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September 29, 2012

Flip-Pal offers Free Shipping Weekend in the United States and Canada!

Here's your chance to save money! Olive Tree Genealogy just received this announcement from Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner. Curious how I use mine? Just click on Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Blog Posts 

Free Shipping Weekend for customers in the United States and Canada!

Please place all items in your shopping cart on Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner first, then enter the promotion code

• Single orders of $100 or more
• Applies to standard ground shipping only
• Use Promotion Code: 928free
• Other promotion codes cannot be used in conjunction with this offer

• The promotion code is valid 12:00 a.m. September 28 to 11:59 p.m. September 30, 2012, Mountain Time (-6 GMT) when ordering from our shop page.

Use this link to order from Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Questions? Please contact customer service at 1-855-477-3547 or

September 28, 2012

WW1 Photo Album Archive Page 3

Continuing on with my WW1 Photo Album archive here is the third page. Three very nice photos of WW1 cavalry soldiers are glued directly on to the page.

My grandmother's brother Ernie, is in the group photo of the soldiers on horseback. He's second from the left.

Unfortunately I don't know who any of the other soldiers are, or where this was taken.

September 27, 2012

Don't Miss Out on Early Bird Prices for RootsTech2013

 Olive Tree Genealogy is pleased to be an official blogger again at RootsTech 2013! And as such I'm even happier to tell my readers about the early bird savings if you register now for RootsTech in March 2013. 

Registration is now live for the 3rd annual RootsTech conference on March 21-23, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, offers an opportunity unlike any other to discover the lastest family history tools and techniques, connect with experts to help  you in your research, and be inspired in the pursuit of your ancestors.  

You will learn to use the  latest technology to get started or accelerate your efforts to find, organize, preserve, and share your family's connections and history. 

New in 2013! A full track of Getting Started classes and labs will help those new to family history learn where to start, how to build their family tree, and how to use technology to explore their connections. 

Register NOW and Save $70 with Early-bird Pricing!

Registration Options
Full 3-Day Pass
Access to everything RootsTech has to offer (250+ classes).         
$219 $149 (Early-bird Pricing)
One-day Pass
Full admission for just one day.
Student 3-Day Pass
Student ID required.
NEW! Getting Started 3-Day Pass
Beginner track with access to over 30 classes.
$49 $39 (Early-bird Pricing)
Getting Started One-Day Pass
A selection of fundamental classes to help get you started.
Developer Day Pass (March 22)
A full-day technology program just for developers. 

Learn more and register at

RootsTech has something for everyone, whether you are an avid genealogist, just getting started, or simply want to discover the latest technologies and solutions to better connect with your family. At RootsTech, come prepared to experience world-class content from speakers all over the country, an exciting exhibitor hall, and great keynote speakers.

September 26, 2012

Record Matching - a New Technology from MyHeritage

The following Press Release was received by Olive Tree Genealogy. This looks really promising!

MyHeritage releases breakthrough Record Matching technology for family history
Discoveries made easy: Millions of MyHeritage users to automatically receive relevant newspaper clippings and historical records, adding color to their family history
PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel – September 19, 2012: MyHeritage, the world’s largest family network, today announced the release of Record Matching, an innovative new technology set to change the face of the family history market. Record Matching will help millions of families learn more about their past by automatically discovering relevant historical records and newspaper articles dating back 300 years.
Record Matching is the next generation of family history exploration. It saves time by automating online research for users’ family trees, breaking through “brick walls” for dedicated genealogists, and giving beginners a significant boost with their family tree research. It works by comparing more than one billion profiles in family trees created by MyHeritage users to more than four billion historical records, to find relevant matches. It’s the only service of its kind to automatically research newspaper articles, books and other free text content through semantic analysis, to find articles that can shed light on the actual lives, personalities and achievements of one’s ancestors.  The Internet has helped bring family history to mainstream audiences, by allowing some of the research traditionally done in libraries and archives to be done online. Record Matching now simplifies online research by conducting it automatically.
Supporting 38 languages, MyHeritage has become the trusted home on the web for families worldwide wishing to explore their family history, share memories and stay connected. In addition to its expertise on collaborative family tree building, over the past year MyHeritage has positioned itself as a leading provider of historical records. Record Matching is an add-on feature for SuperSearch, the search engine for historical records successfully released by MyHeritage in June 2012.

MyHeritage Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, said: “Record Matching is a family history discovery maker and time saver, designed to delight both dedicated family historians and people with a casual interest in their ancestry. Over the past year we’ve expanded our consumer offering by complementing our social family tree network with a substantial amount of historical content. Record Matching now ties these two assets together, adding exciting new value for our users and giving us a unique edge in the family history market. It’s a significant step towards realizing our goal of bringing family history to the masses.” 

Record Matching utilizes the current global pool of more than four billion records on MyHeritage, including strong collections in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada, with more content being added daily for additional countries. Users can receive birth, marriage and divorce documents, gravestone photos, death, burial and census information, military, immigration and other types of records in their Record Matches. More information about the lives of relatives and ancestors can be revealed in Record Matches from the world’s largest historical newspaper collection licensed to MyHeritage (currently about 120 million pages dating back to the 18th century), books and other free text materials. Record Matches also cover the 1930 and 1940 US census records and the content from MyHeritage-owned family history websites, WorldVitalRecords and FamilyLink

Developed in-house by MyHeritage engineers and family history experts, Record Matching technology is designed to mimic the work of a family historian as much as possible, finding matches that a human would consider plausible, and ruling out matches that a researcher would consider as incorrect. Based on multiple genealogical algorithms that match information in the record (names, dates, facts, relationships, etc.) to the information in the family tree, semantic analysis, statistical engines and a false positive prevention sub-system, Record Matching provides a high degree of accuracy without sacrificing flexibility. Through its use of massive computational resources and systematic approach of comparing every person to every record, Record Matching makes discoveries that many users would not have the time or luck to find on their own.
Record Matching technology augments MyHeritage’s flagship Smart Matching™ technology that compares family trees to other family trees. The two technologies work together in a cycle that constantly pushes forward the users' knowledge of their family history. MyHeritage users will receive weekly email updates of their new Record Matches. On the website, all Record Matches found are consolidated in one interactive report, where users can conveniently review, filter, sort, confirm and reject their matches.
Record Matching has flexible phonetic and multilingual capabilities when researching names, covering many possible synonyms, different spellings and international variations.  Record Matches have an individual confidence score and can be viewed by person or by data collection. Additional features, such as saving information from Record Matches into online family trees, creating references and source citations and displaying real-time matches whenever a new person is added into the tree, will be added before the end of 2012.
As of today, Record Matching will run periodically for every user who has a family tree on MyHeritage. Record Matches found will be displayed for free as a shortened extract. For full access to the historical records delivered by Record Matches, MyHeritage offers affordable data subscription plans and pay-as-you-go credits which are also good for use on SuperSearch, the MyHeritage search engine for historical records. In complimentary collections under license, such as Ellis Island and Find-A-Grave, MyHeritage users will enjoy full access to the Record Matches for free. Family tree enthusiasts interested in receiving Record Matches are welcome to sign up for free at MyHeritage, import their family tree or build a new one using the site’s friendly tools, and receive their matches in less than 24 hours.

September 25, 2012

Genealogy Treasure No 9: Land Deed 1903 Jackson-Wilson

This is the 9th set of documents in the batch I purchased at an antique store in Kingston Ontario July 27, 2012. For details, see Found! Treasure Trove of Land Documents from Ontario Canada

 This document is a Deed of Land from I. S. Jackson et ux (and wife) to J. T. Wilson.

It is dated 17 January 1903 and is for $500.00 on the SW 1/4 of Lot 8, Concession 9, Richmond Township, Lennox & Addington Co. Ontario

Details show the full names are Irvine S. Jackson and his wife Margaret J. to James T. Wilson

More documents will follow as I scan them and extract their details. To see all the documents as they are published on Olive Tree Genealogy, click on Lennox-Addington Collection in the right nav bar.

If you are a descendant and would like to see any of these records, please contact me. Just click on ABOUT LORINE and scroll to the bottom of the page to obtain an email address.

September 24, 2012

Hooper-Squires Photo Archives Treasure No. 3: The Squires House ca 1900

This is the third photo in our collection of rescued photographs of the Hooper and Squires families of St. Mary's Ontario Canada.

To view all the photos in this collection as they are published here on Olive Tree Genealogy blog, click on Hooper-Squires Photo Archives link.

We think these are three Squires (or Squire) sisters (possibly Ettie, Bertha & Ida) and their mother Louisa in front of the Squires house, circa early 1900s. They lived in the country outside of St. Mary's Ontario but sadly we don't know the exact location.

The Squire(s) family is found in the 1901 census for Blanshard Twp, Perth County Ontario. The family consisted of parents George & Louisa (nee Gunning) Squires both aged 43 and ten children: Ettie Eliza 21, Bertha Louise 21, Ida Maud 18, Harry (Harvey) Russell 17, Lottie May 14, Francis Chester 12,  Verda Pearl 10, Edgar Victor 8, Martha I. 4, Nelson Wilbert 2

It was Ettie Eliza who later married Edgar John Hooper and the photos were in the possession of their son Wilbert aka Wib Hooper.

George Squires son of William and Mary Ann Squires, married Louisa Augusta Gunning daughter of William & Sarah Gunning, in St. Mary's on 23 October 1878.

September 22, 2012

Lost Faces Civil War Photo Franklin Amos Pratt Connecticut

This is a very nice cabinet card of F. A. Pratt, a Civil War soldier from Olive Tree Genealogy private collection. It is a  copy of an earlier 1862 Cartes de Visite.

The man is Captain F. A. [Franklin Amos] Pratt. He was born in Connecticut circa 1836 and was in Battery M, 1st Connecticut Artillery during the Civil War.

He is found in the 1880 census for the city of St. Louis Missouri and this cabinet card was done in St. Louis in 1890.

In 1870 he was in Hartford Connecticut.

Closeup of period handwriting on Cabinet Card F. A. Pratt
My research indicates he is almost certainly the Franklin Amos Pratt born in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut in 1836 to Francis and Emiline Pratt. He is found with his parents and siblings in the 1850 census for Waterbury. By 1900 he was in Montana and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Livingston, Park County, Montana

His Civil War history is as follows:

November 17, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the several batteries composing the Second Volunteer Brigade, Artillery Reserve, in the late action:
In compliance with order received from headquarters Artillery Reserve, November 6, 1863, Battery M, First Connecticut Artillery, Captain F. A. Pratt, marched from the camp of the Artillery Reserve, near Catlett's Station, at 4 a. m. of the 7th instant, and reported at General French's headquarters near Germantown, and proceed thence to Kelly's Ford, where it took position, and soon afterward opened fire on the enemy, with good effect, as will be seen by the report of Captain Pratt, a copy of which is hereunto attached.

[Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies]

Numbers 16. Report of Captain Franklin A. Pratt, Battery M, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, of action at Kelly's Ford.
KELLY'S FORD, VA., November 12, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my battery in the action of the 7th instant at Kelly's Ford:
In compliance with orders from headquarters Army of the Potomac, the battery moved from the camp of the Artillery Reserve, near Catlett's Station, at 4 a. m. of the 7th instant, reporting at the headquarters of General French, near Germantown, at daybreak, from which place it moved at the rear of the First Division, Third
Corps, by way of Morrisville, to Mount Holly Church. When near the latter place I was ordered to move at once to a position on the road about 500 yards to the left of the church, and 1,500 yards from Kelly's Ford, which it commanded with the plains beyond. As I came up there was a scattering musketry fire at the ford, and the enemy were throwing forward infantry from the woods into the rifle-pits and buildings on the opposite bank. Being directed by General Birney to "open on them as soon as possible," the battery was soon in position, and the second to open fire.
The enemy being under cover, General Birney directed me to fire on the brick store in which their riflemen were sheltered. My first shot struck the building between the second-story windows, passed through the roof of the one intended. My fire was then directed at a battery of brass pieces the enemy were using on our infantry from the edge of the woods, distant from me about 2,500 yards. They effected, the enemy advanced a line of infantry from the edge of the woods to oppose the advance of our forces. I threw three shells at them that apparently struck their line, which broke in much confusion, so much of it as was not covered by rising ground.
The ammunition used was Schenkle percussion shell. I expended but 15 rounds, but its effectiveness was very evident. They carried with great precision, few failing to explode.
In closing the report I have to express my belief that the merit of the 4 1\2-inch rifle for field service is not properly considered, and that if more generally into action, they would add much good to the result.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, First Regiment Conn. Arty., Commanding Siege Battery M.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Verso of Cabinet Card

Here is more information about Cptn. Pratt

U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles 

Name: Franklin A Pratt
Residence: Hartford, Connecticut
Enlistment Date: 23 May 1861
Rank at enlistment: Qtr Master Serg
State Served: Connecticut
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Enlisted in Company S, Connecticut 1st Heavy Artillery Regiment on 23 May 1861.
Promoted to Full 2nd Lieutenant on 06 Nov 1861.
Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on 13 Feb 1862.
Promoted to Full Adjutant on 01 Mar 1862.
Promoted to Full Captain on 08 Aug 1862.
Mustered out on 11 Nov 1864.
Sources: Connecticut: Record of Service of Men during War of Rebellion. Source:

In 1898 Franklin filed for his Civil War pension in Montana


September 21, 2012

September 20, 2012

Coupons for Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner & Using it to Archive a WW1 Photo Album

One of the really great things about  Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner (aside from how fast and easy it is to use) is the coupon deals they have! And right now there is a Fall Special on their scanners. Let me show you their specials first, then I'm going to walk you through how I'm using my Flip Pal Mobile scanner to scan and archive the loose photos in my WW1 Photo Albums.
September 19-20
Save $30 when you purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner with Creative Suite Craft Edition DVD plus a Deluxe Flip-Pal mobile scanner Carry Case with Pocket!
Use Promotion Code: 919fall on Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

September 21-23
Save $15 when you purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner!
Use Promotion Code: 921fall on Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner

Please note: these promotional codes cannot be used in conjunction with other promotion codes.
The next stage of archiving the photos from my mother's cousin Doris was to remove all those pictures that were not glued down so I could scan and place them in the appropriate storage containers.

 My plan was to use my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner to quickly and easily scan the loose photos. I was surprised at how easily photos came out of the earlier albums but many of them were put in with photo corners.

Using my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner allowed me to sit on the couch and scan the photos  quickly, then import them into my computer.

 This is a photo of my mother, her father and mother and her sister, taken in Guelph Ontario ca 1918. It's easy to just pop the photo on the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner bed, close the lid and push the green button.
 See the image after I scanned the photo? It's in the top right window of the scanner. That allows me to verify if I am happy with the scan or want to redo it.
 Some of the photos had writing on the back so after I scan these two together, I'll turn them over and scan the back. Scanning the photos together is easy too. All I need to do when I import them to my computer is to make a copy, then crop the original scan to one photo, and the duplicate scan to the second photo

 Scanning is all done. I pop out the Flip-Pal Memory card, grab the USB converter (free with the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner) and I'm ready to plug them into my MacBook Air. (or any computer I want to put the photos on)
Now iPhoto is automatically importing all the scanned photos. The Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner comes with it's own software for importing or you can use whatever method you prefer.

And here is the scanned photo we saw at the top of this blog post. I cropped it after scanning and importing to my computer. This photo was taken ca 1918 and shows my grandmother, grandfather, my mother (front left) and my aunt.

Next comes the fun of cropping, enhancing and enlarging all the scanned photos! I've already spotted several early never-before-seen pictures of my mother as a toddler and a teenager, as well as some wonderful photos of her father - the grandfather I never knew.

September 19, 2012

Blog Talk Radio: Fieldstone Common

Fieldstone Common is a radio show streamed live on the internet via Blog Talk Radio. Host Marian Pierre-Louis will introduce you to authors and historians who bring history alive! 
Topics focus on history and genealogy in New England and the Northeast. Join Marian every Thursday at 1 p.m.

September 18, 2012

A WW1 Photo Album is Discovered

Large tub of photo albums
In 1998 my mother's cousin passed away. She was a 90 year old single woman who still lived in the house where she was born in Toronto Ontario. All her photo albums and papers were given to me. I was thrilled but there were quite a few albums to go through and I confess I never finished the job!

At the time I'd been so thrilled at finding a photo album from the late 1800s which was full of lovely Cabinet Cards of my ancestors, that I'd only glanced quickly through all the other albums. Then I set them aside to go through more carefully at a later date.

In 2009 my aunt Lily passed away. She was 89 and had been a widow since WW2. I was given all her photo albums too. After a cursory look through the lot, I felt so overwhelmed that I added them to Doris' tub.

This past weekend I finally started going through that large tub of photo albums. I confess I'm still feeling overwhelmed at the task ahead of me but I'm trying to  focus on one album at a time.

The first thing I did was to take all the albums and miscellaneous items out of the tub and do a quick sort. That allowed me to easily determine which albums belonged to Doris and were the earliest, and which had come from Lily's home.

Here is the first album from Doris. It's in amazing condition and is 7 1/2x9 1/2 inches, bound with brown cord.

There are 22 double-sided pages and photos have been glued or placed on each, including the inside front and back covers.

It was easy to determine the dates for this album as the pages have many WW1 soldiers' pictures and also photos of my aunt Lily as a baby. She was born in 1915. Sadly most of these photos are glued directly on the album pages so I'm going to have to think about how to handle this problem.

Meantime my plan is to take camera photos of each page, and each photo on each page, then scan the photos on my large flatbed scanner. Using that scanner allows me to leave the glued photos undisturbed on the pages and zoom in on one at a time. Any photos that I can remove easily I'll scan using my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner as that is quick and easy and does a very nice job.

Doris' WW1 Album
Here is page 2 in the album. I can see where a fifth photo was originally glued in but it is missing.

A close look at the bottom three photos reveals that my Uncle Ern (my grandmother's brother) is in the middle photo. Uncle Ern was Doris' father and he was a soldier in the British Army and then the Canadian Army during WW1.

My grandmother is in the photo on the right. It was taken ca 1916. Grandma is the woman on the left holding the toddler who I can see is my Aunt Lily.  I am not sure about the other people in the photos.

I'm quite sure a military historian would be fascinated by the military photos within and I'll be posting them as I go through the album. There are other items of general interest - the cars, the clothing, and so on. And who knows, perhaps a reader will recognize a face!

The soldier standing to the left in front of the tent with four other soldiers is my Uncle Ern. He, and the soldier on the far right, are both in a Cavalry unit.

This appears to be a training area (the tents in the photo were never used on the battlefield), possibly Base Borden near Barrie Ontario. More research is required and my husband is happy to tackle that task. He's a Canadian WW1 historian and collector and has many resources he can use to determine locations, units and more precise dates. Luckily I also have Ern's military records and all his paybooks etc so I may be able to determine where he was each year.

I'm not sure who the three Canadian soldiers are in the photo on the left. It's possible the soldier in the middle is Ern, in fact I think it is, but I need to scan and enlarge the photo for a better look. The man in the middle is in the Cavalry which is where my Uncle Ern was at one point. The man on the right is also in a Cavalry unit. It's the pants that are wider in the hips that give the clue for the Cavalry determination.

I can hardly wait to put the rest of the photos in this lovely album online. But I have to remind myself to go slow, take my time and don't get overwhelmed by the task at hand.

Genealogy Treasure No. 8: Mortgage Hall-O'Ray 1904

This is the 8th set of documents in the batch I purchased at an antique store in Kingston Ontario July 27, 2012. For details, see Found! Treasure Trove of Land Documents from Ontario Canada

 This document is a Mortgage from F. H. Hall to C. O'Ray dated 26 February 1904.

It is a $1600.00 mortgage between Frederick Harold Hall and wife Florence May and Charles O'Ray.

The land in question is noted as East 75 acres of Lot 16, Concession 6, Richmond Township, Lennox & Addington Co. Ontario

Witnessed by Gertrude E. Walker, stenographer
More documents will follow as I scan them and extract their details. View details of all these documents as they are published by clicking on Lennox-Addington Collection in the right hand nav bar.

 If you are a descendant and would like to see these records, they are now with Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives,
97 Thomas Street East,
Napanee, Ontario
K7R 4B9

September 17, 2012

September 15, 2012

Who Am I? New Gale Genealogy Connect Resource Provides the ‘How To’ to Answer that Question

The following email was received by Olive Tree Genealogy. I will be reviewing the site in the next few weeks

Who Am I? New Gale Genealogy Connect  Resource Provides the ‘How To’ to Answer that Question

Farmington Hills, Mich., August 27, 2012 — Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, today announced the launch of  Gale Genealogy Connect, a new online tool for genealogical research. Focusing on the “how to” of genealogical research along with unique source materials, Gale Genealogy Connect serves as a complement to popular fact, date and people-based genealogy resources already on the market.

Sourced from the publications of, parent company for Genealogical Publishing Company and Clearfield Company, Gale Genealogy Connect features over 550 reference works at release (formerly only available by print or CD-ROM) on a standalone ebook platform, with a goal of growing the collection to nearly 1,500 works. The content covers a wide range of topics such as genealogy research basics, genealogy methods and sources, colonial genealogy, immigration, royal and Native American ancestry. Gale Genealogy Connect serves both novice and advanced researchers – beginners will learn proper research methods and how to define and organize goals, while powerful search features help advanced researchers make connections among data to uncover a meaningful story behind their family tree.

“With Gale Genealogy Connect we are opening up a treasure chest of resources for current and future genealogists as this is the first time much of this information is available in an online, searchable database,” said Gerald Sawchuk, publisher for public library solutions at Gale. “Instead of spending countless hours scouring a book for mention of a family name, users can quickly search across multiple information sources, making the research experience much more efficient and exciting.”

Additional features of Gale Genealogy Connect include -
·         an engaging user interface with translation into 38 languages,
·         unlimited and simultaneous 24/7 access,
·         seamless cross-searching across all Gale Genealogy Connect collections,
·         ability to print, save, email or share articles, and
·         multi-page PDF viewing recreating the book experience.

Content is divided into six convenient bundles, giving libraries a variety of purchase and subscription options to meet their needs.

September 14, 2012

Tutorial: What To Do When There's No One Around to Ask

Reader Katie asked Olive Tree Genealogy about finding out information on her family tree when there is no one around to verify what she has found.

I am really lost....There is really no one to verify this information.

My Father was Royden E Simms 11/23/1942-6/5/2007 Cincy, OHIO
My Grandfather was Royden E Simms 8/5/1912-3/28/1989
My Great Grandfather was William F Simms born about 1886 in West Virginia (to Frank and Kate Brannon/Brennon according to his marriage cert.)

I cannot find info about Frank and Kate. I have found some info about a man named Frank with a father named Willis, but some research I have found points away from this. Can you help???
The first thing I did was have a quick look in the Ohio census for Royden born 1912. The 1920 census on confirmed that his father was William F. born W. Virginia about 1886. It also showed his parents being born in W. Virginia.

If William was born circa 1886 he should appear with his parents on the 1900 census. This is a way to confirm family groups. Sure enough, the 1900 census for Carthage, Hamilton Ohio reveals a William Simms born June 1884 in West Virginia, with his parents Frank born Aug. 1856 in Indiana and Kate born March 1861 in W. Virginia

Census Records Have Many Clues

This 1900 Census shows that Frank and Kate had a total of 7 children. This is important because you can search each of these children to find more information on their parents. For example, a birth, marriage or death record for one of the children should reveal Kate's maiden name. It may reveal more, the only way to know is to start looking.

Continue reading the step-by-step research process I used to find Kate's maiden name and much more about Frank Sims. What clues did I use to help trace Frank and Kate back in time? Find out in the article What To Do When There's No One Around to Ask

September 13, 2012

Is it Richard III's Body? Canadian's DNA May Be the Key

Researchers at the University of Leicester are currently analyzing bones discovered during a recent archaeological dig to determine if they are the remains of King Richard III, a 15th-century ruler of England.

Archaeologists had long sought the monarch's grave, which had been the subject of speculation for centuries. The recent discovery of a skeleton showing signs of Richard's famed spinal curvature and bearing signs of fatal battle wounds, however, isn't enough to solve the mystery.

A Canadian family who can name the king as one of their direct ancestors is providing the DNA evidence that will conclusively prove whether the remains belong to the late monarch.
Jeff Ibsen said his family contains a direct genetic link to the king with Ibsen's mother being a descendant of King Richard's sister.

When British historians established the ancestral connection nearly a decade ago, Ibsen said the family was warned that they may be pressed into service if the king's burying place was ever discovered.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed through the female line, and all the sons and daughters of the mother inherit her mitochondrial DNA.

September 12, 2012

Genealogy Treasure No. 7: Land Deed 1901 Winter-O'Ray

This is the seventh set of documents in the batch I purchased at an antique store in Kingston Ontario July 27, 2012. For details, see Found! Treasure Trove of Land Documents from Ontario Canada

Winter O'Ray Land Deed 1901
 This is a Deed of Land dated 28 February, 1901 between David Winter, the younger, of Richmond Township, Lennox & Addington Co. and Mary Ella his wife, and Charles O'Ray.

The witness is Stenographer Gertrude Elizabeth Walker of Napanee.
A sum of $2,225.00 exchanges hands for the East 1/2 of East 3/4 of Lot 16, Concession 6, Richmond Township
Lorine's Research:

A preliminary search on reveals that  in the 1901 census for Richmond Township, David Winter, 39, and his wife Mary E., 31, lived beside Charles O'Rae [sic] and his wife Margaret, both age 50. Both men were listed as farmers.

More documents will follow as I scan them and extract their details. Clicking on the label Lennox-Addington Collection will allow you to see all that have been published on Olive Tree Genealogy blog.

 If you are a descendant and would like to see these records, they are now with Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives,
97 Thomas Street East,
Napanee, Ontario
K7R 4B9

September 11, 2012

Musings About Research Logs & Plans

Kim Cotton's article Research Logs on Walking Your Tree blog got me thinking about my own research habits.

Her  solution to keeping a standard research log is to create a spreadsheet of her research plans which she can access from any device once she is at a Library of Family History Centre.

Since she notates if her searches were successful or not, her spreadsheet becomes her research log

One of the areas I fail at is keeping a standard research log. I find it time-consuming, boring and so onerous a task that I simply can't bring myself to do it. But like Kim, I have over the years created an alternate solution similar to hers that works well for me. Without some kind of method of keeping track of my resources, I'd be checking the same sources more than once.

Inside page Research Log
My solution is to use school exercise books.  I have one for miscellaneous families and one each for my big research projects such as the Peer family, the McGinnis family and the Vollick family.  Those are huge undertakings as I am researching every child of the immigrant ancestor to the early 1900s. That's over 200 years of descendants.

In each book I record what I want to check next. So if I have found a record for an individual and that record indicates he (or she) was a naturalized citizen, I will immediately make a note in my book that I want to find the naturalization record of this individual. I add a note as to the years of interest and what county or state or province I need to focus on.

At some point I check various catalogues to find out if there are microfilms I can use to hunt for the naturalization record, or can I search online. I add this information to my research note. Basically I jot down everything I am going to need to know to hunt for the record I want. This becomes my research plan.

I keep adding notes as I find items that provide clues to further research. My exercise book soon fills with my research plans. The notes don't need to be in any particular order because when I am at a library or archive where I can conduct offline research I simply go through the notes one by one.

If I find something, I notate that the search was successful and put a line through my entry.  That simple line allows me to still read the entry and use it as my source citation if the search was successful (because I've already noted the exact microfilm number and repository or website or book information).

If I don't find anything I still put a line through the entry. The crossed out entries become my research log. I can easily see that I've already searched resource X for a record and was successful or did not find it.

I  try to group my "to-do" lists by family groups.  For example if a man states he naturalized in Michigan in the 1870s I will add his brother's names to his note. That way when I hunt in Michigan naturalization records I have all the names handy to check for everyone and I don't have to bring up my Family Tree.

Kim's blog post made me start thinking about the added benefit if I convert my exercise books to a spreadsheet. Why did I use exercise books in the first place? I started keeping them in the days before cloud storage and before smart phones or iPads. But maybe it's time to update my organizational method!

Using a spreadsheet would mean I can easily reorganize my notes. I could, for example, arrange the notes by specific ancestor or by microfilm or book title. That would allow me to be sure I search one resource for all individuals, or to search all my listed resources for one individual.

A spreadsheet would also allow me to sync it to any device so that I could bring it up on my iPhone or my iPad if I were travelling and wanted to limit what I have to carry with me. It also allows for more impulsive researching if I happen to stumble on a local museum or archive and only have my iPhone with me. I'd probably keep my spreadsheet on Google Drive as I prefer it for cloud storage of documents.

September 10, 2012

Trellis Family Tree Chart - Something Different

Olive Tree Genealogy received an intriguing email on the weekend about Trellis, a new type of genealogy chart. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of how it works but it does look very interesting. Have any of my readers used it?

Progeny introduces the latest innovation in genealogy - the Trellis chart, "the chart with everyone in it".

The Trellis chart is a brand new way to tell the story of your family. It shows everyone in your family, in a way that no traditional box chart can do.

Based on research by a group of scientists, the Trellis is a diagonally-filled matrix, where rows are individuals and columns are nuclear families. Click here for more information.

The Trellis allows for interactive investigation of your family tree. With one click, you can highlight all the ancestors and descendants of an individual. Click a second person and you can see where their pedigrees intersect in a colorful display. Collapse the tree for a condensed view. Navigate up and down the tree with a simple click.

Charting Companion with the Trellis is available for:

  • Family Tree Maker
  • Personal Ancestral File (PAF)
  • Legacy
  • Ancestral Quest
  • Family Publisher for all other programs

September 8, 2012

Earliest Known British Oil Portrait of a Freed Slave

The first British portrait of a Black African Muslim and freed slave, on long term loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London, is coming to the South Shields Art Gallery & Museum in South Shields, U.K. as part of its British tour.
Where? South Shields Museum & Art Gallery
When? 29 September 2012 - 9 March 2012
This historically significant portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo is the earliest known British oil portrait of a freed slave, and the first portrait in this country to honour an African subject as an individual and equal.  
The exhibition explores Diallo’s intriguing story, a fascinating tale of faith, identity and the struggle for freedom.

September 7, 2012

Did Your Ancestor Attend Huntersville School near Middleburgh, Schoharie County New York?

In my collection of 19th century and early 20th century photos is an orphaned photograph of students and teacher at Huntersland School, Schoharie County New York.

The names of students were written on the back and while it was not dated, we can study the photo for clues. We can also check census records for the names of the students (a much easier task than using clothing and hairstyles for clues)

Also the photographer is stamped on the reverse: P. J. Messer so we should be able to determine when he or she was in business.

A search indicates he was taking photographs in 1915 but I don't have access to a book of photographers to find out the complete years he was in business. Research indicates he was born Philip J. Messer ca 1888 and died in 1939.

Teacher Stanley Heason, Huntersland School

Back row left to right: Judy Shufelt, Eula Sison, Hattie Conklyn, Ernest Utter, Hazel Laraway, Walden McCumber, Mildred Laraway, Ruth Cook

Second row: [? can't read] Becker, Minnie Heason, Ros-- Coons, Mae Acker, Grant Laraway

Front row: Beatrice Spencer, Manyard? Laraway, - Cook, - Shufelt


Census records on Ancestry indicate that Stanley (the teacher) and Minnie Heason were the children of George & Isadora Heason and lived in Middleburgh New York. Stanley was born ca 1890 and Minnie ca 1901. Minnie looks to be about 12 years old in the photograph, giving us an estimated year when it was taken of circa 1913.

Next I found Manard Laraway born in 1905 living in Middleburgh. He looks to be about 10 years old in the photo so that would give an estimated year of 1915 for the photo

* Grant Laraway was born ca 1902 and is in Middleburgh
* Walden McComber was born ca 1897 and lived in Middleburgh. I'd estimate he is no more than 16 years old in the photo, dating it to ca 1913

Hairstyles of the girls suggest pre 1920, perhaps around 1915 or so.

Clothing is a mixture of periods and I suspect that may be due to a number of reasons - some children may not have had current fashions to wear. Older students, girls especially, might have known it was picture day and parents may have suggested they wear mom's best Sunday dress or skirt and blouse. This would put those girls in earlier fashions. Some children could be wearing older siblings hand-me-downs.

However we can look at one distinctive feature - the V-necked yoke worn by three of the younger girls, then do some research to find out when this style came into fashion. That would allow us to determine an earliest date when the photo was taken.

We should also note the below-the-knee knickers that the young boys in the front row are wearing. One also looks to be holding a newsboy style cap. This helps confirm an estimated timeline for the photograph of 1910-1915. 

Best Guess

This is not my time period of expertise, as I focus on Civil War era photographs. The best guess I can come up with for this photograph, using hairstyles, clothing and census records, is between 1910-1915 and probably closer to 1915. I'd love to hear from readers who may have a better estimate than I do for this time period, or who are familiar with an individual in the photo.

September 6, 2012

Webinar on Immigration Free Until Sept. 17, 2012

Yesterday Lisa Alzo gave a Legacy Family Tree Webinar on Beyond the Arrival Date (Extracting More From Ships Passenger Lists).

I couldn't watch it live but I heard from other genealogists that it was excellent. I've listened to Lisa's webinars previously and they are always chock full of information.

The webinar is available at no cost until Monday, September 17, 2012. Unfortunately I can't view it due to bandwidth restrictions and my spotty internet connection but if you don't have any restrictions, I suggest you take 90 minutes and give yourself a helpful treat.

A little birdie told me that Lisa very kindly mentioned Olive Tree Genealogy ships passenger lists online - thank you Lisa!

September 5, 2012

Think Outside the Box When Looking for a Ship's Passenger List

Charlene G. sent Olive Tree Genealogy an email asking about Ships Passenger Lists from Ireland in the 1840s. I think my answer to her question (below) may be of interest to other genealogists

I am specifically looking for Irish passenger ship records from 1845-1847, the probably year(s) that my great-great grandparents immigrated to the United States.  For many years I have been searching  Irish passenger ships arriving at the port of New York.  Because Ellis Island was not yet established, I assume my Irish great-great grandparents entered the U.S. via Castle Garden.  Can you tell me if ALL ship passenger records for the years 1845-1847 have been transcribed? 
Lorine's Answer: First let me clear up some possible confusion. Ellis Island and Castle Garden were processing centers. The port of arrival was New York and that is the arrival port you want to look for if you are positive your ancestor arrived via New York. You will not find ships lists giving a port of arrival as "Ellis Island" or "Castle Garden" since they were simply the processing areas used at different time periods for arrivals in the port of New York.

The short answer to your last question is YES. All known ships passenger lists arriving in New York have been transcribed, indexed and are found on . If you are searching the Castle Garden website be aware that it includes arrivals in  ports other than New York and as far as I know, it is not complete for the port of New York.

If you are unable to find your ancestors, be sure you search other ports of arrival. Also you might wish to look for ships arriving in Canada as it was much cheaper to come in that way than go directly to America. Just be aware that before 1865 ships arriving in Canadian ports did not have to keep their passenger lists. But there are alternate lists you can search. See Filling in The Gaps for help.

You should also be sure you are using wildcards if you are searching on . The early ships passenger lists are often difficult to read and your ancestor's surname might be badly mangled or misread. Try widening your search parameters too. Leave out first names. Use only a surname (with wildcards to pick up variant spellings such as SM*TH* which would get results for SMITH, SMYTH, SMYTHE etc. ) and an approximate year of birth.

September 4, 2012

Genealogy Treasure No. 6: Land Deed 1917 Windover-Dennison

This is the sixth set of documents in the batch I purchased at an antique store in Kingston Ontario July 27, 2012. For details, see Found! Treasure Trove of Land Documents from Ontario Canada

 This is a Deed of Land dated 14 December 1917.

It is between Schuyler Windover, farmer, Richmond Twp. and his wife Victoria, and Amos Dennison.

The witness is Mable Bowden of Napanee, Stenographer.

The land is 50 Acres of the SW 1/4 of Lot 8 Concession 9, Richmond Twp, Lennox & Addington Co. Ontario

Lorine's Research
Indenture Windover-Dennison

Research on indicates that Schuyler Windover was the son of Sheldon Windover and the grandson of Chauncy Windover.

Sheldon Windover's sister Mary Esther Windover married James Dennison and they were the parents of Archie and Amos Dennison.

Schuyler Windover's wife was Victoria Aylesworth.

More documents will follow as I scan them and extract their details. To view all documents in the collection click on Lennox-Addington Collection in the right hand nav bar.

 If you are a descendant and would like to see these records, they are now with Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives,
97 Thomas Street East,
Napanee, Ontario
K7R 4B9

September 3, 2012

Evernote Tutorial: Adding & Taking Photos

With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use. But did you know Evernote has a way to take or insert a photograph from inside the Evernote Application on your iPhone? 

Choose Camera Icon
Open Evernote app on your phone and select the blue + icon to start a new note. To take a photo, choose the camera icon

Take the photo you want, then either RETAKE or USE. If you choose USE the photo pops up inside your Evernote note.

It will sync to all your devices. You can also choose to put it on Twitter, Facebook, print it or email it to someone.

To choose a photo from your Camera roll (instead of taking a new one) simply choose the little photograph icon beside the camera when you are in a new note.

Your camera roll pops up and you can choose any photo you wish to insert in your  note.

If you want to add a series of photos in one note, here's a little tip on how to do that. Choose photo #1 and after it is inserted in the new note, choose the photograph icon again to return to your camera roll.

Choose a second photo and you will see it inserted under the first photo in your note. Keep choosing as many photos as you wish.

One caveat: I discovered that if I insert more than 5 or 6 in a note and then try to email it, it doesn't go. But it will still sync to your devices. 

September 1, 2012

1911 Baseball Team Photo Guelph Ontario Canada

Guelph Ontario Canada Baseball Team 1911

I bought this photo on E-Bay a few weeks ago. It's not an original, rather it's cut out of a 1911 Baseball Magazine, but I didn't want it to get lost in someone's baseball collection, so I purchased it.

The surnames are Wright, Dunn, Porter, Brady, Schaeffer, Daniels, Gurney, Behan, Koger, Mahoney, Needham, Sheridan, and Silcox.

Even though I have Guelph ancestors, none of these are mine. Perhaps a reader will recognize a name or an ancestor.