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November 30, 2010

Bibliography or Footnotes?

Marian Pierre-Louis wrote an interesting blog post Bibliographies are So Not Boring on her Roots and Rambles blog. I confess it made me think about Bibliographies in an entirely new way.

For I am a Footnote geek. Yes, I love footnotes. I'm guessing that I'm in the 3% of the population who actually reads them! I skim Bibliographies and often skip them entirely.

But which is best - Footnotes or Bibliographies?

For the purpose of comparing Footnotes to Bibliographies, let's look at the definitions provided at the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Bibliography: the works or a list of the works referred to in a text or consulted by the author in its production

Footnote: a note of reference, explanation, or comment usually placed below the text on a printed page

When writing a scholarly article or book, authors often use footnotes which contain exact citations of the sources used for each specific statement.

The genealogy articles that I've had published in the New York Biographical and Genealogical Record are footnoted. That is what the NYGBR insists on. Each footnote must follow an exact standard method of writing footnotes and it is very exacting.

My genealogy-history books are always footnoted. Occassionaly I provide a bibliography but it never replaces footnotes. So I'm a bit of a footnote snob! The first thing I look for in a scholarly book is footnotes. Preferably several on each page.

Numbered footnotes can either be placed at the end of each page, or inserted without a number in the body of the text. I prefer at the end as I find it distracting and often confusing to keep reading an interjected footnote. For me it's like having someone interrupting a conversation I'm enjoying. I'd rather read the footnotes when I finish the page or the sentence or the paragraph. That way the writing is more cohesive.

I confess to having skipped over Bibliographies in the past. But Marian's article has me thinking and I can see the value in adding a Bibliography to my future books and articles. It seems to me that the footnote does it's thing by citing the source used for that specific piece of evidence or statement made by the author. And that's what I want to see!

But I now realize that the footnote is only part of the final product. As an author, I consult many reference books in my research. I probably did not cite them in my footnotes as they were more of a generic research and not related to any specific fact. For example I always research the history of the location or time period which I am writing about. If I don't create a Bibliography, the reader will never know what books or articles I found and consulted which may be of great interest to him or her.

My conclusion is that as an author I need to use both footnotes and Bibliographies in order to present as complete and scholarly a book or article as possible. One without the other is like apple pie without ice cream.....

November 29, 2010

Movie Monday: Waubaushene Cemetery, Ontario Video 2

It's Movie Monday - the late feature is showing today. YouTube - OliveTreeGenealogy's Channel has Video 2 of Waubaushene Protestant Cemetery in Waubaushene Ontario online as a Cemetery Walk.

There are more Cemetery Walks and Ships Passenger Lists online on OliveTreeGenealogy's Channel so be sure to drop by and have a peek.

November 27, 2010

Featured Database: American Passport Records

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

Passports and passport applications can provide the following genealogy information:

* family, marital status
* birth place and date
* name of wife
* residence
* father's name and place of birth
* naturalization year
* name of ship, port and date of entry (after 1900)
* photograph of ancestor
Olive Tree Genealogy's sister site has the following free passport records online at
* Register of Passports from 14 November 1834 to 1843 an Index for all states in USA

*  Index to Special Passports 1829-1887 an Index for all states in USA

* Index to Special Passports 1887-1894 an Index for all states in USA

* Register of Passport Applications 1809-1817

* Index to Emergency & Special Passport Applications 1830-1831

November 26, 2010

Fun With 87 Year Old Auntie & Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Yesterday my hubby and I went to visit my 87 year old aunt. She's the last of three sisters (one was my mother) and lives about 1 1/2 hours from me. She told me she had a few old photos of family so I packed up my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner. This would be the first time I'd put it through it's paces as a mobile tool but I've used it before and loved it (You can read my past raves of this scanner)

After lunch out and a visit, Auntie got out the photos - two HUGE tubs full! She had photo albums (probably 2 dozen or more), loose pages from albums, loose photos... I can't even begin to guess how many, but the tubs were overflowing. I forgot to get a photo of the tubs but will do that next time!

We cleared a spot on the table, Auntie even pushed her Christmas decorations to one side! 

We had a great visit. My aunt told me who was in many of the photos, and she shared stories of the people. Since she remembers her grandparents very well and of course I never knew them, it was great fun to hear.

I scanned for 3 hours before my batteries died and my grand total of photos scanned was 73. Not bad!

Many photos were taped onto paper. Many were in those horrid magnetic photo albums (shudder). I had to decide what I could safely and fairly easily remove and what had to stay glued or taped down.

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner made my life easy because I simply popped off the cover and flipped the scanner over to scan any that I could not remove.

If I could remove them I did, and placed them on the scanner bed. It was easy to do and went very smoothly.

All in all I was very impressed and pleased with the results when I transferred the scans to my computer. I tried stitching for large photos (great results!) and will talk about that in a later post.

It was so wonderful to see these photos. Many I'd never seen before and I learned so much from my aunt, including the fact that my grandmother (her mother) had been in some kind of Dance Group as a pre-teen in England.

There were three photos taken in different years, of Grandma in costume with the other girls! On the back of one, in Grandma's hand, was written "Miss Mulligan's Girls Ellington School" So now I know that Grandma attended Ellington School which is in Ramsgate England! I never knew that before and now I'm on a quest to find photos of the school. Grandma was born in 1894 so she likely was a student there from 1900 on.

Grandma Ruth Simpson is back row, middle girl

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is the American Thanksgiving. We Canadians already celebrated ours but I'm wishing all my American readers a very happy day with family and friends.

It seemed like a good day to post a couple of pictures of Thanksgiving Dinners we've had over the years.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it today!

November 24, 2010

Press Release: New Netherland Settlers Series - Boelen Family

The European Origins of the Boelen Family: Boele Roeloffson and His Wife Bayken Arents in Amsterdam by Lorine McGinnis Schulze was published in the April 2000 issue of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.

The article was an overview of genealogy records found in Amsterdam for Boele and Bayken. After the article was published, more research was conducted with exciting results. Bayken Arents’ father was found to have used a second patronymic. In-depth research provided more family details and genealogy records recorded under this second patronymic.

In order to share this exciting new information  a book was developed: New Netherland Settlers. Boele Roeloffsen & His Wife Bayken Arents From Amsterdam with information on the European Origins of the Family by Lorine McGinnis Schulze.

The book is set in the historical context of the early Dutch settlement in New Netherland (now New York). The history of New Netherland, customs, religious practices, and settlement of Fort Orange (Albany) are discussed in depth. An explanation of the patronymic system of naming, the barter system of paying for goods and the English translation of common Dutch words used in church records is provided.

Boele and Bayken's origins in the Netherlands are thoroughly covered with Bayken's newly discovered lineage documented and sourced in footnotes. A genealogy report for Boele and Bayken and their children as well as Bayken's ancestry are clearly laid out. Hand-drawn maps complete this book which is part of the New Netherland Settlers series.

Publication: New Netherland Settlers. Boele Roeloffsen & His Wife Bayken Arents From Amsterdam with information on the European Origins of the Family.
Author: Lorine McGinnis Schulze
published June 2010.
Coil bound 8.5x11.
56 p.
ISBN: 978-0-9680744-6-6

Order Form or Paypal Orders

November 22, 2010

Movie Monday: Waubaushene Cemetery, Waubaushene Ontario

It's Movie Monday and time for popcorn and soda pop! Today's featured movie is a cemetery walk through Waubaushene Protestant Cemetery. The Cemetery is in Tay Township, Simcoe County Ontario.

This is Video 1 (20 photos) and Video 2 (another 20 photos) will be uploaded this week. You can find more Cemetery Walks and Ships Passenger Lists on Olive Tree Genealogy Channel on YouTube. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to the channel for updates.

November 20, 2010

COG: There's one in every family!

"There's one in every family!" That's the keyphrase for the 100th edition of Carnival of Genealogy

I have so many daredevils and unusual or outlandish characters in my lines I'm not sure where to start or who to pick. I've already talked about a cousin Stephen Peer, the tightrope walker who has the dubious distinction of being the only tightrope walker to die walking the rope at Niagara Falls.

I've bent my readers' ears in two blog posts about my cousin Harmon Peer, first ever bungie jumper in North America!

Who to choose? There is always my 9th great grandfather Albert Andriessen de Noorman (whose children assumed the surname Bradt and Vanderzee) who was arrested many times in New Netherland (now New York) in the 17th century for various offenses.

They included setting fire to his son's house while his son was in it; burning down a neighbour's corn field, beating his wife so badly the courts stepped in (unusual in those days when it was considered entirely okay to discipline one's wife or children with a beating)

In fact in 1638 a letter from Van Rensselaer (the Patroon of the Colony) was sent to Albert in which Van Rensselaer stated that he had heard that Albert was "very unmerciful to his children and very cruel" to his wife, and that this should cease immediately.

Threatening the neighbours and setting fires brought Albert to court repeatedly, and in exasperation the courts ruled that Albert's sons must watch him and ensure that he did not bother people anymore.

Or perhaps I should talk about my rather free spirited ancestress Anna Kuhn of Germany. Anna, my 8th great grandmother, was born about 1659, and at the age of 15, she was married to Jorg Bruning at Huttengesas, Germany. Jorg Bruning was an older man, and the marriage was a most unhappy one for Anna . While living at Huttengesas with her husband, she fell in love with Nicholaus Bellinger. Still married to Jorg, Anna ran away with Nicholaus and had a son (my direct ancestor), Marcus Bellinger, in 1682.

Nicholaus Bellinger and Anna Maria finally received church permission to marry, and were wed on 25 November 1685. The pastor at Langenselbold wrote concerning this marriage of my 8th great-grandparents:
"Nicolaus Bellinger and Anna, daughter of Hans Kuhn, were married 25 Nov. 1685 as per the order of the noble government. She had married  some years ago Jorg Bruning at Huttengesab, but she was not compatable with him, so Bruning went from her and she from him.

She went away with this Nicolaus Bellinger and had an illegitimate child - a little son, so that the aforementioned Jorg Bruning has contracted another marriage. After all this however, the above mentioned Bellinger has remained as a stranger.

She sent a request to the honourable government to let them stay in the country, and this finally has been permitted by the aforementioned honourable government which ordered me to marry them with prior published penitence and to avoid further trouble and also to legitimize the rearing of this blameless child"
I think I've run out of room to write about any of my other interesting, intriguing or n'er-do-well ancestors for today!

November 19, 2010

New Tools for Immigration Records from Library & Archives Canada

The following press release looks quite interesting. The column headings are often missing or difficult to read.

Ottawa, November 18, 2010
Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the launch of new tools to facilitate the consultation and use of its immigration records, one of the largest and most consulted by genealogists.
Transcriptions of headings of different forms used to record the names of immigrants arriving in Canada between 1865 and 1935 are now accessible on the Library and Archives Canada website. Links to different databases and websites offering nominal indexes or digitized images of immigration records have been regrouped on a single web page.

These pages can be accessed at the following addresses:
Immigration Records Headings

Immigration Records Indexes

November 18, 2010 named a finalist for the 2010 Pierre Berton Award

Toronto, ON (November 18, 2010) – is proud to have been recently announced as a finalist for the prestigious 2010 Pierre Berton Award, presented for excellence in contributing to the study of Canadian history., Canada’s leading family history website, offers Canadian families the opportunity to explore their family – and national – history with the click of a mouse.

“ is thrilled that we were considered for the 2010 Pierre Berton Award, and humbled to be among such exceptional company,” said Managing Director Karen Peterson.

“Our mandate at is to help Canadians discover, preserve and share their family history, and by extension explore Canada’s multicultural heritage. We’re honoured to be recognized for our role in popularizing the study of Canadian history.”

Established in 1994 by Canada's National History Society, the Pierre Berton Award celebrates individuals and organizations who work to expose Canadian history to a wider audience, and engage Canadians with their historical roots. Since its inception the Award has become a top mark of distinction for those who seek to bring Canadian history into the everyday lives of Canadians. is proud to be among such notable award nominees as freelance journalist Dan Francis and filmmaker Bernard Zukerman, as well as this year’s winner Professor Desmond Morton and last year’s recipient actor Paul Gross.

November 17, 2010

Movie Monday: Genier Cemetery Video 2 of 2

Even though it is Wednesday, here is Monday's Movie!

The second and last video of Genier Cemetery near Cochrane Ontario is now online and can be viewed.

For more Cemetery Walks, Ships Passenger Lists and Video 1 of Genier Cemetery see Olive Tree Genealogy channel on You-Tube

Thanks to Jim Rye for contributing the Genier Cemetery photographs. Please share this information with other genealogists.

November 16, 2010 and National Geographic Project

The following Press Release was just received. Sounds intriguing!


New Features Bring Further Discovery of Family History Online

PROVO, Utah, November 16, 2010 – is pleased to announce it has created a strategic alliance with National Geographic Digital Media to help individuals make new discoveries in their family history. As part of the relationship, will host a family history experience online, developed by, which enables visitors to learn more about researching their genealogy and provides specific tools for them to search their ancestral roots located on the Genographic Project website.

“We are always looking for unique ways to connect with people interested in their family history and have forged a great alliance with,” said John Pereira, Vice President of Business Development, at “With our development of this new experience on the Genographic Project website, we believe we can help individuals understand how exciting family history can be as they find further success in discovering their own family history.”

The new feature is an add-on to National Geographic’s existing Genographic Project Web portal that helps chart the migration history of the human species using DNA analysis. This additional online experience offers the ability to start an online family tree, tips on how to get started with researching family history and links to important historical record collections that are searchable on

For anyone interested in learning more about their ancestors, or to experience the family history tools offered by and National Geographic, visit

November 15, 2010

What Were the Headlines The Day You Were Born

Have you ever wondered what happened the day you were born? What was going on in the world, what was the top news of the day?

What was the average housewife buying? What about the guys - what ads were geared towards the typical male such as your father?

Have you checked newspapers for your town or city or country to read the front page for that day?

Believe it or not this is the first year I've ever thought to do that! Yes, today is my birthday (not that I celebrate them anymore, in fact I've been counting backwards for my age for so long I'm in the negative years!)

I couldn't find a newspaper for the little village my parents lived in but I did find one for a nearby town so on a binge of curiousity I had a peek. Of course a local small town paper wouldn't likely show worldwide news unless it was a pretty big story but I thought I'd get a sense of what my parents and grandparents might have been experiencing.

So the big world news on the day and year I was born was a 4-row corn picker in Illinois - apparently a first ever. Locally the news was a mixture - an annual St. George's Guild bazaar coming up, the fact that not many people turned up for the local Remembrance Day Ceremonies, and that deer hunting was not going well.

I did enjoy reading that the St. Regis Hotel in Toronto (the closest big city to my little village of birth) had rooms to rent starting at $2.50 for a single, per night. Oh and every room was advertised as having a telephone and a shower. I began to feel like I was born in 1900! Were things really that cheap the year I was born?

Phillips Milk of Magnesia was 25 cents a bottle! One ad was for developing rolls of film for 25 cents - no digital cameras back then of course. And I loved the ad advising that you could buy a female ferret from a man in Ontario for $3.00 - send a money order. No paypal as we use today.

There were a lot of ads for baby chicks and brooders so I'm guessing that a lot of families kept a hen or two for eggs. But my favourite ad was the one for an electric washing machine. Even though it will date me, it's too priceless to not show my readers.

I actually remember helping my mom with the laundry and using a machine that looked just like this one!

I wonder if my parents had been to the movies in Whitby before I was born? Whitby was nearby and their local theatre had three shows to choose from! "The Return of Frank James" which sounds like a Western, "Cinderella Jones" and "Do You Love Me" - none of which I've ever heard of.

I googled "The Return of Frank James" and read that it came out in 1940! I assure you I wasn't born then, not even close, so that might indicate that our little village and surrounding areas were getting the movies many years after they were made!

"Cinderella Jones" and "Do You Love Me" were made in 1946 so that's a little more current.

We didn't have much money so I'm not sure they could even have afforded to go but I'd like to think they did.

It was kind of fun reading that newspaper from the day I was born. And now I'm off to find out what today has in store for me. Reserving time for my nap of course, as us old folks like to have.

November 13, 2010

Featured Genealogy: Past Voices - Letters Home

This week's featured Genealogy website is Past Voices: Letters Home

Discover your origins in letters as ancestors tell their stories and reveal family relationships, past events, moments in time and details of family history. Find your ancestors through their own letters sent to loved ones far from home.

Past Voices gives our ancestors a voice - and these voices from the past come alive in their letters. Many letters on Past Voices are from soldiers far from home. Nothing tells the true reality of war more than the simple writings of the common soldier. These poignant letters from lonely men to their mothers, wives or sweethearts will touch your heart. Some letters will leave you bewildered by their unemotional telling of horrors almost beyond our comprehension.

Past Voices also contains letters and memoirs from ordinary individuals going about their everyday lives. These letters provide us with a sense of history, of being there and experiencing life with the people who write about the times they live in.

Choose from Ancestor Letters USA, Ancestor Letters Canada or Ancestor Letters UK

November 12, 2010 and The Genealogist Acquire the 1911 Census

The following press release came from Personally I can't wait to find my grandmother and her parents in Kent England in 1911! and The Genealogist Acquire the 1911 Census

Provo, Utah, November 5, 2010 –, in collaboration with UK Web site, is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with The National Archives to acquire and publish online the 1911 England and Wales Census.

The two family history companies will work together to transcribe the 1911 Census, creating a searchable database which enables users to type in a name and go directly to the full color digital image of the actual census document, handwritten in their ancestor’s home a century ago.

The complete set of 1911 Census records go live on by county, starting in late 2010 and completing in 2011.

“We are thrilled to acquire the 1911 Census and look forward to the moment members can access these valuable records on our site,” said Olivier Van Calster, Vice President of Ancestry International. "The addition of this vital genealogical material means we will be able to offer our members the complete set of England, Wales and Scotland Censuses, as well as the only fully searchable England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes and exclusive online access to the World War One British Army Service and Pension records.”

Part of the archival holdings of The National Archives, the 1911 Census is the largest and most recent census available to the public . A crucial genealogical resource, it offers detailed insight into how people lived in the years leading up the First World War, showing who lived where, with whom, their age at the time of the census, their place of birth and what they did for a living.

“The 1911 Census is a crucial step for many in finding their roots and we feel this is a vital resource that will benefit family historians everywhere. Our members voted this resource their number one dataset in a recent survey,” said Nigel Bayley, Managing Director of “The 1911 census will be added to our Diamond subscription to accompany our complete set of English & Welsh Census and Birth, Marriage and Death indexes, Official Non-Conformist records, Parish Records, Wills, Roll of Honor and Military records.”

November 11, 2010

My Military Hero Ancestors

Today is Remembrance Day. It's also called Poppy Day or Armistice Day or Veterans Day. This is the day we honour those who have fought and died in wars since WW1.

Many of us also honour our ancestors who participated in other wars. Do you have some military heroes in your family tree? My definition of a military hero is anyone who fought or participated in any way on behalf of my country, in any war.

Here is my list of military heroes:

My son who has been to Afghanistan five times in eight years.

My father, a Lieutenant who was in WW2, stationed in England

My uncle (my father's brother), also in WW2

My grandmother McGinnis' five brothers (George, Herbert, Chester, Leonard and Edgar Peer), all of whom enlisted in WW1. Edgar Peer was killed in France a few days short of his 21st birthday.

My grandmother Fuller's two brothers Ernest and Sydney  Simpson who enlisted in WW1 in England and in Canada, and her brother Albert who enlisted in the Australian Army in WW2.

Albert's son Frank, my first cousin once removed, who also enlisted in the Australian Army in WW2

My Loyalist ancestors - my 5th great-grandfather Isaac Van Valkenburg aka Vollick, his sons Storm Follick and Cornelius Vollick (my 4th great-grandfather); and another 5th great-grandfather Jonas Larroway all of whom fought in Butler's Rangers during the American Revolution

My 3rd great-granduncle Stephen Peer who fought in the War of 1812 and was killed at the Battle of Chippewa in 1814

Military Heroes
I cannot imagine the sacrifices made by all of these heroes in my family. But I appreciate them all and honour them today.

November 10, 2010

Free Access to Entire U.S. Military Records Collection



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

PROVO, UTAH, November 10, 2010 -, which has the largest online collection of historical military records, today added more than 115,000 U.S. Military Academy Cadet Application Papers from West Point to its online collection of military records to commemorate Veterans Day.

“Handwritten cadet application papers are true gems in family history research, as they provide such depth and personal insight into the military veterans that came before us,” said Quinton Atkinson, director of content acquisition for “It is a treasure when we can see personal letters and records intersect with our shared history as a country. This Veterans Day, we hope this new collection will allow millions of Americans to explore their military ancestry, while inspiring them to discover the rich history of our nation’s past military leaders.”

The West Point Application Papers include letters from applicants from 1805-1866 requesting appointment, letters of recommendation and notification from the War Department if the candidate was accepted and letters of acceptance from the candidate. Over 115,000 candidates are listed and include well known graduates of West Point, including:

· William Tecumseh Sherman (1835) – known for his outstanding military strategy as a Union Army General during the Civil War, this collection contains several letters of recommendation for Sherman from his guardian, Thomas Ewing. Ewing’s letter praises 16-year-old Sherman as a “stout athletic lad, and very well prepared for entrance, a good Latin, Greek & French scholar… His father died insolvent… [and] it was his father’s wish… that he should receive an education which would fit him for the public service in the Army or Navy.”

· Thomas J (Stonewall) Jackson (1842) – one of the most well-known Confederate commanders, eighteen-year-old Stonewall Jackson was the subject of a nomination letter for West Point from South Carolina Governor F. W. Pickens. In his letter, Pickens asks if there are any vacancies at West Point for the state of South Carolina, and requests a copy of the department rules and qualifications for admission. Jackson went on to graduate 17th out of 59 students in the Class of 1846.

· George Pickett (1842) – an acceptance letter now available on shows that Pickett, known for leading the appropriately named “Pickett's Charge” at the Battle of Gettysburg, was accepted as a cadet at West Point in 1842. Also included in the collection is Pickett’s resignation letter from the US Army’s 9th Infantry in 1861 to join the Confederate army, which also shows that upon resignation from the Union army he owed $96.38 in “expenses recruiting.”

· George A Custer (1856) – most remembered for a disastrous military engagement at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Custer’s nomination letter describes him as “17, 5’ 9¾”, good health, no deformity, reads well, spells correctly, writes a fair and legible hand, able to perform with facility and accuracy the ground rules of arithmetic, fully possesses all the qualifications physical, mental, and moral required.” This nomination letter sent to Jefferson Davis was written and signed by Congressman John A. Bingham, the judge advocate in the trial of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and a principle framer of the 14th amendment. Custer went on to graduate last in his class at West Point.

The collection includes many other records and letters relating to artist James Whistler, Dupont dynasty heir and Civil War veteran Henry Dupont, and Union Army Major General George B. McClellan.

The West Point Cadet Application Papers are part of U.S. Military Collection, which includes 100 million names that span more than three centuries of American military service.

In honor of America’s military heroes, the entire U.S. Military Collection on can be searched free from Veteran’s Day through Nov. 14.

November 9, 2010

Book Review: Crime & Punishment in Upper Canada

Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Researcher's Guide (Genealogist's Reference Shelf)  by Janice Nickerson is a very detailed, well-researched reference book for genealogists.

Janice delves into the history of the Justice System in Upper Canada (present day Ontario) and walks the reader through the often confusing maze of available records. Her focus in this book is 1791 to 1841 and even that seemingly brief time span provides the genealogist with 243 pages of material.

Each section (topic) has a history and explanation, followed by examples both in text and images, and then Janice's inventory of what records have survived, where they are housed, and what we might expect to find in them.

It is a challenge for genealogists to find early Ontario (Upper Canada) records and Janice's book is a treasure trove. The examples are fascinating reading for historians or those interested in the circumstances of various crimes and their meted out punishments. Case studies are of actual individuals whose court cases were heard or who were charged with crimes.

The inventory list of resources made me drool! I am at a stage in my Ontario research where I need to find more obscure records - those that are challenging to discover. Janice's book has given me so many new leads and so many new avenues of research to investigate that I will be busy for quite some time.

 Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Researcher's Guide (Genealogist's Reference Shelf) is a must-have for any serious genealogist or anyone struggling to find an ancestor in early Ontario.

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Dundurn Press (September 20, 2010)
Co-published by: Ontario Genealogical Society
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1554887704
ISBN-13: 978-1554887705

November 8, 2010

Movie Monday: Genier Catholic Cemetery Cochrane Ontario

It's Movie Monday again! Today is a Cemetery Walk through Genier Catholic Cemetery near Cochrane Ontario

Jim Rye very kindly walked this cemetery, took photos and sent them to Olive Tree Genealogy for Movie Monday (thank you Jim!). The second video is not online yet but will be shortly. There are approximately 57 gravestones in this Cemetery.

There are other Cemetery Walks on the Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel at

We also have some ships passenger lists so be sure to drop by for a visit. Bring your own popcorn though!

If you want to be sure you don't miss one of our videos, you can SUBSCRIBE to the channel once you are at the YouTube page.

November 6, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name....

Many if not all of us have encountered it. A long-ago ancestor whose name has suddenly appeared in an original marriage record but barely recognizable as your ancestor!

I've talked about problems with name variations before - in The Name Game, parts 1 and 2 I shared how difficult it was finding my husband's great grandfather "Archie" DeMeulenaere in the records in Belgium. Why? Because his baptismal name was "Achiel" but we did not know this.

In The Confusing Maze of Genealogy Mixups in Names you can see some common names in other countries and what they equate to in N. America, as well as the true story of my ancestor who changed his name from Van Valkenburg to Vollick after the American Revolution.

But back to your dilemma of that marriage record for your 5th great-grandfather John Smith. Instead of seeing your ancestor recorded in his marriage record as John Smith (which you know is his name), he is listed as John Smythe. But you know it's the right person because his wife's name is correct.

Hmm... You scratch your head in bewilderment and puzzle over how to enter this information in your genealogy program. Not sure, you move on to finding his arrival in the USA.

And bingo there he is - you know it is him because he is with his siblings whose names you have proven. But his name on the passenger list is recorded as Johann Schmidt! What to do??

Other ancestor records are found - for your great grandmother Anna Maria Werner. But you find her in various records as Mary Warner, Anne or Anna Warner/Werner and even Hannah Warner/Werner.

These are not cases of mistaken identity. They are one person being recorded throughout their lifetime in different ways. People from another country will have names written as they would be in their place of origin. German names may become Americanized after an ancestor has been living in N. America for awhile (but no, the Ellis Island officials did NOT change your grandpa's name on arrival!)

Not only do inviduals have nicknames (hubby's grandfather was born Leon Thomas as his first and middle name, but called Charlie his entire life) they sometimes switch between using their first name to their middle name, or vice versa.

German naming conventions often use two names, with the middle name being the name the person is known by.

Those of us with Dutch ancestors in early New York (New Netherland) are faced with another problem - patronymics, or identification of an individual based on the father's name.

For example, Jan Albertszen is named after his father, Albert. Albertszen means son of a man named Albert. Geesjie Barentsdr. (Barentsdochter) is named after her father Barent.

An individual could also be known by his place of origin. Cornelis Antoniszen, my 9th great- grandfather, was known in some records as 'van Breuckelen', meaning 'from Breuckelen' (a town in the Netherlands). The place-origin name could be a nationality, as in the case of Albert Andriessen from Norway, originator of the Bradt and Vanderzee families - he is entered in many early records as Albert Andriessen de Noorman, meaning the Norseman.

An individual might be known by a personal characteristic: e.g. Vrooman means a pious or wise man;Krom means bent or crippled; De Witt means the white one.

Sometimes an occupation became a surname. Smit=Smith; Schenck= cupbearer, Metsalaer= mason. An individual might be known by many different 'surnames' and entered in official records under these different names, making research difficult unless you're aware of the names in use.

My Cornelis Antoniszen Van Slyke mentioned above, was known and found in official records under the following names:

* Cornelis Antoniszen

* Cornelis Teuniszen (Teunis being the diminuitive of Antony)

* Cornelis Antoniszen/Teuniszen van Breuckelen

* Cornelis Antoniszen/Teuniszen Van Slicht
* Broer Cornelis (name given him by Mohawks)

Phew! So, you've hit the name wall. You have found your ancestor under a dizzying and bewildering variety of recorded names. How do you enter this information in your genealogy program??

Consistency is very important. The best method is to choose ONE name - the name you knew your ancestor by if you knew them personally, or the name most often found in the genealogy records. Enter that name in your genealogy program and use it consistently. In the notes section you can note the other names under which you found your ancestor. In your sources, note exactly how the name was recorded.

And now you're good to go, your genealogy is consistent and accurate. And you can enjoy thinking about all those names your great great grandfather used in his lifetime.

November 5, 2010

Featured Database: Outbound Ships Passenger Lists

Today's Featured Database is a project on ShipsListsOnline.

ShipsListsOnline is transcribing ships passenger lists leaving USA, bound for Europe and United Kingdom. Many of these passenger lists were donated to ShipsListsOnline by Shelby Thompson from her personal collection. Others were submitted by visitors to Ships Lists Online .

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

November 4, 2010

Family Tree Maker for Mac Now Available

The following is a Press Release from


#1-Selling Family History Software Now Available in Mac Version

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., November 4, 2010 – today announced the launch of Family Tree Maker® for Mac, the new Mac version of the world’s No.-1 selling family history software. Family Tree Maker for Mac provides an easy way to save and organize your family tree conveniently on your Mac computer and has a variety of tools that can help you share your discoveries with family and friends.

“Family Tree Maker for Mac has been a long-requested feature from our customers. We are committed to delivering the same powerful experience on the Mac that millions of Family Tree Maker customers have been enjoying for the past 20 years,” said Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product for “We couldn’t be happier to provide yet another way for our members to interact with and discover, preserve and share their family history.”

Family Tree Maker for Mac combines intuitive tools with robust features and flexible options, making it ideal for family history novices and experts alike. A dynamic user interface and integration with makes it simple to create family trees, record memories, and organize photos, videos and audio clips, plus share ancestors’ stories. It’s even possible to explore family migration paths by viewing timelines and interactive maps that highlight events and places in ancestors' lives.

The first step is to start a family tree by entering and organizing family history information. From there, a myriad of features help you bring your family history to life:

· Grow your family tree – Search directly from Family Tree Maker and seamlessly merge historical records and important information you find into your tree. Family Tree Maker for Mac comes with either a free trial or subscription to

· Organize photos and documents in one location – Add photos, documents, audio, video and other media files to the people in your tree to help make their stories even more fascinating.

· Create family books, charts and reports – Publish beautiful keepsakes and books to share with friends and family.

· Craft slideshows – Create slideshows from photos in your tree.

· Cite the right information – Standard source templates make it easy.

· Explore family migration paths – View timelines and interactive maps, highlighting events and places in your ancestors' lives.

· Track information – Powerful sourcing tools let you document and rate each citation.

Family Tree Maker for Mac is now available for purchase online at starting at $69.99. The program is also available in select retail stores, including Apple Stores, Amazon, Office Depot, and Office Max.

System requirements for Family Tree Maker for Macinclude:

· Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later

· Intel-based Mac

· Hard Disk Space: 500MB for installation

· Internet access is required for all Web integration

Family Tree Maker for Mac is built on the functionality of Family Tree Maker 2010, the PC-version of the software, and is constructed from the bottom up to take full advantage of the Mac platform in terms of technology and user experience.

November 3, 2010

Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner, Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Flip-PalMy Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner arrived yesterday. 

So today I gave it a test run. Let me jump to the end before I give you details -- I LOVE IT!

It was well packaged for its long journey to me in Canada. I was impressed with how lightweight it is and yet it looks solid and well-made, nothing flimsy looking about this scanner at all.

The instructions are on a little fold-out card and very simple and easy to follow.

It comes with a USB Adaptor for moving your scans from the Memory Stick (just like the one your digital camera has) to your computer - in case you haven't got a Memory Stick slot.

When you first turn the Flip-Pal Scanner on (it comes with batteries installed, how nice is that!), the Viewing Window walks you through setting the date and time. Simple. And yes, the Viewing Window is of neccesity small but even I with my very bad eyesight, can see the words and pictures just fine.

I grabbed an assortment of old family photos just to give the Scanner a test run.

It was super easy to set a photo on the scanning window and then push the green button on the side. Bingo - done!

Your scanned photo appears in the viewing window so you can make sure you've got what you want. Then you simply insert a new photo and push that green button again.

The bluish tinge you see here is a function of my camera, not the actual scan.

When I was done scanning, I popped out the Memory Stick from the Flip-Pal Scanner and inserted it into the USB Adaptor which I then plugged into a USB port on my computer.

Immediately I saw a window on my computer which gave me options as to what I wanted to do. I chose to use the built-in program (Flip-Pal Toolbox) that was offered, and clicked on that. Lovely! A very easy to understand window popped up with various options including registering my scanner (for a full year's warranty).

But first I chose the option BROWSE SCANS. They popped up just as items do in Windows Explore and I was able to quickly select all and move them to a folder on my C drive. Then I selected all again and deleted them from the Memory Stick.

The scans were of very good quality and I'm pleased with them. The photo on the left is my grandmother and two of her siblings in 1912. All in all I have only positive things to say about Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner .

I'll be putting it to more tests as soon as I can get to my 87 year old Auntie's place. She has a ton of old family photos that I'm drooling over but she won't let them out of her sight! So now's my chance to visit and scan away without those precious photos ever leaving her apartment.

November 2, 2010

Let's Send a WW2 American Marine's Dog Tags Home!

Craig wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy about a WW2 American soldier's dog tag he has. Craig would like to send the dog tag home to the soldier's family.

Here is Craig's note:

I too love "happy-endings." To that end; my father recently passed away after 90 years. He'd served in the Pacific with the USMC from January '41 through the end of the War. In his belongings I found a dog-tag for T. H. Stull. I seem to recall dad talking about "Tom" (fondly) and that he may have been from Texas - but that is a dim recollection. I'd love to send this Tag “home” - if anyone has ideas. The tag reads:

T. H.
T. 12/44

Can you help find T. H. Stull's descendants? Let's send this dog tag home! We've had success with other dog tags belonging to American soldiers, as well as two other miscellaneous lost and found family treasures. With the great team of sleuths reading this blog, I think we can do it again!

Here are the cases my wonderful readers have worked on (and in several cases - FOUND A DESCENDANT!)

Help Find a WW2 Soldier from Illinois

American Soldier's Lost WW2 Dog Tags Going Home!

Photo of American Lieutenant MIA, Dog Tags Found

WW2 American Soldier's Dog Tags Found

MIA bracelet for Illinois soldier Vietnam War - can we find a descendant?

Finding Doris - another bracelet needs to be returned to family

I'd love to add T. H. Stull to the "FOUND" category

November 1, 2010

Movie Monday: Passenger List for Agda from Germany to Quebec 1872

It's Movie Monday so get out your popcorn and soda pop! Today's feature is the Ships Passenger List for the bark Agda, from Germany to Quebec in 1872

There are more videos online on the Olive Tree Genealogy channel on YouTube. Every Monday I feature Movie Monday with a new video. So far I've been creating videos of Ships Passenger Lists and Cemetery Walks through various cemeteries in North America.

Join us for Movie Monday!