Page Tabs

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: RootsMagic, Inc. Releases Family Atlas Genealogy Mapping and Publishing Software

ACROSS MY DESK: RootsMagic, Inc. Releases Family Atlas Genealogy Mapping and
Publishing Software

New software makes creating family maps fun and easy

SPRINGVILLE, Utah, October 31, 2006 - RootsMagic, Inc., a leader in family
history software, today announced the release of Family Atlas, a new Windows
software program that lets users create custom family maps based on their
own genealogy data.

For years family history enthusiasts have had to create maps by hand, but
now Family Atlas makes that a thing of the past. Family Atlas users view
their family information on an interactive world map (either spherical or
flat), and can zoom in or out to see additional detail like state and county

Family Atlas directly imports data from popular genealogy software including
RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, PAF, Legacy and GEDCOM. Places are
automatically geo-coded by matching them against the 3.5 million name world
place database included with Family Atlas.

Sites of important family events are easily pinpointed by adding custom
markers automatically tied to the genealogy data. Markers can be based on
specific people and events, or on your entire family tree, making it easy to
see migrations and clusters in family data. Markers can also be added by
hand, making possible historical marker sets like "Civil War Battles" and
personal marker sets like "Our Family Vacations". Both hand-entered and
data-based markers can easily be combined on the same map.

Publishing beautiful maps is a breeze with Family Atlas. Users can enhance
their maps with text, migration lines, text bubbles, photographs and other
objects. Users can save or print their maps, or export them to PDF or a
number of popular graphics formats to be used in reports, books, or

"Family Atlas allows you to explore and publish your family history in a way
never before possible," explains Bruce Buzbee, president of RootsMagic, Inc.
"I'm amazed at the discoveries I've personally made by mapping my own

Other features in Family Atlas include the interactive Gazetteer, which
helps locate almost any place in the world, and the "Nearby Places List"
which finds all places and events within a given distance of any point.

Pricing and Availability
Family Atlas is available now in select retail stores at a list price of
$29.95. Family Atlas is also available direct through ,
or by calling 800-766-8762.

# # #

About RootsMagic, Inc.
Founded in 1986, RootsMagic, Inc. is a publisher of family oriented
software, with headquarters in Springville, Utah. RootsMagic's product line
includes its flagship genealogy software RootsMagic, Personal Historian,
Family Atlas, Family Reunion Organizer, and Daily Journal which is sold
under the Broderbund label. In addition, RootsMagic, Inc. also hosts, the world's most popular family reunion planning
website. Additional information on RootsMagic, Inc. can be found at

Bruce Buzbee

Naturalization, women & New York

Naturalization, women & New York

From: Kate
I saw your latest post today and I have been trying to find more info on my father-in-law's great Grandmother, Clara ERICKSEN. I haven't been able to find her on any passenger lists or at Castle Garden. On the census records we have found for her she either came over in 1882, or 1884, and she was naturalized in 1887, again according to the census records. I haven't been able to find anything on her, other than her death record, and her appearance on the census records. 1900-1930. We haven't seen her death certificate yet, even though I keep asking my in-laws to order it.

Anyway, my biggest question is, could she have come to the US as Clara ERICKSDOTTIR and changed her name to ERICKSEN? Ericksen is the name on her son's birth certificate. And if she married in 1887, would that make her naturalization go through any faster?

Obviously, she isn't on an 1880 census and the 1890 census records are gone. I haven't been able to find her on the 1890 directories or the New York Police Census for 1890. - Thanks for any suggestions.

Clara may indeed have chosen to change Ericksdottir to the more generic Ericksen. Alternately, a passenger arrival record may have merely included her with her brothers, and assumed her last name was the same as theirs.

With regards to naturalization, it is entirely possible that hers was processed with her husband's automatically. I'd check into a summary of the naturalization laws in Christina Schaefer's Guide to Naturalization Records in the United States. If your local public library doesn't have a copy,
consider purchasing the book through the publisher Format: Hardcover; Size: 6 x 9; Pages: 439 pp; Published: 1997; Reprinted: 2004; ISBN: 0806315326. From the publisher we read:

"State by state, county by county, city by city, the Guide to Naturalization Records identifies all repositories of naturalization records, systematically indicating the types of records held, their dates of coverage, and the location of original and microfilm records. The Guide also pinpoints the whereabouts of federal court records in all National Archives facilities. But perhaps the most unique feature of the Guide to Naturalization Records is that it identifies every single piece of information on naturalizations that is available on microfilm through the National Archives or the Family History Library System, including the call numbers used by each institution. Records that are available on microfilm through other facilities have also been included."

Ol' Myrt here reviewed pages 355-429 from the 2006 edition of The SOURCE: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. This chapter on Immigration Records was written by Loretto Dennis Szucs, FUGA; Kory L. Meyerink, MLS, AG, FUGA; and Marian Smith, Historian with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, formerly the INS. Pages 400-401 describe women's rights with regards to naturalization. Simplistically, from 10 Feb 1855 until 22 Sept 1922, women
and children "automatically became derivative US citizens when the husband or father naturalized or upon the woman's marriage to the citizen husband."

Note The Source can be ordered through the publisher,

OTHER RESOURCES for New York genealogical studies include:
-- Family History Library's New York Research Outline

It is in this online publication that I discovered there are indeed STATE CENSUS RECORDS for New York: "State censuses have survived for some counties for 1825, 1835, 1845, and 1855 and for most counties for 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915, and 1925. Most censuses are in the possession of county clerks and are on microfilm at the Family History Library. There are few indexes, but some 1855 schedules are being indexed. The state archives has a name index to the 1925 census schedules for Albany County. Indexes for the 1892 census have been transferred to the Albany County Hall of Records, 250 South Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12207." Ol' Myrt checked the Family History Library Catalog online at and found that these are available on microfilm through your local LDS Family History Center.

-- Guzik, Estelle M. Genealogical resources in New York. Your ancestor didn't have to be Jewish for you to benefit from Guzik's book of ideas for research

-- Mailing Lists (for the surname)

-- Message boards (for surname and locality)

-- USGenWeb (particularly New York)

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004


Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail.

Monday, October 30, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: Newspapers added in October 2006

NOTE: This is just in from Thomas Jay Kemp, from: . All inquiries should be addressed to him at:

State Title Dates Collection

AK Peninsula Clarion 8/18/2006 to Current America's Obituaries
CA Evening News 7/1/1914 to 12/30/1916 Historical Newspapers
CA San Jose Mercury News 5/1/1902 to 12/31/1916 Historical Newspapers
DC Catholic Standard 5/9/2002 to Current America's Obituaries
GA Athen's Banner 8/10/2006 to Current America's Obituaries
GA Columbus Daily Enquirer 12/20/1892 to 5/20/1893 Historical Newspapers
GA Georgia Weekly Telegraph 1/30/1880 to 7/8/1881 Historical Newspapers
GA Macon Weekly Telegraph 1/2/1883 to 12/31/1900 Historical Newspapers
IL News-Star 11/16/2005 to Current America's Obituaries
IN Fort Wayne News Sentinel 1/1/1918 to 11/25/1920 Historical Newspapers
KS Southwest Daily Times 8/18/2000 to Current America's Obituaries
KY Lexington Herald-Leader 5/1/1906 to 12/31/1907 Historical Newspapers
KY Morning Herald 11/1/1905 to 12/31/1905 Historical Newspapers
MA Dorchester Star 7/28/2006 to Current America's Obituaries
MD Bay Times 8/2/2006 to Current America's Obituaries
MD Record Observer 8/4/2006 to Current America's Obituaries
MD Times Record 8/9/2006 to Current America's Obituaries
MI Lake Superior News 7/4/1878 to 1/27/1881 Historical Newspapers
MI Lake Superior Review and Weekly Tribune 1/6/1876 to 2/10/1889 Historical Newspapers
NC Charlotte Observer 10/1/1913 to 12/31/1922 Historical Newspapers
NC Charlotte Observer 3/13/1892 to 12/31/1900 Historical Newspapers
NE York News Times 3/8/2000 to Current America's Obituaries
NM Carlsbad Current Argus 1/28/2005 to Current America's Obituaries
NY Observer Dispatch 12/21/2002 to Current America's Obituaries
PA Philadelphia Inquirer 10/31/1902 to 9/30/1908 Historical Newspapers
PA Philadelphia Inquirer 7/1/1892 to 8/31/1899 Historical Newspapers
SC State 1/23/1905 to 12/31/1922 Historical Newspapers
SC State 12/1/1899 to 5/15/1900 Historical Newspapers
SD Aberdeen Daily News 2/13/1885 to 5/12/1894 Historical Newspapers
SD Grand Forks Herald 11/13/1906 to 6/29/1910 Historical Newspapers
TN Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune 1/1/1895 to 4/30/1895 Historical Newspapers

READERS' FEEDBACK: 30 October 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: 30 October 2006

-- External hard drives for backup
-- Converting VHS tapes to DVD
-- .pdf conversions
-- DNA & finding the parents
-- African American website
-- Paper copies

From: Tom
I also like that idea of using external hard drives with USB connections.
Since the price has come down I have purchased two external hard drives with
250 gigabytes of capacity and taking some good advice will dedicate one of
them to be only used to back up my files and not used for any other reason.
This should lengthen the life of the hard drives as daily use can subject
them to failure. For some programs I'm using flash drives with USB

In issue 19 you mentioned saving your Dad's VHS tapes to DVDs to preserve
them. Good idea but don't throw away those tapes as you can make another
DVD copy if the first copy goes bad for some reason. The DVDs are not as
permanent as we might think. We have mentioned all the reasons that they go
bad and what we have to do before so will not go into that again. And for
those who use anything but a VHS tape to DVD machine - when you get done
copying the tapes be sure and *FINALIZE* the DVD as it will be useless on
another DVD player if that is not done. We learn the hard way sometimes.
Seems like it is harder to do than taping was.

From: Sharon Gorohoff
Just a note regarding the question you answered from Bernard Frink regarding
converting PDF files. I purchased a program by ScanSoft called "PDF
Converter" over a year ago (version 3.. They now have version 4) which will
take a saved PDF file and convert it to Microsoft Office documents, (which
are then editable!) This program can view, edit & create custom PDF
documents, if needed, and is compatible with (but does not require) Adobe
Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader. The new version (4) is sold at CompUSA
(among other stores which carry software) for about $50.00. Check it out to
see if it might be useful, I don't use all of the features, but I have used
it to print and edit my "book" created with FamilyTreeMaker, and find that
it worked well for me.

From: Max Blankfeld []
I read today about "DNA and finding the parents" in your web site.

Family Tree DNA is the largest company in the world for genetic genealogy
purposes. Because of that, we also have by far the largest databases that
allow people that have tested to find matches. We have over 115,000 records
in our databases, which is 3 times as much as the other labs combined. For
example, in your column the person is saying "I have hit a brick wall
searching for my husband's grandfather, William James TAYLOR". Our database
has 241 Taylor that have tested with us and we also have a surname project
for the Taylor family, which tries to do exactly what this person is looking
for: go beyond the brick wall.

I would love if you could post this information in your page. By the way, we
are the DNA testing company that is affiliated with, and we
also do the tests for the public participation of the National Geographic's
Genographic Project.
Here's our latest press-release:

Max Blankfeld
"History Unearthed Daily"

NOTE FROM MYRT: I've continued to write back and forth with Max. Ol' Myrt is
recording an interview with FamilyTreeDNA founder Bennett Greenspan later
this week for release in next week's DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR
podcast. Should be interesting.

Re: LDS Church launches African American Resource Site
Your email on African American Resources came at the right time. However,
the first <web> address you listed tells me that the page is not there. The
one at the bottom of the page is fine and I have copied it. However, the
family I am working on starts much before the Civil War, 1816/1817. Do you
have any suggestions?

NOTE FROM MYRT: Some of the most well-regarded experts in African American
Research spoke at the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society's
recent conference. As the web page explains, the
audio/video copies of their presentations will be available at their new
African American Resources page:

There is nothing like old-fashioned paper records keep in notebooks. Put
them in [archivally safe] plastic sleeves. Of course, the side effect is we
get buried in paper. <smile>

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Coordinating genealogy research tasks

Coordinating genealogy research tasks

Ol' Myrt has had on her genealogy "thinking cap" lately. I know it's a
shock, but I've come up with a good alternative to email. While this program
was originally designed to coordinate efforts in the workplace, such a tool
would help genealogists who need help:

-- coordinating research tasks
-- setting deadline goals
-- providing opportunity for feedback
-- receiving and distributing automatic reminders of upcoming deadlines
-- allowing visual report of % of task finished
-- planning a research trip to Salt Lake City with seven other participants
-- preparing for that upcoming wedding

Set your browser to and check it out.

From the site: " is a free, online, web-based team project
management application that you use with your web browser.
The methodology, implementation and interface are kept simple to insure that
the focus is on managing projects rather than learning a new system."

PC Magazine highly recommends this website: "Among the more than one-hundred
Web-based project management applications available, most have far more
features (read: are far more complex) than what's requested. iTeamwork
(free) is one of the more bare-bones project management programs and should
work well for this reader's application.

Getting started with iTeamwork couldn't be easier. You go to and sign up as a project member. A minimal amount of
personal information is required (name, e-mail address), and it's protected
by a clear privacy policy.

The first step after signing on is to create a project. This requires little
more than a name for the project and a target completion date. There are no
limits on the number of projects, tasks, or project members. Once a project
is entered, members can add tasks, which may include notes for description.
During the course of the project, tasks can be marked for percentage of
completion and modified or deleted as needed."

This would be just the site to help:
-- coordinate genealogical research among distant cousins
-- prepare for your society's annual genealogy seminar
-- keep track of the progress of your by-laws rewrite committee
-- facilitate an Eagle Scout project to clean up the local cemetery
-- process the tasks for completing your society's new website

--'s Overview - where you will find topics including:
Add Project
Add Task
Adding Notes
Percentage Complete
Complete a Task
Reassign a Task
Changing Dates
Converting a Task to a Project
Manage Team Members
Delete a Project
Delete a Task
View Task Summary
View Open Tasks
View Assigned Tasks
Daily E-mails

Members of your team sign-in to the website from any computer with internet
access. Each participant has a unique user name and password, and is allowed
access to the tasks you specify as the moderator. If there is a change in
leadership, reviewing all past communications and assignments is a SNAP,
since the data is stored online, and ISN'T BURIED IN SOMEONE'S OLD EMAIL
BOX, on a computer with a dead hard drive.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Swedish websites and when will the DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR return?

Swedish websites and when will the DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR return?

From: Anna-Karin Schander
First I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your podcast and columns. For me a Swede it was especially enjoyable to hear the last Family History hour June 20 were you spoke about Genline and their Swedish church records online. They are however not the only site offering church records online SVAR (Swedish Archival information in Ramsele) is a branch and a company founded by a branch of the Swedish National Archive (Riksarkivet) they have microfilmed Swedish church records and other archival material on microfische and in later year as scanned images on the internet. They have some material that Genline do not have (and also the other way around) so they both overlap each other I subscribe to both. They also have the searchable version of the Swedish census 1890 and 1900. Their website are at

If you click the little English flag to the left on the screen you will get to a English language version of the site.

I also wonder when the next Family History Hour will be available as podcast. I enjoy the columns but it is still not the same as the Family History Hours with its interviews. I also hope you will tell something about searching for people who immigrated to the USA from Europe from the perspective of us European listeners who has relatives who immigrated to USA and want to search after them.

In my hometown Växjö in the province of småland we have a Museum and Archive about Swedish Immigration to USA, the Swedish Immigrant Institute

Bye from
Anna-Karin Schander

How's your English? My Swedish is terrible.

As a result of your email, I have written to to ask if there is a representative who is available for an interview in an upcoming DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR podcast. I hope to schedule guests within the month.

Your website is cool. I particularly like the picture of your maternal grandmother Jenny Elise Strinnholms.

It may interest you to know that Bruce Buzbee, the developer of RootsMagic was at two of the genealogy conferences I attended in October. In fact, at both conferences, I demonstrated how to use the RootsMagic SHARE CD WIZARD to create a read-only version of my RootsMagic database, complete with all pictures and scanned images of documents attached to each ancestor. He will be delighted to hear that you've found his program useful. In fact, let me send a copy of this email to him.

On the topic of tracing relatives who emigrated from Sweden to the US, we need to keep talking. Usually we here in the US talk about ANCESTORS, but many breakthroughs come from COUSINS. We do have some Swedish research experts, who mostly explain to Americans about the Swedish records. I'll try to arrange an interview with one to talk about the migration patterns among Swedes who entered the US. I am only personally familiar with the very early group that settled on the Delaware River, in the 1600s, long before the US was established. It is a challenge with the US being so large, to know about every migration pattern. I think with your input, I should study this subject for the next while. THANKS, kiddo, for the assignment!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

New DearMYRTLE podcast released today

New DearMYRTLE podcast released today

Sure hope you are having a great week. I've just completed and uploaded a
new podcast.

Go to: and click LISTEN ~ or ~ go directly to the new
podcast area at:

NOTE: There are several EASY ways to listen:

1. Go to and click the GREEN ARROW to play a

~ or ~

2. Go to and click "download" to place the
file to play on your computer, iPod or .mp3 player.


Remember this is NOT a webpage, it is the RSS code to insert into your
podcast software. (Yes, it is working through iTUNES, I just downloaded it

Looks like Ol' Myrt is back in the game.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Saturday, October 28, 2006

DearMYRTLE's Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Podcasts

I've missed your podcasts for some time now. I hope your family is doing OK since I know you have had some problems. I do read your blog using SharpReader. Are you planning any podcasts in the near future? I'll be sure and listen to them when they become available.

OK, I've devoted much time to moving the location of Ol' Myrt's podcast files. In working with the DearMYRTLE FAMILY HISTORY HOUR podcasts created during the last year, I simply can't believe the variety interviews with genealogy experts on a broad range of topics.

I am proud to release a new section of Ol' Myrt's website:


1. Go to and click the GREEN ARROW to play a

~ or ~

2. Go to and click "download" to place the
file to play on your computer, iPod or .mp3 player.


In the mean time, many visually impaired researchers have begged me to place my columns in podcast format. You'll notice some of my columns have already been done in this format. Be sure to let me know if you have suggestions for topics to be discussed during my podcasts.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Parent Search in IGI

Parent Search in IGI

The IGI is the International Genealogical Index available for decades at the Family History Library, and its local Family History Centers on microfiche, then on CD-ROM, and most recently online at There was a nifty function on the older CD version called the parent search. This is an important function since the IGI is not pedigree/family based but EVENT BASED. In a christening record entry in the IGI, it will list the child's name and the parent's names, but would not include anything about other children with the same parents. See how this becomes a problem for one researcher, who made a posting this morning on the PAF-5 genealogy mailing list at Yahoo:

> With the present 'Windows version' (after year 2000) of Family
>Search...there is no 'Parent Search' function. The only thing I can do is
>order the Parish Register microfilms from Salt Lake, and search out the
>children the hard way. Then after finding the children's names, go to
>the IGI and get the Temple ordinance data. Seems awful lame?

>Is there a reason 'Parent Search' function was not included in present
>version of Family Search?

This researcher had to be referring to the FamilySearch CD collection. Note
the reply from another researcher:

From: Dana Repouille
The search at does indeed have a parent search function. Click the Search tab at the top of the screen, enter the names of the father and mother, and click the Search button down below. This will return all the children of these parents in all available resources.

I would like to qualify Dana's term "all the children of these parents."

Such a name search will return all instances where a child is listed as having parents whose names match the search criteria. There could be multiple sets of parents correctly named "John Weiser and Mary." My recent search returned 156 possible children, born from roughly 1751 through 1880 in Pennsylvania, Illinois, England, Germany and Austria.

Even after narrowing the search by date and locality, we might continue to note overlapping families in the IGI parent search at Most of us have lamented over the occurrence of two families in the same locality, where the parents appear to have the same name.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Where have the PA Archives gone?

Where have the PA Archives gone?

One of DearMYRTLE's "Little Books" is titled "Accessing the Published
Pennsylvania Archives Online," referring to the online scanned images at These have been MOVED.

The new location (also available always for free) is

If you go there today, you'll see that the complete set isn't yet available.
Right now you can search, browse and print pages from Series 1, 8, 9 & the
Colonial Records of the Pennsylvania Archives, including:
-- Early Settlements (1664-1780)
-- Revolutionary War (1775-1789)
-- Whiskey Rebellion (1806-1810)
-- More Pennsylvania history (1664-1880)

For updates on this collection and other historical collections please visit's blog:

The published Pennsylvania Archives books are essential for documenting 17th
century ancestors and to work through your documentation on a DAR or SAR
application. (DAR= National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
SAR= Sons of the American Revolution.) These books began to be published in
1820 by Pennsylvania's Secretary of State who felt compelled to reference
the original loose papers of his government dating back to the provincial
time period and including early statehood. Since many of the original
documents have not survived, the published Pennsylvania Archives books are
considered acceptable proof for various lineage applications. (Yes, I know
this is secondary info.)

As more improved-quality images of the pages from the Pennsylvania Archives
become available online, Ol' Myrt will let you know. Eventually I'll write a
new version of the "Little Book."

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why PAF isn't being updated

Why PAF isn't being updated

There has been much discussion on the PAF-5 genealogy mailing list at Yahoo
among users wishing that PAF (Personal Ancestral File) would be updated to
include options available in other genealogy database programs.

This was my response:

Subject: RE: [PAF5-Yahoo!] PAF Upgrades Wanted

LDS Church Historian, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, also in charge of Family History, gave the keynote address at the October 6-7 2006 Northern Utah Family History Conference and Symposium sponsored by In the old days, PAF was the thing. He explained that when the LDS Church looked at all the genealogy things that could be done, it was decided to concentrate on the items they could do uniquely well (i.e.. digitizing microfilm & developing the new FamilySearch.) He said that there were a number of commercial genealogy entities that were doing a fine job, and that it was the Church's challenge to learn to become good neighbors with these other entities.

He spoke of the new FamilySearch [website] as needing to be easy enough for "a little old lady wearing tennis shoes in Blackfoot Idaho" to use.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

LDS Church launches African American Resource Site

ACROSS MY DESK: LDS Church launches African American Resource Site

From LDS News: October 27, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
launched a new Web page that will make doing African American genealogy
research easier. The announcement came during the Afro-American Historical
and Genealogical Society's 28th annual conference, which is being held in
Salt Lake City. The African American Resources page on will
provide links to valuable African American genealogical sources.

The new Web page will also have digital downloads of keynote speakers and
certain classes from this year's AAHGS conference.

In 2001, the Church released the Freedman's Bank Records - documents that
contained information regarding several generations of African Americans
immediately following the U.S. Civil War - on CD. The CD contains indexes
which make the documents searchable.

READERS' FEEDBACK: 27 October 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: 27 October 2006

-- Disk life
-- Japanners
-- Disk compatibility
-- British parish site
-- Making copies of documents
-- Re: Family traditions

I read a thing in your latest column about disk life. I think we had better
prepare to rerecord those disks every 5 years as Dick Eastman recommends.
Whatever the medium used it will be obsolete in a few years. How many 8"
computer drives are out there? For that matter how many 5" drives are still
there. The last two computer I have bought have no 5" drives. Then there is
software to worry about. I have a bunch of disks that I recorded with
software that no longer is out there. Most software is backwards compatible
but not this new software so those disks are no longer of any value. I
suppose I could find someone who could rescue these disks but I'm sure I
could not afford to do so. We must face up to the fact that the technology
is changing so fast we may have to run pretty fast to keep up with it.

PS. I'm 90 years old so I have seen a lot of technology changes in my

From: Robert Loomes MBHI
Japanners were painters & varnishers, not just of furniture, but also
metalware to make it look like enamel. Also (hence my own interest) clock
dial painters (at least twixt about 1770 and 1830) Best wishes & see our
company website if you're interested in more.

From: floyd martin

In reference to an earlier reply from a reader about MAM-A DVD gold
archival discs being not usable in most computers, I was looking just the
other day on their site and they have just now released info that the DVD+Rs
are available as well as the previously mentioned DVD-Rs which were not
compatible. I haven't tried them. Thought you may wish to check it out. I
just burned a lot of the CD gold archival and would have used DVDs but -R
was all that was available when I ordered.

NOTE FROM MYRT: How about an external hard drive, with USB connection?


Re: Locating all by a surname in a certain parish

Thank you for [article about] the Hugh Wallis site. I have been cleaning up
my family file with the REAL DEAL extracted dates. I love your helpful

From: Margaret LaGue-Hobler
Re: making copies rather than transcribing on the spot
My research is done at the Allen County Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana,
considered the 2nd best genealogical library (after the Mormons). They have
excellent records for the French-Canadians, I make hard copies of
everything. Usually a day's research takes 6-weeks to record, and I couldn't
accomplish much if I recorded at the library. The good part is I have a hard
copy to refer to: I have made errors in recording, and can recheck if
necessary. I am researching ALL my ancestors, because the information is
available. Sometimes later I find other information on the same page. I
wouldn't want to give up my hard copies!


From: Barbara A. H.
The entire article was beautiful and I enjoyed reading it as I do all your
postings to the DearMYRTLE RootsWeb listserv. And you are so right when you
said: "Ol' Myrt is thankful she could take this journey to support her young
grandson in 2006 not 1906, 1806 or 1706. Now, I cannot begin to imagine what
life will be for our great-great-grandchildren, but I do know someone
[probably one of yours] will someday write: "I am thankful I could take this
journey to support my young grandson in 2106 not 2006, when it took them two
days to travel from Salt Lake City to Phoenix in a vehicle that had rubber
tires, heated leather seats and burned fossil fuel, not to mention that
their only means of communication was a cell phone and that they had to
carry a plastic card to pay for the provisions. "

I agree with you, life was hard for our ancestors, but I VENTURE TO SAY they
did not feel it as much as we feel it for them. Difficulties, adversities
and discomfort are all in the eyes (or the tushes) of the beholder and
forgotten when appreciating the reward at the end of the journey.

My hope is that in 100 years my descendants appreciate the "hardships" I
lived through in order for them to have a good and rewarding life.

Regards from the Roots Hunter,
For a genealogist, hunting season is all year long.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

DNA and finding the parents

DNA and finding the parents

From: SondraT375
I have hit a brick wall searching for my husband's grandfather, William
James TAYLOR. We are contemplating a DNA search but want to get the most
"bang for our buck." Can you suggest a strategy to find a reliable DNA
project to follow and do you know if once you have a DNA result, can you
search other databases for a match? Thanks.

The simplistic answer is that DNA tests can provide likelihood of
parent/child relationships, but CANNOT PROVIDE THE NAME of the parent. You
would need DNA from both the grandfather and the great-grandfather to prove

So, you'll have to do the research the old-fashioned way. Find grandfather's
obit, then death record for reference to his age and birth place (perhaps
also clues to parent names.) Then work the angle of the birth record. Find
him on US federal census records at:
-- (usually free through your local LDS Family
History Center)
-- HeritageQuest Online (through local libraries)


-- United States Research Outline (also for individual states, Canadian
provinces, and major countries and regions of the world. There are also
specialty research outlines on such topics as Jewish, African American, and
early LDS ancestry; in addition to Hamburg Passenger Lists, Norwegian
genealogy words, Hiring a professional genealogist, Ireland's Householders'
index, etc.)

-- SMGF Updates online DNA database
-- DNA Swab & DNA Analysis

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Thursday, October 26, 2006



-- IGI, PAFInsight & Legacy
-- Rare genetic deletion
-- Misfiling at the Library of Congress
-- Noisy library
-- Adopted children in obituaries
-- Preserving digital files
-- Ships passing in the night

IGI, PAFInsight & Legacy
From: Kristine Farley
I just wanted to share what I have recently found out. I'm sure other FH
experts are way ahead of me. I love Legacy Family Tree, but found out about
PAFInsight, so I transferred my files over to PAF only to use insights IGI
function. Yesterday I found out through some gracious FH buffs that Legacy
has the same function. So now I'm going to use Legacy without transferring
files back & forth. Hurray!!!

From: DC Small
I have a very rare genetic deletion syndrome called 5p- or Cri du Chat
[French meaning 'Cry of the cat]. The deletion causes the infant's voice to
sound like a kitty's cry, hence the name 'cry of the cat. For 53 years, I
didn't know what caused my voice to be weak sounding. But almost 2 yrs ago,
a friend asked me for research sources for this subject. I got tested early
last year/2005, and received a report called 'Cytogenetics Report'. My son
was tested this summer, and got his 'Cytogenetics Report'. [He had the voice
as a child; he grew out of it; he's now 28.] My question is how do I include
these reports as sources into PAF, and Family Tree? 'Cytogenetics Report' is
the title. Who would be the author: the medical group who did the actual
work, or the doctor who ordered the test?

NOTE FROM MYRT: Although a lab might do the workup, it is the physician who
evaluates the test, and in conjunction with your other medical indications,
it is he not the lab that gives the final diagnosis. Some tests might be
"borderline" but the physician might go forward with the diagnosis based on
tests and various other factors.

1880 US Federal Census Image Availability

From: Andy E. Wold (UtahGenWeb State Coordinator)
Actually, the 1880 US Census images are still viewable via
-- to signed in registered members of the LDS Church. The key is to first
sign in to, then do the search of the 1880 US Census.

The LDS Church made an announcement regarding this in 2003:
The 1880 U.S. Census Index is now linked with digital images of the original
census documents; made possible through an agreement between,
Inc. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The 1880 U.S.
Census index and images can be accessed at both and

Agreement Benefits to Users:
The 1880 U.S. Census index can be searched for free at both
The digital images of the original census documents are available at and can now also be accessed from
Patrons of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and any of
the 4000+ family history centers worldwide can view the images at no charge.
Church members who sign on or register as members through
can also view the images at no charge. Other users through
can view the images for $9.95, which will give them access for 30 days.
(updated: July 31, 2003)
----- has removed the ability to save these images, and has limited
the viewing options. Initially, the census page will come up in 50% zoom.
If you try changing the zoom to another percentage, the website will state
that an subscription is needed to perform that function -- but
you can work around it. Simply close the pop-up window that the census
image appeared in, and re-select the link to the census image from the search results screen. This will then re-open the image
with the last zoom percentage value that you had selected previously.

At that point you cannot save or print the image. I work around this by
using Mozilla as my browser with the "Screen Grab!" extension, which will
make a single screen shot out of a multi-screen page (as long as the image
fits within the width of the window.)

Re: Library Manners & Filed Wrong

From: Name withheld
Yes, misfiling can be a big problem but it is not always the patron who
misfiles things. I went to the Library of Congress to look up a Newspaper
article on my New Orleans relative and I left a request at the desk to have
a reprint made of the article. About 3 weeks later I got a letter from the
Library of Congress stating that they could not find any article about my
relative. The rules there are "only the employees can refile anything" so
any misfiling was done by the employees of the Library of Congress. Since I
had read it there was no doubt that an article did exist. It had been
misfiled so they could not find it. A year later they still had not found
it so the search was discontinued. I finally got a copy of the article from
a person in New Orleans who found the article and copied it for me. Please
don't publish my name, [even though] I'm 90 and will [probably] never again
get to the Library of Congress!

Re: Library Manners & Filed Wrong

From: John C
In reference to the noisy people in the library, we solved it by allowing me
to have a noisy Thursday group. All of the patrons are able to talk to
anyone during my shift. When a person finds a long lost person we all get
excited. My shift is the most filled on a yearly basis and people who want
quiet have the five alternate shifts but many come back to the noisy shift
after awhile. As a Family History Consultant I have started many people on
the Genealogy trail and they generally become noisy shift patrons. If the
patrons are bothered they should speak with the Director and make their
opinions known. I also fill in for other workers and my patrons always come
in on those shifts when others have had few patrons. Peace.

Re: Step-children in obituary
READERS' FEEDBACK: Step-children in obituary

From: Jan Turner
What about adopted children? I have an unusual situation in which my husband
allowed his first son to be adopted by his sister and her husband before we
were ever married. At the time, he was in the Navy and had divorced his
Japanese wife, but insisted on obtaining custody of the child whom he took
to his sister to care for and ultimately felt it was best to allow them to
adopt him.

Thus far, I have listed him in my genealogy program as a son of the first
wife, but also as an adopted son for my sister-in-law and her husband using
his original name Turner, and as a hyphenated name Turner-Sullivan for his
adoptive parents' name. This is really a bit awkward and would love some
other possibilities.

NOTE FROM MYRT: In the obit, just list them as "children." I recently helped
me father write his obituary. We listed all his children in their birth
order (regardless of their mother's name) and then listed his step-sons.
Those who know won't need any more of a label than "children" and those who
don't know the difference will be fine as well. Genealogical purists would
balk at the thought. However, we don't want to separate the living folks
with unnecessary labels. As long as your compiled genealogy reflects the
true relationships you are ok. OBITS ARE NOT PRIMARY source documents
proving family relationships.

From: Floyd martin
Just got through listening to a archived [podcast] .mp3 file of yours
mentioning on conserving our records. I have just started a process. I
didn't know until my wife read an article from AARP magazine about the short
life of CDs.

I have done some research on the subject and found it to be true about short
life times of CDs and DVD. There are special Disks available--Gold Archival
CDs and DVD-Rs. They are more expensive but at considered to be archival for
a longer life. There are at least two brands available MAM-A and Delkin. The
DVD-R disks will not burn on the standard burners for most computers now.
The new computers will only burn DVD+Rs for the most part.

You may wish to do a little research on this yourself and mention it. I
have been doing genealogy for about 4 years and about 8 years on computers
and I did not know of this problem. They claimed a few years ago that a CD
should last 40 or 50 years but apparently this is not true from what I have
been able to find out.

Another option that I have exploring and have already ordered is an external
hard drive that can be used like another D, E or F drive for your computer
to be used to backup of files.

I plan on backing up everything on my external hard drive and make some
archive disks. I think this information might shock a few folks besides
myself. I shudder to think about losing my restored pictures and data.

Below are a couple of sites you may wish to check out.

-- What's the most archival CD blank media for storing image files?
-- Digital image storage

NOTE FROM MYRT: I am currently reproducing Dad's old VHS tapes on DVDs. He
had previously transferred all his 8mm home movies to those tapes. I think
it is each generation's responsibility to transfer the info to the latest
technology to preserve these precious images for the next generation.


From: Linda S.
Hello. I have been meaning to send a short note about Salt Lake City. Do you
remember the day [last winter] that the Family History Library closed early
due to snow? I left the library that day early and went back to the Plaza
Hotel and logged on to my computer, only to find a message from DearMYRTLE
telling us the library is closing early and you were there. DARN!!!!!!!!!!!
I was right there in the library at the same time as you were and didn't
know it. It sure would have been fun to meet you in person.

Just ran across your delightful email. It is a joy to meet you, my loyal
readers from time to time. Though once, I went to the ladies' restroom after
presenting at the Nashville NGS Conference in the States, perhaps in 1998.
Just as I sat on the 'throne' someone called through the walls of the stall
"Are you the real DearMYRTLE? I need help with my Rhode Island ancestors."

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Wrong Name

Wrong name

From: Marcia
When going thru the LDS [databases] online I have found my great-grandmother listed as a spouse with the wrong maiden name. She was Florence Traer and she is listed as Florence Fraer. I e-mailed the gentleman who had listed the information but I notice that it hasn't changed. I know the correct name but for people in later years who are doing research this is going to send them off on a wild goose chase. How can this be corrected? I inquired of LDS and
they had no solution.

When deciphering cryptic handwriting, it is easy to see how the letter "F" and the letter "T" could easily be misinterpreted. Unfortunately, mistakes in the FIRST LETTER of a name really mess up where names appear in indexes. It is much less upsetting to see a "son" instead of a "sen" at the end of a name such as Peterson/Petersen.

While it is aggravating to have "wrong names" out there, researchers must accustom themselves to the phenomenon. I have an ancestor, Christopher GIST, who purchased property along the Pautuxent River in Maryland in 1679. On one land record, his name is spelled 2 ways and he signed it a 3rd way. Standardized spelling in the US didn't come into play until the
establishment of the Social Security Administration in the 1930s.

YOUR BEST DEFENSE is to submit your own database to LDS with living individuals blanked out, so that it will appear correctly in the future. Remember that the LDS site is going through a major revision, which should be going into BETA-2 testing sometime this century. It has been forestalled a number of months now. This may be why LDS offered no immediate solution.

Fortunately, and allow you to attach virtual "sticky notes" on a database entry with your comments about the correct spelling.

It would also be advisable to join the Traer surname mailing list at RootsWeb, and write a paragraph or two describing the situation. Be sure to reference the exact bibliographic citation of the documents you've obtained that clarify the spelling. If the mailing list does not automatically cross-post to the Traer message board, then make your own posting there as well.

-- Name Variations in United States Indexes and Records

There is also a .pdf version of this research guide.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Starting your own computer users group

From: Michelle
Does anyone out there know how a group of us could create a PAF User group in our area? I have checked to see if one is here already and the closest one to us is in Denver which is a two hour - three hour drive for most of us. We are wondering if there are any guides or specifics needed to do this? Or any programs we have to follow etc.

Thanks for being motivated to begin a genealogy computer users group in your area. Here are a few suggestions from Ol' Myrt to get you started:

-- Find a meeting place that is free, to keep your costs down.
-- Charge a minimum of $10 annually to pay for expenses, but keep the meeting "open" to non-members.
-- Consider meeting at the local public library, which will most likely have a computer projector, microphone and internet access.

-- A 2 or 2.5 hour meeting each month (except the summer?) should suffice.
-- Consider that Saturdays will allow working people to attend.
-- Remember that evening meetings will be impossible for older folks who have trouble driving in the dark.

-- Even though you are calling your group a "PAF" users group, keep an open mind about the use of other programs.
-- Divide the time as follows: 30% genealogy software, 30% basic genealogy research topics, 30% internet research topics.
-- Use the other 10% for audience participation (show & tell, usually arranged in advance.)
-- Some programs, such as PAF and Legacy Family Tree have their own tutorials.
-- See what other genealogy users groups are doing, and emulate their best work. See:
---- Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group
---- Utah Valley PAF Users Group
-- Show 15 minutes of a genealogy video each month, such as Kip Sperry's "Reading Early American Handwriting" from
-- Schedule 1/2 of each meeting's topic for the next year, and then fill in the rest of the time based on:
---- new topics that come up in the mean time
---- the evolving needs of your members

-- Obtain free webspace through
-- Post meeting dates, times, topics on your website.
-- Provide links to regional genealogy events (classes, seminars, society meetings).
-- Send permanent 8.5" x 11" flyers to each Family History Center and public library in your region.
-- Send info to the local newspaper's "what's happening about town" section.

-- Remember that with most societies, genealogical or otherwise, 10% of the members do 90% of the work. That is just the way it is, kiddo.
-- Have a hospitality chairperson to manage light (very light) refreshments.
-- Ask RootsWeb for a mailing list to keep members and interested parties informed of upcoming events.

BE GRATEFUL and happy for the input from members and attendees. I think back on my days with the Manasota PAF Users Group with great fondness because the MEMBERS were so wonderful about sharing their knowledge with others at our meetings. We saw things like displays of Civil War period clothing, descriptions and discussions about Bob Jones' grandchildren trip to plant trees in the family cemetery and such. I remember that Dorinne and Bud were the first to get digital cameras and showed us how to digitize old documents. Elsie called a member if they didn't show up at a meeting, providing a great sense of continuity and belonging. Of course, for the fun of it, I always picked on Chuck Fitzgerald, until he moved, and Jim Connoly took his place. You know, have fun with it! OK... I'm going to start to cry just remembering old friend and great times!

Be open to suggestions, and learn about each member's personal interests and talents. Each of us have different strengths when it comes to computers, software, research, obtaining unusual original documents, preparing our work for publication, etc. Give each member a chance to SHINE.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Regional genealogy seminars

Regional genealogy seminars

Susan Easton Black and Kip Sperry will speak, Friday and Saturday, 3-4 November 2006 at the Homestead Resort, Midway, Utah. Topics will include writing biographies and personal histories, organizing your family history collections, making the most of your resources, establishing family history databases, using the computer to locate family history resources, using the computer to locate original records, what's new on the Internet for family history, and successful online research. Seminar begins 1:00 pm Friday and continues all day Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is an optional lunch buffet Saturday. Door prizes will be awarded Saturday afternoon. See

REXBURG, Idaho - The Brigham Young University-Idaho Department of Religious Education and the local family history center will cosponsor Family History Week from Thursday, November 9, through Saturday, November 11. Family History Week will consist of a number of workshops allowing students the opportunity to become familiar with resources on campus. See

Saturday, November 11th, 2006, Ol' Myrt will be among many presenters and exhibitors at this annual event. My topics will be:
-- Getting from an Index to the original document
-- GenSmarts Research Software


out the state genealogical society's "EVENTS" page in your area for more

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Connecting with others

This past weekend Ol' Myrt received a genealogical shot in the arm by attending and presenting at the Cheyenne Family History Jamboree sponsored by Isn't that always the way? We join local genealogical societies and take family history classes whenever possible, to get that genealogical "fix".

70mph wind gusts and daytime temperatures of 27 degrees provided sharp contrast to the hot topics discussed among hundreds of happy Jamboree attendees. At the beginning of my class sessions, I asked for opinions about the conference -- and all but 2 were very positive:

-- One participant said "THANKS A LOT, I thought I was almost finished with my research, but I didn't know I had to find original (primary) records. Now I've got tons of work to do."

-- One gentleman wished we could REPEAT THE FIRST DAY CLASSES on a different schedule the second day. Fortunately, the syllabus on CD has the handouts from all classes. That makes for easy searching, viewing and printing of topics that interest you now, and others later. If you'd like to order one see:

The RUNAWAY HIT of the vendor's area was GenSmarts, the artificial intelligence software available for free to Family History Centers. I recommend buying your own copy to use regularly at home. My keynote address included screen shots demonstrating how GenSmarts creates research suggestions based on the data we type into our genealogy management programs (names, dates, localities, etc.) Then Beau Sharborough, from and past president of GenTech, mentioned GenSmarts in his 1st hour presentation. I think by lunch time GenSmarts partner Bruce Buzbee (from sold his entire inventory.

On the subject of CONNECTING WITH OTHERS, one topic I discussed in the RootsWeb/USGenWeb class was ROOTSWEB MAILING LISTS. After explaining the easy method for subscribing to these free genealogy email lists, I asked for audience input. Many had received replies to their mailing list postings:

-- One connected with someone who had inherited the family bible of a great-grandmother.

-- One received a reply 6 years (!) after her initial posting, while another received her answer 3 hours after pressing the send button on her email form.

Newbies decided that genealogy mailings lists such as those at are definitely worth the effort.

-- MyAncestorsFound (genealogy conferences and SLC research trips)

-- GenSmarts (artificial intelligence for genealogists)

Ol' Myrt needs all the extra intelligence she can get, artificial or otherwise!

A big thanks for the wonderful enthusiasm of the Jamboree participants. The atmosphere was simply electric -- positively! A special thanks to Sharon Collier for the sweet note and two tatted snowflake ornaments. (((((Hugs to all.)))))

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Got English Ancestors and need probate records?

Got English Ancestors and need probate records?

Since Ol' Myrt doesn't need to set up her booth until 5pm today, I decided
to surf the web for more genealogy resources. You'll want to check out:

Pre-1858 English Probate Jurisdictions in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Kent, and
-- maps
-- guides
-- search

Point your web browser to this URL at

(Be sure to copy/paste the entire web address if the URL isn't clickable in
your version of this column.)

You'll probably need to look search by locality name for the probate court
and probate jurisdictions and then click to see the maps with locations of
the various Courts. Ol' Myrt used the example of an ancestor who lived in
HATFIELD, ESSEX, ENGLAND. Here is some of the info provided by this site.


Hatfield Broadoak;
Hatfield Regis;
King's Hatfield


Ancient Parish

Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (Essex and Hertfordshire

Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury

Court of Arches

High Court of Delegates

My previous research with English probate records had been confined to the
PCC (Prerogative Court, Canterbury). With this new-to-me information, I've
got additional record groups to search for evidence of my elusive ancestor.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Mailing Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Click to find out more about

While Ol' Myrt was shuttle & plane hopping between Seattle, Denver & Cheyenne, a WONDERFUL THING HAPPENED.

========================================== was officially launched
At 9am Eastern US today
========================================== enables researchers to go "beyond the names and dates on your family tree to the recorded details of their daily lives. Find the facts in four centuries of fragile, rare newspapers, books and documents."

Last week I got to test out the site, and was simply amazed!

-- The servers provided quick responses to my queries.

-- Within the first 2 minutes, I found 2 references from old newspapers about my ancestors.

NOTE: The current offerings include:
-- HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS 1690-1977 (where ol' Myrt found 2 hits!)
500,000 issues of over 1,300 historical U.S. newspapers

including: genealogies, biographies, funeral sermons, local histories, cards, charts and more - all published in the U.S. prior to 1900.

"Military records, casualty lists, Revolutionary and Civil War pension requests, widow's claims, orphan petitions, land grants and much more including all of the American State Papers (1789-1838) and all genealogical content carefully selected from the U.S. Serial Set (1817-1930). More than 81,000 reports, lists and documents

-- AMERICA'S OBITUARIES 1977-present
"Over 22 million obituaries make this the most complete collection from the 20th and 21st centuries - includes more than 800 U.S. newspapers."


-- SCANNED & SEARCHABLE ITEMS ADDED RECENTLY: (They're adding 10,000 new items daily.)
Dallas (TX) Morning News, 1885-1977
Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer 1860-1918
San Jose (CA) Mercury 1884-1914
Richmond (VA) Enquirer 1804-1838

From the website: " is a new offering from a premier information company, NewsBank inc. For over 60 years NewsBank's information products have been familiar to researchers in public libraries, colleges and universities, schools, and military and government libraries. Now we are proud to offer GenealogyBank, a collection of our best genealogical material and much of our exclusive content, to you at home."

If GenealogyBank Director Thomas Kemp does for GenealogyBank what he did for the Godfrey, this is going to be a "must-visit-regularly" site.

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

Monday, October 16, 2006

Calculating birth or death dates

We use a site at work that I feel would be very useful for genealogy. (At work we use it to calculate the number of days a civil service person was on leave to adjust their adjusted anniversary date.) In regards to genealogy, you may have documents that show the persons age at their death, and include the months and days since their last birthday, but no where can you find the BIRTH date. Or visa-versa, you may have a birth date with months and days since their birthday, but no date of DEATH.

Since all months do not have the same number of days this handy little site calculates the dates for you, giving you either the date of death or birth depending on how you use it. The site has many different calendars and calendar-calculators which you may find useful in your other-life away from genealogy. Ha ha!

I enjoy your newsletter so much and have gotten so many good tips from it; I thought this would be a good tip/site to share.

Go to the DATE CALCULATOR which can calculate the birth date.

1. In the "Enter date to add or subtract from" fields, enter the death date.

2. In the "Add or subtract..." fields, choose "Subtract" and enter the age at death in the Years, Months, Days fields.

3. Click "Calculate new date!"

4. The Birth date will be listed after "Resulting date:" on the following page.

I also love the "WHICH DAY OF WEEK A DATE IS/WAS" option. Thanks for the heads up.

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

Saturday, October 14, 2006

What I learned about Chinese Genealogies

You will perhaps recall that last weekend I participated in the genealogy seminar in Ogden, Utah sponsored by Holly had arranged for Ol' Myrt here to provide the use of my computer and projector for two sessions lead by Sheau -yueh J. Chao, author of IN SEARCH OF YOUR ASIAN ROOTS: genealogical research on Chinese surnames.
This was a most enlightening experience for me!

Chinese genealogies are kept at the family level, and are not regulated or controlled by the government.

-- an overview of the derivation of the surname (her's was adopted 71 generations ago when the current emperor's uncle went by her original surname 'He')
-- explanation of the geographic origin of the name
-- highlights of famous ancestors in the family
-- behavioral guidelines including respect for the country, family, living a peaceful life, no smoking, etc.

-- It is rare for an individual to have a copy, as there is usually only 1 copy kept by the eldest male in the extended family.
-- It is patriarchal, usually including women's names only in the current generation or two.
-- Males, even younger brothers, are listed before sisters in the current generation.
-- Often education and occupations are listed for the ancestor.
-- Sheau's 71 generations go back 2,100 years to the original ancestor.
-- Her genealogy has been revised only 5 times by a "compiler" meaning it was rewritten from beginning to end to accommodate all changes and additions.
-- After each "compilation" the previous "original" genealogy is destroyed.

-- One had a document from her deceased grandfather that the researcher couldn't decipher. Sheau explained it was a membership certificate for a Chinese fraternal organization. Sheau was able to translate most of the Chinese characters and referred the researcher to a specific source for more information. Apparently it was notable to belong to such a Chinese organization when coming to the US in the early 20th century.
--The second participant was looking for a translator to travel to China with her mother who wished to visit the village of origin, and prevail upon the eldest to allow a copy of the genealogy to be made for her.

This was my first exposure to Chinese genealogical research. VERY COOL!
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004