While I am plotting possible roadtrips… I’m also trying to make full use of the resources I have access to at home so I’ll be talking about a few databases I’ve found—some within Ancestry and some outside it—in a few posts.

SSDIIn case you missed it—and thank you Anne and Jeff for bringing it to my attention—Ancestry.com added a new and fabulous database at the end of July. The U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 expands on the information in the Social Security Death Index (sample to the right) including parents’ names, actual death dates; and various forms of the name (married names, middle names) used at different times in the person’s life.

YorkEdSandyI haven’t had time to fully mine this resource but my find of the week is the transcript of my Great Uncle Edward Sandy York’s application. Other than finding out his middle name was Sandy (after his father), it is also the first document I have found that has offered a possible maiden name for my 2nd Great Grandmother Agnes. He listed her as Agnes Ingram.

This is a particularly useful resource for maiden names, married names you might not have heard before, residences to explore, etc. For one of my cousins it listed two extra married names opening up a whole other line of inquiry.  Login in at home or head out to your library or archives and dive in to this new resource.

Happy hunting,


Things might get a little spotty here as I we work through changes at my day job—I can’t believe I missed Wordless Wednesday!—But hopefully I’ll be able to get reorganized quickly.

Nephew #1 on a computer

I don’t know if it will last or what he will retain but my almost nine-year-old nephew, inspired by his mother who has discovered

Ancestry.com, asked me if I would show him how to make a tree (online, of course) like his mom. So, last Sunday we met up at my parents and sat down with my laptop and got started. He quizzed/interviewed my parents for their full names and birthdates and birthplaces and the names of their parents. Taking the hint that my father was a Junior so his father’s name was probably…?  It’s a bit of a trick question as my Grandpa changed the spelling of his name somewhere along the way.

My nephew then started a private tree in Ancestry that I’ve shared with his mother as a full editor so he can work on it with her as well.  I was fascinated watching him enter in the information and think of more questions. And I was doubly impressed when he started really thinking out the hints that he was offered through Ancestry.com. He really looked at what the records said, pulling up the originals and actually listening to the stories I was telling—no, really,  you have to understand, my leading complaint is that he doesn’t listen—so that he  caught a few errors in the indexing before I got to them. He was reading through the page for himself, asking thoughtful questions, spelling things mostly on his own, and he didn’t want to stop for dinner—which was an issue because, among other things, I didn’t want Parmesan cheese in my laptop.

I am so thankful for that afternoon which has gotten me through a rough week. I had a wonderful time and I hope he did too!

Happy hunting,



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