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Royal Household Staff Records Go Online for the First Time

The following news release was received from Debra Chafield at

Discover who served Britain’s Kings and Queens from King Charles II to King George V, at

‘Chocolate Maker to the Queen’, ‘Keeper of the Lions in the Tower’ and ‘Moletaker’ among some of the most extraordinary roles

Have you ever wondered who works in a Royal Household, or whether you might have a connection to someone who served the Royal Family? In celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, family history website, in association with the Royal Archives, has today launched the Royal Household Staff Lists, a detailed collection made available online for the first time.

Previously only accessible at Windsor Castle by appointment, these rarely viewed records cover royal residences across the UK including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and St. James’ Palace, and include 50,000 staff records from the reign of King Charles II to King George V between 1660 and 1924. With details such as name, occupation, age, length of service and salary, the records paint a vivid picture of life in a Royal court, revealing what it takes to run a Royal Household and the wide range of duties involved in serving the British Monarchy.

Debra Chatfield, family historian at, commented: “To be able to view these records online for the first time is incredibly exciting – not only for people worldwide with an interest in the British Monarchy, but also for anyone wanting to confirm family rumours about connections to those who worked for the Royal Household! With such a broad range of trades and occupations spanning four centuries of Royal Household history, almost anyone could find they’re connected to those who served the Crown!”

Pages, physicians and the ‘Chocolate Maker to the Queen’
A reigning monarch typically had 1000 staff in the Royal Household. The biggest department was the Lord Chamberlain’s Department, which had on average 700 staff and was responsible for the ceremonial and social life of the Court. Traditionally, employees in this department included the ‘above stairs’ servants such as pages, craftsmen, chaplains, physicians, musicians, watermen and Yeomen of the Guard. There are also a number of most unusual occupations listed among the Royal Household staff:

Extraordinary Job Titles in the Royal Household*

  1. Chocolate Maker to the Queen
  2. Yeoman of the Mouth to Her Majesty Queen Mary in the Pantry
  3. Necessary Woman to the Corridor and Entrance Hall
  4. Keeper of the Lions in the Tower
  5. Moletaker
  6. Master of the Game of Cock Fighting
  7. Groom of the Removing Wardrobe
  8. Groom of the Stole
  9. Strewer of Herbs
  10. Laundress of the Body Linen<

The records reveal charming details of life in the Royal Household. Queen Anne, for example, had such a penchant for barley cream and posset, according to records from 1702, that she engaged two women of the Bedchamber to make them and other ‘spoon meats’ for £60 per annum. Examples like this provide a fascinating snapshot into royal tastes centuries ago.

Inside the Royal Kitchen
In the run up to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, it is also interesting to compare how the Royal Household prepared for previous Jubilee celebrations, including that of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee 115 years ago.

According to the records, Gabriel Tschumi was Master Chef to three monarchs: Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V, having joined the Royal Household as a cook’s apprentice at the age of 16. For Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee banquet in 1897, 24 additional chefs were brought over from Paris to help with the cooking. What’s more, the younger apprentices in the kitchens attempted to grow their moustaches to resemble those of their French superiors!**

The Royal Family and their guests, including several crowned heads of Europe, dined on a banquet of Normandy sole, lamb chops, roast beef, quail and tongue, with pineapple fritters and meringue for dessert.***

Professor Robert Bucholz, renowned expert on officials of the Royal Household and Professor of History at Loyola University of Chicago, commented: “The court at Whitehall, St. James’s and Buckingham Palace was not just the seat of the most powerful government in the world; it was the political, social and cultural centre of the nation. Thus the records of Royal Household staff, preserved in the Royal Archives at Windsor and now made available online through, are the record of their service to the British crown.

Bucholz continued: “Professional historians have long had access to these records, but now ordinary citizens from around the world have the opportunity to track down ancestors here. Indeed, even I – an American of German and Mexican descent – found a namesake: one George Buckholtz, livery pony boy, undoubtedly part of the German contingent serving at the later Hanoverian court.”

Debra Chatfield concluded: “People across the globe continue to be fascinated by the British Royal Family, as well as the relationship between ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ life. In the year of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, this is the perfect opportunity to explore your family history and discover whether you have an ancestor who worked for the Royal Household.”

The Royal Household Staff records can be searched for free at Transcripts and scanned images of the original documents can be viewed with PayAsYouGo credits or a Full subscription.

* Extraordinary job titles:

  1. John Teed, Chocolate Maker to the Queen from 1735-1737
  2. George Brewster, Yeoman of the Mouth to Her Majesty Queen Mary in the Pantry from 1691-1704
  3. Mary Brettel, Necessary Woman to the Corridors and Entrance Hall, St. James’s Palace from 1830-1836
  4. John Bristow, Keeper of the Lions in the Tower from 1757-1777
  5. John Turner, Moletaker in 1727
  6. Henry Browne, Master of the Game of Cockfighting in 1661
  7. Arundel Bull, Groom of the Removing Wardrobe from 1661-1668
  8. Charles Ingoldsby Paulet, 13th Marquess of Winchester, Groom of the Stole from 1812-1837
  9. Anne Fellowes, Strewer of Herbs at the Coronation of King George IV
  10. Anne Dove, Mistress Laundress of the Body Linen to King William III from 1689-1697

** Source: The Royal Archives Collection – ‘For The Royal Table: Dining at the Palace’.

*** Source: The Royal Household – Queen Victoria’s Scrapbook:

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Exploring Our Lives: A Writing Handbook for Senior Adults

You don’t need to be a “senior,” or even close, to make use of and enjoy Exploring Our Lives: A Writing Handbook for Senior Adults by Francis E. Kazemek. As the title suggests, this book is designed to help people write their own life stories. Perhaps Francis simply feels that being a “senior” simply means having enough experience to have enough to say, even if the person doesn’t believe it themselves. That said, this book is unique.

There are many books about the subject, and many follow the same pattern and offer roughly the same advice. Exploring Our Lives takes a different approach. In addition to offering some the typical topics and basic writing concepts this book also offers unique approaches to seeing our own lives in different ways and explorers different writing styles in which to express one’s memories and feelings. In these pages, Kazemek covers more than the typical narrative, additional styles are explored, such as poetry and fiction for sharing memories. The author comments:

“In over twenty years of conducting writing workshops with Seniors, I have found again and again that people who are convinced they can write only biographical stories in prose are surprised and excited at their latent ability to write poetry, fictional short stories, and children’s books.”

This books helps the reader look at their lives from different angles. Considering alternative writing methods, such as poetry, short stories, and others, helps promote stimulate the creative side of the brain and helps the reader take a look at their own lives from those alternate angles. Each chapter reviews a different type of writing, along with tools for reviewing and editing one’s writing. Mixed in are the memory recall guides and topic suggestions found in many other books; but still, with the author’s own twist. These, of course, help round out this book, making it a complete guide to memoir writing.



Introduction: Honoring Memory

Chapter One: Getting Started

Chapter Two: Writing & Writers

Chapter Three: Remembering Our Live

Chapter Four: Writing about Memorable People

Chapter Five: Form Poetry

Chapter Six: Writing Our Lives

Interlude: Fathers and Sons

Chapter Seven: Photographs and Writing

Chapter Eight: Free Poetry

Chapter Nine: Fiction

Chapter Ten: Children’s Picture Books

Chapter Eleven: Diaries & Dream Journals

Chapter Twelve: Writing Groups and Writing Resources

Coda: Living with Grace, Force, and Fascination


Find new ways to share your memories in Exploring Our Lives: A Writing Handbook for Senior Adults, available at Family Roots Publishing; Item #: SM264, Price: $14.65.

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War of 1812 Records FREE at Fold3 During June

Fold3 has opened up all of their War of 1812 records to the public for free during June. This is in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the commencement of the war. The collection consists of more than 400,000 images including 233,000 images from the War of 1812 Pension Files never before available online. The following databases provided for free included:

War of 1812 Pension Files
War of 1812 Prize Cases, Southern District Court, NY
Letters Received by The Adjutant General, 1805-1821
War of 1812 Service Records

The Pension files that are included are only a small percentage of the entire collection that will eventually be available online. For more information on the War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, visit

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Taking the Census in the Applegate Valley of Oregon

The following article was written by my friend, by William Dollarhide:

Dollarhide’s Rule No. 37: The Post Office shown on the census page where your ancestors are listed is for a town which appears on known map ever published.

During my first five years as a genealogy addict, from 1972 to 1977, I moved into the Hungerford Hotel, next door to the downtown Seattle Public Library, home of one of the best genealogy collections on the West Coast. My wife thought genealogy was really stupid, so I divorced her, and moved into a hotel room by myself. I was able to get a job within walking distance of the hotel. And, I could use my lunch hour to head to the library to do some genealogy work; plus after work every evening, and of course, all-day Saturdays and half-day Sundays, in all, about 37 hours per week. In the evenings, after the library closed at 9:00 p.m., and after an hour or so at the hotel’s coffee shop, I might loiter around the hotel lobby talking to people or watching TV. One fellow who became a favorite conversation buddy, was John Graham, an older bachelor. After telling John about my experiences using the censuses, he told me a story about the time he was a census enumerator for the 1950 federal census.

His Enumeration District was in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon. That rural area was one of the earliest settled areas of Oregon, with homestead farms dating back to the late 1840s, before the provisional Oregon Territory was officially part of the U.S. But the Applegate Valley was by-passed by the railroads and main transportation routes established further east in the 1880s, particularly those between Grants Pass and Medford.

In 1950, when my former census-taker friend John Graham visited many of the farms in the Applegate Valley, he was often stopped by a farmer at the front gate pointing a shotgun at him. He was reminded that he was on private property and that his presence there was not welcome. Over 100 years had not changed the folks living there much, and the hard-nosed, stubborn, Oregon pioneer need for privacy was still a way of life. John said he had to go back to about 50 different farms two and three times, under orders from his supervisor – but each time he was met with a shotgun. Finally, he turned the job over to his supervisor, who ended up estimating the number of people living in each of the uncooperative farmhouses, by interviewing the Postmaster, neighbors, old-timers, etc., and then let them have their privacy.

Today, the modern Interstate Highway (I-5) from Medford to Grants Pass is an easy 35-minute cruise along the Rouge River of Southern Oregon. To take the route that Lindsay Applegate blazed in 1848, jump off I-5 at Medford and head for Jacksonville, the old county seat of Jackson County, and where the old 1870s court house is now a museum and genealogical research library. From Jacksonville, head towards Applegate on OR Highway 238, which eventually will take you back to I-5 near Grants Pass. Going this way from Medford to Grants Pass will take well over an hour longer, and follows the Applegate River the whole distance. You will see the Applegate Valley about the same way that Lindsay Applegate first saw it, i.e., natural flowing white-water, and the towering evergreens of the foothills to the Pacific Coastal Range. Most of the man-made things are nearly hidden and the natural beauty of the valley is still unspoiled. Several of the original homestead log cabin farmhouses, and the picturesque covered bridges would have certainly made the place a favorite of Norman Rockwell, had he known about it. Outside of Oregon, the Applegate Valley is still mostly unknown.

Back in the mid 1970s, I recall stopping in the town of Applegate once, which consisted of a 100-year-old General Store and maybe three or four other buildings. Inside the General Store was an enclosed corner serving as the Post Office for much of the valley. I remember counting the PO Boxes, and learned that about sixty valley residents got their mail there. But right after my visit to Applegate, some dramatic changes started to take place. The lava-rich soil and moderate climate of the Applegate Valley was discovered to be a perfect place for planting vineyards, and the valley was located within the same latitudes as the prime wine regions of Europe. The Applegate Valley still looks much the same, over 170 years after the first farms were established there – except the valley is now an official U.S. Wine Appellation in Oregon. Driving the valley hasn’t changed, but as you look up on the hills above the valley, the view is now second-growth forests interspersed with vineyard after vineyard.

Some things have remained the same. Most of the original farms are still there and mostly inhabited by descendants of the original pioneer homesteads.

In the 1950 Census of the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon, the figure may have been as high as 50% of all households were unresponsive. Actually, unresponsive households have been part of every census taker’s reality since 1790. There are always a number of households with problems requiring special attention. But the census takers have always handled this problem the same way. For example, in the 2010 census, Robert Groves, the Census Bureau director, decided to purchase additional advertising in locations where responses to the first round of mailed census questionnaires lagged behind. As was the case in all previous censuses, Groves also encouraged the Census Bureau enumerators to rely more on questioning neighbors or other reliable third parties when a person could not be immediately reached at home. It was estimated that about 22% of all U.S. households in the 2010 Census did not respond to the questionnaires and the detailed information about such unresponsive households was provided by third parties. Good grief! If the figure was 22% in 2010, what was it in the earlier censuses?

That might explain why there are so many obvious mistakes in the census, such as incorrect ages, places of birth, etc. – many of households were enumerated by someone not part of the family!

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Tracing Your Galway Ancestors

Galway county is Ireland’s second largest county. Galway covers 2,293 square miles; yet, a third of the population lives in Galway City alone. The city of Galway once served as the ancient trading port and home to the “14 Tribes” who inhabited the area. The western area bordered the sea and was supported mostly by fishing, while the eastern region holds rich farmland. The areas culture was diverse and so are its records of genealogical concern. Records for outlying areas are the most sporadic, with improved record survivability in and around Galway City. With over half the county’s population emigrating away after the Great Famine, people with Irish ancestry live in large numbers all over the world. To help researchers, both within and without the country, find and locate records for Galway, Peadar O’Dowd has written Tracing Your Galway Ancestors.

Unlike many areas in Ireland, Galway City was not founded by the Vikings; rather, the city was begun by Norman adventurers in the 1230s. The Normans were strangers and thus came the Gaelic title Gaillimh, from which Galway is derived, meaning “The Place of the Strangers.” The current population, according to the 2006 census, of Galway city is 72,414. The entire rest of the county only add about twice that number more, at 159,052. These population figures are probably a fraction of what they once were, as the entire country’s population if roughly two million fewer people than the county had in 1841. Mass emigration took its toll. So many people with family ties to Galway now live in other countries.

According the author, “it is the purpose of this book to help you trace your family roots, whatever your family’s place in the corridors of Galway history.” The author also makes note that the resources covered in this book are available to Galwegian descendants who now live in foreign lands (i.e. not Ireland). As suggested above, thousands emigrated from Galway through the port of Cobh in Cork County. Emigration began in the 1700s, increasing during the Great Famine, and continued into the early 1900s. Even into the 1930s as many as four ocean liners per week would stop in Galway Bay to collect passengers.

Family Roots Publishing is proud to bring Flyleaf Press books to a North American audience. In addition to Tracing Your Galway Ancestors, Family Roots Publishing carries a number of other titles, including other volumes in the Tracing Your [Irish County] Ancestors series.


Table of Contents

Tables and Illustration

Preface to Second Edition

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Getting Started

Chapter 3. Administrative Divisions

Chapter 4. Civil Registration

Chapter 5. Census and Census Substitutes

Chapter 6. Church Records

Chapter 7. Gravestone Inscriptions

Chapter 8. Land and Related Records

Chapter 9. Wills, Administration and Marriage Licences

Chapter 10. Commercial and Social Directions

Chapter 11. Newspapers

Chapter 12. Merchant Tribes and other Galway Families

Chapter 13. Further Reading and Useful Source

Chapter 14. Useful Addresses



Order Tracing Your Galway Ancestors from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: FLP017; Sale Price: $18.66; Price: $21.95.

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Heritage Quest Research Library in Sumner, Washington to be Open on Mondays During Summer of 2012

The following was received from Jim Johnson, Director at the Heritage Quest Research Library in Sumner, Washington:

The Heritage Quest Research Library will be open on Mondays from 10 AM to 4 PM during the months of June July and August.

Come down and visit this Monday as we celebrate 1 year in our new location.

AutumnQuest information: Lisa Louise Cooke, our featured speaker

The information for our annual AutumnQuest Seminar on October 13th is now on our website at

A printable registration form can be found at

HQRL is located at:
1007 Main Street
Sumner, WA 98390
Our Web address is: (click on “find us” for directions.)
Phone: 253-863-1806

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An Atlas of Southern Trails to the Mississippi

Religion, politics, and economics along with, in some cases, and healthy sense of discovery and exploration drove people to the New World. Those same factors drove people, from the earliest colonial days, to move ever westward. Standing between the early American colonies and the majority of the continent were the Appalachians. The entire mountainous region was thick with tree and undergrowth, hillsides and rivers, breached only by the game trails of buffalo and game. Settlers first conquered the region by foot and on horseback. Later, expanded trails allowed wagons to pass from the east into Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Cumberland River valleys. In all, it took 150 years to reach and settle the Ohio River. Another 75 years saw settlement up to the Mississippi. In 225 years from the first colony in 1625, European settlers has pushed and settled their way to the Mississippi, a distance of roughly 1,000 miles. Then California gold was discovered in 1849. In just six months, the remaining 2,000 miles from the Mississippi to the Pacific ocean was settled, with roads and wagon trails cut almost literally overnight.

In a previous review, we examined An Atlas of Appalachian Trails to the Ohio River, by Carrie Eldridge. The atlas covers shows the location of little known trails as well as the major routes which passed through Virginia during the earliest expansion years. In this review we examine An Atlas of Southern Trails to the Mississippi, also by Carrie Eldridge. This book looks at the maps and histories of those people and southern route taken from the thirteen original colonies westward to the Mississippi. Nature, geology, Indians, politics, even military land and roads played a part in the selection of routes to the west.

The atlas provides a pleasurable mix of history overview with details on how animal paths and Indian trails became major thoroughfares for westward heading settlers. At 11″ x 17″ this Atlas offers maps at a size which are easy to read. With two columns per text page, each the size of a standard page, this book is the equivalent to a book twice as thick. Below are the Table of Contents followed by a listing of the Maps and Illustrations in the order in which they appear in the book.


Table of Contents


Animal Paths to Pioneer Trails

North American Settlement

Nature’s Direction West by Southwest

Indians and the Land

Trails of the South

Carolina Settlement Prior to the Revolution

Western Problems

Patterns of Western Settlement After the Revolution

War and Necessity Demand Roads

Mississippi Gateway


Appendix A: Southern Pioneer Roads of Importance



Maps and Illustrations

Figure 1. Principle Indian Paths of the East

Figure 2. European Influence 1750

Figure 3. Early Colonial Transportation

Figure 4. Physical Features of the Southeast

Figure 5. Areas of Indian Control

Figure 6. Trails of the Southeast

Figure 7. Appalachian Trails to 1776

Figure 8. Pioneer Destinations North Carolina 1750-1799

Figure 9. South Carolina’s Frontier

Figure 10. Early Tennessee Settlements

Figure 11. Maryland Gazette – 1786

Figure 12. Maryland Gazette – 1789

Figure 13. Pioneer Destinations Land Grants and Colonies

Figure 14. Virginia Grant

Figure 15. Georgia’s 2nd Yazoo Companies

Figure 16. Pioneer Destinations Military Reserves 1778-1816

Figure 17. Georgia’s Western Expansion

Figure 18. Military Road of 1812

Figure 19. Beyond the Mississippi

Figure 20. Frontier Trails 1815

Figure 21. Indian Trails to Interstates


Order a copy of An Atlas of Southern Trails to the Mississippi from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: CE02, Price: $19.60.

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Tracing Your Cork Ancestors

The very first settlers to land on the Emerald Island came ashore in what is present day Cork. Cork is Ireland’s largest county of some 3,000 square miles and has played a significant part in Ireland’s history.Though few if any records of genealogical significance will be found for these early pioneers who settled in Cork, there are plenty of more recent records to be explored. Tracing Your Cork Ancestors guides the researcher through searching the past 200 years of records with a focus on Cork families and county history.

Not only is Cork county Ireland’s largest county, but it is also Ireland’s most populated county at around 480,000, or eight percent of the total population. According to the 1841 census, the Cork population in the past was closer to 850,000 people, at approximately ten percent of the total 1841 population. From the beginning, Cork has always played a major part in Ireland’s history. Cork was even the main point of emigration to North America, from the port town of Cobh (formerly Queenstown and earlier Cove). Despite its size and population, the majority of the people lived in as few as 20 principle town, with the rest living is diverse places, spread thin across the countryside. Researching records for Cork-based families is complicated by this diversity. Researching Ireland as a whole only multiplies this diversity with with noticeable, regional variation across the country’s records. This book uses Cork as an example for research. Cork specific resources are thoroughly vetted. As with anyone searching any Irish ancestor, national resources are also examined and covered, but always with an eye focused on Cork.

Resources covered include local libraries, archives, periodicals, and local histories. Chapters are ordered to provide a methodical approach to researching one’s Irish background. Chapters one to three provide a brief introduction to the topic, the book, and Irish immigration and emigration. Chapter four, possibly the most important chapter in the book, introduces the reader to Irish administrative divisions. Understanding towns, parishes, baronies and other means of dividing the civic and religious boundaries of residency across the county. The remaining chapters examine individual record types and resources for each.

Perhaps the most important thing to know about this book is it was written for a double market. This book is not specifically for North Americans or other foreigners looking into their Irish ancestry, but it is equally of importance to Irish nationals living at home with in interest in their own family’s past. Researching not just the national archives to be found in Dublin, but finding local copies and access to these records as well as those local records to be found at home in Cork county.

Tracing Your Cork Ancestors was written by Tony McCarthy & Tim Cadogan. This book was published in Ireland by Flyleaf Press. Family Roots Publishing is now importing Flyleaf Press books, currently stocking nine great titles. A few of these titles can only by found in the U.S. at Family Roots Publishing. Find a copy of Tracing Your Cork Ancestors at Family Roots Publishing; Item #: FLP007, On Sale for 15% off – 0$18.66 – Reg. Price: $21,95.


Table of Contents

Tables and Illustration

Preface to Second Edition

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Preliminaries

Chapter 3. Emigration & Emigration Sources

Chapter 4. Administrative Divisions

Chapter 5. Censuses

Chapter 6. Civil Registration

Chapter 7. Griffith’s Valuation

Chapter 8. Tithe Applotment Books

Chapter 9. Catholic Parish Records

Chapter 10. Church of Ireland Parish Records

Chapter 11. Commercial & Postal Directions

Chapter 12. Newspapers

Chapter 13. Records of the Graveyard

Chapter 14. Electoral Lists

Chapter 15. Occupational Sources

Chapter 16. Family Histories

Chapter 17. Miscellaneous Sources

Chapter 18. Researching in Cork

Chapter 19. Researching in Dublin

Chapter 20. Useful Information


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Mine Owners and Mines of the Colorado Gold Rush

In 1879, just three years after gaining statehood, Colorado experienced its own gold rush. That year, Thomas Corbett published a directory of Colorado’s know gold, silver, coal, and ore mines. Mine Owners and Mines of the Colorado Gold Rush, by Laurel Michele Wickersheim and Rawlene LeBaron, is an enhanced republishing of that directory.

Mine Owners and Mines of the Colorado Gold Rush provides a modern rendition of the original. This edition carefully reworks the list of mines to account for modern day county lines. The book also provides edits, annotation, and, perhaps most importantly, a full name index of mine owners, officers, and key employees. Every known mine from 1879 is listed alphabetically by county, with a separate section for coal and ore mills.

Details for each mine includes a brief description, date discovered, location, nature of the ore, etc. Throughout the book, the authors have included added histories and biographical notes. Also added are reprints of maps, photos, vintage postcards, and mining certificates. Most of the entries average six or seven line, such as this sample entry from Boulder County:

Belden. Frank C. Garbutt, and Thomas H. Baker, proprietors; office Devener; claim 150 by 1,500 feet; discovered 1874, located on Gold Run, Gold Hill mining district, 10 miles from Boulder; vertical vein running east and west, width 4 feet, pay vein 18 inches; nature of ore, gray copper and tellurium; assay value %400 per tone; main shaft 30 feet, and 1 other shaft 10 feet deep.”

Other entries run on for the better part of the page, but average somewhere around five or six entries per page for 463 pages. In all, there are a couple of thousand individuals listed in this book, all with a specific location at a specific time. This book has proven to be of great interest to both genealogist as well as historians; oh, and for a few geologists as well.





Colorado Mines, by County

  • Arapahoe County
  • Boulder County
  • Clear Creek County
  • Custer County
  • Gilpin County
  • Grand County
  • Hinsdale County
  • Huerfano County
  • Jefferson County
  • La Plata County
  • Lake County
  • Ouray County
  • Park County
  • Pueblo County
  • Rio Grande County
  • San Juan county
  • Summit County
  • Weld County

Name Index (mine owners, officers, and key employees)


Mine Owners and Mines of the Colorado Gold Rush is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBL3135.

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Peculiarities of the First Federal Censuses

The following article was written by my friend, William Dollarhide:

Dollarhide’s Rule No. 29: The page on the census where your ancestor’s town was enumerated has no page number.

Since the first census of 1790, the states have not been involved in taking a national census except to review and act on the reports generated. The national census has always been a federal responsibility. Congress did not get around to creating a “Census Office” until just before the 1850 census. And, the Bureau of the Census did not become a permanent federal agency until 1902.

Question (a test follows later): If not the responsibility of a state, and there was no census bureau, what federal agency was responsible for taking the first censuses?

Answer: The first nine censuses (1790-1870) were conducted by assistant federal marshals of the United States Federal Court System.

One U.S Marshal was assigned to each federal court district, and it was his job to hire and manage the assistant marshals to take the census door-to-door in his district. Beginning in 1800, a territorial governor was responsible for the census enumeration in a territory, but still used temporary assistant federal marshals to do the door-to-door work. The first census taken entirely by the federal Census Office, including hiring of door-to-door census takers, was the 1880 federal census.

Federal Court Districts vs States & Territories

For the first nine federal censuses, the federal court districts did not always match up with state or territorial boundaries. For example, at the time of the 1790 census, there were 16 federal court districts, but only 14 states. Vermont entered the Union as the 14th state in early 1791. Soon after, Congress passed a special law to include Vermont in the first census, with a census day designated as the first Monday in April, 1791, and with five months allowed to take the census there. The other federal court districts were enumerated with a census day on the first day in August 1790, with nine months to complete the enumeration. The 16 districts included the original 13 states, plus the new state of Vermont. But, there were also two federal court districts that had not become states yet.

In 1790, Virginia had two federal court districts, each with their own United States Court House. One Virginia district had the same boundaries as what was to become the state of Kentucky in 1792. Massachusetts also had two federal court districts, one of which had the same district boundaries as the future state of Maine. The rest of the states had federal court district boundaries that were the same as their state boundaries in 1790. In subsequent censuses, several states had more than one federal court district. Today, some states have as many as four federal court districts, which are generally determined by population size.

Territorial Censuses

The 1790 census, like all others, was taken for determining seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since people living in territories did not have representation in Congress, no perceived need existed for a census to be taken in the old Northwest Territory or the Southwest Territory. Soon after the law providing for the 1790 census was enacted, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, perhaps as an afterthought, wrote a letter to the governor of the Southwest Territory (the territory that became the state of Tennessee in 1796). Jefferson asked Governor Blount if he wouldn’t mind taking a census, even though it was not required under the law; and he had neither money allocated, nor a federal marshal to do it. But, since he knew that Blount had “sheriffs who will be traversing their Districts for other purposes,” Jefferson wondered if the Governor could ask them to take a census “arranged under the same classes prescribed . . . for the general census.” Blount complied, in a way, by providing the secretary with a count of the territory’s inhabitants but without listing their names. His report was dated 19 September 1791.

Presumably, Jefferson would have asked the same for Governor St. Clair of the Northwest Territory in 1790, but St. Clair was up to his neck fighting off Indian attacks and not available for much else that year. No enumeration of the Northwest Territory was taken until 1800, which in that year had been reduced in size with the creation of Indiana Territory. 1800 was also the first census taken in the state of Tennessee.

Early Census Takers

Before the March 1790 law authorizing the first census, there was much debate in Congress about the various aspects of the first census, including the compensation for an assistant marshal. Several members of Congress were worried that the amount was not high enough to attract people to the job. One member of Congress reminded his colleagues of the Bible story about King David, who was blamed for a terrible plague in Israel immediately after a census was taken. The representative from New York remembered that back in the 1770s most of the residents of a New York town had fallen sick right after they had been visited by a British census taker. The representatives wondered if taking a census would ever be possible, given the prevailing superstitions about censuses overall. Nevertheless, in the end, a sum of about $44,000 was spent in taking the 1790 census that was reported to the President in a pamphlet of fifty-six pages. That worked out to a cost of about 1.1 cents per person enumerated. In comparison, the 2010 Census cost $13 billion or about $42.00 per capita, and was officially reported in over a half-million pages of data.

Compensation paid to the assistant marshals who were taking the 1790 census was set by law to be $1.00 for every 300 persons in cities and towns containing more than 5,000 people, and $1.00 for every 150 persons in rural areas. However, the law allowed the U.S. marshal to pay $1.00 for every 50 persons in areas determined to be sparsely populated or difficult to reach, subject to a ruling by the federal judge in his district. Each assistant marshal was given a sample copy of the 1790 census form; and he was expected to make all his own copies, ruling the lines of the forms himself. He was also required to pay for his pens, ink, paper, and all other expenses incurred in taking the census.

Samuel Bradford, the assistant marshal for the city of Boston, began his work door-to-door on 2 August 1790, and by 21 August had completed his enumeration. In 1790, Boston had a population of 18,320 people. Bradford’s notebook shows that the work required seventeen working days. He enumerated an average of 1,075 persons per day. As his compensation was $1.00 for every 300 persons, his earnings amounted to about $3.59 per day, a figure much higher than his rural counterparts and not a bad wage for 1790.

Mr. Bradford could have learned how to increase his pay even more by the example of Clement Biddle, the U.S. marshal for the state of Pennsylvania. Biddle was in charge of the 1790 census taken in that state. Coincidentally, in 1791, Biddle published a directory of the city of Philadelphia, which, apparently, was a profitable success. Comparing the names in the 1791 directory with the 1790 census returns for Philadelphia reveals that Mr. Biddle added very little to his directory. Publishing the city directory may have been a plan of Mr. Biddle’s all along – the Philadelphia 1790 census list included occupations for heads of household, which, of course, was information repeated in the Biddle directory. “Occupation” was not a category on Mr. Biddle’s sample census format given to him by the U.S. Secretary of State. Click here for a look at Clement Biddle’s 1791 Philadelphia Directory.

Census Taker Complaints

Mr. Bradford of Boston and Mr. Biddle of Philadelphia both did fairly well in 1790. But, most census takers were not having much job satisfaction. For example, after taking the Morgan County, North Carolina, census in 1790, the assistant marshal there wrote a few words of complaint at the end of his list of names:

“I have been Closely Employd Since the 25 of December Last. One Other man has been closely Employd Since the 6th of January; one other has been Employd Since the 12 of January; a third one Since the 1st of March and Two others A Week Each and all had Since to fall behind. After riding horses almost to Death. This is a True State of Facts. No one Man Can Number the People in the District of Morgan Going from House to House in 18 Months I Aver, and if there is no Provision to Collect the people in the Next Law, no man that understands will have anything to do with it.”

At the end of the 1820 Hall County, Georgia, schedules, the assistant marshal wrote the following:

“The difficulties were very considerable that attended taking the census, in the first place, the inhabitants are very dispersed, in the second place the country being but lately settled, there are but few roads, in the third place great part of the Country are very Mountainous, and in the fourth place it was, except in the oldest settled parts, difficult to get nourishment for either myself or horse, and often when got, had to pay very high, in the 5th place had often to travel a considerable distance through fields to get to the dwelling cabins, often, and generally, drenchd in dew, particularly in August and September; and often had to walk many miles where it was so steep that I could not ride, or even set on my horse.”

If the earliest census takers had these sort of problems, then the situation must have improved over the years . . . Right? Wrong. Not if you had the job of taking a census in Southern Oregon. Stay tuned for my next column – a story about taking the 1950 census in the Applegate Valley of Oregon.

For more information about early census records, check out Thorndale and Dollarhide’s Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920.

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The Slovakian Bytča Archive Contains Documents From Northern Slovakia

The following excerpt is from an interesting article published in the May 30, 2012 edition of spectator.sme.skd dealing with the Slovakian Bytča Archive, their records, and doing research on-site in Slovakia.

“Nomen Omen” – the name is a sign, said the ancient Romans. And if your name sounds Slovak, then you might want to follow the signs and find out if that’s really where your ancestors come from. Over the past few years, the seven state archives in Slovakia, which house historical records of births and deaths in their region, have grown accustomed to welcoming overseas researchers, trying to trace their genealogy in Slovakia.

Individual archives have slightly different methods for organising and accessing records, but the procedure for research is fundamentally the same, which makes the State Archive in Bytča typical. It is located in the centre of town in a Renaissance manor house from the 16th century, which was donated by František Thurzo as a place for safekeeping documents, especially ancestral archive and documents of property management.

Nowadays, the Bytča archive contains documents from northern Slovakia, including the counties Orava, Liptov, Turiec and formerly Trenčín. Poring through the records could reveal that your ancestors were aristocrats, or that there is a fortune in inheritance waiting for you. Just be prepared, however, because you might also learn that a genetic disorder wiped out your ancestors and could be coming to you next.

Read the full article.

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Mitt Romney’s Birth Certificate

Mitt Romney has released his birth certificate, proving that he was born in the United States – thus making him eligible to run for the U.S. presidency. Following is a copy of his “State of Michigan Certificate of Live Birth – courtesy of Reuters. Note that his mother was bon in Utah, while his father was born in Mexico (but that’s another story).

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Colorado Springs Family History Expo Starts Friday – and the Sacramento Expo is July 6 & 7!

The Colorado Family History Expo is being held in Colorado Springs this year. From what I’ve heard, a good crowd of enthusiastic genealogists are expected to decend on the Crowne Plaza Colorado Springs facility at 1 p.m. on Friday for a full afternoon, and evening, and a full day on Saturday.

I count a total of 58 classes to be taught over the 2 days – some really informative stuff!

Dale and Tara (and my grandson, Nicholas) left early Thursday morning for Colorado Springs. Family Roots Publishing Co. has a large booth – which will be loaded with all kinds of genealogy books. We’re also running a promotion on Flip-Pal mobile scanners at the conference.

Alos keep in mind that the Family History Expo to be held in Sacramento, California is only a month away! Click here for details and planning on seeing us there!

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New Online Jubilee Exhibition Launched by the British National Archives

To mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, The British National Archives has digitized a collection of 60 congratulatory addresses presented to Queen Victoria. This new online exhibition contains 60 of their favorite messages of congratulations and good wishes from around the world.

The beautiful, rarely-seen congratulatory addresses in the Privy Purse series (PP 1) were presented to Queen Victoria to celebrate her Golden Jubilee in 1887 and Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

The senders are many and varied, but comprise principally institutions of local government; schools and colleges; social, cultural, educational and religious societies; military and medical establishments; and those of trades associations and manufacturing companies.

Information from the National Archives website.

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Federation of Genealogical Societies Appoints Patricia W. Rand As Treasurer

The following news release was received from Thomas McEntee:

May 31, 2012 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces that Patricia W. Rand of Florida has recently been appointed to its Board of Directors as Treasurer.

Pat Rand has over 20 years of experience in the genealogy field and currently serves as President of The Villages Genealogical Society in The Villages, Florida which has over 700 members. She is a retired CPA, the current treasurer for the Florida State Genealogical Society and recently served as treasurer for the Florida Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Pat Oxley, President of FGS states, “We are so pleased to have Pat Rand join the FGS team as our treasurer. Pat brings a strong accounting background and years of experience. We feel so fortunate that she is willing to share her time and talent with FGS.”

Pat Rand replaces Kim Kasprzyk who has resigned the Treasurer position due to an extended illness. Please keep Kim in your thoughts and prayers and also help us in welcoming Pat to the FGS Board.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit

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