Sunday, September 28, 2008


In the last entry we used a free census search service for the 1900 U.S. Census. The service provided by did not provide an online search for later than 1900. Many LDS Family History Centers have access to other online services that are free to use. Find a FHC that is close to you by clicking on FHCSearch. Another place for free online searches are in the public libraries. Some public libraries such as the Baltimore County Public Library offer the ability to search from home using your library card number.

We used the online site at and selected "Research Database" from the left-hand side. We select "Genealogy" and it gives us the choice of using or HeritageQuest. Both are available at the library computer but only HeritageQuest is available from home. After selecting the site, we are prompted to enter our library card number. We are then given six areas to search. For now we select "Census". We type the Surname: RUTH, Given Name: GEORGE, Census Year: 1910. Click on "Search" and a list of states appear for George Ruth. Select the state of Maryland, which has four choices.

Clicking on RUTH, George H. age 15 brings up the image for St. Mary's Industrial School. The image is of poor quality and difficult to read. George H. Ruth is the 41st item down and does not tell us much, other than his age and that he is a "pupil". Click on the image to the right to view the actual image.

Back on the HeritageQuest site, click on the back-arrow and select George H. RUTH age 39. George, Sr. is the 81st item down. The address is 400 or 406 Conway Street. The father is a proprietor of a saloon. The mother has had seven children but only two are surviving. George, Jr. is listed again as well as his sister Mary age 9. You may view it by clicking on the image to the right.

In the 1900 Census, Catherine Ruth was born in Maryland and both parents were from Germany. In 1910 it shows that her parents were born in Maryland. It is a reminder that this information must be taken "with a grain of salt".

George Herman Ruth, Jr. cannot be found in the 1920 Census. This was the time, when he was sold to the New York Yankees. Maybe, he was moving around at the time and the Census taker missed him. In my experience this does not happened very often - but it does happen.

Unfortunately, the HeritageQuest site has not fully indexed the 1930 Census. Next time we will find him at one of the subscription sites.


Nearest FHC

Baltimore County Public Library Search

NEXT POSTING: More Non-Vital Records

Copyright 2008 BabeRuthGenealogy

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oh Pioneers!

The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints is also known as the Mormon Church.

"One of the core tenets of Mormon faith is that the dead can be baptized into the faith after their passing. Baptism of the dead evolved from the beliefs that baptism is necessary for salvation and that the family unit can continue to exist together beyond mortal life if all members are baptized.

"Mormons trace their family trees to find the names of ancestors who died without learning about the restored Mormon Gospel so that these relatives from past generations can be baptized by proxy in the temple. For Latter-day Saints, genealogy is a way to save more souls and strengthen the eternal family unit." (Source: PBS.ORG)

As a result, the Mormons collect records from around the world. They are microfilmed and stored in a climate-controlled repository that is inside a mountain. Everything of interest to a genealogist - Church registries, Censuses, Civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths and more.

You don't have to visit Utah and you don't have to be a Mormon to see the films. Find a nearby LDS Family History Center by clicking on the following link: FHC. When you are ready to view a particular film, go to that center and fill out a few cards and it will be loaned. There is a charge of a few dollars to cover postage. After a week or two, you will be notified that is available. The center has microfilm readers that are free to use.

The main site to begin searching is at We can search the library catalog by selecting "Search" from the pull-down menu and selecting "Library Catalog". When the new page appears, we then select "Key Word Search". When the dialog box opens we enter the name of Babe Ruth's first Baptism Church - "St. Peter the Apostle, Baltimore". We see that they have records available from 1872-1901 on "CD-ROM no. 1240". Not all church records are available for viewing especially if they have Baptisms going up until recent times.


We have already finished with Ruth's vital records. Let us scope out his life with Census data. The U.S. Census takes place every 10 years in years ending with "00". Censuses beginning with 1850 listed every person by name along with their age, sex, race and place of birth and occupation. By the time of the 1900 Census additional items were added such as the place of birth for each individual's parents, the number of children that a woman had, the number of years of marriage, immigration year, etc. In urban areas the street number and name were included.

We will view the actual census image by using the pilot site at Under the pull-down menu of "Search Records" click on "Record Search Pilot". In the center of the page is a world map. We want to click just above it on "View all Collections". On the next screen click on "1900 United States Census". A dialog box appears. Fill in First Name: George, Last Name: Ruth, Place: Baltimore, Maryland and select "Search". The third name down is George H Ruth born 1871. Click on his underlined name. Over to the right is a brief summary. Better yet, let us look at the actual image. Click on the document image on the far right. If you have a cable connection, it appears instantly, DSL takes about ten seconds, and a land-line seems forever.

The display that appears has a slide called a "Zoom". Adjust the Zoom until the document is readable. You can also choose to print the entire page. Examine the fields at the top of the census - Location, Name, Relation, Personal Description etc. Position the cursor over the center of the image. Press the left mouse button down and move the mouse. This will move the image. Let go of the button and the image will stop. Use this technique to move the viewing area to the bottom left of the image.

Georhe H Ruth is the 38th item down. He is living at 339 South Woodyear Avenue, which is a block west of the B&O RR Mount Clare Shop. The next two sets of number are for the census taker to total the number of dwellings and number of families. We learn that George is the Head-of-household, white, born Jan 1871, 29 years old and married for 6 years. He and his parents were born in Maryland. His occupation is a "Lightning Rod Agent". He can read and write. He owns his house free of mortgage.

George's wife, Kate was born July 1874, 25 years old. So far, she had 3 children but only 1 is still alive. She was born in Maryland but her parents were born in Germany.

George, junior was born Feb. 1895.

Living with them is a family named Brundig. Living next door at 341 is John A Ruth who is also a lightning rod agent.

Censuses have a lot of useful information in rounding out a person's life. We must be guarded in accepting information such as name spellings and birth dates. The census taker generally spells the names as they sound to him. Sometimes the family is not home and a neighbor gives estimates to the ages and names of the occupiers. Also, if the questions seem too private, people will lie.

Click on the image to the right to see the lower half of the Census sheet.

Next time we will take a look at some other free and pay-for sites as we explore the 1910 - 1930 Censuses.


Mormons on PBS


Nearest Family History Center

Pioneer Day

NEXT POSTING: More Non-Vital Records

Copyright 2008 BabeRuthGenealogy