Family History Research

Wisdom Wednesday – Follow FGS Bloggers

The Federation of Genealogical Societies conference is just over a month away! Are you excited! I am! I am one of the Official FGS Bloggers for the conference.

Did you know several Geneabloggers will be in attendance at the conference? Here is a list of those attending as of the date of that blog post.

Will you be there?

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Tuesday’s Tip – Visit the Springfield, Missouri Library

Do you have southwest Missouri roots? Have you checked out the Springfield, Missouri, main branch of their library system? The library has a huge room full of genealogy materials for not only Missouri but other states. There are shelves of family histories and Missouri county histories and resources.

I visited the library a week ago and while I had limited time, was able to locate a lot of good information. The Genealogy and Local History section is a large open room with plenty of tables with lamps and electrical outlets for researchers. Research librarians were available to answer questions and the Ozarks Genealogical Society had a section of information.

Check them out the next time you are in Greene County, Missouri and need to do some Missouri research.


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Wisdom Wednesday – Just because the name is the same…..

I recently received a request for information on a tree I am working on for a friend on The person was requesting information on a woman named Olieva Evans. The family story on Olieva is that she was full blooded Cherokee. Adopted. Possible mother named Sara Turner who may have married a Doc Evans.

This person insisted over a few email conversations that they checked the Dawes Rolls front and backwards, up, down and sideways for Sara Turner and she is listed many times under many different names. I was also told that Sara is listed in the 1890s as being in her 30s. Ummmm really?

Let’s look at some facts. Olieva was born 15 June 1818 in Ohio. Married John E. Cunningham 27 Dec 1840 in Ohio. Died 31 Jul 1889 in Missouri.  If Olieva was born in 1818, that would mean her mother Sara Turner would have been born around 1800 or just before. How could she possibly be in her 30s in the late 1890s? Sara would have been in her 90s if she was even still alive.

The Dawes enrollment began in 1893. Olieva had died by that time. I am assuming her mother had died prior to this also. None of Olieva’s children appear in the Dawes Rolls.

Now, I am no expert on Indian ancestry or the Dawes Rolls but from what I understand about the Rolls is that if you were part of one of the Five Civilized Tribes during and after 1893, you had the option to register with the Dawes Commission and receive land. There is no documentation for Olieva’s family or children indicating they were involved with any Indian tribe ever. Now, if someone has information proving otherwise, I would love to see it so please let me know.

The point of this post is to look at the names of the individuals you are searching for. Look at their dates. A person who was born about 1800 could not have been in their 30s in the 1890s. Just because someone has the same name does not make them the person you are looking for. Gather other facts to establish some level of proof or possibility. Do not tell me that this Sara Turner on the Dawes Rolls is the one you seek. It is very clear it is not. Show me some proof of this family being on the Rolls or stop telling me they are.

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Thursday Research Trip

Today I took the train into the city and headed to Daley Plaza to research Probate and Naturalization records in the Archives Room of the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court . I requested several Probate records and now have to wait (patiently) for them to be retrieved from the storage so I can view them. In a week or so I will trek back to the city to view those records. I also got copies of a few Naturalization records.

The one thing I learned about visiting the Archives Room 1113 in Daley Plaza is you must get there at 8:30 when they open. There were only two women working the front of the office and both also answered the phones in addition to helping walk-in customers. It did get busier while I was there and one of the women seemed to get a little testy because there were several of us to assist, but when others cleared out, it was fine. A smile and thank you, repeated several times during the record retrieval process, goes a long way.

After my records searched I hiked to Panera across from the Harold Washington Library to meet Thomas MacEntee of The Connected Genealogist and GeneaBloggers to name a few. We had a very nice chat over coffee and then went across the street to the library. I was even given one of his MEET*MEME Trading Cards! If you haven’t seen those on his blog, check them out. Very cool! I may have to get some for myself after seeing his! Thanks for the nice visit Thomas!!

On my way home, just as I was about to get off the train, I got a phone call from a local library about possibly teaching genealogy classes next year. Add that to my to-do list for a return phone call. It was a great day!