The Year Was 1835

The year was 1835 and historical accounts from Missouri tell of a cold beginning to the year. An online version of History of Greene County, Missouri, 1883 relates that,

The winter of 1834-5, was intensely cold. “The cold Friday and Saturday” were long remembered. Cattle had their horns frozen, many old settlers assert, and in some instances, had their legs frozen off up to the knees. Pigs and fowls perished in great numbers, and there was much damage done to peach and other fruit trees. [171]

The snow was unusually deep and drifted to extraordinary depths, laying on from December to March. The people were thereby subjected to many inconveniences, not to say privations. It was impossible, in many cases, to go to mill or to a store, owing to the distance and the impassable condition of the roads, and so the hominy block was called into requisition to supply breadstuff, and the “store goods” were dispensed with.

In Tennessee, “February 5, 1835, was called ‘Cold Friday’ because so many cattle and hogs froze to death that day.”  Another natural phenomenon that occurred in 1835 was the appearance of Halley’s Comet. It was the second predicted appearance of the comet. Continue reading

Photo Corner: Andrew Grote, and Emile Broome and his wife Marie Bertha Dube

Andrew (Andreas) Grote (1710-1788)Contributed by Elspeth Flood, Vancouver, BC
Elspeth’s fourth great-grandfather Andrew (Andreas) Grote (1710-1788), merchant of Bremen who settled in England ca.1730 and in 1766 established the London banking house of Grote, Prescott & Co. Painted in 1784 by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Emile Broome and Marie Bertha Dube Contributed by Emile Broome, Jr.
Emile Broome (born 8 January 1901 in Newport, Gaspe County, Quebec, Canada) and his wife Marie Bertha Dube (born 11 October 1910 in Campbellton, Restigouche County, New Brunswick, Canada). They were married 30 May 1933 in Bonaventure, Bonaventure County, Quebec, Canada.

Less Than Two Weeks Left to Win a Trip to Your Ancestors’ Homeland!

There’s less than two weeks left in the Sweepstakes. Upload photos of your favorite Ireland landscapeancestors, and you could win an unforgettable trip to their homeland. Visit anytime between September 1 and September 30, upload up to five photos a day of earlier generations* of your family, and you could win an all-expense paid† trip to visit any of your ancestors’ place of origin. Register, start your tree and upload photos absolutely free. You’ll be able to learn first-hand details about their lives and their homeland that may give you a better picture of who they were, and maybe a little about yourself as well – information you can’t get from traditional research.

In addition to the grand prize trip, each week we’ll also choose ten winners for additional prizes. Two first place winners will win a portable scanner, perfect for digitizing family photos for your album. Four second place winners will receive a free year subscription to And four third place winners will receive a personalized and unique copy of Our Name in History, a book detailing the history of their family name!

For more information, click here.

*Limit of 5 photo uploads per day. Please see Official Rules for photo eligibility requirements
†See Official Rules for details

Annie Moore Makes Headlines

Over 100 years after she stepped off the boat to become the first immigrant to be processed at Ellis Island, Annie Moore, an Irish girl from County Cork, has made headlines on the front page of the New York Times. Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak offered an $1,000 reward for anyone could determine her fate back in April and last week she announced that they had learned of Annie’s fate. You can read more in the New York Times article online.

Congratulations to Megan and everyone who helped to crack this interesting case!

New at Ancestry

Posted This Week

Weekly Planner: Remember and Record

Calendar and fountain pen.jpgThere are times when an event is so significant and its impact so great, that the memory of the moment seems indelibly marked in your mind’s eye. I think we all remember exactly where we were and how we felt when we first heard about the September 11 attacks. As we reflect on these moments today, for the sake of future generations, take a few minutes to share your feelings about the events that have affected you.

Finding the Stone

Anna Trautvetter tombstone (Michael's great grand-aunt)by Michael John Neill 

Our ancestors may have moved a great deal while they were alive. Fortunately they usually don’t move after they are dead. Still in many cases it is difficult to even find this fixed target. Despite these problems, there are several approaches we can take to finding that buried ancestor.

The Death Certificate
The death certificate is an obvious place to look for a burial. The only problem is that in many cases our burial questions are from the era before death certificates.

The Obituary or Death Notice
Obituaries are another excellent place to begin looking. Again the problem here is that in most cases our problems are in an era where these records are not of assistance.

Look at the Probate
Does your ancestor’s probate settlement indicate any payments that may provide clues as to his burial location? More recent estate accountings may spell out the name of the cemetery and go so far as to provide a precise location of interment. Earlier records, if they provide any information at all, may only go so far as to indicate a payment for a casket or digging a grave. Still it may be worth a look. Continue reading

Using The Family Facts Database

by George G. Morgan 

Placing your ancestors into geographical and historical context is one of the thrills of genealogical research. Our ancestors were not isolated, and they should be more to you than just names and dates on a computer screen or a printed page. Some of the best clues to help you in your quest are the statistical and contextual leads found in a wide variety of places. has compiled a fascinating, searchable Family Facts archive. You can learn about the meaning of your surname, the distribution of people by surname, life expectancy, and much more. You can find this collection of information under the Search tab on the main screen at (toward the bottom of the boxed list on the right side of the page) and there are ten different databases.

Civil War Service
Enter a surname and you will note the numbers of veterans with that surname by allegiance–Confederate, Union, and both. Each of the numbers is a link that Ancestry members can click to display a search results list for all persons by surname in the Civil War Service database.

Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Audit Your Sources

from Juliana Smith 

When we’re up against one of those brick walls that just won’t budge, we’re often advised to review the information we’ve gathered. This is good advice, but it works better if we also review our sources. Play devil’s advocate and examine the possibility that one or more of the sources could contain incorrect information that has been misleading you. Typically sources created nearer the actual event, and/or by an actual witness to the event are more likely to be correct. If you find you’ve missed recording a source for an event or fact, try to recreate your research and locate the source of the information. Taken in small steps, you may find that this “audit” of the sources you’ve used may provide you with a door in that brick wall.