Wilmington Paper Archives – Now Online!

Every Evening

In December of last year, we did an overview of the Delaware newspapers available online noting the fact that the large Wilmington newspapers were nowhere to be found. Things have changed! Continue reading

Posted in Newspapers, Newspapers.com | 1 Comment

How do I Choose a Genealogy Program?

Family Tree ComputerIn early December Ancestry.com stunned the users of Family Tree Maker (FTM) with an announcement that they would discontinue the sale of FTM on December 31, 2015.  They further stated that they would only support FTM compatibility with patrons’ online trees for one year.  This sent many FTM users into a quandary: should I stay with unsupported FTM or invest in a new genealogy software package. Continue reading

Posted in Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

DNA – a powerful tool for the 21st century genealogist

DNA is a powerful tool.  It can solve family puzzles, and may be used to extend the family tree.  Millions of Americans have already taken a DNA test, and Ancestry.com recently boasted they now have 1.4 million testers in their AncestryDNA database.  They are joined in their DNA endeavors by 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA.

So what’s all the hoopla about and how can DNA testing help you? Continue reading

Posted in DNA | 1 Comment

Family Tree Maker – It’s Back!

It looks like Family Tree Maker is not being going away after all!  We can stop looking for alternatives and get back to researching our families.  You can read more about this here, here and here.

Posted in Ancestry, Technology | 3 Comments

Ask DGS – 1790 Census for Delaware

Reader ‘TB’ writes:

Are any substitutes for the 1790 census of the state available online?

If not, are any available elsewhere?

1790 CensusThe short answer is that nothing is available online for this period.  As most Delaware researchers know, the 1790 census schedules for Delaware and a number of other states were lost.  The popular story is that they were burned in Washington DC by the British during the War of 1812, although there is another theory.  In any case, the records are unavailable and all we have is summary data.  The summary data shows that in Delaware in 1790, there were 59,096 1 individuals recorded in the census for Delaware, of which 11,783 were white males of 16 years and upward, including heads of households. Continue reading

Posted in Ask DGS, Census | Tagged | Leave a comment

Deciphering the SSN

SSN thumbIn a recent post about Ancestry.com’s U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 database it was mentioned that the gentleman in the example had previously had an account starting with a 700 number. This was significant as the low 700 numbered accounts were reserved for the Railroad Retirement Board.  This indicated this person had worked for a railroad, something we may not have known before.  Are there other secrets held within the Social Security Number (SSN) sequences?

Continue reading

Posted in Social Security Administration | 1 Comment

Paper! Paper!

Star Masthead

Most people start on their family history by using the census and a variety of vital records to create the outline of their family tree. To add color between the lines you need to look to different sources of information, such as newspapers that were published at the time and in the location where your family lived.  Continue reading

Posted in Morris Library, Newspapers | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Ancestry and the SS-5

SS CardYou may have noticed that Ancestry.com is now providing data from the Social Security Administration in addition to the Social Security Death Index that we all know and love.  This new information is coming from the Social Security Application (SS-5 form) and is a very welcome addition. However, there are still plenty of reasons to go to the source document. Continue reading

Posted in Social Security Administration, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Can I Snap a Picture?

Know the rules

Last week, we talked about using your phone or iPad camera along with a scanning app to document your research findings when visiting a local archive.  In response to this article, one reader asked if doing this was permitted at most locations in Delaware.  To find out, we conducted a number of visits and made phone calls to find out. Continue reading

Posted in Delaware Historical Society, Family History Center, Hagley Museum and LIbrary, Morris Library, Technology, Wilmington Public Library | Leave a comment

Family Search Record Update 8-Nov-2015

As new Delaware records become available online, we’ll try to let you know about it here on the blog.

FamilySearch-logo-multi-coloredIt’s a small change, but this week Family Search updated Delaware Vital Records, 1650-1974 with the addition of 191 new records. Still, it’s worth searching on any ‘brick walls’ to see if something new turns up.

This record collection contains images of the vital record index cards at Delaware Public Archives, located in the Mabel Lloyd Ridgely
Research Room, which includes birth, marriage, death, bible, and cemetery records.

Posted in FamilySearch, Record Update | Tagged | Leave a comment