Author Archives: Chris Staats

Claire Bettag Seminar, NARA Land Records and Gov Docs!

On Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 9am to 4pm, don’t miss a rare chance to see one of the great genealogical speakers, Claire Bettag! Claire will be doing an all-day seminar at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio. … Continue reading

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1800 Federal Census of the Northwest Territory on Ancestry? April Fools!

Thanks to Mary Milne Jamba for asking this great question! Mary was concerned about her citation to an 1800 census image for the Northwest Territory found in Ancestry.com’s “1800 United States Federal Census” database. Ancestry’s source information for this database … Continue reading

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Overcome Genealogical Isolation– Attend A Conference!

I’m in my mid-40s. Even now, I don’t quite fit what many people consider the typical genealogical demographic. I certainly didn’t fit it over 15 years ago when I first started researching. Two-thirds of my research career was spent in … Continue reading

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Help Wanted: Calling All Staats males from the DE, Albany, or NJ Staats families!

Okay, so this gig doesn’t pay much. In fact, if you’re looking for cash, you’ll be sadly disappointed. However, if the satisfaction of helping to sort out the origins of the Staats family in America floats your boat, you’re in luck. … Continue reading

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Is Your Genealogy Hearsay?

I am always looking for parallels between legal research and genealogical research. In my evidence and torts class this week, we studied Ohio’s Rules of Evidence regarding the admissibility of hearsay evidence. It was a loooong stretch of class, and … Continue reading

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Ohio’s Orphans Court Records?

If you are like me, you scratched your head when you read something about Orphan Court records in Ohio. Isn’t Orphans Court something they have in other states, like Pennsylvania and Delaware? Yes, it is. But it’s also something that … Continue reading

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Finding Ancestors In Ohio’s Local Government Records Program

Under the direction of the State Archivist, the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers was formed in 1970. The goal of the program was to fund and provide designated places for county and local governments to deposit their records … Continue reading

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Genealogists Should Abandon the “Brick Wall” Metaphor

Have you ever built a brick wall? Me neither, but I know a little about the process. A brick wall is solid. Creating one takes a lot of skill. It’s not just slapping some bricks and mortar together and hoping … Continue reading

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Who Do Ewe Think Your Ancestor Is?

You’ve looked high. You’ve looked low. You’ve looked wide and far. You’ve examined every common record you think might contain information about your ancestors, their friends, their associates, and their neighbors– all without much luck. Have you tried the records … Continue reading

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Wrestling With FamilySearch Record Collections That Use the Russell Index

The Russell Index. Just mentioning the name causes some to shudder. The skeleton key symbol emblazoned with its cryptic “l-m-n-r-t” message. The dreaded columns and rows.  Letters and numbers all over the page. Noooooo! If you do research in Pennsylvania, … Continue reading

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