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May 31, 2009

Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson

Apr 4 through Sep 27

Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson, presented in collaboration with the New Netherland Project, Albany, and the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam/Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam, will employ rare 16th– and 17th–century objects, images, and documents from major American and Dutch collections to bring the transatlantic world to life and reveal how Henry Hudson’s epic third voyage of exploration planted the seeds of a modern society that took root and flourished in the New World.

Focusing on the economic, cultural, and ideological connections that ultimately linked two global cities, Amsterdam and New York, Amsterdam/New Amsterdam will illuminate not only the global significance of Hudson’s voyage, but also the creative context out of which the exploration and settlement of New York itself arose, highlighting the Dutch role in creating the very character of New York as a place of opportunity, tolerance, and perpetual transformation.

In 1609, Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, made the first exploration of what is now New York Harbor and of the majestic river that today bears his name, laying the foundation for the Dutch claim on the area. His voyage of discovery led to the creation of the Dutch West India Company and ultimately to the founding of New Netherland, including its trading post at the mouth of the river — New Amsterdam.

The exhibition will invite visitors to consider the voyages of Hudson in the context of the Dutch role in the Age of Exploration, and as the first link between the Dutch civilization and culture of the Old World and that of the colony that they would soon build in the New. The multicultural, dynamic colony that grew up there was profoundly shaped by its Dutch origins, which continued to influence its development even after the Dutch ceded the young colony to the British in 1664.

May 30, 2009

Lost WW1 Photographs

A treasure trove of First World War photographs was discovered recently in France. Published here for the first time, they show British soldiers on their way to the Somme. But who took them? And who were these Tommies marching off to die?

At least 400 glass photographic plates preserving the images were found in the loft of a barn at Warloy-Baillon and cast out as rubbish. In recent months, the plates, some in perfect condition, some badly damaged, have been lovingly assembled and their images printed, scanned and digitally restored by two Frenchmen.

Read the rest of this amazing story in The Independent. Readers are being asked to view the photographs and help identify locations, soldiers, regiments and so on.

You must register with LiveJournal before you can leave a comment, then wait for your email address to be verified. It can be frustrating, as it seems that many usernames are already in use. I had to try 6 times using different usernames before I was able to register.

I left a comment on the photograph called "A Shortage of Overcoats My username is olivetree99 and the comment was given to me by Neil Cameron who asked me to post on his behalf.

Please take a look at these wonderful photographs and give input if you have any information at all.

May 29, 2009

Finding Your New Netherland Roots: A Two-Day Workshop on New Netherland Family History

10 & 11 September: Finding Your New Netherland Roots: A Two-Day Workshop on New Netherland Family History. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson in New York, the NYG&B, in collaboration with the Holland Society, and the New York Public Library, offer a Dutch research program featuring several of the leading experts in Dutch studies. Sponsors include The Van Pelt Family Association, The Algonquin Hotel, and The Historic Hotels of America program.

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival, this program will include presentations on the history of the Netherlands and its colony, as well as the persistence of Dutch culture in America, all designed to help you better understand the world in which your ancestors lived. The central focus of the program will be on resources and research methods to help you trace your roots through New York and New Jersey back to New Netherland and across the Atlantic, breaking through those brick walls that remain on your charts and expanding your knowledge of all your New Netherland ancestors.”

Thursday, 10 September will be a full day of lectures regarding Dutch research, culture, and history in the South Court Auditorium of the New York Public Library. Friday, 11 September offers a day of assisted research at the NYPL’s Milstein Division, and/or at the Holland Society Library.

In addition to the lectures and research, a number of festive social events will also be held. A gala banquet featuring Ms Peter G. Rose, the foremost authority on the food customs and diet of the colonial Dutch, will be held Thursday evening for an additional charge of $75. Ms Rose’s talk is entitled Art in Food and Food in Art.

A walking tour retracing the haunts of the early Dutch in what became New York will be held Saturday morning for an additional charge of $20.00.

The two-day program is available to members of the NYG&B and members of the Holland Society for $150. Non-members $200. Registration for the Thursday lecture program only is $90 members/ $125 non-members.

Thursday Lectures:

Social, Economic, and Religious Issues: Why the Dutch came to the New World.

The Dutch After 1664: How Did They Fare After the English Takeover?

Researching the People of New Netherland and Their Descendants: How to Identify and Make Best Use of the Available Sources

Beyond New Netherland: Some Tips on Researching Your Ancestors in the Netherlands

Case Studies: How Some Common New Netherland Genealogical Problems Have Been Solved

Our Speakers:

Christopher Brooks began researching his paternal grandmother’s Traphagen family in 1973. Utilizing a range of source material from American libraries, archives and his personal library, he has found that, with the maturing of the internet, much beneficial information relevant to New Netherland settlers is becoming available online to researchers through European archives. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he works for a computer software company and is an avid researcher in New Netherland families and their European origins.

Firth Haring Fabend, a historian specializing in the Dutch in New York and New Jersey, is the author of the prize-winning books A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800, and Zion on the Hudson: Dutch New York and New Jersey in the Age of Revivals, both published by Rutgers University Press, and many shorter works. Her most recent book is Land So Fair, a historical novel and family saga set in New York and New Jersey in the eighteenth century with flashbacks to New Netherland.

Harry Macy Jr. edited The NYG&B Record from 1987 to 2006 and was also founding co-editor of The NYG&B Newsletter. He is a Fellow of The American Society of Genealogists, The Holland Society of New York, and The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.

Peter G. Rose, Dutch food historian, is the author of several books on the subject of the influence of the Dutch on the American kitchen and lectures nationally and internationally on the subject.

Janny Venema, Ph D. is a historian and translator of New York colonial Dutch documents, working on the Rensselaerswijck collection housed at the New York State Archives.

We are very pleased to provide the famous Algonquin Hotel http://www.algonquin as our host hotel. Deluxe Queen Bed or Twin $189.00 per night; plus 14.25% tax.

For additional information or to register please visit or contact Lauren Maehrlein at or by calling 212-626-6853.

May 28, 2009

Using Part 2

Continued from Using Part 1....

Step 6. Now you see the actual page of the newspaper. On the right you are provided with the Title, Date, page # and Precise location of the newspaper article.
I want to mention something very important before we go on! At the top, above the newspaper page and the Reader horizontal bar, are little icons for The first is a beak <, then a shopping cart, etc. The beak < is what you use to get back to your search results. Do not use the back button on your browser!

Back to the newspaper page. It is displaying but I can't see my search terms highlighted. Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not.

Step 7 In this case, I don't want to start reading the whole page, so I click on the binoculars icon in the horizontal menu bar (4th icon from the left) Up pops a nice little search window that allows me to search the full newspaper page that is displaying

Now I see my term that I want (KING) in the Results window. Clicking on each of these in turn takes me directly to that word on the page. I can increase the magnification to any % I want. When I see an article I want to save, I have more choices.

Step 8 I can SAVE to my computer with the disc icon far left. I can PRINT the page. I can SELECT TEXT and select the text I want (this option never works well fo r me, it selects more text than I want and when I copy and paste it, the text is garbled) or, the option I like best -- I can use the SNAPSHOT TOOL.

I took a screen shot so you can see where it is (see the words SNAPSHOT TOOL near the top?) Click on that little icon and then outline the article you want to save. You are starting in the top left corner of your article and drawing a little dotted outline (box) around it. Your article that you have outlined is automatically saved to your clipboard. It is saved as a graphic so now you can PASTE it into any graphic program you like. I use Irfanview.

After saving your article, if you have used Snapshot Tool, be sure to click on the little HAND icon if you still want to look around the newspaper page.

In a future post on this blog I will talk about keywords and search strategies that I have found useful on as well as what to do when you get a page of HITS but clicking on one you want to see brings up "no results" for the keyword or keywords you searched on. Meantime I hope you enjoy searching for your ancestors on!

May 27, 2009

Using Part 1

I'm a huge fan of and have been playing around with it for a few weeks now. I thought I'd show others some tips I've learned while using the site.

Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Sign in if you are a member. You can subscribe if not a member or you can sign up for the Free Membership. Free Membership allows you to view 3 newspaper pages per day, at no cost.

Step 3: You have many choices and you may want to take some time to look around the site and read what is available (geared towards teachers, genealogists, writers, students, etc). I am going to jump right in to the Advanced Search. I have highlighted it for you in green. (near top of screen)

I am looking for newspaper pages concerning John & Iva King who lived in Battle Creek Michigan. They were supposedly charged with arson in the early 1900s and I hope to find evidence of this and any newspaper articles about the event.

Step 4: On the Advanced Search page you have many options:

Enter first name and last name of person you are searching for. I put JOHN KING

Enter various keywords. In "With all the words" I typed in the words ARSON IVA

I am leaving the other fields blank (With the exact phrase. With at least one of the words. Without the words)

Results per page: 30 is the maximum

Narrow by Publication Date: I selected "Between Years" 1910 and 1914

Narrow by Publication Location: I chose United States of America and Michigan

Step 5 Hit SEARCH. The new page loads with the number of hits and a brief excerpt. There are 3 hits for my search terms and the first 2 from the Evening Chronicle look like they are my John & Iva. I want to see those newspaper pages in order to figure out if my search terms (keywords) are too restrictive to catch all newspaper accounts, or if there are alternate search words I might want to use to look for more articles

You will see in the brief excerpt for a hit that the text looks rather weird and doesn't make total sense. That is because it is OCR text but never fear, the newspaper page will be exactly as printed on the day it was published!

Tomorrow I will show you how to use the Snapshot Tool, the Binoculars and also explain some of the idiosyncracies of the newspaper page images.

May 26, 2009

1881 Census Images online

The 1881 census of Canada offersinformation about Canada and Canadians.

Through the Library & Archives Canada online database, you can view digitized images of original census returns which list the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada's residents at the time of the 1881 Census.

The database is fully searchable and each "hit" is linked to the image of the actual census page.

May 24, 2009

Using Ireland Civil Registration Indexes to obtain Vital Stats Certificates: Step 3

Continuing from Step 2 of Using Ireland Civil Registration Indexes to obtain Vital Stats Certificates

The Irish marriage certificate I received was almost identical to English Marriage Certificates I have ordered and contained the following information:

When married
[First] Name and Surname [of bride and groom]
Age [of bride and groom]
Condition [of bride and groom - meaing were they single, widowed...]
Rank or profession [of bride and groom]
Residence at the time of marriage [of bride and groom]
Father's Name and Surname [of bride and groom]
Rank or profession of father [of bride and groom]
Church they were married in, Parish, City
Person marrying them

In case you are ordering another type of certificate, here is what you can expect to find on each:

A Pre 1997 Irish Birth certificate consists of date and place of birth, child's forename/s, fathers name, address and occupation, mothers name and maiden surname, name and address of person who registered the birth.

An Irish Death certificate consists of the deceased's name, date and place of death, marital condition, occupation, age at last birthday, cause of death, name and address of person who registered the death.

A pre 1957 Irish Marriage certificate consists of date and place of marriage, both spouses age, name, marital condition, occupation and pre-marriage address and their fathers names and occupations.

I think you will enjoy finding your Irish ancestor's Vital Records using these sites!

May 23, 2009

Using Ireland Civil Registration Indexes to obtain Vital Stats Certificates: Step 2

Continuing from Step 1 of Using Ireland Civil Registration Indexes to obtain Vital Stats Certificates, posted yesterday

At the GRO website I chose English and Marriage. An application form (in .doc format) will open. Depending what browser you use, you may get a choice to OPEN the file or SAVE it. I chose OPEN and the file opened in my browser window (IE6). The top part explains how to apply, either in person, by mail (post) or by Fax. The cost is provided and the choice of certificate.

The GRO office will supply a Certified Copy or a photocopy of an entry in the Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages provided enough information is furnished by an applicant to enable the records to be identified. A photocopy of an entry will contain exactly the same details as a Certificate. A photocopy is ideal for genealogical purposes.

Next, and this is the really cool part - you can TYPE the required information right on the form in your browser window! You can also print the form off and fill it out by hand, but I like to type my details. Now here is a tip for you if you are typing right on the form in your browser. You must remove the same number of ..... as the characters you are typing (for eg MASSEY means I must remove 6 dots) so that the form fields still line up properly! Don't worry it is easier than it sounds.

Here you also fill out your payment details (Credit Card, Cash or Cheque). Be sure you tick off the box for PHOTOCOPY. Next you can SAVE the form to your computer so you have a copy, then PRINT page 2 (the Application) only. Note that cheques can only be written in Euro Dollars from an Irish bank so unless you have a bank account in Ireland, you can't use this option.

I ordered the photocopies mentioned on the form in Note 2 and which, at the time of this writing, cost 6 Euro Dollars for the first order and 4 Euro Dollars for additional orders. If you do not know how much a Euro Dollar is in your currency, you can use this handy Currency Converter online. At the time I wrote this post, 6 Euro Dollars converted to $8.26 US dollars or $9.44 Canadian dollars

After printing Page 2 of the form, you can either Fax or mail it to the address given at the top of the form. I mailed mine and about 4 weeks later, received my certificate in the mail.

Last step - what information is included on an Irish Vital Registration and what do they look like - will be posted tomorrow

May 22, 2009

Using Ireland Civil Registration Indexes to obtain Vital Stats Certificates has Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958 online. This collection includes births from 1864-1958, marriages 1845-1958 and deaths 1864-1958

I wanted to use this index to order the full certificates from the GRO for Ireland. I was searching for a marriage for Rebecca Massey in Dublin Ireland.

At FamilySearch I got 1 page of possible hits and this was the information from the hit that was the one I wanted:

Name: Rebecca Massey
Registration district: Dublin South
Record type: MARRIAGES
Registration date - quarter and year: 1859
Film number: 101247
Volume: 5
Page: 212
Digital GS number: 4195893
Image number: 00401
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

You will not be using anything from the index entry other than the invididual's surname and first name, year of marriage and location (Registration district) but you will likely want to copy all the information and save it. It is important to go first to the indexes for Irish Civil Registration in order to be sure the event is there and to be sure of the year and location of the event.

Next step is to go to the General Register Office certificate order page. Note that The General Register Office (Oifig An Ard-Chláraitheora) is the central civil repository for records relating to Births, Deaths and Marriages in Ireland. The GRO records of marriages other than Roman Catholic marriages date back to 1st April 1845 . Records of Births, Deaths and Roman Catholic Marriages date back to 1st January 1864.

An important note here is that if your ancestors lived in Northern Ireland, you cannot use this GRO website. Those of us with ancestors in Northern Ireland must go to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland which holds different records. I'll talk about the PRO of Northern Ireland in a separate post, but for now, back to ordering our marriage registration from the GRO.

Next step at the GRO is to choose Birth, Marriage or Death and whether you want your Certificate Application Form in English or Irish

Step 2 will be posted tomorrow

May 21, 2009

Enter to Win a Lifetime Membership to!

Celebrate Memorial Day by remembering your loved ones with I Remember, a Facebook application created by Footnoteicon.

Remember someone with I Remember and then share the page with 5 of your friends and you'll be entered to win a lifetime, All-Access membership to Footnote.comicon

Nova Scotia Black Loyalists Searchable Database online

Library & Archives Canada has a searchable database for Port Roseway associates.

During the American Revolution, the British and Loyalist forces evacuated New York in 1783. This research tool provides access to 1,498 references to Black Loyalist refugees who settled in Port Roseway, now Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Search the database or visit the virtual exhibition Under a Northern Star

May 20, 2009

Ordering English Certificates of Birth, Marriage or Death online

Recently I searched for the marriage record of my great great grandfather Charles Fuller who married Georgiana Golding in or near Lenham, Kent England. I was hoping to find out who Georgiana's father was since she is recorded in the Lenham Church Registers as being the daughter of "the widow Hannah Golding" Since I knew from previous research that Hannah Golding's husband had died 4 years before Georgiana's birth he was not the father! But who was?

In the census years after her birth Georgiana was always recorded with the surname Golding so her marriage registration was my last (slim) hope of finding out who her father was. Perhaps it was a dead end, perhaps Georgiana never knew her father's name but I had to turn that stone to find out!

The General Register Office for England and Wales website has an online form where you can order Birth, Death and Marriage Registrations.

The first time you use the site you must register but it is free and easy. After that you do not need to register each time, you just log in using your email address and password.

After logging in (or registering) you will see a screen with choices as to what certificate you wish to order

There are 10 - the first 6 for events registered in England or Wales. They are Birth, Marriage, Civil Partnership, Death, Adoption and Commenorative Marriage Certificate

The last 4 choices are for overseas events that were registered with British authorities. The choices are Birth, Marriage, Death or Civil Partnership Certificate

Next you are asked if you know the General Register office index and the year when the event was registered. NOTE: You must have the GRO index for England & Wales Birth, Marriage, Death before 1900. So you need to go to FreeBMD website or Free BMD index. This is where you will, with any luck, find your ancestor and the details you need to order the certificate.

FreeBMD is being indexed by volunteers from 1837-1983 and this index is then passed on to where it is also available for free.

Once you check the radio button for knowing the GRO index, you are taken to a screen where you fill out your delivery address details. If you have registered previously, this information is already there next time you log in! A very nice feature.

The next screen is where you fill out your information, including the details you found on the Free Bmd website (GRO index reference information)

You also get to choose what kind of delivery service you want either Standard or Priority (higher priced)

The GRO Reference Information that is required is

District name
Volume Number
Page Number

All of this is obtainable from the FreeBMD website or website free BMD index (if you find your ancestor there).

Searching the marriages on Free BMD I had a hit!
Marriages Dec 1858
Surname First name(s) District Vol Page

Fuller Charles Hollingbourne 2a 788

Clicking on "788" (the page) brings up a list of all brides and grooms on that page, usually only 4 names. So you can easily see if this is the correct index entry for your ancestors (providing you know both parties names, or at least one full name and one first name for the second party)

Clicking showed me Georgiania's name along with Charles so I now knew the GRO index details needed to order their marriage registration. This is what I needed:
Year 1858
Quarter Dec. 1858
District Hollingbourne
Vol 2a
Page 788

After logging in to GRO website I filled out my required information and sat back to wait. Within 3 weeks the marriage registration arrived in the mail. I was quite excited to open the envelope and see what it said, but reminded myself I should not get my hopes up.

It seemed most likely that Georgiana never knew her father and so that part of the certificate would be blank. Or, as I have seen on other marriage registrations I've ordered when the individual is an illegitimate birth, the father's first name would be given, but no surname!

To my surprise and delight, Georgiana's father was named in full. His occupation was also given. I now had enough information to start my quest for her father. But that is another blog post.....

May 19, 2009

Update CanadaGenWeb's Cemetery Project

CanadaGenWeb's Cemetery Project Update

Photos are now online for these Ontario cemeteries:

Elgin County:
- Edison Pioneer Cemetery
- Estherville Cemetery
- Kilmartin Cemetery
- Mellor / White Station
- Seville / Quaker Cemetery

Leeds County:
- St Patrick Roman Catholic Cemetery

Middlesex County:
- Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Section TB)
- Parkhill Union Cemetery
- Willey Cemetery

Norfolk County:
- Williams Settlement Cemetery

Peel County:
- Churchville Cemetery

Welland County:
- Weaver Cemetery

Wentworth County:
- Millgrove Municipal / Grove Free Burying Ground
- Mount Albion Cemetery
- St George's Anglican Church Cemetery
- Van Dusen Cemetery

York County:
- Islington Burying Grounds / Islington Pioneer

May 18, 2009

Abandoned in Australia Part 4: the children left behind

Determined to focus on what happened to poor Sarah's sons - Ebenezer the child born at sea en route to Australia in 1867, William, Charles and Edward, I set aside the other wonderful clues in Sarah's Death Registration.

More help poured in from Australians who had read my query. The first item to arrive was the death registration index for little Ebenezer. Sending off for the certificate revealed that on 8 Oct 1867, Ebenezer Sydney STEAD, male 5 months old, born at sea, the son of William Stead and Sarah Elvery, died of consumption and was buried the next day at Haslam's Creek cemetery.

Poor William Stead and his family! In the space of 5 months he lost his wife, 31 year old Sarah Elvery, and his newborn son Ebenezer. There he was, living at his brother Edward's home in Sunny Corners (near Sydney), a widower with 4 children under the age of 7. What choices he was faced with! Stay in Australia? Return to England? He must have agonized over how he would care for all his children.

Research into Sunny Corners, where his brother Edward was living with his wife and young family, showed it to be very isolated. Presumably William knew no one other than his brother Edward. He would need a job, but who would care for his children while he worked and where would he find one? I knew he returned to England, as he remarried there one year later (November 1868). But which children besides my great grandmother Sarah did he take back with him? And who did he leave behind?

After a rather lengthy exchange of responses to my original query, and me sending off to Australia for certificates, and searching the 1881 English census (which was not online at that time) I had my answers.

Edward Stead, living in Sunny Corners, had a pregnant wife and 3 young children when his newly widowed brother William arrived with his 4 young children and a newborn infant. Edward's one year old daughter Alice had recently died and while William was living with the family, Edward's one year old son Edward Jr. also died.

When William's infant son Ebenezer died 5 months later, William makes his choices. It must have seemed very fitting for William to leave HIS one year old son Edward with his brother Edward. Edward's one year old son Edward Jr is dead, now he is being given his one year old nephew, also named Edward. But William only brings two of his four children back to England with him. He also leaves his 8 year old son William Jr with his brother Edward. Thus Edward and his wife (whose name is also Sarah, the same as William's wife) are left with two of Edward's nephews - William (called Will) age 8, and little Edward, one year old.

And so my great great grandfather William Stead returned to Kent England with my great grandmother Sarah age 5 and her older brother Charles age 7. I do not know if the families had contact over the years. Did William ever see his children left in Australia again? What is known is that little Edward left behind, married and had a family but died as a young man. The older brother Will appears to have also died as a young man, and never married.

Years later I found the descendants of little Edward, who thought that their ancestor Edward was the natural son of Edward and his wife Sarah. But they were puzzled by a photograph (a CDV taken in the mid 1860's) of a young woman which had been passed on down in the family from little Edward. On the back was written "your mother Sarah Stead nee Elvery". They knew that Edward, the undertaker living in Sunny Corners, was married to Sarah Bailey, so who was this Sarah Elvery?

For those who have been reading all Parts of Abandoned in Australia, you will recall that my grandmother also had a CDV taken mid 1860s given to my great-grandmother by her father William Stead (husband of Sarah Elvery) with the words on the back "your mother Sarah". Yes it was the identical photograph. William Stead must have given each of his children that photo of their dead mother. And so almost 130 years later two families' mysteries were solved.

The descendants of little Edward, left behind in Australia, learned that his parents were William Stephen Stead and Sarah Elvery. Edward had been left at the age of one with his uncle Edward Crunden Stead, undertaker living in Sunny Corners Australia, and his wife Sarah Bailey, and raised as their own.

And I finally found out what happened to poor Sarah Stead nee Elvery - my great great grandmother. She died at the age of 31 a few weeks after giving birth to a son on board the ship Light Brigade, just before it docked at Sydney Harbour Australia in May 1867.

I also discovered that family lore in this case turned out to be fairly accurate - great great grandpa William Stead left 2 children, Will and Edward, behind in Austrlia, to be raised by his brother Edward Crunden Stead. He returned to England with my great grandmother Sarah Stead, and her older brother Charles. Charles went on to marry and raise a family and I am now in touch with his descendants as well.

An added note to the tragic story of William Stead and his wife Sarah Elvery - after I was able to obtain census records for the family in England, I discovered that William was deaf. Years later another descendant sent copies of the family bible which stated that William, my great great grandfather, fell ill with measles at a young age and was left completely deaf. And so now his story takes on even more of a tragic overtone (if that is possible!)

A young newly widowed William in Australia in 1867 with 5 young children under the age of 7, facing difficult choices when his baby dies a few months later - and being completely deaf - what other choices did he have? Finding work would have been extremely difficult I suspect. I used to wonder how he could leave his sons behind. But now I think I have a partial understanding of his actions and believe that it must have been one of the most difficult choices he was ever faced with. I only hope he was able to see his two sons again.

See all 4 parts in the series Abandoned in Australia

May 17, 2009

Abandoned in Australia Part 3: Finding Sarah's Death Certificate

My next big clue in my hunt for my great-great grandmother Sarah Stead and her abandoned sons, was a response from another helpful Australian who sent me the index entry for my Sarah's death registration in New South Wales

Instructions followed explaining how I could order a copy of Sarah's death certificate. It was an exciting day for me when it finally arrived! I had not realized that Australian death certificates provide details on all children of the deceased!

Also registered was the death of Ebenezer T. Stead, died 1867, parents William and Sarah. According to the actual death certificate, Sarah died of Typhus on 8 June 1867, aged 31. Typhus is a disease transmitted by body lice, but ship Typhus takes a different form, and is transmitted by rat fleas, which bite humans and pass the disease on to them. It has a high mortality rate and is usually found in impoverished, overcrowded conditions.

It was looking like Sarah had a son (Ebenezer), but died shortly after, and that her son Ebenezer died also. What a tragedy! 31 year old Sarah, pregnant with her 5th child, embarking on a new life in a new country with her husband and 4 children under the age of 7, bitten by rat fleas and dead 2 weeks after arriving in Sydney.

Sarah's Death Certificate gave this information:

8 June 1867. Sarah Stead, female 31 years old. Died of Typhus of 1 week duration. Father unknown Elvy [should be Elvery], labourer. Mother unknown. Informant: Edward Crunden Stead, brother-in-law, Ensmore. Registered 8 June 1867 St. George. Buried 9 June 1867 Haslam Creek Cemetery by Edward C. Stead, acting undertaker. Baptist minister officating. Born Kent England, in Australia 14 days. Married in Ramsgate at age 19 years to William Stead. Children listed: Edward (dead); William 7 and 1/2 years old; Charles 6; Sarah J. 4; Edward S. 2 and 1/2 years; Sydney 3 weeks.

Her brother-in-law Edward Crunden Stead was the official undertaker where Sarah was buried at Haslem's Creek Cemetery, now Rookwood Cemetery.

I now had so much new information that I hardly knew what path to follow next in my genealogy research! I had all Sarah's children - their names and approximate years of birth. I had a clue to finding Sarah's marriage to William Stead. I had much more than I set out asking for! My original intent was simply to find out what happened to poor Sarah and her two abandoned sons.

Forcing myself to not become distracted, I tried to focus on Sarah and her sons William, Charles and Edward. Who went back to England with my great-grandmother Sarah and her father, and who was left behind in Australia? That was my burning question now.

The answers to my questions did not take long and I will post those tomorrow. See all 4 parts in the series Abandoned in Australia

May 16, 2009

Abandoned in Australia Part 2: The query and the responses

After several disappointing tries at writing a query asking for help with my Stead family mystery which I sent to an Australian newsgroup (all of which had zero responses) I re-sent my query with what I hoped was an attention-grabbing title ABANDONED IN AUSTRALIA!

Over a dozen Australians wrote in response, offering to help.

This is part of the query I sent to the list on 13 July 1995:

Hello! This is my first time on this conference, and I have high hopes that someone out there can help me with my mystery. It concerns two children left behind in Australia by my g-g-grandpa William STEAD in 1867. Since most of this is family lore, I have very little sourced information. Here is the story as it has passed down through the years:

William Stephen STEAD b. 6 July 1834 England, md. Sarah ELVERY. They had 4 children: three boys supposedly named William, Edward, and Charles and a daughter Sarah Jane. In 1867 the family sailed to Australia and 4 days after arriving, Sarah ELVERY died. Some time later (days? months? a year?) William Sr. sailed back to England with Charles and Sarah Jane, leaving William and Edward behind. I know that William Sr. was back in England by 24 Nov. 1868 because on that date he remarried to Mary Lydia GORE.

A letter written by my grandmother's sister in 1970 states that there were two cousins in Australia and that Will, the son of William Sr., died. It is very little to go on, but I would really like to find any evidence of these two boys.... William STEAD and Edward STEAD, left in Australia after their mother died. Who were they left with? What happened to them?

I realize Australia is a B I G country, but I'm hoping someone recognizes the STEAD surname, or can advise me where I might begin a search. Sarah Jane STEAD, the daughter brought back to England, was my g-grandmother, and she married David George SIMPSON in England.

Within a few weeks I had the following information, including photocopies of all documents and a map of the general area in Australia where events occurred.

From the Public Record Office (Melbourne): The N S W index to vessels Arriving.
Vessel "Light Brigade"
Owner "Black Ball Line"Year of voyage 1867
Reference 2140-2485

The passenger list of "Light Brigade" showing arrivals on 21 May 1867 included my family:

* William, age 32, gardener, from Ramsgate Kent. Church of England, able to read and write
* Sarah age 30, wife, from Sandwich Kent. Church of England, able to read and write
* William S. age 7, child from Ramsgate
* Charles age 5 child from Ramsgate
* Sarah age 3 child from Ramsgate <== My Great-Grandma who married Simpson
* Edward age 1 child from Ramsgate
* male "infant" born at sea

The list of "Particulars" showed two deaths on the voyage and three births. Date of departure from Plymouth was 13 Feb. 1867; date of arrival in Syndey was 21 May 1867 where they were quarantined. The total number of days on voyage was 97. Price per adult was 12 pounds 17 shillings

I was pretty excited - there were the 3 boys as named in the letter (Will, Edward and Charles) and my great grandma Sarah Jane. The male infant born at sea must refer to the "dying in childbirth" that Grandma's sister Lily said happened to poor Sarah the mother.

But what should I do next? I didn't have long to think about that, or to wait, as more responses and information poured in from those who read my query.

See all 4 parts in the series Abandoned in Australia

May 15, 2009

Abandoned in Australia Part 1: The mystery

Many years ago I decided to try to find evidence of a rather poignant and mysterious family story, one told to me by my Grandmother. The story was about my Grandmother's mother's family.

Family lore told the tale of how my great-great grandfather William Stephen Stead's wife, Sarah, (no surname known) died in childbirth on her way from England to Australia, and how William then turned around and came back to England with 2 of his 4 children, leaving two behind in Australia. The time period was given as around 1868.

Over time the family in England lost touch with the family in Australia. Grandma always said that it was two little boys left behind, and that one died while the other lived, married and raised a family in Australia.

I wanted to know more. But how would I research this?

My Grandmother had a CDV (Carte de Visite) taken circa mid 1860s of a young woman. Grandma said her mother had given it to her and told her it was the only picture she had of her mother who died in Australia. On the back was written "Your mother Sarah Stead"

The only other item that Grandma had was a letter written by her sister Lily which gave some details. This letter from Lillian Simpson, granddaughter of William Stephen Stead, written in 1964, stated

"Since then they found out that Grandfather had married twice - would I let them know of any children of that marriage. I told them there were two sons and one daughter, all deceased, and I never knew the second wife. Grandma [Sarah Elvery] died four days after they arrived in Australia. When my mother [Sarah Jane Stead] was only four years old, Grandfather came back to England, leaving Uncles William and Edward out there, and brought back mother and Uncle Charles with him."

Grandma had one other item of interest - a letter from her niece, the step-daughter of her sister Lillian. Pansy, the step-daughter said in her letter:

"Great-grandma's name, was, I think, Stead. I don't know if you know that in 1867 Great-Grandfather Stead [William Stephen] sailed to Australia. His wife died soon after. He left two sons out there - Edward was one. I don't know the other one's name. He brought Grandma Simpson [Sarah Jane Stead] and Uncle Charlie Stead back. Daisy and Ethel were from the two sons left in Australia so I know they were cousins, and they visited mum in Enfield."

And so I began my hunt for poor Sarah. Remember this was many years ago - back in 1995 before Internet Genealogy was in full swing, long before ships passenger lists or vital records or other genealogy databases were online.

So I began my search with a posting to an Australian newsgroup, titled "Stead in Australia". No responses. I tried again, this time calling my post "Looking for Stead" Still zero replies.

It was then I decided that I needed to grab readers' attention with my post title. I re-sent the original post but this time I called it "Abandoned in Australia". This brought a tremendous response. Over a dozen helpful Australians writing to say they would go on a hunt for my missing great-great-grandmother Sarah Stead and her children.

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow with my original post and the responses. See all 4 parts in the series Abandoned in Australia

May 14, 2009

Indiana Marriages 1811-1959 online

FamilySearch Labs has added Indiana Marriages 1811-1959 to their online set of Collections at Record Search.

I wanted to write about this a few days ago but became frustrated at not being able to easily find a list of databases as they are added. Even when I found this specific database noted, the text was not copyable!

Don't get me wrong, FamilySearch is amazing and we genealogists should be bowing down before them. But why can't they issue a Press Release or Database Announcement that we bloggers can easily copy? Or have I just missed it somewhere out there on the 'net?

Free Membership at Newspaper Archives

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (PRWEB) May 12, 2009—NewspaperARCHIVE, the world’s largest online newspaper archive, is now offering free membership. The membership gives full access to all NewspaperARCHIVE tools and written content with few limitations.

“The new free membership option is really a great option,” said Dave Stoddard, Online Marketing Manager for NewspaperARCHIVE. “As the largest digital newspaper archive in the world, NewspaperARCHIVE is a great place for anyone to look up ancestors, read about history as it happened, research historical events, or discover your past in any number of ways.”

Anyone with a valid email address can sign up for a free membership. No credit card information is required, and the sign-up process takes about 30 seconds. Each free member can view newspaper pages as well as take advantage of the entire NewspaperARCHIVE toolset. An upgraded service which removes limits is also available at a monthly or annual subscription fee.

Tools include a filing cabinet to save newspaper pages, a page to host and add comments to your favorite newspaper pages, search alert tools, and tips and tricks to search through the archives effectively. The Free membership also allows members to read through more than 1,000 unique articles covering the past several hundred years of history, each with newspaper pages connecting the article to news from the past, as well as a daily newsletter bridging historic and current events through newspaper pages.

The NewspaperARCHIVE newspapers cover history from 1759 to 2009, and span all 50 U.S. states as well as several countries throughout the world. They consist of more than 95 million pages from 3,000 publications.

Start your free membership at

May 12, 2009

Genealogy Remembrance Garden

Spring is here. It's time to start planting flowers and shrubs outside. I think many of us will also be planting vegetables this spring! I always have a herb garden and love to cook using those fresh herbs or the herbs I dry over the winter months.

This year I am thinking about all my ancestors who have long since left this earth. I decided that in their memory I'm going to create a Genealogy Remembrance Garden. My garden will have plants and flowers of course, but it will also have items (garden architecture) that remind me of various ancestors.

For example my mother was allergic to flowers so I will place another elephant bell in her memory in my meditation garden at the side of the house. I call it my Meditation Garden because it is quiet and peaceful.

My great grandmother ran a boarding house and my grandmother always said her mother was a fantastic cook. I will add another batch of sage to my herb garden in her memory.

My existing meditation Garden is a large area covered in small stones. I placed potted plants, a small pond, and many architectural items that are pleasing to me such as elephant bells, coloured glass and marbles, bird cages, windchimes, pieces of driftwood, statues and other objects I find.

My grandmother loved anything red so we'll plant a red flowering plant for her. I haven't decided what kind yet.

For ancestors who I did not know personally, I'll choose a plant or object that I feel represents them. I'll look for another birdcage for my great grandfather, who was said to love birds.

My husband moves large boulders that we find on our farm property, and I have started creating a life-size chessboard with pieces. I think I should find chess pieces to represent my grandfather, who enjoyed an evening chess game!

My husband wants to have small photo plaques made for each ancestor we remember in the Remembrance Garden, so that I can place those with the item or in the flower bed beside their flower, or in the earth of the plant I add in their memory. I like that idea so he is figuring out how this can be done. We thought we could always have them done at a local cemetery where they make photo plaques to install on tombstones.

It's going to be a fun planting time this year. This might also be a really fun project to work on with your children or grandchildren! Get them involved. Talk about each ancestor you are going to add to the Remembrance Garden and let the children come up with a plant or object that represents a specific ancestor. Why not add an item for each grandchild too? They are your descendants and the Genealogy Remembrance Garden doesn't just have to be about ancestors.

May 11, 2009

Content Update: Newspaper Archives

Adding a Newspaper Page Every Second!

Here are just a few of the latest publications that have been added to and the titles you can expect to find soon. For a complete listing, visit the New Content Page at They are adding content at a rate of more than 80,000 pages per day; that's one page every second!

Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona Republican, The (1893)

Ukiah, California
Mendocino Dispatch Democrat (1890 - 1893)
Mendocino Dispatch Democrat (1894 - 1897)

Sterling, Illinois
Sterling Gazette (1890 - 1893)
Sterling Standard (1890 - 1893)
Evening Gazette (1890 - 1892)
Sterling Gazette (1895 - 1897)
Sterling Standard (1894 - 1897)
Evening Gazette (1887)
Sterling Evening Gazette (1894 - 1896)

Kokomo, Indiana
Kokomo Daily Tribune, The (1894)
Kokomo Daily Gazette Tribune (1894)

Logansport, Indiana
Logansport Reporter (1890 - 1893)
Logansport Pharos (1890 - 1894)
Logansport Journal (1890 - 1894)
Logansport Chronicle (1893)
Logansport Reporter (1894 - 1897)
Logansport Pharos (1895 - 1897)
Logansport Journal (1895 - 1897)

Ackley, Iowa
Ackley World Journal (1918 - 1976)
Ackley World (1901 - 1916)
Ackley World, The (1902 - 1913)
Ackley Enterprise (1890 - 1892)

Algona, Iowa
Algona Upper Des Moines (1891 - 1894)
Algona Republican (1890 - 1894)
Algona Courier (1893 - 1894)
Kossuth County Advance (1895)
Algona Upper Des Moines (1895 - 1898)
Algona Republican (1895 - 1898)
Algona Courier (1895 - 1896)

Altoona, Iowa
Altoona Herald, The (1890 - 1891)
Altoona Herald, The (1896)

Estherville, Iowa
Emmet County Republican (1897)

Humboldt, Iowa
Humboldt County Republican (1893)
Humboldt County Independent (1892 - 1893)
Humboldt County Republican (1895)
Humboldt County Independent (1895 - 1897)

Malvern, Iowa
Malvern Leader (1891)

Orange City, Iowa
Sioux County Herald (1893)

Rock Valley, Iowa
Register (1892 - 1893)
Register (1894 - 1896)

Sioux Center, Iowa
Sioux Center Nieuwsblad (1897)
Sioux Center News (1896 - 1897)

Sumner, Iowa
Sumner Gazette, The (1890 - 1893)
Sumner Gazette (1889)
Sumner Gazette, The (1894 - 1897)

Wapello, Iowa
Wapello County Supervisors Books (1892)

Williamsburg, Iowa
Williamsburg Journal-Tribune (1890)
Williamsburg Journal Tribune (1891)
Williamsburg Journal Tribune (1894 - 1896)

Bessemer, Michigan
Gogebic Iron Spirit (1891 - 1892)

Ironwood, Michigan
Ironwood Times, The (1894)
Interstate News-Record (1891)
Gogebic Advocate, The (1891 - 1892)
Ironwood News-Record, The (1892)
Advocate, The (1891)
Daily Advocate, The (1891)
Daily Advocate (1891 - 1892)
Advocate (1891 - 1892)
American Citizen, The (1893)
Lake Superior Citizen (1894)
Lake Superior Citizen, The (1894)
Ironwood Times, The (1897)

Marshall, Michigan
Daily Chronicle, The (1890 - 1894)
Daily Chronicle (1891 - 1893)
Democratic Expounder (1891 - 1894)
Marshall Statesman (1890 - 1893)
Daily Chronicle, The (1887 - 1898)
Evening Statesman, The (1887)
Democratic Expounder (1895)
Evening Statesman (1887)
Marshall Statesman (1894 - 1897)

Jefferson City, Missouri
Cole County Democrat (1893)
Cole County Democrat (1887)

St Louis, Missouri
Railroad Telegrapher (1891)

Helena, Montana
Helena Independent, The (1896)

New Brunswick, New Jersey
The Daily Times (1893)
Daily Times, The (1892 - 1893)
Daily News Times, The (1894)
Daily Times, The (1896 - 1898)

East Las Vegas, New Mexico
Las Vegas Daily Optic (1892 - 1894)
Las Vegas Daily Optic (1895 - 1897)
Las Vegas Daily Optic, The (1897)

Delphos, Ohio
Daily Herald, The (1898)
Delphos Daily Herald, The (1895)

Piqua, Ohio
Piqua Daily Call, The (1890 - 1893)
Miami Helmet, The (1890 - 1892)
Piqua Daily Call, The (1894)
Miami Helmet, The (1897)

Xenia, Ohio
Daily Gazette (1890 - 1894)
Daily Gazette (1895)

Greenville, Pennsylvania
Shenango Valley News (1890)
Advance Argus (1890 - 1894)
Shenango Valley News (1894 - 1897)
News, The (1897)
Greenville Advance Argus, The (1887)
Advance Argus (1887 - 1898)
Evening Record, The (1897)

Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Lebanon Daily News (1890 - 1893)
Lebanon Daily News (1887 - 1897)

Brownsville, Texas
Daily Herald, The (1892 - 1894)
Daily Herald, The (1895 - 1897)
Brownsville Daily Herald, The (1897 - 1898)

Weimar, Texas
Weimar Mercury, The (1889 - 1893)
Weimar Mercury, The (1894 - 1897)
Daily Tribune, The (1898)

Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake Tribune, The (1890)
Salt Lake Tribune, The (1896 - 1897)

For a complete listing, visit the New Content page at

May 10, 2009

Smile for the Camera:

Smile for the Camera, 13th Edition: All Creatures Great and Small

The word prompt for the 13th Edition of Smile For The Camera is All Creatures Great And Small. Show us a photograph of the family pet. The pet that made it into every family snapshot. That pampered pet your ancestors took to the photographic studio to immortalize in an expensive photograph. The best friend who was there for your ups and downs.

Barley & Webley love their ATV rides around the farm. Webley rides in the laundry basket. Don't worry, he wears a harness and is securely fastened. The basket is secure and they don't go fast. It's not a thrill ride, it's a leisurely drive around the property and into the woods.

6 Generations of Mothers

Happy Mother's Day to the 6 generations of mothers pictured below - my daughter, me (is it okay to wish myself a Happy Day?), my mother, her mother - my grandmother, Grandma's mother -my great-grandmother and Great-grandma's mother - my great-great grandmother.

May 9, 2009

Tombstone Rubbings (again) and Coffin Plates as an Art Form

Patricia posted a comment yesterday informing me that this practice is not allowed in many cemeteries. I had no idea this was the case so please do ask the cemetery before heading out to do a tombstone rubbing.

I also want to thank my friend Howard for sending me three very helpful links regarding tombstone rubbings.

There is much good info here:

Special problems in Connecticut:

There may be other similar things in >other states:

Because tombstone rubbings are so controversial and may not be allowed, I came up with another idea of an art-genealogy activity with my grandchildren. I realize not everyone will have access to what is required for this project, but lucky me, I'm married to a man who collects the items needed!

Coffin plates. These are the decorative metal plates, often beautifully engraved with designs, which have the deceased's name and dates of birth and death. These metal plates were never meant to be attached to the coffin. They were usually propped on a stand during the funeral then given to the family of the departed person, as a memento.

In earlier years some were attached to the coffin and buried but around the 1860s it began to be popular to keep them in the family to remember the loved one who had died. Different countries have different traditions of course and not all countries used coffin plates or if they did, they did not consider them a family keepsake.

In any case, we have a fairly large collection of these beautifully decorated coffin plates. My oldest grandson has always loved sitting on the steps with his grandfather, reading the ornate script and asking questions about the individual whose coffin plate he held. Every summer they follow the same routine - out come the coffin plates that are not on display and our grandson spends a happy hour or two with Grandpa.

Some of our coffin plates are of ancestors long deceased (such as this one for John Elgie, a great uncle), but most are not family members. We do however research the names on every coffin plate we obtain, so usually we have a pretty good family history on each one. I think it will be fun and interesting to talk about the one(s) they choose - the time period it was made, the artwork and the person for whom it was made.

We will let each of the grandchildren choose a coffin plate (or plates) that they would like to rub and have framed for their wall. I think they are going to enjoy this activity, and I may even save it for a rainy day!

May 8, 2009

Tombstone Rubbings

While wandering around the Cemetery the day before my parents' Memorial Service last weekend, I was quite struck by the many artistic and ornate tombstones I saw. Many are quite beautiful, ornate carvings with delicate lines and images.

It struck me that tombstone rubbings are not often seen, yet they are a beautiful and fun way to preserve an old tombstone and to memorialize an individual. Tombstone rubbings allow you to create artwork for your home and to encourage children or grandchildren to take an interest in genealogy.

Since my two eldest grandchildren (9 and 11) are coming in a few months for their annual holiday on Grandma and Grandpa's farm, I need a new genealogy project for them. In past years I have done a Cemetery Hunt, created Ancestor Cards and Genealogy Crossword Puzzles.

This year not only are we going to create a Genealogy Time Capsule, but I have decided I am going to incorporate Tombstone Rubbings!

You need:

White paper (Rice paper or plain white paper such as butcher's paper)
Rubbing wax, charcoal or large black crayon
Soft brush
Masking tape

The first thing to do is to gently and carefully clean the tombstone you have chosen. Don't use harsh cleaning materials or soap, just a bit of water and your soft brush. You want to remove any bird droppings, moss, etc if possible. But be careful to not damage the stone in any way.

If you use water to wash off the stone you will have to wait until it is thoroughly dry before taking the next step. Now you need to cut your paper so that it is the right size to cover the tombstone. Tape it securely to the stone so that it doesn't slip. I like to go around the sides quite far and tape the paper there. This will help you get a good non-blurred image as you rub.

Take your rubbing wax or crayon and start rubbing around the edges of the tombstone. Start lightly, as you can always go back and darken the rubbing later. When the edges are done, move to the central part of the stone. It's a personal choice as to how dark or how light you want the rubbing to be.

When you are satisfied with your rubbing, carefully remove the masking tape from the edges, roll the rubbing up (gently!) and take it home to frame or hang on your wall as is. If you used charcoal you should spray your rubbing with hair spray to help set the charcoal before you roll it up.

Please be respectful of any tombstone you are doing a rubbing on. Do not take any chances on damaging a stone, and remember that someone's loved one lies beneath it.

This will be a fun activity to do with my grandchildren and I have an idea for incorporating it into yet another Genealogy Activity with them! More on that tomorrow.....

May 7, 2009

A Wonder of Relationship

In January I wrote an article for this blog called I May Be My Own Grandma

This morning Jean-Yves Baxter of GeneaNet posted a link on Facebook to an article called A Wonder of Relationship. I found it quite interesting and similiar to my own genealogy research discoveries!

The following remarkable genealogical curiosity appeared originally in Hood's Magazine, and is a singular piece of reasoning to prove that a man may be his own grandfather. Continue reading the full article found in The World of Wonders, 1873

May 6, 2009

Neglect of Farnham Cemetery

We were in Arkell Ontario this past weekend. Some of my father's ancestors were in the group of first pioneer settlers in 1831 and I wanted to see if their tombstones survived. There are two cemeteries in Arkell.

One is the Arkell Pioneer Cemetery which has been saved from total destruction by a dedicated group. This group gathered all stones surviving whether broken or not, reconstructed the broken tombstones, and cemented them carefully in a large raised area. Many of my King ancestors are found there and it really wonderful that this cemetery was carefully tended before it was too late.

The second cemetery is Farnham Cemetery. It too has many early graves of those pioneer settlers in 1831, as well as their descendants. But it is a mixture of nicely tended lawn, and completely neglected stones.

The neglected stones lie almost buried in the ground, having toppled over some time ago. Many are broken, and bits and pieces of the tombstones jut up in the overgrown mess of vegetation.

Many lie in an area that is difficult to get to, up against the back fence of the cemetery property, and in the brush. My husband spent some time climbing around there trying to brush away some of the dirt and growth but it was too difficult with bare hands.

Some lie near the front of the cemetery, under a big tree. You can see that these early stones were in eat rows and many are missing. We could see corners of toppled tombstones jutting out from the ground so it is very possible that many of the stones have toppled and been buried over the years.

At one side of the cemetery is a garbage dump, very near the neglected and overun tombstones at the back. There is a small grove of trees with a pit full of household garbage. Since the cemetery backs on to homes, it appears that the local homeowners are using the back part as their own private dumping ground. The photo we took of that didn't turn out so I can't show it but you would no doubt be disgusted.

This cemetery needs a good cleanup. It needs a volunteer group who will unearth and right the toppled stones, or cement them into a base (as has been done in the Pioneer Cemetery) before it is too late. I wish I lived nearer so I could organize a cleanup group! I find it disrespectful to the memories of those buried there, and a historical oversight that our pioneers who settled there in 1831 should be so forgotten.

My Peter Bell and his wife Elizabeth are buried there. Peter's stone stands quite near the front gates, but Elizabeth's has toppled and is almost completely buried by the grass that has overgrown around and over it. They came to Arkell in 1831 and were among the first group of hardy pioneers who braved many hardships and separation from family and friends in England to settle here. Do they (and all the others) not deserve more respect?