Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NGS Home Course Lesson 5 finished

Over the weekend, while I was waiting for school to start back up so I could get the Library Survey finished, I jumped ahead to Lesson 5 of the NGS Home Study Course. This Lesson was about Census records and research, a topic I'm fairly familiar with at this point. The assignments though were extremely useful and this is probably one of my favorite assignments so far.

The first assignment was to pull out the pedigree chart (from an earlier assignment) and specify each census in which that person should be listed. This way you end up with a master list of starting points for each person on the chart which is an extremely useful tool to have. It was also interesting to see, on paper, which years I'm missing for each person. Overall, I've gotten most of them covered. That business of Great Grandma Ward missing from 1910 and 1920, along with my Grandma, is messing up my perfect record though. I really need to get that figured out.

The second assignment for this lesson was to choose one ancestor in one census year. Find that person in that year and copy their household onto one of those blank census sheets available from either ancestry.com or NARA. Then search the local area for known relatives and those of the same surname. If none others were found, you needed to account for that. For this one, I chose to locate John Kleinert in 1900. I already knew he was in St. Anne, Kankakee Co., IL at that time with his wife, Josephine (Dellibac), and their children but I hadn't noticed that there was another Kleinert household only a few census pages away. This man, Herman, was born in Germany, like John, and they are only 5 years apart in age. The name "Herman" is really what stuck out at me though because John Kleinert had a son named Herman (my paternal Grandmother's father). So we could be looking at a possible brother, cousin, etc. and another avenue with which to locate John's father. Currently, John is the earliest known of my Kleinert ancestors primarily because he was the one who came over from Germany as an adult (according to the 1900 census he was about 24 when he came over in 1882). Both Herman and John claim to have been naturalized, however IL naturalization records for these early years are notoriously bare on information so I probably will not get much info from that. It doesn't mean I won't order it anyway though. :)


  1. Census records are my favourite source for researching ancestors. Thanks for sharing two new (to me) and useful ways for getting the most out these records.

  2. Hi, just wanted to say thanks for posting about your NGS assignments. I'm considering doing the Home Study course, so it's very helpful to see what to expect from the assignments.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Thanks for the comments, Kathryn and Tonia! Glad to hear that the postings are helping people out. Tonia, if you're even thinking about starting the course, start getting your $$ together and take the plunge. Keep in mind that the posts and assignments that I've gone through are only the first CD. There are three in all and if you choose the "Graded" option (which is what I am taking) you get even more for your money with comments and feedback from those on the grading committee (this includes many who have their CG). If you're still on the fence though, why don't you post about it on the APG and/or TGF mailing lists and get more opinions. I don't think you'll be unsure after that. Many familiar names on the lecture circuit as well as many regular journal contributors are alumns of the course. Good luck with your work!

  4. I have gone through this blog. I found it very interesting and helpful. Nowadays I am completing my studies from home only.
    And this blog really doing great for me. This blog also offers me more ideas and advices concerned to my career.

    Study From Home