October 31, 2011

Cemetery Walk: Hillsdale United Church Cemetery

It's Movie Monday! Our Cemetery Walk video today is of Hillsdale United Church Cemetery in Hillsdale, Simcoe County, Ontario Canada. My great-great grandparents Isaac & Lydia Vollick are buried there but no trace of a gravestone can be found. The United Church has been converted into a home and the original church burial records have not been located.

Since there are recent burials in this cemetery it seems that someone somewhere must have a record of the plots and who is buried in each. I would love to get my hands on this and find out where Isaac and Lydia are buried. Adding a memorial headstone to their final resting places would definitely be something I'd like to do. It's a very small cemetery, about 150 tombstones and I suspect that Isaac and Lydia, who died in 1904 and 1917 respectively, are in the northwest corner where the earlier stones are found.

Isaac Vollick's obituary reads

Elmavale Lance, Wed. March 30, 1904 page 9 "Hillsdale Notes": "Isaac Vollick an aged resident, died at his home on 5th concession of Flos last Friday evening at the ripe old age of 73. The remains of this pioneer settler were interred in the Methodist burying ground Monday morning. Rev. James Skene conducted the burial service."


Lydia (Jamieson) Vollick's burial record was found in the only known church record book which covers only a few years:

Register of Hillsdale Methodist Church: Deaths: Lydia Vollick; 80 yrs; born Wentworth County, Ontario in 1837; died Oct. 15, 1917; gangrene; buried Oct. 16, 1917; buried Hillsdale; Minister Chas. C. Fry


Here is today's Cemetery Walk on Olive Tree Genealogy Channel on Youtube

October 30, 2011

Sharing Memories (Genealogy Journal Writing Week 44): Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet!

It's Week 44 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Please join us each Sunday as we share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Share a memory here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but write! Leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren.

The obvious choice for a topic this week is Hallowe'en. But since we've been writing our journals for two years now, guess what? We talked about Hallowe'en and costumes last year! So I thought this weekend we could talk specifically about

1. what treats we got as kids going out on Hallowe'en
2. what treats we loved the best
3. were there any houses you made sure you went to and were there any you avoided at all costs
4. what tricks did you pull (if any)

I used to grab a pillowcase and meet up with my friend Janie. We'd make the rounds of as many homes as possible, often returning to our own homes to grab a second or even a third pillowcase. I lived in a small village/town and word soon spread about who was giving out candy apples - a very special favourite with all us kids.

We also learned quickly who was Mr. or Mrs. Grumpy and not giving out anything except curt words. Those homes we avoided. But people who turned off all their lights and pretended they weren't home were high on our list to irritate. You know what I mean - we'd run up and ring the doorbell repeatedly, or knock loudly and without stopping for several minutes. 

Another thing we'd do to annoy them (because we were pretty sure they were just hiding behind their curtains in their darkened rooms) was to gather in a large group and yell out our favourite (and for some reason forbidden by our mothers) chant

Trick or Treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat
Not too big, not too small
Just the size of Montreal

The candies we got the most of were those dreadful cheap Hallowe'en sticky ones wrapped in orange and black candy wrappers. Sometimes we got an apple but we never ate them as the words of our mothers rang loudly in our ears "Don't eat any apples until I check them for razor blades!"

Sometimes we got gum but other than that there wasn't much variety. A rare but longed-for treat was a chocolate bar and I don't mean any of the mini-bars you can buy now. These were full sized chocolate bars and boy was it rare to get one of those. 

The candies in our pillowcases would last for days. I kept mine under my bed and snacked on the rarely-seen sweets as often as I could. Talk about a sugar high!

What kinds of treats did you get? And what pranks or tricks did you pull?




October 29, 2011

RootsTech - Are You Going?

Are you ready for RootsTech 2012? I'm looking forward to it!

RootsTech 2011 was so much fun and I learned a lot. I was super busy being one of the Official Bloggers (as I am again this year!) and so didn't get to as many of the workshops as I would have liked but those I did get to were very informative.

The Vendor area satisfied my insatiable desire for all things technology. I think I drove my husband crazy walking around checking out all the latest toys developments. Oh and enjoying the freebies that many vendors had.

Some were handouts and giveaways but others such as Ancestry.com and Bright Solid were allowing access to their subscription databases at their vendor booths.

So far I've got my room booked. I'm going a few days ahead to do some research in the Family History Library. I still need to book my flight and will do that next week.

I'm hoping to meet some of you in the Salt Palace Convention Center so please let me know if you're going or drop by the Media Hub! You won't regret going, it's an exciting and stimulating experience.

October 28, 2011

Challenge: Donate 15 Minutes of Your Time Each Month

Lorine in Cemetery
Did you know that in 15 minutes you can photograph 30 to 45 tombstones? That's right. 15 minutes. Yesterday hubs and I impulsively decided to stop and photograph tombstones in the United Church Cemetery in Hillsdale Ontario.

It was a frigid day - 3' C (39' F). It was windy which made it feel even colder. We weren't sure we could stay out long enough to photograph the entire cemetery even though it is small with only about 150 stones.

Hubs is much faster than me. I have some mobility issues and I use a cane. I can't walk as fast. But in 30 minutes we took 164 photos.  That's an hour for one person. That's almost 3 photos every minute.

Just think how many cemeteries could be photographed and put online if every genealogist donated 15 minutes of their time each week or even once a month! How many of us, no matter how busy, can't find an extra 15 minutes a month?

The Challenge

So here is my challenge to you:  

*Before October ends, drive to a local cemetery and spend 15 minutes photographing tombstones*

If you want to email them to me (olivetreegenealogy @ gmail . com)  I will create a Cemetery Walk video of your photos on the Olive Tree Genealogy Channel where everyone can view them. If you have another site you want to donate to, that's great too!  Find-A-Grave and a few other sites accept uploads of such photos.

If you haven't walked a cemetery to take photos of the tombstones, try it. You'll like it! Maybe you'll donate another 15 minutes of your time in November. And December. And January and..... you get the picture (pun intended)

October 27, 2011

NEW! Poor Law Union Immigrants to Canada 1836-1871 ONLINE

For the past six months Olive Tree Genealogy has been working on a new project to reconstruct names of passengers on ships sailing from England to Canada before 1865.

I'm pleased to announce that 23 ships with the names of pauper immigrants sent from England sent by the Poor Law Union to Canada between 1836 and 1853 are now online and freely searchable.

The Poor Law Union Act of 1834 was responsible for determining if impoverished individuals and their families were to be sent to the Workhouse, supported by their parishes, or given passage to a British colony such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia. 

As well as the newly reconstructed ships passenger lists, there are hundreds of immigrant names listed by year from 1836 to 1871. The yearly lists are individuals who were offered passage on board ships sailing to Canada, but the specific ships each sailed on are not named.

There are no comprehensive ships passenger lists of immigrants arriving in Canada prior to 1865. Until that year, shipping companies were not required by the government to keep their passenger manifests. This reconstructed set of passenger lists and emigrants by year is a valuable tool for those genealogists whose ancestors left England for Canada in this time period.

Please take a few minutes to have a look at POOR LAW UNION IMMIGRANTS TO CANADA

You can also consult the other projects for ships passenger lists to Canada before 1865 at Filling in the Gaps

This new project consists of names extracted from the Poor Law Union records. More information and details on individuals can often be found by using the reference sources given on each page, and sending a request to National Archives UK. 

I have also included bits and pieces of extraneous detail that helps us understand the plight of these impoverished people. For example the ship Albion sailed to Quebec in 1836. Included in the Poor Law Union correspondence is a lengthy and interesting description of the passengers being held for 24 hours on arrival in Quebec. It seems the master of the ship did not receive his money (poll tax) from the Poor Law Union. So he demanded it from the passengers, who could not pay. This resulted in him imprisoning them on board until they were ordered released.

Hopefully you will find an ancestor or two in this new, never before published, lists!

October 26, 2011

New iPhone 4S Arrived Safely!

My new iPhone 4S with lime-green bumper guard
Today is an exciting technology day! My new iPhone 4S arrived this morning and I'm heading off soon to my service provider to have them activate my SIM card.

I'm going to have fun trying out the new SIRI capabilities on the iPhone 4S and am super excited about it! Since I'm upgrading from a 3GS to the 4S there are lots of new features for me.

Like Facetime. A front facing camera... and I'm sure much more.

To add to this day of pleasure, my new computer arrived this morning and my local tech guy came and spent 3 hours setting it up, adding a different more powerful router, re-doing my network system and making sure all my networked computers and devices were co-operating with one another.

Now it's up to me to learn Windows 7 - my new OS! Hmmm which to tackle first? My iPhone or my new computer. Oh sheesh it's a no-brainer - my iPhone 4S of course! Please send coffee and donuts if I don't surface by supper time.....

October 25, 2011

Free Digital Scrapbooking Kit from Share The Memories

Free Digital Scrapbooking Kit
Share The Memories has some great free 2-page layouts for your digital scrapbooking needs.

Readers who are interested can now access these free Digital Kits through Olive Tree Genealogy blog.

Each free kit includes

  • 2 Digital Papers
  • 4 Page Elements
  • 2 Quick Pages

The  Free Digital Scrapbooking Kit offered this week can be seen on the left.  I will be providing a link to a new Free Digital Kit next week so be sure to come back to grab that!

With these free kits you can start an album for photobooks, printing or on line viewing. 

Readers of OliveTreeGenealogy Blog can also use this special code STMMMS31969 to get  a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - $20 value!

October 23, 2011

Sharing Memories Week 43: Childhood Pranks

It's Week 43 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Please join us each Sunday as we share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Share a memory here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but write! Leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren.

A recent conversation with my older sister made me think about all the pranks she and my brothers pulled when I was a kid. Not pranks directed at me, but just pranks that our mom and dad would not have appreciated had they known. I didn't really play pranks and I don't recall ever being a witness to one. I guess it was because I was so much younger than my two brothers, my sister, and my cousin Charlie. Charlie lived with us before I was born and he was only 10 days older than my oldest brother so he was one of the gang.

But my sister told me she and my brothers used to empty everything out of the fridge, remove the shelves, and climb inside to see how many could fit at once. Kids - DON'T TRY THIS!! It's very dangerous. I could hardly believe they did that! My sister said she was always surprised that mother never noticed that things were in a different spot in the fridge, but my mother worked outside the home all day and I suspect she was too tired at night to even realize things were moved.

My own children played hundreds pranks on me - hiding then jumping out at me from closets, hiding rubber spiders in my bed, balancing them on top of a half-closed door so that when I opened it the rubber bug would fall on my head and so many more that I think I will write another blog post just about that! You will be amazed at their creativity!

What pranks did you pull? What about your siblings? Did they get up to playing tricks or jokes on others?









October 22, 2011

Saving Those Memories!

My old VHS home movies 1983-1992
Well, I finally gave up on the idea of using the Diamond OneTouch system to capture and transfer my old VHS home movies to DVD. It was just too time consuming and inefficient to suit me!

So I opted to purchase a Toshiba DR560 1080p Upconverting DVD Recorder with Built-in Tuner

The reviews said I could pop in a VHS tape and a blank DVD, presss a button and bingo it would transfer.

Cables, Toshiba and Remote
So I set it up (easy), and after 4 days of popping in one VHS tape after another, I now have 13 DVDs, each with 2 hours of old home movies on them! I'm so happy with this machine that I might even offer to convert my brother's old VHS tapes for him.

You can see the cables that came with the machine (also the remote) I didn't need anything except the machine and the remote.

Here's a few tips for you in case you decide to buy one:


Setting up Toshiba
 1. Hook the player to a television so you can see what's playing/being recorded. I used this to note the times and what was on the tape. That way I can make a  detailed list of exactly what is on each DVD and how long each part lasts.


2. Settings. When you turn the machine on, you will be able to set your settings - it's very easy and the manual directs you in easy-to-follow instructions

Blank DVD inserted
3. Insert a blank DVD-RW. Make sure it's RW (Read/Write) Your machine will automatically format it in preparation. When it's ready you see text "VCR>DVD" on the screen.

4. Now you pop your VHS tape into the player and press "DUBBING" That's it - sit back and enjoy watching your old home movies!



Watching a tape being recorded to DVD
5. My DVDs were left on the default setting which gave 2 hours of tape on one DVD. You can change this (follow instructions in manual) if you want. The Dubbing stopped automatically and the VHS tape stopped too so I could simply insert another blank DVD and carry on dubbing.


6. After your DVD has stopped recording, you must use your Remote to select SETUP. Then you choose the option FINIALIZE DISK. This makes the DVD playable on other VCRs. If you don't finialize your DVD you can only play it on the Toshiba you used to record it.

7. I opted to type up my scribbled hand-written notes for each tape and make a neater insert for each DVD

There is a lot more you can do with this machine but I wanted to keep it simple and just get the old home movies done. My earliest is 1983 when my sons were 3 and 10 years old and they had already begun degrading. Time was of the essence!

Now I need to make copies of the DVDs so that I can pass these treasured family memories on.

October 21, 2011

Nominations for the 2012 Genealogy Hall of Fame

This Announcement was received today from The National Genealogical Society

The National Genealogical Society Seeks Nominations for the 2012 Genealogy Hall of Fame

(19 October 2011) The National Genealogical Society is seeking nominations from the genealogical community for persons whose achievements or contributions have made an impact on the field. The NGS Genealogy Hall of Fame program increases appreciation of the high standards advocated and achieved by committed genealogists whose work paved the way for researchers today.

Since 1986 when Donald Lines Jacobus became the first genealogist elected to the National Genealogy Hall of Fame, twenty‐four outstanding genealogists have been recognized for their contributions. The NGS Genealogy Hall of Fame Committee elects one person to the Hall of Fame annually. Those elected are permanently commemorated in the Hall of Fame at NGS headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

The 2012 honoree will join this select group of distinguished members. This year’s selection, and the society that honored the nominee, will be feted at the 2012 NGS Family History Conference to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, 9-12 May 2012. Nominations for election to the Hall of Fame are made by genealogical societies and historical societies throughout the United States.

Guidelines for nominations:

· A nominee must have been actively engaged in genealogy in the United States for at least ten years, must be deceased for at least five years at the time of nomination, and must have made contributions to the field of genealogy judged to be of lasting significance in ways that were unique, pioneering, or exemplary.

· Nominations for election to the Hall of Fame are due by 31 January each year. Official nomination forms are available from the Awards & Competitions section on our website, http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/awards_competitions, or by contacting the National Genealogical Society via postal mail at 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22204‐4304 or by phone at 800‐473‐0060.

The National Genealogy Hall of Fame is an educational project in which the entire genealogical community is invited to participate. Affiliation with the National Genealogical Society is not required. To see a list of previous inductees, please visit the NGS Genealogy Hall of Fame Members section on our website.

October 20, 2011

WW2 American Soldiers Dog Tags - Families Found!

Great news! Families for two of our WW2 dog tags that belonged to American soldiers have been found!

James F. Courtney

Readers will recall that in September Olive Tree Genealogy posted about a found dog tag for American Soldier James. F. Courtney. His dog tag was found in a house in Normandy. Well, I'm pleased to say that my readers found James' grandson (also a soldier) and contact has been made.

The finder in Normandy has been asked for photos of where the dog tag was found and we hope a photo will be taken when the tag is received in United States by family members. I'll keep you posted!

Samuel P. Loftus

Samuel Loftus' WW2 dog tags were found by John of The Two Terriers Blog. Names and addresses of Samuel's son and daughter were found. I passed these on to John and he's written a letter to the son, who runs a jewellery store in Pendleton Oregon.  We are all anxiously waiting for his response.  I also hope for photos so watch the blog for more details.

A big thank you goes out to all the Olive Tree Genealogy blog readers who jumped in to hunt for James and Samuel's families and especially to Becky who never gave up! Another happy ending as the result of great team work!

October 19, 2011

Using Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner to Document Civil War Photo Albums

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner on my lap
One of the things I love about my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner is the ability to sit on the couch and scan photos.

It's not just for packing up and taking on the road on trips to Libraries, Archives or Museums (although it's terrific for that!)

After sitting most of the day at my main computer I want a change. So my evenings are perfect for relaxing in a comfy chair or on the couch with my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner on my lap. It's small. It's so light I'm hardly aware it's on my lap.

Scanning the back of the CDVs
Yesterday I spent some time documenting one of my Civil War Era Photo Albums that I buy and then put online on Lost Faces.

After I take camera shots of each page of the intact album, I carefully remove the photos and begin scanning them front and back.

With my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner I can watch TV at the same time, or sit on the couch, which is much more comfortable than my computer chair. Because I'm scanning CDVs and tintypes I can scan two at a time.

When I transfer the scans to my computer (easy using the Flip-Pal USB port converter) I simply save two copies of each scan, then I open each one in Picasa (or any photo editing software) and crop the scans so I have one photo per image.

It's fast, it's easy and it's fun! After I scan each photo I place them in archival sleeves and then they go into an archival binder. Then more fun because that's when I start doing research to find the individuals named in the album!

The album I documented and scanned and archived yesterday turns out to be for a Quaker family named Smith Battey and his wife Ruth Aldrich who lived in Rhode Island.

It didn't take long to realize what a gem this album is. It contains 31 CDVs and tintypes, including some of Smith Battey, his wife Ruth and three of their children (as adults): Thomas, Nancy and Phoebe.  But I'll talk more about the Battey Photo Album another day.

October 18, 2011

Another Lost Faces Civil War Era Photo Album

Another Civil War era photo album has been added to the Lost Faces Collection. It isn't online yet as I am still processing it. But it has some gorgeous old photos of ancestors in it! Perhaps they're yours?

The album itself is in less than perfect shape. Part of the interior album pages have been torn loose from the binding and the two brass clasps that held the album closed are missing. But the album pages are in excellent condition (often they are torn or pulled loose) and the photos are very nice.





CDV in an album page
My first step was to go through the album page by page and take a photo of each page with its photos intact. That helps me preserve the album's integrity and positioning of each CDV or tintype.

I've just begun carefully removing the CDVs and tintypes to scan them and to see what is written on the verso (back) of each photo. I mark each photo on the reverse (in pencil) with the designation I've assigned for the album, and the number as it appeared in the album.

In this case I've assigned MI (for Michigan) and am adding a sequential numbering system to each photo as it is removed.

Usually I assign a 2 or 3 letter designation referring to the surname found most often in the album but this album doesn't have a clear surname "winner". So my choice of Michigan is based on the faded inscription inside cover and the location where many of the CDVs were taken.

It took me quite awhile to decipher the faded writing on the inside front cover. After making it darker and enlarging it on my photocopier (I'd also tried scanning and enlarging) I was able finally to read bits and pieces - such as Newcastle; C. W.; W. W. ......; Springforth; Michigan; ... Wellington. But it made no sense until it dawned on me that it was two names and addresses!

Writing inside front cover of photo album
 The first is W.W. Tamblyn? and under that name, indented, is the word Newcastle. Under that, also indented, is C. W. which usually means Canada West but in this case I'm not yet sure of the meaning.


Beside that name is E.? Wellington. Under that, indented, is Springport. Under that, indented, is Michigan.

And this is what I love about these albums and genealogy research! I mulled over the W.W. Tamblyn and Newcastle. There is a Newcastle in Ontario which was at one time in the early 1800s called Canada West (C. W.) My curiousity got the better of me and I decided to search for the Tamblyn name in Newcastle.

Bingo! I found something that looks very very promising. A William Ware (W. W!) Tamblyn was born in Newcastle Canada West in 1844 to parents Thomas Tamblyn and Sarah Ware. I'm cautiously excited because in an index on the last page of the album are the names "Will Tamblyn" and "M?/Mr.?  H? Ware"

An index! Yes, but I can't get too excited about it because even though 29 names are recorded, they don't appear to match the order of photos in the album. I'll be spending more time on this as I try to figure out what the starting photo is that matches the first name in the index. But for now I'm kind of excited about the Tamblyn-Ware connection.

More searching using the indexed names brought me more information but I'm still working on piecing it all together. Usually it  becomes  apparent after a bit of searching how the individuals relate to one another - but not this time!

I am finding a lot about certain names - for example the index includes a Charles W. Delbridge and a Miss Oyer. Searching on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch revealed that Charles Ware Delbridge married Lucy Ann Oyer in 1867 in Jackson Michigan. Lucy was born in Springport so that ties in with the inscription on the inside front cover. And we see the Ware surname again, but no idea  how it all fits - but do I love a challenge!







October 16, 2011

Sharing Memories (Week 42) Your First Computer!

It's Week 42 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Please join us each Sunday as we share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Share a memory here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but write! Leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren.

This week I have a fun topic - do you remember your first computer? It might have been a computer in an office or the first one you (or your parents) bought, but what is the very first one you can recall? I am really interested to see what others remember because it's going to be very different for all of us depending on our ages.
This is similar to the machine I used
I wish I had a photo of the first computer I ever saw. I was 19 years old and working for a huge company in Toronto Ontario Canada.

I was one of three assistants to the Chief Accountant for all of Canada and part of my job was to take care of payroll as a keypunch operator. I had to create and manage punch cards on an IBM punch machine.

I hated this part of my job but twice a week I had to walk to another building where all the tech toys were, and enter my little closet office where my keypunch machine sat.




In one room near my keypunch closet room was a large room full of various machines. One entire wall was a computer, much like the ones you see in this image on the right. Every unit had tape reels which seemed to run and whirr and whiz all day long. I loved it.

The guys running the computer and other machines thought it was cool that I was so intrigued and interested so they showed me how the machines worked and actually let me try them out (easy to do since my boss was in a separate building!)


I think that's when I fell in love with technology and computers! But it wasn't until I was in the 70s that I actually got to use the prototype for the first IBM home computer.  My brother-in-law had one in his home for testing purposes and he encouraged me to use it.

It was all DOS of course but he let me play an Adventure Game (text on DOS) by hooking me into an office in California. I played it all day and when he got home from work he almost fainted, because the entire time I was online it was via the telephone and long distance charges from Ontario Canada to California. Oh boy.... 

Tandy TRS-80
But I was hooked. So by the time home computers were widely available I was among the first to buy one. I actually went to Toronto to look at the first Apple computer but decided against buying it in favour of a Radio Shack Tandy TRS-80. What was I thinking?

It was huge. It was clunky. And it was loud with a printer hooked up to it.



© Bill Bertram 2006, CC-BY-2.5 — Attribution
But my next computer was one I loved - the Amiga 500. I think it was 1985 or 1987 when we bought this version. The whole family enjoyed it. My children played games which involved click and drag, and my husband and I made it "talk" by writing commands in DOS.

What a change from now! I've had so many computers since my first one that I honestly don't remember them all. I wish I did. I wish I had photos of them, what a historical archive of technology that would make!

What was your first computer and what do you remember best about any others you had or saw?


October 15, 2011

Co. Waterford Church Baptismal Records Now Available


The Irish Family History Foundation's Online Research Service (ORS) are pleased to announce the availability of an additional 535,000 church baptismal records from the Waterford Genealogy Centre for Roman Catholic parishes in Co. Waterford.

Just go to the following site and login using your existing IFHF login details.
http://waterford.rootsireland.ie

October 14, 2011

Update on Samuel P. Loftus WW2 Dog Tags

Update on Samuel Loftus WW2 Dog Tags which were found in Norfolk England

Elizabeth found an obituary for Samuel P. Loftus! It  contains details of family members who are quite likely living so she sent it to me privately. I'm going to share part of the obit here so readers can see what progress is being made. Perhaps someone else can track down Samuel's son and daughter - we are so close to being able to send these dog tags back to the family!

Wallowa County Chieftain (Enterprise, OR) - February 7, 2008

Deceased Name: Obituaries: Samuel Loftus

Samuel Patrick Loftus, 84, died Feb. 3, 2008, in Pendleton. The third of five children, Sam was born on Aug. 11, 1923, to Jim and Lucy Loftus on Elk Mountain. He spent most of his childhood at Imnaha. After high school graduation in 1942, Sam enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served three years in Europe during World War II. 
 
During his military time, he met Laura Mae Jones of Gordon, Texas, and they married in 1947. In 1950, Sam was called back to active military duty and spent one year serving in the Korean conflict. [portions removed]
 
Preceded in death by his wife of 52 years in 2000, Sam is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, [names removed] of Pendleton; his daughter and son-in-law, [names removed]; two granddaughters; one grandson; and one great-granddaughter, all of Portland.

October 13, 2011

Another American Soldier's ID Tag Found: Samuel Loftus

John recently sent this note to Olive Tree Genealogy blog.

I have found, in west Norfolk UK, a WW2 US dog tag; the details are as follows:

LOFTUS, SAMUEL P.
39462452 T43

LUCY LOFTUS
BOX 494
ENTERPRISE, OREGON

The letters A C also appear each side of the drlled hole.

A picture of the dog tag is on John's blog  The Two Terriers

Can anybody help return the tag to the family? My readers have had great success with helping to return Dog Tags to soldiers' families. Help is needed with Samuel Loftus now.

October 12, 2011

Convert Those Old Home Movies to DVDs

Readers of Olive Tree Genealogy blog might recall that I finally took the plunge and bought a device to capture old VHS tapes and burn them on to DVDs.

Well, I'm still struggling with the whole process but I am really enjoying watching bits and pieces of the home movies we took back in the 1980s! So far I've watched my youngest son's 5th birthday party where he asks "Can I open my presents now?" every few minutes, my oldest son reading a story called "Skindiver" (complete with actions) to his 5 year old brother, watched my youngest son's Kindergarten Christmas play, a very old family reunion that I'd forgotten we held, and many other snippets of family life when my boys were young.

I've laughed, I've chuckled and I've shed a few tears. The reality is that many of the family in these videos are deceased. That's life but it is sad to see them smiling and laughing and realize they are no longer with us.

But it's worth a bit of sadness to preserve the memories. So far I have managed to capture and burn almost 2 hours of tapes to DVD. Mind you I can only watch them on my computer as I wasn't able to convert them to be viewable in a DVD player but I'll figure that out eventually. For now I'm just happy to have them in digital format.

It's a very long process though so I hope my boys aren't in a rush for these. I think they'll be so pleased to watch that they won't mind the wait.

Back of old VCR
If you are thinking of taking the time to convert your old VHS tapes, here's what I had to do with my Diamond One-Touch Video Capture unit from Amazon.com

1. Download the software and set that up first
2. Next I hooked the cables that came with the unit to a borrowed VCR
3. Plugged the other end into my USB port
USB port plug-in
4. Open EzGrabber and fiddle with settings until you find the one that works for you. You will have to play a tape in the VCR to see what setting gives you the best quality capture.


I used  the following:

* Video: Video Format NTSC_M   Video Source Composite
* Capture Button: Capture Video
* Snapshot: jpg (although I don't plan on capturing any still photos)
* Record: DVD

These settings worked for me. They might not work for you so try different settings if you need to






October 11, 2011

An Unexpected Trip Down Memory Lane

Last week hubs found a huge tub in the barn marked with my youngest son's name. So he brought it into the house for me to sort. To my surprise it was full of items I'd packed over 15 years ago, and forgotten I had!

Public Speaking Trophy
What a treasure trove - trophies awarded to my son and his deceased father, school workbooks, newspaper clippings involving either my son or his father back to 1980, stories written and put into book format from Grade 2, and other assorted treasures.

I've had a fun weekend scanning most of the items and putting the originals in protective holders in my son's Family Book (a binder with original documents).

I plan to give my son the book and the trophies whenever he indicates he's ready for them. Hopefully they will be preserved, treasured and passed on to his children. He seemed pretty excited when I told him about the find.

And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading his Grade 2 stories of aliens and zombies and other assorted monsters destroying earth.


October 9, 2011

Sharing Memories (Week 41): Thanksgiving as an Adult

It's Week 41 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Please join us each Sunday as we share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Share a memory here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but write! Leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren.

You can talk about anything you want in your Journal. I'm offering ideas for topics which I hope will spark a memory or thought that you want to get down in writing.

It's the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend so of course what else would I be remembering but Thanksgiving traditions and meals and family times.  Last year one of our Sharing Memories topics was Thanksgiving, but I wrote about my childhood memories of that special day. This year I want to share a few memories of how I spent Thanksgiving as an adult.

The first Thanskgiving turkey I ever cooked on my own was when I was first married (many years ago!). I didn't realize you couldn't put a frozen turkey on top of the fridge to defrost - then leave it for two days. Oh boy did it smell!  So I really didn't cook it, but it was my first attempt.

In my 20s I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my husband's family. That was a tradition. But in my 30s and on my second marriage, I began my own traditions. I always hosted dinner, complete with traditional food - turkey with bread stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, gravy and another vegetable. Thanksgiving wasn't complete without pumpkin pie and whip cream!

This year is a bit different as none of my family can make it this year. So I'm going out tonight with hubs for a nice turkey meal at our favourite restaurant. Tomorrow we join my nephew and his wife's family for another Thanksgiving meal, but even better, as it is with family and extended family. 

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? And what did you do as a young adult? Share the memories in your own journal, whether privately or publicly is up to you.

October 8, 2011

Early Bird Special RootsTech

It's not too late to get the Early Bird special rate for RootsTech 2012 (Februrary 2-4).

Offer ends November 30th so don't delay. Usual price is $189.00 but the Early Bird special is $129.00

What is RootsTech? It's a terrific genealogy-technology conference held in Salt Lake City Utah. I was there in 2011 as an Official Blogger and I loved it.

I'm very lucky to have been invited again for 2012 as an Official Blogger so if you're going (and I hope you are!) drop by the Media Center and say "hi"!



October 7, 2011

National Black Genealogy Summit, Fort Wayne Indiana

The National Black Genealogy Summit will take place October 20 - 22, 2011 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Fort Wayne's Allen County Public Library is home to one of the nation's most comprehensive collections of genealogy records, and an excellent source of documents pertaining to Black genealogy in particular.

The three-day conference will feature a number of nationally-known genealogy and research experts, and a wide variety of workshops for everyone from beginners to experienced family researchers.

For more information, please visit http://www.blackgenealogyconference.info

October 6, 2011

Preserving Old Family Movies & Converting to Digital Format

Oh those old family home video tapes! Remember them? Using a video camera the size of two large loaves of bread, we took dozens and dozens of VHS tapes of our children and grandchildren. But what's happening to those tapes now? Do you even have a VCR player to watch them?

If you're like me, you have dozens of dusty VHS tapes taken in the 1980s and 1990s in storage or on a bookcase in the family room. You don't have a VCR, you can't watch them and day by day, year by year they are degrading.

There are most likely movies of different family reunions and almost certainly many of the family members are no longer with us. There's a movie clip of little Joey taking his first steps. How about the movie of your oldest winning a medal at Graduation? So many family moments and if you're like me you're starting to worry that they'll be lost forever if you don't do something

One of my sons has been bugging urging me to transfer all our old home movies to digital format, preferably to a DVD so that they are preserved for a few more years. Why do I say "a few more years"? Because technology changes and a format that is viewable today will not likely be viewable in the future.

Earlier this week I finally got around to ordering something I hope will allow me to transfer the old VHS tapes to digital. First I did my homework. I read dozens of reviews. I compared capabilities of different devices.

I could have purchased a machine that played the tapes and burned them to a DVD at the same time.  Too much money for a one-time use to suit me!

So I opted for a one-touch capture, which basically forms a link from a VCR to your computer via a USB port, enabling conversion and transfer of a VHS tape, and then a burn to a DVD.

After reading many reviews I bought the top-rated Diamond One-Touch Video Capture unit from Amazon.com It arrived one day after ordering and today I plan to put it to use.

Thank goodness I have a mother-in-law who still watches old VHS movies on a VCR! I borrowed it yesterday to make the transfer.

I'll let you know how it goes and whether or not I am able to preserve and digitize those precious family memories.

October 5, 2011

What's New on Ancestry.com


Here are September's new genealogy records available at Ancestry.com


Alabama, Surname Files, 1901–2005 -

New South Wales, Australia, Returns of the Colony, 1822–1857 -

1930 Mexico Census

Lübeck Census Records - These four additional Lübeck censuses have been added online, alongside the seven already on the site.
·         Lübeck Census, 1862, Est. Record Count: 45k
·         Lübeck Census, 1871, Est. Record Count: 50k
·         Lübeck Census, 1875, Est. Record Count: 50k
·         Lübeck Census, 1880, Est. Record Count: 60k

Ireland Catholic Parish Records - 
·         Ireland, Catholic Parish Baptisms, 1742–1881,
·         Ireland, Catholic Parish Marriages and Banns, 1742–1884,
·         Ireland, Catholic Parish Deaths, 1742–1881,

Ireland Birth, Marriage and Death Records - Civil registration of all births, marriages, and deaths in Ireland began in 1864.
·         Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620–1911,
·         Ireland Civil Registration Births Index, 1825–1978,
·         Ireland, Civil Registration Marriages Index, 1845–1958,
·         Ireland, Civil Registration Deaths Index, 1864–1958,

Germany, World War I Casualty Lists, 1914–1917 -

UK Royal Navy Medical Journals, 1817–1857

UK Surgeon Superintendents’ Journals of Convict Ships, 1858–1867 

Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families, 1608–1890 –  

Palermo, Italy Birth and Marriage Records 
·         Palermo, Italy, Births, 1896–1905
·         Palermo, Italy, Marriages, 1820–1895,

October 4, 2011

Emigration via Hamburg Presentation

Rebekka Geitner a historian at the Ballinstadt Emigration Museum in Hamburg, Germany will be in the Twin Cities area giving three presentations at three locations during the period of 22, 23, 24 October 2011. She will then travel to St. Louis, Missouri to be a presenter at the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International's - Genealogical / Cultural Conference to be held from 26-29 October 2011. This is an outstanding opportunity to meet and learn from this International Historian. Plan now to attend any or all of these important events. Date / Time: Wednesday - Saturday, 26 - 29 October 2011 Presentation Title: Friday 28 October 2011 Breakout 2 11:00 am - 12:15 pm Hamburg Emigration Museum Saturday 29 October 2011 Breakout 4 2:00 - 3:15 pm Eastern European Emigration Via Hamburg Location: Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel, St. Louis, MO. Host: Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International (CGSI) More Information: Full details on the CGSI's 13th Genealogical/Cultural Conference, 26-29 October 2011 are posted on the website, www.cgsi.org

October 3, 2011

Cemetery Walk: Uxbridge Cemetery, Uxbridge Township Ontario County Ontario

Following is the Cemetery Walk of Uxbridge Cemetery that we took on Saturday, October 1, 2011. It was too cold and windy to do more but there are many more burials and gravestones in this Cemetery.

See more Cemetery Walk Videos on the Olive Tree Genealogy Channel on Youtube



These are the front gates for Uxbridge Cemetery on Toronto St. S. in Uxbridge Ontario Canada.


View Larger Map

October 2, 2011

Sharing Memories - Genealogy Journal Writing Week 40: Autumn Celebrations

It's Week 40 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Please join us each Sunday as we share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Share a memory here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but please write!

What memories do you have of Autumn? Hallowe'en for North Americans of course, and for Canadians, the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend are always big events. But do you have any other October celebrations? My brother, son, husband, one daughter-in-law, my sister-in-law,  and one grandson all have birthdays in October so it's a busy month for us. 

One thing we did every Fall when I was a child, was to drive to Meaford Ontario to buy Apple Cider. Jugs and jugs of apple cider, which my dad loved. We also I think bought bushels of apples to store for the winter. My mom made baked apples (which I detest to this day!) every night for dessert after supper.

I wasn't fond of that long drive to Meaford. I used to get car-sick every time we drove anywhere longer than about 15 minutes. So the drive was not pleasant. And if my two brothers and sister were with us, they were always mad at me as I got the window seat there and back. That meant they had to squish beside me on the bench seat and only two would get a window seat one way.  I'm sure they had no idea how horrible the ride was for me as I often had to hang my head out the window to be sick!

But the memories are fun to recapture and put down on virtual paper. What fun things did you do every Autumn?



October 1, 2011

Enter Ancestry.com 15th Anniversary Sweepstakes!

Ancestry.com 15th Anniversary Sweepstakes   Calling all Genealogists!

You’re invited to a 15-day celebration of your story. Ancestry.com is giving you FREE access to one of their favorite collections each day for 15 days.

Win Daily Prizes with Ancestry.com 15th Anniversary Sweepstakes

Every day through October 15th you can search free collections and  enter the 15 Days of Discovery Sweepstakes.

Obtaining Canadian WW2 Military Service Files in a Few Easy Steps

Uncle Clare
A few months ago I sent for the military records of my father's brother, Clarence E. McGinnis. I knew Uncle Clare had been in WW2 as I have several photos of him in uniform. But I never knew where he served, what unit he was in, or what he did during the War.

World War 2 Canadian records are restricted. But they can be accessed and they can include documentation about enlistment, discharge, military units served with, and may also include other documents concerning medical history, medals awarded, personal evaluation reports and dental charts.

Library and Archives Canada holds military service files for those who served after 1918. Their website explanation of who can access what files and how to obtain them is a bit confusing, so I'll share  with you what I did. It was simple.

I wrote a one page letter requesting the complete military service files for [individual's name] who was born [individual's full birth date or estimated year] in [name of city/town plus county and province in Ontario] to parents [names of father and mother].

I included my uncle's death date and a photograph of his tombstone as proof of death. Interestingly enough they actually returned the photo to me!

That was it. I mailed the letter and photo to

ATIP and Personnel Records Division
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0N4


You can also fax your request to them at this number: 613-947-8456

I should add that there is an official Application for Military Service Information form which you can download from LAC's site, fill out and mail or fax to them, but I prefer a simple one page letter.

Huge envelope arrives
After a wait of about 5 months a very large package arrived with Uncle Clare's complete military file. I estimate there are about 80 or more pages.  The wait was not unexpected as it is made clear on the Library & Archives Canada website that they are backlogged and requests can take up to 6 months to fill.

There was a lot of interesting information in the military file for Uncle Clare - such as details of his work history prior to enlisting. It include what he was paid! I wish my dad's files had been as complete.

Lots of pages to read!
I am really pleased to have some more details to add to my knowledge of my uncle. I knew him quite well but he never spoke of his military service or his early years. I suppose I was too young for him to think I'd be interested.

Plus he was quite old-fashioned regarding males vs females and since I was a female he'd be less likely to talk to me about what he would consider "man stuff"  

But I'm really enjoying reading through his files to find out where he went during the war (to England and France) and what he saw and did during that difficult time.

For more information on finding ancestors who were in the Canadian Military you might want to check out The Canadian Military Project