July 30, 2014

Sneak Peek Tonight's Who Do You Think You Are? With Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Image courtesy of TLC
Are you as excited as I am for tonight's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? The new season premiere can be seen every Wednesday at 9/8c on TLC 

Ancestry.com is a sponsor of this award winning genealogy series.
Here is today's sneak peek of tonight's Who Do You Think You Are? episode with Jesse Tyler Ferguson.  

In tonight's episode Jesse follows his great grandfather's trail to Alaska. He traces the path of the ambitious expedition on a boat trip up a river among snow-capped mountains and learns that his great grandfather's journey was an arduous one.

Be sure to watch Jesse's episode on TLC tonight , July 30 at 9/8c

July 29, 2014

Free DNA Kit Offer from Ancestry

Good news! If you were thinking of subscribing to Ancestry.com, they are offering a Free DNA kit with 6-month subscription during the Who Do You Think You Are? broadcasts.

This is a $99 value. The genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? airs every Wednesday at 9/8c on TLC and with Ancestry.com as a sponsor. 

July 28, 2014

Remembering WW1 Soldier W. J. P. Bullock

Remembering WW1 Soldier W. J. P. Bullock
One of the framed photos of CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) soldiers on our wall is labelled "Pte. W. J. P. Bullock" of Toronto Ontario. This young man enlisted on September 2, 1915, one year  after WW1 began in August 1914.

Research on Ancestry.com found more details including his full name - William James Percival Bullock. William was born July 12, 1894 making him just 21 years old when he joined the CEF. His father was listed as Arthur Bullock. 

Young William was just 5'6" tall but that was a fairly normal height for the times. He is listed as having a fair complexion with brown hair and eyes. 

William Bullock War Graves Record
Sadly my research revealed that young William was killed almost one year to the day he enlisted. The War Graves Circumstances of Casualty shows him as being buried in Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery near Albert, France having died on 4 September 1916.

 According to the records, William was wounded at Pozieres, taken to South Midland Casualty Clearing Station but died of his wounds the following day. 

You can see his tombstone here. 

William is found in the 1911 Census for Toronto Ontario with his parents, Arthur and Elizabeth Bullock. He is one of 8 children.His father was born in England, his mother in Ireland.

William's older brother, Albert Latimer Bullock, also joined the CEF but he survived the war, returned home and married in 1923. His death occurred many years later in June 1965 in Toronto Ontario.  

William will be remembered in our home. 

July 27, 2014

Sharing Memories Week 30: Tattle Tales

Sharing Memories Week 30: Tattle Tales
Join us for Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey We focus on memories of our parents, grandparents and others. We write for our children and grandchildren, that the memories are not lost over time. I hope you are keeping a journal, whether it is private or public, and joining us as we write our memoirs.

The prompt for this week (Week 39) is Tattle Tales. What happened if you "told" on someone? If your sister hit you and you ran to Mom or Dad, what was the consequence? Record your stories before they are forgotten. As Judy G. Russell of the Legal Genealogist blog says, “Oral family history can be lost in three generations". This is your chance to record and preserve yours.

In my family we were not allowed to tattle. No matter what. My mother hated tattling and if you were foolish enough to run to tell on your brother or sister, *you* were the one who got in trouble. There was no line for "this is serious so it's okay to tell" and "this is a minor dispute". 

My older sister and I always did the dishes after supper, and she always took that opportunity to pinch and twist the skin on the inside of my elbow. It hurt like heck and I would cry.  My crying made my mother furious, I suppose because in her mind, it was pretty close to tattling on someone! 

She would refuse to listen if I tried to tell her what had happened. All she was concerned about was the noise and commotion in the kitchen. Since I was the one crying or yelling at my sister to stop, I was the one causing the problem in her eyes. 

My mother would yell out for me to stop all the noise. If that didn't work and she had to come into the kitchen, I was in trouble. The minute she'd leave, my sister would give what I considered an evil grin and immediately pinch and twist my skin again. I learned pretty fast to suffer the pain silently. 

And no, I did not carry on my mother's tradition with my own children! They could come to me with anything and I listened. I didn't always interfere as I wanted them to learn to handle their disputes if possible. But if there was hitting or pain involved, I put a stop to it. In my house the rule was "if you hit, you sit" meaning there was a time-out for anyone causing physical pain to someone else.

What was it like in your family? 

July 26, 2014

A Baker's Dozen of Favorite Genealogy Websites

A Baker's Dozen of Favorite Genealogy Websites
In 2012 I listed my personal favorites of Top 10 Genealogy websites. I've revised that list and created a baker's dozen of my most-used genealogy websites, in categories for Canadian, American and International research. 

Oh yeah, and there's an "Everything Category" too. There are many many other fantastic websites out there but I had to have a cut-off number so I chose the traditional "Baker's Dozen".

Everything Category

These websites have genealogy records for world-wide research

* Ancestry.com - ($) pay site but my absolute #1. I visit several times daily in my search for Canadian, American and English ancestors.

* FamilySearch - (free) Lots of images and indexes world-wide. I probably only frequent it once a week. I confess that I find the search function not as friendly as it once was. I use it for my American and English ancestry

American Genealogy Research

* Olive Tree Genealogy (free) Yes I know it's my site. But it is my first stop for ships' passenger lists to USA,  New Netherland research and New York records (births, marriages, naturalizations, almshouse, orphans etc.) It's eclectic and has a mix of genealogy records.

* NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) (free) NARA has lots of goodies if you take the time to look around the site

* Fold3 - ($) pay site- So many military records you could get lost for a week!

Canadian Genealogy Research

* Library & Archives Canada (free) - dozens of free online databases for anyone with ancestors who lived in Canada. I use this site at least once a month.

* Olive Tree Genealogy (free) Yes I know I listed it in my American research category. But I  use it as my first stop to find ships' passenger lists to Canada and for Loyalist and land records in Ontario.

* The Ancestor Hunt (free) I use Kenneth R. Marks'  blog for listings of online Canadian Newspapers. They aren't always easy to find and this blog has a great listing of links

International Genealogy Research

* Free BMD - (free) Civil Registration Indexes. My mother's ancestry is solidly English so I use this site a lot (several times a month) to find ancestors in the index to Births, Deaths and Marriages after 1837.

* The British Newspaper Archive ($) I love this site for finding newspaper articles about my English ancestors. I use it about twice a month.

* The National Archives UK (free) Lots of online documents and very reasonably priced documents you can download instantly. I use this monthly for my English ancestors.

* Trove. (free) Another newspaper site (and more!) for Australia. I have found many newspaper records here for my Australian and English ancestors.

* Cora Web (free) If I want to know anything about ships passenger lists to Australia I head to Cora's site. I don't go that often but I know it's there when I need it.

Since I listed my own site twice, I am adding one more site to complete my Baker's Dozen. That is the wonderfully organized and huge list of links to every resource imaginable on Cyndi's List

July 25, 2014

Tennessee Family Bibles Online

Tennessee Family Bibles Online
Vance Family Bible page
Tennessee birth certificates were not required until 1908 and thus Family Bibles can be a very important way to prove birth dates.

The Tennessee State Public Library has been collecting more than 1,500 family Bibles since the 1920s and these bibles are now available to the public. Cinnamon Collins is the volunteer who scanned all the Bibles into the database. She scanned the pages with notations on them but also read and examined the materials tucked inside — photographs, locks of a sweetheart’s hair, newspaper clippings, mementos. All the entries she saw were handwritten and sometimes difficult to read.

Read more details at Tennessee has more than 1,500 family Bibles online and State Library & Archives Puts Family Bible Records Online

To see if TSLA holds a Bible record for your family, visit the project online. If you are looking for Family Bibles from other locations, please see Family Bibles Blog

July 24, 2014

Was Martha Guilty or Innocent? What's Your Verdict?

Guilty or Innocent? What's Your Verdict?
Warning: Spoiler Alert!

Last night was the Season Premiere of Who Do You Think You Are? last night at 9/8c on TLC and with Ancestry.com as a sponsor. For those who watched, what do you think? Was Martha an abused wife and saw no other way out but to wield that axe? Or did she lie? In other words, what's your verdict - guilty or innocent?

Second question - any thoughts on who was the father of her baby born in prison? I was struck by how cruel this "Mrs. B" was towards her and the baby and of course that got my mind thinking about Mr. B....... Could he be the father and that be the reason Mrs. B. seemed almost determined to let the baby die and not offer Martha any comforts, not even clothes for the newborn? 

It was a very powerful episode and I liked how genuine Cynthia Nixon was throughout. It should get a lot of newcomers interested in finding out about their ancestors. 

Remembering WW1 Soldier Douglas McNabb

Remembering WW1 Soldier Douglas McNabb
Private Douglas McNabb's framed WW1 photograph hangs on our wall. We don't know Douglas and we are not related. But he is one of several CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) soldiers who we honour. 

His framed photo was probably taken before he left to go overseas. This was a common thing for young soldiers to do before departing. Eaton's Department Store and other places offered a lovely military background for these soldiers' photos. Sometimes framed photos were not ordered until a soldier had been killed. A mother would take her boy's photo and order the backdrop and frame to memorialize him.

Douglas' framed inscription reads

Pte. Douglas McNabb

177th Battalion CEF
Enlisted at Victoria Harbour Ontario Feb. 13, 1916
Simcoe Foresters

Research on Ancestry.com found more details about Douglas and his service. His Attestation Papers reveal that he was born 14 Apr 1896 in Victoria Harbour (which co-incidentally is about 5 minutes from my home), his mother was Agnes and his full name was Douglas Burns McNabb. One of the witnesses to his papers was a Wallace Burns - possibly a relative.

20 year Douglas was listed as having a ruddy complexion, brown hair and brown eyes and tall - 5' 10" in height. He was assigned to the 177th Battalion. 

Birth records on Ancestry.com reveal  his father as Alexander McNabb and his mother was Agnes Burns.  I was happy to see that young Douglas survived the war and is found on the 1921 census for Victoria Harbour with his parents and a younger brother John. Douglas' occupation is given as fireman. I also found him in the 1945 Voter's Lists for Victoria Harbour, still working as a fireman. There is no wife listed with him so perhaps he was a life-long bachelor. In any case he will be remembered in our home for his service.

July 23, 2014

A Sneak Peek at Tonight's Episode of WDYTYA!

A Sneak Peek at Tonight's Episode of WDYTYA!
WDYTYA image published with permission of TLC
Are you as excited as I am for tonight's  launch of Who Do You Think You Are? The new season premiere launches at 9/8c on TLC and with Ancestry.com as a sponsor. 

In her episode, Cynthia Nixon searches for answers about her paternal ancestors, and discovers a dark secret involving deceit and murder, in relation to her great-great-great-grandmother. 

In tonight's episode she visits a prison to learn more about her ancestor, Martha, who was the only woman incarcerated there among dozens of men.

For those who can't wait here's a sneak peek of tonight's show featuring Cynthia Nixon