Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans – only 1 Cent – Just pay $8 P&H – USA Sales

Family Roots Publishing still has several cases of these books in stock, and want to blow them out. We’re making them just 1 cent thru Christmas, December 25, 2017 – or while supplies last, whichever comes first. USA buyers need just pay the $8 p&h.

Following is a review:

In his History of New Hampshire, historian Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole attempts to answer the question, “What makes a man prominent?” In his words:

“Whoever has helped notably in the great march of human progress deserves credit therefor in the popular estimation. Abilities, character and achievement make men prominent. Learning and money may be helpful, but they are not enough; without character they may the sooner sink one into oblivion.”

This seems to me as good as any definition. By whatever scale of prominence men have chosen to use, historians has provided us with tales, biographies, and accounts of men deemed important in their own right. Histories are written of events from those that changed the world to the deeds of men known only in their own communities. Either way, research can help uncover these men and their deeds. Family historians should take note that many of these histories contain vital genealogical data about not only individuals of prominence, but also their families, their acquaintances, and those with whom they interact, fixing these individual in time and place.

Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans, by William S. Speer, is a prime example of a selective history of men in Tennessee. By whatever right the Honorable William Speer thought these men important, he has immortalized their names through the written word. First published in 1888, Speer selected 259 men from 19th century Tennessee for his historical record. “It is this kind of unique first-hand biographical information that makes Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans unequaled in the canon of Tennessee genealogical literature. Not only did compiler William S. Speer have the unparalleled opportunity to interview a number of the featured Tennesseans himself, he also was able to garner–and include in this book–thousands and thousands of names of their family members, friends, and colleagues.” Republished in 2008, this type of book is a treasure to both those interested in Tennessean history as well as to genealogists.

As would be hoped, these sketches include many details about the lives of these men and their families. Speer offers, often extraordinary, insight into the personal, professional, and sometimes even physical characteristics that made each of these men a success. A complete list of names, or even surnames, would be too lengthy to list here. However, below is a list of surnames of those men highlighted in this book.


Pick up a copy of Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans from Family Roots Publishing; Regular Price: $45. One penny thru Christmas 2017. – Just pay the $8 P&H.


Surnames featured in the book:

  • Anderson
  • Arrington
  • Atkins
  • Atlee
  • Baptist
  • Barrett
  • Bartlett
  • Bate
  • Baxter
  • Bearden
  • Bibb
  • Black
  • Blankenship
  • Boynton
  • Bradford
  • Briggs
  • Brockway
  • Brown
  • Buchanan
  • Buist
  • Burney
  • Burns
  • Burrus
  • Butler
  • Callender
  • Campbell
  • Chester
  • Childress
  • Clapp
  • Clift
  • Coldwell
  • Cole
  • Conner
  • Cooper
  • Cowan
  • Craft
  • Cullom
  • Dake
  • Dashiell
  • Deaderick
  • DeWitt
  • Dibrell
  • Dickens
  • Dodd
  • East
  • Elder
  • Elliott
  • Erskine
  • Estes
  • Evans
  • Eve
  • Ewing
  • Fain
  • Fentress
  • Ferriss
  • Fleming
  • Folsom
  • Foote
  • Foster
  • Frayser
  • Freeman
  • Frierson
  • Frizzell
  • Fulkerson
  • Gantt
  • Gaines
  • Gallaway
  • Gardenhire
  • Gaut
  • Gibson
  • Glass
  • Godwin
  • Golliday
  • Goodbar
  • Grant
  • Graves
  • Green
  • Greer
  • Hadden
  • Hall
  • Haller
  • Harding
  • Hardwick
  • Harrell
  • Harris
  • Harrison
  • Haynes
  • Heiskell
  • Henderson
  • Henning
  • Hill
  • Holman
  • Holmes
  • Houk
  • House
  • Howell
  • Hughes
  • Humes
  • Ingersoll
  • Jackson
  • Jones
  • Jordan
  • Keating
  • Kennedy
  • Key
  • Killebrew
  • King
  • Kyle
  • Larkin
  • Latta
  • Lea
  • Ledgerwood
  • Lidsley
  • Lipscomb
  • Livingston
  • Looney
  • Long
  • McAdoo
  • McBride
  • McConnell
  • McDowell
  • McFarland
  • McFerrin
  • McGuire
  • McMurray
  • McNeal
  • McTyeire
  • McWhirter
  • Maddin
  • Marchbanks
  • Marks
  • Martin
  • Mathes
  • Maruy
  • Meek
  • Menees
  • Mitchell
  • Morgan
  • Moore
  • Mumford
  • Muse
  • Neal
  • Neely
  • Neilson
  • Nelson
  • Netherland
  • Nichol
  • Nichols
  • Nicholson
  • Overton
  • Paine
  • Palmer
  • Patterson
  • Pettibone
  • Phillips
  • Pitman
  • Plunket
  • Porter
  • Quarles
  • Rambaut
  • Randolph
  • Reid
  • Richardson
  • Roberts
  • Robison
  • Rodgers
  • Rose
  • Safford
  • Sanford
  • Saunders
  • Scobey
  • Sears
  • Senter
  • Shearer
  • Sheppard
  • Shields
  • Simonton
  • Smith
  • Smitheal
  • Smithson
  • Staley
  • Stark
  • Stephens
  • Stewart
  • Stockell
  • Stokes
  • Tarver
  • Taylor
  • Temple
  • Thompson
  • Thomas
  • Thornburgh
  • Thornton
  • Thurman
  • Tinnon
  • Trewhitt
  • Trousdale
  • Turley
  • Turney
  • Ussery
  • Vance
  • Van Deman
  • Van Dyke
  • Vertrees
  • Wade
  • Ward
  • Warder
  • Watson
  • White
  • Whitthorne
  • Wilder
  • Williamson
  • Wilson
  • Wood
  • Woods
  • Wright
  • Young

Historic Streetcar Routes of San Francisco

The following is from the July 30, 2016 edition of


Once upon a time, San Francisco was crawling with streetcars. And thanks to the new interactive map Where The Streetcars Used To Go, history buffs can retrace their historic routes without leaving home.

The map, created by local designer Chris Arvin, combines data from four different sources to give viewers the names and photos of routes that operated in decades past, in comparison to the city’s streetcar network today.

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

9 Historic Cannons at Fort William Henry in NY are From a Sunken British Warship

The following teaser is from an article posted in the Arts section of


Research has determined nine historic cannons displayed for the past 60 years at a recreated French and Indian War fort in upstate New York were originally aboard a British warship that sank in the Florida Keys in the 18th century, according to an underwater archaeologist who led the project. Joseph Zarzynski, of Wilton, New York, said a study of all 68 cannons at Fort William Henry found that some if not all of the nine iron cannons likely came from HMS Looe, a British warship that sank after hitting a reef in 1744.

Read the full article.

Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania — 50% OFF

gpc1700History is the key to our future. You have heard this before. However, history is also the key to our past. You have probably heard this before as well.

Understanding at least some of the general history; including government, laws, religion, economy, along with specific events; of where your ancestors came from is necessary to finding records for your ancestors, but also critical to understanding your ancestor and the lives they led. You probably already know this as well.

So, for those of you with German and Swiss ancestors in early America, who can appreciate the value of history, here is a history book worthy of your time: Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and of Their Remote Ancestors.

Compiled originally in 1917 by H. Frank Eshleman, this book examines “an authentic history, from original sources,” the leading events during “several centuries before and especially during the two centuries following the Protestant Reformation,” as these relate to the lives of early Swill and Palatine Mennonites and other Germans of eastern Pennsylvania, and particularly of Lancaster County.

Annals in this book are presented chronologically, beginning as early as 1009 with “Earliest Authentic Appearance of the Herrs” and progressing forward through 1782. These pages document the lives and the migrations of thousands seeking religious freedom and salvation from persecution throughout Europe, and ultimately the drive west across the ocean to settle in mass in the areas of the Susquehanna and Schuylkill valleys and outward from there.

There are two indices in this book. The first serves is an index of items which servers as something of a non-chronological, but alphabetical table of contents. The second is an index of personal names. There are 19 1/2 pages of names listed for an estimated 1800+ surnames for individuals and families.

If your family history includes colonial period German and/or Swiss ancestry, then Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and of Their Remote Ancestors may very well be the book you need to read. Available from Family Roots Publishing. Now on Sale, 50% OFF through Thanksgiving, 2015.




Nine Countries That Vanished During the 20th Century

A map of Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka.
A map of Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka.

The following excerpt is from an article written by Sophie-Claire Hoeller and posted August 12, 2015 at Pretty fascinating…

There’s nothing quite like the bragging rights of a new, exotic stamp in your passport. However, that won’t be happening with the following countries, which, as of astonishingly recently, no longer exist.

Whether they lost wars, were adopted by other countries, or simply got forgotten, here are nine countries that ceased to exist in the 20th century.​

Read the full article.

I found it interesting that seven of the nine disappeared during my lifetime…

Ohio’s German Heritage – 15% off Thru July 23, 2015

Germans make up the second largest ethnic group in the United States, second only to the English. Over the years, groups of Germans migrated in waves, the first wave coming during the colonial period. German influence and settlements spread from the colonies outward. Ohio’s German Heritage looks at the influence of German immigrants in the area that now comprises Ohio.

The book provided an historical brief on Germans in Ohio through the following five time periods:

  • The colonial period, or time prior to the American Revolution
  • The New Republic; until 1830
  • The mass migration and settlement period; from 1831 to World War I
  • The world wars period
  • The ethnic period; the later 20th century

In addition to the history provided in each chapter, there is also a list of other readings and relevant materials the reader can choose to find and read on their own.


Table of Contents



The Colonial Period

The New Republic

Mass Immigration and Settlement

The World Wars Period

The Roots and Ethnic Revival Period



Select Bibliography



Ohio’s German Heritage is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBT2035, Price: $9.35; Reg. $11.00.

Library of Congress Acquires Rare Civil War Stereographs

The following is from News from the Library of Congress:


March 31, 2015: Selection of Images Now Online

The Library of Congress has acquired 540 rare and historic Civil War stereographs from the Robin G. Stanford Collection. The first 77 images are now online, including 12 stereographs of President Lincoln’s funeral procession through several cities and 65 images by Southern photographers showing South Carolina in 1860-61.

The images can be viewed in this gallery within the Library’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. More images will be added each month, until all are online.

The Library of Congress acquired the collection through a purchase/gift from Robin G. Stanford of Houston, Texas. During the past 40 years, Stanford has collected stereographs of both the Civil War and Texas. Through the assistance of the Center for Civil War Photography and retired Library of Congress curator Carol Johnson, the Library was allowed to select images that significantly improve its representation of the war and of life in mid-19th-century America. The center has also funded the digitizing of the first group of stereographs.

“I’m delighted that the Library of Congress has agreed to acquire my collection,” said Stanford. “I feel that the Library is the perfect home for the images, an ultra-safe and secure place where they will be fully accessible, not only now, but for future generations to come.”

Helena Zinkham, chief of the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress, said “Mrs. Stanford offered the Library an exceptional opportunity to fill key gaps in our holdings by making available selections from her unparalleled collection of American Civil War stereographs.”

The Library’s Prints and Photographs Division is a premiere research center for access to original Civil War pictures. But most of the documentary photographs were made by such master Northern photographers as Alexander Gardner and the Mathew Brady Studio.

“We have critical gaps in our Southern stereographs and in images by local photographers in both North and South. The Stanford Collection can provide scenes with slaves in 1860 South Carolina, views in Louisiana and Texas, rare coverage of naval and land battles, small Pennsylvania battlefront towns and much more,” said Zinkham. “The Library has long sought to expand its coverage of the war. At the start of the Civil War 150th anniversary years, the Liljenquist Collection brought remarkable portraiture of enlisted men, both Confederate and Union. As the anniversary years conclude, the Stanford Collection adds rare views of the South made by the people who lived there. Together, these collections can fuel new research for years to come.”

The 77 images now online include 12 from Lincoln’s funeral procession through cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Springfield, Illinois. The images show the president’s casket in elaborate open-air hearses that passed through the main streets of the cities; buildings draped in mourning bunting; and crowds lined up to see the procession.

The other 65 images are stereograph photos taken by James M. Osborn and Frederick E. Durbec, who operated a photography business, “Osborn & Durbec’s Southern Stereoscopic & Photographic Depot” on King Street in Charleston, South Carolina, from about 1859 to1863. The stereo photos show scenes from South Carolina in 1860-61, including slaves living and working at Rockville Plantation; Fort Sumter after bombardment; Fort Moultrie; and the Charleston Battery.

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division holds more than 15 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day. International in scope, these visual collections represent a uniquely rich array of human experience, knowledge, creativity and achievement, touching on almost every realm of endeavor: science, art, invention, government and political struggle, and the recording of history. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at

What Did They Mean By That? Now at an New Low Price.

hbd7169What Did They Mean By That? Is now available at the reduced price of only $19.60, down from $36.

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms Old and New has long been the most popular historical dictionary carried by Family Roots Publishing. This book provides an understanding, in modern terms, for words used in the past. Many of these words, used historically in everyday conversation, to describe items, jobs, events, and technology of the day, are no longer in use or get used with a different meaning. This book provides the background family historians need to grasp the meaning of letters, documents, and sources from the past.

Genealogists enjoy the thoroughness of this book. At 6″ x 9″ and 350 pages this is a big dictionary, and it lists entries paragraph style, instead of using a typical dictionary two-column format. In fact, the book feels a bit more like an encyclopedia than it does a standard dictionary. Most entries provide more than just a standard definition. Rather, entries provide an explanations, examples, and observations. This dictionary has other unique features as well. What Did They Mean By That includes images. While not on every page, the pictures do provide both an element of interest as well as prove educational. Some of the images are pictures and some are document samples. There is also a small chart at the beginning showing a comparison between Saxon and English alphabets.

With that all said, perhaps the best review of this book is the one the book gives itself on the back cover:

“The family historian must seek out the records of the merchants, courts, legislators, and churches, as well as the everyday expressions of the common men and women, all the while striving to remain aware that just as we have created words like television, computer, microwave oven, automobile, space station, gigabyte, and airplane, and set aside words as ticking and icebox, stadle, and squabpie, our ancestors had to do the same. They made up the likes of telegraph, railroad, and telescope, and assimilated German words like hex, sauerkraut, fresh, hoodlum, and kindergarten; Spanish words such as barbeque, chocolate, and tornado; French sounds like bayou, levee, depot, and chowder; and Indian words such as hickory, pecan, hominy, moccasin, and raccoon. Though they invented the likes of popcorn, sweet potato, eggplant, bullfrog, and backwoodsman, they left behind them terms no longer needed in their daily lives. Gone were the likes of moxa (Indian moss burned on an area of the body, thought to cure gout), hautboy (oboe), gruntling (young hog), muchwhat (nearly), revelrout (a ruckus), and, from most regions of the U.S., the long “a” sounds of old England (fahst for fast, dahnce for dance, and hoff, meaning half).

In addition to terminology, such as the names of the many courts and legal processes, this collection of more than 4500 words includes many occupations, descriptions of early furniture and foods, common medical terms and herbal remedies, and many all but forgotten expressions. The words found here are seen at every turn of research; in court documents (especially inventories of estates, court entries, and lawsuits), church records, books, newspapers, letters, and songs.”


What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms, Old and New is available from Family Roots Publishing.

Atlas of the Great Irish Famine

famineThere are many theories behind the actual cause of the Great Irish Famine of 1845 to 1849. Some focus on specific topics of population density, crop production, politics, the prevalent owner-tenant land system of the day, etc. Of course, history teaches that there is rarely one simple culprit and one simple answer. It is clear, however, that the country-wide dependence upon the annual potato crop production left Ireland vulnerable to very problem it experienced, famine. Wide-spread crop failure, with other social and economic factors, led to wide-spread famine and disease, resulting in a loss 1,000,000 lives and the emigration of additional 1,000,000. In all, nearly a quarter of the country’s population was lost in just a few short years.


The Great Irish Famine is the most pivotal event in modern Irish history, with implications that cannot be underestimated.


The Irish have long suffered the infamy of having had the most documented and well-known famines in history. There are many questions about what caused the famine and why it produced such wide-spread devastation.  Every history student has heard the questions asked, can we learn from history? Does history repeat itself? What would we do different? “Sustainable agriculture” is both a concept and a growing movement in America. The movement stands in contrast to massive, single-crop, corporate owned farms and supply chain monopolization. After browsing through the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, I won’t claim to know the answers to food production in the modern world, but I do understand the concerns some have over where our current food production system is taking us. I see why we should ask the questions listed above. I see one more reason to study history. I don’t see a famine in America’s future, but I can see parallels in our system to the Irish famine. I think there are lessons we can learn from this Atlas.

Drawing parallels to modern times is just one aspect of studying the Famine. Family history is large part told through the perspective and eye of those that have departed, those who lived through such events. The Great Famine makes for an interesting historical study. And, regardless of your own individual family line, of which I have no known Irish parentage myself, this Atlas represents an important and thorough study into the Irish Famine. But, for those of Irish descent, the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine offers a perspective on your ancestry.

The Atlas provides an amazing collective of reasoned research along with visually stunning drawings, renderings, painted portraits, amazing photographs, maps and charts. Together, these items tell as complete a story.

“Very few books have been written on the greatest catastrophe in Irish history which encompasses both the diversity of perspectives and the parish-by-parish detail found in this book. This magnificent compilation – a series of essays by over fifty distinguished scholars, combined with the detailed maps, photographs, archival material, paintings and other artistic insights – redresses an imbalance in the literature on the Great Irish Famine. The inclusion of photographs of Famine landscapes, for example, including mass graves and workhouse sites, add to the poignancy of the story being told. Such images invite the reader to contemplate the real human suffering which lies at the heart of the Famine. Remembering is important but it is equally important to remember in ways which challenge our understandings of such tragic events.”

I suppose being a genealogist makes me somewhat partial to history in general, and even more, a good story. The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine is both. There is so much detail and rich content in these pages the book is hard to put down. Actually, the book is so big at 710 pages, printed on nice thick paper, this book is too heavy to hold; so, putting the Atlas down to read it would be a more accurate statement, but you get the idea.

As for the actual contents of the book, I think the cover summery tell the story rather well:

“The Great Irish Famine is the most pivotal event in modern Irish history, with implications that cannot be underestimated. Over a million people perished between 1845-1852, and well over a million others fled to other locales within Europe and America. By 1850, the Irish made up a quarter of the population in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. The 2000 US census had 41 million people claim Irish ancestry, or one in five white Americans. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine (1845-52) considers how such a near total decimation of a country by natural causes could take place in industrialized, 19th century Europe and situates the Great Famine alongside other world famines for a more globally informed approach.

The Atlas seeks to try and bear witness to the thousands and thousands of people who died and are buried in mass Famine pits or in fields and ditches, with little or nothing to remind us of their going. The centrality of the Famine workhouse as a place of destitution is also examined in depth. Likewise the atlas represents and documents the conditions and experiences of the many thousands who emigrated from Ireland in those desperate years, with case studies of famine emigrants in cities such as Liverpool, Glasgow, New York and Toronto.

The Atlas places the devastating Irish Famine in greater historic context than has been attempted before, by including over 150 original maps of population decline, analysis and examples of poetry, contemporary art, written and oral accounts, numerous illustrations, and photography, all of which help to paint a fuller picture of the event and to trace its impact and legacy. In this comprehensive and stunningly illustrated volume, over fifty chapters on history, politics, geography, art, population, and folklore provide readers with a broad range of perspectives and insights into this event.”

Don’t just let my opinion or a 5 Stars average review on Amazon sway you, here are just a few reviews from the academic community:

“Cork University Press has established an enviably high reputation in producing atlases. The latest – of the Great Irish Famine – maintains and enhances this record. Not only are the maps themselves innovative and attractive to look at, but they communicate clearly an abundance of information, often unfamiliar. The cartography is accompanied by a wealth of other images, sometimes strikingly beautiful, and also hauntingly distressful. In addition, a starry cast of experts provides incisive and illuminating commentary on all aspects of the disaster.  All in all, this is likely to prove one of the most original and enduring studies of the grievous famine” — Toby Barnard, Oxford University

“This monumental work is far more than an Atlas, it is the definitive summary of all aspects of the Great Irish Famine. The many maps are accompanied by accessible yet scientifically sound texts. The demographics and  geography are surveyed with unequaled detail and care, yet the historical background, the politics, and the economics of the Famine are discussed at an equally high scholarly level. Lavishly illustrated and scholarly immaculate, written by the best scholars in the field, this volume belongs in the library of everyone interested in the greatest natural disaster of the modern age” — Joel Mokyr , Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, Northwestern University, USA

“This Atlas offers a powerful, unflinching and coherent understanding of the Irish Famine as the defining event in Irish history. It balances sweeping survey with minute details, while always attending to the surprising diversity of this small island in the mid nineteenth century. Its unparalleled assemblage of new maps, old images and extensive documentation offers a brilliant teaching aid for the history of Ireland and of the Irish diaspora. Firmly rooted in recent research, saturated in meticulous scholarship, and interdisciplinary in the best sense, it is unafraid to draw the necessary trenchant conclusions. Its broad synthesis offers the best overview we have ever had of this traumatic and defining episode” — Professor Kevin Whelan, Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre, Dublin.


Table of Contents


The story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-52 : a geographical perspective

‘Mapping the people’ : the growth and distribution of the population

1740-41 Famine

The potato : root of the Famine

Baunreagh, County Laois : The failure of the potato

Diet in pre-Famine Ireland


The longue durée – imperial Britain and colonial Ireland

The colonial dimensions of the Great Irish Famine

British relief measures

Charles Trevelyan

The operation of the poor law during the Famine

Queen Victoria and the Great Famine

Burying and resurrecting the past : the Queen Victoria statue in University College Cork

The largest amount of good : Quaker relief efforts

‘Born astride a grave’ : The geography of the dead


The creation of the workhouse system

Classify, confine, discipline and punish – the Roscrea Union : a microgeography of the workhouse system during the Famine

Famine and workhouse clothing

The Cork workhouse

Ulster workhouses – ideological geometry and conflict

Lurgan workhouse


Mortality and the Great Famine

‘Variations in vulnerability’ : understanding where and why people died

Medical relief and the Great Famine

‘Report upon the recent epidemic fever in Ireland’ : the evidence from County Cork

Emigration to North America in the era of the Great Famine, 1845-55

The cities and towns of Ireland, 1841-51

The roles of cities and towns during the Great Famine

The impact of the Great Famine on subsistent women

The landed classes during the Great Irish Famine

‘Turned out … thrown down’ : evictions in Bunkilla and Monavanshare, Donoughmore,County Cork


Introduction : the province of Connacht and the Great Famine

Clifden Union, Connemara, County Galway

In the shadow of Sliabh an Iarainn

Mohill workhouse Union

The Famine in County Roscommon

Ballykilcline, County Roscommon


Introduction : the province of Leinster and the Great Famine

County Meath during the Famine

Burying the Famine dead : Kilkenny Union workhouse

King’s County during the Great Famine :’poverty and plenty’

The Smith estate of Baltyboys, County Wicklow


Introduction : the province of Munster and the Great Famine

Mortality and emigration in six parishes in the Union of Skibbereen, West Cork, 1846-47

From ‘famine roads’ to ‘manor walls’ : the Famine in Glenville, County Cork

The Famine in the County Tipperary parish of Shanrahan

The Famine in the Dingle Peninsula

Famine relief in Cove and the Great Island, April 1846-March 1847

Visit of Queen Victoria to Cove, August 1849


Introduction: the province of Ulster and the Great Famine

The Great Famine and religious demography in midnineteenth-century Ulster

The Great Hunger in Belfast

Mapping the Famine in Monaghan

The management of famine in Donegal in the hungry forties


The Great Famine in Gaelic manuscripts

The artist as witness : James Mahony

Asenath Nicholson’s Irish journeys

Thomas Carlyle and Famine Ireland

‘Le pays classique de la faim’ : France and the Great Irish Famine


Exodus from Ireland – patterns of emigration

Liverpool and the Great Irish Famine

The Fidelia

Irish Famine refugees and the emergence of Glasgow Celtic Football Club

Archaeological evidence of Irish migration? : rickets in the Irish community of London’s East End, 1843-54

Black ’47 and Toronto, Canada

Gross Île, Quebec

The Famine and New York City

New York Famine memorial

The Great Famine and Australia

‘Week after week, the eviction and the exodus’ : Ireland and Moreton Bay, 1848-52


Land reform in post-Famine Ireland

Legacy and loss : the great silence and its aftermath

Famine and the Irish diaspora


The folklore of the Famine : Seanchas an Drochshaoil

Na prátaí dubha

Tadhg Ó Murchú (1842-928)

Sites of memory

Famine memorial sites in County Cork

‘Remembering, not forgetting’, a commemorative composition

The Big House and Famine memory : Strokestown Park House

A Great Famine discovery of Viking Gold : Vesnoy,Strokestown, County Roscommon

Mapping the Great Famine in Irish art

Sculpting Famine

Literature and the Famine


The Great Famine and today’s famines

Food security, food poverty, food sovereignty : moving beyond labels to a world of change?

Images of famine : whose hunger?

Fighting world hunger in the twenty-first century


Index of Places

Film Footage Shows FDR Walking

The following teaser is from the May 19, 2014 Boston Globe:


HARRISBURG, Pa. — Rare film footage featuring President Franklin D. Roosevelt walking to his seat at a baseball game helps dispel the myth that he completely hid his disability and shows the courage it took to go about his daily life, experts said Friday.

The clip, at, shows Roosevelt, who was paralyzed from the waist down by polio in 1921, grasping a rail with one hand while being supported on the other side by an assistant. Roosevelt used a wheelchair because he could walk only with braces on his legs and the support of a cane.

‘‘Here is FDR going to a stadium full of people,’’ said Bob Clark, deputy director of FDR’s Presidential Library and Museum. ‘‘Even the simple act of going to a baseball game required a great deal of logistics and preparation.’’

Read the full article.

Santa Maria Found? Evidence Shows Shipwreck Has Been Looted

The following is from the May 14, 2014 edition of the Washington Post.

Library of Congress via Reuters -  A replica of Christopher Columbus's Santa Maria is shown in this circa 1892 photo. An explorer says a shipwreck he found off the north coast of Haiti could be the 500-year-old remains of the ship.
Library of Congress via Reuters – A replica of Christopher Columbus’s Santa Maria is shown in this circa 1892 photo.

A shipwreck off northern Haiti may be the remains of Christopher Columbus’s flagship vessel, the Santa Maria, an explorer said Tuesday, though experts expressed caution about a discovery that was far from confirmed.

Explorer Barry Clifford said he has evidence that the wreck is the Santa Maria, which struck ground and slowly sank on Christmas Day in 1492. That evidence includes ballast stones that appear to have come from Spain or Portugal and what looks like a 15th-century cannon that was at the site during an initial inspection but has since disappeared.

Read the full article.

The following is from the May 15, 2014 edition of Fox News:

An explorer who believes he’s found the wreckage of Christopher Columbus’ flagship, the Santa Maria, off the coast of Haiti said Wednesday that the vessel has been looted and needs to be excavated immediately.

“I think this is an emergency situation,” explorer Barry Clifford said. “I think the ship needs to be excavated as quick as possible and then conserved and then displayed to the world.”

Clifford was at the Explorers Club in New York to show photos and video of what he said was a pile of ballast stones from the wreckage.

“I think the evidence is overwhelming that this ship is most probably the Santa Maria,” he said.

The Santa Maria ran aground on Christmas Day 1492.

Read the full article.

101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History — 15% Off through Midnight Thursday, April 24

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



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.

History Magazine, Apr/May 2012: 100th Anniversay of the Titanic

hmam12You know the name, and probably a good part of the story, of the “unsinkable” Molly Brown. But, do you know the tale of “three time lucky” Violet Constance Jessop. Jessop survived three major maritime accidents; including, the of sinking of both the RMS Titanic and the HMHS Britannic. First, she survived a collision between a steam liner, the RMS Olympic, with a Royal Navy Cruiser, the HMS Hawke, only months before the Titanic sank. Her story is recounted in one of two articles printed in the Apr/May 2012 issue of History Magazine commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic during her maiden voyage.

The second article reveals first-hand accounts from four reporters who “scooped the ‘Story of the Century.'” Together, these two article provide a somewhat unique glance back at the events of the night of April 15, 1912, and the people involved. Though there are a few people living today who were alive when the Titanic sank, all of them were mere children. None alive are likely to remember the actual event as it unfolded. However, so enormous was the media impact of this event on both sides of the Atlantic, and around the world that those born for generations following have learned from an early age of the famous Titanic and her tragic end. There are so many personal and family stories, not to mention the socio-economic elements that heaped tragedy upon tragedy, the Titanic will remain strong in our memories for generations more. These personal stories, I believe, tend to find a soft spot in the hearts of all genealogists. After all, genealogy is about uncovering the personal stories of our own ancestors. These larger-than-life tales only server to punctuate the stories we know of our own ancestors who lived during such times and events.

As great as these Titanic tales are, these weren’t the only articles of interest in the issue. Below you will find a complete list of articles from this issue. The 100th anniversary of the Titanic only made this issue more special. Fortunately, back-issue copies are still available.


Get your own historical copy of the April/May 2012 History Magazine, with its 100th Anniversary stories on the Titanic, available from Family Roots Publishing.



Opening Notes

Trivia: Traffic Lights, License Plates

Heroic Stand at Beecher Island

Arnold Blumberg looks at how a small unit of the US Cavalry defeated Cheyenne warriors

The Kensington Rune Stone: Genuine or Fraud?

Joe Know looks at this mystery that has intrigued scientists and historians alike for many years

The Titanic Disaster: First-Hand Accounts from Four Reporters

Separate newspaper accounts detail the events following the sinking of RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912

Violet Constance Jessop: Three Time a Lucky Lady!

Alice Luckhardt recounts the incredible nautical life, and luck, of one lady who survived three different maritime disasters — including the sinking of Titanic

The Lure of the American West and the Sundance Kid

John Christopher Fine examines the lure of the American West through a small Sundance, Wyoming museum and its legendary namesake

Searching for Sgt. Bailey

In this excerpt from his new book, James Breif recounts some of the hardships encountered by one US Army soldier serving in New Guinea in World War II

Legend of the Dutchman Mine

Donna Alice Patton examines the legend of a fabled mine and a hoard of gold buried deep in the mountains of Phoenix, Arizona

The American Colony: Christianity in the Holy Land

Melody Amsel-Arieli looks at the attempts by Americans to spread Christianity throughout Isreal

The History of Brain Surgery

Steve Semiatin explores the evolution of neurosurgery through the centuries

The History of Railroads

mm017Like so many kids, I loved trains growing up. I never minded waiting for a train when riding in a car, I couldn’t wait to ride the train at Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm when we went as a family. I loved taking my own kids to the see the large collection of trains at the Orange Empire Railway Museum. I lived most of my life in Southern California, so had plenty of access to museums and theme parks where trains were always a big part of the adventure. Of course, spectacular movie events featuring trains, chases, and explosions, along with, stories of the wild west, which almost always involved a train somehow, only added to my childhood awe of trains, which I suppose has not entirely faded away with adulthood. I am sure many of you feel the same way.

Of course, with maturity comes a desire for added knowledge and enlightenment, to fill in the gaps of reality where fantasy lets off. For this a little bit of real history helps satisfy the curiosity. You might, then, imagine my pleasure at finding and reading The History of Railroads from the publishers of History Magazine.

History Magazine editor Edward Zapletal summarizes this exciting volume as follows:

“Thanks to improvements made by James Wyatt in the 18th century, the steam engine, in its various forms, eventually became a catalyst for a revolution in industry and travel. The image of a belching and billowing multi-ton behemoth seems almost romantic to us today, but in its day, the steam locomotive was responsible for building nations and providing a means to move people as they had never been before. Once we had a taste of the rails, there was no turning back.

In this special issue, compiled by History Magazine regular author, David A. Norris, he takes us on a tour of some of the more notable railroads in [see the list below]…

We also look at railroad stations, luxurious Pullman cars, WWI trains, tales of train robbers, locomotive thefts, dogs riding the rails, mail trains and Civil War train travel.

In addition, David also sheds some light on railroad legends the Old 97 and Casey Jones, both made famous in story and song.”

This special edition reprint of some of History Magazine’s best articles on the history of railroads, cover topics including:

  • The Transcontinental Railroad
  • Travel on the Orient Express
  • The Great Locomotive Chase
  • The Canadian Pacific Railway
  • The Panama Railroad
  • Civil War Train Travel
  • World War 1 Trains
  • Train Robberies
  • Owney the Mail Dog
  • Casey Jones and Old ‘97
  • A Look at Pullman Cars
  • And More!


  • The Fabled Orient Express; Leaving platform two for adventure, glamour, and excitement
  • Linked by the Golden Spike; Building the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads
  • Scandal, Rebellion, Mountains & Muskeg; The Canadian Pacific Railroad overcame natural and man-made obstacles to cross North America
  • The 1855 Panama Railroad; The first transcontinental railroad built across North America
  • From Purgatory to Pampering: Pullman Cars; The quest for rail passenger comfort
  • Stamping, Sorting and Steam; Moving the mail by rail
  • From Grand Central to the Not-so-Grand; A panorama of two centuries of great changes in railroad history
  • Trench Railways of World War I; Miniature trains were a deadly serious business from 1914-1918
  • The Great Locomotive Chase; A look at the Andrews Raid of 1862
  • Owney the Mail Dog; The mascot of the mail trains
  • Robberies on the Rails! This newfangled transportation brought a new kind of crime to the late 19th and early 20th centuries
  • Casey Jones and Old 97; Popular songs turned two railroad disasters into American folk legends
  • Taking the Cars; the first large-scale use of railroads to transfer armies and military supplies in war


Get your own copy of The History of Railroads from Family Roots Publishing.