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December 12, 2007

World War II Photos & Documents online launches the largest collection of World War II photos on the web

-Tens of thousands of photos and documents are made available for the first time on the web for historians, genealogists and the general public-

Lindon, UT - December 6, 2007 – today announced the addition of thousands of US Air Force photos to their digital World War II collection. This release coincides with the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing, and contains tens of thousands of original World War II photos and documents from the National Archives. Among this collection are missing air crew reports, documents from allied military conferences and photos of Japanese air targets.

“They say that a picture is worth a thousand words,” says Russell Wilding, CEO of “What’s exciting about this collection of photos is they also include captions that tell stories of the people and events in the photos.” has added these new pictures and documents as part of a much larger, ongoing effort to preserve the heroic memories and stories of the brave men and women that served in World War II and other wars.

“We are providing priceless content from our archives and libraries that is only a part of a much larger picture,” continued Wilding, “While this is an extensive collection of history, we understand that many people out there have valuable pieces of history in their personal record collections within their own homes. We encourage everyone to upload their own photos, letters and documents contained in their old shoeboxes.” is leading the movement to preserve the documents and stories about World War II and invites everyone to join in this effort. Uploading photos and documents and creating memorial pages is completely free on To view samples of these photos and other World War II documents, visit

December 5, 2007

More great Christmas Gift Ideas!

Readers have been suggesting other Christmas gift ideas to me and I like them! Here's a few I think are real winners:

Buy a subscription to for that special someone. Includes NARA records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War Records, Naturalization and much much more

Wallet Pix Digital Photo Album

Kodak Easyshare SV-710 7-Inch Digital Picture Frame

Digital Photo Frame Keychain

December 4, 2007

Digitization of Irish 1901 and 1911 census records

The censuses of Ireland of 1901 and 1911, which are in the custody of the National Archives of Ireland, represent an extremely valuable part of the Irish national heritage, and a resource for genealogists, local historians and other scholars which has not as yet been developed to its fullest potential.

The digitisation of the equivalent records for England, Wales and Scotland has proved hugely popular with users, as has the digitisation of Canadian and United States census records.

The National Archives of Ireland has established a research partnership with Library and Archives Canada to facilitate digitisation, indexing and contextualisation of Irish 1901 and 1911 census records. .

LAC will digitize the 1901 and 1911 census records and two indexes will be created, linked to the digital images: a topographical index based on townland/street within District Electoral Division, and a nominal index to every individual listed in both censuses.

The total number of nominal entries will be approximately 9 million.

Digitisation, indexing and e-linking for both censuses is expected to be complete by mid-2009. [Source:]

Dublin Census is now online for 1911 and is freely searchable.

For help with other census for USA, Canada and United Kingdom see

November 29, 2007

Genealogy Christmas Idea

My husband and I were trying to figure out what to give his elderly grandmother for Christmas. It occurred to us that she might love seeing the old family photos. So hubby scanned them and we transferred them to a digital photo frame

If you haven't seen those, check them out. You can get one that takes your camera memory stick or one that allows you to transfer photos using a flash drive

There are even some that allow you to upload photos to a website, then the frame automatically dials in nightly using a phone line to download new photos that you have put there.

We chose the simpler and less pricey frame, simply because it has fewer buttons and gadgets. We didn't want Gramma to be confused by any technology. With this one we leave our camera memory stick in, and the frame rotates through the photos. We'll be able to switch out memory sticks by sending a new one which can be switched for the first one. Then the first one can be sent back to us for new photos. That way she will have new photos every so often.

It's also a great way to preserve your family photos from the 1800s or early 1900s if you have any. We're even thinking about scanning some of the documents we have found in our research and adding those to the photo display.

November 13, 2007

Military Naturalization Records - Finding a Soldier Ancestor

An 1862 law allowed honorably discharged Army veterans of any war to petition for naturalization, without having filed a declaration of intent, after only 1 year of residence in the United States.

Variations of this special treatment continued throughout the years.

The wording of the 1862 Act stated that any alien, age 21 or up "...who has enlisted, or may enlist in the armies of the United States...."

It was designed to encourage enlistment during the Civil War. Aliens serving in the US military did not gain citizenship through service alone.

The naturalization of soldiers was performed under certain provisions of nationality law facilitating the naturalization of members of the US armed forces. These provisions waived the Declaration of Intention requirement and waived or reduced the residency requirement. Many soldiers filed petitions and were naturalized the same day.

See SPECIAL CASES: Military for more details

Instead of naturalization "first papers", some courts filed military discharges. Sometimes you will have to consult separate military indexes but you should start looking in the usual places first. Military naturalizations were included in the WPA Project indexes (You can read about the WPA Project and naturalization indexes, and view an online one for all of Arkansas for 1809-1906

If the naturalization took place in a Federal court, naturalization indexes, declarations of intent, and petitions will usually be in the NARA regional facility serving the State in which the Federal court is located. Some of these indexes and records have been microfilmed.

Naturalization records from county courts may be at the county court, in a county or State archives, or at a regional archives serving several counties within a State.

Some county court naturalization records have been donated to the National Archives and are available as National Archives microfilm publications. These are listed under the state in which they occurred, at
Scroll down to the state list at the bottom of the page.

November 3, 2007

What Genealogy Records Does Footnote Have?

After my announcement yesterday about the special 20% off discount for visitors who go to from, readers wrote with questions. I goofed in assuming that readers would know exactly what Footnote has!

Footnote has NARA documents that no other site has online. Footnote has Civil War Records including Confederate Soldiers. They have Navy Widows Certificates. They have so much I can't list all the databases here but to start, on Footnote you can search
« Naturalization Documents &
Naturalization Indexes

« Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783

« War of 1812

« Newspapers & Town Records

« Civil War Documents

Another thing I really like about is their Spotlights section. Spotlights are an easy way for visitors to highlight interesting images that you find on Footnote and share them with other people. I see that subscribers to Footnote are starting to Spotlight their own ancestors' records that they find. That's an intriguing way to use the Spotlight feature.

You can also add a Story Page where you become and author, and tell the rest of us something about a topic you find interesting. Free Masonry, Naturalization, Immigration Records, you name it, you can create a Story Page for it.

I hope this helps answer the questions I had about Footnote but there is lots more to discover on the site than what I've listed here

November 2, 2007

20% off on!

Most of you know how much I like the website It has NARA records that no one else has, plus much much more. has been given the okay to offer its visitors Footnote memberships for 20% off for a limited time! I've got links up for this special deal so if you are interested,now's the time to jump in and search for ancestors.

This offer is exclusive to Olive Tree Genealogy and one other site only. You can enjoy what Footnote has to offer by clicking on the banner for the special price at Genealogy Specials

October 29, 2007

Primary Records are NOT always Accurate

We all want our genealogy to be accurate.

We search and search for that primary record, the one that we've been told is "THE" record to find -- a death certificate, a church baptismal record, marriage record....

But - beware! Not all primary records are accurate. As good genealogists we must consider that there can be errors. The informant (person giving the information) may not know the answers and may thus provide incorrect details. The clerk recording the information may not hear the response correctly and may enter it incorrectly. The person giving the information may lie, especially about their age.

In my own family tree, my great-grandmother's official government death registration is incorrect. Her parents' names are wrong. Since I already knew who her parents were (Isaac Vollick & Lydia Jamieson) from other genealogy sources, I was completely bewildered at first by seeing her parents given as Stephen Vollick and Mary.

Then it dawned on me - Stephen was my great grandmother's husband's first name (Stephen Peer). Mary was my great grandmother's own name. (Mary Vollick)

So I looked at the informant's name. AHA! The informant was Mary's 17 year old son. Her husband having died long before Mary, and her older children married and gone, the task of answering the official questions fell to her 17 year old son who had cared for her in her final days.

It is easy to see how the young boy, when asked by a government clerk "Father's name?" (meaning father of the deceased), would have replied "Stephen", for in fact Stephen WAS his own father's name.

The question "Mother's name?" referring to the mother of the deceased, would be answered by the boy "Mary" which was HIS mother's name.

And thus the official death registration for parents of Mary (Peer) Vollick daughter of Isaac and Lydia Vollick, is forever rendered as Stephen and Mary Vollick.

So be cautious when you encounter a primary source that simply doesn't match other reliable sources. Investigate! Think! Don't just accept the new "facts" without further legwork to prove or disprove them.

October 28, 2007

Searching Siblings in Family Tree Research

Why search siblings? You're only interested in YOUR ancestor, right? WRONG!

Researching and tracking siblings, finding their marriages, children, deaths etc can provide you with answers to questions about your own ancestor.

Let's assume you have not been able to find your great great grandfather's mother's surname before marriage. You know her first name is Mary but that's it. You find great great grandpa's death record and view it in anticipation. But sadly the informant (great great grandpa's second wife) didn't provide a surname for her mother-in-law.

You can't find great great grandpa's marriage record so no help there. But - what about a sibling? Hunt for great great grandpa's youngest sister's marriage record. Look for one of his brothers' death records. Don't overlook turning any stone available to you in your hunt for your own ancestor - remember your ancestor and his siblings shared the same parents, and those parents are your next generation back.

October 27, 2007

Why Review Old Genealogy Research?

I've been working hard lately on a McGinnis Family book. McGinnis is my maiden name and for more than 30 years I've researched the 7 sons of the immigrant McGinnis line I am interested in. I've followed the sons (and one daughter) down through the generations, tracking their children and grandchildren. All in hopes of finding out where in Ireland my great-great-grandfather was born.

This past month I've been busy entering data I had found and filed away in my overflowing McGinnis filing drawer. Yes that's right - an entire drawer is devoted to this family. I could have sworn I had covered all my bases, found every scrap of evidence there was to be found on each of those 7 sons. Census? Done. I'd sent for death records, church records, looked for obituaries, and thought about where else I might find a record of an origin in Ireland.

But as I looked over my old research (which I hadn't really looked at in almost 10 years) something jumped out at me - several years ago I had found the names of 3 of the sons in Michigan Naturalization records indexes. But I had never sent for the full record! What an oversight - although the records are not apt to provide an exact location of birth, there is a small chance they might give a county in Ireland. We don't even know that much so anything would be a bonus.

I also realized I hadn't put a few clues together - that one of the grand-daughters of the original immigrant had been living (at the age of 6) with an unknown couple and a teenage girl in 1851 Waterloo County Ontario. Re-reading the teenager's surname I saw that it was the same as the granddaughter's mother (Cokely) - and the teen was likely granddaughter's aunt. A great clue that I had not seen first time around because I had not known her mother's surname at the time. This little clue led me to research the couple the granddaughter was living with and sure enough the wife was another aunt.

Reviewing my old material gave me fresh insight into the family and another path to follow. Now I am working on a chart to show where every son (and the daughter) lived at every land record, census record and assessment record I have already found. Hopefully that chart when complete will give me better insight into the family's movements and migration patterns. This in turn might help me find my missing great-great grandpa after 1871.

October 26, 2007

Taking the plunge with Scanfest

What's Scanfest? It's something I stumbled on last month, created by Miriam Midkiff of AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors (and other blogs and websites).

Miriam organized a group of people (genealogists, family historians, archivists etc) to join her every month in scanning their family research or other important documents. That's right - everyone gets together in virtual space and scans for a few hours once a month while chatting online.

What a great way to pass the time while scanning - a task that I always put off as long as possible. With Miriam's group you get a chance to organize and preserve your documents while meeting and chatting with others who quite likely share your interests. It sounded like a terrific idea so I contacted Miriam and said I'd like to join in.

The next Scanfest will be held Sunday, October 28th from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time. In the wake of the terrible fires recently, it seems a good time to take stock of genealogy research and get those all-important documents scanned and preserved, make duplicate copies and store them safely away from home - just in case.

I'll let you know how I made out and how many documents I managed to get scanned after Sunday's meeting. I'm looking forward to meeting new people and getting some work done at the same time.

October 16, 2007

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) NEW Search Tools

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) today [Oct 15] announced three new online products to assist genealogists and family historians to access information on their ancestors in both LAC and other Canadian collections.

Chief among these is the newly redesigned Canadian Genealogy Centre website. The website makes available Canadian collections of immigration, military, public service, land and census records and provides advice and guidance to researchers. It was voted one of the world's 100-best genealogy websites by Family Tree magazine.

Two new powerful search tools are now available on the Canadian Genealogy Centre website:

Ancestors Search, developed by LAC, combines 18 genealogical databases into one search

That's My Family, developed by Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Quebec, in partnership with LAC and supported by the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists of Canada.

The latter search tool accesses various federal, provincial and territorial genealogy and family history databases.

October 12, 2007

Medieval Cemetery Yields 1,300 Skeletons

A large medieval cemetery containing around 1,300 skeletons has been discovered in the central English city of Leicester, the find promises to shed new light on the way people lived and died in the Middle Ages.

The graveyard was probably used from the 12th century until the demolition of a church at the site in 1573.

"We think, probably outside London, this must be one of the largest parish graveyards ever excavated,'' said Richard Buckley, director of University of Leicester Archaeology Services.

Continue reading Medieval Cemetery Yields 1,300 Skeletons

October 8, 2007

Ships Passenger Lists Project 1624-1664 updated

As many of you know, I have had an ongoing project to reconstruct names of passengers on ships from Netherlands to New Netherland 1624-1664 on Olive Tree Genealogy for several years.

The index to this reconstruction project is at Ships to New Netherland

For those new to the Project, several primary sources were used to reconstruct passenger names (all sources are noted online) - and others continue to be found

Thanks to Peter Christoph for discussing Harmen Myndertse Van de Bogart with me, and Charles Gehring for spending his time hunting down the source for Harmen's arrival, another name has been added to a specific ship - Harmen Myndertse Van de Bogart who arrived in 1630.

You'll find Harmen's name and source references on De Eendracht

I hope others will share findings with me so we can add to this project. Please remember it must be a primary source used for proof.

October 7, 2007

Musings on Genealogy, Life & Death

A good friend was killed in an accident on Thursday evening. His unexpected death made me think about how suddenly life can twist and turn on us. John lived life to the fullest, and was on one of his introspective journeys through North America on his motorcycle when he was killed.

Losing such a good friend so suddenly made me pause to reflect on the unfinished things in life. I thought about all the half-finished genealogy projects I have on the go. The books uncompleted. The exciting genealogy finds written out or photocopied but stuffed in a drawer, not yet entered in my genealogy program....

All the unsorted and unfiled piles of paper, both personal and genealogy-related... the ones I keep saying "Gee one day I MUST get those put away..."

All the unlabelled photographs tossed into storage tubs or stuck in those dreadful sticky clear paper pages of albums of 20 years ago...

I asked my husband if he would get the facts straight if he had to suddenly write an obituary for me. Nope, he mixed up where I was born with where I lived as a child. He wasn't positive what my mother's maiden name was....

It's not the end of the world that hubby had things slightly wrong, but it occurred to me that as a genealogist, if I want it right I better do it myself. And do it now.

Yesterday I spent most of the day sorting old photos. As the family keeper of the photographs, I have photos going back to the 1860s. I have photo albums from cousins who have passed on. From Aunts and Uncles no longer with us. I'm probably one of the few people in my family who know the identity of many of the indidividuals in those photos. But have I labelled them? Nope, of course not....

This morning I started carefully writing (in pencil) on the backs of the thousands of photos I have. I removed hundreds from those photo-destroying old albums. Hubby is busy scanning them for me.

Action was a huge part of John's life. He lived to the fullest - windsurfing, skiing, playing hockey, boating, riding his motorcyle. John pushed me to start my website Olive Tree Genealogy back in 1996. I'd like to think that he would be pleased to know that even in death he spurred me on to get off my (ahem) and take some action instead of sitting around saying "one day..."

John will be missed but every time I look at my sorted and labelled photos, I'll smile as I think about him.

October 6, 2007

Minorcans to Florida 1768

Thanks to the hard work of Lucie Servole Myers, Olive Tree Genealogy has an original research project reconstructing names of colonists of Greek, Italian, Minorcan and Turkish origins to Florida in May 1768.

Eight ships sailed under the direction of Andrew Turnbull. Lucie has reconstructed the names of 431 passengers on board the 8 ships. This is a wonderful database and I owe a big thank you to Lucie for allowing OTG to publish this online for all to use.

The ships are organized in the following immigrant groups:

Passengers from Spain

Passengers from Greece

Passengers from Corsica

Passengers from Canary Islands

Passengers from Italy

Passengers from Balearic Islands

Good luck to everyone looking for an ancestor! As always, this Olive Tree database is available for free for all researchers.

October 2, 2007

National Registration File 1940-1946 (a Census Substitute)

A good census substitute is The National Registration File of 1940 in Canada

This was the registration of all people 16 years of age or olde, from 1940 to 1946. There is a great deal of information on this Registration. This is another way to
find an ancestor in that time period.

Statistics Canada holds these records and for a fee they will search on your behalf. See the explanation and an online order form

September 27, 2007

Ships Outbound from USA to Europe & United Kingdom

Neither U.S. A. nor Canada maintained outbound ships passenger lists.

ShipsListsOnline is pleased to announce a new project to transcribe ships passenger lists leaving USA, bound for Europe and United Kingdom.

Our ShipsListsOnline Team is hard at work on these lists so please watch this page or join the free Olive Tree Genealogy Newsletter for updates on this and other Ship Passenger List Indexing Projects

Additions this week:

* Added List of Passengers on Steamship Cherokee for Chagres from New York November 1851

* Added List of Passengers on Steamship Iowa Sailing for Glasgow Scotland from New York 4 May 1867

*Added R. M. S. Saxonia Cunard Line: List of Saloon Passengers sailing from Boston Massachusetts to Liverpool England 24 July 1906 (A-C Surnames)

*Added S.S. Furst Bismarck Hamburg-America Line from New York to Southampton and Hamburg Germany 9 July 1896 (A-E Surnames)

September 24, 2007

Vermont Vital Stats at Bennington Co. Musuem

Bennington County Museum has recently acquired 128 rolls of microfilm containing birth, marriage and death records for all of Vermont from the period 1908 to 1941.

The records complete a collection that dates to the 1760s, allowing genealogy buffs, historians and people interested in their heritage to hunt for ancestors.

Although these records are not online, at least it is available for those seeking their Vermont Roots.

September 23, 2007

United Kingdom Nonconformist birth, marriage and death records online

Nonconformist birth, marriage and death records online

The National Archives (United Kingdom) collection of nonconformist birth, marriage and death records from 1567 went online 14 September 2007 for the first time.

A new partnership project between The National Archives and S&N Genealogy Supplies means that you can now access images of these records online. BMD Registers provides access to the non-parochial and nonconformist registers 1567-1840 held in RG 4 and RG 5.

Birth, marriage and death records are crucial tools for anyone researching their family history. Before 1837, when civil registration was introduced in England and Wales, church registers provided an important source of information on births, baptisms, marriages and burials.

The National Archives holds 5,000 registers of a huge variety of nonconformist congregations, including Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Protestant Dissenters (known as 'Dr Williams Library') and Independents. There are also registers from a small number of Roman Catholic communities. Basic searching is free of charge, but there is a fee for advanced searching and to download images.

For free United Kingdom genealogy records online vist

September 21, 2007

The Confusing Maze of Genealogy Mixups in Names

Several years ago I spotted this Q & A online and I tucked it away thinking one day I wanted to write about names and the perils of genealogy research if you are not open minded enough ....

  • Question: What do Sean Gough, Jean Lefevre, Giovanni Ferrari, Juan Herrero, Ivan Kowalski, Hans Schmidt, Jan Kowalski and Janos Kovacs have in common?

  • Answer: In Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively, all are John Smith.

    What a great reinforcer of the idea that as genealogists we need to look beyond what we are familiar with. We need to think outside the box. Coming from a North American culture we might assume if we find an ancestor named Janos Kovacs that it's an unusual name. Not so!

    What about spelling? How often have you found a name in a census or other genealogy record, that was close but not exactly the name you were looking for? Don't discard it! Look at other clues - spouse, children, ages, occupation, location - could it be your ancestor? Remember spelling didn't "count". Census takers and other clerks wrote what they heard (phonetically). Accents confused the ears.

    My own ancestor's surname was Vollick. Sometimes it was rendered as Follick. Other variations I have found in documents are Valck, Volk, Valic, Falic, Folic. Why "V" and "F" interchangeably? Because the Dutch-German "V" can sound like "F" to English speaker's ears.

    My immigrant ancestor's 'real' name was Van Valkenburg! How would I ever have found my ancestor if I hadn't kept an open mind and looked at other clues? And much to my initial surprise, Van Valkenburg is not an unusual name.

    Another true example from my own ancestry - when Leonard-Tremi Le Roy left Quebec for New York, his name was misinterpreted by Dutch recorders as "Jonar" and then "Jonas". His surname Le Roy (pronounced Le Raw) was misinterpreted as Larrowa which evolved into Larroway.

    So be aware that bad handwriting, inability to spell, accents, and other events can change an ancestor's name - and don't be so quick to assume, for example, that Leonard-Tremi Le Roy is not your 5x great grandfather Jonas Larroway. If both men have the same wives and children, same birth year, same place of birth, and name siblings who are identical, you can be pretty sure that you've just stumbled into the confusing maze of names in genealogy research.
  • September 19, 2007

    New York Times FREE 1851-1980

    Yesterday at midnight the New York Times stopped charging for access to parts of its Web site

    In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also open its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain.

    There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.

    This is great news for genealogists searching for older records in newspapers

    September 16, 2007

    Naturalizaton Records and Passport Records

    The following Passports & Naturalization Records have been added to

    As always these records are FREE.

    Thank you to all who submitted a record! Please consider submitting your ancestor Citizenship Records to You will help others searching
    the same ancestor, and can make contact with them.

    Submissions remain the property of the submitter, and are free for all to view.

    It is easiest to go to the index pages to view these newest ancestor records.



    Records added today are:

    1939 American Passport for Ida Katharyn Waltz of Indiana

    1920 Passport & American Red Cross American Expeditionary Force ID Card for Raymond J. Thomas, M.D of Chicago Illinois

    1924 Passport for Ramona E. Wulff of Sacremento California

    1948 Passport Leonardo & Michael Cazzorla of New York

    1922 Passport for Gustav & Betty Stiefel, New York City New York

    1917 Naturalization Hearing for Gustav Stiefel, New York City New York

    1919 Naturalization Certificate for Gustav Stiefel, New York City New York

    1897 Russian Passport for Barnet Kreit aka Berko Kraid of New York

    1915 Naturalization Declaration of Intent for Barnet Kreit aka Berko Kraid , Brooklyn New York

    1941 Naturalization Certificate Jessie Boyd, Chicago Illinois

    1939 Naturalization Certificate Southern District of NewYork for Pavlina Sansky

    Feel free to pass this message on to others who might be interested

    September 9, 2007

    Ancestor Marriage Record Finder

    Can't find your ancestor in Marriage records?

    Most genealogists search Marriage records such as Church records and Vital Stats (Marriage Registrations or Certificates). If we don't find our ancestor in one of those Marriage records, we're stuck! Where to search next? My AMF (Ancestor Marriage Finder) can help.

    I am pleased to announce that Ancestor Marriage Record Finder: Tips on Finding a Marriage Record When You've Hit a Brick Wall is now available as an E-Book on Amazon for only $1.15

    What happens when a couple marry? What events take place around a marriage? What kind of Marriage record paper trail is created at the time of marriage of an individual? The answers to these questions will lead you to other sources of marriage records and hopefully end that brick-wall.

    When an ancestor is married, many records leading up to and surrounding that marriage might be created. Let's talk about records kept before an ancestor marriage and those created after a marriage.

    Get tips and ideas in my E-book for alternate record sources when you've hit that brick wall

    Get Help finding Ancestors with Ancestor Birth Record Finder & Ancestor Death Record Finder

    September 8, 2007

    Finding Ancestors Immigration in Almshouse Records

    In the early 1800's port cities in the USA bore the burden of immigration. By the time they arrived, so many immigrants were tired, hungry and poor they ended up in the City Almshouse. This meant the citizens had to take care of them. At first the citizens of the city asked the Mayors for funds to support the poor. Eventually they asked the states, and by mid-century some states (Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts) set up State agencies to deal with the issue. Eventually, beginning in the 1880's, the Federal Government nationalized the programs.

    Dating back to the colonial era, New York City assumed responsibility for its citizens who were destitute, sick, homeless, or otherwise unable to care for themselves. The city maintained an almshouse, various hospitals, and a workhouse on Blackwell's Island (now called Roosevelt Island) for the poor.

    These Almshouse records often contain immigration details, such as name of ship, date of arrival in USA and port of arrival.

    Olive Tree Genealogy has an ongoing project to transcribed and publish New York Almshouse Records. The first set is for the years 1819-1840 and includes Ship Captain's Name, Date of Bond, Sureties, Date Discharged, Death Date, Remarks, etc.

    For example, under date 1820 March 11 Elizabeth Kennedy age 34 is listed as having died June 14, 1820; her daughter Mary Ann died Nov. 5, 1820

    Researchers can use the clues in the Almshouse records (admission date, ship captain's name, owner's name, etc) as well as census records, to narrow the time frame of arrival. Families with children born in one country, such as England, and then in New York will find it much easier to narrow the time frame of immigration.

    For individuals recorded in 1855-1858 Almshouse Records for New York City the information includes ship name, date of sailing, ports of departure and arrival

    September 7, 2007

    Cook Co.Illinois Records going online

    Genealogists and people interested in researching their family tree will soon be able to access key records from their home computer instead of ordering by mail or traipsing down to the Cook County offices

    Digitized versions of county records such as birth and death certificates and marriage licenses should be available beginning in January 2008 on one searchable Web site

    The Web site is part of a year long effort to digitize the county's 24 million vital records, which date to 1871, when record-keeping began after the Chicago Fire destroyed earlier records

    Documents available online will be birth certificates that are at least 75 years old, marriage certificates more than 50 years old, and death certificates more than 20 years old. Read the full article

    September 3, 2007

    Peterbrough County GenWeb - new genealogy data

    I'm the new host of Peterborough County GenWeb. Thanks to former hosts for leaving the site intact with exisiting genealogical material. I added more free genealogy data on Labor Day weekend so be sure to drop by to see what's new.

    Follow the links or use the Peterborough County GenWeb Site Map for a quick start

    September 2, 2007

    Waterloo County GenWeb new data

    I just took over as the new host of the Waterloo County GenWeb site (part of Ontario GenWeb)

    Thanks to the former hosts, there was already genealogical material there, and I've added more. For example I uploaded a list of Waterloo County Individuals in the Criminal Assize Clerk criminal indictment files, 1853-1929. I hope this helps everyone with Waterloo County ancestors!

    Waterloo County is interesting because it was settled by blacks and Mennonites from Pennsylvania, as well as a large German population.

    August 31, 2007

    NEW! Naturalization Certificates & Alien Registrations online

    Naturalization Records today added Naturalization Certificates and Alien Registration Cards for several individuals in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts and Colorado. Is one your ancestor?

    *Added Certificate of Naturalization Elizabeth Koval, from Czechoslovakia, in Pennsylvania 1945

    *Added McKeesport, Alleghany County, Pennsylvania Alien Identification Card for Elizabeth Koval 1940

    *Added Certificate of Naturalization Alexander Johnson Duncanson from Canada or United Kingdom, of East Jordan, Michigan 1925 + wife & children

    *Added Certificate of Naturalization Michael Chekorin from Russia, New York City 1940

    *Added Naturalization Certificate William Parker Deerfield, Franklin County Massachusetts 1859

    *Added Certificate of Citizenship Henry A. Foye from Ireland Arapahoe County Colorado 1894

    August 27, 2007

    Take Me to Scotland!

    Was Great-Grandpa Scottish? Travel to the ancestral home, walk in the footsteps of the clans. In 2009, there will be a Gathering of the Clans, and a year-long celebration of Scottish history. Homecoming Scotland will mark the 250th birth anniversary of Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns.

    For this once in a lifetime anniversary, experienced genealogists will verify and document your Scottish origins. Those whose Scottish ancestors are in the US or Canada can trace their family back to their ancestral origins in the Old Country (Scotland).

    The Genealogy Team, with over 50 years of combined experience in Scottish genealogical research, have agreed to accept assignments through this Special Olive Tree Genealogy offer. Olive Tree Genealogy visitors can choose from a 10% discount on the first step of their journey (starting with your last known ancestor the Team will research 2 generations back in Scotland records) or a free consultation with The Genealogy Team

    August 24, 2007

    Philadelphia Pennsylvania Baggage Lists

    The Port of Philadelphia Pennsylvania Baggage Lists were maintained by officials from 1800 to 1820. These Baggage Lists help fill in gaps for pre-1820 ships passenger lists. They are lists of passengers and their luggage on board ships.

    Some Philadelphia Baggage Lists can be found online at OTE, a sister site of Olive Tree Genealogy

    The online lists include images of the actual manifest and a transcription of the names of the passengers on board. Remember that if your ancestor had no luggage, his or her name will not be found on these lists.

    August 21, 2007

    Fort Ville-Marie, French settlement in Montreal in 1642 found!

    If you have ancestors who settled in New France in the early 1600s this story may be of interest to you

    Dig uncovers 1642 Montreal site

    Bneath the worn cement floors of and old warehouse lies what archeologists believe are the first permanent buildings of the settlement that became Montreal.

    Archealogists have found the remains of Fort Ville-Marie, the lost, original French settlement in Montreal.

    The fort was built in 1642 and housed as many as 50 early colonists, including Montreal's founder, Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve, and nurse Jeanne Mance. It would have been a key meeting place for aboriginal allies as well as the colony's administrative heart.

    But the exact location of the fort, which was eventually abandoned, has baffled historians since the 19th century. The most recent record of the fort dates from 1683.

    Read the full story at - News - Dig uncovers 1642 Montreal site

    August 20, 2007

    Palatine (German Palatinate) History

    by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
    Olive Tree Genealogy
    Copyright © 1996


    "The Palatinate or German PFALZ, was, in German history, the land of the Count Palatine, a title held by a leading secular prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Geographically, the Palatinate was divided between two small territorial clusters: the Rhenish, or Lower Palatinate, and the Upper Palatinate.

    While the land of the Palatinate was good for its inhabitants, many of whom were farmers, vineyard operators etc., its location was unfortunately subject to invasion by the armies of Britain, France, and Germany. Mother Nature also played a role in what happened, for the winter of 1708 was particularly severe and many of the vineyards perished. So, as well as the devastating effects of war, the Palatines were subjected to the winter of 1708-09, the harshest in 100 years.

    The scene was set for a mass migration. At the invitation of Queen Anne in the spring of 1709, about 7 000 harassed Palatines sailed down the Rhine to Rotterdam. From there, about 3000 were dispatched to America, either directly or via England, under the auspices of William Penn. The remaining 4 000 were sent via England to Ireland to strengthen the protestant interest....."

    Read the complete article History of the Palatines or start your search for Palatine ancestors in

    Palatine Ships' Lists to PA

    Palatine Ships' Lists to NY

    Palatine Child Apprentices 1710-1714

    Family Names

    Palatine Denizations (Naturalizations) 1708

    [The full article has been published, with my permission as Irish Palatine Story on the Internet in Irish Palatine Association Journal, No. 7 December 1996]

    August 19, 2007

    Best Kept Genealogy Secret

    Sometimes it's hard to see the trees for the forest... is a subscription based membership site with tons of genealogy databases. But what a lot of genealogists don't realize is that Ancestry has almost 300 FREE databases - yes - entirely FREE, no strings attached to search.

    This seems to be a well kept genealogy secret!

    I'm not talking about their Free Trials or Free Access. I'm talking about genealogy databases that only require you to register with your name and email address in order to search them.

    Some examples of these free genealogy records are New York Marble Cemetery Records, New York City, NY, 1830-1937, Wuerttemberg, Germany Emigration Index, Philadelphia German Immigration, 1700-75 & WWI Civilian Draft Registrations . These are only 5 of the 280+ records Ancestry offers for free.

    Choose from FREE Births, Marriages & Death Records
    FREE Census Records
    FREE Court Records
    FREE Directory Records
    FREE Family Tree Records
    FREE Histories Records
    FREE Immigration Records
    FREE Military Records
    FREE Newspapers Records
    FREE Reference Records

    August 18, 2007 Special for all of August

    More news from Olive Tree Genealogy! After talking to they agreed to extend the special discount offer on memberships for the rest of August.

    You can get this discount price by going to Olive Tree Genealogy and clicking on the link at the top of the page or at my blog right here - top of page

    I hope you find some ancestors! I have been very lucky and am quite excited about the finds I've made on Footnote. They have NARA records, Naturalization records, Revolutionary War records and much much more.

    Feel free to tell others about this Special Price for all of August through the Olive Tree Genealogy Special link

    August 17, 2007

    Genealogy Cemetery Hunt for Children

    Last summer when my two eldest grandchildren came for their annual week long visit, I set up a Genealogy Game for them.

    I was desperate for something to do with them and suddenly thought I'd take them on a hunt through a local cemetery for the grave of my great-grandmother's brother. I figured they'd be fascinated by the hunt for half an hour tops but it would help fill the time!

    I gave each of them (8 year old and 6 year old) a large piece of paper with the last name of the ancestor we were hunting for (VOLLICK). I gave them a brief outline of the family relationship.

    We talked about respecting the graves and gravestones of those buried in the cemetery and "manners" one should use in a cemetery. Then we set out.

    The only other rule I gave them was that they must be able to see ME at all times. I didn't make the mistake of saying that I had to be able to see THEM, because of course that can be argued! ("Gee grandma I THOUGHT you could see me even if I went further down the path.....")

    We walked together for awhile then they went off on their own. They loved this game. Two hours later they were still walking around the stones, reading every single one out loud and running back to ask me questions. They were fascinated by the ages of some of those who were buried there, particularly the children.

    This gave us so many opportunities for learning - math skills in figuring out ages from birth and death dates, reading, history lessons when war graves were spotted and talking about young children dying more frequently in the 1800s than now, respect for ancestors and our dead, etc.

    We ended up having a picnic on a park bench in the cemetery, then more hunting (yes we were successful!) and then off we went home, having spent an entire afternoon in the Cemetery.

    The next day they asked me if we could go on another hunt! All in all a very successful Genealogy "game".

    One of the questions they asked was why some of the gravestones were partially hidden by overgrown grass, and very dirty - so next summer I'll give each of them a tiny soft brush to brush off any dirt and leaves they find.

    August 15, 2007

    Passport Applications - A Genealogy Hidden Treasure

    Passport applications are a genealogy hidden treasure.

    NARA has passport applications from October 1795-March 1925. The U. S. Department of State has passport applications from April 1925 to the present.

    Some immigrants applied for passports to return home to visit family or friends. These records usually give a place of birth or at least the destination (which is often the home town)

    The first passport issued in USA was dated July 1796. However until 1914 American citizens did not require a passport to travel abroad. You can read more about Passport applications at website has the following FREE Passport Records online:

    * Register of Passport Applications 1809-1817
    * Index to Emergency & Special Passport Applications 1830-1831
    * Register of Passports from 14 November 1834 to 1843 an Index for all states in USA
    * Index to Special Passports 1829-1887 an Index for all states in USA
    * Index to Special Passports 1887-1894 an Index for all states in USA

    Links to all the above passport records are found at Passports

    There are also links to individual passports:

    * William Clinton Jessup of Connecticut 14 May 1920 Passport & Photo
    * Josef Spolek Passport 1883
    * Passport for Anna Epping (late Cole) and son William from Germany to United States 1923 - Cuyahoga Ohio
    * Passport of Robert Spanton Benfell Washington USA
    * Passports issued from Sep 1918-Jan 1919 in Philadelphia, PA
    * Italian passport of Andrea DeJana, 1927 one of the group of Italian immigrants and workers who settled in Port Washington New York
    * Italian Passport of Al Marino’s mother Maria, 1916 one of the group of Italian immigrants and workers who settled in Port Washington New York
    * 1920 Italian passport of Angelina Giordano wife of Philip Lovetere of New Jersey including photo of Angelina born 1895 in Italy
    * 1927 Italian passport of Leonardo Giordano father of Angelina Giordano including photo of Leonardo born 1864 in Italy
    * Dutch Passport of Johanna Bosselaar issued 24-05-1955. Johanna Bosselaar Kloosterman born 1892 Holland immigrated to America
    * Passport of Herbert B. Khaury aka Tiny Tim of New York
    * Passport issued in Malta to Joseph Zarb, a British subject going to Portsmouth, December 1898
    * Brazilian Passport of João Robertson AKA John Robertson, 1882 Captain John Robertson, naturalized Brazilian citizen, natural of London, English Empire, son of Guilherme Robertson, issued passport to go to England
    * Passport holder made of fabric, owned by John Chekatauskas, circa 1930
    * Passport of Isador Hirschberger, father of artist killed at Dora Concentration camp.
    * Jerusalem Passport of Nadji Nissan
    * Israeli Passport of Uzi Nissan

    August 12, 2007

    Scottish Emigration Database

    The Scottish Emigration Database currently contains the records of over 21,000 passengers who embarked at Glasgow and Greenock for non-European ports between 1 January and 30 April 1923, and at other Scottish ports between 1890 and 1960.

    More ships passengers lists from Scotland to North America (Canada & USA) are found at Olive Tree Genealogy

    August 10, 2007

    Finding Medical Records in Ontario

    Medical Records in Ontario are held in various places - some are at the Ontario Archives, others are with the original institution.

    To obtain these records, you should begin with the OA. Find out what they have, and then how to request it. For example,Queen Street Hospital in Toronto has records that go back to 1839. There are nineteenth century records for institutions in London, Hamilton, and Kingston and from Penetanguishene from 1904.

    Files less than 100 years old are restricted under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Requests for access must be submitted in writing to the
    Access Unit of the Archives of Ontario.

    Files created in whole or in part on or after 6 April 1954 are restricted under the Mental Health Act. Requests for access to records in Archives' custody must be submitted in writing to the Administrator of the appropriate psychiatric hospital.

    Olive Tree Genealogy has a partial list of the OA psychiatric files and holdings

    August 8, 2007

    Special Discount on Membership! website and I have been talking about offering genealogists a special discount for memberships. I'm happy to announce that from today through til August 14th you can get $10.00 off a year's membership by using a special link on websites.

    Footnote is digitizing NARA records and they have a lot of great data online. There is much more to Footnote than just NARA records, so if you haven't visited, you really should.
    The first time I explored their website I found an ancestor's brother in the NARA naturalization records so I was pretty thrilled.

    You can start your journey at or click on the banner below.

    This promotion will run from midnight mountain time August 8 thru 11:59 pm Mountain time on August 14

    August 2, 2007 will digitize content from Allen County Public Library

    FOOTNOTE.COM ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LARGEST PUBLIC GENEALOGY LIBRARY IN THE U.S. announced a new partnership with Allen County Public Library (ACPL), the largest public genealogy library in the United States. This partnership will result in millions of historical records being digitized and made available online for the first time at The Allen County Public Library collections feature unique American and International records including family histories, city directories, military records and historical newspapers.

    All Allen County Public Library records digitized by will be made available at the library for free. For those that cannot travel to the library, they can access these records from the comfort of their own personal computers with a Membership.

    NARA records are available now on Search Revolutionary War Pension Files & Muster Rolls, Confederate Soldiers Service Records & Naturalization Records all on

    July 18, 2007

    Creating Ancestor Cards for Children

    A lot of people wrote to ask me what program I used to make the Ancestor Cards for my grandchildren. I tried a few different ones before settling on Excel. Each card that I created is 6x9 cm. (about 2.5x3.5 inches). I wanted to make sure the cards were not bigger than a baseball or hockey card so that I could buy a binder with plastic inserts and slots to hold the cards when complete.

    I created 6 rectangle cells in Excel to the size I wanted, and saved 2 copies - one for the front (photos) and one for the back (text). Then I inserted the photos I wanted, cropped them if needed, and formatted them to the size I needed. I could have sized them first in something like Irfanview (a free graphic program) and then inserted them into Excel. Play with it, have fun, see what you can come up with!

    I tried Picassa (a free download from Google) and Word, both printed beautifully but I had trouble lining up my back text with the photos on the front. Picassa prints beautifully, and you can automatically shrink the photos you use to fit the size card you want to make. It much easier and faster than Excel.

    If you are more familiar with Word or Picassa than I am, perhaps you can make it work for you. You could also make each card slightly smaller so you get 9 cards on each sheet instead of 6. If you come up with a better method than I used, please let me know!

    July 16, 2007

    Ancestor Cards for Children

    Recently I've been mulling over how to present the genealogy I've done on our family so that it would grab my 9 year old grandson's attention. My good friend Illya of Genealogy Today suggested I use a baseball or hockey card format with one ancestor per card.

    I loved the idea and created cards 6 cm x 9 cm. Each card features one ancestor's picture or a picture representing that ancestor. The back of each card has ancestor stats - their relationship to my grandchildren, date and place of birth, date and place of death, spouse's name, parents' names and a tiny blurb about that person (hopefully something unique or of interest to an 9 year old!)

    After laminating the cards, I presented them to my grandson and granddaughter (who is 7) when they came for their annual summer week long holiday with us. They loved them and not only read every bit of information about each ancestor, they began figuring out who was the oldest ancestor.... who died at the oldest age... who died at the youngest age... which parents went with which ancestor.. and so on.

    Then they decided to play a game, which we called simply "Ancestor Game". They each chose an ancestor card and played it, with whoever had the furthest back ancestor winning both cards. The next day they begged me to make more cards!! I now have 48 cards made for them with many more to go. To add even more interest I also created cards that were not direct ancestors, but had some small claim to fame or something historical or interesting to a child. Thank goodness for my Family Tree Maker Genealogy Program which tells me if a person is a 3rd cousin 5x removed or something else!

    We decided I should also make double cards wherever possible, that is, two cards for one ancestor but with different photos or representative pictures on each one. Then they can play "Go Fish for Ancestors".

    It was a genealogist's dream come true - for 5 days they asked for "more ancestor stories please Grandma!" and "Can you make us more Ancestor Cards?" When their mom called to see how they were doing, the first words out of my grandson's mouth were "Mom, you won't believe about one of our ancestors!" and he proceeded to quote from the Ancestor Cards.

    I thought I'd like to share this in case you are looking for something to capture your little one's interest, because it was fabulous and my grandchildren loved it!

    July 9, 2007

    Ancestor Birth Record Finder

    Can't find your ancestor in Birth records?

    Most genealogists search Birth records such as Church records and Vital Stats (Birth Registrations or Certificates). If we don't find our ancestor in one of those birth records, we're stuck! Where to search next? My ABF (Ancestor Birth Finder) can help. I am pleased to announce that the complete book Ancestor Birth Record Finder: Tips on Finding a Birth Record When You've Hit a Brick Wall is available on Amazon as  an E-Book for only $1.15

    What happens when a child is born? When a woman becomes pregnant? What events take place around the birth of a child? What kind of birth record paper trail is created on the birth of an individual? The answers to these questions will lead you to other sources of birth records and hopefully end that brick-wall.

    When an ancestor is born, many records leading up to and surrounding that birth might be created. Let's talk about records kept before an ancestor birth and those created after a birth.

    July 7, 2007

    1901 & 1911 Census of Ireland Coming Soon

    The National Archives of Ireland has arranged for the digitisation, indexing and contextualisation of its most popular records, the census records for 1901 and 1911.

    The resulting website will contain images of the forms for each household and institution, which will be indexed by name (all names), townland/street, age and sex.

    The first phase of the project, Dublin City and County 1911, is to be launched in Autumn 2007.

    For more census records for America, Canada and United Kingdom see

    July 1, 2007

    Dating Ancestor Photographs

    A new Genealogy Section is now online on Olive Tree Genealogy. It is devoted to helping researchers identify Ancestor Photos.

    It is a companion project to Lost Faces - Photo Albums, which is the rescue of old albums from the mid to late 1800s

    You can read and see graphic examples online of

    * Types of Early Photographs

    * Hints for Dating Old Photographs

    * Dating Old Photographs through Clothing & Hairstyle

    * How Revenue Stamps Can Date Ancestor Photos

    Feel free to pass this news on to anyone you think might be interested. Enjoy!


    June 24, 2007

    Released Prisoners on the ship Erasmus van Rotterdam 1638

    Source: Journal of the Ambassy of the Lord Anthonis de Liedekerke, Extracted entries from Adriaen Matham's Journal 1640-1641. translated and transcribed by Cor Snabel & Liz Johnson, published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission May 2007.

    Preface: On the 1st of September 1640, the ship Gelderlandt sailed from Texel on a diplomatic mission to the King of Morocco. On board were the Dutch Ambassador Anthonie de Liedekerke, Lijsbeth Jans with her brother-in-law Jacob Arissen, and the painter Adriaen Matham.

    The 1640-41 diplomatic mission to Morocco was made in order to renew the Dutch alliance with Morocco, and to effect the release of some fifty men who had been employed aboard the ship Erasmus van Rotterdam. This ship had stranded off the coast of Morocco near Agadir in May 1638, and her crew had been enslaved there.

    By 1640, funds had been raised for ransom, and Admiral Liedekerke was delegated to negotiate their ransom and release. Jan Janszoon assisted with this dual mission by making certain arrangements with his Moroccan associates for Liedekerke. Adriaen Matham, along with another artist, were sent along on this mission, possibly to make observations about the geography of countries they passed, and to record observations about the persons with whom they came in contact.

    View the names of the slaves (ordinary Dutchmen) who sailed with the ship Erasmus van Rotterdam on 17th April 1638 in the service of the West India Company

    June 21, 2007

    Black Sheep, Good Sheep

    On June 19, 2007 the Globe and Mail "Family and Relationship" section featured the genealogy website of Tyler Schulze. Tyler is a communications specialist for the Department of Defence and has served in Afghanistan. You can find his website Blacksheep Ancestors here.

    Tyler is the son of Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy so it seems that love of genealogy is a genetic trait

    by Patrick White in Tuesday's Globe and Mail June 19, 2007 at 9:20 AM EDT

    He may have killed two wives, but your great-great-great-grandfather is no longer a pariah. Amateur genealogists are tapping into online databases to shine a light on the less desirable ancestors from our pasts. Finding an outlaw in the family is much cooler than discovering your great-uncle was a farmer

    Even by criminal standards, Albert Bradt, a 17th-century outlaw who lived in present-day New York, was a genuine scoundrel. Marking his lengthy rap sheet are charges for knifing a neighbour and burning down a house with his two sons inside.

    Read the rest of this article Black Sheep, Good Sheep

    June 18, 2007

    Passenger Lists Scotland to New York 1823-1829 online

    More Scottish Passengers Lists have been added to Olive Tree Genealogy.

    These are partial lists, gathered from the names of those admitted to the New York Almshouse before 1830. The New York Almshouse records give details of the ship name, port of departure and place of origin of each individual (as well as the standard date of admission, age and so on)

    This is part of an ongoing project to extract the names of passengers on board ships sailing from Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany and France, to New York. See Ships to New York 1800-1824

    The following ships are now online:

    * Ships Passenger List of Ship Comet Sailing from Greenock Scotland for New York before September 1823
    * Ships Passenger List of ship Friends sailing from Greenock Scotland arriving New York before May 1824
    * Ships Passenger List of Ship Camillus Sailing for New York from Greenock Scotland before February 1826
    * Ships Passenger List of Ship Richmond Sailing from Greenock Scotland for New York before September 1826
    * Ships Passenger List of Ship Franklin sailing from Greenock Scotland arriving New York 15 April 1826
    * Passenger List of Ship Eliza Sailing from Dundee Scotland for New York before December 1827
    * Ships Passenger List of ship Tom sailing from Greenock Scotland arriving New York 2 July 1827
    * Ships Passenger List of Ship Hero sailing from Greenock Scotland arriving New York 19 May 1828
    * Ships Passenger List of ship Roger Stewart sailing from Greenock Scotland arriving New York 9 June 1828
    * Ships Passenger List of Ship Superior sailing from Greenock Scotland arriving New York 25 September 1828
    * Ships Passenger List of Brok or Brooke sailing from Greenock Scotland arriving New York 29 August 1829

    June 17, 2007

    NEW passenger lists ships Ireland to New York online

    27 Ships Passenger Lists Sailing from Ireland to New York have been added to the current ships passenger lists online at Olive Tree Genealogy.

    These are partial lists, gathered from the names of those admitted to the New York Almshouse before 1830. The New York Almshouse records give details of the ship name, port of departure and place of origin of each individual (as well as the standard date of admission, age and so on)

    This is part of an ongoing project to extract the names of passengers on board ships sailing from Canada, Scotland,Ireland, England, Germany and France, to New York. See Ships to New York 1800-1824 and 1825-1849
    or choose Ships From Ireland 1825-1830

    The following ships lists were added today:

    * Ship Otis from Dublin Ireland before November 1819

    * Ship Ontario from Dublin Ireland before Oct. 1819

    * Ship Prince from Dublin Ireland before July 1821

    * Ship John & Adam from Cork Ireland before July 1823

    * Ship Schuykill from Cork Ireland before August 1825

    * Ship William from Cork Ireland 21 May 1825

    * Ship Laurel from Dublin Ireland before March 1826

    * Ship Lord Strangford from Dublin Ireland before August 1826

    * Ship Louisa from Belfast Ireland 20 July 1826

    * Ship Wilson from Cork Ireland before March 1826

    * Ship Ganges from Cork Ireland before September 1826

    * Ship Henry from Cork Ireland before November 1826

    * Ship Dianna from Cork Ireland 1 May 1826

    * Ship Liverpool from Cork Ireland before January 1827

    * Ship Union from Cork Ireland before September 1827

    * Ship Trio from Cork Ireland before October 1827

    * Ship Hope from Galway Ireland before April 1827

    * Ship Marcella from Galway Ireland 18 May 1827

    * Amanda from Galway Ireland 23 May 1827

    * Ship Jubilee from Galway Ireland before October 1827

    * Ship Newry from Newry Ireland 11 July 1827

    * Ship Mary from Dublin Ireland before June 1827

    * Ship New England from Dublin Ireland before September 1827

    * Ship Thomas from Dublin Ireland before January 1828

    * Ship Hibernia from Dublin Ireland January 25, 1828

    * Ship Dublin Packet from Cork Ireland before October 1828

    * Ship Othello from Dublin, Ireland before 1829

    June 8, 2007

    Ships Passenger Lists From Canada to New York 1819-1855

    There are no archived Ships Passenger Lists for ships sailing from ports in Canada to USA. However some partial lists do exist. These can be found in the Almshouse Records of New York City from 1819-1855.

    These records indicate for each person admitted to the Almshouse the name of the ship they sailed on, the port of departure and a year of admission. Sometimes an exact date of arrival is noted. The Almshouse records from 1819-1855 include Age, Place of Birth, Ship Name, Where From, Captain's Name and Owner's Name.

    For individuals recorded in Almshouse Records 1855-1858 the information includes ship name, date of sailing, and ports of departure and arrival.

    Ships From Canada to New York Project is underway to organize the names by ship name and port of departure. Check back often as this project is updated frequently.

    June 6, 2007

    Filling in the Gaps: Partial Ships Passenger Lists 1850-1857

    Olive Tree Genealogy added more free data in June to help you find your ancestors:

    * Added Filling in the Gaps: Partial Ships Passenger Lists 1850-1857 with Names of Individuals in the New York Almshouse who arrived in Canada before going on to New York (includes name of ship, date of arrival and more)

    51 ships arriving in Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were added today. The individuals listed were admitted to the New York Almshouse where they gave details of their immigration. Most were from Ireland, some were from England.

    June 4, 2007

    Canadian Ships Passenger Lists 1865-1935 to be Digitized & Indexed

    Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and will focus on indexing the Quebec City passenger lists from 1870 - 1900, which comprise more than 750,000 names. The digital images of these and other Canadian ships passenger lists are already available on the LAC website but can only be searched by ship name or date of arrival. There is currently no nominal index

    The index for Quebec City will be available free of charge on LAC as well as on LAC and will continue to work together to ensure that eventually the entire Canadian passenger list collection from 1865 to 1935, which includes ports in Halifax, St. John, Vancouver, Victoria and North Sydney, is digitized and indexed.

    Canada has a rich heritage of immigration and ethnicities such as French, English, Irish, Scottish, Russian, Italian and Chinese. Passenger list records reveal significant information such as the name, age, country of origin, occupation and destination of each passenger, retelling remarkable stories of sacrifice and success that embody Canada's immigrant ancestors. The records also account for other travelers such as crew members, vacationers, business people and more.

    In addition to the Canadian passenger list collection, later this year and LAC will also make available border crossings records from the United States to Canada that took place between 1908 and 1935, and other Canadian immigration forms later this year.

    These additions will add to's current online Canadian Border Crossing Collection, which already includes more than 4 million names of individuals who crossed the Canadian-U.S. border between 1895 and 1956.

    For more Canadian Passenger List Resources, visit Olive Tree Genealogyand Ships Lists Online

    May 31, 2007

    Civil War NARA Records Available online

    Through its partnership with the National Archives (NARA) has been able to digitize and index records including Confederate Soldiers Service Records, the Southern Claims Commission Records, and the Lincoln Assassination Trial Papers. Each of these titles features information and details that few have had the opportunity to view. brings to life these stories within millions of original Civil War documents, most of which have never been available before on the internet.

    Footnote plans to eventually create the largest Civil War community on the web with additional options. Visitors to are encouraged to highlight and discuss what they’ve found. Members are also able to upload their own photos and documents and create their own footnotes by annotating and commenting on the records.

    May 23, 2007

    Milwaukee County Wisconsin Almshouse & Poor Farm Cemeteries List of Burials

    The Milwaukee County Farm Cemetery (a.k.a. Potter's Field) was used during the years 1872-1974. This cemetery was used for the poorhouse inmates and also for burial of other indigent people and transients for whom no funds were available for burial.

    There are nearly 6,400 names in the burial register book the names of the deceased and these are now online starting in 1872 at Milwaukee County Wisconsin Almshouse & Poor Farm Cemeteries List of Burials

    Search other Almshouse records for Canada, USA & England on Olive Tree Genealogy

    May 20, 2007

    Getting Real with Naming Patterns

    I've been following some genealogy discussions on mailing lists recently and noticed that many genealogists fall into the trap of taking sides on a question - sides that are emphatically one way or another, with no middle ground or room for a "Maybe...."

    One of the discussions started over a seemingly simple question -- were there naming patterns for children in the 1800s in [fill in blank with any country].

    Subscribers began to jump in with their opinions - all either YES or NO with reasons or rationale or examples to support their YES or NO stance.

    But no one jumped in with "MAYBE.... SOMETIMES... YES BUT...."

    Let's get real! Naming patterns existed.

    Were they identical in all cultures? No

    Were they identical in all centuries? No.

    Were they always used? No.

    It's easy to forget that our ancestors were living breathing people, just as we are. They fought, they loved, they cried, they laughed, they had good days, they had bad days, and so on.

    Even if there are established naming patterns that are used 99.9% of the time (as is the case with the Dutch who settled New Netherland, now New York in 1600s) --- as researchers we must keep an open mind as to whether or not the customs might not have been followed

    Maybe *your* ancestor fought with his father or mother and vowed to never name a child after him or her.

    Maybe *your* ancestor was a free spirit and loved the name Lancelot even though the first born male in her family had been called James for the last 10 generations

    Maybe your ancestor wanted to cozy up to his rich great uncle so he named his first born son after that person instead of his father.... and gave his second born his father's name.

    If you find 7 children in a family and 6 are named after known family members (paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles...) then there is a good chance that the 7th was also named after a family member - but it's not guaranteed, they might have named that child after a good friend - or an important contemporary person or a benefector.

    On the opposite side of the fence, you may be trying to find parents' names. You spot what looks like a naming pattern of children which fits with the parents you are fairly confident are the correct parents. But one parent's name is missing from the pattern... That's not the time to toss out your theory! There may be a missing child, one whose existence you aren't aware of, or who died. And that child may be the missing link, named after that one parent who is missing from the pattern.

    So, use Naming Patterns as a guide. That's all it is, it is not a set of rules set in stone

    May 15, 2007

    Revolutionary War Pension Files To be Released by Teaming with FamilySearch

    Today, announced an agreement with FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch is the world’s largest repository of genealogical information.

    This new partnership brings together two organizations that will utilize their combined resources to digitize and make available many large historical collections. The first project will be the three million U.S. Revolutionary War Pension files which will be published for the first time online in their entirety.

    The Revolutionary War Pension Files feature original records that include muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns and other miscellaneous personnel pay and supply records of American Army Units from 1775-1783. They provide a wealth of new information for historians and genealogists which they can share with other colleagues and family members.

    May 14, 2007

    Declarations of Intent, New York, Justice's Court, Albany, New York Index to Books 4-6 1837-1843

    Just wanted to let everyone know that I've completed the transcription project for Declarations of Intent, New York 1827-1895, Justice's Court, Albany, New York Index to Book 4, 5 & 6 (1837-1843)

    This adds just over 2,800 new names to the original set of records previously online. Surnames A-Z are now complete, except for B which is missing starts Surname A, just scroll down to choose another surname letter

    May 7, 2007

    Ships Passenger Lists to Canada Before 1865

    © Lorine McGinnis Schulze of (Article may be republished or distributed in its entirety providing this header, all URLs and copyright notice are left intact)

    There are no comprehensive lists of immigrants arriving in Canada prior to 1865. Until that year, shipping companies were not required by the government to keep their passenger manifests.

    There are individual projects and databases online that may be of help in your search

    Shipping Company & Customs Agents Records

    There are a few surviving passenger lists which were kept by shipping agents in the originating country. The Passenger Books of J & J Cooke, Shipping Agents gives sailings from Londonderry to Quebec and St. John New Brunswick from 1847 to 1871. These are online at

    St. Lawrence Steamboat Co. Passenger Records 1819-1836 at

    The Hawke Papers, letterbooks of Chief Emigrant Agent Anthony B. Hawke are also available at the Archives of Ontario. They cover the years 1831 to 1892. See the
    searchable database for years 1865 - 1883 at

    Names of Emigrants from the 1845-1847 Records of James Allison, Emigrant Agent at Montreal is online at This an index only but if you find a name of interest you can consult the published book

    There is also the Return of Emigrants Landed at the Port of Kingston Ontario, Canada 1861-1882 which gives the final
    destination of the individuals, their date of arrival at Kingston and more. It is found at

    Immigration Projects Online

    Ships passenger lists for Peter Robinson Settlers sailing 1825 Ireland to Canada are online at
    Petworth Immigrants 1832-1837 at

    Emigrants from England in New York City Almshouse 1818-1830
    - 254 names of English immigrants to Canada & USA including the name of the ship they sailed on at

    If you are looking for Irish ancestors, you may want to search the online database Irish Immigrants at Grosse-Île at This database has information on 33,026 immigrants whose names appear in surviving records of the Grosse-Île Quarantine Station between 1832 and 1937.

    Search Engines

    There are search engines to search multiple websites for
    ships going to Canada at
    They include most ships lists on the Internet going to Canada and the online InGeneas databases for immigration to Canada 1800s

    New Brunswick Arrivals

    The Saint John Customs House Passenger Lists 1815, 1832,1833-1834 & 1837-1838 are the only known surviving listsfrom this time period. Some can be found online at Most of the Customs House records were lost in 1877 in the Great Fire of Saint John. Famine lists from 1845-1850 appear also to have been lost.

    Mailing Lists

    There is a mailing list called CAN-SHIPSLISTS-PRE1865-L for queries and discussion involving immigration to Canada before 1865. You can subscribe from this page

    Newspaper Arrivals

    TheShipsList website has Quebec ship arrivals extracted from contemporary newspapers.

    Library & Archives Canada Holdings

    There are a few ship passengerlists pertaining to British-subsidized immigration schemes for the period 1817-1831 and these are available from the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa.

    The Miscellaneous Immigration Index is a nominal card index to some of those records and it is available for consultation in the NAC Reference Room. It relates mostly to immigrants from the British Isles to Quebec and Ontario between the years 1801 and 1849. The Miscellaneous Immigration Index has been put into a database, which you can consult on the InGeneas web site.

    For immigrants from France, the NAC holds scattered records for the years 1732 and 1749 to 1760. Microfilm copies of these lists are available through ILL - ask your local library for help. You can also consult the NAC microfilm shelf-list for reel numbers.

    Miscellaneous Websites with Immigration Information on Shipsto Canada

    Immigrants to Canada

    The Ships List

    Ships Passenger Lists Online

    Finding Ships Passenger Lists to Canada

    Ships Passenger Lists to Canada 1400-1930