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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.