Tuesday, December 20, 2005

DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour 20 Dec 2005

DearREADERS & LISTENERS
Won't you join ol' Myrt for a very special Christmas broadcast? My special guest is a right jolly old elf -- a certain Mr. S. Claus, direct via satellite cell phone from the North Pole. I am sure even the sound of his voice will delight your little ones.

This has been a hard year for many -- with loved ones passing on, and wars and rumors of wars, and the terrible devastation of the tsunami, several hurricanes and earthquakes. With the turmoil of bombers and arsonists trying to force their political beliefs on others, there seems to be a lot of turmoil.

But there is also a lot of good in the world. There are families who love and care for each other. There are neighbors who help those less fortunate, those who need help with shoveling the snow of their driveways and side walks. The newspapers don't report the stories of big brothers who watch out for their younger siblings at school. Where are the reporters and cameras to document each act of kindness that spreads joy in the world? Isn't it really these little acts of kindness -- the little things that matter most?

Ol' Myrt here can think of the many blessings she has been fortunate to receive this year including the recovering health and strength of my daughter Carrie. And there is a very special gift -- to have three of my daughters, Tammy, Stacey and Carrie and their entire families together at my oldest daughter's house in North Logan. My son-in-laws are taking time off, and we'll have a week to spend together -- grandchildren and all.

BELIEVE me, we're going to make an event of it... On Christmas eve, they'll get to open 1 present (which always happens to be new PJs, then, we'll gather in the front room, with all but the Christmas lights dimmed. Then we'll read the Christmas story from the New Testament, followed by our traditional reading of Dr. Seuss' THE GRINCH who stole Christmas. Then the little ones will hang up their stocking, and we'll sit back and snuggle singing our favorite carols. Before long, the children will be nestled all snug in their beds... well, you know the rest. But during the week, you can be sure ol' Myrt here will be taking lots of pictures. I can hardly wait to show off our medley of "sound of Music" songs during the talent show on family night. Each of the grandchildren, singly or in pairs will also do their part during the 'show. There will be more cookies to bake, and snow sledding, and fort building. Returning home, there will be the hot chocolate to make, and swizzle with peppermint sticks.

It makes me so happy to have us ALL together at this time. Aren't I a lucky grandma?
Well, I know that I cannot make it better in the distant parts of the world, but I can influence my immediate family for the good. I will do all I can to share the true spirit of Christmas.

Here's the LINK to this special Christmas broadcast.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/05/1220r.htm

The show is also available in podcast format. For more info, see: http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/listenhow.htm

Neat Christmas links I discovered this year include:

-- Alta's Christmas Stories (in .wav format) http://www.albertarose.org/Music/christmas/stories/ChrisStories.htm

-- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens http://www.albertarose.org/Christian/christmas_carol/

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

ACROSS MY DESK: Scottish pride turns to dance ban

DearREADERS,
This item appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald through an AP feed. I am simply speechless. -- Myrt


--------------------------------------------------------
Scottish pride turns to dance ban
--------------------------------------------------------
"Nathan Warmack wore a kilt to a high school dance wanting to honour his Scottish heritage - but the principal told him to change into a pair of trousers.


What began with a few metres of tartan in Missouri has sparked a debate about freedom, symbols and cultural dress in the United States.

More than 1600 people have signed an internet petition seeking an apology for the student.

"It's a kilt. It's going to turn heads, but I never believed it would have become what it is," Warmack said.

"I had a teacher say you weren't really wearing it to honour your heritage. You were wearing it for the reaction. No, I wasn't," he said.

Warmack said his interest in his family's Scottish ties was sparked by Mel Gibson's 1995 movie Braveheart, about William Wallace's battle to overthrow English rule in 13th century Scotland.
Warmack reads books about Scotland and checks websites to learn more about his family's genealogy.


Then, he bought a kilt off the internet to wear to his school's formal dance in November.
Warmack said he showed it to a vice principal before the dance, who joked he'd better wear something underneath it, and Warmack assured him he would.


His parents, Terry and Paula, helped him piece together the rest of his outfit, a white shirt and black tie with white socks and black boots.

After Nathan and his date posed for pictures, Principal Rick McClard, who had not previously seen the kilt, told the student he had to go and change. Warmack refused.

Several Scottish heritage organisations in the US are angry, pointing out that a kilt is a symbol of Scottish pride and considered formal dress." See:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/unusual-tales/scottish-pride-turns-to-dance-ban/2005/12/21/1135032024904.html

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ol' Myrt has broken her hand

DearREADERS,
Did you notice that things have gotten quiet 'round ol' Myrt's computer desk? Well, she has fallen and broken her hand. Except for my Christmas DearMYRTLE'S FAMILY HISTORY HOUR to be presented this next Tuesday night, ol' Myrt needs to step back and let this hand heal.


The broadcast will include a very special holiday message from Myrt to her listeners, so stay tuned at http://www.Dearmyrtle.com

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

POE Podcast (Port of Arrival)

DearREADERS,
Ol' Myrt here has stumbled across a *manual* genealogy "podcast" which may assist you who are interested in immigration to the US and the subsequent naturalization process.

-- Port of Entry 1, Oct 6, 2005. Discussion of records for immigrants who arrived after 1924, derivative citizenship, minor naturalizations, and U.S. outbound passenger lists (departure lists).

-- POE 2, October 10, 2005. Enemy alien registration in World War I, immigrant "sponsors," and certificates of arrival.

-- POE 3, October 15, 2005. Declaration of Intention search, manifest annotations, requesting visa files, and new microfilm publications.

-- POE 4, October 24, 2005. Timing is Everything. Discussion of errors in immigration and naturalization records, derivative citizenship, information found on naturalization records, and some more on minor naturalizations.

-- POE 5, November 7, 2005. Discussion of research investigating an immigrant's deathbed confession.

You'll find these illuminating podcasts by going to: http://homepage.mac.com/ms5/POE/index.html

The podcaster "Marian" collects her questions from message board postings and mailing list queries. She states on her home page that if inquiries are addressed to portofentry@mac.com your query may be addressed during an upcoming podcast. I love her mix of using prepared text and extemporaneous speaking. She seems to speak with some authority, particularly on post Sept 1906 naturalizations. I wonder who "Marian" is and what she does in her "real" life to have such experience with such records. Her cat appears in POE 2, as a production assistant.

--------------------------------------------------------
* By using the term "manual" podcast, Myrt means that the podcast files must be clicked-on manually when visiting the POE website. At this time, the Port of Entry podcast files are not distributed automatically through an RSS feed, but I've written to "Marian" to tell her how the files and bandwidth can be provided for.

PODZI.COM explains "What is a Podcast? - Podcasting is a method of publishing audio broadcasts via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a [RSS] feed of new files usually MP3s."

Whether or not the PORT OF ENTRY audio files are true podcasts -- YOU SIMPLY MUST tune in -- they are THAT informative! Perhaps in the future, "Marian" will add the RSS feed option.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR 13 Dec 2005

DearREADERS,
Be sure to turn on your iTunes* and click the update button to pull in the new podcast.

WHAT'S THE SHOW ABOUT THIS WEEK?
Myrt's guests include author Elizabeth Powell Crowe on the importance of oral histories, and editor Holly Hanson on the brand new 11th edition of Everton's Handybook for Genealogists. Myrt thanks Elizabeth Kasper for sharing her before and after views her ancestors' 1815 marriage record, as she describes the process she went through with Adobe Photoshop to enhance the readability of the document. Thanks to Jill who reminds us that Corel now owns PaintShop Pro. The MightyMouse tour spotlights the wonderful volunteers at Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness. Hats off to Kimberley Powell for her article on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec 7, 2005.

You'll find the links we mention on the show page located at:
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/05/1213r.htm

*For more information about how to listen, see:
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/listenhow.htm

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
The Lost Generation - Tracing UK World War I casualties

DearREADERS,

This is just in from 1837online.com, the most excellent resource for UK records. Any inquires should be addressed to them at:
info@1837online.com

"Many of you have been moved by the recent Channel 4 series Lost Generation, which uncovered the stories of the generation that had their lives, loves, hopes and dreams annihilated on the battlefields of the First World War. If you're tracing an ancestor who died in combat, they are not recorded in the usual death indexes - you'll find them tucked away in the Overseas records, as the deaths occurred on the continent.

To search, change the event type to Deaths and scroll down to select either GRO War Deaths Army Officers Indices (1914 - 1921) or GRO War Deaths Army Other Ranks Indices (1914 - 1921). Armed with the full GRO reference obtained from these records, you can order the death certificate for the individual soldier, direct from the GRO."

Start searching for First World War deaths:
http://www.1837online.com/Trace2web/OverseasStartSearchServlet

NOTE: This is a fee-based website, but ol' Myrt has found it most useful to her research.

NOTE: GRO = Government Record Office.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Monday, December 12, 2005

Working immediate collateral lines, SSDI & NGS

From: LSwish@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,
I am at a brick wall with my uncle. I sent for death certificate at the state vital records in Louisville. They said they did not have the certificate and they thought that the funeral home did not forward it to them. The funeral home is no longer in business. I have located a Claude Lee Lewis in the SSDI and it shows he died in 1970. I am not positive that he is the right Claude Lee. I have sent for the original SS application. If this shows that he is my uncle where can I go to find the death certificate? Thank you for any help.

DearLS,
Ol' Myrt understands it is important to know the cause of death for your parents, grandparents and all siblings of these generations when compiling medical family histories. In Manatee County, Florida, the funeral home directors tend to know who inherited the funeral records when a company folds or is purchased by another funeral home. So check with other funeral homes in your uncle's town to see what happened. Hopefully his file may have the pertinent info which can be filed even though quite late.

If there is no death certificate, you could look for the obituary through a microfilm copy of the local paper. Hopefully you can obtain that through inter-library loan. Often there is mention of the cause of death, even if only by inference when mentioning a donation in lieu of flowers to a particular organization, such as the American Cancer Society.

Be sure to consider all possible spellings of his name including dropping either his first or given name:
-- Lee Lewis
-- Claude Lewis
-- Claude Lee Lewis
-- Louis

How is he listed in the 1930 census? 1920? The last census when he lived with his parents as a child?

Not everyone is listen in the SSDI. It is not a perfect listing of everyone who died in the US since 1965ish. Read on...

--------------------------------------------------------
From: Peggy G
DearMYRTLE,
Here is another freaky story about the SSDI: My mother died in 1980 and she was not listed on the SSDI until about the year 2000. I've never understood that, except she only worked for a few years from approximately 1930-1934 and then was self-employed during the early 1970's. I thought that possibly could have something to do with the lack of her listing: They lost her! Or it would just be a fluke.

I do so enjoy reading your down to earth columns! I hope to see you next year in Chicago at NGS, as the Chicagoland Genealogical Consortium (one of eight local societies hosting) will be hosting the conference "They Passed This Way." As president of the British Interest Group of WI & IL (BIGWILL), I'm issuing this early invitation for you and all your readers to join us in Chicago for a fantastic conference next June, from the 7th to 10th. Get your reservations now. Check out the NGS website at www.ngs@ngsgenealogy.org/.

Couldn't help but get on my bandwagon, Myrt. And if anyone wants to volunteer an hour or two, here or there, please let me know. I'm volunteer chairperson and would love to hear from anyone who is interested!

--------------------------------------------------------
On reflection, it occurs to ol' Myrt that we might get stuck when not finding a particular record on an individual. Please study the RESEARCH OUTLINE on your ancestor's state or country, written by experts at the Family History Library. You'll find the most up-to-date versions online at:
http://www.familysearch.org. Click SEARCH then RESEARCH HELP, then find them listed alphabetically. The advice in these outlines will suggest all sorts of alternative record groups, including some that are peculiar to the specific locality. Good luck!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Sunday, December 11, 2005

ACROSS MY DESK: DNA & Beethoven's bones

Beethoven's bones
SAN JOSE STATE SCHOLAR UNRAVELS THE STORY OF A FASCINATING DISCOVERY IN THE EAST BAY
By Richard Scheinin
Mercury News

"Joan Kaufmann is thumbing through neatly cataloged volumes of family letters and documents in her Danville home when she comes across a page of scribblings of particular interest. Casually jotted on a piece of paper are the contents of an aluminum lunchbox that once belonged to a relative named Tom Desmines in the south of France: "11 silver spoons... 1 gold chain, 36 grams... Chinese lock and key... box Beethoven skullbones."

Kaufmann, who is 70, chuckles: "I never assumed that I married into a family like this."

For more details see the full article at:
http://www.kentucky.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/13374005.htm?source=rss&channel=mercurynews_local
Corel now owns Paint shop Pro

From: Jknitl@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,

In a message dated 12/11/2005 2:45:47 PM Eastern Standard Time, Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com writes:
Jasc (PaintShop Pro)
http://jascsoftware.com/products/
-----
PSP is now owned by Corel. It's more expensive now also. http://www.corel.com

They don't support older versions of PSP from the Jasc days, so beware of buying it at a discounted on eBay or anywhere else if it's version 8 or older. When Corel took over they almost immediately came out with version 9. I still like 7 the best. It's not a memory hog as 8 is and most likely 9 is worse.

I used to have problems with scanning old newspaper articles and old documents. I would scan in grey scale then convert to black and white. Voila the dark background disappeared. I did this with PSP. An earlier version, but I'm sure it still works in the newer ones.

DearJILL,
Thanks for the heads up. Geesh, you need a pedigree chart to keep track of who owns what.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Enhancing Scanned Images

DearREADERS,
As promised, this column demonstrates how one reader enhances the scanned
images of her genealogy documents to make them more readable. Unfortunately, the
mailing lists at RW don't allow the distribution of graphics, so you will either
have to read this via my blog or my website http://w.ww.DearMYRTLE.com


Elizabeth wrote to explain: "This represents about 4 hours of work over a period of weeks...too tedious to do at at once. There are still several words that I cannot make out out even when I blow the page up 400%. I shall continue working on this. Some words I had to figure out according to the context." (Click images for larger view.)













original scan

retouched copy

The document is the Feb. 1, 1815 marriage bond/license of Martin Baker of Garrard County, Kentucky to his first cousin Cassandra Colquitt of Rockingham County, North Carolina. Beverly Baker, Martin's brother also signed. The bond was 50£. Cassandra Cabot Colquitt was the daughter of Revolutionary War dragoon, Ransome Colquitt, born in Halifax County, Virginia and his wife Susannah (Baker) Colquitt.

When I pressed Elizabeth for more information about the process she used to accomplish this "cleaning up" she graciously provided the following insights:





"The program I am using is ADOBE PHOTOSHOP 7. However, the much cheaper Adobe program, ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS would do this particular work just as well. (The price difference is from around $690 to a little less than $100 for elements.)

The process:
First I click on the color sampler icon, place it on the whitest spot on the document, and click to exchange the color to match. (White comes in many shades, and likely the document is slightly gray!) Next I blow up the page at least 400%. Then I go up to the paintbrush icon, click it, and use
it to painstakingly "paint out" the dark spots, the creases, etc. For individual words, occasionally, I have to enlarge the page even more and carefully go around each stroke and within the Os, the L loops, etc. (The size of the paint brush can be changed and made quite small for the more
tedious work..) Sometimes a word is so black, I don't know what it is and or what needs to be whitened. Then I try determining the word by the context. If that doesn't work, on rare occasions, I have to leave it mostly black.

BTW, I also use the program to restore old photos that are faded, torn or have water marks. I have restored color photos from the 1950s too that have changed color to yellow with age. (All color printed photos will change color eventually. So I now store mine on CDs. No doubt another innovation will eventually force me to go to something newer than CDs!)

I bought a book and taught myself to use the Adobe program. I am a retired university professor, so it wasn't difficult. I am still teaching myself more advanced techniques.

Professionals in camera shops also do this work. I was shocked recently when I went to a program at a genealogy society given by one of these professionals. He showed a before and after studio photo of a child that he had restored. It was faded and had a bit of water damage, in bad but not in terrible shape. He remarked that he had charged $180 for his work! Ahhh!"

A great big THANK-YOU to Elizabeth for sharing her experience with us. Our local digital photography group in Bradenton just swears by Adobe Photoshop Elements. Ol' Myrt uses a similar program, PaintShop Pro, to
accomplish some of the photo retouching tasks Elizabeth mentions. Although I recommend purchasing the programs at a discount through Amazon.com, learn more about these various programs by going to the following websites:

Adobe - http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/main.html
Jasc (PaintShop Pro) http://jascsoftware.com/products/

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

More on scanners, OCR & digital cameras

DearREADERS,

Your interest in scanning essential proof documents into your computer is fantastic, because we must consider that our paper trail needs to be preserved, and having scanned copies attached to the ancestors in question will make it easier to "prove our case" when explaining our family history. If you are new to DearMYRTLE, you'll want to read the previous columns on this topic:

HAND-HELD SCANNERS
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1205.htm

READERS' FEEDBACK: SB, Christenings & Such
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1213.htm

--------------------------------------------------------
DIGITAL CAMERA OR FLAT BED SCANNER?
From: tim@lexpages.com
DearMYRTLE and Five Acre Estate,
Early this year I was frantically shopping the world for such a scanner. I'm glad to hear it exists. For my summer trip this year I bought a Nikon Coolpix 7.1 megapixel digital camera, to serve the purpose of a scanner, for copying documents and rare photographs that could not be borrowed from their owners.

I was able to copy documents with it, and some photos, but, even though 7.1 megapixel seems a lot, it didn't do as good of a job copying photos as a flatbed would. Therefore, even though I have a very tight budget, I would still prefer to save up for a Photosmart 1200 Scanner.

The 7.1 megapixel camera is equivalent to a 200 dpi scanner. The Photosmart 1200 does 300, 600, and 1200 dpi, therefore, higher resolution. Photographs need high-resolution scanning to get down close enough into the grain to fully capture what is there, for proper archiving.
As for there not being a market in the U.S., I think they're wrong. There is, indeed, a market, but that market doesn't know it yet. The problem is with education.

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OCR - OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION
From:
sladej@swbell.net
DearMYRTLE,
Just a brief comment about your answer concerning OCR and forms. Myrt wrote:
>> If I had attempted to OCR scan the file, it simply wouldn't have worked,
>> because the death certificate wasn't typed out in a paragraph. Instead it
>> had a lot of fill-in-the-blanks and 2 major boxes of information below his
>> name. Those lines really confuse OCR software.

Myrt, you should be aware that Nuance [formerly Caere, later ScanSoft] also produces a software program called OmniForm v5 which WILL scan and OCR recognize most all types of forms such as death certificates. It literally makes a transcribed copy of the [typed] form, boxes and all. I have successfully used it for many genealogy and other types of forms.
http://www.nuance.com/omniform/standard/

By the way, I concur with your comments that hand held pen scanners are virtually useless. I have two that I only used a few times and found them worthless. A flat-bed or digital camera is only way to go.

As you said, nothing currently recognizes cursive handwriting, although there are groups working toward it. My point was that the text itself does not necessary need to be in paragraph format in order for OCR software to recognize it. It does quite well recognizing tables, columns and forms when the text or numerals involved is printed lettering. Some software can even recognize hand written letters and numbers, but not yet cursive.

--------------------------------------------------------
DearREADERS,
The next column will show (with graphics) how one reader enhances the scanned images to make them more readable. Unfortunately, the mailing lists at RW don't allow the distribution of graphics, so you will either have to read this via my blog or my website.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Incomplete copies of official records

From: AM Coke
DearMYRTLE,
I don't recall this subject having previously been addressed anywhere, so I thought I'd present it to you for your comments.

Recently, in the course of assembling my documentation materials for DAR [Daughters of the American Revolution] membership, I became aware that the "official" birth and death certificates I had ordered were virtually useless for establishing the true identity of the persons named thereon.

The reason for this is that frequently information is [ABSTRACTED] from the original record and [written] to a form which is printed out and purports to be a 'certified' record of the event. This is far different from a photocopy of the true record completed at the time (or nearly close to) of the event.

In addition, very often the forms used do not offer the possibility for entering information critical to the genealogist - such as who the informant might have been, maiden name for females, etc.

--------------------------------------------------------
SOME OF MY RECENT EXPERIENCES WITH THIS PROBLEM
HAVE BEEN:
--------------------------------------------------------
-- When requesting a birth certificate for my daughter in the Cook County, Illinois clerk's office, I was asked "Do you want the parents' names on the certificate?" !! The explanation given was that the information is computer-generated and most people only want the barest of information. If you want ALL available information, a different procedure is required.

-- When I recently requested a death certificate for my 2-great grandmother's sister from the Salt Lake City Department of Health, I was given one of these 'abbreviated' certificates. Fortunately, I was in Salt Lake City at the time and was able to go to the STATE records office to obtain a photocopy of the original record.

-- A request for my mother's death certificate (she died in 1994) had only date, place, cause of death, and which undertaker handled the cremation arrangements. No maiden name, whether married or single, birthplace, or other genealogical information. In a phone call to the issuing institution, I was told that this was the ONLY form used, and that it was NOT possible to obtain a photocopy.

--------------------------------------------------------
IN TWO OF THE CASES ABOVE...
--------------------------------------------------------
I happened to be onsite, but imagine requesting these documents by mail and not knowing the differences. Of course, possibly, mail requests are treated differently - especially when 'genealogy' is given as the reason for the request. Most likely, however, government employees being what they are, probably the 'usual' procedures are followed.

My problem with these procedures leads me to think that the computer age is the cause. When one thinks about how computers have so richly enhanced and simplified the family historian's ability to root out information, we bless them, but when they short-change us, we cuss them.

Perhaps it would be advisable to determine exactly what kind of record will be generated BEFORE sending a check for documents?

Who knew?

Thanks for allowing me to vent my frustrations.

--------------------------------------------------------
DearAM,
Personally I LOVE government workers, since one of my best friends is a retired federal employee. But I know what you mean. Those who are NOT genealogists simply cannot understand why we're interrupting the daily flow of work to request documents on a dead person, UNLESS it involves a probate file on the current docket.

Also there are simply NO "ALL EARTH" UNIVERSAL FORMS (whether or not computer-generated) to document births, marriages or deaths. Each government entity that has jurisdiction, tends to make up its own rules for when to start keeping records, when to comply with federal requirements, and just how to maintain these vital records. Some now make older records available through the internet, as they understand that public records are indeed public records. Other jurisdictions have put them under lock and key, and worry too much about giving anyone access.

--------------------------------------------------------
THE BEST OL' MYRT can tell you is...
--------------------------------------------------------
Obtain a photocopy of the original or, failing that, request a "certified complete TRANSCRIPT" not EXTRACT/ABSTRACT of the birth, marriage or death record. A transcript is what the attorneys order when working probates, etc. Even so, in some US states, the cause of death will be blackened out. That makes it hard for us to compile a medical family history.

--------------------------------------------------------
Dick Eastman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GENEALOGY [EOG]
explains a transcript...
--------------------------------------------------------
"A transcript or transcription is a literal copy of another document. The copy is as faithful to the original as possible. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are included in their original form even if there are errors or usage that does not match present-day practice. Transcripts may or may not reproduce the original letter spacing and line breaks. In the digital age, transcripts are usually created on a computer: transcripts stored in digital form are easier to search, store in databases, re-print, etc. Some transcription guidelines can be found at Cole & Altenhoff Genealogy under transcription. A photocopy, microfilm image, or scanned digital image of a document is not a transcript. They are copies. They are closer to the original form of the document but automated searching is typically not available or is performed with the aid of a transcript or abstract. -- See Abstract and Extract."
http://www.eogen.com/_Index

Contrast this with the EOG's explanation of the term EXTRACT, which ol' Myrt here prefers to call an ABSTRACT.

"An extract is a literal copy of a portion of a document. The copy is as faithful to the original as possible. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are included in their original form even if there are errors or usage that does not match present-day practice. An extract is not the same as a transcript; an extract includes only a portion of the document whereas a transcript is a copy of the entire document." IBID.

Note the key phrase for extract is "portion of a document."

ALSO REMEMBER to obtain more than one document to substantiate lineage assumptions. The records with evidence of ancestors' lives and relationships were not designed with genealogists in mind. Consequently, we must collect a wide range of documents, note plausible inferences and draw conclusions. THAT is the FUN of this work! By comparison, the NY Times daily crossword puzzles are a snap, especially since the answers appear in the next issue.

I must admit, though, that Ol' Myrt wishes she knew which crystal ball has the information on Dolly Yockey's parents.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Friday, December 09, 2005

READERS' FEEDBACK: SB, Christenings & Such

-- What is the SB Association?
-- Christening dates too close
-- Handheld scanner soap box
-- Handheld Scanner
-- Bill Gates' Age
-- Colorado Sues Genealogy Company
-- Family Tree Form
-- Little Known Implements
-- Spina Bifida Association


--------------------------------------------------------
RE: WHAT IS THE SB ASSOCIATION?
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1124.htm

From: Tom Kemp thomas.j.kemp@gmail.com
DearMYRTLE,
I found it for you. It's the Spartan Band. John Trimble, Jr. was an organizer of this group.
See the book: Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War by Frank L Klement (LSU Press, 1984) See page 49.


--------------------------------------------------------
RE: CHRISTENING DATES TOO CLOSE
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1207.htm

From: Diana/Joe Childers
DearMYRTLE,
[The] article indicates Charles PLAYER was born only six months after his sister Mary. Could this be correct?


NOTE FROM MYRT: Children could be born premature, or the christening could be completed any time. In my experience, I've seen christenings as late as 2 years of age. The church parish records only indicate the christening date. You DID catch that I inadvertantly inserted the christening date in the birthdate field. Thanks for the good eyes!

--------------------------------------------------------
RE: HANDHELD SCANNER SOAP BOX
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1205.htm

From: Five Acre Estate
DearMYRTLE,

Since the subject was scanners, I am jumping on my soap box. I want a HP Photosmart 1200 Scanner. It's a scanner that works something like a digital camera, portable! Scan photos in your lap, in an album at your grandmother's house or scan your wallpaper. Problem is I live in the USA and it is only available in the United Kingdom. When I contacted HP here in the USA, they replied there isn't enough interest for this product to be available here in the USA. I can't find a place online that will ship it here either. I think all genealogists and scrapbookers would love it. Here is the UK web-site: http://tinyurl.com/dxzz4

NOTE FROM MYRT: Too bad they have different "plugs" for electricity in the UK, or you could just order one and have it shipped.

--------------------------------------------------------
RE: HANDHELD SCANNER
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1205.htm

From: Kathy
DearMYRTLE,
I have a wonderful software program called PaperPort Pro 9 Office by ScanSoft. You can chose to scan either a picture or document. If you have several pages or a booklet that you want to scan you are able to scan page after page as a PDF file so you can scroll and see all the pages within the one scanned PDF file. Another advantage to scanning to PDF is if you have a document that is hard to read when scanned to jpeg. It is easier to see in PDF using the magnifying glass. I have never had an all-in-one. I have always preferred to have printer, scanner, etc. as separate items.


NOTE FROM MYRT: I used to subscribe to the belief that if one part of the all-in-one went bad, you were stuck. However, I've been happy with every HP all-in-one scanner/printer/copier/fax I've owned or that I recommended to clients.

--------------------------------------------------------
RE: BILL GATES' AGE
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1205.htm

From: The Lama's
DearMYRTLE,
Ole Bill is older than you give him credit to be. He wrote the most popular version of dos (MS-DOS) used then...that is how he got started!

NOTE FROM MYRT: Yes, I began teaching at Vo-Tech when we had 2 floppy disks and no hard drives. In those days we had PC-DOS and MS-DOS. I stand corrected! Great memory recall!

--------------------------------------------------------
RE: COLORADO SUES GENEALOGY COMPANY
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1203.htm

From: Jeffery Scism scismgenie@adelphia.net
DearMYRTLE,
It took me 20 years to convince anyone to do something about this. Success came from the Deseret News of Salt lake.

I contacted them several weeks ago on another genealogy scam that is running, and told them about Morphcorp, and their Midvale, Utah operation which sells fake crests. They contacted the state authorities in Utah, and cross channeled to Colorado, Finally someone listened, and the results hopefully will keep MacMaster (probably an alias) out of business for a while. (He is still taking orders...) The kicker was that he filed his "official" address with the state corporate registry as a City park address.

The word is that "he" hasn't responded to the suit.
Jeffery G. Scism, IBSSG
Genealogy Hall of Shame

NOTE FROM MYRT: I now am living in Midvale (in south Salt Lake) and wondered if I should do a genealogical "drive by" until you mentioned it will only be a city park.

--------------------------------------------------------
RE: FAMILY TREE FORM
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1201.htm

From: Marjorie Kinkade
DearMYRTLE,
Here is a neat family tree -- not too many generations. I printed it out & got a cheap matted frame from Wal-Mart and it made a nice gift.

http://genealogy.about.com/library/free_charts/Family_Tree.pdf

--------------------------------------------------------
LITTLE KNOWN IMPLEMENTS
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1128.htm

From: Barbara Gross
DearMYRTLE,I have the wool cards that belonged to my great-grandmother. Don't know just how to describe them, but they were used to smooth the wool to get it ready to spin into yarn.

NOTE FROM MYRT: Weren't they called combs or cards?

--------------------------------------------------------
WHAT IS THE SPINA BIFIDA ASSOCIATION
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1124.htm

From: searcher3@mindspring.com
DearMYRTLE,
Just in case someone would like to read a personal note about Spina Bifida -- My cousin Lenore was born with Spina Bifida, in 1918 in Salt Lake City. She was one of four daughters, and she was the only one to be photographed as a tot. A lovely large portrait was made, because it was assumed that she would die very young. People with that ailment never lived to grow up. She was operated on at Primary Children's Hospital, though, and the operation was successful! She told me in later years that it was the first successful operation for a child with that ailment. She was a beautiful woman and a delightful person. She married, worked at a job, and led a long life.

--------------------------------------------------------
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
Everton's Handybook 11th Edition Now Available

From: Everton Publishers handybook@everton.com

DearMYRTLE,
Everton's Handybook for Genealogists, 11th Edition is now available!!
This is the all-time best selling, favorite reference for genealogists and family history researchers... over 1,000,000 copies of earlier editions in print.
900+ pages of your favorite features completely updated... plus plenty of new material that will be highly helpful to your research.

For the first time an optional CDROM is available... containing the complete Handybook, 11th Edition... word searchable... all maps (incl. color) can be printed.

Handybook for Genealogists, 11th Ed. $50.00
Handybook for Genealogists, 11th Ed./w CD $60.00

For more information, contact us!
800 443-6325;
435 752-6022;
www.everton.com

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tribute to Dad for Pearl Harbor Day

DearREADERS,
If you'd like to hear the sound clip from ol' Myrt here to her father-dad, just turn up your speakers and go to:
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com The file will load automatically.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
Pearl Harbor Day

DearREADERS,
Hats off to Kimberly Powell, About.com's genealogy guide, for her article on Pearl Harbor Day. See: http://genealogy.about.com/b/a/225291.htm by noting: "December 07, 2005 - Lest We Forget. It has been 64 years today since the U.S. Pacific Fleet was attacked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, marking the entrance of the United States into World War II - a war that ultimately claimed more than 64 million lives..."

In fact Kimberly is the only one of us genealogy bloggers/columnists that mentioned anything about the topic. Ancestry.com's Ancestry Daily News, thankfully provided a list of Pearl Harbor links: http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=10732

I've been so buried in snow, freezing temperatures and very active grandchildren that I must admit I forgot Pearl Harbor Day. I didn't forget it last summer when we planned our Manasota Genealogical Society meetings, and noted that the December meeting fell precicely on the 7th. Our Board decided to have a special flag ceremony with the local JROTC and a moment of silence.

Yes, ol' Myrt has been swamped by taking care of these little ones, whose mommy is still not able to walk 8 weeks after the accident.

BUT TRUTHFULLY, isn't the warmth of the hearth, and safety of homes what our fathers, husbands, uncles, and brothers fought for during World War II? Because of their very literal sacrifices, I am able to travel great distances as I wish, to be with family as needed. I am not forced to be separated from them. My grandchildren are entitled to every religious and educational persuit, because these freedoms were so valiantly defended.

In this grandmother's quiet moments today, I do take pause and give thanks.
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Genealogy Podcasts

DearREADERS,

You simply MUST download the free iTunes from
http://www.itunes.com and subscribe to the genealogy podcasts available at this time.

-- DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour
-- Genealogy Guys Podcast
-- Nuestros Familia

Once you have iTunes on your computer (for MAC or Windows) you merely need to subscribe to the mRSS feed by opening iTunes and:

-- click ADVANCED
-- select SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST
-- then copy/paste the following mRSS code for the desired podcast
-- click the OK button

The mRSS codes are as follows:
-- DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour (new podcast every Tuesday night)
http://www.ourmedia.org/mediarss/user/33644

-- Genealogy Guys Podcast (new podcast every Sunday night)
http://www.genealogyguys.com/rss

-- Nuestros Familia (new podcast periodically)
http://nuestrafamiliaunida.com/rss.xml

YOU ONLY HAVE TO ENTER THE CODE ONCE. From then on, when you open iTunes, click the update button to automatically see what new podcasts have been added recently by any of these three podcast groups! Its easy, and you may listen to the podcasts as many times as you wish 24/7.

I sure hope more folks get into producing these genealogy-related .mp3 files. What a wonderful learning tool!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Missouri Land Patents 1831-1910

DearREADERS,
A BIG THANKS to Walt Stock, President of the Manasota Genealogical Society in Bradenton, FL for giving ol' Myrt here the heads up on the following website, which is useful to my personal research on early Missouri residents.
http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/land/

From this site, we understand that "During the nineteenth century, the United States government, by various acts of Congress, donated some 6.5 million acres of federal land in Missouri directly to the state. This public domain land was then sold by the state, with profits designated for various internal projects or improvements. The state, rather than the federal government, issued the land patents, verifying title and ownership to the parcels sold, for purchased sections of this donated land. The patents list the name of the person(s) who acquired the land, the purchase date and patent date, as well as a legal land description including township and range, name of county, and number of acres sold."

"The Land Patents Project at the Missouri State Archives is an ongoing project to transcribe information from the state-issued land patents to create a database of patent information, useful in placing an individual in a specific location at a specific time. Other record series that will be included in this project will be Individual Land Surveys, 1804-1823 and Tax Deeds, 1847-1878. The information contained in the land patent database includes name of purchaser, county, date of purchase, legal land description, and microfilm location for copy of full entry (reel number, volume and page number). IBID "

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour 6 Dec 2005

Guest Bob Velke, producer of The Master Genealogist software program, joins Myrt to discuss his with a brand new venture -- ArchiveCDBooksUSA.com. Other topics include the 1901 & 1911 Irish Census records soon to be released online, blogging, finding probate records, the FamilySearch research outlines, determining the spelling of a town using the FHLCatalog, and interviewing relatives using the MyAncestorsFound.com's "Capture the a Memories" CD with 14 different books for you to create over the holidays as you visit with your families.

Tune in by either:
-- opening your iTunes and hitting the UPDATE button
-- going to
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/05/1206r.htm
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
ACROSS MY DESK: Ireland deal will put 1901 & 1911 census online

Ireland-Canada deal will put census online for 70 million

DUBLIN (AFP) - "Details of two 100-year-old Irish censuses are to go online for an estimated 70 million people around the world who claim a connection with the country, Heritage Minister John O'Donoghue revealed.


Under a new cultural agreement between the Irish and Canadian archive offices, all the details of Ireland's census in 1901 and 1911 are to be indexed and made available for free on the Internet."
For more information see the full article at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20051206/wl_canada_afp/irelandcanadahistory_051206122006
Found siblings and names of BOTH parents for our oldest known PLAYER in England

DearREADERS,
This is the email report I sent to my Dad about research I did last week using microfilm of parish records from England. I spent a lot of time working through microfilm, which wasn't correctly labeled, but I managed. Thought you might like to know what ol' Myrt is actually doing in her research! -- Myrt

--------------------------------------------------------
Dear father-dad,

Since I've been here in SLC, I've been spending at least 8-10 hours a week at the Family History Library downtown. This means I've been able to tackle and confirm the big question to verify just WHO were the siblings and parents of our oldest known CHARLES PLAYER and ANN, whom I learned were the parents of our original immigrant ancestor WILLIAM WARNER PLAYER.

I used Cecil R. Humphery-Smith's The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers to be sure of the NAME of the church, since it had been a number of years since I did the research, and that notebook is still back in Florida. I determined that there is no "Old St. Luke" but there IS a St. Luke's Old Street -- in Chelsea, Middlesex, England. We knew that William reported his birthplace as Chelsea, Middlesex, England. The birth records didn't begin until 1832 in England, so we rely on church parish records of christening to determine parents. I had previously unearthed his christening date of 7 Feb 1784, and sent you a photocopy of it framed. It lists parents as "Charles Player and Ann."


The theory is to work back through the christening records to find all other children listed as children of the same parents. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there were not a lot of PLAYERS in the parish. From this we find that apparently our

Charles PLAYER (b.about 1758-of Chelsea,Middlesex,England)
sp: Ann WARNER (b.Abt 1761-of Chelsea,Middlesex,England) They had the following children:
-- Mary PLAYER (c.7 Aug 1782-Chelsea,Yorkshire,England)
-- Charles PLAYER (b.7 Feb 1783-Chelsea,Yorkshire,England)
-- Jeremiah PLAYER (c.9 Feb 1785-Chelsea,Yorkshire,England)
-- Ann PLAYER (c.25 Mar 1787-Chelsea,Yorkshire,England)
-- Elizabeth PLAYER (c.18 Oct 1789-Chelsea,Yorkshire,England)
-- Eleanor Jane PLAYER (c.12 Jun 1791-Chelsea,Yorkshire,England)
-- OUR ANCESTOR William Warner PLAYER (chr.3 Mar 1793- Chelsea, Middlesex, England; d.20 Feb 1873-Salt Lake City, Salt Lake,Utah,USA) who married sp: Zillah SANDERS (b.25 Jul 1788-Maidenhead,Berkshire,England;m.1821;d.3 Dec 1867-Salt Lake City,Salt Lake,Utah,USA)


WARNER is the maiden name of Charles' wife Ann. How did I discover that? I went back through the same parish records, but this time for marriages, I discovered a marriage entry in the parish records for one Charles PLAYER 1 Jan 1781 and Ann WARNER. You will note this predates the christening of their eldest child Mary in 1782.

I suspect a sibling of Ann's could be Thomas WARNER who married Mary ALLEN 16 June 1771.

--------------------------------------------------------
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
--------------------------------------------------------
Check the christening records for Ann WARNER to determine her parents. I would postulate the christening would be around 1761, but this could be off, as the records did not indicate how old she was when she married. There were two older generation WARNERs in the parish, that could be her parents, but I won't mention them in this email, as it will only confuse the issue. I merely need more time to work through the microfilm of the St. Luke's Old Street parish registers.

Some of the records are on microfilm in the original. Some of the records which are not available on microfilm for the time period we need have been extracted through the Name Extraction Program on film. The Name Extraction Program is considered a highly reliable interpretation of the old-style handwriting, since 2 individuals independently extract each parish entry, and a computer compares their abstract, keystroke for keystroke.

Dad, I believe you participated in a similar extraction project for the Ellis Island Records project, now esteemed of great value to those tracing immigrants arriving in the US through the port of New York. That database includes some 25 million people who arrived between 1892-1924. It is freely searchable at: www.ellisislandrecords.org

This is my report,
Love you,
Probate in Pierce County

From: Suella Postles
To: WAPIERCE-L@rootsweb.com
How do I go about getting probate material for my grandparents who lived in Pierce County [Washington], please? I think one died in Steillacombe (spelling?) the other in a Tacoma nursing home. Many thanks for your help and advice. Suella in England.

DearSUELLA,

Ol' Myrt here has a few pointers for you. Since you live in England, you can't just go visit the courthouse in person. But then, many of us no longer live near the ancestral home, so we face similar problems.

Before writing for the records (which is extra work for the already very busy clerks of the court), let's hope the records are available on microfilm at the Family History Library. Then it’s a simple matter to borrow a copy of the roll that has your grandparents' probate papers. This would be done through your local LDS Family History Center in England.

--------------------------------------------------------
WHEN YOU ARE NEW TO DOING RESEARCH
IN A SPECIFIC LOCALITY
--------------------------------------------------------
Find out what the experts know about doing genealogical research in that area. For that I recommend viewing and printing pertinent "RESEARCH OUTLINES" from the Family History Library. These are also available in printed format, but I love the online versions because they have clickable links to glossary terms, catalog entries and related websites. You will find these by going to:
-- FamilySearch.org
-- Click the SEARCH tab
-- Click RESEARCH HELP
-- Click "W" in this case for Washington & scroll down to see all the resources available to guide you in the task of researching Washington state record groups for your ancestors.

--------------------------------------------------------
EACH JURISDICTION HANDLES PROBATE DIFFERENTLY
--------------------------------------------------------
Since each state in the US has jurisdiction over its own court system, you'll find that how/where probate records are kept may vary from state to state. From the WASHINGTON RESEARCH OUTLINE, IBID, we read:

"PROBATE RECORDS - In the territorial era, probate courts were established in each county to keep records of wills, bonds, orders, and the administrations of estates. When the superior courts succeeded the probate courts in 1891, all of the records of the clerks of the probate courts were transferred to the county clerk in each courthouse. Some probates were filed in the superior court. The Family History Library has not acquired copies of probate records in Washington. They are available at the various county courthouses, or the county may have transferred early records to the Washington State Archives."

OK, two things here to note:
-- The FHL Research Outlines discuss records groups that are not part of the collection (thankfully).
-- The records you seek are NOT available on microfilm as we had hoped, so you've got 2 places to look, namely the county courthouse and failing that, check the Washington State Archives.

--------------------------------------------------------
SEE WHAT THEY DO HAVE BEFORE LEAVING FAMILYSEARCH.ORG
--------------------------------------------------------
By using the FHLCatalog, and specifying Pierce, Washington, we learn that "Pierce County was created 22 December 1852 from Thurston County. County seat: Tacoma." This town name of Tacoma will prove useful to you when attempting to contact the clerk of the court for Pierce County, Washington probate records. The "county seat" is the term for the town where the county courthouse exists.

The following categories of records might prove useful to your research in addition to the probate records you seek. Most microfilm and microfiche are "lendable" but books must remain on the shelves in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library.
Washington, Pierce - Biography
Washington, Pierce - Business records and commerce
Washington, Pierce - Cemeteries
Washington, Pierce - Census - 1878
Washington, Pierce - Census - 1879
Washington, Pierce - Census - 1889
Washington, Pierce - Description and travel
Washington, Pierce - Directories
Washington, Pierce - Funeral homes
Washington, Pierce - Genealogy
Washington, Pierce - History
Washington, Pierce - Names, Geographical
Washington, Pierce - Naturalization and citizenship
Washington, Pierce - Naturalization and citizenship - Indexes
Washington, Pierce - Newspapers
Washington, Pierce - Obituaries
Washington, Pierce - Societies
Washington, Pierce - Vital records
Washington, Pierce - Vital records - Indexes

--------------------------------------------------------
DETERMINE THE ADDRESS OF THE COUNTY CLERK
--------------------------------------------------------
The following books list each county in a US State, with the date of establishment, parent county, contact info for the clerk of the court. Included is a summary of the date each record group began to be kept.
-- Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. Rev. ed. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992.
-- Everton's Handybook for Genealogists, rev. ed. Logan: Everton, 2005.
A Google Search located the website for Pierce County, Washington:
http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/PC/
The contact information is available, but I do not know from this site if probate records are kept at the Pierce County superior court, or if they have been forwarded to the Washington state archives.

--------------------------------------------------------
IF YOU ARE NOT SURE OF THE SPELLINGOF A TOWN OR COUNTY
--------------------------------------------------------
Check some online resources such as
http://www.USGenWeb.com or the catalog at the Family History Library. Taking the example of the FHL, here's how you'd do it:
-- Go to
http://www.familysearch.org
-- Click on the FHLCatalog http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp
-- Click the PLACE button.
-- Specify the next largest geographic boundary, in this case
PIERCE
WASHINGTON
(Do NOT type the PIERCE COUNTY, as this won't work.)
-- Click the SEARCH button
-- Click on that hyperlink for the locality, in this case, "Washington, Pierce"
-- Click the VIEW RELATED PLACES button toward the upper right of your screen.
-- Scroll down to see if the more specific locality is listed. In this place we find:
Washington, Pierce, Steilacoom


This lets you know that the spelling is Steilacoom not Steillacombe.

This doesn't always work, because its possible that the FHLCatalog does not yet have a record for every locality that ever existed since the dawn of time. (But they're working on it!)

--------------------------------------------------------
THINK CREATIVELY
WITH AN EYE TO THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
--------------------------------------------------------
Also note that over time, the name of a place may have changed radically, and that may or may not be reflected in a catalog description for that place. I am thinking in this case of places in eastern Europe, where we know from studying history that the boundaries changed radically as an army conquered another's territory, only to have an upset decades later. I guess we have to think creatively, Suella, as you most certainly did by writing to the Pierce County Washington mailing list at RootsWeb.com. THAT is one of the BEST ways to contact genealogy researchers with an interest in the same locality.


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Monday, December 05, 2005

Handheld Scanners

From: Anita
DearMYRTLE,
I would like to be able to scan the handwritten documents into my computer. Have you (or anyone) had any success with scanning these type documents into their computer? What did you/they use to accomplish this? The scanner pens don't address handwritten print, only typed print. Thanks in advance.

DearANITA,

Scanning old documents into your computer is an excellent way to preserve them, as well as share them with other researchers. Just realize that the document will appear as a GRAPHIC and will NOT be interpreted; computer software has a hard enough time deciphering the typed text of a document if it is arranged in paragraph format. OCR (optical character recognition) is the process of actually transferring each word of the document to a text file. It plays a very small role in the world of genealogy.

For instance, I just scanned the death certificate of my great grandfather. It was saved as a .jpg GRAPHIC file and then I attached it as a picture to my grandfather in my genealogy software program. The programs tend to call those multi-media files, because you can also attached sound files or video clips.

If I had attempted to OCR scan the file, it simply wouldn't have worked, because the death certificate wasn't typed out in a paragraph. Instead it had a lot of fill-in-the-blanks and 2 major boxes of information below his name. Those lines really confuse OCR software.

--------------------------------------------------------
SO WHAT DID OL' MYRT DO?
--------------------------------------------------------
In addition to scanning in the death certificate, I also transcribed the information as completely as possible, taking care to note that at the time, death certificates were not given a specific number, but were merely entered into the Salt Lake County death certificate book in "almost" date order.

--------------------------------------------------------
WHERE DID I PUT THAT TRANSCRIPTION?
--------------------------------------------------------
In notes for great-grampa,
~ and
As the description of the picture.

You are right, I hardly ever use the SOURCE option of genealogy software programs. I like being able to read ALL the additional information on an ancestor in the NOTES option, and not have other comments buried in the notes for a specific source. I learned to computerize my genealogy back in the DOS version of PAF. Windows hadn't been invented yet. I think Bill Gates was still teething at that time.

--------------------------------------------------------
WHAT TYPE OF SCANNER TO GET
--------------------------------------------------------
Ol' Myrt recommends a FLAT BED 4-way scanner/printer/copier/fax provided the scanner for your home office/genealogy computer room. You can't run old photos from the 1890s through anything else.

On the road, I would use a digital camera. You will get pretty good results without much practice. You'll learn that most often you can use sunlight through the window and turn off the flash. The camera can take photos of items on microfilm as well as in books.

Handheld scanners, that are like a pen, or about twice the size of a cell phone are OK if you are needing a quick copy of something small, but aren't too practical when dealing with items of a variety of larger sizes. You can't use a hand-held scanner to take the image of a tombstone! Go with the digital camera and get the 4-way instead of a hand-held scanner.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Friday, December 02, 2005

Genealogy & The British West Indies

DearREADERS,
Google NEWS provided a link to the following article:

Genealogy & The British West Indies
Maps, manuscripts, printed books and newspapers form a new resource genealogists will find indispensable.

"Caribbean Views and Black Europeans are two new virtual exhibitions created by writer and broadcaster Mike Phillips, that are available on the British Library's website, www.bl.uk. Following an invitation from the British Library to curate a virtual exhibition on a topic of his choice, Mike Phillips selected maps, manuscripts, printed books and newspapers relating to the British West Indies from the Library's Collect Britain website. These items form the basis for Caribbean Views and are accompanied by Mike's personal responses and reflections that conjure up a vivid picture of life in the English-speaking Caribbean during the 18th and early 19th centuries."

To read the rest of the article, go to: http://50connect.co.uk/50c/articlepages/genealogy_index.asp?sc=gene&aID=13518

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
Colorado sues genealogy company

State sues genealogy company
The suit claims 150,000 people nationwide were swindled out of $49.95 each when they bought a book with fake family histories from Morphcorp of Denver.
By Manny Gonzales
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Launched: 11/24/2005 01:00:00 AM

"For $49.95, people who bought genealogical "yearbooks" from a Denver-based company got the same family coat of arms, the same family recipes and even the same family jokes, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

And it was a lucrative scam that swindled 150,000 people nationwide who bought into fake family histories, according to the civil suit filed by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

The suit, filed in Arapahoe County District Court against Maxwell MacMaster and his company, Morph corp LLC, seeks to cease the operation and penalize him up to $2,000 per book sold, which could amount to $300 million."

For more information see:
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_3247588
READERS' FEEDBACK: Recollections Assignment

From: Roy T. Beck
DearMYRTLE,
A recollection from my childhood. In the 1930s mother used to make lye soap using fat from hogs and other sources. The resulting soap was too strong for hand washing, but it worked fine for doing the dishes and laundry. To manage the irregular pieces of soap, mother had a hand tool which had a wire handle and a little box-like cage on the end. The cage hinged open to receive the soap, and then latched shut. By swishing the little cage in the hot dishwater, you worked up good cleansing soapy dishwater. The cage would also accept scraps of hand soap bars, so they went in too. Nothing wasted in depression times.

We also had two different butter churns, one with a vertical dasher and one with a crank on the side and a revolving paddle arrangement inside. Of course we had a hand cranked cream separator.

Later we stopped making our own butter and sold the whole milk from our one remaining cow. We switched to oleo for the table, which came white and required mixing in the color pack which came with it. This was fine until my dad saw my mother mixing it one time. He had to have real butter, and so after that mother had to buy a pound of butter for dad, and the rest of us ate white, uncolored oleo. Dad ate colored oleo for quite a while without realizing it wasn't butter until he caught her coloring it! Male stubbornness or vanity, I don't know which.

We do enjoy your recollections.

--------------------------------------------------------
From: Al Jensen

DearMYRTLE,
Reading these brought to mind things I had forgotten I remembered! Recall the extra pedal on the old Model 'T' - reverse gear? For people who don't remember 5 1/4" floppy disks, they came AFTER the 8" ones! We used to use tongs similar to the ice tongs mentioned, but these were LOG tongs used to drag logs out of the woods behind a team of horses. Cant hooks and Peaveys used to be common, but most people nowdays are not familiar with them. One of my favorite memories (now that it's in the past) is blowing warm breath on an ice-covered window to make a hole to look through.

--------------------------------------------------------
From: Barbara in Corrales NM
DearMYRTLE,

There are a lot of ice tongs on eBay, and probably any other item you're looking for! I enjoy just looking for old utensils, antiques, old light fixtures, etc. Another eBay hint, if you'd like to see old pictures from almost any area of the country, try looking at postcards. I actually found a card with a picture of the school where my grandfather taught in the early 1900s in Corning KS. Amazing!

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From: Teresa Elliott
DearMYRTLE,

My kids were astonished to see a telephone with a cord. We had to buy one when they hit the teenage years. They thought it was a new invention.

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From: Ann Ellen Barr

DearMYRTLE,
I have a pearl handled button hook that my mother had for her little shoes when she was 6 or 7. I took it to a Girl Scout Troop whom I was teaching MY HERITAGE Badge. The girls thought it was an earring! Oh my, how times change.

Also purchased, for 10 cents, a potato ricer. After I had paid for it, the lady said, "Ok, you own it -- what is it?" I explained how you boil potatoes and then press them through and they come out looking like rice. We loved having potatoes that way when I was a girl and now can have them for our grandchildren, because I own it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Family tree form

From: Peggy
DearMYRTLE,
I am hoping you can help me. I am looking for a family tree model (a simple format) to hand out as a take-home exercise, as part of a "heritage" and cultural sensitivity module I've developed for our post-secondary school. Can you direct me to some free resources, perhaps designed for kids? Thanks for any suggestion you might have.


DearPEGGY,
Most genealogists use a software program to enter the names/dates/places. A free one is available at
www.familysearch.org and it is called PAF Personal Ancestral File.

This one is shaped like a tree. Just download a .pdf file and it will print out on 8.5 X11" paper, probably the best for your handout. http://misbach.org/pdfcharts/

Here is a cute semi-circular pedigree chart from Martha Stewart:
http://www.marthastewart.com/images/pdf/family_tree.pdf
see also:
http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=channel185743&contentGroup=MSL&site=living

There are 3 colorful ones from Disney.com:
http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/animatedfilms/tiggermovie/familytree.html

See also my DearMYRTLE column about compiling medical family trees from the Surgeon General's website: http://www.dearmyrtle.com/04/1113.htm

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com