Start Looking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the graphic to learn more.

Leave a Comment

The Dictionary of Quaker Genealogy Terms & Phrases

Dwight Radford has posted a 3-part Dictionary of Quaker Genealogy Terms and Phrases on his Journey Home Genealogy blog. Following are the Direct links:

Leave a Comment

National Declassification Center Issues Fifth Report

The following is from the National Archives website:

Washington, DC… The National Archives National Declassification Center (NDC) has issued its fifth biannual Report on Operations of the National Declassification Center, covering the period of January 1 through June 30, 2012. The report is online [].

“The declassification review merry-go-round where records get on for a ride but are never able to get off is over,” said NDC Director Sheryl J. Shenberger. “The work of the NDC has streamlined the declassification process, implemented a proven quality assurance program, and developed a complete equity identification and reviewing curriculum. This has led to millions of pages that no longer contain sensitive information to move off that merry go round. No more records taking multiple rides on a single ticket!”

Report highlights include:
The NDC has assessed 90% of the classified records backlog, with 55% cleared for final processing.

The biggest challenge facing the NDC is records that were not properly reviewed for atomic energy information by the originating agency (known as the Kyl-Lott requirement). An interagency team including representatives from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of State, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Office of the Secretary of Defense has been working collaboratively to complete these reviews.

The NDC has started review of special media records and has reviewed 1,341 motion pictures and 235 sound recordings.

Through its Remote Archives Capture, the National Archives Office of Presidential Libraries prioritized 1,364,471 pages within certain collections of the administrations of Harry Truman through Jimmy Carter, as well as the China-associated materials within the Kissinger Personal Paper Collection, for completion of referral review.

The National Declassification Center was established by Executive Order (E.O.) 13526, “Classified National Security Information.” Under the direction of the Archivist of the United States, the NDC coordinates the timely and appropriate processing of referrals 25 years old and older classified records of permanent historical value.

Updated information on NDC records releases, initiatives, and upcoming forums is online at the NDC website []. Public input, questions and comments are welcome and can be sent to or the NDC Blog [].

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The agency supports democracy, promote civic education, and facilitate historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at

Leave a Comment

The Illinois Family History Expo is Less Than 2 Weeks Off!

The Family History Expo, to be held in Springfield, Illinois is less than two weeks away. It will be at the Crowne Plaza Springfield, 3000 South Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, Illinois 62703 on Friday and Saturday, August 3 and 4, 2012. It starts at 1pm on Friday – and ends at 4:40 pm on Saturday.

As usual, Family Roots Publishing Company wil be exhibiting witth a tremendous line-up of books, supplies – and yes, Flip-Pal mobile scanners. Dale will also be speaking on how to use the Flip-Pal in your genealogy research.

The opening keynote address will be given by Bernard E. Gracy, Jr.: External CTO and VP Business Development, Volly at Pitney Bowes. Bernie has a BS, MS in Computer Science, an MS in E-Commerce, and is a Fortune 500 executive who is also an accomplished amateur genealogist!

Registration can be done online – or at the door. However, online registration can save attendees a lot of money, so I recommend that you register now! Fees are as follows:

  • Registration Fee – $69
  • Friday Only – $59
  • Saturday Only – $59
  • At the Door – $99

Click here to see the Conference Agenda.

Click here to see a listing of the speakers and their bios.

Click here to see the Illinois 2012 Family History Expos website as a whole.

Leave a Comment

Clans and Tartans

Clans and Tartans, by Charles Maclean, is a small but insightful introduction to the Scottish clans and the tartan’s they wore. In just a few short pages, the reader is introduced to “Scotland’s most enduring symbols.” This book introduces the origins of the clans and the importance and meaning tartans. The author also adds a couple of pages on tracing one’s ancestors.

According to the cover of the book: “The Highland clans were defiantly independent: they spoke a different language, were loyal to their own chiefs, and fiercely proud of their Name. Most distinctively, they wore, and have kept, their own traditional costume.” This book examines the leading clans.

For each clan there is a history along with an illustration for a swatch of the clans tartan colors. Illustrations were provided by David McAllister. Each name is given two pages. Each begins with the same three elements: the clan’s lands, the clan slogan, and plant badges.

Contents of the book:

The Origins of Clans and Tartans

Tracing Your Ancestors

family names and their tartans:

  • Buchanan
  • Cameron
  • Campbell
  • Fraser
  • Gordon
  • Grant
  • Lamont
  • Macdonald
  • Macdougall
  • Macgregor
  • Macinnes
  • Mackay
  • Mackenzie
  • Mackinnon
  • Mackintosh
  • Maclachlan
  • Maclean
  • Macleod
  • Macnab
  • Macneil
  • Macpherson
  • MacRae
  • Munro
  • Robertson
  • Ross
  • Stewart

For those with a Scottish heritage or who have a simple curiosity about clan history, Clans and Tartans can be obtained from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: PP916, Price: $9.75.

Leave a Comment

New Collections from Nevada and South Africa at

FamilySearch added new searchable collections online this week for Nevada and South Africa plus additional free records for Austria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Korea, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. Search these diverse collections and 2.8 billion other records for free at

Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments

Austria, Vienna Population Cards, 1850-1896 – 91,440 – 0 – Added indexed records to existing collection.
BillionGraves Index – 386,296 – 386,296 – Added affiliate indexed records and affiliate image links to existing collection.
Chile, Santiago, Cementerio General, 1821-2011 – 0 – 100,066 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
China, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-1980 – 0 – 193,468 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Czech Republic, Censuses, 1843-1921 – 0 – 28,721 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Czech Republic, Land Records, 1450-1889 – 0 – 231,166 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Dominican Republic, Civil Registration, 1801-2010 – 0 – 19,271 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-2009 – 0 – 90,461 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996 – 0 – 162,265 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Portugal, Braga, Catholic Church Records, 1530-1911 – 0 – 38,068 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Portugal, Diocese of Lamego, Catholic Church Records, 1529-1916 – 0 – 38,740 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Portugal, Diocese of Vila Real, Catholic Church Records, 1575-1975 – 0 – 106,572 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951-2004 – 0 – 109,906 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
South Africa, Western Cape, Various Records – 0 – 204,841 – New browsable image collection.
Spain, Province of Sevilla, Municipal Records, 1903-1918– 0 – 152,448 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
Spain, Records of Widows and Orphans of Spanish Officials, 1860-1960 – 0 – 16,053 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Alabama, Madison County Chancery and Circuit Court Records, 1847-1950 – 0 – 65,507 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959 (Jennings county) – 32,597 – 0 – Added indexed records to existing collection.
United States, Maine, State Archive Collections, 1790-1966 – 0 – 55,694 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Nevada, County Birth and Death Records, 1871-1992 – 0 – 14,425 – New browsable image collection.
United States, New York, Orange County Probate Records, 1787-1938 – 0 – 38,009 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Oregon, Douglas County Records, 1852-1952 – 0 – 48,742 – Added browsable images to existing collection.
United States, Texas, Deaths, 1977-1986 – 78,411 – 0 – Added indexed records to existing collection.
United States, Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files – 165,871 – 165,871 – Added affiliate indexed records and affiliate image links to existing collection.
United States, National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 (Roseburg) – 2,571 – 0 – Added indexed records to existing collection.

The above from FamilySearch News.

Leave a Comment

Bound for Botany Bay: British Convict Voyages to Australia

America was not the only land to be heavily colonized by England. Australia is another country of predominately English colonization. One big difference between the two countries, however, is the number of colonist who chose to emigrate compared with those who were forced to leave their home country. Bound for Botany Bay: British Convict Voyages to Australia examines the nearly 200 year history of forced emigration of convict from England to Australia.

Right up front, in the Introduction, the authors acknowledge their own errant misconceptions they had before starting their own research into the convict transportation from England to Botany Bay.

“We shared the view that those responsible for law and order in Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries must have been cruelly vindictive people, happy to hung men, women, and even your children for stealing objects of trifling value. Those who escaped execution faced a living death in desolate convict colonies on the opposite side of the world. These unfortunates were transported in ships amounting to floating hells in which they were systematically abused, physically and mentally. Unsurprisingly, convicts died in vast numbers of disease and neglect while at sea. The prisoners who survived to reach Australia had to eke out their sentences in chain gangs—breaking rocks and beaten constantly by spiteful guards for the slightest inattention or the merest hint of insubordination. Some convicts escaped from this torture to form robber gangs, which then terrorized evolving settlements. Such were the antecedents of Australia, or so it was easy to assume.”

The authors readily admit how wrong these conceptions were. Yes, conditions were not always the best and many died in accidents. However, as time passed, conditions improved, education never  offered to some became available for the first time in the lives of many. In time, some found their freedom and their families eventually joined them in their new world.

Bound for Botany Bay examine, in great detail, the history of transportation to the Australian colonies through the words and observations of tens of thousands of convicts. The book looks into controversial policies on forced emigration as a deterrent, a punishments, and as a solution to labor shortages. The history is a compilation of insights provided through letters, journals, logbooks, and popular ballads. The authors learned, as can the reader of these pages, not all trips were terrible—there were unexpected opportunities and surprise pleasures.

The book is engaging and the truths uncovered surprising. Challenging preconceptions and accepting the good in the bad makes histories like this one worth reading.




Chapter 1 The Beginning of Transportation

Chapter 2 The First Three Fleets

Chapter 3 The Trauma of Exile

Chapter 4 Who Were the Convicts?

Chapter 5 Child Convicts

Chapter 6 Keeping Order

Chapter 7 Staying Alive on the Convict Ships

Chapter 8 The Surgeon’s Tale

Chapter 9 The Promised Land

Conclusion Towards the End of Transportation





Bound for Botany Bay: British Convict Voyages to Australia is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: TNA20, Price: $35.28.

Leave a Comment

Family Group Sheet Standards

The following article is by my friend, William Dollarhide:

Dollarhide’s Genealogy Rule No. 22: It is a known fact that St. Peter checks all of your Family Group Sheets for accuracy before you are allowed to enter the Pearly Gates.

A Family Group Sheet (FGS) is the basic form to record the genealogical events of a family. If you are a parent, the first sheet could be of your own family, showing yourself, spouse, and children. Or, you can start with the family in which you were a child. If you are a grandparent, you may want to create family sheets for your son/daughter, spouse, and grandchildren. In any case, where you start is your choice. Creating family group sheets is a convenient way to record the details about the brothers and sisters of your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on.

Standard FGS Formats

You may be aware of genealogical software or websites that allow you to create “families” with unrelated persons substituting as parents, or two parents of the same sex – but these are not really Family Group Sheets. No, a true standard Family Group Sheet identifies all members of a biological family with a father, mother, and all of their children listed in order of birth. The standard FGS is for the presentation of the “truth.” Therefore, the FGS form does not include children by a different mother or father. For each different family grouping, a separate FGS form needs to be completed. For example, if a mother or father had children with another partner, that family needs to be identified as another group, whether there was a formal marriage or not. This may seem unfair to those who were raised in families that included step-sisters or half-brothers, but it is important to identify the members of a family by their blood relationships, and without any possible confusion about their parentage.

In some cases, a Family Group Sheet can add names of foster children or adopted children; but if this is done, it should be clearly shown on the form that these children are not the biological offspring of the father and mother shown on the form. In other words, write ”foster child” or “adopted” next to a child’s name so it is clear. Another family group should be prepared to show the birth parents of a foster or adopted child – even if there is unknown or sparse information. Then, refer to the foster/adopted child’s FGS as a cross-reference.

What is recorded on the group sheet is a master vital statistics arrangement. Although you are allowed to guess at possible spellings, approximate dates or probable places, you are not permitted to imply relationships where none exist. This is the most important record you will create in your genealogical endeavors. Think of your Family Group Sheets as something your descendants will see over the next hundred years – how will they judge your veracity? Will the relationships indicated on your FGS hold up to future DNA testing?

An FGS form has space for the basic genealogical events for each person including dates and places of birth, marriage, death, and burial for each family member. For each child on the list, a name of a spouse can be given, along with a date and place of the marriage. Carry down the offspring of each married child on another FGS, and to have consistency, use standard notations for recording information on every FGS you prepare.

Standard Name / Date / Place Notations

Names: To avoid confusion about a person’s given and last names, use the standard of All-Caps for a surname, and Upper/Lower case for other names, e.g., William Jones SMITH; or SMITH, William Jones. This standard allows us to correctly identify ancestors who may have names such as Henry James, or James Henry. Which is it? If you capitalize the last name so it can be presented either as JAMES, Henry or Henry JAMES, you will immediately know the answer. Some exceptions to the All-Caps rule are allowed for the readability of surnames such as McDONALD, MacINTIRE, la PLANT, and de la TOYA.

Dates: A date written as 8-12-96 is not clear, since we may be dealing with centuries, not decades in recording genealogical dates. And, it must be easily determined if it was for the 12th day or the 12th month. To do this, the month of a genealogical event needs to be spelled out or abbreviated – not numbered. Also, the year needs to be a full year so it is clear. Therefore, the standard genealogical date that should be used on a Family Group Sheet or any other genealogical report, is one that is in the military style, i.e., 8 Dec 1996.

Avoid numerical dating, which can be confusing, mainly because there is no world-wide standard. For example, the U.S. numerical standard is 12-08-1996 (MDY), while Latin America, Europe, and much of Africa and Asia use 08-12-1996 (DMY), and China, Korea, and Japan use 1996-12-08 (YMD). Regardless of the country where your genealogical events took place, the military style of 8 Dec 1996 should be understood by all.

Places: In recording a place of an event, such as a birthplace, place of marriage, etc., start with a smaller jurisdiction, and move to a larger one, such as, born in Harrison Township, Wayne County, Indiana or an abbreviated version, born in Harrison Twp, Wayne Co IN. If no city or town is known, use the county/state, such as born in Wayne County, Indiana, or an abbreviated version, born in Wayne Co IN. If no county is known, spell out the state, such as born in Indiana. The name of a country should be included if the place of the event lies outside the U.S., such as born in Baumholder, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (oder auf Deutsch: geboren in Baumholder, Rheinland-Pfalz, Deutschland).

Cite Your Sources

A Family Group Sheet is the basic worksheet for genealogical research. While a Pedigree Chart identifies just your direct ancestors, the Family Group Sheet shows not only your direct ancestors but the brothers and sisters of your ancestors. Thus, the FGS is the logical place to record all known vital statistics about a complete family. But, the FGS is not complete without indicating the reference sources where you obtained the information. Special attention is necessary to the citation of sources used for every name, event, date, and place noted on the FGS. There is no set rule on how to list the sources, and adding a page of free style notes is perfectly acceptable.

There should be at least two citations (a minimum of two separate sources) for each event listed. One single source for a piece of information on the FGS does not prove anything. For example, if a complete Family Group Sheet was copied from someone else’s work, nothing on that FGS can be trusted. The goal is to have at least two sources for every event (every birth, marriage, death, burial, or residence). In other words, to prove what you say on a FGS, you have to list one source that was used to compile the information, then list another source that says the same thing.

There are genealogical organizations in America that require three (3) citations for every event – and if you are joining such an organization, follow their rules. But, typically, the cited statements on a Family Group Sheet submitted as evidence in a court of law require a minimum of two (2) sources for every event.

Dollarhide’s Genealogy Rule No. 1: Treat the brothers and sisters of your ancestor as equals, even if some of them were in jail.

The identification of each member of a family is essential to the success of your genealogical work. That means that brothers and sisters of an ancestor need to be given the same status as a direct ancestor. You need to identify the brothers and sisters by their full name; full birth information, including dates and places; complete marriage data, including the names of their spouses and dates of marriages; as well as death and burial information.

Seems like a lot of extra work doesn’t it? But guess what. If you treat the brothers and sisters as equals, you will have many more ways to find your own ancestors. The children or later descendants of the brothers and sisters of your ancestors are your relatives — people who are sources to you for information about your common ancestry.

For example, the birth certificate for my uncle gave me the full name of his father and maiden name of his mother, my grandparents. That proved to be very valuable, because the birth certificate for my own father, identified only as “Baby Dollarhide,” did not name his parents at all.

If you are searching for a lost family Bible, or a lost family photograph, document, or artifact – identifying the collateral descendants of the brothers and sisters of your ancestors may be your only route to success. A presentation of multiple generations of descendants of a common ancestor is best done using family group sheets.

Dollarhide’s Genealogy Rule No. 49: A relative is someone with all the information about the family you want, but died last week.

Involve Your Relatives

In some cases, you may need to enlist the help of your uncles, aunts, or cousins to create Family Group Sheets. A method to involve your relatives is to send them each a copy of a FGS on which they appear as a child or parent, and ask them to fill in more details. Along with the form, send a folksy note/email, one that reminds them that they are your favorite relatives. If you have any photographs of their family, or anything that you can share with them relating to their genealogy, send copies as examples of what a gracious and wonderful person you are. In other words, try to put them in your debt so they will respond to you. Many of our mothers have known this technique well – they can elicit just about anything from their kids just by making them feel guilty.

In making this contact, ask your relatives to add information to the family group sheets you sent them and then return a copy back to you. Even if the last time you saw these people they were threatening to sic their dog on you, you need to contact them again with the news that you are now preparing the world’s greatest family history and that they will be included in it.

“There’s some idiot on the phone who says he’s your third-cousin- twice-removed-on-your-mother’s-side-through-your-Aunt Mable, and wants to know if you will send him a Family Groupship.”

If Your Relatives Don’t Respond

Some of your relatives will try to ignore you. If they don’t return a corrected family group sheet, then you may have to resort to bribery or some other devious ploy to get them to respond. For example, if you are not having success in getting your cousin Martha to return the family group sheet you sent her, try this: send Martha another group sheet, only this time indicate a bogus date of birth on the form, making her at least ten years older than she really is. Add a post-it note that says, “Did I get these dates right?” Include your email address on the post-it note. When Martha sees that incorrect date, she will have to correct it! Expect a email message from Martha within minutes after she reads the wrong date for her birth. You could be even more devious and make Martha’s date of birth two months before her parent’s wedding date. Now, when Martha complains about your terrible record keeping, you can come back with, “but can you prove that wasn’t your date of birth?” You might even get a copy of Martha’s birth certificate in the mail after that one.

Dollarhide’s Genealogy Rule No. 50: All’s fair in love, war, and the pursuit of non-responsive relatives.

For Further Reading:

Who Has the Family Bible?, by William Dollarhide – previous article written for

Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian – by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Genealogical Standards of Evidence, A Guide for Family Historians, by Brenda Dougall Merriman

Genealogical Proof Standard – Building a Solid Case – 3rd Edition Revised; by Christine Rose

Complete Package, All 75 Forms designed by William Dollarhide

Leave a Comment

A Brief History of Roads in Virginia 1607-1840

“County court records relating to roads and transportation are collectively know as “road orders.” The Virginia Transportation Research Council’s published volumes of road orders and related materials contain not only information on early roads, but also the names of inhabitants who lived and worked along the roadways, plantations, farms, landmarks, landforms, and bodies of water. Much of this information is found nowhere else in early records, making these publications invaluable not only to historical and cultural resources research, but also to other disciplines, including social history, preservation planning, environmental science, and genealogy.”

A Brief History of Roads in Virginia 1607-1840 is the result of a larger study into the history of road construction and development in the various counties of Virginia. This book represents what was to be the introduction to a larger work on the county of Albemarle. With the input of other, the author realized the value of this brief history to all interested in the early development of roads across the state. This historical sketch is intended to provide insight to the development of all Virginian roads, up to the time of heavy railroad development in the nineteenth century, while also providing understanding of the various forces which shaped transportation policy at the colonial, and following, state level.

A map book I review a few months ago, An Atlas of Appalachian Trails to the Ohio River, by Carrie Eldridge, shows the location of little known trails as well as the major routes which passed through Virginia during the early expansion years. Along these routes grew towns and communities. Only four major routes crossed the Appalachians from the eastern seaboard to the Ohio River. But, the area spread out along minor routes and eventually many of the major and minor routes became state and interstate highways. A Brief History of Roads in Virginia provides additional insight to this development; including, the legislation and thinking that was behind continued improvements and development.

Establishing and maintaining public roads was important business. Choosing between roads and canals, selecting overseers to keep roads in repair, and managing budgets was of great importance to everyone. The history of road development is probably far more important to the country’s overall history than most give it credit for. This brief look into this small subsection of American history opens windows of thought and perspective into the lives of early Americans.




The Colonial Period 1607-1776

Groping for a Solution 1783-1816

The Board of Public Works 1816-1827

The Board of Public Works: The Golden Years 1827-1840

Selected Bibliography


A Brief History of Roads in Virginia 1607-1840 is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBV3674, Price: $16.17.

Leave a Comment

Mormon Migration Index Website Has Been Revised

A FamilySearch blog provides the details. Here is an excerpt:

Mormon Migration Index Give you More Than Ever Before

If you have Mormon ancestors who crossed the ocean to join the Saints in America, you may have heard of the Mormon Migration website. In the past, folks have come to this website to find voyage information about people who made this life changing journey to the Land of Zion. Now this valuable website has been revised to include even more historical information than ever before.

This revised internet site is in the 2nd stage of a 3 stage development plan. This phase provides more images of ship manifests and more articles. This collection of articles will continue to grow with the addition of more than 100 articles in the near future.

Find a Voyage:
Using the Mormon Migration site, you can search through the many personal accounts to discover stories, letters, journal entries, and other accounts for each voyage. Links take you to passenger lists, person accounts written by people who were on board each ship, and scanned images of the ship’s passenger logs. This is a remarkable source for learning not only about your migrant ancestors but also about those who traveled with them and events that took place during each voyage.

Share What You Know:
The Mormon Migration database includes thousands of passenger records, stories, journal entries, scanned registry images, and other information, but it is far from complete. It is hoped that users will add information they have about their migrant ancestor. They are especially interested in first-hand accounts of voyages, photographs, and other information.

Click here to read the full blog.

Leave a Comment

Tracing Your European Roots

Hot off the presses, Tracing Your European Roots is W. Daniel Quillen’s fifth volume in his Essentials of Genealogy series. The Essentials series covers immigration and naturalization records, census and military records, family records, and more. European Roots serves as a basic research guide, breaking out individual countries and the available resources.

The first four chapters provide the reader with the basics needed to trace any European ancestor. The basics may prove redundant for the experienced researcher. However, the subsequent chapters examine individual nations and the means to research each. In general, the book covers the following topics:

  • “Where to find European records
  • How to access European records
  • How to use the Internet to help you in your search
  • Pitfalls and issues in obtaining European records
  • Countries covered include England, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, and the Czech & Slovak Republics”

Quillen is a professional writer. Yet, after 20 years he can still put heart and personality into his writing. Much of the praise given to this book talks to his writing skills and his ability to express the point with clarity. Anyone ready to research those countries listed above will find some helpful hints and great starting points in this book.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Basics

  • Patronymics
  • Spelling Woes
  • US Records First
  • What’s in a Name?
  • Know Your History
  • Ethnic Gatherings
  • Religion
  • A Few Helpful Hints

3. Clues & Hints

  • Family Tradition / Legend / Knowledge
  • Immigration & Naturalization Records
  • Emigration Records
  • US Census Records
  • Passport Applications
  • Histories / Biographies

4. Research Tools

  • Websites
  • Books
  • Country and Record-Specific Websites
  • Genealogy Societies

5. Your British Roots

  • Key Records
  • Censuses
  • Civil Registrations
  • Parish Registration
  • Wills & Probate Records
  • Helpful Websites
  • National Archives
  • British Names

6. Your Czech & Slovak Roots

  • Key Records
  • Civil Registration
  • Church Records
  • Helpful Websites
  • Archives
  • Sample Letters
  • Genealogy Terms in Czech and Slovak
  • Months of the Year
  • Czech and Slovak Names

7. Your French Roots

  • Key Records
  • Civil Registration — Departments
  • Censuses
  • Parish Record
  • Wills & Probate Records
  • Helpful Websites
  • Sample Letters
  • Genealogy Terms in French
  • Months of the Year
  • French Names

8. Your German Roots

  • German States
  • Patronymics
  • Immigration Records
  • Emigration Records
  • Clan Books
  • Sample Letters
  • Genealogical Terms in German
  • Months of the Year
  • German Names

9. Your Irish Roots

  • Geographical Units
  • Key Records
  • Censuses
  • Civil Registration
  • Helpful Websites
  • National Archives
  • Going to Ireland
  • Irish Names

10. Your Italian Roots

  • Key Records
  • Censuses
  • Church Records
  • Civil Registration
  • Military Records
  • Province Archives
  • Helpful Websites
  • Sample Letter
  • Genealogy Terms in Italian
  • Months of the Year
  • Italian Names

11. Your Polish Roots

  • Censuses
  • Passports
  • Obituaries
  • Passenger Lists
  • WWI & WWII Draft Registration Cards
  • Partitioning of Poland
  • Helpful Websites
  • Polish State Archives
  • Church Records
  • Civil Registration
  • Sample Letter
  • Genealogy Terms in Polish
  • Polish Names

12. Your Portuguese Roots

  • Portuguese Naming Trends
  • Key Records
  • Censuses
  • Church Records
  • Civil Registration
  • National Archives
  • District Archives
  • Helpful Websites
  • Professional Genealogists
  • Sample Letter
  • Genealogical Terms in Portuguese
  • Months of the Year
  • Portuguese Names

13. Your Spanish Roots

  • Key Records
  • Censuses
  • Church Records
  • Civil Registration
  • State Archives
  • Helpful Websites
  • Sample Letter
  • Genealogical Terms in Spanish
  • Months of the Year
  • Spanish Names



Tracing Your European Roots is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: CS02, Price: $11.71.

Leave a Comment

New at The Original Record

The folloing databases have been added this week the

1664 – Leicester Hearth Tax
The Michaelmas 1664 hearth tax returns for the city of Leicester, transcribed by Henry Hartopp mainly from the original collectors’ books in the Public Record Office (Exchequer Lay Subsidy county Leicester 251/4). The names are listed by ward, with the number of hearths. The latter part of the list for each ward consists of the names of those not chargeable by reason of poverty. Hartopp annotated the heading for each ward with a list of the streets comprised.

1834 – City of Oxford Electors
A List of the Freemen and Householders of the City of Oxford, Registered July 31st, 1834, as Entitled to Vote in the Election of Members for the said City. This starts with an alphabetical list of the freemen of the city, which gives (as in the sample scan) full name, address and occupation. Then follow lists of householders, by parish or ward, but without giving occupations: All Saints, Binsey, Cowley, Holywell, St Aldate’s, St Clement’s, St Ebbe’s, St Giles’s, St John’s, St Martin’s, St Mary Magdalen, St Mary the Virgin, St Michael’s, St Peter le Bailey, St Peter’s in the East, St Thomas’s.

1848 – Directory of Bath
Hunt & Co.’s ‘Directory & Court Guide for the Cities of Bath, Bristol, & Wells, and the Towns of Bradford, Calne, Chippenham, Devizes, Frome, Lavingtons, Melksham, Shepton Mallet, Trowbridge, Warminster, & Westbury, containing The Names and Addresses of The Nobility, Gentry, Clergy, Professional Gentlemen, Traders, &c. Resident therein. A Descriptive Account of each Place, Post-Office Information, Copious Lists of the Public Buildings, Law, and Public Officers – Particulars of Railroads, Coaches, Carriers, and Water Conveyances – Distance Tables, and other Useful Miscellany’, published in May 1848 includes this alphabetical directory of Bath.

1861 – Members of Durham University and Newcastle College of Medicine
This alphabetical list of members of the University of Durham and of the College of Medicine, Newcastle, gives full names; those marked with an asterisk being Members of Convocation; those marked with a dagger being either fellows or late fellows of the university. On the righthand side is a column of dates. In the case of graduates this is the year in which the examination for the degree of B. A. was passed; and in the case of Licentiates in Theology, and of Civil Engineers, to the year in which each passed the final examination. Those dates that are marked with a double dagger are years in which the graduate, being a member of another university, passed the final examination in theology at Durham. The centre column gives the degree and, where appropriate, college.

1912 – Blind Annuitants
The General Register of Blind Annuitants for 1912 listed nearly 6000 recipients of annuities from various charities and trusts in the British Isles. This index sets out the same information again in tabular form, giving: register number; surname; christian name or initials; full address; year of birth or age; amount of annual payment; year of appointment; recurrence (if renewed: yearly, weekly, or monthly); and abbreviated name of the charity. Many individuals were receiving sums from more than one source. Where (n) is given after the surname, it indicates a pension granted since the last previous edition; (+) shows an increase in pension; (-) a decrease.

1927 – Naturalizations
The Home Office issued monthly lists of aliens to whom Certificates of Naturalization had been granted by the Secretary of State and whose oaths of allegiance had been registered in the Home Office. These notices, from January to December 1927, refer to naturalizations from December 1926 to November 1927. The lists give full name (surname first) with any aliases; country of origin; occupation; full postal address; date of taking the oath. An asterisk indicates re-admission to British nationality.

There is a free unlimited search at the site, where you can purchase sets of scans, or buy open access to the surname(s) of your choice, including variants.


Leave a Comment

Alsace-Lorraine: Atlantic Bridge to Germany

Many years have passed since North America has seen any of its national boundaries change. Most of the World has proven less stable of recent decades. Even Europe has seen its share of change. World history is wroth with the ebb and flow of political and military boundaries. During the middle ages and on up to the First World War a modest portion of western-central Europe was a land of ever changing boundaries. In the heart of this area were the German people. At different times, different rulers and governments ruled the various lands, including areas of modern France, Austria, and more. As maps changed, so did the names of towns and parishes throughout the region. At one point a town may have a German name, and at another time a French name. Sorting out the names of places, as they would have appeared on records and documents at any particular time in history is difficult. Fortunately, researches have spent countless hours reviewing and documenting these variation.

Alsace-Larraine: Atlantic Bridge to Germany is the result of one such endeavor. In this book, the researcher will discover indexes and maps of place names in Alsace and Lorraine during the time of the German Empire (1871-1918). There are indexed alphabetically in both French and German. The book also includes a list of available records in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, as well as a short history and how to research the area.

Like a Disney cartoon, this book was out of print for nearly seven years. Fortunately, the author, Charles M. Hall, has granted rights to Origins. Origins has been pulled the book from the vaults, as it were, reprinted and re-released the book for 2012.


Table of Contents

Introduction and Explanation




Immigration History

Emigration History


Industry and Natural Resources

Transportation and Communication



Personality of People

Family History Library

Church Records

Civil Registration


Archives in France

Genealogical Societies in France

Resources for Alsace-Lorraine Research

Internet Websites


Word List (English, German, French)

Key to Map Terms

Government Districts


Kreis Map and List

Key to Map Pages

Maps of Alsace-Lorraine

Placenames (alphabetized by German name)

Placenames (alphabetized by French name)


Alsace-Larraine: Atlantic Bridge to Germany is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: OBK531, Price: $24.45.

Leave a Comment

Join Us on the 2012 Salt Lake Christmas Tour

It’s time to start planning for a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City the first week of December! This is an invitation to join us on the 28th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. This year it is begin held from December 2 through the 8th, with most of the group flying in on Sunday, December 2, and flying out on Sunday, December 9.

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour is the genealogy research trip where you can find ancestors quickly. Now in its 28th year, the Tour is renowned for the genealogy research success of its attendees, many of whom come back year after year.

One of the major advantages of the Salt Lake Christmas Tour is that there is no waiting for microfilm to be shipped from afar. If you don’t find your family on one film, just move on to another! If your ancestors aren’t mentioned in one book, there are often dozens more in which you may find them! It’s genealogy research at its finest!

There are numerous trips to The Family History Library, sponsored by genealogical societies and commercial firms. However, The Salt Lake Christmas Tour has been highly successful because we have the highest ratio of professional researchers to attendees of any genealogy research tour using the Family History Library. You’ve always got the help you need to overcome your difficult research problems! You can research your ancestors with the help of our experienced professional genealogists. The Salt Lake Christmas Tour is known for the quality of the professional genealogists that work with the attendees on a daily basis – Monday through Saturday. The Christmas Tour typically has professional genealogists available for consultation from 9 am until near the time when the library closes. Professionals currently planning to work the 2012 Tour are: Lisa A. Alzo, Linda Brinkerhoff, Arlene Eakle, Billy Edgington, Loni Gardner, Kevan Hansen, Wade Hone, Stan Lindaas, George Ott, Dwight Radford, Ruth Maness, and Trudy Schenk. The Salt Lake Christmas Tour is led by Leland K. Meitzler, Donna Potter Phillips and Bill Balter.

For more details and registration, check out the Salt Lake Christmas Tour website.

Leave a Comment

A Cemetery Buried Within a Cemetery

Here is an excerpt from the article in the Press Telegraph out of Long Beach, CA:

Long Beach’s buried cemetery

By Tim Grobaty, Columnist

A BURIED BURIAL PLACE: Jennie Aguillar was born in Mexico in 1890. She died 30 years later in Long Beach, where she lived with her husband Joe at Wilton Street at Termino Avenue. She was buried at Palm Cemetery in Long Beach.

Thomas L. McGregor, the infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. McGregor of 1121 Gladys Ave., died on March 19, 1920. The baby was buried at Palm Cemetery.

Luria Nieto, the 14-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Trinidad Nieto, died on May 11, 1920. There was a small obituary in the Long Beach Press. She was buried at Palm Cemetery.

James J. Taylor died Aug. 4, 1918, at Seaside Hospital in Long Beach. According to the Long Beach Press, Taylor had been found ill and destitute in a shack at Alamitos Bay. He lived on donations he received for his sand sculptures, most of which were renderings of a mother and child, which he called “Cast Up By the Sea.” He was buried at Palm Cemetery.

Palm Cemetery, in turn, was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery-Sunnyside Mausoleum, at Cherry Avenue and San Antonio Drive, in Long Beach.

Click here to read the full article.

Leave a Comment