Thursday, August 21, 2008

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Who Do You Think You Are?

This Who do You Think You Are program in England is extremely popular. It draws many millions of viewers for each program.

It also has everyone waiting for the next lurid or juicy tidbit. Who Do You think You Are is coming to America so be ready folks.

Here is an announcement from the recent issue about the Mayor of London.

LONDON - London Mayor Boris Johnson rambling through his family history on BBC One's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' pulled in 6.8m viewers last night to win the prime-time slot, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The second episode of the series, which saw Johnson tracking down his great-grandfather, a radical Turkish journalist, and investigating the supposed French aristocracy of his granny, attracted 28.5% of the 9pm-10pm audience.

Read the full story on the Brand Republic website.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Report of a Good Resource for Early Ohio Research

If you had early Ohio ancestors your research comes with some built in problems. The 1800 and 1810 census for most of Ohio, save Washington county, are lacking.

One resource that has been created to help fill some voids in that time period is a book that was compiled first in 1971, then had an all name index created for it in 1973, and now has been reissued in its combination form.

Early Ohio Tax Records, by Esther Weygandt Powell. This book was created to take the place of Ohio’s lost pre-1820 census information.

An in-depth explanation of the tax lists used is in this report from the Tribune Star newspaper website of Terre Haute, Indiana. Article by Tamie Dehler

Read the full report on this early Ohio research source at the TribStar, Early Ohio Tax Records.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Federal Government Turns Genealogy Into a Money Making Venture

The Federal Government reports that they received over 40,000 requests for genealogy information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS,) through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA,) so they have decided to turn it into a fee-for-service revenue generating department for the government coffers.

Some of the record groups that the USCIS will be able to search for a fee are:
  • Naturalization Certificate Files (C-files) from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956
  • Alien Registration Forms from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944
  • Visa files from July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
  • Registry Files from March 2, 1929 to March 31, 1944
  • Alien Files (A-files) numbered below 8 million (A8000000) and documents therein dated prior to May 1, 1951
Index Searches and Record Copy Fees will run from $20.00 to $35.00.

Read about this new program on the USCIS website.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Aztecs and the Making of Colonial Mexico, an Exhibit at the Newberry Library

Every once in a while I get speechless with wonderment in this study of genealogy. This is one of those times.

To the readers of the Genealogy Miscellanea Blog, you just have to check out this fantastic collection that is on display at the Newberry.

One of the key items that you will admire is an Illustrated Will done in 1576.

This is just beautiful!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana Receives 10 Million Dollar Gift

Tom Kemp in his GenealogyBank Blog has reported that the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in Fort Wayne, Indiana just received a grant of 10 million dollars, to be spread out with a one million dollar check every year for ten years.

The same endowment was also given to three other organizations in Indiana by the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation. The others gifted were; The Fort Wayne Philharmonic, The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Edward Auer was the senior vice president of Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. and owned his own investment firm. Ione Auer was a philanthropist who passed away in 2007 at the age of 103.

Read Tom Kemps GenealogyBank Blog .


Friday, August 1, 2008

Genealogists Warning: Do Not Take Laptop, Ipod, Cell Phone, or any other electronic recording device abroad

Planning a Genealogy Research Trip to the mother country of your ancestors?

Fair Warning. Do NOT take any electronic gadgets with you, without standing the chance of having them seized at the border upon reentry.

The new rules of border protection allow the security officers at the border to seize all laptops or other devices that "might" have digital files of any type in them, for an undisclosed period of time, to allow technicians a "reasonable" period of time to inspect all the files and look for possible evil.

You do not have to fit any particular ethnicity, group or religion, the officers have the right to seize them for no reason whatsoever. They also will be sharing all of your files with many various other agencies for cross-linking of the data.

Let us know what you think about this and what might be done to be able to share your genealogy research trip findings. Seems possible that it might be better to put all of your research up on a website before your trip, and then while abroad you might want to buy or rent digital devices to use to capture the history of your research trip.

While abroad you could always take digital photos, movies, scanned records, etc., and put them up on a website to be able to access when you get back home.

Let us know what you think.

Read the full story of this problem in the Washington Post newspaper.

(Note: if you tried this earlier the link was bad. Randy Seaver on the excellent "Genea-Musings Blog" pointed this out. Thanks Randy.)

If you feel strongly about this story please share it with others by linking to this Genealogy Miscellanea Blog article, and if you use DIGG (see button below) or Stumble Upon, it would help if you DIGG or Stumble this article with a thumbs up.



Thursday, July 31, 2008

Secretary Hand, Handwriting of the 16th Century and How to Read It.

Learn to read very old handwriting.

Your friends may laugh at you when you tell them you know how to read handwriting from the 1500s, but if you go through the online tutorials Vona Williams shared Wednesday at the Conference on Family History and Genealogy, your friends will have to wipe the smirks off their faces.

Williams is the manager of British reference at the Family History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She teaches a class there on how to read "Secretary Hand," a handwriting that was common between 1485 and 1650.

Read the rest of this article by following the link, and on the Mormon Times website the article continues with links to locations where you can observe and practice with this type of "Secretary Hand" writing. Very interesting.

By Michael De Groote
Mormon Times


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Preserving Wheeler Family Genealogy

Progenitor of the WHEELER Family in America.

In 1667, Thomas Wheeler, the first of his family to come to America, was granted 4,000 acres in Stonington, Connecticut. This made him the largest landowner in the area.

Today, all that remains is the family's quarter-acre burial ground in what is now the Stonington Acres subdivision.

"This is what's left," said Dick Wheeler of Ledyard, gesturing across the approximately 86 grave sites, most of which date back to the 19th century.

Wheeler and his son Steven, also of Ledyard, for ten years have painstakingly restored the family burial ground. Today, stone walls with a wrought iron gate surround the quiet, tree-shaded cemetery with its well-preserved gravestones and small white sign.

Read more of this story by Joe Wojtas of the Day of New London, in the Newsday Newspaper for July 27, 2008.,0,6107601.story


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Just in Time for the Fourth of July, George Washinton's Boyhood Home Discovered by Archaeologists

This is the spot where George Washington supposedly cut down the cherry tree and then in a moment of guilt feeling had to confess to his father.

That story has never been proven and the experts that dug this site of George's boyhood home did not locate a hatchet.

The house burnt on Christmas Eve in 1740 when George was a lad, but it is an interesting story and you may read about at


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Donegal, Ireland has Fabulous Genealogy Research Website

From the digital online version of the Donegal News in Donegal Ireland, comes a nice story about a woman named Lindel Buckley, a New Zealander, who went back home to her roots of Donegal from where her great great grandmother had emigrated in 1869.

Lindel has since decided to make Donegal her home, and she has created a fabulous website for genealogical and historical resources regarding Donegal. Please do not take this lightly. It is FABULOUS!

This writer at Genealogy Miscellanea has no ancestral connections to Ireland, but did make a very pleasant vacation trip to Donegal in 2001. Lindel's website makes me feel as though I have gone "home" also. And yes, Ireland is GREEN!

Read the article about Lindel Buckley in the Donegal News.

Visit Lindel's excellent website for Donegal Genealogy.

To readers of Genealogy Miscellanea Blog we are trying to increase readership, so if you enjoy or find this Blog helpful in your research, please subscribe to receive each new issue free in your email inbox. If you have a website or Blog, please insert a Link to this site and let us know. We reciprocate. Tell a friend, spread the word. Thanks!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Newspaper Forum Offers to Share Genealogy Data

The Daily Advertiser newspaper in LaFayette, Louisiana now has a Genealogy Forum and they are inviting all comers to post and share genealogy data.

Genealogy Miscellanea thought you all might want to know about this, but we especially think it would be a great place for those of you with Acadian connections.

The Daily Advertiser Genealogy Forum.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tri-Centennial Celebration of Seventh Day Baptist Church

300 Year Anniversary of The First Seventh Day Baptist Church of Hopkinton, Rhode Island will be celebrated Saturday June 28th.

The First Seventh Day Baptist Church of Hopkinton is noting its 300th Anniversary this year.

A Homecoming celebration will be noted on Saturday, June 28th at the the Seventh Day Baptist Church, 8 Church Street, Ashaway, R.I.,. Sabbath School - 9:45 A.M., followed by worship at 11:00 P.M., and a Lunch at the Parish House will follow the worship.

The afternoon will have historical moments,memories and music. Dress in period costume and use your imagination. Questions can be referred to Rev. C. Justin Camenga at camengacjustin at verizon dot net.

That is a remarkable tri-centennial ! Congratulations to all.

Note: for those of you who have both New England and New York State ancestors, you will want to read all about the new website for New York Ancestors now being published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS.) Read the story at: Upstate New York Genealogy Blog.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tracing American Indian Ancestors

Researching Our American Indian Ancestors,
is a program to be presented by Sharron Standifer Ashton at the Oklahoma Historical Society Research Center workshop titled from 9 a.m. to noon June 28 in the Oklahoma History Center classroom

Read the full story on the website at:


Monday, June 9, 2008

Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri

One of the Nine Libraries to visit before you die.

So says Family Tree Magazine, about the opening of the all new Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, near Kansas City, Missouri.

Built at a cost exceeding $8 million in public funds, the Midwest Genealogy Center at 3440 S. Lee’s Summit Road is part of the Mid-Continent Public Library system. The spacious, 50,000-foot center is meant to serve an audience well beyond serious researchers.

Once its shelves are filled, the facility will feature tens of thousands of family history books, local history items, rolls of microfiche and maps, along with computers and printers.

A few of the features are:
Oversized parking spaces for recreational vehicles.
Padded seats and lots of desks.
Classrooms where genealogical issues can be discussed.
A small dining area.

Link to the full story in the Kansas City Star:

Here is A map to the area:

While in Independence you would should also visit the Harry S. Truman Library Museum.

Readers of this Genealogy Miscellanea Blog are encouraged to report in, if you have additional knowledge of this fine facility. do so by leaving comments under this posting.


Genealogy Miscellanea

Sunday, June 8, 2008

International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies to Hold Annual Conference

International Jewish Genealogical Society News:

TERRE HAUTE — The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies will stage its 28th Annual International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Chicago on Aug. 17-22.

The conference will be presented in the Chicago Downtown Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel. Co-hosting the occasion will be the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois and the Illiana Jewish Genealogical Society.

Read More:


Friday, May 23, 2008

National Archives and Ancestry Sign Contract to Digitize More Records

The National Archives (NARA) has signed a contract with Ancestry to digitize many more records.

The following article is from the online newspaper

You will soon be able to find more information on your immigrant ancestors. Thanks to a new
partnership between Ancestry and the National Archives.

NARA based in Washington, DC and the Ancestry Web site signed an agreement that would allow Ancestry to digitize many of its records and make them available online for family tree

With this agreement, Ancestry will make passenger arrival and departure lists between 1897 and 1958 available. Researchers will also be able to find death notices for U.S. citizens abroad between 1835-1974.

Ancestry has around three million users.

Read the full article on the examiner website:

Readers of Genealogy Miscellanea Blog may take advantage of the: Free Trial


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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Genealogy Miscellanea Has New Sponsor - NewspaperArchive

NewspaperArchive is our newest sponsoring advertiser.

This is the world's largest database of digitized historical newspapers that you will find online.

This is where you will find those obscure life stories about your ancestors, as well as obituaries, births, marriage announcements, history and genealogy.

By subscribing through the Genealogy Miscellanea website you will be helping us to help you. Thank you for your support and please visit us often.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Laptop Thief Caught by the Laptop

Friend attends house party, steals laptop.

The owner was very computer savvy and had remote control software that she could use to watch the online activity of the thief and she even took his photograph for the police.

Read the whole story on Dick Eastman's Genealogy Blog at:


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Interactive Census, Totally Unique!

The 1860 Federal Census is now "interactive"!

You will be able to add your own personal information to the listing.

Footnote has been a pioneer in this interactive feature and it will be just like the inter-active Vietnam Wall that is available for free on Footnote, which was written about in a previous Blog HERE:

If you do not yet have a subscription you should check it out and take advantage of the Footnote FREE TRIAL!

Here is the actual press release from Footnote:

Footnote 1860 census interactive news release



Footnote’s innovative tools enable members to enrich the census records by adding photos, comments, and related documents to names featured on the records.

Lindon, UT – Today, Footnote announced the addition of the 1860 US Census to their Civil War Collection. As the largest online collection of original Civil War documents, this new addition to Footnote provides a snapshot of America before the bloodiest war in its history.

The 1860 US Census reveals many details about individuals at that time. What was their occupation? Where were they born? What was their marital status? Did they attend school? Could they read or write? Was your ancestor insane, idiotic, or a convict? The 1860 US Census will let you know.

“Is the 1860 US Census already on the internet? Yes,” says Russ Wilding, CEO of Footnote. “But what makes the census different on Footnote is that these documents become interactive.”

Footnote has developed tools that enable visitors not only to find someone in the census, but also to enrich the records by adding photos, linking related documents, and contributing insights to any name on the record. “Now they’re not merely names on a document,” explains Russ Wilding. “They become people as the contributions start to tell a story about that person.”

This past March, Footnote released a similar project using the same technology with an interactive version of the Vietnam War Memorial. For each name on the Wall, a visitor can view military service information, attached photos and comments. The success of the project is overwhelming as priceless contributions are added to the Wall. Footnote expects similar results with the launch of the 1860 US Census.

At Footnote, it’s more than just looking at a historical document. History becomes a living subject on Footnote as documents from archives come together for the first time on the Internet. Visitors to Footnote can add their own contributions and upload their own shoeboxes of information. Letters, documents, and photos from the past create a view of history that few have seen before.

Every month, two million new documents are added to the site and over a million people visit the site. Footnote promises to continue to deliver new discoveries for those whose interests range from the serious historian to the casual visitor looking for something entertaining.

To view the Civil War Collection including the 1860 US Census, visit Footnote today.

About Footnote, Inc.

Footnote is a subscription website that features searchable original documents, providing users with an unaltered view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit Footnote.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

DNA Doubles. Have you found your look-a-like?

Twenty two years on a genealogy research trip to Salt Lake City, I came across information on a group of relatives that left the east and went out to the upper mid-west by way of Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The descendants of my great grandmother’s brother were now living in and around Pierre, South Dakota.

We had made many trips to the Family History Library, operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) (The Mormon Church,) usually flying commercially from Upstate New York. This time we had driven and on the return trip one morning we were filling up in Nebraska and upon looking at the road map it was just too tempting. Pierre was only about a 600 mile side trip, minor detail.

A telephone call to a man whose name and address had been located in the LDS records found him home, and he was happy to hear from a relative from back east, but I should call his cousin, who was REALLY into genealogy.

Another call found a nice lady that was thrilled to hear from a distant cousin and, “Do, please come and visit!” Didn’t have to ask twice. After a ride through the Bad Lands we arrived at her door, and were welcomed graciously.

The lady was my mom’s direct third cousin, so she was my third cousin once removed. Neither of us knew anything at all about each other before this meeting. She was intense and stared deeply at me throughout the short meeting. Her kids were all coming home for the weekend and they lived all over the country, so we could not stay long. She shared some family heirlooms, old letters, a civil war diary and we talked about our common ancestor, which she knew of, but had no information on any of his descendants, other than her own line.

After trading addresses and phone numbers, we were about to leave, when she proclaimed, “Ever since you arrived at the door, I was shocked by how you look EXACTLY like my brother when he was your age!”

Well we have all heard that before right? About two weeks after returning home there was a nice package of family records to add to my data base, and I had sent her a package as well. She sent a large family gathering photograph, you know the type, a family reunion where everyone lines up, short ones in front, and we all say cheese.

This photo had been taken probably in the 1920’s or 1930’s. Standing in the back row center was “ME!” Now I don’t mean looks a little like. It was ME! Unbelievable!

My mom was still alive and she knew that I had the genealogy bug and she loved it. She also knew that I had met people out west that were related.

So I showed her the group photo of the South Dakota people and asked her if she knew anyone. After a couple of minutes, she proclaimed, “Well I see YOU, but who the heck are the rest of these people?”

This story is extremely similar to one that was just recently published in the “Seattle Times” Newspaper, about a man by the name of Ron Schwert who had traveled to Konstanz, Germany to visit his ancestral roots hometown. Ron was on the trail of his German ancestors. Ron found out where the Schwerts were buried in Binningen, only 20 miles from Konstanz

After finding some of the graves he and his wife stopped at a local gasthaus. Ron explained that he was looking for information about the Schwert family.

The pub owner made a phone call, and soon Franz Schwert came in the door.

They were all speechless. Franz and Ron were doubles, separated by five generations!

Read the full story here:

Do you have a similar story? If so, just add it to the "comments" box of this Blog message and we can all share the fun.

As Featured On Ezine Articles


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Recluse dies in motel leaving $263,000 in cash in room

Police are asking for help to locate a possible brother and daughter of
John Richard Grant, who was discovered deceased in his motel room at the Sheldon Motel, in Sheldon, Sioux County, Iowa.

Sheriffs discovered some papers, the back of a gold watch and other belongings, and in two vinyl cassette tape cases was $263,000, most of it in $50 and $100 bills.

They immediately began searching for relatives. There was no reason to believe Grant got the money illegally, so the money should go to his next-of-kin, they said.

A possible brother is said to be working as a harbor master for the U.S. Navy in Japan. The late John R. Grant, a WWII U.S. Navy veteran, also might have a daughter. Again, nobody seems certain -- at least not yet.

Grant had documents showing he served in the Navy during World War II. He was buried April 17 at the Keokuk National Cemetery. His obituary noted he was born on Nov. 7, 1925, in Rochester, N.Y. His parents were Harold and Cora Grant.

Grant paid $500 per month to stay at the motel. Officials say he had also stayed in Kansas, Minnesota and near Chicago.

Read the full story in the “Telegraph Herald” newspaper at:


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Native American Genealogy Lecture

The Stevens County Historical Society and Museum in Morris, Minnesota will host a special program on researching Native American Ancestry on Saturday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Certified Genealogist Paula Stuart-Warren will present a workshop on Native American genealogy titled “Researching American Indian Ancestors.”

Read the whole story on the website of The Morris Sun Tribune newspaper at


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Latest Update on the Living With Wolves Holocaust Hoax

Email contact: Caroline Best

April 9, 2008

Publisher seeks to overturn $33 million judgment

The third act of a decade-long legal drama began on April 8 when publisher Jane Daniel filed a complaint to overturn the judgment against herself and her company, Mt Ivy Press, brought by Misha Defonseca and her ghost writer Vera Lee, over their book, MISHA A Memoire of the Holocaust Years. The trial ended in 2001 with an award to the plaintiffs of $11 million, which was trebled by the court to $33 million, then the second largest award in Massachusetts history.

"This case has been an unbelievable ordeal. My hope now is that I will be able to restore my good name," says Daniel. The new lawsuit follows the stunning confession by Defonseca on February 28, 2008 that her autobiographical account of walking 3,000 miles across the European theater of war, at the age of seven, searching for her deported Jewish parents, at times living with wolves, was completely fabricated. Her book, an international bestseller, has been translated into 18 languages and made into a French feature film, "Survival with Wolves," that premiered in Paris in January.

Although there were historians who questioned the authenticity of the story, the hoax went unchallenged for twenty years until an American genealogist, Sharon Sergeant, unearthed documents that proved Defonseca's real identity and showed that she had spent the war years in the home of her Catholic family.

Daniel's attorney, Joseph Orlando of Gloucester, MA says his client's case is unprecedented in his experience. "In my 30 years of practicing law, in the Federal and State Courts of Massachusetts, I have never seen a party commit a fraud on the Court of this magnitude, nor a greater wrong inflicted on a litigant. Defonseca perpetrated a fraud based upon one of the greatest historical tragedies known to mankind, the Holocaust. Her reprehensible conduct mocks the unimaginable suffering of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis."

In July of 2007, Daniel began writing a book based on her decade-long legal battles and posting chapters as a blog,, with the request that anyone having information on the case contact her. Five months later, forensic genealogist Sharon Sergeant emailed her expressing her belief that she could solve the mystery. The clues were limited. In Defonseca's account she says she never knew her Jewish surname, her date and place of birth or any family names. The name she used, Monique DeWael, was a "false identity," she said, given to her by the Belgian "foster family" that hid her from the Nazis. In addition to the lack of personal information on Defonseca, Sergeant's efforts were hampered by Belgium's privacy laws that seal all vital records for 100 years.

Sergeant assembled a team that included real Jewish hidden children in the U.S. and Belgium who were the key to bringing the truth to light. "This work was very 'close to the bone' for them. It brought back excruciating memories of their own lost families," says Sergeant. "They obtained Defonseca's baptismal record and her first grade school registration that provided the central evidence needed to uncover the fraud."

When the documents appeared on Daniel's blog, they set off a firestorm across the Belgian and French media, with hour-by-hour new revelations of mounting proof that Defonseca's "memoire" was based on lies, including an interview with her 88-year-old cousin who recalled her as a child. After ten days of intense pressure, Defonseca released a statement in the leading daily newspaper, Le Soir, saying, "It is not the truth but it is my truth. I always felt Jewish."

The text of the entire complaint is online at: Complaint Against Misha Defonseca, et. al.

# # #

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Revolutionary War Patriot Soldiers


Revolutionary War Patriot Soldiers

If you have an ancestor that was a Revolutionary War Patriot there is a good chance that you will now be able to find out information on him from original source documents.

For many years if you thought your ancestor might have been a Revolutionary War Patriot then you used to have to first find out from an index if his Revolutionary War Military Service Record or his Revolutionary War Pension File might exist at the National Archives. Then you had to fill out a form and send in a $40 fee for each file and pray that you would get lucky and be able to obtain a photocopy of some of the important papers from either file.

Now with the modern age of computers and the Internet, you can find that information out almost immediately, and you can even see extremely high quality digital scans of the original source documents. Thanks to a company named Footnote you may do a free search to see if records exist, and then for a small annual fee you may even download each and every piece of paper from the Revolutionary War Pension File, or of various types of Revolutionary War Service Records.

Footnote has a contract with the National Archives (NARA) to provide these digitized records online, and you can instantly see if the files are the ones you want rather than sending in the $40 fee and perhaps obtaining photocopies of the wrong file.

Genealogy Miscellanea has made arrangements with Footnote to provide our readers with an absolutely Free Trial of 100% use of almost 30 million original documents and they have hundreds of thousands more being added every month.

You will have to register for your 100% Free Trial, but if you are not satisfied in any way, you may cancel at any time during the trial period.

We Love Footnote and they are our favorite resource on the web. We think you will agree.

Give them a try. Check out what is online now.

Follow this link: Download Original Historical Documents or any of the Footnote Banner Ads on this website to obtain the totally Free Trial.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Federation of Genealogical Societies Convention in Philadelphia 2008

The website and program is now up describing the Convention in Philadelphia September 3-6, 2008. The FGS Conference this year is titled "Footprints of Family History."

The programs are filled with delicious subjects and will be presented by an enormously capable list of specialists.
Make your reservations early and I hope to see you there.

Read all about it at:

Monday, March 10, 2008

The National Archives and The Generations Network to Enter into a Contract to Digitize Documents

The National Archives (NARA) is asking for your input regarding the letting of a contract between NARA and The Generations Network (TGN) the parent company of Ancestry.

NARA wants to make a non-exclusive agreement that would allow TGN to digitize certain parts of the holdings at NARA.

There is an existing similar contract with the footnote company that is already in place and footnote has been doing a fabulous job of bringing digitized microfilm online. It has been a real pleasure to read all of the actual pieces of paper that are in an ancestor's "complete" Revolutionary War Pension file.

Another great collection that is already available is the digitized index file cards of the Civil War Pensioners and their widows.

The National Archives is asking for feedback on this proposed arrangement.

Thanks to Dick Eastman for letting us know about this.

You may have a free trial at both of these fine companies by visiting the links provided here.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Google, friend to Genealogists

Google provides some wondrous instantaneous fabulous easy searches.

Want to see a word in several dictionary formats and REAL FAST?
Type in: [define (word)]. That’s it!

To Google any holiday. Type in: [date (holiday) 2008 (or any year)], and there will be many websites with various methods to search and display dates. Remember when you used to have to go speak in to Granny's hearing aid to find out what date Easter was going to be this year?

One calendar website that seems quite handy is .
A direct link to that website’s listings of all of the holidays for the U.S in 2008 is at:

Google also is heavily promoting the use of their own online personal Calendar. It is pretty cool for keeping your schedules, appointments, family & friends birth dates, etc. I have been experimenting with it some for scheduling meetings. I consider it still in my personal Beta testing category.

I am not a big fan of sharing personal information like that with the world. So it is still experimental for me. When I can figure out how to make sure private information is TRULY private, then I might trust it more.

Tell us what you think about Google Calendar.
Let us know what some of your favorite Google search uses are. Sharing is good.



Friday, February 15, 2008

Upcoming Genealogy Events


Quincy, Massachusetts - March 17, 2008 - Genealogy Class: "Finding Your Roots: Irish-American Genealogy."
Held at The Thomas Crane Public Library.
Details at:

Spartanburg, South Carolina - Saturday February 16, 2008 (tomorrow!) - Workshop designed to help black residents with genealogy - Information:

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - The Shrewsbury Genealogy Club meets the fourth Monday of each month, from September to June.
Info at:

Note to event planners:
Genealogy Miscellanea Blog will help to promote your event if the notices are sent with enough advance notice. The above few were just selected at random from various news sources located on the Internet, for an example.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Find Your Southern Civil War Ancestor in Original Confederate Documents

If your male ancestor of the 1850's to 1860's lived in any of the following Southern States; South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, then the chances are that they proudly served as Confederate Soldiers in the American Civil War.

There are now many original documents becoming available online from footnote, that will allow you to view, print, download and save, images of the actual manuscript documents that tell the history of your ancestors.

Footnote has partnered with the National Archives (NARA) and many other organizations, libraries, archives and resource centers that have holdings of these important historical resources. Never before has it been so easy to locate and study these rare and little known treasures.

Here are just a few of the categories of collections that you will be able to view at footnote; Confederate Soldiers Service Records from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Confederate Amnesty Papers from all of the States of the South.

Footnote is a subscription based service company that digitizes microfilms of collections and that has scanned original documents into this more that 25 Million Documents Collection to date, and growing all the time. There are several totally FREE categories and collections that may be viewed by anyone, even without subscribing.

Some of the totally FREE items available on footnote are; Brady Civil War Photos, Custer's Court Martial, Lincoln Assassination Papers, Southern Claims Commission, and many more. View actual images of the John Wilkes Booth Diary.

Take a FREE look at footnote, and if you do decide to subscribe, (they have several different subscription levels and prices,) then you will be eligible for a 100% FREE Trial Subscription as a "Genealogy Miscellanea Blog" reader. Use any of the links provided here to take you to the FREE Trial.

ps: Tell us of the excellent finds you have made on footnote, or ask any questions, by clicking on the "comments" tab right under this message.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Mother Earth News Gives Good Advice on Tracing Genealogy

There is an electronic version of an article titled “How to Trace Your Family Genealogy” posted on the “Mother Earth News” website.

If you want to see what we had for resources in 1977, then this will be an interesting read for you. There is no doubt that the Internet and digitization have skyrocketed this whole field, however the basic information provided in this magazine article would still be good to adhere to.

What else would you expect from Mother Earth News? One line from the article says it best for genealogists. "You don't know where you're goin' if you don't know where you've been."

Link to the article

For Genealogy Miscellanea readers, tell us what you think. Give us your comments on how things have changed. This website is an excellent free forum for you to post your thoughts and share them with others. You are store houses of information and we want to hear some of your stories.

Just click on the little “comments” button just below this Blog message.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Free Maps Online, National Atlas

The National Atlas has prepared reference and outline maps of the United States that you can print or use online.

This information is from a partial description on the website.

The reference maps display general reference features such as boundaries, cities, capitals, major highways, rivers and lakes, and terrain. Outline maps showing county boundaries, State boundaries, capitals, or other basic features are also available. Maps without labels are included for students and teachers of American geography.

The maps are in color, but will also print or copy well in black and white.

Use the link above or this url:

Please use "comments" button below to ask questions or post comments.


Monday, January 28, 2008

New web magazine for Black Genealogy, "The Root."

The Washington Post will launch a Web magazine today called "The Root," that aims to be a "Slate for black readers," according to one of its founders, Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Gates has written extensively on black history and genealogy. On Feb. 6, Gates's "African American Lives 2," a documentary series using DNA analysis to help trace the ancestry of prominent black Americans such as Chris Rock, will begin on PBS.

The Root will be a 21st-century version of a national black newspaper. - You will have to register, it's free, and then use the search box near the top of the page for "genealogy".

Thanks to Judy Newman, one of the APG members, for alerting me to this story.


We would love to hear from any readers that have news tips in genealogy. Please leave comments just below this Blog posting.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wired Genealogy - Ontario Genealogical Society Conference - 2008

Use Technology and the Internet to Research Family History.

The 2008 Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) Conference Theme is "Wired Genealogy".

The OGS Conference will be held May 30 through June 1st, 2008 at London, Ontario, Canada.

Speakers scheduled are: Join Dick Eastman, Steve Morse, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Geoff Rasmussen, David Lifferth, Fawne Stratford–Devai, Louise St. Denis, Valerie Adams, Paul McGrath, Dick Doherty, Halvor Moorshead, Rick Roberts, Lesley Anderson, Ruth Burkholder, Alan Campbell, Bob Dawes, Fraser Dunford, Brian Elliott, Karen Marshall, Alastair Neely, Kathie Orr, David Elliott, John Sing, and Stephen Young.

See the website for details:


As always, post your comments or questions at the bottom of this Blog message by clicking on the word "comments".


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Marshfield, Wood County, Wisconsin - Public Library Genealogy Index On-line

If your ancestors ever lived in Wood County, Wisconsin, then you are in luck.

The Marshfield Public Library in the City of Marshfield, has been working on an indexing project for 20 years and has recently brought the index on-line.

Marshfield is sort of mid-way between Green Bay and Milwaukee. Many people from New England,New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio settled in this area of Wisconsion. This area also had a heavy population of German settlers.

To help family researchers, volunteers have culled through microfilm newspapers for over 20 years indexing over 200,000 events (births, deaths, and marriages) reported in the following Marshfield, Wisconsin newspapers:

Marshfield Times February 1882 – October 1919
Marshfield News September 1889 – August 1920
Marshfield Herald May 1911 – August 1927
Marshfield News Herald January 1980- August 2007

Make sure you read the introduction which explains the Index Key. When you locate something of interest then you will have to look at the actual microfilm for a copy of the article.

Check out the website and index at:

Thanks to the Wausau News website for this story lead. Read the article here:

As always, if you have questions or comments, please post them right under this Blog message.



Friday, January 25, 2008

"Genealogy is a global phenomenon..." So says wife of co-founder of Google.

The wife of one of the founders of Google wants to test DNA of 98 per cent of the world! Her company, 23andme, has great aspirations.

Read about it on the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog by going to and clicking on "UNYG Blog".



Thursday, January 24, 2008

U.S Library of Congress and Flickr make a deal.

The United States Library of Congress (LOC) and have made arrangements to start putting millions of images from the LOC collection on-line.

Read all about it on the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog at:



Monday, January 21, 2008

James L. Sorenson, has died, age 86, Pioneer in DNA Studies.

Tom Kemp of GenealogyBank has just posted a notice on his Blog, that one of the founding pioneers of DNA research studies has died.

James L. Sorenson, 86, of Salt Lake City, self made billionaire, inventor, philanthropist. He used his wealth to better many causes.

Read Tom's report here.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

News Edition Added to Genealogy Miscellanea Blog

Another new feature has been added to this Genealogy Miscellanea Blog.

Down on the lower right hand side of this page is a News Feed that concentrates on genealogy articles found in recent newspapers all around the country. We do not have control over what the feed articles are about, so consider this a beta feature.

This is one of the features that Google provides and we are pleased to share these announcements with you.

Hey, you never know!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Now Subscribe to Genealogy Miscellanea Blog by Email

We have added an email subscription box on the right.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Native wiki formed, could be very helpful to genealogists.

A new WIKI for Native American and other indigenous people needs your input.

Wikis can be formed by individuals or a group of persons interested in any given subject. This particular one could be of great benefit to anyone seeking information on any of their Native ancestors. This wiki is not just for genealogy. It is sort of a launch pad to many levels of interest in all things Native, current or past.

The Native wiki has many categories, some of which might help in family history research. Those are Anthropology and Archeology, Art & Artisans, Conferences and Events, Crafts & Skills, Genealogy, History, Languages, Law, Libraries & Collections, Museums, News Media, Obituaries, Photography, Reference Materials, Religion and Spirituality, and a great many more. Many (most) of the above mentioned categories that might be of interest to genealogists are still empty. The category is listed, but no one has put any information in the wiki yet.

That’s where you can help. If you know of some good resources, websites, collections, databases, etc., then YOU can help your fellow researchers. Write up a little bit of what you know and enter it into the wiki yourself. You will be helping all future researchers. is well known to many researchers and there is a constant debate on the newsgroups between people that extol the virtues of wikipedia, and of those that say do not use wiki because the data is so easily corrupted.

I will not debate either side of that story with any one. What I would like to say is, that no matter where you find information that might be helpful in your research, that you should never take anything as gospel, (especially if it is in digital media,) and that you as a researcher should take that clue and dig into multiple levels of source documents and resources in order to prove or disprove EVERYTHING!

Give it a try and add some info yourself. It is all free of course.

The Native wiki may be found at

Native American Genetic Testing



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Review of William Dollarhide's "Census Substitute & State Census Records."

William Dollarhide, “Census Substitute & State Census Records, An Annotated Bibliography of Published Name Lists for all 50 U.S. States and State Censuses for 37 States,” Volume 1 – Eastern States and Volume 2 – Western States, 2008, Published by Family Roots Publishing Company of Bountiful, Utah, with Foreword by Leland K. Meitzler.

Read the full review at Upstate New York Genealogy,, click on "UNYG Blog" tab.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Y-DNA and mtDNA Studies Being Used to Track Palatine German Descendants

Modern technology is being used by Family Tree DNA to track the various groups of descendants of the 1709-1710 Palatine German Emigrants.

Wars and weather were unkind to this large section of the southern part of what is now Germany, and a mass migration occurred. These poverty stricken and hungry families numbered in the thousands and they went first to Holland and then were invited by the young Queen Anne of England to come to London.

Well that was a mistake. London already was overflowing with poor and hungry citizens. The basic story is that these so-called Palatines were split into groups and sent to various colonies of England. One large group went to Ireland to farm the lands of the wealthy Scottish landlords, and another group of over 800 families were sent to the Province of New York in 1710.

The New York group settled along the Hudson River just a little north of New York City. The premise was that they were to work off their passage by gathering "spars and pitch" for the Queen's Navy. Well that did not work out too well and they were abandoned by the British Government.

The winter hardships and starvation took their toll, but the Native Americans took pity on these newcomers to the land, and many of the Palatines did survive and eventually prospered. Many of the people throughout this country can trace their lineage back to these hearty souls that survived.

Now there is a program to gather DNA samples from male and female descendants to show connections back into Europe and even back as far as the beginnings of time.

Read the full story and then check the program out if you are interested, by going to Upstate New York Genealogy at: and clicking on the "UNYG Blog" tab.


Friday, January 11, 2008

No more Chalk, no more Shaving Cream, no more Dirty Looks!

Computers in the Graveyard.

Stones that have been worn to oblivion are being digitally scanned and deciphered.

Scientist uses high tech to recover low-tech data.

From a newspaper article in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette at:

To see samples of the results, visit the church's website at: