July 31, 2012

Genealogy Treasure No.1: 1849 Will of William Parks

This is the first in the set of documents I purchased at an antique store in Kingston Ontario July 27, 2012. For details, see Found! Treasure Trove of Land Documents from Ontario Canada
 
This genealogy treasure is a hand-written copy of the original will of William Parks dated 1849.

I purchased this in a bundle of old documents, deeds etc. in Kingston Ontario.

William Parks states he is a resident of Richmond Township in the District of Midland, Province of Canada. This is now Richmond Township, Lennox & Addington Counties, Ontario Canada.

The land he bequeaths is noted as being Lot 16, Concession 6 in Richmond Township.
Many of the documents are about that specific piece of property over the years and I will get to each of them as I go through the papers. So each one will be a blog post.

In the will, William mentions his wife Rebecca is to have 1/3 of the homestead and a place in the home as long as she is his widow. This is pretty standard stuff for the time period. Men often left their wives provided for with a roof over their heads as long as they did not remarry.

Also mentioned are sons:

* eldest son James William to have 5L, some blacksmith tools and land

* William Milo to have East 1/2 of Lot 17, Concession 6

* youngest son Rueben Jesse to have West 1/2 of Lot 17, Concession 6

* Grandson Alva Hazzard to have 2L and some personal items (details in the will)

More documents will follow as I scan them and extract their details. You may view all the documents as they are published by clicking on the label Lennox-Addington Co. Collection. If you are a descendant and would like to own any of these records, please contact me. Just click on ABOUT LORINE and scroll to the bottom of the page to obtain an email address.

Lorine's Research
I conducted my own research on Ancestry.com on this family and found that Rebecca married again after William's death, first to a Mr. Leggatt  or Leggette then to William McKittrick.

She had one child by Mr. Leggatt were a daughter Sarah Margaret born ca 1853. She had one child by Willliam McKittrick were James born ca 1858. Rebecca appears to have adopted a daughter Cynthia Dennison who later used the surname McKittrick.

In the 1881 census on Ancestry.com, Rebecca McKittrick is found as a 54 year old widow with daughter Cynthia McKittrick age 15. Her son Reuben Parks is living next door with his wife and family.

1871 finds Rebecca McKittrick, a 44 year old widow living with her son Reuben Parks 24 and wife, her son William Parks 26, her daughter Sarah Lyngatt [sic] 18, her son James McKittrick 13, and two children Enos Lapoint, 9 and Cynthia Dennison, later McKittrick, 5

July 30, 2012

Found! Treasure Trove of Land Documents from Ontario Canada

Orphan Land Documents & Will
While on a short vacation in Ontario recently, hubs and I visited a few antique stores. I found quite a treasure at one - dozens of old land documents dating back to 1849!

Of course I couldn't pass them by so I purchased the lot. I have an overpowering urge to save and archive these kinds of old documents. I can't see them lost.

So my plan is to go through them one by one and blog about each one here on Olive Tree Genealogy. Perhaps a descendant will see a record of an ancestor. If I'm really lucky a descendant will stumble on one that I write about and want to own it. I don't want to keep these papers, I just want to be sure they are preserved and passed on to others. 

A quick glance shows that these documents are mainly land records (Mortgages, Deeds, Instruments etc) for Richmond Township, Lennox & Addington Counties, Ontario Canada. One of the documents is an original will from 1849. One that I looked at (yes I was too curious to wait!) was sent from USA but I haven't read it to know what it's about.

A few of the surnames I spotted at first glace on the outside of the documents are:
Carscallen, Dennison, O'Ray, Walker, Hall, Davis, Jemmett, Windover, Winter, Hall, Wilson, Williams, Wilde, Andrews, McQuaig, Parks & Jackson.

The original will from 1849 is for William Parks of Richmond Township.  I'm really excited to extract the names of his heirs from that document. There are approximately 20 documents dating from 1849 to 1938 but there may be more as I saw loose papers tucked inside documents.

Now I'm going to start archiving this genealogy treasure trove and placing the documents in archival holders. Eventually I'll do a bit of research on each name. If any readers are involved with Lennox & Addington Counties mailing lists or message boards, please let them know that this set of genealogy documents is coming online.


July 29, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 31): When I Grow Up I want to Be....

Welcome to Week 31 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012.  We are writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, please take a peek at the last two years of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of Olive Tree Genealogy blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home. The important thing is to record your memories. Just take a few minutes and write.

I've been thinking about the dreams we have as young adults. Some of us want to be firefighters or nurses or astronauts. What did you want to be when you grew up?

My first career dream that I remember having, was when I was about 11 years old. I wanted to be an archaeologist. I loved history and when I found out there were jobs that allowed you to dig  up cool stuff from the past, I was hooked.

A few years later I'd decided I should be a spy or a detective. I loved puzzles, loved solving them and I loved mysteries. My best friend and I took to trailing strangers for hours, sometime for an entire day, in order to perfect our spy skills.

I think I was around 16 when I decided I wanted to pursue a career in Art. I desperately wanted to go to Art College when I was finished Grade 13. That didn't happen, mainly for financial reasons, so I decided to be a teacher. Some change, huh? It was a practical choice as there weren't a lot of options for women back then - we were pushed towards careers of nursing, secretarial or teaching. So teaching it was!

Many years later I decided to pursue a career in psychiatry and so I went back to University and got my degree in Psychology. I wanted to continue with a two year course to become an Art Therapist with children but once again the fates conspired against me. It was not to be.

But boy it's been fun having all these dreams and pursuing many of them. And the only thing I've ever regretted is not being able to go to Art College. How about you? Dreams? Regrets? Did you pursue the first thing you ever wanted to be? Or did you try out many careers before settling on one?

July 28, 2012

Creating a Genealogy Gift for under $50.00!

Poster of Charles Fuller 1910
Recently hubs and I created a cool genealogy gift for one of my sons for under $50.00. And it took less than 30 minutes to make.

My youngest son is in the Canadian military and we wanted to surprise him with a military inspired photo for his basement rec room. I have several photos of ancestors in military uniforms but wanted one that could be enlarged without too much fuzziness.

First I took a slightly-creased 4x6 photo of my grandfather Charles Henry Fuller in his military uniform circa 1910. I uploaded the photo to Shutterfly and ordered a poster-size print. Poster prints are less than $25.00 normally but I actually got it for free during a special thank-you offer.

Next hubs purchased a $20.00 black frame from Wal-Mart. It is a 2 foot by 3 foot frame, large enough to allow room for a small border or matte around the poster.

The next step was the most difficult. Hubs removed the paper insert from the purchased frame and turned it over so that only the white backing showed. Then he carefully centered the poster print on the white backing. Once the print was centered he used packing tape which he folded so that it had two sticky sides and tape each corner of the print to the backing. Voila! A lovely poster with a nice white matte. 

Charles Fuller Bio
Next came a brief bio of Charles. I printed out his name, dates and locations of birth and death, and added a brief summary of his immigration from England to Canada in 1913 and marriage to my grandmother Ruth in Toronto in 1914. Using packing tape, hubs fastened it to the back of the frame.

I deliberately did this bio by hand rather than typing it even though it would be much neater in typed format. But I wanted to personalize the bio with my handwriting and at the end, the date and my signature. I did that for descendants as I'm hoping the poster will be passed on to one of my son's three sons and continue on in the family as long as it lasts.

July 27, 2012

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July 26, 2012

FindMyPast.com Offers Bargain on Global Records



FINDMYPAST.COM LAUNCH OFFERS BIG BARGAIN ON GLOBAL RECORDS TO FIRST SUBSCRIBERS

“Pioneer Offer” Provides World Subscription at a 75 Percent Discount;
$4.95 per Month Instead of $20.83 per Month

LOS ANGELES, July 24, 2012 - Findmypast.com, a British-owned family history website, is marking its launch into the U.S. genealogy market on July 24 by offering its first customers a world subscription at a 75 percent discount – just $4.95 per month.

This introductory price point will give access to not just a wealth of US census and vital records but also a vast overseas collection. The latter includes almost 1,000 unique British, Irish and Australian record collections, some of which contain up to 30 million records in a single collection. Findmypast.com is offering a limited number of these introductory-rate subscriptions on a “first come, first served” basis.

“The genealogy community knows $4.95 per month for these records is a steal,” says Brian Speckart, marketing manager of North America for findmypast.com and brightsolid online publishing, its parent company. “We want those new to family history searching to understand the weight of this offer before it’s over.

A 12-month World Subscription to findmypast.com will normally cost $20.83 per month or $249.95 year – but customers who are quick enough to secure the “Pioneer Offer” will get one for just $4.95 per month or $59.95 per year.

Findmypast.com is the new US addition to a global network of findmypast websites – it joins existing findmypast sites in the UK, Ireland and Australia. It has recruited a separate US team, based in a new office in Venice, California. It is also a participant in the 1940 US Census Community Project, which is currently indexing the 1940 US Census, for viewing on findmypast.com.

For more information on other subscription and payment options, visit findmypast.com.

July 25, 2012

Save 30% on Family Tree Maker 2012

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July 24, 2012

Press Release: FindMyPast.com Launches into USA July 24!

BRITISH "DAVID" TAKES ON BILLION-DOLLAR U.S. "GOLIATH"
FOR SHARE OF U.S.'s GROWING ONLINE GENEALOGY MARKET

• Findmypast.com launches into U.S. July 24;
seeks to become go-to site for Americans of British and Irish ancestries

• World’s second largest genealogy company takes on its biggest rival,
with the help of 1,000 unique record collections and 75% annual growth


San Francisco, CA, July 24, 2012: Findmypast.com, a British-owned family history website, is launching into the growing U.S. genealogy market on July 24.

Findmypast is the flagship brand of brightsolid online publishing, a UK and world leader in online genealogy, with 18 million registered users across its family of sites, over a billion genealogical records dating back to 1200 – and a growth rate last year of 75%.

Yet, findmypast.com enters the U.S. market in the role of David facing Goliath in the shape of ancestry.com, the overwhelming market leader and the world’s largest genealogy company, with a market capitalization of a billion dollars.

“We’re not used to thinking of ourselves as small”, says Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid, the world’s second largest genealogy company. “Our ambitions are big and the launch of findmypast.com is a major market entry. The truth is that it’s a growing market, with plenty of room for both of us.”

Global demand for genealogy products and services is, indeed, showing “promising growth”, found a market report published by Global Industry Analysts in January 2012. The market’s growth, it said, is being driven by the demand of over 84 million genealogists, each spending between U.S. $1,000 and US $18,000 a year on the pursuit. “The trend is expected to continue…”

A local contributor to this trend has been the release this year of the records from the 1940 U.S. Census, says Mark Mahaney, analyst and MD of Internet Research at Citigroup Investment Research. But the global, underlying reason is simply the Web. “Genealogy has been very much a niche market in the past because doing the research has been such hard work”, says Mahaney. “But the Internet has made it so much easier. You no longer have to travel to search out records. That’s been the big change.”
The launch of findmypast.com will offer U.S. customers access to not just a wealth of U.S. genealogical records but also a vast overseas collection. The latter includes almost 1,000 [980] unique British, Irish and Australian record collections, with some single collections containing up to 30 million records.

“This sort of added choice and competition has got to benefit U.S. consumers”, says van der Kuyl.

Findmypast.com is the new U.S. addition to a global network of findmypast websites – it joins existing findmypast sites in the UK, Ireland and Australia. It has recruited a separate U.S. team, based in a new office in Venice, California.
It is also a participant in the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, which is currently indexing the 1940 U.S. Census, for viewing on findmypast.com.

The launch of findmypast.com follows growing global demand for the records and functionality offered by findmypast’s other sites, says van der Kuyl: “Last year, we had 4.5 million visits to findmypast.co.uk from other countries, led by the U.S., while 55% of findmypast Ireland visits came from outside Ireland.”

Findmypast.com will enter the U.S. market, armed with the unique wealth of its British and Irish genealogical records, as well as its unrivalled ease of search technology and its more flexible payment options.

“We aim to become the go-to family history site, first for Americans of British and Irish descent, and eventually for all Americans”, says van der Kuyl.

Over 40 million Americans or 13% of the total US population report British ancestry, according to the American Community Survey of 2009, although other estimates put the figure as high as 72 million or nearly a quarter of all Americans. Meanwhile, some 40 million Americans report Irish ancestry.

Findmypast.com will offer customers the chance to buy a “World Subscription”, providing access to many unique record sets of particular value to those tracing British or Irish ancestors. These will include:

• The most complete England, Wales and Scotland census collection available anywhere
• The most comprehensive online index of birth, marriage and death records in England and Wales: over 300 million records
• 42 million local parish records, dating back to 1538, and steadily growing
• Passenger lists from ships leaving the UK 1890-1960
• British Army Records 1760-1915
• A fast-growing collection of local UK records dating back to 1700
• Irish vital records dating back to the 13th century, plus millions of unique Irish land, estate, prison and court records
• The British Library’s Newspaper Archives, the world’s greatest newspaper archive [available via findmypast.com by late 2012]

In addition to its unique records, brightsolid prides itself on the unrivalled ease and quality of its search technology and on offering more flexible payment options than its rivals. Findmypast.com will allow users to pay either by the subscription model offered by most US genealogy sites, or on a pay-as-you-go basis, which some users prefer.

The U.S. launch of findmypast.com follows the news reported by Bloomberg last month that ancestry.com is seeking buyers. At least one source has mooted brightsolid as a possible candidate.

“We’ll always look at the right opportunities to grow the business”, says van der Kuyl, “and are also currently negotiating various strategic partnership deals. We are not, however, planning to buy ancestry.com but focusing instead on the U.S.  launch of findmypast.com.”

Pennsylvania German Pioneers Signature Marks

Margaret asked Olive Tree Genealogy about the Palatine Ships Passenger Lists on my site:
On the Palatine ship lists, there are many passengers who have various letters between their names....I know what “X” means, but not the other letters.
I am particularly interested in “U” and “N”
Examples:

Jacob (E) Taubefishel
Peter (B) Barth
Frietz (M) Mengel
Theobald (N) Nabinger
Hans (H) Stayman
Nicholas (N Z) Timberman
Hans (O) Timberman
Joseph (J) Flure
Margaret -What you have spotted is the names of those who signed the Oath of Allegiance. Many could not write and so had their marks they made. As you noted, some used an X as their signature, but others were able to write an initial or two.

So you may see a first name initial, or a surname initial or both. In some cases a man might use a stylized mark but in any case these letters are simply the representation of their names.  If you are interested please see an earlier blog post on Dutch handmarks. It's quite a fascinating subject!

July 23, 2012

Reminding my readers of these great specials

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner has done it again. That's right - more coupons and deals!

The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner 2012 Christmas in July Sale is on! And Olive Tree Genealogy is giving you a sneak preview of all the specials from today until July 30th.

The following promotion codes are valid 12:00 a.m.–11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (-6 GMT) on their respective dates when ordered on their shop page.

July 21-23
Save $40 when you purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner with Digital Creativity Suite 3.0 DVD plus a Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket!
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July 24-26
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July 27: Black Friday Special #2
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July 28-30
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July 22, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 30): Air Raid Sirens and Curfew!

Welcome to Week 30 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012.  We are writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, please take a peek at the last two years of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of Olive Tree Genealogy blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home. The important thing is to record your memories. Just take a few minutes and write.
 
Duck and Cover
Did your town or city have a curfew for teens? Our tiny village did and it was announced by an air raid siren at 9 p.m. Do you remember air raid sirens? Ours went off at unannounced times too as well as for curfew. And when we heard it, we were to tuck and cover.

If we were in school we had to get under our desks and cover our heads with our arms. Even as a kid I could never figure out how a flimsy desk and our hands and arms could protect from a bomb!

If we were out on the streets we were actually expected to dive into the ditch and cover our heads with our hands and arms. At least that's what the older kids told us younger ones. Maybe they were pulling our legs.

If you were under 16 and weren't home when that 9 p.m. siren went off, boy did you hustle! Because the police would pick you up and drive you home to your annoyed parents if you were caught on the street.

I just found out that the province of Ontario (where I live) has a curfew for those under 16 between midnight to 6 a.m. The curfew rules are that they must not be "loitering" on the streets between those hours. No air raid sirens though. Wouldn't that be a shock to residents!

July 21, 2012

Do You Want to be Part of a National Geographic Special?

The following announcement was sent to Olive Tree Genealogy from National Geographic:

Have you ever wondered where your ancestors came from thousands of years ago? Do you have a burning genealogical question? Are you wondering if you may have inherited a specific medical condition?

Emmy award winning Production Company is looking for people to participate in a National Geographic Special. Please send a short description of yourself, what your question(s) are and a photograph. Include your age, race, and what you know already about your ancestry. If you have a genetic health issue you'd like to know more about, please include a line about that. Send email to NGSAncestry@gmail.com

REQUIREMENTS * Must be available for 1-2 hours on July 26th in Midtown Manhattan * Willing to sign an appearance release and discuss your ancestry and possible genetic health issues * Must live in one of the 5 NYC boroughs * Willing to let us film the results reveal in your home one day during the last two weeks of August (1-2 hour time commitment)

This is a documentary production--there is no financial compensation

July 20, 2012

One of My Former Homes is Now a Historic Home

House present day
This is one of the homes I used to live in. We bought it in 1974 and lived there for three years. It was built in 1902 and has recently been classified as a historic home.

I wish the cute little barn/garage at the end of the driveway was visible. I'm not sure when it was built.

The home, when I lived there, had a front and back staircase. The back one went from the kitchen to an upstairs bedroom and I assume it was originally for the servants.

House in early 1900s
 Here is a photo showing part of the house in the early 1900s. It is the house just left of the tall pole. You can see that it once had an upper story balcony.

The second story window on the right was my young son's bedroom (ours was at the rear of the house).  We believed the house was haunted.

Many strange things occurred in that house and were centered around the rear bedroom and my son's bedroom. When he was 4 years old he insisted that a man came into his room and woke him up every night to talk to him.

House 1974-1977
The couple who bought the house after we left set it up as a Bed & Breakfast and promoted it as haunted. They too experienced unusual events, most centered in the front bedroom.

In this photo taken during the years we lived in the house, you can see that it had a different facade on the front of the attic.

It's kind of neat that it's been declared a historic home.

July 19, 2012

Christmas in July Sale on Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner has done it again. That's right - more coupons and deals!

The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner 2012 Christmas in July Sale is on! And Olive Tree Genealogy is giving you a sneak preview of all the specials from today until July 30th.

The following promotion codes are valid 12:00 a.m.–11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (-6 GMT) on their respective dates when ordered on their shop page.

July 18-19
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July 20: Black Friday Special #1
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July 21-23
Save $40 when you purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner with Digital Creativity Suite 3.0 DVD plus a Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket!
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July 24-26
Save 15% on all Flip-Pal mobile scanner accessories—minimum $60 order!
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July 27: Black Friday Special #2
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July 28-30
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July 18, 2012

The S.S. Keewatin is Back Home!

S.S. Keewatin in Port McNicoll
The S.S. Keewatin is back in Port McNicoll Ontario.

The Keewatin was a 350 foot long passenger liner that once sailed between Port Arthur and Fort William (now Thunder Bay) on Lake Superior and Port McNicoll on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) in Ontario, Canada.

She carried passengers between these ports for the Canadian Pacific Railway's Great Lakes Steamship Service. Freight was also carried.

The Keewatin was built and launched in 1907 so she's over 100 years old! In 1966 she was retired and became part of a historical preservation, docked first in Detroit then Douglas Michigan from 1967 until recently. Now she's back in Port McNicoll which was once known as the Chicago of the North due to the trains and ships coming into its harbour. In 1965 the trains and ships left and Port McNicoll's heyday was over.

S.S. Keewatin
The ship will be restored and will become a permanent display as a maritime museum and event facility in Port McNicoll.

Keewatin was among the last of the turn-of-the-century style overnight passenger ships of the Great Lakes. Hubs and I live nearby so yesterday we took a short car ride to see her. She's very impressive with her wooden passenger cabins and structure.

The ship was a floating set for several maritime-related documentaries and television docudramas, including the torpedoed ocean liner Lusitania, the burned-out Bahamas cruise ship SS Yarmouth Castle, Canadian Pacific's Empress of Ireland as well as the Titanic.
 
And so a little piece of history comes back home.

July 17, 2012

Forgotten Cemetery Found, and I've Been Vindicated!

When hubs and I started our Cemetery Walks project, I mentioned that there was a tiny cemetery on the outskirts of our town. It had 6 tombstones and was set back on a hill on an isolated road. I wanted hubs to take pictures of the stones so we could create a video of it for our Cemetery Walks on Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel

Hubs didn't believe me. He insisted there was no cemetery in the location I described to him, and that I must be thinking of the small cemetery further south on the highway.

There was no confusion; I knew exactly where the cemetery was and I'd seen it many times when I first settled in this area in the early 1970s.  So I took hubs there. But it was gone. No tombstones were visible from the road. Since the spot I insisted held the stones was near a house, we didn't want to walk up and start looking around. And besides hubs was convinced I was wrong.

We argued over this cemetery for a couple of years, with me growing increasingly  frustrated that hubs thought I didn't know the difference between a much larger cemetery further south on a busy highway and the tiny 6 stone one on the hill in the country.

Last week I was vindicated! The little cemetery has been found and it even has a name - the William Wilson Pioneer Cemetery. Apparently there are only a handful of us who remember it when there were any tombstones standing, and the memories are consistent - that 40 or more years ago there were about 6 tombstones which gradually disappeared over the years.

Only one tombstone remains and it has fallen and is in pieces on the ground. What happened to the others that I remember - did they fall and are they overgrown with brush? Or were they taken in some youthful pranks? The Cemetery is in an isolated spot on the road to the local drive-in and it's possible that youngsters dared each other to run up and grab a stone.

The burial records seem to be missing and all that is known is that there were once about 23 burials, many of them members of the Wilson family but others soldiers who died on the march up the Penetanguishene Road from York (present day Toronto) to the Naval Establishment at Penetanguishene.

I'm kicking myself that I never copied the names on the stones when I first saw them, or took pictures, but then I remind myself that those were in the days before digital cameras or iPhones. Also I was a very young newly married woman making a new home and not as obsessed with genealogical preservation as I am now.

You can read more about the cemetery and some of the known burials at Forgotten Cemetery Found

July 16, 2012

Hunting for an Elusive Passenger List and Naturalization Record

Bob asked a very interesting question which I believe this may be useful to other genealogy researchers.  Here is my edited version of Bob's email:

My 2nd great grandfather was Michael McGinnis.  He is said to have been born 1805-1807 in Dublin, Ireland. He was m. to Catherine McGuire in Ireland. Children born in Ireland were: Patrick- abt.1826, Edward-abt. 1829, and two daughters- abt.1831 &1834.  A daughter, Ellen was born in New York, Dec. 27, 1836. The family inferentially dates his immigration to America between Jan.1835-Dec. 1836, possibly on the Barque Tweed (although no other family members are shown).  
 
He lived in Johnson Co., Iowa from 1841 until his death Jan. 11, 1870. I recently found his date of naturalization, July 22, 1844, in Dist. Court, of Keokuk Co., Sigournery, IA. The card only shows his name and country of birth as Ireland. No other information.  Do you think there would be a Declaration of Intent record somewhere?  I've checked Keokuk Co. clerk and recorder, public library, historical society, and genealogical society, without success.
Bob - For naturalization records you may want to visit the USA section of NaturalizationRecords.com  Since your ancestor naturalized in 1844, you will want to look at "Naturalization Records Before 1906". There should be a Declaration of Intent for your ancestor and it will almost certainly have more details such as exact date of arrival, but may not have an exact location of birth.

Be sure to use the interactive map on this page to check for naturalization records specific to Iowa - both online and offline. 

If your ancestor arrived via New York, be aware that many of the 1830 arrivals are missing. So finding him or his family may not be possible. Also, they may have sailed into a Canadian port as that would have been much cheaper. Unfortunately Ships Passenger Lists arriving in Canada before 1865 are difficult to find (if they exist at all) as there was no requirement that they be kept.

However there are alternate lists for Canadian arrivals and some passenger lists, which can be found at Filling in the Gaps

If your ancestor did arrive alone on the Tweed (and you haven't told me what your source is for this conclusion), be aware that men often sailed ahead of their family in order to establish a new place of residence. But I had a quick look at some online Passenger Lists and I noted that there were several men named Michael McGinnis (with variant spellings) arriving in the right timeframe to be your ancestor. So I wouldn't be too quick to jump to the conclusion that the Michael McGinnis sailing on the Tweed is yours without some concrete proof.

July 15, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 29): Wedding Bells

Welcome to Week 29 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012.  We are writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, please take a peek at the last two years of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of Olive Tree Genealogy blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home. The important thing is to record your memories. Just write.

This past week the memories of weddings has filled my mind. I was 9 when my oldest brother got married. A few years later it was my next brother's turn. My sister got married when I was about 14 and I still remember the beautiful mauve dress I got to wear as one of her bridesmaids!

Wedding #1
I loved weddings - so much colour and fun with music and laughing and dancing. To me it was a magical time. And then came my own (first) wedding. Hmmm... a different story entirely!

Mind you I did love my gown and the colours I chose - yellow and white. And my best friend was my maid of honour.

Wedding #2
But everything that could go wrong, did. Including me changing my mind before the ceremony and telling my brother, who was giving me away, that I wasn't going through with the wedding. He was pretty stern that I was indeed marching down that aisle towards my groom!

And so I was married and off to Quebec for a weekend honeymoon. Then it was back to University for both of us.

My second wedding (16 years after my first) was a much happier one. We chose to have a very small wedding at our home. This time I had  purple-blue flowers, and I kept it very simple with one witness. I wore an electric blue dress trimmed in black with a huge black wide-brimmed hat (hey it was the 80s!) 

Wedding #3
Several years later I was widowed, and a few years later came a third wedding (30 years after my first!), also at home. I love informal weddings at home! My dress was purple and I had balloons in purple, white and yellow. Only one bouquet of flowers - you can see them on the left but I loved my balloons.

What are your memories of weddings - your own or other family members?


July 14, 2012

Boston University's Certificate Program in Genealogical Research

Boston University's Certificate Program in Genealogical Research comes to the NYG&B this Fall This fall, Boston University brings its acclaimed Certificate Program in Genealogical Research to New York. The 10-week course will be held at the headquarters of the NYG&B in Manhattan. Developed in 2008 by Boston University's Center for Professional Education, the program is designed for intermediate and advanced researchers. Taught by leading scholars, editors, and practitioners in the field, the curriculum provides a highly respected, challenging genealogical education. NYG&B members receive a 10% discount on tuition. For more information, email BUinNYC@bu.edu

July 13, 2012

Update: 15 more states added to 1940 US Census!

This morning at 10 AM MST Ancestry.com will be adding 15 more states to the 1940 US Census database.  Staff are working hard  at Ancestry.com to bring the 1940 US Census to the public, and are now very well ahead of schedule from our initial completion predictions. Enjoy searching the following states, and look for more states coming soon.

·        California
·        Washington
·        Kansas
·        Nebraska
·        Oregon
·        Alabama
·        Indiana
·        Georgia
·        Kentucky
·        Arizona
·        New Hampshire
·        Michigan
·        Wisconsin
·        Montana
·        Hawaii

When Grandkids Start Asking About Great-Grandfathers - Yay!

The Ancestor Wall in Living Room
Yes brainwashing telling grandkids about ancestors does pay off! As many of my readers know, I brainwash tell genealogy stories to my grandkids every time I see them. We play genealogy games. We go on cemetery hunts. We play the Genealogy Board Game I created.

Yesterday it all paid off. My 7 year old grandson was sitting on the couch with me and he looked up at our walls of ancestor photos, then asked, "Grandma, do I have any great-grandpas up there?"

I showed him the photo of my dad in his army uniform, and explained that was his great-grandpa McGinnis. Then he asked who all the people were in the rest of the pictures. So we went through them one by one. "This is my great grandmother, so she is your great-great-great grandma!" He was fascinated and asked questions such as "What is she to my Daddy?" and "How do you get to be a great-great-great grandpa?" and "How old do you have to be to be a grandpa?"

These questions allowed for an explanation of different generations, which he seemed to understand.  I can't wait for the next round of questions!

July 12, 2012

Passing on Your Family Genealogy Treasures to a Descendant

Readers might recall that in 2009 I wrote several bog posts about Starting a Genealogy and Family Hope Chest

Since starting an antique box with my family odds 'n ends of genealogy treasures, I've run out of room.  In fact I've filled three similar size boxes with my treasures.

What do I keep in my treasure box? Original family documents (land records, deeds, marriage certificates, birth and baptismal records, death certificates etc), family bibles and journals, WW1 paybook and records for my grandmother's brother,  school report cards, wedding invitations, letters, postcards and more. I only keep original items that belonged to someone in my family, not photocopies of records I've found while researching.

But because I was filling boxes so rapidly, I decided to transfer all my documents and records, family treasures and journals (my own plus my mother's) to one large antique blanket box.

You can see the blanket box I'm going to use on the left in this photo. It already had a few items in it so I'm going to have some fun going through my smaller boxes and re-organizing the items to go in the blanket box.

It's always fun to take that trip down memory lane each time I reorganize the treasures. I spent a few hours last time reading through my grandmother's handwritten recipes which I've kept. Hopefully you are keeping your own genealogy treasure box to be passed on to a descendant.



July 11, 2012

Lost & Found: WW1 Star for John Campbell

J. Campbell WW1 Star - front
This is the 1914-15 Star Medal for men who enlisted in the CEF in those years.

The name of the soldier on this medal is on the back and it reads Pte J. Campbell, 1 Can. Inf. (1st Canadian Infantry). His service number is 7216

To learn more about Pte Campbell I searched for his Attestation Papers in the CEF database online. John Campbell, born Sept. 21, 1885 in Glasgow Scotland, enlisted on 22 Sept. 1914, one day after his 29th birthday.

J. Campbell WW1 Star -back
His father's name was given as Hugh Campbell living in Glasgow. Pte Campbell gave his occupation as teamster and stated he had previously served one year in the Sutherland Highlanders. 

What happened to John? Did he survive the war?


July 10, 2012

Summer Sale at FamilyTreeDNA

Family Tree DNA is having a summer sale.

Sale prices are good until July 15 so if you have been thinking of having a DNA test done, now's the time. I had my brother's Y-DNA done and my mtDNA and am excited about the results! You can follow my DNA journey here

Y-DNA tests starting at $129 - Verify if you share a Paternal Line or Surname

Family Finder tests starting at $199 - Find relatives across all Lines, both male & female

mtDNA starting at $159 - Verify if you share a Maternal Line

More details at Family Tree DNA

July 9, 2012

76 Million New, Free US Historic Records Added Online

76 Million New, Free US Historic Records Added Online
Millions more for Brazil, China, Ireland, Italy, Russia, and Spain


76 million much-anticipated state census, naturalization, immigration, and vital records were added this week for 22 states, including Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Since partnering with the National Archives of Italy to digitally preserve and index its civil registration, more than 24 million images have been published and 4 million names have been made searchable on FamilySearch.org. Millions more free records were published this week for Armenia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland. Search these diverse collections and 2.8 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.
 

July 8, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 28): Burn Baby Burn!

Welcome to Week 28 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012.  We are writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, please take a peek at the last two years of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of Olive Tree Genealogy blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home. The important thing is to record your memories. Just write.

One of my daughters-in-law got sunburned yesterday sitting on a beach under the shade of a beach umbrella. She thought she was protected but of course she wasn't, as the harmful UV rays can penetrate the material of the umbrella and bounce off the sand and water! It reminded me of the difference in our awareness and avoidance of sun exposure now from when I was a child.

As a child, my mom had me outside as much as possible. No hat, no sunscreen, getting as brown as a berry. As a teenager my friends and I loved to put a blanket in the backyard and lie there in the sun all day, turning every so often like shish-kabobs. In fact we used to lather ourselves with baby oil so that we'd burn faster and thus tan even faster!

As a young married woman on a holiday in the Caribbean, my goal was to come back home as tanned as possible! I lived on a boat every summer from 1982 to 1988, and lay out in my bikini enjoying the wonderful sun whenever possible.

How those days have changed! Now we know better and if we're smart, we use the best sunscreen possible, wear a hat and limit our exposure time in the sun. And we protect our children like crazy!

I have to admit I'm sorry that we discovered the sun's rays were so harmful as it was a lot of fun to work on a tan and soak up those rays. But I also shudder thinking of all the years of exposure I had before the knowledge was available as to how harmful it was.

What do you remember about sunning and playing outside in the summer as a child?

July 7, 2012

British Newspaper Archives - What I Like and Don't Like About this Site

Today's Featured Database is British Newspaper Archive

I subscribed to the site several months ago and am delighted with the items I'm finding on ancestors. They are busy adding new pages daily and state that they have 5,329,460 scanned pages as of today.

In my first month of use, I encountered a problem. When I clicked on a "hit" for an ancestor, I could not find his name in the newspaper page that loaded. I read the entire page several times and even clicked back and forth a few pages but to no avail.

So I wrote to explain that I'd been hunting for over an hour and could not find the entry. To my surprise, their customer service responded very quickly and were extremely helpful.  Even after I was given the correct page and URL to view it, I couldn't spot the name. I finally decided I was too frustrated to continue hunting and wrote back to request more guidance. The very patient customer service rep provided me with an exact column number and start of the paragraph containing my ancestor's name. With that help I was able to spot the bit I needed.

Since then I've had no problems with an incorrect link and I've looked at many. With both my maternal grandparents being born in England I've got a lot of English ancestors to look for!

I like their search engine. You can narrow your search with filters for date, region, county, specific place, type of article, public tags, or specific newspapers.  Once you find an entry you want to view, you simply load the page. Sometimes your search term is highlighted but not always. Usually the block of text where your search word is located is a darker grey, but again this does not always happen. The majority of the time it does and that makes finding the entry much easier.

You can order a copy of the newspaper page for a fee or you can download it to your computer. Downloading it does not give you a very clear image so what I do is enlarge the bit I want then do a screen dump. It gives a better image than downloading. If there was something really special I wanted to save I'd pay for a better copy.

The one caveat you should be aware of is that when you purchase an unlimited membership, it's not really unlimited. As the website points out in their Terms, unlimited membership is subject to their  Fair Usage Policy.  This policy spells out that you are permitted to view an average of 1000 pages per month (calculated over a 3 month period). If you get close to the limit, the company will send you an email to warn you.

Personally I don't like paying for something that is called Unlimited when it isn't unlimited. No matter how nicely the site explains it, I felt tricked that they didn't just call it the "1000 pages per month membership" or "Sort of kind of unlimited membership" or something totally upfront and transparent.  

Yes I did purchase an Unlimited Membership but the smaller credit options wouldn't have been enough for me given the sheer number of English ancestors I want to hunt for. And I don't like subscription websites where I have to buy x number of credits and woe is me if they expire before I use them all. Because I'm very apt to forget or get busy and lose credits. 

So the bottom line is that I'm very happy with the site and with my "unlimited" membership (even though it isn't unlimited) and I've never been warned that I'm at my 1000 monthly views limit.  But I still wish they'd come up with a more honest name for it. Or remove the limit.

July 6, 2012

The National Genealogical Society Announces Partnership With Fold3


The National Genealogical Society Announces Partnership With Fold3
arlington, va, 5 JUNE 2012: The National Genealogical Society is proud to announce a partnership with Fold3, the premier military history website. NGS has worked with Fold3 to give its society membership an extremely attractive member benefit. Fold3 is offering NGS members its lowest price when they purchase a Fold3 Annual Membership of $39.95, which is a 50% savings off the regular price. In additional to the NGS member savings, Fold3 will donate 30% of the sale back to NGS to further its educational work. 

NGS and Fold3 are announcing this partnership in celebration of the 4th of July this week.  Fold3 features over 94 million historical records from US institutions including the National Archives. Military records, naturalization records, and city directories are just a few of the different collections found on Fold3. Joining Fold3 and locating an ancestor’s military or naturalization record is a fitting way to honor their legacy.

To take advantage of this member benefit, visit the Special Offer for a Fold3 Annual Membership page in the Members Only section of the NGS website at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/fold3. Please be sure to log in under the User Login area in the right-hand column of the screen.

The NGS-Fold3 partnership allows Fold3, one of the best online resources for historical documents, to support and contribute to NGS’s mission, which includes helping to serve and grow the genealogical community through education.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

July 5, 2012

Games for a Family Fun Day

Well it's that time again. In a month I have my annual Family Fun Day coming up. We always have a team event with prizes and lots of activities to choose from and this year I was having trouble coming up with something new.

I've created Scavenger Hunts, Genealogy Races, Amazing Race Genealogy style and more. But I wanted something new and something a little less work. Finally I've got a plan thanks to a little story my youngest son told me of a Military challenge he participated in! All I have to do was tweak it for my family and add a genealogy twist.

The basic idea is that I'll place 10 to 12 objects on a table in our shed and cover them with a sheet. The objects will have some kind of genealogy aspect to them - perhaps a photo of Great Grandma Simpson, the toast rack she owned, a family bible, etc. I might throw in non-genealogy objects such as a kitchen colander or a shovel - ordinary items you'd find in or around your home.

Family members will be partnered by finding their match to an Ancestor card I'll give each person when they arrive. The object is to race to the shed, study and memorize the objects then participate in 3 games of skill before heading to the last event. At the last event teams will write down what objects they saw in the shed. If they're wrong they go back to the shed and start over.

The 3 games of skill will be simple but will break their concentration, making it harder to retain what they've memorized. The games I've decided on are:

1. Toss a frisbee through a hanging hula hoop. Not as easy as it sounds.

2. Toss a ball into a hula hoop lying on the ground


3. Run to the pig pen and taking one scoop from a pail of food, toss it over the fence to entice the pigs out of their barn. Team members must call out "Piggy piggy oink oink oink" as they toss the food (hubs will be there to monitor the calling). The task is to count all our pigs. 

I am laughing already thinking of my family completing task #3.




July 4, 2012

Ancestry.com Free Access July 3-8

Did your family fight for your freedom or work to establish our great nation?

FREE through July 8th, make your connection to early American ancestors in nearly 65 million Ancestry.com carefully selected historical records from the 13 original colonies and more, including:

U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage & Death Announcements, 1851-2003 and many more on Ancestry.com

July 3, 2012

Photos of Child Criminals 1870s

Ellen Woodman
Tyne and Wear Museum and Archives has a fascinating and poignant set of photographs online on Flickr and Pinterest. The collection is called Criminal faces, 1871-1873 and many are young children who were arrested for various crimes.  All the photos are of prisoners who spent time in Newcastle Gaol between December 1871 - December 1873.

When you read through the charges you quickly see that many times the children stole clothing or food. Sometimes they stole small items that could easily be sold. I have no doubt the money obtained went towards food or clothing. 

The photo on the left  is of Ellen Woodman. At the young age of 11, Ellen was ordered to do 7 days hard labour after being convicted of stealing iron when caught with Mary Catherine Docherty, Rosanna Watson and Mary Hinnigan.

It's sad to see these young faces as you get the feeling that most were victims of poverty and not hard-core criminals. Sometimes in our quest to find an exciting blacksheep ancestor we forget about the human side of things. 


The Archives also has a small sample of photos of women called Criminal faces of North Shields - the women. These images are a selection from an album of photographs of prisoners brought before the North Shields Police Court between 1902 and 1916

All photos are copyright to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and are used on Olive Tree Genealogy blog in accordance with their copyright information. 

July 2, 2012

Second Chance for a Flip-Pal Scanner Deal

The second of two promotions from Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner for the upcoming American Independence Day and Canada Day celebrations starts today.  Readers know how much I love my Flip-Pal and I'm always happy to share the news of any sales or coupons to help you purchase your own.

The following promotion code is valid July 2-8

Use Promotion Code: July4  and this link for your Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Purchase a Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner with Digital Creativity Suite 3.0 DVD and get a Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket FREE! (Please place both items in your shopping cart first before using the promotion code.)

The following promotion codes are valid 12:00 a.m.–11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (-6 GMT) Please note: these promotional codes cannot be used in conjunction with other promotion codes.

July 1, 2012

Sharing Memories (Week 27): Celebrating Independence Day or Canada Day

Welcome to Week 27 of our 52 weeks of Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey for 2012.  We are writing our memoirs and childhood memories for our descendants.

If you are just joining us, please take a peek at the last two years of prompts by clicking on the Sharing Memories tab at the top of Olive Tree Genealogy blog. You can jump in at any time and you can skip topics that you don't like. There are no rules, it's all about getting your memories down on paper. The prompts are here as a guide to help if you are stuck for ideas.

Share your memories here in the comment section, on your own blog, or privately in a journal you keep at home. The important thing is to write.

This is a weekend to celebrate. Here in Canada we're celebrating Canada Day, which is on July 1 and honours Confederation day in 1867 when our three colonies were united into a single country called Canada.

I don't remember doing anything special as a kid to celebrate this day except my dad used to get fireworks for us to have in the front yard - mostly sparklers. I'm curious whether other Canadians did anything special? It seems most Canadians hang little Canadian flags on their cars, make sure they have plenty of beer on hand and lots of steaks for the barbeque. The backyard deck parties started on Friday night in our area. We Canadians love the outdoors and our back decks and barbeques!

Independence Day (Fourth of July) is something I've never experienced firsthand, so would love to hear comments from my American readers. What did your family do to celebrate or what do you do now?