Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wisconsin Albino Deer

You've got to take a look at this! It has nothing to do with genealogy, except that these deer have been here for centuries, and may have been a part of the deer population when your ancestors were first in Wisconsin!

Take a look at the Wisconsin Albino Deer.

Rome, Georgia's Burial Records Online

Thanks to a new burial data program on the city of Rome’s web site, genealogy researchers and loved ones may have an easier time locating their ancestors buried in Rome’s public cemeteries. The service can assist those looking for the plots of ancestors, family or friends buried in city-owned cemeteries — Eastview, Oakland and Myrtle Hill.

The information only covers burial records, the cemetery lot number and plot location number. The site can also generate clickable maps of the cemeteries that allow the user to navigate and find the exact placement of the plot.

Many of the birth dates for older interments may read 01/01, an indication that the birth date is unknown. As records are updated, or in some cases found, they will update the birth date information, according to city officials.

The site can be found at

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adopted or Biological Lineage?

We were recently asked the following question:

"I have been perplexed for some time with this issue and don't know where to turn. When doing my genealogy, my father was adopted and my problem is this, do I do use the biological lineage or the adoptive lineage for him? Most programs that I have found do not allow for both. Is there a solution for this? "

Well, my solution is to do both!

I feel that the reader is wrong in stating that most programs do not allow for both lines. I have used PAF [personal ancestral file, the free Family Search program] and Family Tree Maker. Both of these programs allow for multiple lines of parentage.

Wouldn't it be fantastic for the adoptees family in the distant future to be able to look through your research and find BOTH sets of parents?

It works the same for step-parents. Many, many children are raised by someone other than their biological parents. And those "adopted" parents are more closely tied to them than any bloodlines could ever make them. And yet, they still want to know about their biological lines.

I, hands down, 100%, encourage you to pursue both lines. - cbh

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ever Wonder Why?....

Have you ever wondered through a family cemetery just to note that there are others buried there with a different surname?

Ever wonder why they were buried there?

In the archives, there is an excellent article on just that subject.

You can read WHY ARE THEY BURIED THERE? This is a great article.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Did You Grow Up With An "Odd" Name?

While I grew up with a perfectly normal first and middle name, my last name was "Beane".

Yes, I heard all of the cute and funny puns that could be made from such a moniker. I was called "butter bean", "string bean", "jelly bean", "human bean", and since my Dad was in the Navy, even "Navy bean". You think of something with "bean" and I was called it!

But I suffered nothing compared to Marijuana Pepsi Jackson. And yes, that is her first and middle name as given her by her mother at birth!

Take a moment a read all about Marijuana Pepsi's plight Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

World Digital Library

The World Digital Library went online yesterday.

This is a free online digital compilation of documents, maps, art and photos from countries around the world.

This site is expected to become HUGE! So go take a look at it now, and be sure to bookmark it and check back often!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Better Way To Cite Onlie Sources

The following comes to us courtesy of the APG message boards:

"I feel this topic is important for professional genealogists and that is whyI am posting it here.Phoenix, AZ - April 20, 2009. Every genealogist and family historian frombeginner to professional will at some time confront the issue of sourcecitations. Although great advances have been made in recent years tostandardize and simplify citations, it is still too difficult. Today a video was released that proposes a better way to citeonline sources.

This 7.5 minute video consists of two sections. The first section discussessome of the current issues with citing sources especially when it comes toonline sources. The second section demonstrates an approach to quickly andaccurately cite online sources. The technology needed to accomplish thisexists today. The changes proposed by this video requires collaborationbetween various providers of genealogy software and services. As a genealogy community, we have at times united to get our voices heard insuch areas as records preservation & access, NARA fees, and other topics ofkey concern. You are invited to watch the video, provide feedback, andlearn how we can work together to make citing online sources approachable toall researchers.About is a blog created in July 2007 to discuss ideas andinnovation in genealogy and genealogy software. It was recently recognizedby ProGenealogists, Inc. as one of the 25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs for2009.

To learn more, visit:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Photo Websites To Aid Your Research

In the years I have been doing research online, I have added a small repetoire to my photo research gallery. These sites have yielded up many photos in the past that have aided me in both my personal family research, as well as my professional.

Here are a list of some of my favorites: [I just recently started utilizing this site, and have had relatively good luck with the posts there.] [This site will sometimes yield not only a photo of the tombstone and cemetery of someone you are researching, but you may even find a photo of the person as well.] [This site is pretty limited compared to but it has yielded me several finds.]

I hope this helps with those searches of your own! - cbh

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Unmarked Graves Raise Historical Question at Mt. Gilead

Michael Patterson heads an effort to discover exactly who is buried in the 40 unmarked graves outside of the cemetery proper in Mt. Gilead Cemetery in Keller, Texas.

His efforts have even bent to ground penetrating radar. You can read all about it at The Keller Citizen.

Replica Miniature Homes Chronicle 500 Years of Family History

Peggy and Peter Newman, both 77 and retired, have done an amazing feat. The couple have built miniature homes, in exact duplication, of their family's ancestral homes dating back 500 years.

The couple discovered in the process that Peter had a hidden talent as a carpenter. And Peggy has filled the interiors with miniature furnishings and her needlework.

Read this amazing story on the Telegraph.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

APG Post of Interest

The following post was made yesterday on the APG blog, and I felt it may be of interest to my readers. Be sure to check out the Legend Seekers website! It's truly fascinating!

"Hi all,
I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but I just recently heard about this new PBS series that is playing in selected markets.
They have a web site at and the pilot episode just aired. For those interested, this pilot episode can be seen at, just scroll to the bottom of the page. I'm very curious to see how this series is received by the APG community. Joel "

Family Stories & Other Fairy Tales

Have you been told family stories and then tried to research your family history in regards to those stories? Just to come to a dead end?

I know I have. And many others have as well.

Dick Eastman writes a fascinating and informative article regarding how to discern the facts from the myths in those family stories on his blog.

What's your family story? Let us know!

Susan Boyle Wows Them!

They say Susan Boyle is her family's historian. Well, I don't know if she's their historian or not, but she certainly made family history when she appeared on "Britain's Got Talent".

You have to listen to her stunning performance. She said she'd like to be as big as Elaine Page, I think she'll fulfill her dream!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You Need A Disaster Plan

"If you own treasured family artifacts, photographs and scrapbooks, and who doesn’t, then having a home disaster plan is a good idea. Anyone who lives in an area susceptible to floods, hurricanes, tornados and blizzards knows that sooner or later the inevitable will occur. It can even happen due to fire and broken water pipes. "

Maureen Taylor has a ton of wonderful information in setting up your own disaster plan. You can read her informative article on Ancestry's website.

Lincoln's DNA Troubles

One hundred forty-four years ago today President Abraham Lincoln was watching a play at Ford's Theatre, when he was shot in the head by an assassin. As he lay dying in a boarding house across the street from the theatre, his blood and brain matter oozed onto the pillowcase of the pillow where his head lay.

Move forward 144-years, and a strip of that pillowcase is in a museum. Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, had requested his father be allowed to rest in peace. But a well-known cardiologist, author, and consultant for the television show "House", John Sotos, would like to test the DNA from that pillowcase to see if his suspicions are correct. That the nation's 16th President was dying of cancer at the time of his assassination.

You can read all about this fascinating subject on the Philadelphia Post's website.

Family History is More than Names and Dates...

What motivates people to do family history?

"Family history is more than names - we are drawn to the stories of their lives. We dig their names and dates out of vital records or the census and we dig deeper into newspapers and family letters to find the stories of their lives. "

You can read this entire article at the GenealogyBlog.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

GenealogyBank Adds Another Paper

GenealogyBank adds the Las Cruces, New Mexico papers to its library. Papers included are 1873-1938 and can be located here.

Library of Congress Announces YouTube Videos Are Up!

The Library of Congress announces that they now have 70 videos up and running on YouTube, as well as there LOC website.

Their current list of videos includes: 2008 National Book Festival author presentations, the Books and Beyond author series, Journeys and Crossings (a series of curator discussions), “Westinghouse” industrial films from 1904 (I defy you to watch some of them without thinking of the Carl Stalling song “Powerhouse”), scholar discussions from the John W. Kluge Center, and the earliest movies made by Thomas Edison, including the first moving image ever made (curiously enough, a sneeze by a man named Fred Ott).

And this is just the beginning! More will be coming.

Visit the LOC today to read more about this launch.

Friday, April 10, 2009

GenealogyBank Adds More Papers

GenealogyBank announced this afternoon that they have added Old Charleston, SC papers to their library. These papers range from 1783-1859. You can view their announcement here.

Listing of Repositories

If you haven't already bookmarked this site, then you really need to! There are over 5000 websites listed, describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs and other primary sources for the researcher.

Visit this site compiled by Terry Abraham.

Schindler's List Found!

Australian researchers sifting through the author of "Schindler's List" came across a remarkable

The 13-page document is one of Oskar Schindler's original lists which he used to ultimately save more than 1,100 individuals from the holocaust!

YahooNews has a remarkable piece on this find.

98-Year Old Woman Found Alive After 30 Hours in Rubble

Maria D'Antuono was found alive, and in good shape, more than 30 hours after her house collapsed above her in the little town of L'Aquila, Italy. Monday's quake left many homeless and dead. But Maria managed to stay alive.

When she was pulled from the rubble she was asked what she did to pass the time while waiting for rescue. This brave nonna said she spent the time with her crochet hook and wool!

Now that's my kind of grandma!!!

The Guardian ran a wonderful story on these happenings.

JazJaz Posts 40 Hauntingly Beaultiful Photographs

"Graveyards are an oasis of tranquility in this chaotic world." The writer seems to speak my sentiments exactly!

I frequent cemeteries like some women frequent the mall and shop! I prefer the quiet and solitude. And while I may not commune with those lying in repose there, I certainly feel their peace and serenity. And when visiting my own ancients, I feel that I gather strength from their memories. Nothing strengthens me more than when I stand at the stone on my great-grandfather's grave. The pulse is almost palpable!

These photographs bring those sentiments to life as none other I have seen! You can enjoy these beautifully haunting photographs on JazJaz.

GenealogyBank Adds Papers

GenealogyBank has added Englewood, OK and Del Rio, TX obituaries and death notices to their card catalog! You can see more about this at GenealogyBank.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dolly's Wet Nurse

Dolly Parton appeared on '60 Minutes' with this down-home tale from her childhood. These are the kinds of stories you will want to add to your family's history! - Mtn Gen

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

ProGenealogists List Top SItes

ProGenealogists announce their list for the top 50 genealogy websites. Their site states the list was created in the first quarter of 2009, so is not retro to 2008. You can view their list here.

They also list their top 25 genealogy blog sites here. - Mtn Gen

Roots Author Rooted in Scotland, Too

A few weeks ago we reported on Roots Author, Alex Haley's nephew connected with the Baff family in Scotland through DNA testing.

You can read about this amazing technology, and the Haley/ Baff testing at USA TODAY. - Mtn Gen

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Genetic Finger-Printing Saving Lives

Modern day genetic fingerprinting, and genealogical sleuthing, have led a University of Utah researcher and his colleagues to the Fry family descendants.

Mr. and Mrs. George Fry landed in Massachusetts, from Somerset, England, sometime between 1624 and 1640. Their legacy?

A specific gene mutation which spawns colon cancer.

Descendants have been located, and thanks to modern day treatment, in Utah at least, the family members are being spared.

You can read more abut this fantastic work here.

NBC's Who Do You Think You Are

The NBC Publicity Department, in Burbank, CA has announced that the April 20 airing of "Who DO You Think You Are", which was to start with actors Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Susan Sarandon, has been postponed indefinitely.

NBC, the public is disappointed!

The Genealogue Lists 10 Best Genealogy Blogs To Read

Chris Dunham, writer of the famous [or infamous] Genealogue, lists ten of the best genealogy based blogs to read.

I have to admit, they are some of the BEST!

One Lucky Family!

A Chinese family in Malipo had believed they were lucky. They believed that their ancestors literally lived beneath the floors of their home.

Wang Hexiong stated that his father had once dropped a metal ball on the floor and it rolled into the hallway where it came to an immediate stop. He believed their ancestors lay beneath the floor.

When a police officer was refused admittance to the hallway, he became suspicious. They soon discovered that beneath the floors of the hallway lay, not the family's ancestors, but 38 rusting bombs, believed to have survived from World War II.

Read the entire story from The Daily Times here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

6 Genealogy Myths to Avoid

The following is taken from the 31 March 2009 Family Tree Magazine Blog:

"Don't let your family history search get sidetracked by these common—but erroneous—genealogical beliefs.

1. You can buy your family crest.Cups, mugs, wall hangings and other family crest doodads are available online everywhere. But “families” don’t have crests—rather, individuals do. Coats of arms must be granted, and to claim the right to arms, you must prove descent through a male line of someone to whom arms were granted Think you qualify?
Get more details on heraldry in our online article.

2. The 1890 census burned to a crisp.Actually, it didn’t—it was waterlogged and lay around until some unknown person authorized its disposal. But some parts survived—
see the full story on the Now What? blog.

3. You can find your whole family history online.If only! Nowadays you can get lots of actual records online, including censuses, passenger lists, military records, digitized books—and on and on. But lots of errors abound in online indexes, transcriptions and family trees, and repositories hold richly detailed, lesser-known records. So at some point, you’ll want or need to log off and go to the library.
When you do, look to our Libraries & Archives category for research tips.

4. Your ancestor was a Cherokee princess or George Washington, or you’re related to John Brown.Lots of families have legends about famous kin, and of course it could be true—but stories tend to get embellished and even made up over time, so research such legends before passing them on as the truth. Regarding the above-mentioned myths: Though you may have Cherokee blood, there weren’t any Cherokee princesses and George Washington can’t be an ancestor because he never had children (Martha did, from her first marriage). Also, not everyone with the same last name is related, even when you go waaaaaaay back in time.

5. The courthouse burned, and all the records are gone.Many a genealogical dream has run smack against a courthouses fire. But the vital records, naturalizations, deeds, wills and other records within weren’t always completely destroyed. Sometimes records survived, or copies had been sent to another office, or the clerk asked citizens for copies of their records, or you can find the same information elsewhere.
See our tips for beating brick walls and contact the county library or state archives, whose staffs may have prepared special helps for genealogists researching around courthouse blazes.

6. Your ancestor's name was changed at Ellis Island.This may be the biggest genealogical myth of all time. Passenger lists were created at the port of departure, and Ellis Island officially checked the names on the list. (One reason why knowing your ancestor’s name in the old country will help you find his passenger record.) Many immigrants changed their own names after arrival in an effort to sound more “American.”
Here are more—actual—ways immigrants’ names were changed. "

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bush Library May Be Last Housed In A Building

The following was taken from the 31 Mar 2009 EOGN:

"Bush Library May Be One of Last Housed in a Building

In an interesting sign of the technology available today, the new George W. Bush Presidential Library could be one of the last brick and mortar institutions of its kind.

Congress is looking for ways to cut the expense of overseeing such buildings, and some researchers say the traditional library setup for keeping presidential documents is outdated in a digital world. One possibility is to digitize all the presidential records and put them online, eliminating the need for costly buildings.

This is strictly a proposal at this time, not a defined plan. "We really want to hear from people who care about the libraries or who use the libraries and have suggestions," said Sharon Fawcett, the assistant archivist for presidential libraries.

The proposal aims to run the library system at less cost but with better access to presidential papers. The National Archives and Records Administration will deliver its report to Congress this summer.

You can read more in an article by Eaura Isensel in the Dallas News web site at "


Oh come on! With our country in debt for more than 4-trillion dollars, what's a couple of million for a brick and mortar Presidential library???? Hmmmm???? [Yes, that's sarcasm folks! I'm all for digitizing and putting Presidential documents into the hands of the people online. Accessibility is heightened a thousand-fold over a brick and mortar house for them!] - cbh


Taken from the 31 Mar 2009 Eastman's EOGN:

I am experimenting with a new feature on this newsletter: you can now listen to the articles on your computer, on your iPod, or on most any other MP3 music player.

When you look at the newsletter's home page at, you will note that a new icon appears near the top of each article: Listen Now. Clicking on that icon allows you to listen to a computer-generated voice that reads the article to you. You can listen to it directly through your computer's speakers or have it sent to iTunes for later listening on an iPod or iPhone. Another option is to have the article sent to most any other MP3 player that is capable of accepting audio from the Internet. Finally, you can download articles as MP3 files and save them on your local hard drive and listen to them later at your convenience.

The new addition has two intended audiences:
* Vision-impaired newsletter readers.
* Anyone who would prefer to listen to newsletter articles while commuting or jogging or at other convenient times. You no longer have to be seated in front of your computer to read the articles.

This is an experiment to see if there is sufficient interest for the new option. If it isn't used much, I will delete it in a week or two.

I must admit that I find it amusing when the computer-generated voice reads those long URLs!"


You've got to give this a try! Works really well, and is great if you are trying to multi-task and want to get caught up on your newsletters at the same time. - cbh

Whose Father Is He?

The following is from Eastman's EOGN for 31 Mar 2009:

"Whose Father Was He?

Several readers wrote yesterday and today about a series of articles appearing this week in the New York Times. It concerns a soldier killed in the American Civil War.

The soldier’s body was found near the center of Gettysburg with no identification — no regimental numbers on his cap, no corps badge on his jacket, no letters, no diary. Nothing save for an ambrotype (an early type of photograph popular in the late 1850s and 1860s) of three small children clutched in his hand. Within a few days the ambrotype came into the possession of Benjamin Schriver, a tavern keeper in the small town of Graeffenburg, about 13 miles west of Gettysburg. Then the story says this photograph of three small children was used for both good and wicked purposes.

You can read Episode #1 of this story at while The Times promises an additional episode will be published every day this week.

UPDATE: Part 2 is available at "


I urge you to read these articles at The Times. They are absolutely fascinating! A real joy to read! - cbh

New Library of Virginia Site

The following was received from Brent Tarter at the Library of Virginia this morning:

"A few weeks ago the Library of Virginia announced that its Web sitewould be replaced by a new edition and offered Va-Hist and Va-Roots subscribers an advance preview and solicited comments. We thank those ofyou who offered your opinions on the new site, which we hope will makeresearch and access to the many resources of the Library of Virginiamore efficient.

The preview for the new site is accessible from the current Web sitehome page at

Effective Tuesday, 7 April 2009, the old Library of Virginia Web sitewill cease to exist, and the new site, with the same URL, will replaceit. Because of revisions in the structure of the site, some bookmarksthat you have may created to allow rapid access to specific portions ofthe Library's Web site may no longer function, and once the new sitebecomes the only site you may need to create new bookmarks for thoseportions of the new site.

Brent Tarter
The Library of Virginia "

Be sure to mark this announcement on your calendars so you will be ready! - cbh Announces Ancestry Seance

The following appeared this morning in the "Ancestry Insider":


This first day of April, announced yet another new service to help members investigate their family history: Ancestry Séance. According to company president, Tim Sullivan,
There comes a time in each genealogist's research when ancestral lines hit a dead end.

Sometimes it seems an ancestor simply popped into existence. Or available records dry up. What genealogist hasn't thought to themselves, "If I could only talk to this person, I know what I would ask." With Ancestry Séance, now you can!

Ancestry Séance is a service that allows customers to pose a question to an ancestor and get an actual answer back, usually within 48 hours. According to the press release,

Imagine the thrill of solving the Amelia Earhart mystery. Think how easy it will be to jump the pond once you know where to find your immigrant's birth town. Learn the true story behind Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance. Choose between the two John Smiths in your ancestor's town. Prove your illegitimate descent from King Charles II of England. chief technology officer, Michael Wolfgramm, explained how the technology works.
We employ a sophisticated network of trained and experienced Jamaican psychics. Using the same technology we employ for the World Archives Project, each question is automatically routed to an entire array of psychic specialists in the topic area. Human error is virtually eliminated by a special computer algorithm that employs a statistic model to filter their responses. The system is completely integrated into Ancestry Member Trees, which makes it easy for users and psychics to precisely the target the same individual, eliminating expensive and time-consuming mistargetting.

When asked if genealogists will actually use a system that flies in the face of traditional evidence-based family history, company spokesperson Mike Ward said, "Hey, look how many happy customers we have that depend almost exclusively on customer-submitted family trees with obvious inconsistencies and totally devoid of any sources."

However, critics have already come forward. Said first generation American, Ape Ralph Ools,
This is psycho. Why did not choose American workers to contact our ancestors? The offshore psychic reader is cheap, that's why. There's no Jamaican psychic can read my ancestry better than an American.

Ward countered, "This move is actually good for genealogy. It's bothered us for a long time that in the Lifestyles category Zodiac websites outperform Genealogy. Sure, stands to make a lot of money from this move, but we're really doing this for the good of the industry."

Interested customers need to act quickly. This special offer is good today only. Happy April Fools, everyone. Until next year, stay tuned..."

Have a Happy and TRICKY Day! - cbh