Photo Corner

Edward Gant PyleContributed by Paul Brady, St. Paul, Minn.
This is my fourth great-grandfather, Edward Gant Pyle. EGP was born in 1785 in Virginia, migrated to California in 1846, and died in 1875 in San Jose. This undated photo was obviously taken toward the end of his life. I am absolutely amazed to be able to look at the photographic image of a man born in 1785, father of twelve and head on the Pyle-Whiteman-Goodman party to California at the age of sixty. He provided logistical support for the rescue of the Donner-Reed party. His first cousin was Margret Wilson Keyes Reed, but I don’t know if he knew. He and much of the family were there for those turbulent and violent days of the Gold Rush and development to statehood.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Verna May Hall (b. 8 October 1886)Ted Muraski, Detroit, Mich.
Miss Verna May Hall (b. 8 October 1886) at her high school graduation from Centerville High School, May 1904, at Centerville, Appanoose, Iowa. She left for Chicago shortly after and died of Bright’s Disease on 27 Jan 1913 at the age of twenty-six.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

ISFHWE Annual Writing Contest

Thanks to Myra Gormley for sharing this with us!

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) is sponsoring its annual “Excellence in Writing” competition to recognize excellence in genealogical columns and articles. The contest is open to all members of ISFHWE, both published and unpublished authors.

Contest entrants must be members of ISFHWE, which is open to all. The contest is judged by professionals in the fields of genealogy and journalism. The contest has four categories — newspaper columns, published articles, unpublished genealogy research stories (Category III) and Category IV is for “want-to-be” writers in the field of genealogy/family history or local history. Submissions in the latter category should be original and unpublished and between 500 and 1,000 words. Do you have a story to tell about your ancestors or hometown? Here’s your opportunity. Continue reading

Ancestry Magazine Relaunches with All New Content and Design

AM_JF2007_cover Inc. has issued the following press release. Congratulations to everyone in the Publications department on the relaunch of Ancestry magazine!



Revamped Magazine Provides Family History Tips and Techniques for the Family Historian – From Beginners to Experts

PROVO, UTAH – December 13, 2006 – Ancestry Magazine, a leading family history publication, today announced its relaunch with the November/December 2006 issue, now available on newsstands. Published by, Inc., the leading online network for connecting families past and present, Ancestry Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine that features captivating contributions from leading industry experts and a slew of family history how-to’s that help hone readers’ research skills and enrich the family history experience. The magazine is the offline complement to, the world’s largest online family history resource, also part of the, Inc. network.

“Our readership has evolved over the years, and the new Ancestry Magazine speaks directly to today’s family historian, providing readers of every skill set and all levels of interest with the best and most efficient ways to discover the stories of the lives of their ancestors,” said Loretto Dennis Szucs, Executive Editor of Ancestry Magazine and co-editor of The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. “With the digital revolution, family history has quickly become one of the world’s most popular and intriguing pastimes. Millions of records are now available at the click of a mouse, and yet most of us still love the feeling of flipping through the pages of our favorite magazine. Ancestry Magazine brings both worlds together beautifully.” Continue reading

NGS Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia, 16-19 May 2007

Arlington, VA.  11 December, 2006. National Genealogical Society announces its 2007 Annual Conference and Family History Fair in Richmond, Virginia May 16-19, 2007 will mark the 29th Annual Conference in the States and Family History Fair of the National Genealogical Society. The 2007 conference will be held in conjunction with local hosts – Fairfax Genealogical Society, the Genealogical Research Institute of Virginia, and the Virginia Genealogical Society. Continue reading

New at Ancestry

Posted This Week

Weekly Planner: Send Family History With Holiday Greetings

holiday cards.jpgThis year why not send a special holiday greeting to your family and loved ones? Include a piece of family history with your holiday greetings. Whether it be a biographical sketch, a copy of a census or immigration record, a copy of a photograph, or a family memory–when you send a piece of family history with your standard greeting card, you’re sure to brighten someone’s day. And who knows, you may prompt them to reciprocate!

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

Using Ancestry: Starting Fresh, by Juliana Smith

This week I’ve been working on my mother-in-law’s family. Her Wolford line is one of the few lines that other family members haven’t taken to pre-Revolutionary days, and since I had poked around this line a bit last year (albeit not using the best methodology—see the article for more on this), I decided to take another crack at it. I’m happy to say that I’ve actually found some interesting items on to share with her. Today I thought I’d share some of the techniques I used and some thoughts along the way that may help you with your research too.

Starting Fresh
I inherited a lot of charts with names and dates from various family members–but no sources. The charts end with my husband’s second great-grandfather, who is listed as “Jacob??” Because I am unsure of the sources of information, I am starting fresh with known information and building on it with records I can find online for now. From there, I’ll be seeking out church records, land records, and consulting other offline resources to fill in the blanks.

I have a lot of information in front of me, so I’ll need to focus on this one family and try not to get distracted and bounce around to other family groups (which is sometimes tough for me!).

The Census through the Years
Since the census gives us a pretty good look at family structures and provides ages to work with, I began my search there. I started with my mother-in-law’s father, and worked my way back, pulling enumerations for each decade available and for each member of the family. Continue reading

Men of the CCC, by Mary Penner

Enrollees arrive at Fort Roosevelt, Virginia. Photo courtesy of USDA Forest Service (“110 Rookies Enrolled in Oct,” read the newspaper headline. Below the headline it read, “Average Age is 17 Years and 11 Months — Educational Level Varies — All are Interested in Self-Improvement.”

The headlines summed it up. Those were the typical characteristics of the young rookies. But, that wasn’t just any group of rookies; my father was in that group. The newspaper? It was the Camp Ames News, published by CCC Company 1709 in Ames, Iowa.

In the 1930s, the Great Depression gripped America; unemployment and poverty affected millions of households. Shortly after taking office in 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt spearheaded a bill through Congress creating the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

Focusing on natural conservation projects, the CCC promised to put young men to work across the country. Enrollees, aged 18-25, (later expanded to 17-28) had to be poor, unemployed, single, and healthy.
They also had to send most of their $30-a-month pay home to their families. Continue reading