August 30, 2009

Ancestry in arbitration over the Drouin Collection

According to reliable sources the Institut généalogique Drouin took The Generation Network Inc. into arbitration over the lack of full and proper indexation of the Drouin Collection previously put on-line by Ancestry.

On the 12th of August 2009, the judge named to arbitrate this case sided with Drouin, and declared that Ancestry has failed in its contractual obligation to properly and fully index the database prior to publication and since publication. The decision grants 60 (days) to Tje Generations Network to remedy the situation. Should they fail to do so, the license granted by the Institut Drouin will lapse.

The parties must still meet on September 9, 2009 to decide on the amount of damages caused by this breach of contract. Following this decision, Jean Pierre Pépin has asked that Ancestry remove the Drouin collection from internet access until such
time as it is fully and properly indexed.

The Drouin collection is not available on Ancestry.com, instead genealogists will see a notice

Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
About Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
UPDATE: Access to this content is currently unavailable.


For those who read French the dispute detailscan be viewed in this PDF file. You can also read blog news in French about this litigation

Pocket watch returned to family - after 130 years at sea

A silver pocket watch which lay at the bottom of the ocean for almost 130 years is finally being returned to the family of its owner. Rich Hughes, a diver, spotted the watch in the sand as he explored a shipwreck sunk off the Welsh coast.

After bringing it to the surface, he saw the words "Richard Prichard 1866 Abersoch North Wales" engraved on the casing. Mr Hughes told how he started to trace the family of ship captain Richard Prichard to hand over the heirloom.

Continue reading this amazing story of the Pocket watch returned to family - after 130 years at sea

It gives us all hope! Can you imagine the thrill of receiving that phone call telling you that one of your ancestor's treasured family heirlooms had been found and was being given to you? Especially thrilling because you would not even have known the item existed! Wow!

So here is my request - if anyone finds my 4th great-grandfather Jacob Peer's bible would you please send it to me, no matter what kind of condition it is in? Jacob was born circa 1730 (birth place unknown), married Anne (surname unknown) and lived in New Jersey then Upper Canada (Ontario) where he died ca 1810-1815. So if you find his bible, think of me!

August 29, 2009

Featured Database: Baptisms Old Dutch Church, Totowa New Jersey

One of the overlooked databases on Olive Tree Genealogy website is that of the Old Dutch Church in Totowa New Jersey. Baptisms from 1756-1822 are free and online in the New Jersey Church records section.

Other New Jersey Church Records are

Marriages Elizabethtown, (was Essex Co.)
Marriages in Hackensack pre 1700
Early Settlers in Hackensack
First Reformed Dutch Church at Montville, Morris Co., Baptisms 1786-1828
First Reformed Dutch Church at Montville, Morris Co., Marriages 1826-1873

Other New Jersey free records are found at New Jersey Genealogy & History

August 27, 2009

Ontario, Canada Marriage Registers by Clergy, 1896-1948

Ancestry.com has just released a new database Ontario, Canada Marriage Registers by Clergy, 1896-1948

This database is a collection of 18 volumes of marriage registers compiled by the clergy under the Registration Act of 1896. These registers contain over 12,000 marriages and cover the years 1896 to 1948. Most of the registers were compiled by Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian ministers.

The Registration Act of 1896 mandated that clergymen report marriages within 30 days of when they took place. Under previous laws, marriages could be reported within 90 days. This act went into effect July 1, 1896.

The registers consist of preprinted forms that the ministers simply filled out whenever a marriage took place. These forms had spaces to record the following information about the bride and groom:

* Name
* Age
* Residence
* Whether bachelor/spinster or widow/widower
* Occupation (for the groom only)
* Religious denomination
* Names of parents

The record also indicated whether the couple was married by license or by banns, included the signatures of the bride and groom, and provided the names and addresses of the witnesses. At the bottom of each record the minister was to sign and date the record, certifying the authenticity of the recorded marriage.

August 25, 2009

Indiana Alasdair and Lilith Croft, Tomb Raider (Making a history adventure movie with children)

My two eldest grandchildren are with me for their annual summer week with Grandma and Grandpa. This is when we enjoy genealogy treasure hunts, Cemetery Hunts, Genealogy Crossword puzzles and other fun Genealogy activities such as playing Ancestor Cards. My grandson, who is 11, is a history buff. He loves all things historical and genealogical. How great is that for a passionate genealogist to have a grandson she can pass the torch to!

We planned a Genealogy Time Capsule for this year's big event but we are not sure now if there will be time. Since we always make a movie with the kids (their choice) with Grandpa filming and offering suggestions to help them keep their thoughts organized, my role is usually during the brainstorming sessions. That's where I encourage them to write down their ideas for the plot, characters and costumes. It doesn't have to be lengthy, a page of jotted notes usually does the trick but they seem to enjoy it and it helps them stay on track.

This year we've decided to do a historically based adventure movie. It's based on the TerraCotta Soldiers found in China. These soldiers guarded the Emporer's Tomb. So the plot this year involves my grandchildren being archeologists who dig up a TerraCotta Army which is guarding a Chinese Emperor's Tomb. There is of course a curse attached to the disturbing of this Army and there will be many dangers facing the archeolgists.

Luckily I happen to have a Terracotta Army of Chinese soldiers (doesn't everyone??). I purchased them at various stores one summer to use for chessmen on my outdoor chessboard! They aren't full size but are about 2 to 3 feet tall. Making this movie will allow us to talk about history, about archeology and about China. We can even talk about different burial customs, so it touches on genealogy.

Our working title is Indiana Alasdair & Lilith Croft, Tomb Raider: The Army of Death This morning we are going to come up with ideas for the various scenes, the overall story line and costumes. I always get a small role in these movies, so am not sure what they will come up for me this year! Last year I was a grandmother who was turned into a zombie by a zombie dog (our dog Barley), but saved with a magic potion by a little girl (my granddaughter). The part required me to have fake blood dripping from my mouth and to stumble around our living room doing a zombie walk a la Michael Jackson. I hope this year my part will be a little easier and require less messy makeup!

This afternoon Grandpa will film them. This usually lasts several hours, there is lots of discussion on location, costumes, dialogue, etc. Often it extends to 2 OR 3 days of filming, then trying to keep the grandchildren entertained while Grandpa uses his computerized editing program to edit, add sound, credits and titles, then burn the movie to a CD ROM. The grandchildren take that home with them to show family. All in all it's a fun way to spend time with the kids, to talk about history or genealogy, and to introduce many educational aspects to a fun activity.

August 24, 2009

What I would do differently at a Family Reunion

Well the Family Fun Fest (aka Family Reunion) is over. We held it Sunday at our place and thankfully the rain held off until all the games were played.

The Scavenger Hunt went well except we had a problem with people getting stung by bees over near the red barn! Unfortunately the nest was around the back and we had no idea it was there. I suppose that's one of the challenges of an outdoor family reunion in the country, but I still felt bad that it happened to my family and friends.

Even though my brother was savvy enough to read my Sunday morning blog post to get clues ahead of time, his daughter and her husband, plus my 4 year old grandson, won! Little Colby knows our property very well and he knew where a lot of the items (chicken eggs, carrot for a bunny, oak leaf, a letter in the mailbox) were.

The victory photo of the winners was amusing as Colby did his Dr. Evil impersonation and held it for all the shots.

After the Scavenger Hunt we had to scramble as it started to rain. Just a light drizzle at first so everyone moved under the awnings (until we ran out of room). But just as the meal was almost ready, corn was boiling over our outdoor firepit, and food was being placed on the tables on the front verandah, it began to pour.

I had no backup plan (note to self: create a Plan B next time for eating!) and had a moment's panic trying to think where 38 people would sit in my house to eat a very messy meal! But everyone was very good natured and they either sat outside under the awnings or made do with whatever little space they could find to park themselves inside. Luckily the food was fine as our front veranda is 40 feet long with a roof.

The most correct answers to the Family Trivia Game was won by my oldest son (go figure!!) and his prize was the McGinnis Family Book I created.

What would I do differently next year?

1. I would have name tags - and I'd ask each "guest" to put their name AND their relationship to me or to my husband. That would not only be kind of fun for distant cousins to figure out their relationship, but it would also help people to know who everyone is. There are complex relationships with today's blended families and sometimes Person A can't figure out how Person B fits into the family.

2. I'd shorten the Family Trivia Game, and I would have it a bit more structured. I'd have a set time where everyone who wants to play is given the sheet of questions and a pencil, then given a set amount of time to finish the task. I thought it would be more fun if they had all afternoon and could ask other family members for help, but that just resulted in confusion and people losing interest in the game.

3. I would put up a more prominent family chart - a simple pedigree chart - and make sure everyone knew where it was for viewing

It was a lot of fun and I can't wait til the next one!

August 23, 2009

Newspaper Index for Barrie Ontario Canada online

The Barrie Public Library in Simcoe County Ontario Canada has placed the Barrie Newspaper Index online:

http://news.ourontario.ca/barrie/

The index covers the period from 1847 to 1968 and includes almost 120,000 entries.

How to find Newspapers from other Ontario locations can be found at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/can/ont/npaper.shtml

August 22, 2009

Scavenger Hunt at Family Reunion

Today is the day of our big McGinnis Family Reunion. I always create a Scavenger Hunt for these gettogethers and this year is no exception. Because we live on a large property the hunt covers a fair bit of ground and usually takes from 30 to 60 minutes.

Because our reunion also includes my husband's family, and friends, I like to encourage mingling by creating random partners for the hunt. I do this by creating cards in pairs - either numbers or animals or colours. Sometimes I have people choose their cards as soon as they arrive. This gives them lots of time during the first hour of the party to look for their match. But other times I wait until the Scavenger Hunt is ready to start and then everyone picks their card and frantically hunts for their match. That's lots of fun as it gets quite noisy with people yelling out numbers, or animal names, or sometimes making the sound of their animal.

I like to have family gather some items but I also have them answer questions for part of the hunt. This year I tried to think of some genealogy questions that could be incorporated but decided instead to create a separate game called Family Trivia Game which I talked about in yesterday's blog post.

This year we are using pairs of animals and it should be fun to see everyone trying to find their matching animal.

So our Scavenger Hunt consists of gathering items such as:

* a piece of hay

* an oak leaf

* an egg (we have chickens but they don't lay enough eggs. So to make sure everyone finds an egg, I hardboiled 2 dozen which we will hide in the barn and around the yard. However the teams will not be told that the eggs are hardboiled. Instead each team wil be told that they need to be very careful with their eggs since they are freshly laid by the chickens and can't come back to me broken.... just a little McGinnis twist!)

* a Canadian flag (I'm going to plant small ones on sticks around the yard)

* an apple (we have apple trees scattered around the property)

I also ask questions such as

* How many outside doors are on our house
* How many barns do we have
* What is the name of hubby's tractor?

For a bit of extra fun this year, I took envelopes and addressed them to each animal team. I then created stamps using the animal picture from the cards I made, and on each stamp I printed a postage amount (2c, 5c, etc) The instructions and question posed on the Scavenger Hunt say that it is Mail Call. Each team has to get their team mail (it's up to the teams to figure out there is a rural mail box at the end of our driveway) and bring it back. They must also note the cost of their stamp. But the trick is that I fastened the stamps on very loosely, and it is almost guaranteed that many will fall off before the team checks the postage. Yes okay I have a bizarre sense of humour....

For an extra surprise I sealed all the envelopes and in each one I put a slip announcing that team had won a bonus prize. It will be interesting to see which of the teams open their envelopes! The bonus prizes are small tokens which are genealogy related - bookmarks I created with genealogy slogans on them.

I think this will be quite a bit of fun and as long as my niece doesn't break her ankle again (as she did at the last family reunion at our place) we should be okay.

August 21, 2009

Family Reunions & Genealogy Games

Tomorrow is a big McGinnis family reunion at our home. We have these about every 5 years, and each year I try to incorporate new games for everyone to play. Because my family is not as passionate about genealogy as I am, I like to brainwash them (oops, I mean educate them!) with a little bit more genealogy and ancestor stories at each gathering.

This year we are having my infamous Scavenger Hunt - it's infamous because at the last gathering my niece broke her ankle! Yes, she was running down our gravel driveway during the hunt and lost her footing. Our property is a 100 acre hobby farm so there's lots of places for mishaps to occur. My Scavenger Hunt is not a genealogy based game but it's lots of fun and everyone seems to enjoy it. Because we are on a large property the boundaries of the hunt are clearly laid out and I hide items when necessary. More on that in tomorrow's blog post!

We will also be playing a game called Family Trivia Game. I created a list of 15 questions about the family - asking such things as "What was the maiden name of Grandma McGinnis?" and "Which ancestor is famous for being the only person to die walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls?" and "What year did Grandma & Grandpa Fuller leave England to come to Canada?"

I create fairly easy questions because of my family's general lack of interest in all things genealogy! But I like to include questions about facts they probably don't know and I'm hoping they'll remember when they leave. If my 11 year old grandson were able to be with us tomorrow, he'd win this game hands down. He knows more about our ancestors than anyone in the family besides me.

One of my questions this year (and this is a big help for any of my family reading my blog before tomorrow!) gives one point for each sibling they can name for four of our ancestors - our Grandpa Fuller, Grandma Fuller, and Grandma & Grandpa McGinnis. I like to give clues so for this question I told them that the total number of possible points is 15. That should help.

I also create a simple ancestor (pedigree) chart that goes on a clipboard I will place outside on one of the tables. Anyone who checks that chart will be able to answer some of the questions. This year I added a question that involves them looking at a photograph of one of our ancestors taken in England in 1894. I hope that adds a little more visual interest to the game. I gave the relationship of the ancestor to me (2nd great-grandmother) and they have to tell me her name. I suspect no one will know it, but they might realize they can check the 16-generation genealogy chart in my computer room to see who fits the bill.

As family arrive they'll be given the sheet with the questions, and a pencil. They have several hours to work on their questions, because I won't be posting the answers until after the corn roast and meal is over. So that will give everyone about 3 hours to try to come up with the answers. Each person will mark their own sheet (hey, my family is honest, aren't they?) and the prize for the person with the most points is a copy of my McGinnis Family book.

I'm excited to try this game out tomorrow, it was very difficult to limit the questions to 15! I kept thinking of questions I wanted to ask, but my husband pointed out it was starting to look too much like an exam at school! Here's hoping I hit the middle ground and asked questions that weren't too difficult but were interesting enough to pique family members' interest.

August 19, 2009

Ancestry.com Bringing High-Speed Scanners to FGS in Little Rock

Received from Ancestry today:

Ancestry.com is excited to provide FGS conference attendees the opportunity to have their family records scanned, for free, on high–speed scanners.

The scanners will be available for up to 15-minute scanning sessions on Thursday, September 3, through Saturday, September 5, during the exhibit hall hours.

Scanning-session signs-ups will open each morning—sign up Thursday morning for a Thursday time slot, Friday morning for a Friday time slot, and so on. The scanning machines and sign-ups will be located in the Toltec Lobby registration area of the Statehouse Convention Center.

To help
Ancestry.com finalize scanning plans, we're asking conference attendees to visit the following URL and let us know if they will be bringing items to scan: http://FGSscanners.eventbrite.com

Details about Scanning
· Ancestry.com imaging specialists will operate the scanner
· Ancestry.com is bringing two scanners to the conference: a high–speed, loose–leaf scanner that will scan documents and photographs in full color and a planetary scanner for books and more fragile items
· Attendees will be able to scan about 100 family photographs or documents during a 15–minute session
· Scanned images will be saved to flash drives (provided at no cost by Ancestry.com) and given to attendees. (Note: Scanned images will NOT be uploaded to the Ancestry.com website by Ancestry.com personnel.)
· Due to anticipated demand, conference attendees will be able to sign up for only one scanning session during the conference

There is always a possibility that damage to older, more fragile documents may occur during the scanning process. Ancestry.com urges patrons to use their best judgment when choosing documents to be scanned.

Lambton Park Toronto School Photo 1919

The word prompt for the 17th Edition of Smile For The Camera is
School Days. It is September, historically the month when a new school year begins. We all have images of the days spent in school. The barefoot children gathered together with their teacher in front of the rural school your ancestors attended. Children at their desks, children at play in the school yard, and those obligatory school photographs - one for every year. Show us your family memories of school days.

I liked this idea of photographs of school days, because I have 3 family photos of class pictures from before 1920! It's really interesting to study the little faces of the children, check out their clothes and note the historical details.



So, here goes with my first photo, a picture taken in Toronto in 1919 at Lambton Park School (on Bernice Crescent in Toronto) with my mother's cousin Doris Simpson and her schoolmates. Doris is 3rd row from the front and 3rd girl from the left.

They look so cold and the young boys in the front row look so impoverished, their clothing is more ragged and assorted than some in the back rows. But WW1 had just ended and presumably money was tight. Some of the boys are wearing clothes far too small for them.

Don't you just love the little boys with their newspaper boy caps, looking straight out of the movie "Gangs of New York"!

August 16, 2009

Genealogist Section on NewspaperArchive.com

I've had more time to play around at NewspaperARCHIVE.com and I'm loving it.

Yesterday I decided to check out their section for Genealogists. It's on the front page in the left side bar.

The Genealogists section has helpful search tips and articles by experienced genealogists. I did find that clicking on the highlighted link "articles by practicing genealogists" just reloaded the page I was on, so I used the links in the left side bar

Search Tips
Find an Obituary
Featured Articles
Phyllis Matthew Ziller
Joe Manning
Dick Hillenbrand
Suggestions

The articles I read were very helpful and I encourage you to have a visit and take a moment to look around. Then start searching for your ancestors in newspapers on NewspaperARCHIVE.com and have fun!

August 14, 2009

World Vital Records FREE Access until August 18th!

WorldVitalRecords Free Site Access Today! World Vital Records announced today that it is extending its FREE ACCESS to the site until August 18th.

That's right, genealogists now have 4 more days to explore World Vital Records and find ancestors for FREE.

August 12, 2009

High School Yearbooks - an overlooked treasure?

A few weeks ago I found, and bought, two old yearbooks. They were from Guelph Collegiate Institute in Guelph Ontario for 1931 and 1932. Both my parents were born and raised in Guelph and I figured there was a good chance my mother at least would be mentioned in those yearbooks!

Sure enough there she was in a class photo for 1932. What a treasure! She was 16 years old and almost finished her Commercial Classes.

Other surprises in the Yearbooks were photos of Len Peer, my father's cousin. He is with the rest of the Senior Rugby Team in one photo which I have scanned and inserted here. He's the teenage boy at the top.

In the text I also spotted mention of Albert and John McGinnis, more cousins to my father. I am really enjoying going through the yearbooks, not only to look for names of relatives and ancestors, but also just to get a glimpse of what was "in" duing my mom and dad's teenage years.

I was surprised to also find death notices for students who had passed away. I decided to have a hunt for one teenage girl whose photo was with her death notice in 1931 and found her death registration on Ancestry.com Her death notice and details from her death certificate are on AncestorsAtRest blog.

The ads are amusing from my present-day perspective, as are the musical references but what is being shown and touted as the best, WAS the current rage in 1931 and 1932. It's a piece of history and I'm thrilled to have found these items.

Find School Yearbooks on E-Bay or you can hunt through old bookstores and flea markets to find your own treasure from the past.

August 11, 2009

Top 10 reasons to publish your research

"At some point, we always plan to publish our findings, whether it’s just within immediate family members or to the world at large." Source: August 5, Boston Genealogy Examiner Robin C. Mason

Robin takes us through 10 reasons to publish our genealogy research. I'd like to add 2 more reasons -

1. Knowing that you will publish your research forces you to be organized and keep your documents organized

2. Knowing you will publish your genealogy research forces you to notate your sources consistently and in a universally accepted method

Now read Robin's article

August 10, 2009

Share Those Genealogy Treasures!

On Saturday there was an Elgie Picnic near us. It was a reunion for descendants of William Elgie, the first miller in Guelph Ontario circa 1832. My husband is a descendant. We couldn't attend the picnic but we invited two of our "cousins" to our home afterwards.

Diane (from Texas) and Mary Anne (from Ontario) joined us for dinner and long talks about all things Elgie! We pored over their binders of information on Elgie ancestors. My husband's mother joined us to share her memories of her grandfather who was yet another William Elgie. We spent several hours happily reading each other's notes and sharing stories.

We showed them our Elgie photographs, and then the surprise - we pulled out our newspaper clippings that my husband's great-aunt clipped and saved during the 1950s. The clippings were stories and photos from a local newspaper and involved all her Elgie relatives. What a wonderful treasure trove!

Diane's eyes lit up because she is the unofficial compiler of all Elgie information. Diane does an amazing job of gathering and organizing all the Elgie material that others send her (and that she finds in her own research). After compiling all the data, she makes sure every Elgie descendant knows about it by publishing it on a website. Information on living people is always omitted.

Diane and Mary Ann quickly sorted the newspaper clippings into two piles - one with all new data which my husband offered to scan and email to Diane. The other much smaller pile was information already known to them. Watching Diane's joy at finding this treasure which had been in my husband's filing cabinet for many years, it struck me that all genealogists need to go through their papers and share what they have hidden away! What better way to ensure that these treasures don't get tossed out or forgotten.

August 7, 2009

Friends Reunited Sold

Media group DC Thomson, is jumping further on the genealogy bandwagon through its £25 million acquisition of the social networking site Friends Reunited.

Friends Reunited started as an online service for reuniting school friends, but in 2003 launched a sister service called Genes Reunited, which publisher DC Thomson will now run alongside its own family history site, findmypast.com.

This may have some interesting consequences for genealogy researchers so be sure to watch this merger carefully.

August 6, 2009

Genealogy Rant (Pet Peeve)

Why do some (many?) genealogy researchers think that all genealogy information on their ancestors can be found online?

I see it all the time. Someone posts on a mailing list
"I can't find my ancestor, he's my BRICK WALL! I have been searching for 5 years and I've looked EVERYWHERE!!! Can anyone help me?"
More details emerge and you feel quite excited because you know where this researcher can find the records they want!

So you respond. You explain that the records he/she needs are found in the Whatchihoogis Archives in Watchihoogis USA (or Canada or...) You add that you've used these records personally and they contain a wealth of information. You give them a URL for the website for the Whatchihoogis Archives so they can find out how to order the records on microfilm or how to go there in person or how to obtain a lookup from the Archives.

You sit back expectantly, basking in the knowledge that you just helped someone crack a major block in their genealogy. You know how happy that person will be and what a loud THANK YOU you'll receive.....

But that's a fantasy. In reality, 9 times out of 10, what do you get? A loud "I went to the website you gave me but those records aren't online!"

You explain that not all genealogy records are online. That researchers may have to go to the source, that is, the Archives or the Library that holds the records. They may have to (gasp!) do some of their research the old-fashioned way - out of their computer chair and off to a Library or Archives where one must use a microfilm reader. Or a book!

You remind the mailing list poster that he/she has had this "brick wall" for several years. That the records in question are not likely to go online in the near future, if ever. You suggest that breaking down that barrier might be worth checking into how the records can be accessed.

At this point I have actually received emails that say "What good does that do me? Guess I will just have to keep looking" And a few days or a week or a month later, you spot the identical query from this person posted on several mailing lists
"I can't find my ancestor, he's my BRICK WALL! I have been searching for 5 years and I've looked EVERYWHERE!!! Can anyone help me?"

The reason for my rant today is that lately I've been running into this a lot. In fact one researcher I corresponded with in my attempts to help, mentioned that he'd been posting on mailing lists with his query since 2000. Okay that's NINE YEARS! Would he not at some point realize it's time to get up from his computer and get out to the Archives that holds the records he needs?

How can we as genealogists educate others to the fact that no genealogy research can be completed by using one resource only. There are so many other places where we need to search! The Internet is a wonderful resource, it's incredible how much data is online and more is coming all the time. But there are still other physical repositories - Libraries and Archives and local Museums - where scads of information on our ancestors lies waiting to be discovered.

August 4, 2009

1930 USA Census FREE During August

Footnote has opened up the 1930 census for all to view FREE during the month of August.

Footnote.com CLICK START NOW ON THE BANNER TO VIEW THE CENSUS FOR FREE

Don't miss this opportunity to search for ancestors. Use the banner to reach the page for complete and free access to the 1930 census. All you need do is register with your email address and then start searching.

August 3, 2009

England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892 online

England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892 has just gone online on Ancestry.com

This database contains criminal registers from England and Wales for the years 1791-1892. The criminal registers are a listing of individuals charged with crime. The registers provide information about the charged individual, their trial, and sentence (if convicted) or other outcome. Information listed may include:

* Name of criminal
* Age
* Birthplace (not often listed after 1802)
* Crime
* When and where tried
* Sentence (death, transportation, imprisonment, acquittal, etc.)
* Where and when received
* Date of execution or release
* By whom committed, to whom delivered



Here is an example from an 1865 record. 5th name down is Thomas Down charged with embezzlement. He was sentenced to one month's imprisonment at Redhill. There is a notation in the Discharge column stating that when he is freed he is to be sent to a Reformatory School for four years. Think how exciting this would be if Thomas were your ancestor! You'd be hunting for information on Redhill and checking the 1871 census to see if perhaps Thomas was in a Reform School somewhere.

Information obtained from these registers may be able to lead you to other records. For example, if you have a date and place of trial, you will know when and where to search for court records. Other criminal records to consult include:

* Calendar of Prisoners
* Prison Registers
* Court records such as depositions, indictments, and case files
* Warrants, including pardons, reprieves, and transfers of prisoners
* Transportation records

August 1, 2009

Burr Oak Cemetery Cook County Illinois Online

Burr Oak Cemetery where 300 graves were illegally disinterred and the plots resold, has now been placed online by the Cook County Sheriff's Office. Families can now browse the photographs of headstones and also search for an ancestor's name in the database search engine

As well, the entire Cemetery database in cvs format has been placed online for those interested to download. This file can opened by most spreadsheet programs. I used Excel to view it.

There are some problems with the database. Genealogists will discover that some names and dates in the photos are not the same as the names and dates in the database. But this is a very small hiccup because you can check the online Cook County Death Indexes for verification, or census records (I use Ancestry.com for my census searches)

We must remember that it was not genealogists who created the database, it was the Cook County Sheriff's office. They compiled this database in record time and relatives and descendants will find it very useful, even with the discrepancies.

... Read more about the tragedy at Burr Oak Cemetery