Got Genealogy Questions?

Do you have a genealogy question? Have you hit a brick wall in your genealogy research? Need help? Write our free “Ask the Genealogist” service and let’s see what we can find out for you about your family history.

And, hey—would you help us out and “Like” us on Facebook, and ask your friends to do the same?

Here’s a question about genealogy research we just received:

“Hello, I am researching the Moxham family line in Niagara, New York. I was doing fine then hit a block with Fred E. Moxham from 1861. I have done checking everywhere I could think of. He married Anna Maurer. I know he died young. If I could just figure out his father’s name it would be a great help I believe. Any thoughts?”

Here is our response to the genealogy question we were asked:

Notice that in the 1892 New York State census they list Fred as born in the U.S.

See: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11684-14945-80?cc=1529100

Notice also that in the 1900 census his children state that the birth place of their father was New York.

See: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MS2F-X22

  • Since he died in the Niagara County area—have you found copies of the probate file for his estate?
  • Do you have his death certificate?
  • Do you have a copy of their marriage certificate?
  • What church did they attend?
  • Did you find him in the 1870 census? 1880?

What do you make of the “other” Frederick Moxham living in Niagara County? He was born March 1830 in England.

In the 1880 census that other Frederick is 50 years old, his wife is 33 years old, and their oldest child is 12.

See: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MZX8-DMP

Their difference in age in the 1880 census allows room for him to have had a first wife—and if so, they could have been the parents of your Frederick. Let’s see where this takes us.

You need to run the church, probate, land and census records for both Moxham households to see where the connections to your Fred E. Moxham are.

You can obtain those records from your area FamilySearch Center.

See: https://familysearch.org/search/search/library_catalog#searchType=catalog&filtered=true&fed=false&collectionId=&catSearchType=place&searchCriteria=&placeName=New+York%2C+Niagara&author_givenName=&author_surname=

For example, there is a marriage certificate for your Frederick Moxham’s son: Howard Moxham marrying Ruby Banks on 23 Dec 1911 in Niagara, New York.

See: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6SK-LWL

And here is the marriage certificate for his son: Harold Fred Moxham in 1909.

See: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6SF-7PY

You want to see these marriage certificates to see if they give the city/state of birth of the father Frederick E. Moxham. Hopefully it will give you the city so you can then find his birth/baptismal certificates.

Try these suggestions and let me know what you find.

How to Find Your Grandfather’s Birth Records Online

Every day we receive questions from our members regarding their family history searches. We are here to help!

Here’s a genealogy question we just received.

GenealogyBank Member Question:

My grandfather Hugh Cornwell was born in Prairie Grove, AR, 4/6/1883. I have been searching for a birth record for the past 20 years with no luck. Any suggestions?

“Ask the Genealogist” Response:

Arkansas vital records do not begin until 1914.

So, while you can possibly obtain a church baptismal certificate, you won’t be able to find a government birth certificate for your grandfather.

I found your grandfather’s California death certificate, which does give his date of birth along with the family surnames of his father and mother. His death certificate is available online on the FamilySearch website at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VPW3-9Q3.

There is another record for your grandfather in the 1900 census, which also states that he was born in April 1883. His census record is available on FamilySearch.org at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M9PK-R7K.

Here is a third document with genealogical information about your grandfather: his World War II draft registration card, also showing that he was born on April 6, 1883. You can view your grandfather’s military record at https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V48Y-54Q.

So, while you cannot get a formal birth certificate—here are three U.S. government documents, created over the past 112 years, that give his date of birth. That should be the evidence you are looking for.

Let’s see how we can help you make progress in your own family history research.

All the best in your genealogy research.

Savannah, GA Historical Newspapers 1763-1922, 1999-Today

Philadelphia Marriage Index 1885-1951 Online

Last month we told you about the Philadelphia Death Certificates 1803-1915 going online.

This week FamilySearchLabs.org has put up more data. The indexes to Philadelphia Marriages 1885-1951 are now online. Click Here to search them.

Genealogists can page through this index to find the date and marriage license certificate number for their ancestor’s marriage.

The index is divided into five sections: 1885-1916; 1917-1938; 1939-1942; 1943-1946; and 1947-1951.

Simply select the time period you want to search and browse the index to locate your ancestor.

The Philadelphia Inquirer 1860-1922 along with over 280 Philadelphia and Pennsylvania newspapers from the colonial period right up to today are already online at GenealogyBank

It’s a great day for genealogy!

More Birth, Marriage & Death Records Go Online


Volunteers working at FamilySearchLabs are digitizing microfilm and original vital records and putting them online. (Photo, courtesy: Newsroom.lds.org)

Today I see that they have added records for:

MICHIGAN
Michigan Birth Records 1867-1902 – Complete – includes digital images of the original documents

Michigan Death Records 1867 to 1897 – Complete – includes digital images of the original documents

WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia Births 1853-1930 – 36% complete – includes digital images of the original documents
West Virginia Marriages 1853-1970 – 36% complete – includes digital images of the original documents
West Virginia Deaths 1853-1970 – 50% complete – includes digital images of the original documents

GERMANY and MEXICO
In addition to that FamilySearchLabs has put up German & Mexican baptismal & marriage registers for 1700-1900. These two resources are text only and give the citation for the original document but not the digital page images.

This is great news!

FamilySearchLabs is keeping up a brisk pace of uploading genealogical records and images.
GenealogyBank adds 4 million articles and records each month. To see what has been added this month click here.

GenealogyBank now has over 227 million records and documents – that’s over 1 billion names. Give it a try now – search and see what GenealogyBank has on your ancestors.

Philadelphia – Death Records Online

Genealogists researching Philadelphia just got even more help in finding their ancestors.

FamilySearchLabs has just added digital copies of Philadelphia (PA) death certificates from 1803-1915.

The Philadelphia Inquirer 1860-1922 along with over 280 Philadelphia and Pennsylvania newspapers from the colonial period right up to today are already online at GenealogyBank


So – what will you find in these records?

One gives the basic facts and the other tells us the rest of the story.

The coroner’s return has the grim story: Edward Hendrickson, age 11, killed on 20 April 1905 at the B&O Railroad tracks “while trespassing.” A sterile almost harsh report.


But there is more to the story. The Philadelphia Inquirer (21 April 1905) called him a “little hero” – who had “sacrificed” himself to save his younger brother Gilbert, age 8.

Edward and Gilbert were walking along the B&O Railroad tracks when he saw that Gilbert had stepped onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. The paper reported that Edward “jumped toward him, pushing him down a small embankment” saving Gilbert’s life, but the train took his.

Yes – the coroner’s report gave us the core facts but aren’t we glad to have the newspaper account to give us the full story.

Having Philadelphia’s newspapers and death records online makes it easy for genealogists to get the complete stories in our family tree.

This new FHL resource includes Philadelphia Death Certificates, hospital returns, undertaker certificates and similar death records from 1803 to 1915. It may be searched for free.

Typical entries include the person’s name, date of death/burial; place of death/burial; names of the parents; attending physician; undertaker; age of the deceased; occupation of the deceased; race; former residence; and cause of death.

The FamilySearchLabs site is easy to use.

Go to
FamilySearchLabs.org
Under: Current Projects – Click on Record Search
Sign-in
Under: Search an Indexed Collection – click on:
Pennyslvania Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915

A simple search box appears.
You may search by first or last name; names of the parents; name of the spouse or location.
The FHL index let’s you search on any one or these entire search options.

To search the nearly 280+ Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania newspapers go to GenealogyBank and begin searching.