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:

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Yoo Hoo Lulu...!

Recently the subject of listening to audio recordings of previous genealogy conference programs was being discussed. These lectures are chock full of excellent ideas to help you with your ancestral quest.

Someone said that they thought that they were available through the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the location where the 2007 Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) held their annual conference. So after checking the on-line catalog at ACPL and not finding much, I made a telephone call and a very nice man explained that they do not sell, rent or loan any conference tapes and suggested I contact FGS directly.

So after checking the FGS website I was directed to to download these audio files, (we used to call them audio tapes.) Evidently the company or people that formerly used to tape record these conference lectures and then sell the tapes, is not pursuing this program for what ever reason.

Well on lulu you may purchase the audio programs that they do have for $1.99 each, or in some cases batches of say 15 lectures may be downloaded together at the discount price of $25.00. I did purchase and download two batches from the 2006 FGS conference that was held in Boston, and I must say, they are extremely helpful in getting the juices flowing. For 50 bucks I have many hours of learning ahead of me. You sure can not afford to get this much information for such a low cost anywhere. I can guarantee you that it is a LOT cheaper that spending a week in Boston!

Lulu is a specialty publishing house that works with people exactly like you and me. The frustrated author, or author wannabe, that has a great idea to publish a family history in small quantities but will never do it due to the expense of working with a regular publishing house because of the expense. Well lulu will hold you by the hand and do all of the work of publishing the file you send them and create a very professional looking book, for next to nothing, and then you can purchase one or as many of them as you might want. You set the price, you retain the copyright, and the book becomes part of their catalog. When someone else purchases a copy of your baby, then you even get paid a ROYALTY!

Sounds like a pretty great idea to me. I have seen some of the work that they have published, as a friend of mine has been having annual calendars made there. All he does is send lulu the photos and he receives back as many calendars as he wants to order. The printing and quality of the final item was superb, in my opinion.

I do not have a nickel involved in this, and I am not receiving any type of benefit from this posting. I just thought you might want to know about



Your feedback and comments spur us on!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Indiana Historical Society Workshops Coming Soon!

The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is offering some upcoming genealogy and conservation workshops, starting the first two months of the year. These workshops take place at the Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

"Using Maps to Discover Your Family History" will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. Registrants will learn how to utilize maps, including examples of Sanborn maps, survey sketches, plat books and topographical maps.

To register for a workshop, or for more information on other upcoming workshops or IHS programs and events, call (317) 232-1882 or (800) 447-1830. Information is also available at

A nonprofit membership organization since 1830, the IHS also publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; provides youth, adult, and family programming; provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; and maintains the nation's premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest.

Your feedback and comments spur us on!


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

WorldVitalRecords Free Trial. Wonderbase of the Week:

This week's Wonderbase of the Week at WorldVitalRecords comes from the Simmons Historical Publications collection. The databases include a series of records from Graves County, Kentucky. Located in Western Kentucky, Graves County was formed in 1824 from Hickman County. Early settlers came primarily from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Simmons collection for Graves County is quite substantial. It includes indexes to the federal census for several years, county deed books, funeral home records from the 1920s, county cemetery extracts, various church records, tax lists from 1824, newspaper abstracts beginning in 1876 and a variety of other valuable records.

All of these records are transcribed from the originals and contain excellent genealogical data. Anyone who has researched families from the American South knows how difficult it can be to find records for that region of the country. Fortunately these Graves County records are abundant and are now available on World Vital Records.

They will be free for 10 days (until January 10, 2008).


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dead Stuck on Ideas to Kick Start Your 2008 Genealogy Research?

The best thing we can think of for a New Year's Resolution is to Blog more!

That being said, and because we like to stick our nose into everyone else's business, we would like to recommend some resolutions that you might want to consider.

Review your previous work and fill in all the missing bits and pieces that you just know you now can locate. There is so much new material becoming available in both the print media and on the Internet, that there is no excuse to not include it. Let's concentrate on deaths, burials and estate records.

If the person died in modern times, you should look in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) where you will usually find the date of birth and the last location that the person resided in, and usually the month and year of death. You can find the SSDI on Ancestry, GenealogBank, rootsweb, worldvitalrecords, and no doubt some other sources. There is a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) form to fill out to send to SS for a photocopy of the deceased person's application for SS. You will find a lot of great data on that application.

Try to locate obituaries or death notices on your ancestors. There are a great many newspapers in cities all across the nation that have their own websites, and there is no set rule as to whether or not they publish data on-line, but a great many of them do. Check with a newspaper that covers the geographical location of your target ancestor and see what they might have.

Look at and subscribe to some of the on-line newspaper databases. These have become an excellent place to obtain the names and addresses of the descendants of the person that died. Often times you will find the married names of daughters and the places that they currently reside. You will also likely discover the name of the company that conducted the funeral and also find out where the people are buried. We just last week reunited by telephone two cousins that never knew of each other and it was through asking the funeral home to forward a genealogical contact request to the descendants. It is very exciting and rewarding and they will build close family ties for many years to come.

There are now a great many sites where you can locate obits and death notices. Here are a few of them; Ancestry, GenealogyBank, The Library of Congress, NewspaperArchive, WorldVitalRecords, Footnote, the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and of course you are going to check with the local community right?

Once you have obtained some of the details from the death notice, and the funeral home, you should schedule a trip to the cemetery. You will want to locate the gravestone and transcribe all of the data exactly as engraved, and then you will want to look at all of the stones in the immediate area, as many of them are apt to be relatives of the deceased person. It will be a good idea to photograph or take a video of the stones and the area for future reference. It is also a good idea to record the GPS settings of the exact location of the gravestone, as well as the GPS data for the main entrance of the cemetery, which you can then send in to the GenWeb coordinator for that county. Cemetery names have a habit of changing from generation to generation, but they never move! So if all of the coordinates for each cemetery in every county can be put into a database it will be very helpful for future research.

Don't stop there. Talk to the cemetery caretaker, or ask at the town clerk's office or a local historian, as to who might have the burial records of that cemetery. Many times you will find out who the purchaser of the lot was and the record system of the business office or record keeper will often reveal many pieces of information on burials that have no gravestone.

OK, so you have the obit, the gravestone, the burial record, now what? See if you can find any estate records on the deceased person. In every state there are differently named courts that are responsible for estate and probate matters. When a subject dies, if they had a will, they are said to have died "Testate," that means with a will. In these cases the deceased made a legal decision before dying to state their wishes as to the dispersal of their property. This type of case with a will may, or may not, have a "Probate File." This file is so very important, and you will discover many more details than just what you will find in a copy of the will.

If the person died without a will, "Intestate," then the court might determine that the estate requires "Administration." In that case an Administrator is appointed, to take the responsibility to handle all of the end game matters of the deceased person’s financial responsibilities, and is required to make settlements with all creditors and debtors of the deceased person, and to make sure that all of the necessary taxes are paid. If there is still residual real or personal property of value, then the court determines who should get what. Administration Files are just chock full of details that you will never find any other place. The court has to show due diligence that they attempted to notify all heirs and next of kin, so you will get the names and addresses of married daughters, and quite often the same information on grandchildren or other possible heirs.

From a genealogical conference that we attended once, the instructor told us to "Get all of the death details before you try to go any further with your research." His point was that though it was the final data you would find on the individual, it was a major starting place to "Kick Start" your research on this family.

Happy New Year from
Genealogy Miscellanea!