Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's My Birthday!

It's my birthday, and I thought I'd share this photo from my 3rd birthday party. It was taken in front of my childhood home in Kansas. The older woman in the photo is my grandmother, Hazel, who died when I was 5. I only have a few photo with her. 

I'm in the red dress on the far right, and my older sister is standing next to me. The other three children are a cousin and two friends.

Monday, February 20, 2017

What Does "Interlined" Mean?

In the 1781 indenture of "Dorothea Kline & Al to Nicholas Kline," Nicholas Kline, a son of Michael Kline (my 6th great grandfather), bought land from the other heirs of his father for 400 pounds. This document was typed into a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania deed book.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book X, page 414 (close up), "Dorothea Kline & Al to Nicholas Kline.
[Note the underlined word "perches" on the 4th line.]

In this typed version, there are two words which are underlined: "perches" on page 414 (see image above) and "share" on page 415.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book X, page 4147(close up), "Dorothea Kline & Al to Nicholas Kline.
[Note the first few lines which describe the interlined words.]

Following the body of the document is the following comment: Sealed & delivered: written on two several sheets of Paper in the Presence of us: the Word Perches interlined between the eighteenth & nineteenth line & the word share between the twenty third & fourth line.

Random will showing an example of interlined words between lines 24 and 25.

What is "interlined?"

Merriam-Webster defines interlined as "to insert between lines already written or printed." The document above has an example of interlined words between lines 24 and 25.  [Note: The document has been numbered on the far right side of the document.] They are the words that have been squeezed in between the two lines. If you were transcribing this document, you should add a note at the end of this document noting the interlined words. These notes would be in square brackets. For example, you might write: [The words "the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses thereto in" was interlined between lines 24 and 25.]

Returning to my original document, the clerk's note means that, in the original document, the word "perches" had been interlined or inserted between the 18th and 19th lines, and the word "share" between the 23rd and 24th lines.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Platting Land in Pennsylvania, A State Land State

Since Pennsylvania is a state land state, the land was surveyed using metes and bounds rather than townships and ranges. This type of survey starts at a starting point which is a "bound" or some type of physical feature. Then, the survey gives a direction (such as north, south, east, or west) and the number of degrees (between 0 and 90) and then a distance. This is the "metes" part of the survey which includes a direction and a distance. At the end of that direction and distance, another "bound" is given.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book X, page 414 (close up), "Dorothea Kline & Al to Nicholas Kline.

For instance, let's take the 1781 Lancaster County indenture example I used earlier this week. The description of the land begins as follows: "Beginning at a white oak corner of David Beilor's land by the same south seven degrees and a half west ninety seven perches and a half of a perch to a stone..." In this example, the "white oak" where this land touches David Beilor's land is the first bound and it is also the starting point. From there, the surveyor turned 97.5 degrees south west and traveled 7.5 perches. This is the first "mete" and you would draw this line if you were platting the land. At the end of this distance, you would come across a stone.

Here's another example from the same document: " a stone, thence by the same north seventy degrees west one hundred & fifteen perches to a post thence by George Kline's land..." So, continuing from the stone, you would turn northwest 70 degrees and travel 115 perches to a post and you would be bordering George Kline's land.

But, what's a perch? A perch is just one type of measurement that the surveyors used. Here are several and their equivalents in feet and/or inches from the FamilySearch "Metes and Bounds" Wiki:

  • link: 7.92 inches
  • perch or pole: 16.5 feet (or 1/4 of a chain or 25 links)
  • rod: 16.5 feet
  • chain: 66 feet 4 rods (or 100 links)
  • furlong: 664 feet
After learning about how the survey was measured and written, I decided to try platting a survey for the first time. I was going to use the 1781 indenture I've been referencing, but one of the degree is missing! Perhaps I could eventually figure it out, but I decided to start with something easier.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has surveys available online. From the home page (, click on "land records" in the first column. From there, I scrolled down to "Images of all surveys." I chose several random surveys to plat, but I had my first success with "volume A-17" then "page A-17-105." This survey is for 100 acres of land granted to James Miller in Tyrone Township, Adams County, in 1745. The survey was done in 1809.

Deed Platter screenshot of data entered on genealogy tools
Using genealogy tools, I looked at the image (or you could use a description), chose a starting place, and entered the information. For the Miller survey, I started in the upper left corner and went around the image clockwise. So, my first "metes" was "S 33.5 E" and "79.5." I didn't know what units they used, but the shape comes out the same as long as you are consistent. I chose perches. 

Survey as drawn from data entered on genealogy tools

Although it's at a different angle, you can see that my plat is the same shape as the survey! From this site, you can also add title information along with marker such as the stone and white oak in my example from my 1781 indenture. You can also add the neighbors, such as John Stewart in this example. I believe there are other free, online platting tools, but this is the first one I found and tried successfully.

Using this example to plat a survey helped me to understand these descriptions which at first did not make a lot of sense to me.

Have you platted the land of your ancestors or their neighbors? What are some of the benefits? I'd love to hear! If you've written a post about it, please leave a link. Or you can leave a comment or email me at

Thursday, February 16, 2017

(Tip: Look at the front pages of FHL microfilms!) Finding My 3x Great Grandfather's German Baptismal Record

Evidence suggested that my great, great, great grandfather, Gunther Werther, was born in 1819 in Berka in present-day Germany. However, locating his baptism on an FHL film proved quite difficult. The film covered dozens of villages and included baptisms, marriages, and death records.

Yesterday, I returned to search the film for the second time. This time, I decided to start at the beginning. I saw a typed listing of what appeared to be villages. And, on the next few pages, I saw handwritten, numbered lists of what also appeared to be village names. Did one of these lists show the order the church registers appeared on the film?

The librarian suggested the handwritten list probably indicated the order the villages were shown on the film. We were fairly certain that the 11th entry on the second grouping appeared to be Berka. As I scrolled through the pages, each village church's records had a title page, but I was rarely able to read the name of the village. In fact, the first one I recognized was #7 on this list. And then, two churches later, I recognized #9. It looked like this list did, in fact, show the order of the churches on the film!

Kirchenbuchduplikat [church book duplicate], 1813-1846, Berka, page 1, item 2, Geboren und Getauft [born and baptized], record for August Gunther Werther; FamilySearch microfilm #1194309. [left side]
When I got to Berka, the first section was the baptisms. And, there on the first page, listed as the second baptism, was my ancestor: August Günther Werther! 

From past research, I was pretty sure the next column was the father's name, but the only word I could read was the second word of the second line: Werther. [If you haven't done German research before, you can probably see how difficult it is to read this old German script!]

A very exciting discovery was the next column which says something about the 8th of February, 1815. Could this possibly be his parent's wedding date? If so, could I find their marriage record!

Kirchenbuchduplikat [church book duplicate], 1813-1846, Berka, page 1, item 2, Geboren und Getauft m Jahre 1819 [born and baptized in the year 1819], record for August Gunther Werther; FamilySearch microfilm #1194309. [right side]

When I got home from the library, I posted the two images to the Genealogy Translations Facebook group. They are incredible! When I woke up this morning, I was thrilled to see two women had transcribed and translated this record. And, not only was the 1815 date his parent's wedding date, but the record also said he was their 3rd child. So, I also will be able to look for at least two siblings for Günther.

Here's the translation with a special thanks to Facebook volunteers Brigitte Eggerstedt and Monica Wuestefeld: 
  • Day and hour of birth: 17th May 1819 at 5 a.m.
  • Day and place of baptism: May 20, at home
  • Name of the baptized: August Gunther Werther
  • The father, whose status and residence: Johann Friedrich August Werther, resident here, [probably] farmer of a full-sized farm or horse groom of an estate
  • Marriage and number of children: 8th February 1815, 3rd child, first marriage
  • Mother, her origin and number of her children: Johanna Wilhelmine Friedericka born Hahn, 3rd child, first marriage
  • Witnesses of baptism: "Anspanner" August Gunther Bohnhardt
Are we related? Do you have any questions, comments, or corrections? I'd love to talk. Please leave a comment or email me at

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Researching the Neighbors Leads to the Discovery of a 1749 Land Warrant Application

After the death of Michael Kline in 1781, his son Nicholas paid 400 pounds to the other heirs—Nicholas' mother, Dorothea, along with his siblings and their spouses—for two tracts of his father's land. Although I've blogged about this 1781 indenture before, today I am looking at the adjoining neighbors who were listed in the description of the first piece of land: David Beilor, George Kline (possibly a brother of Michael's), Thomas Falkner, and John and Jacob Snavely.

[Note: The relevant part of this 1781 indenture is transcribed at the bottom of this post. Also, though I believe the document is about two pieces of land, only only one is described in the document.]

On Ancestry, I searched for David Beilor in Warwick, Pennsylvania. I did not state a county because Warwick Township was in Lancaster County in the 1700s, but is now in Chester County. The only document result was from the database "Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952" which looked promising.

Land Warrant Application, David Beiler & Michael Cline, record number 463, 15 February 1748/9; digital images, "Pennsylvania, Land Warrants & Applications, 1733-1952," ( : accessed 13 February 2017).

I was surprised to see the document, dated 1749, was for both "David Beiler & Michael Cline."   Now, I am now eager to find out more about David Beiler. Were Michael Kline and David Beiler related? Were they friends who moved their families to Warwick Township from someplace else? [Note: I will share more about the other side of this land warrant application soon.]

Similar searches for Thomas Falkner and John and Jacob Snavely did not give any promising results. George Kline, however, had a lot of results in Warwick and I will need to research him further.

Below is both the image and transcription of the relevant sections of this 1781 indenture with words written in bold for emphasis by me.

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book X, page 414, "Dorothea Kline & Al to Nicholas Kline."
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book X, page 414, "Dorothea Kline & Al to Nicholas Kline."

...bargain sell alien remiss release confirm relinguish [sic] and forever quit claim unto
all that & those, two several tracts of land situate & being in the township of 
Warwick county of Lancaster & State aforesaid, the first whereof bounded & described 
as follows,  to wit, Beginning at a white oak corner of David Belior's land by the 
same south seven degrees and a half west ninety seven perches and a half of a perch 
to a stone, thence by the same north seventy degrees west one hundred & fifteen 
perches to a post thence by George Kline's land, south nineteen degrees west thir-
teen perches & three quarters of a perch to a post, thence by the same south west 
twenty three perches to a post thence by the same north fifty degrees west twenty 
two perches to a post, thence by the same north twenty two degrees east twenty 
perches & half a perch, thence by the same north seven perches to a post 
thence by the aforesaid David Bailor's land north eighty nine degrees west thirty 
nine perches to a post, thence by Thomas Falkner's land, south seven degrees & 
a half west seventy seven perches to a post, thence by John & Jacob Sneavly's [sic] land 
south eighty two degrees east one hundred & eighty eight perches to a small hickory, 
thence by land that was formerly vacant north seven degrees & a half east two hundred 
and thirty perches & a half of a perch to a white oak, thence north eighty 
two degrees west sixty five perches to a post, thence by George Kline's land south 
seven degrees and a half west seventy two perches & a half of a perch to a post, 
thence by said David Beilors land south seventy degrees and a half east sixty one 
perches to the Place of Beginning containing one hundred & six acres of land & 
the usual allowance of six acres P Ct for roads & highways,
       It being a part of a larger tract of one hundred & thirty seven acres 
& allowance of six P Ct granted to the above named Michael Kline deceased by a 
proprietary patent, bearing date the twenty sixth day of January in the year of 
our Lord one thousand seven hundred & forty nine as in & by the above recited pat-
ent recorded in the rolls office for the city & county of Philadelphia in patent 
Book A vol 17 page 386 bearing date the 14th day of November Anno Dom: 1753 
reference to the same being had may more fully & at large appear as also an 
undivided share of and in another tract of land held by warrant situate in Warwick 
Township aforesaid, adjoining the lands of John Simmon, be his share more or less 
than thirty five acres hereafter to be divided exclusive of any share of the meadow 
ground in thesaid [sic] tract.

Are you related to any of the people mentioned in this document? Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave a comment or email me at

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ordering FHL Microfilms 15-20 Years Ago

This week I started working on converting my (messy) craft room into a genealogy room/office. I have piles and piles of papers, notebooks, and books to sort through. It's kind of overwhelming, but I'm sure I'll make some neat discoveries that I'd forgotten!

Today I came across some old microfilm order slips from when I first started doing genealogy. Back then, we didn't order the microfilm online. We went to our local family history center and filled out an order card. Then we waited for notification that our film had arrived via snail mail.

The oldest card I found was from the year I started doing genealogy in 1998. Today, films cost $7.50, but back then they were only $3.25. It sure is nice to be able to order online!