Photo Corner: Mabie and Halliday/Holliday

Marion Elizabeth Mabie with,her grandmother, Ella Sherman Mabie, October 1911, Chugwater, Laramie Co., WyomingContributed by Beverly Fuller Rosenquist
The attached photograph is of my mother Marion Elizabeth Mabie with her grandmother, Ella Sherman Mabie. The photo was taken in October of 1911 at her grandparents’ farm in Chugwater, Laramie Co., Wyoming. My grandparents and great-grandparents both homesteaded there in 1909.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Halliday/Holliday familyContributed by Shane Dean Halliday, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Taken in 1910, my great-grandmother, Lucinda (Stubbs) Holliday, grand-aunt, Mary Ann (Halliday) Howell, grand-uncle, Orville John Halliday, grand-uncle, Basil Roy Halliday, and grand-aunt, Margaret Elizabeth (Halliday) Anderson. It was between these two generations that the spelling of my surname was changed from “Holliday” to “Halliday.”

500 German Directories Posted to Ancestry

Ancestry____logo.bmpAncestry has posted posted five hundred German city directories containing an estimated 27 million names for those with a membership to or a World Deluxe membership. Most are from the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s.You can browse all of the German directories or search the Ancestry Card Catalog by keyword to locate directories of interest to your research.

Book Club: Rett MacPherson Mysteries

Last week we asked for your favorite genealogy- or history-related books. Here are a few responses I received this week. Enjoy!

I have just finished reading all the mystery books by Rett Macpherson. I LOVED them! Plus after reading them I went to her website and found that she and I are distant cousins! She writes books about a genealogist that solves mysteries in her small town using her genealogical expertise. Very good books.

Kim Dourte

If you’ve read a good book lately, you can share it with our readers by sending your review to

Book Club: Country Cookbook and Country Stories

Country Cooking.bmpI wrote a country cookbook about life in the South in the 1900 to 1950 period with recipes used during this time.  

Country Cookbook and Country Stories is a collection of country recipes that vary–from easy to cook recipes such as Cowboy Beans to challenging recipes such as Red Velvet Cake. Mouth watering country food on every page along with short stories from the early 1900s as told to the author by Grandpa and Grandma.

Grandpa’s Whiskey Still and the Bailey cabin built in the early part of the last century is included in the picture section along with mules pulling a cane juice mill to squeeze cane juice. The author demonstrates how early farmers sharpened their tools on a foot powered grind rock. Several other pictures show scenes from early farm life. Recipes, stories and pictures describe how the early settlers lived in the southeastern part of the United States in the early part of the last century.

The author sincerely hopes you enjoy the recipes and the stories from a time that will never come again. Remember cooking is an art, so feel free to change the recipes to your liking and to the way your stove cooks. Names, dates and locations have been changed to confuse you although the stories are based on actual events that happened during the nineteen thirties and forties in the South.

This is the first book in a series with short country stories and old country recipes. This book is about countrywomen who created dishes from what they had on hand while doing farm chores and chasing critters away from children and livestock. Sometimes food was plentiful and sometimes not. Working farmers were always hungry and the food disappeared at the first sitting.

The author remembers living in tenant houses on old farms in south Alabama, with outdoor plumbing facilities and a fireplace for heat in the winter. One house we lived in had cracks in the kitchen floor so big the rooster stayed under the house whenever we were eating. If you dropped a biscuit on the floor you had to move fast or he would have his head through the crack and grab the biscuit before you could reach it.

A short walk across the yard with a gun and you were in the woods after a squirrel or rabbit. The food was fantastic. Country cornbread and fresh buttermilk straight from the churn with all the fried chicken a growing boy could eat.

This book is dedicated to my mother, Alma Bailey Robbins. She married at a young age and can remember living in those times. She raised four sons and a daughter while living in the country in south Alabama.

My book is available at

J. D. Robbins


Book Club: The Captured and Blood and Thunder

The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier, by Scott Zesch. Mr. Zesch began searching for information about a great-great-grand-uncle and wound up researching the experiences of several children in Texas kidnapped by indians in the 1800s. Fascinating, well researched and a big plus–well written.

Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West, by Hampton Sides. This is a fascinating book for anyone with an interest in the history of this country, particularly the expansion to the West. The writing is riveting – Mr. Sides is an amazing writer, we’ve read all of his books.

Terry & Roberta Frederick

Bad Baby Names Now Available in the Ancestry Store

Bad Baby Names-mfsku4551.bmpWould you ever name your child Ima Breeding, Harry Guy, Jack Ashe, Stormy Knight, Ah Hoy, Emma Royd, Harry Hiney, Ada Squirrell, or Congress Place? Well someone did! These are just a few of the “Bad Baby Names” that parents saddled their children with. Most of the names in this book were found in U.S. Census records and now you can find these and more in the new Ancestry publication, “Bad Baby Names.”

Great for baby showers or just fun reading, you can buy Bad Baby Names in the Ancestry Store for $9.95.

And click here for even more fun on the Bad Baby Name blog. 

Unique Helen Keller Photograph Donated to NEHGS

Helen Keller and Anne SullivanA member of New England Historic Genealogical Society recently donated a family collection of photo albums, diaries, and other items dating back to the 1880s, and among the photographs in the collection was this beautiful photograph of Helen Keller with her teacher and longtime companion, Anne Sullivan. What a treasure! Just goes to show how important it is to preserve those family collections. Thanks to NEHGS for sharing it with us!

Below is the NEHGS release:


The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston has released a recently discovered photograph of Helen Keller when she was just eight years old.

The photograph, taken in July 1888 in Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, shows eight-year-old Helen Keller seated next to her teacher, Anne Sullivan, as they hold hands. Ms. Sullivan taught young Helen sign language by fingerspelling into the palm of her hand. A large doll rests on Keller’s lap. When Sullivan arrived at the Keller household to teach Helen, she gave her a doll as a present. Although Keller had many dolls throughout her childhood, this is believed to be the first known photograph of Helen Keller with one of her dolls. Continue reading

New Volunteer Indexing Program at Ancestry announced an exciting future initiative today.  In the next coming months they will be adding a Volunteer Indexing Program (VIP) to their selection of features on the site.  This program will allow you to participate in transcribing selected portions of new record collections.  The information that is transcribed creates an index of the collection that is searchable, thus allowing you to search for information about your ancestors. If you are interested in joining our community of volunteer indexers click here to sign up to receive future communications about the program.

Update: I checked with the folks in the home office and yes, the indexes created through our new volunteer indexing program will be available free for everyone. More information is available on the sign up page.

31 July 2008 Update: This project has moved into private beta testing per the Ancestry blog. Stay tuned to the Ancestry Weekly Journal and this blog to learn when the beta testing goes public.


National Genealogical Society to hold Beginner’s Workshop at the NGS Conference in the States and Family History Fair, Kansas City, Missouri

NGS Conference 2008 KC, MO_edited-1.bmpArlington, VA.  3 March 2008 — The National Genealogical Society will be holding its annual Conference in the States and Family History Fair from 14-17 May, 2008. The Beginner’s Workshop will take place on Saturday 17 May, from 8am – 12 Noon, at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center Hotel, 2345 McGee Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Registration will commence at 7am.  

Anyone interested in tracing their family history/genealogy and who needs guidance on where to start will find this workshop very beneficial. Led by experienced genealogists, this workshop will guide participants through how to organize what you know, and how to search for what you don’t know.  Participants will record family data on basic forms and learn about sources (with and without a computer) that will help them extend their family history. 

The workshop is limited to 50 participants.  A registration fee of $30 covers the workshop fee and all related materials. Click here for sign-up information.

Please note – you do not need to register for the entire conference to attend this workshop.

If you are interested in learning even more about family history research, sign up for the NGS Conference – which will commence on Wednesday 16th May and conclude on Saturday 19th May. You may register for the entire conference or by the day. Continue reading