You don't necessarily need to be a Research
Member of the Johns Family Research Group's
national genealogy network hosted by RootsWeb
to enjoy the use of our plentiful resources.
Visit our JOHN Message
Boards or JOHN-L, JOHN-D Mailing
List links for information on how to begin or
further your research.
Identify what you know about your family.
Write what you know on a pedigree or four
generation chart (available from your local
Family History Center). If you don't know exact
dates or places, estimate them. Gather more
information from family members and relatives.
Interview older relatives; look in family Bibles,
letters, obits, etc. When you find new
information, write it on your pedigree chart.
You have filled out what you know about your
family on a pedigree chart. The next step is to
decide what you want to learn about your family.
Choose an ancestor from your existing pedigree
chart about whom you would like to know more. As
a suggestion, select an ancestor who was born
before 1900. Select one question, such as "When
and where did h/she die?", as the objective.
In general, find out about this ancestor's death
before the marriage (of the next generation), and
the birth after the marriage (of the previous
There are two types of genealogical records.
Compiled records are records of previous research
by others, such as a biography, family history,
or genealogy. Original records are records
created at or near the time of an event, such as
birth, marriage, death, census records, etc. In
general, search compiled records first, as much
of the work may already be done (HINT:
Ancestral File is a family search computer file
that contains genealogies from families around
the world. The information is mostly about
deceased people who are linked into pedigrees.
This file contains over 35 million names and is
available free at familysearch.com. The IGI File
[International Genealogical Index] is also
available with over 600 million individual names
of people who lived from the 1500s to the early
This is a German word meaning "Ancestor
Table". It is an efficient way to organize a
pedigree, for it creates a continuous list of
ancestors instead of chart. It is particularly
useful when corresponding with another
genealogist because it allows h/her to see
immediately where your genealogical research ends
and, where your family and h/hers might have
common ancestry. Many genealogy programs will
create an Ahnentafel-style genealogy report for
Begin a time line with her birth and end it
with her death. Fill it in with the various
events (e.g., occasion, time and place), which
make up her life. This line will begin to tell a
story all her own and stimulate your curiousity.
More questions will be raised. Then establish a
broad foundation of solid fact (in the US), by reviewing, checking and
verifying Federal and State Census records, Civil
Death certificates, Marriage records, Deeds and
Land related records, Probate and Guardianship
papers, Naturalization documents, to name a few.
This information should be interwoven and
supportive of other family facts. Be sure to have
at least three sources which confirm specific
information (e.g., birth dates, birth years,
places). Check Census and Civil vital records on
the woman, her husband and her children first.
This often provides the most information with the
least time outlay. Once females became US citizens in 1921, Declarations
of Intent and naturalizations became commonplace.
Prior to this period, a female was naturalized if
she owned land in her own right. Declarations of
Intent normally include much more biographical
detail than do naturalization documents. Dates
and places of birth, and dates of immigration are
A census is defined as an official enumeration
of the people of a nation, state, district, or
city, together with the collecting of statistics
concerning their property, nativity, age, sex,
occupation, etc. Since 1790, the US
has recorded the national population. Early
censuses were essentially basic counts of
inhabitants. By 1920, census enumerators asked
twenty-nine questions of every head of household
and almost as many questions of everyone else in
Included in the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880
censuses were a separate set of questions
regarding those who died in the twelve months
prior to the census. They list people who died
between June 1 through May 31 of the year prior
to the census. Even though these mortality lists
are widely believed to underreport the actual
numbers of deceased, they are still a valuable
source of information. In many states where vital
records were not kept during these periods, they
provide a nationwide death register for each of
the five years between 1849 and 1880. The
schedule lists the deceased's name, sex, age,
race, whether widowed or not, place of birth,
month of death, occupation, and cause of death.
In 1870 the parents' birthplace was added.
Census indexes serve as the gateway to
original and compiled records by identifying
where people lived. Few sources are as
comprehensive or easy to use. They are the first
place most US genealogists
begin their research. Census indexes save time
and can lead to much more information.
Like other indexes, the AIS Census Index
database contains only a portion of what is found
in the records to which it refers. In this case,
the census indexes contain name, state and county
(and often township) of residence, census year
and type, and page number where the person is
found in the census record. It is important that
researchers continue on in their research to
locate a person in the census records themselves,
as they will contain more information and verify
that the index entry was correct. Even if an
entry is not located in an index, researchers
should still check the census records for the
appropriate locality in the event indexers missed
Few records reveal as many details about
people and families as do the federal censuses.
The census is often the best starting point for
further genealogical research. If nothing else,
census records are important sources for placing
people in specific places at specific times. When
you can't find any family, vital, or religious
records, census records may be the only means to
find any details of a person's life.
From the first census in 1790 to the most
recent in 1990, the US has
experienced difficulties in gathering the precise
information it desired for several reasons. At
least one of the problems experienced in
extracting information from people for the first
census continues to vex officials today - there
were and still are many people who simply doubt
the content of the questionnaire. Many citizens
have worried that their answers to these
questions may be used unfavorably. Despite the
wealth of information available in census indexes,
there are limitations. These included incomplete,
poorly transcribed or recorded statistics and
simply, incorrect information.
A census record provides information including
the age, sex, race, occupation, and birthplace of
each person in a household. You can also find
information about whether or not members of the
household attended school, are literate, or
married within the year. You might also find
answers to these questions - What is the name of
the slave owner? What were the places of birth of
the person's parents? In what year did this
person immigrate to the US;
and if naturalized - What was the year of
To protect the privacy of a living person,
access to population schedules is restricted for
seventy-two years after the census is taken, so
they are not available to researchers during that
time. The Personal Service Branch, Bureau of the
Census, P O Box 1545, Jeffersonville, IN 47131,
will provide, for a fee, official transcripts of
census records from 1930 to 1990. Access is
restricted to whomever the information is about,
their authorized representatives, or, in the case
of deceased people, their heirs or administrators.
Use Form BC-600 to request information.
The JOHN-L, JOHN-D mail
list is to be used for genealogical purposes
relating to the research of the surnames Johnes,
Johne, Johns, John and variations. To view
our mailing list archives click the JOHN-L, JOHN-D
Mail List link.
Please visit our JOHN-L, JOHN-D
Mail List link and read the topics on "How
To Subscribe To or Unsubscribe From" and
follow the instructions regarding our mailing
These bulletin boards are to be used for
viewing and posting brief pieces of family
genealogy Queries, Bible Records, Biographies,
Deeds, Obituaries, Pension Records, Wills and
Testaments. To view our bulletin boards please
click the JOHN Message
Before you write a message to our lists,
please spend a few minutes searching a list's
archived posts for your answers. By doing this,
you will be able to compose a brief and concise
message that should be read, as well as generate
You may not post material that is secured with
a "copyright" without the author's
permission. You may post your query in several
ways. By sending a message to our JOHN
Message Query Board, your message will be
viewed by a general audience with the possibility
of receiving a response. By sending a message to
our JOHN-L JOHN-D
mailing list, your message will be viewed by an
active research membership immediately.
RootsWeb is an active partner, along with
other organizations to provide a means of
collecting Surname related data, giving access
and control of this data to you the owner of your
Surname ancestry. RootsWeb provides a single
repository storage space for your Surname related
data, while allowing the world wide web to view
this data. For more information about this topic,
click the above WorldConnect Surname Databases
It is a file format, developed by the Family
History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to provide a flexible
and uniform format for exchanging computerized
genealogical data. GEDCOM
is an acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication.
A GEDCOM filename ends with
the extension of *.ged (e.g., smith.ged). It is
necessary to convert your genealogical database
to a GEDCOM file format in
order to upload it to RootsWeb's WorldConnect
RootsWeb does not have the ability to allow
you to directly update your GEDCOM
entries. You will update your file in your
genealogy program (Family Tree Maker for example),
and then reload a new GEDCOM
file into their WorldConnect database. By doing
this action, the new version will overwrite the
You simply make the corrections to your file
using your genealogy program, and then reload a
corrected GEDCOM file to
RootsWeb's WorldConnect database. RootsWeb does
not offer online editing of their WorldConnect
database, but may do so in the future.
You may download your GEDCOM
file at any time from the Setup/Edit screen, and
then reload it when you have completed your
When you delete your GEDCOM
file it is completely deleted. The file is yours
and RootsWeb makes no claim to it.
Our search engine will perform a keyword
search using the entire contents of our JFRG® web site. This means that
the search engine will find any word within our
site, including this text. To become familiar
with the search syntax please click the Search
Help, Tips link.
There are several web sites that are designed
for information collection. Some of the popular
sites are AltaVista, Excite, Infoseek, Go.com,
Google, Goto.com and Yahoo!. Although we cannot
recommend a particular site, you may wish to
visit AltaVista and do the following:
1. Type "Altavista.com" into your
2. In the search window, enter the keyword "johns"
in lower case. The search engine will attempt to
search for "johns", "Johns",
3. Leave a single blank space.
4. Enter a plus sign and the keyword "genealogy"
5. Click the "Search" tab.
6. Enter again exactly the same, except space
after the keyword "genealogy" and omit
the plus sign (e.g., "johns genealogy
7. Enter a minus sign and the keyword "St.
Johns" (or any words you wish to exclude,
such as "Johns Hopkins").
8. Click the "Search" tab.
Play around with it and see what you find. You
might enter "marriage" or any other
word you desire. Also, try this type of search at
the other mentioned web sites.
Material at this web site, herein, may be
freely linked but may not be reproduced for
distribution at other sites without obtaining our
There are many, if not numerous agencies and
genealogists at your fingertips through the use
of the Internet's global search engines like
Yahoo!®, Google®, etc. Although we cannot
recommend anyone or anything in specific, we
suggest that you begin by visiting your local
Family History center. You may also wish to
review our above Useful Links page; visit RootsWeb;
search Microsoft's Encarta and Bookshelf CD's.
Please send your general comments or
suggestions to the Webmaster.
Please click here
for questions about a specific area
within the JFRG® web site.