Saturday, September 23, 2006

Questions about my grandmother search

Questions about my grandmother search

[...] I feel you just might know the avenues that I can take to find my
grandmother Lula Inda MILLS. I have searched for her for over ten years. I
am about to give up. Lula Inda MILLS married my grandfather Walter G.
WILSON, Indianapolis, Indiana 1909. On the certificate she signed it Louise
Mills. She went by Louise most of the time. They had three children: Emmett
Wilford, Edna Evelyn, and Walter Lee WILSON (my Dad).

When my Dad was about two years old she left and never returned. My Dad and
his brother and sister grew up in an orphanage until they were in high
school because my Grandfather couldn't take care of them. In the 1930 census
my grandfather still listed her with the household but listed as absent. I
have no idea as to if and when there was a divorce, I couldn't find anything
on it.

All I know is that she moved to Chicago at some time. She married someone by
the name of Bill. I was told that he was some sort of policeman or security
officer in Chicago. They thought possibility that her new married name was
MUELLER, but not sure. No one could give me a time of marriage or any other
info. She was to have died in Chicago. I don't have a date for her death
other than I know when I was in grade school, 1950s she had already died.

I have spent hours trying to find her on any census. I was told that she
lived in Jamestown, Indiana prior to her marriage to Walter G. WILSON. I
have searched all the records there and no listing of any type.

Also I was told that her father's name might have been Charles MILLS.

I have been going on the assumption that her Aunt was named Clara or Carla
Inda MILLS. I remember a picture of this lady and it had belonged to Louise
MILLS and on the back it had written my precious and that her death date was
either 1900 or 1902.

I was able to obtain the marriage certificate for Walter G. WILSON and
Louise MILLS but that is just about the only info on the certificate other
than the clerk.

I haven't been able to find any other data. I have searched so long and
tried and going to give up. I have no one to ask any questions of and no
paper trails. [...] I thought possibly you might know where else I could
turn. I didn't want to bother you, but I am on my last bit of hope on her.
And I apologize for the interruption. Hope you are having a great day. Thank
you for your time.

First, you need a (((HUG))) for persevering with your grandmother's
research. Please be sure to type all this information into NOTES for your
grandmother in your genealogy program. Your personal observations and
recollections are all any of us have to go on at this point. We want to
leave a big trail for others to follow. Now take heart, and realize there
ARE other options.

-- You have the marriage certificate or a copy of the marriage return. Look
instead for the MARRIAGE APPLICATION, which should list at least names,
ages, place of residence before the marriage. If she was under 21 at the
time of the marriage, local laws may have required her parent or guardian's
permission. This is particularly true for the late date of marriage you are

-- Check the LOCAL NEWSPAPER for the marriage announcement, which should
list more details and next of kin. These are often on microfilm through the
local library and hopefully are available thru ILL Inter-library loan.

-- Check BIRTH CERTIFICATES for your father and his siblings, to see if the
birthplaces of the parents are listed. This would give you another place to
look in the census for your grandmother as a child.

-- Check both ANCESTRY & HERITAGE QUEST ONLINE census indexes for your
grandmother under all possible first names and initials. I have found some
individuals through one index that I couldn't find using the other index,
and vice versa. Also check for Charles and for Clara/Carla. When you do find
her, make note of her birthplace and that of her parents for future

-- Consider IDA as an alternative interpretation of the handwritten
lettering of your grandmother's first name. Also Edna is one of
Louise/Inda's children's names. So perhaps Edna is a family name?

-- Look at a MAP to see what towns were around their place of marriage.
People often didn't travel too far to get married even when eloping. The
state line may be close by, if you consider travel by boat, train or car
and not just by horse-drawn carriage. This would give you other states to
search for her in the federal and state census enumerations, where she would
have appeared as a child in her father's household.

-- Work the angle of the 2nd marriage in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. The
marriage books are usually loosely indexed by both bride and groom names.

-- Search and make your own postings to the MILLS surname message board, to
see what others are doing in their allied line research. The ones at seem to be used more than most genealogy message

-- Check previously compiled genealogists at:
and . While these findings aren't without their
mistakes in lineage assumptions, it will give you clues and perhaps another
research with whom to compare notes.

-- Check out to discover links to online help and
databases that might assist with your research. I recommend checking back
every 3-4 months or so as additional resources come to light.

THERE ARE SEVERAL BOOKS WRITTEN ABOUT SEARCHING FOR A FEMALE ANCESTOR. You can pick them up today at, as I just checked availability for you.

FEMALE ANCESTORS: Special Strategies for Uncovering Hard-To-Find Information
About Your Female Lineage. 1998. Betterway Books. ISBN: 1558704728.

-- Schaefer, Christina. THE HIDDEN HALF OF THE FAMILY: A Sourcebook for
Women's Genealogy. 1999. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN:

FOR SOME REASON these additional thoughts come to mind. Ol' Myrt here is not
sure if they will prove helpful.

-- Clara might be your grandmother's mother. WHY? Consider that "Aunt"
Clara/Carla MILLS would have had to remain unmarried for her to retained the
maiden name over the years. Women didn't tend to take back their maiden
names after a divorce until the mid-late 20th century in the US. The term
"precious" would more aptly to one's mother than to one's aunt, particularly
where that mother died while one was a child or young adult.

-- Consider that both Charles and Carla/Clara are very easily confused from
the handwritten form of either name.

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

READER'S FEEDBACK: Extraction Program

READER'S FEEDBACK: Extraction Program

From: Charlotte
I sincerely hope that the [data derived from the] extraction program is more
reliable than the Ancestral File [database of patron entries]. I was in
charge of one of the *data entry* sites. There were 32 of them. We were not
allowed to make corrections to what the submitter sent in even when it was
obvious that a mistake was made, nor were we allowed to let the submitter
know he/she had made a mistake.

I know the extraction program is reading from the microfilm and that as
minimum of two people have to agree as to what it says, but I worked in that
too and often if the second reader saw that the first reader was someone
he/she respected as lot, if there was a question he/she always took what the
first person had put.

Charlotte in southern Utah
Data entry site was in Texas

Your Name Extraction Program experience differs from ours in the early 1990s
in Bradenton, Florida. We were extracting names from a Catholic parish in
Mexico City. We received the microfilm, and photocopies from the film to
distribute to volunteer participants. The UDE software provided for person
"A" to fill in the blanks for the individual's name, parents where listed,
date, place; as he interpreted it from the original text. Once the packet
was returned, we distributed the packet to another volunteer. The software
for person "B" provided the blind double-entry I described in yesterday's
article. Person "B" was specifically not to know who had previously
processed the packet of pages from the original

When there were difficulties in reading the text, it was possible for either
person "A" or person "B" to come back to the two of us coordinating the
project, so that we could look at the microfilm, zoom in/out, and reprint a
page positive/negative and such. We merely voted on our best guestimate.
However, we had been trained to look at the handwriting elsewhere on the
page to compare letter for letter, allowing for irregularities in

The computer software would compare both "A" and "B" entries for
differences, which I theorize were usually just typos.

COMPUTER. This meant that the extractor deciphered the handwriting from the
original document from a photocopy of the microfilm. He reported his
findings by hand writing the names and dates on little cards. Others typed
from those cards into a computer. This sounds like the *data entry* you
participated in, Charlotte.

THANKFULLY, THE ADVENT OF HOME COMPUTERS has facilitated the part "A" and
part "B" indexing of original records.

Somehow having two or more sets of eye looking at the cryptic handwriting in
an old church record seems a lot more reliable than trusting my
inexperienced, untrained eye. However, no process is without it's faults.
For that reason, Ol' Myrt continues to recommend that we obtain copies of
the original document (usually from microfilm) rather than rely on even an
extracted entry.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Friday, September 22, 2006

Locating all by a surname in a certain parish

DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy
Locating all by a surname in a certain parish

Suppose you find an ancestor in the IGI (International Genealogical Index)
database at

Suppose it is the more desirable "extracted" entry, rather than a patron

Suppose you want to know the number of years included in the extraction

Suppose you want to find others by the same surname in the same parish in

Experienced British researchers have turned to the work of one Hugh Wallis.
I found him by Googling "hugh wallis +batch" without the quote marks, and
found this lengthy URL:

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: The patron at our FHC on Thursday night is looking
for the surname "HUSBAND" in the Gorran, Cornwall, England parish, so when
we got to Hugh's web site, listed above we:

1. Clicked on "England including the Isle of Man"

2. Clicked on "Cornwall"

3. Scrolled down to make note of the entries for the parish of Gorran which
C023201 1681-1694
C023202 1700-1773
C053351 1661-1837
M053351 1668-1837
The "C" stands for christenings, the "M" for marriages and the "E" for a
mixture of christenings and marriages. Note all extraction batches include
the time period of the original records, except the "E" selection.

4. Clicked on the C053351 which covered the anticipated 1786 christening of
her known ancestor, William HUSBAND.

5. Typed in the surname "HUSBAND" without quote marks, and clicked to query

6. On review of the following hit list (which is confined only to this one
extraction batch from the parish at Gorran, Cornwall, England) we find
several possible siblings and descendants.

NOTE: The following information is located in the International Genealogical
Index / British Isles - 10, as searched through Hugh Wallis' website.

1. JOHN HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Male Christening: 26 DEC 1830 Gorran, Cornwall, England

2. HANNAH HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Female Christening: 28 DEC 1790 Gorran, Cornwall, England

3. PETER HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Male Christening: 26 DEC 1830 Gorran, Cornwall, England

4. ELIZABETH HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Female Christening: 11 OCT 1778 Gorran, Cornwall, England

5. JOSEPH HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Male Christening: 26 DEC 1830 Gorran, Cornwall, England

6. MARY HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Female Christening: 23 APR 1781 Gorran, Cornwall, England

7. MARY HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Female Christening: 17 AUG 1783 Gorran, Cornwall, England

8. JAMES HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Male Christening: 10 JUN 1832 Gorran, Cornwall, England

9. WILLIAM HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Male Christening: 01 OCT 1786 Gorran, Cornwall, England

10. WILLIAM HUSBAND - International Genealogical Index
Gender: Male Christening: 30 JUL 1815 Gorran, Cornwall, England

Since our researcher was working on a late 1700 christening, it is entirely
likely that there will be older christenings in the same or closely related
families of the same surname.

WHY USE HUGH'S IGI SEARCH ENGINE? When we look at the IGI at it is fraught with less-than-reliable entries from patrons.
The more reliable blind, double-entry indexing process known as the old
"Name Extraction Program" is what Hugh's search engine will focus on.

-- at our list of hits becomes too long, when the patron
entries are part of the list.
-- you can also view middle pages of a 5,000+ listing of hits, rather than
having to start at the beginning of the hit list, and keep hitting the NEXT

SOUND COMPLICATED? It is worth the effort to study this for 30 MINUTES.
Particularly if you are tired of sorting through all-to-lengthy lists at This is doable! YOU can do it.

Channel Islands
England (including the Isle of Man)
Special batches in the British Isles (i.e. those that cover many places)

North America

SEE ALSO: Hugh's "Middle name index" for many English & Scottish counties.

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

Monday, September 18, 2006

GEDCOM & Book Printing

From: Bernard Frink
We at our Mother County Genealogy Society in Bladen County, N. C. make up books of different families. We export the book from Family Tree Maker, version 11 and put it on a CD and then print the book. Some of the books have about 600 pages and I am having trouble with the Index and Genealogy Report matching. When we make up the genealogy report and compare it with the index separately they match.

When we preview the book it skips about 15 pages between the report and the index.

My friend exported and reimported the whole file back in GEDCOM format, as that was supposed to cure all evils. I have a Dell computer, E310, almost new and version 11 Family Tree Maker. I try to create the book in GEDCOM form but so far have flunked. The only choice on Export Book on my computer has only PDF which goes into Version 6 of Acrobat Reader.

I am 80 years old and not as sharp as some of the younger generation on computers. I have tried to send an Email to [the website for Family Tree Maker] but so far have not received any reply and am not sure my e-mails went through. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate them or if not, could you suggest how I might get some help.

First, CONGRATS on working so hard to get these genealogies published. SECONDLY, the problem with Family Tree Maker support has been around since before Ancestry purchased the program & website, so it isn't you, hon.

Creating .pdf documents in multiples of (usually) 4 pages allows for a POD (print on demand) service to do the printing for you. They don't think in terms of 8.5" by 11" but print on larger pages and trim to fit as required. This means that sometimes there will be a few extra pages at the end to make the pages fit.

Printing to .PDF file format is also a logical choice, because of the need to generate an accurate (read that as "not editable" by our human hands?) table of contents and index.

Although other programs like RootsMagic allow you to save to an .rtf or text file, I do not recommend it. You'd lose pictures and formatting like BOLD or italics. It would be interesting to take the file and try it with Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic, The Master Genealogist or some other genealogy management software to find out it their transfer to .pdf includes so many blank pages.

Rex Clements makes a program called GenBook which can take your GEDCOM file and produce a file to work with WordPerfect or Word. From his website we read "GEN-BOOK can extract the information and format it into a WordPerfect [or Word] file. Your family history information is put into readable book format along with a Title Page, Table of Contents, Chapter Headings, event notes, sources, and a two- or three-column Index of Names. You can generate a book of the descendants or ancestors of any person in your database. This program allows beginners to prepare a completely indexed and organized book from their genealogy data by only answering a few personal choice questions such as the starting person and the number of generations to be included. For the advanced users, the capabilities of WordPerfect or MS Word offers unlimited manipulation and design of text to create the masterpiece you have always wanted to create." See:

Ol' Myrt here thinks it would be just fine to live with the 15 blank pages to allow space for people to make notations about additional generations as readers pour through the book in the future. That is really only 7 pieces of paper and probably not worth all the fuss.

As it is, I believe that folks will want to use the .pdf file on their computers since the file is "every word" searchable. Such digital versions of books is becoming the norm.

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

Monday, September 11, 2006

COPY & PASTE: Getting the info in notes

From: Roberta
I can't figure out how to cut/paste in notes area in PAF Personal Ancestral File 5.2. Can you help me with this? I've been Manasota PAF Users Group member since 1995.

In the Windows environment, the umbrella program that runs everything on your computer, there are several ways to:

-- COPY highlighted text from one source (internet, email, word processing, etc.)
-- PASTE the text in another place (email, message board, word processing, genealogy program, etc.)

Because of this delightfully useful COPY/PASTE facility, YOU CAN EVEN copy notes from one individual to another individual's notes in your genealogy program. This is particularly useful when it comes to a census extraction, which should be cross-posted to notes for each member of the family enumerated in the original census record. You won't have to type the info for the spouse and each child. WHAT A TIME SAVER!


Selected text is commonly referred to as "highlighted" text, meaning that it is in reverse mode (dark background, light letters) from the other text on the page. You must first select text so that Windows knows what text you wish to copy.

Using your mouse, click at the beginning (or end) of the text in question, KEEPING THE MOUSE BUTTON DOWN, and drag to the opposite end of the text. LET GO OF THE MOUSE BUTTON only when all the text you desire is now in the reverse text mode.

You may not start selecting text in the middle of the desired paragraph, because you can only drag up or down through the text. You cannot drag in both directions to select an entire paragraph from the middle.

There's more than one correct way, though all options may not be available at all times. For instance there may not be an EDIT on the menu bar, so you'd have to resort to another method. It would seem from Ol' Myrt's experience that CTRL+C works in nearly all instances.

-- Press CTRL + C
-- Click EDIT, then COPY
-- Right-click on the selected text and pick COPY from the pop-up menu

Windows clipboard now has your desired text, until you:
-- copy something else to the clipboard
-- log off (switch users)
-- turn off the computer

It is important for you to know this, because the text will remain in the clipboard even if you close the program you were using to view the original text. This means if you found the original text in your email program, once the text is copied to the clipboard, you can go to any other program in the Windows environment to paste the text instead of typing the text.

Minimize or close the window where you highlighted/copied the text, and click where you want the text to appear in the notes portion of your genealogy software for the ancestor in question.
Then merely:

-- Press CTRL + V (works in most instances)
-- Click EDIT, then PASTE
-- Right-click and select PASTE from the pop-up menu

Some websites have blocked the ability to copy text. When you attempt to select text and go through the copy process, a little copyright statement will pop up explaining that the text cannot be copied.

Portions of .pdf documents such as some online newsletters, read by Acrobat Reader, cannot be copied and pasted in this manner.

Other times, the text you are reading is really the scanned image (graphic) of a page of text. In that case you'll need to "save the picture" on your hard drive, and attach it as a multi-media file to the ancestor in question. (That is another option of genealogy software programs. Click HELP on your program's menu bar to find out how.) -- Alternately, you may print out the page, and manually type the text into notes for your ancestor.

Regardless of the method you use to copy/paste text in notes in your genealogy software, YOU MUST TAKE CARE TO LET PEOPLE KNOW WHERE YOU OBTAINED THE INFO.

-- Author
-- Title of publication
-- Page numbers (or web address)
-- Publisher (or web address)
-- Date of publication (or date of viewing if a web page)

Even if the text is from an email, please cite the source, so that those who follow will understand how you arrived at your lineage assumptions.

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

Friday, September 08, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: Family Atlas

NOTE: The following is just in from the Sept 2006 issue of RootsMagic Newsletter. All inquiries should be addressed to the developers by going to: and using the online form.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, or to view past issues of the RootsMagic Newsletter, see:

As we mentioned in last month's newsletter, we will be releasing a new product called Family Atlas later this month. We promised more details in this month's newsletter, so here they are...

Family Atlas makes creating custom family maps fun and easy. You start with a map of the world that you can scroll or zoom in and out of. You can choose from spherical (like a globe you can spin), or flat maps like Cartesian or Mercator. As you zoom in you will see more detail (like state and county boundaries).

You can add your own sets of custom markers to the map. Family Atlas lets you import your family data directly from RootsMagic or other programs, and then create markers based on that data. For example, you could create a red triangle marker for places where your direct ancestors were born, or a green circle where anyone with the surname Jones was buried. Markers make it easy to visually see migrations or clusters in your family data. You can create unlimited sets of markers which can be hidden or displayed with a simple checkbox.

Family Atlas also lets you add sets of markers by hand, meaning you can create maps even without importing your genealogy data. So you can create custom sets of markers like "Civil War Battles" or "Places Where John Doe Lived". You can use both hand entered and data-based markers on the same map.

When places are imported or entered by hand, Family Atlas automatically geocodes the place by matching it against the 3.5 million name world place database included with Family Atlas.
Of course, Family Atlas will also let you publish your maps, adding annotations and other items.

You can print your maps, or save them to PDF or other popular graphics formats.

We are excited about this new program, and will be offering an introductory price as soon as it is released. If you are subscribed and receiving this newsletter you will be notified as soon as Family Atlas begins shipping. Or you can visit:
which will be updated with more details as we get closer to release.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Origins Network Labor Day Access

NOTE: The following just came across the wires from Jane Hewitt at Origins. All inquiries should be addressed to her at:

On Behalf Of hewittjane2001
Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2006 8:46 AM
Subject: [originsnetwork] Labor Day Access

On 4 September (USA Labor Day), our free access offer resulted in the highest traffic levels we have experienced, and unfortunately some users had access problems. We do apologise for this, and are working to increase our traffic handling capacity (already above what we normally
need) before our next free access offer.

The service was unavailable for about 4 minutes around 1100 GMT on 4 September, and because of the very high traffic we decided to stop new free registrations between 1300-1600 GMT. There were two further service interruptions of a few minutes each around 1800 GMT.

If you were not successful in taking up our free offer this time, there will be more. If have opted to receive our emailed newsletter, you will automatically receive notification of our next free access offer.

The Origins Network Team. 7 September 2006

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: Top notch guest speakers featured at

NOTE: This just in from our friends at All inquiries should be addressed to

Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 7:15 PM
Subject: Open House Genealogy Conference at

Online Genealogy Conference
October 1-31, 2006
8pm-11pm EST is proud to announce it's second annual online Genealogy Conference during Family History Month. The conference will run from October 1st to Oct 31st 2006 during the hours of 8pm to 11pm EST. All events will be held in the chat rooms at

This years conference will provide something for all genealogists from beginner to advanced. We will be holding informative genealogy lectures. Our knowledgeable staff will be on hand to answer your genealogy questions.

Other events include research parties where we do genealogy research for you on that day and genealogy quizzes where you can test your knowledge against the staff. We're especially honored to welcome these special guests:

• Paul Heinegg~Author of African American History
• Katherine Borges~DNA Genealogy Project Coordinator
• Whitney Ransom~Representative of
• David Rencher~ Irish Genealogy Researcher
• Halvor Moorshead~Editor of Internet Genealogy Magazine
• Randy Seaver~Creator of GeneaMusings Blog
• Judy Barker & Roberta Sullivan~Newfoundland Genealogy
• Dale Castle~Remember When Columnist
• Peggy Hill~Daughters of the American Revolution

Please check our website for a complete listing of events! You'll schedule of events at: Open House and On Line Genealogy Conference

NOTE: This is due to change so check back later to make sure what you are interested in is still being presented.

Come in and join the fun! Everyone is welcome and all events are free!
Joseph Albert

Saturday, September 02, 2006

New Mailing List software causes mix-up

From: Carol Bentley
The past two days I have been receiving emails to and from other people regarding a Frank somebody [on DearMYRTLE-L).

I have not requested any information about this person and I don't know who he is. From some of the emails I have received, other people (other than the one who asked for information) have been receiving the same emails.

Is there something a miss in your email program?

I thought you might want to know about this mix-up.

RootsWeb recently changed the "behind the scenes" software that controls their 29,000+ genealogy mailing lists. The settings for my DearMYRTLE mailing list (like Cyndi Howells' list) varies from the norm in that I am the only one allowed to make postings to my mailing list. I imagine when our friends at RootsWeb/Ancestry made the change over to the new software, that by default they created the settings to allow subscribers of a mailing list to make postings to that list.

I didn't realize that I needed to go in to DearMYRTLE-L's admin page to turn off that "everyone can post" option. That change was made early this morning. This should make it so only postings I send to the list will broadcast to all my subscribers.

Now I have to consider the interface with my RootsWeb DearMYRTLE message board. Not yet sure if the problem will persist.

Hopefully the action I've taken will put an end to those private postings going on back and forth between 2 individuals AND simultaneously cross posting to DearMYRTLE-L.

This problem is not being experienced by the subscribers to my BLOG.

This is the page that explains the process for subscribing & unsubscribing to both my BLOG and my RootsWeb mailing list:

The info is the same, but I think that the BLOG works better since it circumvents our email boxes.

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