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November 30, 2011

5 Types of Early 19th Century Photographs - a YouTube Video

I'm very excited to introduce my FIRST video about early 19th century photographs! You can watch it on Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel.

Do you need help to date a treasured photo found in grandma's trunk or shoebox in the attic? Were you lucky enough to inherit great-grandma's antique photo album? Then this video is for you!

In this video I introduce five types of photographs from 1839 on - Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, Tintypes, CDVs (Cartes de Visite) and Cabinet Cards. In the video you will learn about the time periods in which these various photographic techniques were used and see examples from my personal collection. 

You can also visit Lost Faces for more information on 19th Century photos and examples from Civil War era  Photo Albums. I will also be making videos on Dating Photographs Using Fashion, Hairstyles, Revenue Stamps, Type of Photograph and Photographer's markings. 

I have other videos planned in this series but what would YOU like to see? If I can create it, I will. 

November 29, 2011

Case #10: Found Another American Soldier's Dog ID Tags!

WW2 American Soldier Dog ID Tag
Megan wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy with a request to help her find the family of a WW2 American soldier.

His dog tags were found in a field near  Camp Howze in Gainsville Texas, and the person who found them wants to send them home.

This is Olive Tree Genealogy's Case #10.  Hopefully we can add it to the "Dog Tag returned to family!" list.

The scan is a bit blurry but the name is Edward _ Jones. (I am not positive of that middle initial)

_7010360 T44-45

Here's hoping my readers can once again put their sleuthing hats on and help Megan find Edward's family or descendants.

Please see our other Soldiers' Dog Tags cases by clicking on the tab at the top of this blog. Some are solved and the dog tags have been returned to family, but others are waiting to go home

November 28, 2011

Cemetery Walk in Stockton California

Two Cemetery Walk videos for Rural Cemetery in Stockton California are now online on Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel 

We have Sheri F. to thank, as she accepted Olive Tree Genealogy's November Challenge  to donate 15 minutes of time to take photographs of tombstones in a local cemetery.

November 26, 2011

A New Hobby: Orphaned Ephemera

Ethel Crane Certificate 1899
One of my hobbies is acquiring ephemera from Guelph Ontario.

Both my parents were born there, and my father's Guelph lines go back to the first half of the 19th century.

I know the names of some of the places where my dad worked and I look for items from those businesses.

But I can't pass up a bit of ephemera that has a Guelph connection even if it has no connection to me or my family.

One of the reasons I do this is to feature that ephemera here on the blog. If a descendant sees it and wants it I will happily donate it to them for the cost of shipping.

If no descendant comes forward after a certain period of time, I'm going to donate the items I acquire to the Guelph Civil Museum. Did I mention I also do a bit of genealogical research on the item and the person or persons named?

With that in mind here is my first "up for grabs" Guelph ephemera! I found this item on E-Bay and purchased it for a reasonable price.

Ethel Crane

It is a Guelph Public Schools Certificate of Honor awarded to Ethel Crane for regular and punctual attendance, 1899.

Genealogy Research

A search of Canadian Census records on revealed 1 year old Ethel E. Crane living in Guelph with her parents George C. & Hannah E. Crane. An older sister (3 year old Sarah) is also found with the family.  George was born in Ontario of English parents.

1901 census finds them still in Guelph but the family has grown to include little sisters Carrie M. age 9 and Florence H. age 1 . George's date of birth is recorded as 20 January 1959 in Ontario.

By 1911 Ethel is gone but the family still lived in Guelph and another sister Marguerite age 6 has been born. Ethel's grandmother Sarah Lester age 72 is living with them so that gave me the maiden name of Ethel's mother Hannah. Sarah says she was born in England in Febuary 1839 and immigrated to Canada in 1854.

Further research found that Sarah Lester's husband (and Ethel Crane's father) was Joseph Lester born circa 1834 England and died July 1893 in Guelph.

In 1907 Ethel Elizabeth Crane age 18 married Thomas C. Clayton age 20 in Guelph, Wellington County Ontario.  In May 1910 they had a son Thomas Alexander Clayton born in York County Ontario.

Poor Ethel died in Toronto, York County Ontario in August 1935 at the age of 46. Her husband Thomas Clayton was the informant.

Looking for a Home for Ethel's Certificate

I do not know what happened to Ethel's son Thomas, but perhaps he had family. Ethel's sisters may also have descendants who are interested in preserving family memorabilia.

Someone in that line might like to have Ethel's Certificate so if anyone is a descendant please contact me by clicking on my Profile in the side bar of this blog and using the email address found there. I'd love to see Ethel's Certificate go to someone who will treasure it.

November 25, 2011

DNA Tests Available Through for the First Time Partners with Family Tree DNA to Offer DNA Testing

DNA Tests Available Through for the First Time Providing Access to the World’s Largest Genetic Genealogy Database

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Nov. 22, 2011 --, a website devoted to making family history simple and affordable, announces another exciting way users can explore their family heritage. has partnered with Family Tree DNA , the world leader in genetic genealogy, to enable users to purchase DNA tests through its website for the first time. These are being offered at up to 30 percent off the regular price for a limited time. Archives recognizes that DNA testing plays a critical role in family history research, and is glad to offer a simple, convenient way for  users to get started with genetic genealogy.

The growing field of genetic genealogy utilizes science to tell us more about our ancestors, and maternal and paternal lineages. Family Tree DNA can help researchers to verify known connections or uncover previously unknown ethnic ties with the world’s largest genetic genealogy database of over 350 thousand records, several times larger than the nearest competitor. now offers three types of DNA tests: the Y-chromosome DNA test to trace paternal lines and surname matches; the mitochondrial DNA test to determine maternal line matches; and the Family Finder test kit, which tests autosomal DNA to reveal ethnic percentages and trace genes across maternal and paternal lines.

Archives Director of Product Joe Godfrey commented, “Genetic genealogy is an extremely exciting field. We’ve been interested in integrating DNA testing into for some time, and I’m glad we are working with Family Tree DNA, the world’s largest genetic genealogy database, to make this happen. This initial integration will give users the ability to find historical records and start exploring their genetic genealogy all in one place. In the future, we intend to provide users with more robust tools and resources that will enhance the experience even further.”

Family Tree DNA VP of Operations Max Blankfeld noted, “We are thrilled to partner with, a website we know will play an important role in the future of online family history research. provides a genuine alternative to the more expensive websites out there. Easy access to DNA testing will allow users to explore this important facet of genealogy research.”

Archives looks forward to collaborating closely with Family Tree DNA , the community, and project managers, to provide the best integrated experience between the two websites possible. Also Archives encourages people to take advantage of the limited time discount on DNA tests found on

November 24, 2011

Canadian Genealogy Survey - Last Chance!

Olive Tree Genealogy received an email from the creators of the Canadian Genealogy Survey with the end date for genealogists to participate

To date we have about 2100 successful completions of the survey and more coming each day.  In order to facilitate the analysis of the data we have to close the survey down and have decided on a 30 November date for that.  

Anyone who has not taken the survey should do so before the end of the month. For those not familiar with this survey, here is a brief excerpt from the website:

Current estimates suggest that between 20% and 25% of adult Canadians actively pursue genealogy/family history projects. This survey seeks to understand this surge of interest and secure accurate information concerning the resources engaged with by family historians/genealogists.

Please take a few minutes of your time to complete this worthwhile survey before the end of the month

November 23, 2011

Case #9: Another Found WW2 American Soldier Dog ID Tag

L. J. Holston Jr. WW2 Dog ID Tag
Alex from Germany contacted Olive Tree Genealogy with another found American soldier WW2 Dog ID Tag!

The man (Lemmy) who found the tag in his garden wishes to return it to descendants.

This is Olive Tree Genealogy's Case #9. Can we get it to the "solved!" file?

Once again I'm asking my readers to help send this Dog ID Tag home.

The name on the tag is

L.J. Holston Jr
35708257 T 43 45 AR

UPDATE: Leonard's nephew contacted me and provided me with the name and email of Leonard's daughter. Case solved, and on Thanksgiving too!

November 22, 2011

Press Release: MyHeritage acquires and

MyHeritage acquires and to enter US market
Significant move into US and addition of historical content mark major evolution for world's most popular online family network
PROVO, Utah & LONDON, UK & TEL AVIV, Israel-- MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, announced today the acquisition of, Inc., maker of the family history content sites and This is MyHeritage's seventh and largest acquisition since 2007. The purchase marks a significant move into the US market commercially and operationally, and will boost MyHeritage’s offering to families with the addition of a vast database of more than 3 billion historical records. With offices and staff in Europe, Australia and Israel, MyHeritage will now be adding its first US-based office in Utah, the home of and often cited as the family history capital of the world.

 “We are delighted to join forces with the talented FamilyLink team in Provo to deliver meaningful value to families across the world,” says MyHeritage CEO and Founder Gilad Japhet. “Combining close to one billion family tree profiles on MyHeritage with FamilyLink's massive library of historical data delivers a perfect one-stop-shop for families looking to discover and share their family history".

Founded in 2006, both and are subscription services  which provide access to a huge database of historical content, covering several billion individuals within census, birth, marriage and death records, as well as the web’s largest archive of historical newspapers. This content will deliver new insights and value to the 60 million people who have signed up on MyHeritage in 38 different languages, creating more than 900 million profiles in 21 million family trees. When brought together under the MyHeritage umbrella, the company’s innovative Smart Matching technology will automatically match any of the new historical data to the relevant users' ancestors and relatives within the family trees.

“Our team of family history veterans couldn't be more excited about joining forces with MyHeritage”, said CEO Paul Brockbank. “This acquisition creates new horizons in exploring family history. People will receive the opportunity to search the most comprehensive historical content sources and make exciting new discoveries; share this information with their close family and save it into their family tree. Combined under the leadership of MyHeritage, the service will continue to flourish and add more value to millions of families”.

MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet adds: “The establishment of a US base for MyHeritage in Utah, the international center for genealogical research, is an important milestone in our growth and brings about an exciting opportunity for the company and the families we serve. MyHeritage provides the perfect service to collect the family’s treasured archive to share and keep for future generations in a setting that is friendly and secure – and now we're excited to top this off with vast amounts of content that will add more color and life to family trees. Through our powerful search engine and automatic Smart Matching technology we'll find your mother's yearbook, your great-grandfather's will and your ancestor's immigration record, leaving you with the time to marvel at, enjoy and share your family heritage. We'll do that on a massive, global scale, as we live in a world that is smaller and more tightly connected than ever before”.

This is the latest in a series of strategic purchases by MyHeritage since 2007 which have included Pearl Street Software, makers of and the Family Tree Legends software; free family tree backup service; European family social network market leader OSN (Verwandt) GmbH; Dutch family network ZOOOF; British family network and Polish family network

The majority of the employees will join MyHeritage, based out of the company’s new US office in Provo, Utah: bringing the benefit of their collective expertise within the family history and North American genealogy market. The CEO of, Paul Brockbank, previously CEO of Logoworks and GM of Hewlett Packard Web Print Solutions, will play a key role in supporting the transition over the coming months and will later join the MyHeritage advisory board. founder Paul Allen, previously a co-founder of, and's "We're Related" Facebook application, will not be part of the merger with MyHeritage. 

In the short-term, MyHeritage will continue to operate the two sites and, with the intention of achieving full integration within MyHeritage in 2012. With immediate effect and for an introductory period, loyal subscribers and users of MyHeritage will be entitled to discounts of up to 50% on and subscriptions, and vice versa.

November 21, 2011

Cemetery Walk (Videos 2 & 3) St. Paul, Oakville, Missouri

Today I hope you'll join Olive Tree Genealogy for tow Cemetery Walks: Videos 2 & 3 of St. Paul Cemetery in Oakville Missouri

We have Bobby R. to thank for these photos as he accepted my "Give 15 Minutes" Challenge in October - to give 15 minutes once a month to take photos of tombstones in a local cemetery.

Bobby gave up more than 15 minutes and sent me a few hundred photographs of St. Paul Cemetery in Oakville Missouri. These will be going up on Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel as I complete them.

November 19, 2011

CAUT Campaign to Save Library & Archives Canada

Canadian Association of University Teachers launches campaign to Save Library and Archives Canada

(OTTAWA: November 2, 2011) - The Canadian Association of University Teachers today unveiled a national campaign to protect Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

The “Save Library and Archives Canada” is being launched by CAUT in response to funding cuts and internal managerial decisions that are threatening the quality and integrity of Canada’s only national public library and archives.

“Badly conceived restructuring, a narrowing of its mandate, and financial cutbacks are undermining LAC’s ability to acquire, preserve and make publicly available Canada’s full documentary heritage,” James L. Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers said at a news conference in Ottawa today.

These changes, Turk added, have already led to a reduction in the number of specialist archivists and librarians, reduced public access and services, and the loss of rare and important materials.
Liam McGahern, president of the Antiquarian Booksellers of Canada, said a growing number of Canadian materials are not being collected by LAC because of reduced funding and a change in its acquisitions policy.

“Canadians recently lost a unique and irreplaceable set of journals chronicling late 19th Century stories of settlers and First Nations people of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Labrador Coast. This is just one of many examples,” McGahern explained. “Rare military documents, sheet music, and literature that would otherwise have gone to Library and Archives Canada are quietly all slipping away.”

CAUT is calling on the federal government to amend the LAC Act to ensure its mandate includes developing a comprehensive, not selective, collection of Canadian material.

“Our nation’s artistic, historical, and cultural heritage is at stake,” said Turk. “Genealogists, historians, researchers, graduate students, Aboriginal communities, and the general public are all affected by what is happening at LAC.”

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is the national voice of 66,000 academic and general staff at 120 universities and colleges across the country.

More information on the campaign can be found at

Contact: Angela Regnier, Communications Officer, 613-726-5186 (O); 613-601-6304 (cell); (email)

November 18, 2011

BlogTalkRadio: Celebrate Your Family in Film (Yes I'm one of the guests!)

Don't miss tonight's Celebrate Your Family in Film on BlogTalkRadio. Yours truly is one of Thomas' guests! I'm so excited to be on, and to have a chance to listen to the other guests who are on tonight.

Special guests will include: David Adelman, founder of Reel Tributes and Rebecca Whitman Koford, Reel Tributes’s Director of Genealogy who will tell us how their company can help you create a documentary film starring your family!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze of the Olive Tree Genealogy website will discuss her recent project involving conversion of old home movies and videos to digital formats.

And Paula Hinkel of the Southern California Genealogical Society will give us a “sneak preview” of the SCGS Jamboree in June 2012 with the theme “Lights, Cameras, Ancestors!

What Will You Do With Your Genealogy Research?

Randy Seaver wrote an interesting blog post about his hopes and his plans for his genealogy research after his demise. For an avid genealogist of a certain age, this is a question of huge importance.

I am a firm  believer that no one,  no matter how interested, will want my 6 filing cabinet drawers of loose papers. No one will want dozens of family surname binders. 

This extends to all of us. Who would want drawers and drawers of loose papers, no matter how well organized? Who has the time to read it all or the space required to store it?

Digital copies on DVDs? Maybe.. but will they survive technological changes? Will they be readable 50 years from now?

It is unlikely that any museum or library will want your work in loose form.

For me, the solution has always been clear in my mind. The only way I can come close to guaranteeing that my years of hard work will not be lost is to write and publish family books. I can self-publish using any number of websites such as,, and soon.

I can print books myself, create laminated covers and bind them using coils. I could print copies of all documents, run off a family pedigree chart and place everything about a specific person or surname in a binder.
That doesn't work well for me as I would end up with 50 or more binders. I don't think anyone would want to give them house room! But it is an option.

That takes care of the documents and research I've done. But what about treasured photographs?

Some of the Family Books I've self-published
Again, in my mind it's a clear choice. I use Shutterfly to create family photo albums. I label each photograph and sometimes I put in a brief sentence or two about that specific photo. Then I have them printed and I distribute them NOW to family members.

I'm not going to risk keeping them in my house and hoping that when I'm gone my executor will take the time to distribute them. By giving them out now, I've also got insurance against a fire or other calamity destroying all the copies in my possession.

Another thing I do  is  create photo books on Shutterfly and order 4 in hard cover - one for each of my children and one for me. Then I inform other family members (siblings, cousins, niece and nephews) that copies in soft cover are available. (Soft cover is cheaper than hard cover. ) If they wish to have their own copy, I simply charge them exactly what Shutterfly charges me, then I have the copy shipped directly to the family member who asked for it.

Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I've also worked very hard and consistently over the years to encourage my grandchildren in the love of family history and genealogy. I've played games with them, talked to them, shared stories, showed photographs and family treasures (talking about the ancestor whose photo or treasure it was).

My theory is that since I have 13 and soon to be 14 grandchildren, at least one of them might take up the torch for me! And if no one does, that's okay too because I know that some of them will remember bits and pieces of the stories and be able to pass those memories on to their children.

The last thing I've done is to tell my husband and also leave written instructions for my executors as to what I would like done with my collection of genealogy resource books and my collection of Civil War Era Photo Albums that are not of our family.  My wishes may or may not be carried out but I've done what I can to ensure that they are.

Have you thought about what will happen to your years of research? Have you developed a plan or set one in motion? I'm curious to learn what others are planning.

November 17, 2011

Press Release: FamilySearch CEO Change

The following Press Release came to Olive Tree Genealogy in yesterday's email:

SALT LAKE CITY— FamilySearch International announced today a change in its chief executive officer. Effective January 2, 2012, Dennis C. Brimhall will succeed Jay L. Verkler as CEO of FamilySearch.  Mr. Verkler will continue in a consulting capacity for a few months to ensure a smooth transition.

It is the business culture and practice of FamilySearch, as an organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to regularly rotate its senior leaders. This pattern assures the forward momentum of its core programs.

Over the past decade under Mr. Verkler’s leadership, FamilySearch has shifted its vast stores of genealogical records and resources to a digital, worldwide, internet-based focus.  FamilySearch has developed partnerships with many genealogy and technology industry organizations, helping form a broad and deep industry community including companies, societies, and archives.

FamilySearch has helped make the world’s historic records easier to access online, publishing over 2.4 billion names in historic records at, including 870 collections from over 50 countries indexed by over 250,000 volunteers. During this period, FamilySearch has also created an unprecedented, free global service organization that engages over 70,000 volunteers who provide needed local and online support to research patrons and the genealogical community.  FamilySearch has pioneered genealogical search, record linkage, imaging, crowd-sourcing, and digital preservation technologies.

“It has been a career highlight for me to work in such a significant and meaningful effort,” said Jay L. Verkler regarding his time at FamilySearch’s helm. “I have had the privilege to work with countless great individuals, organizations, and companies, all striving to provide the best of user experiences.”

Mr. Brimhall comes to FamilySearch with a deep background in management.  He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He recently served for 17 years as president and CEO of the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver from 1988 until 2005.  Since then Mr. Brimhall has held positions of increasing responsibility in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I am very excited to help lead the work of FamilySearch, to continue the great things that have been done and move forward in new directions as appropriate,” said Brimhall.  “FamilySearch provides services to millions of people worldwide. We really need to understand our customers’ needs and satisfy them. Our focus will be to ensure that FamilySearch’s customer experiences are really first rate.”

FamilySearch looks forward to further strengthening its commitment to the global genealogical community, to publishing and digitizing the world’s records, and encouraging all people to discover, preserve, and share their family histories. 

November 16, 2011

November's Genealogy Challenge

It's time for November's Genealogy Challenge. Even though I was underwhelmed by the response to my October Genealogy Challenge I'm repeating the challenge this month.

October's Challenge was the "Give 15 Minutes" Challenge - to give 15 minutes of time to photograph tombstones in a local cemetery.  In 15 minutes most genealogists can photograph between 30 and 60 burial stones! 

Many genealogists told me they were going to do it. Many were enthusiastic about participating in a project that would bring more cemeteries online for all to view. So why was I underwhelmed?

Because only one person followed through. Bobby R. sent me almost 300 photos a cemetery in Missouri. You can see the first video on Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel

Yes that certainly took longer than my suggested 15 minutes challenge, but even if Bobby had only done 15 minutes of photographing burial stones that would have been a great start.

Perhaps October was a busy month for genealogists. I refuse to believe that folks just aren't interested. I know genealogists are among the most giving and generous people there are! And sometimes life just gets in the way of good intentions.  Maybe that is what happened in October.

So I'm challenging all my readers once again - please try to find 15 minutes of time to go out and photograph tombstones in a nearby cemetery. Don't worry if you only get 20 photos, or you get half the cemetery but not all. ANYTHING is good!

Just think of how many cemeteries we can bring online if we all make that effort to find 15 minutes once a month.  So won't you accept this Genealogy Challenge and help bring more cemeteries online?

If you upload your photos to a photo sharing site such as Picasa Web Album or Flickr, you can easily get them to me for the Cemetery Walk video creation. You can also email them to me at olivetreegenealogy @ (no spaces of course in the email address)

November 15, 2011

A 1913 Fireplace Screen's Long Journey

Antique Fireplace Screen
This hand painted fireplace screen was given as a wedding present in 1913 to  Raymond John (Jack) Harwood & Florence (Flo) Beatice Willard. It is brass with a round mirror which is painted with flowers.

Jack and Flo were married in England and shortly afterwards, left for Canada where they began their married life. A son Godfrey William was born in Toronto one year later.

Godfrey was an only child and after his parents' death, the fireplace screen was one of the few items he kept.

Photo taken in Guelph ca 1917
Jack and Flo were friends of my maternal grandparents and the two families spent a lot of time together.

Godfrey is the little boy standing in this photo of my grandparents with their two daughters. My mother is the baby in my grandmother's arms.

Godfrey went on to marry a woman who became a lab assistant to Sir Frederick Banting, the inventor of insulin.

My mother went on to marry my father. The two lost touch with each other.

Many years later, long after my father's death, Godfrey and my mother happened to spot each other in a trailer park in Florida. It was a purely co-incidental meeting and they had not been in touch for over 50 years.

Godfrey's wife died shortly after this meeting. Can you guess what happened next? Godfrey became my step-father. Yes the little boy in this photo with my mother circa 1917 married my mother over 60 years later.

A touching aside to this story is that Godfrey lived with my grandparents as a teenager. My mother developed a bit of a crush on him but he left for Toronto to find a job and didn't keep in touch with her. He came back two years later, intent on asking my mother to marry him, only to find out she was engaged to my father. He left without ever telling her how he felt. 

Godfrey died in 1995. My 79 year old mother sold most of their furniture and belongings, then packed her car with what was left. With her car packed to the brim, she made the trip over the mountains and across the prairies from British Columbia back to Ontario.

Each of us four children of my mom received one item that had belonged to Godfrey. The fireplace screen went to my brother. He enjoyed it until for almost 14 years and then he passed it on to me.

And so the screen has had a long journey since it was first given as a wedding present 98 years ago. It sits in my living room in front of our fireplace and I enjoy looking at it every day. I plan to pass it on to one of my children, along with the story (or as we antique buffs call it, "the provenance") in hopes the story and the screen will always be passed on and treasured together.

November 14, 2011

Staying Connected

Have you figured out all the ways you and your family or friends can stay connected online? Or how you can stay connected to your favourite blog or website or personality?

Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Google+? These are a few of the social networking sites that can help you stay connected with friends, family and people whose work or posts you enjoy. 

Take me for example. Here's the many different ways you can follow, like, circle, connect with or interact with me or my Olive Tree Genealogy website, blog or newsletter.


* Follow me on Twitter @LorineMS

That's where folks who tweet have the challenge of sharing information in 142 characters or less. I can interact with others who I follow. They can interact with me. Or I can post my thoughts on any topic I'm interested in and try to get a discussion going.  I can also search for others discussing a topic, by using the Twitter Hashtag (#) followed by the topic name.

Did you know I was chosen as one of Ten People All Genealogists Should Follow On Twitter? That's pretty cool!


* Google+     To circle or follow my website, go to Olive Tree Genealogy

It's a bit easier on Google+ because we have on limitations on how much we say. So for wordy folks like me, it's great! I can share tips with you, or start a discussion on a genealogy topic. Or, as I've been doing recently, posting a few photos of my favourite pieces from my collections of antiques.


* Like my Olive Tree Genealogy page on Facebook.

A summary of the Olive Tree Genealogy and Ask Olive Tree blog posts are posted here every day. Readers can interact or post their own quesions or thoughts. You can also post videos or photographs


* Subscribe to Olive Tree Genealogy free newsletter .

Every so often (once or twice a month) the Olive Tree Genealogy newsletter comes to you in your email or you can go to Yahoo Groups to read it. You can't post to the newsletter, it's an announcement only type of deal. This is where I post updates and announcements of new genealogy added online


I haven't mentioned Olive Tree Genealogy Blog because if you're reading this, you already know that you can post comments and join in any post discussion you wish. 

So there you have it. These are the ways I connect with family and friends, or follow personalities I'm interested in. You may be thinking there is NO WAY you are going to sign up for all these networking options! And you don't have to. Choose the one that suits you best.

But don't overlook the terrific new tools that can keep you connected online.

November 12, 2011

And the Winner is.....

Congratulations to C. Michael Eliasz who won the Free Registration to RootsTech 2012  in the Olive Tree Genealogy Giveaway Contest. 

The names of those who entered AND followed the rules (no more than 3 sentences, share on a social networking site and tell me where you shared, send to correct email...) were entered into Random Choice which randomly chooses one from all those entered.

For those who entered but did not win, you can still get the Early Bird Registration for $129.00 up to November 30th

Thanks to RootsTech 2012 for providing Olive Tree Genealogy with this prize to award.

November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget - My Military Ancestors

My dad WW2
My uncle WW2
My uncle WW2
My great grand-uncle WW1
My grand-uncle WW1
My dad & uncle WW2
My grand-uncle pre WW1
My uncle WW2

My grand-uncle, Stanley Barracks
My grandfather in The Buffs

These are a few of the military heroes in my family. Honouring them and all others who have fought and died for freedom.

November 10, 2011

Three Chances to Win a Free Registration to RootsTech 2012

Wow. Not one but three chances to win a free registration to RootsTech 2012.  If you haven't heard about RootsTech, it's an amazing Genealogy-Technology Conference in Salt Lake City Utah.

Olive Tree Genealogy will be there (as I was for RootsTech 2011) as one of the Official Bloggers. It's an educational fun-filled experience, jam-packed with sessions and vendors you won't want to miss.

Here are the 3 opportunities to win that free registration:

Rootstech 2012 Official Blogger Registration Giveaway by Jill Ball of Geniaus. Jill's contest ends at at Midnight GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) on Wednesday 16th November., 2011

Rootstech 2012 Win FREE Registration by Joan Miller of Luxegen. Joan's contest ends Sunday November 13, 2011 at midnight MST

RootsTech Free Registration Giveaway! by me of Olive Tree Genealogy. My contest ends Thursday November 10, 2011 at midnight EST 

If you are planning a trip to RootsTech this February, here's your chance to win a free registration to the conference. So don't delay. Be sure to read each of the contests carefully and follow whatever rules each blogger has in place for entering. 

Good luck!

November 9, 2011

APG Election Results

 The following press release came to Olive Tree Genealogy a few minutes ago:

Association of Professional Genealogists Announces Election Results for Executive Committee, Regional Directors and Nominating Committee

Kenyatta D. Berry Elected APG President

WESTMINSTER, Colo., November 9, 2011−The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today announced election results for its 2012–2014 executive committee, as well as for nine regional directors and two new nominating committee members. Kenyatta D. Berry of Santa Monica, Calif. was elected president. Berry, a genealogist, entrepreneur and lawyer with more than 15 years of experience in genealogy research and writing, served as APG vice president during the last term. She will succeed Laura G. Prescott of Brookline, New Hampshire.

“I am honored to be elected and excited at the depth and breadth of experience represented by our incoming officers, board and committee members,” said Berry. “APG made great strides during the last administration, growing to more than 2,400 members, adding new Chapters and expanding internationally. I look forward to continuing the important work of this organization.”

Kimberly D. Powell of Pennsylvania was elected APG vice president. Powell has been writing and blogging on genealogy for since 2000. She is the author of several genealogy books and currently serves as a member on the APG board.

Janice S. Prater of Denver, Colo. will serve as secretary. Prater is the editor of the International Society of British Genealogy and Family History’s quarterly publication and is treasurer for the Colorado Chapter of APG. APG treasurer will be Joan Peake of West Virginia, a certified public accountant and the president of the Great Lakes Chapter of APG and the Fayette Ohio Genealogical Society.

APG members elected the following regional directors:

West region: Jean Wilcox Hibben, CG, is president of the Southern California Chapter of APG and the Corona (Calif.) Genealogical Society, secretary of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Joan A. Hunter, MLS, CG, serves as Librarian General for the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and is a past president of the Oregon Chapter of APG.

Midwest region: Billie Stone Fogarty, M.Ed., fulltime genealogist and lecturer and president of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Jay H. Fonkert, CG, is a fulltime genealogist, lecturer and writer and a founder of the Northland APG Chapter.

Southeast region: Alvie L. Davidson, CG, is a Florida-based private investigator and circuit court qualified expert, specializing in missing persons and genealogical applications of investigations. Michael Hait, CG, is a professional genealogy researcher, writer and lecturer who currently serves as vice president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG.

Northeast region: Debra Braverman is a professional genealogist in New York City, specializing in due diligence for trust and estates matters, and 19th–21st century New York research. Michael Leclerc of Massachusetts is a genealogist who most recently served as director of special projects at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

International regions: Michael Goldstein of Israel, traces roots worldwide, specializing in family reunification, heir searches and Holocaust research.

Elected to one-year terms on the nominations committee are: Jana Sloan Broglin, CG, a director for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and Debby Horton, professional genealogist and web designer.

November 8, 2011


RootsTech 2012 Giveaway! 

As an official RootsTech 2012 Blogger, Olive Tree Genealogy is pleased to offer ONE FREE REGISTRATION to RootsTech 2012

Here's how to enter for your chance to win

1.  Share this blog post either on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

2. Look at the sessions offered on the RootsTech 2012 Schedule page.

3. In 3 sentences or less tell me why you want to attend RootsTech 2012 and why you would like to be at a specific session. Be sure to tell me where you shared this blog post - either on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

4. Send your entry  to

Contest ends on Thursday November 10th at midnight EST and the winner will be announced here on Olive Tree Genealogy blog

1. No purchase necessary.
2. Winner will be chosen from entries received.
3. One winner will be chosen to receive a prize.
4. The contest  ends at midnight EST Thursday November 10, 2011
5. You are responsible for anything in regards to the legality of entering a contest in the area in which you live.
6. The winner will be notified via your provided contact information immediately following the end of the contest, and the winner's name will be posted on Olive Tree Genealogy blog.

If you send your entry to any other email other than it will not be accepted.
Disclaimer: Free Registration provided courtesy of RootsTech 2012

November 7, 2011

St. Paul Cemetery in Oakville Missouri Cemetery Walk

Today's Cemetery Walk is the first of several videos of St. Paul Cemetery in Oakville Missouri

We have Bobby R. to thank for these photos as he accepted my "Give 15 Minutes" Challenge in October - to give 15 minutes once a month to take photos of tombstones in a local cemetery.

Bobby gave up more than 15 minutes and sent me a few hundred photographs of St. Paul Cemetery in Oakville Missouri. These will be going up on Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel as I complete them.

November 5, 2011

Still Converting Old Home Movies: Ripping a DVD to .avi for Windows

Last week I began the next step of my project to convert my old VHS tape Home Movies to DVD and then from DVD to computer digital files. It's going well!

There was a lot of trial and error, gritting of teeth, mumbling under my breath and yes, outright yelling at my computer. That never helps but it makes me feel better.

But I've done it. I've converted 13 VHS Home Movies from 1983 to 1992 and put them on DVDs. I'm in the process of ripping those DVDs (yes it's called "ripping") and then converting them to digital files I can open in a Movie Maker program where I can edit, clip and create new movies from the old!

My first step was to find out what I needed to do this conversion to digital computer files that Windows could open. DVD files are in .vob format and they must be converted to something Windows can work with - such as .mpeg or .avi. There are other formats but I decided to go with .avi.

I found out that everyone has their favourite ripper! So I read reviews and several were listed as being excellent. I opted to download the free "MyVideoConverter" and try that. It worked great - fast and easy but.... (yes there was a "but") the free version has an ad for MyVideoConverter that flashes on top of your movie every 10 seconds! It was horrible.

But there was an easy solution - I registered the program by paying for it. Yes it's a bit pricey at $40.00 but I'm so happy with it that I don't mind.

Here's how I did my conversions:

Step 1: Put your DVD into your DVD player and open the MyVideoConverter program. Click on FILE then CONVERT DVD.  You will be prompted for such things as where you want the converted file, what name you want to give it, and so on.

It's going to start ripping your DVD now. It will show as a file in the window with a small red square when it's ready for the next step.


I let everything go to default except for the file name which I changed on every one to "Schulze_Home_Movies_xxx" where xxx was my designation re tape #, year, etc. I made sure it was being converted to .avi

Step 3: Sit back and relax while the program rips your DVD.

When it's done, a little green check mark appears beside the file name.

My converted DVD movies
It is now saved to your computer as an .avi file  and you can open it in any video player program to watch it. Or you can open it in Windows Movie Maker and start editing. I'll write about doing that  in another blog post.

Disclaimer: MyVideoConverter did not pay me or give me a free program. I received no compensation for writing this tutorial. I am not an affiliate of MyVideoConverter and do not receive any compensation should you decide to buy it. I just like the program and wanted to show others how easy it is to use!

November 4, 2011

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Announces Its New Website

The following Announcement was sent to Olive Tree Genealogy by the NYGBS:

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Announces Its New Website

Members enjoy access to important new digital resources for research on New York families and families with New York connections

NEW YORK, NY, November 1, 2011 -- The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is pleased to announce that it has replaced its website with a brand new one that is easier to use and enriched with expanded content.  The address has not changed but visitors will find many new features. 

All collections in the eLibrary may now be viewed in a browsable format, which allows the reader to easily scroll through documents and print multiple pages.  Numerous unique records and digital publications have been added to the eLibrary.  Example:  The complete run of The New York Researcher and its predecessor publication The NYG&B Newsletter, which was first published in 1990.  New guides to using newspapers, maps, and other resources have been created.  Dozens of Research Aid articles have been brought up to date by the original authors.  Individual guides to genealogical research in New York counties are in production; thirteen of a projected 62 guides are now online. 
Additions to the eLibrary include:

  • The family records contained in the American Bible Society Collection and an index to more than 8,000 names
  • The complete set of over 500 NYG&B Member Biographies from the early 20th century
  • 32 digitized books, including many volumes originally published as part of the series Collections of The NYG&B Society and several entries in the WPA’s Public Archives Inventory, Church Archives Inventory, and Guide to Vital Statistics series for New York City.
  • Book two of the 1855 New York State Census for Manhattan's Ward 17.
The cornerstone of the eLibrary is the full run of The NYG&B Record, which has been published quarterly since 1870 and forms the largest single collection of published material on families that lived in New York State.  The collection is every-word searchable and is accompanied by a search engine based on an index to more than 1,000,000 names from the pages of The Record. 
While access to the full digital resources of the website is available only to NYG&B members, there are several features available to both members and non-members:
  • News You Can Use is updated frequently and references new resources and information pertinent to New York research. 
  • There are free guides on the following subjects: Getting Started on Your Family History; Finding New York Vital Records; Genealogical and Historical Societies in the New York Region; Heraldry; Heritage and Lineage Societies; and Hiring Professional Genealogical Researchers. 
  • The Genealogical Exchange allows anyone to submit a specific query about a genealogical question related to New York. 
  • Information about upcoming programs offered by the NYG&B and the New York Family History School is also available; tickets may be purchased through the website. 
About the NYG&B
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has been the authoritative source for research on New York families and families with New York connections since 1869.  By offering educational programs, scholarly and informational publications, and online resources, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society helps people of all backgrounds build connections with their families and their communities, ­ especially those linked to New York City, State, and region ­ and to appreciate their families’ experience in the broader context of American history.  The NYG&B maintains an eLibrary of digital material, including the entire run of its quarterly scholarly journal The NYG&B Record, for its members at

November 3, 2011

Holocaust Records Collection Now Available (Free) on

The following Press Release was sent to Olive Tree Genealogy by and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Release First Searchable Online Records Collections From World Memory Project

Information on Holocaust survivors and victims of Nazi persecution
available online at no cost through efforts of World Memory Project

WASHINGTON, D.C./PROVO, Utah, November 2, 2011 – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and announced that material from four Museum collections containing information on more than 30,000 victims of Nazi persecution is now available online at and can be searched at no cost.  The collections contain information on thousands of individuals including displaced Jewish orphans; Czech Jews deported to the Terezin concentration camp and camps in occupied Poland; and French victims of Nazi persecution.  

The collections are being made available through the World Memory Project, launched in May 2011. The project is recruiting the public to help build the world’s largest online resource on Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of non-Jews who were targeted for persecution by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, allowing victims’ families and survivors themselves to discover missing chapters of their history, learn the truth about the fate of their relatives and honor those who were lost.  

World Memory Project contributors are continuously keying information that will form new searchable databases of historical collections when complete.  To date, more than 2,100 contributors from around the world have indexed almost 650,000 records.  Anyone, anywhere can contribute to the project by simply typing information from historical records into the online database.  

“World Memory Project contributors are helping Holocaust survivors and their families learn the truth about what happened to loved ones,” says Lisa Yavnai, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum WMP project leader.  “It is an incredible gift that anyone can give to those who survived the horrors of Nazi Germany.  In a few months, the contributors’ efforts have resulted in more online searchable records than the Museum alone could have produced in many years.”

The World Memory Project utilizes proprietary software and project management donated by, which hosts its own online archival project to transcribe historical records.  Once Museum records are transcribed, the indices are hosted exclusively on and are permanently free to search.  The Museum provides copies of documents upon request at no cost.  The original documentation remains in the Museum’s archival collection.

“We’ve been inspired by the steadfast efforts of the thousands of contributors who have in some cases spent hundreds of hours transcribing this important material,” remarked Tim Sullivan, CEO,  “These early results would likely have taken years without the dedication of the many individuals who have embraced the mission of the World Memory Project.”

To find out more about the World Memory Project or to learn how to become a contributor, please visit

About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit

About Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.7 million paying subscribers. More than 7 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 28 million family trees containing over 2.8 billion profiles. has local Web sites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at

November 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner!

Great news! It's Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Birthday and to celebrate they are offering a 10% off coupon code (of purchases of $100 or more)

My own Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner (which I LOVE) arrived in my mail box exactly one year ago today! It's one of my most frequently used devices and I don't know how I got along without it.

You can read my reviews and tips for using Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner here
flip-pal mobile scanner

The birthday coupon code is: BDAY11A Use this Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner link and enter the code to get your discount.

This coupon is good until November 13, 2011 or while supplies last.

November 1, 2011

Free Digital Scrapbooking Kit from Share The Memories

Free Digital Scrapbooking Kit
Share The Memories has some great free 2-page layouts for your digital scrapbooking needs.

Readers who are interested can now access these free Digital Kits through Olive Tree Genealogy blog.

Each free kit includes

  • 2 Digital Papers
  • 4 Page Elements
  • 2 Quick Pages

Last week I provided a link to a free digital kit. I hope you got it before it disappeared! The  Free Digital Scrapbooking Kit offered this week can be seen on the left.  I will be providing a link to a new Free Digital Kit every so often so be sure to come back to grab them!

With these free kits you can start an album for photobooks, printing or on line viewing. 

Readers of OliveTreeGenealogy Blog can also use this special code STMMMS31969 to get  a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store - $20 value!