Sassy Jane Genealogy Blog

30 Jul 2015

Four Founders of Jamestown Identified

Four founders of Jamestown identified this week with the news from Jamestown Rediscovery that the bodies that were exhumed in November 2013 were indeed prominent leaders of the first British colony that gave rise to modern-day America.

The bodies were exhumed from the church where Pocahontas married Captain John Rolfe in 1614, an historic location once thought to have washed out to sea. The bodies were found in the church’s chancel, indicating they were people of great status in the community.

It took two years of painstaking archeological work, genealogical and archival research, and the latest scientific techniques to identify the unearthed bones.

The remains belong to important figures who lived in Jamestown between 1607 and 1610, when the colony almost collapsed. “This was a time of food shortages, Indian attacks, and disease,” says James Horn, president of Jamestown Rediscovery. “These men helped established the colony and bring to life the challenges faced by the first […]

29 Jul 2015

Finding Missing German Marriage Records Part 2

Today’s post is about finding missing German marriage records part 2 (or the rest of the story – that dates me, doesn’t it?).

So here’s an update on the post a few days ago about looking for a marriage record reported in the Deutschland Heiraten 1558-1929 database at FamilySearch. (And I still say if you haven’t used this database, please try it: 8.5 million German marriage records at the tip of your fingers.)

After much searching on the cited roll of microfilm, I found notices of the banns in the comments section of another and different marriage record. In this makeshift Aufgebot column, the pastor noted banns that were read in the groom’s Krotoschin Stadt parish in Posen and lists the town of the bride’s father, which gave me a clue for the possible birthplace of the bride and the town to look in for the full marriage record.

As it turns out, the marriage took place in […]

25 Jul 2015

Social Security Applications and Claims Index

Ancestry has added a great new database with 49 million records for researchers working in 20th- and early-21st-century America: U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Entries in this database tend to have more information than the death index, including the following:

Applicant’s full name

SSN (included if the person is deceased more than 10 years; otherwise Ancestry suppresses this data)

Date and place of birth



Father’s first and surname

Mother’s first and maiden name

Race/ethnic description (optional)

The best part of this database is that it often notes name changes, usually for marriages, making it invaluable for researching women in your tree who may have had multiple spouses.

In the example above, I’ve blurred surnames and some other information. (This ancestor has been deceased for more than 20 years but since she didn’t get to volunteer for my blog, I’m respectful of her privacy.) In the notes field at bottom are indications of two marriages along […]

21 Jul 2015

Finding Missing German Marriage Records

Today’s post is about finding missing German marriage records. I’ve been reading German parish records pretty steadily for five years now, and encountered my share of records that take a lot of finding and translating.

But until today, I’d never encountered a marriage record in the “comments” section of another marriage record.

I’ve been working in this region of Prussia for some time and knew I needed to order film from the Family History Library to search for these particular Kirschsteins.

The Deutschland Heiraten 1558-1929 database at FamilySearch confirmed not just the film number but also that a marriage record existed for this couple in the right village. (If you haven’t used this database, please try it: 8.5 million German marriage records at the tip of your fingers.)

The film arrives and what could be easier with a date and the names of the bride and groom? But they are not there. I search […]