Discover your inside story with AncestryDNA®

December 18, 2009

All Saints' Anglican Church destroyed by fire

All Saints' Anglican Church in Whitby, Ontario was destroyed by fire a few days ago. This church was founded in 1864 and has been in use since that time.

Investigators think that the fire may have been set deliberately and when I read this all I could think about was the church records. Were the church registers of baptisms, marriages and burials or deaths destroyed? Are they safe?

No one was hurt in the fire (a blessing) but it's a tragedy and hopefully the guilty culprits will be found and punished to the fullest extent of the law

December 16, 2009

Ask Olive Tree Genealogy a Question

Do you need help finding an ancestor? Do you have a genealogy question you would like to ask me? Do you want to know where to find certain genealogy records? Let Lorine help! Every day I will choose one question to answer. Send your query about your ancestors to me then check back here to see if it has been answered. Please take a few minutes to read other queries that I've responded to so you get an idea of the kind of query most apt to be chosen.

Here are a few of the December 2009 queries asked and answered on Ask Olive Tree

* Searching for a Portuguese Ancestor
* Obtaining New York Vital Statistic Records
* Finding an ancestor with an unusual surname
* Don't Trust Family Lore as Absolute Fact
* Writing a Good Query
* Finding Genealogy Records in Russia
* Finding a Swedish Ancestor on a Ships Passenger List
* Be sure to gather all data before you jump ahead in genealogy research
* Finding an Ancestor in 1910 Census using City Directories
* Finding an Ancestor's Death Record
* Searching for American Legion Inventory of Military Graves
* Using National Archives UK to find Australian Ancestor

Submit your genealogy challenge to

December 15, 2009

St, George Utah Family History Expo

Don't miss the 6th Annual St. George Family History Expo February 26-27, 2010 in St. George Utah.

This Family History Expo is your chance to learn about your family origins

December 14, 2009

Two Genealogy Subscriptions for One! & World Vital Records have a great offer this Christmas Season. Subscriptions to both for the price of one!

Give a gift of genealogy to yourself or a loved one by signing up for this special buy one, get subscriptions to both websites and their wonderful genealogy data.

December 12, 2009

Form 30 Border Crossings 1919-1924 at Library & Archives Canada

New - Microform Digitization of Border Crossings at LAC (Library & Archives Canada)

Form 30, Border Entry Records, 1919-1924

These records are not indexed at the LAC. According to LAC "The records were microfilmed in quasi-alphabetical order and the digitized images for Forms 30A (Archived) can be searched in that order in Digitized Microforms (Archived).

You can also search the INDEX to these records on

December 11, 2009

1839 Petworth Emigrants Ships Passenger List

Thank you to Brenda Dougall Merriman for the following announcement

Colonel George Wyndham was the son of the third Earl of Egremont who was instrumental in the large Petworth Emigration of 1832-1837 to Canada from southeast England.

Wyndham also sponsored emigrations from his estates in Ireland, but only the first was conducted under similar care and conditions as those of his father. Now, historian Wendy Cameron has uncovered a list of that first group sent from Ireland in 1839 on the ship Waterloo. The list includes names, ages, family members, and their locations in January 1840. The names of most towns and townships are in the old
Newcastle District of Upper Canada, but some went on to the United States.

For more information, please visit our Petworth Emigrations website. We also have a group presence on Facebook called Petworth Emigrants.

December 10, 2009

Arizona Family History Expo

Don't miss the 2nd Annual Arizona Family History Expo January 22-23, 2010 in Mesa Arizona

Family History Expos are opportunities to learn about the techniques and technology available to trace your family origins

December 8, 2009

Sharing Memories: A Genealogy Journey (Week 1)

A few months ago I talked about Memory Books and Genealogy Journal writing

It's important as genealogists that we not forget about writing our own story. Yes, we all want to find information on our ancestors and once we find it, most of us will put it in booklet form to share with other family members. But what about our own memories? We may think writing about ourselves is boring or egotistical but stop and think how excited you would be if you found a journal or memoirs that your great great grandmother kept!

I began my Life Story last year. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I started with my first memory and tried to keep my journal chronological. It was a matter of writing down my memories of each year of my life - or so I thought! That soon proved to be very difficult. I got confused - had I written about my mother falling on the ice her first time skating? Or my father dressing up as Santa then giving out the wrong presents? I simply could not recall what I had already written and what was a memory that had just surfaced.

So after months of mulling this over I've decided on a new method of writing my own life story. This new method will keep me on track, and will help get rid of confusion - did I or didn't I already talk about an event.

I will write about my memories of the past - memories of my family (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings), memories of special events, stories told by my parents or grandparents, my time at school, as a child, a teenager, an adult, newly married - in short it will be my life story but broken into events (topics) rather than chronological.

My hope is that my readers will follow along with me on this genealogy journey. I invite you to start your own journal and write along with me day by day, week by week and month by month. I will share some of my stories as I go along, and it would be wonderful if readers shared theirs too by using the comment feature on this blog, or by posting to your own blog.

I'll be writing my journal using various topics as a guideline, and I'll keep my journal for that week following the topic guidelines. A weekly topic will keep us writing daily in order to complete the topic by the end of the week!

A few suggestions are

* Buy a good book to keep your Life Memories in. I write in leather bound journals from Iona Handcrafted books, simply because I like how they feel and look important! They look like something that won't be tossed in the trash 50 years from now. That's important because I"m writing my memories for my descendants - children, grandchildren, great grandchildren not yet born. So I don't want to write in something that could easily be discarded in the future simply because it doesn't look worth saving

* Combine facts (where you went to school, names of teachers, where you lived) as well as emotions - happy and sad. Remember these are your memories so it's up to you to decide what you want to share. But don't overlook the sad moments too.

* Stay focused on the topic but jot down other memories that pop into your head as you are writing. You will be amazed at what memories surface as you are putting your thoughts down on paper. You can add those jot notes later when we get to a topic that fits.

* Don't type your memories - writing them by hand gives your descendants a sense of YOU - your style, your emotions. Handwriting is a reflection of our personality.

* choose a daily time period to write. If you can get in the habit of writing at the same time each day, you will find your journal writing flows more easily. Write early morning with your cup of tea or coffee. Write just as you are going bed or after supper when the children have gone to bed. Whatever is a good quiet time for you. I try to set aside 30 minutes each day. I don't always write for that 30 minutes, sometimes all I manage is 5 or 10! But that's okay.

I'm going to begin my Sharing Memories Journal this month with a topic suitable for the season, so drop back tomorrow to see what topic I've chosen to start my Genealogy Journal. Hopefully you will join me to begin recording and saving your own precious memories of your life to date.

To find all our Sharing Memories Topics, just click on the SHARING MEMORIES label in the right side bar of this blog or on the SHARING MEMORIES label of this post

December 7, 2009

WW11 Collection FREE on in December

Exciting news from Footnote.comicon!


-Footnote.comicon Opens Their WWII Collection Free To The Public During December-

Lindon, UT – December 7, 2009 – In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, Footnote.comicon announced today that they will make the largest interactive WWII collection on the web including the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial free to the public during December. Featuring over 10 million records, documents and photos from the National Archives, this collection helps family members and historians better understand the people and events of WWII.

Included in this exclusive collection is the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial. This online version allows people to view the actual wall of names and search for those they know. An interactive box for each name on the wall features additional information about each veteran and includes a place where anyone can contribute photos and stories. View the Captain of the USS Arizona, Franklin Van Valkenburgh, on the interactive wall.

It’s estimated that a little over 2 million WWII veterans are still alive in the United States today. However, thousands of veterans are passing away every month taking with them many of the stories from WWII. is making an effort to help preserve these stories by digitizing documents from the National Archives and providing interactive tools to help people connect with each other.

Christina Knoedler from Pennsylvania used the Missing Air Crew Reports on Footnote.comicon to discover information about her father-in-law, who is a WWII veteran. “The other night, I showed him what I had found,” explains Christina. “He couldn’t believe that these papers existed. They had not only his name but also his buddies’ names. He started to reminisce and it was quite an evening. This will allow me to go back and document many more events in our family’s history for the generations to come.”

The Missing Air Crew Reports are just one of the record collections found on Other WWII collections on Footnote.comicon include:

Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls
U.S. Air Force Photos
Submarine Patrol Reports
Japanese Air Target Analysis
Army JAG Case Files
Navy JAG Case Files
Naval Press Clippings
Allied Military Conferences
Holocaust Records

December 6, 2009

Sullivan Co. Tennessee Genealogy Database

The Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism announces its newest addition of the Lane Genealogical Research Database to its Special Collections.

Donald W. Lane, Ph.D., has donated his research database containing names and genealogical information on approximately 350,000 individuals and over 139,000 families primarily from the East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region.

The following family names are found in the database: Allen, Alley, Anderson, Arnold, Babb, Bailey, Baker, Baldwin, Ball, Barker, Barnes, Barnett(e), Begley, Bellamy, Berry, Bishop, Blair, Bledsoe, Blevins, Bowen, Brickey, Brown, Burke, Campbell, Carter, Castle, Childress, Christian, Clark, Cole, Collins, Compton, Combs, Cox, Crawford, Cross, Culbertson, Darnell, Davidson, Davis, Dean, Dingus, Dockery, Dougherty, Edwards, Elliott, Estep, Fields, Flanary/Flannery, Fleenor, Fletcher, Ford, Frazier, Gibson, Gillenwater, Gilliam, Graham, Gray, Hale, Hall, Hamilton, Hammond(s), Harris, Hensley, Herron, Hicks, Hill, Hillman, Hilton, Hood, Horne, Horton, Jennings, Jessee, Johnson, Jones, Ketron, Kilgore, Lane, Lawson, Light, McClellan, McConnell, McDavid, McMurray, Meade, Miller, Moody, Moore, Mullins, Nickels, Osborn(e), Owens, Pendleton, Penley, Pennington, Peters, Phillips, Pierson, Porter, Powers, Price, Quillen/Quillin, Ramey, Reed, Rhoton, Roberts, Robinette, Robinson, Rogers, Roller, Salyer, Sanders, Shelton, Smith, Stallard, Stanley, Stapleton, Starnes, Stewart, Strong, Taylor, Templeton, Thompson, Tipton, Vaughn, Walker, Webb, Wells, White, Williams, Wilson, Wolfe, Wood.

The database is available Monday to Friday at the Sullivan County Department of Archives and Tourism. Visit the website for more information or to find out what other genealogy items are held at the Archives.

December 5, 2009

Richard Pence, 1932-2009

Richard Pence was a long-time member of NGS who contributed his many talents to the organization, especially in the early days of computer genealogy. We are saddened to learn of his recent death. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Conference Center located at 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203 Source: Upfront with NGS.

Read Richard Pence's obituary

December 4, 2009


Lorine is back - and I hope to be blogging on a daily basis SOON!

Surgery was successful, I spent 4 days in hospital and am home but very very tired. Sitting at my beloved computer is not something I can do for long periods, but every day I get a little stronger.

Thanks for my readers' patience, and I will be back on a more regular schedule as soon as I can.

I hope your genealogy hunting has been successful while I've been offline and I'll scout around to find out what's new in the online genealogy world ASAP.

December 1, 2009

NGS Research Trip to Salt Lake City, 24-31 January 2010

The National Genealogical Society is sponsoring a research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for the last week of January 2010. This is the eleventh year for this educational event, and it will be co-led by Shirley Langdon Wilcox, CG, FNGS, and Marie Varrelman Melchiori, CG, CGL.

The trip package price includes seven nights at the Salt Lake City Plaza Hotel, located next door to the Library. The Plaza is ideally located with access to the library, shopping malls and restaurants. Also included in the price are an informal reception on Sunday evening, pizza on Wednesday, and a last night dinner. Other meals are at your own expense, and airfare and personal expenses are not included. Complete details at

November 30, 2009

1921 Canadian Census Possible Release Date 2013

There have been many questions on mailing lists recently about the Canadian 1921 census release date. It appears we will have to wait until 2013 because according to Library and Archives Canada

Census returns after 1916 are in the custody of Statistics Canada, not Library and Archives Canada. The records are closed under the Statistics Act and the Act to Amend the Statistics Act.

The legislation does not permit the disclosure of personal information from post-1916census returns. Under the legislation, when 92 calendar years have elapsed since the taking of a census, those records will be opened for public use and transferred to Library and Archives Canada.

November 29, 2009

Reminder to Readers

Just a reminder to readers ---

On Monday Nov. 23rd I posted this announcement:

This post is a little different from my usual blog postings. I wanted to let readers know that tomorrow morning I am going for surgery and expect to be in hospital for about one week.

I've set up a few blog posts to publish automatically while I'm in hospital, but please be aware that for the next week or two, there will be fewer postings than usual.

As soon as I am able, I'll be back up and at it, and will resume daily genealogy articles, tips and announcements.

I'm still not available to write for the blog so please bear with me!

November 28, 2009

South Davis Regional Family History Fair

The South Davis Regional Family History Fair is one of Utah's largest and best genealogy fairs. The fair is held annually at Bountiful High School. The date of the next fair will be:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The South Davis Regional Family History Center
3350 South 100 East
Bountiful, Utah 84010
(801) 299-4239

For more information, see:

November 27, 2009

25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour

Do You Want to Make Gigantic Leaps in Locating Your Ancestors?

Do you have brick-wall problems in your genealogy research?

If so - plan on joining the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library this December.

Why December? Early December is an ideal time to come to the Family History Library. The library isn't crowded, as it is at other times of the year. The festivities in Salt Lake City are underway and the Christmas Tour Family is waiting with open arms for you to join them.

By joining us in Salt Lake City on a Salt Lake Christmas Tour, you will be in the right place - at the right time - to locate more ancestors than you may have ever found before.

Details and Registration Form (PDF)

November 26, 2009

Lorine is doing great

Hi All. This is Lorines hubby. Lorine is doing great and they are sending her home tomorrow. I thing she will be back bloging in no time :)

2010 OGS Family History Writing Contest

Do you have a great story about your family? Any stories of struggles, immigration, or “black sheep”? That story may be a winner.
Why not share it in 2500 words or less.

The Oklahoma Genealogical Society’s (OGS) Family History Writing Contest provides the
opportunity for researchers to share special family stories with fellow genealogists. The stories may be historically or ethnically important, humorous, or just plain interesting. Writing a family history story will preserve that precious memory and history for descendants.

There is no entry fee for the contest, and membership in OGS is not required although dues are a low $20 per calendar year for an individual or $25 for family memberships at the same address. Meetings are held the first Monday of each month at the Oklahoma History Center, with a speaker on some area of interest to genealogists. Members receive the OGS Quarterly and are invited to submit free queries as well as receiving a discount on workshops, seminars and other events.


All family historians and genealogists, except OGS Board members, are invited to submit their favorite story for the contest. There is no entry fee and membership in OGS is not required.

There will be two divisions: Adult and Student. If enough entries are received, the student category will be divided into elementary and high school divisions.

Stories must be typed in a standard font (not italic or script), double-spaced on one side of standard letter-size 8.5" x 11" paper, which prints about 250 words per page. Entries must be a maximum of 2500 words, plus attachments.

Story title and page number must be shown in upper right corner of each page.

The entry form includes the story title, your name, your mailing address, email address and phone, approximate word count, and whether entering the Adult or Student category. The entry form will be used to identify and notify the winners when manuscripts are returned from judging.

Indicate that you have researched the events by citing your sources as footnotes or endnotes, and attach copies (not originals) of the documentation, which is not included in word count.

Family group sheets and pedigree charts should be included if pertinent (also not included in word count)

Stories must be original and unpublished at time of entry.

Include a Stamped Self Addressed Envelope (SASE) if you wish your manuscript and the judge’s comments (if any) to be returned to you.

Submit entry form with four (4) copies of your story at the December, January or February OGS meeting registration desk, or by US mail postmarked by January 30, 2010 (sooner is better) to:
OGS Family History Writing Contest
P. O. Box 12986
Oklahoma City, OK 73157

For full details and a downloadable entry form, visit the Oklahoma Genealogical Society’s web site at

November 25, 2009

NARA Workshop in Waltham Massachusetts

The National Archives in Waltham Massachusetts is offering a free public workshop, "Census, Passenger Lists, & Naturalization Records" on Dec. 1 at 2:00 p.m. This workshop will teach researchers how to utilize the free public records at the site to research their family histories.

It is geared to both novice and experienced family historians.

The National Archives in Waltham is one of 14 regional facilities where the public has access to Federal archival records.

To register for the workshop, send an email to

November 23, 2009

Lorine will be away for a bit.....

This post is a little different from my usual blog postings. I wanted to let readers know that tomorrow morning I am going for surgery and expect to be in hospital for about one week.

I've set up a few blog posts to publish automatically while I'm in hospital, but please be aware that for the next week or two, there will be fewer postings than usual.

As soon as I am able, I'll be back up and at it, and will resume daily genealogy articles, tips and announcements.

November 21, 2009

Naturalization Records, the often overlooked way to find a Ships Passenger List

We all want to know where our ancestors came from. We want to know when they arrived in North America and when they became citizens. Naturalization and immigration records are the answer. Sometimes naturalization records for an ancestor are the only way to discover the family origins and that all-important ships passenger list.

Naturalization records can help you find the date of immigration, ship's passenger list, port of arrival, and the place of birth for your ancestor. Some naturalization records include occupations, names and ages of minor children, names and birth dates and places of spouses --- and more! has searchable Naturalization Recordsicon from NARA (National Archives).

There is a wealth of genealogical information just waiting for you in your search for an ancestor. The following examples of various American Naturalization Documents shows you what type of information you might find. You can view these actual American Naturalization Record Documents at website

* 1795 Petition for Naturalization for Patrick Ryan in Pennsylvania
* 1906 Petition for Naturalization for Christopher Alt in Baltimore Maryland. Gives occupation, date and place of birth, date of immigration, port of departure and port of arrival, names of children plus dates and locations of births
* 1912 Petition for Naturalization for Jacob Imfang of Pittsburg Pennsylvania. Gives occupation, date and place of birth, date of immigration, port of departure and port of arrival, name of spouse, names of children plus dates and locations of births
* 1880 Naturalization Certificate includes name, age, country of origin
* 1891 Naturalization Certificate with name, date, country of origin
* 1922 Naturalization Certificate with name, age, physical description, wife's name, children's names and ages, country of origin
* 1925 Naturalization Certificate with name, age, physical description, wife's name, children's names and ages, current address, country of origin
* 1941 Naturalization Certificate with photo, name, age, physical description, marital status, country of origin, current address
* 1832 Declaration of Intent includes name, birthplace, age, settlement location
* 1846 Declaration of Intent for Daniel Stinger. Provides name of ancestor, current residence, age, country of origin,
* 1895 Declaration of Intent for Thomas Jones. Gives name, age, occupation, place and date of birth, physical description, current residence, name of ship sailed on, date of immigration, port of departure, port of arrival, last residence, marital status,
* 1937 Declaration of Intent for Pinchos aka Phillip Goldstein. Includes ancestor name, residence, occupation, physical description, race, nationality, place of birth, date of birth, name of spouse, place and date of marriage, Date and place of spouse's birth, year and port of immigration of spouse, current residence of spouse, number and names of children, location and dates of birth of children, year of immigration of ancestor, name of ship sailed on, port of departure, port of arrival, previous residence, actual name at immigration, and photograph

November 19, 2009


-Original records dating back to early 1700s become available on the Internet for the first time-

Lindon, UT – November 19, 2009 – Footnote.comicon announced today the release of their latest interactive collection of historical records: the Native American collection. Working together with the National Archives and Allen County Library, has created a unique collection that will help people discover new details about Native American history.

The Footnote Interactive Native American Collection features original historical documents including:

· Ratified Indian Treaties – dating back to 1722

· Indian Census Rolls – featuring personal information including age, place of residence and degree of Indian blood

· The Guion Miller Roll – perhaps the most important source of Cherokee genealogical research

· Dawes Packets – containing original applications for tribal enrollments

· And other documents relating to the Five Civilized Tribes

Footnote’s Native American microsite creates an interactive environment where members can search, annotate and add comments to the original documents. Additionally, visitors can view pages for many of the Native American tribes that include historical events on a timeline and map, a photo gallery, stories and comments added by the community.

“Much like putting a puzzle together, brings pieces together in the form of historical documents to create a more vibrant picture of the events and people of the past,” says Justin Schroepfer, Marketing Director at “Together with the online community we are discovering a side of history that you cannot find in text books.”

Footnote.comicon also provides a free service where visitors can create their own web pages for their Native American family. “Native Americans have a rich oral history,” explains Russ Wilding, CEO of “We hope that the online community will use Footnote Pages to preserve these stories, which will help ensure that they do not become lost to future generations.”

Visit the Native American Collection to see how Native American history has become an interactive experience.

November 17, 2009

January 11-15, 2010 – Salt Lake City, Utah

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) will be held at the downtown Radisson Hotel. The following courses are planned:

Course 1 = American Records and Research: Focusing on Families
Course 2 = Mid-Atlantic Research (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.)
Course 3 = Scottish Research
Course 4 = Central and Eastern European Research
Course 5 = Immigrant Origins
Course 6 = Computers and Technology
Course 7 = Advanced Genealogical Methods
Course 8 = Producing a Quality Narrative
Course 9 = American Land and Court Records
Course 10 = Problem Solving
Course 11 = Accreditation and Certification Preparation
Course 12 = U.S. Military

UGA Member SLIG Course Registration fees: $280 by 16 Nov 2009, thereafter $305.
Non-UGA Member SLIG Course Registration fees: $320 by 16 Nov 2009, thereafter $345.

For more information, see

November 16, 2009

Dutch American Heritage Day

Do you have Dutch ancestry? Dutch-American Heritage Day is on November 16. My Dutch ancestry can be seen on the New Netherland section of Olive Tree Genealogy website. New Netherland was owned by the Dutch, then sold to the English and became New York, so if your ancestors were early settlers in that State, you too may have Dutch ancestry.

Following is the official proclamation of President Bush, declaring November 16 1991 as Dutch-American heritage Day. Since that time November 16 has been celebrated by the US-Dutch community.

By the President of the United States of America, George Bush
A Proclamation

On November 16, 1776, a small American warship, the ANDREW DORIA, sailed into the harbor of the tiny Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies.

Continue reading at

November 15, 2009

Belgian Red Star Line Museum looking for emigrant photographs, memorabilia & stories

Between 1873 and 1934 the legendary shipping company Red Star Line transported more than two million passengers to . Poor European emigrants in search of the American Dream, but also affluent passengers travelling for business or pleasure left for . They departed from the city of Antwerp (Belgium, ), where the port warehouses of the Red Star Line were situated.

To this day those Red Star Line warehouses are preserved. For many passengers they represented the last stop on the European mainland. It was there that, just before their departure, the emigrants travelling in third class underwent a medical examination and were disinfected, while clerks scrutinized their documents.

The Red Star Line buildings are protected monuments. They are part of the communal memory of innumerous new Americans. They had long been standing empty and were pleading for a new purpose. In the spring of 2012 the new Red Star Line Museum | People on the Move will open its doors at this historic location. It will be a place of remembrance, experience, debate and research into international mobility, both past and present. The story of Red Star Line and its passengers will be brought to life once more.

Do you have any old Red Star Line items such as postcards, luggage, diaries or photos? Are there travel stories or objects preserved in the family archive? Maybe you too can contribute to the new museum collection. Send an e-mail to or call (+32)3 206 03 50. Perhaps your family item will find its way into the future museum… All tips are welcome!

More information at

November 12, 2009

Free US Military Records on Ancestry Until Nov. 13th

Press Release from Publishes for the First Time Online Collection of Twentieth-Century Navy Records

Site Celebrates Veterans Day with Free Access to Entire U.S. Military Records Collection

PROVO, UT (Nov. 11, 2009) – today added more than 600 Navy cruise books to its online collection of military records to commemorate Veterans Day. This historic effort is the result of an agreement between, the world’s largest online resource for family history, and the United States Navy. As part of the agreement, set up scanners on location at the Navy Department Library in Washington, DC, and has spent several months digitizing the cruise books for this occasion.

The collection of Navy cruise books, available exclusively online at, represents nearly 40 years of cruises following World War II (1950-1988) and chronicles an estimated 450,000 servicemen deployed at sea during that time. Styled after yearbooks, the cruise books include the names and photographs of individuals who served aboard the ship and highlight not only significant milestones that took place during the cruise, but also the day-to-day life on board ship. While not every Navy cruise was documented in a cruise book, the Navy Department Library has on file an estimated 3,500 cruise books, which plans to digitize and add to this collection over time.

“When approached the Navy about digitizing these cruise books for online access, we were thrilled,” said Captain Charles Todd Creekman, Jr., USN (Ret.) Executive Director of the Naval Historical Foundation. “A cruise book offers an insider’s perspective into what these sailors experienced, and the strong camaraderie they established, while serving their country at sea.”
The Navy cruise books are part of’s U.S. Military Collection, which includes 100 million names that span more than three centuries of American military service.

“When you have a family member who has served in the Armed Forces, you can’t help but be proud,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of “This Veterans Day, we’re celebrating America’s military heroes of yesterday and today and invite every American with military roots to see if they can learn something new about their family member on”

In honor of America’s military heroes, the entire U.S. Military Collection on can be searched free through Nov. 13.

November 11, 2009


Many of my family have served in the military. Today I remember and thank them:

My father cecil McGinnis was a Lieutenant in WW2.


His brother Clare also served in the Canadian Army.

My grandfather Charles Fuller was in the Buffs in Kent England.


My grandmother's brother Ernest Simpson was also in the Buffs and in the Canadian Army in WW1.


My other grandmother's brothers (photo is her youngest brother Philip Edgar Peer who was killed during WW1) all served in the Canadian Army


James Simpson, my great-grandfather's brother, served in WW1 in England


My son is currently in the Canadian Military.

November 10, 2009

African American Funeral Programs available 1933-2008

And another announcement from the Digital Library of Georgia!

The Digital Library of Georgia is pleased to announce the availability of a new online resource: African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library at

The African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library online collection consists of over one thousand funeral programs ranging from 1933 to 2008 (with the bulk of the collection beginning in the 1960s) from the Eula M. Ramsey Johnson Memorial Funeral Program Collection. A majority of the programs are from churches in Augusta, Georgia, and the surrounding area, with a few outliers in other states such as New York and Florida. The programs typically contain a photograph of the deceased, an obituary, a list of surviving relatives, and the order of service. The collection provides extensive genealogical information about the deceased, including birth and death dates, maiden names, names of relatives, past residences, and place of burial. Alongside this genealogical information, the obituaries provide a rich source of local history about African Americans. Many of the people included in this collection were prominent in their communities, and many were involved locally in the struggle for civil rights.

Additional digitization projects are currently underway and will be announced as they become available online at the Digital Library of Georgia. Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is an initiative of GALILEO, the state's virtual library.

The African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia in association with the East Central Georgia Regional Library as part of Georgia HomePLACE. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

For more information, please contact them at

November 9, 2009

Digital Library of Georgia brings 3 Georgia newspapers online!

Press Release follows

The Digital Library of Georgia is pleased to announce the free online availability of three historic Georgia newspapers: the Macon Telegraph Archive, the Columbus Enquirer Archive, and the Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive. Each extensive archive provides historic newspaper page images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date. Zooming and printing capabilities are provided for each page image (via a DjVu browser plug-in).

The Macon Telegraph Archive ( offers online access to weekly, daily, and semi-weekly issues under various titles spanning the years 1826 through 1908, and includes over 51,000 page images.

The Columbus Enquirer Archive ( provides online access to weekly, daily and tri-weekly issues under various titles spanning the years 1828 through 1890. The archive includes more than 32,000 page images.

The Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive ( offers online access to eleven historic newspaper titles spanning the years 1808 through 1920 (including the Civil War years when Milledgeville was the state capitol). The archive includes over 49,000 page images.

Additional newspaper digitization projects are currently underway and will be announced as they become available online at the Digital Library of Georgia. Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is an initiative of GALILEO, the state's virtual library.

The Columbus Enquirer Archive, Columbus Enquirer Archive, and Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive are projects of the Digital Library of Georgia as part of the Georgia HomePLACE initiative. The projects are supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

For more information, please contact us at

November 6, 2009

Updates from Newspaper Archive

One of the many things I like about is that you can get e-mail updates when new articles are added to the archive matching your search criteria.

I'm always searching for VOLLICK and FOLLICK anywhere, anytime in North America. So it's a challenge for me to remember what I've searched and where (and which individual!). So the email notification of new articles with my surnames of interest is a huge advantage and help to me in my genealogy hunt. is now adding content at a rate of more than 80,000 pages per day - that's roughly one page every second!

I couldn't possibly keep up with searching manually every single day and I'm loving this email notification benefit.


November 5, 2009

Expert Connect Services has a very interesting custom research tool called Expert Connect.

Expert Connect services Expert Connect Services consist of five ways to get help with your family history research.

* Record Pickup: Save yourself a cross-country trip. Hire a researcher in another state to visit a specific archive, collect the record you need and mail it to you.

* Local Photo: Get a picture of your grandmother's headstone without leaving your living room. Pay a genealogist who lives near her old hometown to snap the photo for you.

* Ask an Expert: Pose a research question to a panel of experts, but only pay for the most useful answer. Then proceed with your research on your own.

* Record Lookup: Hire a professional to verify a hunch you have about an ancestor. Rely on an expert to identify the document you need and track it down for you.

* Custom Research: Outsource an entire section of your family tree, or recruit a seasoned genealogist for a project that's beyond your experience or time availability.

This is a great idea for those who live far from needed records, or are stuck on a difficult ancestor or who just need guidance in what to do next.

October 30, 2009

Ah, the Good Ole Days!

When I started researching my genealogy it was sporadic, with years of non-genealogy in between spurts of frantic searching. But then I began researching in earnest in the days I refer to as B.I. (Before the Internet)

I was thinking about it this week. Do you remember B.I.? Before Windows. Before Cyndis List. Before Before this wonderful cyber world we know now.

I worked on my computer in DOS (remember, this was also B.W. - Before Windows), and joined a few BBS (Bulletin Board Services). I had to dial long distance from my home to the nearest big city to pick up the BBS.

It cost me a fortune in long-distance charges so I would dial in, download the BBS "mail" and log off. Then I'd read the messages offline, respond offline and dial in again to upload (post) my responses. There was a 4 to 5 day lag time between sending my messages and seeing responses.

Hard to imagine, but we still managed to get our genealogy research done! Snail mail was important, I would pore over queries in all the genealogy newsletters I received. Then I'd write to anyone who seemed to be looking for the same ancestors I was! I waited in anticipation day after day, anxious to see what the next day's mail would bring.

I look back on that as a very satisfying genealogy experience, there was something quite wonderful about the feeling you got when that huge package of material arrived in the mail from another researcher.

I miss that. Now I research online. Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of online research. I love the speed of finding ancestors online compared to snail mail and going out to libraries and archives.

But it's kind of like buying from E-Bay instead of going out to the antique store or junk store or flea market and experiencing that "aha!" moment when you spot a treasure buried under a pile of junk... There's a great deal of satisfaction in slogging through reel after reel of microfilm - unindexed microfilm - and finally spotting your ancestor's name!

Now when I get a package in the mail (which is infrequent as most items are scanned and sent via email), it is for material I already know is coming. I'm not complaining, it's all good and it's genealogy information I want and need BUT I don't have that same sense of wonderment or anticipation as I did back in the days of B.I.

I love the Internet. I would never want to return to B.I. But I would love to have the awe and excitement of snail mail anticipation back again. So my goal for 2010 is to find a way to rediscover the thrill of the hunt and I welcome any suggestions from readers on how to do this. Yes I want it all! I want the convenience and speed of online genealogy plus the thrill and anticipation of the good ole B.I. days.

October 29, 2009


Footnote.comicon to feature original documents from every publicly available U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1930

Lindon, UT – October 29, 2009 – Today Footnote.comiconannounced it will digitize and create a searchable database for all publicly available U.S. Federal Censuses ranging from the first U.S. Census taken in 1790 to the most current public census from 1930.

Through its partnership with The National Archives, will add more than 9.5 million images featuring over a half a billion names to its extensive online record collection.

“The census is the most heavily used body of records from the National Archives,” explains Cynthia Fox, Deputy Director at the National Archives. “In addition to names and ages, they are used to obtain dates for naturalizations and the year of immigration. This information can then be used to locate additional records.”

With over 60 million historical records already online, will use the U.S. Census records to tie content together, creating a pathway to discover additional records that previously have been difficult to find.

“We see the census as a highway leading back to the 18th century,” explains Russ Wilding, CEO of “This Census Highway provides off-ramps leading to additional records on the site such as naturalization records, historical newspapers, military records and more. Going forward, will continue to add valuable and unique collections that will enhance the census collection.”

To date, has already completed census collections from two key decades: 1930 and 1860. As more census decades are added to the site, visitors to can view the status for each decade and sign up for an email notification when more records are added to the site for a particular year.

In addition to making these records more accessible, is advancing the way people use the census by creating an interactive experience. Footnote Members can enrich the census records by adding their own contributions. For any person found in the census, users can:

* Add comments and insights about that person
* Upload and attach scanned photos or documents related to that person
* Generate a Footnote Page for any individual that features stories, a photo gallery, timeline and map
* Identify relatives found in the census by clicking the I’m Related button

“The most popular feature of our Interactive Census is the I’m Related button,” states Roger Bell, Senior Vice President of Product Development at “This provides an easy way for people to show relations and actually use the census records to make connections with others that may be related to the same person.” works with the National Archives and other organizations to add at least a million new documents and photos a month to the site. Since launching the site in January 2007, has digitized and added over 60 million original source records to the site, including records pertaining to the Holocaust, American Wars, Historical Newspapers and more.

“We will continue to move aggressively to add records to the site, specifically those that are requested by our members and others that are not otherwise available on the Internet,” said Wilding.

Visit Footnote.comicon to see how the census on can truly be an interactive experience.

October 28, 2009

Using Land Petitions to Learn about an Ancestor

Land records are very useful. Originally all land in Ontario belonged to the Crown. Although there were small areas of settlement in 1763 after the British took over,
major settlement of Upper Canada began in 1783 and utilized Crown Grants.

Most settlers bought land soon after arrival, although of course there were exceptions to this - some lived with family previously settled, others had no urgent need for land (a blacksmith didn't need land as urgently as a farmer for example)

There are many different types of land records, but the one I want to show today is the UCLP (Upper Canada Land Petitions) These are the actual Petitions for land which were submitted in Upper Canada (Ontario) . They frequently contain information about the petitioner and his or her family. Loyalists and discharged soldiers often mentioned the regiment in which they served.

The image below is an affidavit by an individual submitted as part of Albert Hainer's petition for land in the Niagara area of what is now Ontario in 1797. Affidavits were often submitted to strengthen a petitioner's claim that they were qualified to receive land under certain regulations. In this case, Albert was applying as a Loyalist and in right of his having married Catherine Vollick the daughter of a Loyalist. Albert had Robert Kerr, a well respected man in the community, write this affidavit on his behalf and it is found in the bundle of papers on file at the Ontario Archives for Albert Hainer's land petition.

Notice the variant spelling of the surname Vollick

This will certify that Albert Hainer, a Private in the late Corps of Rangers [Butler's Rangers] is married to Catharine Folluck, the daughter of Isaac Folluck, likewise a soldier in said Corps, and that she comes under the description fo a Loyalists Daughter, and entitled -- to U.E. [United Empire] and that -- Albert has now five children. Newark 14th May 1796

From this little piece of paper we learn that Albert Hainer was in Butler's Rangers so we can search the rosters for records of him. We learn that he is married to Catherine Folluck (Vollick) so we can look for a marriage record. We learn that Catherine's father is Isaac Vollick and that he too was in Butler's Rangers. We then learn that Albert and Catherine have 5 children as of May 1796 so we can try to determine the chldren's names and birth years. Lastly we see that Albert Hainer, and Isaac Vollick are Loyalists, and Catherine is a qualified DUE (Daughter of a Loyalist) so we can search for more Loyalist records on this family.

And remember, this is only one affidavit of all the papers in the bundle for Albert Hainer. Imagine what you might find for your ancestor in the Upper Canada Land Petitions.

Oompah, Oompah, Oom pah pah....

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is “Musical Instruments!”

Do you play a musical instrument or did one of your family members? What instrument did you or they play?

This Carnival seemed intriguing. I started thinking about my ancestors and realized I had no idea if any of them played a musical instrument! My father played harmonica, and I used to love sitting and listening to him. But did his parents or grandparents play anything? His grandfather whittled a wistle from a piece of wood and that whistle was passed on down in the family.

I figure that someone somwhere way back did play because I could hardly wait to get into High School so I could take Music and play in the High School Band. I'd been desperate for piano lessons since I was very little and a friend's mother taught me a few simple songs one week when I stayed at their home for a summer holiday. What a joy that was to me! But I never got to take those lessons as we were very poor and there simply was not any extra money for such things.

In High School I took French Horn. I wanted to play drums but that was only for the boys, so I opted for that shiny beautiful brass instrument. I have to admit I was somewhat disapponted as all the French Horns got to play was the alternate beat. Oomp. Pause. Oomp. Pause... and so on.

But I played for 6 years and was in the band. We travelled all over, won some competitions too. I can still remember the notes for some of the songs. In my last year, we made a record - an L.P. 33RPM. Wow, talk about dating myself! I still have the record!

I took guitar lessons - classical as well as folk, when I was in my late 20s. I didn't want to play classical but my guitar teacher encouraged me to do both and once I started, I loved it! I eventually dropped folk and stuck with classical. I was never much good but I sure loved playing. That stopped though as my arthritis worsened, it was too difficult to move my fingers fast enough or far enough to sound decent.

When I was in my 30s I decided I'd try the recorder, so I taught myself to play. We've all heard the screeching sound of a woodwind badly played by children, but if a recorder is played well it is quite pretty. Recorders were popular in medieval times - perhaps one of my English ancestors played one! I wanted to play duets so I learned the alto recorder too, then taught my husband to play the soprano recorder (usually what we hear if only one is being played). We made some great music together!

I never did get to learn piano but music has been a pretty part of my life. No one else in my family plays or is interested in playing any kind of musical instrument so I have to believe that one or more of my ancestors did play an instrument. I just wonder who it was and what they played. I have a vague memory of my father playing the spoons and I like to imagine my Irish McGinnis ancestors sitting around playing the spoons or a fiddle, neither of which I was able to master!

I think musical interest and talent is genetic to some degree, as my son is a very talented guitar player. He started lessons at age 13 (classical and instrumental) and at the age of 15 he was hired by a local restaurant to play Classical guitar for their customers once a week. He began composing classical music and bought his own recording equipment to record his songs. My cousin is also a very talented guitar player and singer whose band is doing well.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not talented at all - but I do love making music. My son and cousin however must have some genetic musical DNA from a distant musically talented ancestor.

October 27, 2009

Featured Database: St Mary's Church Records Pennsylvania

St. Mary's Church Records, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are online on Olive Tree Genealogy's Pennsylvaniapages.

These FREE transcriptions include Interments in St. Mary's Burying Ground, 1788-1800and a List of Names for Pew Rents 1787-1791 as well as a list of debtors who owed money for their pew rentals 1787-1791.

St. Mary's, built in 1763, was the second Roman Catholic institution in Philadelphia. It was the site of the first public religious commemoration of the Declaration of Independence. Members of the Continental Congress attended services four times from 1777 to 1781. George Washington worshiped at St. Marys on at least two occasions. Puritan-born John Adams came too.

October 26, 2009

Genealogies of the victims of the 1692 Salem Massachusetts witch hunt

Genealogies of the victims of the 1692 Salem Massachusetts witch hunt have been published online by the Boston Genealogy Examiner

These brief bios may help someone who is looking for an ancestor who lived in Salem during that time period.

October 25, 2009

O Where O Where Has My Ancestor Gone?

Does this sound familiar? You've hunted everywhere. You've searched online. You've checked Ancestry , FamilySearch, and as many free sites as you can find. But you can't find the marriage (or perhaps another event record) of that one elusive ancestor - your great grandfather's sister.

I was recently looking for a marriage registration online. I had the exact date (as per family records) of 24 June 1909. I had a pretty good idea of a fairly precise location (Perth County Ontario). I knew the names of both parties - Harry Ford and Sarah Icelia Foerch. I know Sarah's parents' names - Andrew and Susan.

Sounds pretty easy. Ancestry has the Ontario Marriage Registrations online for the years 1869-1924. I know from experience that a surname such as Foerch can be mispelled a variety of ways so I decide I'll look for the groom, along with the first name Sarah as the bride. I'll also use wildcards for Sarah's name to allow for the spelling Sara. So my hunt will be for groom Harry Ford and bride Sara*. I'll look in Perth County in 1909 in case the day and month are slightly off.

Nothing. Okay, remove Perth County - perhaps they married elsewhere. Nothing.

Okay, add a year or two on either side of that 1909 date. Now I'm searching for Harry Ford and Sara* marrying in Ontario 1908-1910. Still nothing!

I try searching for any child (no name) of a couple named Andrew and Susan in Perth County in 1909. Nothing found.

I try several other methods - first names only. Using ages (birth years plus or minus 2 years). Nothing.

Finally I decide to search leaving all fields blank except for the County (Perth) and the exact date June 24, 1909. I get a list of hits - not very many - and one looks slightly promising - the marriage of

William Mannington Ford to Julia Touch in Perth County
Julia Touch could be a mistranscription of Sarah Foerch using her middle name of Icelia..... Touch for Foerch is not a leap. And Sarah's father is listed as Andrew. Looks promising....

I have to chuckle at Sarah's mother's name in the index. It is "Lamber Merchant" which is obviously a mistranscription of the occupation of "Lumber Merchant", no doubt Sarah's father's occupation!

I load the image and bingo! Clearly visible is the marriage of William Harrington (not Mannington) Ford to Icelia (not Julia!) Foerch (not Touch). And there is the father Andrew Foerch, Lumber Merchant and his wife Susan.

So my Harry Ford went by the nickname Harry which of course is short for his middle name of Harrington! And Susan used her middle name of Icelia.

My search had a happy ending. Because I knew the date of the marriage and had a reasonable expectation of finding it in Perth County, I was able to find the marriage registration I wanted.

But lesson learned - expand that search! Drop the names. Use wildcards. Use other fields and leave the names blank. Search just under one field and be creative, think outside the box - and don't give up!

Remember, human error can easily creep in to make your search more difficult. So don't assume you will find every indexed database online is correctly done.

October 24, 2009

Pennsylvania Historical Society holds genealogical workshops

Four Genealogy workshops will be held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street, on Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m. The first workshop, "Getting Started in Genealogy," takes place on October 28. "Genealogical Resources at HSP" on November 4; "Tracing Your Civil War Ancestry" on November 11; and "Conserving Your Family Records" follow it on November 18.

If you’ve been thinking of tracing your family history but don’t know where to begin, these workshops will help orient you. You may register online There is a nominal fee for each workshop.

October 23, 2009

What's Looming on the Horizon for Lorine?

I just wanted to let my readers know that I am having surgery in 4 weeks. I'll be in hospital about 4 days then recuperating for 8 weeks.

I am not sure when I will feel up to being back at my computer (one week? two? more??) so I am preparing blog posts now and programming them to publish automatically while I'm unavailable. This means I might miss some events which come up while I am in hospital, so please bear with me during that time. (November 24-28)

For the first few weeks of December I will be publishing 3 or 4 blog posts per week but as soon as possible I'll get back in the swing of things genealogically speaking :-)

Over on my AskOliveTree blog, I am answering reader queries now and programming them to be published starting November 22nd, at one every second day. Feel free to drop by and post a genealogy challenge for me to answer! Use to write up your brick wall question.

My websites will keep humming along nicely without me for a few days so keep hunting for your ancestors at OliveTreeGenealogy and sister sites (see the list right hand side bar of this blog post)

I won't be monitoring my email for the week I am in hospital and first days back home, but hope to be back at the computer within the week, around December 1. But don't worry, you are all stuck with me until Surgery Day (Nov. 24)!

October 22, 2009

25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour

December 6-12, 2009 – Salt Lake City, Utah.

Join Leland K. Meitzler, and Donna Potter Phillips at the 25th annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library December 6-12, 2009.

Have a tour of the Family History Library, research your ancestors, and get help from experienced genealogists

For more information, see: , or call 801-949-7259

October 21, 2009

November 7, 2009 Genealogy Seminar in Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Western Michigan Genealogical Society is sponsoring their 55th Anniversary Seminar, with The Genealogy Guys, George Morgan and Drew Smith as the featured speakers. Be sure to mark November 7 on your calendar!

More information at

October 20, 2009

Sharing's findings via Facebook, Twitter and Emai

Yesterday I tried out NEW method of sharing records via Facebook, Twitter and Email - very nice!

I found, and shared via Facebook the passenger list for my great grandparents Charles Fuller and Mary Ann Norman Caspall, coming from Kent England to visit their son Charles Jr and family in Guelph Ontario in 1930.

Apparently even those without an subscription will be able to view this record once I have shared it. What a terrific idea! It was a bit confusing to use, and at first I couldn't figure out how to share the image on Facebook. But that was because I was actually looking at the image on Ancestry and clicking on the SHARE button at the top of the image. That only gave me the option to share via email.

However, going back to the details you see when you click on the link on the index entry (not the image itself!), brings up a page with details and to the left, PAGE TOOLS. Clicking on SHARE THIS REPORT brings up the options to share via Facebook, Twitter or Email. It is not clear on the Ancestry website page, but it is the IMAGE that is shared, not the text detail. A little window opens which gives you the chance to write some explanatory text about what you are sharing.

I'm so excited at the thought that I can now share my Genealogy research much more quickly and easily with my family who are linked to me on Facebook.

October 19, 2009

NYGBR Research Trip November 4-6, 2009

The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society is sponsoring a three-day research trip to the New York State Archives and Library in Albany, New York. Event will run from November 4-6, 2009

Registrants will receive three days of assisted research at the Library and Archives, plus social events.

To register, contact Lauren Maehrlein, education “at”, phone 212-755-8532, ext. 36, or register online

October 13, 2009

Tutorial: Using British Newspapers 1800-1900

British Newspapers, 1800-1900 is a fantastic site with over two million pages of 19th century newspapers. However with such a large database it becomes nessasary to find ways of narrowing your search so you can find the info you want quickly.

One way to narrow your search is to Browse publication by location. This will allow you to narrow your search to the geographical location that you are interested in. To do this simply choose the Browse by Location tab located in the navigation bar near the top of the screen. This will bring you up a map of England, Scotland and Ireland. On the map you will find blue icons that correspond to newspapers for that location. For example if you click on London you will get a list of London newspapers to choose from.

If you find you are interested in one of the Newspapers simply click on it and it will take you to a page containing information on that paper. You will also find several different ways to search the paper depending on your personal preference.

On the left you will find a search box labeled Search within this publication. This will allow you to search the entire database for that newspaper. So for example if you are looking for any Smiths that were ever mentioned in that newspaper this will bring them all up.

However you can also search a specific issue of the paper. This feature is handy when you are looking for a event that you have a good idea of the date. For example if you are looking for an obit for great grandpa smith and you know he died on October 15th 1900 then you would go and look at first issue published after that date. To search a specific date, simply start back on the page containing the information on that paper. If you look down the page you will see an About this Publication box that you can use to pick the publication date of your choice.

I'm hoping to explore British Newspapers 1800-1900 more fully over the next week and will post about my experiences plus any tips I can share to help genealogists use this wonderful website!

October 12, 2009

British Newspapers, 1800-1900 available online

The following press release about British Newspapers 1800-1900 was sent to Olive Tree Genealogy from Gale, part of Cengage Learning. I explored the site briefly and was very impressed! My first experiences using the site will be published here tomorrow so stay tuned!

Farmington Hills, MI, September 24, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, along with The British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), have made nineteenth-century British newspapers available on the internet. The database, known as British Newspapers, 1800-1900 gives users access to over two million newspaper pages from 49 different national and regional newspapers from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Chosen by leading experts and academics, the newspapers represent a cross-section of nineteenth-century society and contain illustrated materials on a variety of topics, including business, sports, politics and entertainment.

Providing the historical news content needed to track the lives of ancestors, “British Newspapers, 1800-1900” is a powerful new resource for genealogists and family historians, providing access to property and legal notices, marriage and birth announcements, illustrations and photographs. Users are able to search for relatives by name or keyword with additional resources available including biographies, timelines and publication histories.

This web site also offers users a unique opportunity to travel back in time to uncover rarely read accounts of nineteenth-century events as if they were historians stumbling upon long-lost artifacts. Whether it be a fascination with the East End of London at the time of the Whitechapel murders, “the hunting grounds of some of the lowest and most degraded types of humanity” (Penny Illustrated Paper, Sept. 1888), or an affinity for Civil War history and Abraham Lincoln, a man who “had in him not only the sentiments which women love, but the heavier metal of which full-grown men and Presidents are made” (Penny Illustrated Paper, Oct. 1861), this database offers historians, genealogists, researchers and anyone with a curiosity for nineteenth-century history the opportunity to read first-hand accounts of momentous events.

Many key anniversaries and world-changing events -- the Economic Panics of 1857 and 1873, the abolition of slavery, the Great Potato Famine, the California Gold Rush, the settling of the American frontier and many more -- are documented and available via a few keystrokes. Users can also access work from celebrated authors of the nineteenth-century, including Charles Dickens and William Thackeray.

“‘British Newspapers, 1800-1900’ places the fascinating events of the nineteenth century at the fingertips of genealogists, researchers, historians and consumers,” said Jim Draper, Vice President and Publisher, Gale. “We are honored to be able to give audiences around the world access to content that was once only available to a small audience who had access to local library reading rooms in the United Kingdom.”

To make this collection available to users, Gale turned The British Library's collection of nineteenth-century newspapers into a high-resolution digital format with searchable images. The database presents online access to a key set of primary sources for the study of nineteenth-century history. For the 49 newspapers selected, every front page, editorial, birth and death notice, advertisement and classified ad that appeared within their pages is easily accessible from what is a virtual chronicle of history for this period. Users of the database can search every word on every page.

“This web site was developed with the researcher in mind,” said Simon Bell, Head of Strategic Licensing and Partnerships, The British Library. “There is a huge appetite for wider online access to this kind of resource and we are pleased that so many researchers and journalists have used the web site to research material which enables users across the world to delve into this unrivaled online resource.”

Searches of the site are free and downloads of full-text articles are available by purchasing either a 24-hour pass or a seven-day pass. Content from The Penny Illustrated Paper and The Graphic is available free.

For more information, please visit or

October 11, 2009

Death Reports of American Citizens Abroad, 1910-1974

Death Reports of American Citizens Abroad, 1910-1974 is now online on

Death Reports of American Citizens Abroad includes records of the U.S. consular officers that reported to the Department of State the names of U.S. citizens who died within their consular districts. These death reports commonly provide acceptable documentation in the English language for cases in which satisfactory proof of an American death might be very difficult to obtain in any other form.

More death records can be found at The free death records on Ancestors At Rest include Coffin Plates, Funeral Cards, Obituaries, Cemetery records and more.

Don't miss our Ancestor Death Record Finder to help you in your search for an ancestor's death.

October 10, 2009

What's New in Ships Passenger Lists online has just added Honolulu, Hawaii Passenger Lists, 1900-1953 – The Honolulu Passenger Lists consists of inbound vessel passenger manifests for the period February 1900 to December 1953 and provides a unique insight into non-traditional ports of entry.

There are many ships passenger lists online now for genealogists to search for their ancestors. Here are a few

Ancestry's Immigration Records Collection includes arrivals in New York (Castle Garden, Ellis Island), Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and more

For Canadian arrivals see Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 ( Also see Canadian Passenger Lists Before 1865.

Outgoing Ships Passenger Lists from North America are found on and Outbound Pasenger Lists on Ships Lists Online

October 6, 2009

OliveTreeGenealogy Blog nominated in Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs

OliveTreeGenealogy Blog is honoured to be one of the nominees in the News & Resources Category in Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs

Categories are: All-around; Personal & Family; Local & Regional; Cemetery; Photos & Heirlooms; Heritage; News & Resources; How-To; Genealogy Companies; and Genetic Genealogy.

Voting is open for the Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs. Be sure to go and cast your votes for your favourite Genealogy blog in each category. If you like OliveTreeGenealogy blog please vote for it but if you have other favourites vote for them! Just vote.

The top 80 genealogy blogs with the most votes will go to one more round of voting, then the final top 40 will be chosen.

October 1, 2009

Unmarked Graves at Staten Island Cemetery Receive Grave Markers

September 30, 2009 NEW YORK – Early this morning, 266 previously unmarked graves of indigent Jews buried at Mount Richmond Cemetery on Staten Island were given modest gravemarkers by the non-profit organization who arranged their funerals. Hebrew Free Burial Association, a 120-year-old organization that has buried 60,000 indigent New York Jews who couldn’t afford burials, has in recent years dedicated itself to marking every grave in its cemeteries with a simple monument noting the name and years of life of the deceased.

Leave Your Mark is a program to install simple permanent markers at unmarked graves in Mt. Richmond Cemetery. Almost 15,000 unmarked graves, dating back to 1909, have been marked so far, through the generosity of donors and foundations.

The Hebrew Free Burial Association has cared for indigent Jews in the New York City area since 1888, burying 60,000 Jews who, due to a family or economic situation, would not be given a proper Jewish burial.

Continue reading at Yeshiva World News

September 30, 2009

Last Chance Today! Nominate your favourite Genealogy Blogs

September 30th is the last day to nominate your favourite genealogy blogs for FamilyTreeMagazine's top 40 blogs.

That means today is your last chance to nominate ( ) if you think it deserves to be nominated.

Nominations take place TODAY at After all nominations are in, you can vote on nominated blogs in several categories

You can nominate more than one blog, so as well as nominating, be sure to nominate other genealogy blogs you like!

September 29, 2009

National Archives and Announce New Digital Holocaust Collection

A press notice about this amazing new collection online came to my email box this morning. I've pulled the highlights to share with readers:

Collection includes Holocaust-related photos and records available online for first time

Washington DC and Lindon, UT -September 29, 2009 - The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and Footnote,comicon today announced the release of the internet's largest Interactive Holocaust Collection. For the first time ever, over one million Holocaust-related records - including millions of names and 26,000 photos from the National Archives- will be available online.

Included among the National Archives records available online at
Footnote,comicon are:

Concentration camp registers and documents from Dachau, Mauthausen,Auschwitz, and Flossenburg.

The "Ardelia Hall Collection" of records relating to the Nazi looting of Jewish possessions, including looted art.

Captured German records including deportation and death lists from concentration camps.

Nuremberg War Crimes Trial proceedings.

*** Access to the collection will be available for free on Footnote,comicon through the month of October ***

The collection also includes nearly 600 interactive personal accounts of those who survived or perished in the Holocaust provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The project incorporates social networking tools that enable visitors to search for names and add photos, comments and stories, share their insights, and create pages to highlight their discoveries. There will be no charge to access and
contribute to these personal pages.

So that visitors may more easily access and engage the content, Footnote,comicon has created a special Holocaust site featuring:

Stories of Holocaust victims and survivors.

Place where visitors can create their own pages to memorialize their Holocaust ancestors.

Pages on the concentration camps - includes descriptions, photos,maps, timelines and accounts from those who survived the camps.

Descriptions and samples of the original records from the National Archives.

The Holocaust collection is the latest in a continuing partnership between Footnote,comicon and the National Archives to scan, digitize, and make historical records available online. The goal is to give more people access to these and other historical records that have previously only been available through the research room of the National Archives. This partnership brings these priceless resources to an even greater number of people and enables the National Archives
to provide ever-greater access to these critical holdings.

September 28, 2009

Genealogy and Medical Problems or Family Illnesses

I've been thinking a lot recently about Health Issues in families and how we genealogists have a unique opportunity to look at our own ancestral history of disorders.

We all know about genetic disorders and diseases - those inherited and passed on in our genetic material from generation to generation. But what about disorders and diseases that are not believed to be genetic, yet certain families have a much higher than average record of family members who have the disorder.

For example, a close family member to me was diagnosed with a Corneal condition called Fuch's Dystrophy. It is known to be hereditary yet none of us knew of anyone else in our family who had it and apparently only about 1% of the population has this! I was diagnosed with a Corneal condition called Cogan's Dystrophy which is eerily similar to Fuch's but is not believed to be a genetic condition.

Because we research ancestors and look for death records we genealogists often have a very interesting and unique opportunity to tabulate these causes of death. That allows us to look for patterns or incidents of certain disorders. We may gain a better understanding of our own health risks, but if nothing else, we gain more insight into our family medical issues going back many generations.

For instance, epilepsy is found in our family. On searching my ancestors in one family branch on my father's side, I found that 4 of the siblings and 2 cousins had listed on their death certificates that epilepsy was the cause of death. I also knew that my great grandfather (on my mother's side) was said to "suffer from fits". His death certificate proved what I suspected, that he had epilepsy.

One disorder I found in my genealogy research was that on my mother's side, many of her ancestors were deaf. I don't mean the hearing loss that often comes with age. I mean deaf from childhood or severe hearing loss in middle age. My mother herself had an operation for her partial deafness in her 40's and ended up later in life with 2 hearing aids. Without them she could not hear unless you put your mouth an inch from her ear and yelled as loudly as you could. I do not know if this deafness in our family is inherited but I think it's good that I'm aware of it!

You might want to do what I did - enter the causes of death, and contributory causes, on a spreadsheet. Note if they were male or female, in case gender plays a part, and then simply tally them up and see what medical history you have in your family lines. Not to scare you but simply to make you better informed about your own possible health issues that might crop up.

September 27, 2009

New Jersey Church Records UPDATE

Added today to OliveTreeGenealogy New Jersey Church Records section are the following Records of the Reformed Dutch Churches of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, New Jersey

Membership Lists Hackensack 1695-1769
Membership Lists Schraalenburgh 1797-1801
Marriages Hackensack 1696 - 1801
Baptisms Hackensack 1696-1783
Consistory Records Hackensack 1701 - 1780

New Jersey Church Records
© Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Northern New Jersey was settled by the Dutch who set up trading posts in the 1620s. Swedish and Finnish settlements followed, with settlement along the Delaware River in the 1630s. During the colonial era, New Jersey was ruled by England. People moved into and out of New Jersey constantly. Church, court, and land records were kept from the time an area was settled.

The first churches in New Jersey were the Dutch Reformed, Congregational (Puritan), Society of Friends (Quaker), and Lutheran.By 1775 the largest denominations in New Jersey were the Presbyterian, Society of Friends, Dutch Reformed, Baptist, and Anglican (Episcopal) churches.

In the mid-1800s, the Methodist church was the largest, followed by the Presbyterian, Baptist, Reformed, Friends, and Episcopal churches.Except for the Dutch Reformed and Lutheran churches in northern New Jersey, few of the earliest church records have survived.

The Olive Tree Genealogy New Jersey Section at provides a list of the early settlers in the upper part of Bergen Co., New Jersey before 1700. This list was compiled from the Church membership, and the Marriage Record, of the Hackensack congregation. Wives' names are inlcuded.

Marriages in Hackensack before 1700 can also be found at

The church organization at this time occupied the field between Bergen and Tappan, in an area of about 10 miles around Hackensack. These three congregations are believed to be the only ones existing at that period in the vicinity of New Amsterdam (New York City) on the Jersey side.

Some church records for New Jersey for the period before 1750 are:

* Lutheran Church in New York and New Jersey, 1722-1760 : Lutheran records in the ministerial archives of the Staatsarchiv, Hamburg, Germany.translated by Simon Hart and Harry J. Kreider (not on microfilm)
* New Jersey marriage records, 1665-1800. edited by William Nelson (not on microfilm)

This article may be reproduced provided all indentifying names and URLs remain intact.

September 25, 2009

Featured Database: Passengers From Balearic Islands to Florida 1768


Andrew Turnbull, a Scottish-born physician and wealthy member of the East Florida Society in London which was formed in 1766, conceived a plan to bring colonists of Greek, Italian, Minorcan and Turkish origins to Florida in the hopes of cultivating the land. Great Britain had acquired Florida around 1763.

The Turnbull venture

On March 31, 1768, a fleet consisting of eight ships left Mahon, Minorca with over 1400 passengers. The fleet arrived in Gibraltar on April 3, 1768, then left Gibraltar on April 17, 1768. Of the 1403 passengers who had left Gibraltar, only 1,255 managed to reach the coast of East Florida as 148 of them perished on the high seas. Three children were born at sea: Eulalia Elquina (Alzina); Antonia Arnau; and Benito Buenaventura (unknown parents).

Four of the ships which carried some 700 immigrants, arrived in St. Augustine, Florida on June 26, 1768. The other four vessels had been carried off course by strong currents, but they eventually reached St. Augustine little by little, arriving one after the other, during the month of July, 1768.

Thanks to Researcher & Contributor Lucie Servole Myers, the names of these immigrant Minorcan settlers to Florida who sailed on the 8 ships has been published on Olive Tree Genealogy website. Lucie used several sources to reconstruct passenger names and all sources are provided online

The ships and number of passengers:

HOPE 150

TOTAL: 1,403 (men, women, and children)

Interested descendants can also choose from the list of Passengers from Spain; Passengers from Greece; Passengers from Corsica; Passengers from Canary Islands; Passengers from Italy; Passengers from Balearic Islands