Sunday, March 28, 2010

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: Idaho

This is the 13th 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.

Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project - -  "brings together selected highlights of the ethnic collections from leading repositories in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In addition to the digital archive, CRBEHA provides tutorials on how to research and interpret library and museum resources, and encourages public dialogue about ethnic history sources and issues in its online discussion forum."

Idaho Digital Resources - - created by the Idaho Commission for Libraries to allow the public to access a digital repository of publications, to which state agencies are invited to submit items; photos, images, newspaper clippings, costume sketches, advertising, and other ephemera

Idaho Historical Society Digital Collections - - "span(s) many types of material including oral histories, artificats, state archives, rare books, clipping files, ephemera, state documents, maps, photographs, moving images, newspapers and other unique materials."

Idaho State Digital Archives - - death records (Social Security Death Index for Idaho residents), naturalization records, and other historical records

Mountain West Digital Library - - "an aggregation of digital collections about the Mountain West region of the United States. This portal provides free access to more than 290,000 resources in over 340 collections from universities, colleges, public libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii."

Museum of the Rockies - - "a preservation and research collection of historical photography from the Northern Rockies Region of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The Archive collects and preserves photographs from the late 1860's to the 1980's that document the people, places, industry, and events of the region."

Northwest Digital Archives - - "provides access to descriptions of primary sources in the Northwestern United States, including correspondence, diaries, or photographs. Digital reproductions of primary sources are available in some cases."


Boise State University Albertsons Library Digital Collections - - "Photos, documents, maps, and other resources from Special Collections documenting the history, culture, and people of Idaho and the American West."

Brigham Young University (Idaho) Special Collections & Family History - - Photographs, student newspaper, personal histories, vital records indexes, Southeast Idaho history, and LDA Church publications

Idaho State University Library Special Collections - - images, costume drawings, scrapbook, and university yearbooks

University of Idaho Library Digital Collections - - historical photos and maps, lantern slides, international jazz collections, scrapbooks, newsletters, aerial photos, Idaho Waters Digital Library


March 2010 Scanfest

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Scanfest is Coming!

The March 2010 Scanfest will take place here at AnceStories next Sunday, March 28th, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Daylight 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, PDT, 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, March 27th at 4 PM, PDT 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!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Frugal Genealogy: Computer and Internet Costs

Can't afford high-speed internet and don't have a laptop to access your community's free wireless zones? Use your library or community center computers. You may have to schedule an appointment. Does your library offer free at-home Internet service? My local library used to offer free dial-up service. I requested a free disc at my library, and it allowed me access most hours of the day (except for midnight to 2:00 AM, when the system was down for backup).

Save ink and only print what you absolutely need. Check your printer settings and choose the "quick" or "frugal" setting. Make sure your documents are printed in Arial or some other sans serif font.

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.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: Hawai`i

This is the 12th 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.

Hawai`i State Archives Digital Collections - - Genealogical Indexes (marriages, divorces, probates, wills, and citizenship records, 1826-1929); Government Office Holders; Judiciary Records during the Hawaiian Kingdom; Land Index; Mahele Book (record of division of land between Kamehameha III, the chiefs and konohiki); Name Index, 1790-1950 (indexes to Foreign Office and Executive, Interior Department and Privacy Council records, books, newspapers, 1836-1950, and manuscripts); Passenger Manifests (to and from Hawai`i, 1843-1900); Tax Ledgers (1847-1900); Vital Statistics Collection (reports of births, marriages, and deaths, 1826-1929); and World War I Service Records (of Hawai`i residents)

Hawai`i State Public Library Newspaper Index -

Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library - - materials written in Hawaiian as well as books about Hawai`i written in English; these texts include both fiction and non-fiction. Atlases and gazetteers, interviews, city directories, dictionaries and grammars of the Hawaiian language, histories, geographies, Hawaiian arts and legends are featured here

Hawaiian Historical Society - - not a lot of online data, but does include Hawai`i History Moments (short essays); list of Hawai`i Political Leaders (monarchs, territorial and state governors, congressional representatives, and county mayors); and Significant Dates in the History of Hawai`i

Historic Hawaii Foundation - - list of historic sites


Brigham Young University (Hawai`i) Joseph F. Smith Library Archives and Special Collections - - Pacific Studies, campus photographs, interviews, Seabee images from Aamoa, Vanuatu, and Aotearoa/New Zealand during WWII; images of the Polynesian Cultural Center; images of the Laie Plantation; 1909-1911 images of Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island; oral histories

Kapi'olani Community College Asia-Pacific Digital Library - - ethnobotany, weather patterns, stories of Hawai`i-born Nisei veterans of WWII, cross-strait directory, historic traditional stories

University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Library - - scrapbooks; documents recording the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom and annexation of Hawai`i; Chaplain Hiro Higuchi Correspondence (one of two chaplains attached to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all-Japanese American unit formed in January 1943); Dakin Fire Insurance Maps (1891, 1899, 1906); Mānoa campus history; congressional papers, War Records Depository, U.S. Army Signal Corps photos; Hawaian Language newspapers; Hawaiian and Asian art; maps; slides; Russian Passport Album (passport applications for 165 people who wished to leave Hawai`i and return to Russia); videos, and much, much more!

University of Hawaii (West Oahu) Center for Labor Education and Research Digitization Project - - digitized images of the Honolulu Record from July 1, 1948 through July 3, 1958


Bishop Museum - - contains a wealth of Hawaiiana online, as well as the Hawaiian Language Newspaper index, maps, and other online collections

Friends of Molu`ula - - videos, photos, music

Hawaii Digital Library - - created by the Hagadone Printing Company to showcase magazines and other publications about Hawai`i, which can be viewed and downloaded

Honolulu County Genealogical Society - - includes links to online records

Kamehameha Schools Archives - - timelines, history, photos, manuscripts of Hawaii and of this preparatory school

Kaua`i Historical Society - - history, photos of historic sites

Maui Historical Society - - paintings, stories, properties registered with the State and National Registers of Historic Places

Pacific Tsunami Museum - - photos, stories, essays, and maps


Check out my Hawai`i Online Historical Directories and my Hawai`i Online Historical Newspapers pages.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Cousin Hazel, Mount Vernon, Oregon to George Westaby [III], Forsyth, Montana, postcard, postmarked 22 March 1911. 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.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Frugal Genealogy: DNA Testing

Next to genealogy subscription websites, DNA testing is one of the most expensive genealogy tools. You should first read up on how DNA can help your genealogical research--and what it cannot do. You should also research DNA testing companies to ensure that your results will be useful for your genealogy. The most frugal way to do testing is the most simple: find several relatives who descend from the ancestor in question and pool your money to purchase a test kit in which one of you is tested. Four people chipping in toward a $100 test is only $25 a piece, of course! Make sure the individual being tested is willing to share the results with the rest of the contributors.

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.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: Georgia

This is the 11th 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.

Digital Library of Georgia - - digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, government documents, newspapers, maps, audio, video, and other resources; a million digital objects in 110 collections from 60 institutions and 100 government agencies

Georgia Historical Society - - search digital images of their photograph and print collections, use online catalog and finding aid, check out the Savannah Jewish Archives, and listed to oral histories about the preservation movement in Savannah

Georgia's Virtual Vault: Digital Treasures from the Georgia Archives - - historic Georgia manuscripts, photographs, maps, and government records housed in the state archives; includes family collections, deed and will books, Confederate enlistment oaths and discharges, Confederate Pension Application supplements, Spanish-American War Service summary cards, county tax digests, plats of survey, state death certificates, photographs, trademark registrations, and much, much more!

New Georgia Encyclopedia - - "an authoritative source on the people, places, events, and institutions of Georgia. The site contains nearly 2,000 articles and more than 5,000 images and audio and video clips on the history, culture, and life of the state."


Armstrong Atlantic State University Lane Library - - photos, history 

Augusta State University Reese Library Special Collections Digital Projects - - photos of Augusta; Georgia Archives Week/Month feature archives

Columbus State University Digital Collections - - diaires, photographs, oral histories, Journal of the Georgia Association of Historians, music

Emory University Robert W. Woodruff Library, Digital Resources - - includes Emory Women Writers Resource Project, Southern Changes Digital Archive, and Voyages: the Trans-Atlantic Slave Database (identifies over 67,000 Africans aboard slave ships, using name, age, gender, origin, and place of embarkation)

Georgia Institute of Technology Digital Collections - - photographs, sketches and drawings of campus buildings, Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills collection, Historical American Buildings Survey photos, videotaped oral histories, Georgia Tech historic ads, yearbooks, speeches and presentations, Technique (student newspaper). Collaborative projects include  Witness to the Holocaust, National Security for the 21st Century, and Atlanta in the Civil Rights Movement

Georgia Southern University Henderson Library Special Collections - - while there is not a lot of info online, you can search indexes (such as a list of those interviewed for oral histories) and finding aids as well as view some images of their special collection materials

Georgia State University Special Collections and Archives - - Southern Labor Archives, university archives, popular music, photographs, rare books, women's collection, oral histories, and more

University of Georgia Libraries Online Cartographic Resources - - a map lover's heaven; not limited to Georgia maps

University of Georgia Libraries Hargrett Library Digital Collections - - this rare book and manuscript collection includes diaries, historic maps, images, and broadsides, history of UG, yearbooks, SE Native American documents, and much, much more! Part of the larger collections of Hargrett Library, some of which are also online.

University of Georgia Libraries Richard B. Russell Library Digital Collections - - editorial cartoons, vintage baseball cards, American Turpentine Farmers Association Minute Books (1936 - 1999)

Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections - - yearbooks, Valdosta Daily Times (with searchable database for births, deaths, weddings, and engagements), image collection, local history


Atlanta History Center - - while there is not a lot online, there are great descriptions, with photographs, of the collections on hand: Civil War & Military History; Genealogy & Family History of the SE US; Southern Architecture, Decorative Arts, and Design; Southern Garden History/Cherokee Garden Library (includes digital newsletter); you can also check out historic homes and the museum collections; also check out the Franklin Garrett Necrology Database (white males 21 and over - 163,000 entries)

Clarke-Oconee Genealogical Society - - transcribed church, court, military, school, slavery, and tax records 

DeKalb History Center Online Research Databases - - databases for the following DeKalb County records: cemetery, marriage, freedman, land and land lotteries, 1870 & 1910 Census, Confederate, superior court, wills, and militia distric map

East Central Georgia Regional Library African American Funeral Programs - - "online collection consists of over one thousand funeral programs ranging from 1933 to 2008 (with the bulk of the collection beginning in the 1960s)"

East Georgia Genealogical Society - - family Bibles, wills, list of tax defaulters, Oglethorpe County index to estate files, Jackson County pauper farm records, Gwinnett County inferior court minutes 1820-1832

Morgan County Marriage Records -

Troup County Archives - - cemetery, naturalizations, and soldiers databases; digital archvies project includes marriage an deed records, photo database and oral histories; online newsletters


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Frugal Genealogy: Conferences, Workshops, and Classes

Many Family History Centers offer free family history conferences once a year or once every other year. Although most of the classes are geared toward beginners, occasionally there is an intermediate topic. Classes on various software, methodology and using the Family History Center to order microforms are almost always included. Some offer a sack lunch at a minimal fee. Contact your local Family History Center to see whether they have a family history conference planned in the near future.

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, March 08, 2010

Blogging Slowdown Ahead!

The next three weeks I expect to slow down some in my blogging. I've been writing fairly consistently for a long stretch, but the end of the school quarter is coming up and as both a parent and school staff member, that always makes life a bit more intense. Also, last year my desktop computer was down for six months, and I got behind in entering my receipts in to my financial software. I'm needing the time to get caught up on that so I can figure out and file my taxes before April.

What does this mean for my readers? Well, I still have three more weeks of my Frugal Genealogy series which are prewritten and post on Tuesdays. I also plan to continue writing my 52 Weeks... posts and have them publish on Sundays. But Madness Monday and Surname Saturday may go by the wayside for a few weeks, as well as other posts. I'll still toss one in here and there, but I'm going to take it easy at least until Spring Break (March 29 - April 2).

I'll still be here; just not so frequently. Thanks for bearing with me. I hope you'll check out my archives for old posts as well as looking at the list of my favorite geneabloggers in the lower right sidebar for even more interesting reading.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: Florida

This is the tenth 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.


Florida Legacy - - "contains content digitized from the collections of Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC) member libraries, including photographs, books, pamphlets, documents, and newspaper clippings. Fifteen participating libraries have contributed over 50,000 records, including over 5,000 digital images of visual materials."

Florida Memory Project - - photographs and videos, documents highlighting Florida's history, folklife collection, Spanish Land Grants, WWI service cards, Florida Confederate pension application files, Florida's early constitutions, family papers, physician's journal, ephemera, and WPA stories

Florida on Florida: Florida Electronic Library - -  "The materials in Florida On Florida come from collections held by libraries, archives, museums and historical societies throughout Florida." Contains a catalog of digital materials related to Florida; including maps, photographs, postcards, books, and manuscripts.

Central Florida Memory - - over 80,000 images of historic materials, diaries and letters, maps, photographs, and postcards


Florida International University Libraries Digital Resources - - biographical entries of the cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Everglades Digital Library, and the Florida Heritage Collection

Florida Southern College McKay Archives Center Digital Collections - - photograph collection and student newspaper collection

Florida State University Electronic Theses, Dissertations, and Treatises - - index only, data is not online; a place to look for papers written about your family, ancestral locations, or other subjects pertinent to your genealogy

Florida State University Libraries - - use this online catalog to find city directories, histories, and more. Run a search, then chose "electronic resources" or "online resources" from the left-hand menu to access the digitized information

Stetson University duPont-Ball Library Digtial Collections - - photographs, postcards, memorabilia, plaques, yearbooks, E. Clay Shaw collection, and Stover Theatre Collection

University of Florida Digital Collections - - more than 100 outstanding digital collections, containing over 4 million pages of unique manuscripts and letters, antique maps, rare children's literature books, newspapers, historic photographs, oral histories, and more

University of Miami Libraries Digital Collections - - journals, private papers, postcards, photographs, rare maps; subjects include slavery, Civil Rights, Greater Miami

University of North Florida, Tampa Thomas G. Carpenter Library Digital Resources - - "This online collection provides web access to rare and unique materials representing Florida's history, culture, arts, literature, and sciences. Our digitized items include significant resources from our local history and Personal Papers collections. Formats vary, ranging from print and textual materials to photographs and maps."

University of South Florida Libraries Digital Collections - - local and family history, African-American history, statewide history, oral histories, photographs, rare books and maps, and much more

University of West Florida Special Collections - - scanned photographs and manuscripts

Publication of Archival, Library, and Museum Materials (PALMM) - - mega search engine; "a cooperative initiative of the public universities of Florida to provide digital access to important source materials for research and scholarship." Includes Archives Florida, aerial photography, Big Cypress National Preserve Collection, Coral Gables Memory, Everglades Digital Library, Florida Heritage Collection, Florida Historical Legal Documents, Florida Historical Quarterly, Florida Voices, Koreshan State Historic Site Collection, Miami Metropolitan Archive, Mile Markers, Ringling Collection, Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Maps, Sanibel Island History, Textual Collections, Visual Collections, West Florida Photohistory, and much, much more!


Alachua County Clerk's Probate Records Search -

City of Hollywood Records and Archives Division - - searchable and browsable collections database, history, street names, transcription of 1935 State Census of Hollywood, child's story of 1926 hurricane

City of Lakeland Public Library - - cityhistory, info and historic postcards about historic district, some photographs

Duval County Public Records Search -

Genealogical Society of Sarasota, Inc. - - tombstone transcriptions

Hillsborough County Public Library Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection - - "presents a unique pictorial record of the commercial, residential and social growth of Tampa Bay and Florida's West coast from the late 1800s to the early 1960s."

Miami-Dade County Recorder's Official Record Search - - search the record database (some probate files and estate death certificates) or view old plat book images (pre-1966)

Palm Beach County Public Records Search -

Pinellas County Genealogical Society Databases - - cemetery indexes, funeral home records, marriage records, yearbooks, bibile records, city directories, newspaper extracts, divorces, local family histories, surname indexes, society publication indexes

Pinellas County Public Records Database -


Saturday, March 06, 2010

Fearless Females Prompt 6

March 6 — Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)

I wrote about a beautiful garnet ring I inherited in my post "Bling! Bling! My Garnet Ring".

For more on the Fearless Females Blogging Prompts, visit The Accidental Genealogist.

Fearless Females Prompt 5

March 5 — How did they meet?  You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit.  Do you know the story of how your parents met?  Your grandparents?

In my mother's wedding book, there is a place to write about how her parents and my dad's parents met. She titled it "No Love at First Sight!"  It seems neither set of grandparents hit it off at first.

My mother's mother and stepfather, Ruth Lillian (HOEKSTRA) VALK and Adrian DeVRIES:

June 27, 1947 - They were each invited to a picnic on a Sunday afternoon given by mutual friends: 2 married couples. It was a blind date!! He was shy and mostly played with the one couple's small boy and ignored Mom. When he did speak that evening, and after he saw Mom's house and me, he started criticizing the way she did things. She vowed never again with him or fall in love with him. (They were married October 3, 1947). [Miriam's note: They were married for nearly 54 years!]

My mother didn't write about how her biological father and mother met. I do know that my grandfather's sister Barbara was my grandmother's very good friend, so that is likely how they met.

My father's parents, Robert Lewis ROBBINS and Jeanne Marie HOLST:
She was in a drugstore Sunday morning in April before church. He came in after a night on the town and sat down--the minister's son was in between them. Dad asked him to introduce Mom. PK [preacher's kid] did and they had a date that night. They were married in October--Columbus Day, same year--1940.

P.S. She though he was awful cocky and secretly, was amused at him.

[Miriam's note: Somehow my grandfather discovered that the pretty girl he was trying to impress was the daughter of the farmer who grew cantaloupes, his favorite fruit...AND the owner of the farm where he'd been swiping the melons! Eventually, my grandfather won over my grandmother. She was still in high school; after 10th grade, she no longer attended--something fairly usual in those days. They were married the following fall; it was to last 63 years.]

My own parents met while both were camping at Silver Lake State Park in Western Michigan. You can read more about it here.

For more on the Fearless Females Blogging Prompts, visit The Accidental Genealogist.

Surname Saturday: LYTON or TURK

The LYTON family is my children's paternal grandmother's paternal grandmother's line. For many years, my children's uncle's wife and I poked here and there trying to find more information on this family. All we knew is that my children's father's 2nd-great-grandfather, Henry LYTON, had been born around 1841 in Ottawa, Ontario, and had died in 1874 in Iowa. He had immigrated to the United States to serve in the Union during the Civil War, had married his wife Mariah Emily DAILEY and had three children. His youngest child, my husband's great-grandmother Emma, was born a month after his death.

Five years ago, my children's uncle's wife ran his name through Ancestry's Civil War Veterans' Widows' Pension database and discovered that Henry's widow Mariah had claimed a pension on behalf of her daughter Emma. Mariah stated that Henry's real name was George TURK. At that point, everything clicked and we were able to connect him into a family. We  have not find more information at this point on the TURK line other than there is a very large TURK family (tracing back to 1561) as well as a TURCK family (tracing back to the Netherlands in 1635).

Stories and History:

Ahnentafel #52 - Samuel TURK (c. 1806 - 1880) - info varies as to his birthplace; some records state Canada, while others claim Massachusetts. In Ontario, he married Lydia GILLETT (b. 1808 in New York) whose ancestry can be traced back many, many generations in New England.

Ahnentafel #26 - George TURK, a.k.a. Henry LYTON (c. 1836 - 1874) - born in Ottawa, immigrated to the U.S. to serve in the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics (his brother Reuben served in the military under the name Henry GILLETT). George/Henry married Mariah Emily DAILEY (1849 - 1935) August 1868 in Thurman, Fremont Co., Iowa

Ahnentafel #13 - Emma Alice LYTON (1874 - 1959) - born in Thurman, Fremont Co., Iowa, she was raised by her mother and step-father, John Christopher KLINDER in that community with her six younger half-siblings. About 1891, she married Albert Francis CHAPLIN and begin a life of constant migration: Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, with travels back to Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma. She died in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon.

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 LYTON or TURK family:

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

2. Some LYTON obituaries

3. Posts about LYTON and TURK ancestors and relatives on this blog

4. Some scanned LYTON and TURK photos and documents

My children's LYTON-TURK immigration trail:

MA? > ON > MI > Fremont Co., IA > Butler Co., NE > Fremont Co., IA > Clay Co., SD > Yankton Co., SD > Prowers Co., CO > Cheyenne Co., KS > Payette Co., ID > Clackamas Co., WA > Yakima Co., WA > Clark Co., WA > Adams Co., WA > Yakima Co., WA > Thurston Co., WA > Clark Co., WA > Spokane Co., WA

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Fearless Females Prompt 4

March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

I have marriage records for every couple in my family tree from my own through my 2nd-great-grandparents, with the exception of one couple, my direct maternal line. They are Charles Frisbe STRONG and Mary Lucy WRIGHT. I do know that they were married in the year 1873 in the Village of Fairfield, Town of Candor, Tioga County, New York.

I thought I would focus, though, on my paternal grandparents. Robert Lewis ROBBINS and Jeanne Marie HOLST (born Jane Mary YORK; she was adopted) were married 12 October 1940 in the Methodist parsonage in Coopersville, Ottawa County, Michigan. My grandfather was 20 and my grandmother had just turned 16 the week before. Because she was underage, she had to get her parents' permission to marry. And because she was legally only a foster child, her foster parents had to legally adopt her in order to grant their permission. Since the adoption process would have taken time, I'm sure they started it sometime before she was marred; perhaps when she started dating my grandfather and they realized they would need to be her legal parents to give her permission to marry, should she choose to marry young as so many women did in those days.

My grandparents' best friends, Ray ADAMS and Geneva PARRISH stood with them; however, Geneva was also underage and that is probably why her name does not appear as the second witness on my grandparents' marriage certificate. The minister's wife's name is listed along with Ray's. Fifty years later, my grandparents celebrated their golden anniversary and Ray and Geneva were among the wedding guests.

I believe this photograph was taken outside my great-grandparents ROBBINS' home, but I'm not certain. This photograph was taken outside my great-grandparents HOLST's home in Coopersville. Looking closely at this image, you can see a small dog in the lower left corner and what looks like rhubarb growing against the foundation of the house. My dad recently told me, "Mom and Dad lived on the Holst place in a tiny
trailer at first until dad decided he would get along better with his in-laws if he didn't live too close." My grandparents then purchased some land on River Street and my grandfather began building their house and later the body shop where he had his business.

My grandparents were married for 63 years before my grandfather passed away in 2003. They raised five children and countless foster children. Their home was open to my grandfather's youngest siblings, and they helped raise some of their grandchildren. They also took in my Great-grandmother ROBBINS in her senior years until her health required her to live in a nursing home.

My grandmother is still alive, although she suffers from Alzheimer's. You can read more about my grandfather's life in his AnceStory (ancestor story) on my website here.

For more on the Fearless Females Blogging Prompts, visit The Accidental Genealogist.

An Important Message From U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves

Are you up for the "Take 10" challenge?
On behalf of the U.S. Census Bureau, we are asking our partners to join us in making history by helping to boost the mail back participation rates across the Nation and in your community during the 2010 Census.
During each Decennial Census, the Census Bureau undertakes the count of every person residing in the United States, as mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. To encourage everyone to take 10 minutes to answer the 10 simple questions on the 2010 Census form, we are launching the "Take 10" campaign. Through "Take 10," you can visit to get updates on the proportion of households that have mailed back the 2010 Census forms. You also will be able to view differences between your community's participation rates and those of neighboring communities or other areas across the country.

The "Take 10" Challenge - Tools to Inspire the Mail Back Participation Rates for the 2010 Census
During the 2000 Census, 72 percent of occupied households mailed back their forms. In 2010, we are challenging communities to do even better. The Census Bureau's "Take 10" campaign gives you a wide range of tools to inspire your community to meet our challenge. These include:
  • An interactive, map-based, "Take 10" Web site that allows local areas to track and compare their 2010 Census mail back participation rates, which will be updated on a daily basis at, and to look up their 2000 Census participation rates.
  • An electronic toolkit is available which includes talking points, sample speeches, new releases, newsletter copy, event suggestions, flyers, stickers, and doorknob hanger templates, and more.
  • Suggestions on how to use friendly competition with other communities to inspire participation in the census.
You can play an important leadership role in encouraging your community to mail back their forms. Most 2010 Census questionnaires are delivered from March 15-17, 2010. From the time the forms are delivered until the closing of the mail campaign at the end of April, you have the opportunity to remind your area residents of the importance of mailing back their census forms. We believe that you can encourage participation through speeches, special events, and challenges.
The stakes are high; an accurate count of the local population helps to ensure that your community receives its fair share of federal funding. This funding includes resources for services, such as health care, education, and roads.

Your constituents must complete and mail back their census forms between March 15, 2010 and April 15, 2010. The good news is that the 2010 Census questionnaire is one of the shortest in history-just 10 questions that only take about 10 minutes to complete. We hope we can count on you to encourage participatation in the 2010 Census. Visit now to see your area's 2000 Census mail participation rate and check the site daily for updates beginning March 22

The 2010 Census: It's in our Hands.
Robert M. Groves
U.S. Census Bureau

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

WDYTYA? Guest Appearances and New Book

I received a press release from Ancestry stating that people from the Who Do You Think You Are? show will be appearing on various television shows this week to promote the series. No information on exactly who these individuals are, perhaps Lisa Kudrow, producers, or some of the celebrities highlighted. The information below may correct some of the information I have on my Calendar of Events post, particularly The Oprah Show:

* Wednesday, March 3 - Today Show (NBC) 8-9 am; The View (ABC - check your local TV listings); The Joy Behar Show (HLN - Headline News) 9 pm ET
* Friday, March 5 - Today Show (NBC) 10-11 am
* Monday, March 8 - Martha Stewart (check your local TV listings)
* Tuesday, March - Oprah (check your local TV listings);Craig Ferguson (CBS late night)
* Friday, March 19 - Bonnie Hunt (check your local TV listings)

Additionally, I received the following information from Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak:

I am thrilled to announce that my new book, Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History is being released tomorrow! The book is a companion piece to NBC's ground-breaking new genealogy series, Who Do You Think You Are?, which premiers on Friday.

Since the show is the first of its kind on primetime TV, I'd love to hear the thoughts of those in the trenches of the genealogy community - you! Be sure to share your comments on the show (and the book) with me on Facebook and Twitter -- and please spread the word!

P.S. Amazon is currently selling the book for $16.47 (list price is $24.95). A great bargain!

Fearless Females Prompt 3

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

As my first name is fairly unusual, I was surprised to discover many years ago that I actually did have several ancestors with the same name. One of my maternal 6th-great-grandmothers was Miriam HALL (1757 - 1823), who lived in Mansfield, Tolland County, Connecticut and Duanesburg, Schenectady County, New York. Her mother was Miriam WOLCOTT, of whom I have no information.

I was not named for any of my ancestors. My parents liked the name and picked it from the Bible. When I was nine months old, my parents and I traveled to Michigan from our home in Alaska to spend time with my parents' families for Christmas. I met my great-grandmother, Lillian Fern (STRONG) HOEKSTRA for the first time.  She loved the name Mary so much that she used it as a nickname for herself. She asked my mother to change my name to Mary, but my mother gently told her that I was already used to my name, and since Miriam is the Hebrew variation of the Greek Mary, it was nearly the same thing.

For more on the Fearless Females Blogging Prompts, visit The Accidental Genealogist.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Fearless Females Prompt 2

March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

This is a photograph of my 3rd-great-grandparents, Anna (CROTHERS) and John H. YORK, taken in the 1860s, probably in Genesee County, Michigan. I chose this photo because it is of my oldest female ancestor ever photographed, or at least the oldest one of which I have a photo. I have photographs of three other 3rd-great-grandmothers, but Anna was the oldest one of them. She was born 11 December 1825 in Erie County, New York and died 14 February 1905 in Goodrich, Genesee County, Michigan. She is also the daughter of the woman who made the cross-stitch sampler in my previous Fearless Females post.

For more on the Fearless Females Blogging Prompts, visit The Accidental Genealogist. Reveals Stark Contrast Between Career Trends in 1911 and 2010

Press release:

*       Being a famous actress or singer tops career choices for young people in 2010
*       Less than one per cent of 18-24 year olds want manual labour jobs
*       Police officers and politicians are amongst least popular professions
*       Stark contrast to career trends in 1911 v 2010

A new study* by leading family history website,, has revealed that young Brits shy away from jobs requiring hard graft and instead one in six 18-24 year olds aspires to become either a famous singer, actor or member of a band.

In fact, never has there been such a stark contrast between the career choices of today's young people when compared to the manual jobs of their ancestors. In the 1911 census some of the most popular occupations recorded include working in domestic service, agriculture, mining, building and the cotton industry**. Tom Jones' maternal grandfather, Albert Rees Jones, was recorded as working in the mining industry at the time of the 1911 census while David Starkey's paternal grandfather, Robert William Starkey, was employed in the cotton industry. In contrast, less than one per cent of young Brits in the 21st century would like to have a manual job such as a builder or plumber.

Other jobs which are unpopular with today's youth include politicians or police officers, with only one per cent of young people wanting to be a politician and only four per cent aspiring to be a police officer.

Most popular career choices in 2010*
1. Musician, famous singer or band member
2. Teacher/Lecturer
3. Sportsman/Woman
4. Actress/Actor
5. Scientist

Most popular occupations in the 1911 census**
1. Domestic service
2. Agriculture
3. Mining
4. Building
5. Cotton industry

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at, said: "It seems the growing obsession with celebrity has really impacted on young people's career choices these days, as our study reveals how the more non-traditional jobs now come high up on the wish-list.

"Times have certainly changed when it comes to young people's career choices. A look at the 1911 census provides a fascinating insight into the professions of our ancestors and you can really see how times have dramatically changed.  On the other hand, in some cases, it can be interesting to see how some families have carried the same profession down through the family tree to the modern day. In our recent study it was revealed that, worryingly, a fifth (22%) of those aged 18-24 years do not know what their grandparents did for a living.

For those young people who do want to find out more about their ancestors' professions and how they may have shaped their lives they can visit"

The full set of censuses from 1841 to 1911 is only available on the leading UK family history website, .

Frugal Genealogy: Books and Magazine Subscriptions

Looking for some good genealogy books? See if you can find them for sale online. I'm not just talking about auction sites or new or used store websites. Many genealogical and historical societies sell used or duplicate copies of books on their websites. Fiske Genealogical Library, for instance, has a running list of its latest items for purchase.

Do you or other members of your society subscribe to magazines and have stacks of old issues lying around? Start a genealogy magazine exchange box! My own society, the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, does this and it's very simple. We have a large cardboard box that comes out to our Ways and Means table at all our general meetings each month. Members are encouraged to bring their own past issues of their favorite subscriptions and take home whatever interests them. Some borrow and return issues; others keep them permanently. We make it easy by not requiring a "check-out" system or keeping tabs, yet everyone seems happy with it.

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, March 01, 2010

Fearless Females Prompt 1

March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

I can't say I have a favorite female ancestor, because I enjoy researching them all! But one I would like to find out more about is my 4th-great-grandmother, Mary "Polly" (WYCOFF) CROTHERS CHAPPEL. I don't know when or where she died or was buried. I know she was alive in 1880 in Millington Township, Tuscola County, Michigan, but there seems to be no death record for her. Polly made a beautiful cross-stitch sampler as a young unmarried woman, which I possess--truly one of my favorite treasures!

For more on the Fearless Females Blogging Prompts, visit The Accidental Genealogist.

Update to March 2010 Calendar of Events

I made some corrections and additions to my March 2010 Calendar of Events posts.

First, the correction: the Carnival of African-American Genealogy submission due date is March 12th, not the 19th as I originally stated. March 19th will be the publishing date of that carnival.

Addtions: I've updated the Calendar to show the genealogy television shows airing this month. I've also posted the link to the newest published carnival, the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival. And I posted a direct link to Thomas' Backup Day post.

Madness Monday: Attempting to Find Online Naturalization Records for James W. BARBER

In both the 1900 and the 1910 U.S. Federal Censuses, my 2nd-great-grandfather and brickwall ancestor James W. BARBER is listed as being a naturalized citizen. So if he was indeed naturalized, it's likely that it occurred by 1900.

Since James lived in Michigan from the time he immigrated from Canada (c. 1876) until his death in 1912, I need to look for a Michigan naturalization record.The state of Michigan has online naturalization records indexes for the following counties here: Allegan, Alpena, Antrim, Barry, Bay, Chippewa, Clare, Clinton, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Eaton, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Huron, Iosco, Iron, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lake, Lapeer, Lenawee, Mackinac, Macomb, Marquette, Mason, Newaygo, Oakland, Ontonagon, Otsego, Ottawa, St. Clair and Sanilac.There is also an online index to naturalization papers of the U.S. Circuit Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit), 1837 - 1903 and the Iosco County naturalization index, 1885 - 1910 available on Ancestry, with the later database being free to search for non-subscribers. Furthermore, the website for Tuscola County at the American Local History Network lists a naturalization index for 1850 - 1880. All this information was gathered at Joe Beine's Online Searchable Naturalization Indexes and Records page.

Because I've been able to find James living in Lapeer, Oakland, Genesee, and Ingham Counties, I searched for him at the state of Michigan site in the first three counties mentioned. No luck. I also searched the Detroit index on Ancestry. Still no luck. I went back to the Michigan state site and searched Clinton, Macomb and St. Clair Counties, since they border or are near the counties I know James lived in. Nada. I returned to Ancestry and took a look at all their naturalization databases, running James's name through each one. Nothing.

I think it's time to look for a naturalization record offline. That will be the subject of my next Madness Monday post.

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
James W. BARBER in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census

March 2010 Calendar of Events

March winds and April showers
Bring forth May flowers.

Holidays, History, and Heritage

March is...

Irish-American Heritage Month (United States)

Women's History Month (global)

March 1: Korean Independence Movement Day
(celebrated in both North and South Korea - independence from Japan)
St. David's Day (Wales)

March 2: Texas Independence Day (Texas)

March 8: International Women's Day (global)

March 14: Daylight Savings Time Begins

March 17: St. Patrick's Day (Ireland, United States)

March 20: Vernal Equinox (Northern Hemisphere)
Autumnal Equinox (Southern Hemisphere)

March 25: Greek Independence Day

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.

March 1-31 - The March 2010 Edition of the Family Curator's Genealogy and Family History Blogger's Almanac

March 1-31 - Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women's History Month

Posted March 1 - the March 2010 Edition of the Graveyard Rabbit Carnival - Forgotten Cemeteries

Posted March 10 - the 1st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies - Doin' Things Right

Posted March 14 - Shades of the Departed - March 2010 Issue

March 17 - the 21st Edition of Smile for the Camera - Give Their Face a Place

Posted March 17 - the 18th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture - 3rd Annual Patrick's Day Parade

Posted March 18 - the 1st Edition of the Carnival of African-American Genealogy - Slave Records

Posted March 18 - the 91st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - A Tribute to Women
(No March 1st edition this month)

Posted March 22 - the 30th Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy - The Village of My Ancestor

Heads up! Submissions for the 9th Edition of the Canadian Genealogy Carnival (Canadian Fashion Fads) will be due April 16th. And stay tuned for more information on the May 2010 Edition of the Festival of Postcards (Geography)!

March 1 - Data Backup Day

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

Genealogy Television Shows
(check your local listings for accurate local airing times and reruns)

The Generations Project
Monday Nights at 8 PM on BYU-TV
March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

The View
 March 3
Click the link above to watch the interview of Lisa Kudrow

Faces of America
March 3 - Episode 4

Today Show
March 5
Click the link above to watch the interview of Lisa Kudrow

Who Do You Think You Are?
Friday Nights at 8 PM on NBC
March 5 - Sarah Jessica Parker
March 12 - Emmitt Smith
March 19 - Lisa Kudrow
March 26 - Matthew Broderick

Martha Stewart Show
March 8
Click the link above to watch the interview of Lisa Kudrow

Scanfest: Sunday, March 28th

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 Destination: Austin Family.

March comes in like a lion
and goes out like a lamb.