Start Looking

Black’s Law Dictionary (1st & 2nd Editions), as well as Bouvier’s 1856 Law Dictionary FREE Online


Prompted by a listing found at today, I found that we can now access online digitized versions of Black’s Law Dictionary – First and Second editions. I’ve sold the CD-ROM at the FRPC website for years, and even have a Fourth Edition, as well as a Revised Fourth Edition on my own reference library bookshelf.

The digitized books are found at the World Freeman Society website. Also found at the site is a transcribed html copy of Bouvier’s 1856 Law Dictionary, 6th Edition. Want to read the Magna Carta Libertatum 1215 – The Great Charter of Liberties? You’ll find it on the site also.

Copies of the Black’s Law Dictionary (1st & 2nd Editions) on CD-ROM are also available from Family Roots Publishing Co.

Leave a Comment

Family Tree University is Offering “48 Ancestry.Com Search Tips” as a FREE Download

I downloaded a copy of the new 48 Ancestry.Com Search Tips eBook from Family Tree University this morning. It’s written by Nancy Hendrickson, author of the upcoming new book, Unofficial Guide to – a book many of us are looking forward to. The Unofficial Guide to is planned to ship in mid-November 2014. F&W is already taking presale orders for the book!

48 Ancestry.Com Search Tips eBook is 20 pages in length, with great graphics. And the tips are most useful. Sections are as follows: Vital Statistics – An infographic Quick Start Guide

Public vs. Private Family Trees

10 Easy Ways to Use

Cart Catalog Crash Course

Five Steps to Ancestral Immigration Records

Unoffical Guide to – a promotional page for the upcoming book

Maximize Your Membership – a promotional page for an online video tutorialand a 4-week online course.

Leave a Comment

The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania – On Sale for 60% Off Through April 21, 2014


A while back, I bought the remaining copies of a Pennsylvania families book entitled The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania: Who Held Office Between 1733 and 1776 AND Those Earlier Councillors Who Where Some Time Chief Magistrates of the Province, and Their Descendants. The book is now out-of-print, but I still have copies in the Family Roots Publishing warehouse. As the FRPC Exceptional Bargain Offer this weekend, we are offering this book at 60% off the original MSRP, which was only $45 to begin with. This attractive hard-cover volume includes data ono over 1000 Pennsylvania families. At only $18 (plus $5.50 p&h), these remaining books are expected to sell fast.

To make it easier for our readers, we have here included a Surname Index to the majority of the names found in the volume. I say majority, since we made up this index using the Table of Contents, the Principal Name Index, and the Subject Index of the book. There are many other people found in the volume, and not included in the following index, but those names are considered secondary, as they are not councillors, their descendants, descendants spouses, or a person with a biographical sketch.

Following is a review written a while back by Andy Pomeroy. We have added a surname index at the end.

Charles P. Keith authored a tremendous historical and genealogical work when he comprised The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania: Who Held Office Between 1733 and 1776 AND Those Earlier Councillors Who Where Some Time Chief Magistrates of the Province, and Their Descendants.

This book belongs in every American genealogical library because it covers many of the leading families of the mid-Atlantic region and includes the entire progeny of the councillors–including daughters of daughters of daughters, sons of sons of sons, cadet branches who moved west, and English, French, German and other foreign descendants. Treated especially well are the full progenies then known of several royally descended founders of the Province–the Welsh Deputy Governor Thomas and Mary (Jones) Lloyd, plus John Cadwalader, and the Scottish James Logan (plus the mostly Pennsylvania progeny of James Tilghman, son of the immigrant Richard of Maryland). Also covered are all descendants of Edward Shippen (mostly Winthrop descendants via Grosses of Boston), who include the family of traitor Benedict Arnold and the also royally descended Burds of Philadelphia, plus Willings, Binghams, Clymers, Francises, Bayards of Delaware, and Byrds of Virginia. Lloyd descendants include many of the leading Quaker and Episcopal families of Philadelphia–Moores, Whartons, Pembertons, Morrises, plus (under son-in-law Samuel Preston) Carpenters, Ellets, and Wistars. Logan descendants include Fishers, Wisters, Drinkers, and Biddles.

First published in 1883, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania “gives, with biographical sketches, more or less extended, a complete list of the descendants, as far as has been ascertained from public records and correspondence with representatives of the families, Burke’s Peerage, howerver, being depended upon as to the foreign branches set for therein, and Lanman’s Biograph. Annals or Benton’s Thirty Year’s View furnishing the material for notices of American public men since the Revolution. The earliest laws of Pennsylvania having ordered a division among all the children, the descent of land is the chief source of genealogy…These genealogies are arranged according to branches instead of generations, all the posterity of any man being given before the children of his younger brother.” Read the “Explanation” for full details.


Table of Contents



Corrigenda and Addenda

Early Councillors who were Chief Magistrates of the Province:

  • William Markham
  • Thomas Lloyd
  • Edward Shippen

Councillors from 1733 to 1776

  • James Logan
  • William Logan
  • Isaac Norris
  • Samuel Preston
  • Anthony Palmer
  • Andrew Hamilton
  • James Hamilton
  • Andrew Allen
  • Henry Brooke
  • Thomas Graeme
  • Clement Plumsted
  • Thomas Griffitts
  • Charles Read
  • William Till
  • Robert Strettell
  • Samuel Hasell
  • Abraham Taylor
  • Joseph Turner
  • Lawrence Growdon
  • Richard Peters
  • Benjamin Shoemaker
  • Thomas Hopkinson
  • Ralph Assheton
  • John Penn
  • Lynford Lardner
  • Benjamin Chew
  • John Mifflin
  • Thomas Cadwalader
  • James Tilghman
  • John Moland
  • Richard Penn
  • Thomas Lawrence
  • Edward Shippen
  • William Hicks

Get your copy of The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania from Family Roots Publishing for 60% off through midnight MDT Monday, April 21, 2014.

Folowing is a Surname Index of principal subjects (pr) found in the volume who are descendents of Councillors or of whom a biographical sketch is given, and the husbands of the female descendants. Also found in the following Surname Index are the names from the Subject Index of the book (sbj). Finally, the Councillors themselves (see above) are listed from the Table of Contents (toc).

Abbrev Key:
pr=from principle surname index
sbj=from subject index
toc=Table of Contents

  • Abbot pr
  • Abbott pr
  • Acosta pr
  • Acton pr
  • Adain pr
  • Adams pr
  • Agnew pr
  • Albree pr
  • Alison pr
  • Allaire pr
  • Allen pr
  • Alleyne pr
  • Allinson pr
  • Ambler pr
  • Amory pr
  • Archer pr
  • Armstrong pr
  • Arnell pr
  • Arnold pr
  • Arrach pr
  • Ashburton pr
  • Assheton toc
  • Aubsbury pr
  • Auchmuty pr
  • Auld pr
  • Bache pr
  • Bailey pr
  • Baird pr
  • Baker pr
  • Balch pr
  • Ball pr
  • Barbé-Marbois pr
  • Baring pr
  • Barker pr
  • Barnard pr
  • Barnes pr
  • Barrett-Leonard pr
  • Barrow pr
  • Barstow pr
  • Barton pr
  • Bateman pr
  • Bath pr
  • Baumgarten pr
  • Bayard pr
  • Beadel pr
  • Beatty pr
  • Beaver pr
  • Beck pr
  • Beckett pr
  • Beers pr
  • Bell pr
  • Benezet pr
  • Bennett pr
  • Bentley pr
  • Berkeley pr
  • Berrett pr
  • Beste pr
  • Bettarina pr
  • Betton pr
  • Bickley pr
  • Biddle pr
  • Biddle sbj
  • Biles sbj
  • Bingham pr
  • Binney sbj
  • Bisland pr
  • Bispham pr
  • Bisset pr
  • Black pr
  • Blackwell, John [Lt Gov] sbj
  • Blair pr
  • Blaisell pr
  • Bloodgood pr
  • Bogle pr
  • Bois-Guilbert pr
  • Bolling pr
  • Bond pr
  • Bond sbj
  • Bonsall pr
  • Booth pr
  • Borden pr
  • Borden sbj
  • Börs pr
  • Boude pr
  • Bowdoin pr
  • Bowen pr
  • Bowie pr
  • Boyd pr
  • Bradford pr
  • Bradley pr
  • Branck pr
  • Branson sbj
  • Brantingham pr
  • Bridgeman-Simpson pr
  • Briggs pr
  • Brinton pr
  • Briscoe pr
  • Brock pr
  • Brooke pr
  • Brooke Rawle pr
  • Brower pr
  • Brown pr
  • Brown sbj
  • Browne pr
  • Brownell pr
  • Brownson pr
  • Bruce pr
  • Bruen pr
  • Brune pr
  • Bryan pr
  • Buchanan pr
  • Buckley pr
  • Buckner pr
  • Budd sbj
  • Bulkwhey pr
  • Bunker pr
  • Burd pr
  • Burge pr
  • Burgess pr
  • Burleigh pr
  • Burnaby pr
  • Burroughs pr
  • Burton pr
  • Burwell pr
  • Byrd pr
  • Cabell pr
  • Cable sbj
  • Cade pr
  • [Read the rest of this entry...]

Leave a Comment

Dropbox for Genealogists

legweb17“Are you familiar with Dropbox – a program that provides 2 gigabytes of online storage for free? Learn how to sign up for Dropbox, install the program and get started ensuring the safety and security of your genealogy research data. Seems too good to be true, right? Two gigabytes of online storage for free? And storage that can synchronize files across your computer, your laptop and even your mobile device? It is true, and you can learn how to leverage the power of Dropbox – a free online program to back up your genealogy data and even share files with friends and family.”

You can learn about the value and use of Dropbox for Genealogists in a webinar on CD. The presentation on this disk was originally given on April 21, 2011 by popular blogger and speaker Thomas MacEntee. Dropbox has changed little in that time period; except, to become even more popular. The webinar lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and comes with and 18 page handout.

Topics presented include:

  • What is Dropbox?
  • Setting up a Dropbox account
  • Using Dropbox on your computer for data storage
  • How “synching” works
  • Sharing Dropbox folders
  • Dropbox delete, undo, and undelete
  • Using the Dropbox website
  • Managing your Dropbox account
  • Legacy Family Tree data and Dropbox
  • Breaking the free 2GB barrier
  • Questions and answers from live attendees around the world
  • and other tips and tricks along the way

Web seminars, or “Webinars,” have quickly become one of the most popular ways for professionals and companies to share information with large groups of individuals from across the country, or even around the world, without the high cost of travel. Webinars are just like seminars. A large group of “attendees” can come and watch a presentation at a given time. Webinars are nice, since they are usually recorded and can be watched again at a later time. The only real downside to webinars is the video stream can be slow for some people. Depending in large part on the viewer’s own personal Internet connection speed, video may or may not play well. The age of a person’s computer may also contribute to slow playback. To counter these playback problems, some individuals and companies offer the option to buy their webinars on CD. CD’s offer the opportunity to play these webinars on almost any computer at anytime, without the worry of connection issues.

About the author:

Thomas MacEntee is a professional genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. Utilizing over 25 years of experience in the information technology field, Thomas writes and lectures on the many ways in which blogs, Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience. As the creator of he has organized and engaged a community of over 1,800 bloggers to document their own journeys in the search for ancestors.


Order a copy of  Dropbox for Genealogists on disc from Family Root Publishing.

Leave a Comment

The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors — 15% Off through Midnight Monday, April 21

fnw4Every author has a pedigree. Yes, they all have a family history, but I mean a work pedigree. Each has a resume of work and life experiences that are echoed in their words and teachings. These words, these guides and books can help lead the student, the reader, the researcher, down new roads to greater success. However, when it comes to an author’s, a professional’s, experiences, few can match the curriculum vitae of Marsha Hoffman Rising, author of The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors. There are many books designed to help genealogists get over difficult research problems, and most serve their purpose well. Few, however, come with the pedigree of experience Rising had when she wrote this book. She was very well prepared indeed to help others find answers to their research questions.

Here is just a portion of Marsha Hoffman Risings bio:

“…a professional genealogist who specialized in problem solving related to nineteenth century research…She served as”:

  • Vice President of the American Society of Genealogists
  • Vice President of the National Genealogical Society
  • Board Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists
  • Board Member for the Certification of Genealogists
  • Board Member at the New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies

She was a lecturer, and taught the Advanced Methodology class at the Institute of Historical Genealogical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She also received many awards, including:

  • The National Genealogical Society Award of Merit
  • Elected Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Society
  • The FGS George E. Williams Award
  • The National Genealogical Society Award of Excellence
  • the FGS Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award

Why do I bring up all these credentials? I merely want to show the type of experience and caliber Hoffman brought to the problems solving skills you will encounter when reading The Family Tree Problem Solver. Even though the author died just before this revised copy went to print, her life experience is captured in her work. Leland Meitzler had this to say about the book:

“A few years ago, the late Marsha Hoffman Rising wrote what I believe to be one of the most important guide books for genealogists”

In this book you will find:

  • “Ideas on how to find vital records before civil registration
  • Tips for finding “missing” ancestors on censuses
  • Instructions for investigating collateral kin to further your pedigree
  • A look at advanced court records and how they can help you find answers
  • Work-arounds for lost or destroyed records
  • Techniques for correctly identifying and researching ancestors with common names
  • Methods for finding ancestors who lived before 1850
  • Case studies that show how to apply the author’s advice to real-life research roadblocks
  • Strategies for analyzing your problem and creating a successful research plan”

Rising considered hitting the proverbial brick wall as the fun part of genealogy. Her positive attitude is revealed the pages of her book. You too will find answers as you learn from this master of research.


Table of Contents

Foreword by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack


1 The First Step: Analyzing the Problem and Planning a Strategy for Success

2 Finding Births, Marriages, and Deaths Before Civil Registration

3 Why Does the Census Taker Always Miss My Ancestor?

4 Consider the Collateral Kin: Genealogical Research in the Full Family Context

5 Your Day in Court

6 What to Do When the Courthouse Burned

7 Give Me Land—Lots of Land

8 Sorting Individuals of the Same Name

9 The Critical Connection: Finding ancestors Who Lived Before 1850

10 Ten Mistakes Not to Make in Your Family Research

11 Analysis of Evidence

Appendix A – Finding Your Ancestors Online by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Appendix B – DNA Facts and Common Myths by Lauren Gamber

Appendix C – Glossary of Genealogy Terms from the editors of Family Tree Magazine

Appendix D – Research Logs and Charts



Order The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried-and True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors from Family Roots Publishing.

Leave a Comment

101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History — 15% Off through Midnight Monday, April 21

ig02A month and a half before we put on our sombreros, sing about a drunk cockroach, and eat too many tacos in the cultural celebration acknowledging our southern neighbors on Cinco de Mayo, we will first don a little green and hope for a little luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Most you have probably heard the legend of St. Patrick driving snakes out of Ireland. But, what do you really know about the man? Did you know St. Patrick:

  • Was of British Celt ancestry?
  • Came to Ireland as its Bishop around 432?
  • Is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland?
  • Used the shamrock (three-leafed clover) to teach about the Trinity?
  • Argued with High King Laoghaire on behalf of Christianity?
  • Was on “speaking terms with both God and an angel?”
  • Wrote the prayer “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate.”

Image what else you don’t know about Ireland and the Irish. How about Vikings in Ireland? Who was Kevin of Glendalough, the tree hugger, or other Irish saints? How was Dublin founded? What about Gaelic? Irish communities around the world? There is a rich history and heritage from which millions the world over have descended. Many know they come from an Irish heritage, and most probably know more of the myths than they do the truths of the Emerald Isle. 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Traditions of the Emerald Isle was written to help those of Irish descent better know the homeland of their ancestors, as well as any other reader with a broad interest in history.

Authors Ryan Hackney and Amy Hackney Blackwell created this reference to educate the reader on:

  • the lives of the ancient Celts before the British invasions
  • famous Irish including Michael Collins, Charles Parnell and Bono!
  • the potato famine and emigration (were there really gangs of New York?)
  • Irish music and dance, and much more…

The guide even provides an Irish language prime and pronunciation guide. The book is compact in size to make reading easy; yet, full of the historical information useful to have at hand when researching Irish ancestry. Plus, the book is simply fun to read. I have always found interesting historical evidence for where myth is derived from truth. There are four sections and two appendices as outlined below in the Contents.

10% Off of 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Traditions of the Emerald Isle for a short time only from Family Roots Publishing




Part One: Prehistory and Mythology of Ancient Ireland

  1. The Earliest Inhabitants
  2. Mesolithic Age and the First Farmers
  3. Legends and Archaeology
  4. The Bronze Age
  5. Iron Come to Ireland
  6. Who Were The Celts and Kings
  7. Gaelic and Indo-European Languages
  8. Celtic Ireland
  9. Wild and Crazy
  10. The Seat of Ancient Kings
  11. Brehon Laws
  12. The Celtic Class System
  13. The Learned: Druids
  14. Celtic Art and Poetry
  15. Celtic to the End: The Never Conquered Nation
  16. The Celtic Pantheon
  17. The Otherworld
  18. Celtic Festivals
  19. Creation Myths
  20. The Battle of Magh Tuirdh and the Invasions of Milesians
  21. The Tain
  22. Heroic Deeds of Cuchulain
  23. Conchobar and Deirdre
  24. Finn MacCool
  25. Christianity Arrives

Part Two: The Arrival of Christianity (and the British Too!)

  1. Who Was St. Patrick?
  2. St. Brigid the Generous
  3. St. Columcille, Felonious Monk
  4. St. Columbanus, Missionary to Europe
  5. Wild and Crazy Irish Saints
  6. Irish Blend: Christian Traditions
  7. Monasteries in Ireland
  8. Schools and Universities
  9. The Pre-Xerox Age: A Life of Copying
  10. The Book of Kells
  11. The Rise and Fall of Irish Dynasties
  12. Anglo-Saxons in Britain
  13. Bring On the Vikings
  14. Dublin is Founded
  15. Life with Vikings
  16. What Would Brian Boru Do?
  17. An Ireland Unified
  18. The Normans  Are Here!
  19. The Irish Strike Back
  20. I’m Henry VIII, I Am: Tudor Colonization
  21. The Protestant Reformation
  22. Elizabeth I’s Reign
  23. The 1641 Rebellion and Oliver Cromwell
  24. The Williamite War
  25. Protestants Take Hold
  26. Catholic Life
  27. The Second City of the British Empire
  28. Protestant Irish Nationalism
  29. Wolfe Tone’s REbellion
  30. Hasta La Vista, Baby: Daniel O’Connel, the Liberator
  31. Catholic Emancipation

Part Three: Preserving Irish Culture and History

  1. Before the Reformation
  2. Ireland’s Counter-Reformation
  3. Religious Tensions in the North
  4. Modern Catholicism
  5. Scandals in the Church
  6. Traditional Irish Life
  7. Irish Language
  8. Irish Music
  9. Before There Was Riverdance…
  10. Death and the Supernatural
  11. Irish Sports
  12. Rich Folklore and Heritage
  13. Potatoes, for Better or Worse
  14. Life During the Famine
  15. Help! Responses to the Famine
  16. Results of the Famine

Part Four: Emigration to Modern Life

  1. Why the Irish Left–and Where They Went
  2. The Hardships of Emigration
  3. The Immigrant Experience in the United States
  4. Irish Communities in Other Lands
  5. The Rebirth of Nationalism
  6. The Home Rule Party
  7. A Celtic Revival
  8. An Ireland Divided
  9. World War I and the Easter Rebellion
  10. War of Independence
  11. Irish Civil War
  12. Irish Free State
  13. De Valera and the Fianna Fail Path
  14. World War II
  15. A New Republic
  16. Trouble in the North
  17. Sunday, Bloody Sunday
  18. The Peace Process
  19. The Good Firday Agreement
  20. Ireland’s Celtic Tiger
  21. Ireland and the European Union
  22. Modern Irish Politics
  23. The Liberalization of Ireland
  24. Women’s Rights
  25. Family Life
  26. Irish Food: Potatoes, Beef, and More Potatoes–and a Cuppa!
  27. For the Love of Irish Beer and Whiskey
  28. Irish Contributions to Literature and Art
  29. Tracing Your Roots

Appendix A: A Primer of the Irish Language

Appendix B: Irish Proverbs and Blessings



Leave a Comment

Deciphering Handwriting in German Documents: Analyzing German, Latin, and French in Historical Manuscripts, NEW Second Edition

m0027Germans have long been a scattered people. Millions of Americans identify their ancestral roots as German. For many, however, their ancestors spoke German but never lived in what constitutes modern Germany. Some “Germans” never even lived is what could be called a German states or territories. From the middle ages on, German-speaking communities have thrived all across Europe, especially in the Eastern countries. Many identified themselves by their language, culture, and customs as German, but may have lived nowhere near modern Germany. The result is many German documents exist across a large geographical area in Europe. German, as a language, was used in written vital records across Europe. Documents were also written in other languages but by German hands; in particular, French and Latin were common.

Learning to read and transcribe these documents can be a stumbling block. The Gothic alphabet alone can be difficult to read, even if you speak fluent German. Fortunately, Roger Minert has taken his more than 20 years of experience and applied it to producing Deciphering Handwriting in German Documents: Analyzing German, Latin, and French in Historical Manuscripts. The original book is considered by many to be the preemptive guide on the subject. This new second edition extends the offerings, and will to serve those with German ancestry.

This book is so much more than a basic treatment of Old German Script or Gothic letters. This book examine the history, the development, the alphabet, and the handwriting of not only the German language, but also Latin and French in German documents. In the author’s own words, he as added the following features to this book, not previously handled by other authors:

  • “a brief but scholarly review of the history of handwriting styles and alphabets in German-speaking regions of Europe
  • the introduction of a computerized, normed set of Gothic alphabet characters
  • the inclusion of examples consisting of illustrations taken from genuine records
  • a methodology for deciphering Latin texts in German source documents
  • a methodology for deciphering French texts in German source documents
  • the introduction of the only modern technology to be applied to the deciphering of words and names in old handwritten German documents — the reverse alphabetical index”

In addition to all this well-defined and unique information, the author facilitate the learning process with over 150, now, 200 illustrations. These documents are used step by step along the path taught in this guide to decipher German handwriting. In many cases, the author has provided a transliteration to a modern typeset face of the sample’s text, a translation into English, and a useful analysis to better understand both the type of document as well as key points in the deciphering of the contents.

The following are new to this second edition:

  • In-depth examinations of the Fraktur, Gothic, and Latin alphabets
  • Extensive techniques for analyzing texts
  • 44 new documents from many subject areas
  • Nearly 200 images from original records
  • A new computer font more closely resembling the handwriting of original documents
  • Lists of genealogical terms in German, Latin, and French (both alphabetical and reverse alphabetical)

The new edition has 271 pages plus another 10 of front matter, totaling 281 pages. The first edition had a total of 192 pages. So – there are an additional 89 pages in the volume, with no upward change in price.

[A full table of contents is listed below]


Deciphering Handwriting in German Documents: Analyzing German, Latin, and French in Vital Records Written in Germany is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: M0001, Price: $27.44.


Table of Contents


How to Use this Book

Chapter 1: The Evolution of Handwriting Styles in Germany

  • Introduction
  • Early Handwriting Styles
  • Handwriting Styles after the Middle Ages
  • The Standardization of Handwriting Styles
  • The End of the Gothic Alphabet in Daily Use
  • Determining the Language of the Handwritten Document
  • Notes

Chapter 2: Deciphering German Handwriting in German Documents

  • Introduction
  • The Gothic Handwriting Alphabet
  • Lower Case Gothic Characters
  • Upper Case Gothic Characters

Consonant Clusters and Doubled Consonants

  • Diacritical Marks and Punctuation
  • Crossing the t and Dotting the i
  • Abbreviations
  • Similar and Confusing Characters
  • Numbers and Dates
    • Numerals
    • Days of the Week
    • Months
    • Time of Day
    • Seasons of the Year
    • Cardinal Numbers vs. Ordinal Numbers
    • Feast Dates
    • French Republican Calendar Dates
  • Learning to Write in the Gothic Alphabet
  • German Language Tools
    • German Grammar
    • German Syntax and Word Order
    • German Vocabulary
    • Archaic German Language and Dialect Variants
  • Personal Names
  • Place Names
  • Determining the Type of Record
  • Basic Tactics in Deciphering German Handwriting in Vital Record Entries
    • Extraction
    • Transliteration
    • Translation
  • Additional Tactics in Deciphering German Handwriting in Vital Records
    • Index
    • Chronology
    • Alphabet Sampler
    • Vowel/Consonant Environments
    • Syntactic Analysis
  • Deciphering Sample Vital Record Entries
    • Church Birth/Christening Records
    • Civil Birth Records
    • Church Marriage Records
    • Church Death/Burial Records
    • Civil Death Records
    • Other Types of Records
    • Summary
  • Notes

Chapter 3: Deciphering Latin Handwriting in German Documents

  • Introduction
  • The Latin Alphabet as Used in German Vital Records
  • Abbreviations in Vital Records entries in Latin
  • Numerals
  • Dates
  • Latin Grammar
  • The Elements of a Typical Latin Church Book Entry
    • Column Entries
    • Sentence Entries
    • Paragraph Entries
  • Tactics for Deciphering Latin in Vital Records in German Documents
  • Summary
  • Notes

Chapter 4: Deciphering French Handwriting in German Documents

  • Introduction
  • The Practice of French Record-keeping in Germany
  • Church Vital Records in the French Language
    • Civil Registry Vital Records in the French Language
    • Civil Registry Pre-printed Entry Forms
    • Numerals and Dates
  • The French Republican Calendar
  • French Grammar and Language Tools
    • Gender
    • Number
    • Capitalization
    • Syntax
    • Vocabulary
    • Placement of Adjectives
  • Analyzing French Entries in German Church Records
    • Column-entry Church Records
    • Paragraph-entry Church Records
  • Analyzing French Entries in German Civil Records
    • Paragraph French Entries in German Church Records
    • Pre-printed French Entries in German Civil Records
  • Summary
  • Notes

Chapter 5: Additional Documents of Historical Importance

  • Introduction
  • Autobiography
  • Church Certificate
  • Personal Letter
  • Postcard
  • Telegram
  • Business Letter
  • Employment Identification
  • Recommendation
  • Business License
  • Public Schools
  • Government Family Records
  • Court (Guardianship)
  • Court (Divorce)
  • Court (Name Change)
  • Marriage Contract
  • Military
  • Report of Death in Battle
  • Proof of Military Service
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Citizenship
  • Residential Registration
  • Passenger Lists
  • Emigration Application
  • Passport
  • Trans-Atlantic Travel
  • Church Records
  • Standards for Church Records
  • Church Birth Certificate
  • Church Marriage Certificate
  • Baptismal Entry
  • Confirmation Entries
  • Marriage Entry
  • Death Entry
  • Family Record
  • Membership List
  • Parish Constitution
  • Church Council Minutes
  • Baptismal Entry in Latin


Foreign Language Competence

How to Use a Reverse Alphabetical Index

Annotated Bibliography

  • Works Cited in This Book
  • Additional Works Recommended to Family History Researchers



  1. The Printed Gothic/Fraktur Alphabet
  2. German Genealogical Vocabulary
  3. German Genealogical Vocabulary: Reverse Alphabetical Order
  4. Latin Genealogical Vocabulary
  5. Latin Genealogical Vocabulary: Reverse Alphabetical Order
  6. French Genealogical Vocabulary
  7. French Genealogical Vocabulary: Reverse Alphabetical Order
  8. Common Genealogical Symbols Found in Vital Records in Germany
  9. German Empire Civil Registry Entry Forms (1876–1918)
  10. Computer Translation of Old Church book Entries


Comments (2)

British Pathé Posts 3500 Hours of Newsreels to YouTube

The HMS Barham Explodes and Sinks, 1941 - Photo: British Pathé

The HMS Barham Explodes and Sinks, 1941 – Photo: British Pathé

The following excerpt is from the April 17, 2014 edition of The Telegraph:

British Pathé, the newsreel maker which documented all walks of life on video during the 20th Century, has uploaded its entire collection of moving images to YouTube.

The archive of 3,500 hours of footage was digitised in 2002 thanks in part to a grant from the National Lottery, and is now freely accessible to anyone around the world for free.

The unique collection of video covers major events, famous faces, travel, sport and culture and is a wealth of information onthe First and Second World Wars in particular.

Founded in Paris in 1896, Pathé launched in Britain 14 years later. It single-handedly invented the modern television news format but ceased recording in 1970. After that it was sold several times, at one point to EMI, but launched as an independent archive in 2009. Two years later it opened a YouTube channel and has today announced the final step in digitising and uploading its entire collection to Google’s video sharing platform.

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Leave a Comment

Snail Mail Arrives 74 Years Later

The following teaser is from an article posted April 17, 2014 at the website.

Sunny Bryant is seen delivering a postcard to Charleen Brown in this undated photo. Courtesy of Charleen Brown

Sunny Bryant is seen delivering a postcard to Charleen Brown in this undated photo. Courtesy of Charleen Brown

A postcard mailed in 1940 and delivered this week gives new meaning to the phrase “snail mail,” but also to the Post Office vow that the mail must go through – eventually.

The card, addressed to Florence Marion, was finally delivered to her great-grandson Alan Marion 74 years late.

Records show the postcard was mailed on Feb. 20, 1940 – with a once cent stamp – from Portland, Ore. The card arrived at the Butte Falls, Ore., post office July 2013 and was uncovered by Sunny Bryant, a new USPS employee.

“I was overwhelmed with the job at that point, so to come across the postcard was just a shock,” said Bryant. “My first response was what am I supposed to do with this?”

Bryant held on to the letter until later that summer when she overheard a member of the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society, Charleen Brown, discussing her work at the post office. Sunny Bryant decided to approach Brown and showed her the relic.

Read the full article.

Leave a Comment

Huge Migrant Farm Workers Archive Posted on the UC San Diego Library Website

A boycott button that is part of the online archive now owned by UCSD. — Courtesy of UCSD

A boycott button that is part of the online archive now owned by UCSD. — Courtesy of UCSD

I spent some time on the Farmworker Movement Documentation Project website today, and found it absolutely fascinating. You may wonder why I’m posting a blog about the Farmworker Movement on a genealogy-related website. Well, because it was a very people-oriented movement – a movement that touched nearly all Americans, as well as many Mexicans, in one way or another.

Although I was raised on a farm, it was made up mostly of greenhouses, with our employment levels usually being only a half dozen people at a time. We had a high of 40 employees in 1973 as I remember it. Being in rural Pierce County of Washington State, I can’t remember of hiring what we would classify as migrant workers, although we did hire a lot of hippies to do seasonal work during the early 1970s.

My only very slight personal interaction with the Farmworker Movement was in about 1971. We owned a gardenshop and fruitstand in Puyallup, Washington. The fruitstand business was very busy during the summer and fall months, and I really enjoyed it, long hours and all. When the “Boycott Grapes” portion of the movement was taking place, I decided to attempt to be funny, and posted a sign on our readerboard that said something like, “Support Unorganized Labor – Buy Nonunion Grapes.” Hmmm… Something only a 21-year old kid would do… As luck would have it, some nice lady stopped by, took me aside, and explained that there were tens of thousands of very union-supportive folks driving by my readerboard every day, and they just might not be impressed. Not being entirely stupid, I changed the sign to something else.

The following is an excerpt from an article posted at the April 16, 2014 edition of the website.

The UC San Diego Library on Wednesday unveiled a large digital archive it acquired that documents the history of the United Farm Workers movement, a treasure trove of materials that officials expect will serve as a valuable research tool for scholars and students.

The archive contains thousands of items, including a timeline of the labor union’s milestones, oral histories and manuscripts, photographs and videos. All of the content can be accessed on the library’s website.

Although the acquisition was finalized late last year, UC San Diego had to spend a few months to move the information to its computer servers.

The collection was compiled by LeRoy Chatfield, 79, a friend of United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez who worked closely with the civil rights activist in the 1960s and ’70s. The university paid Chatfield $50,000 for the project, which he gathered over more than 10 years.

Read the full article.

Click Directly to the Farmworker Movement Documentation Project website.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Leave a Comment

2015 FGS Conference Call for Presentations

The following news release is from FGS:


Submissions will be accepted between May 1, 2014 and May 31, 2014

April 17, 2014 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces a Call for Presentations for the FGS 2015 Conference, “Connect. Explore. Refresh.” to be held February 11-14, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 2015 Conference will be held at the same time as the RootsTech 2015 Conference. Submissions will be accepted online between May 1, 2014 and May 31, 2014.

This innovative blending of the established tradition of FGS’s stellar conferences, focused on genealogical society management, records, and methodology, with RootsTech’s famed conferences, centered on family history, technology, and storytelling, will provide speakers the opportunity to participate in an exciting, once in a lifetime event. A separate Call for Presentations will be announced soon for the RootsTech 2015 Conference.

The conference theme “Connect. Explore. Refresh.” defines the elements FGS conference attendees will see and experience in 2015. The FGS program committee seeks original, relevant, and engaging lecture proposals that will impact, inspire, and motivate genealogists of all experience levels and skill-sets to form connections with other family historians, the larger genealogical community, and within their own personal research.

Categories for submissions include, but are not limited to:

· Back to Basics

· Tried and True Methods

· Answering Difficult Questions with Leading Questions

· The 21st Century Genealogical Society for Today and Tomorrow

·Genealogical Society Leaders and Visionaries

· Modern Access to Vintage Resources

· A Retro Look at Organization and Planning

· The Most Useful Hidden Records in Plain Sight

· Connecting to the Past with Military Commemorations – i.e., War of 1812, Civil War

· 20th Century Migration – i.e., Dust Bowl, WW2 movements, etc.

· Wagon Trains, Railroads, and Modern Transportation

· Ethnic Groups in the West – i.e., African Americans, Native Americans, Chinese, Japanese, and Greek

· Missionaries and Settlers

· Compiling Singular Records into Lively Stories

The FGS 2015 Conference schedule will commence with a Focus on Societies Day on Wednesday, February, 11, 2015, followed by the three-day annual conference event. The FGS Program Committee seeks proposals for the Focus on Societies Day and the annual conference. Submissions for sponsored talks from societies, businesses, and organizations within the family history community are greatly encouraged.

Speaker submissions and deadlines for the FGS 2015 Conference will be very different from previous years, as FGS now utilizes an online submission system. Interested speakers must submit all lecture proposals using the online forms. The Call for Presentations opens May 1, 2014 and will close on May 31, 2014.

Camera-ready handout materials are due for all lecture presentations on October 1, 2014.

Questions concerning the Call for Presentations should be sent to

Selected speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of lectures presented. Speakers receive compensation according to the FGS Conference Speaker Policy at

Sponsored speakers’ costs are compensated by the sponsoring organization. Sponsored speakers will abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements. Sponsored speakers will receive complimentary FGS conference registration and electronic syllabus materials.

For more information, to download a PDF copy of the Call for Presentations, or to submit lecture proposals, please visit

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

Follow us on Facebook (, Twitter ( and on our blog at (

Leave a Comment

Morrisville, North Carolina Town Documents Posted Online

Morrisville, North Carolina has posted thousands of documents dealing with the town history. Click on the link to check them out. By Clicking on “Minutes,” you can pick the year you are interested in, and so forth… The following teaser is from an article posted in the April 16, 2014 edition of


MORRISVILLE [North Carolina] — It cost $3,116 to run the town of Morrisville in 1947, and the town’s primary source of income was whiskey fees.

Morrisville has put thousands of town documents dating back more than half a century online, providing a glimpse of the town’s history. The Council Records Library, which went live in March, features meeting minutes, ordinances and resolutions.

The town was originally incorporated in 1875, but the charter was repealed in 1933. It became a town again in 1947.

“If you look at (the minutes), it gives you the perspective of what a small town was going through trying to establish themselves,” said Mayor Mark Stohlman. “It’s funny that they were struggling with some of the same things we are now – the railroad crossings and roads.”

Like today, the bulk of the town’s revenue was used for personnel and streets. Morrisville set aside $700 for streets and $900 for law enforcement and labor during the 1947 fiscal year.

Read the full article.

Leave a Comment

National Park Service Adds Arlington National Cemetery to National Register of Historic Places

The following announcement is from the National Park Service:

Washington: April 15, 2014 – The National Park Service today announced that Arlington National Cemetery Historic District, which includes the famed military cemetery among 69 contributing features, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.

The historic district was determined to be nationally significant in the following ways: 1) as America’s most sacred national cemetery and as a national memorial to the military history of the United States; 2) it contains the burials of persons of national importance, including presidents, Supreme Court justices and countless military heroes; and 3) as the final resting place of service men and women from the Civil War to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it continues to serve as a national monument to the America’s war dead.

“For 150 years, Arlington National Cemetery has defined how America commemorates and memorializes those who have fought for the freedom of its citizens,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are proud to provide this formal recognition of its historical significance to our nation and to those who have served so proudly and sacrificed for our nation in the armed forces.”

Arlington National Cemetery was established during the Civil War as a final resting place for Union soldiers on approximately 200 acres of Mary Custis Lee’s 1,100 acre Arlington estate. The property was also used as a military camp and Freedman’s Village during and after the end of the Civil War. It took shape as a picturesque rural cemetery with the planting of trees, shrubs, and other landscaping, and the addition of roads through the property. Much of the planning and design of the cemetery is attributable to the direction of Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs during the first decades of Arlington National Cemetery’s existence. Several memorials, beginning with the Tomb of the Civil War Unknowns in 1866, were erected during his tenure.

The commemorative use of Arlington National Cemetery continued to grow throughout the 20th century. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, placed in 1921, strongly emphasized the memorial nature of the cemetery, and the burial of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, with a monument and eternal flame on his gravesite, escalated the commemorative use of the cemetery. Today, Arlington National Cemetery continues to serve as an active cemetery and is the final resting place of more than 400,000 military personnel, their family members and other dignitaries. The Department of the Army administers Arlington National Cemetery, overseeing all burial and maintenance services, and accommodating the more than three million visitors who pay their respects annually.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. It is one of dozens of programs administered by the National Park Service that preserve nature and historic sites and improve access to outdoor recreation in local communities around the country.

For additional information about the National Register of Historic Places, including the full nomination form for Arlington National Cemetery Historic District, visit

Leave a Comment

New Brunswick Considering Opening Adoption Records

The following excerpt is from the April 9, 2014 edition of

Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé said her department will compile and analyze all public input and prepare a recommendation for the government.

Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé said her department will compile and analyze all public input and prepare a recommendation for the government.

The New Brunswick government is seeking the public’s input on a proposal to open sealed adoption records, Social Development Minister Madeleine Dubé announced on Wednesday.

Under current Family Services Act, adoption records are sealed and the identities of children, birth parents and adoptive parents are protected. An adopted child and parent must both request information to allow them to make contact.

But the government is looking to make it easier for adopted children to contact their biological parents.

Both adoptee and parent groups have asked for the rules to be loosened, said Dubé.

Read the full article.

Leave a Comment

Upcoming APG Webinars & New “Careers” Series!

The following is from the Association of Professional Genealogists. Note that the live-streaming webinars are FREE to anyone.:

Mark your calendars! APG has the following webinars and speakers planned for April and May, brought to you by the APG Professional Development Committee. Register soon to reserve your spot. The first webinar is this Thursday!

Careers in Genealogy: House Historian
Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Marian Pierre-Louis
Have you ever considered expanding your services by including House History research? It can be a great way to supplement your business. You might even discover you want to focus on house histories exclusively. In this talk we’ll cover the similarities and differences of house history research to genealogy. We’ll explore the educational background needed and the main records groups used. Finally, we’ll have a discussion of the many different types of clients and products that can be the source of your revenue. Come discover if house history research is in your future!

Careers in Genealogy: Forensic Genealogist
Monday, May 19, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG
Are you curious about the fast-growing field of forensic genealogy? Forensic genealogist Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG, will share what led him to specialize in the field of forensic genealogy, and review some of the different types of work which require the expertise of a forensic genealogist. The webinar will also review some of the items individuals need to consider before offering forensic services, including experience, education, credentials, skill sets, and marketing.

Where Genealogists Go Wrong on the Internet
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter Marian Pierre-Louis
There are some common mistakes that many genealogists make when developing on online presence whether through email, social media, a blog or their website. From lack of consistency in building a brand to using the wrong image size, Marian Pierre-Louis will help get you back on track. If you would like to have your online presence evaluated (and used in the presentation) send Marian an email. APG members can also submit specific questions on this topic to Marian in advance at

These webinars are available and free for APG members and non-members to attend live. Webinars are also recorded, and the recordings made available to APG members on the Members Only section of our website for any member who is unable to attend the live session or just wants to review the material again. If you have any questions, or would like to suggest a topic and/or speaker you would like to see for future webinars, please feel free to email me anytime — Kimberly Powell (

Leave a Comment