Weekly Planner: Check Old Message Board Posts

Many of us have posted research queries to message boards over the years. As our research progresses, these queries may be out of date. In addition, new people may be monitoring posts to that board that have the answer to our questions. You can do an advanced search of the Ancestry.com/RootsWeb.com message boards by author through the advanced search page. Just enter your user name and you’ll see links to your message board posts. Post an update to let people know the status of the query. By posting an update, you may catch the attention of someone following that message board.

Genealogy Junky, by Linda Jean Shepherd, Ph.D.

Cemetery in Rathcalen, Co. Westmeath, IrelandI’m a genealogical junky. It’s mystifying, since my family never interested me. I was a scientist immersed in the physical world until the spirits of my ancestors demanded I find them. While other family members are delighted when I share what I’ve discovered, I’m the only addict in the family. I revel as the name of each new ancestor finds a resonance and place in my body. Knowing them, I feel different inside.

What lures homebodies like me on journeys across the globe in search of gravestones, wills, and church records? What is it about genealogy that makes normal people become obsessed, compelled to discover our ancestors’ names? Addiction to genealogy is such a common affliction that online stores sell t-shirts proclaiming “Genealogy Addict.” Helpful websites list the symptoms:

  • You would rather read census schedules than a good book. 
  • Your idea of a great vacation is visiting cemeteries and historical societies.
  • You have traced every one of your ancestral lines back to Adam and Eve, have it documented, and still don’t want to quit.

I knew I was hooked when I found myself tracing the genealogy of the Maine Coon cat we inherited.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has tapped into the mysterious force that causes genealogical addiction and woven it into the fabric of its theology. They consider genealogical data collection a religious duty. In China, people compete to update genealogies burned by the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution. Genealogy was so important to the Maori of New Zealand that they symbolically inscribed it in the form of moko (tattoos) on their bodies with an albatross’s wing bone. Continue reading

The Settlement Deed Helps Settle Relationships, by Michael John Neill

Ireland landscape.JPGThis article is the third in a series on “Identifying Your Family,” in which a series of census records were analyzed to estimate the number of children in the Augusta and Melinda Newman family. Previous articles are at:

A comparison of census records is only the beginning point in completing the family structure. This week we continue our look at the children of Augusta and Melinda Newman by comparing our census conclusions with other records.

Our analysis in “Identifying Your Family” concluded that there were nine children in Augusta’s family (eight boys and one girl), with one boy likely dying in the 1840s. As many of the children were out of the home by the every-name 1850 census, several children remained unnamed and unidentified after our analysis. In this case it was decided to view records of Augusta’s estate settlement in order to more completely determine the family structure. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Trace African Americans with Native Americans, from George G. Morgan

During the first half of the nineteenth century in the U.S., African Americans and Native Americans in some places began bonding together because of their shared enemy, the white man. Slaves in the southernmost states fled south to Florida rather than attempt a longer escape to the north, knowing that the Florida wilderness provided a better opportunity to avoid capture and return to their owners. Some came to live with Native Americans in their villages and helped make a living there. In the course of these relationships, a sizeable number were relocated with the Five Civilized Tribes to what now is Oklahoma. By the start of the Civil War, more than 4,000 former slaves lived there. Therefore, don’t overlook checking records relating to Native Americans to locate African American ancestors.

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Your Quick Tips, 30 April 2007

Photo glasses watchjjpg.bmpReproduce Old Photos
I am seventy-two, and have been in possession of a daguerreotype photo of an ancestor for about fifty years. It wasn’t in the sharpest condition when I received it. About ten years ago, I tried to get it reproduced and was told it couldn’t be done. Last year, I tried again with a different photo lab and he said he’d try but it was in pretty poor condition. The result was astonishing. I have a negative now and a print; it is so sharp, you can see the strands of her hair. Where I used to think she was a very dour old woman, the print shows a gentleness and sadness in her eyes not seen before. This is the only remaining picture of my fourth great-grandmother, Sarah Lyons Goble.  My message is: If you have this type of picture, find a lab and have it reproduced NOW; these pictures do continue to deteriorate with time.
Carla E. Connell

Continue reading

The Year Was 1810

München Rathaus mit Frauenkirche [circa 1900-1940]The year was 1810 and in Bavaria, the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The celebration marked the first Oktoberfest and the tradition is still carried on around the world nearly 200 years later.

Napoleon had carved a large portion of Europe for France. To this he added Holland and much of Germany in July. But the tide was turning. After years of trying to defeat the British, trade sanctions were backfiring and causing economic instability in Europe. 

The Napoleonic Wars were also putting an economic strain on New Spain (Mexico). The wars disrupted shipping from Spain and in 1810, following a poor crop in 1809, there was famine and a rebellion against Spain. The rebellion formally began on dieciseis de Septiembre (16 September). Continue reading

Photo Corner

Maggie (Mae) Hinton and her brother Tollie George Hinton Contributed by Alice Miceli, Tabernacle, New Jersey
Attached is a picture of my great-grandmother Maggie (Mae) Hinton and her brother Tollie George Hinton in Lake County, California.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Sofia Staniszewska, and Marianna Staniszewski.Contributed by Gladys LaRochelle
On the left is my aunt, Sofia Staniszewska, and on the right is my mother, Marianna Staniszewski.  The photo was taken in 1905 when they were both newly arrived in America from Poland.

Another “African American Lives” Program in the Works–Non-Celebrity Sought To Be Part of the Series

A sequel is in the works to the acclaimed PBS special that aired in February, African American Lives. The first installment featured famous people like Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Chris Tucker, while this episode will include a non-celebrity along with Beyonce, Morgan Freeman, Tina Turner, Dave Chappelle, and Tom Joyner. According to an article on BlackAmericaWeb.com,

Interested individuals may apply at www.pbs.org/aalives. Once the online application is filed, the applicant will receive an e-mail confirmation and an identification number. An applicant must attach the number and her name to a photograph of herself and mail it to: African American Lives 2, 305 W. Broadway, Suite 144, New York, NY 10013. The deadline for online applications is Friday, May 4, and photographs must be postmarked no later than Monday, May 7. The winner will be announced the week of May 28.

For more information see the complete article at BlackAmericaWeb.com.