Boone County Genealogical Society Indiana

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May 11, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
His/Her Mark
Have you ever seen what would be a signature written as:
     James  x   Smith
People who could not write their name would create a 'mark' that would be used to designate their name.  This can be commonly seen in legal records where the clerk would copy a document for the record.  Most often it would be recorded as an "x," but occasionally one can find a clerk that would render the mark as drawn by the individual.  Don't think that just because an "x" was recorded that the actual mark was not a circle, squiggle or some other rendering.
May 5, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
Source Citation - Census
Census records are among the first documents sought when doing genealogy research.  Here is how to create the source citation for a census record found on
1.  Census
2.  Location (county & state)
3.  Schedule (population, agricultural, etc.)
4.  City, town or township
5.  Page
6.  Household information (dwelling and family number)
7.  Person
8.  Format (for Ancestry-digital image)
9. (
10. Date accessed
11. Source
Example:  1860 U.S census, Boone County, Indiana, population schedule, Sugar Creek Township, p. 108, dwelling 786, family 766, William Merony; digital image, ( : 5 May 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 245.
May 1, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
What Religion was the Family?
Church records can reveal information about your family but what church did they attend?  One possible way to determine the church is to look at the marriage record and see who performed the marriage.  If the marriage officiant was a Justice of the Peace (JP) you are out of luck.  If, however, the officiant designated himself as a minister, MG (minister of the Gospel), pastor or even no designation you may be in luck.  Look in a local county history to see if the officiant’s name can be found to discover what church he was associated with.  You now know the church and then it is time to find the church’s records.
April 24, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
Cemetery Restoration
Our pioneer cemeteries often tell us information that is not available in written records.  It is important that we restore the stones if possible, make transcriptions of what is written on the stones and take photographs to preserve all of the information available for future generations.  These pioneers have stories to tell and we can help tell those stories!
April 20, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
Where Are the Estate Records?
There are times that we know a person died and they owned real property but cannot find the record of an estate. The problem could be that the time frame needs to be expanded.  For a probate estate to be opened someone needs to request a court do so. That someone could be a creditor, family member or other interested party. If the deceased had no creditors then the family could just decide to do nothing. As long as the taxes were paid there was no need to correct the title to the property until it was to be divided or sold.  It may be necessary to look over 50 years after death to discover what happened to the property.
April 16, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
Research Trip
Are you planning a trip to visit family or just to do genealogy research?  Here are a few places to search on-line before the trip to make the best use of your time while on site:
1.  County and/or town genealogical society
2.  County and/or town historical society
3.  Local public library
4.  County government website
5.  Local museum
At the worst you will find phone numbers, addresses and hours of operation.  A the best you could find databases with your family, photographs or cousins.  You will never know if you don't look!
March 22, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
Source Citation - Books
Creating a source citation for a book need not be difficult. 
1.  Author followed by a comma
2.  Title in italics
3.  Beginning parenthesis
4.  Publication location followed by a colon
4.  Name of publisher followed by a comma
5.  Year of publication
6   Ending parenthesis
7.  Page number followed by a period
John Buchanan, The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997) 56.
March 17, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
Bible Records
A certain degree of analysis is required when examining a record of births, marriages and deaths found in a family Bible.  Who owned the Bible?  What year was the Bible published?  Are there recorded dates in the Bible that occurred before the Bible was published?  If so, how reliable is that information?  Did the recorder have first-hand knowledge of the event?  Does the ink vary so that it appears the events were recorded as the events took place or does the ink all match and therefore all written at the same time?  Does the handwriting change over time perhaps due to increasing age or passage of the Bible from one generation to another?  Many questions to ask before even getting to the details given in the document.
January 29, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
Source Citation - Newspapers
Creating a source citation for an newspaper article is easier than you think. 
1.  Author, if known (surname, first name)
2.  Name of article in quotation marks
3.  Newspaper name in italics (include city/state)
4.  Date (day-month-year format)
5.  Page
6.  Column
  • “Man Found Dead In Home Tuesday,” The (Danville, Indiana) Republican, 3 Nov 1960, p. 8, col. 2.
  • "I. N. Barker's Will, " The Crawfordsville (Indiana) Journal, 22 Nov 1901, p. 1, col. 3.
For more information on source citation:
Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained:  Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 2007.
January 25, 2017 By: Brenda Barker
Legal Terms
Last night at the BCGS meeting we learned that an executor is named in a will to manage the estate of the deceased and a person that is appointed by the court to do the same is called an administrator.  In addition, if the person happens to be a female they would be called an executrix or administratrix.  To fully understand a legal proceeding it is important to know the meaning of legal terms at the time of the proceeding.  One excellent source for definitions of old legal terms is A Law Dictionary by John Bouvier (1856).  It is available free of charge to search at (Sorry but this is not a hot-link so you will need to copy and paste in your browser).