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Baptismal Registry With Clues to the Ancestry of Samuel de Champlain to be Displayed

The following teaser is from an article posted in the May 17, 2013 edition of
This 439-year-old baptismal registry from France confirms previously debated details about the birth of Samuel de Champlain.

A time-yellowed, 439-year-old baptismal registry from 16th century France, recently found to contain long-sought clues about the birth and family history of the famed New World explorer Samuel de Champlain, has arrived in Canada to help mark a major milestone in this country’s own birth.

The document that appears to solve a centuries-old mystery about when the founder of New France was born — and whether he was, as generations of scholars have suspected, from a Protestant family — is to be publicly displayed for the first time later this month at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que., directly across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill.

The exhibit, open from May 29 to Aug. 5, celebrates the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s landmark 1613 voyage up the river that runs past Canada’s national history museum. Its curators have been loaned the fragile parish registry by the district archive in France where local genealogist and Champlain enthusiast Jean-Marie Germe unearthed the telltale reference last year.

Read the full article.

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A History of The First Parish Church of Scituate, Massachusetts

The following teaser is from an article posted at the May 18, 2013 edition of

Richard Stower, former minister of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Scituate, has published “A History of The First Parish Church of Scituate, Massachusetts: Its Life and Times.” The book follows the congregation that was gathered in 1634 as a part of the Pilgrims’ Plymouth colony, making it one of the oldest in New England.

“The issues that the early church faced in Scituate and how they developed over time were very influential in New England Colonial church history — I don’t think the history of Scituate has gotten its due in terms of Colonial American history,” Stower said.

Read the full article.

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Ancestry Financing

Interesting… Even the world’s most successful genealogy company has one heck of a lot of outstanding debt…

PROVO, Utah, May 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced that it has refinanced its Term Loan due December 2018 (the “Old Term Loan”), which had an outstanding balance of approximately $668.3 million immediately prior to the refinancing, for an amended term B loan of approximately $488.3 million due December 2018 (the “Term Loan B”) and a term A loan of $150 million due May 2018 (the “Term Loan A”).

…Subsequent to the refinancing, the Company has total outstanding debt of $938 million.

Read the full article.

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Carolyn Barkley 1947-2013 – RIP

Carolyn Barkley
I just received news that my friend, Carolyn Barkley, has passed on. This was a bit of a shock, as I didn’t realize she was terribly ill… I understand that she’s been dealing with a misdiagnosed “cough” for some time. Then a few days ago she found that she had cancer. Two days later she was dead. Goodness… Life is fragile. Carolyn always had hug for me when we would meet up at conferences. The last time I saw her was a RootsTech. I along with many others, am going to miss Carolyn.

Joe Garonzik, at, gave me permission to use the following from their blog.

Carolyn was the creative force behind …, but she was so much more. She wrote hundreds of articles for the blog, always emphasizing both the conventional and the most current electronic sources and techniques bearing on the topics. Many of her articles were rated by other bloggers as the “best of the week” on the Internet.

Carolyn also wore many other professional hats. She was a master indexer, who indexed a number of our [GPC's] recent reference works, including Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1625, by Martha W. McCartney. Carolyn was a longtime staff member of the exhibits at the annual National Genealogical Society conferences and other trade shows. She served as president of a number of genealogical societies and other organizations throughout Virginia. In her professional life Carolyn was a distinguished librarian, who served thirty years as the head of the central Virginia Beach Public Library before retiring.

Above all, Carolyn was a wonderful human being. Quick to smile and possessing a hearty laugh, Carolyn was that rare combination of organizational whiz and kind personal friend. She got things done and she inspired and cared about others. We will miss her immensely.

Reprinted below is the obituary for Carolyn Barkley that appeared in a recent issue of The Virginia Pilot newspaper.

Carolyn L. Barkley (1947-2013)
Virginia Beach – Carolyn Linda (Lopes) Barkley, 65, of Wintergreen, VA passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at Augusta Health. Born December 16, 1947 in Springfield, MA, she was the daughter of the late Olivio and Lois (Smith) Lopes. She was the granddaughter of Clifford F. Smith, long time City Clerk of Springfield, and Mildred Carolyn Abbe. In addition to her grandparents and parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, William L. Barkley, in 2010. Carolyn earned her B.A. from Wellesley College and her Masters in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She was employed by the Virginia Beach Department of Public Libraries for over thirty years. After her retirement, Carolyn continued to work as a freelance editor and researcher. She spent much of her time traveling. Carolyn has been the genealogist for Clan Barclay International, served as President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Tidewater, the Scottish Society of Tidewater, the Virginia Beach Genealogical Society, the Virginia Library Association and many more too numerous to list. Most recently, Carolyn was President of the Wintergreen Nature Foundation. Survivors include her son, Kelley, and his wife, Kimberly (Murray) Powell, of Roanoke; granddaughters Megan Murray, Samantha Kate Powell and Mackenzie Grace Powell, all of Roanoke. A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, at the Waynesboro Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes, 618 W. Main St., Waynesboro, VA, with Pastor Matthew Coiner officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to donate may make donations to the Wintergreen Nature Foundation, R.R. 1, Box 770, Roseland, VA 22967. Relatives and friends may share condolences and memories with the family online by visiting

Published in The Virginian Pilot on May 15, 2013

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

UlsterHeritage DNA Icon

Have any of you heard of this project? Their stated goal is “to study the surnames, families, clans, of the people of Ulster and their descendants throughout the Diaspora. Another goal is to allow Ulster descendants in the Diaspora to locate their kin still in Ulster and to communicate with them. The Ulster DNA Project will use the Y chromosome test to accomplish these goals. Anyone from Ulster of or Ulster ancestry is urged to participate.”

Here’s the link to their website:

Reason I’m asking is that I’d bet that my hubby John is not the only Ulster descendants “lost in the woods” and unable to trace his lineage. We have as far as a Mark Phillips who claims land in Georgia after the Revolutionary War. From all the background reading I’ve done on the Scotch-Irish (and I have it on good authority….. the guru of this project…. that it is rightfully Scotch-Irish and not Scots-Irish) show me that his Phillips were very likely among those frontier-loving-dwelling Scotch-Irish folks.

I’m very interested in having him do a DNA test particular to this project. The website gives about three pages of testing options (and pricing). I would very much like to hear from anybody who has contributed to this project; were you pleased with the results?

Donna, aka Mother Hen, until next peek

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How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records

fc01Archiving valuables and keepsakes is a perpetual problem for the family historian. This may be even more true for the family member who is not a “genealogists” or “family historian” but finds themselves the keeper of the family’s history and heirlooms. Important questions arise, such as the following:

  • What should I actually archive?
  • Should I archive actual document and photographs, turn paper into a digital collections, or both?
  • What is the best process for each?
  • What else can I do with all this stuff?
  • How do I organize documents, keepsakes, computer files, and heirlooms?
  • How do I care for heirlooms, such as jewelry, dolls, medals and ribbons, and more?

All of these difficult questions, and more, are addresses in  Denise May Levenick’s new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn how to preserve family photos, memorabilia, & genealogy records. This new books seems to just about cover it all, while remaining relatively short, concise, yet, informative.

The book is comprised of 16 chapters organized into three sections. The first section helps you organize, prepare, and properly archive all your family’s treasures. Here you will learn to evaluate the value of what you have on hand and determine not only how to preserve these items, but to give consideration to long term storage or even donating items of historical significance.

The second section will help you evaluate and digitize your paper collections, and to manage your computer files. This does not mean you should plan on throwing away mountains of paper. You may be able to toss your own print out, but original documents and photos still have value. Digitizing simply provides a back up to these originals, as well as a means of sharing.

The final section is for the working genealogist or avid family historian. Here the author helps you learn to organize and improve your own files. Looking at area like improved citation, saving time and money, and organizing your software, you can learn to prepare you contributions to the family’s history, so when you pass it on it is ready for the next generation to move forward and not rework it all.

In addition to all the above mentioned information this book contains, I simply like its overall design and layout. The design is clean and simple, but still carries its share of charts, forms, and stand out information boxes to keep the book interesting and easy to follow.




Part 1: I Inherited Grandma’s Stuff, Now What?

Chapter 1 Organize Your Objectives

Checkpoint 1: Organize Your Objectives

Chapter 2 Organize Your Plan

Checkpoint 2: Set Your Goals and Timeline

Checkpoint 3: Inventory Your Archive

Checkpoint 4: Order Your Storage Supplies

Chapter 3 Organize Your Assistance From Family Members

Checkpoint 5: Enlist Assistance

Chapter 4 Organize Your Archive

Checkpoint 6: Sort and Organize Your Archive

Checkpoint 7: Catalog Your Archive

Checkpoint 8: Find a Home for Your Archive

Chapter 5 Organize for the Future

Checkpoint 9: Donate Your Family Archive

Checkpoint 10: Plan Your Legacy

Chapter 6 Organize Archival Papers

Chapter 7 Organize Archival Photos

Chapter 8 Organize Artifacts

Part 2: Break the Paper Habit

Chapter 9 Organize and Digitize Your Paper Documents

It’s not practical to eliminate all paper files, but going digital saves storage space and search time. This chapter shows you how to move toward a paperless genealogy office step by step, from scanning to storage.

Chapter 10 Digitize Your Family Archive

Digital copies preserve heirloom originals and give you a working copy for research and creative projects. This chapter presents sample workflows to help you safely create digital copies of archive materials.

Chapter 11 Organize Your Paper Files

Do you feel buried in a mountain of genealogy papers? This chapter offers practical ideas for a personalized filing system to suit your research style and experience.

Chapter 12 Organize Your Computer

Your computer can be a top-notch filing clerk and research assistant with strategies in this chapter for a consistent file-naming system, simple folder structure, and scheduled backup plan.

Part 3: Root Your Research in Strategies for Success

Chapter 13 Organize Your Research

Productive research begins with organized research methods. This chapter outlines effective research strategies with step-by-step ideas, case study examples, and helpful resource checklists.

Chapter 14 Organize Your Source Citations

Without proof, there is no truth. This chapter offers an overview of effective citation styles and helpful checklists for citing your archival materials.

Chapter 15 Organize Your Software Solutions

Technology can advance your genealogy research by saving time and effort. This chapter will help you discover useful services to fit your needs, both web-based and on your computer.

Chapter 16 Organize and Discover Research Connections Online

Social media services, blogs, forums, and List-SERVs can help you find family and break down brick walls. Use the tips in this chapter to expand your genealogy reach.




Copies of How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records are available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $24.49.

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Missing Pieces: How to Find Birth Parents and Adopted Children

hbd2534Genealogists search for people all the time. Over time, the researches skills improve and knowledge of resources increases. Some become to experienced from their personal research, they take those skills, become certified professionals and help others find their ancestors. However, sometimes the search turns from the dead to the living. An especially delicate, and often tricky, form of living research is the search for the birth parents of an adopted child. The expertise and understanding needed to successfully uncover someone’s biological parents comes, as with any research, through time and effort. Missing Pieces: How to Find Birth Parents and Adopted Children — A Search and Reunion Guidebook, was written by Paul Drake and Beth Sherrill with the intent of improving the researcher’s odds and chances of a successful search.

The details of this book are based on Beth Sherrill’s own search to locate her birth parents. “It is a how-to for those who also would seek birth parents or children who have been adopted in the past.” The details come from a study of the law, from interviews with those who made the same journey, and the personal search experiences of the authors.

The authors note the laws of most states are written as to discourage biological family reunions for adoptions. However, the laws do not prohibit searchers or reunions. Learning how to navigate the process is part of what this book will teach the reader. However, even before any research is conducted this book examines an equally important question, should an investigation even take place. Searchers, either parents or children, have to examine the possible feelings and ramifications the other parties in the process may experience from any contact or reunions that result from the process.

The book refers to the adoption triad as the adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents. The book is intended to reach out to all three members of this group. There is information, and inspiration, within these pages to help all the members of the adoption triad to change the way one thinks of themselves and the others. Genealogists may also pick up a few tricks to assist their own ancestral research along the way.


Table of Contents



Chapter 1: A New Way of Thinking

Chapter 2: A Starting Place

Chapter 3: Who’s to Blame?

Chapter 4: Why Search?

Chapter 5: Advice to Birth Parents

Chapter 6: Advice to Adoptive Parents

Chapter 7: Advice to Adoptees

Chapter 8: Needles in Haystacks

Chapter 9: More Detective Work

Chapter 10: Chrysalis

Chapter 11: Importance of Medical History



About the Authors


Get a copy of Missing Pieces: How to Find Birth Parents and Adopted Children — A Search and Reunion Guidebook from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: HBD2534, Price: $26.95.

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FamilySearch Adds to Dominican Republic, Italy, Peru, Spain, & USA Collections
FamilySearch has added more than 1.5 million index records and images this week from Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 217,016 index records from the U.S., Idaho, Eastport, Arrival Manifests, 1924-1956, collection, the 151,020 index records and images from the United States, Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files collection, and the 163,314 images from the South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951-2006, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 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

Dominican Republic, Civil Registration, 1801-2010 – 0 – 23,354 – Added images to an existing collection.
Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2008 – 111,027 – 0 – Added index records to an existing collection.
Italy, Napoli, Monte di Procida, Civil Registration (Comune), 1817-1929 – 19,567 – 0 – Added index records to an existing collection.
Italy, Potenza, Melfi, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1861-1929 – 0 – 34,284 – New browsable image collection.
Peru, Lambayeque, Civil Registration, 1873-1998 – 94,834 – 0 – Added index records to an existing collection.
South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951-2006 – 0 – 163,314 – Added images to an existing collection.
Spain, Cádiz, Testaments, 1531-1920 – 0 – 62,290 – Added images to an existing collection.
Spain, Province of Sevilla, Municipal Records, 1293-1966 – 0 – 52,917 – Added images to an existing collection.
Spain, Province of Tarragona, Municipal Records, 1430-1930 – 0 – 6,163 – Added images to an existing collection.
Spain, Records of Widows and Orphans of Spanish Officials, 1833-1960 – 0 – 9,875 – Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., Alabama, Madison County Chancery and Circuit Court Records, 1847-1950 – 0 – 62,144 – Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., Delaware, Orphan Court Records, 1720-1975 – 0 – 69,367 – New browsable image collection.
U.S., Idaho, Eastport, Arrival Manifests, 1924-1956 – 217,016 – 0 – Added index records to an existing collection.
U.S., Illinois, Cook County, Maywood, Maywood Herald Obituary Card Index, 1885-2002 – 61,565 – 2 – Added index records and images to an existing collection.
U.S., New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935 – 10,909 – 7,510 – Added index records and images to an existing collection.
U.S., New York, Queens County Probate Records, 1785-1950 – 0 – 121,873 – Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., Ohio, Jefferson County Court Records, 1797-1940 – 0 – 162,190 – Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., Texas, Swisher County Records, 1879-2012 – 0 – 93,603 – New browsable image collection.
U.S., Washington, Cowlitz County Civil Court Dockets, 1876-1951 – 0 – 14,203 – New browsable image collection.
United States, Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files – 75,510 – 75,510 – Added index records and images to an existing collection.

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Genealogy Guys Celebrate Their 250th Podcast

The following is from my friend, George Morgan:

The Genealogy Guys Drew (l) and George (r)
Aha! Seminars, Inc., announces that The Genealogy GuysSM Podcast (, the longest running genealogical podcast in the world, has published its 250th episode. The podcast is a production of Aha! Seminars, Inc., based in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, and began production in September of 2005. The total downloads for all episodes numbers more than 1,230,000.

The Genealogy Guys are George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, both of whom are internationally recognized genealogical experts, speakers, and authors. George is president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and the author of the book, How to Do Everything: Genealogy, published by McGraw-Hill and now in its third edition. He is also Vice President of Membership for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). Drew is an assistant librarian at the University of South Florida and the author of Social Networking for Genealogists, published by Genealogical Publishing Company. He is president of the Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa), a Director of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and the Federation representative to the Family History Information Standards Organisation (FHISO). Together, George and Drew have just written a new book, Advanced Genealogical Research Techniques, which will be released by McGraw-Hill in September.

The free podcast includes genealogical news, press releases and announcements, interviews, book and product reviews, responses to listener email from around the globe, and other features. Each episode is sponsored by RootsMagic,, and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Recordings of all of the podcast episodes are available for listening and download at, complete with show notes for each show. Listeners can also subscribe to the podcast in the iTunes store.

About Aha! Seminars, Inc.
Aha! Seminars, Inc., is a Tampa Bay-based company that has been providing training to library personnel across the United States and to genealogists in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. since 1996. The company provides library collection consulting services, genealogical conference and event planning services, and organizes genealogical research tours on demand.

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US & International Military Records FREE at midnight EDT on Thursday, May 23 until midnight EDT on Monday, May 27

In honor of Memorial Day on May 27, and in remembrance of all who died while serving our country, will offer its collection of US and International military records for free in the days leading up to national observance.

With more than 26 million US and International military records available, is encouraging people to explore and learn about the heroic efforts of their ancestors this Memorial Day. Record sets such as ‘Draft Registration Cards,’ ‘Casualties Returned Alive,’ ‘POWs’ and others will offer a captivating glimpse into the lives and experiences of our veteran ancestors.

The US and International military records will be available free of charge starting at midnight EDT on Thursday, May 23 until midnight EDT on Monday, May 27. Anyone can access the records by registering for free at

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Building Solid Research Skills – The Genealogical Proof Standard webinar

The Genealogical Proof Standard webinar – Thursday, May 23, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. EST

This Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania-sponsored webinar is designed to help the family researcher learn about and develop solid genealogical research skills. Are the records you’ve found relevant to your family? What
proof is acceptable if no original document exists? What other record sources might be available to you? Michael Hait, CG, will help us understand what constitutes a ‘Reasonably Exhaustive Search’ and Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, will point out the perils of jumping to conclusions while leading us through case studies. The webinar will be moderated by Shamele Jordon.

FREE for GSP members; Non-members $10

<> here to register now.

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Genetic Research Companies – Lot’s of them!

Genetic testing has become old-hat in today’s modern world. Most genealogists think about genetic testing from the viewpoint of finding cousins, ancestry, and world-wide places of origin. We typically deal with less than a half dozen genetic testing firms that most genealogists are acquainted with. However, there are all kinds of genetic testing companies out there – and they have many different specialties. has a published online list of these companies, complete with their locations, services, and even comparisons. The following guest post was written by Conrad Yu of

When people hear about DNA or genetics testing, (unfortunately) they tend to think about paternity tests as made popular by shows like Jerry Springer or Maury. But the vast majority of genetics testing have other rather important purposes that especially affect those thinking about starting or expanding their families. Because a significant amount of diseases and illnesses have at least somewhat of a hereditary component to their contraction or development,
Whether you want to test for disease risk or determine your ancestry, there are several types of genetic testing that are done for different reasons:

  • Diagnostic testing is done for those who show symptoms of a disease that may be caused by genetic alterations, such as adult polycystic kidney disease, iron overload (hemochromatosis), and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
  • Genealogical testing allows people to trace their ancestry, enabling them to determine the probability that they are—or are not—related to another person within an approximate number of generations. It can also be used in forensic science to identify crime victims, rule out suspects, or establish biological relationships.
  • Pre-symptomatic and predictive testing is intended for those who have a family history of a genetic condition and want to know whether they are at risk of developing that condition.
  • Carrier testing can determine if someone carries a copy of an altered gene that would put a child at risk of developing the disorder. This type of genetic testing is therefore best for someone with a family history of a genetic disorder, such as sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis, and plans to have children in the near future. It may also be useful for those in an ethnic group that has a high risk of a particular genetic disorder.
  • Pharmacogenetics can identify what medication and dosage would be most effective and beneficial for those with a particular health condition or disease.
  • Prenatal testing can detect changes or abnormalities in a fetus’ genes before birth. Spina bifida and Down syndrome are two genetic disorders that are often screened for as part of prenatal genetic testing. This is often done with an amniocentesis, but this process has been known to pose certain risks, such as miscarriages.
  • Newborn screening is the most common type of genetic testing. In the United States, all states require newborns to be tested for certain gene abnormalities that cause specific conditions, such as phenylketonuria and congenital hypothyroidism, as this allows for care and treatment to begin immediately. Diagnostic and carrier testing can also be done to confirm a diagnosis or to let people know if their children are at risk of inheriting a genetic disorder or being a carrier of a condition.
  • Pre-implantation testing may be used to lower the chances that someone will have a child with a particular genetic disorder. Also known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), this test requires a woman to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization. With in vitro, eggs are taken from a woman and sperm are taken from a man to create embryos outside of the body. Once these embryos are created, they will be screened for genetic abnormalities. Those without any abnormalities will then be implanted in the uterus in hopes of achieving pregnancy.

    It is important to note that most traditional genetic tests for diagnosing disease, screening for carrier status, or predicting medication response will require a doctor’s prescription or referral. Many other tests, however, can be directly requested by consumers.

Before finding genetic testing centers and testing at any one particular facility, it is important to consider the following:

  • Services: It is imperative to determine whether a genetic clinic has the particular test you need. Many genetic testing centers will also provide various services like counseling, ongoing care, and further diagnostic testing for people who are diagnosed with a genetic disorder or condition. See which facilities offer the services or testing you need and narrow your options from there.
  • Accreditation: It is also important to consider the various types of accreditation when researching genetic testing centers. A seal of accreditation indicates that the facility has qualified staff members for diagnosing, evaluating, and/or treating patients with hereditary disorders and conditions. It is therefore beneficial to select a testing center with doctors who are certified in the type of genetic health care you need.

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Genealogy at a Glance: Old Southwest Genealogy Research

SW At a GlanceLike so many children, for generation past, I grew up playing variations of good guys and bad guys. Sometimes it was cops and robbers, other time the Republic vs. the evil Empire (Star Wars reference), and then there was cowboys and Indians (before the days of political correctness). The setting for many of these games (except Star Wars of course) was the “Old West,” or the “Wild West.” If someone were to said the “Old Southwest,” I would have thought it to be the same. But, as it turns out, the proper historical reference for the “Old Southwest” is really further east than the “Wild West.”

The “Old Southwest” generally refers to colonial period American territories ruled, at different times, by the Spanish, French, and British governments. More specifically, this area included the territory east (yes, east) of the Mississippi river, through modern Alabama, parts of Louisiana and Florida, and up to the Flint River in Georgia. Numerous Indian tribes lived throughout the area and it was attractive to many European settlers. These “pre-statehood settlers generated a vast amount of records.” Specifically, there were many records of the type found interesting to many genealogists. Genealogy at a Glance: Old Southwest Genealogy Research, was put together by Dorothy Williams Potter, to help the reader with their late 18th and early 19th century genealogical research in this geographical area.

Finding travelers and immigrants can be difficult for researchers. Fortunately, this guide examines the historical background, early migration, Indian relations, and pre-statehood records for the “Old Southwest”. Major resources are identified and explained, including document collections. Along with some “Quick Facts” and her own tips, Potter has added another excellent research guide to the growing Genealogy at a Glance collection.

Like all the Genealogy At A Glance sheets, this guide is a four-page, full-color limited brochure meant to be easily stored and sized to take with you when conducting related research. Also, like other guides, there are plenty of tips by the author and suggested readings.


Quick Facts

Settlement Background

  • Spanish Occupation
  • Indian Relations
  • Territorial Organization
  • Earliest Migratory Paths
  • Main Travel Routes

Major Genealogical Sources

  • American State Papers
  • Passport Records

Major Document Collections

For Further Reference

Major Area Libraries

Online Sources

  • State Archives and Libraries
  • National Archives
  • Non-government Websites


Find the help you need, and carry it with you, with your own copy of Genealogy at a Glance: Old Southwest Genealogy Research available at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $8.77.

Click here to see a full listing of  laminated guides available from Family Roots Publishing.

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Researching in Germany: A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors – Second Edition

m0028For many, the possibility of a genealogical research trip to the home country of their ancestors is a lifelong dream. You can come up with many excuses not to go, but most can really be summarized as fear. With the new second, revised and updated, edition of Researching in Germany: A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors – Second Edition you can put your fears and any other excuse you have behind you. Authors Roger P. Minert, Shirley J. Riemer, and Susan E. Sirrine offer up decades of experience to help anyone with German ancestry prepare for a research trip to the motherland.

Here are just some of the ways this book can help you on a trip to the home of your German ancestors:

  • Planning trip finances
  • Research tips and tools
  • Writing emails to Germany
  • Using the telephone
  • Locating needed records
  • Eating out
  • Making appointments
  • Visiting the Antiquariat
  • Visiting churches and cemeteries
  • Finding places to stay

There is much more than these few resources and hints to be found in this guide. Ideas cover every aspect of a trip from planning and financing, selecting places to visit and stay, communication and even going out to dinner. More importantly are the tips and suggestions for conducting research. The authors have collectively made dozens of trips to Germany. Their experience shows as they seek to remove any fears and concerns the potential traveler may have. With this guide there are few reasons (mostly unforeseeable natural disasters) that should keep any researcher from having a successful trip. Look at the contents below to get an even better idea of all this book offers.




Chapter One: Preparing for your visit to the land of your ancestors

  • Reasons and goals for the trip
  • Identifying the ancestral home town
  • Locating the records you need
  • Gaining access to the records you need
  • Hiring a local expert to assist you
  • Deciding when to make your research trip to Germany
  • Acquiring your passport
  • Making your travel plans
    • Air travel
    • Car rentals for travel in Germany
    • Trains
  • Lodging
  • Documents, literature, and equipment needed for conducting family history research in Germany
    • Documents and printed materials to prepare for the trip
    • Computer preparations
  • Non-research material to collect and organize before leaving home
    • The log
    • Letter of introduction
  • German Handshake Packet
  • Preparing to use your debit card in Europe
  • Preparing to enter a German-language environment
  • Gifts to take along
  • Luggage selection
  • Packing your suitcase

Chapter Two: Getting around in the land of your ancestors

  • Landing at the airport in Germany
  • You and your money in Germany
    • Need cash?
    • Credit cards
    • Travelers checks
    • Hints for handling money in Germany
  • Living between time zones
  • Rental cars
    • Picking up your rental car
    • Pointers on driving in Germany
    • Driving on the Autobahn
    • Other driving pointers
    • Driving regulations in European countries
    • Parking your rental car
    • Bicycles
  • Traveling by rail in Germany
    • The German railroad “alphabet game”
    • Train information
    • Train reservations
    • Validating the rail pass
    • Handling luggage
    • Conveniences on board
    • Which is your stop?
    • Before leaving the train station
  • Taking a taxi
  • Using other public tranportation
  • Tourist information
    • Finding a room
    • Gathering local information
    • Checking out the Antiquariat
  • Sleeping accommodations in Germany
    • Rooms in private homes
    • The Gasthaus, the Gasthof, and the Pension
    • Vacation apartments
    • Hotels
  • Restaurants in Germany
    • Water: A problem for Americans
  • Telling time in Europe
  • Post office service in Germany
    • Basic services and products
    • Shipping extra items
    • Filling out postal forms
  • Telecommunications in Germany
      • Public telephones
      • Private telephones
      • Other communication options
  • Dealing with emergencies

Chapter Tree: Conducting family history research in the land of your ancestors

  • Research at specific locations in Germany
    • The parish office
    • Regional church archives
    • Other church-owned research venues
    • Civil record venues
    • City archives
    • County archives
    • State and national archives
    • Family history societies
    • Family history centers
  • Private researchers
  • Other research venues
  • Visiting relatives
  • The Heimatmuseum
  • Research in other German-language regions of Europe
    • Alsace-Lorraine, France (Elsass-Lothringen)
    • Austria (Osterreich)
    • Bohemian and Moravia, Czech Republic (Bohmen und Mahren)
    • Liechtenstein
    • Luxembourg
    • Poland
    • Slovenia (Sowenien, Slovenija)
    • Switzerland (Schweiz)
  • Research facilities in Europe: seven examples
    • Estorf, Germany: Estorf Lutheran Church
    • Hannover, Germany: Landeskirchenamt, Kirchenbuchamt
    • Basel, Switzerland: Staatsarchiv des Kantons Basel-Stadt
    • Vienna, Austria: Zur Allerheiligsten Dreifaltigkeit
    • Graz, Austria: Diozesanarchiv
    • Plzen, Czech Republic: Stani Oblastni Archiv
    • Ljubljana, Slovenia: Nadskofiski Arhiv
  • Record-keeping and documentation

Chapter Four: Enjoying yourself in the land of your ancestors

  • Where to go and what to do
  • Taking pictures in Germany
  • Shopping in Germany
  • Chapter Five: After the trip
  • Returning home
  • Annotated bibliography


A English-German vocabulary

B German-English vocabulary

C Vital records vocabulary

D Reading German handwritten church records

E Letters to Germany in preparation for the trip

F Computer Translations

G Archive Games


Useful addresses


Researching in Germany: A Handbook for Your Visit to the Homeland of Your Ancestors – Second Edition is available from Family Roots Publishing, Price: 18.62.

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450+ Richland County, South Carolina Cemeteries Identified

The following teaser is from the May 13, 2013 edition of

A preliminary survey underwritten by Richland County [South Carolina] has identified more than 450 cemeteries, most of them long-abandoned plots where family members were laid to rest together.

Next, Mike Trinkley of the nonprofit Chicora Foundation will embark on field work to refine the list by photographing the cemeteries, counting markers and developing a county map of the 463 cemeteries – equivalent to one cemetery for every 1.6-square miles of land.

Experts in Southern culture say the large number of burial sites scattered outside church yards here speaks to Southerners’ connections to their families and their land, a desire to stake an eternal claim to one’s home place.

“There’s a long tradition of annual gathering on Decoration Day to clean up graveyards, and a famous blues song by Blind Lemon Jefferson has the title ‘See That My Grave is Swept Clean,’” said Bill Ferris, a history and folklore professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“People are fearsome that when they die, their graves will be neglected and overgrown and totally wiped out, which is often, sadly, the case.”

Read the full article.

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