Books to Fight the Winter Doldrums, by George G. Morgan

One of the primary reasons I’ve always wanted to and have written for Ancestry Publishing is that their books are always the creme de la creme of the genealogical publishing industry. Capably led and directed by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Jennifer Utley, the books they publish are always beautifully done and filled with quality content. There are four excellent new titles that you can rely upon to satisfy your genealogical reference needs. I am thrilled to have received copies to review and to share with you!

Finding Your Canadian Ancestors
Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide is a brand new book written by Canadian genealogical experts Sherry Irvine and Dave Obee. Canada is a large and diverse country consisting of provinces and territories, and its history is equally as interesting and compelling. As a result, the records are divided between the provincial and territorial archives and the extraordinary Library and Archives Canada. Canadian confederation occurred in 1867, but your research has to consider the history, geography, and records created over the last 400+ years. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Revisit Databases, from Michael John Neill

Do the databases you use have regular updates with new information? Or are they static? Do they allow users to submit corrections or alternate readings of names? If you do not know, you may be missing out on your research. And if you do know, are you keeping track of when you search these “in flux” databases? If not, you could be missing out if you never re-research them for your family members. Your initial search in January will miss new information that is added in March or alternate readings of a census entry that another family historian posts in February.

Is it necessary to search these databases every day? No. However, those of us who fail to find our ancestors in a dynamic database should periodically search the database again to determine if the ancestor is still not there.

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Your Quick Tips, 04 February 2008

Inherited Medical Conditions
If anyone in your family has an inherited medical problem, do not fail to ask relatives for names of others who might share the problem.

My wife inherited a serious medical problem from her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother. She would break out in red bumps similar to measles, run an extremely high fever, but at the same feel like she was freezing. This would last sometime up to two or three hours. Once the fever broke, it would start going away. Rainy or cold weather, as well as an air conditioned house, would bring on an attack.
 
When we married in 1955, very few doctors had ever heard of the problem and no medication was available. She was diagnosed as having lupus in 1961 and treated for ten years, before another test showed she did not have lupus, but rather, something close to it. The medication she was given caused problems with future treatments, and she died in 2002 from a very rare and fast-moving cancer.
 
Our two children and two grandchildren inherited the condition. About four months ago, I made contact with a descendant of her grandmother’s brother who has the same medical problem and has been in a medical research program. They put him on a medication, and he has not had an attack since his first shot. My son and his daughter were accepted into the program and neither has had an attack since the injection of medication. My niece went today for her first appointment and my daughter and granddaughter have an appointment tomorrow for their first visit.
 
They call this condition Familial Cold Auto-Inflammatory Syndrome and the medicine keeps a bad gene working like it should. My son says he feels the best he has felt in a long time. So far, there are no bad side effects to the medication.
 
Finding this relative through my family research and getting my children in this research program means more to me than winning a multi-million dollar lottery. This alone is worth every minute I have spent on my family research.
 
Ralph Bridges
 
P.S. This medical problem may be traced back to a Waldrep (Waldroup) in Habersham County, Georgia, in the mid 1800s. His wife’s maiden name was Bramlett; I am told that she is the one that had this health problem. Continue reading

The Year Was 1814

The year was 1814 and the Napoleonic Wars were coming to an end. Despite losing important campaigns in Russia and Germany in previous years, Napoleon rejected peace terms as set by the Allied Power, still believing he could prevail. For a time, Napoleon’s forces were able to repel his enemies, but by March 31st, Paris was occupied by Allied Forces and in April he abdicated and was exiled to the island of Elba.

The end of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe was bad news for the Americans. As the War of 1812 continued, 14,000 British troops were freed up now to fight against the United States.

In August, British troops were able to occupy Washington, D.C., where they burned government buildings, including the Capitol and the presidential mansion. The mansion, later painted white to hide the scorch marks, is now called the White House. This torching of Washington was a retaliatory measure because the Americans had done the same in York (Toronto) in Canada.

The British had blockaded much of the Atlantic coastline and in 1814 that blockade was extended to New England, and in September Baltimore was under siege. The successful defense of that city inspired Frances Scott Key, who watched the battle from the British ship where he was being held, to write the Star-Spangled Banner.

On Christmas Eve, the Treaty of Ghent ends the war, but the combatants don’t learn of the peace agreement until February. By then, United States forces, aided by the French privateer Jean Lafitte, had defeated the British forces in the Battle of New Orleans.

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Photo Corner

Elizabeth Paul Horner on her wedding day. She married Benjamin Jarnigan Shelton on 6 June 1936 in Johnson City, TennesseeContributed by Catherine Konsbruck Shelton
This is a photo of Elizabeth Paul Horner on her wedding day. She married Benjamin Jarnigan Shelton on 6 June 1936 in Johnson City, Tennessee. Elizabeth passed away one day after her 101st birthday on 19 December 2007 in Huntsville, Alabama. She was quite the southern lady.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Emma Mae Kenney Beale born 5 May 1880 in Crown Point, Indiana, and died 15 Oct 1928 in Logansport, IndianaContributed by Natalie Dewey Stubblefield, Logansport, Indiana
This is a photo of my maternal great-grandmother Emma Mae Kenney Beale born 5 May 1880 in Crown Point, Indiana, and died 15 Oct 1928 in Logansport, Indiana. She looks to be between sixteen and eighteen years old in this photo.

In honor of Black History Month, Ancestry Releases Data from the U.S. Southern Claims Commission and the U.S. Freedmen Bureau

The Misses Cooke's school room, Freedman's Bureau, Richmond, Va. / from a sketch by Jas. E. Taylor. (from the Library of Congress Photo Collection at Ancestry.com) In honor of Black History Month, Ancestry.com has released the following databases:

U.S. Southern Claims Commission Master Index, 1871-1880
This database contains a complete index to all claims filed with the Southern Claims Commission, even those which were appealed. Gary Mills has combined all available indexes, created since these records were made public, into one. In it you will find all the information you will need to locate the case file.

U.S. Southern Claims Commission, Allowed Claims, 1871-1880
This database contains files of allowed claims filed with the Southern Claims Commission. Information available in the claim files can vary from packet to packet, but many of the files are very rich in genealogical information.

U.S. Southern Claims Commission, Disallowed and Barred Claims, 1871-1880
This database contains an index to all claims Disallowed & Barred Claims, filed with the Southern Claims Commission. Information available in the claim files can vary from packet to packet, but many of the files are very rich in genealogical information.

U.S. Freedmen Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1865-1872 (Updated)
This database contains an index to all claims Disallowed & Barred Claims, filed with the Southern Claims Commission. Information available in the claim files can vary from packet to packet, but many of the files are very rich in genealogical information.

U.S. Freedmen’s Marriage Records, 1861-1869 
This database contains Freedmen Bureau marriage records from 1861-1869. Record types include: marriage certificates, marriage licenses, monthly reports of marriages, and other proofs of marriage. Information listed in these records may include: the names of the bride and groom, their ages, date of marriage, and marriage place.

Image: The Misses Cooke’s school room, Freedman’s Bureau, Richmond, Va. / from a sketch by Jas. E. Taylor. (from the Library of Congress Photo Collection at Ancestry.com) Click on the image to enlarge it.

Bad Baby Name Blog

Bad Baby Names blog.bmpBack in December, some of you may remember a tease we ran in the newsletter for a fun new book from Ancestry–Bad Baby Names: The Worst True Names Parents Saddled Their Kids With—And You Can Too! Well, the book should be available in the Ancestry Store in the coming weeks. But if you don’t want to wait for the book, you can read some “Bad Baby Name” stories now, you can now check out the Bad Baby Name blog at www.badbabynames.net.

There are already some cool posts and if you’d like to try your hand at choosing a bad baby name (without actually inflicting psychological damage on a child), you can test your skills with Assignment 1: Your Bad Baby Name. Here’s the challenge:

We’ve all heard stories about people with horrible names. In fact, my book is all about that. But the truth is that many people are not happy with their perfectly normal names. Here’s what I want from you:

If you could pick any name to be yours, what would it be? You can choose to change your first, middle, last, or any combination of the three. I’ll be okay if you change your name to something normal, but I’d really love it if you picked something awesome. Mine is Excalibur Scorpius Rayback (which you would know, if you read my book–remember how I have no problem with shameless self-promotion?).

Click here to submit your bad baby name.