Record Usage and Interpretation

Where oh where are the originals?

When I first started doing genealogy in the late 80's I was given a copy of a will for my 4th great-grandfather. Notes written on the copy indicate that the will came from the Historical Documents Collection at Queens College. From what I can read of the title it appears to be Albany Court of Pro___ Wills, no. AG44.

Where to put complete census data - including transcription?

Do you find it best to list all the details under the husband (head of household) and list facts for the household members (such as occupation) under the individual; or would you put the full detail page under a marriage event.

This is perhaps software related but I only am familiar with Legacy so don't know if the question arises with other software. I like to put the census under events even though there is some controversary as to whether it should only be used as a source?


Unexplained Numbers on Passenger Lists

In 1890, Adolph Espe arrived at New York aboard the S.S. Slavonia from Hamburg. One column on the incoming passenger list (but not on the departing list out of Hamburg) is headed Death and Cause of Death. In that column, for Adolph, someone has written "6-4." Does this mean that he died on June 4th? Or something else? Six other people on the list have numbers in that column but the ink and the handwriting for those numbers doesn't match most entries on the page. I'm attaching an image.

Will details

A man dies 1780s in Virginia leaving a will in which the only specified property (land) went to five sons. No wife or daughters were mentioned, even though he had both. Within months of his death, the widow goes into court to "renounce her husband's will" and "claim her dower rights."  Question: how could she do this?  Is it the same thing as contesting  a will?  Could dower rights trump a legit will?

French-American Claims Commission?


Your QuickLesson 4 touches upon my problem. In the archives of my university, I found old photocopies of pages from several cases that deal with property destruction by the U.S. army during the Civil War. Each photocopy has a pencilled note that reads "French-American Claims Commission no. xxxxxxx, National Archives." I wrote the National Archives but they say I did not give them enough information for them to locate the cases among all their records. Can you help?