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Rhonda's Tips: Genealogy Questions Answered
by Rhonda R. McClure

August 26, 1999
See Rhonda's Previous Columns

Signer of Declaration of Independence Family Tradition

Q: I am stuck on an individual that would connect this family to Charles CARROLL of Carrollton. I found a John CARROLL that is my 5th Great Grandfather. All I have been able to find out is that he was supposedly born in Virginia around 1803, moved to Ohio and married Catherine HOOVER, b. 1807. They were married in 1824 in Miami County, Ohio. Later he moved to Henry County, Indiana. I have searched the Internet and the libraries and have found nothing. -- Bruce

A: Before getting into the aspects of the CARROLL lineage, it is important to point out that while the Internet is a great asset to genealogists, it is not the end where genealogical research is concerned. It is important to learn where your local Family History Center is located, as this will give you access to the vast microfilmed holdings found in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. You also need to know what local public libraries have genealogy departments and what those departments have to offer.

The CARROLL lineage that traces from the immigrant to Charles CARROLL of Carrollton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, has been done a number of times. Many of these lineages are on microfilm through the FHL and therefore available to you through your local center.

Some of those volumes that you may want to investigate include

  • Gustav Anjou's The Carroll Family is available on FHL microfilm #0908510.
  • Frank William Leach's Charles Carroll (of Carrollton) is available on FHL microfilm #0001754. Item 3.
  • Sister Mary Virginia Geiger's Daniel Carroll II, One Man & His Descendants, 1730-1978 is available on FHL microfilm #1421828, item 9.

Charles CARROLL of Carrollton, so named to differentiate himself from his father, was born 1737 and died in 1832. He married Mary DARNALL, the daughter of Henry DARNALL. They had three children:

  1. Mary CARROLL, b. 1770. She married Richard GATON.
  2. Col. Charles CARROLL, b. 1775; m. 1800 Harriet Chew and had five children, though only one was a son.
    1. Charles CARROLL, b. 1801;d. 1862; m. Mary LEE. While he had a son, John Lee CARROLL, he was not born until 1830, making him too late to be the John CARROLL you are searching for.
  3. Catherine CARROLL, b. 1778, married Gen. Robert G. HARPER.

Having previously researched Charles CARROLL of Carrollton, I do not suspect that your John CARROLL will trace directly back to him. Charles CARROLL and his ancestors trace back to colonial immigrants from 1688 in Maryland.

Your next move should be to research the CARROLLs in Virginia in the early 1800s. Find out how many there are and in what counties. Then begin to trace those specific CARROLLs in any available land and probate records.

A Woman's Name

Q: When I enter the name of a female in a marriage event, should I use the maiden name or the new married name? For instance my great grandmother Anne HUTCHINS married James JOHNSTON. -- Bob

A: When recording the name of any female on your family tree, you will always use her maiden name. While any events that take place after her marriage will be found in the records under her married name, in your database, she will remain under her maiden name.

If you were to enter a marriage for your great grandmother's marriage and you entered her as Anne JOHNSTON your genealogy program would assume this was a different individual than the Anne HUTCHINS already entered. However, this is not the primary reason for why females are recorded with their maiden names.

If you look at the Pedigree Chart, you will see that each generation has lines for two more generations. It is the maiden name that gives you your first clue as to the next generation for any given female. If you did not record the maiden names as you progressed in your research, you would not know what surname to concentrate on to trace that line back further.

The 1890 and 1900 Census

Q: Where can I review the census records for 1890 and 1900 for the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma? -- gcnover

A: The 1900 census is the easier of the two to locate. It can be found on microfilm at many libraries with genealogy departments, as well as at the National Archives and its branches. If you do not have access to the states you need through these repositories, then you will want to visit your local Family History Center as you can order the necessary films through them.

Unless the county your ancestors were in is small, or you know exactly where they are located, you will want to start first with the soundex films to the 1900 census. The soundex will give you the necessary numbers for going to the exact page that your ancestor is located. Of course, this assumes that your ancestors show up in the soundex and the census. While the soundex is a valuable tool, it is not completely accurate. Unless you are working in some major city, like New York City or Philadelphia, and you cannot locate your ancestor in the soundex, you should turn to the 1900 census pages and read the county line-by-line. You may find that in addition to locating your ancestor, you discover possible relatives to your ancestor.

The 1890 census, unfortunately, is another matter. A fire in the Commerce Department in 1921 destroyed most of the 1890 census. While a few fragments have survived, there is nothing available for the states of Arkansas or Oklahoma.

Social Security in Virginia

Q: Do you know what year Social Security Numbers started to be issued in the State of Virginia? I keep trying to find people in the Social Security Death Index and there are no records of people I have been looking for. Those I am searching for start in 1866 and back. -- Mary

A: Most of us who are researching our ancestors right now have grown up with Social Security. We tend to forget that it has not been around forever. In fact, it was not begun until the 1930s. The first check was paid out in 1937. While we all have come to expect Social Security, the program was originally intended to be a temporary program to help the elderly after the Crash of 1929. And the WPA soundex of the 1880 census, which only includes families with a child aged 10 or younger in the household was the governments method of determining approximately how many people would be needing Social Security payments.

While Social Security was begun in the 1930s, the Social Security Death Index includes the records primarily since the social security death benefits records were computerized in 1962. The Social Security Death Index is truly a twentieth century resource.

New York or New Jersey?

Q: I am searching for the marriage date of my grandparents. Vincent and Fanny (LoCASCIO) PROVINO were married around 1908 in either New York or New Jersey. Maybe Kanarsy (or Canarsy) New York or Bayonne, New Jersey. I am also trying to locate when Vincent arrived from Italy. -- Rita

A: The first stop in this research should be the 1920 census for both New York and New Jersey. You need to begin by pinning down where the family was living as close to the supposed marriage date as possible. If they were married in 1908, then it is likely they have children aged 12 or younger living with them. The state of birth for the children will show you if they have stayed put or moved around.

Unfortunately the 1910 census is not soundexed for either New York or New Jersey. You will need to narrow down their location using other resources before you can turn to the 1910 census. However, by locating the family in the 1920, you will have a starting point. Using the city directory that is closest to 1920, locate Vincent. Then begin to move backwards getting closer and closer to 1910. For New York, another important milestone is 1915, as there is a state census for that year.

Using the city directories, you should be able to determine the ward or precinct that your ancestor was living in. This and the street address can be compared to the enumeration maps for 1910 to discover the enumeration districts you are most likely to need to search on a line-by-line basis. The 1910 census includes a column asking how long the couple has been married.

As far as when Vincent came to the United States, both the 1920 and the 1910 censuses will give you valuable information in regards to this. There are columns asking about date of immigration, citizenship status and possible year of naturalization. Armed with these dates you can then turn your attention to the naturalization records and passenger lists to pinpoint exactly when Vincent arrived in the United States.


Rhonda R. McClure is a professional genealogist specializing in celebrity trees and computerized genealogy. She has been involved in online genealogy for fifteen years. She is the author of the award-winning The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy, now in its second edition. She is the author of four how-to guides on Family Tree Maker. In late 2001, she wrote The Genealogist's Computer Companion. She is a contributing editor to Biography Magazine with her "Celebrity Roots" column and a contributing writer to The History Channel Magazine. Her latest book is Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors. She may be contacted at rhondagen@thegenealogist.com.

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