My Excellent Adventure with Record Matches at

Leland K. Meitzler

A couple of weeks ago, while at the NGS Conference in Las Vegas, I wrote briefly, and posted a news release about technological breakthroughs made at Since the conference, I’ve taken the opportunity to upload my genealogy database of over 5000 individuals to the MyHeritage servers to test what looked to be pretty cool tech. I kept it “private” for the moment, as I have some data I’m still attempting to prove within several of the families. I plan to make it public when I’ve either proven or disproven my theories.

I’m rather overwhelmed by the many heretofore unknown documents that MyHeritage has pushed to me. Yes – I wrote “pushed.” I now have over 1000 documents that I didn’t have before, almost every one of them being items that further my research. After uploading my GEDCOM file, and waiting a few days (yes – it took a few days, as my data had to go into a queue – other folks were ahead of me), I got what MyHeritage calls “Record Matches” – 1,457 Record matches! They have technology that searches across all the MyHeritage owned and affiliated websites and returns matches of relevant documents. The Record Matches are pushed to my Meitzler site at MyHeritage. I was able to then view, confirm, and import the data – complete with images and full citations – to my Meitzler database. All this with a few keystrokes!

Click here to get a special deal on MyHeritageHalf Price Off full access to the site.

In my case, the new data came from 27 collections, as follows:

  • WikiTree – 371 matches
  • Find a Grave – 277 matches
  • Social Security Death Index – 206 matches
  • Newspaper Archive – 191 matches
  • Kentucky Births – 57 matches
  • Maximillian Family Tree – 44 matches
  • California Births, 1905-1995 – 42 matches
  • California Deaths, 1940-1997 – 28 matches
  • Texas Births, 1926-1995 – 25 matches
  • 1930 U.S. Census – 25 matches
  • – 16 matches
  • 1940 US Census – 15 matches
  • 1920 US census – 15 matches
  • 1910 US census – 14 matches
  • Illinois marriages – 11 matches
  • 1880 US Census – 11 matches
  • Texas Marriages and Divorces – 9 matches
  • Kentucky Marriages – 6 matches
  • 1870 US Census – 3 matches
  • Illinois Deaths, 1916-1950 – 1 match
  • England and Wales Deaths, GRO Indexes, 1969-2077 – 1 match
  • Long Island Genealogies – 1 match
  • Bristol Lists: Municipal and Miscellaneous (1899) – 1 match
  • Calendar of Wills and Administrations in the Court of the Archdeacon of Taunton, Parts 1 and II, Wills Only, 1537-1799 – 1 match
  • Somerset Record Society, Volume 22, 1906 – 1 match

Now – if you look at these carefully, you can see that I could have found many of these resources on my own. But the point is, in many cases, I had not. I’m a very busy guy, and hadn’t yet spent the thousands of hours needed to make all the possible searches, transcribe the data into my database, attach a copy of the original document, and enter the citation. Using the MyHeritage Record Matches, I was now able to do all this quickly – very quickly!

Keep in mind that the 1457 matches added information to often multiple individuals – entire families in many cases. The MyHeritage Family tree program brings these onscreen besides – so 1000 or so new matches might equal data placed on MANY thousands of individual records!

One of the surprising aspects of all this is the accuracy of the matches. They say it’s something like 97% accurate, but from my experience it looks closer to 99% or 100%.

I started confirming and adding data that has been pushed to me with the Find a Grave matches – 277 of them (note that I could have started with People, but went with Collections instead). I clicked on the Find Grave icon, and got a two-column listing. On the left was the data from my family tree – and on the right was the data from Find a Grave. I could compare them side-by-side. If it looked like it might be a good match, I would then click on “Review match.” I was then given the opportunity to view the full record at Find a Grave. However, I could also just go ahead and hit “Confirm,” or “Reject” as the case might be. I found that the accuracy was so good that I almost always Confirmed. And now came the COOL PART! I could drag information from the Find a Grave site directly into my database with the click of an arrow, adding the source citation by just leaving the “Add source citation” default checked. I clicked on OK – and got a screen confirming that the data had been saved. At the bottom of the screen I find the new “Record Detective”feature. The Record Detective often brought up additional documents that I could confirm and extract data from – all with clicks of the mouse – no typing! It was so nice to add census data without typing!

On the Confirmation screen, I could click on “View Profile” at the bottom of the individual’s record whom I just added data to. “View Profile took me to a screen dedicated to that person. There I found that person’s vital stats, education, work, photos, events, family timeline, personal info, and contact information. Also found on this screen are photo thumbnails and links to immediate family members (father, mother, brothers, and sisters). And at the top right of the screen is a “Research” icon, that, when clicked on, often brings up many more resources that I can compare, and import data from…

“Record Matches” is just one of the features found at the MyHeritage site. The site also includes excellent tools for building a family tree,“Smart Matches;” “SuperSearch”, Events Calendar; Timeline & Timebook for any person in the database!; Photos, Slideshow, and Videos; and so much more… But I’ll leave those subjects for later…

Would you like to try out If so, I have arranged a great deal for you – Half Price Off through May 31st on full access to MyHeritage Data and a PremiumPlus Family Tree. This means everything MyHeritage has to offer at a 50% discount. Click Here to get this great deal and experience for yourself as I have the amazing power of MyHeritage Matches! Note that not only am I now a dedicated and avid user of MyHeritage, but I’m proud to say that I also have an affiliate relationship with them. I’ll more than thrilled with the product, and I think you will be too.
Leland K Meitzler & the Genealogy Newsline
21 May 2013


Arlene Eakle’s New Tennessee Genealogy blog

arleneeaklestnblog1My friend, Arlene Eakle launched a new blog today. She’s calling it Arlene Eakle’s Tennessee Genealogy Blog. Why launch today? According to Arlene, this being March 17, she’s launching “… in observance of the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals which launched the legal occupation of Tennessee in 1775.” Her blog today is a detailed examination of this “pivotal event in our genealogy past.”

“The 17th of Mar 1775 and all the days leading up to it and the aftermath of it created one of the most pivotal events in the history of Tennessee and Kentucky. And it changed forever the developing history of the United States of America. Keep in mind–as Tennessee goes, so goes the rest of the country.”

Arlene already has two blogs, one where she writes on genealogy in general and another titled Arlene Eakle’s Virginia Genealogy Blog. Arlene likes to analyze genealogical problems. She likes to blog about how to use records, and occasionally where to find them. If you’ve got Tennessee ancestry, you’ll want to follow her new Tennessee Genealogy blog.

The New “Seeking Michigan” Website

UPDATE: I posted another blog on March 18 which deals specifically with the new digitized Michigan Death Indexes.

The following was written by The Department of History, Arts and Libraries staff:


‘Seeking Michigan’ Web site employs today’s technology to deliver Michigan’s history to information seekers

The Department of History, Arts and Libraries today announced the launch of the Seeking Michigan Web site (, a growing collection of unique historical information that – through digitized source documents, maps, films, images, oral histories and artifacts – creatively tells the stories of Michigan’s families, homes, businesses, communities and landscapes.

Seeking Michigan’s first major project is the digitization of roughly 1 million death records covering the years 1897 through 1920. These records – never before available electronically – are indexed for easy searching by name, death date, location and age, and hold tremendous research opportunities for genealogists, historians and students.

Whether they are interested in Civil War records, photographs, architecture, music, photography or family history, Michigan enthusiasts are sure to discover a brand new side to Michigan through this unique online resource, a collaboration that has long been in the making between the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan. Site design and digitization of resources were funded through various grants.

“Seeking Michigan takes great information from both of our agencies and makes it available to everyone in a convenient and easy-to-navigate Web site,” said State Librarian Nancy R. Robertson. “We were inspired by the state motto in designing the site. If you look, you will discover stories, photos and much more to connect you to our state’s pleasant peninsulas and one-of-a-kind past.”

With plans in place to add much more material, Seeking Michigan currently includes:

  • More than 100,000 pages of Civil War documents;
  • Approximately 10,000 photographs;
  • A variety of Michigan sheet music;
  • Roughly 1 million death records;
  • A rich section about Michigan’s 44 past governors;
  • Works Progress Administration data (circa 1936-1942) about land and buildings throughout rural Michigan; and
  • Oral histories with notable Michigan residents.

According to Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center, Seeking Michigan boldly moves the archives and library experience outside of the bricks and mortar of the building in which the collections are housed. By employing the latest Web technologies and social media, the site aims for an enhanced user experience. “We want to give visitors historical content and, whenever possible, the context for that content,” she explained. “For K-12 educators, there’s also a ‘teach’ page that links up with related resources and grade-level content expectations.”

Clark noted that Seeking Michigan will open up Michigan’s history to a whole new market of information hunters. “Seeking Michigan is definitely a big boost for those who already have an interest in our state’s history, including scholars, authors, genealogists and publishers,” she said. “What we’re very excited about is the prospect of introducing new generations of Michigan residents to the Michigan they thought they knew and helping them forge connections with our state’s remarkable past.”

Seeking Michigan was made possible with generous funding from the Talbert and Leota Abrams Foundation, a Lansing-based nonprofit that primarily focuses on funding library and educational science programs. Since the mid-1980s, the Abrams Foundation has provided more than $2.5 million toward the development of the Library of Michigan’s and Archives of Michigan’ genealogy collection, including the digitization of the death records so crucial to family historians’ research efforts. The National Historic Publications and Records Commission provided additional funding.

The Library of Michigan Foundation ( and the Michigan History Foundation ( helped facilitate the funding process for Seeking Michigan and provide donors the opportunity to contribute to Seeking Michigan and many other initiatives.

The Archives of Michigan is part of the Michigan Historical Center. The Michigan Historical Center and the Library of Michigan are agencies within the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). Dedicated to enriching quality of life and strengthening the economy by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan’s heritage and fostering cultural creativity, HAL also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. To learn more, visit

Books Discounted Daily at Family Roots Publishing

UPDATE: The Featured Item on sale at Family Roots Publishing Thursday., March 19, 2009 is: Greenwood’s The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. selling today for only Normally $29.95 – selling today for on $19.77.

UPDATE: The Featured Item on sale at Family Roots Publishing Wed., March 18, 2009 is Kip Sperry’s “Early American Handwriting. Normally $29.95 – selling today for on $19.77.

The economy is lousy… Sales seem to be down everywhere… A friend of mine, prominent in the publishing industry, made the comment a few days ago that “books just aren’t selling.” Well – I don’t see it as that bad; but yes, sales of genealogy books are down.

Every item sold at the Family Roots Publishing website is now discounted. Some more, some less. However, to keep traffic to the site up, and to keep the cash flow working, we’re now heavily discounting one title per day – every day. Check for the Discounted Item of the Day by checking for the title, discount, and price under the Family Roots Publishing logo in the right-hand column of GenealogyBlog (currently the third major graphic down – under the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel photo and link).

Clicking on the FRPC logo will take you directly to the FRPC home page, where you will find the Featured Item of the day. Click on it and get the details about that item.

Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, we’re featuring Brian Mitchell’s A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, 2nd Edition. It’s 35% off, and priced at just $13 – for the next 24 hours or so. I’ll change the special each day, but I’m not tying myself to an exact time… Life’s too messy to try to be too exact about these things.

frpc home page

Please note that I normally won’t blog about what’s on special from day to day. However, I will list that info under the FRPC logo in the right hand column. Of course, the Special of the Day will always be featured on the home page of the Family Roots Publishing website also.

Fresh Resource Now Posted for Those Dealing in the Dead – Oh, Lay Me Down in Forest Lawn…

Nomis Publications – the folks who brought us the “Yellow Book” of Funeral Homes, has just announced a completely nomispublications-logoupdated and easy-to-use website. I’ve been a Nomis fan since I got my first “Yellow Book” from them (I believe that was 1986). Dollarhide knew about my interest in Nomis, and emailed yesterday with the information that the new site was up. So I went over to to take a look.

Nomis is in the business of publishing directories of interest to those in the funeral business – whether as principals in funeral homes, cemeteries, or as suppliers to these services. However, they also have a website that every genealogist should be aware of. The following online directories are of interest to genealogists:

Directory of Funeral Homes: International in scope, and divided into three parts; United States, Canada, and International. Note that these aren’t just mortuaries that happen to belong to an association, but a listing that should cover all of them.

Cemetery Directory for the United States: It may be subdivided into three categories prior to a search (human, pet, veteran).

U.S. Daily Newspapers: Searchable by city and state.

Cemetery and Funeral Associations: Searchable by city and/or state. At a quick glance, it looks to me like there are in excess of 175 associations of this nature in the United States.

Of course, the Funeral Home and Cemetery directories are probably the databases of the most interest to genealogists. It looks to me like there are right at 1000 funeral homes currently listed as operating in the United States alone. Searches can be made by name of the funeral home, city, and state or any combination thereof. The directory listing gives the name of the place, address, and phone and fax numbers.

Searching on the City of Everett, in Washington State, I got four hits. See the following screen shot:

In searching the cemetery listing, I just looked for Forest Lawn, leaving out any specific place. Would you believe there are better than 60 of them in the U.S? Again, the directory listing gives the name of the place, and address, as well as phone and fax numbers.

One more note. The use of the Nomis Publications website is free. However, they do ask that you register when you first visit the site. It only takes a minute or two…

Now for a few old John Denver lyrics…

Forest Lawn

Oh lay me down in forest lawn in a silver casket
Put golden flowers over my head in a silver basket
Let the drum and bugle corp play taps while the cannons roar
And sixteen libertied employees sell souvenirs from the funeral store

I want to go simply when I go
They’ll give me a simple funeral there I know
With a casket lined in fleece
And fireworks spelling out rest in peace
Oh take me when I’m gone to forest lawn

Oh lay me down in forest lawn they understand there
They have a heavenly choir and a military band there
Just put me in their care I’ll find my comfort there
With sixteen planes and a last salute they’ll drop across in a parachute

I want to go simply when I go
They’ll give me a simple funeral there I know
With a hundred strolling strings
And topless dancers with golden wings
Oh take me when I’m gone to forest lawn

Oh, come, come, come, come
Come to the church in the wild wood
Kindly leave a contribution in the pale
Be as simple and as trusting as a child would
And we’ll sell you the church in the dale

To find a simple resting place is my desire
To lay me down with a smiling face comes a little bit higher
My likeness cast in brass will stand in plastic grass
While hidden weights and springs tip it’s hat to the mourners filing passed

I want to go simply when I go
They’ll give me a simple funeral there I know
I’ll lie beneath the sand
With piped in tapes of billy graham
Oh take me when I’m gone to forest lawn

Rock of ages cleft for me
Forest’s lightly higher fee
Oh take me when I’m gone to forest lawn


Made popular by John Denver; Words & music by Tom Paxton

Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada 1761-1853 – Volume II – New From GPC

Book Review: Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada 1761-1853, Volume II; by Terrance M. Punch, FRSAI

Just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, I got a copy of Terrance Punch’s latest book on Irish immigration to Atlantic Canada – and it’s loaded with informationerins-sons-vol-ii you won’t find elsewhere.

Volume II of Erin’s Sons covers the same time period as its predecessor (currently out-of-print) and the same geographic area – the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. This attractive book lists an additional 7,000 Irish arrivals in Atlantic Canada before 1853.

What is remarkable about this second volume is the rich variety of information derived from hard-to-find sources such as church records of marriages and burials, cemetery records, headstone inscriptions, military description books, newspapers, poor house records, and passenger lists. The resulting body of documents is replete with human drama: shipwrecked immigrants, families in search of members, people taken ill while en route to a distant location, old soldiers fallen on hard times, tenants uprooted from their farms and shipped to Canada, and so forth.

One of the first things the reader will find are maps of County Donegal, County Kilkenny (southern part), and County Waterford (Dunarvan and Ardmore area), drawn specifically to help the researcher in dealing with the often confusing place naming patterns of Ireland. The Civil Parishes were often not exactly the same as the Catholic Parishes – causing all kinds of confusion. Tables of the names are included to go with the maps.

The next major section of the book is made up of 65 pages of vital records that list place of origin in Ireland (mostly deaths & marriages) from some 30 Canadian newspapers. The following is a pretty typical entry:

Died 20 Oct 1817 at Saint John NB – William Thompson, 27 a passenger in the brig Concord from Londonderry. he was a native of Achnacloy [Aughnacloy], Co. Tyrone; left a widow and one child – CG, 27 Oct 1817 [CG is the abbreviation that Punch used for the newspaper City Gazette, of St. John, New Brunswick.]

There are also lists of runaways and deserters, transported convicts, and indentured servants, which offer a vivid, if sometimes bleak, picture of Irish immigration to Canada.

Also included are maps showing Irish ports of embarkation, an index of surnames, and ships found listed in the book. The volume is loaded with previously untranscribed data – and will be of extreme interest to anyone with Irish-Canadian ancestry.

Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada 1761-1853, Volume II; by Terrance M. Punch, FRSAI; 2009; Soft Cover, Perfect Bound, 8.5×11, 197 pp, ISBN: 9780806317892; Item # GPC4709. $30.00 plus $5 p&h. Order from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211; Phone 800-296-6687; Fax 410-752-8492; Order on the web at

Evansville-Vanderburgh County, Indiana, Death Record Index 1919-1947 to be Placed at Willard Library

willard-libraryThe Vanderburgh, Indiana, County Commissioners have announced that they will consider a request from the Special Collections Section of Willard Library for the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Death Record Index, dated from 1919 to 1947.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department’s Vital Records section has the original index, as well as a backup microfiche index. With the Commissioners’ approval, the Health Department will provide the Library with copy of the Index on microfiche.

Although this isn’t a done-deal quite yet, it looks like there’s a good chance this will happen.

For more information, see the article in the March 16, 2009 edition of the Courier Press.

Rare Civil War & Spanish-American War Battle Flags to Be Restored at the Minnesota Historical Society

The following news release was written by Minnesota Historical Society staff:


A project to restore fragile Civil War battle flags in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection has been selected to receive funding from the Save America’s Treasures program, which is dedicated to preserving, conserving and rescuing the nation’s most significant cultural and heritage resources. Several federal partners oversee the awards to projects that reflect their own missions. The restoration of the flags, one of 40 projects focusing on structures and sites chosen to receive grants, was awarded $181,119 through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Funding from the State of Minnesota will provide the required match to the federal Save America’s Treasures grant.

Restoration and proper display and storage of these flags, along with battle flags from the Spanish-American War, will preserve them for future generations and make them accessible to visitors to the Capitol and to historical researchers, some for the first time. The first phase of the project will include 23 flags. The conserved flags will be on display, four at a time, at the State Capitol in climate and security controlled cases with interpretive signage. They also will be available for viewing on the Society’s web site. The Save America’s Treasures grant also will allow 25 other flags to be stored in climate and security controlled cases until additional funds can be secured to undertake their conservation.

The conservation process includes mounting the flags on solid support panels made with aluminum honeycomb material similar to corrugated cardboard. When the restoration is completed they will be placed in original display cases in the 1905 Cass Gilbert-designed State Capitol specially retrofitted to be airtight and have humidity and lighting controls.

The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of artifacts and materials chronicling Minnesota history. In addition to the flags, nearly 1,000 artifacts, ranging from diaries and letters to musical instruments, edged weaponry, photographs and state archives document Minnesota’s involvement in the Civil War.

For more information visit: or

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849 to preserve and share Minnesota history. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.

Wills & Probates Can Fill in the Family Tree

Dee Gibson writes an excellent column on using estate records for genealogy. The column was printed in the March 2, 2009 edition of Ashville’s Citizen Times. The following teaser is meant to encourage my readers to go read the entire article.

Estate and probate records are some of the most valuable documents to a genealogist. These records often goffprobatecontain information that can be found nowhere else.

If a person died intestate (without leaving a will) and had property (real or personal), an administrator was appointed by the court to handle the affairs of settling the estate. And even if a will was left, there is usually a record of settlement that lists the distribution of the assets to the heirs after all debts were settled. Sometimes the widow would act as the administrator, but more often it was a close relative or friend. Sometimes the deceased would name someone in his will to act as the administrator or executor.

When the decedent died intestate, the wife was entitled to one third of the estate. In addition she could petition the court for one year’s support while the estate was settled. This document is often found as a request from the widow, which the court approved and then appointed several “good men with no interest in the estate” to “lay off a year’s support” for the widow. These men would then report back to the court with their findings, a copy of which is usually in the estate record.

Read the full article.

Vermont State Archives and Records Administration Opens in Middlesex

The Vermont State Archives and Records Administration has now opened for business vermontcoatofarmsin a new location in a warehouse complex in Middlesex. Eighty-eight thousand boxes of records have been stored there anyway, so the move seems logical to me. The Archive had previously operated out of the Redstone Building in Montpelier.

A new vault has not yet been built in Middlesex, so some of the most valuable historic documents are still in the basement vault at Redstone.

This last summer, the archives, which is part of the Office of the Secretary of State, merged with records administration, which had been part of the Department of Buildings and General Services. The Legislature appropriated $1.5 million for the first phase of renovations at the records building, which will include an expanded reference room for the public. Some of the money was also spent on the new vault footings as well as additional storage space.

Directions to the location via Interstate 89:
To reach the Middlesex location for Vermont State Archives & Records Administration by car take the Middlesex exit (Exit 9), turn toward Route 2 and turn right at the stop sign, proceed down the hill. Mid way down the hill turn right into the drive, our facility is located behind the Vermont State Police Barracks.

Read more about the move in the March 16, 2009 edition of Burlington Free Press.

Online Cemetery Information

My good friend, Kory Meyerink, spoke at the Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy held at Brigham Young University this last weekend. One of his lectures dealt with locating cemetery information online.

Kory shared information about websites of special interest while pointing out challenges and pitfalls along the way. Sharon Haddock wrote an article for The Mormon Times, highlighting some of Kory’s comments, and adding links to websites that he recommended. Following is a teaser…


…the state of Utah shines when it comes to cemetery information retrieval.

“Utah has created a burial site without peer,” Meyerink said. “Seventy percent of the people buried in Utah are in the state’s database.” (

Burial records often contain more than a death date and name of the deceased but often have the place of birth and the parent’s names too.

Read the full article.

Headstones Are Public Information – Otherwise There Would be a REALLY HIGH FENCE

Old Union Church CemeteryAlerted by blogs already posted this morning (Eastman, Robbins-Midkiff), I looked at the controversy over the photographing of headstones by genealogist David Shannon at the Old Union Christian Church Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky. Not only did Mr. Shannon takes pictures of the headstones, he had the audacity to post them on a FREE website, All I can say is, “Thank you, David. You’re providing a much needed service.”

Shannon has posted the data from 475 “documented burials,” along with a photograph of each stone. The church board at Old Union took offense at the idea that the headstone data and pictures were online – allowing anyone to view the information. The following excerpt is directly from a relatively long article by Beverly Fortune, published in the March 16, 2009 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. I urge my readers to go read the full article. It’s good.

In February, the church’s governing board sent Shannon a letter telling him “to cease publishing pictures of stones … not part of your family because it is sharing family information without their consent.”

Old Union’s minister, the Rev. Scott Winkler, said the church’s position is that Shannon’s actions are an invasion of privacy. “If you’re going to publish other people’s private information you need to get their permission,” he said. “Any cemetery has to protect rights of people buried there.”

Winkler said he did not think the church board will pursue the issue with legal action, but still felt the need to state its opinion.

The church sells a $10 book with all the tombstone information in it, but no pictures, compiled for an Eagle Scout project several years ago with the help of church historian Leslie Nash Huber, Winkler said.

Read the full article.

Okay – here’s my opinion…

The headstones are in public view. No one has made any attempt over the years to keep them out-of-view. In other words, there’s no high board fence. Since they are in public view, the data written on the stones (as well as pictures of the stones themselves) is public record. Example – Google can post pictures of your house, driveway, and the trash in your yard – because its in public view.

Until recently, it was firmly established in law that dead folks had no privacy rights. If you wished to have those rights, you just had to keep on living… A difficult task, you might say. I agree. Of late, we’ve begun to see new laws come into effect that seem to skirt some of the old case law establishing the lack of privacy rights by the dead. These laws have come about in attempts to shield those with diseases such as AIDS (thus the blacking out of the cause of death on some death certificates), HIPA laws, and the attempt to stop what has become a torrent of identity theft. Genealogists have fought back, on the assumption that many of the documents being restricted were public documents and shouldn’t be closed to the public. We have had moderate success, usually coming to some kind of compromise that we feel we all can live with. We’re not for invasion of privacy, health insurance problems, or identity theft either.

The church board at Old Union is most likely just sore at David for having produced an online free website that competes directly with their $10 book – and they probably think he should have asked and received their permission prior to taking the pictures and posting them. That’s the long and the short of it. My advice to the board is to make a public apology to Mr. Shannon, thank him for his service to their community, invite him and his family over this summer for a potluck in the cemetery, celebrate their ancestors, and get over it…

Update: Chris, at The Genealogue, had some fun with this one…

New Databases at Family Tree Connection

The following items were recently added to the Family Tree Connection database:


Alabama Technical Association 1917 Year Book – Alabama Technical Association, Year Book, Containing Lists of Officers and Members, Constitution and By-Laws, December 31, 1917, Birmingham, Ala.


Crescent Lodge, No. 25 I. O. O. F. 1910 By-Laws – Constitution and By-Laws of Crescent Lodge, No. 25, I. O. O. F., East Hartford, Conn. with List of Subordinate and Rebekah Lodges. Instituted May 3, 1888.

Standard Co. Mutual Protective Association 1914 By-Laws – Constitution and By-Laws of the Mutual Protective Association of The Standard Co., Organized May 15, 1914. Includes listing of Charter Members [names only] and Executive Officers 1914-1915. Location not clearly stated. Printed in Torrington, Conn.


Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine 1911 June – Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine, Volume 50, Number 6, June 1911. Includes a detailed Statement of Death and Disability Claims. Indianapolis, Ind.

Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine 1910 November – Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine, Convention Number, Volume 49, Number 5, November 1910. Includes a detailed Statement of Death and Disability Claims. Indianapolis, Ind.

Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine 1910 July – Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine, Convention Number, Volume 49, Number 1, July 1910. Includes a detailed Statement of Death and Disability Claims. Indianapolis, Ind.

Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine 1910 April – Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine, Convention Number, Volume 48, Number 4, April 1910. Includes a detailed Statement of Death and Disability Claims. Indianapolis, Ind.


Iowa State University 1874-5 Catalogue – Catalogue of the Iowa State University. at Iowa City, for 1874-5.

University of Dubuque 1922-1923 Catalog – The University of Dubuque, Annual Catalog, 1922-1923. Published by The University, April, 1923.


List of Registered Maine Embalmers 1913 – Licensed Embalmers, December 31, 1913. Names of persons who have taken the examination before the State Board of Embalming Examiners.

Bowdoin College 1840 Catalogue – Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Bowdoin College, Fall Term, M DCCC XL, Brunswick, Maine.


Chauncy-Hall School 1892-93 Catalogue – Sixty-Fifth Annual Catalogue of the Teachers and Pupils of Chauncy-Hall School, No. 593 Boylston Street (Copley Square), Boston, with Sketches of Part of the School Work, Issued May 1893, for the School Year, 1892-1893.

Wednesday Evening Club 1877 Centennial – Centennial Celebration of the Wednesday Evening Club. Instituted June 21, 1777. Boston. Includes listing of Members back to 1777.

Boston Normal School of Gymnastics 1894-1895 Catalogue – Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, Fourth Annual Catalogue of the Instructors, Students and Graduates, with A Statement of the Course of Instruction, 1894-1895.

Bunker Hill Ladies’ Soldiers’ Relief Society 1864 Report – Annual Address and Reports read before the Bunker Hill Ladies’ Soldiers’ Relief Society, April 19, 1864. Includes listing of Officers and Honorary Members. Printed in Charlestown.

Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts 1889 Report – Seventh Annual Report of the Trustees of the Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts, at Chelsea, for the Year ending July 25th, 1889. Includes listing of Officers and also Deaths During the Year.


Lincolnian 1927 – Published by Senior Class of Lincoln High School, Ferndale, Michigan.


Merrimack County Commissioners 1912 Report – Report of the County Commissioners of Merrimack County, Together with the Reports of County Treasurer, Superintendent of the County Farm and House of Correction, Clerk of Court, Sheriff, Jailor, Solicitor, Farm Physician, Chaplain and Auditors, from January 1, 1912, to January 1, 1913. Includes a listing of Inmates supported at the Almshouse, and Prisoners at the House of Correction.

Merrimack County Commissioners 1907 Report – Report of the County Commissioners of Merrimack County, Together with the Reports of County Treasurer, Superintendent of the County Farm and House of Correction, Clerk of Court, Sheriff, Jailor, Solicitor, Farm Physician, Chaplain and Auditors, from January 1, 1907, to January 1, 1908. Includes a listing of Inmates supported at the Almshouse, and Prisoners at the House of Correction.

Paquoig Lodge, No. 50, I.O.O.F. Members for 1929 – List of Officers and Members of Paquoig Lodge, No. 50, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Marlboro, New Hampshire. Instituted January 13, 1869.


Summit Choral Society 1909-1910 Program – Summit Choral Society, First Season, 1909-1910, First Concert, Beechwood Music Hall, Summit, N. J., Tuesday Evening, February First. Mr. Arthur D. Woodruff, Conductor.


Fairview Country Club 1925 Year Book – Fairview Country Club, Elmsford, New York, Year Book, 1925.

The Jewelers’ League 1898 Officers – The Jewelers’ League, No. 170 Broadway, New York, Board of Officers, 1898.

New York Philharmonic Society 1913-1914 Programe – Seventy Second Season, The Philharmonic Society of New York, founded 1842. Josef Stransky, Conductor. Programme, Carnegie Hall, New York, Thursday Evening, Nov. 13th, and Friday Afternoon, Nov. 14th, Sunday Afternoon, Nov. 16th. Felix F. Leifels, Manager.

Lawyers’ Club 1921 – Lawyers’ Club, 115 Broadway, New York, 1921.

Machinery Club of New York City 1928 Members – Constitution, Rules, Officers and Members of The Machinery Club of the City of New York, 1928. Club Rooms: Hudson Terminal, 50 Church Street. Organized April 4, 1907. Incorporated May 16, 1907.


Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine 1914 April – Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine, Volume 56, Number 4, April 1914. Includes a detailed Statement of Death and Disability Claims. Columbus, Ohio.

Cincinnati First Orthodox Congregational Church 1856 Manual – Manual of the First Orthodox Congregational Church in Cincinnati. Adopted, 1847. Revised, 1855.


French War Relief Committee of the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania 1914-1920 – The French War Relief Committee of the Emergency Aid of Pennsylvania 1914-1920. Includes listing of Officers, Members, and Contributors [names only].

Linden Hall Seminary 1876-77 Catalogue – Catalogue and Circular of Linden Hall Seminary, A Moravian Boarding School for Young Ladies, at Lititz, Lancaster County, PA. Eighty-Third Year, 1876-77. Founded 1794.

Franklin and Marshall Academy 1912-1913 Catalogue – Franklin and Marshall Academy, A College Preparatory School for Boys, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Founded 1787. Catalogue, May, 1912.

Franklin and Marshall Academy 1911-1912 Catalogue – Franklin and Marshall Academy, A College Preparatory School for Boys, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Founded 1787. Catalogue, May, 1911.

Franklin and Marshall Academy 1910-1911 Catalogue – Franklin and Marshall Academy, A College Preparatory School for Boys, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Founded 1787. Catalogue, May, 1910.

Beaver Tribe, No. 62, I.O.R.M. 1899 By-Laws – Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of Order of Beaver Tribe, No. 62, Improved Order of Red Men, Norristown, PA. Includes a Roll of Members [names only].

Perkiomen Seminary 1910 Commencement – Programme and Class Roll of the Eighteenth Annual Commencement Exercises, Perkiomen Seminary, Wednesday, June 29, 1910 at 9 A. M., Pennsburg, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.


Squantum Association 1915 Year Book – Squantum Association, Narragansett Bay, R. I. Includes listing of Officers and Members (by Year of Admission). Established 1871. [Also refers to themselves as Squantum Club]

Bristol First Congregational Church 1687-1872 Manual – Manual of the First Congregational Church, Bristol, R. I., 1687-1872, Containing Forms, Principles and Rules Adopted by the Church, The Distinctive Features of Congregationalism as held and practices by the Churches of our Order from the Days fo the Pilgrims to the Present Time, also, A Catalogue of teh Officers and Members. Compiled by J. P. Lane, Pastor.


Converse College 1890-91 Catalogue – Annual Catalogue of the Teachers, Officers and Students of Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1890-91.


North Texas Female College 1889-90 Catalogue – Catalogue of North Texas Female College and Conservatory of Music, Sherman, Texas. Term 1889-90. Next Session will begin September 3, 1890, and close June 8, 1891.


Independent Mutual Fire Insurrance Company 1907 Notice – Notice to Members, March 1, 1907, Independent Mutual Fire Insurrance Company of Fairfax County, Virginia. Includes listing of Directors and Fire Losses, 1906.


An International Dictionary of Authors – Little Blue Book No. 754, Edited by E. Haldeman-Julius.

The Orange County Library in Chapel Hill, May Lose its North Carolina Room

It looks like the economy and a lack of support on the part of the current library director may cause the North Carolina room – and its collection, to find it has no home this coming fall, when the Orange County Library in Chapel Hill, North Carolina moves..

Despite the county’s economic constraints, representatives of the Durham-Orange Genealogical Society of North Carolina are attempting to rally support for the Orange County Library to keep the [North Carolina] room, which contains local historical and genealogical books and documents, when it moves to the new location on West Margaret Lane in the fall. Currently, there are no plans for the library’s new location to have a designated room.

… in 2000, a library task force convened to define what a new library would entail. In 2001, it recommended to the Orange County Board of Commissioners that the N.C. Room would be increased from 800 to 2,000 square feet in a what was proposed as a Heritage Center. That recommendation was reviewed by the 2002 and 2007 by the commissioners, who again heard it in 2008, she said.

County Commissioner Alice Gordon said that since there is not funding for a Heritage Center, the N.C. Room should find a home in the new library.

“My position is that we need to establish it in the new library,” she said, “and I said that at a couple of meetings.”

Read the full article by Chris Saunders in the March 15, 2009 edition of The Herald Sun. You may have to fill out a “free registration” in order to see the full article – but that just takes a minute or two.

Ohio’s Early Shakers Had Few Descendants

Shakerism never appealed to me a whole lot. I’ve visited a few historic Shaker compounds over the years, and found that it must not have appealed to many other folks either – for they’re all empty (of live people, that is).

Following is a teaser from a very interesting article by Peter Bronson that was published in the March 15, 2009 edition of

There’s a little picket-fenced cemetery on Oxford Road just north of Newhaven, northwest of Cincinnati.shakers

The spongy ground is littered with rotting hickory nuts. Some of the lichen-crusted markers are so worn even the headstones can’t remember their names. They crowd into a shy huddle in a far corner, as far from the road as possible.

I guess they were expecting more company. But this cemetery was for one of Ohio’s early settlements of Shakers – a genealogical dead-end road.

A marker in the middle of the graveyard explains it in a way that makes you read it twice: “An order of celibate Christian communists,” it declares. “1827-1916.”

Celibate Christian communists? In Crosby Township?

Read the full article.