Thursday, January 9, 2014





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Genealogy tip for today: Informants
Researching your family tree is a lot like being a detective. And what good is a detective story without a few informants thrown in? The same is true of genealogy.  We touched briefly on informants when talking about death records last week. Let’s take a closer look at these – sometimes key – people.

Informants, like witnesses, have some importance because they know the person in question or they would not be in that position. To what degree they know that person is dependant often on their relationship with them.

There are a couple of ways that you may find an informant’s name. You actively search for records to find whose name is on there as witness or informant. Or, you search for a record to document an event or facts and stumble upon the name.

When you find a name, you need to check and see who that person is. It could be any number of people, anywhere from a neighbor, to the closest of kin. In some cases, like in the event of a homeless individual or a person who lives alone and there are no known relatives, the informant may be an attendant at the hospital or other service individual.

Depending on the relationship of the individual, the information given may be more, or less accurate than if someone else gave it. The hospital attendant may have the facts regarding dates, but may or may not have any other information, especially about relatives’ names, like parents. The neighbor may or may not know anything, obviously, depending on how well they knew each other. Or, in the case of someone in my family, the informant may be hard of hearing and gives the answer to the question he thought he was asked, not what the question really was. Yet he might be too timid or polite to ask them to repeat the question.

If you have no idea who this person is, remember it is a clue. It may be a relative you haven’t found before. Check against your database of names. Check the censuses. If it’s a neighbor you should find them near each other in the censuses. If it’s a family member, you may find them listed with other family members on censuses after 1840. From 1850 forward, everyone was listed in the census records. Some years even indicated the relationship to the head of household.

If you have a sister as an informant, you might find her married name, heretofore unknown. The same is true of a daughter.

If you have not found a parent’s name, you might find it as the informant. Forms vary from state to state, but more than likely it will indicate what relationship that person has with the deceased.

The possibilities are limitless. It may give you a lead you never had before. It may be a person you already know about or somewhere in between. But don’t fail to check out that person’s name. In fact, you should be very thorough going over any document, with a fine tooth comb, so to speak. Clues are hidden everywhere.

“History – it’s who we are; Genealogy – it’s who I am” sg

If any of these posts are helpful drop us a line in the comments section below. We just want to know if the information we provide to you is beneficial in anyway.

Philip V


Philip V of Spain declares war on France.

Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense, a scathing attack on King George III's reign over the colonies and a call for complete independence.

The Ottomans sign a treaty with the Russians ending a five year war.

Jean Pierre Blanchard makes the first balloon flight in North America.

Southern shellfire stops the Union supply ship Star of the West from entering Charleston Harbor on her way to Fort Sumter.

Mississippi secedes from the Union.

Count Zeppelin announces plans for his airship to carry 100 passengers.

A Polar exploration team lead by Ernest Shackleton reaches 88 degrees, 23 minutes south longitude, 162 degrees east latitude. They are 97 nautical miles short of the South Pole, but the weather is too severe to continue.

Colonel Theodore Roosevelt announces that he will run for president if asked.

Pancho Villa signs a treaty with the United States, halting border conflicts.

Ford Motor Co. stock is valued at nearly $1 billion.

Soviet planes drop leaflets on the surrounded Germans in Stalingrad requesting their surrender with humane terms. The Germans refuse.

U.S. troops land on Luzon, in the Philippines, 107 miles from Manila.

French General Leclerc breaks off all talks with Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh.

Jackie Robinson becomes the highest paid player in Brooklyn Dodger history.

U.S. forces kill six Panamanian students protesting in the canal zone.

Cambodian Government troops open a drive to avert insurgent attack on Phnom Penh.

The Assembly of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaims the creation of a new state within Yugoslavia, the Rupublika Srpska.

A raid by Chechen separatists in the city of Kizlyar turns into a hostage crisis involving thousands of civilians.

Mahmoud Abbas wins election to replace Yasser Arafat as President of the Palestinian National Authority.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the Second Sudanese Civil War is signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, unveils the first iPhone.

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge


Gregory XV, Roman Catholic Pope.

Karel Capek, Czech writer and playwright, best remembered for his play R.U.R., which contained the first use of the word "robot."

Richard Nixon, 37th President of the U.S. and first President to resign from office.

Joan Baez, American folk singer and activist.

Jimmy Page, musician, songwriter, producer; member of The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and other bands.

Michael Everson, American and Irish linguist; a leading expert in the computer encoding of scripts.

Dave Matthews, singer, songwriter, guitarist, actor; leader of Dave Matthews Band and Dave Matthews & Friends.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Catherine Elizabeth "Kate" Middleton); wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Upon William's assumption of the British throne, the Duchess would become queen consort.



adjective: 1. Harmful. 2. Unfriendly.

From Latin in- (not) + amicus (friend). A few other words that share the same root are: amigo, amity, enemy, amicable, and amicus curiae. Earliest documented use: 1645.

"But the landers found no other signs of biological activity, nor any organic compounds. If anything, the soil seemed inimical to life."
Burkhard Bilger; The Martian Chroniclers; The New Yorker; Apr 22, 2013.
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. -Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988)

Today’s Recipe
Soups for Cold Winter Days


“This soup is usually made up of leftover vegetables in the fridge or you can cut up fresh vegetables. The amount of vegetables you put in depends on how thick you want your soup. We like lots of veggies. This soup can be pureed and served with croutons on top. Great for a cold night supper. You can really let your imagination get carried away with this soup. I don't make it the same every time. It depends on what is in my fridge that is left over. Meat or chicken can be added. Enjoy"

10 cups chicken broth
2 potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 fresh broccoli, chopped
4 cups cauliflower florets
1 parsnip, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup green peas
1 cup cut green beans, drained
1 cup wax beans, drained
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup cooked navy beans
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried parsley

In a large stockpot, combine all the ingredients and cook over medium heat partially covered for about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Serve hot with buttered biscuits.


Now You Know