Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Findings: DeVRIES and other Dutch Lines

The last couple of weeks have just been rather crazy and chaotic, and although I did have some great finds, keeping up with blogging about it wasn't easy.

The first big find was when Henk van Kampen read my DeVRIES Surname Saturday post and left a comment, having found more information on this family. I am so excited, because I was able to trace this line back another two generations, using data that has been added to Tresoar (the Frisian Historical and Literary Centre) since I last researched this line!

Then my distant VALK cousin, Anja van Huesden, was looking at my online database and found more information on my JONKER line in the Province of Groningen. Groningen has long had their marriage records indexed on Genlias, but thanks to Anja, I discovered that birth and death records for my ancestral town of Kloosterburen have been added to Genlias. I was able to obtain specific birth and death dates for a few of my ancestors (instead of the "c. 1809" type dates used from their ages at the time of marriage). Plus, I discovered that my HOEKSTRA 3rd-great-grandfather and his first wife actually had eight children, instead of two before the wife died. Most of these were twins, and all died young, except for Gertrude, who accompanied my widowed 3rd-great-grandfather to America in 1867. When my uncle brought me a bunch of old family photos, I found a couple of Gertrude as an elderly lady. She was my 2nd-great-grandfather HOEKSTRA's older half-sister.

One of my husband's maternal cousins friended me on Facebook. Besides being glad we are back in touch after so many years, I am delighted to be in contact with her because she has always had an interest in genealogy. I have asked her to keep an eye out for old family photos, since there seem to be so very few in existence in my mother-in-law's family.

Genealogical Publishing Company has been having fabulous book sales on Fridays. Last Friday, I ordered Virginia Genealogy by Carol McGinnis. I have her Michigan Genealogy, which I've raved about before on this blog many times, so I expect to learn much about how to research in Virginia and how and where records were/are kept. Although I have no Virginia ancestry, my husband has a multitude of lines from that state. (Yippee! It just arrived in today's mail!)

Speaking of ordering, I'm going to renew my Footnote subscription for another 12 months at the reduced rate of $59.95 ($20 off the cost of annual subscriptions after today).

Lastly, I received the July issue of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Interesting and scholarly reading here, impressing me on the importance of citing one's sources!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reminder: Submissions for the Carnival of Genealogy Due Saturday

poster courtesy of the footnoteMaven

Just a friendly reminder to get those submissions in for the 77th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. The due date is Saturday, August 1st!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pension File of Levi Edward McLALLIN - 27 Feb and 28 Apr 1866

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. Any of my notations within this transcription are both italicized and in brackets.

[In upper left hand corner, partially illegible because page corner was folded over before being photocopied]
April 30/66
[initialed] f

[In upper right hand corner]

WAR OF 1861.
ACT JULY 14, 1862

Brief in case of Levi E McLallin Copl of Company C, 27 Regiment Mich vol.

New Haven Macomb Co Michigan
Enlisted Oct 22, 1862, Discharged Jany 20, 1865.


[illegible] disability--Gun shot wound entering cavity of chest--also by a piece of shell in right side [illegible] ribs--May 12 64

Off for [illegible] that he received his wound when in the line of duty at Battle of Spotsylvania May 12 64

Dr Stockwell reps Feby 6 66 3/4 disability--from gun shot wounds of chest

Admitted April 28, 1866, to a Pension of $6.00 per month, commencing Jany 25, 1865 Feby 27--66

Disability 2/4 Disabled by Gun shot wound chest

New Haven
Name and Residence of Agent

Examining Clerk.
[signed] A Johnson

Sunday, July 26, 2009

No Scanfest Today

Just a reminder: Scanfest has been postponed until September 27th.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Surname Saturday: CHAPLIN

CHAPLIN is my children's paternal grandmother's line. It's one of those old families that have been traced to Puritan New England and further back into Yorkshire, England.

Stories and History:

Ahentafel #6144 - Jeremiah CHAPLIN (ch. 1541)

Ahnentafel #3072 - Ebenezer CHAPLIN (ch. 1572)

Ahnentafel #1536 - Hugh CHAPLIN (1603 - 1654) - the immigrant

Ahnentafel #768 - Joseph CHAPLIN (1647 - 1705)

Ahnentafel #384 - Jeremiah CHAPLIN (1680 - 1765)

Ahnentafel #192 - Joseph CHAPLIN (1716 - 1790)

Ahnentafel #96 - Joseph CHAPLIN (1760 - 1812) - his wife's paternal grandmother was an ADAMS and links my children to the presidential family; he was a first settler in Cortland Co., New York

Ahnentafel #48 - Joseph CHAPLIN (c. 1786 - 1854) - the first of my children's CHAPLIN line to move out of the East; he died in Illinois

Ahnentafel #24 - Gideon CHAPLIN (1821 - 1876) - married twice, my children's line is from his second wife. Gideon died fairly young (age 55); his wife outlived him by 33 years

Ahnentafel #12 - Albert Francis CHAPLIN (1868 - 1946) - for years I wondered why he continually traveled back and forth for many years between the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest - after doing a timeline on his family, I figured out that he was going back to the Midwest to help his widowed mother and single brothers with their farm every time someone in the family fell ill (many had tuberculosis) or died

Ahnentafel #6 - Forrest "Frank" L. CHAPLIN (1901 - 1977) - came out West in a covered wagon as a boy with his family...yes, they still had them in the early 1900s!

Ahnentafel #3 - My children's paternal grandmother (living)

Ahnentafel #1 - My children's father (living)

More about the CHAPLIN family:

1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): CHAPLIN ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)

2. Some CHAPLIN obituaries

3. Posts about CHAPLIN ancestors and relatives on this blog

4. Some scanned CHAPLIN documents

5. My CHAPLIN Virtual Cemetery on Find A Grave

My children's CHAPLIN immigration trail:

Yorkshire, England > Essex Co., MA > Worcester Co., MA > Berkshire Co., MA > Cortland Co., NY > Fulton Co., IL > McDonough Co., IL > Union Co., IA > Cheyenne Co., IA > Butler Co., NE > Fremont Co., IA > Clay Co., SD > Yankton Co., SD > Prowers Co., CO > Cheyenne Co., IA > Payette Co., ID > Yakima Co., WA

Thursday, July 23, 2009

FamilySearch Indexing: New projects for Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and the U.S.

22 July 2009

New projects for Italy, New Zealand, Perú, and the U.S. were added this month. FamilySearch has 42 international indexing projects underway currently (see charts below). It has a growing need for more volunteers who can help with the increasing number of foreign language projects. Please feel free to encourage and recruit friends, family, colleagues, and society or special interest group members to help with any projects of interest. Sign up is easy at FamilySearch Indexing. The average assignment only takes about 30 minutes to complete. Many volunteers make quick work—which equates to quicker access to the completed indexes!

New indexing projects added in July:

· Italy, Trento—Baptisms, 1784-1924 [Part 2]

· New Zealand—Passenger Lists, 1871–1915

· Perú, Lima—Registros Civiles, 1910–1930 [Part 2]

· U.S.—Freedmen Marriages, 1861–1869

· U.S., Delaware—Birth Records, 1861–1922

· U.S., Georgia—Deaths, 1930

· U.S., Indiana, Carroll County—Marriages, 1811–1959

· U.S., Oklahoma—1920 U.S. Federal Census

· U.S., Tennessee—1920 Federal Census

· U.S., Virginia—1920 U.S. Federal Census

(See the chart below for a complete list and current status of all indexing projects.)

Recently Completed Projects
(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication. Patrons can search other published collections for free at the FamilySearch Records Search pilot.)

· Australia, Greenwich—Genealogical Records, 1776–1980

· België—Overlijdens Registers—In het Nederlands, 1796–1910

· België—Overlijdens Registers—Kalmthout, 1851–1900

· Canada, Nova Scotia, Antigonish—Catholic Diocese, 1823–1905

· France Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Part 1]

· U.S., Indiana, Blackford County—Marriages, 1811–1959

· U.S., Indiana—Marriages, 1882–April 1905

· U.S., Massachusetts Marriages, 1896–1897

Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Argentina, Buenos Aires—1855 Censo

Argentina, Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman—1869 Censo

Argentina, Santiago, Santa Fe—1869 Censo

Australia, NSW—Bounty Immigrants, 1828–1842

Australia, Sydney—Cemetery Inscriptions, 1800–1960

Belgium, Antwerp—Foreigners Index, 1840–1930
Dutch, Flemish

Canada, British Columbia—Marriages, 1859–1932

Canada, Quebec, Trois-Rivières—Registres Paroissiaux, 1800–1900

Deutschland, Baden—Kirchenbücher, 1810–1869

Deutschland, Brandenburg—Kirchenbücher, 1789–1875

Deutschland, Mecklenburg—Volkszählung, 1890 Div 24–38

España, Avila, Moraleja de Matacabras—Registros Parroquiales, 1540–1904

España, Lugo—Registros Parroquiales, 1530–1930 [Part 1]

France, Cherbourg—Registres Paroissiaux, 1802–1907

France, Coutances—Registres Paroissiaux 1802–1907

France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche, 1792–1906

France, Paris—Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Part 2]

France, Saint-Lo—Registres Paroissiaux, 1802–1907

Italy, Trento—Baptisms, 1784–1924 [Part 1]

Italy, Trento—Baptisms, 1784–1924 [Part 2]

Jamaica, Trelawny—Births, 1878–1930

Mexico, DF—Registros Parroquiales, 1886–1933 [Parte 1]

Mexico, Mexico—1930 Federal Censo

Mexico, Yucatan—1930 Federal Censo

New Zealand—Passenger Lists, 1871–1915

Nicaragua, Managua—Registros Civiles, 1879–Present

Perú, Lima—Registros Civiles, 1910–1930 [Parte 1]

Perú, Lima—Registros Civiles, 1910–1930 [Parte 2]

Russland, Sankt Peterburg—Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1833–1885

South Africa, Cape Province—Church Records, 1660–1970

Tschechien, Litomerice–Kirchenbücher, 1552–1905 [Teil 1]

U.K., Cheshire—Parish Records, 1538–1850 [Part 2]
English/Old English

U.K., Warwickshire—Parish Registers, 1538–Present
English/Old English

U.S.—Freedmen Marriages, 1861–1869

U.S., Arkansas—County Marriages, 1837–1957 [VI]

U.S., Delaware—Birth Records, 1861–1922

U.S., Georgia—Deaths, 1930

U.S., Illinois, Cook—Birth Certificates, 1916–1922 [Part 2]

U.S., Indiana, Adams County—Marriages, 1811–1959

U.S., Indiana, Allen County—Marriages, 1811–1959

U.S., Indiana, Carroll County—Marriages, 1811–1959

U.S., Minnesota—1885 State Census

U.S., New York—1905 State Census

U.S., Oklahoma—1920 U.S. Federal Census

U.S., Pennsylvania—1920 U.S. Federal Census

U.S., Tennessee—1920 Federal Census

U.S., Virginia—1920 Federal Census

U.S., Washington—County Marriages, 1858–1950

Venezuela, Mérida—Registros Parroquiales, 1654–1992 [Parte 1]

Österreich, Wiener—Meldezettel, 1890–1925

Украина, Киев—Метрические Книги, 1840–1842

(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Current FamilySearch Partner Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Australia, Victoria—Probate Records, 1853–1989

België, Mechelen—Overlijdens Registers, 1851-1900
Dutch, Flemish

Belgique—Registres Des Décès—En Français, 1796–1910

Belgique, Charleroi—Registres des Décès, 1851-1900

Belgium, Flanders—Deaths, 1796–1900
French, Dutch, Flemish

Deutschland, Bremen—Schifflisten, 1904–1914

Norway—1875 Census [Part 1]

U.S., Arkansas—County Marriages, 1837–1957 [IV]

U.S., Ohio—Tax Records, Post 1825 [Part 2]

U.S., Ohio—Tax Records, Post 1825 [Part 3]

U.S., Utah, Salt Lake County—Death Certificates, 1940

U.S., Utah, Salt Lake County—Death Registers, 1848–1940

U.S., Vermont—Militia Records, 1861–1867

(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

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 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

FamilySearch Records Search Update: New Collections for Cheshire, England, Minnesota, and New York

23 July 2009

New record collections were added to the FamilySearch Record Search pilot this week for Cheshire, England, Minnesota, and New York.

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

Special thanks to the online volunteers who help make these collections freely available by donating a few minutes of their time or talents to the FamilySearch Indexing program.

Collection Name: England, Cheshire Non-conformist records, 1671-1900
Indexed Records: 74,925
Digital Images: ---
Comments: NEW. Index only.

Collection Name: Minnesota State Census, 1895
Indexed Records: 1,542,818
Digital Images: ---
Comments: NEW. Complete census. Index only.

Collection Name: New York State Census, 1905
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 44,005
Comments: NEW. Images only. Index is currently in progress through FamilySearch Indexing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday's Tip: Genealogy Tip of the Day

My genealogy tip of the day is to tell you about Genealogy Tip of the Day! No, I'm not being redundant. Genealogy Tip of the Day is a blog by Michael John Neill. You may be familiar with Michael's writings on his main blog, RootDig, or his guest posts at Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

Everyday, Michael posts a tip on his Genealogy Tip of the Day blog. I especially like the ones he writes about court records, because I'm still what I call an "intermediate beginner" in this area. I also like his tips about researching at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, a place I'd like to visit someday.

Sometimes the best tips are simply more tips!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pension File of Levi Edward McLALLIN - 27 Feb and 28 Apr 1866 - Jacket

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. Any of my notations within this transcription are both italicized and in brackets.

[This is the jacket for the next document, which will be featured next week.]

No. 103,729

ACT OF JULY 14, 1862.
WAR OF 1861

Vol. 3, page [blank]
Levi E. McLallin
New Haven
Macomb Co. Mich
Pri Co C 27 Mich Vol
Discharged Jan 20, 1865.
Admitted [?] $6.00
April 28--66
[signed] A Johnson

[signed] Joseph H. Barrett

Received, Feb 27, 1866

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Scanfest is Postponed Until September

Due to a number of reasons, I've decided to postpone Scanfest until September. We'll have family visiting in the area during the weekend I had planned the July Scanfest. The weekend I planned for the August Scanfest will be the first weekend after our next school year begins, and I always need that first weekend to recover! Additionally, I've been pretty busy working towards the Washington State Genealogical Society's 2009 State Conference, which will be held here in Spokane September 11 - 13 and hosted by my local society, the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society. Finally, my main computer is down, I filled up my hard drive on my laptop scanning things my uncle brought for my mother during his visit last month, and I can't get my scanner's software to load on my daughter's laptop - all this means I can't scan, anyway. :-)

SO! We will resume Scanfest on Sunday, September 27th, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time.

Enjoy your summer, and if you do your own scanning projects over the summer, remember these things:

1. Don't use commercial glass cleaners to clean your scanner's glass plate. Use a soft, clean cloth. If you must use a liquid, use water sprayed on the cloth, and make sure to let the plate dry thoroughly before placing photos or documents on it.

2. Wear cotton gloves (available at many art and/or photographer supply shops) when handling photos and old documents.

3. Don't slide the photos around on the glass plate. Place them exactly where you want them. Photos should NEVER be scanned by a scanner that feeds the document through the machine, but ALWAYS on a flat-bed scanner.

4. Set your scanner to scan at no smaller than 300 dpi (dots per inch). Many experts recommend 600 dpi for photographs.

5. Photographs should ALWAYS be scanned and saved as .tif files. Use "Save As" to reformat the .tif file to a .jpg file for restoration and touchups, emailing, or uploading to an online photo album. ALWAYS retain the original scan as a .tif file.

6. Documents can be scanned as .pdf files or .tif files.

7. When you are done scanning your photos, don't put them back in those nasty "magnetic" photo albums. Place them in archival safe albums or boxes found at websites such as Archival Products or Archival Suppliers. Do NOT store any newsprint (articles, obituaries, etc.) with the photos. The acid from the newspaper will eventually destroy the photograph.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

AnceStories Will Host the 77th Carnival of Genealogy, Come What May!

courtesy of the footnoteMaven

I am proud to be hosting the 77th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy here at AnceStories. As human beings, our very existence is proof of the survival skills, faith, or just plain luck our ancestors possessed in order to persevere through millenia of disasters: epidemics, wars, pestilences, famines, accidents, and acts of nature.

Tell about a disaster that one or more of your ancestors lived through. Did they survive a hurricane, flood, tornado, train wreck, sinking ship, plague, genocide, explosion, mine collapse, or some other terrible event? How did they survive? Research the details of the disaster and explain how it affected your ancestor (guilt, fear, faith, gratitude, etc.), your family's history, and even yourself!

Tip: Check out GenDisasters and historical newspapers (online or off) to get more details about the event.

The deadline for submissions is August 1. You can use the online carnival submission form. If you have any difficulties, please e-mail me. If this is your first time submitting a post to a carnival, please read my tutorial over at the Bootcamp for Geneabloggers website.

We'll have a disastrously good time...through rain, snow, sleet, or gloom of night...come hell or high water...God willing and the Creek don't rise...!

Carnivals Galore!

Three genealogy carnivals were published this weekend, so grab a cold drink (or a warm one, if you're in Chicago!), put up your feet, and enjoy reading the following online publications:

The 15th Edition of the Smile for the Camera! Carnival - They Worked Hard for the Family was posted yesterday at Shades of the Departed. Thirty-one bloggers share photographs of their ancestors engaged in some kind of labor or occupation. Next month's theme will be Bling, Ancestor Bling and will showcase ancestral jewelry.

The 76th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - How I Spent My Summer Vacation was posted today at Creative Gene. I really wish I had submitted a couple of posts to this one (and I may write them yet!), but regardless, twenty-three bloggers submitted their good ol' summertime essays. Next month's theme is a bit of a disaster. You'll just have to read my next post to discover why!

The 5th Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival was also summer-themed: Favorite Canadian Vacations (ok, not every vacation has to happen in the summer, but still!). It was also posted today, at looking4ancestors. There are five submissions. The theme of the 6th edition will be Home Sweet Home; the deadline for submission will be September 13th.

Plenty of great summer reading here, folks, while you're trying to keep cool (or warm!). Enjoy!

Surname Saturday: DeVRIES

I have never thought about my mother's step-father as being a step-ancestor. He raised my mother, tried unsuccessfully to adopt her (her biological father wouldn't sign over his parental rights, although he didn't participate much in my mother's life), gave her away at her wedding, and included her equally in his will with his two biological children. My grandfather had six grandchildren (including my brother, who was named for him) and 12 great-grandchildren, only one of all those being his biological offspring between step families and adoptees. Yet just as he was always my mother's Dad, he was always Grandpa and Great-grandpa DeVRIES to all of us. To honor him and to bless my uncle, aunt, and cousins, I have researched his ancestry. After all, the DeVRIES family history directly impacted my own, and it's likely I would not exist if Grandpa hadn't married my grandmother and raised my mother.

Stories and History:

The surname DeVRIES means "the Frisian" and is a descriptive surname signifying that the individual or his family came from the province of Friesland, the Netherlands. Friesland's language and culture is more closely related to that of the English, as they both had the same Anglo-Saxon ancestors. In Europe, the Frisian ethnic group primarily lives in the provinces of Friesland and Groningen in the Netherlands and also in the region of Ostfriesland and district of Nordfriesland in Germany.

Although the surname DeVRIES is more prolific in Western Michigan than SMITH, my particular family line is not related to the majority of the DeVRIESes in that area.

(The letter "C" differentiates between my biological family tree and my step-family tree. I have used the letter "B" to mark my paternal grandmother's adoptive family tree.)

Ahnentafel #192C - Beerent De VRIES (b. c. 1750) - the earliest ancestor I can find in this family; probably lived in Friesland, the Netherlands

Ahnentafel #96C - Egbert Beerents De VRIES (c. 1777 - 1850) - known to have lived in the municipality of Kollumerland, Friesland, the Netherlands

Ahnentafel #48C - Jarig Egberts De VRIES (1813 - 1869) - lived in the villages of Oudwoude and Kollumerzwaag in Kollumerland

Ahnentafel #24C - Binne Jarigs De VRIES (1856 - 1896) - born in Kollumerzwaag, he was a shoemaker, who moved to the municipality of Smallingerland in Friesland. He died young (age 39), leaving a widow and three small children, who moved to the United States probably in an arranged marriage situation.

Ahenentafel #12C - Jarig Binne Egbert DeVRIES (1887 - 1959) - born in the city of Drachten in Smallingerland, he immigrated with his mother and two younger siblings to the United States, the only group of my ancestors to pass through Ellis Island. His name was anglicized to George Benjamin Edward DeVRIES. My mother remembers him pretty well, as he lived with her family shortly before he died.

Ahnentafel #6C - Adrian "Ed" DeVRIES (1916 - 2007) - my beloved grandfather, greatly missed

Ahnentafel #3 - my mother (living)

Ahnentafel #1 - myself

More about the DeVRIES family:

1. Online database: DeVRIES and De VRIES ancestors and relatives (database updated monthly; no info on living persons available)

2. Some DeVRIES obituaries

3. Posts about DeVRIES ancestors and relatives on this blog

4. Some scanned DeVRIES documents

5. Some scanned DeVRIES photos

6. My DeVRIES Virtual Cemetery on Find A Grave

My DeVRIES immigration trail:

Kollumerland, Friesland, the Netherlands > Smallingerland, Friesland, the Netherlands > Kent Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Findings: My Swedish Line, KLAP, MIDKIFF, DICKINSON, Free and Low-Cost Resources

On Sunday, I worked on my adoptive great-grandmother's (Ida Carlotta GUSTAFSDOTTER) Swedish line. Anna-Karin had done some lookups for me with her resources quite a while ago and using the information she found, I was able to then trace back another two generations of ancestors, along with many collateral relatives. My main source was the International Genealogical Index and the Vital Record Index on FamilySearch, and while I know that the IGI is not always very reliable, the records I found seemed to be consistent with other information I found, and precise in date and location. I also spent some time on Swedish database websites found on Cyndi's List of Swedish websites, but what little records I found that could possibly be my family's required paying subscriptions.

Received an email from a KLAP descendant. My great-grandfather HOEKSTRA's older sister, Grace, married Adrian KLAP, and the individual who contacted me states that Adrian's uncle married his great-grandfather's sister. That particular line immigrated to Australia in 1950. I will add the info to my database, in case I come in contact with a descendant of Aunt Grace.

Received an email from a possible MIDKIFF descendant, as well as from a woman researching the 44th Indiana Infantry who has info to share regarding my ancestor, Ezra DICKINSON.

An amazing array of free and low-cost resources continue to be listed on my discussion forum at GenealogyWise. I have found some wonderful sites and gotten some ideas for offline resources, too, and I'm sure you'll appreciate them as well. Check them out!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

GenealogyWise is Back Online

GenealogyWise is back online - thanks to my friends at Twitter for keeping me updated while I was out for my morning constitutional!

GenealogyWise is Currently Down

GenealogyWise, the new social networking website created by FamilyLink (the same corporate family that WorldVitalRecords is a part of) is currently down.

There were numerous Tweets at Twitter as well as emails in my inbox regarding the matter. I noticed that Paul Allen, head of FamilyLink mentioned on Twitter that they have been alerted to the DNS problem and are working on it.

Stay tuned.

Tell Me Thursday: Catch of the Day

Miriam and Bryan Robbins, August 1973, Klawock, Alaska. Original in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Spokane, Washington. 2009.

Did you ever remember getting your photograph taken on a special occasion, yet realize you never actually saw the photo? Did you ever wonder what happened to it? In the days before digital cameras, we had no way of knowing if a photograph "took," and then we had to wait for it to get developed (hopefully correctly) before we found out if it turned out all right.

I well remember this sunny August day and this photograph in Southeastern Alaska, 1973. I was six years old, and Dad and I had gone fishing in his boat, a treat for me. I still remember looking down over the side of the boat into the depth of whatever bay we were in and not being able to see the bottom...I used to like to scare myself that way! I was so excited when I hooked my fish...and then the unthinkable happened! My long hair got wound up in the reel as I was trying to bring him in. Dad heard me cry out and started to let the line out; then I really started crying! I was afraid I was going to lose my fish! He told me not to worry, and after he had gotten me free, helped me to reel in my fish.

It's hard to tell, but we're holding up three fish here, and mine's the biggest, I'm sure! I don't recall what they were, probably salmon (help me out here, Dad!), and I remember posing proudly so that Mom could take our picture. BUT, I remember feeling disappointed that I never got to see it. I wondered if it just had not turned out.

Then my uncle brought this snapshot with him when he visited last month from Michigan. Mom had sent it to my grandparents in a letter, and it has come full circle being returned to me. I was so delighted when I saw meant as much to me as all the wonderful old ancestral photos I saw!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Catch of the Day

Miriam and Bryan Robbins, August 1973, Klawock, Alaska. Original in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Spokane, Washington. 2009.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday's Tip: Washington State Genealogical Resource Guides

Do you have Washington State ancestors or distant relatives that you are researching? Well, you're in luck, because the Washington State Genealogical Society is producing the free! online! Washington State Genealogical Resource Guides to help researchers find the resources they need in nearly every county in Washington. This ongoing project was started by Kathleen Allen O'Connor of Gonzaga University (Spokane) and has been taken over by my fellow EWGS blog team member Charles Hansen, and currently has guides for 34 out of 39 counties.

When completed, each guide (in .pdf format for easy downloading and/or printing) will list the following information, many with hours of operation, physical address, mailing address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address, and website address:

1. Historical overview of that county

2. Names of counties/states that border it

3. County seat

4. Chambers of commerce

5. County government information

6. Genealogical societies

7. Health department

8. Historical societies

9. Libraries - academic, public, and special

10. Museums and Historical Sites

11. Selective bibliography: a long list of printed resources and published works that are available within that county that are useful for research, such as atlases, city directories, census records, land, military, and probate records, etc.

Now don't you think this is a treasure trove of genealogical goodies? Be sure to check them out...and please be patient if the guide for your county of interest is incomplete.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pension File of Levi Edward McLALLIN - 7 Feb 1866

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. Any of my notations within this transcription are both italicized and in brackets.


State of Michigan}
County of St Clair.} S.S.

On this 7th day of February AD1866 personally appeared before me Geo F. Collins Clerk of the Circuit Court for said county Levi E. McLalin aged forty-four years, a resident of New Haven Macomb County Michigan, who being duly sworn according to law declares that he is the identical Levi E. McLalin who enlisted in the service of the United States at St Clair Mich on the 22d day of October 1862, as a private in company "C" commanded by Frederick Meyers Captain, in the 27th Regiment of Michigan Infantry Voltrs in the war of 1861, and was honorably discharged on the 20th day of January 1865; that while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of his duty he received a gun-shot wound in the right breast, and a fracture in the right side of the body caused by shell, or grape-shot, both of which wounds were received while said soldier was ona charge with his regiment, at the Battle of Spottsylvania Va, on the 12th day of May 1864.; that applicant has resided in St Clair Mich since his discharge, until a short time since when he removed to New Haven Macomb Co Mich, that he has been unable since leaving the service to carry on any cocupation, except at times to act as a teamster.

My Post Office Address is New Haven

Macomb County Michigan

[signed] Levi E McLallin


Also appeared Geo H. Hammond and John L.McKinch residents of St Clair Mich persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being by me duly sworn say that they were present and saw Levi E. McLallin sign his name to the foregoing declaration; and they further swear that they have every reason to believe from the appearance of the applicant, and their acquaintance with him that he is the identical person he represents himself to be; and they further swear that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.
[signed] Geo H Hammond
[signed] John L. McKinch

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 7th day of February AD1866. And I certify that I have no interest in the prosecution of this claim, direct or indirect.
[signed] Geo F. Collins

[embossed seal affixed to document - illegible]


Invalid Pension Claim
Act July 14 1862.

Levi E. McLallin.
a private of Co "C" 27th
Reg't Michigan vol Inf'ty.
Declaration & Proofs

Feb 27 1866

[signed] T. C. Owen
St Clair

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Change in Due Date for Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture

Lisa of Small-leaved Shamrock has posted this notification about a change in the due date for submissions to the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture:
Sometimes making family history gets in the way of studying and recording our family heritage. That's been the case with this blogger as of late, and also more recently our guest hostess of the 14th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. Because of this, we've decided to postpone the publication of the upcoming 14th edition just a bit.

If you'd like to join us, please send your "Irish Vacation" submissions to Colleen Degnan Johnson or post them here by Sunday, July 26. Colleen will publish the carnival on Wednesday, July 29.

For more details on the topic, please visit Upcoming 14th edition: Let's go to Ireland! Irish Vacations.

Also, don't forget to be working on some summer reading for our upcoming 15th edition, the 2nd Annual Small-leaved Shamrock Summer Reading Challenge.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Surname Saturday: VALK

The VALK line is my main maternal line. I've been able to trace this line back nine generations (not including my own) to my 7th-great-grandfather, named Geert, thanks to patronymics. VALK is a surname that appears in many countries in Western Europe, especially those in the Germanic language family; the name means "falcon."

Stories and History:

The VALK Family History on my website.

Ahnentafel #768 - Geert, b. c. 1695

Ahnentafel #384 - Jouke Geerts - b. c. 1724. His marriage record states he was married 23 Mar 1749 in Koudum, Hemelumer Oldeferd, Friesland, the Netherlands - my earliest documented VALK ancestor

Ahnentafel #192 - Jantje Joukes VALK (1753 - 1817) - first known VALK ancestor to actually use the surname; the Netherlands was under French control at this time, and in 1811, the French government ordered all the Dutch to choose a surname

Ahnentafel #96 - Tjemme Jantjes VALK (1786 - 1842) - moves from Hemelumer Oldeferd to Ferwerderadeel, the municipality (similar to a U.S. county) in which the VALK family remains until immigration to America

Ahnentafel #48 - Wieger Tjemmes VALK (1827 - 1888) - after his death, his wife, Trijntje Gerrits DOLSTRA, immigrates to America to live with their only child

Ahnentafel #24 - Tjamme ("James") Wiegers VALK (1860 - 1922) - immigrates to Illinois with his fiancée, Berber ("Barbara") J. DeJONG in 1882. After their marriage and living for approximately 5 years in Rock Island, they move to Western Michigan, where VALKs continue to live to this day.

Ahnentafel #12 - William James VALK - (1886 - 1950) - fathered 16 children between two marriages (only 12 survived infancy), plus raised a stepson

Ahnentafel #6 - William ("Bill") VALK - (1912 - 1989) - my paternal grandfather, WWII veteran

Ahnentafel #3 - my mother (living)

Ahnentafel #1 - myself

More about the VALK family:

1. Online database (I update this at least once a month): VALK ancestors and relatives (no info on living persons available)

2. Some VALK obituaries

3. Posts about VALK ancestors and relatives on this blog

4. Some scanned VALK documents

5. Some scanned VALK photos

6. My VALK Virtual Cemetery on Find A Grave

My VALK immigration trail:

Koudum, Hemelumer Oldeferd, Friesland, the Netherlands > Marrum, Ferwerderadeel, Friesland, the Netherlands > Rock Island Co., IL > Ottawa Co., MI > Kent Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Findings: A Potluck of Goodies

This week brought a hodgepodge of different genealogical goodies my way!

The Photo Album
I've been reviewing and analyzing the contents of a photograph album/scrapbook that my maternal great-grandmother kept (one of the items my uncle brought out to us from Michigan). It's not complete, as many photos were either lost or were removed to give to descendants of her three daughters. What was left in the album were photos and birth announcements of many extended family members and my uncle felt that I, of all people, would be able to identify many of the individuals that were unknown to him or other family members.

My great-grandmother was an invalid for the last 15 or 20 years of her life, and she spent much of her time in bed, labeling photographs in albums and writing in her Family Record book (which I also inherited) during the days when she felt well enough to do so. Of course, this is a boon to me, and I have been going back and forth between the labeled photos and the descriptions she listed of family members, friends, and neighbors in the Family Record book, as well as checking vital and census records at Ancestry, FamilySearch's Record Search, and SeekingMichigan. By doing so, I was able to figure out who some of the cousins she had listed were: the LANINGA "children" (they were elderly in the photos) were children of my great-grandfather's father's older half-sister, Geertje "Gertrude" (HOEKSTRA) LANINGA. In my records, I had three children listed for Aunt Gert, one of whom died at age 18; the photos showed four children, allowing me to add two more to the family tree. One of the daughters' photos listed her married surname and I was able to find her marriage record and her sister's birth record on FamilySearch Record Search (earlier attempts to find more children in this family group had been unsuccessful because the transcriptions of their name were spelled wrong).

Now I'm trying to get more information on the STRONG family, which is the maiden name of my great-grandmother. There are many photos and birth announcements of children and grandchildren of my great-grandmother's siblings. There were seven children who survived childhood in this family, and several of them had multiple marriages, so compiling a complete list of descendants has been tricky. The album is helping, but also challenging me, where some names and dates do not "jive".

Scanning Large Items
I also mentioned last week that I scanned a large number of photos and some documents that belonged to my mother. My flatbed scanner scans items at the standard 8 1/2" x 11" size, but there were a couple of larger photos, and rather than photograph them, which would create a .jpg file, I decided to see if I could take them to a copy shop and get them scanned into a .tif file. I called my neighborhood Office Depot and found out that they could scan items up to 11" x 17", so I brought a couple of large photos AND the marriage certificate of my ROBBINS great-grandparents (one of my goals for MayDay - better late than never, I say!). The copy clerk told me she could scan items in 300 or 600 dpi (dots per inch) resolution, in color or black-and-white, and in .jpg, .tif, or .pdf file formats. The first scan cost me $2.95, with each additional scans being .25 each! That is, I had three different things scanned and it only cost me $3.45 plus sales tax! The only problem is, the marriage certificate was larger than 11" x 17" and I had asked to have it centered to fit as much of the main document in the scan as possible, as it had wide margins on all four sides. However, when I viewed the file at home, it had been scanned from the bottom edge up, and the top part of the document, including the title, was cut off. I'll need to get it rescanned and ask the clerk to either try to center it again, or scan it from the top down, as there is a larger margin at the bottom of the document than at the top. This document was rolled up and its cracks and tears taped, which of course has damaged it greatly. When I got it, I slowly unrolled just a bit of it at a time, sandwiched between layers of cloth to protect it and using books to weigh down the unrolled edge until it could lie flat. It will deteriorate; there is no stopping that process, but by scanning it, I can preserve what it once looked like, and even perhaps clean up the image a bit to remove the yellow tape stains.

So there you go: if you have some large items too big for your scanner, call a copy shop! And make sure they handle your items with care (I brought my scanning gloves along).

Birth Certificates
I've been interested in genealogy for 30 years as of this summer, actively researching records for 15 years, have been a mother nearly 19 years, and only this week obtained the last of the birth certificates for my immediate family! Yes, that's right, I have birth certificates and birth records for great-great-grandparents and didn't have my own kids' documents (other than hospital certificates)! The motivation? My son got his driver's permit and the State of Washington has become increasingly picky about citizenship documentation, so what was acceptable two years ago when my daughter received her permit is no longer so. I figured since I was at the county public health building picking up my son's certificate, I might as well get my daughter's. My parents gave me mine a few years ago, and we purchased my children's father's three years ago when he had to prove citizenship while working for a company that contracted with the military. And yes, the kids' certificates will go in our safe deposit box.

Busy, Busy, Busy
I didn't work at all on my Online City, County, and Rural Directory Site since I was busy playing around with two new websites. First of all, I became a member of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) - a great society if you have ancestors from New England, New York, French and Atlantic Canada, or mid-Atlantic states, or have Jewish, Irish, Scottish, or African-American roots. They have a $15 off special on their annual membership through the end of July now which offers access to their online and premium databases, a subscription to two publications, and discounts to a variety of goods and services (DNA, research assistance). The other website that has kept me busy is GenealogyWise, and I wrote about this earlier here. I also spent a lot of time preparing posts that my team members at the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society blog, Donna and Charles, had pre-written, getting them scheduled to be posted. My intent is to get a lot of publicity for the Washington State Genealogical Society 2009 State Conference through our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and GenealogyWise.

Both NEHGS and RootsWeb sent me their free electronic newsletters via e-mail this week. You do not have to have any kind of membership to receive them, and they are always chock full of genealogical goodies. Click on the links to sign up for these freebies yourself!

Home and Neighborhood History
This week an elderly woman stopped by with her daughter. This woman had lived in our home for 20-some years as a renter back in the 70s and 80s. She had all kinds of stories to tell about the house and the neighborhood. In addition, she had gone to school with a girl that had grown up in this house in the late 30s and early 40s, who had related the ghost story to her. However, it was a bit more chilling than what we had originally heard. Apparently, the story goes, two sisters lived here and one of them murdered the other and buried the victim in the basement. Supposedly, people heard the ghost of the murdered girl when they went into the basement. It so bothered the woman who lived here in the 70s and 80s that she had a priest come and bless the house. I don't believe that this story is true...I think it had its roots in the tale two sisters made up during the Depression years to get out of paying the rent. However, I will do a little investigation with city directories and old newspapers to see what I can find.

That same evening, I was talking to my 30-something next-door neighbor who told me she had grown up in a house over in the next block. She, too, had stories to share about the neighborhood. I felt like I had done some time traveling that day, having listened to tales encompassing seven decades!

Is your genealogy protected? Our main computer has been down for nearly two months, now, and attempts to get parts and repair it have been both frustratingly long and unsuccessful (we may actually have to take it to a shop!). It's especially been difficult not having easy access to my genealogy document and photo files, but I do have access, nonetheless. I have had everything backed up by Carbonite, and while my laptops do not have the room to download everything I need, I can remotely access a few things at a time. I spent some time this week doing an online chat with customer service to make sure those files and folders still are safe in online storage, although we are running out of time to reinstall everything. I am hoping that a) our hard drive was not damaged when the power supply blew; and b) if that is so, we'll be able to reinstall everything smoothly, once we get the computer back up and running. Fingers and toes crossed!

GenealogyWise: My New Favorite Place

If you read any genealogy blogs other than my own, it's likely you've been hearing about GenealogyWise this week. Created by FamilyLink and a part of the corporation family which includes WorldVitalRecords, it's a genealogy social network. Some are calling it "Facebook for genealogists."

The number of genealogists that are joining GenealogyWise are staggering: over 1,600 in less than 72 hours. Mark Tucker, of ThinkGenealogy has been keeping daily statistics on the number of members joined, groups formed, forums started, and blogs and videos added, and they are amazing!

So what's all the fuss? Like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites, GenealogyWise offers a place for genealogists to get to know one another in a safe, free, online setting. Like most social networking sites, users can share as little or as much information about themselves as they wish by adjusting their privacy settings. Users can upload photos, videos, RSS feeds, and blog posts, and create or join focus groups and discussion forums. There are a variety of backgrounds with which users can decorate their own profile pages. Members can chat in a group or private setting.

There are differences, of course. GenealogyWise is focused on gathering and serving genealogists, not the general public. There aren't any games, status statements ("on my way to the mall," etc.), or dozens of silly applications. You're not likely to run into any non-genealogist cousins like you do on Facebook; GenealogyWise is for contacting and networking with those you already know are into genealogy. One of the great applications is event posting; I've added the Washington State Genealogical Society's 2009 State Conference to the growing list of events, which are listed in date order. Genealogy societies would be wise to jump on board and create a user page, list their events, post their blog feeds, and create groups for their members to join.

Some concerns have been made about genealogists leaving Facebook to use GenealogyWise exclusively. I only know of one person who has stated they were going to move their genealogy group from Facebook to GenealogyWise; everyone else I've heard from plans to continue to use Facebook, and why not? Facebook is where I "meet" my friends and family members who are not interested in genealogy, as well as former classmates and many individuals I've worked or worshipped with over the years. I'm sure many other genealogists feel the same way. Besides, I do like to play a game or two of Scramble every evening! Lastly, Facebook is a great way to meet up with distant cousins and invite them into your genealogy world (and perhaps to GenealogyWise!).

But GenealogyWise has already proven to me to be a worthwhile site to spend time at during my online time. I've "friended" an individual that I believe might be able to help me with my elusive TERRY line and solve my LAMOREAUX riddle. On a forum that I started (Your Favorite Free [or Low-Cost] Genealogy Resources), I discovered a free online digitzed newspaper website that had more details on the trial and execution of my black sheep ancestor and convicted murderer, Uzza ROBBINS. Another forum topic I found intriguing was THINGS You Wish GenealogyWise Could Do (a way to assist the developers to improve the site), started by Pat Richley, a.k.a. DearMYRTLE. And the RootsMagic Fans Group I started which currently has 79 members and includes developer Bruce Buzbee, proves that having a one-stop shop like GenealogyWise is a great way to meet up with the movers and shakers in the genealogy world.

I encourage you to try out GenealogyWise. You can see my profile and request to "friend" me here.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Pension File of Levi Edward McLALLIN - 6 Feb 1866

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. Any of my notations within this transcription are both italicized and in brackets.

Examining Surgeon's Certificate


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. Vol. Inf. in the service of the United States, who was discharged at Petersburg Va on the 20 day of January 1862, and is an applicant for an invalid pension, by reason of alleged disability resulting from Gun Shot Wound of right Lung.

Degree of disability.
In my opinion the said Levi E. McLallin is three fourths 3/4 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 occured [sic] in the service aforesaid in the line of duty.

Probable duration.
The disability is Permanent.

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

Particular description.
The wound was received from ball entering the right lung just above the nipple & passing through backward diagonally but not passing out. The lung is extensively solidified as also is the right lobe of the liver. Two floating ribs, of same side he states were broken by an injury received while being conveyed from the field--One still presents considerable deformitys [sic]

C. M. Stockwell
Examining Surgeon

not Ordered

New Haven
Macomb Co

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!


Have a safe and happy holiday! The 75th Carnival of Genealogy is up at Orations of OMcHoday. The theme is, appropriately, Justice and Independence.

Surname Saturday: MIDKIFF

My children's last name is MIDKIFF, and I have been able to trace this line definitely back six generations to their 4th-great-grandfather, Franklin Preston MIDKIFF.

Stories and History:

The MIDKIFF Family History on my website.

Ahnentafel #32 - Franklin Preston MIDKIFF (c. 1800 - c. 1840) was probably born in Kentucky, or perhaps Virginia. He appears in the 1830 Federal Census of the part of Lincoln County, Tennessee that is now Moore County. A neighbor, Hasten MIDKIFF, may well have been a brother or cousin. Franklin died before the 1840 Federal Census was taken, and his wife, Ellender "Nellie" OLIVER died before the 1850 Federal Census was taken, leaving five children surviving of their at least seven known children.

Ahnentafel #16 - Charles Anderson MIDKIFF, I (1839 - 1919) emigrated from Tennesee to Cooke and Grayson Counties in Texas with three of his four older siblings. He later lived in Oklahoma Territory, Colorado, and eventually, Butte County, California. You can read more about him in a biographical sketch here on my website, as well as a sketch on his military service in the Confederacy that I posted last year on this blog.

Ahnentafel #8 - John Franklin MIDKIFF, I (1870 - 1926) was married twice. He had four children with his first wife and three with his second. His daughter from his first marriage married his second wife's brother, making their children double and half cousins with my father-in-law!

Ahnentafel #4 - John Franklin MIDKIFF, II (1910 - 1957) - I've written a bit about John on this blog in one of my best posts, "Every Eleven Miles."

Ahnentafel #2 - My children's paternal grandfather (living)

Ahnentafel #1 - My children's father (living)

More about the MIDKIFF family:

1. Online database: MIDKIFF ancestors and relatives (I update this at least once a month; no info on living persons available)

2. Posts about MIDKIFF ancestors and relatives on this blog

3. Some scanned MIDKIFF documents

4. Some scanned MIDKIFF photos

5. My MIDKIFF Virtual Cemetery on Find A Grave

6. The MIDKIFF FamilyTreeDNA Project

7. Midkiff: A Family, Town, and Way of Life by Mary Lou MIDKIFF - the story of Charles' (above) nephew, Thomas Oscar MIDKIFF, Sr., who pioneered and ranched in West Texas

My children's MIDKIFF immigration trail:

KY or VA? > Lincoln (now Moore) Co., TN > Grayson Co., TX > Cooke Co., TX > Cleveland Co., OK Territory > Pottawatomie Co., OK > Delta Co., CO > Butte Co., CA > Custer Co., ID > Yakima Co., WA > Clark Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

Friday, July 03, 2009

A New Discovery: Got Genealogy?

A couple of weeks ago, I read a message from a woman on a genealogy mailing list. She had found a new online genealogy resource and was eager to share it. She then shared the name and URL of this "new" resource, and I realized it was a website that I have been visiting for nearly two years now. "New" to her was not new to me. That is the disadvantage or advantage, depending upon one's perspective, of being a genealogy blogger with access to the latest press releases. You learn about all the latest and greatest as they happen, but then you also start believing there isn't anything "new" out there!

My latest discovery was a nice surprise. I stumbled upon it quite by accident, having Googled the phrase "online city directories" to attempt to find more resources for my Online City, County, and Rural Directories website. My search led me to a .pdf document, the February 2008 issue of Got Genealogy? News, which in turn led me to a great "new" (to me!) website!

Got Genealogy?, founded by Lisa B. Lee, bills itself as a resource that uses "the tools of the future to discover your past." Each month they put out their four-page .pdf newsletter which is usually focused on one research theme, such as city directories, vital records, online libraries, state archives, etc. They also highlight a website each month on their website. Additionally, they put the fun into research by submitting a challenge to their readers, who attempt to solve the puzzle and win some fabulous prizes!

I hope that Got Genealogy? is a new resource for you and that it will soon become a familiar one as well!

Friday Findings: Magazines and a Bonanza

I haven't done Friday Findings in a while, and am hoping to get back on track with it. It's a great way to keep track of any research I've done or discoveries I've made over the past week.

I received the September 2009 issue of Family Tree Magazine and the July/August 2009 issue of Discovering Family History. Both have great articles, as usual, and they both had articles on the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA is the focus of FTM's web guides series, and DFH had an article on NARA field branches.

In an earlier post this week, I mentioned how my uncle had arrived from Western Michigan for a surprise 65th birthday party for my mother last weekend. He brought two packages of photos and documents, one for me and one for Mom. I am scanning Mom's stuff now to return to her when we visit for the annual Robbins' Fourth of July barbecue. It's been a challenge, since my main computer has been down for a month, I can't get my scanner's software to load on my daughter's fast laptop with lots of hard drive space, and my own sluggish laptop is almost out of room (I had to go through and do a lot of deleting of unnecessary files and cropping of .tif photo files to allow enough hard drive space to finish scanning).

The photos are mostly formal ones of Mom, her mother, and her grandmother, although there are many snapshots. There are also my grandparents' senior yearbooks, my grandmother's high school diploma, and some snapshots of my own childhood. There are also some photos from my (step) grandfather's family, and I'm honored that they are passing into my hands. I look forward to eventually highlighting a lot of these photos on some Wordless Wednesday posts.

I also heard from a HOLST relative (my paternal grandmother's adoptive surname) I've corresponded with in the past who may have some copies of photos to pass on to me. Also, a descendant of Silas YORK got back in touch with me. There's a possibility that my brick wall ancestor Jeremiah F. YORK is related and we've been knocking on this wall for many years. Last, I heard from a distant DICKINSON relative who told me of a family reunion in June 2010 in Massachusetts.

There's been a lot of news from genealogy websites this past week, and I just haven't had time to get the press releases on my blog. Many of them have to be reformatted to fit the post, which is time-consuming. I wish they'd get e-mailed to me in .txt format instead of HTML!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Things She's Learned About Blogging

One of my favorite non-genealogy blogs is Scribbit: A Blog about Motherhood in Alaska. Anyone who's read my blog for any amount of time is sure to understand why I'm a fan: the child from Alaska enjoys reading the work of the mother from Alaska. Even though I never lived in Anchorage like Michelle Mitchell does, there is just something about living in Alaska that is an automatic bond between people (not unlike being a geneablogger!). Michelle is a very well known Mom Blogger, and if you know anything about blogs beyond genealogy, you'll know that Mom Bloggers are huge in the social networking/technology world. Oh, yes, and here's a fact that's sure to interest a number of you genealogy fans: she used to work for a Nobel laureate at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. doing research on the Civil War!

Today Michelle wrote an interesting post entitled "Things I've Learned About Blogging." I thought it fascinating, not only from the perspective of a blogger myself, but also in retrospect to all that happened with the geneabloggers at Southern California Genealogical Society's 2009 Jamboree last weekend. Her eight things she's learned is sure to touch off a spark of knowing nods and "A-ha's" from those of us who've been blogging awhile. And if you're new to blogging, well, it's good know what to expect down the road. Savor her reflections!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

FamilySearch Indexing Update: Czech Republic, South Africa, Mexico, and Deutschland Projects Added

Indexers waiting for projects from the Czech Republic, Baden, Germany, or South Africa can now get busy. New indexing projects added this week are:

Czech Republic, Litomerice Kirchenbücher, 1552–1905 [Part 1]

Deutschland, Baden—Kirchenbücher, 1810-1869

Mexico DF Registros Parroquiales, 1886–1933 [Part 1]

South Africa, Cape Province Dutch Reformed Church, 1660–1970

U.S., Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1916–1922 [Part 2]

U.S., Massachusetts Marriages, 1896–1897

U.S., Minnesota 1885 State Census

Recently Completed Projects
(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication.)

Mexico, Censo de 1930—Tamaulipas

South Carolina—1920 U.S. Federal Census

Utah—1920 U.S. Federal Census

Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Argentina, Buenos Aires 1855 Census; Spanish; 44%

Argentina Censo 1869—Jujuy Salta Tucuman; Spanish; 46%

Argentina Censo 1869—Santiago y Santa Fe; Spanish; 12%

Australia, Greenwich—Genealogical Records, 1776–1980; English; 65%

Austria, Wiener Meldezettel, 1890–1925; German; 1%

Belgium, Antwerp Foreigners Index, 1840–1930; Dutch, Flemish; 41%

Czech Republic, Litomerice Kirchenbücher, 1552–1905 [Part 1]; German; (New)

France Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Part 1]; French; 81%

France Registres Protestants, 1612–1906 [Part 2]; French; 2%

France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche, 1792–1906; French; 89%

France, Paroisses de Cherbourg, 1802–1907; French; 1%

France, Paroisses de Coutances, 1802–1907; French; 1%

France, Paroisses de Saint-Lo, 1802–1907; French; 2%

Germany, Baden—Kirchenbücher, 1810-1869; German; (New)

Germany, Brandenburg Kirchenbücher, 1789–1875; German; 65%*

Germany, Mecklenburg 1890 Volkszählung, Div 24–38; German; 45%

Italy, Trento Baptism Records, 1784–1924; Italian; 87%

Jamaica, Trelawny Births, 1878–1930; English; 25%

Mexico, Censo de 1930—Mexico; Spanish; 10%

Mexico, Censo de 1930—Yucatan; Spanish; 35%

Mexico DF Registros Parroquiales, 1886–1933 [Part 1]; Spanish; (New)

Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records, 1879–Present; Spanish; 55%*

Peru, Lima—Registros Civiles, 1910–1930; Spanish; 34%

Russia, St Petersburg Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1833–1885; German; 1%

South Africa, Cape Province Dutch Reformed Church, 1660–1970; English; (New)

Spain, Avila, Moraleja de Matacabras, 1540–1904; Spanish; 46%

Spain, Lugo—Registros Parroquiales [Part 1], 1530–1930; Spanish; 19%

U.K., Cheshire Parish Records [Part 2], 1538-1850; English; 15%

U.K., Warwickshire Parish Registers, 1538–Present; English; 2%

U.S., Arkansas County Marriages VI, 1837–1957; English; 51%

U.S., Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1916–1922 [Part 2]; English; (New)

U.S., Indiana, Adams County Marriages, 1811–1959; English; 50%

U.S., Indiana, Allen County Marriages, 1811–1959; English; 16%

U.S., Indiana, Blackford County Marriages 1811–1959; English; 90%

U.S., Massachusetts Marriages, 1896–1897; English; (New)

U.S., Minnesota 1885 State Census; English; (New)

U.S., New York 1905 State Census; English; 48%

U.S., Pennsylvania—1920 U.S. Federal Census; English; 35%

U.S., Washington—County Marriages, 1858–1950; English; (New)

Ukraine, Kyiv, 1840–1842; Russian; 21%

Venezuela, Mérida Registros Parroquiales. 1654–1992; Spanish; 25%

(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Current FamilySearch Partner Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Belgique—Registres Des Décès—Charleroi, 1851–1900; French; 39%

Belgique—Registres Des Décès—En Français, 1796–1910; French; 22%*

België—Overlijdens Registers—In het Nederlands, 1796–1910; Dutch, Flemish; 91%*

België—Overlijdens Registers—Kalmthout, 1851–1900; Dutch, Flemish; 92%

België—Overlijdens Registers—Mechelen, 1851–1900; Dutch, Flemish; 9%

Deutschland, Bremer Schifflisten, 1904–1914; German; 59%

Flanders Death Registration, 1796–1900; French, Dutch, Flemish; 79%*

Norway 1875 Census [Part 1]; Norwegian; 40%

Canada, Nova Scotia—Antigonish Church Records, 1823–1905; English; 87%

U.S., Arkansas Marriages IV, 1837–1957; English; 38%

U.S., Indiana Marriages, 1882 to April 1905; English; 93%

U.S., Ohio Tax Records—2 of 4, Post 1825; English; 78%

U.S., Ohio Tax Records—3 of 4, Post 1825; English; 1%

U.S., Vermont Militia Records, 1861–1867; English; 45%

(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Current FamilySearch Regional Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion
(These projects are being indexed by volunteers in specific areas of the world.)

Australia, NSW—Bounty Immigrants, 1824–1842; English; 8%

Australia, Sydney Cemetery Inscriptions, 1800–1960; English; 9%

Australia, Victoria Probate Records, 1853–1989; English; 66%

Canada, British Columbia Marriages, 1859–1932; English; 9%

Canada, Quebec—Trois-Rivières IC, 1800–1900; French; 54%

FamilySearch Record Search Update: 12 New Collections Added--7 International

Twelve new collections were added to the FamilySearch Record Search pilot this week. International collections were added for Argentina, Australia, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain. New United States collections were added for Delaware, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Utah. Happy searching!

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

Special thanks to the growing number of online volunteers who help make these collections freely available by donating their time and talents to the FamilySearch Indexing program.

Collection Name: Argentina, Resistencia Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1882–1921
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 9,814
Comments: New

Collection Name: Australia, New South Wales, alphabetical index to newspaper cuttings 1841–1987
Indexed Records: 50,488
Digital Images: 47,519
Comments: New

Collection Name: Mexico, Coahuila, Catholic Church Records, 1627–1978
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 301,339
Comments: New

Collection Name: Mexico, Colima, Catholic Church Records, 1707–1969
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 172,930
Comments: New

Collection Name: Mexico, Campeche, Catholic Church Records, 1638–1944
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 167,931
Comments: New

Collection Name: Netherlands, Limburg Parish Register Transcripts, 1600–1822
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 50,449
Comments: New. Additional images will be added later this year.

Collection Name: Spain, Gerona Diocese, Catholic Church Records, 1339–1930
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 861,185
Comments: New. Additional images will be added later this year.

Collection Name: U.S., Delaware State Birth Records, 1861–1908
Indexed Records: 45,983
Digital Images: 23,624
Comments: New. Additional records will be added later this year.

Collection Name: U.S., Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841–1915
Indexed Records: 597,610
Digital Images: 601,355
Comments: New. Additional records will be added later this year

Collection Name: U.S., New Mexico Deaths, 1889–1945
Indexed Records: 167,925
Digital Images: ---
Comments: New

Collection Name: U.S., Rhode Island State Census, 1915
Indexed Records: 540,589
Digital Images: ---
Comments: New. Images will be added later.

Collection Name: U.S., Veterans with Federal Service Buried in Utah
Indexed Records: 18,924
Digital Images: 19,808
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 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

July 2009 Calendar of Events

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots, and gillyflowers.

--from "The Garden Year" by Sara Coleridge

Holidays, History, and Heritage

July 1: Canada Day (Canada)

July 4 - Independence Day (United States)

July 9: Independence Day (Argentina)

July 14: Bastille Day (France)

July 17 - Constitution Day (South Korea)

July 20: Independence Day (Colombia)

July 24: Pioneer Day (observed by the State of Utah and members of the LDS church)

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

Carnivals and Other Events:

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

Posted July 1 - the 4th Edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival - Obituaries

Posted July 4 - the 75th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - Justice and Independence

Posted July 17 - the 15th Edition of the "I Smile for the Camera" Carnival - They Worked Hard for the Family

Posted July 18 - the 5th Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival - Favorite Canadian Vacations

Posted July 18 - the 76th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Posted July 26- the 21st Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy - Celebrating Summer

Posted July 31 - the 3rd Edition of A Festival of Postcards - Signs

Posted July 31 - the 14th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture - Irish Vacations

July 1 - Data Backup Day

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

Scanfest: Scanfest is postponed until Sunday, September 27th, 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.

Bang-bang! Ka-boom!
We celebrate
Our national Independence date,
The Fourth, with Firecrackers and
The marching of The Legion Band.

America: It makes us think
Of hot dogs, fries, And Coke to drink.
The shade is hot. The little ants
Are busy, but Poor Fido pants

And Tabby dozes
In a pool
Of fur she sheds
To keep her cool.

--"July," by John Updike