RIP Erma June Claussen-Meitzler-Lamb 1932-2016

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I apologize for not blogging for the last couple weeks. I’ve been distracted by personal and family issues and haven’t gotten to it. My sister passed away yesterday, Sunday, October 2, 2016. She passed on Rosh Hashanna – the Jewish new year. She was 84 years old. She’s been suffering for the last year with Myasthenia gravis. Then she fell and broke a femur a couple weeks ago, leading to her death. I needed to make a business trip anyway, so my brother, Steve, and I packed up and visited her, as well as my nieces, Roberta and Virginia, in Colorado. Although she was in pain, I was able to get a chuckle out of her about something during one of the visits. A good memory…

Erma was my big sister, 18 years my elder, and the middle-child in my mom’s “first” family. The only time I actually lived in our home with her was while her husband was serving one of his tours as a U.S. Army medic in Vietnam. She, along with her kids, Royce, Brenda and Virginia, were with us in Orting for about a year as I remember it… She was my sister, and I loved her.

I just finished writing her obituary, which we are planning to run in the newspaper in Roswell, New Mexico – the last place where she and her husband, Duane Lamb, owned a home. Following is her obit.

The picture is of Erma and I – she was 19 and I was 1 1/2 years – taken on the driveway of the Theodore and Virginia Meitzler place between Orting and South Prairie, Washington.

Erma June Lamb – 1932-2016

Erma June Lamb (84) passed into the loving arms of her Savior October 2, 2016 at Fort Collins, Colorado. She was born July 13, 1932 in Canon City, Fremont County, Colorado, the daughter of Maynard H Claussen and Virginia Frances Feller. After moving with her family to Albany, Oregon, she lost her father to Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1938 when she was but 5 years old. Her mother remarried to Theodore C Meitzler on the first of January, 1941, and she used the surname Meitzler until she wed. Her name was initially spelled Irma, but soon gave way to the more common spelling of Erma.

Erma attended Southern Missionary University (now Southern Adventist University) in Collegedale, Tennessee, and at the age of 21 married the love of her life, Duane Eugene (Burnett) Lamb on May 13, 1954. Duane was first in the U.S. Navy, then attended SMU where he met Erma and later entered the U.S. Army. Trained as a medic, he served 2 tours in Vietnam. Having a husband in the service meant that the family moved a lot. Over the years they lived in Columbia, South Carolina: Fort Benning, Georgia; North Carolina; San Antonio, and El Paso, Texas; Wildflecken, Germany; Schofield Barracks Army Base in Oahu, Hawaii; Albuquerque, and Roswell, New Mexico; Payson, Arizona; Moab, Utah, as well as Aurora and Loveland, Colorado.

Erma graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado Women’s College in Denver and spent many years of her life as an elementary school teacher. She will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved her.

Erma is survived by two brothers, Stephen Kenneth (Judy) and Leland Keith Meitzler (Patty) of Orting, Washington; and five children; Royce Dee Lamb (Diane) of Florissant, Colorado; Brenda Lue Drummonds (Randy) of Phoenix, New Mexico; Virginia Grace Waldrop of Roxie, Mississippi; Roberta Jean Lesser (Ronald) of Fort Collins, Colorado, and April Gibson (Eric) of North Glen, Colorado, nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

GenealogyBank Adds “My Folder” with Search Saving Capability

I’ve been a GenealogyBank fan since before their conception (that’s another story). I absolutely love our access to online newspapers – and GenealogyBank does a great job with it.

I got an email this morning with an announcement that GenealogyBank now has the capability of allowing subscribers to save their searches, save their places within a search, and save pages of interest to a Folder. I love it, as I often don’t have the time to save the search to my hard drive and database. Now if I have 10 minutes to search a long list of results, I can mark where I left off and come back to it later. If I find items of interest, I save them to my Folder, and can save them to my hard drive when I’ve got the time.

This morning, I did a search for my great grandfather, William Canfield, of New York. On the first page of 10 results out of 51, I located 2 items that were about the guy! I hadn’t seen these items before. I saved them to my Folder. When I get a few minutes, I will go back and search the other 41 items. This is very exciting!

GenealogyBank_Searches_for_William_Canfield_570

Click on the illustration to go to GenealogyBank.com and check it out.

Back in the Great State of Washington

After an absence of about 23 years, Patty and I are again living in Orting, Washington. We lived about 5 miles outside of Orting, in Pierce County, up until 1991. We then moved to the tiny community of Elbe (just outside Mt. Rainier National Park) for several years. After spending 6 years on the road, and settling in Utah for well over a decade, we’ve come full circle, and moved back to Orting. This time we live within the city limits, with a wonderful view of Mount Rainier from our front porch. Don’t misunderstand me here – we have that great view if it’s not raining – which it’s doing today.

We started making our move from Utah last May, and have made several trips to Utah in the meantime. One of those trips took seven weeks as we were getting our house ready to place on the real estate market. Although we will be back in Utah again several times this fall and winter, we are now getting settled into our home in Orting, as well as working normal business hours at Family Roots Publishing. We moved the company from Utah, back into the old Heritage Quest Press building that my brother and I initially purchased about 1987. Steve has been running a printing business here for about 20 years while I’ve been away. Now both businesses are operating under the same roof. Our son, Dale, and his family came back to Washington with us. Many of you know Dale and Tara, having met them as they displayed product for Family Roots Publishing at conferences all over the U.S.A.

We really love Western Washington, even enjoying the rain. Patty and I both have family here and we are glad to be home again.

Read an earlier blog of August 19 dealing with the move.

We Are Selling our Home in Bountiful, Utah

Bountiful-House-Sept-2014

I apologize for being away from blogging, newsletter, and such for the last two months, But we had things that had to be done that could not wait. On the 10th of August, Patty and I went back to Utah, spent another week clearing all the remaining “stuff” out of our house and basement business area – and then proceeded to spend the next 6 weeks getting the place ready to sell. We basically remodeled the entire house. If it could be repainted, or recarpeted, we did just that. If it could be replaced with something newer and more modern, in most cases we did that too. When we finished, to stand in the house and look around, you would think you were in a new home. The house is located exactly 10 miles from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, in the beautiful suburb north of the city known as Bountiful. The house is a ways up the “bench,” so the views are wonderful. The place is now our “dream house,” with all the upgrades done that we wanted to do while living there. We didn’t get them done until we moved out, as we found it’s nigh on to impossible to remodel while living in a home and running a business in the basement. So someone else is getting our baby.

We bought the place in 2008, principally because is was close to the Family History library, and had an interior room with no windows that we could use as our personal library area. The folks we bought it from had done the same, so the property was actually advertised as having a “library.”

Take a look at the listing online to see what we’ve done the last two months.

Family Roots Publishing & Meitzler Family Move Update

Mt. Rainier photo taken from the Footshills Trail. The Trail runs just a few hundred yards from our home in Orting.
Mt. Rainier photo taken from the Footshills Trail. The Trail runs just a few hundred yards from our home in Orting.

Last spring we (the Meitzlers) made the decision to move home to Orting, Washington. As of July, we had been gone for 20 years, as it was in July of 1994 that we left Washington State and went on the road in our 36 ft. Safari motorcoach. We didn’t come off the road until 2000, although we did take the motorhome out to conferences up through 2005. When we did settle down, it was in Bountiful, Utah, where we have lived until now.

We started packing up both our home, and the business – running books sales to reduce selected inventory in May. We took one truck load of household items to Washington in early June. That load went into storage. On July 2, we left Bountiful with 2 trucks (with trailers) loaded with both books and household goods, as well as an SUV towing a trailer, arriving in Orting the following day. We unloaded the rigs over the holiday weekend, part going into our house, part into the business building, and part to storage. We had the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day in Orting, which is quite a spectacular event! There doesn’t seem to be any ordinances dealing with fireworks in Orting, and if there are, they are totally ignored. I’ll admit to enjoying the evening to the fullest extent, getting to know a lot of my new neighbors in the process. Over the next month, our family has spent some enjoyable walks and bicycle rides on the Foothills Trail, which runs just a few hundred yards from our home. Everyone in the family has bikes, so we can ride the Trail whenever we have the time.

During the month of July we got the FRPC business up and running in the old Heritage Quest Press building in Orting. My brother, Steve, owns the building, and he made space for us to set up our data entry, sales, and stockroom in the same area where we worked from 1988 to 1993.

About a week ago, Patty and I left Orting, leaving Dale and Tara to mind the store, and drove back to Bountiful. Arriving here, we immediately loaded a truck and trailer with both household and business goods for a return to Orting. We then joined our son, Lee, in going to work on getting the house ready to sell. After essentially running a business out of our basement here since 2008, the place needed new carpet, and various other upgrades that we’ve been putting off since we bought the place. Now someone else will get all these wonderful upgrades that we talked about doing since we moved in. Oh well, this seems to be what I do with every home we’ve owned over the years…

Patty and I have also been working on the websites, and the Salt Lake Christmas Tour while here. Patty is currently in the process of preparing the 2014 Christmas tour receipts and invoices, which we will mail by August 25 or 25. As of this moment, we have 74 attendees preregistered for the Christmas Tour, with just a few spaces left for the 2014 Tour. If you’re interested in coming, you might want to sign up asap!

We plan to leave our Utah place in the hands of the real estate folks and head for Orting again on September 3 or 4 – then attempt to return to a “normal” life.

I want to thank our many friends and FRPC customers who have continued to support us with your thoughts and prayers, as well as purchases, during this EXTREMELY stressful period in our lives. We can see the finish line, and just need to cross over. Just a few more days…

Thanksgiving and Family Drift

Ted-&-Virginia

Tomorrow is thanksgiving and I find myself looking back at the Thanksgivings of my past. Born in Washington State and surrounded by most of my extended family, we always got together with the full family at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But with the deaths of all of my grandparents and the growing up of my cousins we have all moved on from those close childhood experiences. Arizona, Australia, Maryland, Utah, California, Colorado and Washington – we are spread too far apart to get together on this holiday.

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Genealogy brings you closer to your family, but holidays also remind us of how many family members you no longer see.

On the other hand, many of us will see our loved ones on this holiday. I have my parents, my brother, our wives, their families and our children, to spend the day with. I will hold them close, remember those who cannot be there and we will share our memories. I hope you share yours too.

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The holidays are the time of year we have those people together that we may want to interview. We usually realize too late where the memory-holes in our relatives lives are. It is a tragedy when only after his death do you realize there is a 12 year gap in grandpa’s life – a gap that we really know nothing about. Where was he? Was he really a logger for that long? That would make it his longest held job!

In this vane, let me direct you to my friend, Marlo Schuldt’s, blog. In his article titled “Sharing, Recording, and Preserving Family Stories”. He discusses a number of ways to save these memories. I like his suggestions and plan on using them.

Written by Dale R. Meitzler

Looking Back – On Our 45th Wedding Anniversary – Sept. 1, 2013

Goodness… How time does fly. This Sunday, September 1, 2013, will be the 45th Anniversary of the wedding of Patty Sue Daffern and Leland K. Meitzler. Yes. That’s us. And it’s really hard to believe that 45 years have gone by.

We were married at 2 pm, September 1, 1968 in the Puyallup, Washington Seventh-day Adventist Church. The pastor who performed the ceremony was Pastor Larry Kurtz. He actually led out at the Enumclaw Seventh-day Adventist Church, but consented to come to Puyallup and perform our wedding ceremony for us. The Puyallup church was our home church, Patty and I both having attended there, along with our parents, since we were children. Yes – I’ll admit, we were nearly children when we married, both of us being but 18 years old. However, we’d been best friends since we were 12, so it’s not like we’d just met the week before. The church where we were married was new at that time, but has since been out-grown, and sold, with the congregation now meeting at a new church on Shaw Road.

The Shaw Road property was purchased about 1960, encompassing several acres where they built the Nelson-Crane school, and shortly thereafter a gymnasium, where our reception was held following the service at the church. The school, as well as the gymnasium have all now been removed, making space for the new Northwest Christian School, as well as the new church.

My brother, Neil Meitzler, and my mother, Virginia Cornett Feller Claussen Meitzler, decorated the church, and made the flower arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnieres. Neil was really good at that kind of thing, being a life-long artist. As I remember it, my mom got the flowers, and materials from her good friend, Mrs. Benton, who ran a floral shop called Benton’s Twin Cedars Floral in Puyallup. My parents were in the greenhouse business, so they had connections that most folks wouldn’t have had.

Patty made her wedding dress, and the bridesmaids all made their own dresses. The wedding party was made up of 12 of us. We have a picture, one of many taken by budding photographer, Steve Brown (again – a classmate at Auburn Academy) that I’m including here. From left to right are:

  • Clinton Hubbard – candle lighter (my nephew)
  • Beverly Garrett – bridesmaid (friend and classmate)
  • Karen Zaugg – bridesmaid (Patty’s cousin)
  • Beverly Hubbard – matron of honor (my sister)
  • Lori Hubbard – flower girl (my niece)
  • Patty Sue Daffern – bride
  • Leland Keith Meitzler – groom
  • Doyle Hubbard – Bible boy (my nephew)
  • Harold Garrett – best man (my classmate and friend)
  • Terry Phillips – groomsman (friend & brother of Patty’s brother-in-law)
  • Steve Meitzler – groomsman (my brother and still my best friend)
  • Kevin Hubbard – candle lighter (my nephew)

Leland Meitzler & Patty Daffern Wedding Party. From left to right are: Clinton Hubbard - candle lighter (my nephew) Beverly Garrett - bridesmaid (friend and classmate) Karen Zaugg - bridesmaid (Patty's cousin) Beverly Hubbard - matron of Honor (my sister) Lori Hubbard - flower girl (my niece) Patty Sue Daffern (Bride) Leland K Meitzler) (Groom) Doyle Hubbard - Bible boy (my nephew) Harold Garrett - best man (my classmate and friend) Terry Phillips - groom's man (friend & brother of Patty's brother-in-law) Steve Meitzler - groom's man (my brother and still my best friend) Kevin Hubbard - candle lighter (my nephew)

The service was pretty typical of any church wedding. A friend who we went to school with at Auburn Academy, Faith Humphrey, sang “Whither Thou Goest,” a song made popular by Perry Como, George Morgan, Les Paul and Mary Ford, and others. My sister-in-law, Shirley, somehow got her hands on my shoes, and wrote in white on the soles – just ahead of the heels where it wouldn’t rub off – “HI MA.” When we knelt for prayer everyone got a look at my shoes. I wondered what everyone was giggling about. Kneeling for prayer isn’t usually a laughing matter. See photo below.

Leland & Patty kneeling for prayor

After the service, we went over to the Nelson-Crane Jr. Academy gymnasium for the reception. My best man, Harold Garrett, drove us over. We did the typical reception line, cut the cake, and opened gifts. Opening the gifts seemed to take forever, as we got a lot of loot…. Before leaving the gym, Patty tossed her bride’s bouquet, with Cindy Nicholas catching it. She was just a kid, so I’m sure she didn’t marry for a while. Folks that helped out at the reception are pictured below. From left to right, they are Belva Sears, Oral Sears, Sarah Brown, Miss Ferguson (Jim Ferguson’s daughter), Ethyl Hubler, Jacki Hubler, Janine Brown, Wendy Layer, Betty Hanks, Vivian Zaugg, Lucy Torrey, Trista Nicholas, and Peggy Green.

Meitzler-Daffern reception, Puyallup1968

The following photo is of the cake cutting. Patty and I still have that tiny bride & groom that was on the top (a wedding cake tradition continued from Patty’s parents, Homer & Neta Daffern). The cake was made by and decorated by Clara Miller Lively, who had been my 6th grade teacher at Nelson-Crane.

Leland & Patty Cake Cutting

Following the reception, Patty and I walked across Shaw Road to the Garrett home where we changed clothes and where our worn-out 1957 Chevrolet was locked up in the Garrett garage. Beverly Garrett got her hands on the garage keys and I chased her out Leo Garrett’s front door in my attempt to retrieve them. The only problem was that I didn’t get the screen door opened in time and pretty-well destroyed it when I went through. Once we got the car out of the garage, we left for the Meitzler family home outside of Orting, Washington, where we packed the car with all those gifts, and said our “goodbyes.” We finally got on our way to College Place, Washington about 9 p.m., arriving at the Vet’s Apartments about 4 in the morning. The Vet’s apartments were student housing for Walla Walla College students. A few days previously, we’d loaded up my parents old International Metro (a retired milk truck), and along with our friend, Elaine Kuester, we had taken most of our “stuff” to the apartment. The apartments were very old, and not the Hilton… But we didn’t notice.

FRPC
On Sunday, September 1, we will be celebrating our anniversary along with our sons and their families. In honor of this milestone anniversary, Patty and I are doing something we’ve never done before at the Family Roots Publishing Co. website. We’re offering a Labor Day Weekend/45th Anniversary sale of 20% additional off on all products on the site. To take advantage of the offer, just put the number 45 in the Offer Code box at checkout. Please remember to put “45” in the Offer Code box. Otherwise you won’t get the additional discount! This is a FamilyRootsPublishing website sale only. We’re not taking phone orders, and purchase orders are not allowed for this sale. Credit card sales only. We’re doing the sale this way as we’re letting the computer do all the work. We won’t be working! Instead, we will be celebrating! Items purchased will be shipped on Tuesday through Thursday, dependent on sales volume. The sale starts now, and runs through Midnight MDT, Monday, September 2.

To take advantage of the additional 20% off on all products (making many discounts add up to 22 to 40% off), click here. Have a great weekend! We plan to…

Take An Additional 20% Off All Products at the Family Roots Publishing Co. Website This Weekend

FRPC

On Sunday, September 1, Patty and are celebrating our 45th Wedding Anniversary along with our sons and their families. It just happens to also be Labor Day Weekend.

In honor of this milestone anniversary, Patty and I are doing something we’ve never done before at the Family Roots Publishing Co. website. We’re offering a 45th Anniversary/Labor Day Weekend sale of 20% additional off on all products on the site. To take advantage of the offer, just put the number 45 in the Offer Code box at checkout. Please remember to put “45” in the Offer Code box. Otherwise you won’t get the additional discount!

This is a FamilyRootsPublishing website sale only. We’re not taking phone orders, and purchase orders are not allowed for this sale. Credit card sales only. We’re doing the sale this way as we’re letting the computer do all the work. We won’t be working. Instead, we will be celebrating! Items purchased will be shipped on Tuesday through Thursday, dependent on sales volume. The sale starts now, and runs through Midnight MDT, Monday, September 2.

If you wish to read about the wedding that took place 45 years ago, click here.

To take advantage of the additional 20% off on all products (making many discounts add up to 22 to 40% off), click here.

Father & Daughter (my mom) Reunited After 43 Years

Father & Daughter Meet After 43 Years
Fifty-six years ago last month, a daughter was reunited with her father who she hadn’t seen for 43 years – not since she was less than 5 years old. That daughter was my mother, nee Virginia Cornett Feller. I was reminded of the reunion while searching for Meitzlers at Newspapers.com last evening.

The event is a bit hazy in my mind as I was only (almost) 7 at the time. However, I remember my mother leaving for a trip and being gone for a while. During the period mom was gone, I went to stay with my 1st-grade school teacher, Mrs. Aufderhaur, who, with her husband, lived in housing at Auburn Academy in Auburn, Washington. My mother’s meeting her father was a big deal for our family, and Neal Cornett (see photo below) became an integral part of our lives for the next 20 years. I thought it was cool to have a grandfather, something I’d never known before. I guess the press thought it was a big deal too, as the AP picked up the story and the news is found in various newspapers published around the country.

The article that caught my eye last night was published in the 26 March 1957 edition of the Greely Daily Tribune. What brought it to my attention again was that I just happened to buy an annual subscription to Newspapers.com while at RootsTech a few days ago. As a long-time Footnote.com subscriber, I was given a small discount on my Newspapers.com subscription. I’ve been very busy, and this was my first opportunity to search for relatives.
Marvin Neal Cornett - from Real Photo Postcard - taken between 1918 & 1930 based on the stamp box.
Newspapers.com allows for simple and advanced searches. I can search for a name, or by doing an advanced search, I can search for a specific place, and even limit the dates searched. I found that after doing my search, if I check the left-hand column I see a map showing where the name is found (by state), and below that, the number of entries found per state. I can see the hits for any of those states by clicking on their link. The results page shows a small teaser clipping of each hit, along with the name and place where the newspaper was published, as well as the day and date of the paper. Finally – the number of hits in that paper is listed.

Searches on Newspapers.com are free, and the results teaser often give the searcher enough information to know if that “hit” might be one that will expand their family history. Click on any of the links in this article to do a free search, and see for yourself how the info in the above paragraph might apply to your own family history.

On a personal level, a couple of the things that are nice about Newspapers.com is the “Clipping aspect of the program, allowing the user to “clip” the relevent portion of the paper and save it to a personal “Clipping” portion of the site. I can also save a clipping to Pinterest, which I’m just getting started with. My plan is to set up a Pinterest board for each of my family’s immigrants and their descendents. But that’s another topic!

Another thing that I did while at RootsTech was to establish an affiliate relationship with Newspapers.com, so if people click on my links to the site, and then happen to subscribe, I will receive a portion of the subscription fee. That’s the way affiliate relationships work. While not bringing in a lot of money, they do help to defray the expenses of producing GenealogyBlog.com.

Now… with that said, I’m going back to searching… I’ve found all kinds of things I’ve not seen before about my family, and I know there’s a lot more to come, for according to the website, there are currently over 38 million pages from over 1100 US newspapers, all dated from the 1700s–2000s to search.

Ice, Ice Everywhere…

It’s been an interesting day… As with a much of the USA, the Bountiful, Utah area has seen it’s share of lousy weather in the last several weeks. First, it snowed for about 3 days, accumulating near 20 inches at our house, then the temperatures dropped to zero (f) and have stayed in the single digits most of the time since… I’d say it’s been about two weeks of the cold. Today a slight storm came through, with the temperatures rising to 27 degrees or so – all the while sprinkling us with a light rain.

Since our warehouse is about 3 miles from our home, about 1 pm or so I decided to go get product to fill orders for FRPC that had come in today. I first had to sprinkle all the ice melt I had on hand between the front porch and the car, as I couldn’t stand up, let alone walk. Our poor lab, Tucker, couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t stand up either! I then broke up the ice covering the windshield and side windows, and attempted to back the Jeep up. Now, our driveway only has a very slight slope to it, but it was just enough to cause the car to slide sideways and get stuck in our own driveway. My daughter-in-law brought a couple bags of snow melt up and we melted, and dug and shoveled for about two and a half hours.

The car is now back on the driveway, Patty is still shoveling (see picture), and I’m going to wait until tomorrow before we do any shipping…

Needless to say, it was a bit unnerving to hear all the emergency sirens around town wailing as we were doing all that shoveling. I hope not many folks get badly hurt while attempting to drive in this stuff… There have been several near-misses right in front of our house.

Winter Time is a’Coming… and it’s Time for Research, Grandchildren & the Salt Lake Christmas Tour

We picked the last of the tomatoes, cucumbers, and cabbage on Tuesday, Wednesday the temperatures began to drop dramatically, and we woke up to snow this morning (Thursday, Oct 25, 2012). I doubt the snow will last long and temperatures this time of year fluctuate a lot in Utah.

Patty and I went out this afternoon and supervised the erection of a snowman with Roby and Tabitha. The snow was perfect for packing into a “Frosty,” and the kids had great fun.

Although genealogists usually attempt to try to do most of their “cousin visiting” in the summer, the colder months are our time to snuggle up in a warm blanket, chase ancestors on the computer and compile our genealogy databases. There’s a big exception to all that, and that’s the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour which takes place the first full week of December each year. Now in it’s 28th year, we expect somewhere between 60 and 90 researchers to settle in at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel again this year, working side-by-side with a dozen professional genealogists for a full week of intense research at the Family History Library.

We’ve still got space for more folks on the Christmas Tour. To learn all about it, click here.

National Grandparent’s Day This Sunday

Although not as popular as Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, National Grandparent’s Day has been gaining in popularity ever since President Jimmy Carter in 1978 declared the First Sunday after Labor Day to be an annual celebration of grandparents.

Read more about National Grandparent’s Day at http://www.grandparents-day.com

Now that Patty and I are grandparents, this holiday seems to fit us just right. I adore my grandchildren, and I think they like papa and nana a lot too. I never knew most of my grandparents, but did get to spend some time with my grandfather, Neil Cornett, after my mother found him in 1957. She hadn’t seem or heard from him for 41 years. Between then and his death in 1976 we did all we could to make up for lost time. I addored the old man, and still miss him today.

So this Sunday, let’s take some time to contact grandparents that may still be with us, and remember those who have passed on.

The Wikipedia National Grandparents Day site.

Lots of Robertson Cousins Found in an 1896 Obituary this Morning & GenealogyBank Annual Subs for only $48.95!

Over the years I’ve continued to collect what little information I could find on my third-great-grandfather, Gold Canfield. He died in 1814 in the War of 1812, having frozen his arm while on guard duty in Harlem Heights, New York. His wife, Nancy Hayes, applied for a pension for her minor children following his death, leaving a decent widow’s pension file with quite a bit of family information – including the birth dates of the minor children.

About once every quarter or so, I’ll go into GenealogyBank.com, where I’ve kept a membership since it’s inception, and search for data on my more difficult ancestors. One of those I checked out this morning was “Gold Canfield.” Searching on the name Gold Canfield, I got 40 hits – one of them listed as an historical obituary. Clicking on the image teaser where I could see the words “Mary Ann Canfield Robertson,” I found an extremely detailed obituary for Gold’s daughter, Mary Ann. She died at the age of 84, having been born in Salem, Connecticut 20 August 1812. What’s amazing about the obit is the detail that is given about Mary Ann’s six living children. Not only does does the obit list their names, but details about the professional positions of the the girl’s husbands, and where they lived. It also gives Gold Canfield and Nancy Hayes as her parents.

I’ve heard it said that you can compile a family history based on obituaries alone, and although it would be inaccurate, I can see the point.

Searches at GenealogyBank are free, and you get a partial image of the data before you have to subscribe to get the entire thing. The searches cover over 6100 historic newspaper titles from all 50 states. Click here to search their entire database – FOR FREE!.

Following is a copy of the obit for Mary Ann Canfield Robertson (1812-1896) found at GenealogyBank.com.

I’m a long-term supporter of GenealogyBank, and a friend of their genealogy guy, Tom Kemp. I’ve had an affiliate relationship with them for a couple years. In discussing Family Tree Publishing’s current 12 Days of Chirstmas in July Promotion with them, they offered my readers a special deal of 30% off their normal annual rate (which I gladly always pay), making the cost just $48.95 per year!

Click on the graphic to learn more.

Using the MyHeritage Family Trees Now Found on the World Vital Records Site

I’ve had a membership to WorldVitalRecords.com since the beginning of that website. I went to work for Everton’s in 2006, and they had a relationship with World Vital Records, allowing WVR to scan books and magazines in the Everton collection to be posted on the World Vital Records site. In all the time I worked as the editor of the Genealogical Helper (2006-2009), I watched millions of records being posted at the site, including some of my own, without WorldVitalRecords.com ever seeming to achieve it’s goals and promise to become the #2 genealogy site on the web. I was laid off at Everton’s in early 2009, and continued to watch the WVR progress. They developed valuable relationships – with affiliate access to newspapers, gravestone data, and the like. But honestly, in comparing WVR to sites like Ancestry, GenealogyBank, and many others I had my doubts about whether the company had a chance of making the big time. Then two things happened. They hired a go-getter by the name of Mark Olsen who had previously worked for Ancestry.com. He used his expertise to help stabilize their cash flow, and added a professionalism I was pleased to see. Then the company was purchased by MyHeritage.com – a highly successful genealogy website based in Israel. The merging of the two companies was a genealogy marriage made in heaven. MyHeritage had huge family trees, many with European, as well as American connections and World Vital Records had data (books and electronic databases).

This morning I decided I’d check out the MyHeritage Family Trees which are now available at WorldVitalRecords.com. After searching for new information on my Titus line, and coming up empty, I switched to looking for new data on my Keelers. I searched only within the Trees – searching for databases and vital records information I didn’t already now about. Sure enough, I immediately found data about my 4th great grandmother, Dinah Keeler – most of which I didn’t already have. Some isn’t sourced, but other items are. Beside that, I have the contact information of the folks that posted the data. One of the features of the Trees is that off to the right hand side, there is a column that says something like: “More Records for Dinah Keeler.” In this case it stated that there were 3 birth, marriage, and death records I could check out. Clicking on the link, I found a copy of the marriage of Dinah Keeler to my fourth great-grandfather, the so-called James Canfield (and that’s another story). I didn’t have this document, and it gave me the marriage date that I didn’t have previously. Now I’ve got a lot more data to prove, cousins to contact, and other sources to look at. One of the MyHeritage Trees also led me to extensive data and more trees located at GenCircles.com. I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me, thank to my search on WorldVitalRecords.com this morning.

MyHeritage’s New “SuperSearch”

A few days ago, I got a call from Mark Olsen, who works for MyHeritage.com, and its subsidiary, WorldvitalRecords.com. Mark told me that they had a new SuperSearch™ that would search across the MyHeritage sites, and affiliated data. MyHeritage SuperSearch™ is a powerful search engine, searching for historical records across over more than 4 billion records – 500 million exclusive family tree records, plus birth, marriage and death records, the world’s largest newspaper collection, military & immigration records, and vital records from 16 countries. Many exclusive databases are included in the search, with more added every month.

As a member of MyHeritage.com, I did a SuperSearch™ for my cousin, Dorr Titus. I immediately got an extensive list of possible hits for my cousin. The first item was from FindaGrave.com, and included a photo of Dorr’s headstone, next I got a copy of the Social Security Death Index information, then a copy of the 1930 census information for Dorr living within his parent’s family in Washtenaw County, Michigan. I then got a copy of a newspaper – the January 3, 1990 edition of the Seguin Gazette Enterprise, published in Seguin, Texas. The extensive article included a picture of Dorr and Leona taken in Dorr’s RV, where I visited with him and his wife a few years before.

Pretty cool…