March 31, 2013

Easter Bunny's Family Tree Found!

This was announced previously on Olive Tree Genealogy blog but I felt it was worth repeating!

Easter Bunny's Family Tree Found!

Breaking news - yesterday a little girl named Alice was playing in the garden of an old house in England when she fell down a large rabbit hole. Before climbing out she made a unique discovery. In a small wooden box under a pile of rabbit fur hats Alice spotted a yellowed letter. The letter was addressed to "Dear Easter" and signed "Uncle Wiggily", and it provided details of an interesting family tree!

The complete letter has been transcribed below:

Dear Easter,
Easter Bunny's Family Tree Found!I'm glad you asked about your family. Time is getting short for me and I think I'm the only one left who knows the stories of our family.

Your great-grandfather, Bugs, was one of three brothers (Bugs, Peter and Brer). The brothers left their home and sailed for America in the late 1800s. The ship they were on was caught up in a terrible storm and the brothers had to tie themselves to the mast. The ship sank but Bugs, Peter and Brer were lucky enough to find a plank and they climbed up on it and drifted for several days until they were rescued by the SS Lollipop.

When they got to Ellis Island, the customs officials changed the brothers' last names before allowing them to leave the ship, and so the three branches of our family began.

Bugs, Your great-grandpa, kept his Bunny name. Peter's was changed to Cottontail and all his descendants have kept that name. Brer's name was changed to Rabbit and it is from his line that our famous cousins White and Velveteen descend.

Great grandpa Bugs later met and married your great-grandmother Bunny Fufu. I don't know anything about her parents. My cousin Willy Bunny has photos and her family bible but he is stingy with the family information and refuses to share. Apparently Bunny Fufu's family bible was tossed into a fire by Indians when they attacked the settlement where she and her parents lived, but Bunny's father leapt into the flames and saved the bible. I wish Willy would not be so secretive with the information!

It gets a bit confusing, but Velveteen Rabbit, your mother, was your father Energizer's second wife and his third cousin once removed. It wasn't unusual for cousins to marry each other, but it does get confusing as we all seem to have large families.

Velveteen's father (your maternal grandfather) was Peter but I don't know too much about your mom's side of the family. I did hear there was an Angora in there somewhere way back. Some say she was a Princess and Peter rescued her from pirates!

Of course you know your grandparents - Buster and Trix. One day you should ask your grandma Trix why she calls your grandpa Buster by his nickname "Hassenfeffer" whenever she is mad at him, it's a cute story.

I've done some research on our family but am stuck on your great-great-grandmother. That would be your Great-Grandpa Bugs' mother. Great-Grandpa Bugs' father (your great-great-grandpa) was named Cadbury but I think your great-great-grandma was left by aliens. She is my brick wall. I know Cadbury called her Flopsy and they had 54 children but even though I've searched everywhere, I can't find what her SIRname was.

I guess I should tell you about the family scandal involving your Great great grandpa Cadbury Bunny. My Aunt Babbity told me she heard the grownups whispering about this when she was little. It seems that Cadbury's father fell in love with a chicken and Cadbury was the result of that love match! This might explain Cadbury's strange behaviour....

Well Easter, I think I've given you enough details to confuse you, but I hope I've gotten you interested in learning more! I know where some of the graves are of your ancestors and will take you there one day if you want to go. It's just a hop, skip and jump away.

Give my best to all the little children when you make your rounds this year,

As ever,
Uncle Wiggily

Since that exciting discovery in 2009, Easter Bunny has found more genealogy goodies!  In 2010 Easter found a family tree chart! You can see it here

In 2011 Easter was delighted to discover a Family Bible that once belonged to his great-grandmother Bunny Fufu! He's been hunting ever since, tracking down leads on the Bunny Trail and exploring every nook and cranny he can find.

So stay tuned for more news as Easter texts us to let us know of his new and exciting genealogy adventures.

March 30, 2013

23andMe DNA Results In!

Your DNA is a time machine. It could reveal an interesting ancestor. Start your Journey Here! It was an exciting day last Thursday. My  23andMe DNA results were in. I had previously sent for 3 DNA kits - one of each for hubs, my brother and me. So when the email arrived from 23andMe I had the fun of going through all 3 sets of results. Phew! I won't pretend I understood it all but it is fascinating.

We are all going to have to do some more reading on DNA to understand it all, so I concentrated instead on the health results. It's pretty impressive. 23andMe DNA shows if you have any at-risk or higher than average risk factors, which of course does not mean you are going to get that specific disorder but might just make you more aware of watching for symptoms.

Our reports showed if we were carriers of certain disorders and if we might have sensitivities to certain drugs or treatments. I learned that both my brother and I have bitter taste receptors that hubs does not have.  All in all the health and medical reports were quite detailed and provided our individual risk % compared to the average. I'm still going over them!

One item I noticed this morning is a printable genetic health summary report which 23andMe suggests might be shared with a health-care provider. Great idea! The site explains it as

This overview includes brief summaries of your 23andMe DNA results for:
  • diseases for which you are at greater than average genetic risk,
  • heritable diseases for which you carry one or more genetic variants (carrier status),
  • and drugs to which you are likely to have an atypical response based on genetics.
There is also detailed information on each disease that is labelled as greater than average genetic risk and suggestions of life-style changes that might reduce the risk.

Of course there were the standard paternal and maternal Haplogroup determinations and so on but I'll talk about those in a future blog post. Not all of our details are in for this part of the testing. Let me end with the amusing finding that my brother's has 2.6% Neanderthal DNA, hubs has 2.8% and I have 3% which puts me in the 86th percentile! Wow I can't believe I'm more Neanderthal than my brother but genetics doesn't lie.

And now I'm off to do more reading on DNA

March 29, 2013

Women's History Month: Set a Female Ancestor in History

Affidavit re Anna Maria Vollick
My friend and fellow Blogger Lisa Alzo has a Meme for March - Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women's History Month

I encourage readers to join in. Lisa has some terrific blogging prompts for each day of Women's History Month.  


I will write my own stories each Friday from the 5 prompts I came up with at Celebrate Women's History Month! Time for Stories I hope you'll join in with your own:

Here is my last entry for

 Choose one female ancestor and the historical context during her life. Pick one historical event that would have impacted on her life. Perhaps she lived through the Spanish influenza in the early 1900s or she was widowed during the Civil War, or lived through the Depression? Every ancestor has a story to tell and this is a great opportunity to tell about one of your fearless female ancestors! 

This was an easy choice for me. I often think about my 5th great-grandmother Anna Maria Warner. Anna Maria was born to a Palatine family in Schoharie New York in 1735. At the age of 22 she married Isaac Van Valkenburg who later took the surname Vollick.

Shortly after the American Revolution broke out, Maria's husband Isaac took the side of those loyal to the King and joined Butler's Rangers. He was arrested on three separate occasions and sent to prison in Albany. The family was living near North River in northern New York, and when Isaac was released from prison he left with the Rangers and Maria was left alone with ten children.

Maria continued to aid the British, and in 1779 she and her  children (the youngest only four years old) were taken from their home in North River and made prisoners by American patriots. Their home was burned and Mary and the children were marched 80 miles north through the forest and left in destitute circumstances. With the help of Indians from Canada, Mary and family made their way to Canada and reached Montreal Quebec by July of 1779.

How she managed to keep going with seven young children is a testimony to her strength and courage. Her oldest child was her 19 year old daughter, her youngest only 4. She had no way of knowing where her husband and older sons were, nor even if they were alive or dead. And she had no family support except her children.

Once in Quebec Mary and her children received minimal food rations,  and were provided with lodging and blankets from the British Government. They had nowhere to go and with other refugees lived under these crowded conditions for three years. Finally in 1782 Maria reunited with Isaac and they settled in the Niagara area as impoverished Loyalists.

Ontario was a wilderness at that time and the Niagara area had no settlements until the disbanded Rangers were sent there.  They arrived with nothing, all their lands in New York having been confiscated. Can you imagine living and working the land for over 20 years and suddenly you are tossed out, your home burned in front of you and with only a few blankets you are marched into the woods and left to either die or make your way to a land you have never seen?

Then you live for  3 years in hardship and finally reunite with your husband, only to be sent out to the wilderness with only a few Government promises, most of which were never kept.

The following submission to the House of Commons in 1786 describes the grave situation in which Loyalists found themselves.

"It is impossible to describe the poignant distress under which many of these persons now labour and which must daily increase should the justice of Parliament be delayed until all claims are liquidated and reported. Ten years have elapsed since many of them have been deprived of their fortunes, their helpless families reduced from independent affluence to poverty and want."

To top it off, five years after arriving in the Niagara area, the disbanded Loyalists faced starvation in what became known as "The Hungry Year" , the winter of 1787/1788.  Settlers faced  crop failures, shortage of food and a severe winter.  Game was scarce and many people died. With the coming of  spring new leaves on trees were gathered and eaten. Roots were dug out of the ground and eaten. Bark of certain trees was stripped off and consumed as food. Those were the conditions Maria and her family faced some 12 years after being forced out of their home in New York. Did her suffering never end? What a strong brave woman she must have been. And I am so proud to call her one of my Fearless Female Ancestors.

March 28, 2013

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly: Tutorial 3

Video 3 of Creating a Memory Photo Book on Shutterfly is now online on Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel

In this video I show you how to work with text boxes and embellishments, and how to rearrange book pages. 


March 27, 2013

National Genealogical Society Presents Research in Washington, DC 3–9 November 2013

National Genealogical Society Presents Research in Washington, DC 3–9 November 2013

ARLINGTON, VA, 27 March 2013: The National Genealogical Society will be presenting a hands-on research trip to Washington, DC, from 3–9 November 2013. Under the guidance of Craig Roberts Scott, cgSM, and Patricia Walls Stamm, cgSM, cglSM, twenty-six researchers will use the genealogical resources at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library, and the Library of Congress (LOC).

The Research Package includes:
    •    Six days of research at three noteworthy Washington, DC, facilities (the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Library)
    •    Online Training and Preparation Assistance for the 2013 Washington, DC, Research Trip
    •    Orientation and dessert get-together on Sunday at the hotel
    •    Research consultations with leaders throughout the trip
    •    Friday evening group meal
    •    Six nights at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn, which includes daily continental breakfast, free Internet in rooms, and parking.
    •    Fees and taxes included

Costs do not include either the transportation to Washington, DC, or within the city, or any other meals other than those shown above. The package price varies depending upon room occupancy and National Genealogical Society membership status. Payment is required in full at the time of registration.

Please see costs of trip

*non-researching spouse receives the benefits of the orientation, daily continental breakfast, and Friday evening group meal.

The trip hosts, Craig Roberts Scott, cgSM, and Patricia Walls Stamm, cgSM, cglSM, will be joined by Shirley Langdon Wilcox, cgSM, fngs, and Patricia O’Brien Shawker, cgSM. All are seasoned experts in conducting research in Washington, DC, facilities.

Craig Roberts Scott, cgSM, is a professional genealogist specializing in records in the National Archives, Washington, DC, since 1985. He has written several books and articles that relate to research in the National Archives. He has lectured at National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies national conferences since 1990. Craig has coordinated and lectured in the military records tracks at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). He continues to lecture around the country on military records and problem solving. He has served on the Board of the Association of Professional Genealogists for several terms. Craig is also the president and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc.

Patricia Walls Stamm, cgSM, cglSM, serves as the Education Manager of the National Genealogical Society. Pat lectures on a wide variety of topics at many of the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies national conferences. She is a graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). Pat is an instructor at Samford University’s Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), St. Louis Community College, and the St. Louis Genealogical Society.

March 26, 2013

Creating an Ancestor Memory Book on Shutterfly - Video 2

Don't miss my second video tutorial on using Shutterfly to create a Memory Book of your ancestors. This is a fun easy project to create. Be sure to visit the Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel for more video tutorials


March 25, 2013

New Features on AncestryDNA

Great news - there are several new features for AncestryDNA. And there's a nice price of $99.00 now for a DNA kit. Here's what's new:

1. Communicating with matches is even easier. Now when you correspond with a DNA match, there’s a direct link in the email message that lets you quickly locate that match in the future. No more paging through your match list. Just click the link, and it will take you directly to the details for that match.

2. DNA results on-the-go.
Ancestry DNA web pages now work seamlessly on your smart phone and tablet.  No app download required; just access your DNA results through your web browser on your smart phone or tablet as usual.

3. Raw DNA data download.
Some genetic genealogists have requested the ability to download their raw DNA data. And now you have the option to download your raw data by logging into your account, going to your DNA results page and clicking the “manage test settings” link.

March 24, 2013

Creating a Memory Book - Video Tutorials

Creating a Memory Book - Video Tutorials
Yesterday I uploaded two video tutorials to Olive Tree Genealogy Channel on YouTube. The tutorials walk you step by step through creating a beautiful Photo Memory Book for your family tree.

There are more video tutorials to come in this series so be sure to keep an eye on the YouTube Channel and on this blog for announcements.

Here are the first two in the series. I hope they are helpful!

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 1)

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 2)

March 23, 2013

Last Day For Live Streaming Sessions from RootsTech 2013

Live Streaming Sessions from RootsTech 2013
It's the last day for RootsTech.  Which  Sessions are you going to watch today on their live stream? 

Remember, if you miss the Live Stream you can catch the sessions later at http://rootstech.org

 Here are today's sessions for Live Streaming. I am determined to catch Denise Olsen's Digital Storytelling and hope to watch the others live too.

Saturday, March 23
 8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: David Pogue, Personal Technology Columnist, The New York Times, and Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO, MyHeritage
9:45 a.m.
Using Technology to Solve Research Problems-Karen Clifford
11:00 a.m.
Digital Storytelling: More Than Bullet Points-Denise Olson








March 22, 2013

Today's Live Stream Sessions on Rootstech

Which RootsTech Sessions are you going to watch today on their live stream? Yesterday I saw part of the Keynote speakers - excellent! And I managed to watch Jill Ball's panel on Genealogy Gadget Bags. The panelists did an excellent job, as did the panelists on Thomas MacEntee's Panel on the Future of Genealogy.

Here's the list of what's coming today!  I hope I can manage to watch Valerie Elkins session at the very least. Of course I'm going to try to watch as many as possible. If you can't watch them live, they are being archived so you can catch the sessions later. Just go to Rootstech.org and enjoy!

Friday, March 22
 8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: Jyl Pattee, Founder, Mom It Forward Media, and Tim Sullivan, President and CEO, Ancestry.com
9:45 a.m.
Researching Ancestors Online-Laura Prescott
11:00 a.m.
FamilySearch Family Tree-Ron Tanner
1:45 p.m.
Google Search... and Beyond-Dave Barney
3:00 p.m.
From Paper Piles to Digital Files-Valerie Elkins


Women's History Month: A Pioneer Female Pilot

Women's History Month: A Pioneer Female Pilot
My friend and fellow Blogger Lisa Alzo has a Meme for March - Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women's History Month

I encourage readers to join in. Lisa has some terrific blogging prompts for each day of Women's History Month.  

I will write my own stories each Friday from the 5 prompts I came up with at Celebrate Women's History Month! Time for Stories I hope you'll join in with your own:

This is my entry for my 4th prompt

4.  Do you have a  female relative (direct ancestor or collateral lineage) who played an active role in women's issues? Perhaps one who was a Suffragette or was a pioneer in a male-dominated role or occupation?  Perhaps she sailed to the New World to start a new life in the 1600s or was a refugee from a war-torn or religious-intolerant location. Tell her story in a blog post or comment here on this blog.

So many to choose from! There are my Palatine female ancestors who fled the Palatinate area of Germany over religious differences and sailed to New York in 1710.  Out of approximately 3,000 who fled to a new land, almost 500 died on the way. Once in New York their mistreatment continued, this time at the hands of the British who forced their husbands and sons to work on British Tar Ships in situations not unlike slave labour. Their children were taken from them and given into indentured servitude to wealthier families. 

Or my Irish female ancestors who left Ireland during the Potato Famine in the 1840s? My 2nd great grandmother Fanny McGinnis (nee Downey) was one of those women. The hardships many of my female ancestors endured is beyond imagination and I admire their courage and resilience.


But I'm going to talk about my cousin Eileen Vollick (1908-1968) who became the first Canadian woman to obtain a pilot's licence in March 1928. Yes she was just 20 years old. Eileen was related to me in two ways, and was also my 7th cousin twice removed.





Eileen received numerous honours over the years, including the Amelia Earhart medallion in 1975. In August 2008 over 250 people gathered to mark her contribution to aviation on the 100th anniversary of her birth in Wiarton. 

She also was honoured with a Canada Post stamp and the naming of an airport terminal after her. 

You can read more about Eileen and her historical contribution as a pioneer in a male-dominated world at Carnival of Genealogy: Famous Canadian Ancestor Eileen Vollick, first licenced female pilot in Canada



March 21, 2013

RootsTech Live Streaming Starts Today!

Which RootsTech Sessions are you going to watch today on their live stream? Here's the list of what's coming!  I am definitely watching The Genealogists Gadget Bag by my friend Jill Ball, because I was asked to be on that panel.

Sadly I could not attend RootsTech this year so had to decline but I'm excited to see what gadgets the panelists are bringing.

I also plan on watching my friend and fellow blogger Thomas MacEntee in The Future of Genealogy. If I can possibly do it, I'll watch them all.

Mountain Standard Time
"Best of RootsTech"
Live Stream on RootsTech.org
Thursday, March 21
 8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: Dennis Brimhall, President and CEO, FamilySearch International, Syd Lieberman, Nationally Acclaimed Storyteller, Author, and Teacher, and Josh Taylor, Lead Genealogist at findmypast.com and President, Federation of Genealogical Societies
11:00 a.m.
The Future of Genealogy-Thomas MacEntee and panel
1:45 p.m.
Tell It Again (Story@Home)-Kim Weitkamp
3:00 p.m.
The Genealogists Gadget Bag-Jill Ball and panel
4:15 p.m.
Finding the Obscure and Elusive: Geographic Information on the Web-James Tanner

March 20, 2013

Poland Genealogy - My First Venture

Recently a marriage record I ordered from the online Manitoba Vital Records website arrived.  I don't have ancestors in Manitoba but my two nieces do. Helping them find their Polish ancestry was something I wanted to do but it is proving very challenging.

The groom's name is misindexed as Wasyl Ludyjko in the online index but it is actually Wasyl Sudyjko. Mixing up upper case "S" and "L" is a common transcription error in records.

Immigration Records

I had previously found Wasyl in Ancestry.com records arriving in St. John, New Brunswick Canada on board the ship Mount Temple in 1905.  He has been misindexed as "Wasyl Sudefks" The ship sailed from London England and the passenger list recorded him as Wasyl Sudeyko, age 23, born Galicia and heading to Winnipeg (Manitoba)

Census Records

The next record that *may* be for Wasyl is the 1906 census for Manitoba where he is listed as "W. Suduk" age 25, single.

The 1911 census for Selkirk Manitoba confirmed Wasyl was married now:

Suedeyko Wasyl   M Head M Apr 1881 age 29 immigrated 1904, Naturalized, Greek Catholic, born Galicia
Suedeyko Jessie   F Wife M Jul 1886 age 24 immigrated 1906, born Galicia
Suedeyko Annie   F Daughter S Jun 1910 age 11 mos born Manitoba

I had one other clue about Wasyl. I knew that eventually the surname became Sedak and the family lived in Selkirk. Sure enough he was found in the 1916 census for Selkirk Manitoba. This was another example of a badly indexed record - the entire family was listed with the surname Wasil instead of Sedik!

Sedik Wasil     33
Jessie Wasil     31
Annie Wasil     6
Mike Wasil     4
John Wasil     2
Mary Wasil     0

Death Record 1922

The last record I was able to find was a death record for Wasyl in 1922. He was recorded as "William Sedit" born 5 Oct. 1882 [sic] Here his wife's name was given as "Josepha Scukie" We know this is the correct man from other confirmed details given by his daughter to her granddaughters (my nieces). His mother is name as "Mary" and there is no name recorded for his father.

Marriage January 21, 1909

So back to the marriage record I received recently. This record shows the parents of both bride and groom, plus ages and birth places. The challenging part is finding out where these towns are today and what their names are (if they have changed) I had sucess finding Wasyl's birth place which is recorded as "Bilcze Zolate Galicia" According to JewishGen it is now called Bil'che-Zolote, Ukraine and is in the Province of Ternopil Oblast, some 460 km SW of Kiev.

His parents are named as Michael Sydyjko and Dorka Lueyk or Cueyk. Perhaps one of my readers will have a better idea than I of Dorka's surname.

The bride is listed as Josepha Skurycka, 22 born Lycztiwi (?), Galicia. Her parents are Wajtko Skurycki and Kateryna Kaczrat. Again, help from my readers would be appreciated in the reading of their names and Josepha's birth location. It could be Lycytiwi or I may have misread the last bit "tiwi" but I do not find either listed on JewishGen.

Cemetery Records

I also found both William and Jessie buried in East Selkirk St Stanizlus Roman Catholic Cemetery, St Clements, Manitoba

Obituary Records 

I was lucky enough to find Jessie (Josepha's) obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press in 1963 but no clues as to her origins were found:

Obit Jessie Sedik, March 16, 1963. Winnipeg Free Press

Came to Canada from Austria in 1907 and lived Selkirk Manitoba until 1942, then moved to Toronto
Predeceased by husband Wasyl in 1922
4 daughters survive - Mrs Harry Zalenksy (Annie) of Prince Albert
Mrs Mary Wynyyk of Selkirk
Mrs. Kay Zaleski of Toronto
Mrs J. Robinson (Lena) of Toronto
2 sons - John and Michael of Selkirk
8 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren

Questions

One question I have is what would the Polish name be for "Michael" and what would the English name be for "Wajtko"? If anyone knows please enlighten me!

And so a marriage record has great information but leaves me still struggling. And I have not yet found Josepha (Josefa, Jessie) on a ship arriving in either Canada or USA. It's always fun and exciting to be exploring a new area of genealogy research but I confess to finding this very challenging indeed. 

March 19, 2013

Early Bird Registration for NGS Ends Today!

Early Bird Registration Discount Ends
 2013 Family History Conference
Las Vegas, Nevada, 8–11 May 2013
Building New Bridges

ARLINGTON, VA, 18 March 2013: The NGS 2013 Family History Conference will be held 8–11 May 2013 at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino (LVH), Las Vegas, Nevada. The early bird registration discount ends  Tuesday, 19 March 2013. In addition to enjoying a $35 discount, only early birds have the opportunity to order a printed syllabus. (Everyone will receive a syllabus on flash drive.) NGS members get even deeper discounts, so this is a great time to join. 


Space is still available for most breakfasts and luncheons, the NGS Banquet, and Tuesday bus tours. The BCG Education Fund Workshop is sold out. To be placed on the wait list, e-mail the NGS conference registrar, Courtney Holmes, at cholmes@ngsgenealogy.org .


All full-conference registrants will be entered in a drawing to win a seven-night stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel at Temple Square, courtesy of the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. The prize will also include a free spot on one the Ancestor Seekers Salt Lake City research trips. Be sure to attend the opening session to find out if you are the winner. The winner must be present at the opening session to claim the prize.

To register online, visit the NGS website at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/attendee_registration and complete the registration form. 

List of RootsTech 2013 Sessions Being Live Streamed

List of RootsTech 2013 Sessions Being Live Streamed
RootsTech 2013 announced today which of its conference sessions would be streamed online for free. Over 5,000 people have already registered to attend the popular conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 21-23, 2013, where they plan to learn how to find, organize, tell, preserve, and share their family's history-and make new connections. The conference will broadcast 13 of its 250+ classes live at RootsTech.org , including the daily keynote speakers. The family history conference is the largest of its kind in the U.S. 

"Not everyone can attend RootsTech in person," said Dan Martinez, RootsTech conference manager. "So we give them a chance to virtually attend a free sampling of some of our most popular sessions live online." Martinez added that the live webcasts in 2012 had 50,000 views during the show.

For those living within travel distance of Salt Lake City, Martinez said it's still not too late to register for RootsTech 2013! From the Getting Started, Developer Day, and the Story@home tracks, the 3rd annual RootsTech conference has something for everyone, whether you are an avid genealogist, just beginning, or simply want to discover the latest technologies and solutions to better connect with your family. For registration details and costs, go to RootsTech.org.
 
Following are the RootsTech 2013 Streaming Sessions and when and where to find them.


Mountain Standard Time
"Best of RootsTech"
Live Stream on RootsTech.org
Thursday, March 21
 8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: Dennis Brimhall, President and CEO, FamilySearch International, Syd Lieberman, Nationally Acclaimed Storyteller, Author, and Teacher, and Josh Taylor, Lead Genealogist at findmypast.com and President, Federation of Genealogical Societies
11:00 a.m.
The Future of Genealogy-Thomas MacEntee and panel
1:45 p.m.
Tell It Again (Story@Home)-Kim Weitkamp
3:00 p.m.
The Genealogists Gadget Bag-Jill Ball and panel
4:15 p.m.
Finding the Obscure and Elusive: Geographic Information on the Web-James Tanner

Friday, March 22
 8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: Jyl Pattee, Founder, Mom It Forward Media, and Tim Sullivan, President and CEO, Ancestry.com
9:45 a.m.
Researching Ancestors Online-Laura Prescott
11:00 a.m.
FamilySearch Family Tree-Ron Tanner
1:45 p.m.
Google Search... and Beyond-Dave Barney
3:00 p.m.
From Paper Piles to Digital Files-Valerie Elkins

Saturday, March 23
 8:30 a.m.
Keynote speakers: David Pogue, Personal Technology Columnist, The New York Times, and Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO, MyHeritage
9:45 a.m.
Using Technology to Solve Research Problems-Karen Clifford
11:00 a.m.
Digital Storytelling: More Than Bullet Points-Denise Olson

March 18, 2013

Possible Black Death Graves from 14th Century Found in London England

Possible Black Death Graves from 14th Century Found in London England
Archaeologists said on Friday they had discovered a lost burial ground during excavations for a massive new rail project in London which might hold the bodies of some 50,000 people who were killed by the "Black Death" plague more than 650 years ago.

Thirteen skeletons, laid out in two careful rows, were found 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) below the road in the Farringdon area of central London by researchers working on the 16 billion pound ($24 billion) Crossrail project.

Historical records had indicated the area, described as a "no man's land", had once housed a hastily established cemetery for victims of the bubonic plague which killed about the third of England's population following its outbreak in 1348.

Read Rail dig may have found London's lost 'Black Death' graves for more details

March 17, 2013

My Irish Greenlees Ancestors from Aghalurcher, Co. Fermanagh

My Irish Greenlees Ancestors from Aghalurcher, Co. Fermanagh
Aghalurcher Church
Since it's St. Patrick's Day I thought I'd talk a little about two of my Irish ancestors. I don't have that many Irish in my ancestry but my maiden name (McGinnis) is Irish. Many of my readers know that I'm always looking for Joseph McGinnis and his wife Fanny Downey who came from Co. Down in 1846 and settled near Guelph Ontario Canada.

But today I want to share a bit about my Irish  3rd great grandparents John Greenlees and his wife Elizabeth Johnston.

John and his wife came from Ireland to Ontario sometime between 1819 when their daughter Jane (my 2nd great grandmother) was born, and 1822.  Unfortunately ships passenger lists to Canada before 1865 did not have to be archived and so they are few and far between. So far I have not found any record of their arrival but Ontario was a very young settlement in those years and the courage they had to make the journey with three young children astounds me.

I know a lot about John and Elizabeth during their years in Ontario. But I've never known where in Ireland they lived. And then came great news from a fellow researcher and descendant.

Two years ago  their marriage record was discovered. This was the first clue I had of where in Ireland they came from. They married in 1814 in Galloon Parish, Clogher Diocese in Co. Fermanagh Ireland. Their marriage record found in the Parish Record books by another descendant (who very kindly sent it to me) reads:

 John Greenlees of P'h of Aghalurcher & Eliz'th Johnston of Drumy.
I can't begin to describe how it feels to have not only a county but an actual parish in Ireland after years of only knowing "Ireland" as their place of origin.

Today I treated myself to doing more searching for John and Elizabeth Greenlees, and to reading about Aghalurcher. I am not sure what "Drumy." stands for except perhaps Drummally? If anyone knows I'd love to hear from you.

 Nothing turned up for John or Elizabeth but I did get sidetracked looking for some of hubs' Irish ancestors - and had great success! I'll blog about that another day.

Korean War Casualties now on Fold3

Search Civil Military - Fold3
Records of U.S. Army officers and soldiers killed or wounded in the Korean War are now available on Fold3. Korean War Casualties is available free to any visitors to the site.
One quarter of the nearly 110,000 records in Korean War Casualties connects to information about Army personnel who died during the war, 1950-1953, including those who died while a prisoner of war or missing in action. The remaining three quarters are for nonfatal Army casualties.
The Korean War Casualties database is from the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1905-1981 (Record Group 407), at the National Archives (NARA). It was compiled between 1950 and 1970, and covers the period from the earliest casualty (February 13, 1950) to the latest date in the date of disposition field, December 31, 1953.
The information on each casualty may include: name, service prefix and number, grade, Army branch, place and date of casualty, state and county of residence, type of casualty, detail/previous casualty type, casualty group, place and date of disposition, year of birth (for deceased casualties only), military occupational specialty, organization troop program sequence number, element sequence, unit number, race, component, and disposition of evacuations.
Launch your search within the records from the Korean War Casualty title page or use the browse option and highlight the Korean War category. Records are ordered alphabetically. (NARA also provides a list of fatal casualties by state on its website.)
When you find a soldier in the Korean War Casualties records on Fold3, you’ll link directly to a memorial page for that soldier where we invite you to add stories, photos, documents, and other information relating to that individual. Examples of two pages to which newspaper articles were added include twice-wounded Purple Heart recipient Dwight L. Huston, of Mt. Vernon, IL; and Pittsfield, MA, native Arthur A. Boland.
When added to the memorial pages, your stories and photos help sustain the memories of United States heroes in the Korean War and allow others to connect with and honor them.

March 16, 2013

Conference: Russia and The Netherlands in the XVIIth – XXth centuries


Conference: Russia and The Netherlands in the XVIIth – XXth centuries
15th-16th of May 2013 The Institute of World History of The Russian Academy of Sciences is organizing an international conference “Russia and The Netherlands in the XVIIth – XXth centuries: new researches and actual problems”.

The conference will be held in conjunction of “The Year of The Russian Federation in The Netherlands” and “The Year of The Kingdom of The Netherlands in Russia” in 2013. 

As a part of the conference there will be a round table concerning the study of the history of The Netherlands. All the scholars who have a special interest in the history of this country and also authors of the relevant textbooks are welcome to take part in this round table.

It will take place in the Institute of World History, the Russian Academy of Sciences. It is in the main building of RAS.

The adresss: 32A Leninskiy prospect, 

Moscow, Russia, 119334 
Phone: +7(495)938-10-09
Fax: +7(495)938-22-88

March 15, 2013

Women's History Month: Have You Tested Your mtDNA?

Women's History Month: Have You Tested Your mtDNA ?
My friend and fellow Blogger Lisa Alzo has a Meme for March - Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women's History Month

I encourage readers to join in. Lisa has some terrific blogging prompts for each day of Women's History Month.  

I will write my own stories each Friday from the 5 prompts I came up with at Celebrate Women's History Month! Time for Stories

I also plan to participate in as many of Lisa's 31 Prompts as I can! I hope you'll join in with your own:

This is my third prompt for Women's History Month:

3. Make a list of your direct female line ancestors starting with your mother.  Write about your mtDNA findings. If you haven't been tested yet, order an mtDNA kit!  There are several companies offering DNA tests - Family Tree DNA, Ancestry DNA, 23andMe.com

You can read about my mtDNA results at mtDNA Test Results Arrived!

I am still struggling to understand my mtDNA results and hope that when my 23andMe test results arrive I will have a better grasp on what it all means.