Page 27 of the July 2009 issue of Family Tree Magazine states, “Five states or territories took an 1885 census … Colorado, Dakota Territory, Florida, Nebraska and New Mexico.” But Ann S. Lainhart writes in State Census Records (Genealogical Publishing Co.):
Researchers should check out this excellent book, because censuses also exist for many individual counties within a state between 1880 and 1900. Lainhart also provides details of the data you can find in each census cited.
Joan Griffis, Danville, Ill.
Editor’s note: The referenced passage—as well as the article as a whole—focused on federally funded or administered special censuses. States did indeed take many censuses on their own (as described in the article’s sidebar), and Lainhart’s book is an excellent reference for identifying them.
The child’s cause of death was not “in the brain,” but rather “in of the brain”—an abbreviation for infection or inflammation of the brain, which in modern medicine translates into encephalitis, also known as sleeping sickness.
My own aunt died from this when she was 2. Her cause of death in 1925 was listed as “in of the brain.” It was an important point in tracing our family medical history when looking for problems that have been passed down genetically.
Patricia Quinn Meigs, via e-mail
Nora O’Meara, Genealogist, Irish Family History Foundation
Finally, the most valued treasure of a pre-1865 slave state probate inventory of personal property is the listing by name of Africans held in bondage, not just age, gender and value alone. My 20-plus years as a research historian and a genealogist has proven this on countless occasions.
John H. Whitfield, via e-mail
I do have one slight bone to pick with the article. The photograph caption on page 55 insinuates that the structure is a former slave cabin. It’s not—the structure shown was most likely a smokehouse, with its small door, overhanging eave, no visible windows and shelf board on the front wall.
Sam Thomas, Curator, T.R.R. Cobb House, Athens, Ga.
I often have an idea of what village to look for, so that narrows my search even further. I can find the village in immigration and naturalization records—American records are easy. I can usually trace an ancestry across at least 300 years with this method.
I wanted to let you know I just subscribed to Family Tree Magazine. I’d been buying the copies at our bookstore, and I was impressed with the positive articles from the editor and others. I especially like the Maine and Canadian research content. I’ve been doing genealogy for about 30 years and love it. It seems that family research never ends. Thanks again for putting together a great magazine.