December 29, 2009

Sharing Memories: New Year's (Week 5)

Last week we wrote about Christmas Memories in our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Journal. I hope everyone will join me this week to talk about memories of New's Years.

Did your family (or you) make resolutions? Did you have wild New Year's Eve parties? Did you watch Dick Clark every New Year's Eve? What memories do you have of that night, or do you recall your parents' telling you about?

I don't have memories of anything special as a child or a teenager, so I'm going to talk about the traditions started as an adult with a family of my own. For the past 25 or more years, my second oldest brother and his family have joined us to celebrate the New Year.

We watch a bad movie (that's part of the tradition, it must be a stinker), get take-out Chinese Food, and reminisce about previous years. Our children were part of this tradition but gradually they began doing their own thing. Now our children are grown with children of their own, but my brother and I still carry on our silly little New Year's Eve tradition.

Join me in writing about your New Year's Eve memories or traditions in this week's Genealogy Memories Journal!

December 20, 2009

Sharing Memories - Christmas Activities (Week 4)

Last week we wrote about Winter Holidays in our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Journal. I hope everyone will join me this week to talk about memories of Christmas (or other December celebrations)

We didn't have much money when I was growing up. Christmas was a time of asking (and hoping!) for one gift under the tree. One of my earliest Christmas memories is when I was 10 years old. I wanted a doll that walked when you held its hands but I knew my chances were slim as it was quite expensive.

Christmas morning at my Grandmother's in Guelph was a mixed bag of emotions - I got my doll (the photo is of me with that longed-for doll) but my parents got coal and potatoes in their stockings. I guess I still believed in Santa Claus because I remember being very upset that they didn't get our usual orange, nuts in the shell and a pomegranate!

There are so many Christmas memories, some good, some bad. My father died on Christmas Day and so Christmas is not always a happy time for me. But memories whether happy or sad, should be shared so that our descendants have a glimpse into our lives.

I hope you will join me to write about Memories of Christmas past in this week's Sharing Memories Journal

December 18, 2009

All Saints' Anglican Church destroyed by fire

All Saints' Anglican Church in Whitby, Ontario was destroyed by fire a few days ago. This church was founded in 1864 and has been in use since that time.

Investigators think that the fire may have been set deliberately and when I read this all I could think about was the church records. Were the church registers of baptisms, marriages and burials or deaths destroyed? Are they safe?

No one was hurt in the fire (a blessing) but it's a tragedy and hopefully the guilty culprits will be found and punished to the fullest extent of the law

December 16, 2009

Ask Olive Tree Genealogy a Question

Do you need help finding an ancestor? Do you have a genealogy question you would like to ask me? Do you want to know where to find certain genealogy records? Let Lorine help! Every day I will choose one question to answer. Send your query about your ancestors to me then check back here to see if it has been answered. Please take a few minutes to read other queries that I've responded to so you get an idea of the kind of query most apt to be chosen.

Here are a few of the December 2009 queries asked and answered on Ask Olive Tree

* Searching for a Portuguese Ancestor
* Obtaining New York Vital Statistic Records
* Finding an ancestor with an unusual surname
* Don't Trust Family Lore as Absolute Fact
* Writing a Good Query
* Finding Genealogy Records in Russia
* Finding a Swedish Ancestor on a Ships Passenger List
* Be sure to gather all data before you jump ahead in genealogy research
* Finding an Ancestor in 1910 Census using City Directories
* Finding an Ancestor's Death Record
* Searching for American Legion Inventory of Military Graves
* Using National Archives UK to find Australian Ancestor

Submit your genealogy challenge to

December 15, 2009

St, George Utah Family History Expo

Don't miss the 6th Annual St. George Family History Expo February 26-27, 2010 in St. George Utah.

This Family History Expo is your chance to learn about your family origins

December 14, 2009

Two Genealogy Subscriptions for One! & World Vital Records have a great offer this Christmas Season. Subscriptions to both for the price of one!

Give a gift of genealogy to yourself or a loved one by signing up for this special buy one, get subscriptions to both websites and their wonderful genealogy data.

December 13, 2009

Sharing Memories - Winter Vacations (Week 3)

Last week we wrote about Winter Events and Activities in our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Journal. I hope everyone will join me this week to talk about memories of Winter Holidays and Vacations.

Did you and your family visit other family members or friends over the winter? Did you take trips to somewhere warm and sunny (remember I live in cold snowy climate so going south each winter was something that was a special treat!)

Tell us who you visited, where you went, what you liked best (or least!) about these winter trips. Perhaps you went skiing in Colorado or Utah or Quebec (or Europe), or joined a cruise ship sailing in the Caribean. Share your memories for future descendants to enjoy.

What was the best or the funniest or the worst winter vacation you ever went on - either as a child or as a grown adult with children of your own.

We didn't take any winter holidays when I was a child, so I'm going to write about driving south to Florida and Disneyworld with my 4 year old and 11 year old sons, and ending up spending more time in an Orlando hospital with my youngest, than seeing Mickey Mouse!

Definitely a winter holiday to remember and put on paper for future descendants!

December 12, 2009

Form 30 Border Crossings 1919-1924 at Library & Archives Canada

New - Microform Digitization of Border Crossings at LAC (Library & Archives Canada)

Form 30, Border Entry Records, 1919-1924

These records are not indexed at the LAC. To use these records more efficiently, view the list of microfilm numbers and what each one contains

You can also search the INDEX to these records on

December 11, 2009

1839 Petworth Emigrants Ships Passenger List

Thank you to Brenda Dougall Merriman for the following announcement

Colonel George Wyndham was the son of the third Earl of Egremont who was instrumental in the large Petworth Emigration of 1832-1837 to Canada from southeast England.

Wyndham also sponsored emigrations from his estates in Ireland, but only the first was conducted under similar care and conditions as those of his father. Now, historian Wendy Cameron has uncovered a list of that first group sent from Ireland in 1839 on the ship Waterloo. The list includes names, ages, family members, and their locations in January 1840. The names of most towns and townships are in the old
Newcastle District of Upper Canada, but some went on to the United States.

For more information, please visit our Petworth Emigrations website. We also have a group presence on Facebook called Petworth Emigrants.

December 10, 2009

Arizona Family History Expo

Don't miss the 2nd Annual Arizona Family History Expo January 22-23, 2010 in Mesa Arizona

Family History Expos are opportunities to learn about the techniques and technology available to trace your family origins

December 9, 2009

Sharing Memories: Winter Activities (Week 2)

Earlier I talked about writing our own life stories in Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey I've invited readers to join me on this journey by beginning your own journal and following along with me as I go through weekly topics and ideas for writing your personal history and family stories.

So last night I started my journal with the topic "WINTER ACTIVITIES". Every day this week I'll be recording my memories of special winter fun and events throughout my life. In my case, my winters involved snow - lots of snow. Many of you live in areas that don't get snow and I'm not familiar with what (if any) special winter fun there is to be had with no snow but I'm hoping there are lots.

If there are none, remember that is also something to write about - the fact that you didn't have any winter activities. Tell your descendants why - because of where you lived? Because there was no money for any? The "not having" can be as memorable as the "having"

Last night the memory that popped into my head was of my father teaching me to skate on the frozen lake. It was really fun to start writing about it, and the more I wrote, the more I remembered! The coldness, the sound of our skates on the ice, my father encouraging me as I stumbled along. It was a special time for me and even though I can't recall how old I was or how many times we went out together, I hope that my descendants will enjoy reading about it in the future.

I already know what I'm writing about tonight - the annual Santa Claus parade in "the city" (Toronto) that we went to every year. I have a lot to say about that! Who knows, maybe that event won't exist by the time my descendants read my journal and they'll have a chuckle over what an ancestor did in the past.

I would love to find a journal of one of my distant ancestors describing an annual event with his or her family. And that's what keeps me writing - for future descendants.

So, hopefully you have a journal ready and will join me in writing about your memories of winter activities. What special winter fun did you have growing up or as a young adult or newly married adult or with your own children?

December 8, 2009

Sharing Memories: A Genealogy Journey (Week 1)

A few months ago I talked about Memory Books and Genealogy Journal writing

It's important as genealogists that we not forget about writing our own story. Yes, we all want to find information on our ancestors and once we find it, most of us will put it in booklet form to share with other family members. But what about our own memories? We may think writing about ourselves is boring or egotistical but stop and think how excited you would be if you found a journal or memoirs that your great great grandmother kept!

I began my Life Story last year. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I started with my first memory and tried to keep my journal chronological. It was a matter of writing down my memories of each year of my life - or so I thought! That soon proved to be very difficult. I got confused - had I written about my mother falling on the ice her first time skating? Or my father dressing up as Santa then giving out the wrong presents? I simply could not recall what I had already written and what was a memory that had just surfaced.

So after months of mulling this over I've decided on a new method of writing my own life story. This new method will keep me on track, and will help get rid of confusion - did I or didn't I already talk about an event.

I will write about my memories of the past - memories of my family (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings), memories of special events, stories told by my parents or grandparents, my time at school, as a child, a teenager, an adult, newly married - in short it will be my life story but broken into events (topics) rather than chronological.

My hope is that my readers will follow along with me on this genealogy journey. I invite you to start your own journal and write along with me day by day, week by week and month by month. I will share some of my stories as I go along, and it would be wonderful if readers shared theirs too by using the comment feature on this blog, or by posting to your own blog.

I'll be writing my journal using various topics as a guideline, and I'll keep my journal for that week following the topic guidelines. A weekly topic will keep us writing daily in order to complete the topic by the end of the week!

A few suggestions are

* Buy a good book to keep your Life Memories in. I write in leather bound journals from Iona Handcrafted books, simply because I like how they feel and look important! They look like something that won't be tossed in the trash 50 years from now. That's important because I"m writing my memories for my descendants - children, grandchildren, great grandchildren not yet born. So I don't want to write in something that could easily be discarded in the future simply because it doesn't look worth saving

* Combine facts (where you went to school, names of teachers, where you lived) as well as emotions - happy and sad. Remember these are your memories so it's up to you to decide what you want to share. But don't overlook the sad moments too.

* Stay focused on the topic but jot down other memories that pop into your head as you are writing. You will be amazed at what memories surface as you are putting your thoughts down on paper. You can add those jot notes later when we get to a topic that fits.

* Don't type your memories - writing them by hand gives your descendants a sense of YOU - your style, your emotions. Handwriting is a reflection of our personality.

* choose a daily time period to write. If you can get in the habit of writing at the same time each day, you will find your journal writing flows more easily. Write early morning with your cup of tea or coffee. Write just as you are going bed or after supper when the children have gone to bed. Whatever is a good quiet time for you. I try to set aside 30 minutes each day. I don't always write for that 30 minutes, sometimes all I manage is 5 or 10! But that's okay.

I'm going to begin my Sharing Memories Journal this month with a topic suitable for the season, so drop back tomorrow to see what topic I've chosen to start my Genealogy Journal. Hopefully you will join me to begin recording and saving your own precious memories of your life to date.

To find all our Sharing Memories Topics, just click on the SHARING MEMORIES label in the right side bar of this blog or on the SHARING MEMORIES label of this post

December 7, 2009

WW11 Collection FREE on in December

Exciting news from Footnote.comicon!


-Footnote.comicon Opens Their WWII Collection Free To The Public During December-

Lindon, UT – December 7, 2009 – In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, Footnote.comicon announced today that they will make the largest interactive WWII collection on the web including the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial free to the public during December. Featuring over 10 million records, documents and photos from the National Archives, this collection helps family members and historians better understand the people and events of WWII.

Included in this exclusive collection is the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial. This online version allows people to view the actual wall of names and search for those they know. An interactive box for each name on the wall features additional information about each veteran and includes a place where anyone can contribute photos and stories. View the Captain of the USS Arizona, Franklin Van Valkenburgh, on the interactive wall.

It’s estimated that a little over 2 million WWII veterans are still alive in the United States today. However, thousands of veterans are passing away every month taking with them many of the stories from WWII. is making an effort to help preserve these stories by digitizing documents from the National Archives and providing interactive tools to help people connect with each other.

Christina Knoedler from Pennsylvania used the Missing Air Crew Reports on Footnote.comicon to discover information about her father-in-law, who is a WWII veteran. “The other night, I showed him what I had found,” explains Christina. “He couldn’t believe that these papers existed. They had not only his name but also his buddies’ names. He started to reminisce and it was quite an evening. This will allow me to go back and document many more events in our family’s history for the generations to come.”

The Missing Air Crew Reports are just one of the record collections found on Other WWII collections on Footnote.comicon include:

Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls
U.S. Air Force Photos
Submarine Patrol Reports
Japanese Air Target Analysis
Army JAG Case Files
Navy JAG Case Files
Naval Press Clippings
Allied Military Conferences
Holocaust Records

December 6, 2009

Sullivan Co. Tennessee Genealogy Database

The Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism announces its newest addition of the Lane Genealogical Research Database to its Special Collections.

Donald W. Lane, Ph.D., has donated his research database containing names and genealogical information on approximately 350,000 individuals and over 139,000 families primarily from the East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region.

The following family names are found in the database: Allen, Alley, Anderson, Arnold, Babb, Bailey, Baker, Baldwin, Ball, Barker, Barnes, Barnett(e), Begley, Bellamy, Berry, Bishop, Blair, Bledsoe, Blevins, Bowen, Brickey, Brown, Burke, Campbell, Carter, Castle, Childress, Christian, Clark, Cole, Collins, Compton, Combs, Cox, Crawford, Cross, Culbertson, Darnell, Davidson, Davis, Dean, Dingus, Dockery, Dougherty, Edwards, Elliott, Estep, Fields, Flanary/Flannery, Fleenor, Fletcher, Ford, Frazier, Gibson, Gillenwater, Gilliam, Graham, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hamilton, Hammond(s), Harris, Hensley, Herron, Hicks, Hill, Hillman, Hilton, Hood, Horne, Horton, Jennings, Jessee, Johnson, Jones, Ketron, Kilgore, Lane, Lawson, Light, McClellan, McConnell, McDavid, McMurray, Meade, Miller, Moody, Moore, Mullins, Nickels, Osborn(e), Owens, Pendleton, Penley, Pennington, Peters, Phillips, Pierson, Porter, Powers, Price, Quillen/Quillin, Ramey, Reed, Rhoton, Roberts, Robinette, Robinson, Rogers, Roller, Salyer, Sanders, Shelton, Smith, Stallard, Stanley, Stapleton, Starnes, Stewart, Strong, Taylor, Templeton, Thompson, Tipton, Vaughn, Walker, Webb, Wells, White, Williams, Wilson, Wolfe, Wood.

The database is available Monday to Friday at the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism. Visit the website for more information or to find out what other genealogy items are held at the Archives.

December 5, 2009

Richard Pence, 1932-2009

Richard Pence was a long-time member of NGS who contributed his many talents to the organization, especially in the early days of computer genealogy. We are saddened to learn of his recent death. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Conference Center located at 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203 Source: Upfront with NGS.

Read Richard Pence's obituary

December 4, 2009


Lorine is back - and I hope to be blogging on a daily basis SOON!

Surgery was successful, I spent 4 days in hospital and am home but very very tired. Sitting at my beloved computer is not something I can do for long periods, but every day I get a little stronger.

Thanks for my readers' patience, and I will be back on a more regular schedule as soon as I can.

I hope your genealogy hunting has been successful while I've been offline and I'll scout around to find out what's new in the online genealogy world ASAP.

December 1, 2009

NGS Research Trip to Salt Lake City, 24-31 January 2010

The National Genealogical Society is sponsoring a research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for the last week of January 2010. This is the eleventh year for this educational event, and it will be co-led by Shirley Langdon Wilcox, CG, FNGS, and Marie Varrelman Melchiori, CG, CGL.

The trip package price includes seven nights at the Salt Lake City Plaza Hotel, located next door to the Library. The Plaza is ideally located with access to the library, shopping malls and restaurants. Also included in the price are an informal reception on Sunday evening, pizza on Wednesday, and a last night dinner. Other meals are at your own expense, and airfare and personal expenses are not included. Complete details at