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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

September 24, 2009

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival: Funeral Cards

Funeral Cards and Memorial Cards are often confused. Both are valuable genealogical finds as they contain information about a deceased person. Funeral cards were originally intended as an announcement type card - to be given out to friends and family when a loved one died. It had the time and place of the funeral so that mourners could attend.

Memorial cards were printed in remembrance of a loved one who had died. Often they were not printed until some time after the death. They were given out to friends and family members.

Some funeral cards like the one on the left, have photos, so if you are lucky enough to find one for an ancestor you may see an actual picture of the deceased. has a very nice collection of Funeral Cards online. A look at the index for surnames starting with "A" shows funeral cards for

Able, Fletcher, died 1912 unknown location
Abel, Nicholas, died 1893 Henry Illinois USA
FuneralCard Adams, Catherine, died 1888 unknown location
Adams, Willie, E., died 1889 unknown location
Adams, Elizabeth, E., died 1911 England, Minnesota USA
Anderson, James, died 1942 unknown location
Anderson, Johanna, M., died 1902 unknown location
Ashton, Ann unknown location
Ashton,Joseph, Alfred, unknown location
Atkinson, Florence, L., died 1885 unknown location
Anderson, Gertrude, Bogart, Broadwood, died 1951 Ontario Canada

The Funeral card for Abraham Neilson was found in an antique photo album that I purchased as part of my Lost Faces collection.

Genealogy Today also has many unique funeral cards and genealogy databases.

September 23, 2009 hits 60 million image milestone!

Footnote,comicon Marks Family History Month with 60 Million Image Milestone

-Adding more than 1 million new records per month, Footnote,comicon continues to expand valuable collection of digitized content-

Lindon, UT – September 22, 2009 – Adding more than 1 million new records per month, will mark the month of October, designated Family History Month, with the addition of its 60 millionth image. Since its launch in January 2007, has partnered with organizations including The National Archives and Gannett to digitize and index valued historical documents and photos and make them available online.

“ is more than just a repository of documents and images,” said Russ Wilding, CEO of “It’s a social gathering place where visitors can add photos, documents and other personal contributions, to create a more detailed and rich picture of our past.”

A favorite site of scholars, historians and genealogists has hundreds of rare and unique record collections including:

Historical Newspapers
Revolutionary War Documents
Civil War Records and Photos
The Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial
WWII Collection

Included among the millions of records are a number of free collections like the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), which gives visitors the opportunity to create interactive experiences from a simple index. For each of the SSDI records has created a page that features a dynamic timeline, map, photo gallery, and section for others to contribute stories and insights about an individual.

“The SSDI is a very popular database for genealogists and historians,” added Wilding. “What makes the SSDI more powerful on is the ability to enhance the records through member contributions.”

The Social Security Death Index has a span that includes individuals who were born back in 1875 and also those that have died as recently as last week. The index provides valuable information including name, birth date, death date and last known residence.

Footnote,comicon encourages visitors to share and preserve their own family histories, including photos, letters, and documents by scanning and uploading them to the site. User contributions combined with the original documents, is reveals a richer and more contextual side of history that few have seen before.

Visit Footnote,comicon to explore these and other historical collections.

September 18, 2009

Drouin Institute and reach an agreement!

The Drouin Institute website has just announced that an agreement has been reached with Ancestry.comregarding the indexing of the Drouin Records.

I first talked about the pulling of the Drouin Records in

Ancestry in Arbitration over Drouin Records

And Is there Genealogical Life Without Drouin

Readers and Genealogists will be happy to know that the Drouin records will once again be available to subscribers on the website as of September 21st.

Read Drouin versus Ancestry case settlement by arbitration (In French)

The posted version on the French language part of the Drouin website reads:

C O M M U N I Q U É et M. Jean-Pierre Pepin (Institut généalogique Drouin) annoncent à leur clientèle et à l’ensemble de la communauté des généalogistes qu’ils ont procédé au règlement de leur différend.

Ce faisant, les parties ont pris en compte les préoccupations des généalogistes énoncées dans les dernières semaines.

Ainsi, remettra en ligne le Fonds Drouin numérisé sur son site internet à compter de lundi le 21 septembre 2009.

Les parties remercient la communauté des généalogistes et leur souhaitent bonne recherche pour l’avenir.
Institut généalogique Drouin

Montréal le 17 septembre 2009
Basically this says that Ancestry and Jean Pierre Pepin of Drouin Institute have listened to online genealogists concerns and that will once again offer the Drouin records online as of Monday Sept 21st.

September 17, 2009

32nd Annual Rensselaerswijck Seminar Oct 2 and 3 in Albany New York

Announcement from Nancy Johnsen Curran

RUSSELL SHORTO TO BE OPENING SPEAKER AT 32nd ANNUAL RENSSELAERSWIJCK SEMINARRussell Shorto, noted author, will speak on “Oh, Henry: What Has the Hudson Year Wrought?” at the opening reception of the 32nd Annual Rensselaerswijck Seminar, Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the NYS Museum, Albany. Admission is free.

The seminar theme
Oct. 2 and 3 the Rensselaerswijck Seminar, “Kiliaen van Rensselaer’s Colonie: The Beginning of European Settlement of the Upper Hudson,” will be in the New York State Museum’s Carole Huxley Theatre. Registration is at 9 a.m. both days.

The New Netherland Institute’s conference theme is a return to its roots as a platform for local historians to present their latest research on the only successful patroonship in New Netherland.

The members of the New Netherland Project staff will all take part. Charles T. Gehring, Ph.D., director of the project, Janny Venema, Ph.D., assistant director, and Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will present new information from their research specialty areas.

Genealogy and history will be twin themes in the analysis of the history of the Van Rensselaers, both from the aspect of their place in history and the succeeding generations of the family.

Shorto used the resources of the New Netherland Project in writing his 2004 book about New Netherland, “The Island at the Center of the World.” His most recent book is “Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason.”

He will also take part on a panel of authors Friday at 10:30 a.m., with other contributors to the institute’s recent publication, “Explorers, Fortunes & Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland.” Dr. Shattuck, editor of the book, will be moderator.

A score of scholars and historians from this country and the Netherlands will present seminar topics over the two days, giving current information about the origins and history of Rensselaerwijck, a million acres that encompassed what is now Albany, Rensselaer and Columbia counties.

The annual New Netherland Dinner Saturday at the Hampton Inn will cap the two days of discussions.

Admission to the seminar is $75 for both days, $50 for one day, and $25 for students.

A special rate is offered at the Hampton Inn for those attending the conference.

More detailed information and registration forms are available at the New Netherland Institute website

Those with New Netherland (New York) ancestors can search New Netherland Genealogy databases feely available on Olive Tree Genealogy website

September 16, 2009

Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index 1804-1972

Did you know that The Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index is an index to obituaries and death notices published in New Orleans newspapers from 1804-1972.

It also includes biographical information published in older Louisiana collective biographies. The original index, housed in the Louisiana Division of New Orleans Public Library, is an alphabetical card file of more than 650,000 names. It is free to search so if you have Louisiana ancestors, don't wait!

September 6, 2009

Mitchell & Rettie Photo Album online on Lost Faces

Recently I found a beautiful Civil War era photo album in an antique shop. The album had 18 identified photos - from the 1860s to 1880s and 1890s. It had many unidentified photos too. Most were taken by photographers in the town of Fergus (Wellington Co. Ontario) and some from Toronto.

I took some photos and created thumbnails of them which I posted at LOST FACES. Since I don't own the album it would not be right for me to publish full size photos, and the only reason I am posting the thumbnails is in hopes that a descendant will want to acquire the original album.

Some surnames of folks in the photos are Mitchell, Rettie,Brown, McLelland, Barnett

It's in very good condition and the photos are beautiful.You can read the list of names as identified in the album, see the research I did on the family, and view the thumbnails and 4 full size photos at the Mitchell-Rettie photo album page It is Album #61. Yes there are 60 0thers online for interested descendants to browse!

September 5, 2009 & NEHGS partnership

Genealogy bloggers are buzzing about a new partnership just announced between New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and

NEHGS’ historical records said to go back 400 years, will be part of’s World Archives Project. The digitized records and their indexes will apparently be accessible to both or NEHGS subscribers

I've been unable to find an official announcement about this partnership but will keep readers informed as I learn more. This is pretty exciting news for subscribers to either subscription website!

September 4, 2009

Here's Your Chance to Nominate Your Fav Genealogy Blog!

Family Tree Magazine is calling for nominations for Favourite Genealogy Blogs.

From Sept 3-Sept 30 you get to nominate your favourite genealogy blog using the online form. Nominate as many blogs as you want, even your own if you have one. Just make sure any nominated blogs have something to do with genealogy.

After all the nominations are in, you will get to vote for your favourite. Voting takes place Oct 5 to Nov. 5.

Visit FamilyTreeMagazine to vote or follow the magazine on Twitter for contest updates. Look for the hashtag #FT40.

September 2, 2009

Is there Genealogical Life without Drouin?

The recent arbitration between and Drouin Institute over the Drouin Records has caused quite an uproar in the genealogy community. Many researchers feel that their genealogical research into Quebec ancestors is over with the pulling of the Drouin Collection.

Pam Tessier ( posted the following information on a Rootsweb mailing list. With her permisson her original email is being published here. I have added links to the resources Pam suggests, and also added a few of my own suggestions for Quebec and New France genealogy research resources.

I agree with Pam - life is NOT over because the Drouin Collection has been pulled. Yes it's a wonderful resource, but while we wait to see if it can be brought back, let's move on to other valuable resources and find our French-Canadian ancestors.

And now -- Pam's email:

Believe it or not, there are other sources and there was a genealogical research life before the Drouin appeared on Ancestry.

The PRDH is an excellent research source for Quebec records and the BMS2000 is another one. Both are great subscription sites and well worth the relatively cheap costs.

If you are only interested in free sites then try the LDS Pilot Project under Quebec records or visit your local Family History Centre and do it the old fashioned way - microfilm in a film reader and turn a crank or push a button.

Check your local library and see if you can find a copy of Rene Jette's Genealogies of the French Families (Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles du Quebec) or Cyprien Tanguay's books. Tanguay was on-line but it is not a source I use anymore so you will have to check.

[Also] the Drouin collection of transcribed BMD records is also available in a set of books - albeit a bit of hike for some of us to the Canadian Room of the North York Library.

The so-called Blue and Red Drouin marriage books are available at branches of the Societe Franco//-Ontarienne d'Histoire et de Généalogie. Try contacting them on-line for a lookup. It will probably cost you something but then these organizations don't exist on air. The Library of Canada will also send you every known marriage with your surname, from the landing in Quebec City to the present, for a very, very modest fee. The Red or 'Petit' Drouin is available on CD from many on-line book stores. From originals to transcripts, there are a lot of options.

Be sure to check out Lorine's Olive Tree Genealogy, she's probably got a few listed that I missed.

And of course, you can visit the Penetanguishene Museum and find almost every one of these sources just waiting for you- Quebec repertoires on CD, microfiche, in print or in a computer database.

Lorine's notes:

The following books are available from

Dictionnaire Genealogique Des Familles Canadiennes

Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes Depuis la Fondation de la Colonie Jusqu'a Nos Jours

Dictionnaire genealogique des familles du Quebec (French Edition)

Dictionnaire Genealogique des Famille Canadiennes by Tanguay is available on CD ROM. A few of the 7 volumes can be found at Google Books The Internet Archives also holds some digitized copies

Also, the Revest (Rivest) Marriage index and the Loiselle Marriage Index are another of the many resources available for French Canadian research. links and details are found at Olive Tree Genealogy Quebec pages.

September 1, 2009

Creating Your Own Archived Articles on

Yesterday I discovered yet another very cool feature on Using the TOOLS section to create your own personal ARCHIVE allows you to build your own webpages featuring articles from which you can share with friends or family.

I started my own Archive with newspaper articles on my VOLLICK family who left Ontario Canada for Sault Ste Marie Michigan. I plan to share these with my brothers and sister as soon as I have the full number allowed (25 articles) Here's how you do it:

Step 1: Login to with your username and password

Step 2: Search for your articles (I use Advanced Search)

When you find one of interest, click on the icon ADD TO MY ARCHIVE (the little man with the plus sign, third icon from the left)

This is the popup window you get after clicking on ADD TO MY ARCHIVE

Step 3: Choose MY TOOLS from the left side bar.

When the new page loads you will see a list "My Account" "My Filing Cabinet" etc. YOu want "My Archives"

Step 4:

Now you are on the introduction page for My Archives. Click on MY ARCHIVE highlighted title text

Step 5:

Now you see all your previously saved arcticles. Your choices are to SHARE, ADD A LINK, ADD PRINTS TO CART or REMOVE. You can also VIEW FULL PAPER or ADD TO FILING CABINET. I usually view the full page to remind myself what the article is about

Step 6:

Choose one of your saved articles and EDIT the comments. For example I added the comment that one of my newspaper articles is the Obituary for William Harvey Vollick. After you have written your comments, SAVE CHANGES.

Remember, you can build your own personal archive of 25 saved newspaper pages to share with friends and family. I am loving this feature and have many more pages to find and add to my story page on