Genealogy by the States – Week 18 – Louisiana

Sunday, May 5, 2013 Posted by Jim Sanders

This week’s blogging prompt is the State of Louisiana. Blog about an ancestor or your families connection to Louisiana. If you don’t have any connections to Louisiana, find a Louisiana resource useful for genealogy research to highlight and write about. This week’s prompt runs from 5/5/2013 – 5/11/2013. If you choose to follow along, I would appreciate a mention to the Hidden Genealogy Nuggets website.

I did not find a single mention in my genealogy database in reference to the state of Louisiana. This is one of those weeks where I’m just going to highlight a particular genealogy resource I’ve found for the state of Louisiana.

The Louisiana Digital Archives has a wide collection of digital collections. You can browse various collections by topic, time period, name and more.

Here are a few I found particularly interesting

  • Civil War Photograph Album:
  • This album contain a number of photographs of soldiers from the civil war. They are mostly officers and there are not a whole lot of them, but ig your ancestor was an officer from Louisiana, you might get lucky.

  • Louisiana Newspaper Access Program:
  • This collection contains various newspapers which have been digitized and are available for browsing. Some of the newspapers include the Baton-Rouge Gazette and Louisiana Planter. Perhaps you’ll find your ancestor’s name or some of their neighbors listed in the newspaper.

If you have Louisiana ancestors, be sure to check out this website.

A few Louisiana Genealogy Links

Louisiana Newspaper Archives at Genealogy Bank

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Young Woman from Brooklyn, New York

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 Posted by Jim Sanders

Can you help identify this woman? When was the studio in business at this location?


Approximate Date of Picture: Unknown, perhaps around 1900?

Description of Picture: young woman

Size of Picture: 4.25″ * 6.5″

Type of Picture: Cabinet Card

Possible Subject or Family Group: Sanders – Fryher

Studio:v Reynolds, 507 Grand Street (Old No. 403) Brooklyn, N.Y.

Dates the Studio was in business: Unknown


Cabinet Card of a middle aged woman in Brooklyn, New York


Tuesday’s Tip: Using Diaries in Your Family History

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 Posted by Jim Sanders

It was Christmas Eve in Oxford, Connecticut and it snowed dreadfully. John, the first born of John and Jane Doe was born on that fateful day in 1856. How would you like to be able to describe the day when one of your ancestors was born?

Not everyone is going to have a 18th or 19th century diary written by their ancestors or even a close relative. Even if you do not have access to a diary of your ancestors, it is possible a diary of a neighbor or someone living in the same town is available today. In the Diary of Laura Davis transcribed by Oxford, Connecticut’s historian Dorothy DeBisschop it describes the weather of most days at the start of each entry. It did indeed snow dreadfully on December 24th, 1856 in Oxford, Connecticut at least according to Laura’s diary.

Here in Connecticut and New England in general, the vital records that were kept and survive today are very good. However in some areas such as upstate New York vital records started very late. Even after vital record keeping started, it was not always reported and there may be gaps. Diary entries may be the only mention about a particular date to a birth, marriage or death.

Here are just a few vital records contained within the Laura Davis Diary mentioned above;

  • Nov 2, 1856: Charles son of Bennett Scoville died aged 6 months
  • Nov 7, 1856: Daughter of Cyrus Sanford burned to death
  • Dec 9, 1856: Lyman Johnson buried
  • Dec 18, 1856: Orlando Cables died
  • Dec 19, 1856: Henry, son of George De Forest, drowned in Falls Pond, Seymour
  • Dec 29, 1856: Mrs. Henry Church gave birth to a son
  • Dec 31, 1856: Henry son of Mrs. Harison Tomilinson (sic) died

These are the vital records from just two months of her diary. If you can find the diary from someone in the same town at the same time period as your ancestor lived, it may just provide that hidden piece of data you’ve been looking for. You can also glimpse into daily life of the townsfolk; attending festivals and learning about the relationships of friends and neighbors and perhaps see a mention of your own ancestor in a neighbor’s diary.

Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you to search for a diary from the time and place your ancestor came from, where would these hidden genealogy nuggets be found? Here are a few places to start your quest to find that diary.

  • The local historical society:
  • Most areas will have a local or county historical society where diaries of it’s citizens would be stored in their archives. The state archives or library may only be interested in prominent citizens of the state and thus a diary of a common citizen may be more likely to be archived at the local level.

  • The local town historian:
  • Find out who the local town historian is and contact them. They are most likely working very closely with the local historical society, but they may have further information and insight into where some local diaries may be kept.

  • The state historical society or state archives:
  • Although the diary of a common person may be more commonly archived at the local level, don’t overlook the possibility that a diary you’re interested in is stored at the state level.

  • Academic Libraries:
  • Find out what major colleges or universities are close to the town where your ancestor lived. Contact the college library to see if they have diaries in their archives.


Hidden Genealogy Nuggets Website is Two Years Old Today

Monday, April 29, 2013 Posted by Jim Sanders

Two years ago today was the first day Hidden Genealogy Nuggets was put on line. There has been a lot of developments on the website since then. Over twenty thousands records mostly in Connecticut have been made available within our search engine. Free Ancestry Search at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets. There is also an index to Newtown Connecticut Birth, Marriage and Death Records which have been put on-line.

We started a blog about a month later, but didn’t really start posting regularly until the start of 2012. We have recently been named one of the top 40 genealogy blogs of 2013 by Family Tree Magazine.

Some of our blog posts have dealt with getting the most out of unusual records;

We have a few series of blog posts dealing with a variety of subjects including;

  • Genealogy by the States
  • This is the most recent series of posts. Each week we highlight an ancestor or connection to a particular state. If there’s no connection to that state, we highlight a resource of interest for that state.

  • School Records
  • School Registers can be a great genealogy find. They can have birth dates and identify relationships which you might now find elsewhere. This series transcribes various school records from towns in Connecticut.

  • Genealogy Interview Questions
  • During this past Christmas season, our blog highlighted series of blog posts to prepare questions you might ask your relatives. Each post focused on a different subject matter. The subjects included the games your ancestor played, the sports they played, Sunday Supper and more.

To all of you who’ve been visiting this site regularly and reading our blog posts, I would like to thank you for visiting. I hope you have enjoyed the blog posts and the rest of the website. I look forward to another year.