The German Researcher: How To Get The Most Out Of An LDS Family History Center, Fourth Edition

The German ResearcherAuthors Fay Dearden and Douglas Dearden distinctly descibe their book, The German Researcher: How To Get The Most Out Of An LDS Family History Center, Fourth Edition, right up front in the first paragraph of their Introduction:

“This book has been written to provide genealogists with a step-by-step guide to finding German information, especially when using a Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).”

LDS Family History Centers located in many cities worldwide have access to the microfilms from Salt Lake City, as well as Internet connections and onsite assistance. Most of these centers are located inside local LDS church building and are always open to the public during operating hours.

This book is not a genealogy beginners guide. Rather, this guide is a primer on German research. All the critical German resources are covered, including:

  • How to read Gothic script
  • Basic translations of key German words and abbreviation found in common documents
  • Sample documents
  • An introduction to Meyer Orts, a German Gazetteer of great importance to German research
  • German Archives
  • and other tools available through the Family History Centers

The only downside to this guide is the same one all such guides face, as time goes on addresses and website links change. Fortunately, anyone who purchases The German Researcher from Family Roots Publishing will receive a free copy of Leland K. Meitzler’s new book German Genealogy Research Online – Tips And Links. Leland’s book contains all the updated addresses for the German State Archives, as well as other key Internet resources and researching tips. Together, these two books, for the price of one, offer all the guidance a researcher needs to get started tracing their German ancestry, with all the most up-to-date addresses for resources available.


Table of Contents


Getting Started

Steps in German Research (Chart)

Chart Summary

Explanation of steps shown on chart

  • International Genealogical Index (IGA)
  • Hamburg Passenger Lists
  • Hamburg Passenger Lists Microfilm Numbers
  • Other Immigration Lists
  • Meyer Orts, a German Gazetteer
  • Common Meyers Orts abbreviations
  • Changes in Names of German States Gemeindelexikons, Town Gazetteers
  • Family History Library Catalog
  • Writing Letters to Germany for Records
  • Writing to German Archives

Helps in translating the records

  • Reading Gothic Script
  • Samples of Records

Map of the German Empire 1871-1919

Map of Germany, 1946-1990

Map of Reunited Germany, 1990

Suggested Bibiography

Appendix A (More Hlep of Translating German Records)

Appendix B (FamilySearch – A Computerized System of Family History Information)



***Special Note***

The 20 page book, German Genealogy Research Online – Tips And Links, by Leland K. Meitzler (2012) ships automatically as a free supplement with The German Researcher. See a review of Leland’s book, click here.

The German Researcher: How To Get The Most Out Of An LDS Family History Center, Fourth Edition is available at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $14.80. ***REMEMBER*** Leland’s German Genealogy Research Online – Tips And Links ships automatically with any order of The German Researcher—a $6.95 value for free—so do NOT add it to your cart; again, it will come with your order of The German Researcher.

FGS Announces 2012 Election Results

The following wwas received from FGS:

D. Joshua Taylor Elected President; New Board Members and Directors Include Cherie Bush, Kris Rzepczynski, and Melissa Shimkus

October 12, 2012 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the results of its recent election for FGS board members and directors. The election was conducted online September 1 – 30, 2012 with all FGS delegates eligible to vote. Office terms for those elected will begin on January 2, 2013.

Current Vice President of Administration, D. Joshua Taylor, was elected to fill the two-year term of FGS President. With the recent election results, Pat Oxley, outgoing President of FGS states, “The newly-elected and re-elected FGS Board members comprise a diverse group of committed genealogy professionals capable of transforming genealogy societies in the 21st century.”

“I’d also like to thank outgoing Directors Jana Broglin, Gordon Erickson, Mike Hall and Sue Tolbert for their service over the past term. Their contributions have been essential to our growth at FGS and an increased awareness of the importance of genealogy and family history,” Oxley added.

Re-Elected FGS Board Members

The following board members and directors were re-elected:

  • Lisa A. Alzo* (New York) – Director
  • David E. Rencher, AG, CG℠, FIGRS, FUGA (Utah) – Secretary
  • Janice A. Fritsch*, PLCGS (Illinois) – Director

*Previously appointed to the FGS board as a Director and elected outright in this recent election.

New FGS Board Members

The following board members and directors were newly elected:

  • Cherie Bush (Utah) – Vice President of Administration
  • Kris W. Rzepczynski (Michigan) – Director
  • Melissa Shimkus (Indiana) – Director

Family Diversity—Third and Final Volume

You never know where you will find a family reference, or important family historical data. Sometimes the best come from family histories written for others. Philip Oler was born somewhere in Germany in 1756 and died in Baltimore, Maryland, 1826. He was an early migrant, just slightly ahead of the the more well-know migration which happened between 1845 and 1860. During that period, approximately one million Germans fled with hope in their hearts for an opportunity denied them by circumstances in their homeland. Family Diversity, the Oler Family of Maryland with Allied Families Colley, Kennedy, Mason and Smith 1500 to 2011, Volume III, is the genealogies, the stories, the descendents and the ancestors of these immigrants. Produced as a family history by Nancy Lee Waters, the hundreds of names in this book represent not only the typical tale of German families from this time period, but also represents the ancestry of many times more descendents who hail from these immigrants.

“The volume traces the ancestry Charles Edward Oler back to his great, great grandfather. Phillip Oler as well as the history of his great grandmother, Charlotta Colley and her Welsh Heritage. The Kennedy’s are documented from his grandmother, Catherine Kennedy, back to Ireland. His mother’s Smith and Mason families are also included.”

The 640 surnames appearing in the book include:

Adams, Arndt, Baldwin, Beveridge, Billingsley, Bond, Bordeille, Borig, Brannaman,
Brough, Bride, Broglie, Brookman, Brushe, Burgett, Burnham, Cade, Caruso, Casey,
Cassell, Cawthorne, Childs, Chinea, Chisholm, Colley, Colliflower, Cooper, Crowley,
Cunningham, Dages, Deibel, Dickinson, Dill, Dillon, Donahue, Downs, Dunn, Eckhart,
Edmondson, Egli, Farrow, Fields, Fisher, Floyd, Fowler, Franklin, Fringer, Fuchs,
Gaule, Gerwig, Gilman, Godman, Green, Grice, Grimes, Hale, Hall, Hamer, Hamilton,
Hanly, Harris, Hausknecht, Head, Helfrich, Hock, Hohl, Holland, Horn, Hughes,
Huhn, Johnson, Jones, Joynes, Kahler, Keefer, Keene, Keith, Kenedy, Kennedy, Kerr,
Kilduff, Klausing, Knell, Kolb, Kuhlmann, Lange, Lapp, Lauer, Lauterbach, Lee, Loane,
Long, Mackie, Maihl, Marshall, Mason, Maxwell, McClelland, Mckewen, Mellon,
Miller, Nicholson, Oldfield, Oler, Ott, Owen, Parsons, Parton, Pauls, Pearce, Peyton,
Poland, Ports, Powell, Price, Rathell, Rein, Ritchey, Robinson, Roes, Rollison, Rullman,
Runk, Russell, Ruth, Scaggs, Schultze, Selig, Shipley, Shrigley, Sierck, Sipes, Smith,
Speake, Spicer, Sprinkle, Stankiewicz, Stansfield, Steck, Stephens, Stevens, Sullivan,
Swancott, Tanner, Thomas, Thompson, Tillsley, Turner, Vance, Wagner, Walburn,
Ward, Warfield, Waters, Watkins, Wheary, Wheat, White, Whitney, Whittington,
Wilkinson, Will, Williams, Wilson, Winneberger, Wooden.

Nancy Water Lauer is a researcher, lecturer, college instructor, and award-winning author. In addition to the tradition genealogical data for up to seven generation, the author includes her own personal annotations and brief histories.

Volume I of this series earned the author The 1997 Heart of America Genealogical Society Award of Excellence. Lauer also earned “the 2007 National Genealogical Society Writing Competition Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History for her second book, Family Diversity – The Lauer, Borgmeir, Bauer Familes – Deutschland to Baltimore, Maryland and the MacCubbin’s 1650-2006 Volume II. This book also earned the 2007 Maryland Historical Society Sumner a Paker Award, for the best genealogy of a Maryland family. Nancy was a second place winner, 2010 ISFHWE Category III – Original Research Story, and Third place winner of the 2008 ISFHWE Category III – Original Research Story as well as a finalist in the 2008 California Genealogical Society’s writing contest.


Table of Contents

List of Figures



Oler, Colley, Kennedy, Mason, and Smith Families

Name Variances

Oler Family

Philip Oler

Kennedy Family in Ireland

Richard Hanly

Families in Wales

Richard Whittington

Swancott Family in Wales

Savage Family in Wales

Hamer Family in Wales

Richard Hamer

Colley Family in Maryland

George Colley

Smith Family

James Henry Smith

Mason Family

Joseph Mason

Appendix A

Maryland Cemeteris

Saters Baptist Church

Appendix B

Peter Oler

Appendix C

Gold Rush to Poverty the Winfield Scott Oler Story

Appendix D

Mattie Smith Oler’s Bible Page of Births





Family Diversity, the Huhn, Pestorf, and Steck Families 1600 to 1996, Volume I is the first in a three volume in this series.

Family Diversity, the Lauer, Borgmeier, Bauer Families Deutschland to Baltimore, Maryland and the MacCubbins 1650 to 2006, Volume II is the second volume

Family Diversity, the Oler Family of Maryland with Allied Families Colley, Kennedy, Mason and Smith 1500 to 2011, Volume III is the third of the books and is available from Family Roots Publishing, Price: $49.49.

Branching Out: Genealogy for 1st-3rd Grade Students

Branching Out: Genealogy For 1st-3rd Grade Students: Lessons 1-30 is the forth and final volume in a series of genealogy primers for different age groups. Each primer is explicitly written with a specific audience in mind. Here are the other three “textbooks” in the group:

Like all the volumes in this series, this book services a small age group in the same way textbooks are written for particular grades or ages. The book is both an excellent starter for family history, as well as a well-organized textbook. Instead of chapters, the book has lesson. Each lesson is laid out is such a way that not only can individuals use it for their own course of study, but a society, club, or school could adopt it as a class coursebook. No quizzes or exams will be found in this book; only, the encouragement children need to participate in genealogy. In other words, kids will have fun learning their family history.

According to Author Jennifer Holik, the book offers “thirty fun and educational lessons, children will learn the foundations of genealogy and how to begin research on a level that they can understand and enjoy.” Each lesson in the textbook is broken into sections, offering the following to students:

  • A Goal—a lesson objective
  • New Vocabulary words. For example, the chapter on census records introduces the terms census, enumeration, and enumeration district, with definitions
  • Reading Assignments—books and articles the student can find and read for more information. Many of the suggested readings are online
  • A Lesson
  • Assignment—a practical application of the knowledge gained from reading the chapter, a chance to apply the lesson to the student’s own family history
  • Things to Consider, Making it Personal, and Additional Resources—are some of the other headers found sporadically throughout the lessons

Branching Out was published in 2012, and is thus relevant to today’s research. The book, also, does not stand alone but, is actually a series of genealogy text books written for different age groups. This primer is for high school age students. In the coming days, I will also review:


Table of Contents



How to Use this Book

Items Needed

  • Required Books
  • Additional Resources

Lesson 1: What is Genealogy and Why Should I Care?

Lesson 2: Where Do I Start? What Do I Need?

Optional Projects

Lesson 3: Genealogy Databases

Lesson 4: The Family Group Sheet

Review Lessons 1 to 4

Lesson 5: Interviewing Your Parents

Lesson 6: Write a Story

Lesson 7: Evaluate the Information

Lesson 8: Home Sources

Lesson 9: Hidden Sources

Lesson 10: Primary Sources and Citations

Lesson 11: Secondary Sources

Lesson 12: Evidence, Fact and Proof

Lesson 13: Vital Records

Lesson 14: Census Records

Lesson 15: Start a Diary

Review: Lessons 13 to 15

Lesson 16: Health and the Mysteries of Death

Lesson 17: Occupations

Lesson 18: Probate Records

Lesson 19: Land Records and Maps

Lesson 20: Military Records

Lesson21: Cemetery Records

Lesson 22: Immigration

Lesson 23: Naturalization Records

Lesson 24: Newspapers

Lesson 25: Research Plans and Logs

Example Research Plans

Lesson 26: Timelines

Lesson 27: Examine it Once, Twice, and Again

Lesson 28: Travel

Lesson 29: Organizing Paper and Digital Files

Lesson 30: Putting it all Together


Answer Key


Order Branching Out: Genealogy For 4th-8th Grade Students: Lessons 1-30, and any others from the series by clicking the title, from Family Roots Publishing, $29.35.

FamilySearch Indexing Projects Update

The following was received from FamilySearch:

Current and Completed Projects

To view a list of currently available indexing projects, along with their record language and completion percentage, visit the FamilySearch indexing updates page. To learn more about individual projects, view the FamilySearch projects page.

New Projects Added

• Argentina, La Plata-Registros Parroquiales, 1731-1928
• België-Burgerlijke Stand, 1851-1900 [Deel 3D]
• Brasil, Rio de Janeiro-Cartões de Imigração, 1900-1965 [Parte 3J]
• Brasil, Rio de Janeiro-Cartões de Imigração, 1900-1965 [Parte 3K]
• Brasil, Rio de Janeiro-Cartões de Imigração, 1900-1965 [Parte 3L]
• Deutschland, Baden, Breisach am Rhein-Kirchenbuchduplikate, 1800-1870
• Guatemala, Chiquimula-Nacimientos, 1929-2008 [Parte 1]
• Italia (Antenati Italiani), Taranto-Nati, 1875-1879
• Magyarország, Szabolcs-polgári anyakönyvi adatok, 1895-1978 [4. Rész]
• México, Hidalgo-Registros Bautismales, 1561-1961 [Parte 2]
• Perú, Chiclayo y Lambayeque-Registros Civiles, 1873-1950 [Parte B]
• Portugal, Porto – Registros da Igreja Católica [Parte B]
• South Africa-Church of the Province of South Africa Baptism Registers, 1850-1914
[Part 1]
• South Africa-Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848-1956 [Part 2]
• South Africa-Methodist Church Parish Registers, 1822-1996 [Part B]
• Sverige, Stockholm stad-Register til kyrkoböcker, 1546-1927
• US (Community Project), California, Los Angeles, San Pedro and Wilmington-
Passenger Lists, 1907-1948
• US (Community Project), Hawaii, Honolulu-Index to Passenger Records, 1900-1952
• US (Community Project), New York, New York-Index to Passenger Lists, 1820-1846
• US (Community Project), Pennsylvania, Philadelphia-Passenger List Index Cards,
• US-General Index to Pension Files 1861-1934 [Part B]
• US-Index to Indian Wars Pension Files, 1892-1926
• US-Registers of Enlistment in the U.S. Army, 1798-1913 [Part 2]
• US, Indiana-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [Part 3]
• US, Indiana, Parke County Marriages – 1811-1959
• US, Indiana, Perry County, Marriages – 1811-1959
• US, Indiana, Pike County Marriages – 1811-1959
• US, Iowa-County Marriages 1838-1992 [Part C]
• US, Kansas-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [Part 3]
• US, Michigan-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [Part 3A]
• US, Minnesota-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [Part 3]
• US, Ohio-County Births, 1856-1956 [Part A]
• US, Ohio-WWI Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918 [Part 3A]
• US, Oklahoma-Land Allotment Records of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1899-1907 [Part 1E]
• US, Pennsylvania-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [Part 2A]
• US, Tennesssee-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
• US, West Virginia-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

View the FamilySearch projects page to see the full list of available projects and to learn more about how to participate in various projects.

Recently Completed Projects

Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process. They will be published at in the near future.

• Belgique-Registres Civile, 1851-1900 [Partie 3C]
• Brasil, Rio de Janeiro-Cartões de Imigração, 1900-1965 [Parte 3D]
• Brasil, Rio de Janeiro-Cartões de Imigração, 1900-1965 [Parte 3I]
• Brasil, Rio de Janeiro-Cartões de Imigração, 1900-1965 [Parte 2 F] (Newbie)
• Canada, Ontario – Births, 1869-1912 [Part B]
• Canada-Upper Canada 1842 Census
• España, Ávila, Arevalo-Registros Parroquiales, 1550-1930 [Part 1]
• Ghana-Census, 1982-1984 [Part 5]
• South Africa Free State-Church Records Part 1B
• Sverige, Jönköping-Kyrkoböcker, till 1860 [Del 1]
• UK, England and Wales-1871 Census for Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Durham [Part F]
• US-1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widows
• US, Colorado WWI Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918 [Part 4]
• US (Community Project), California, Northern-Naturalization Index, 1860-1989
• US (Community Project), Florida, Tampa-Passenger Lists, 1898-1945 [Part A]
• US (Community Project), Louisiana-New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1903-1945 [Part A]
• US (Community Project), Massachusetts, Boston-Passenger Lists, 1820-1891 [Part A]
• US (Community Project), Ohio-County Naturalization Index, 1818-1954
• US (Community Project), Washington, Seattle-Passenger Lists, 1890-1957 [Part A]
• US, CT, DC, DE, ME, MA, NH-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [Part 2A]
• US, Georgia-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
• US, Illinois-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
• US-Index to Mexican War Pension Files, 1887-1926
• US, Indiana, Saint Joseph County – Marriages 1811-1959
• US, Iowa-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [Part 3]
• US-Old War Index to Pension Files, 1815-1926
• US-Remarried Widows Index to Pension Applications, 1887-1942
• US-WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [Part 4A]

Genealogists Say “Thanks” Video Contest

The following is from FamilySearch:

Join FamilySearch indexing for its first video contest: Genealogists Say “Thanks!”

Here’s your chance to say thank you to the indexers who have helped you find your ancestors. Create a short video that is one minute or less to thank FamilySearch indexers and arbitrators for helping to make records searchable online. Highlight an ancestor you have found, or highlight someone you know who has found an ancestor while searching on, and express your gratitude to the indexers who helped make it possible.

Help indexers know their work matters!

Submissions may be submitted starting October 8, 2012. Check out the contest announcement for more information at:

Genes Reunited Launches Unique Keepsafe

· At launch 2.7 million private images uploaded to keepsafe
· Over 260 million relation profiles already created
· New, fresh and easy to use design

New relation profiles where details can be seen on one page
Today leading family history website Genes Reunited added new and innovative features including a Keepsafe, for digitally storing all of your family records, photos and memories and Relation Profiles, where you can view and edit details about each individual in your tree. This latest addition comes after recently refreshed its appearance with a new, and easy to navigate redesign.

The Keepsafe is a unique and organised way to collate your family history. It’s a place for members to safely store and share documents, from photos and certificates to maps and letters. It’s available to all members, who’ll have the option to open their images to the public, keep them private or share them with other members, family and friends. They’ll even be able to share their Keepsafe on facebook. At launch today there are over 2.7 million private images already uploaded to Keepsafe.

Relation Profiles are automatically created for each relation Genes Reunited members add to their family trees. It includes a clear timeline, notes section and immediate family tree. There’s a section prompting members what to do next in their research. You can edit the details and these changes will be reflected in the tree. You can view any photos or records that are attached to the person too. Each profile can also be printed, so you can share your discoveries with your family.

Genes Reunited automatically creates ‘Hot Matches’ where members who have the same relations in their family tree are matched with each other. Many members have collected rich data on their relatives and having the option to share this with other members can be very beneficial to their research. At launch there will be over 260 million profiles already created, that’s equivalent to over 4 records for every man, woman and child in the UK .

Rhoda Breakell, Head of Genes Reunited, comments: “Imagine being able to find out more information about your ancestors than you could have ever hoped for. Stories, timelines and more besides….Relation Profiles are a place where our members can store all of this information and then share it with each other. Who knows what anecdotes someone else might have written about your ancestors?”

The Keepsafe and Relation Profile pages are available online at for all members.

Famble – a Jewish Surname Game App for the iPhone/iPod/iPad

Andras Koltai of Budapest, Hungary recently developed Famble, an iPhone / iPod / iPad game app that plays with Jewish surnames, It is a classic word search type game, but the words you have to look for are Jewish surnames. The game can be
accessed at:

Check it out. It’s only 99 cents.

FREE Flip-Pal mobile scanner Contest

In cooperation with the good folks at Couragent, Inc., Family Roots Publishing is sponsoring a contest in which we will give some lucky winner a FREE Flip-Pal mobile scanner with Digital Creativity Suite 3.0 on DVD.

In 76 words or less, tell us how you could use a Flip-Pal mobile scanner to share your family history this holiday season.

The top 25 best responses (in our humble estimation) will be placed in a drawing to be done on October 29, with the winner to be announced on the same day, as well as the email Genealogy Newsline of October 30. The winner will also be notified by email.

The contest is restricted to U.S. and Canadian residents.

Send your entry to: by midnight MDT, October 27, 2012. Include your full name, street address (required), phone number, and best email address. One entry per household, please.

Contest entries after October 27 will be excluded. Entries may be published at with the identifying information removed.

Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire

Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New HampshireThe title Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire does not, perhaps, provide the best description possible for this book; at least, not in a modern appreciation for the word dictionary. Family Encyclopedia may be a more apt, if not perfect, description. Indeed, this book is laid out like a dictionary or encyclopedia, listing families alphabetically by surname. However, the real purpose of the book is to “document the lives and families of all the area’s inhabitants [Maine and New Hampshire] who settled there by 1699, with three generations of their descendants.”

This “dictionary” was first published in five parts between 1928 and 1939. The original idea for this book came from Charles Thorton Libby (1861-1948); however, its enduring value has prompted the New England Historic Genealogical Society to pull it from the archives and reprint it. The book has a new foreword, for a 2012 genealogical audience. This book is full of births, marriages, and deaths for three to four generations of families. Adding to this are sketches and notes on data, including, places of origin, residences, wills and deeds, court cases, and careers. More than just data, this book paints a picture of the time and the lives these ancestors led.

As mentioned, families are listed alphabetically. Many entries start with a sentence or two indicating possible or actual European origin. Male heads of house are listed alphabetically, denoted by number as reference throughout the text for said family. At 800 pages, this book is filled with hundreds of family surnames and 1,000s of individuals. It was Libby’s idea to scour and digest every possible pre-1700 primary records available. Based on the size of this work, it is clear he did a thorough job.



Foreword (Added for 2012 addition)


Extracts from My. Libby’s Prefaces






Additions and Corrections


Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $27.39.

The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy

Everything Guide to Online Genealogy bookWhatever one may feel about the Internet as a whole, there is no questioning that it has change the nature of genealogical research forever. That change will last, at least until the next technological innovation. Research and data used to only be accomplished through letter writing, library visits, and research trips. Now, information can be found and processed in minutes. Digitized records and indexes grow by the day. Social media and communication tools bring long-distance family closer. Finding people, living or deceased, has never been easier or faster. Yet, the Internet is getting so large, and involves so many independent technologies, it is easy for one to get lost in the diversity or, become tangled in a web of technologies they do not understand. Effective online research needs guidance. The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 2nd Edition, offers direction needed to successfully navigate the web for family research.

Author Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogists and is the genealogy guide for Her daily experience in online genealogical research is clear in every page of this guide as it leads the reader from the basics of research through the process of searching and extracting vital family data from a variety of online resources. Here is just a sampling of what you can expect to find in this book:

  • Effectively search various websites
  • Decipher census data and other online records
  • Choose the best way to share your data both on and offline
  • Connect with other genealogists via social media outlets

From free to paid sites, there are tips to help researchers get more from the online resources they visit. In addition, improvement to searching skills and in accessing public records will enhance the overall success in uncovering family information.





01 Click Into Your Past

  • Family Tree Basics
  • Plan Your Project
  • Collect Information
  • Organize the Search
  • Record Your Progress

02 Begin Backward

  • Interview Yourself
  • Rummage Through the Attic
  • Question Your Family Members
  • Has it Already Been Done?
  • From One Generation to the Next

03 Learn How to Search

  • Search Engine Basics
  • Get Creative with Names
  • Connect with Living Kin
  • Search Tools and Strategies
  • Find the Right Tree in the Forest
  • Spread the Wealth

04 Online Starting Points

  • What is and is not Online
  • Explore Free Databases
  • Seek Out Subscription Sites
  • Find Family at FamilySearch
  • Discover History at the National Archives
  • Look at the Library of Congress
  • Search State Libraries and Archives

05 Dig Into Death Records

  • A Good Place to Begin
  • Search for Obituaries
  • Social Security Death Index
  • Death Certificates and Online Indexes
  • Visit Virtual Cemeteries and funeral Homes
  • Put it Into Practice

06 Check the Census

  • The U.S Federal Census
  • Access Census Images and Indexes Online
  • Census Research Tips and Caveats
  • Follow Census Clues to New Records
  • Special and State Censuses
  • Utilize Census Alternatives
  • Put it into Practice

07 Hunt Down Family Connections

  • Marriage and Divorce Records
  • Birth and Baptismal Records
  • Unearth Wills and Estate Records
  • Chase Down Court Records
  • Identify Adoptions and Orphans

08 Look Local

  • Maps and Geography
  • Land and Property Records
  • Historical Newspapers
  • Libraries and Societies
  • Churches and Schools
  • Local History

09 Mine the Web for Military Records

  • Find Clues to Military Service
  • Compiled Military Service Records
  • Pensions and Bounty Land Warrants
  • Discover Revolutionary and Civil War Ancestors
  • Research Twentieth-Century Conflicts
  • Bone Up on Military History

10 A Nation of Immigrants

  • Find the Birthplace of Your Immigrant Ancestors
  • Plunge into Passenger Lists
  • Naturalization Records
  • Ethnic Research
  • Put it into Practice

11 Reach Out to Others

  • Make the Most of Boards and Lists
  • Ferret Out Family Trees
  • Ask the Right Way
  • Share Your Research
  • Take a Class
  • Connect with the Pros

12 Dig Deeper

  • Books, Magazines, and Blogs
  • Occupational Records
  • Membership Organizations
  • Photos and Postcards
  • DNA and Genetic Genealogy

13 Locate Records Abroad

  • A National of Immigrants
  • Canada
  • Mexico, Central America, and South America
  • British Isles
  • The Rest of Europe
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Asia and Africa

14 Putting it all Together

  • Evaluate What You’ve Found
  • Protect Your Family History from Disaster
  • Publish Your Family History
  • Dos and Dont’s of Online Genealogy

15 See it in Action

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder: Fiction to Fact
  • George Herman Ruth: A Wealth of Records Online
  • Robert Lee Frost: Following Families Through the Census
  • Neil Armstong: Researching Twentieth-Century Ancestors
  • The Mystery Box: A Descendant Genealogy

Appendix A: Further Readings

Appendix B: Family Trees



The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 2nd Edition is available at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $16.61.

Inheritance in America

Inheritance in America bookInheritance is a hot topic these days, as certain temporary tax adjustments are set to expire, reverting such items as inheritance taxes back to higher levels. People and politicians, alike, argue over what is an appropriate manner for distributing the wealth of an individual to their heirs, named or biological. How much should the government take? Even when there are established wills, the courts are often involved to dispute the validity and/or perceived correctness of financial and estate dispersal. Inheritance issues are not new. Examining these issues begs the question, “How has inheritance affected the lives of our ancestors; thus, affecting our own lives and, perhaps, even the country as a whole?”

Before 1982, no one had ever really tried to answer these questions. Then, a team of experts worked together to find an answer. Answers to questions on the transmittal of wealth, capitalism, family notions on money and the idea of providing for future generations are often assumed based on current opinions, but do they hold up historically? Experts Carol Shammas, a Professor of History and Women’s Studies, University of California-Riverside; Marylynn Salmon, Reasearh Associate, History Department, Smith College; and Michel Dahlin, Associate Professor of History and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Colorado System, worked together to find the historical answers to these questions.

The published results of their study is Inheritance in America: From Colonial Times to the Present. This study crosses the academic fields of social, family, and economic history, examining customs and patterns of inheritance among families. “The authors discuss the first intestacy statutes, analyze the testamentary behavior of colonial wealthholders, and consider the impact of the Revolution.”

Other areas examined in the study, and covered in these results, include the effect on inheritance as women’s roles and rights have changed over time; plus, long-term trends in charity, women’s control of finances, and the use of dynastic devices. Questions on inheritance, and political movements to change and reform tax laws can often be traced to a simple fact that “the bulk of household wealth in America, perhaps as much as 80 percent of it, is derived from inheritance, not labor force participation.” Birth, not effort, is the largest indicator of future wealth in a country that prides itself on capitalistic opportunity.

Genealogists will find this study an enlightening. Answers found in this historical review of wealth could easily shed light on family histories which details changes in financial standings but lack the historical perspective in which to place them. Now, answers can be found and correlated through this review on Inheritance in America.

Note: “Appendix B is of special interest, as it covers the Inheritance Laws in place in the United States in 1890, is in table-form, and printed alphabetically by state.”


Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables



The History of Inheritance in America

Part One: Inheritance under Family Capitalism

Chapter One: English Inheritance Law and Its Transfer to the Colonies

Chapter Two: Colonial Testamentary Practice and Family Capitalism

Chapter Three: Tension in the System: Changes and Attempted Changes in Postrevolutionary Inheritance Law

Part Two: Family, Property, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism

Chapter Four: Inheritance Law and the Rights of Women and Children in the Nineteenth Century

Chapter Five: Testamentary Behavior in the 1790s and 1890s

Part Three: State Capitalism and Inheritance Today

Chapter Six: The Federal Estate Tax and Inheritance

Chapter Seven: Demographic Change, Old-Age Policy, and the Family

Chapter Eight: Inheritance Law and the Unfinished Revolution

Chapter Nine: Testamentary Behavior in the Late Twentieth Century


Inheritance, the Family, and Capitalism


A: Samples of Probate Records from Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and Los Angles County, California

B: Inheritance Laws 1890

C: Inheritance Laws 1982




Order Inheritance in America: From Colonial Times to the Present from Family Roots Publishing: Price: $24.95.

Salt Lake Christmas Tour…………. Week’s Peek

Guess what? Mark Olsen from MyHeritage is coming to the Salt Lake Christmas Tour to tell us and teach us all about this fabulous FREE website, . This is probably the best free site to which you can upload your family tree and connect with cousins near and far. Leland is always coming up with things New & Better for our Tour and this is one for 2012!!  Don’t miss it……..

I’m deep into planning our week’s schedule; we will have “more and better” classes than last year. I know many of you would like to know specifics now, and I do understand, but the speakers/presenters are just now letting me know………… hopefully by next week I’ll have a pretty good list.

Things To Remember:  (1) bring at least one small, inexpensive, wrapped gift for our Breakfast Gift Share;  (2) bring cold medicine just in case;  (3) does anybody need distilled water for their CPAP? Let me know.  (4) ‘Tiz handy to bring some return address mailing labels to exchange with new friends.

The City Creek Center Mall will be open! Finally! Click to for a list of the shops and restaurants located right across the street from our hotel. We who have been coming on the Tour for years know it’s taken about five years for this project to become reality. There is a grocery store in the mall too.  And my favorite, a Brighton store, darnit.

You know how Leland loves offbeat gifts, especially when they’re presented to him in front of everybody at our Breakfast Gift Time……….. so please feel free to bring any silly, sneaky, or (dare I say?) sexy thing as a wrapped gift for Leland and we’ll all have some good fun. Well, most of us will.

If you’re on the fence about coming, let me Humpty Dumpty you off that fence and COME !!

Donna, aka Mother Hen, until next week


Wingate University Posts Yearbooks 1924-2009 Added to the Yearbook Collections of 67 Other NC University’s Online at

The following excerpt is from a blog posted at the EKS Libris website:

Wingate University Special Collections recently partnered with The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, a statewide digitization and digital publishing program housed in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The partnership between WUSC and the Digital Heritage Center is responsible for the first digital online collection to come from the Wingate archive of Special Collections. This online collection showcases yearbooks beginning with Views of Wingate Junior College in 1924 and continuing through the 2009….

Browse and search the Wingate University Yearbooks, “The Gate,” by clicking here.

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

The following North Carolina Schools have digitized yearbooks posted at the Digital NC website. Click here to see the yearbooks by school.

  • Appalachian State University
  • Barton College
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Bennett College
  • Brevard College
  • Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
  • Campbell University
  • Carver Junior College
  • Central Carolina Community College
  • Chowan University
  • Cleveland Community College
  • College of the Albemarle
  • Davenport College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • East Carolina University
  • Elizabeth City State University
  • Elon University
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Flora Macdonald College
  • Gardner-Webb University
  • Gaston College
  • Greensboro College
  • Guilford College
  • High Point University
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Lees-McRae College
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University
  • Louisburg College
  • Mars Hill College
  • Meredith College
  • Methodist University
  • Montreat College
  • Mount Olive College
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • North Carolina Central University
  • North Carolina State University at
  • North Carolina Wesleyan College
  • Peace College
  • Pfeiffer University
  • Pitt Community College
  • Queens University of Charlotte
  • Richmond Community College
  • Rockingham Community College
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • Rutherford College
  • Sacred Heart College
  • Saint Augustine’s College
  • Saint Mary’s School
  • Salem College
  • Shaw University
  • Southeastern Community College
  • St. Andrews University
  • Surry Community College
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • University of North Carolina at Pembroke
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Wake Forest University
  • Weaver College
  • Western Carolina University
  • Western Piedmont Community College
  • Wingate University
  • Winston-Salem State University

New Databases at The Original Record

The following databases have been added at The Original Record this week:

1413-1414 – London Drapers
The accounts of the Worshipful Company of the Drapers of London for August 1413 to August 1414 include £13 10s for ‘les resseytez del Apprenticialtez’, being the fees for thirteen apprentices at 20s each, plus 10s of debt for a fee from a previous year. The surnames of the masters in question are given, some with christian name; the apprentices are not named.

1821 – Capetown Shipping: Captains
The Capetown register of ‘Arrivals and Departures of all Ships and Vessels, that have frequented the Parts of this Colony’ from 20 December 1820 to 20 December 1821 gives date of arrival; ship’s name; captain’s name; nationality; where from; whither bound; cargo; and the date of departure.

1826 – Teachers in county Longford Deserving of Encouragement
The Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor of Ireland awarded gratuities to ‘Teachers, appearing, from the Inspectors’ Reports of their Schools, to be deserving of encouragement’. 11 such teachers were identified in Longford in 1826, and these are listed in the society’s report for the following year, with their full name and the name of their school.

1853 – National Provincial Bank Shareholders
Copy of the return by the National Provincial Bank of England to the Inland Revenue listing the ‘persons of whom the Company or Partnership consists’, pursuant to 7 & 8 Vic. cap. 32: giving full name (surname first), residence and occupation.

1853-1854 – Ticket-of-Leave Men and Women
1205 convicts (1157 men, 48 women) were granted tickets-of-leave giving them conditional pardon from 10 October 1853 to 11 July 1854. This return gives full name, where and when convicted, offence, sentence in years, date of licence and annuity.

1861-1865 – Carpenters Excluded from the Union
Each annual report of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners included a list of excluded members, arranged by branch. The great majority of the exclusions were for non-payment of entrance money or arrears, but other reasons are cited from time to time – fraud; bringing the society into discredit; dishonesty; entering the society under false pretences; working contrary to the society’s interest; not being a competent workman. In most cases names are given in full. There are lists from Bath, Battersea, Bethnal Green, Beverley, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bishop Auckland, Borough (Southwark), Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Burslem, Burton-upon-Trent, Bury, Camberwell, Camden Town, Cardiff, Chelsea, Chester, Congleton, Coventry, Crewe, Croydon, Darlington, Devonport, Doncaster, Droylsden, Drury Lane, Durham, Ealing, Edgeware Road, Exeter, Falmouth & Penryn, Gray’s Inn Road, Halifax, Hanley, Harrogate, Hartlepool, Hereford, Heywood, Huddersfield, Hull, Kentish New Town, Kidderminster, King’s Cross, Knutsford, Lambeth, Leeds, Leek, Liverpool, Longton, Lymm, Malvern, Manchester, Manchester Square, Middlesbrough, Middleton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newton Abbot, Norwich, Norwood, Notting Hill, Oldham, Oxford, Paddington, Penge, Penzance, Pimlico, Plymouth, Poplar, Portman Square, Radcliffe Bridge, Ramsbottom, Richmond, Rotherham, Rugby, Salford, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Scarborough, Sheffield, Shipley, South Kensington, Spitalfields, Stafford, Stepney, Stockton-on-Tees, Stonehouse, Sunderland, Surbiton, Torquay, Tottenham Court Road, Twickenham, Westminster, Whitby, Wimbledon, Windsor, Wolverhampton, Wood Green, Woolwich, Worcester, and York.

1914 – Naval Ratings Killed in 1914
The monthly lists of the nearly 4000 Royal Navy ratings killed from the start of the Great War through to the end of December 1914 are aranged alphabetically by surname and christian names, with rank, and official number. The lists include marines, reservists, and a few civilian canteen staff also killed in the conflict. Full names are given, except for a few cases where a middle name is represented only by an initial.

Free unlimited search at You can purchase sets of scans, or buy open access to the surname(s) of your choice, including variants. For more information, see: