Is That Ruined Manifest Entry the One I Want? by Michael John Neill

schollmeyer_ernst_mortiz_arndt-780429.bmpMurphy’s Law of Genealogy states that, “If there is one messed up line on a census record or a manifest, it will be for the family you need. Guaranteed.”

The ship Ernst Moritz Arndt landed in New Orleans in June of 1853 full of immigrants bound for the United States, including a few family members. Unfortunately, there is a partial tear in the manifest and it went right through the family whose information I was seeking–the Schollmeyers. Fortunately for me, this entry is partially legible. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

From what I can read of the manifest, it lists

  • Friederich Schollmeyer
  • Cath. Schollmeyer
  • Nicodemus Schollmeyer, aged 12
  • Dorothe Schollmeyer, aged 7
  • Elizab. Schollmeyer, aged 2
  • Andreas Schollmeyer, aged 53
  • Marianne Schollmeyer, aged 52
  • Elisabeth Schollmeyer, aged 12

The last three names I recognized as the desired family. The preceding names (apparently another family related to mine) were originally unknown to me.

The tear in the manifest obscures the ages of Friederich and Cath. and leads to differing interpretations of his occupation, last residence and destination. The problem is that underneath Friederich’s entry, ditto marks are used to indicate the last residence and destination of all the other Schollmeyers, including the three of interest. Even though the tear only appears to affect parts of two entries, it actually affects the entire Schollmeyer entry. I needed to know what the entry said for Friederich. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Driveway Stones, by D.G. Fulford

I was teaching a group of fourth graders. I love fourth graders. They live in that sweet, honest space between cute and cool. I asked them about family traditions; something very special that their families loved to do. I got lots of answers about Christmas Eves, and about centerpieces at Thanksgiving. Then one boy raised his hand, and told his story.

His grandpa lives in the country, kind of far away. Every time the boy visits, his grandpa gives him a stone from his driveway to carry home. This tradition had been going on for about three years, then the grandson added a twist. He began bringing a stone from his own driveway, each time, to give to his grandpa. This way, they passed pieces of their homes–and their hearts–back and forth.

Don’t feel that you always have to be recording family history. You can be making it, too. 

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

Your Quick Tips, 19 November 2007

Family History Christmas Tree
I have had a family history Christmas tree for a number of years and it is always interesting to hear the comments. When I did the first one, we didn’t have the extra money to buy ornaments, so I used construction paper (a different color for each surname) and pasted the copies of photos on the paper. The size of the background depended on the size of picture I wanted to use, but most of them are about 2 1/4″ by 3″. I used a larger piece for a picture of my husband and me and placed it at the top of the tree. His ancestors are on one side of the tree and mine on the other side. When the children come for Christmas they look to see if I have added any pictures.

Betty Rose Gregory Continue reading

The Year Was 1939

Bird's-eye view of New York World's Fair, showing the Soviet and Czechoslovakian Pavillions--At the left is the Lagoon of Nations The year was 1939 and World War II began in September with the German invasion of Poland. Two days after the invasion, Britain and France declared war on Germany, and other countries would follow, choosing sides in a war that would eventually ravage much of Europe and Asia and kill more than 52 million people. 

Spain had seen nearly three years of Civil War by 1939 and in April, General Francisco Franco, took over as dictator of the country, declaring the Civil War over. He would rule until his death in 1975, when Prince Juan Carlos took over, restoring the monarchy.

In Victoria, Australia, 1939 was a year of disaster as on Black Friday, 13 January, wildfires raced across Victoria, killing seventy-one people. Small sawmill villages within the forests suffered the worst of the firestorm that came after weeks of extreme high temperatures.

The U.S. was still in the grips of the Great Depression but in the fall of 1939, rains end the drought that persisted throughout the Dust Bowl years.  Continue reading

Photo Corner

Harold McNair Van Liew and Grace May Young, at Rowayton Point or Compo Beach in Westport, Connecticut, around 1912 or 1913Contributed by Jean M. Foster, Lexington, Kentucky
These are my grandparents, Harold McNair Van Liew and Grace May Young, at Rowayton Point or Compo Beach in Westport, Connecticut, around 1912 or 1913. They were married 22 June 1914.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

Bins- born in 1873 in Preble, Brown County, WisconsinContributed by Frank Lavacot
This outfit my grandfather was wearing was not his usual attire. At the time this photo was taken (1890s) he was working for his brother, Joseph Bins, who owned a sheep ranch near The Dalles in Oregon. My grandfather was born in 1873 in Preble, Brown County, Wisconsin. He later married Anna DeKelver of Red River, Wisconsin, in 1899 and acquired a homestead near Harrison, Montana, in 1907.

Who Am I? 1929 Movie Star

20071116 Edith Ellis 1929.bmpI was digging around some of the photos that folks have sent in and ran across this one from a while ago. Any old movie buffs out there who can help her identify this movie star? Click on the image to enlarge it.

I enjoy the old photos in the newsletter, and thought I’d send one of mine.

This is my aunt, Edith Ellis, age 14, in 1929.  The man is a famous movie star of the time, who was filming a movie in El Cajon, California, where she lived.  I do not know who he is, and wonder if any of your readers may recognize him.  I think the movie may have been called “Hell’s Angels” but I am not sure. 

Edith had had polio as a child, and you can see in the photo that one leg is smaller than the other because of it.

Many thanks –
Debbie Chambers

Another Photo Collection Online at

I was watching the morning news this morning and they mentioned a website that you might enjoy. It hosts random photographs from the 1950s through the 1970s. Apparently it began when the siteowner found an old camera in an antiques shop. Turns out the camera had film in it. The photos on that film were the inspiration for the site, The comments that accompany the images can be funny and if you find yourself or someone you know in a photograph, the website asks that you let them know so they can get the real story behind the photograph. It’s kind of a fun site and I had a good time checking out the clothes. (Can you believe we used to dress like that?)

New at Ancestry

Ancestry____logo.bmpNew at Ancestry 

Coming Soon

  • U.S. Passport Applications, 1787-1925
  • Historic U.S. & Canada Atlases, 1591-2000
  • Major U.S. & Canada Newspaper Update
  • North Dakota State Census, 1915 & 1925
  • Southern Claims Commission Records
  • Stars and Stripes, Pacific Theater, 1942-1964