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So, if not white, then what am I?”

The following excerpt is from a fascinating article in the June 18, 2013 edition of the Victoria Advocate.
Mary Rebecca Shields Ewers Yarbrough, Ewers' great-grandmother - Photo by contributed photo by Daryl Ewers

For most of his life, Daryl Ewers believed he was white, but two years ago, he learned he is a descendant of slaves.

“I just found out a few years ago that I am part black. I did not know this,” he said

Ewers, 54, of Victoria, said learning he has black ancestry is very exciting and his main reason for talking about it is because he wants to get in touch with his African-American relatives from whom his paternal family was separated during slavery.

“My great-great-grandfather was William B. Shields, a planter from Perry County, Ala., who had several biracial children by a black slave woman. I don’t know who she was. I don’t know her name or what their relationship was,” he said.

Before then, the Shields family, who was of Irish origins, had lived in North Carolina, he said.

Read the full article.

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9 New Dollarhide Research Guides (AL – DC) Now Available at Introductory Prices with FREE PDF eBook & Nearly 50% Savings!

Connecticut Name Lists
With this new exciting series of genealogical guides, William Dollarhide continues his long tradition of writing books that family historians find useful in their day-to-day United States research. Bill’s Name List guides give a state-by-state listing of what name lists are available, where to find them, and how they can be used to further one’s research.

As of today, there are currently nine new volumes in print, each coverng a different state. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and the District of Columbia are in print. Others will follow as published.

Name lists are key to success in any genealogical endeavor. Name lists, be they national, state, county, or even city or town in scope, can help nail down the precise place where one’s ancestor may have lived. And if that can be done, further records, usually found on a local level, will now be accessible to research. But success depends on knowing where the ancestor resided. This is where Dollarhide’s Name List guides can make the difference.

Not only does this volume give a detailed bibliography of Name Lists available for the state, but links to websites, FHL book & microfilm numbers, archive references, maps, and key historical information make this volume invaluable to the researcher looking to extend their lines and fill in the family tree.

To celebrate the introduction of these new research guides, Family Roots Publishing is, for a LIMITED TIME, offering them to the public at 15% off (Reg. $18.95 ea.) with a FREE fully-hyperlinked pdf eBook of the guide or guides available by download immediately upon purchase. That’s a savings of nearly 50% for the book and PDF eBook combined! Start your Name List research in any of these 9 states now! No waiting for the book itself to arrive!

Internet hyperlinks alone for each of the volumes is as follows:

  • Alabama – 400 links
  • Alaska – 270 links
  • Arizona – 298 links
  • Arkansas – 424 links
  • California – 415 links
  • Colorado – 351 links
  • Connecticut – 336 links
  • Delaware – 307 links
  • District of Columbia – 380 links

The National Name List portion of each book includes 244 links.

The following Name List Guides, all written by William Dollarhide, may be purchased today from Family Roots Publishing Co. Note that the pdf eBook link alone follows the listing for the book itself & a FREE pdf (download link sent immediately).

Click on the links below to read more about each book, including a table of contents, and/or to make a purchase. – or click on this link to go directly to the Dollarhide Name Lists section of Family Roots Publishing.

Alabama Name Lists 1702-2006, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: Alabama Name Lists 1702-2006, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

Alaska Name Lists, 1732 – 1991, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: Alaska Name Lists, 1732 – 1991, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

Arizona Name Lists 1684 – 2003, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: Arizona Name Lists 1684 – 2003, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

Arkansas Name Lists, 1686 – 2005, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: Arkansas Name Lists, 1686 – 2005, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

California Name Lists, 1700 – 2011, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: California Name Lists, 1700 – 2011, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

Colorado Name Lists, 1858 – 1998, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: Colorado Name Lists, 1858 – 1998, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

Connecticut Name Lists, 1600s – 2001, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: Connecticut Name Lists, 1600s – 2001, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

Delaware Name Lists, 1609-1992, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: Delaware Name Lists, 1609-1992, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

District of Columbia Name Lists, 1600s – 1997, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

PDF eBook: District of Columbia Name Lists, 1600s – 1997, with a selection of National Name Lists, 1600s – Present

Note that PDF eBooks alone are available above at a total cost of $12.50 each – with immediate download available upon purchase.

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FamilySearch Adds More Than 200,000 Images to New United States Confederate Officers Card Index Collection

The following is from FamilySearch:
FamilySearch has recently added more than 3.4 million images from Colombia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Italy, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 207,550 images from the new United States, Confederate Officers Card Index, 1861-1865, collection, the 638,229 images from the South Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-2012, collection, and the 86,132 images from the new U.S., Minnesota, Naturalization Card Index, 1930-1988, 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

Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600-2012 – 14,409 – 0 – Added index records to an existing collection.
Czech Republic, Censuses, 1843-1921 – 0 – 36,431 – Added images to an existing collection.
Czech Republic, Church Books, 1552-1948 – 0 – 24,896 – Added images to an existing collection.
Indonesia, Jawa Tengah, Banyumas, Naturalization Records, 1970-2012 – 0 – 114,546 – New browsable image collection.
Italy, Bologna, Bologna, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1941 – 0 – 310,472 – Added images to an existing collection.
Italy, Catania, Caltagirone, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1861-1941 – 0 – 141,757 – Added images to an existing collection.
Italy, Cuneo, Saluzzo, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1942 – 0 – 247,766 – Added images to an existing collection.
Italy, Genova, Chiavari, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1941 – 0 – 122,451 – Added images to an existing collection.
Italy, Potenza, Melfi, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1861-1929 – 0 – 523,919 – Added images to an existing collection.
Italy, Siracusa, Siracusa, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1900-1942 – 0 – 129,809 – Added images to an existing collection.
Nicaragua, Civil Registration, 1809-2011 – 241,237 – 14,973 – Added index records and images to an existing collection.
Peru, La Libertad, Civil Registration, 1903-1998 – 0 – 48,320 – Added images to an existing collection.
Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996 – 0 – 33,508 – Added images to an existing collection.
Poland, Czestochowa Roman Catholic Church Books, 1873-1948 – 0 – 476 – Added images to an existing collection.
Portugal, Castelo Branco, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1911 – 0 – 16 – Added images to an existing collection.
South Korea, Collection of Genealogies, 1500-2012 – 0 – 638,229 – Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1629-1999 – 0 – 212,839 – Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., Minnesota, Naturalization Card Index, 1930-1988 – 0 – 86,132 – New browsable image collection.
U.S., Missouri, County Marriage Records, 1819-1969 – 0 – 204,819 – Added images to an existing collection.
U.S., Wisconsin, Milwaukee Naturalization Index, 1848-1990 – 0 – 79,616 – New browsable image collection.
United States, Confederate Officers Card Index, 1861-1865 – 0 – 207,550 – New browsable image collection.

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Silian 3 Stone Found in Wales Stream

The following excerpt is from the June 18, 2013 edition of
Silian 3 Stone

In a small Welsh village, Nikki Vousden and Roderick Bale were enjoying an evening stroll in the woods when a rock with strange carvings by the side of a stream caught their attention. Both archeologists, they knew it was no ordinary slab.

It took a late night in the library and a call with an expert to realize they had discovered a long-lost medieval stone with religious significance.
“We were going for a stroll in the evening and we sort of noticed the stone, half sticking out of the stream,” Vousden of the of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales told It had been raining and the water made the carvings stand out, causing Vousden and Bale of the University of Wales to further investigate.

They quickly called Nancy Edwards, an expert in ancient and medieval history… Edwards confirmed it as the Silian 3 stone, an artifact she had been searching for since labeling it with a question mark in her book A Corpus of Early Medieval Inscribed Stones and Stone Sculpture in Wales.

Read the full article.

The Silian 3 stone may be be an ecclesiastical monument. There’s also the possibility that it was used as a boundary or grave marker.

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Genealogist Gail Blankenau uses Homestead Act records via Fold3 and to discover Mary Myers of Gage County, Nebraska

The following was shared with us by Thomas MacEntee:
Mary Myers of Gage County, Nebraska, first female homesteader
June 18, 2013 – Lincoln, Nebraska. Professional genealogist Gail Blankenau has recently solved an ongoing mystery: Who was the first woman to secure a homestead in her own right through the Homestead Act of 1862? The answer can now be revealed thanks to family history records available at both and Fold3: Mary Myers, a widow, of Gage County, Nebraska. Myers applied for a homestead at the Brownville Land Office on 20 January 1863, just 19 days after Daniel Freeman, the first homesteader via the Homestead Act. Freeman’s certificate of payment is Certificate No. 1 and Myer’s is Certificate No. 3.

The Homestead Act of 1862 provided women with a unique opportunity to own land in their own right. A woman who was age 21 and the head of a family was eligible to apply under the Act. Thousands of women—widows, divorcees, single women, and deserted women—applied for a chance at independence.

Under the provisions of the Act, a settler had to build a dwelling, cultivate the land, and be in continuous residence for a five-year period. Settlers faced many hardships, including lack of water, bad weather, insects, and loneliness. Only 40% of those who applied for land were able to complete the process and secure a land patent.

Blankenau came across the records for Mary Myers while preparing for a presentation on women homesteaders at the upcoming National Homestead Monument’s Land Records and Genealogy Symposium on July 12 and 13, 2013, in Beatrice Nebraska. The land entry case file on the popular genealogy website Fold3, contains Mary Myer’s required affidavit stating that she had met all of the Act’s provisions.

“It is so important for us to celebrate the contributions of pioneer women like Mary Myers,” says Blankenau. “When delving into the land entry files, there are all sorts of details of their lives, details that aren’t easily found in many other records. Women were often the silent partner in land deals, but as female homesteaders, they could take center stage.”

Also see the post at the blog.

About Gail Blankenau
Gail Blankenau is a professional genealogist, speaker and author, specializing in German genealogy, land records, and lineage research. Gail has written for the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, The Genealogist, Everton’s Genealogical Helper, Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy. If it deals with genealogy, she probably does it. Learn more at Discover Family History (

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Savannah, Georgia, Records of Titles, 1791-1971 digitized and posted at


I see that has just posted a new database made up of 3,784 new records from the digitized Savannah, Georgia Records of Titles 1791-1971. The data is mostly from the Laurel Grove Cemetery, although early entries also seem to be for the sale of city lots by the City of Savannah. The original data came from Laurel Grove Cemetery – Records of Titles. Savannah, Georgia: Research Library & Municipal Archives City of Savannah, Georgia.

The following is from the website:

This database contains books of indentures between citizens and the city of Savannah, Georgia. Most are for the purchase of cemetery plots. These will include a name, date, the location of the burial plot, and price paid. Others are simply for lots, which will include name, date, cost, and lot location.

I noted that numerous witnesses’ signatures were found on many of the deeds.

The following books are all digitized and index-linked:

  • 1820-1840 (1791-1850)
  • 1822-1843 (1807-1843)
  • Blacks, Book 2-A, Section P, 1884-1899
  • Black, Book B, 1899-1912
  • Blacks, Book C, 1912-1924
  • Blacks, Book D, 1924-1971
  • Whites, Book A, 1852-1863 (1852-1864)
  • Whites, Book B, 1864-1882

This database is the sort of unique set of documents that genealogists don’t often think about, let alone get access to. The document can not only give the researcher information specific to their ancestor’s purchase, but places that ancestor in a specific place at a specific time. The witness signatures may also help is establishing relationships. Good stuff…

See the website for this database. Note – members will be able to click through directly to the database with this link. Non-members will be redirected with the opportunity to join for a Free Trial period, or a full subscription. I am pleased to say that I have an affiliate relationship, and plan to keep it that way for a long time.

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Presentation Proposals For RootsTech 2014 Now Being Accepted

The following is from RootsTech via FamilySearch.


Presentation proposals for RootsTech 2014 are now being accepted online at Proposals will be accepted through July 8, 2013.

The fourth annual RootsTech conference, hosted by FamilySearch, will be held February 6-8, 2014, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. RootsTech brings together the best in family history tools and technology to help attendees discover and share their family’s connections and stories. RootsTech 2014 will reach thousands of attendees both on-site in Salt Lake City and at remote locations around the world.

Presentations proposal should follow these guidelines:

  • Be 50 to 60 minutes in length, which includes a question-and-answer period.
    Offer an interactive experience where attendees leave with a finished product, completed task, or next steps (what the attendee can do when they get home).
  • Avoid text-based slides and lecture only.
  • Incorporate step-by-step, live demonstrations or best practices; avoid pitching an infomercial-type class to promote a certain product.
  • Provide new and innovative ideas or solutions that are technology focused. (Please do not resubmit proposals from previous years.)

We welcome presentation proposals that provide new insight, innovation, skills, and best practices in the following categories and that are geared towards attendees at a specific skill level. The bullet points below are given as possible examples. Other topics related to family history and technology will also be considered.

RootsTech 2014

Types of Sessions:

  1. Presentations: A classroom setting that engages participants.
  2. Panels or Discussions: Formal panel of experts discussing specific topics, led by a facilitator.
  3. Hands-on Workshops: Computer labs where attendees have hands-on experiences in a specific task or objective.
  4. Online Webinars: A new approach being considered for 2014 where the speaker presents from a remote location, not in Salt Lake City, or the presenter streams the presentation from Salt Lake City to a wider audience through a webinar or online hangout site.

Submission Information:
To be considered, proposals must include the following:

  • Speaker name, address, telephone, and email address
  • Presentation title (not to exceed 15 words)
  • Short presentation summary (not to exceed 40 words)
  • Long presentation description or outline (not to exceed 100 words)
  • Category and skill level (from chart above)
  • Session type (see types in section above)
  • Speaker bio (not to exceed 25 words)
  • Speaker photo (high resolution, approximately 300 dpi, in one of the following formats: .jpg, .eps or .png file)
  • Resume of recent presentation topics and event locations
  • Whether you approve the content of the presentation to be recorded and shared online (see Release to Record form on

Presentation proposals will be accepted online at from June 17-July 8, 2013. Due to the volume of presentation proposals we receive, please submit no more than five proposals per speaker. Limited, late-breaking technology submissions will be accepted, upon approval, until October 1, 2013.

Speakers selected to present at RootsTech 2014 will be notified by August 2, 2013. Syllabus materials (PDF file) for selected presentations will be due by November 1, 2013. Speakers who don’t submit syllabus materials on time may be removed from the schedule.

Presenters participating in RootsTech 2014 will receive a complimentary conference registration and access to all syllabus materials. Out-of-state speakers selected to present three or more presentations will also receive hotel accommodations. There is no monetary compensation for presenting at this conference.

Questions can be emailed to the attention of the RootsTech Speaker Selection Committee at

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Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA

rh01I write approximately six book reviews a week for this site. The main goal of each review is provide sufficient information about a book to allow the reader to determine the book’s potential value to their own library. In other words, to answer the question “should I buy this book?” I try to remain unbiased in my reviews, preferring to provide a summary or synopsis. To review this many books, I could not possibly read every page. Instead, I focus on author’s notes, forewords, introductions, and key sections of each book. However, every now and then I pick up a book and start reading and have a difficult time stopping. These books tend to be highly insightful, educational, and most-importantly, well written. Such is the case with Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA.

After the accidental discovery of his adoption, and sickbed revelations made by his adoptive father, Richard Hill began the arduous journey to finding his birth family. Hill recounts his own personal search for his birth family in gripping detail. There are many fiction author’s who could learn a thing or two from Hill’s writing. But, let me be clear, while this book is a story, according to the author it is also 100% true.

His mother’s name was Jackie. But was she dead or alive? She supposedly died in a car accident just a year or so after his birth. But Richard also learned this is a common story told to adoptees to keep them from digging too deeply into their past. Plus, one source told Richard she was a nurse who lived to become a professor. Oh, the tangled webs we weave. Such is the way with family research.

Through the chapters of this book, Hill not only reveals his own personal story, but he reveals the tips and tricks of his own success. Thinking like a detective, unearthing clues, and learning the system and how to manage it to your own advantage to find the answers. The climax of the book comes with the revelation that new simple DNA testing can prove relationships between parents and children, as well as siblings, cousins, and others.

Yes, this story is simply fun to read. But, this story is also useful to any adoptee looking for his or her biological family. In addition, these same techniques apply to any genealogical research. Following the paper trails, interviewing friends and family members, using directories, hunting down vital records, court records, and countless other research tools and sources are all critical to successfully uncovering one’s family history.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I typically avoid giving a personal opinion in my reviews. This time I am going to disregard my own rule and give this book two thumbs up (one from each hand). Even if you just read it for the story, this book is worth your time.

You can find Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA at Family Roots Publishing; Price: $14.65.

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“In Cold Blood” Case Files Digitized and Online

The following excerpt is from
The Kansas Historical Society announced that the inmate case files for notorious murderers Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickock and Perry Edward Smith have been added to Kansas Memory, the Historical Society’s online archives of photographs, manuscripts, and government records.

Hickock and Smith were convicted of the 1959 murders of Herb and Bonnie Clutter, their daughter, Nancy, and son, Kenyon, at the family’s home in Holcomb. The murders inspired the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

The case files contain correspondence with prison officials and family members, clemency petitions, newspaper articles, and legal documents. Items of particular interest include last meal requests, fingerprints, and execution witness lists. Hickock’s file is available at and Smith’s file at

Read the full article.

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Heir Hunters Expert Loses to WWII Veteran’s Daughter

The following teaser is from a fascinating article posted at the June 11, 2013 edition of It seems that chasing down heirs can become a costly proposition…

A TV-featured “heir hunter” has been beaten by a World War Two veteran’s natural daughter in a High Court race to inherit the ex-soldier’s home.

Peter Birchwood, a top genealogist and senior partner of Montgomery-based Celtic Research Ltd, was embroiled in a legal face-off with Cheryle Vallee after her Ukrainian-born father, Wlodzimierz Bogusz, died in 2003, at the age of 83, without leaving a will.

Mrs Vallee, 63, insisted she had the right to her father’s home in Eldon Street, Reading, because he had handed her the keys and deeds shortly before his death, and had pledged that “he wanted her to have the house when he died”.

However, because she had been formally adopted by family friends at the age of 13, she had no right to inherit as her father’s next of kin, and Mr Birchwood fought the corner of Mr Bogusz’s long lost brother after tracking him down to his home in eastern Europe.

Read the full article.

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Nebraska State Genealogical Society Awards Susan Doak “Genealogist of the Year” Award

According to a short article posted in the June 13, 2013 edition of the McCook Daily Gazette, Trish Collister, of Dwight, Nebraska, and president of the Nebraska State Genealogical Society, presented Susan Doak of McCook the Genealogist of the Year award at the 2013 Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Grand Island Nebraska. … The Nebraska State Genealogical Society offers an award to one genealogist or family historian each year for exceptional and outstanding service to his or her local genealogical society and the genealogy community as a whole.

Read more about the award.

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Windows on the Past: Identifying, Dating, & Preserving Photographs

hbg1620Over the past fifteen or so years, I have repeatedly heard or participated in many discussions, sometimes heated, over the best treatment and care for both older and newer photographs. The crux of the discussions often centering around digital photography for new images, and archiving of all type of photographic media, digital or otherwise. As the years have passed, the market has been flooded with newer, more advanced digital cameras; effectively, pushing the film camera into the annuals of history. In addition, methods for capturing and preserving older media into digital files has improved, with many people turning to an all digital storage solution. However, this does not change the need for genealogists to develop skills in identifying and dating old photos or learning to preserve old paper, glass, and tin-based images.

Dating and identifying old family photos is as popular a topic today as it has ever been. Yet, how often do researchers consider  the medium in which a photo has been preserved may not be as important as the image itself in dating a picture. As we migrate images from paper, tin, glass, or other media, to digital copies, how will our children know what type of image was the original? Interestingly enough, living in the digital age, it never really occurred to me to consider how often people took older photos, like daguerreotypes or ambrotypes, and had them “preserved” on paper, as cabinet cards, or as tintypes.

Fortunately, Diane VanSkiver Gagel considered this very question. On the back cover of her book, Windows on the Past: Identifying, Dating, & Preserving Photographs, Gagel identifies this very issue, noting in the 1860s photographers commonly advertised that they could make tintypes or cabinet cards from older photos. Makes me wonder how many people argued, even in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the relevance of “updating” their photos to the latest “technology.”

More importantly, is Diane gives consideration to the type of media, but maintains the critical need to evaluate the image itself for those important clues that not only date the image, but may suggest that it has been reimaged at some point. Like other photo detectives, Gagel describes dating photos as a four step process:

  1. Identify the photographic process
  2. Date the photographer’s years of operation
  3. Identify and date fashion worn in the image
  4. Date any props found in the image

In her book, Gagel make it clear that only after steps 3 and 4 are completed should anyone then prescribe a date to an image. This book covers all the standard photographic methods from daguerreotypes on. Different methods are examined for dating photos. Preservation techniques are also covered.


Table of Contents

Dating Our Photograph Collection

Identifying and Dating: Paper Photographs

Researching the Photographer

Dating Costumes 1840-1900

  • 1840-1850
  • 1850-1860
  • 1860-1870
  • 1870-1880
  • 188-1890
  • 1890-1900

Preservation of Our Photographs

Using the Photograph Analysis Chart



Order Windows on the Past: Identifying, Dating, & Preserving Photographs from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $16.66.


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Middlebrooks Cemetery in Georgia Cleaned Up by Sons of Confederate Veterans

The following teaser is from the June 17, 2013 edition of the Rockdale Citizen.
Larry Cornwell, front right, did much of the work to repair this rock wall surrounding the Middlebrooks Cemetery. Portions of the wall had been knocked down and buried. Also pictured are Underwod and New.

COVINGTON [Georgia] — The first time Debbie Autry saw the historic family cemetery, she was about 10. It was in such a decrepit state, “I just remember thinking we ought to do something about this,” Autry said.

Autry’s late mother, Peggy, was born in Porterdale but grew up in Macon. Autry lives in Calhoun. Autry’s grandparents maintained a home on the Middlebrooks plantation, but after they died their home was sold, and the family lost its immediate connection to the area. Autry and her mother still made an annual drive, and over the years,the cemetery showed more and more ruin.

#”It was way more of an undertaking than a couple of school teachers could do,” Autry said. Besides, “Mama and I were too afraid there might be critters crawling around in there.”

#The remains of Autry’s great-great, great-great-great and great-great-great-great grandparents are buried there, along with other family members.

#Autry said she always worried the cemetery would wind up under a highway. Then she learned that Sons of Confederate Veterans camps take on cemetery clean-up projects where Confederate soldiers are buried.

In June 2011, they held a memorial service to honor the Confederate soldiers buried there. Camp Genealogist Gene Wade researched records to create biographies on both men that were read at the service. Their research is maintained on the camp’s website,

Read the full article.

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A Genealogists’ Insta-Guide: Dollarhide’s Rules & Daffern’s Laws

fr0207William Dollarhide is a well-know author, census-records expert, avid genealogist and co-creator of a new series of guides called Genealogists’ Insta-Guides. Dollarhide is also well know for his “Genealogy Rules.” These are rules he has created to assist genealogists in their research. In fact, Dollarhide has written many blogs on this website, expanding on many of these rules in great detail.

Now, for the first time ever, all 50 of Dollarhide’s rules can be found in one place. Just released is the latest addition for Dollarhide’s series, Genealogists’ Insta-Guide: Dollarhide’s Rules & Daffern’s Laws.

Some of Dollarhide’s rules are funny, but surprisingly useful. For example:

Death certificates are rarely filled in by the person who died.

It ain’t history until it’s written down.

Other rules are more pragmatic, for example:

Treat the brothers and sisters of your ancestor as equals – even if some of them were in jail.

A genealogist needs to be a detective. Just gimmie da facts Ma’am

Adding to this guide are 17 additional rules, known as The Inevitable Laws of Genealogy, by Neta Hanna Daffern. Here is an example from her laws:

Your grandmother’s maiden name for which you’ve searched for years was on an old letter in a box in the attic all the time.

Like other quick sheets, and “at a glance” guides, the new Genealogists’ Insta-Guide series features four-page, laminated, colored guides which fit nicely into three-ringed binders and portfolios. By this design, these guides are easy to take along for sharing or going to the library for research; not to mention, they are easy to store. The Insta-Guide comes pre-punched for three-ringed insertion.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the new Insta-Guides is you can order each as either a printed piece or in electronic format. Electronic formats come as a  downloadable .pdf file for your computer: providing access on both PC and Macs as well as tablets and smart phones — as long as your device supports .pdf [Acrobat] files.


Genealogists’ Insta-Guide: Dollarhide’s Rules & Daffern’s Laws is available from Family Roots Publishing; Printed Price: $7.95, or .PDF download for $3.99

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Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama Receive the Obama Family Genealogy in Ireland

The following teaser is from the June 17, 2013 edition of the

What did Malia and Sasha Obama do on their summer vacation? They went to the library. In Ireland.

The little-seen, little-discussed Obama girls, now 14 and 11 respectively, are along for the ride with first lady Michelle Obama while the president is in Northern Ireland today and Tuesday meeting with other leaders of the G-8 industrial nations.

Soon after arriving in Belfast today, Michelle Obama introduced her husband before his speech to hundreds of students at the waterfront. Then she and her daughters left for Dublin, where they paid a visit to the Old Library at Trinity College for a presentation on the Obama family genealogy and the girls’ connection to Ireland.

The advance press releases issued last week by FLOTUS’ office only talks about what Mrs. O would be doing on the trip, and never mentioned her daughters. But they were front and center in the pictures, and in any case, they are the ones who are descended from Irish immigrants through the president’s maternal relatives in Kansas. (His great-great-great grandfather was a shoemaker in the tiny village of Moneygall, according to British and Irish media reports.)…

Read the full article.

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