Friday, June 23, 2006

FINALLY a new podcast is released

Well, just before leaving on my "pack the Florida house" trip (23-30 of June) Ol' Myrt has finally uploaded a BRAND NEW PODCAST to her website. SPECIAL THANKS go to my guests for making this podcast a success:

-- Kathy Meade from the premier website for scanned images of Swedish church records 1600-1900

-- Denise Olsen from for advice about creating folders in MS Outlook (email program) and battery back-up uninterrupted power supplies.

You'll find the page with additional LINKS WE MENTION at:

No special equipment is necessary. Merely scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on either the or the link, turn up your computer's speakers, and click on the page that opens to PLAY the .mp3 FILE.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

OGDEN, UT 6-7 Oct 2006

NOTE: This just in from Holly Hansen, President of All inquiries should be addressed to her at:

An Important Reminder about the Early Bird Special
and our Conference & Symposium to be held in Ogden Utah

Get registered today! Don’t wait until the last minute, June 30th 2006 is the last day to get your Early Bird Special -- and it's hot! Only $38 for two sizzlin' days full of sensational classes in Ogden, Utah -- October 6-7, 2006. It’s the first annual Northern Utah Family History Conference and Symposium and you don’t want to miss it!

Check it out: Marlin K. Jensen, Arlene Eakle, Darris Williams, Beau Sharbrough, and Jimmy B. Parker are just a few of the magnificent speakers, along with professionals from the Family History Library in SLC, and several local genealogists known for their wealth of talent. No matter what level you are at, you will learn valuable information and take home new skills.

Opening session address presented by LDS Church Historian, Elder Marlin K. Jensen. Enjoy dinner and entertainment with DearMYRTLE, visit more than 40 family history vendors in the exhibit hall, and choose from over 70 classes and computer labs. This event is by far one of the best bargains you'll find this year in genealogy.

Get registered today and SAVE! Go to for more information on registration, classes, Dinner with DearMYRTLE, lodging, and more!

Ol' Myrt is excited to participate in this genealogy conference. The wonderful thing is that has set the cost at $38 (early bird) or $45-50 at the door. That is for the ENTIRE CONFERENCE of classes, not just one class. The "Dinner with DearMYRTLE" is optional, but I am hoping you'll attend. I've got a neat idea for that particular evening's activities.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
227 Bellevue Way NE #544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Question about Heritage Quest
& Chickasaw & Howard Counties, Iowa CDs

From: Barbara Garrett

I am trying to find if any of the Heritage Quest CDs that one could order from at are still available for sale, for example: advertised in last year's HQ magazine there are several CDs the History of Chickasaw and Howard Counties, Iowa. Item HC1339. I have tried this website with no luck. Since the [Leland Meitzler] editor in chief of Heritage Quest has now come to Evertons, I thought you might be able to tell me where we can get them.

Barbara Garrett
Resource Director,
Welsh American Genealogy Society,

PS - By the way, I love reading your newsy site. Just started up but I'm grateful for the information.


What's the official word on this sort of question? I'd like to do a small article on this for my website/blog.

From: Leland Meitzler

I bought and sold all kinds of genealogy related items. Many of these items I happened to run across in my travels. In the case mentioned by Barbara, this Iowa CD-ROM is one of an ever-expanding collection of Iowa CDs being produced by my friend, Don Lawse. Following is his website address:

Don is one of many small-business people who make a few extra dollars from their hobby - producing a good product with minimal overhead. If only I had had the sense to do the same...

THAT sure was a quick and informative answer from Leland. Indeed his former website is no longer operational. But it looks like you'll be able to obtain the CDs in question directly from Don Lawse's website:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.
Thanks for the memories, Dad

Father's Day this year is different. Instead of being 2,800 miles away, I'm here to quietly celebrate the day with you in your home. You'll be 88 this September and though your health and memories of current events are failing somewhat, I'm happy that memories of the olden days are still strong in your mind.

Speaking of memories, I have some, too.

-- I remember when Mike and I used to sit on your knees late at night, as you made up stories
about "old Mr. Dobson" who lived across the lake. "Sharoni Bologna" wasn't born yet.

-- I remember "helping" you when you worked on your boat where we lived on Perkins lane. I made pretend "fresh peach pot pie" and had to use the intercom to ask Mom about the recipe. First you need a fresh bowl, and a fresh knife... (Oh, yes, and some fresh peaches!)

-- I remember the large brick barbeque you made down by our dock on 55th NE.

-- I remember after the divorce when I was a child, saving money to buy you a little present, but not being big enough to get to the post office on my own to mail it to you.

-- I remember water-skiing on Lake Washington and ferry trips to Orcas.

-- I remember your taking us to Disney Land, and Banff and Lake Louise.

-- I remember your taking us target practicing somewhere near Yakima.

-- I remember the trip around the Olympic peninsula, and my catching the two guys siphoning gas out of our car.

-- I remember our family croquet games, and Mike diving off the roof of the tea house into the pool.

-- I remember hikes around hidden lake and up Mt. Constitution.

-- I remember your taking my girls for rides on your mini-bike, and the time you drove it in the front door of the house and up the hallway, out through the laundry room. If WE your mere children did that, we would have been shot!

-- I remember building the doll house under your tutelage for my daughters. By the way, we're going to need to make one for my granddaughter now.

-- I remember how you used to drop "old Greta old girl" off at my house when Blanche was away so you could do your hospital rounds.

-- I remember your fixing the cushions by your bedside when I was little and had the mumps. This was so I could sleep there under your care.

--I remember having the flu at the house in Medina, and hearing you saying "Gee, I wish I could have this darn flu instead of you."

NOW OUR ROLES ARE REVERSED. I see your health challenges and wish things could be better for you. I am arranging pillows and trying to make you comfortable. Some of our days include trips to the cardiologist, the neurologist or the audiologist. But it is really fun to stop at Boehm's for chocolate turtles on our way to Remlinger Farms and "Jake Road."

WHAT I LOVE BEST ARE THE STORIES YOU CAN SHARE NOW. While your body may be getting a little weaker, your voice is still there. Taking our short drives each afternoon are a joy -- it’s a delight to sing with you and Blanche, and to go over various memories of days gone by.

ACROSS MY DESK: Heirs should sift slowly through attic

By Gayle White
Cox News Service

[...] A bookcase in the living room is filled with the books the major's daughter, May Speer Ansley, put there as she read them with the Woman's Literary Club she founded in 1897. They are shelved in the same order she left them -and the club still meets.

Just keeping the family belongings is not enough, Kinnamon says. The desk, sideboard, silver, bookcase and books will lose their meaning if his two sons don't know who owned them.
Even if the two boys one day open up an antique shop with their inheritance, they will know their family's history.

Ultimately, Kinnamon says, when it comes to sentimental value, it's the stories that matter.

For the rest of the story see:

Friday, June 16, 2006

Portable genealogical file

From: robert.graham2
I really enjoy your PODCASTs and hope you will be able to continue them for a long time. I am a genealogical hobbyist and have been doing my own research for many years, but I learn something each time I listen.

I recently listened to one of your PODCASTs on my IPOD while at work. I was very interested in your idea of taking your (working) file with you, while you visited libraries and genealogical sites, in a GEDCOM format that could be used by software provided at the library. I like this idea but I use a different method of keeping my file with me while I peruse these sites. I carry a PDA and by using a program such as GENWISE or GENSTAR. I currently use GENSTAR, I can put my entire file on this little handheld computer that is only a little bigger that a deck of cards (and weighs less). These software titles, and many others, are available from,, and for under $20.

While this doesn't sound like much of a difference in the final outcome other than it costs a little more for a PDA and the software than it does for a Memory Stick with your GEDCOM file, it does offer the added bonus of having a notepad, calendar, address book, etc. built right in - if you have one with you, you have them all. The best thing is for those times when you can't set up a computer and download a file, such as visiting a cemetery. The PDA makes it easy to check names, dates, other memorial stones you find, etc. I actually carry less with me, but feel I have more capability.

Thank you,
Bob Graham

PS - My address and phone so you know I'm a serious listener and fan.
[withheld from publication]

Thanks for the email about PDA viewing of a genealogical database, which is an excellent alternative to using a laptop, particularly since Ol' Myrt prefers NOT to do data entry at a research facility. We have discussed PDAs in the past, its just that the topic of flash drives came up more recently, kiddo. Paperwork is just "out" especially for those of us with many thousands of names and notes in our genealogy databases.

As to the DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR podcasts, I've already started recording some more interviews, and expect to have things going again strong starting 4 July 2006. In the meantime, did you notice that Dick Eastman has started a podcast? This audio technology, like mailing lists and blogs is becoming a main-stream method for getting the genealogical "word out."

My first priority is to see that all the book orders submitted to my print-on-demand publisher have been shipped.

On a personal note, Ol' Myrt's readers will recall that after six months in SLC taking care of my youngest daughter's family while she recuperated from a car accident, I am now up in Medina, Washington taking care of my 2 elderly parents. Some days are spent in the hospital on emergency runs, and such. I expect top be here until they pass away. I am now assured of having the weekends for my DearMYRTLE work and out-of town seminars. I've trained 7 additional caregivers, for 24-hour in-home care. I've also found two family members who are willing to spell me off on the weekends.

Ol' Myrt expects to be in Florida 23-20th of June to pack up, and move most of my household to Salt Lake, where I will eventually settle. I guess this is my year for being flexible?!

My new snail mail address is now:
224 Bellevue Way NE #544
Bellevue, WA 98004

As usual, I am employing the use of a UPS Store instead of having snail mail come to the actual residence. I recommend all readers do the same if they plan to exchange snail mail with genealogy contacts they meet on the internet. Its a matter of security.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.
AROSS MY DESK: New Progeny Genealogy Site

NOTE: This is just in from Stephanie Preston. All inquiries should be addressed to her at:

From: Progeny Software
Subject: New Progeny Genealogy Site!

June 12, 2006
Dear Genealogists & Family Historians,

We've launched a new website for our genealogy products and to celebrate, we're offering some great deals!

Please bookmark our new site and buy Genelines, Charting Companion, World Place Advisor, World Place Finder or GEDmark on sale!

Download versions are $5.00 off and we're offering free shipping on any CD-ROM version of these products.

Meanwhile our former site,, will be redesigned as our corporate website to introduce visitors to all areas of Progeny Software's business. In addition to offering quality genealogy software and research tools, Progeny Software also produces products for visual analysis and presentations. Our newest product announced is Timeline Maker Professional.

Visit our new Progeny Genealogy site,, and choose from any of these products below to receive $5.00 off downloads or get free shipping on CD-ROM versions. This offer expires June 30, 2006 so order your genealogy products today!

** Genelines **
Genelines is one of the most powerful research and storytelling tools available to anyone researching their family tree. Genelines features a suite of seven different timeline chart formats, consisting of two BIOGRAPHICAL and five RELATIONSHIP charts.
Each of these seven charts can be customized according to: timeline, historical events, personal or family events, colors and fonts.

- Genelines 2.0 Universal Edition

- Genelines 2.0 for Legacy

- Genelines 2.0 for Ancestral Quest

** Charting Companion **
Whether your database contains a handful of people or thousands of ancestors and descendants, Charting Companion gives you the tools to quickly find individuals, view their family information, navigate through their tree and print great looking color charts.

With 12 different charts and reports to choose from, you can create a variety of traditional genealogy charts and reports, such as the Ancestor and Descendant chart and the Fan and Hourglass chart. Or you can create newer style charts such as the Bow Tie Chart and see your family in a whole new way!

- Legacy Charting Companion

- Ancestral Quest Charting Companion

We also have produced versions for Family Tree Maker and Personal Ancestral File - visit to see how you can order these versions.

** World Place Advisor **
World Place Advisor has a gazetteer, or database, of OVER 3.3 Million place names from around the WORLD, plus US churches and cemeteries. The program uses this database to automatically check your genealogy files for place name typos, missing counties and other inaccuracies.
Latitude and longitude reference points are offered for each place name in the gazetteer. Use these latitude and longitude points to manually find its location on a map or use the built in link to and find its location instantly! Due to the very large gazetteer contained in the program, World Place Advisor is available on CD-ROM only.


** World Place Finder **
With World Place Finder you will be able to look-up towns and cities, counties, countries and even US Cemeteries and Churches. It will give you the correct spelling of the place you are looking for as well as the correct format for research presentation. Not only that, World Place Finder will also give you the exact latitude and longitude of the place you are looking for so you can easily find it on a map! You could use your own map to see where your ancestors lived, or you can use the handy built-in link to Too large to download from the Internet, this gazetteer is available only on CD-ROM.

** GEDmark **
Just as a trademark secures ownership of a product, GEDmark places the author's stamp of ownership on every individual in a genealogy file. This means that even when data is incorporated into other family files or online databases, the author information goes with it.
By running your GEDCOM file through GEDmark, you are able to place author information on each individual in that file. This insures that no matter how many times your GEDCOM file is split, imported, exported or submitted, your authorship of the research is protected.

Again, welcome to our new Progeny Genealogy site!
Remember to change your browser's Favorites settings and Bookmarks to this new URL. Also, if you have a link set to this site, please change that setting as well. Visit our new Progeny Genealogy site,, and receive $5.00 off any Downloadable product OR receive free shipping on CD-ROM versions of Genelines, Charting Companion, World Place Advisor, World Place Finder or GEDmark. Offer is available only until June 30, 2006.

Stephanie Preston
READERS' FEEDBACK: MORE Library Manners & Filed Wrong

THANK-YOU for the volumes of feedback about the concept of refiling microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has spilled over into all sorts of comments about the propitiousness of refiling books (we never do this unless we work at the reference library). Now there is discussion about "vertical files" which are those items donated to a library in brochure, letter, diary or loose paper format, which are sorted in file folders and stored in filing cabinets.

From, our word for the day should be PROPITIOUSNESS:
-- pro·pi·tious ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pr-pshs) adj.
Presenting favorable circumstances; auspicious. See Synonyms at favorable.
Kindly; gracious.
-- pro·pitious·ly adv.
-- pro·pitious·ness n.

The three previous articles on the subject include:

From: Phyllis Leedom
DearMYRTLE,As a retired librarian with the Indiana Room, Anderson Public Library we had a policy that books were to be put on book carts for the staff to refile. Microfilm and Microfiche were to put on top of the cabinet it came from. The Microfiche was put in a special box marked that said Micro fish on top of the cabinet they went in.

Family files were kept locked until a year or so before I left. Now they are back being locked as several files were either stolen or misfiled never to be found again. the vertical files were also locked but now are unlocked. The file on mills (not the family name) has been missing for quite some time.

So, in all this I would recommend you ask staff or their volunteers what the policy is and stick to it. At one time we had to keep track of how many books, etc. we filed.

From: Thomas Herson

I think the point you're trying to make is that patrons should re-file the things they use. However, at our local library (The Tompkins County Public Library), patrons are requested NOT to re-shelve or re-file things to eliminate people putting them back in the wrong place. Probably not a bad idea. Of course I'm allowed to put things back where they belong ;-)

Ol' Myrt here supposes that many of her readers will be venturing out this summer on research trips to distant and most likely unfamiliar archives and libraries. Make things easier for those wonderful archivists and librarians by adhering to the rules for use at each facility. Let's make a good name for "genealogy researchers" by minding our Ps and Qs, eh? We're all human, but let's try our best.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.
Civil War Notes & Diaries

From: Elmer Compton

RE: Leave a legacy -- tell your story

Your e-mail talked about personal diaries and letters from people of the US Civil War. The War was personalized for me in my grandfather's notes and diaries. He was born near Hillsborough in Orange County, North Carolina, and was eight years old when Abraham Lincoln was elected president in early November 1860. My great-grandfather, who did not own land or slaves, knew the Civil War was coming, so he and his family caught a train to Mitchell, Indiana where they arrived Dec 1, 1860.

My great-grandfather later joined the 13th Indiana Calvary and received $300 to enlist and was paid $13 per month. He contacted chronic dysentery and received a pension of $8 per month until he died in 1895.

My grandfather's grandmother came to Indiana in the fall of 1865, bringing a "great deal" of Confederate money with her, which proved to be worthless.

Amazing! You have been blessed with treasures providing a window to the past. How fortunate these notes and diaries have survived.

Please make a photocopy of everything, including the gentleman's pension file and photo then submit them to the US Army Military History Institute in Carlisle Pennsylvania, so that the information can be filed under the 13th Indiana Calvary. Your grandfather's insights about his father's military service would benefit descendents of others who served in the same unit. If you have a picture of the soldier in uniform, they can add it to the collection of military photos.

You could also self-publish or possibly create a website with the information and a few scanned images of these very precious documents. Contact the Indiana GenWeb coordinator to see what they can do to help, since they have free space and love donations of this sort.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.
APG Honors Gary Mokotoff

This just in from the Association of Professional Genealogists. All inquiries should be addressed to:

From: APG Administration
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 2:05 PM

APG Honors Gary Mokotoff
For Outstanding Service

Gary Mokotoff is a top expert in Jewish genealogy, but he also is an innovator on the business side of family history.

For his outstanding service to the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the organization gave Mokotoff the Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit on June 9. APG President Sharon Moody presented the award to him in Chicago at the APG luncheon at the National Genealogical Society’s Conference in the States.

Mokotoff was APG treasurer from 2002-2005 and developed several ideas to benefit members, including discounts on selected new books, a bookstore with discounts on thousands of books, and the establishment of a "members only" section on the organization’s web site.

A resident of Bergenfield, New Jersey, he is the author and publisher of several publications on Jewish genealogy, including the journal Avotaynu and the award-winning book Where Once We Walked in 1991. He was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. Mokotoff once said he feels his greatest accomplishments are in Jewish genealogy rather than his organizational and business achievements, which include service on a number of genealogical boards.

Mokotoff, who has developed Jewish genealogy databases, undertakes research only for Holocaust-related clients and their families. He has helped connect Holocaust survivors with relatives and helped others determine the fate of loved ones on a pro bono basis.

Established in 1979, the 1,600-member Association of Professional Genealogists ( is the world’s leading professional organization of family history and related professionals. APG established the Smallwood Award in 1981 and first awarded it to namesake Grahame T. Smallwood Jr., an early leader in the association.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: 13 June 2006

-- WorldCat
-- Black American research
-- Cruising with Wholly Genes
-- Eagle Scouts genealogy project
-- Putting the gene in genealogy
-- Early Settlers of Great Falls
-- Interviewing relatives first step in tracing genealogy

WORLDCAT has become an invaluable resource

from the Cincinnati Post 12 June 2006
"WorldCat is one of the most overlooked genealogy resources.

WorldCat is an online catalog developed to assist librarians in locating books and other materials from around the world.

The WorldCat database contains millions of records from more than 7,600 libraries from across the United States and around the world.

Many of these collections contain local history and genealogy publications. Among the items that can found on WorldCat include: newspapers (United States and foreign), microfilm resources, maps, manuscripts, published family histories, digital images and many other resources that would be helpful to genealogists.

An excellent tutorial on WorldCat can be found at
WorldCat is a fee-based Web page; however, many area public and academic libraries can provide free access.

Once a book, document or other resource is found in the catalog, patrons may be able to order the item through their local library's Inter-Library Loan (ILL) Department.

Many ILL requests are free.

All ILL requests made to public libraries must be made through your home library (the library system in which you live)."

Genealogy tips are provided by Dave Schroeder, historian for the Kenton County Public Library. Contact the library's local history department by calling (859) 962-4085 or via e-mail at

from the Great Falls Tribune Online 13 June 2006
"The third edition of Paul Heinegg’s Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia was awarded the American Society of Genealogists’ prestigious Donald Lines Jacobus Award for the best work of genealogical scholarship published between 1991 and 1994. Now the Clearfield Company of Baltimore has released a fifth edition which just may be Heinegg’s most ambitious effort yet to reconstruct the history of the free African-American communities of Virginia and the Carolinas by looking at the history of their families."

Find out about the 2006 Genealogy Conference & Cruise through the Mexican Riviera by visiting:

from the laurel Leader-Call 8 June 2006

Eagle Scouts present genealogy projects to Laurel-Jones County Library
"Two local Eagle Scouts presented their Eagle projects to the Laurel-Jones County Library’s genealogy department.

Thomas Howse and Le’Byron Jackson donated their works to the collection of genealogical materials housed in the Genealogy Room at the library.

Howse’s project involved cleaning up the Good Hope Cemetery in Sandersville and recording the information on the tombstones for future researchers."

For more of the story see:

from the Bangor Daily News 12 June 2006

Alice Long holds the key to an ancient mystery at the tip of her tongue.

"The 71-year-old Bar Harbor resident has always sought to learn more about her ancestors. Her grandparents emigrated from North Wales to suburban Pittsburgh in 1898. They had six daughters, a farm and a fish market. They also had some tough luck - financial struggles and, finally, a fatal run-in with the big influenza epidemic during World War I. Long's grandmother died in the epidemic, leaving her descendants little information about family history or about her life.

"My mother never learned about Wales, anything like that," Long said wistfully.
So when Long found out about the Genographic Project, a five-year research venture undertaken by IBM and National Geographic to trace ancient and modern migration patterns, she jumped at the chance to participate. Earlier this spring, she carefully swabbed her cheeks and sent away the extracted genetic information - and a check for $100 - in order to have her Mitochondrial DNA tested. That's the portion of DNA that's passed down through the mother's mother's mother's mother - and so on."

For more of the story see:

From the Great Falls Tribune Online 13 June 2006

Genealogy Society compiles "The Early Settlers of Great Falls"

"The Great Falls Genealogy Society has gathered over 20,000 names has part of its project "The Early Settlers of Great Falls."

Volunteers plan to include in the reference as many citizens as possible for the period of 1880 to 1920."

For more of the story see:

Iroquois County Times-Republic 6 June 2006
ERIN DOSS\Reporter

"Accredited genealogist Sabina Murray shared her knowledge with Iroquois County residents during a session at the Watseka Public Library yesterday afternoon. [...]
Murray said genealogical research should answer four questions about family members, including: What was their name? Where did they live? When did they live and die? and What was their relationship?"

For more of the story see:
PRESS RELEASE: Myra Vanderpool Gormley Award of Merit

NOTE: This is just in from Amy Johnson Crowe. All inquiries should be addressed to her at:

International Society of Family History Writers and Editors Bestows Prestigious Award

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 8, 2006)

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) announced at its annual Gala Awards Banquet held at the National Genealogical Society’s conference, its first recipient of its newly-established and prestigious Myra Vanderpool Gormley Award of Merit.

The first recipient of the award is Loretto "Lou" Dennis Szucs, the Vice President of Publishing at, the publishing arm of, Inc. She is highly respected and much loved in the genealogical community. She has written, edited, and published a number of the most important genealogy reference books for genealogists. These include They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins; Chicago and Cook County: A Guide to Research; Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records (with Matthew Wright); and the brand new third edition of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, which she co-edited with Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. In addition, Lou has mentored and encouraged hundreds of aspiring writers, editors, and publishers, kickstarting their careers and building friendships with them.

The new award was established this year to commemorate the qualities of genealogical writer Myra Vanderpool Gormley who, through her many years in the genealogical community, has promoted scholarly writing, editing, and publishing. Ms. Gormley was one of the founding members of ISFHWE, has mentored many aspiring genealogical writers, has written hundreds of articles for journals and magazines, has been a nationally-syndicated genealogy columnist, and has promoted excellence in genealogy at all levels. She has been a tireless volunteer at RootsWeb and elsewhere in the community and has made our world a much better place for genealogists everywhere. Ms. Gormley was awarded a large plaque at the banquet commemorating the establishment of the award that is named for her.

ISFHWE is proud to have present the award and strives to promote the goals for scholarly genealogical writing, editing, and publishing in all media exemplified by Myra Vanderpool Gormley and Loretto Szucs Smith.

Visit the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (formerly Council of Genealogy Columnists) on the Web

Sunday, June 11, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: My Ancestors Found buys Rootstamps Collection

NOTE: This just in from Jenni at My Ancestors Found. All inquiries should be addressed to her at:

My Ancestors Found is excited to announce the acquisition of a new product line: Rootstamps. Created in 1995, Rootstamps has long been the number one supplier of rubber stamps for Genealogists and Family Historians. There are 600 high quality rubber stamps that offer "Wit, Wisdom, and Fine Art for all clever souls."

Rootstamps provide a creative outlet for people who want to add flair and inspiration to their lives. Rootstamps promote the love of Genealogy and many convey messages like:
"I Love Genealogy" or "A Happy Family is but an Earlier Heaven."

Some stamps are also aids for research.

Browse through the stamp pages at
You're sure to find something to express yourself!

PS: from Ol' Myrt: I just ordered these two:
Are we climbing the same family tree?
~ and ~
Genealogy is a treasure hunt
(They are cute!)

READERS FEEDBACK: Leave a legacy -- tell your story

I found your email on this subject to be very interesting to me.

In 1997 I attempted to "thru-hike" the Appalachian Trail, that is to say, backpack the entire 2160+ miles at one go. For physical and medical reasons I only made it about 900 miles. During the hike I kept a journal and when I came to a town, mailed my notes to a person who agreed to transcribe it for me and post it online. I have a printout of this online journal, and of course, I hope my children enjoy it someday.

In 2000 I moved to rural Ireland where I lived 3 years. During this time I tried to keep a daily journal, and about once a week I would mail it to my mom, who enjoyed it very much, and shared with anyone who would listen. She was raised on a farm (which she left as quickly as she could) so she and her siblings could relate to rural life anywhere. When she died, my sister gave me a box containing all my letters to mom about life in Ireland. I started to transcribe these letters/journal, thinking it would be much easier for someone wanting to read it, although I'm not sure I know anyone who would want to read it. This brings up my question - should I continue to transcribe these letters and save the printed version, or should I save the originals?

I hope someday one of my grandchildren will become a genealogist and appreciate the records I'm leaving, as well as my humble journals. I've loved the life I've lived, although I'm not sure anyone in my extended family understands what drove me to do some of the things I've done, but maybe some future descendant will.

One good thing that has come out of my journaling is that my oldest son collected and printed all of my online hiking journal, and when he spent a year in Iraq he did the same - sending his journal back to his wife, who shared them with family.

Sorry for straying off my original question here - should I save original papers or will typed copies be better?

PS - Glad to see you back online. Missed ya.

900 miles.... Fantastic. And your son followed your example and sent a journal to his wife while he was serving in Iraq? I'd say your family is ALREADY benefiting from the writing about your experiences. What a wonderful legacy! Now on to your question: I'll answer it with a question.
With all your genealogical experience, would you rather have the "handwritten original" or a word-for-word transcription of a document?

In the case of my French & Indian War Colonel Conrad Weiser's late-in-life recollections, written in German: the Weiser Family Association chose to print a book with the image of the original on the left side page, and the English translation typed word-for word on the right.

Ol' Myrt here loves the idea of transcribing your letters and placing them on the net. This makes it easier to distribute the content to a variety of people, since only one can possess the originals.

PS - Do you realize how much your mother loves you? She valued your communications enough to save them in that box. I am thankful your dear sister discovered the treasure and gave them back to you.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


From: Jim McGrath
My father received his naturalization papers in 1919 in Hampden County MA. I would like to get a copy of his application which has more detail. Do you know where this records would be stored? Is it at the state in Boston, or at the county seat in Springfield? Thanks for any help you can give me on this. I am planning a trip to Mass this summer and would like to know where to get this info.

Great hearing from a Bradenton Florida chum again! Since your father's naturalization occurred after 1909, a copy of his papers (1st papers, and such) were not only filed with a local (often county) court, but with the INS the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Since 9-11, the INS has undergone a name change according to Marian L. Smith, the Senior Historian for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS is the new name). It was my pleasure to interview Marian during an April 2004 DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR. The broadcast is no longer available, but the "links we mention" page is still online at: There you will find all sorts of links to helpful USCIS articles to aid you with this research, Jim.

A review of the LDS Family History Library catalog online at: reveals that the Naturalization papers for Hampden County, Massachusetts are available on microfilm through the local LDS Family History Center in Bradenton, where you live for a nominal rental fee. These are "Microfilm of original records in the Hampden County superior court, clerk's office, Springfield, Massachusetts and in the Massachusetts State Archives, Boston."

Naturalization declarations of intention, 1906-1931
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Hampden County) (Main Author)

FHL Film #1450848 contains:
Vol. 42 (1918), v. 43 (1918), v. 44 (1918-1919), v. 45 (1919), v. 46 (1919), v. 47 to p. 211 (1919)

FHL Film #1450849 contains:
Vol. 47 from p. 211 (1919), v. 48 (1919), v. 49 (1919), v. 50 (1919), v. 51 (1919), v. 52 (1919-1920), v. 53 to p. 205 (1920)

If he was naturalized because of service in WWI, there is a different collection of records also on microfilm.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.
ACROSS MY DESK: Provo Labs & Everton Partnership

NOTE: This just in from Everton Publishing. All inquiries should be addressed to: Whitney Ransom

Provo Labs and Everton Publishing Announce Partnership to Promote Shared Genealogical Services and Content
New partnership delivers premium genealogical content to users, using a dynamic proprietary search engine.

Provo, UT, June 8, 2006 ---Provo Labs is pleased to announce a partnership with Everton Publishing, a genealogical industry leader in continuing education, research, and publishing.
"We chose to work with Provo Labs because of Paul’s experience in the industry and because of their search engine," said Walter Fuller, Everton President and Publisher. "We look forward to this partnership and have every confidence it will evolve into a productive, rewarding, and enjoyable endeavor for both of the organizations and the individuals involved."

Provo Labs will revitalize an existing site,, and build it to be a vast library of genealogical resources, including international record databases, references to top genealogical resources, a blog planet, podcasting, videocasting, Webinars, expert advice, training, and user-generated content.

As part of the agreement, Provo Labs will share its proprietary search engine tool, PlugNSearchTM, with Everton.

"PlugNSearchTM is a dynamic proprietary search engine that will add unique value to Everton's genealogical content, offering users specific and relevant results at unparalleled speed," said Phil Burns, COO, Provo Labs.

Everton users will be able to use the PlugNSearchTM tool to receive high quality historical, biographical data and specific information about cities, countries, customs, and cultures.
"This partnership will allow us to promote shared genealogical resources," said Paul Allen, CEO, Provo Labs. "We will feature the best data Everton has, coupled with our proprietary search tool."

Media Contact: Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications

About Provo Labs
Provo Labs is an incubator for Web 2.0 Internet companies, such as 10Speed Media, LDS Media, MP3Books, and Funding Universe. Formed by founder, Paul B. Allen, Provo Labs focuses on building companies that combine content, community and technology in innovative ways to create value for its customers. In July, Provo Labs moves to a new location, adjacent to BYU, where it will house more than a dozen startup companies, providing entrepreneurs top training, access to cutting-edge technology, office space, and social networking opportunities. For more information about Provo Labs, visit

About Everton Publishing
For more than a half century, Everton Publishers has been serving the needs of people pursuing their heritage. Now under new ownership and management, Everton is highly committed to providing all of the publications, products and services that made the company an industry icon, while also offering the latest in online and digital research technology, searchable databases, and the previously unavailable content of the vast Everton Genealogical Library. Everton publishes the Handybook for Genealogists, now in the 11th Edition and the Genealogical Helper magazine. For more information about Everton Publishers, visit
Beidler article on early PA land records accessibility

You might remember my podcast interview with Sharon MacInnes a few months ago about land records in Pennsylvania. Since then, the state of Pennsylvania has provided internet access an index of land records available over the internet. Jonathan R. Stayer, head of reference for the Pennsylvania State Archives, acknowledged that there are limitations to the version on the Web site, as reported in a recent article by James Beidler, a freelance writer. James' article highlights the differences between the records which have just been posted online by the PA Archives and what is available on's CD titled "First Landowners of Pennsylvania: Colonial and State Warrant Registers in the PA Archives, Harrisburg 1682-ca 1940."

To hear my interview with Sharon MacInnes via your computer, go to:
And click to listen.

The "First Landowners" CD costs $25. It is available from Ancestor Tracks on its Web site at:

You can find James Beidler's article "Valuable CD-ROM offers centuries of land records" at:

To access images of the warrant registers online, use the Pennsylvania State Archives Web site at:
Once you get to the site, Click on the "Record Groups" hyperlink; then Record Group 17, "Land Office" and, finally, look for the "Images" link under No. 17.88, "Warrant Registers With Green Covers, 1733-1957."

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.
Leave a legacy -- tell your story

Leave a legacy -- tell your story.

Your personal understanding of history and advances in technology will make most interesting reading to those that follow.

Don't get me wrong. It isn't that I don't like Historians. (Notice the capital "H".)

In Ol' Myrt's experience, it is the personal diaries and letters from people of the US Civil War era that make the story come alive in my eyes. While I don't have a surviving notation by an ancestor, it has proved most enlightening to read items left behind by those living in the same county or serving in the same military units as my progenitors.

I prefer the tone and flow of words written by the average Joe to stilted lines by an "official" college-trained Historian whose editors require strict adherence to the current thought in the most politically correct terms.

Don't get me wrong, I do love Historians who give the facts of time, place, troop movements and arrival of ships.

Ol' Myrt gets concerned when the reporting of facts get mingled with morality-ridden over-analysis.

I've recently been reading SEATTLE THEN & NOW that includes decades of newspaper articles condensed into this informative history book. Those sorts of books really get Ol' Myrt excited about the lives of her ancestors at the turn of the previous century. Thankfully, this understanding is currently being augmented by my father's running commentary, as we pack Blanche into the car for short afternoon drives. Now I cannot go up Queen Ann Avenue's great south-side hill without imagining that as a child, my Aunt Beverly accepted my dad's challenge to beat the trolley up to the top for a dime. (Neither he nor his brother Jack have paid up yet!) Talk of this personal history, Dad's story, is something else to do when sitting in the ER waiting room for Blanche's latest evaluation.

Many of Myrt's readers are now the oldest generation on the living family tree. Please, take the time to write down one or two stories of your life. Don't worry about an entire book. Just one or two recollections will be priceless to future generations. Wouldn't you be thrilled to have such a missive from one of your immigrant ancestors?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.