23 April 2012

Random Tips & Tidbits

Today's Motivational Monday is a cleaning out of sorts. It is filled with random tips and tidbits. Feel free to add your own tips and tidbits in the "Comments" below the article.

Great resource for fellow Poles is the PGSA - the Polish Genealogical Society of America. Membership is open to anyone doing research within the borders of the old Commonwealth of Poland.

Eastman's Online Genealogical Helper did an article on indentifying an unknown Civil War soldier. That reminded me that I need to get back working on my Van Horn line. My third great grandfather had a brother BENJAMIN VAN HORN who served the UNION in the CIVIL WAR. I know very little of his service however and would love to delve into that are more.

I received this picture above from a family member descended directly from Benjamin. The plaque shows he was a Prisoner of War.
Social Security Numbers.
We all have one - or at least we should! The Ancestry Insider wrote "Social Security Death Index Redactions" about Ancestry.com removing the SSDI Index. Are they really important? Heck yea! While sorting through may various random information, I came across something I pulled off of a forum on AOL back when AOL was still the be all and all and before Gore even thought to claim he invented the net! On a social security application one can find the name, address, age and birthday, employment, place of birth, parents names, sex, race, date of application and thier signature. The NUMBER is made up of three parts, as you may have noticed from your own. This is especially helpful if your ancestors moved around or are hard to find. Mine got to Pennsylvania and stayed so no big surprise that they all begin with a PA number. That's right. The first three numbers are what's called the "area". Pennsylvania numbers range from 159 to 211. So someone from that state would be - for example - 164-xx-xxxx. The second part is a group number and the third is a serial number. The serial number would be given in the order they were processed. Even if your great grandparents were processed at the same time, does not mean that there was not any one else in the state who wasn't being processed at the same time, so therefore their numbers may not be in order.
Document! Document! Document!
This should be the official mantra of genealogists! Back in February the National Genealogy Society (NGS) announced a new course, Guide to Documentation and Source Citation. The course is a three module self paced course and includes basic principles and applying those citation principles. The course is $30 for members and $45 for non members. For more information, go to www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/guide_documentation_sourcecitation.

Awhile back, I wrote a piece concerning the Rosenbaum Bank in Philadelphia. I needed to follow up after receiving a question from a reader. According to Jessica Lydon, Associate Archivist for the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Temple University Libraries, "one did not need to be Jewish to utilize the services at M. Rosenbaum and Co. or any other private "immigrant" bank or steamship agency. These were common establishments during the immigration boom of the early 20th century. Many immigrant communities established these businesses in neighborhoods all across America, although primarily Italian immigrants." She then also provided a link to the SCRC's digital collection of steamship ticket purchase ledgers to access more information about steamship agents in Philadelphia and immigrant banking: http://digital.library.temple.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16002coll16 .
I found an email conversation with the Chester County Historical Society concerning the record of declaration for naturalization for my great grandfather John KURENDA. His date of declaration was 14 October 1935. The book was #9. The petition # was 3138. I had evidently asked how much would it cost to have them mail me a copy or if I could simply pop down and retrieve it myself. Well, I must have got sidetracked because the email is from last August and I still have not made it to West Chester. Another item moved up the To Do List!

Facebook has been helpful lately as well. I "joined" several relevant groups including one on Polish Genealogy. The help received has been great. I also joined the Lancaster Genealogy group so I can possibly give back a little as well.
And finally, since this IS a daily prompt (Motivational Monday) from GeneaBloggers, I thought it interesting to note that I found an old email from Thomas MacEntee. The email concerned Genealogical Gems being added to his already huge database of genealogy blogs.

NOTE: This entry was updated Monday, 21 July 2014

Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.