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April 30, 2018

A Short Life Remembered


The sisters Catherine and Mary Ann King lie buried together in a double grave in Arkell Cemetery.

Catherine was 5 years old when she died in December 1870. Her little sister Mary, aged 14 months, followed her in death 4 days later.

Their mother Mary Ann Kemble, died in childbirth in 1869 when little Mary was born. When Mary died, her husband Thomas King a 28 year old  widower with two young children. I don't think we can imagine how challenging and difficult the next year was for him.

One year almost to the day after little Catherine and Mary Ann were buried, Thomas remarried - another Mary - and their son Joseph was born in December 1872. Sadly baby Joseph died when he was only 9 months old. Another grave was dug in the Arkell cemetery.

Arkell Pioneer Cemetery Gravestones
Next came baby Mary born in October 1876, but this child too was fated to have only a short time on earth. 7 month old baby Mary died and she too joined her brother and half-sisters in the Arkell cemetery.

Thomas and his second wife Mary Ann did go on to have 3 more children, one of whom lived to adulthood. The only reminder of the little King children is their graves in Arkell.

April 27, 2018

Co-Lab: Crowdsourcing at the Archives of Ontario

Letter from Sir Wilfred Laurier
This is very cool! Crowdsourcing has arrived at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). We genealogists, historians, and anyone interested in our Canadian past  can now transcribe, add keywords and image tags, translate content from an image or document and add descriptions to digitized images using Co-Lab and the new Collection SearchBETA.

LAC is offering challenges, which are theme-based, to make this opportunity even more interesting.  One of their current challenges involves transcribing Correspondence between Sir Robert Borden and Sir Sam Hughes in 1916. A second is to transcribe the 61 pages of love letters from Wilfred Laurier, the 7th Prime Minister of Canada, to his sweetheart and future wife between 1863 and 1890.

Now's your chance to contribute to preserving the past and helping to make these historical records available to all.

Read more about this venture at Introducing Co-Lab: your tool to collaborate on historical records

April 23, 2018

Olive Tree Genealogy Given Editor's Choice Award

Image from 
Olive Tree Genealogy is very honoured to have been chosen for the Editor's Choice Award.

My site is featured in this wonderful article Olive Tree Genealogy — How One Woman’s Passion Has Given Family Historians Free Resources for Researching Their Family Trees

Explanation of the award from the website: "In a Nutshell: While there’s been a boon of genealogy websites with people increasingly digging into their ancestral roots, one site, Olive Tree Genealogy, was ahead of the curve. Founded 23 years ago by genealogist, Lorine McGinnis Schulze, the website is uniquely resource-rich, with items that include reconstructed passenger lists from ships such as the Mayflower. Unlike other costly genealogy sites, access to these resources is free, which is why we’ve chosen to recognize Olive Tree Genealogy with our Editor’s Choice™ Award as a recommended site."

Don't let the website name fool you. This site has many useful articles on saving money and budgeting. Quoting from the site "Experts share their tips and advice daily on, helping subprime consumers navigate the world of personal finance." I don't know about my readers but I'm always looking for ways to save money or budget my money better! Take a look around, you won't be sorry you did.

April 20, 2018

I Lost 8 Generations! Review Your Old Genealogy Research

I just lost 8 (EIGHT) generations from our family tree......

Extracts of church records I found many dozens of years ago for a marriage in 1785 in England did not give all the data!

Last year I found a scan of the original church register and it turns out my 5th great grandmother was not Elizabeth Moses (as the extract showed) but Elizabeth Moses Hinds (with Hinds being her maiden name, not a previous married name).

So my 8 generations of research going back for the lineage of Ellizabeth Moses was wrong. Ouch. And yet... it makes for a great blog post AND I can have the fun of searching a new set of ancestors.

In fact I already found the baptism record of Elizabeth Moses Hinds in St Lawrence in Thanet, St Lawrence Kent England on 2 February 1764. Her parents were John Hinds and Mildred Ellington. After several months of research I was able to trace her Hinds ancestry back to Thomas Hinds born in 1670 in Kent England.

This led me to compile a small book on the Hinds family in England

The Hinds Family of Kent England

List Price: $6.99
8.5" x 11" (21.59 x 27.94 cm)
28 pages

The Hinds families were in Ramsgate Kent England for many generations. This book follows the descendants of Thomas Hinds and his wife Sarah Ammis who married in 1693 in Canterbury.

The surname is found in records as Hinds, Hind, Hindes, Hinde, Hynds, Hynd, Hyndes, and Hynde. Family group sheets are included as are images of all documents found.

It pays to review old research!!! Now other descendants can buy the book and correct their own trees

April 18, 2018

Philetus Sawyer Family Photo Album

8. May Eugenia Ellsworth
taken circa 1864-1866
The Philetus Sawyer Family Photo Album from the Civil War era is now online on my Lost Faces website. I rescued this album several years ago and am delighted to present it today for all to enjoy freely.

It consists of 50 gorgeous cartes de visite (CDVs) in the 1860s such as the beautiful child on the left.

Be sure to check out all the photos I have rescued at Lost Faces.

April 16, 2018

New York Catholic Records Online

This release from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) includes baptism and marriage records from over 230 parishes across the Archdiocese of New York. There are millions of transcriptions of these key genealogical events - in the coming months, millions more transcriptions and images will be added to the collection.

It's great to see partnerships from the big genealogy organizations and websites. Life in the genealogy world is so much easier now than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago!

For full details see Big News: New York Roman Catholic records now online

April 13, 2018

Got a Blacksheep Ancestor in New South Wales?

The State Archives and Records NSW website has published Gaol Photographs on their site. This is a must-see if you have ancestors living in New South Wales, Australia between 1870 and 1930.

There are 20 New South Wales prisons with a total of 199 volumes containing details of over 46,000 prisoners. Best of all there is a searchable index. 

The website tells us that the records consist of:
"The Gaol Photographic Description Books contain a photograph of each prisoner and the following information: number, prisoners' name, aliases, date when portrait was taken, native place, year of birth, details of arrival in the colony - ship and year of arrival, trade or occupation, religion, standard of education, height, weight (on committal, on discharge), colour of hair, colour of eyes, marks or special features, number of previous portrait, where and when tried, offence, sentence, remarks, and details of previous convictions (where and when, offence and sentence). "
Thanks to the headsup from 46,000 New South Wales Mugshots 1870-1930 Go Online

April 11, 2018

FOUND WW2 Dog Tag James J. Bell of Idaho

Mick B. wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy with this request to help return a WW2 dog tag to its owner or descendants:

Found at Seething Airfield England a dog tag marked James J Bell

Number 0-742831  T4243.

It would be great to return it to the family - is this something you could help with.

As my readers can see from the image on the left, the dog tag contains more clues. The name Emma E. Bell is there, as is a location of Harrison, Idaho

Hopefully some of my wonderful readers will jump in to help Mick find James, Emma, or descendants.

Lorine's Research

I found information showing James was a pilot and a 2nd Lieutenant during WW2. Source

There is also a pdf file which indicates 2nd Lieutenant James J. Bell was the pilot of REPLACEMENT CREW #21 - Aircraft #41-28595 in the 713th BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON ordered to England.

This photo is of James and his crew in front of their airplane. According to the names on the verso (back) of the photo, James is the third man from the left in the front row.

Photo: The James Bell crew, from the 2nd Air Division Digital Archive, catalogue reference MC 371/349, USF PH 7/1. Published on Olive Tree Genealogy blog with permission of 2nd Air Division Memorial Library

If you choose the third photo at this photo link you will see another great image of James. He is the third man from the left in the front row.

James' obituary was found online:

Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) - Saturday, November 8, 2003
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m., Monday, Nov. 10, 2003, in Sunnyside Little Chapel of the Chimes for Dr. James J. Bell, who died Nov. 5 at age 82.

Dr. Bell was born Jan. 16, 1921, in Spokane. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and graduated from the University of Oregon Dental School. He was a dentist who lived in the Portland area most of his life and practiced in Lake Oswego. In 1948, he married Euretta "Peggy" Field.

Survivors include his wife; daughter, Kit; son, Jeff; and four grandchildren.

Remembrances to Friends of Tryon Creek State Park.
publication logo
Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) - Saturday, November 8, 2003
Oregonian, The () , obit for OBITUARIES DR. JAMES J. BELL, ( : accessed 28 March 2018)

April 9, 2018

Paved Over African American Cemetery

 Laurel Cemetery opened in 1852 as the first non-religious cemetery for Baltimore’s African-American community. Many well-known black individuals were buried there, but in 1950 the cemetery was moved. Paved over, a shopping mall was built on top of the original cemetery.

Representative Photo
But a question remains - are there still bodies buried beneath the shopping mall?

Ron Castanza, a professor at Baltimore College, set out to find answers. He applied for permission to dig in the grassy area where the shopping mall sat. Over time, the team found two headstones without names. They found bones and the metal handles and nails of coffins.

Read the full story at Rediscovering the African-American graveyard beneath a Baltimore shopping center

April 6, 2018

Preservation of a Lost Faces Album Part 4

Please see Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 for the start of this process of how I rescue, archive, and publish on Lost Faces antique photo albums I save from disappearing.

After I remove all the photos from the album, and notate on the verso (back) of each photo in pencil, it's time to scan and store them in acid-free containers.

My husband scans the front of each image. If he has time he also scans the verso so that I have a record of the photographers' logos and addresses. He works with a flatbed scanner in jpg format at a resolution suitable for publishing online. Resolution and format are important and the better quality image you require means you need higher resolution and a better file format. jpg is used when small file size is more important than maximum image quality such as my use on the Lost Faces website.

Here is a good explanation of types of file formats you can use when scanning, and the pros and cons of each. 

My storage boxes from

Once my husband has scanned all the photos, I place them in acid-free "sleeves" and store them as a unit (an entire photo album) in acid-free boxes. I used to store them in acid-free binders for ease of looking through the photos but as my collection of rescued photographs grew, that system became too cumbersome. 

Using the boxes instead of binders has other positive effects. I can easily open a box and sort photos by years or fashion choices or hair styles or genres. Because I have the photo album number and photo number notated on the verso I will never lose the place where any particular photo belongs.

Last item is uploading and publishing these gorgeous rescued ancestral photographs online on Lost Faces.


April 4, 2018

Archaelogists FInd Meieval Coffin Birth Skeleton

Archaeology is fascinating. It can also be sad and poignant. Finding a skeleton can lead to more details on how, why or when a person died than we sometimes find comfortable. Such was the discovery and story written about by 

"An early Medieval grave near Bologna, Italy, was revealed to contain an injured pregnant woman with a fetus between her legs. Based on the positioning of the tiny bones, researchers concluded this was a coffin birth, when a baby is forcibly expelled from its mother's body after her death. The pregnancy and the woman's head trauma may also be related."

Just reading that first paragraph made me feel sad for this poor Italian woman. But I read on and it is a very informative story you might want to read. 

Continue reading this story at This Pregnant Medieval Woman With Head Wound 'Gave Birth' In Her Grave

April 2, 2018

Barking Up the Wrong Tree - What to Do?

Hub's grandfather Bert Holden 1918-2000
If you haven't had this happen yet, you probably will. Your ancestor, perhaps your great-great grandpa, whose lineage you've traced for a decade, turns out to not be your great-grandpa.  Uh-oh. Now what?

* Do you throw your hands up in the air and exclaim "That's it! I give up!"

* Do you slump down in your chair, hang your head and moan "Woe is me, all my hard work down the drain"

* Do you pump your first and yell "Yippee - what fun! Now I have a whole new line to trace!"

* Do you take a deep breath, pause, and then calmly say to yourself "I better be really sure about this before I venture off on a new tangent"

Hubs and I faced this dilemma a year or so ago, and opted for reactions 3 and 4. It can happen for many reasons. It can be quite dramatic such as an illicit birth or it can be very mundane - human error. Perhaps there was a hidden affair - a baby born to a married couple but not the husband's child. Perhaps you, the researcher, simply made an assumption that turned out to be incorrect.

Elsie Markham Holden
hubs' great-grandmother 1898-1993
In our case with hubs' great-grandfather, we had no idea we had the wrong man until DNA tests were done. They proved conclusively that hubs' great-grandmother's child was born to a different man than her husband.

We weren't shocked, or horrified, and we did not judge his great-grandma. Why would we? We don't know if she hid the truth from her husband or she told him. We don't know the circumstances but we did feel a twinge of guilt that her long-held secret was now out. She certainly hid it from her children and grandchildren but here we were uncovering it and exposing it to the universe.

But I confess that most of what I felt was excitement at having an entire new line of people to find for hubs.

We've spent quite a bit of time now on Bert's new paternal lineage (Cooper). We know his father was one of two men who were nephew and uncle, so we have a two-pronged research. I don't know if we will ever know for sure which man was the father but we have a theory.

As for our original research into the wrong family (Holden), I've saved it all in case anyone is ever looking for the family in Ontario. I have a lot I can share! 

Do you have a story?