Here are some things I pulled from my Tool Box to help you with your research.
SOUNDEX – A phonetic soundex indexing system that the Federal government created in the 30s to make it easier to find a surname which may have been spelled in different ways. Based on the progression of consonants rather than the spelling of a surname, it’s required for using the more recent census records.

The Soundex Code:
The number 1 represents the letters BPFV
The number 2 represents the letters CSKGJQXZ
The number 3 represents the letters DT
The number 4 represents the letter L
The number 5 represents the letters MN
The number 6 represents the letter R
Disregard the letters AEIOUWYH

The Soundex Rules:
1. A code always consists of 1 letter & 3 numbers. Example, NELSON = N-425. Try your surname, then check your drivers license no. to see if the first 4 characters match.
2. The letter that starts the code is always the 1st letter of the name regardless of whether that letter is a consonant or a vowel. (Earnest = E-652)
3. When 2 or more letters with the same numerical value appear side-by-side in a name, code the 1st of these letters and disregard the adjoining letter/s with the same numeric value. (Jackson – J-250)
4. The 1st letter of a name, when a consonant, does have a numerical value even though it appears in the code as a letter rather than a number. (Schima = S-500)
5. If H or W separates 2 consonants that have the same Soundex code, the consonant to the right of the H or W should not be coded. (Ashcraft = A-261 – A, 2 for S, C ignored, 6 for R, 1 for F)
6. Add 0s until 3 numbers appear in the code.(Duy = D-000)
7. Stop coding after reaching 3 numbers for long names. (Karlovsky = K-641)
8. Mc & Mac are not considered prefixes. If a surname has a prefix, such as Van, Con, De, Di, La, or Le, code both with & without the prefix because it may be listed under either code in the census.

COMPUTING BIRTHDATES – If you have a death date and the age at death in years, months, and days, you can compute the birth date with a simple exercise, using the numeric version of the months and a four digit year.

Date of d.:  day [A],  month [C],  year [E]
Age at d.:   day [B],   month [D],  year [F]
= b. date:    day ,        month ,       year

If A is less than B, add 30 to A and reduce C by one.
If C is less than D, add 12 to C and reduce E by one.
Then subtract the age at death (BDF) from the date of death (ACE) to arrive at ca. date of birth (ca.= circa = approximate date because you haven’t considered months with 31 days, and you don’t know the accuracy used in the death record).

Work this example: Died 9 March 1862 at age 46 yrs, 6 mo. and 14 days. You should reach b. date Aug. 25, 1815.

REFERENCE BOOKS – Books that are dog-eared at my library:

Township Atlas of the United States, compiled by Jay Andriot, gives townships within counties within states, and the date of origin, former names and boundaries, etc.

International Vital Records Handbook by Thomas Jay Kemp, has addresses and fees for vital records everywhere.

Directory of Family Associations by Elizabeth Petty Bentley and Deborah Ann Carl, can open a whole new world.

PERPETUAL CALENDAR – From 1700 to 2108, you can determine the day of the week that a date occurred. Useful if you have an obituary that says he/she died “last Friday”. Get the date of the newspaper issue and check the Perpetual.



CZECH & GERMAN FORMS – Useful for sending abroad.  See subpage for form to print.
German Pedigree Chart, Czech Pedigree Chart, Czech Family Data Sheet.  Anyone have a German Fam. Data Sheet? 

COUSIN CHART – I always thought that my first cousin’s child was my second cousin. Wrong! See this cousin chart to understand First Cousin Removed, etc.

ROMAN NUMERALS – The seven letters used for Roman Numerals are I,V,X,L,C,D,M. Memorizing this sentence will help you remember the order, which is from lesser to greater value: If Victor’s X-ray looks clear, don’t medicate.
The values:


I = 1 IX = 9 LX = 60 M = 1,000
II = 2 X = 10 XC = 90 V = 5,000
III = 3 XI = 11 C = 100 X = 10,000
IV = 4 XIX = 19 CC = 200 L = 50,000
V = 5 XX = 20 CD = 400 C = 100,000
VI = 6 XXX = 30 D = 500 D = 500,000
VII = 7 XL = 40 CM = 900 M = 1,000,000