16 November 2015



Just went to see a terrific exhibit - three hours in the hall - where I learned so much more about our American history, how complicated the question of slavery was throughout what would become our nation, back in the day when half of it was still territory, in dispute.

So here's a little story.  Twenty or more years ago it was still not acknowledged, despite the documents that genealogists would find, not even by some college history professors, that some Native Americans had slaves.  I myself found documentation proving this in a western county of North Carolina, but it just wasn't acknowledged.  A research friend of mine actually went to a professor at a college in Florida where he had once attended to discuss his findings and was told to his face that this had "never happened."

But this exhibit admits it.  Even the Cherokee chief John Ross had slaves.

Could it be that people did not see much difference between a slave and chattel labor?  It seems so.
In fact, the very poor who survived through chattel labor were in a class only slightly higher than a slave and individual circumstances being what they were, might not have actually been better off.  They might not have been "owned" the same but their living conditions could be deplorable.

I had not known that coal miners also hired and imported immigrant labor where men were put under contract to work.  I'd known about servants who came into the early colonies and worked years to pay off the price of their ticket, but didn't know this happened in the mid 1800's during the Gold Rush.

Also up for going against stereotype:  Prostitutes in the Wild Wild West, often depicted as willing and having a great time of it, when it's known that sex trafficking went on.   (I've known about the situation in San Francisco with imported Chinese women and children, often put in cages and locked underground, even given the tools to commit suicide once they became infected with VD, but somehow I bought the movie depictions of White Women going west for the opportunity to make money the only way they could among the gold miners.)

A simply amazing array of  historical objects, paintings, proclamations, and other museum-worthy items are on display, along with some diary narratives read by actors at the touch of a button that give various perspectives.


This brings up the USE OF DIARIES and NARRATIVES in your genealogy an history research.  Some of you may know about the SLAVE NARRATIVES that were collected by the WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION which are on a searchable database.  Additionally, you may find narratives in other places, such as written narratives available through FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUESTS, as well as some military related documents.  WILLS can also be a form of NARRATIVE.

C 2015  Ancestry Worship Genealogy - BlogSpot  All Rights including International and Internet Rights reserved.

03 November 2015


As identity thieves and frauds have been using the Social Security Death Indexes for criminal activity, over the last few years there have been some removals (Rootsweb's Free Indexes, now owned by Ancestry.com) and restrictions. 

To sincere and honest persons intent on genealogy research this has been upsetting.  However, as someone who has been subject to the use of such information for criminal activity, I myself have been wondering when our United States government will begin to restrict the use of all the free or low cost information available on the Internet and on specialty databases that have citizens so easily spying on each other; the exact behavior we loathed back in the day when we heard citizens of the Soviet Union were encouraged to do so.

Socially, it's a real turn off to meet someone for coffee for the first time and have them tell you all the things they found out about you on the net. 

I went to a historical site one time where the docent, who apparently took pride in her family's involvement in the region, looked at my signature in the sign in book and then asked, "And what is your maiden name?"  (I told her "that IS my maiden name!) She was a bit much.  Now, I hold my own family cards closer to my chest.

I've also had the experience of people calling relatives, lying that they are my friend, and then saying that they need my current address and phone number.  And these dummy relatives gave that information out! 

But since ANCESTRY WORSHIP - GENEALOGY BLOGSPOT is for the sincere and honest researchers, let's talk about the UNITED STATES SOCIAL SECURITY APPLICATIONS and CLAIMS INDEX, which, as provided by Ancestry.com databases, covers the years 1936-2007.

First, you can still send away for the ORIGINAL APPLICATION. Those of us who used to send away to the Social Security Administration for ORIGINAL APPLICATION copies when the cost per each one was relatively inexpensive and reasonable were also upset when the fees went up to about $36 - $38 each.  The lesser fee was for those applications in which the SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER of the applicant was known.  Using a database you might be able to find that number even if you were not a close family member.  (If the information is over 75 years old, it will generally still be available to anyone for the asking.)  Of course, in filling out the application the government knows who is asking for it, so if there is criminal behavior involved that is documented.  That's good since the sincere and honest researcher is an ethical person who is not using the information for criminal activity or spying.  (Anyone involved in PROFESSIONAL GENEALOGY RESEARCH SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THE FAMILY THAT IS PAYING FOR THEIR SERVICES EXPECTS THEM TO RESPECT THEIR PRIVACY AS WELL!)
So -


It is useful beyond the obvious.

Let's say that you use it by NAME of the deceased and it has this information (a fictional example).

born  November 15  1925
Father  Greyson Andrew SCMIDT
Mother  Rose Ann CRABBE
Death November 15 1999
June 1941
May 1943  Marianna C. SMITH
May 1945 Marianna Rose WEAVER
August  1950  Marianna R.  ROSCETTI
Nov 23 1999  Marianna R. ROSCETTI

Here is the information you might be able to deduce from what appears to be "just the facts, mam, just the facts."

Marianna was born on November 15, 1925 in Germany.  However, her parents may or may not have been citizens of Germany.  They might have just been on a vacation or visiting relatives when she was born.  It might be interesting to check the ship records, incoming and outgoing - Germany and the United States where we might find the family.

It follows that she was living in the United States and likely an American Citizen when she went to work in about June of 1941 and made her first application for Social Security as at this point payments to Social Security would have been made from her employer to the government in her name. 

A couple years later, it's possible  Marianna decided it would do her some good to CHANGE HER NAME from the clumsy Scmidt to the name Smith and that she is using her mother's illustrious Crabbe surname as her legal middle name.  Of course we will want to prove that before accepting it.

There may or may not have been a legal name change and if so, it may be on file.  Checking around the 1940 census, we can possibly learn if her parents were living, if she was living with them or elsewhere, and where she might have processed a legal name change.  We also know that we have to check for Marianna under the name Smith from now on. 

It's also possible that the change in name to Smith was because she married.  We would want to check the marriage indexes.

In May of 1945 it is very possible that Marianna did marry someone with the surname Weaver. 

And it's possible that she married for the 2nd or 3rd time in August of 1950, a Mr. Roscetti.  Now we are looking for marriages, deaths, and divorces in each case.  In November of 1999, still going by the name Marianna Rose Roscetti, the lady died and at that time she was collecting Social Security.

We would want to follow this up with a search for her death records, civil, cemetery, and/or church.

C 2015 Ancestry Worship Genealogy BlogSpot  All Rights Reserved