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75 Years Ago, Ida May Fuller Got the 1st Social Security Check – Number 00-000-001


On January 31, 1940 (Seventy-five years ago) the U.S. government cut a check for then 65-year-old Ida May Fuller. That check was number was 00-000-001 — the first Social Security check to be sent out.

Ida Mae lived in Ludlow, Vermont, and in early November of 1939, she happened to go by a government office in nearby Rutland. On a whim, she stopped in and asked about Social Security. She applied for benefits, and then got the first check. Now that was unexpected! That check was for $22.54. This monthly check was just a tiny bit less than the $25.75 that was being deducted from her paycheck for the last three years.

When she died in 1975 at age 100, Ida Mae Fuller had received a total of $22,888.92 in social security benefits.

Click here or on the illustration to read an interesting article with more illustrations that was posted on the January 30, 2015 Daily Mail website.

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Philyaw Family Bible Donated to the Onslow County Museum


More than a century ago, near Comfort, John Robert Philyaw wrote his name in his Bible.

He added his second wife’s name, Susan Jones Philyaw, and as they were born, the names of their 15 children.

Today, the 98 grandchildren, at least 108 great-grandchildren and countless other relatives who claim John Robert Philyaw as their ancestor are using that Bible, among other genealogical tools, to fill in their family tree…

Recently, Fowler and other Philyaws donated the Bible to the Onslow County Museum, where it is being kept in an acid-free box before on display for about a year before it goes into climate controlled archives, according to Patricia Hughey, Onslow County Museum collections manager.

For more information on the what resources are available for genealogical research at the Onslow County Museum, visit or call 910-324-5008.

Read the full article.

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Bill Belichick & Pete Carroll Both Have Croatian Roots


A few million of us are awaiting this weekend’s Superbowl with anticipation – myself included. Being a die-hard Seahawks fan for several decades has been hard at times. Life has been good lately. I ran across an interesting tidbit about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

It seems that Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s grandparents, Marija and Ivan, immigrated from Croatia to the United States in 1897. Pete Carroll, coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has Croatian ancestry on his maternal side.

To learn more, click here and read an interesting article posted at

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Court to Hear Arguments Dealing With Citizenship of American Samoa Residents

The following excerpt is from an article posted in the January 30, 2015 edition of


A federal appeals court in the nation’s capital is scheduled to hear oral arguments Feb. 9 in a case related to the citizenship rights of residents of American Samoa.

Unlike the territory of Guam, those born in American Samoa are not considered U.S. citizens.

At issue is the fact residents of the territories do not have the same rights as residents in the rest of the United States. Congress over the decades has passed laws giving only specific rights to the individual territories, such as the Organic Act of Guam.

Former Guam resident Neil Weare, president of the “We the People Project,” in 2013 filed a lawsuit in the federal court in Washington, D.C., on behalf of American Samoans, arguing they’ve been denied their right to be U.S. citizens.

Read the full article.

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Portugal Approves Giving Jewish Inquisition Victims’ Descendants Citizenship – #Genealogy

The following teaser is from an article posted in the January 29, 2015 edition of

The Portugese Cabinet on Thursday approved a new law giving dual citizenship to the descendants of the Jews expelled or forcibly converted to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition, in which thousands of Jews were brutally murdered.

It remains to be seen when the law will come into effect; Spain has a similar law waiting for final approval.

According to Associated Press, descendants who can demonstrate “a traditional connection” through “family names, family language, and direct or collateral ancestry” can request citizenship.

Read the full article.

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Ancestry to Build New Headquarters in Lehi, Utah

The following News Release is from Globe Newswire:


PROVO, Utah, Jan. 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced its plans to build a new company headquarters at The Corporate Center at Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah.

“We’re excited about our new Utah headquarters,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry. “We’re proud of everything our employees have accomplished in recent years, and we’re looking forward to a new facility that is going to be an awesome place to work.”

For the past three decades Ancestry has been headquartered in Provo, Utah, and has focused on making family history more accessible to millions of people around the world. Today, the company has grown to more than 1,400 employees globally, 1,000 of whom are based in Utah. The new location, located 25 minutes south of Salt Lake City, between Salt Lake City and Provo, will help the company broaden its footprint in attracting and retaining top talent throughout the Wasatch Front.

The new $35 million facility, located just a few miles off Interstate 15, will sit on 10.5 acres with a sleek modern design that incorporates floor to ceiling windows to take in more light and phenomenal views of Mount Timpanogos and the surrounding valley.

Ancestry is represented by Frank Matheson and Jeff Rossi of Cushman & Wakefield | Commerce Real Estate Solutions. Ancestry is also continuing its long-standing relationship with Rapt Studio, an award-winning design studio, who also designed the Ancestry San Francisco office. Rapt will be developing the interior design to represent both the company’s passion for family history and their collaborative culture. Employees will also benefit from a covered parking structure, an outdoor patio, and access to surrounding outdoor biking trails and Lehi’s retail shops.

Pre-construction work started in January, and the campus is projected to be completed and ready for occupants mid-year 2016. Ancestry expects to initially occupy approximately 135,000 square feet on location, positioning the company for the decades of growth and success to come.

About is the world’s largest online family history resource with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 15 billion records have been added to the sites and users have created more than 60 million family trees containing more than 6 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, the company operates several global Ancestry international websites along with a suite of online family history brands, including,,, and offers the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, DNA, LLC, all of which are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

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Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era — by Bill Dollarhide; 35% OFF Thru Monday, February 2.

civil-war-era-350pw-75resMost genealogical records during the decade of the Civil War are related to the soldiers and regiments of the Union and Confederate military. However, there are numerous records relating to the entire population as well. Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era, by William Dollarhide, identifies the places to look and documents to be found for ancestors during the decade, 1861-1869, as well as post-war veterans. The book is laid out first by nation-wide name lists and then by state listings in alphabetical order.

The following broad categories, as well as others, are identified within this book:

National Resources:

  • Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System
  • The American Civil War Research Database
  • Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
  • General and Organizational Indexes to Pension Files, 1861-1934
  • 1883 List of U.S. Pensioners on the Roll
  • 1890 Federal Census of Union Veterans
  • Roll of Honor & Veteran Burials
  • 1865-1867 Confederate Amnesty Papers
  • Consolidated Lists of Confederate Soldiers & United Confederate Veterans Association
  • Index to Compiled Service Records

Statewide Resources:

  • Compiled Service Records (by state)
  • Index to Compiled Service Records (by state)
  • 1861-1869 State Censuses
  • 1861-1869 Statewide Name Lists
  • 1862-1869 Internal Revenue Assessment Lists
  • Statewide Militia Lists
  • Confederate Pension Applications
  • Pensioner Name Lists and censuses of Confederate Veterans
  • Indexes to Statewide Records
  • Lists of Veteran Burials; State Adjutant General Reports & state-sponsored histories

The Best Civil War Resource Centers for Local & County Research

    • Online Resources
    • Libraries & Archives

Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era – Online and Published Military or Civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869 & Post-Civil War Veteran Lists; by William Dollarhide; 2009; Soft Cover, Perfect Bound; 8.5×11; 203 pp., Reg. $32.95 – 35% Off Through Feb. 2, 2015 – just $21.42 (plus $5.50 p&h).

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Family Chronicle Gets a Name Change


According to Ed Zapletal, my friend, and the publisher at Moorshead Magazines Ltd., the venerable Family Chronicle Magazine is getting a name change. Beginning with the March/April 2015 edition, the magazine is titled Your Genealogy Today. The magazine website will also be changing to as of March 1.

The thinking behind changing the name was simply to refresh and renew the magazine, complete with new titling and several new columns. The magazine will continue to be printed in paper and pdf format, as well as app editions for mobile reading.

The new columns will be entitled:

  • Genealogy Tourism
  • DNA and Your Genealogy
  • Advice from the Pros

Subscribers don’t need to do anything. Family Chronicle subscriptions will be converted to Your Genealogy Today subs. The magazine will continue to be a bimonthy, with six issues printed per year.


I plan to do more writing writing for the magazine this year, so watch for articles under my name.

For more information, check out their website.

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Scots-Irish Genealogy Research Bundle of 2 Quick Reference items at 20% Off + a FREE eBook Download!


Scots-Irish research is extremely popular in the United States. It should be, considering that there’s a good chance that if we have colonial ancestry, we may very well have Scots-Irish ancestry. These two quick reference guides – one being Scots-Irish Genealogy Research Genealogy at a glance, and the other Dollarhide’s Colonial Wagon Roads to 1750 Genealogist’s Insta-Guide are just the thing for getting started or advancing your research on your Scots-Irish ancestors. And yes – most colonial wagon roads were heavily traveled and influenced by the Scots-Irish.

We are also making a FREE immediate PDF download of the Colonial Wagon Roads to 1790 Genealogists’ Insta-Guide available with the bundle.

Click here to purchase the Scots-Irish quick reference bundle at 20% off, plus the FREE download. In the USA, the bundle ships by USPS first-class mail, costing just $4.50 for the two items. A $20.89 value. On sale for $13.52 (plus $5.50 1st class p&h).

The bundle is made up of the following (use your “back arrow” to return to this page to order):

Click here to purchase the Scots-Irish quick reference bundle at 20% off, plus the FREE download. A $20.89 value. On sale for $13.52 (plus $5.50 USPS first-class p&h).

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GRIP is Utilizing a New Technological Registration Procedure

The following was received from my friend, Elissa Scalise Powell, CG , CGL:


Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is a very popular “summer camp for genealogists” that is held on the campus of La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Last year 205 students from 40 states and 3 countries attended seven classes in Pittsburgh. Having fun while learning about genealogy in the company of friends and like-minded classmates is why students return year after year. Not to mention the course coordinators and instructors who are tops in the field! GRIP is happy to provide two separate weeks for learning opportunities this summer, each with its own opening registration date.

Registration for the first week of GRIP is coming quickly on Wednesday, February 4, at Noon Eastern. A countdown timer has been installed on the registration page which will go automatically at the “zero hour” to the registration page. There is no need to watch the clock, hit refresh, or otherwise fear that you will miss the “opening bell.” In fact doing any such action will interfere with the automatic transition and slow your computer down. All you have to do is pick out your course from the list below and read the Registration page completely to prepare your registration answers. Descriptions of the 18 lecture sessions for each course are detailed on the GRIP website.

See you this summer in Pittsburgh!

These six courses to be held June 28 to July 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh have registration beginning February 4:

These six courses to be held July 19-24, 2015 in Pittsburgh have registration beginning February 18:

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The BYU Family History Technology Workshop February 10, 2014


Now that I know that I’ve survived the “2015-extraordinary-flu,” and I will be attending RootsTech, FGS, and the Innovator Summit, I’ve added the BYU Family History Technology Workshop to my schedule. It will be held at the conference center on the BYU campus in Provo the day before the Innovator Summit. The program looks interesting. Following is their announcement:

This year’s Family History Technology Workshop will take place February 10 at the BYU Conference Center and will focus on “The Future of Family History Technology.”

The workshop will begin with a lightning session (2-3 minute speeches) followed by demos of new software apps. The afternoon will feature a keynote by Curt Witcher from the Allen County Public Library, followed by talks from experts from Google,, and FamilySearch. The day will conclude with a panel discussion on the future of family history technology.

We invite all of you who are participating in the Innovator’s Summit on February 11 to register for and participate in the Family History Technology Workshop that will be held the day before at BYU.

For more information and to register, visit:

We extend a special invitation to all who are submitting their work to the Innovator Challenge to come and participate in the lightning session the morning of February 10 where you will have the opportunity to provide a brief overview of your work followed by a demonstration to attendees.

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The 25 Most Common Passwords on the Internet. Would you believe 123456?


A few days ago, SplashData posted it’s annual list of the most commonly used passwords. In looking through the list, it’s really quite amazing what folks will do. Would you really use the word, “password,” as your password? Following is the release from prweb:

Los Gatos, CA (PRWEB) January 20, 2015: SplashData has announced its annual list of the 25 most common passwords found on the Internet – thus making them the “Worst Passwords” that will expose anybody to being hacked or having their identities stolen. In its fourth annual report, compiled from more than 3.3 million leaked passwords during the year, “123456”and “password” continue to hold the top two spots that they have held each year since the first list in 2011. Other passwords in the top 10 include “qwerty,” “dragon,” and “football.”

As in past years’ lists, simple numerical passwords remain common, with nine of the top 25 passwords on the 2014 list comprised of numbers only.

Passwords appearing for the first time on SplashData’s list include “696969” and “batman.”

While Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, “iloveyou” is one of the nine passwords from 2013 to fall off the 2014 list.

According to SplashData, the passwords evaluated for the 2014 list were mostly held by users in North America and Western Europe. In 2014, millions of passwords from Russian accounts were also leaked, but these passwords were not included in the analysis.

SplashData’s list of frequently used passwords shows that many people continue to put themselves at risk by using weak, easily guessable passwords.

“Passwords based on simple patterns on your keyboard remain popular despite how weak they are,” said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData. “Any password using numbers alone should be avoided, especially sequences. As more websites require stronger passwords or combinations of letters and numbers, longer keyboard patterns are becoming common passwords, and they are still not secure.”

For example, users should avoid a sequence such as “qwertyuiop,” which is the top row of letters on a standard keyboard, or “1qaz2wsx” which comprises the first two ‘columns’ of numbers and letters on a keyboard.

Other tips from a review of this year’s Worst Passwords List include:
Don’t use a favorite sport as your password – “baseball” and “football” are in top 10, and “hockey,” “soccer” and “golfer” are in the top 100. Don’t use a favorite team either, as “yankees,” “eagles,” “steelers,” “rangers,” and “lakers” are all in the top 100.

Don’t use your birthday or especially just your birth year — 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992 are all in the top 100.
While baby name books are popular for naming children, don’t use them as sources for picking passwords. Common names such as “michael,” “jennifer,” “thomas,” “jordan,” “hunter,” “michelle,” “charlie,” “andrew,” and “daniel” are all in the top 50.

Also in the top 100 are swear words and phrases, hobbies, famous athletes, car brands, and film names.

This is the first year that SplashData has collaborated on the list with Mark Burnett, online security expert and author of “Perfect Passwords” (
“The bad news from my research is that this year’s most commonly used passwords are pretty consistent with prior years,” Burnett said. “The good news is that it appears that more people are moving away from using these passwords. In 2014, the top 25 passwords represented about 2.2% of passwords exposed. While still frightening, that’s the lowest percentage of people using the most common passwords I have seen in recent studies.”

SplashData, provider of the SplashID line of password management applications, releases its annual list in an effort to encourage the adoption of stronger passwords. Slain says, “As always, we hope that with more publicity about how risky it is to use weak passwords, more people will start taking simple steps to protect themselves by using stronger passwords and using different passwords for different websites.”

Presenting SplashData’s “Worst Passwords of 2014”:

1 123456 (Unchanged from 2013)
2 password (Unchanged)
3 12345 (Up 17)
4 12345678 (Down 1)
5 qwerty (Down 1)
6 1234567890 (Unchanged)
7 1234 (Up 9)
8 baseball (New)
9 dragon (New)
10 football (New)
11 1234567 (Down 4)
12 monkey (Up 5)
13 letmein (Up 1)
14 abc123 (Down 9)
15 111111 (Down 8)
16 mustang (New)
17 access (New)
18 shadow (Unchanged)
19 master (New)
20 michael (New)
21 superman (New)
22 696969 (New)
23 123123 (Down 12)
24 batman (New)
25 trustno1 (Down 1)

SplashData offers three simple tips to be safer from hackers online:
1. Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters.
2. Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites.
3. Use a password manager such as SplashID to organize and protect passwords, generate random passwords, and automatically log into websites.

Read the original press release.

Here’s a link to SplashData’s Worst Passwords of 2013.

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Call for Presentations at the Ogden, Utah Family History Conference

I recently received the following announcement and invitation from Shelley Felt. I can’t make it this year, as I’ve moved to Washington State, and am no longer presenting at Saturday seminars. However, my guess is that some of my readers may be interested – either in presenting, exhibiting, and just attending the Conference.


Announcement and Call for Presentations: “Of Roots & Branches”, the Ogden Family History Conference will be held September 12, 2015 at Weber State University’s Shepherd Union Building. We are happy that again we are able to offer a quality conference without requiring a registration fee from participants — FREE. This is due to the generosity of you, our presenters, who will include professionals as well as volunteers from our Ogden FamilySearch Library and vendors as well as the generosity of Weber State University.
This year we would like to offer classes dealing with FamilySearch partners,,, and, how they “work” and how FamilySearch Family Tree users can work with them. If you know of great presenters in these areas, please share this information with them!

IMPORTANT! Please reply with your suggestions for classes you would like to present, or that you feel are most appropriate for our conference. We will try to create a balanced curriculum, serving the beginner as well as the more experienced researcher. Some of our classes are offered each year, but we always want to include something new and exciting.

Again, we are so grateful for your kindness in the past and hope to see you this September.

Shelley Felt,

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Oregon Burial Site Guide – Available for only the P&H Charge! #Genealogy


I received the following note from my friend, Jan Healy. If you have Oregon research, this is a really good deal! This book is beautifully done, and they are basically giving them away. You’ll never beat the price.

Press release – Oregon Burial Site Guide: We are losing our warehouse space the end of July. So the boss said to offer the Oregon Burial Site Guide, Compiled by Dean Byrd, Stanley Clarke, & Janice M. Healy free. We will send a hard back copy to everyone for the cost of shipping and handling. Prepaid $20 post marked not later than 1 July 2015. Those of you with Nonprofit status please add your tax ID number. Any questions contact me. This book sold for $125 each.

This book is about where the cemeteries of Oregon are located. Not lists of who is buried in them. Those are only listed for the small sites on private property with 12 or less burials.

The book is 8.5″ X 11″ X 2″ 1,200 plus pages and weighs in at about 8 lbs in the shipping carton. Fully alphabetical by county and site, each county is indexed, Black and White photo’s for a general idea of what monuments are in each county, with a state wide index in the back. This is a must for those researching Oregon using death certificates. We tried to pick up all the also known as names to the sites. There are about 2500 burial sites in the 36 counties of Oregon. This material is updated and corrected, not like the material from the old ODOT book that has been put up on the web. So no this is not on the web.

Make checks out to:

Stoney Way LLC
PO Box 5414
Aloha, OR 97006-0414

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Indiana House Bill 1001 Proposes to Wipe out the #Genealogy Department at the IN State Library

The following excerpt is from the Indiana Genealogical Society Blog. If you have Indiana Ancestors, you better read the FULL blog – not just my teaser. This is important!


Indiana House Bill 1001 – the State Budget Bill – includes a proposed 24% cut in funding to the Indiana State Library. According to State Librarian Jacob Speer, the proposal includes elimination of the Genealogy Department at the State Library and a 10% reduction in ISL staff.

As Speer points out, the Genealogy Department at the Indiana State Library has more than 100,000 items devoted to Indiana, states from which Hoosiers came, as well as some foreign countries.

Many of these holdings are not duplicated at the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana State Archives, or the Indiana Historical Bureau. In addition, the Indiana State Library serves as the “genealogy destination” for patrons of the Indianapolis Public Library (IPL), as IPL made the decision not to have their own genealogy collection.

Almost half (49%) of the reference questions that come to the Indiana State Library are for research from the Genealogy collection.

Read the full article.

Thanks to Victoria Davis, Joy Neighbors, Susi Pentico, Judy Russell, et al, for the heads-up…

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