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April 30, 2015

Irish Catholic Parish Registers Coming Online July 8!

Irish Catholic Parish Registers Coming Online July 8!
If you have Irish ancestors, mark your calendars! The National Library of Ireland is bringing Irish Catholic Parish Registers online! Quoting from the NLI website:

On 8th July 2015 the NLI will make its collection of Catholic parish register microfilms freely available online on a dedicated website.

These records, which are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 census, consist primarily of baptism and marriage records and date from the 1740s to the 1880s.
My fingers are crossed that I might be able to find my mysterious Joseph McGinnis (ca 1827 Ireland -?) and Fanny Downey (ca 1827 Ireland -1904 Ontario Canada) in those records. 

The records consist of almost 400,000 images and are completely free to search. Typically, the parish registers include information such as the dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of the key people involved, including godparents or witnesses. The digital images of the registers will be searchable by parish location only, and will not be transcribed or indexed by the NLI.

April 29, 2015

Got New Orleans Ancestors? Don't Miss These Online Records

Got New Orleans Ancestors? Don't Miss These Online Records
1801 Letter
The University of Notre Dame has the following searchable records online for the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas (later known as the Diocese of New Orleans) : Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas 1576-1803

Anyone using this database should be careful not to overlook the very detailed explanation of what each roll of microfilm contains.  There is also an interesting history of the Diocese provided.

One of the records I found consists of dozen of pages along with an English translation. They appear as thumbnail images which can be clicked on to view the original.
On the right is the start of the results for the record I found for the clandestine marriage in Ovachita of D'Anemours and Lucila Withe (Lucille White).

Even though they are not my ancestors it is fascinating reading! 

April 28, 2015

72 Year Old Message Found During Renovations

Ralph Herriges

During a home remodeling in Bay View the homeowner discovered a brief note written on a hidden panel: “#12109, Phil Herriges & Sons. Feb. 20, 1943. Ralph leaves Monday for the Army.”

The homeowner consulted the online 1940 federal census that showed Phil and Estella Herriges living on E. Van Beck Ave. in the Town of Lake, now the south side of Milwaukee. They had 17 children, including Ralph, who was listed as 16 years old. So the age fit for someone entering the military three years later.

He then found a Journal Sentinel death notice for Ralph, confirming he was the son of Phil and Estella. Ralph died, not as a young soldier in the trenches of Europe, but in 2006 of natural causes at age 82.

Read the rest of this story at Mystery of 72-year-old message makes sleuth of homeowner

Credit: Image Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel 

April 27, 2015

Did Our Ancient Ancestors Mate With Many Other Species?


Did Our Ancestors Mate With Many Other Species?
Did our ancestors enjoy a little hanky-panky with other distant and now extinct humans? Genome analysis suggests there was interbreeding between modern humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans and an unknown archaic population.

We know from DNA testing that all modern humans whose ancestry originates outside of Africa share up to 4% of their genome with Neanderthals. Certain populations such as Papua New Guineans and Australian Aboriginals, share about 4% of their DNA with Denisovans. It was quite a revelation when scientists were able to prove that humans and Neanderthals inter-acted and mated. My DNA test kit reveals that I have 3% Neanderthal DNA.

Studies suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet-unknown human ancestor from Asia.

Continue reading this story at Mystery Humans Spiced Up Ancient's Sex Lives

April 26, 2015

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album: 16V Red Cross Hut Le Trepont

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.



The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

April 25, 2015

What Happened to the 1490 Roscommon Irish Immigrants Who Survived the 1847 Voyage to Canada

In 1847, 5000 Irish emigrants left Co Roscommon to escape the devastating grip of the Famine. This group left on four ships bound for Canada. Not all of them made it alive. Up until this year, the destiny of the 1490 who  survived was unknown.

They left Liverpool on four ships: the Virginius, Naomi, John Munn and the Erin’s Queen. Many died en route. Once the Strokestown Irish landed in Canada, many were interviewed by Canadian newspapers. A project run by the University of Maynooth has found out where a large number of these Irish people went, and uncovered their fate. 

On 11 May 2014, a memorial wall was unveiled containing the names of the 1,490 people who emigrated in 1847. An exhibition, Emigrant Faces from County Roscommon, was held at Strokestown, detailing the lives of more than 12 of the emigrants, such as Michaell Flynn, James Higgins and Thomas Fallon who fought in the American Civil War; Catherine O’Keefe, a Roscommon emigrant in Melbourne, Australia; and Patrick McNamara, a labourer on the construction of the Blue Ridge Mountain Railroad Tunnel.

Continue reading the story at Tracing the ‘missing 1490’ who fled Strokestown during the Famine

Credit: Image from The Journal showing names of a few of the immigrants 

April 24, 2015

Season Finale of Who Do You Think You Are? This Sunday

The season finale of Who Do You Think You Are? features singer Melissa Etheridge as she goes on a journey to uncover her father’s maternal roots. The episode airs this Sunday, April 26 at 10/9c on TLC.

Melissa finds French Canadian ancestors who were shaken by a scandalous lawsuit, a turbulent relationship entangled with tragedy and an adventuresome ancestor who prospered in colonial America.

Credit: Image from TLC

April 23, 2015

Pre-Holocaust ID Cards of Thousands of Jews Discovered in Lithuania


Pre-Holocaust ID Cards of Thousands of Jews Discovered in Lithuania
 Recently Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum archivists found almost 26,000 previously unknown identification cards belonging to Jewish citizens in the national archives in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania. The cards, which contain personal details such as father's name, date of birth and more, were kept with a collection of all ID cards issued by the local population authority in Kauna, to Jews and non-Jews, from 1920-1940   

Continue reading at Pre-Holocaust ID Cards of Thousands of Jews Discovered in Lithuania


April 22, 2015

DNA Day Sale!

AncestryDNA is celebrating their annual DNA Day this April by offering a 20% discount on AncestryDNA. The special will run from April 23-April 27, 2015. Happy DNA Day! 

This link takes you to their offer DNA Day 20% off AncestryDNA 

If you don't have your DNA kit yet, maybe it's time. Don't miss out!

April 21, 2015

Ben Affleck and The Can of Worms


For those who haven't seen the dozens of news stories online, Ben Affleck was featured on Henry Louis Gates' PBS show Finding Your Roots. During the course of filming, Affleck learned that he has a slave owner ancestor. Leaked emails from Sony between Gates and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton reveal that Affleck did not want this aired in public and wanted that part edited out. 

You can read the emails yourself but basically Gates made it clear he didn't like the idea of hiding the facts (truth). The producer then said as long as no one else had seen it and it could never be found out, humour Affleck and don't use it. Affleck was referred to as a "mega-star" and both men worried about making sure he got what he wanted.

And so his true family history was hidden. Affleck got the white-washed version he wanted where all his ancestors were public-spirited justice-seeking good guys.  And of course all genealogists know that's a crock! Our ancestors were real people. They include the good and the bad, the farmer and the daredevil. Some we would like if we met them, others ... not so much. 

The bottom line is that what our ancestors did is no reflection on us. Just as we cannot blame ourselves if we discover we had a "bad seed" in the ancestor mix, nor can we take credit for those who did amazing things. We can feel proud of them, or we can feel sorrow over misdeeds. But we need to accept who they were, and that their actions good or bad were in a different time and place. 

It is only by learning about the past that we can stop evil from happening in the future. We learn from mistakes and they should not be hidden or deleted from our family tree or from history.

It's a shame Affleck didn't adopt Bill Paxton's approach on TLC’s "Who Do You Think You Are?", when he learned he had a slave owner as an ancestor. Mr. Paxton's response was that it was a shame but "your history good and bad is your history" And that, Mr. Affleck is the point. 

Embrace your history, both the positive and the negative! Learn from it. Don't attempt to create a fictional family tree full of heroes and noble ancestors. 

But as the saying goes "Karma will out" and now Mr. Affleck's request for an edited  version of his family tree has bitten him in the (ahem) with the truth now known world-wide. What would have been seen by a small number of viewers watching the show, and truly not a big deal has become a huge deal with many casting stones Affleck's way. The perception by many, including me, is that it was a misuse of celebrity status to facilitate censorship. And this is never a good thing.

Credit:  Photo by Stoonn.

April 20, 2015

Are You Brave Enough to Eat Like a Dutch Settler in New York?

This is kind of cool. A local restaurant in Brooklyn New York is offering food items that our early Dutch settlers in New Netherland (present day New York) might have eaten.

Read the full story at Brooklyn Brewery Dares Diners To Eat Like Dutch Settlers

Credits: Image from Brooklyn Brewery

April 19, 2015

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 30R Sisters in Front of Tent

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 30R Sisters in Front of Tent


The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

April 17, 2015

Get Ready for Who Do You Think You Are? This Sunday

This week on Who Do You Think You Are? Bill Paxton researches his paternal lineage, uncovering the life of an ancestor who was a war hero in an historic battle; and struggling with the morality of actions his four times great grandfather took. 

The episode airs this Sunday, April 19 at 10/9c on TLC.

Who Do You Think You Are is sponsored by Ancestry.com

Photo Credit: TLC

April 16, 2015

Free Access Immigration Records April 16-20

That's right. Ancestry.com is offering Free access to immigration records for the next 4 days!

Don't miss this great opportunity to search for your ancestors' arrival in N. America

April 15, 2015

Case #25: Send Theodore G. Harding's Dog Tags Home

Nancy B. wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy:

HELP ME FIND THIS SAILOR! I found this vintage dog tag 2 years ago (shoved into a heating duct) while renovating our 70-year old house. Out of respect, I just wedged it back in. However the more I think about it, the more I wonder if he is still alive, if he had any children, and how this might be a sentimental treasure. I DID find that a "Ted Harding" lived in this house in the past and that he would now be in his 80's.

The dog tag reads

Harding, Theodore G. 
259 05 79 AB
USN  P

April 14, 2015

Help send W.T. Waterston's WW1 Medals Home

The Absolutely Literate blog has a plea for help in finding the family of WW1 soldier William Thomas Waterston. Some Medals once owned by this soldier need to go home. 

His Attestation papers are found in the online CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) database

If you want to help, please read the full story at Help send W.T. Waterston's Medals Home

April 13, 2015

Crestleaf.com’s Guess My Family Heritage Blogathon Contest

Time for some fun! Crestleaf is having a contest and I'm entering it. Can you guess my ancestral heritage from this photo of my ancestors? I'm not giving you any clues as to whether this is my dad's side or my mom's.




Your part in this is just for fun. I'm descended from the older couple in this photo and one of their children. Can you guess which child? Can you guess the heritage? I am curious who can correctly guess my heritage but I have no prize for correct answers. 


See the contest announcement on the Crestleaf blog. If you have a blog you can enter too.

April 12, 2015

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 16R Tea Party

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 16R Tea Party


The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

April 11, 2015

Get Set for Another Who Do You Think You Are? Episode

For the first time ever, Who Do You Think You Are? heads to Honduras as actress America Ferrera sets out to search for a connection to her father, whom she barely knew. The episode airs this Sunday, April 12 at 10/9c on TLC.

Throughout her journey, America uncovers the fascinating details of her paternal great grandfather, who was a General in the army and led numerous revolts against Honduran leaders to fight for the people’s rights.

Key details from America’s episode include:

·         With the help of historians and documentation, America discovers that her great grandfather, at the young age of 27, left a job as a tax collector to join a military campaign to help the liberal president’s party fend off a plot to overthrow them.

·         America finds that her great grandfather then led numerous successful revolts against corrupt Honduran presidents apparently in order to ensure the rights of the people. General Ferrera and his actions made such a mark that he was written about by the United States government and considered a troublemaker, eventually being exiled from Honduras.

·         Upon his return to his homeland some years later, General Ferrera declared that he wished to keep the peace – and then broke his promise as he stockpiled ammunition and prepared once again to take on the latest president and his political party.

·         Finally, America learns from an article which referred to General Ferrera as “the principal enemy of Honduran peace” that he was killed in action.

·         America finds that regardless of her ancestor’s motivations, her great grandfather was loved and considered an icon by the common people of his homeland.

Credits: Image courtesy of TLC

April 10, 2015

82 Year Old Wedding Photo Identified!

While going through my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's photo albums, this group was discovered.

Each photo was labelled on the back "June 3, 1933" That was it. There was no other identification given.

I recognized Doris in the wedding party photo on the left. She was standing beside the bride.

I knew the people were not in my Grandmother's family as I know who they were and I would recognize them. I was pretty sure they were not from Doris' mother's side but not positive.

I wasn't too sure how I could identify the people in these lovely photos but then it dawned on me that I might be able to find a wedding announcement in the local newspaper. I was almost certain that the photos were taken in Toronto Ontario Canada.

Since I don't have access to the Toronto papers for 1933 I put out a request on Social Media. Within an hour I had my answer and a lovely clipped announcement of the wedding. I knew it was the correct one because Doris was named as the Maid of Honour.

Luckily the entire wedding party was identified in the announcement and so I can put names to the faces in this photo from 82 years ago. I love it when something like this happens and Lost People are found.

My hope  is that descendants of some of the people in these photos will find these images here on my blog.



Wedding Annoucement in Toronto Star June 5, 1933. Courtesy of Ian Hadden.

Arnott-Turner

St. John's Rd. Baptist Church.

Hazel Louise daughter of Mr. & Mrs. G. E. Turner to John Thomas Arnott son of Mr. E. Arnott.

Miss Doris Simpson, Maid of Honour
Miss Gertrude & Miss Margaret Turner, sisters of bride, Bridesmaids
Claire Turner, Flower Girl
Lilly Bremmer, Train Bearer
Percy Marshall, Best Man
Edward Turner, brother of Bride, Usher (not in photo)
Harold Arnott, brother of Groom, Usher (not in photo)






April 9, 2015

Got New Netherland Ancestors? Don't Miss These New Online Records

Do you have New Netherland (now New York state) ancestors? The Dutch settled there early in the 17th century, along with Walloons, Huguenots and other ethnicities.  

Among my early New Netherland ancestors were Cornelis Antoniseen Van Slyke, Harman Janse Ryckman, Jan Damen, Lambert Van Valkenburg, Hendrick Vrooman, Albert Andriessen Bradt, Adrian Crijnen Post, Jan Martense Van Alstyne and more.

Recent additions to the Online Publications page of the New Netherland Institute include translations of  
 
  • Fort Orange Records, 1656–1678;  
  • Fort Orange Records, 1654–1679;  
  • Laws & Writs of Appeal, 1647–1663; and 
  • A.J.F. van Laer's 3-volume set Minutes of the Court of Albany, Rensselaerswyck and Schenectady, 1668–1685
If you have New Netherland ancestors you may also want to check out my books on New Netherland Settlers. Currently I have published the following:

The Van Slyke Family in America: A Genealogy of Cornelise Antonissen Van Slyke, 1604-1676 and his Mohawk Wife Ots-Toch, including the story of Jacques Hertel, 1603-1651, Father of Ots-Toch and Interpreter to Samuel de Champlain REVISED EDITION Coil bound 8.5x11. 287 p.  Order Form or Paypal Orders

New Netherland Settlers: Willem Pieterse Van Slyke aka Neef - A genealogy to five generations of the descendants of Willem Pieterse Van Slyke who settled in New Netherland (New York) in 1660. 198 pages. 8.5x11 Coil bound .  Order Form or Paypal Orders

New Netherland Settlers. A Walloon in New Amsterdam: The Story of Adriaen Vincent and his Wife Madaleen Eloy. Coil bound 8.5x11. 94 p.   Order Form or Paypal Orders

New Netherland Settlers. Boele Roeloffsen & His Wife Bayken Arents From Amsterdam with information on the European Origins of the Family.  Coil bound 8.5x11. 56 p.  Order Form or Paypal Orders

New Netherland Settlers: The Stevensen and Jacobsen Families. A genealogy to three generations of the descendants of Maria Goosens and her husband Steven Janse Coning who settled in Fort Orange in 1649 (Stevensen Family) and Maria Goosens and a man named Jacob (Jacobszen Family) .  8.5x11 Coil bound. 154 p.   Order Form or Paypal Orders

The Barheit Family Revealed: A Genealogy of Hans Coenradt and Barentje Jans Straetsman, the Immigrant Ancestors of the Barheit Family of Albany New York available as an Ebook 
 
Credits: Image from Minutes of the Court of Rensselaerwyck, 1648-1652 courtesy New Netherland Institute

April 8, 2015

Introducing Thomas MacEntee, Guest Genealogist


Introducing Thomas MacEntee, Guest Genealogist
Thomas MacEntee from Chicago Illinois is our next guest genealogist. Thomas is known as the "guru" of the genealogy community and is always available to offer ideas and to help others. I met Thomas several years ago at a RootsTech Conference and was impressed with his passion for his work. Over the years I witnessed his generousity to others in the genealogy field, and his dedication to genealogical pursuits. Recently Thomas and I discovered that we are actually cousins through our shared Van Slyke ancestry.

Bio: Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional based in the United States specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogy research and as a way to connect with others in the family history community.

1.     How and when did you become involved in the field of genealogy?
My first interest in genealogy was in 1977 when as a child I watched the mini-series “Roots” on television. However, it wasn’t until around 1990 when cleaning out items from my recently deceased great-grandmother that I caught the “bug” – one item I located was a 1916 printed genealogy tracing my family back to Schenectady, New York.
2.     What is your main genealogical focus?
I consider myself a genealogy professional and I run several successful entities that comprise my genealogy business. I’ve moved away from client research and now I lecture in-person and online (via webinar), write books and do consulting work for genealogy startups.
3.     Re Question 2 – please tell us more about this main focus.
I see myself as a genealogy “solopreneur” – I like to dabble in many different things and seek out success. I will often try to deploy new products and services that to most genealogists don’t seem like a good fit with the family history sector, but over time I’ve been able to make them work. Most of my projects have some element of entrepreneurial risk: instead of taking payment for services upfront, I will often ask for a royalty and bet on the success of the product.
4.     What are your website(s) and blogs? (Names and URLs)
GeneaBloggers.com (http://www.geneabloggers.com)
Hack Genealogy (http://www.hackgenealogy.com)
High-Definition Genealogy (http://www.hidefgen.com)
Genealogy Bargains (http://genealogy.bargains)
5.     Do you have a Social Media presence? 
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/geneabloggers
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/geneabloggers
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/Geneabloggers
LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasmacentee
6.     Do you believe a Social Media presence is important?
Absolutely. If we are to attract the next generation to genealogy, we need to place our welcome mat where they congregate: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites.
7.     Are you a member of any genealogical societies or organizations?
Association of Professional Genealogists, Illinois State Genealogical Society
8.     What does genealogy mean to you? Why do you believe it is important?
Genealogy for me is a journey of self-discovery by connecting with my ancestors.
9.     What do you believe is the most exciting development in genealogy today?
Each day brings new advances in how genealogists can use technology to learn more about their ancestors. Whether it is DNA testing or apps to help wrangle Big Data, we need “tool creators” to assist us in our search.
10. Do you have a prediction or hope for the field of genealogy in the future?
In the next five to ten years, there will be even more “information overload” as more and more records are digitized. We will need tools to help us make connections that we can’t readily see at first glance. This means semantic markup of newspaper records and wikis. It means the use of wearables to help us interpret records and even index them.

April 7, 2015

Time For Some Genealogists to Wake Up

Dick Eastman has addressed one of my top annoyances. 

I am definitely going to use a few of his examples next time I get involved in an online forum when I hear the ridiculous cries of "Genealogy is for sharing!" and "Genealogy should be free!"

Enough said. Please read Dick's blog post I Have a Complaint Concerning Many Genealogists 







Credits: Image by Stuart Mills on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

April 6, 2015

AncestryDNA Launches New Ancestor Discoveries

Ancestry DNA the leader in DNA testing for family history,  has launched a significant technological advancement that makes discovering one's family history faster and easier than ever. Now with the easy-to-use AncestryDNA test, customers will have the unique ability to find their ancestors, who lived hundreds of years ago, using just their DNA.

Only possible through the groundbreaking work of the AncestryDNA science team, New Ancestor Discoveries is a technical innovation that combines the latest in genetic science, new patent-pending algorithms, and access to AncestryDNA's extensive database to push the boundaries of human genetics, and help people find ancestors from their past using just a DNA test, no genealogy research required.

One example of New Ancestor Discoveries is that DNA Circles will now include anyone in your tree not only direct ancestral lines. For example, if you are genetically related to members of your 3rd great-granduncle’s DNA Circle and you have him in your tree we will now include you into that DNA Circle.

You can read the full description online. You can order your here and it can be sent to USA, England or Ireland.

April 5, 2015

Nursing Sister Phillips WW 1 Album 13R

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

Nursing Sister Phillips WW 1 Album 13R


The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

April 2, 2015

Easter Bunny is Back

Repeating my news about Easter Bunny that I posted on Olive Tree Genealogy blog a few years ago. 

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,
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.

 
For other updates on Easter Bunny see 
Easter Bunny Hopped By to Share Some Genealogy News







April 1, 2015

New Database for Obits in London & Middlesex Ontario

Recently the London & Middlesex County Branch Ontario Genealogical Society put a searchable index of 357,000 Obituary, Death Notice and Memorial records online. It's a great resource. I used it today and found several of my husband's Massey ancestors' obituaries. 

It only costs $5.00 per obit if you can't make it in person, and at that rate, this is a very affordable way to do some long-distance research.

Here's the information you need if you want to order some obits after using their online index.