July 26, 2017

7+ Websites for Revolutionary War Research

This is my first blog post using the Firefox addon Scribefire so it’s going to be abbreviated, but I wanted to tell you about an excellent article by Gena Philibert-Ortega that lists the Top 7 Websites for Revolutionary War Ancestors, plus one more suggestion from me as a resource.

My source is “ask your genealogy friends”. Sounds simple, but you never know who might have their own books on a topic. This link happens to go to Cyndi’s List which is always an excellent starting point for genealogical research.


Eli Thadeus Smith 1891 – 1913

The Harvey Lawson Smith Family circa 1914

It’s sad when anyone dies young, and quite often even after death their likeness can still be included in family photos as evidenced in the image above.  My grandmother Minnie Caroline Smith (young lady in the middle in white) was just nineteen when her next older brother Eli died of tuberculosis in 1914. Eli T. Smith had died the year before but a skilled photographer was able to insert his image into this family photo for posterity.

Harvey Lawson Smith 1855 – 1899

The father in this family, my Great Grandfather Harvey Lawson Smith, was also deceased, having died in 1899 of spinal meningitis after he spent time nursing a male friend who had been ill with that disease.

The Scourge That Was Tuberculosis

There was no prevention of the TB in those days, and it affected others in my Yates family too, but no others in this family at the time the picture was taken.  Eli had been working at the Pease flour mill in the West Plains, Missouri area when his condition worsened and he was confined to bed at the home of his mother and step-father James William Milburn Yates.  Jim Yates’ own younger sister Myra was a young victim of TB dying at age twenty-two in 1888.

Eli Thadeus Smith Death Certificate Found

Since I began my Yates genealogy the middle name of Eli Smith had just been the middle initial T.  While searching  the Missouri State Archives death records this weekend I was able to obtain a PDF copy of Eli’s death certificate.  The informant on the record was Eli’s mother Mary Elizabeth ( nee Pentecost, Smith) Yates which makes the documentation of his middle name to be accurate.  At last, I was able to fill in his middle name as Thadeus.

Eli Thadeus Smith death certificate (PDF)


Missouri State Archives

Yates and Allied Family Tree on Ancestry (free to view)


Visit Cyndi’s List today and begin your own genealogical quest!

A Wish List for Genealogists

A Wish List for Genealogists

As a genealogist, what kind of things would you most like to have? Do you know someone who is just beginning to research their family tree and you’d like to give them a gift? Here are some ideas:

  • When I began doing genealogy, one of the first books I bought was The Handy Book for Genealogists. It lists all the states, and all the counties in the states, and when they were created. Did one census say that grandpa was born in Kentucky, but another said it was Virginia? Both answers could be correct if the county line moved instead of grandpa.
  • One of my favorite genealogical magazines is Family Tree Magazine because every issue is packed full of handy tips and thought-provoking stories and ideas. Every issue I have received has had at least one (usually many) idea that prompts me to jump on the computer to see what I can find. Check out these free forms that you can download from their site too.
  • Census takers are notorious for having poor penmanship. If you are going to be examining any printed paper census images, having a good lighted magnifying glass would bring into focus the scribbling handwriting you will need to see in order to determine if that name is “Martin” or “Mankin”.
  • You can’t expect to get much accomplished in genealogy if you aren’t organized. I don’t think there are too many genealogists who do not have notebooks and/or filing cabinets. Putting documents in page protectors is a good idea too. A gift of a couple notebooks, some index pages and a box of sheet protectors shouldn’t set you back too far monetarily, and I bet the recipient would be thrilled to have them. Make sure you get archival sheet/page protectors though!
  • How about a GPS for that intrepid researcher who likes to visit cemeteries and find old homesteads? Maybe you could throw in a prepaid gas card too! While you are at it, a nice gift card for an eating establishment would be very thoughtful also.

  • If you have a scanner, why not offer to scan some photos for that budding genealogist?
  • If you have been doing genealogy online for some time now, maybe you could make a list of your favorite free sites and send it to them in an email so all they have to do is click on the links. Send them to Rootsweb, UsGenWeb and Cyndi’s List, and they will be happy for at least a week!

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. Do you have any suggestions for gifts, or perhaps there are tools you use for research that you would recommend? We would like to hear from you!

*some (not all) links are referrals

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