search strategies

14 Aug 2014

Finding Missing Marriage Records

Finding missing marriage records is today’s topic. If you are searching for an elusive marriage record, it may be useful to consider where the local Greta Green was located for your ancestral couple.

My post a few days ago covered the concept of “Gretna Green,” shorthand for any place where eloping couples could be swiftly married. Its origins lie in the English Marriage Act of 1753, which was designed to prevent upper-class men and women from “marrying down.” To circumvent this law, couples could elope to Gretna Green in Scotland, where marriage requirements were less strict.

FamilySearch says:

A Gretna Green is a favored marriage place. When a couple runs away from their home area to get married in a place with fewer marriage restrictions, the place they go is often called a “Gretna Green.” They may want to marry at a younger age, want to wait a shorter period after obtaining a […]

12 Aug 2014

Gretna Green and Marriage Records

Today’s post is about Gretna Green and marriage records. Stay tuned for a new post Thursday about finding elusive marriage records by locating the Gretna Green your ancestors may have used in the United States.

Gretna Green is used today as shorthand for any place where eloping couples could be swiftly married. Its origins lie in the English Marriage Act of 1753, which was designed to prevent upper-class men and women from “marrying down.” To circumvent this law, a couple could either obtain a special license from the Archbishop of Canterbury, or elope to Gretna Green in Scotland.

Gretna Green and Marriage Records

 

Gretna Green was a village just over the Scots-English border, and conveniently located on the main route from London into Scotland. Rather than petition the Archbishop of Canterbury, couples chose the easier path and fled north to Gretna Green, where “marriage by declaration” (aka […]

3 Aug 2014

Free Online German-Language Newspapers

Free online German-language newspapers published in the United States are invaluable resources for genealogists. If you’re searching for ancestors from Germany, Austria, and Prussia who emigrated to America, 19th- and 20th-century German-language newspapers can hold important clues not found in English-language records.

Published in areas with large enclaves of German-speaking immigrants, these newspapers fostered communities and neighborhoods. According to the Library of Congress, by 1890 more than 1,000 German newspapers were being published in the United States. 

Chronicling America is a Library of Congress website offering access to newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922.  Nearly eight million newspaper pages from 32 states and the District of Columbia are digitized and available.

Here are 19 historic German-language newspaper titles available for free at Chronicling America. Click on the hyperlinks in the titles to start your research.

15 Jul 2014

Google Maps Offline – Tuesday’s Tip

Are you interested in using Google Maps offline?

There are two big advantages to using Google Maps this way:

  1. Save money by going easy on your data plan
  2. Avoid that dreaded “No Service” message

Using Google Maps online (i.e., with 3G or 4G connections instead of wireless) can chew through a lot of data quickly. Or have you ever been closing in a cemetery hunt or the location of a library when Google Maps can’t connect?

Whether you use an iPhone or an Android cell phone, you can take advantage of the ability to use Google Maps offline.

CNET, one of my favorite websites full of digital wizardry, shows in two steps how to save maps for offline access in their article, “How to Use Google Maps Offline Mode on iOS, Android.”

“With this feature, you can store large map areas for guidance, even when you’re stuck without reception,” […]