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A Genealogist In The Archives: June 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

When Your Genealogy Has Gone to the Dogs!

As genealogists we are constantly searching for records for our ancestors that we have not seen before. Records that are unique and will fill in those gaps in our ancestor's timeline.

Archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, libraries, University archives and museums are full of these types of records. One such set of records in the Houston County, Tennessee Archives is a "Dog Registration" book.

Houston County, Tennessee Dog Registration Record Book spine, Houston County, Tennessee Archives

This particular "Dog Registration" book dates from 1901-1923. The purpose of this record book was to register dogs who were over 6-months old. The owner had to pay a fee or tax which started out in 1901 to be $1.00 and by 1923 was up to $3.00 per dog.

W.H. Griffin dog registration entry, July 16, 1907, Houston County, Tennessee Archives

The fees that were collected were put into what was called the Sheep Fund. The Sheep Fund was there for any farmers who had a sheep killed by a dog or had one damaged by a dog, they would be able to ask for funds from the Sheep Fund to replace the dead or damaged sheep. At the end of the year, if there was still funds left in the Sheep Fund, it would be given to the local schools to help purchase books and supplies.

W.R. Boone dog registration entry, May 16, 1901, Houston County, Tennessee Archives

Information that can be found on the dog registration receipts include the dog owner's name, the owner's address, the name of the dog, the description of the dog and the date of the receipt. Who knew that our ancestor's dogs could help us with genealogy information today!

As genealogists we can get some great information from records sources like this "Dog Registration".

Remember: It's Not All Online, Contact or Visit an Archives Today!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Using Archives to Fill the Gaps in Your Ancestor's Timeline

Do you have gaps in your ancestor's timeline? Are you curious about what your ancestor's did in-between the time the census was taken? You might just find what your looking for in the many records collections of an archive.

Working daily in an archive, I get to work with many kinds of records that are not your "normal" genealogical records. A lot of these unique records are not online and have to be sought out by the genealogist. Records in archives can help you fill in the gaps in your ancestor's timeline.

As a genealogists for the past 26 years, I have been working diligently on my own family history and that of my husbands. Recently, I was able to combine both archives work and genealogy research all in one with a fantastic result.

The Stewart County, Tennessee Archives is just one of our wonderful archives here in Tennessee and the area where my husband's family lived back in the 1800's. I recently became aware of a packet of records that had been found in the Stewart County, Tennessee Archives for a Jesse Glasgow (1816-1892), my husband's great great grandfather. I requested copies of these original records that included over 50 pages of documents and receipts that have never been microfilmed and are not online anywhere.

Inside the Stewart County, Tennessee Archives. Photo courtesy Stewart County, Tennessee Archives

One of the documents that was sent to me was a copy of a receipt for a Louisiana Lottery Ticket that Jesse Glasgow had purchased in June 1888. Jesse bought 1 ticket and the ticket number was #92074.

Courtesy Stewart County, Tennessee Archives, Jesse Glasgow Louisiana Lottery Ticket Notification, June 9, 1888

I found it interesting that Jesse Glasgow was buying a lottery ticket from Louisiana while living in Tennessee. And I didn't even know there was a lottery in the 1800's. So I did some research and found that the Louisiana Lottery was a very controversial even in the history of the State of Louisiana. You can read about the Louisiana Lottery here:

It is not known if Jesse Glasgow won anything from the Louisiana Lottery but the fact that he bought a ticket and I have a copy of the receipt from the Stewart County, Tennessee Archives helps me to document an event in his life that happened between the 1880 and 1900 census records. I had nothing recorded for Jesse between these census years and now I do because of a county archive with records that they have archived and preserved.

Courtesy "The Times-Picayune" Newspaper Photographs, an example of a Louisiana State Lottery Ticket, May 8, 1888

Remember: It's Not All Online, Contact or Visit An Archive Today!