RootsTech 2013 Registration is Live with $149 Early-bird Pricing

The following news release was received from RootsTech 2013:

Registration is now live for the 3rd annual RootsTech conference on March 21-23, 2013 in Salt Lake City, UT. With several thousand attendees each of the first two years, the 2013 conference is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet!

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, offers an opportunity unlike any other to discover the lastest family history tools and techniques, connect with experts to help you in your research, and be inspired in the pursuit of your ancestors. You will learn to use the latest technology to get started or accelerate your efforts to find, organize, preserve, and share your family’s connections and history.

New in 2013! A full track of Getting Started classes and labs will help those new to family history learn where to start, how to build their family tree, and how to use technology to explore their connections. Learn more.

Register NOW and Save $70 with Early-bird Pricing!

Registration Options

Full 3-Day Pass

  • Access to everything RootsTech has to offer (250+ classes).
  • $219 $149 (Early-bird Pricing)

One-day Pass

  • Full admission for just one day. $89

Student 3-Day Pass

  • Student ID required. $39

NEW! Getting Started 3-Day Pass

  • Beginner track with access to over 30 classes. $49 $39 (Early-bird Pricing)

Getting Started One-Day Pass

  • A selection of fundamental classes to help get you started. $19

Developer Day Pass (March 22)

  • A full-day technology program just for developers. $89

Learn more and register at

RootsTech has something for everyone, whether you are an avid genealogist, just getting started, or simply want to discover the latest technologies and solutions to better connect with your family. At RootsTech, come prepared to experience world-class content from speakers all over the country, an exciting exhibitor hall, and great keynote speakers.

Family History Month Just Around the Corner

That’s right all you enthusiasts, it’s that time of year again. Family History Month is just one week away. Congress, in 2001, declared October as Family History Month in the United States. Senator Orrin Hatch stated, “By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.” Today, the celebration of our ancestors continues, and Family History Month events are everywhere.

Did you know? New Zealand celebrates Family History Month in August. They are over, we still get to look forward to our month. So, how will celebrate Family History Month? Here are a few ideas:

Just Google your own hometown, local genealogy club or historical society, events are happening everywhere.


Patricia Ann Mills-Spencer-Bemis-Adams Obituary – We Should All Write ‘Em Like this

The following excerpt is from an obituary written by genealogist Patricia Ann Mills-Spencer-Bemis-Adams. We should all think about getting our own obit written. I’m impressed.

On August 27, 2012, I, Patricia Ann Mills-Spencer-Bemis-Adams, left this world for what I hope to be Genealogy Heaven. This is where I hope to finally have all of my genealogy questions answered.

I was born to John Wesley Mills and Dorothy Nesbeth Reed August 11, 1938 while living at 91 Gresham St., Ashland, Ore. At the age of one year, we moved to Portland, Ore., as daddy had a job at Swan Island Ship Yards. By the time we moved back to Ashland in 1945, we were a family of six. I attended the first and second grades in Multnomah, Oregon, then third grade through high school in Ashland.

October 6, 1956, I married Jack E. Spencer in Yreka, Calif. Jack and I lived many places including one year as managers of White Oak Nudist Camp in Shady Cove, Ore. Our son, Kevin Michael Spencer was born September 9, 1960 in Central Point, Ore. Shortly after Kevin arrived, Jack left me. I went back to work at Bear Creek and began a relationship with Jack B. Gundlach with whom I had my second son, James Anthony Spencer. I then had a very brief marriage to Ronald Bemis.

Read the full obit in the September 24, 2012 edition of the

Understanding Meyers Orts

“All research in Germany depends on locating the birthplace of an ancestor.” At least, that is the opinion of Fay S. Dearden, as I am sure it is with many others. Despite the wide variety of resources available online and through libraries like the Family History Library, the Meyers Orts Gazetteer remains an important resource to finding places in the old German Empire. The gazetteer lists roughly 200,000 locations.

Meyers Orts was published in 1912, printed in old Gothic typeface. Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire, by Fay S. Dearden, is effectively a manual to understanding and reading this old gazetteer. This spiral-bound guide demonstrates how to read Meyers Orts entries as well as understanding, translating, the old Gothic script. The majority of the book demonstrates letters and abbreviations as found throughout the book, listed here in alphabetical order. For each entry there is a sample of the old script, a modern typeface copy plus the entry’s meaning in both German and English.

One important note, the Gothic used in Meyers differs form other Gothic alphabets. Plus, there is a specific advantage to having a single resources dedicated to a single resource if you intent to make use of the Meyer Orts Gazetteer.


Meyers Orts – A Directory of Place Names

The Gothic Typeface Used in Meyers

How to Read Meyers Orts Entries

Sample Translation

Common Abbreviations used in the Meyers Orts Gazetteer


Understanding Meyers Orts: Translating Guide for the Directory of the Towns and Places in the German Empire is available from Family Roots Publishing, Price: $7.84.

Mocavo Buys Digitizing Firm, ReadyMicro

The following excerpt is from the September 24, 2012 edition of Boulder County Business Report.

BOULDERMocavo Inc., a Boulder-based startup that is developing a genealogy search engine, announced Friday it has purchased a Utah company and is undergoing a major evolution.

Mocavo, a TechStars 2011 graduate, purchased ReadyMicro, which is based in Orem, Utah. ReadyMicro specializes in digitizing historical records.

Mocavo will continue to operate in Boulder, and employees from ReadyMicro will remain in Utah. The company is hiring at both offices.

The acquisition will allow Mocavo to broaden its reach and expand beyond searches, the company announced on its blog.

Read the full article.

Tom Hanks Related to Abraham Lincoln

Tom Hanks is related to one of America’s most famous presidents, Abraham Lincoln, it has been revealed.

The Oscar-winning actor is the third cousin, four generations removed, of the assassinated leader through the president’s mother, Nancy Hanks.
Lincoln’s great-great-grand-father was John Hanks, who was also Tom’s great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather.

Details of the genealogical link were revealed by Hanks, 56, as it was announced he will narrate a film called Killing Lincoln. “It’s odd to say the killing of Abraham Lincoln is an unknown story but it may as well be,” the Daily Express quoted him as saying.

German Maps & Facts For Genealogy

German Maps & Facts For Genealogy is a book by by Wendy Uncapher & Linda Herrick. This book points out the uniqueness of Germany in over 100 maps including detailed historic maps of kingdoms, duchies, and principalities, to hand-rendered maps showing the religion of the states, location of major rivers, and what was included in Prussia. The German Settlement Growth map reaches as far back as 700 A.D. On the whole, the maps cover, in some detail, time from the 1600s through World War II, which effectively established Germany’s boundaries as they are still known today.

Mixed with the maps are basic fact relative to the map. For example, the state maps include facts like size, dominant religion, former names, principal crops, livestock, industry, rivers, and more.

The German people lived scattered in towns and communities all over central and eastern Europe for centuries. While most lived in or near modern Germany, German influence and power was wide spread. These maps help the reader better understand the territories and influence of the German people over the centuries in Europe

The following maps are included in this book:

  • German Settlement Growth – showing the evolution of German settlement from abt. 700 AD through the early 1800s
  • Germany 1892 (detailed map from the Chicago Chronicles Unrivaled Atlas of the World, Rand McNally & Company, Chicago 1901. The map includes an index to the major cities in 1901, as well as an index to the Kingdoms, Duchies, and Principalities – making the map extremely useful
  • Holy Roman Empire – 800-1806
  • Confederation of the Rhone 1806-1814
  • German Confederation 1815-1866
  • North German Confederation 1866-1870
  • German Empire (Deutsches Reich) 1871-1918
  • Weimar Republic 1918-1933
  • Third Reich 1833-1945
  • Allied Occupation 1945-1949
  • German Democratic Republic (East Germany) 1949-1990
  • Federal Republic of German (West Germany) 1949-1990
  • Federal Republic of Germany 1990-Present
  • Germany’s European Neighbors- Post WWII-1989
  • German Colonies – with explanation text and dates
  • German Emigration to the U.S.
  • Areas Affected by Wars – includes: Bohemian War 1618-20; Palatinate War 1621-23; Lower Saxon-Danish War 1625-29; Polish-Swedish War 1625-29; Swedish War 1630-34; Franco-Swedish War 1635-48; Treaty of Westphalia – 1648 Peace settlement for Thirty Years Was; Northern War 1655-60; Wars of Louis XIV 1667-97; Great Northern War 1700-21; War of Spanish Succession 1701-1714; Wars of Austrian Succession 1740-48; and the Seven Years’ War 1765-63 (The Third Silesian War). These are separate maps showing the regions affected by the war (as well as those unaffected)
  • German Migration 1940-1951
  • Historic Regions of the German Empire
  • German Dialects
  • German-Speaking Areas in Europe
  • German-Speaking Area in Russia
  • Religion – showing the regions where those of the Roman Catholic & Evangelical principally lived
  • Civil Registration – showing when Civil Registration started for the regions of Germany
  • Population Density about 1870
  • Forest & Mountains – showing the mountain ranges and forest for Germany
  • Elevation map for Germany
  • Major German Rivers
  • Industrial Products – showing major products of industry for Germany
  • Farm Products – showing major farm products for Germany
  • Farm Layout – map showing how farms were typically laid out around the villages in Germany – the example used is Maden, Hesse-Kassel
  • Railway Growth – 3 maps 1850, 1866 and 1880 with a chart of early important railway links
  • Ports and Shipping Routes – Trade Routes from Major Emigration Ports
  • Travel Distance – showing the German Empire and relative distances
  • Prussia – maps for: Brandenburg Land by 1640; by 1744; by 1793; 1806-1815; 1815-1865; 1866-1918
  • Maps of German States
    • Alsace-Lorraine
    • Baden
    • Bavaria
    • Brandenburg
    • Brunswick & Anhalt & Waldeck
    • East Prussia
    • Hanover
    • Hesse
    • Lippe & Schaumburg-Lippe
    • Mecklenburg
    • Oldenburg
    • Palatinate
    • Pomerania
    • Posen
    • Rhineland
    • Kingdom of Saxony
    • Province of Saxony
    • Schleswig-Holstein
    • Silesia
    • Thuringia
    • Westphalia
    • West Prussia
    • Wuerttemberg (Württemberg)
  • Relationship Map of Central Germany 1871 – showing how the German States lay out in relationship to each other
  • Detailed Map of Thuringia

Also found in this book are population charts; timelines showing why people left, where they left from, and where they were heading; migration figures; terms; lists of rivers, forests, and mountains. Following is a listing of some of the charts, text and timelines:

  • Events That Affected Migration
  • Most Common Reasons to Leave for all Time Periods
  • Annual Migration Statistics
  • German Emigration to the U.S.
  • Germanic Migration in Europe
  • German Migration 1940-1951
  • German Dialects
  • Religion – showing numbers of those of the Evangelical, Catholic, Jewish, Other, and non-Christian Religions in 1871 (by German State)
  • 1875 Male & Female Population for the German States
  • Population for German States in Selected Years
  • Population for the German States in 1855 & 1871
  • German Rivers by name of river and German state/states in which it flows
  • Major Ports Used by German Emigrants – with details and timeline
  • Place Names in Other Languages (German – English – French – Polish – Other)
  • Terms found in Records
  • Postal Codes
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Order German Maps & Facts For Genealogy from Family Roots Publishing;Price: $19.75.

The Learning Channel May Pick Up “Who Do You Think You Are?”

The following teasor is from the September 20, 2012 edition of Bloomberg Businessweek:

Cross you fingers, and hope… A few prayors couldn’t hurt.

Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA)’s TLC is in talks to pick up “Who Do You Think You Are,” a show that works with Inc. (ACOM) to unearth the genealogy of celebrities, two people familiar with the discussions said.

Producers of the television show, which was canceled by NBC earlier this year, are also in talks with other networks, said the people, who asked not to be identified yesterday because the discussions are private. Negotiations with the TLC cable network are at an advanced stage, one of the people said.

NBC’s cancellation contributed to a plunge that shaved a third of’s market value earlier this year. A new show would help attract more users and boost prospects for the sale of the company, which has been talking to potential buyers, people familiar with the discussions said last month.

Read the full article.

Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors

Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors is a collection of articles written by Civil War expert David A. Norris. These articles bring together Norris expertise on the War with his passion for genealogy. These articles examine all different types of records, both military and civilian, to hep the researcher identify potential resources and to find those critical records.

As I read some of the articles in this publication, I realized there are aspects of the war I had previously not considered. In the very first article the author points out how, “most former civil war officers had to accept much lower ranks in the shrunken postwar army.” A concept which sense but is rarely given due consideration. There are many such tidbit of knowledge and insight to be had in these articles.

As the country, over a four year period, recognizes the 150th anniversary of America’s most troubled period, genealogists can take advantage of the spotlight on the war as means to find even more historical data and records than ever before. To see how this collection can help the researcher discover ancestral information from this time period, see the following list of articles presented in this 82 page journal:

  • The First Steps to Finding a Civil War Ancestor – Some thoughts and tips on getting started in Civil War research.
  • Companies and Regiments: Civil War Army Units – Knowing how the armies were structured will help you understand records and references.
  • Non-Regimental and “Untypical” Soldiers – Some tips for finding soldier ancestors in unusual categories.
  • Emergency Troops, Militia and Home Guard – Records of temporary units might reveal a hard-to-find ancestor’s service.
  • Ensigns and Engineers: Ancestors in the Navies – Though tracking a relative in the navy can be challenging, there are many valuable resources available.
  • US Colored Troops and African-American Sailors – Here are some resources for African-Americans who served in the Civil War.
  • Southern Loyalists and “Galvanized Yankees” – Here are some resources to check for Southern ancestor’s who served with the Union.
  • To Helmira and Back: Prisoners of War – POW resources can fill in holes in your ancestor’s record, or reveal the fate of a missing ancestor.
  • Medical Records and Hospital Personnel – Records from Civil War hospitals contain a wealth of information on soldiers and staff.
  • Military Pay Resources – Civil War payroll records pay off again for genealogists.
  • The Civil War and the Census – Pre- and postwar censuses offering important information on the lives and families of veterans.
  • The 1865 Parole Lists: To the Very End – These documents list the Confederate soldiers who endured to the end of the war.
  • Finding You Ancestors’ Flags – Regimental flags had important practical and symbolic purposes for Civil War Soldiers.
  • Buried in History: Civil War Cemeteries – Finding a soldier’s grave can seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be a lost cause.
  • Civil War Pension Records and Wartime Relief – Pension records are a genealogical treasure trove for soldiers and their families.
  • Confederate State Pension Resources – A state-by-state guide to locating Confederate pension records.
  • Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Widows’ Resources – The records of these institutions may contain a wealth of detail that can’t be found elsewhere.
  • Civil War Veterans’ Groups – Records of veterans’ organizations might let you follow your ancestor into the 20th-century.
  • Wartime Civilian Records– Relatives who were not in the military may still have left a wealth of information about their lives.
  • Amnesty Papers and Southern Claims – Some potentially helpful sources for Southern relatives.
  • Spies, Smugglers and “Disloyal Citizens” – Records of civilian prisoners include ordinary citizens, political prisoners, and even politicians.
  • Finding Civil War Income Tax Records – You might find that your ancestors’ 1860s tax records are a source of family history.
  • A Gift From the Past: Civil War Newspapers – Here are some tips on finding your newsmaker ancestors.
  • A Picture in time: Civil War Era Photographs – You can find photos of people and places connected to your family, or even your ancestors.
  • Best of the Best: Classic Civil War Resources – These records contain the most essential information for Civil War Research.
  • National Archives Records – A soldier’s Compiled Military Service Record contains some of the most essential details of his service.
  • Finding Your Way Through the Civil War With Maps – Maps can help you follow your ancestor during the war or find a family farm near a battlefield.

Don’t miss this opportunity for a great deal on expert advice to finding Civil War era records and document. The booklet is heavily illustrated, highly informative, and a great value at only $9.95! Order your copy of Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: MM004.

Kinship: It’s All Relative; Expanded Second Edition

Who is your kin? The answer is not always as clear as it may seem. Culture, laws, and personal opinions all play a part in who people consider to be their kin. From marriage and divorce to childbirth, surrogacy, and adoptions the opinions and legal definitions have varied widely over time and differ from place to place. Differences don’t just exist between different countries and areas of the world, but even state by state laws can vary widely. Jackie Smith Arnold tries to unravel some of the complexity behind family relations in her book Kinship: It’s All Relative; Expanded Second Edition.

Jackie provides clarity and consideration to modern concerns and issues around family ties. Right up front, in chapter one, she explores kinship and why it matters. She gives an overview and consideration to just about every family connection we see in today’s world. In marriage there are options you may not even be aware of. Did you know proxy marriage are possible, as are secret marriages? Arnold makes a point of note that while there are secret marriages there are no secret divorces in the U.S. What exactly is a common-law marriage and which states allow them? You can find out in the book.

What makes up a family? This expanded second edition attempts to answer that very question; including an newly appended chapter on same-sex marriages. The chapter on family covers issues, including, children, foster children, adoptions, illegitimate children, adult adoptions, family responsibilities to relatives, and more. Chapter by chapter you will likely find some tidbit of information you were not aware of. If you have ever wondered how to explain complex family relations, like third cousins once removed, well that is in here as well.

Kinship: It’s All Relative; Expanded Second Edition is fun and educational at the same time. If you ever thought family relationships were complex, you were right. However, Arnold’s book will help you clear up any misunderstandings as well as open your eyes to a whole new modern world of concerns on both a legal as well as a personal level. To be clear, this book does not provide legal definitions, but rather looks at how laws are different across the country and how legal definitions of family have changed over time. This is not a legal manual, but rather a guide to help families and individuals better understand what kinship really is.


Table of Contents


1 Kinship

  • Why does kinship matter?
  • How the family go started
  • Enter the patriarchy

2 Marriage

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Live-ins

3 Kinship Groups

  • Belonging to a family
  • Types of family
  • Ascents and descents
  • Three families at once

4 Our Three Families

  • Family of orientation
  • Family of procreation
  • Family of affinity

5 Family

  • Family defined
  • Family law
  • Children
  • Adoption
  • Adoption annulments
  • Responsibilities of other relatives
  • Grandparents’ rights
  • Grandparent resource test
  • Miscellaneous
  • Vital statistics

6 Names

  • Surnames of married women
  • Surnames of children
  • First names
  • Name changes

7 Wills

8 Kinship and Your Health

  • Your genetic inheritance
  • Al, in vitro, and surrogacy
  • Medical charts

Medical Charts

  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Self and spouse
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Great-grandparents

9 Tracing Your Family Tree

  • Family history
  • Immediate sources
  • More distant sources
  • Why research?

10 Kinship and the Future

  • Families in the future
  • Kinship, who needs it?


Bibliography and Reference List



Kinship Update: Same-Sex Marriage


A copy of Kinship: It’s All Relative; Expanded Second Edition is ready for you at Family Roots Publishing; Item #: GPC178, Price: $14.65.

National Archives and JFK Library Mark 50th Anniversary of Cuban Missile Crisis in October To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Washington, DC: The Cuban Missile Crisis—13 days in October 1962—when the world teetered on the edge of thermonuclear war, is the subject of a new exhibition, “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” opening in October at the National Archives Building in downtown Washington.

The exhibition, coming on the 50th anniversary of that historic time, opens October 12, 2012, in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building and will run through February 2, 2013. Admission is free. It then travels to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, where it opens April 12 and runs through November 11, 2013.

“To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis” was created by curators at the Kennedy Library and designers from the National Archives, and features items from their respective collections. It is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T with special recognition to the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family.

Early in the Fall of 1962, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered a secret deployment of a nuclear strike force in Cuba, just 90 miles from the United States—with missiles that could reach most major U.S. cities in less than five minutes. President Kennedy emphatically stated that the missiles would not be tolerated, and insisted on their removal. Khrushchev refused. The standoff nearly caused a nuclear exchange and is remembered in this country as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

“To the Brink” is a look back at the crisis from the 50-year mark. The exhibit shows Kennedy and his advisers in the throes of deliberation during 13 agonizing days in October 1962, as the United States and the then-Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear war. The peaceful resolution of the crisis with the Soviets is considered to be one of Kennedy’s greatest achievements.

Featuring clandestine real-time White House recordings from Kennedy’s meetings in October 1962, the exhibit allows visitors to listen in on the government’s high level meetings as the President and his advisers worked furiously to avert a nuclear catastrophe. Original documents, artifacts, and photographs from the National Archives and its Kennedy Library complement the tapes in a dramatic presentation that engages the visitor into this milestone 20th-century event.

The White House Recordings
The President mobilized a group of advisers to help him navigate the crisis and sort through the ever-changing intelligence reports he was receiving. With the President guiding the discussions, they argued heatedly—and passionately—over the best course of action. Unbeknownst to almost all the participants, Kennedy had recorded those White House meetings.

The tapes comprise a valuable historical resource and a real-time glimpse back into the highest level of deliberations. They are the raw stuff of history and capture not only the options under consideration, but also the tension, anxiety, drama, and, at times, fatigue, that permeated the talks.

“To the Brink” offers visitors the chance to:

  • Watch clips from Kennedy’s October 22, 1962, address to the nation, informing the American people of the Soviet arms buildup in Cuba.
  • See JFK’s doodles from October 1962. Kennedy had a habit of jotting down words, notes, and doodles during meetings. These papers are now official records and are preserved as part of the President’s papers.
  • Hear Kennedy and his advisers discuss and debate the crisis in “real time” as they view evidence of Soviet nuclear missile sites in Cuba and deliberate on how best to respond.
  • Examine satellite photographs of missile sites under construction, images that were shown to Kennedy on October 16, 1962.
  • Review CIA-prepared Personality Studies of Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro.
  • See the map of Cuba used and annotated by the President when he was first briefed by the CIA on the missiles. The President’s annotations mark the locations where the Soviets were believed to have placed nuclear weapons.
  • Read secret correspondence between Kennedy and Khrushchev.
  • See the original chairs used by Kennedy and Khrushchev during the 1961 Summit meeting in Vienna, Austria—the only occasion where the two leaders formally met face-to-face; they were photographed seated on these chairs at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna.

Follow the Cuban Missile Crisis in real time as the JFK Library tweets the 13 days: @JFKLibrary, hashtag #13Days.

The Archives Shop will feature an exhibition catalog and related products in conjunction with “To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” All Archives Shop proceeds support the National Archives Experience and educational programming at the National Archives.

The Fall issue of Prologue Magazine, the Archives’ flagship publication, will feature an article by Martin J. Sherwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, titled, “One Step from Nuclear War, the Cuban Missile Crisis at 50: In Search of Historical Perspective.” Prologue is available in the Archives Shop.

The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Fall/winter hours are 10 AM-5 PM (September 4 through March 14). The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is located in Boston.

Salt Lake Christmas Tour… Week’s Peek – Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee Are Both Joining Us This Year!

Do you recognize both these folks?

Both of them, Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee, are Big Name Top Notch Well Known Professional Genealogists and they are Great Teachers and Presenters and both will be helping YOU on our next annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour coming up in December.


If you need another reason to come this year, here I’ve given you two good reasons!



Lisa Alzo’s class topics (chosen by her and Leland) are: (1) Identifying Your Ancestor’s Village of Origin Using North American Records;  (2) Best Websites for European Research;  (3) Write Your Family History Step-by-Step. Lisa will also be helping YOU with one-on-one time slots in the library too.

You’ve read Lisa’s articles in all the major genealogical magazines and Leland carries her books in his FamilyRoots Publishing Bookshop. Spending time with Lisa will be a marvelous treat and excellent learning experience.

Stay tuned for more Tour News!

Donna, aka Mother Hen, until next week.

British Archives Digitizes World War I Diaries

Last month the [British] National Archives announced that is was digitizing World War I war diaries. Here is the announcement replicated from the Archive’s site:

The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis For Everyone

When it comes to your ancestor’s photographs, has the fat lady sung her last? Do you feel that there is little to nothing more you can gain from examining these visual records? If you ask Colleen Fitzpatrich these questions she will tell you absolutely not. She will ask you questions like:

  • Have you ever considered using an ultraviolet light to date your photos?
  • What does it mean if you find a photo on the back of an old picture?
  • Can you spot a fake?
  • Can you tell what camera was used to take a picture of someone posing in his BVDs?

While very few people will work as photo experts, everyone can learn the basic investigation techniques to work like one. Through some tricks, creative thinking, and a developed eye, anyone can learn to expertly evaluate a photograph. In The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone, Fitzparick shows the reader how to evaluate and pull information from photographs, without needing a college degree in photography, forensic evidence, or rocket science.

There are books which will show the reader how to analyze a photograph, to pull out visual clues and use them to tell a story about the subjects of these photos. Fitzpatrick takes the process further by helping the reader not just gain an eye for details, but to use critical reasoning and modern tools to gain greater knowledge of what is found. Using online resources with maps and catalogs, a little imagination and some diligence can lead to great rewards.


Table of Contents

What is a Photo Really Saying?

Remember to Look at the Back

  • Remember to Look at the Back!
  • What if You Can’t See the Back?
  • What if the Writing is There but it is Hard to See?
  • Lot Numbers, Logos, Personal Marks
  • A Ghost Image
  • The Edges
  • The Paper
  • The Shape
  • The Mat
  • Summary
  • References

Two Short Case Studies

  • I. A Ghost Image – The Hodder Comparison
  • II. The Mat – Father and Son
  • References

Details, Details

  • Just Plain Details
  • What Can I Tell about the Picture from the Clothing?
  • The “Occasional” Photograph
  • Where?
  • As Time Goes By
  • Wanna Date?
  • Don’t Miss a Thing!
  • References

The Belgian Orphans

  • Hard and Soft Clues
  • “The” Clue
  • Which Way Does the Flag Hang?
  • White or Yellow Stripe?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Comité Natinal de Secours et d’Alimentation
  • Further Investigation
  • A Few Notes
  • Summary

The Photographer

  • Charles Eisenmann
  • Reference

Reach Out and Touch Someone

This Photo is OK!

  • References

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

  • Types of Fake Photos
  • Changes in Context
  • Change in Content
  • Spotting a Fake

Relative Amnesia

  • A Providential Escape
  • The Next Chapter
  • A Major Breakthrough
  • A Few Emails and a Reunion
  • The End of the Story
  • References

The History of Photography Part I

  • Introduction
  • The Beginning
    • The Box
    • The Lens
    • The Recording Materials
  • The Daguerreotype
  • Outdoor Photography
  • The Ambrotype
  • Union Cases
  • Tintypes
  • In the Meantime
    • Aerial Photography
    • Stereoviews
    • Underwater Photography
  • References

History of Photography Part II

  • The Birth of the Paper Photograph
  • Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards
  • Sun Picture Tax Stamps
  • Three-Layer Collodion and Gelatin Prints
  • References

Age Progression

  • References

Photographic Identification

  • References

The Dead Horse Investigation

  • Putting Things Into Perspective
  • Camouflaged Locomotive
  • City Directories
  • References


Get this guide from Family Roots Publishing; In The Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone, Price $24.99. Adds to Its Learning Center Lessons

The’s Learning Center offers hundreds of online courses to assist genealogists with their research skills. A recent article on FamilySearch’s blog indicates the addition of new lessons.

The following list appears on the blog:

Find many more lessons at the Learning Center.