2012. 

Happy Webinaring! 

On the Hunt for Mary Louise Smith

Last week I talked about my Great Grandmother Mary Louise Smith. Mary Louise Smith married Hugh Daugherty Cormican in Hamilton County, Ohio.

According to the Hamilton County genealogical Society website: "On 24, March 1884 a great tragedy struck Cincinnati. A riot started that evening in the downtown area and resulted in the burning of the Hamilton County Courthouse. This fire destroyed many of the records that had been kept previously in the courthouse, one of which was marriage license applications and returns. Apparently many of the 'older' records (before 1860) were stored in another part of the courthouse and did not sustain as extensive damage as those from the period 1860 until March 1884."

The Hamilton County Genealogical Society has done a wonderful job compiling a database of alternate marriage records to compensate for those lost in the fire. They have an online index on their website. 

I located a record entry with Mary L Smith and Hugh Corrigan (spelling) for that date with a code of CT4, which means it was in the Cincinnati Times Newspaper in 1873 or 1874. I contacted the Hamilton County Genealogical Society by mail and they were unable to locate their marriage record. When I contacted the Hamilton County Public Library in Cincinnati, they were unable to locate their wedding announcement in the newspaper.

Some of my relatives have their marriage date as 11 January 1874 and the very helpful staff at the library searched around that date to no avail. I am not sure where my fellow researchers acquired that date, There are seventeen family trees on that have that date, but none of them have any source for the wedding date.

Strike Two! Next week I will write about my next steps.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The 1940 US Census (Christmas in April)

The National Archives has an informational website up and running for the anticipated release of the 1940 US Census, slated for 2 April 2012. The link to the NARA site is:

Their partner in this endeavor, has a new website up, however it will not be live until 2 April 2012. Their website is

Indexing of the census will take a bit of time, however for most of us this will be like Christmas in April!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Value of Education

I suspect if someone asked me the value of education when I was a child, I'd have a much different answer than I do now. Anyone over the age of 25 knows it is expensive and in some cases un-affordable. Currently in the genealogy world there are MANY low cost and even free alternatives. The webinar has caught on in recent years and several days a week you can tune in via your computer and watch a free webinar.

Recently at RootsTech, (2-4 February 2012 @ SLC) they broadcast eight webinars over three days on all sorts of information. The Keynote speech was even broadcast.

A great source for learning more about webinars is on the GeneaWebinars website

At the bottom of the calendar you can click on the + Google Calendar to add the webinars to your own Google Calendar. This really makes it easy to keep track of them on my own calendar and even set reminders.

Don't forget to register!

If you have questions about webinars or other technology that is available for low cost or even free, please ask!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Geneabloggers Radio 17 February 2012

One of my favorite things to do on a cold Friday evening is to put my headphones on my laptop and listen to the online broadcast of Geneabloggers Radio. The common theme is blogging, genealogy and technology.
The program is normally hosted by Thomas MacEntee and is a blast to listen to. Some would say it is "Wonderful" <wink>. They even have a chat board to communicate with fellow genealogists.

This week's show is hosted by Dear Myrtle, and you can find more information on her website : Myrt hosts Geneabloggers!

The show is on at 9pm on Friday's. Tune in and give it a listen. You will not be disappointed! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Genealogy Brick Wall - Mary Louise Cormican

In my last post, I mentioned some of the family names I have  worked on for my own personal genealogy quest. One of these is the Cormican's. My grandparents (on my mother's side) were Albert Trenary and Margaret Amy Cormican. Margaret Amy was the daughter of Hugh D Cormican and Mary Louise Cormican.

My research on the Cormican's has gone along fine, thanks to one of my cousins who has been working on this a very long time.

Margaret Amy Cormican Trenary
The daughter of Mary Louise

The brick wall rears it's ugly head when I reveal the maiden name of Mary Louise Cormican. Her maiden name is Smith, Mary Louise Smith.  Since Mary Louise died in 1924  and was born in 1853, it is difficult to track her down prior to her marriage, especially since her name is so common. There are literally hundreds of Mary Smith's in the US Census during that time with births of 1852-1854 in Indiana.

Strike One!

Next week, I will tell you what steps I have taken to resolve this brick wall.

I plan to release a new step or brick wall every Wednesday.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Welcome to the Blog

Welcome. This is my inaugural blog post. I have had this page for sometime now, but didn't think I'd ever have anything to say that anyone else would care to read. That still may be the case? My name is Robert Ankenbauer and I'm a genealogist. I have been working on my own personal family tree for many years. On my dad's side of the family I have Ankenbauer and Suit.  On my Mom's side we add Trenary and Cormican.

I have been a professional genealogist since December 2010. I became a professional genealogist after solving questions in my family tree specifically related to the military service during the civil war of some of my relatives including my Great-Grandfather Thomas Jefferson Trenary. I have written a little about them on my website. I also solved a mystery with my Great Grandfather, Edward Ankenbauer. All I ever knew about him was that he was killed in an accident.

Edward was a firefighter working for the Underwriters Insurance Corporation in Indianapolis Indiana in 1919 when he was killed in an accident while responding to a fire alarm. His fire truck collided with an Indianapolis Fire Truck also responding to the alarm. Captain Clifton T Lowes, of the Indianapolis Fire Department was also killed and 8 other firefighters were injured in the accident.

Captain Lowes was added to the Indianapolis Firefighter Memorial a few years ago. I petitioned the Indianapolis Firefighter Memorial to add Captain Edward Ankenbauer and he will be added in September 2012.

You can read more about  the accident on my website or by clicking here.

Busting these long standing brick walls in my family history caused me to realize that I had missed a calling in my life and after months of preparation, I launched my part time business "Yesterday's Mysteries" In December 2010.

Marian Pierre-Louis is offering a free webinar this Wednesday, 15 February 2012 at 2pm Eastern time. The Webinar is about busting those brick walls we all encounter. You can find out more on Marian's blog at