Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Useful Tips for Tracing Luxembourg-American Families

  I've been doing a lot of digging in my Luxembourg family tree recently. I've hit a lot of blocks  - but also learned new research tricks. I thought I would share a few of my favorites.
    1) Work from specific to vague.  I know a lot about my family, which in theory, should help my research. Except when the family name is misspelled. I've seen spellings recently that had no resemblance to the actual family name. How did I find them? I started dropping information from my searches - and turned up a few things I wouldn't have found otherwise.
    2) Be open to looking elsewhere.  I've actually found Luxembourger relatives in Canada. Lose the location you expect  - you don't know what you'll find!
     3) Trust your instincts. I guessed about where one ancestor had died based on the last place I could find him living in the census. When I finally was able to check the death indexes, there he was.

I know these are basics, but it's amazing how I forget them!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Follow up to tech Tuesday: new Luxembourg database

   It took much longer than anticipated, but I finally managed to locate my ancestors in the 1851 Luxembourg census. Am I thrilled? A little. I would have loved for them to be in the first 150 images, but that's life. What did  I find that was new? First of all, one of my ancestors was a skilled laborer. This is atypical for a Luxembourg-American immigrant. Most were day laborers and left after being hit by the land crisis. My ancestor was older - and may have left to follow his sons Second, I confirmed what I suspected. My immediate ancestor had a sister who does not appear on their immigration lists. I had hoped that she stayed behind in Luxembourg. Unfortunately, she also does not appear on the 1851 census. Since she would have been an infant at the time, it's valid to assume that she died soon after birth  Back to the death records... The only downside to new records is that you have to recheck old ones!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tech Tuesday: New FamilySearch Database for Luxembourg Research

 Thanks to Julie Cahill Tarr for introducing me to a new Luxembourg research database on FamilySearch. I'll let you visit her blog for more details, since she explains things better than I ever can!
  I'm looking forward to finding out more about my family. They should appear on the 1851 census, but I have yet to find them listed in their commune. It's definitely going to require some patience. I've gone through 136 pages and have more to go. What am I hoping to find? Not too much, as I already have the family's marriage and birth records. I would like to know which of the family's children are still alive in 1851. (I suspect we had a few cases of infant mortality.) I'd also like to know my ancestor's occupation. I'm pretty sure it was farmer... but here goes.