Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 2010 Scanfest - Part 2

February 2010 Scanfest

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: The District of Columbia and U.S. Territories

This is the ninth post in a weekly series of Online American Digital Archives and Databases found for free at state, county, municipal, college and university history, library, and archive websites, as well as public and private library and museum sites, and historical and genealogical society sites.

The District of Columbia is a federal district, and its inhabitants are United States citizens, with all the rights and privileges of American citizens born or naturalized elsewhere. In my post today, I am only focusing on digital archives and databases that are related to the district itself, and not on national ones located within the district, such as the National Archives. I will leave those for my last post in this series, which will focus on national online archives and databases. Today's post also focuses on online archives and databases for U.S. territories. The territories' citizens have limited rights and you can read more about those here. According to Wikipedia, the following are inhabited unincorporated United States territories: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

District of Columbia

District of Columbia Office of Tax Revenue Real Property Assessment and Sales Databases -,a,1330,q,594345.asp - for researching ancestral homes

Historical Society of Washington, D.C. - - while there aren't really online archives or databases on this site, there is an online catalog as well as finding aids. This is a great resource if you have DC ancestry.

Washington Research Library Consortium Digital and Special Collections - - links to the digital and special collections of seven universities in Washington, D.C. comprising a treasure chest of photographs, documents, audio recordings, digitized newspapers, letters and much much more. The universities included are American University, Catholic University of American, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, and the University of the District of Columbia. Fabulous collections!


American Samoa
American Samoa

American Samoa Historical Preservation Office - - history, newspaper articles, photographs and links to online maps


University of Guam's Micronesian Area Research Center - - this is the only website I could find for Guam, and currently there are no digital archives uploaded to this site, although I did find this message: "We strive to acquire, preserve and provide access to collections of archival maps, photographs, texts and cultural materials.  This website will host much of our collections as we expand and dedicate staff time to digital resources."


Northern Mariana Islands

Northern Mariana Islands

Northern Marianas College Library - - no online archives or databases are available, but you can browse through the list of their collections and online catalog

Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Photo Archives - - in collaboration with the University of Hawai`i Library, these digitized photos showcase the Former Trust Territory, which included the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, The Federated States of Micronesia, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, and The Republic of Paulau. Follow the links on this page to be brought to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Voyager Database as well.


Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Archivo General de Puerto Rico/General Archives of Puerto Rico - - (in Spanish) scanned archives newsletters; sample photo, document, and audio files from the collections

Collectión Historia de Puerto Rico/The Ponce's Historical Archive & Historical Museum Digitalized - - digitized by the University of Illinois, this collection contains letters, documents, slavery censuses, photographs, maps, and other resources

El Archivo Histórico Arquidiocesano/Diocesan Archives of the Archdiocese of  San Juan, Puerto Rico  - - (in Spanish) while there really isn't archival material or databases online, there are some helpful genealogical information and links. Use Google to translate your pages.

Puerto Rico en breve/Puerto Rico in Brief - - (in Spanish) historical and genealogical links, census transcriptions, contact information for archives and parishes; appears to be a subscription website


United States Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands Special Collections - - includes funeral booklets, historical photographs, newspaper articles, research reports and occasional papers


Check out my District of Columbia Online Historical Directories and my District of Columbia Online Historical Newspapers pages.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nicollett Avenue at Night, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sofia (Lerfald) Line, unknown location (possibly Minneapolis, Minnesota) to
Rena Lerfald, postcard, unknown date. Digitized and privately held by Miriam Robbins Midkiff, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Spokane, Washington. Original collection privately held by Troy W. Midkiff, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Vancouver, Washington.

Click on either image to be brought to a larger, zoomable view.

The above postcard was sent to my husband's great-grandmother, Rena LERFALD, by her older sister, Sofia LERFALD (a.k.a. Mrs. Alpha A. LINE). It appears that it was not mailed, but instead sent by hand or perhaps was mailed inside an envelope, since there is no stamp or postmark. Sofia may have been living in or near Minneapolis, as the obverse is a photograph of Nicollett Avenue at night, in that city.  The note reads:

Hello sis how are you? Rec'd your letter today. Alph went out to work this morning so I have spent the day at Anna's place [their sister] Say sis you better come out here this spring  You wont have to work you just play lady. You can afford to lay off  You stay with us till we go home  Alph can get a pass for you, or you can stay longer and get some work  Well you better come out here when John [their brother] comes. Love to all

Rena had been working as a maid in various places in the midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota) from about 1909 to 1912. She often received postcards from her sisters and her brother John. The postcards from her sisters often encouraged her to visit them and to find work near them. She eventually moved to Montana, as did they, and met and married my husband's great-grandfather, George Rice WESTABY, III.

This postcard comes from the combined collection of postcards that Rena received, along with those her husband George would find and send to family members while he was working on the Northern Pacific Railroad.

This post has been written for the 7th Edition of the Festival of Postcards, whose topic is Light. I really enjoy this colorized photo of the streetlights of Minneapolis. I'm sure this view of the big city was enticing to young people of the surrounding rural areas.

Surname Saturday: BOS or BUSH

The BOS-BUSH family is my maternal step-grandfather's maternal line. BOS means "bunch" in Dutch, and I believe a better definition would be "clump of trees," but I'm not sure. When these Dutch-speaking immigrants arrived in Michigan, the name was anglicized to BUSH, which isn't far off from the original meaning.

Stories and History:

The earliest BOS ancestors I can find originated in the province of Groningen, in the villages of Uithuizermeeden in the municipality of Eemsmond and Bierum in the municipality of Delfzijl. In 1879, my step-2nd-great-grandparents, Melle BOS and Trientje ZIGTERMAN immigrated to Western Michigan.

(I use the letter "C" to differentiate between my biological family tree and my step-family tree. Similarly, I use the letter "B" to mark my paternal grandmother's adoptive family tree.)

Ahnentafel #416C - Klaassen BOS

Ahnentafel #208C - Jan Klaassens BOS; m. Ida Meinderts

Ahnentafel #104C - Eewe Jans BOS (b. 1789 in Uithuizermeeden); m. 1818 in Bierum to Kunje Alberts (de) WEERT

Ahnentafel #52C - Jan Eewe BOS (b. c. 1823); m.1849 in Bierum to Geertje Melles DIJKEMA

Ahnentafel #26C - Melle "Millard" BOS (b. c. 1853 - d. c. 1888); m. 1877 in Bierum to Trientje ZIGTERMAN; immigrated 1879 to Michigan; have been unable to find death record for Melle; his widow married 1889 in Lamont, Ottawa Co., Michigan to Pieter BARSEMA

Ahnentafel #13C - Johanna BOS (a.k.a. Josephine BUSH) - (1885 - 1946); m. 1911 in Grand Rapids, Kent Co., Michigan to Jarig Egbert Binnes DeVRIES (a.k.a. George Edward Benjamin DeVRIES)

Ahnentafel # 6C - Adrian "Ed" DeVRIES (1916 - 2007) - my beloved maternal (step) grandfather, greatly missed; m. 1947 in Wyoming Twp., Kent Co., Michigan to Ruth Lillian (HOEKSTRA) VALK

More about the BOS family:

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

2. Some BOS obituaries

3. Posts about BOS ancestors and relatives on this blog

4. Some scanned BOS photos

My BOS immigration trail:

Eemsmond, Groningen, the Netherlands > Delfzijl, Groningen, the Netherlands > Missaukee Co., MI > Ottawa Co., MI > Kent Co., MI > AK > Stevens Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

Friday, February 26, 2010

Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games Stats: Day 10 - 15

Just like the real Olympic Games, my own GeneaBlogger Games have had what can only be described as not the best of luck. I really was unable to make the effort I would have liked, timewise. But I have immensely enjoyed reading others' successes and if nothing more, being a part of a fun geneablogger activity.

My final stats are as follows:

Category 1: 0

Category 2: 0

Category 5: Silver

Thank you to Thomas MacEntee for organizing the games, and to all the other "athletes" who worked so hard and competed in the events. I'm looking forward to the next GeneaBlogger Games...see you in Summer 2012!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Using Timelines

In both the Winter 2010 Genea-Blogger Games (Category 4, Task B) and the upcoming 91st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, using a timeline of your ancestor's life is suggested for organizing your information for your research and your blogging. There are all kinds of genealogy and history software and websites that can generate timelines for your ancestors which will list many of the historical events that happened in your ancestor's life. These are great tools, but I'd also like to suggest something very simple to start with. Before you get going with all the major historical events in your ancestor's life, have you truly documented all the major life events? These would include births, marriages, and deaths for your ancestor's parents, siblings, spouses, children, and grandchildren, as well as censuses, military service, migration, land purchases, etc.

I started out by creating and using a very simple Timeline form (found online here -  There are 40 lines (years) on this form and by printing it on both the front and back of a piece of paper it gave me 80 average lifespan. For a few ancestors who lived past the age of 80, I needed another piece of paper printed on one side. Then I started with the year a particular ancestor was born (or the earliest I could estimate) and numbered every year of their life on the form. I filled in whatever information (events and locations) I could for as many years possible. I also wrote their age in the margin for every event. I listed where they were in census years, where they lived when their siblings or children were born or when close family members died. Every time I found them on a record, I wrote it down on the timeline. This did three things for me:

1. It gave me a chronology of the events of their life, as I knew it at that point.

2. It gave me a chronology of their locations, so I could see migration patterns.

3. Most importantly, it gave me a visual of the years where there are blanks (where I have no information about that ancestor's life!).

My genealogy software will show me the first two things, but not the last. I have heard professional genealogists state that good family research will account for an ancestor's whereabouts with gaps no more than two years apart! In other words, you should be able to find a record showing your ancestors' whereabouts every one to two years of their lives!

This timeline helped me immensely when reading about my husband's great-grandfather, Albert Francis CHAPLIN, I. According to a written history one of Norm's grandaunts wrote, the family moved back and forth between the West (Colorado, Washington, and Oregon) and the midwest (Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma). As this was the early 1900s and they were often traveling by covered wagon (and probably later by train), I wondered about this. Was Albert not able to find jobs? Did he have an itchy foot? Was the law after them? How could they afford to resettle every few years? When I put all the outlying events of his life (siblings' and parents' events) in order with his own life events, I saw that his widowed mother and single brothers back east all died within a short period of time. I had found him in Kansas in 1920 after living out West for many years. I realized that the family had gone back to Kansas, probably to help with the nursing of the relatives (many of them died of tuberculosis), taking care of the family farm, and settling the estate. I would never had figured this out if I hadn't used the timeline!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Historic Map Works Purchases Metsker Maps

Historic Map Works is pleased to announce the acquisition of Metsker Maps, the long running map publishing business from Tacoma, Washington.

During their almost century long run, the Metsker family produced approximately 300 county atlases and 400 county wall maps of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, and Northern California. Scanning the newly acquired maps will add approximately 10,000 images to the 1.2 million map related images already available on You can read more about these historic maps and see examples of our first scans from the new collection here.

On a personal note, my husband and I have been using Metsker maps over the course of the last 22 years, for camping, history, local road trips, and the like. They are very common here in Washington, and it's not unusual to see them in any hardware or convenience store. The fact that they were only limited to the West is news to me; I thought they had mapped the entire U.S., and always planned to purchase some for my ancestral locations:

Unlike many publishers of the time who limited themselves to publishing maps of more developed areas, the Metsker family excelled at recording the history of the then rural and wilderness geographies. Many of our users already use Metsker Maps to study the boundary changes to state and national parks as well as helping land use enthusiast to locate former logging trails, timber camps, gold mines, and other areas of industry which flourished and then quietly faded away during the Northwest's various booms and busts. In many instances, the only way to locate these now ghost towns and overgrown roads is to look on a map published by Metsker Maps.

Frugal Genealogy: Software

Last week, we addressed how you can check out genealogy subscription websites for free. Similarly, you can also check out quality genealogy software! Besides the typical database software in which you enter your family tree, there are other types of software that can be helpful in your research. Here are some of the major brands who offer limited trial or freebie versions, listed in alphabetical order. All products are for PCs, unless noted.

Clooz (genealogy file organizing software) - limited 30-day or 15-tries trial

Family Reunion Organizer (planning software) - limited trial

Family Tree Builder (database software - free)

Family Tree Maker (database software) - Starter Edition (free)

GenBox (database software) - limited 30-day trial

GenSmarts (analyzes your database software and gives research recommendations) - limited trial

Legacy Family Tree (database software) - Standard Edition (free)

Master Genealogist (database software) - limited trial

Personal Historian (personal and family history writing software) - limited trial

Reunion for Macintosh (database software) - limited 30-day trial

RootsMagic (database software) - RootsMagic Essentials (free)

This post is part of a ten-part series on Frugal Genealogy, based on my most-requested presentation, "Frugal Genealogy, or How Not to Spend a Fortune on Your Family Tree." Each post in this series will focus on one of ten topics I discuss in my presentation, and I freely share one tip from each topic. If you would like me to speak to your group anywhere in the Pacific Northwest on this or any other subject, please contact me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Madness Post Postponed

I had several unexpected changes to my schedule today, which has delayed my Monday Madness post until next week.

The same delays also cost me from adding any more tallies to my Winter Games medal count.

Wow! It's 11:40 PM...better get to bed...tomorrow is another blogging day! :-)

AnceStories is one of Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs!


Today I received an e-mail from Diane Haddad, managing editor of Family Tree Magazine, informing me that this blog had been voted one of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in the Personal & Family Blog category!

Thank you to Diane for making this announcement on the Genealogy Insider blog, to Maureen Taylor for writing the Fab Forty article which will appear in the May issue of Family Tree Magazine, and to you, my readers, who were so gracious and generous in voting for me!

Congratulations to all the bloggers who won, those who were runners up (see bottom of the following list), and all who were nominated. Thanks, too, to Vickie Everhart of BeNotForgot for this lovely collage:

Family Tree Magazine's Top 40 Genealogy Blogs:

Genetic Genealogy
Local & Regional
News & Resources
Photos & Heirlooms
Personal & Family
More to Love:

The Chart Chick

Elyse’s Genealogy Blog
Everything’s Relative
Finding the Flock 
The Genealogue
Olive Tree Genealogy Blog
Polly’s Granddaughter
Renee’s Genealogy Blog
Seeking Michigan
Think Genealogy

Scanfest is Coming!

The February 2010 Scanfest will take place here at AnceStories next Sunday, February 28th, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Standard Time.

Scanfest may be a new term for some of my new readers. What is Scanfest? It's a time when geneabloggers, family historians, and family archivists meet online here at this blog to chat while they scan their precious family document and photos. Why? Because, quite honestly, scanning is time-consuming and boring!

Scanfest is a great time to "meet" other genealogists, ask questions about scanning and preservation, and get the kick in the pants we all need on starting those massive scanning projects that just seem too overwhelming to begin.

To get started, you need to know the basics about scanning:

1. Don't use commercial glass cleaners (i.e. Windex) or paper towels to clean your scanner's glass plate. Use a soft, clean cloth, preferably microfiber. If you must use a liquid, use water sprayed directly onto the cloth (or for stubborn spots, use a little eyeglass cleaner, again, sprayed onto the cloth, not the glass), 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 photography 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.

Now about the chatting part of Scanfest:

We will be using Cover It Live, a live blogging format that you access right here at AnceStories.

On Sunday at 11 AM, PST, come right here to AnceStories and you'll see the CoverItLive live blog/forum in the top post. It's not really a "chat room," per se, it's more like a live forum and anyone visiting this site can read and see what is happening in the forum.

You will not need to download any software.

Up to 25 individuals can be invited to be Producers. Producers are participants who have the extra capability of sharing photos, links, and other media within the forum (great for sharing the photos you're scanning!). You must have Internet Explorer 6.0+ or Firefox 2.0+ to be a Producer.

We can also have up to 25 other Participants who can comment freely in our conversation, but will not be able to share media. You can have any kind of browser to be a Participant.

In addition, any other readers of this blog can drop on by and view/read what is happening at Scanfest. If the 25 Participant spaces are full, those readers will not be able to comment, unless someone else drops out.

Confused? Have questions? Go to CoverItLive and check out 6. Try It Now to see live blogs in action or 7. Demos to see videos demonstrating how to use CIT (especially the ones titled "How do my readers watch my Live Blog?" and "Adding Panelists and Producers").

If you would like to be a Producer, please e-mail me no later than Saturday, February 27th at 4 PM, PST and I'll send you an invitation. Preference will given to previous Scanfesters. You must set up an account (free!) ahead of time to be a Producer. This account will be good for all future Scanfests. You can do some practices ahead of time by going to My Account and clicking on the link under Practice your live blogging. Again, you must have IE 6.0+ or Firefox 2.0+ to be a Panelist.

As a Producer, Participant or simply a reader, if you would like an e-mail reminder for Scanfest, fill out the form below and choose the time frame for which you would like to be reminded (if you're reading this through Google Reader, Bloglines, or some other RSS feed reader, you will need to go to my blog and view this post there to see and utilize the form).

It really is easier than it sounds, and I'm looking forward to seeing you all there and getting some scanning done!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games Stats: Days 4 - 9

My participation in the Winter Games has pretty much come to a screeching halt.I started working on adding some citations earlier this week and only input four. So my medal count remains the same as it did when I blogged my stats last Monday:

Category 1: 0

Category 2: 0

Category 5: silver

I am going to try a little harder to focus on my goals this coming week. And although I haven't been doing much myself, I am excited to see how many people are participating and working steadily throughout these games!

One Carnival, Two Carnivals, Three Carnivals...and More!

Wow! Has this ever been a week for blog carnivals! The following were published within the last few days:

The 20th Edition of the Smile for the Camera Carnival was the first to be published on Tuesday, February 16th at Shades of the Departed. Valentine was the topic, and twenty bloggers submitted beautiful images (photos, scrapbook pages, valentines and love letters) to illustrate their posts.

The footnoteMaven says "the word prompt for the 21st Edition of Smile For The Camera is "Give Their Face A Place." March is Women's History month and you are asked to picture women back into history. The unknown, known and unsung women who are often the foundation of our family history. Give their face a place. The interpretation is yours. Admission is free with every photograph!

"Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!"
Deadline for submission is midnight (Pacific Time) on March 10. You can submit by sending an email to footnoteMaven. Include the title and permalink URL of the post you are submitting, your name, and the name of your blog. Put 'Smile For The Camera' clearly in the title of your email!  You can also use the handy submission form provided by Blog Carnival.


The 90th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy was published at Creative Gene on Thursday, February 18th. The theme was the iGene Awards (the Best of the Best), and they were done in style according to those famous annual movie awards! Twenty-three bloggers wrote about their Best Pictures, Best Screenplays, Best Documentaries, Best Biographies, and Best Comedies. My own post, AnceStories Presents the 2009 iGene Awards, was included. Whose submission was the feature article? You'll have to read the carnival post to find out!

The 91st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be A Tribute to Women, an annual event which corresponds with Women's History Month (March). Our hostess Jasia writes, "This is will be the 4th annual edition on this topic so we're going to change it up just a bit to keep it fresh... Write a biography about a woman on your family tree starting with a timeline of their life. The timeline can be a separate post that you link to from your biography (which can itself be a series of articles) but please just submit one post to the COG. If you haven't written from a timeline before you may find it a great learning/research experience! Since this topic will likely require more research and writing time you'll have a full month till the deadline. There will be no March 1st edition of the COG. The deadline for submissions will be March 15th. Thirty submissions will be accepted.

"Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the 'comment' box of the blog carnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page."


Jessica Oswalt published the 29th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy on her blog, Jessica's Genejournal, on Saturday, February 20th. The topic was a carousel, which mean people could choose their own. There were seven submissions on a variety of interesting topics, and I can't wait to read them!

Jessica shares, "The topic for the next edition is on 'The Village of my Ancestor'. Each article should deal with any known history of any location that one ancestor may have lived. It could be history of a town or area in the U.S. or an European Village, and will be hosted by Al of Polish-American Genealogy Research. The deadline for submissions will be March 19th, and the edition will be published on March 22nd. You can submit your articles here."


Kathryn Lake of Looking4Ancestors published the 8th Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival today, February 21st. Five bloggers submitted posts on the topic, Winter Sports in the Great White North. We all know that the Canucks are the hosts of this year's Winter Games, so the topic is very appropriate!

"The topic for 9th edition of the CGC is Canadian Fashion Fads.  Share with us by photo and/or post the popular fashions of your Canadian family.  Submit your entry using the convenient submissions form at Blog Carnival. The deadline is April 16, 2010."

And if all that wasn't enough, folks, there are not one--but two!--new carnivals coming to town!

The first is the Carnival of Genealogical Societies. For the first time ever, genealogical society blogs will be able to participate in their very own carnival! Hosted by the California Genealogical Society and Library Blog, the first edition of the CGS will be themed Doin' Things Right:

"Shine a spotlight on a specific program, project, or publication at a genealogical society and tell us why it worked. Tell an anecdote about how you benefited from a particular genealogical society service. Share a success story and be specific! The deadline for submissions is March 7, 2010.

"Please do indicate in your article that you are writing for the First Edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies. Submit your blog article using the the submission form provided by Blog Carnival. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any article you plan to submit and/or write a brief introduction to your articles in the "remarks" section of the form."

The second new carnival is the Carnival of African-American Genealogy. How appropriate that this is being announced during Black History Month!  Luckie Daniels of Our Georgia Roots is the carnival host, and she announces the first edition in Spread the Word! We're Having a Carnival!

"On March 19th Restore My Name – Slave Records and Genealogy Research, will kick-off the first of an ongoing series of African-American themed carnivals, intended to be a gathering place for the community to share and learn about African-American genealogy.

"Our first CoAAG discussion theme will deal with how records of slave ownership are handled by the genealogy researcher. Contributors will be asked to write a blog post (at their own blogs) on one or more of the following aspects:
  • What responsibilities are involved on the part of the researcher when locating names of slaves in a record?
  • Does it matter if the record(s) are related to your ancestral lines or not?
  • As a descendant of slave owners, have you ever been pressured by family not to discuss or post about records containing slave names?
  • As a descendant of slaves, have you been able to work with or even meet other researchers who are descendants of slave owners?
  • Have you ever performed a Random Act of Genealogical Kindness involving slave ownership records? Or were you on the receiving end of such kindness?
"Submissions will be accepted starting today through March 12th 11:59 PM EST. Once you’ve created your blog post, use the blog carnival submission form to make sure it is included in the CoAAG post..."

Whew! Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a whole lot of reading to do...and some thinking about some posts to write for next month's carnivals!

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Be Grateful and Generous

To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.

"Nobody likes an ingrate!" is something I've found myself saying all too frequently over the years to my children--and, I must admit, to myself as well.

One of the kindest things you can do for someone else is to be grateful for when they've been kind to you.

A little bit goes a long way. If you have a blog or a website, post a message praising the kindness given. If someone has sent you information via e-mail, even if it's something you already have, send them a thankful response. If a library staff member has looked up, photocopied, and mailed you an obituary free of charge, take the time to send a thank-you note by mail. Perhaps include a donation to their library foundation. If a funeral home employee has gone out of their way to find a death record in an ancestor's file buried deep in the storage room of the basement, send a letter praising their worth to the board of directors.

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness has a Kudos page where you can post your thanks for the lookup you received. If you use another lookup service, write the webmaster and tell them how wonderful their volunteers are!

Have an attitude of gratitude. Have it before you ask. Be respectful of others' time and resources when you make a request. AND DON'T FORGET TO THANK THEM!

Be generous. Determine to do one kind thing a month or week. Record it...and record the wonderful consequences!

Buy that baby book or family bible on E-bay or in a second-hand shop and attempt to return it to its family. Donate twice as much as the society suggests when they locate a record for you. Volunteer a little longer than for the length of time you signed up. Ask to help again the next time.

I had fun this week, thinking of--and performing--random acts of kindness. Did you? Let's keep it going! If you're a blogger, then consider writing a post once a month sharing how you received a kindness, and how you passed it on. What do you think?

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: Delaware

This is the eighth post in a weekly series of Online American Digital Archives and Databases found for free at state, county, municipal, college and university history, library, and archive websites, as well as public and private library and museum sites, and historical and genealogical society sites.

Delaware Public Archives Digital Archives - - construction drawings, currency notes, original legislation, Seventeenth Century papers, Civil War records, petitions for Naturalization, historic audio clips of interviews and radio broadcasts concerning service in WWII, desegregation, recycling, and baseball, historical maps of Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region, ranging from 1688 to the 20th Century

Delaware Public Archives Historical Markers Program -

Delaware Public Archives Probates Records Database - - "These indexes are the primary finding aid to our holdings of manuscript probate records for all three counties from c. 1680 to c. 1925. These are not indexes to all the names appearing in the records, but only the names of the deceased for whom the files were created. Contained in each index are the individual's name, and a date or dates. The dates correspond to the date of the documents within that individual's file and may refer to a date of the will or to a date for probate to begin."

Delaware Historical Society - - while there is no data per se on this website, there are many indexes of the collections they do have, as well as images from the photograph collection


University of Delaware Library Digital Collections - - Civil War letters and diaries, handwritten Lincoln documents, photographs, family papers, Civil War lithographic prints, postcards, digital bibliography , historic maps and charts


Barratt's Chapel and Museum - - houses a research library emphasizing Methodist history and the archives of the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference; the website has indexes of the collection, history and biography, and some photographs of the museum exhibits

Diocese of Wilmington Catholic Cemeteries Burial Database -

Hagley Museum and Library Digital Archives - - "provides online access to a growing selection of items from the library's collections of images, documents, and publications related to the history of business, technology, and society." Collections contain the following: American Iron and Steel Institute / Keller Collection; Dallin Aerial Survey Company, 1924-1941; DuPont Automobiles, 1903-1912; General Image Collection; Hagley Research Reports; Lammot du Pont, Jr. Aeronautical Collection, 1783-1950; Litchfield Collection on the History of Fatty Materials; Lukens Steel Company, 1810-1973; Matheson Automobile Company, 1903-1912; Miss America Programs, 1945-1967; Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, 1917-1983; P.S. du Pont/Longwood, 1840-1954; Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, circa 1930; Gentieu Collection of Brandywine Valley Images, 1880-1920; Postcards of Motels and Roadside Attractions, 1930-1960; Postcards of Railroad Stations, 1903-1972; Pusey & Jones Corporation, 1865-1955; Trade Catalogs and Pamphlets; Warren-Ehret Company Collection, circa 1900; Wawa, Inc., 1870-2006; and William G. McGowan / MCI Digital Collection

Winterthur Digital Collections - - "Winterthur Library is a recognized center for advanced study and is dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of America's artistic, cultural, social, and intellectual history from colonial times into the twentieth century." The digital collections include cigar labels, bookplates, quilts, Shaker photographs and postcards, sketchbooks, mathematical playing cards, French candy wrappers, period rooms, autochromes of Winterthur Gardens, furniture designs and more. Great social history resource!


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Give a Hand

To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.

Someone, out there, needs your help.

It could be that senior citizen you talked to after the last society meeting who can't figure out how to use Ancestry's search features on their home computer.

It could be someone who shares a frustrating experience on a message board or mailing list.

It could be a friend who'd like to look up her dad's ancestry for him before he passes, but she has no idea where to start.

It could be your mother, asking you to help her sort through her boxes of unlabeled photos.

No matter who, no matter what, it's likely that you have the experience and know-how to help them. And yes, it will cost you. It will cost you time, convenience, patience; even, perhaps, some money.

Today's idea for a random act of kindness is very simple: the next time someone asks--or hints-- for help, say "yes".

Remember this: the person that seems the most annoying, the person that perhaps will try your patience most, the one who doesn't seem to "get it" no matter how well you try to explain--that person will often be the most grateful for your help. I say this from experience. And I say this from a standpoint of humility, knowing there have been many times in my life when someone helped me when I must have seemed annoying, trying, stupid, and just plain hopeless.

Practice random acts of senseless kindness...with a smile!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Transcribe or Translate

To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.

One way that you can make a difference to the genealogical community is to volunteer to transcribe, abstract, or index genealogical data for a society or other group. With the advent of the Internet, this no longer means that you always have to go onsite to do your act of kindness! I know of several members of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, as well as my sister-in-law (not an EWGS member), who have volunteered to index data for the Washington State Digital Archives. In my sister-in-law's case, she had copies of census records mailed to her, which she then indexed, never having to leave home to volunteer her time. FamilySearch Indexing is another project that you can work on from home, which I have done on occasion. Renee and Lori are a couple of my geneablogging friends that have been volunteering for this and blogging about their experiences. Cyndi's List also has a page of Volunteer Online Regional Projects where you can locate an assignment on which to work.

Can you read a foreign language or old-style handwriting? Your translating skills are needed! Cyndi's List has a list of volunteer websites where you could sign up to help in this area; or volunteer to help with handwriting and script on any of these sites.

Working on these types of projects is fun, satisfying, and often can be done in small amounts of time. I encourage you to try one out one of the above!

Happy Birthday to a Very Special Olympian!

Today is the birthday of a very special Olympian. Once upon a time, this 15-year-old girl from New Jersey competed in the Summer Olympics in Mexico City in the women's swimming 200-meter butterfly event. She placed sixth in the Games, although going in, she was ranked fourth in the world. It's absolutely amazing to me that someone who was only 15 years old at the time was able to accomplish so much.

But when I see her, I don't usually think about the Olympics. I see a friend, a colleague, a mentor, and a positive, determined, and active woman who cares so much for our dozen or so special-needs students. I've had the pleasure of chasing her Bronx roots across the Internet to Ireland and Germany. She is one of the reasons I love going to work every day (I can't imagine a better boss!) and I hope she realizes how special she is to our school community, to her many friends and family members, and to me.  Happy Birthday, Nu-Nu! We love you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Last Canadian WWI Veteran Passes in Spokane

From the Spokesman-Review:
The last Canadian veteran of World War I died Thursday at the age of 109.

John Henry Foster Babcock, who went by Jack, died Thursday at his home in Spokane, his family confirmed.

Read the rest here.

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Share Your Data

To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.

Chances are, among all the records you've gathered on your ancestors, you've got something that doesn't belong to your own family tree...a photo of great-grandma's neighbors, a postcard of your father-in-law's ancestral hometown courthouse, three obituaries printed on the same newspaper page as Aunt Ruth's, a record you ordered that you thought was your uncle John Johnson's marriage license but turned out to belong to someone else with the same name.

Don't be a data hog! Share that information! It's quite possible that the items which are sitting in your file folders, boxes, and hard drive might contain a clue that will break through a stranger's brick wall, or be the only surviving photo of someone's grandfather, or solve a mystery in another's family history. Perhaps you have more than data; perhaps you have a personal item that you feel needs to be returned to its rightful owner.

There are many places online where you can contribute the genealogical wealth that's hiding in your home:


* Ancestors At Rest
* Family Bibles Website

Documents & Data
* Ancestors At Rest
* Ancestry/RootsWeb's Mailing Lists and Message Boards are good places to submit data (submit to Ancestry and the info will be duplicated at RootsWeb, and vice versa). Find a message board or mailing list by surname, location, or topic to match the data you'd like to submit.
* Genealogy Buff
RootsWeb has an online form for submitting user contributed data into their searchable database here.

Lost and Found Items
* Ancestry has a message board called "Found Family Heirlooms."
* Cyndi's List has a whole page of Lost & Found Resource Sites where you can post items you want to pass on to others.

*Cyndi's List also turned up a long list of websites where you can submit your "lost and found" photos, including perhaps the most well-know, Dead Fred.

* FamilyOldPhotos - enter postcard* in the search engine
* GeneaNet
* Penny Postcards

* Ancestry/Rootsweb's Obituaries Message Board
* Genealogy Buff

Other Ideas
* You can check with pertinent U.S. GenWeb and U.S. GenNet county websites (by e-mailing the webmasters) to see if they will take user-submitted data.
* Check with the genealogical or historical society that your data originates from or is about to see if they will take it. Due to storage restraints or costs, some cannot.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Volunteer for a Society

To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.

How many of you belong to a genealogical, historical, heritage, lineage, or ethnic society? And of those of you who raised your hands, how many of you volunteered your time to that society in the past 12 months? For those of you who did volunteer your time, I say "thank you!"

Societies are always looking for more volunteers. I personally think that societies should require all members who reside locally to contribute a minimum of 24 hours annually (only 2 hours a month!), whether it is serving on a committee, bringing refreshments to the next meeting, doing local lookups, shelving books in the collection, working on a transcription project, teaching a class, or making a presentation.

I challenge every one of my readers who is a society member of any type to contribute at least 24 hours of their time between now and next February! Are there any takers? If so, please leave your name and e-mail address in the comment section below!

If you don't have a local society available, then may I suggest several alternatives? Most patrons of Family History Centers don't realize that you do not have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (a Mormon) to be a volunteer staff member. If you frequent an FHC, ask to talk to the center director about being a regular, or possibly a substitute, volunteer. He or she will make sure you get the necessary training to be competent and confident in your service. Another possibility is to donate your time to your local public library. With budget cutbacks, many libraries are in desperate need of volunteers to do reshelving, cleaning, run used-book sales, and even help with checkout. Find your local library district here. Or see if your local museum is in need of help. One of the funnest research projects I ever worked on was the Campbell House Employees Project, where a number of us EWGS members volunteered to research the servants of the Campbell House, a Victorian mansion from the late 19th century!

Volunteerism is rewarding! Give your local society or institution a call today!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Be a Sponsor

To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.

It's time to put your money where your mouth is! Many of the following websites perform free or low-cost services to the genealogical community, and several struggle to maintain the expenses of running their websites, especially in this economic downturn. By giving a one-time $5 or $10 donation, you can help defray the owners' costs and continue to provide inexpensive resources to many others.

Census Tools - offering over 40 free spreadsheets for census, cemetery and passenger manifest data to make recording and analyzing your data easier; suggested donation: $10 via Amazon Honor System or Paypal.

Find A Grave - sponsor a memorial page of an ancestor or relative, which you can create; or be spontaneous, and sponsor the memorial page of a complete stranger! This one-time $5 donation will forever remove all advertising from the memorial page of your choice. You must create a free account to donate with a credit/debit card. You can also choose to mail in your donation. Lastly, you can make a purchase at the Find A Grave store to help this wonderful website defray its expenses!

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - you can donate by Paypal or by check or money order to keep this very useful lookup service online; or make a purchase at their online stores here and here.

USGenNet - hosts many free genealogy county and surname websites--among others--for the United States and Canada as part of their American Local History Network and American History and Genealogy Projects. Help defray their costs with a tax-deductible donation by mail or Paypal; details are on their home page and their FAQs page. Those that contribute $20.00 or more are automatically eligible for membership as a supporting or sustaining (voting) member.

Do you have a favorite genealogy website or blog which you frequent? Many of these have advertising on them. Support your favorite webmaster or blogger by clicking on these links every time you visit. By doing so, the owner likely will receive a small profit which often goes towards their bandwidth or webhosting expenses. If you have a specific genealogy purchase in mind (a coveted genealogy book or CD, or a new subscription database website you'd like to try), check out the ads on your frequently-visited sites or blogs to see if you can make your desired purchase through them. Sometimes you'll even receive a discount by doing so!

Frugal Genealogy: Website Subscriptions

Let's face it: subscriptions to genealogy websites are probably the most expensive resource available. What's more, if you don't know what's available on each website, you may not know which is the best bargain for your research. There are a number of ways to determine which subscription is the best for your needs, but one free way I suggest to all my students in my genealogy class is to sign up for the website's free e-newsletter or blog. Not only will you get an idea of what kinds of databases and records are available, but you'll be notified as to when special offers are occurring.  Here are some of the major players with links to their free e-newsletters and/or blogs, listed in alphabetical order:

Ancestry (US & Global) - Blog - eNewsletter

FindMyPast (British) - Blog

Footnote (US) - Blog - for a eNewsletter, create a free account and then from your account page, choose Communication Settings to choose the type(s) of newsletter(s) you wish to have e-mailed to you

GenealogyBank (US) - Blog

New England Historic and Genealogical Society (New England and New York) - eNewsletter (the latest issue is always available to read at this same page)

NewspaperARCHIVE (Global) - Explore, Discover, Share Blog (subscribers share their finds) & Daily Perspective Blog (history behind the news)

WorldVitalRecords (US & Global) - Blog - eNewsletter

This post is part of a ten-part series on Frugal Genealogy, based on my most-requested presentation, "Frugal Genealogy, or How Not to Spend a Fortune on Your Family Tree." Each post in this series will focus on one of ten topics I discuss in my presentation, and I freely share one tip from each topic. If you would like me to speak to your group anywhere in the Pacific Northwest on this or any other subject, please contact me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games Stats: Days 1 - 3

I've been remiss on posting my daily stats for the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games. Friday was a rocky start, as I attempted to do some blogging while babysitting my nephews, but could not get a strong or consistent Internet signal to do so.

I more than made up for it yesterday and today, publishing or pre-publishing 15 posts on this blog (not counting this post), including a post for the upcoming Carnival of Genealogy, plus another three posts on my local genealogical society's blog. So far, I've completed Tasks B and C of Category 5. Write, Write, Write! earning a silver medal as of today. I need to complete one more task to earn the gold which is my goal. Categories 1 and 2 are still left for me to participate in.


Category 1: 0

Category 2: 0

Category 5: silver

Intermediate Online Genealogy Course

If you live in the Spokane area, I would like to invite you to take my Intermediate Online Genealogy Course, available through the Community Colleges of Spokane's Institute for Extended Learning (IEL). Classes will be held Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 PM for six weeks at the CenterPlace campus, 2426 N. Discovery Way, Spokane Valley, Washington.

This course will cover using Internet resources to research military, naturalization and immigration, court, and land records, as well as explore various genealogy websites such as Footnote, WorldVitalRecords, GenealogyBank, and HeritageQuest. Taking my beginning course is recommended; however, if you are comfortable researching vital, cemetery, and census records, have a working knowledge of the Internet, as well as an e-mail address, you are welcome to sign up for this course.

You may register for this course (L116) by calling the IEL at (509) 279-6030 or (800) 845-3324; you can also register online by going to the course webpage here.

AnceStories Presents the 2009 iGene Awards!

It's that time of year! It's Academy Awards time... time for the Academy of Genealogy and Family History, a.k.a. AGFH, to honor their best blog posts of 2009 in the following 5 categories:

  • Best Picture - Best old family photo that appeared on your blog in 2009. Tell us which you liked best and why.
  • Best Screen Play - Which family story that you shared in 2009 would make the best movie? Who would you cast as your family members?
  • Best Documentary - Which was the best informational article you wrote about a place, thing, or event involving your family's history in 2009?
  • Best Biography - Which was the best biographical article you wrote in 2009?
  • Best Comedy - Which was the best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video that you shared on your blog in 2009? 
 And the envelopes, please...

Best Picture: "Who Are You? A CROTHERS Family Member?" featured a unlabeled photograph from a collection of CROTHERS family photos that had been shared with me by a distant relative. Using books written to help those like myself identify historical photos, I came to my own conclusion. Check out the scrapbook page I created, too!

Best Screen Play: "Fire!" is the best family drama...and probably the only one...that I wrote about in 2009. Dakota Fanning would play my great-grandmother Lillian as a girl, Taylor Lautner would be brother Ed, Kirsten Dunst would play sister Ethel, and Haley Joel Osment would be brother Frank. Ma and Pa would be played by Meryl Streep and Russell Crowe, respectively.

Best Documentary: This is very difficult for me to choose. I probably wrote more informational articles in 2009 than I did in other years, mostly because I did not have access to my computer files for most of the year. The five main documentaries that I created were "Who Are Our Brickwall Ancestors, and Why Aren't We Blogging About Them Regularly?" (which led to Madness Monday); the nine-part series, "Getting More Traffic to Your Blog"; a requested article by Evelyn Thierault of the "Festival of Postcards" carnival, "A Beginner's Guide to Scanning Postcards"; the highly-acclaimed "State Census Records," which was noted by Dick Eastman and sent the most readers to my blog EVER; and "Citing Those Christmas Cards, Holiday E-mails, and Family Photos," a tongue-in-cheek look at citations derived from holiday correspondence.

And the winner is: "Who Are Our Brickwall Ancestors..."! Why? This is what genealogy blogging is all about...getting the information about those brickwall ancestors to the world via the Internet in the hope of another researcher finding the information, connecting with you, and breaking down the brick wall!

Best Biography: "My Brickwall Ancestor: Berber 'Barbara' J. (DeJONG) VALK (1854 - 1934)" not only was my first brickwall post, it was a finely detailed and cited analysis of my records and research for this ancestor. I'm proud of my work on this article and hope to eventually break through this obstacle!

Best Comedy: As mentioned before, "Citing Those Christmas Cards, Holiday E-mails, and Family Photos," was a tongue-in-cheek post, and probably my only comedic one in 2009.

There you have it, folks! Tune in next February for the 2010 iGene Awards...posts are already being published in anticipation of being mentioned in 2011 as the Best of the Best for this year!

Madness Monday: James W. BARBER in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census

Source: 1900 U.S. census, Oakland County, Michigan, population schedule, Orion Township, sheet 12B, dwelling 293, family 298, James and Elizabeth A. Barber; Alexander Barber; digital image, ( accessed 24 November 2009); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 735.

The image above is the 1900 U.S. Federal Census page on which my ancestors James W. BARBER and Elizabeth A. COLE--and their youngest child Alexander--are enumerated. You can click the image above to view an enlarged copy in my online photo album. From the photo album, you can click on the magnifying class in the upper right corner to zoom in even more, as well as pan around the image. Both Ancestry and Family Tree Magazine have free census forms on their websites which can help you view and understand the column headings. You can also visit this site to view the instructions enumerators were given prior to taking this census.

The official census date was June 1, 1900, although this enumeration took place June 15th. The location is Orion Village, Orion Township, Oakland County, Michigan. Orion Village is now known as the Village of Lake Orion. James's dwelling and household are 293 and 298, respectively. He is listed as the head of the household, white male, born July 1852, age 47 years. This information is incorrect, as I have already determined from several documents that James was born July 1841 and would have been 58, almost 59 years old at this time. James is listed as married for 24 years, again, incorrect; it should be about 39 years at this time.

Elizabeth A., James's wife is listed as a white female, born July 1854, age 45. Again, this is incorrect; she was born July 1846 and would have been nearly 54 years old. She is listed as a mother of 10 children, all of whom were living. However, James and Elizabeth's son Benjamin had died 5 August 1888 at the age of six.

Son Alexander is listed as a white male, born September 1881, age 18, single. To be honest, I'm not certain his date of birth is correct, either. I believe that he and Benjamin were twins, and Benjamin's death record places his date of birth on 20 August 1881 (no birth records were created for either Benjamin or Alexander; not uncommon in the days when Michigan recorded birth and death records in census style, with township supervisors and city clerks going door to door to gather information--many individuals were missed this way and countless births and deaths never recorded).

With all the errors created, I'm beginning to wonder if either Alexander was the one giving out the information (which probably wouldn't explain his incorrect date of birth) or if enumerator Lucien Kelly had to obtain it from the neighbors because the Barbers weren't available when he came by.

Next we see each person's place of birth, as well as the places of birth of their fathers and mothers. James was born in England, as well as his parents. Elizabeth was born in Canada, and her parents are listed as natives of New York. I've already mentioned that I have conflicting information on the birthplace of Elizabeth's father, James COLE; about half of my records state New York, while the other half state Ontario. Alexander's birthplace is Michigan, with his parents' birthplaces listed accurately as England and Canada.

James's year of immigration to the United States is listed as 1870, residing in the U.S. for 30 years, and a naturalized citizen. I believe he immigrated to the U.S. around 1876, as his first six children were born in Canada from 1863 to 1875, and his last four children were born in Michigan from 1877 to 1881. More proof of this will appear when we examine James in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. So the columns should read 1876 and 24 years. Whether or not he was naturalized at this time, I do not know. We'll examine my search for his naturalization records soon.

Last, we see James is a farmer, with zero months unemployed. He could read, write, and speak English, as all the members of his household could. He was renting his home, and it was on a farm. The farm enumeration number was 96. Since the agricultural census for this year was destroyed by an Act of Congress, I won't be able to learn more about this farm. However, this does show, once again, that James likely was not a property owner. Alexander did not attend school and is listed as a day laborer; someone who was not regularly employed but worked at odd jobs wherever he could be hired for a day or so. He is not listed as a farm laborer, which means he did not work mainly on his father's farm. It's possible he hired himself out for wages to help supplement his parents' farm income.

In addition, I did some cursory searches to see if there were other male BARBERs in Oakland County who were born in either Canada or England. There was one George BARBER, born c. 1859 in Canada, who lived in Commerce Township. It's possible he could be a nephew of James, but with the BARBER surname being so common, it's difficult to tell. This one goes in the pile of items to look into further in case my analysis of what I do have continues to dead end.

I also determined where all the other children of James and Elizabeth were living at this time:
  • Lavinia and her husband Everett STREETER - Bay City, Bay County, Michigan
  • James A. BARBER and his wife Mary HEDGLEN living in her widowed mother's home -  Flint, Genesee County, Michigan
  • Orlando BARBER and his wife Mary Jane FREDENBURG (my ancestors) - Lapeer, Lapeer County, Michigan
  • Caroline and her husband Lewis SMITH, with their two daughters, Mabel and Cora, and a boarder, Thomas SINGLETON, who although was born in New York, had parents born in England - could he be a cousin on the BARBER side? - Lapeer, Lapeer County, Michigan
  • Clarissa and her husband Lyman GOODWIN, living not too far from James and Elizabeth - Orion Village, Oakland County, Michigan
  • Anna and her second husband, Thomas HUDSON, with two young boys, James and William, and a boarder, George UPHAM; I believe one son was hers from her first marriage and the other was a step-son - Flint, Genesee County, Michigan
  • John - uncertain; he may be one of the boarders listed in the MATT household in Lapeer, Lapeer County, Michigan, although the information does not match exactly.
  • Rosa Bell with her husband William MORARITY - Blackman Township, Jackson County, Michigan
I think next week I'll report my attempts to find James's naturalization records.

This Madness Monday series featuring my brickwall ancestor, James W. BARBER (1841 - 1912) has been written to highlight and analyze all records of this individual with the hope that I can eventually uncover information that will lead to his specific birthplace and the names of his parents and any siblings he may have had. Other posts on this topic include:

The Obituary of James W. BARBER
Cemetery Records of James W. BARBER
James W. BARBER in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census
The Death Notice of James W. BARBER's son, Orlando
Update to James W. BARBER in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census