Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 2009 Scanfest Continued

Scanfest is Not Over

Not sure why Cover It Live cut us off. Please stick and around and I'll do what I can to restart. Refresh this page every couple of minutes.


May 2009 Scanfest

Indexing Project for Washington State City Directories

I received the following information from Terri Huntley, Historical Records Project Coordinator for the Washington State Digital Archives:

The Historical Records Project is designed for people to work from home using their computer/internet to transcribe or proofread selected documents (census, military, directories, birth, death, naturalization, and other materials). It isn't necessary to commit to specific hours since you work from your home donating your time at your convenience. The indexing efforts are posted online at the Washington State Digital Archives site:

Currently, many of the volunteers are transcribing many of the early Polk Directories that have been scanned at the Washington State Library. (We're working on early Seattle directories right now).

If you’re interested in volunteering, I need to know your spreadsheet preference: Works or Excel and your mailing address. Once we decide on a project to start on, I email a template and mail out paper copies along with postage paid return envelope. Once you have completed the project, you email the file back and return the paper copies in the envelope.

If you’re interested in volunteering, email Terri Huntley at:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Scanfest is Coming - Tomorrow!

I've been remiss at getting out a reminder for Scanfest, but we WILL be having it here at this blog tomorrow, Sunday, May 31, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time. For more information, click on the link above.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My New Website, Online City, County, and Rural Directories, Now Available

The Online City, County, and Rural Directories website is now open! You can view it at:

Thank you in advance for your patience regarding new pages that must be added, incomplete pages that must be corrected or completed, and any errors you must find.

Now, I'm off to enjoy a barbecue with my family!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Posts

This weekend, I planning to clean, decorate, and photograph the graves of my husband's and my family members buried in local cemeteries (there aren't many). I also take the extra flowers from the bouquet of roses I bring and place them on a few Civil War veterans' graves at Greenwood Memorial Terrace.

We'll probably visit the Amelia Earhart exhibit at Heritage Funeral Home, and then go home to have a barbecue and enjoy family time.

Last year, I wrote 43 posts--one a day for a month and a half--on each of the men who served during the Civil War in my husband's and my family trees. These men were either our direct ancestors, or brothers/sons of direct ancestors. To view their stories, photos, and some gravestone pictures, go here.

Here are some other archived posts featuring Memorial Day and things related:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Enter to Win a Lifetime Membership to!

Celebrate Memorial Day by remembering your loved ones with I Remember, a Facebook application created by Footnote. Remember someone with I Remember and then share the page with 5 of your friends and you'll be entered to win a lifetime, All-Access membership to Click here to learn more.

The 10th Annual Battle of Spokane Falls

The Washington Civil War Association is sponsoring the 10th annual Battle of Spokane Falls and Civil War Reenactment Weekend with living history demonstrations at Riverside State Park (Equestrian Area). This event will be held Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday through Monday, May 23rd through the 25th. I couldn't find admission prices. Last year's admission was $7.00 per adult; those 12 and under were free. I image prices will be similar this year.

For hours, schedule of events, directions, and more details, click here.

Memorial Weekend Open House 2009 - Heritage Funeral Home

Each Memorial Day weekend, the Heritage Funeral Home (508 N Government Way) puts on a weekend-long open house featuring a historic person. Past presentations have included John F. Kennedy, Ulysses S Grant, and even Elvis Presley! In addition to the historic display, military, aerospace, and vintage car displays are also available, along with free refreshments.

Don't forget to check out the thousands of flags at nearby Riverside Memorial Park and Greenwood Memorial Terrace, each one honoring a Spokane or Inland Northwest veteran.


Memorial Weekend Open House 2009

Saturday, May 23 thru Monday, May 25, 2009
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day

Join us for our special remembrance of Amelia Earhart. We will have photos, memorabilia and special presentations honoring this "first lady of flight".

We will also have displays honoring our military veterans, an aerospace display, vintage car display, Tree of Remembrance, entertainment and refreshments. There will be a power point presentation at Noon each day by authors of books about Amelia Earhart. There will also be an organ concert each day at 2:00pm in the Heritage Chapel.

Please join us for this special time of remembrance!


Sunday May 24th

Band Concert at the Cross of Inspiration -- 6:00 p.m.
Join us for the annual Memorial Weekend Band Concert in Greenwood Memorial Terrace at the Cross of Inspiration. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, have a free ice cream bar and enjoy the free concert.

FamilySearch Record Search Update: New Brazil, Czech Republic, Italy, and U.S. Records Added

20 May 2009

Thirteen collections were added or updated on the FamilySearch Record Search pilot—over 3.5 million new records. International researchers will be excited to know that collections were added for Brazil, Czech Republic, and Italy.

In the United States, collections were added for Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

These collections can be searched for free at the Records Search pilot (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).

Special thanks to the FamilySearch volunteers who helped create the 2 million indexed names published this week!

Collection Name: Brazil Pernambuco Civil Registration 1889–2003
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 470,743
Comments: New — Partial collection (26%), images only

Collection Name: Czech Republic, Northern Bohemia, Litoměřice Archive Church Books 1552–1905
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 54,068
Comments: Updated — Additional images and localities added.

Collection Name: Czech Republic, Southern Bohemia, Trebon Archive Church Books, 1650–1900
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 14,646
Comments: Updated— Additional images and localities added.

Collection Name: Florida Deaths 1877–1939
Indexed Records: 471,800
Digital Images: 0
Comments: New

Collection Name: Indiana Marriages, 1811–1959
Indexed Records: 153,361
Digital Images: 0
Comments: New — Partial collection (18%).

Collection Name: Italy, Palermo Province, Monreale Diocese, Catholic Church Records, 1530–1919
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 24,705
Comments: New

Collection Name: Massachusetts State Census, 1855
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 13,071
Comments: Updated — Additional images and localities added.

Collection Name: Massachusetts State Census, 1865
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 2,222
Comments: Updated — Additional images and localities added.

Collection Name: New York State Census, 1865
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 35,851
Comments: New

Collection Name: North Carolina Deaths 1906–1930
Indexed Records: 615,568
Digital Images: 612,154
Comments: New — Index linked to images.

Collection Name: North Carolina, Davidson County Vital Records, 1867–1984
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 79,128
Comments: New — Marriage and death records only.

Collection Name: South Carolina Deaths 1915–1943
Indexed Records: 636,445
Digital Images: 635,098
Comments: New—Index linked to images

Collection Name: South Carolina Deaths 1944-1955
Indexed Records: 231,138
Digital Images: 0
Comments: New

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

FamilySearch News: Southern Collections Online Are Rapidly Growing

14 May 2009

Millions of Historic Southern Records Now on the Web

SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch announced today it has published millions of records from Southern states to its rapidly growing, free online collection. The collection includes both digital images and indexes. Millions of death records from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida were the most recent additions. Viewers can search the free collection on the Record Search pilot at (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).

In the past 18 months, FamilySearch has been diligently publishing digital images and indexes from Southern states. It is part of a worldwide initiative to provide fast, economical access to genealogical records. Fueled by over 100,000 online volunteers, FamilySearch is digitizing and indexing historical records and publishing them online.

The most recent additions are from the following collections:

· Alabama Statewide Deaths 1908 to 1974 (Index)

· Arkansas County Marriages: 1837 to 1957

· Civil War Pension Index Cards (Digital Images)

· Florida Deaths 1877 to 1939 (Index)

· Florida State Censuses: 1855, 1935, 1945 (Digital Images)

· Freedman Bank Records: 1865 to 1874

· Freedman’s Bureau Virginia Marriages 1855 to 1866

· Georgia Deaths 1914 to 1927

· Louisiana War of 1812 Pension Lists (Images)

· North Carolina Deaths 1906 to 1930

· North Carolina, Davidson County Marriages and Deaths, 1867–1984 (Digital Images)

· South Carolina Deaths 1915 to 1943

· South Carolina Deaths 1944 to 1955 (Index)

· Texas Death Index 1964 to 1998 (Index)

· Texas Deaths 1890 to 1976

· Virginia Fluvanna County Funeral Home Records 1929 to 1976 (Digital Images)

· West Virginia Births 1853 to 1990 (Index)

· West Virginia Marriages 1853 to 1970 (Index)

· West Virginia Deaths 1853 to 1970 (Index)

FamilySearch has also published free indexes to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1920 (partial) U.S Censuses—all important resources for Southern states research.

David E. Rencher, FamilySearch chief genealogical officer said, “This significant set of records fills a real need in Southern states research. To be able to search vital records across the South by name and locality leverages the best search techniques and greatly improves the odds of success for those researching Southern families.”

During both pre and post Civil War eras, there was general migration from the eastern seaboard, down through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and on into Texas. “The publication of these records will begin to open up and answer many questions about family members that migrated and were never heard from again,” Rencher added.

With just a few clicks, visitors can now search millions of records online for that elusive ancestor. Or pore through digital images of historic documents that before this time were inconvenient or impossible for many to access because the original documents were located in an archive somewhere in the South.

“There is much more to come,” said Rencher. “FamilySearch has a large collection of records [on film] from the Southern states that still need to be digitized, indexed, and made available for the public online—and we are acquiring new records all the time. It’s a great time to be a family history enthusiast,” concluded Rencher.

FamilySearch is currently working on federal and state censuses and birth, marriage, death, and war records. New indexing projects and searchable collections are added weekly.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pension File of Levi Edward McLALLIN - 3 Feb Jan 1865

I thought I'd join John Newmark of Transylvanian Dutch in his Amanuensis Monday. I have been needing to transcribe the pension file of my 4th-great-grandfather, Levi Edward McLALLIN. The transcriptions will not be posted in date order, but by transcribing and then filing the documents, I hope to order the entire file. Any of my notations within this transcription are both italicized and in brackets.


Examining Surgeon's Certificate
Port Huron February 3rd 1865

Applicant's Service.
I hereby Certify, That I have carefully examined Levi E McLallin, late a Corporal in Co 'C' of the 27th Regiment Mich. Inf. Vol. in the service of the United States, who was discharged at Petersburg Va, on the 20th day of January, 1865, and is an applicant for an invalid pension, by reason of alleged disability resulting from Gun Shot Wound of lung & liver w/fracture of ribs.

Degree of disabililty.
In my opinion the said Levi E McLallin is three fourths incapacitated for obtaining his subsistence by manual labor from the cause above stated.

Judging from his present condition, and from the evidence before me, it is my belief that the said disability occurred in the service aforesaid in the line of duty.

Probable duration.
The disability is permanent although will be much reduced in time.

A more particular description of the applicant's condition is subjoined.

Particular condition.
The ribs were broken by a concussion of a piece of shell & being the last head[?] never united properly. The ball entered just above the right nipple apparently passing obliquely downwards wounding lung & liver & probably lodging in the [illegible] organ producing considerable increase in size & is yet very tender.

[signed] C M Stockwell
Examining Surgeon



Feb 9 1865

L E McLallin
Lung [illegible]

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pension File of Levi Edward McLALLIN - 20 Jan 1865 - Reverse

I thought I'd join John Newmark of Transylvanian Dutch in his Amanuensis Monday. I have been needing to transcribe the pension file of my 4th-great-grandfather, Levi Edward McLALLIN. The transcriptions will not be posted in date order, but by transcribing and then filing the documents, I hope to order the entire file. Any of my notations within this transcription are both italicized and in brackets. The following is the reverse (back) of the document of 20 January 1865.



Levi E McLallin a Corporal of Co. "C" Twentyseventh Reg't of Michigan Infty.

HdQrs 27 Mich Vols
January 14, 1864
Respectfully forwarded
[signed] Chas Waite
Lt Co Comdg

Head Quarters First Brig. First Div.9th AC
Jan 15, 1865
Respectfully forwarded Approved
[signed] Sam Harriman
Col. Comdg Brig.
Received (A. G. Office) [blank], 186[blank]

Hd Qrs 1st Div. 9th A.C.
January 17th 1865
Respectfully forwarded
[signed] [illegible]
[illegible] Maj. Genl Comdg

Head Qurs., 9th A.C.
M. D. O., Jan. 18, '65
[illegible] Taylor
[illegible rank]
Surg. U.S. A.
Med. Div.

[The above was covered with the following stamped text. There is a second stamp also, the only text I can make out being "...of the ...ter...10..."]
Adjutant Generals' Office,
Feb 9 1865
Duplicate for the Pension Office
[signed] Sam.l [illegible]
Asst. Adjt. Genl

Head Qrs 9th A.C.
Jan 18th 1865
To be Discharge
By Command of
Maj Gen B Parke
[signed] Chas. Eulicellom [?]
Asst. Adjt Genl


The company commander will here add a statement of all the facts known to him concerning the disease or wound, or cause of disability of the soldier; the time, place, manner, and all the circumstances under which the injury occurred, or disease originated or appeared; the duty, or service, or situation of the soldier at the time the injury was received or disease contracted, stating particularly whether the injury was received or the disease contracted in the line of his duty; and whether other facts may aid a judgment as to the cause, immediate or remote, of the disability, and the circumstances attending it.

When the facts are not known to the company commander, the certificate of any officer, or affidavit of other person having such knowledge, will be appended--as the surgeon in charge of a hospital, the officer commanding a detachment of recruits, &c., &c.


When a probable case for pension, special care must be taken to state the degree of disability-- as 1/2, 1/3, &c., &c.; to describe particularly the disability, wound, or disease the extent of which it deprives him of the use of any limb or faculty, or affects his health, strength, activity, constitution, or capacity to labor or earn his subsistence. The surgeon will add, from his knowledge of the facts and circumstances, and from the evidence in the case, his professional opinion of the cause or origin of the disability. In the case of discharges by Medical Inspectors, the last paragraph will state that the "discharge was given by consent of the soldier, after a personal examination, and for disability, the nature, degree, and origin of which are correctly described in the within certificate."

Par. 1260 Regulations, Edit. 1861.

Medical officers, in giving certificates of disability, are to take particular care in all cases that have not been under their charge; and especially in epilepsy, convulsions, chronic rheumatism, derangement of the urinary organs, ophthalmia, ulcers, or any obscure disease liable to be feigned or purposely produced; and in no case shall such certificate be given until after sufficient time and examination to detect any attempt at deception.


This certificate will be made out in duplicate by the soldier's company commander, or other officer commanding the separate detachment to which he belongs, and sent by him to the surgeon who has charge of the hospital where the soldier is sick. The surgeon will then fill out and sign the surgeon's certificate, and forward these papers to the regimental, detachment, or post commander, who will forward them, with his action endorsed thereon, through the proper channel, to his division commander; or, if the troops are not attached to a division, to his corps, department, or other commander or officer to whom the authority to discharge enlisted men may be specially delegated.

These certificates, after having received the action of the highest authority to which they are required to be sent, will be returned through the same channel to the regimental, post, or detachment commander, who will, if the discharge is authorized by the endorsement of the proper authority, sign the soldier's discharge, and the last certificate on this paper; see that the soldier is furnished with the proper final statements in duplicate, and forward BOTH of these certificates direct to the Adjutant General United States Army at Washington, D. C.; they will not, under any circumstances, be given into the hands of the soldier.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Family History Center Webinars Announced

May 6th, 2009: Registration for free training webinars is now open to all family history consultants and directors. These webinars are meant to help family history centers thrive as consultants learn about the new technologies and resources available to them. There will be a new calendar of webinars available at the beginning of each month.

The following Family History Center Training Webinars are now open for registration:

Syncing PAF files with FamilySearch™ using FamilyInsight:
Monday, May 11th 9:30-10:30am MDT
Thursday, May 21st 6:00-7:00pm MDT

Collaboration Clean-Up
Saturday, May 16th 10:00-11:00am MDT

How to Light a Fire Under Your Ward
Tuesday, May 26th 7:00-8:00pm MDT

Click here for current webinar information and registration

When possible, directors are invited to share these webinars via projection screen for their family history center staff. Consultants may also join webinars from a home computer equipped with audio. A microphone or long distance phone connection will be required to participate in the live question and answer session following each presentation. Webinars will be 40-60 minutes in length. Webinars will also be recorded and archived to allow viewing for those who are unable to attend them live. To subscribe to a monthly calendar of webinars, follow the above link and fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

If you would like to schedule a special webinar for a group of 40 or more, you will need to e-mail at least one month in advance. Please include the date & time (No Sundays), an estimated number of attendees, and the desired topic.

Berlin 2807 – Einstein's Telephone Number One of Millions Now Online

20th Century German Phone Books feature over 35 million names including Albert Einstein, Actress Marlene Dietrich and Hitler’s Mistress Eva Braun

PROVO, UTAH – May 8, 2009 - In a world first,, the world's largest online family history resource, today launched online the German Phone Directories, 1915-1981 - a unique collection of phone books containing the names and addresses of more than 35 million people who lived in Germany’s major cities during the 20th century.

This is the first time that these phone books, which are held in paper-form at the German National Library, have been digitized and made available online.

This collection will be of international interest as for social, political, religious and economic reasons, the 20th century was a period of large scale emigration from Germany to countries such as the US, UK and Australia.

An estimated 49 million Americans (one in six) alone claim German heritage – many will be descended from German immigrants whose names can be found in these phone books.

As phone books provide an annual account of an individual’s location, they are a hugely valuable resource for tracing people’s movements around Germany before or after the two World Wars and the Great Depression, during the tyranny of the Third Reich and following Germany’s division by the Berlin Wall.

“Few countries in the 20th century have experienced the scale of social and economic change that Germany has, as many Germans moved around the country and the world before and after the two world wars,” said Josh Hanna, senior vice president of International. “These directories will play a vital role for those with German heritage trying to trace their family to a particular place and time.”

The information they contain: for the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig, is especially useful when supplemented with complementary documents such as passenger lists and censuses, which can help trace individuals’ movements around the globe.

In addition to everyday Germans, the phone books contain names of some of the country’s most famous - and infamous - citizens, including:

*Albert Einstein – The Nobel Prize winning physicist is listed in the 1930 Berlin directory as Prof. Dr. Univ. His phone number was 2807.

*Marlene Dietrich – The legendary actress who starred in Shanghai Express is listed in the 1930 Berlin directory living at 54 Kaiserallee. Her telephone number was H1 Pfalzburg 2142.

*Eva Braun – Mistress and later wife of Adolf Hitler, Ms. Braun is listed in the 1937 Munich directory living at Wasserburger Strasse. Her telephone number was 480844.

*Rudolf Hess – Hitler’s private secretary and later Deputy Fuhrer is listed in the 1938 Hamburg directory, which describes his title as ‘SS-Untersturmfuhrer’.

*Dr Karl Braun – The physicist, inventor and Nobel Prize winner traveled to the US in 1914 but was forbidden to return when America entered the First World War. He is listed in the 1915 Berlin director, with no further entries after that year. Braun died in Brooklyn, New York in 1918.

*Otto Lagerfeld – The father of the famous fashion designer Karl appears in the 1933 Hamburg directory living in the wealthy Elbchaussee. His telephone number was 462349. It is believed that Karl Lagerfeld still owns an exclusive villa on that street.

*Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Preußen – Germany’s last Kaiser is listed in the 1915 Berlin directory residing in the Royal Castle Berlin. His phone number was 482.

German Phone Directories, 1915-1981 also list names and addresses for many of Germany’s major businesses operating during the 20th century, including an entry for BMW listed in Munich in 1928.

In addition to the German directories, hosts the British phone books, 1880-1984, which contain the names of more than 280 million Brits, including the phone number of heroic wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who is listed as ‘Central London – 6823’.

The German Phone Directories, 1915-1981, will be available on all websites to members and through a 14-day free trial.

About and The Generations Network: The Generations Network, Inc., through its flagship property, is the world's leading resource for online family history. has local websites in nine countries and has digitized and put online over 8 billion names and 28,000 historical records collections over the past ten years. Since July 2006, users have created 10 million family trees containing 1 billion profiles and 20 million photographs and stories. The Generations Network also includes,,,,, Family Tree Maker and Ancestry Magazine. More than 9.2 million unique visitors spent over 4.7 million hours on a TGN website in March 2009 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).

FGS and PMC Conference and Advertising Deadlines Approaching

From Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FGS/AGS Conference National Publicity Chair:

Early registration discount

The deadline for the early registration discount for this “Passages through Time” Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists is inching closer. This Federation of Genealogical Societies/Arkansas Genealogical Society Conference takes place from 2-5 September in Little Rock, Arkansas.

As of May 6th, the discount deadline is less than four (4) weeks away. If you register (postmarked or online) by 2 June 2009, you save $50.00 off the full registration price. This is also the discount deadline for the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference. APG members can save $30.00 off the price for that special part of the conference. It’s easy to register for both online at the FGS Website That site has the full program which can be sorted in a variety of ways, details on meal events, Exhibit Hall reservations, conference hotels, travel and other important information. Of course, we welcome your registration after 2 June, but the discount will not be available.

Watch the Conference Blog for updated details that every registrant will need to know. The blog will also carry some special announcements from the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the local host, the Arkansas Genealogical Society! A subject index to previous blogs posts for this conference is in the right hand column of the blog.

Advertise your business, services, publications and memberships

FGS welcomes advertising from genealogical and historical businesses, individuals, publications, websites, or organizations for the conference syllabus and the onsite Conference Guide. The Conference Guide is used each day by registrants to find which lectures and speakers are at a given time and in what room, locations for special events and meals, and where each exhibitor is located in the Exhibit Hall. One affordable payment includes the placement of the same ad in the printed and CD versions of the syllabus and in the onsite Guide.

Advertising Cost and Details: Black and white camera-ready advertisement placed in both the printed and CD versions of the syllabus and the Conference Guide for just one payment:

1/4-page ad (3.5" x 5") - $70

1/2-page ad (7.5" x 5") - $135

Full-page ad (8.25" x 10.75") - $235

Inside Front Cover (full-page) - $325

Inside Back Cover (full-page) - $325

The deadline for submitting the advertisement and payment is 01 June 2009. Send inquiries, advertisements, and payment details to Conference Chair Jan Davenport at

If you have any questions about the advertising or payment, contact Jan at that same email.

FamilySearch News: David E. Rencher Named FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer

SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch today named David E. Rencher Chief Genealogical Officer (CGO). He will have responsibility to help FamilySearch align strategic business decisions with needs and demands of genealogy-related markets. Rencher is a 28-year veteran of FamilySearch and a popular leader in genealogy and archive circles. He has held leadership positions with several national organizations, is a professional genealogist, and is in great demand as a keynote speaker. In addition to his new role as the CGO, Rencher will continue to direct FamilySearch’s collection development activities.

FamilySearch is a growing, worldwide organization focused on providing quicker and more affordable access to genealogical records. The chief genealogical officer helps ensure various efforts in the genealogy community are connecting with FamilySearch’s efforts and that FamilySearch continues to grow in genealogical understanding and depth as an organization.

"We are pleased to place David’s talents in this key role," said Jay Verkler, chief executive officer of FamilySearch. "David will provide a public face for FamilySearch to communities it serves and be a representative voice for the genealogical market, products, and services,” continued Verkler.

Given his deep experience and strong industry relationships, Rencher will serve as a liaison to key industry communities and associations worldwide. Rencher and his organization will also provide input on third-party affiliation opportunities and related marketing initiatives, and he will help build an open FamilySearch environment.

“I’m hopeful that the new CGO position can provide a genealogical perspective to our products and services and ensure that we adhere to fundamental principles that are genealogically sound. The genealogical community looks to us to provide that kind of leadership, and in turn, this is a significant benefit to FamilySearch patrons because it ensures that what we do contributes to the accuracy of linking families together,” said David Rencher, CGO for FamilySearch.

During his career at FamilySearch, David has been instrumental in the development of key services and databases. He has worked to ensure that patrons of family history centers had more timely delivery of microfilm, and he has extended microfilm circulation to public libraries. He initiated the book scanning program for the Family History Library collection, and he was instrumental in the production of the automated indexes for the Social Security Death records, the 1880 U.S. Census, the 1881 British Census, and the military casualty files for Korea and Vietnam. He spent a number of years aligning the standards FamilySearch uses for names and localities and worked on record-matching techniques for FamilySearch databases.

Rencher is an Accredited GenealogistCM with ICAPGenSM in Ireland research and a Certified GenealogistSM with the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. He holds a BA in Family and Local History from Brigham Young University. He served as president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) from 1997 to 2000 and the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) from 1993 to 1995. He is a Fellow of the UGA and the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London. He is currently serving as the chair of the joint Federation of Genealogical Societies and National Genealogical Society committee for Record Preservation and Access and serves as a director for the National Institute of Genealogical Research Alumni Association (NIGRAA). He will continue to serve as the vice president of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) and the director of the Planning and Coordination Division of FamilySearch.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This and That

Here's a catchup on the news in genealogy and the geneablogging world:

The 3rd Edition of the Graveyard Rabbit Carnival (Cemetery Preservation) was posted May 1st, and the 71st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy (Local History) was posted May 3rd.

A new carnival is coming to town! Evelyn Yvonne Theriault of A Canadian Family has begun A Festival of Postcards! The theme for the first edition will be Wheels, and submissions are due here May 20th.

Stay tuned for all your upcoming carnivals and events at my May 2009 Calendar of Events.


FamilySearch has made a number of announcements recording their newest released collections at their FamilySearch Record Search, as well as new indexing projects. Read the following announcements at my friend Renee's Genealogy Blog:

FamilySearch Publishes Its First Portuguese Collection Online

FamilySearch Indexing Update 5 May 2009

FamilySearch Record Update: 2 million records added

--- has teamed up with Facebook to create memorial pages in a feature called I Remember. A number of bloggers (including myself) received press releases about this, and I think Randy Seaver did an excellent job of summarizing the benefits of this application.


There are also announcements from FGS and Ancestry, which I'll be posting separately. In the genealogy world, things happen so fast it's hard to stay abreast!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Alana of A Twig in My Tree has kindly named AnceStories as a recipient for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you, Alana!

I'm passing on the award to seven more blogs/bloggers. First, the GeneaBloggers:

Generations Gone By's Weblog - because she keeps on blogging even though she's an extremely busy mom whose duties often get in the way of blogging (boy! can I relate). She motivates me!

Itawamba History Review: The Itawamba Historical Society
- full of lovely photos from the South and the Southern past

Gena's Genealogy - Gena's always blogging about great resources, and I especially enjoy her Church Record Sunday series.

I'm also nominating some non-genealogy bloggers' blogs (gasp! can you believe it?):

Scribbit: A Blog About Motherhood in Alaska
- a title that was intriguing no matter what, but when Alaska is the place where you grew up, well, that just makes it all the more compelling to read (a touch from home).

Summer's Nook - I found Summer from her genealogy blog on an LDS website, but got hooked on her personal blog about motherhood with some major posts on her creativity (website design, cake decorating, etc.) thrown in.

Jennifer Fawbush Photography - Jennie's creative photography of infants, children, and families in natural surroundings is a work of art and love. The fact that Jennie is my niece (OK, technically she's my husband's niece) has absolutely nothing to do with gifting her this award. At all. I mean it.

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far - Apple's genealogy blog,
Apple's Tree, was nominated about 347 times for this award (and justly so!), but I like her personal blog just as well. I wish Apple didn't live across the continent from me, because I would love to be her next door neighbor.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Pension File of Levi Edward McLALLIN - 20 Jan 1865 - Obverse

I thought I'd join John Newmark of Transylvanian Dutch in his Amanuensis Monday. I have been needing to transcribe the pension file of my 4th-great-grandfather, Levi Edward McLALLIN. The transcriptions will not be posted in date order, but by transcribing and then filing the documents, I hope to order the entire file. Any of my notations within this transcription are both italicized and in brackets. The following is the obverse (front) of the document of 20 January 1865.


Corporal Levi E. McLallin, of Captain Fredrick Meyers Company, (C) of the 27th Michigan Regiment of the United States was enlisted by [?] Mon of the Twentyseventh Regiment of Michigan Infty at St Clair Michigan on the Twentyfour day of October, 1862, to serve 3 years; he was born in Kingston in the State of New York, is Thirty nine years of age, Five feet Eight inches high; Light complexion, Grey eyes, Light hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Farmer[.] During the last two months said soldier has been unfit for duty 11 days.* He received His wound in the right Brest while in line of Duty, at the Battle of Spotsylvania, Va May 12th 1864[.] His conduct as a Soldier was always good[.]

STATION: New Petersburg
DATE: Jany 14th 1865
[signed] James Moynahan
2nd Lieut
Commanding Company


I CERTIFY, that I have carefully examined the said Levi E. McLallin of Captain Fredrick Meyers Company, and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of †Wound recd May 12th '64 at Spottsylvania. Minnie ball entered cavity of chest through rt nipple, causing by its presence considerable irritation. Was at same time struck on rt side by a piece of shell fracturing two or three ribs. They are not united. Is unable to wear equipments. Disability 1/2. Not fit for Transfer to V.R.C.
[signed] Wm. Ingalls
59th MassV.V. Surgeon
Prest. Med. Ex. Board-

DISCHARGED, this 20th day of January, 1865, at or near Petersburg Va.
[signed] Chas Thaite [?]
Lt[.,] Co[.] C
Commanding the Reg't.

The Soldier desires to be addressed at
Town St Clair County St Clair State Mich
*See Note 1 on the back of this. †See Note 2 on the back of this.
[A. G. O. No. 100 & 101--First.]

Miriam's note: the birthplace of Kingston, New York is different from the birthplace of Montgomery County, New York, given elsewhere in this pension file by Levi himself.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Reminder: Get Your Registration In to Hear Colleen Fitzpatrick

Kootenai County Genealogical Society
& The Family History Store

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD - Forensic Genealogist

Come join us - May 30, 2009

Friends Church
251 West Miles Avenue - Hayden, Idaho

Dr. Fitzpatrick is the author of several books, including:

Forensic Genealogy

DNA & Genealogy

The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone

Dr. Fitzpatrick is world renowned for her expertise in solving the cases of "The Hand in the Snow" in Alaska, "The Unknown Baby from the Titanic," and in helping Dr. Ken Waltzer expose the Herman Rosenblat Holcaust Fraud.

9:30 a.m. ~ Registration

10:15 a.m. ~ Introductions

10:30-11:30 a.m. ~ Session 1: Forensic Genealogy
CSI Meets Roots: The DNA Detective - As described in Forensic Genealogy and DNA & Genealogy, and featured on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation program, forensic scientists and genealogists share the same goal - to find out who was who, and who did what and when. If you are interested in using your genealogical materials in unique and innovative ways, this talk is for you! Come learn new approaches to using photographs, databases, and DNA either alone or in combination to solve your genealogical mysteries. This talk will give you new insights into how DNA works and how it can be useful.

11:30-12:00 p.m. ~ Break and Browse Books

Lunch Break ~ 12:00 - 1:00
Bring a sack lunch or eat at a nearby restaurant

1:00-2:00 p.m. ~ Session 2: DNA & Genealogy
You Will Never Look at Your Old Photos the Same Way Again! As featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation with Neil Conan, in Internet Genealogy, Family Tree Magazine, Ancestry, and Family Chronicle, Forensic Genealogy offers innovative new tools for getting the most information out of your old photographs. This talk will present innovative approaches to identifying old photographs, many drawn from Forensic Genealogy and from solutions to the weekly photographic quizzes offered on the website After attending this talk, you will never look at your old photos the same way again!

2:00-2:30 p.m. ~ Break and Browse Books

2:30-3:30 p.m. ~ Session 3 Forensic Photo

Analysis: The Database Detective- Discovering facts about your ancestor such as his birth, marriage, and death dates is much easier to find nowadays thanks to the internet. The challenge to modern genealogists is to extract information from those facts. As featured on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation program, and as the cover article of Internet Genealogy, Family Tree Magazine, Ancestry, and Family Chronicle, Forensic Genealogy shows you how to extract exciting and unusual information about your ancestors by milking databases for every drop of information they can provide.

3:30-4:00 p.m. ~ Break and Browse Books

$25 Pre-registration ~ $30 at the door, if space is available

Make checks payable to KCGS and mail with name, address and phone number to:
Kootenai County Genealogical Society
8385 North Government Way
Hayden, Idaho 83835

Space is limited so pre-registrations must be in by May 15, 2009.

Questions? Contact Louisa Durkin at (208) 699-2687 or (208) 666-6064
or email

Saturday, May 02, 2009

MayDay, MayDay!

Yes, it was the day traditionally known for hanging small baskets of posies and/or goodies on a friend's front door knob, knocking or ringing the doorbell, and running like mad to get out of sight before they discover that you are their secret gift giver.

But yesterday wasn't just May Day, it was MayDay, as in the phrase used by pilots and ship captains the world over to broadcast a distress signal. Only it's not about a plane or ship in dire straights; rather, it's to raise awareness of the condition of the materials in our libraries, archives, museums, and other repositories of historical materials, and to do what is necessary to preserve and protect these valuable items from deterioration and disaster. In the last two months, we've heard of the collapse of the city archives building in Cologne, Germany, and an earthquake in Italy that damaged the state archives of Abruzzo. Such losses are tragic and have a world-wide impact.

Besides doing what we can to help out our local archives, libraries, and museums by supporting them with our tax dollars, fund raising events, and volunteer projects, as genealogists and family historians we should consider our own homes to be mini-repositories with historically-significant valuables archived within. It's likely that your home contains photographs, documents, and historical items passed from one generation to another that are not available anywhere else in the world. Suppose something happened to your home? It could be a disaster such as a fire, flood, or theft, or it could be something quiet yet insidious such as mold, mildew, heat, insects or other pests.

It's likely that you feel as I have in the past: a little overwhelmed at the thought of figuring out how to preserve everything of genealogical value for future generations. Browsing through archival supply catalogs or reading articles on how to scan and digitize all my photos and documents sounded expensive and time-consuming. However, like any great and worthwhile task, it's best to start out with baby steps. Doing a little something is always better than doing a lot of nothing!

Here are some of the steps I've taken in the past couple of years. I didn't do them all at once, but began each one as I had the time and money to do so. There are still many steps I have to take, and my tasks many never be done as I continue to receive heirlooms, papers, and photographs from other family members as they recognize my unofficial status as family historian and archivist.

*I have rented a safety deposit box from my financial institution to store some of the most financially valuable or difficult-to-replace items of the small family heirlooms in my possession, as well as important household documents such as our home and vehicle titles, insurance papers, etc.

*I obtained a subscription to Carbonite, a computer-backup service that works quietly in the background to back up my files and folders, which include scanned family photographs and genealogical documents.

*I purchased cotton gloves from my local photographers' supply shop to use when handling photographs of any age and fragile documents.

*I started Scanfest as a means to regularly undertake scanning projects that I probably otherwise would never had started.

*I removed photographs from "magnetic" photo albums as the materials these albums are created from quickly deteriorate the photographs within.

*I separated newspaper clippings of articles and obituaries from photographs (the acid gas from newsprint is extremely harsh and damaging to photos), photocopied them to be stored in file folders (separate from photos) and scanned them to store them digitally on my computer (backed up by Carbonite, of course). The newsprint was then thrown away.

*I have begun to photograph items and heirlooms too large to be scanned or stored in a safety deposit box. I also photographed items that are on display in my home (portraits, dishes, crocheted tablecloths, etc.). These photos are stored online, so that if anything should ever happen to them, at least I'll have a photograph of what the original item looked like.

As I mentioned before, there is still much to do. For those of you who may be wondering, "Where on earth do I begin?" I have a challenge to set before you. This month, do what you can to preserve three things. Think of the most valuable document, photograph, and item that you have. "Valuable" could mean the oldest one, the most fragile or at-risk one, or the one that would be most expensive or difficult to replace should you lose it. Do what you can to preserve one document, one photograph, and one item this month. Leave a comment below and tell me what those three things will be. Then come back at the end of the month and tell me how you completed (or at least started on) your preservation projects for May.

My goals will be to 1) scan my great-grandparents' marriage certificate, which is too large for my scanner. I'll need to take it to Office Depot or Kinko's and make a reduced size copy; 2) scan the only photo I have of my ancestor James BARBER; and 3) photograph and tag several crocheted items displayed in my home that were made by my great-grandmother and my husband's great-grandmother.

What will your three preservation projects be?

Friday, May 01, 2009

May 2009 Calendar of Events

May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.

--from "The Garden Year" by Sara Coleridge

Holidays, History, and Heritage

May is...

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (United States)

National Historic Preservation Month (United States)
(see link below for May Day)

National Teachers Month (United States)
Do you have a teacher in your family tree?

Older Americans' Month (United States)
Honor your living ancestors and older relatives.

May 1: May Day - Do one thing for emergency preparedness

May 5: Cinco de Mayo (Mexico)

May 10: Mother's Day (United States)

May 16: International Day for Sharing Life Stories
Armed Forces Day (United States)

May 17: Søttende mai (Norwegian Constitution Day)

May 25: Memorial Day or Decoration Day
Originally observed to honor the dead of the U.S. Civil War;
now commemorated for all military dead.
Many people clean and decorate family graves during this time.

Do any of the above events feature in or affect your heritage, culture, or family history?

Deadlines for Carnivals and Other Events:

Need help? Read my post, "How to Submit a Post to a Carnival", here.

Posted May 1 - the 3rd Edition of the Graveyard Rabbit Carnival - Cemetery Preservation

Posted May 3 - the 71st edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - Local History

Posted May 20 - the 72nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - Honoring Mothers

Posted May 20 - the 13th edition of the "I Smile for the Camera" Carnival - All Creatures Great and Small

Posted May 28 - the 13th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture - Irish Names

Posted May 29 - the 19th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy - Traditional Dishes

Posted May 30 - the Premiere Edition of A Festival of Postcards - Wheels

Please note: the 18th Edition of the Cabinet of Curiosities was postponed until host Tim Abbott recovered from illness. Stay tuned.

Heads up! Submissions for the 5th Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival ("Vacations") will be due July 12.

May 1 - Data Backup Day

Read the latest "Today is Backup Day!" post by Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers.

Scanfest: Sunday, May 31st, 11 AM - 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time

Go here to learn how to join Scanfest and our group of chatting, scanning family archivists, historians, and bloggers!

Go here to add the above deadlines and dates to your Google Calendar,
courtesy of Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers.

Now children may
Go out of doors,
Without their coats,
To candy stores.

The apple branches
And the pear
May float their blossoms
Through the air,

And Daddy
Get out his hoe
To plant tomatoes
In a row,

And, afterwards,
May lazily
Look at some baseball
On TV.

--"May," by John Updike