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November 18, 2019

AncestryDNA Giveaway on Olive Tree Genealogy Blog!

Olive Tree Genealogy is excited to announce a Giveaway from!

If you live in Canada you can enter for a chance to win a free AncestryDNA kit! This kit giveaway is only available through Olive Tree Genealogy.

What does an AncestryDNA kit do?

AncestryDNA lets you pique family members or friend’s curiosity about their heritage and family history by taking them on a journey with AncestryDNA that can:
  • Provide an ethnicity estimate from more than 500 regions around the world going back up to thousands of years;
  • Reveal the migration journeys of their ancestors, showing the places and paths that are part of their family story;
  • Offer the potential to connect with family members that they never knew about or lost touch with through the ‘DNA Matches’ feature;
  • Help fill in gaps in their family history based on their results 
Contest Rules:
  1. You must be a resident of Canada to enter
  2. No purchase necessary.
  3. Winner will be chosen at random from entries received. See details below for entry requirements
  4. One winner will be chosen by a random draw on November 22, 2019.
  5. Giveaway starts immediately and ends at midnight EDT on November 21, 2019
  6. You are responsible for anything in regards to the legality of entering a contest in the area in which you live.
  7. The winner will be notified via Facebook or Twitter and must contact me at to arrange having the AncestryDNA kit sent to you.
How to enter for a chance to win:

1. Share this blog post on Facebook OR Twitter. Be sure to tag Olive Tree Genealogy (see instructions for tagging below). If you don't tag me correctly I won't know you shared the post and your name will not be entered in the giveaway.

2. If you share this blog post on both Facebook AND Twitter and tag me on both your name will be entered twice. 

How to Tag Olive Tree Genealogy

On Twitter, follow me at and then tag me with @LorineMS when you share the post on your Twitter Feed

On Facebook, join my Olive Tree Genealogy page at

Share this post on your Facebook personal page and tag me with @OliveTreeGenealogy when you share the post on your personal Facebook page or in an appropriate group.

November 13, 2019

Free Probate Records for Texas

Recently The Ancestor Hunt tweeted that "An often neglected source of terrific genealogical information are Wills and Probate Records. They often provide more information than obituaries. For Texas, there are a total of 114 Free Probate Records and Wills Collections to research."

This was intriguing so I went to the blog to have a look. He has done a lot of work compiling the list and links for Texas! If you have Texas ancestors, follow the links to the free Probate records online on The Ancestor Hunt Blog

November 11, 2019

Honouring My Military Ancestors

I have many military ancestors inlcluding my father, uncle, son, paternal grandmother's 5 brothers, maternal grandmother's 3 brothers, and more.

Here are some of those who gave their lives during war:

War of 1812

My 3rd great-grandfather Levi Peer's brother Stephen Peer fell at the Battle of Chippewa during the War of 1812, leaving behind a pregnant wife and young son.

World War 1
Philip Edgar Peer
All of my grandmother's brothers fought in WW1. Her youngest brother, Philip Edgar Peer (called Edgar by family), died in France in 1918 just days short of his 21st birthday.
Cecil Sandercock
My husband's great uncles Bill and Cecil Sandercock also fought in WW1 along with their father Samuel. Both Bill and Cecil were killed, one year apart. Bill was killed Aug. 23, 1917, his brother Cecil was at his side. One year later almost to the day, on Aug. 28, 1918, Cecil was killed.  
Bill Sandercock
World War 2

WW2 saw the death of my Uncle, James Nevin (aka Nev) Bonar. He died October 23, 1944 in Belgium at the age of 27.

Please take a few moments today to remember those brave men and women who fought and died, and those who are still fighting in Wars around the world.

November 8, 2019

Update to Free Irish Births, Marriages, Deaths

Sample Page of Deaths
An additional 2 years of records of births, marriages and deaths have been added to the website.  The marriage Index data along with additional images has also been updated for the years 1864-1869 inclusive.

The years covered by the release of the historic records of Births, Marriages and Deaths after this update are

Births: 1864 to 1918
Marriages: 1864 to 1943
Deaths: 1878 to 1968

Records include transcripts of the baptism and marriage records of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry to c. 1900, All Roman Catholic baptism, marriage and burial registers for Dublin City, All surviving Church of Ireland baptism, marriage and burial registers for Dublin City, and more

Visitors can search the database freely. Images are also available. If you have Irish ancestors you will want to check this site out.

November 6, 2019

Help Needed 1577 Inventory of my 12th Great Grandpa

I have many English ancestors. My mother was a first generation Canadian with both her parents born in Kent so you can imagine my huge British ancestry. 
  I only recently discovered that I could order wills and inventories for my British ancestors from the Kent History & Library Centre in England. After a few hours searching I found and ordered 17 (yes 17!!) for my direct ancestors. 

This is page 2 of the 1577 Inventory of my 12th great-grandfather Sylvester Spencer.

This is one of the earliest that I received and I am slowly struggling through it.  

Take a look at the enlarged portion below with the bits that I've managed to figure out (I haven't done the cash amounts for each item):

Item: His wearing apparrel

Item: three featherbeds that belong to (Thomas smyth?)

Item: ????

Item: One tablecloth and two rowels [rolls] and fower [four] pillowcotes [ancient word for pillowcases] and fower [four] table napkins

Feel free to drop your suggestions here! This is tough. It's a 2 1/2 page inventory and his will which I have not yet looked at is one page.

November 4, 2019

Lincolnshire exhibition sheds new light on Pilgrim Fathers

Source: BBC News
Newly discovered documents have revealed the Pilgrim Fathers settled in Boston in Lincolnshire for several months before they escaped England heading for the Netherlands in 1607.

I don't have any Lincolnshire or New England ancestors but if you do, you may find this of interest.

Previously it was thought they had only gone to Boston to take the ship, but according to the website BBC News,  

"This group of people - which includes really important members of the pilgrims like William Brewster, Richard Clifton and Thomas Helwys - they were worshiping here for up to three months."

The newly found documents are now on display at Boston Guildhall Museum

November 1, 2019

Index to Berkshire Wills 1480-1857

Berkshire Record Office announced that their index to Berkshire wills for the period 1480 to 1857 is now available online on their website.

I wish I had Berkshire ancestry but I don't.

Here is an example of what the index looks like.

You can also search this index of over 38,000 entries to see what Archdeaconry of Berkshire wills, administrations and inventories we have for the period 1480 to 1857.

The index is listed by surname, but also provides details of place name and occupation as well the document reference of the record and what microfilm/fiche (MF) copies are available at BRO.

To use the Name Search simply enter the name as surname, first name. For example: Blackmore, Dennis. You can also search by surname only or first name only.

For place names or occupations please use the Keyword Search.

If you would like to look at or order copies of any of the records listed, please Contact Berkshire Record Office.