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August 28, 2019

Search Passenger Lists Canada to New York announces a new project to transcribe ships passenger lists leaving Canada.

Many of these passenger lists were donated to by Shelby Thompson from her personal collection. Others were submitted by visitors to Ships Lists Online and are published on with permission.

Our ShipsListsOnline and Teams are hard at work on these ships passenger lists so please watch this page or join Olive Tree Genealogy Newsletter for updates on this and other Ship Passenger List Indexing Projects

Passenger lists of ships sailing from Canada to New York can be searched online on

August 27, 2019

Free Access to Ancestry's U.S. School Yearbooks, 1900-1999

3 Generations: 1991, 1969, 1941
Ancestry now has over 450,000 yearbooks from all 50 states! 

From Aug 27 - Sep 2, you can browse U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999 for free!

Over 450,000 yearbooks

More than 62 million pages

Is your yearbook missing?  Immortalize your yearbook by donating!

August 24, 2019

Win a Free Pass to the VGA Virtual Conference in November!

Olive Tree Genealogy has two (2) free passes to give away to the VGA virtual conference  being held November 1-3, 2019!

Attendees will have access to recordings & handouts for all sessions for 6 months following the event - watch any time, any place, on any device.

To win a free pass, simply share this blog post on Twitter or Facebook, following instructions below:

1.On Twitter use the hashtag #OliveTreeGenealogyFreePass or tag me using @LorineMS

2. On Facebook, tag me @LorineMcGinnisSchulze or @OliveTreeGenealogy

I will collect the names of those who used the hashtag on Twitter or tagged me on Facebook. A random draw for 2 winners will take place Tuesday August 27, 2019 at noon Eastern Daylight Time. Winners will be notified on Facebook and Twitter that afternoon.

Contest Rules:
1. No purchase necessary.
2. Winner will be chosen at random from correct entries received. See details above for entry requirements
3. Two winners will be chosen to receive the giveaway.
4. You are responsible for anything in regards to the legality of entering a contest in the area in which you live.

August 23, 2019

Find Ancestors in New York Almshouse Records 1819-1840

New York Almshouse Records 1819 to 1840 contain the names of the ship each person sailed on, plus dates of arrival. Includes arrivals in Canadian ports 

In the early 1800's port cities in the USA bore the burden of immigration. By the time they arrived, so many immigrants were tired, hungry and poor they ended up in the City Almshouse. This meant the citizens had to take care of them. At first the citizens of the city asked the Mayors for funds to support the poor. Eventually they asked the states, and by mid-century some states (PA, NY, MA) set up State agencies to deal with the issue. Eventually, beginning in the 1880's, the Federal Government nationalized the programs. 

Dating back to the colonial era, New York City assumed responsibility for its citizens who were destitute, sick, homeless, or otherwise unable to care for themselves. The city maintained an almshouse, various hospitals, and a workhouse on Blackwell's Island (now called Roosevelt Island) for the poor. 

There are 2 pages for each name in this ledger. I have only copied part of the left hand page. There is more information on the microfilm, including Captain's Name, Owner's Name, Date of Bond, Sureties, Date Discharged, Death Date, Remarks, Bonded, Commuted & Total.

August 21, 2019

WW1 ID Tags & Tributes

One of the  missions of Olive Tree Genealogy Blog is to reunite found items such as  Dog ID Tags, Medals, etc of soldiers with their descendants. To date my readers have worked on the following cases and been successful in reuniting soldiers’ dog id tags with family members.

We still have more cases coming in and we have old cases that have not yet been solved. If you have a moment would you read through one of the open cases and help find family?

Below are some of the tributes to the soldiers whose dog tags, medals or photographs we own.

WW1 Nursing Sister Gertrude Billyard Gertrude Billyard was born in Windsor Ontario on March 1, 1881. When Gertrude enlisted at the age of 34 on February 24, 1915 her mother Annie was living in Young Saskatchewan. This address was later changed to Winnipeg Manitoba as Gertrude’s pay was sent to her mother. Surprisingly, Gertrude enlisted in London England not in Canada.

Tribute to WW1 Soldier William Bulger Pte. W. R. Bulger’s name is stamped on the side of this Canadian WW1 Medal which my husband and I have in our WW1 collection. Pte. Bulger’s Regimental Number is difficult to read but it ends in 2369. He is noted as being assigned to 2-CMR which stands for 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. A search for his Attestation papers online reveals that his full name was William Robert Bulger and his Reg. Number was 3032369. He was born Sept. 28, 1888 in Georgetown Ontario but was living in Toronto when he enlisted.

WW1 Soldier W. J. P. Bullock One of the framed photos of CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) soldiers on our wall is labelled “Pte. W. J. P. Bullock” of Toronto Ontario. This young man enlisted on September 2, 1915, one year  after WW1 began in August 1914.

WW1 Nursing Sister Jean Cameron-Smith Jean Cameron-Smith was born in Perth Ontario on September 22, 1871. A search of the online Birth Registrations for Ontario provides a late registration dated 1933.  Her father’s name is given as Robert Ralph Cameron-Smith. Her mother is  Helen Mason.

Tribute to WW1 Soldier Walter Culbertson This WW1 Medal is stamped with the name of the soldier on the side. It reads 3056604 (Regimental Number) and GNR (Gunner) R. Culbertson C.F.A. We believe that CFA stands for Canadian Forces Artillery.

Tribute to WW1 Soldier Arthur Fitzgerald This is another Tribute for a Canadian soldier. His name and service number are given on the front of his WW1 ID Tag – A. Fitzgerald, Service Number 55422.

WW1 Nursing Sister Edith Mary Harston Edith Mary Harston was born in Warwickshire England June 5, 1886. On her CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) Attestation Paper she provides her mother’s name as Mrs. Emily E. Harston of Stafford England.

Tribute to Ira Harry Huehn WW1 Soldier in PPCLI ra Harry Huehn was born 10 June 1895 in Toronto. He enlisted in the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) on August 15, 1915 when he was just 20 years old.

WW1 Soldier Douglas McNabb Private Douglas McNabb’s framed WW1 photograph hangs on our wall. We don’t know Douglas and we are not related. But he is one of several CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) soldiers who we honour.

WW1 CEF Soldier Charles H. Welsh We own the Pay Book of Gunner Charles H. Welsh #335325 who attested on February 4, 1918. His pay book gives his next of kin as his father David H. Welsh, and his mother Mary Ann Welsh, both of Palmerston Ontario.

August 18, 2019

Find Your Palatine Ancestors

The Palatinate or German Pfalz was subject to invasion by the armies of Britain, France, and Germany. As well as the devastating effects of war, the Palatines were subjected to the winter of 1708 and 1709, the harshest in 100 years.

Spotlight On Palatine Genealogy
Palatine Denizations (Naturalizations) 1708
The scene was set for a mass migration. At the invitation of Queen Anne in the spring of 1709, about 7 000 harassed Palatines sailed down the Rhine to Rotterdam. From there, about 3000 were dispatched to America, either directly or via England, under the auspices of William Penn. The remaining 4 000 were sent via England to Ireland to strengthen the protestant interest.

Palatine Immigrants to New York
Search for Palatine ancestors in Palatine Ships Lists to New York or Palatine Child Apprentices 1710-1714

In 1710, three large groups of Palatines sailed from London. The first went to Ireland, the second to Carolina and the third to New York with the new Governor, Robert Hunter. There were 3 000 Palatines on 10 ships that sailed for New York and approximately 470 died on the voyage or shortly after their arrival.

Pennsylvania Palatine Ancestors
Start with Palatine Ships to Pennsylvania 1727 to 1808
Over the next 100 years, impoverished Palatines fled from Germany to America - many arriving in Pennsylvania. Olive Tree Genealogy has a Pennsylvania German Pioneers Project which includes the list of ships carrying Palatines from Germany to Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808 as well as names of passengers, Oaths of Allegiance and Ships Passenger Lists.

August 16, 2019

Missing Friends Project

Missing Friends The Missing Friends Project is abstracting the names of those who immigrated from UK to America or Canada and who were inquired about by family in various 19th Century newspapers. 

Missing Friends Project starts with Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, published in London England and their weekly column (1886-1900) called "Long Lost Relatives". We also have begun extracting names of those in the Boston Pilot, published in Boston Massachusetts (1831-1921).

Our Boston Pilot project is only extracting the names of missing Irish individuals who sailed to Canada. It is important to note that many who sailed first to Canada went on to USA and are so noted in the extracts. Many of the relatives and friends seeking them were based in USA and their location is also given. 

We also plan to publish extracts of weekly columns of Missing Friends from The Irish World (1892-1899), published in New York and The Manchester Weekly Times (1891-1893) published in England. We will add other newspapers as we find them and can access them.

The fields being extracted are name of person in America or Canada who is missing, where they lived in the UK, when they left, where they intended going, ship name if known, when they were last heard from, where they were living when last heard from, who is seeking them and any miscellaneous comments.

August 14, 2019

Account Books, Journals and Diaries 1772 ~ 1925

Did you know that has online Account Books, Journals and Diaries 1772 ~ 1925

Over the years Brian has rescued original Ledger Books, Journals and Diaries from stores, schools, and individuals. These old books are a wealth of great genealogy data. The ledgers can act as a census substitute, letting you know if your ancestors were there in the years between census. They also contain the kind of personal Genealogy data that often can not be found any other way by giving you a window into the daily lives of your ancestors. It is often quite amazing what one can find in some of the books. Store owners might record the death of a customer who owes money to the store. A farmer may note the birth of a neighbor's child. You just never know what you will find.

These wonderful Ledger Books are being scanned and published on Each book will be published as a downloadable PDF file on AncestorsAtRest website so that genealogists and historians can access them freely.

Go to the Index to List of available Ledger Books

August 9, 2019

Remains of Canadian Second World War Soldier identified

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have identified the remains of a Second World War soldier found near the Maas River in the Netherlands, as those of Private Albert Laubenstein from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Pte Laubenstein was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on March 28, 1914, and joined the Canadian Army in 1940. He served with the 102nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Artillery and the 4th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps and the Lincoln and Welland Regiment.

Pte Laubenstein was killed during the Battle of Kapelsche Veer on January 26, 1945, and his body was interred with care in a battlefield grave, which could not be re-located at the end of the war. He was one of 50 fatal casualties suffered by the Lincoln and Welland Regiment during the battle and was 30 years of age at the time of his death.

Continue reading this story

August 7, 2019

Family Search Now Allowing Name Edits

Salt Lake City, Utah (31 July 2019), FamilySearch has added a much-anticipated innovation that now enables users to make name corrections to its indexes. Corrections made by users increase the likelihood of success for researchers to find the records of their ancestors.

If you have ever searched for ancestors online in indexed records, you inevitably find collections where your ancestor’s name was indexed incorrectly. Sometimes it was indexed correctly according to what was written on the source document, but that name may not be an alternative spelling of the name used by your family.

The reasons for incorrect entries of indexed names are many and valid—difficult-to-read handwriting, faded ink, document damage, errors in the original documents, uncommon names, language barriers, and unexpected spellings are among them. When entries are indexed incorrectly from valuable historic records, it is difficult for family researchers to find the ancestor and the accompanying information they are seeking.

People can now correct the spelling on the index and leave a brief explanation. Corrections will appear along with the original index entries—making both searchable online. Only indexes referring to images can be corrected, meaning that not all index entries are editable. A user can check the image and compare it to the index entry. An icon of a page and a camera at the side of the index entry indicate that an image is available.

FamilySearch product manager John Alexander recommends that users take the time to use the new tool as needed when they run across indexed records that they know are in error. “Adding corrections to an index when the information does not match the names as written in the original document or if the document was recorded wrong will increase the quality of the index and usefulness to other searchers,” said Alexander. For example, if “Johnathan”—spelled with an H—was indexed as “Jonathan,” a user who recognizes the error can add to the index to show the actual spelling as written in the document.

Alexander reported that users will soon have the ability to correct additional types of indexing errors besides names. Editing an index entry on FamilySearch is simple. When searching for an ancestor on the site, users can look through the results for a likely record and click the ancestor’s name. A box will pop up with the indexed information on the left and a clickable image on the right. If the index is editable, the word “Edit” will appear in blue to the right of the name.

To enter the desired correction, click Edit, and follow the prompts. A space is included for other comments or explanations. User corrections will not override the information already on FamilySearch but adds an alternative. Multiple corrections can be added to a record. All will be searchable.

August 5, 2019

A 1908 Mystery in Limerick Ireland

Hanora Meaney (aged 14) Sarah King (13) Elizabeth Gleeson (14) Lily O’Dea (13) Frances Storey (13) Mary Kelly (13) Mary Quirke (13) Bridget Donoghue (17) Mary Ryan (14) and Jessie Smart (8) all died within a few days of each other at Mount St. Vincent's orphanage in Limerick Ireland in 1908.

The cause of death was given as food poisoning but it is unusual for so many to die of that, even back in 1908.

What really happened?

Dr. Pope, a lecturer at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), is hoping to find out what was the true cause of the deaths of those ten girls. She asks for help if you are a descendant or a relative of any of the families the girls belonged to. 

If you have information regarding the event, please contact Dr. Pope at

August 3, 2019

Funeral lays 21 Irish Famine victims to rest in Canada

172 years after the Carrick coffin ship from Sligo sank off Cap-des-Rosiers, in Quebec the remains of 21 Irish victims of the Great Hunger, mainly women, and children, were laid to rest

The  Carricks had been transporting 180 people from Sligo in 1847, at the height of Ireland’s Great Hunger, when it sank just off the coast of Canada. Only 48 passengers survived, 87 others were buried in a mass grave.

Irish Memorial to the victims of the shipwreck

The bones of three children washed up on the shore in 2011 after a harsh storm, and the remains of another 18 individuals were unearthed in 2016 before a beach restoration. Bones from 21 individuals found over 5 years suggest rural Irish origins based on diet. tells us that:

We are indebted to Messrs. Pembertons for the following extract of a letter giving the melancholy account of the loss of the brig Carricks, of Whitehaven. R. Thompson, master, from Sligo to this port, with passengers:--
"Cape Rosier, 19th May, 1847.
"I am sorry to inform you that the brig Carricks, was wrecked about four miles to the eastward of this place, and shocking to relate, out of 167 passengers, only 48 reached the shore-the crew, except one boy, were all saved. Little will be saved, but what there is, together with the wreck, will be sold for the benefit of all concerned on Saturday next."-(Exchange Register.)


August 1, 2019

James King, Where Did Your 30 Hour Clock Go?

My 4th great-grandfather James King was from Chediston, Suffolk England. He was born circa 1774, and died in 1838 in Wenhaston, Suffolk. Not much is known of James, although I was lucky enough to find Bastardy Papers for him dated July 1791.

In the Bastardy papers he confessed to being the father of Hannah Blanden's illegitimate daughter. Her name was not given in the documents and I've never found out who she was or what happened to her.

Oddly enough he married Hannah on the same day the Bastardy papers were filed.

His two sons Lewis King and Thomas King, were in the group of settlers who immigrated to Upper Canada and started the village of Arkell (now in Ontario).

Since writing and publishing a book "From England to Arkell" about this settlement, I happened on a newspaper account for James who died in 1838. His estate was being auctioned off so an inventory was done.

I'm intrigued and fascinated by him owning a 30 Hour clock! That was one of the cheaper types of Grandfather (Long Case) clocks, but still.... a farmer in Suffolk owning such a clock indicates he was somewhat well off. And I would love to know where that clock is now!

The inventory gave me an image of James' home, and helped make him more alive to me as a living breathing person who lived, loved, felt pain and sorry, was loved -  in short, no different from you or I. And that is something that is often lacking in our research - that flesh on the bones so to speak.