Monday, April 10, 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: 10 April 2006

-- Cuban Genealogy
-- County Histories
-- Castle Garden
-- Splitting a Legacy Database Cautions
-- Irish Research Sites
-- Running Software on USB Drives
-- Jacksonville State Hospital in Illinois
-- HeritageQuest Online

RE: Cuban Research
The Cuban Family History and Genealogy project presentation was a big success. It started with a mini-play using a Cuban actress reliving a young girl's life in Cuba prior to 1959. It could not have been more heartwarming to all of us in the audience. Even for me who was born in the States, it was wonderful to actually hear what it was like to grow up female in Cuba. This was particularly meaningful to me since I had to content with the customs of the old country while growing up here in the United States. Young adulthood was that much more stressful for me because of it!

This reenactment of life in Cuba before the revolution was a unique way to inspire the audience to begin collecting their own oral family history. Jorge PiƱon did an excellent job of putting together a truly important learning experience for every audience member. All the speakers were excellent and incredibly informative. One presenter had written an oral history using elders recounting glimpses of their lives in Cuba. We both laughed and cried at the same time while listening to their memories. It is such a meaningful way to record our own family history. Oral history brings our ancestors back to life. It is not stressed enough as a method to incorporate into our own family history research.

By the way, the majority of us in the audience were well over 40 years of age. What a pity that our youth are just not that interested in their family heritage.

As you requested, I will certainly forward any newsworthy bits of information as they come up concerning Cuban genealogy.

Thank you for your interest. It was a pleasure exchanging these emails with you.
Marie Zaret
1st Vice President and Proud Founding Member
Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami, Florida, Inc.

From: Cindy Alldredge

At some time I think that I read that the reason there were so many county histories written in the late 1800s was because this was encouraged by a U.S. President. Do you have the info on this or is this something that I imagined? Thanks for your help. Best wishes in this difficult endeavor with your parents. Cindy in Snohomish.

NOTE FROM MYRT: These mug books were usually created by a publishing company who earned money by the sales, in addition to the money people paid to get their photo and bio in the issue. I believe that some of these were motivated by the realization that the US Civil War servicemen were passing away at an alarming rate. I hadn't heard that these county histories came as a result of a Presidential directive. Can any of Ol' Myrt's readers add to this discussion?


Perhaps you could direct me to where I can find a listing of passengers on a particular ship's crossing from Germany to NY. I know my gg-grandmother arrived at Castle Garden in August 1852, on a ship called the Yankee Blade. She was carrying a 6 month old child, and I would like to find out if she was accompanied by any of her family or her husband's family. I hoped to see the ship's manifest and possibly recognize a surname, but I simply cannot get to that point.
I can remember several years ago being able to look at a particular date, port of entry, and ship, and be able to read through the list of passengers. Now that controls everything, I wonder if this is still possible.

Remember that the new CASTLE GARDEN website (which isn't owned by to my knowledge) is available but does not have all the scanned images included. " offers free access to an extraordinary database of information on 10 million immigrants from 1830 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. Over 73 million Americans can trace their ancestors to this early immigration period." From:

I prefer to use to view this site's database of names, since he provides an easy interface which indicates the microfilm number for the original manifest. In your case you know the month and year of arrival in addition to the ship's name, so you can go directly to his option:


1. LOOK AT THE CASTLE GARDEN WEBSITE http:/ using your ancestor's name. Then you will note the date of arrival, perhaps 11 Aug 1852.

2. THEN go to, scroll down to the CASTLE GARDEN section of his page, and click on "Obtaining NARA and FHL Roll Numbers for NY Ship Arrivals in One Step."
Then enter the 11 August 1852 to discover the following microfilm numbers:

CASTLE GARDEN ARRIVALS July 23rd through Aug 10th 1852:
NARA Record Group - M237; Roll #117
FHL 0175473

CASTLE GARDEN ARRIVALS July 11th through Sept 1st 1852
NARA Record Group - M237; Roll #118
FHL 0175474

NARA = National Archives Records Administration
FHL = Family History Library


From: Geoff Rasmussen
Today I wrote about the cautions of splitting a Legacy database, but it applies to all software. Just thought you might be interested:

Have a great week!
Geoff Rasmussen
Millennia Corporation


From: Charlotte Pittman
I live in Kanab, Utah and have done working getting Ancestral File and the 1880 census on line in the past. I would love to work on indexing the microfilm records so that they can be used online.

Visit and volunteer. I don't know how long the "pre-approval" process takes. Right now the projects include:
1. Georgia Death Certificates - 1919 to 1927
2. Ohio Tax Records - Post 1825
3. Ohio Death Certificates - 1945 to 1953

RE: Running Genealogy Programs From USB Drive. I enjoyed listening to the latest edition of the DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour show. I was thinking about the question you received from a listener about running her genealogy program from a USB drive.

I recalled an article I read a few months ago about this topic, so I did some research and it turns out that this is possible.

A company called Ceedo,, makes a software called PowerToGo, it claims to allow you to run any application from a USB drive. You can download a free 30-trial from their Web site. You may also want to check out U3 drives, although they have specific applications that run on their drives, none of which are genealogy programs. I have not tested either of these products so I don't know how well they perform.

Also, in response to those long URL's in an e-mail, there is a free service that will convert long Web site addresses into shorter more manageable ones, appropriately enough it's called Tiny URL and is located on the Web at Just input your long URL and it will convert it to a short one which you copy and paste into your e-mail.

NOTE FROM MYRT: Previous columns on this topic discussed placing a copy of one's database on a USB or thumb drive, which works very much like a large floppy disk drive where data can be stored. Over these past few weeks, we've found that in addition to PAF, many of the main-stream genealogy program can be installed freely on FHC (Family History Center) computers. However, this won't help if you wish to view your Legacy or RootsMagic database at a public library, since it most likely won't have any genealogy programs installed. Perhaps PowerToGo is a workable solution. How about reader feedback in this area?


From: M.Q. Fallaw
RE: Report on Irish teleconference tonight

You might want to consider adding these (mostly free) websites to your list of important ones for Irish research:

One can search by Ireland county (and/or townland and/or civil parish) by surname. Results show all with the surname in the chosen jurisdiction--county, parish, or townland. I learned of this one just recently by a mailing list posting.

From the main page listed above, clicking on the "Irish Ancestors" link takes one to another treasure trove:

From there one can go to some excellent maps showing and listing the civil parish maps in each county, click on parish links for more info, and so on.


From: Shirley Roberts
RE: Jacksonville State Hospital in Illinois
Florence Hutchinson of the Jacksonville Area Genealogical Society, Jacksonville, IL then of the Morgan Area Genealogical Society, also of Jacksonville, did research on the Jacksonville State Cemetery. It's been a long time, and I don't remember all the particulars. As it seems, the graves were moved for some [reason]. She had the records and probably printed something about it. I have many ancestors including my father from Jacksonville, and belonged to those Societies. Contact either of them and they should be able to help you. Florence began both Societies.


Morgan Area Genealogical Association, P.O. Box 84, Jacksonville, IL 62651-0084

Jacksonville Area Genealogical & Historical Society, P.O. Box 21, Jacksonville, IL 62650
See also:


From: Donna
Regarding access to HeritageQuestOnline, [this is the website info] received from the McLean Co, IL mailing list. I thought you might find it valuable to pass on.

I enjoyed your talking about your trip to Phoenix. I have children and grandchildren there. I only have a trip from LV to Phoenix. I am an avid genealogist and one of the rare LDS who do research.

I've taught Family History to as many as will listen. My classes at church are usually well attended. I promote and advertise the start of the class. I have sign-ups during Sunday School classes. It gets people committed to attending. I put a poster prominently displayed in the foyer prior to the class starting up. I e-mail to past as well as current members of the class any new info that I receive. My marketing and advertising experience helps me a lot! I'm in the Las Vegas Wedding business. I publish a bridal magazine.

Thanks for all you do to help us struggling to find information.

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