Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Blanche Myrtle Player RIP

Blanche Myrtle (Jackoson) Bennett Player

Let this be a lesson to us all... write our obits now. Even as a genealogist who is supposed to remember these things, I confused Blanche's maiden name with that of her mother, and am sending out this corrected email.

I've been her caregiver and I guess I am a little tired and confused.

On Christmas Day 25 Dec 2006 at 1:49 pm my step-mother Blanche Myrtle (Jackson) Bennett Player lost her battle with Lewy Body Dementia. She lead a wonderful life as the beloved wife of Glen S. Player, MD and the mother of Daniel Bennett and James Bennett. She welcomed Glen's children into her gracious heart: Mary Clements, David Player, Patti Richley, Mike Player and Sharon Wagner.

I have yet to write her obituary...

We are overwhelmed by Blanche's sweet spirit, despite the difficulties she endured toward the end. She is a wonderful example to me of a dear, very feminine woman. She blessed our lives with her kindness and possessed a natural intelligence and the ability to be a friend to all.

I was just on the phone dialing Barbara and Johnny to wish them a happy Christmas when my brother called me to Blanche's bedside for the last 2 hours of her valiant struggle.

Love to all,

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Quick note about restored power

Ol' Myrt here just noticed the electricity is finally back after 7 days with the generator powering the furnace, refrigerator and a few lights. This was all the aftermath of that violent windstorm that hit the Pacific Northwest. It has been marvelous to see the outpouring of cooperation and support among neighbors. At times like this, when we're thrown back to the "good ol' days", we catch a glimpse of what our more recent ancestors experienced with limited technological resources.

During this time, I also:
-- flew to Las Vegas for my eldest daughter Tammy's wedding (her 1st!)

-- placed step-mom with hospice care in the home
-- continued work on the family history DVD, which will now be a New Year's present for siblings and cousins.
-- worked on the syllabus for's St. George Utah Family History Jamboree which is coming up Feb. 9-10, 2007.

However eventually all my battery packs wore out.

I'll take a day or so to regroup and then send out some important notices that have come across my desk.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy

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

Friday, December 08, 2006

How to Copy/Paste text

As promised here is a link to a short column describing several ways to copy/paste text from one place (such as an Ancestry message board) to another place (such as notes in your ancestor's file of your genealogy program.

From last fall's article we read "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!"

For detailed directions see:

COPY & PASTE: Getting the info in notes

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy

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

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Change in message boards

The change in the message boards has proved problematic for readers of DearMYRTLE's message board -- simply because the URLs for other websites are no longer clickable.

Rather than worrying about the problem of copying/pasting URLS, I suggest that concerned readers switch over to my blog:

However, since many of us rely on message boards for surnames and locality research coordination, I'll write an article tomorrow describing several methods for copying/pasting URLs into your web browser.

One of my genealogy class participants, Rich, mentioned that some websites have "turned off" our ability to copy/paste. Thankfully has not done this.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy

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

Our good friend Geoff Rasmussen wrote to explain how he solved the following research dilemma:

"If you have an old obituary that has been cut out of the newspaper, and the date and title of the newspaper no longer accompany it, you may have felt a sense of frustration. The line that reads '...he died last Thursday...' is exciting because you have an idea of when he died, but without the context of having the complete page of the newspaper, 'last Thursday' could be somewhat meaningless. Today's technology solves these dateless obituary problems."

To find out how Geoff solved such a problem in his personal family history research, read the full article in the LEGACY NEWS:

THANKS for sharing, Geoff. I am sure this approach will work for many of us!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

DearMYRTLE, , your friend in genealogy

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

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

GenClass website offerings

I heard from a good friend, Barbara Benge about her new classes in Native American Research. For years she has taught at, which has oddly enough decided to drop the popular classes.

GenClass - Online Genealogy Classes

Each class has its own web site.

After signing up and paying with a credit card, you will receive a password to access your class web site.

When the class starts you will find the first two lessons to download in the 'Digital Library' of your class web site.

The teacher will cover two lessons a week. You can work at your own pace, treating your class as an independent study course. Each week an additional two lessons will be made available for downloading.

There is NO SET TIME you need to be online, except for the chats. It is not even necessary to participate in the class chats as you can post questions to the teacher at any time regarding the lessons in the Bulletin Board section. The teacher will then respond as soon as possible.

If you would like to participate in the class chats, they are optional.

-- Adoption Investigative Class: Detailed search advice and assistance for successfully locating and reuniting adoptees and birth families.

-- Family Tree Maker 16 - The Basics:

-- Jump Start your Genealogy!: Just where do you start if you are interested in your family tree? - detailed instructions.

-- Lost Friends and Family Investigative Class: Detailed search advice and assistance on the methods to use for successfully tracing "lost" relatives and friends.

-- Native American Genealogy: Learn how to start your research for your Native American Ancestors.

-- Northeastern United States Genealogy: Research in the NE states is fundamental to the trees of many Americans.

-- Eastern European Genealogy Research: Part 1 (Basic): Getting started with ancestors from Eastern Europe, - history, geography, languages.

-- Jewish Genealogy - Basic Introduction (Part 1): A step-by-step overview of what you need to know to track your family.

-- Organizing Your Family History: Learn the techniques to ensure efficient organization of your research.

-- Write Your Family History Step-by-Step: How to write your own family history, - a detailed and step-by-step guide.

NOTE FROM MYRT: Please note that instructors have worked for years through the Ancestry/ website, and so in addition to experience with their genealogy topics, they are adept at online class instruction. BRAVO! What a wonderful opportunity for you to learn from some of the most experienced instructors in the world of genealogy!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy.

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

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What about paper vs. online newsletters

On a certain surname mailing list at, there is a gentleman who wishes to begin publishing a new "such and such" family history newsletter in paper format charging folks $30-40 per year for 10 issues.

Ol' Myrt's suggestion is that the newsletter will reach more people if it is not limited to paper copies mailed to subscribers. Placing such a newsletter on the internet widens the audience who may even stumble across it through a Google search, 24/7 even years after the publication date. Paper copies succumb to the ravages of time. I suggested that if the file is created in Word or MS Publisher, etc., it can be converted to .pdf format, so the pages will print out the same for everyone, regardless of printer. Also there will be no attendant snail mail fees.

When the creator of the proposed newsletter replied to my suggestion, it was to say that:

-- He is worried folks would just forward the digital version of the newsletter to others without paying the subscription fee.

-- He is worried about people who do not have computers.

-- He didn't intend to live off the proceeds of his newsletter.

-- He wanted the newsletter to include copies of source documents.

WAY TO GO!! Providing copies of source documents proving family relationships is very valuable to his readers. But I am not concerned about people paying for something and sharing it willy-nilly with non-paying friends. Most are honest enough.

AFTER SLEEPING ON THE SUBJECT, Ol' Myrt realizes that the gentleman in question perhaps:

-- confuses a web site with the typical genealogy mailing lists where graphics are not allowed.

-- uncomfortable with the process of inserting a scanned copy of a source document and placing the "picture" in Word or MSPublisher (or any such word processing or newsletter creating program.)

Perhaps this wonderful researcher is great at research, but is more familiar with the old-fashioned "paste up" process of taping a copy of an ancestor's document on a page before printing the newsletter at the local photocopy shop.

So what do you think, DearREADERS?

1. Would you personally prefer a hard copy or a digital version of a newsletter to save or print out on your own computer?

2. Do you think that more people will benefit from the newsletter in hard copy or via the internet?


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy

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

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Background info on the real Santa

Background info on the real Santa

NOTE: A BIG THANKS to Thomas Jay Kemp, from who shares

Yes, Virginia, there really was a Santa Claus . (1944-2003).

Everyone loves Santa Claus. Robert Rion (1944-2003) did and he resembled Santa too. He loved playing the part so much that according to his obituary he "went to court to change his name to match that of his look-alike folklore hero". (Deerfield Review (IL) - September 4, 2003). Rion, as Santa, "dispensed good advice to children. He talked about his reindeer and handed out candy canes and coloring books."

Detailed obituaries appeared in his local paper, the Deerfield Review (IL) and in other newspapers around the country. Even the government recognized his passing in the Social Security Death Index with the simple entry:

Social Security Death Index
Santa Claus

Date of Birth:
Saturday January 15, 1944

Date of Death:
Tuesday August 26, 2003

Est. Age at death:
59 years, 7 months, 11 days

Last known residence:

Social Security details:
State Issued:


SSDI and obituary information courtesy of

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy.

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

RE: WHY Myrt finally bought an iPod

RE: WHY Myrt finally bought an iPod

From: Terry Grumbles
Re: WHY Myrt finally bought an iPod, how did this turn out?

I love my iPod. Since I got the 80GB video model, I have been able to put a lot of my "grandma's brag book" pictures on it in addition to CDs of music I've collected over the years, and of course, some of my favorite genealogy podcasts. I did download the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN to watch when I fly to Vegas for my oldest daughter's wedding the 16th of December. Actually I'll fly down on the 15th, the wedding is the 16th, but I digress...

Ol' Myrt has done a lot of research and has made the following additional purchases:

-- iHome (model iH5B) - a clock radio docking/recharging station with AM/FM tuner & alarm. Yesterday I woke up to the Family History Minute podcast instead of a buzzing alarm clock. The time is set automatically, once you tell iHome which time zone you live in. There is a battery backup. The only thing I don't like about it is that there are only 3 settings for the digital readout for the time (high beam, low beam and off). The low beam is still too bright for overnight in my opinion. The speakers are adequate for playback of anything on my iPod so I can walk around the room, work on my computer, etc. Alternately I can hook the iHome into my home stereo system, to take advantage of the speakers. This would only apply to those classical
music CDs I loaded. For the talk-radio format of the typical genealogy podcasts, the speakers on the iHome are more than adequate. I purchased mine from Radio Shack on sale for $99. The website lists it at $199, so I thought this was great.

-- iCarPlay Wireless Plus - (Model A IP FM-CH PS by Monster) to play wirelessly through an unused FM position on my car radio while also charging the iPod. This purchase took a lot of experimenting and thought. From everything I've read on the web, the major complaint with this sort of connection to your car stereo system is that there will be static. The cassette tape versions were even worse. On my system, if you turn the volume WAY up, you will find static. However, of the three models I purchased and installed, this one had the least. I purchased mine at Radio Shack for $69, though the website lists it now for $79.99.

-- Tough Skin (model S50-BLACK-TS by Speck products) a black rubberized plastic case and clear plastic overlay for the video screen on my iPod to use when I am out and about for an extended period of time (like the trip to Vegas). This takes a little effort to place this on the iPod, and has to be removed to place the iPod in the iHome, but works fine with the iCarPlay
Wireless Plus.

-- Socks for iPod - something to quickly put over the iPod, when on a short trip away from home, when I don't feel like going to the effort of putting the Tough Skin in place.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy.

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

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

KSL Radio family history show available as podcast.

DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy
ACROSS MY DESK: KSL Radio family history show podcast

NOTE: The following was posted to a FHC (Family History Center) genealogy
mailing list at A big thanks to JAMES for giving us the heads up!

From: James W Anderson
Subject: [FHCNET] KSL Radio family history show available as podcast.

KSL 1160 Salt Lake City/102.7 Midvale/Salt Lake have now introduced a podcast of the family history show 'Relatively Speaking'.

Its a family history show that originally ran on KUTR 820 but was moved when KUTR flipped from talk to LDS music.

The move was good, more callers, better guests, etc., although until now the timing was just such that some were unable to listen to the show.

They have now started a podcast, so now you can download the show automatically or get it later, so you can hear it even if you had the late schedule at Church or callings or other duties were involved.

Here's the link to the podcast page at KSL, the list of podcasts is on the right, and its at the bottom of that sidebar column.

ACROSS MY DESK: KSL Radio family history show podcast

NOTE: The following was posted to a FHC (Family History Center) genealogy mailing list at A big thanks to JAMES for giving us the heads up!

From: James W Anderson

Subject: [FHCNET] KSL Radio family history show available as podcast.

KSL 1160 Salt Lake City/102.7 Midvale/Salt Lake have now introduced a podcast of the family history show 'Relatively Speaking'.

Its a family history show that originally ran on KUTR 820 but was moved when KUTR flipped from talk to LDS music.

The move was good, more callers, better guests, etc., although until now the timing was just such that some were unable to listen to the show.

They have now started a podcast, so now you can download the show automatically or get it later, so you can hear it even if you had the late schedule at Church or callings or other duties were involved.

Here's the link to the podcast page at KSL, the list of podcasts is on the right, and its at the bottom of that sidebar column.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Personal Histories: Looking like the enemy

Personal Histories: Looking like the enemy
One great thing about visiting small distant communities is that the local bookstores invariably feature publications by local authors. Vashon Island is no exception. In addition to my favorite childhood "egg books" by Betty MacDonald, there are offerings on a more serious vain.

Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment CampsLOOKING LIKE THE ENEMY by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald relates the experiences of Japanese-American family #19788's imprisonment at internment camps during World War II. Mary and her brother Yonechi were born in the US to Japanese immigrant parents who came to the US with the hope of a better life. Before the internment, Mary describes the support and strength of her family unit:

"Although my parents never used the word "love" in Japanese or in English, they clearly communicated it. Their love was the softness around their eyes and the spontaneous smiles that broke on their faces whenever they spoke to us. Papa-san wasn't as verbal as Mama-san, yet he had his own ways of letting us know how much he cherished us. Whenever he had to travel to Seattle for business, be brought each of us our favorite foods; wonderful fruits for me such as persimmons, pomegranates, watermelon and peaches; for Yonechi he brought cakes, pies, cookies and candy. For Mama-san he found special Japanese goodies. My father was like a Japanese Santa, joyfully bringing home enormous overstuffed bags, carrying them long distances on the bus.[...]
In our family we usually did things together, in large part because we lived on a farm that demanded our group effort. Except during the severest winter days, there was almost always something to do outdoors. During the months when it rained daily, we donned our boots and raingear, and trudged outdoors anyway."

Sounds like YOUR ancestor's story doesn't it? How similar we are, and yet how delightful the differences in our cultures.

Although the Matsuda family blended well with the community through school and church attendance, and Mr. Matsuda's raspberry farm business, there were times when they also followed traditions from the old country.

"A few days before January 1 each tear, eight to ten Japanese families on Vashon would come to our home to make mochi, which is steamed rice pounded into cakes. Papa-san had made an osu out of a large tree stump which stood nearly thirty inches high and twenty inches in diameter. He made a smooth bowl in the center of the stump, about sixteen inches wide and fourteen inches deep. For years we used this osu for our annual mochi-making event. Every year Mama-san scrubbed the bowl with a brush and plenty of soap and hot water before the guests arrived."

Yet, Mary's idyllic childhood on her family's Vashon Island raspberry farm abruptly ends as thousands of innocent Japanese Americans were rounded up and sent in filthy, half broken-down rail cars to live in barbed-wire camps following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She writes "As a carefree teenager about to be thrown in the chaos and devastation of Word War II, I had no idea how these Japanese values would sustain me and my family and give us strength to endure."

Mary recalls her experiences in Tule Lake, Pinedale, Heart Mountain and Minidoka camps. The deprivations, panic, and confusion of this mostly innocent group of Japanese parallels prolonged imprisonment of other groups in other parts of the world throughout time. 

It seems the dominate power worries about the loyalties of different ethnic groups in a community. In Pennsylvania in the 1700s my ancestors had to sign "oaths of allegiance" to disprove loyalty to a foreign power. You may have Jewish or African ancestors who suffered starvation, torture and genocide. It seems a never-ending story of pain and there is hardly a corner of the earth that hasn't witnessed such tragedies.

Author Mary provides a bibliography with additional sources, including eye-witness accounts for further study. A brief glossary explains basic terms such as:

  • Issei - Japanese who immigrated to and settled in the US.
  • Nesei - American-born second generation children of the Issei.
When researching our progenitors, it may not be that any left personal histories. We then look to those eyewitness accounts by others who lived at the same time and in the same place to understand the joys and challenges of life in the community. Check newspapers on microfilmed or the internet for overviews, realizing the editorial board set policy for newspaper reporters subject matter. Old county histories can at least provide a time-line of major events. Then look for those personal histories. There are circumstances your ancestor experienced in his community that otherwise might be lost to the homogenized, politically-correct history books.

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

Friday, November 24, 2006

28 Nov 2006 DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour released

28 Nov 2006 DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour released

When you get a chance, check out the latest edition of DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR genealogy podcast, now available for you review 24/7. Ol' Myrt's guests and topics this week include:

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak of visits with Myrt to discuss her new project -- a collection of genealogy videos. This is a simply amazing use of technology, to teach people how to do research, to present pre-recorded interviews with family members. All is available free on the web through this new site. Topics include:
-- Blogs & Vlogs
-- Sharon Debartolo Carmack's interview with Hank Z. Jones (Click Roots
Books, and scroll to find the 1st of 5 interview "chunks.")

Bennett Greenspan of who explains DNA for genealogy in a way Ol' Myrt finally GETS. This is a marvelous method for narrowing your research path, and coordinating research with heretofore unknown cousins. See also:
-- NATIVE AMERICAN TESTS Determine Native American ancestry on either direct male or female lines of descent.
-- AFRICAN ANCESTRY TESTS Get clues about your ancestors' origins on either direct male or female lines of descent.
-- ANCESTRY & OXFORD KITS Convert results from any other companies and include your data in the world's largest Y-DNA database.

The MightyMouse Tour visits:
-- USGenWeb's Digital Map Library including the Nebraska Map Collection
-- Pdf995 that makes it easy and affordable to create professional-quality documents in the popular PDF file format. Its easy-to-use interface helps you to create PDF files by simply selecting the "print" command from any application, creating documents which can be viewed on any computer with a PDF viewer.


-- Download the free iTunes software, then subscribe to the RSS feed for DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour. You can then listen via your computer even if you are not connected to the internet, or transfer the show to your .mp3 player such as an iPod.

~ or ~


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

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

NGS Databases open for Thanksgiving

ACROSS MY DESK: NGS Databases open for Thanksgiving

NOTE: The following is just in from the National Genealogical Society. All inquiries should be addressed to the Society at

NOTE: The servers are already swamped and it took me three tries to get the main page to load before it "timed out" so try your research at an odd time in the middle of the night.


Arlington, VA. 21 November, 2006

The National Genealogical Society opens the "Members-Only Data Section" of its Web site for the Thanksgiving Holiday!

In recognition of the number of families that will be together over the Thanksgiving Holiday, the National Genealogical Society will open its "Members-Only Section" from November 23 through November 26, 2006 free of charge.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to ask questions about your grandparents, great grandparents, and great, great grandparents. Where did they live? How long had they lived in the community? Who were their brothers and sisters? What did they do for a living? Did your ancestors immigrate to the United States in the 19th or 20th Century? What was their country of origin? Did your ancestors serve in World War I, World War II, the Civil War, the War of 1812 or the Revolutionary War? There are records about your family waiting to be discovered!

The National Genealogical Society has many resources to assist you in your family history research. . Our Members Ancestry Charts contain more than a million names, with more than 800,000 names already online. Additional names are being added monthly.

. Our Bible Collection includes more than 3,000 Bibles with more than 50,000 names online.

. Our bookstore includes popular genealogical publications, Genealogy 101, Online Roots, The Organized Family Historian, and Unlocking Your Genetic History. A great Christmas gift for the genealogist in your family.

. Members receive a quarterly NewsMagazine with articles about record sources and methodology to improve your research.

. Members receive the NGS Quarterly four times a year, a scholarly publication which includes compiled genealogies, case studies, essays on new methodologies, critical reviews of current books and previously unpublished source materials.

. An Annual Conference in the States and Family History Fair held this year on May 16-19, 2007 in Richmond, Virginia, will feature "400 Years of Virginia History" along with 150 exhibitors and over 140 lectures, workshops, luncheons and networking events.

For those ready to take the next step, check out our Learning Center where you can sign up for "Introduction to Genealogy" - an online course available at a discounted price for members. If you are an experienced family researcher, our "Home Study Course" may help take your research to the next level.

To access the NGS Members Only Section, click on and enter the username:
member and password: ngspromo in the respective textboxes when prompted for credentials. Upon successful login, please feel free to browse our website including the Members Only Section.

If you are already a NGS member, we hope that this brief open access will enable a family member to make contact with you via the National Genealogical Society and perhaps solve a missing link in your genealogical research.

Come, take a look at our website at over the Thanksgiving Weekend and consider membership in NGS.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What's a Google Alert?

What's a Google Alert?

Someone wrote to inquire, "What's a Google Alert?"

If you go to and search for 'google alert' without the quote marks you'll get to the area where you can tell Google to send you an email for specific reasons throughout the day.

FIRST SPECIFY THE SEARCH TERM. In my case I have several (ancestors, ancestry, family history, genealogy).

THE EXPLAIN WHERE YOU WANT GOOGLE TO SEARCH. I choose 'comprehensive', although you could request that Google look only in specific internet collections (news, blogs, webs, groups).

THE TELL GOOGLE HOW OFTEN TO SEND THE ALERT (once a day, as it happens, once a week.)


Once you have search terms on your Google Alert list, you can edit the parameters or delete the alert entirely.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy

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

Saturday, November 18, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: Brown University cataloguing rare maps

ACROSS MY DESK: Brown University cataloguing rare maps

My Google Alert for the word 'genealogy' (without quote marks) notified me of an interesting Brown University map project:

Brown University cataloguing its repository of rare maps
By Eric Tucker, Associated Press Writer November 18, 2006

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- As prospectors poured west in the 1840s to find riches during the California gold rush, they turned to a valuable map that depicted the gold fields in yellow and the best routes to get there in blue.

In another continent more than 75 years later, a tourism map replete with swastikas was used in Nazi Germany to promote the country as an alluring destination.

Both maps belong to a Brown University collection of more than 1,000 rare maps that librarians are in the process of cataloging online in an effort to move into the digital age.


To read the full article see:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy.

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

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sources -- Individual (in PAF or otherwise)

On Ancestry's PAF (Personal Ancestral File) message board, located at:

Ol' Myrt found the following posting from NRS:"I need to clean up and standardize the way I am entering sources and cannot decide when to use Individual Sources. Every source for the individual? Only those sources that are not linked to an event? Sources that include more information than the event they are linked to? (I used to use Individual Sources almost exclusively but have been criticized for not having sources linked to events.) Is there a standard practice?"

OL' MYRT'S RESPONSE:There are several schools of thought here.

-- KEEP SOURCE CITATIONS IN NOTES This concept is appreciated by long-time users of PAF, where earlier versions didn't have the source citation options. The advantage is that one can quickly scan through the list of transcribed documents and bibliographic citations, easily arranging them in chronological order. This method makes it very easy to copy/paste what you have on an ancestor to post on a message board or send via email to another researcher who might be a cousin.

-- UPDATE SOURCE CITATIONS FROM NOW ON. With this plan, users of previous versions of PAF gradually add new sources using the event sources and individual source citation options, even electing to transfer old sources to the newer format.

-- Mills, Elizabeth Shown. EVIDENCE! Citation & Analysis for Family Historians. (1997, reprint 2006) ISBN: 0806315431

-- Mills, Elizabeth Shown. QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources. (2005) ISBN: 0806317612


-- Board for Certification of Genealogists. The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. (out of print).

-- Silicon Valley PAF Users Group. Family History Documentation Guidelines 2nd edition.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy.

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

WHY Myrt finally bought an iPod

WHY Myrt finally bought an iPod

Eight hours ago, the Apple Corporation, makers of the iPod, reported a major breakthrough:

Apple Teams Up With Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM & United to Deliver iPod Integration

CUPERTINO, California-November 14, 2006-AppleR today announced it is teaming up with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to deliver the first seamless integration between iPodR and in-flight entertainment systems. These six airlines will begin offering their passengers iPod seat connections which power and charge their iPods during flight and allow the video content on their iPods to be viewed on the seat back displays.

"There is no better traveling companion than an iPod, and now travelers can power their iPods during flight and even watch their iPod movies and TV shows on their seat back displays," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing. "We're excited to work with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to offer iPod users an even better in-flight experience."

In-flight iPod connectivity will be available to Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United passengers beginning in mid 2007.

Additionally, Apple is working with Panasonic Avionics Corporation to bring even more leading airlines in-flight iPod connectivity in the future.

The iPod ecosystem continues to flourish with more than 3,000 accessories made specifically for iPod that range from fashionable cases to speaker systems, and more than 70 percent of 2007-model US automobiles currently offer iPod connectivity.

iPod and iTunesR are leading the digital music revolution, providing the best way to listen to music on the go, at home, in the car and now on an airplane. With nearly 70 million iPods sold, the iPod is the world's most popular digital music and portable video player and the iTunes Store is the number one online music store with over 1.5 billion songs purchased and downloaded worldwide. The iTunes Store ( features over 3.5 million songs, 65,000 podcasts, 20,000 audiobooks, 5,000 music videos, 250 television shows and over 100 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh.

Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online store."

placed my order for an 80GB iPod (capable of playing audio and video content). I ordered through my favorite online retailer, with promises that I'll receive the unit in 3-5 business days.

You know I love producing podcasts, popularly known as DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR, which was the first of a wide variety of genealogy and history genealogy podcasts. I've been listening to everything on my personal computer, and can now see that podcasts have become a mainstream method for exchange of audio files. The reason I purchased the 80BG VIDEO iPod, is that I expect producers of genealogy video clips to make them available for download and personal viewing before too long. Wouldn't it be great if Roots Television charged .99 cents for a genealogy video track like iTunes does for a song track?

Since June, Ol' Myrt here has researched what to do now that her Sony CD player no longer works. Finally it dawned on me that I can merely transfer my classical music CDs to digital format, transferring them to my iPod when it gets here. Then I can plug my iPod into my car stereo system, or dock it on an iPod speaker system at home. I don't particularly plan to walk around with ear buds (iPod talk for those teensy-tiny earphones). It is nice to note that amid the shuffle of my favorite classical music, I can listen to the latest Dick Eastman or Genealogy Guys podcast.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

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

Moving GENSMARTS data from one computer to another, etc.

Moving GENSMARTS data from one computer to another, etc.

Ol' Myrt sent a copy of this morning's column "Demonstrating GENSMARTS" to
software producer Aaron Underwood. He replied just a few hours later
explaining that:

RE: GENSMARTS ON MACS: "It does work with Mac emulators, but requires some
special settings and configurations that not everyone, it seems, is capable
of getting correct. We have posted in our forum what successful users have
told us they did, but we have had some people who say they tried it and
couldn't get it to work. [...] Since we don't support it working on the Mac,
we have that blurb on the website.

It should work fine with Imac when running Windows, of course. The above
comment relates to VirtualPC."

writes "when there's more than one database sitting "under" the AVAILABLE
ONLINE button, the cursor changes to a "multi-page" icon when you move it
over the button, rather than the standard pointer. So that's a clue when to
hit the "down arrow" and when to hit the button itself."
Actually Ol' Myrt
missed this tiny change in the mouse pointer on the screen. Might be my
bi-focals, eh?

Its basically a matter of moving all the files from the GENSMARTS FOLDER on
one computer to the next.

However, it is necessary to "install" the GENSMARTS software on your new
computer so Windows will know what to do with the program itself. The new
installation will not destroy the GENSMARTS data files.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy

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

Demonstrating GenSmarts

Demonstrating GenSmarts

This past Saturday, Ol' Myrt had the distinct pleasure of giving a
presentation about GENSMARTS, the artificial intelligence software that
helps researchers look at their genealogy database and come up with
suggestions of books and online resources that might provide documentation
to prove an event or family relationship.

Ol' Myrt knew she could rely on her PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate
what happens when one does a GENSMARTS SmartSearch for an online census
record, etc. (One never knows if wireless internet connections will work in
real time during the class.)

BUT THE INTERNET CONNECTION DID WORK Saturday, so I had a blast showing the
class how fantastic GENSMARTS really is! On your command, GenSmarts opens a
new window, goes to the appropriate census search at Ancestry (or
HeritageQuest) and literally types in the ancestor's name, and clicks the search button, while you sit back, and watch the action!

Ol' Myrt demonstrated how to save the census graphic, switch to RootsMagic
(or other genealogy software) to immediately attach the graphic to each
person in the family mentioned in the census record. I also showed how to
copy/paste's database description and URL for proper
bibliographic citation. It is also wise to make a transcription of the
census record in an ancestor's notes in RootsMagic, and then copy/paste that
typed descriptive paragraph from the head of household's notes to each of
the other applicable family members' notes.

-- how to narrow the search to one root ancestor (Ol' Myrt gets over 40,000
GenSmarts suggestions with her database of 16,000+ names)
-- how to mark entries as FOUND, NOT FOUND, IGNORE (Ignore is what I do for
irrelevant suggestions, such as looking for a marriage record in one place
when I've already found it in another state.)
-- how to pull up PLAN TO SEARCH marked items
-- how to search just for MISSOURI +marriage, etc.
-- how to narrow the search to a specific research facility
-- how to print a list of entries to search on the shelves at the Dallas
public library (or any of the listed research facilities for that matter)

NOTE: The comment on the GENSMARTS website about GENSMARTS not working on a
Mac with Windows emulator might need to be changed. One class participant
has a brand new MAC, and reports that GenSmarts does work according to his
experience. I asked GENSMARTS creator Aaron Underwood to comment on this,
and will let my readers know ASAP. I want to be sure that all elements of
GENSMARTS work properly before recommending it to my MAC readers and

BTW I NEVER recommend hitting GENSMART'S "AVAILABLE ONLINE" button, as there
can be more than one database to search, and I don't want people to miss the
opportunity to search each. OL' MYRT INSISTS that people hit that down-arrow
button to the right of the "AVAILABLE ONLINE" button. Then check out the
list of applicable online resources, being careful to work through each
database. During class Saturday, I also explained the differences between
Browse, SmartLink and SmartSearch.

HOW DOES GENSMARTS WORK? In layman's terms, GENSMARTS looks at the names,
dates and localities you've typed into your genealogy management program and
compares each with databases online at a variety of places including
Ancestry, HeritageQuest,, etc. GENSMARTS also looks at online
catalogs of books held at libraries throughout the US. GENSMARTS is
particularly strong for the US, with some Canadian and British entries as
well. The RESULT OF THE COMPARISON is a "to-do list" that you work through
to find indexes and ultimately documents that prove family relationships.
Locating a christening record could list the parents of your ancestor. Of
course not all documents are scanned and available online, so GENSMARTS
points researchers to offline resources.

GENSMARTS EXPLAINS THE LOGIC behind each suggestion and includes the ability
to email the suggestion to someone (perhaps a distant cousin who will be
visiting Salt Lake's Family History Library next week.) I've sent a carbon
copy email to my own "Gmail" account, so that I could access the GENSMARTS
suggestions without bringing my laptop or printing them out. I merely signed
on to my Gmail account using the Family History Library's computers to
remind myself of a specific call number for an index book.

Saturday's GENSMARTS presentation was well-received, with over 100 people
attending the class, standing room only. At least ten people mentioned they
purchased the program a number of years ago, but never really knew how to
use it. The class sparked interest in using the program to effectively work
through research possibilities tailored to one's particular ancestors. Two
Family History Centers (including the Bellevue Washington FHC) are
interested in getting their free copy of GENSMARTS for their FHC computers.

I've asked Aaron to send me a new GENSMARTS CD since it includes several
free training videos - one is about 15 minutes long, the other is 60 minutes
long. This is just the sort of thing you might like to share as a program
for your local genealogy society. Ol' Myrt plans to provide a 90-minute
training session on GenSmarts 19 Dec 2006 as part of the continuing
education program I am teaching on Tuesdays at our local FHC. I'll use excerpts from the videos to provide a
different voice for my students' learning experience.

BTW, I moved my podcasts, including my interview with GENSMARTS' Aaron
Underwood, to

OL' MYRT DOES HAVE A QUESTION FOR GENSMARTS: Is there any way to transfer
the results of my GENSMARTS work from one computer to another? For instance,
I don't want to rework the list just because I am moving from my old desktop
to this new laptop. I can see this sort of utility would be useful as
genealogists, like the rest of the world, tend to replace our computers
every few years or so.


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Roots Television is a big hit

Roots Television is a big hit

Why should the internet for audio/video streaming be confined to the
pop-music culture?

Ol' Myrt has been watching ROOTS TELEVISION on her computer screen, and I'd
like to report that this archive of audio/videocasts from a variety of
producers looks mighty interesting. One of my class participants today
stated she loved internet audio-streaming in the form of genealogy podcasts,
but wondered about audio/video streaming of genealogy content over the
internet. I recommend that she (and my dear readers and listeners) check
things out at:

The 8-minute Overview will automatically begin to play shortly after your
arrival to the site. If you wish to view another program, you don't have to
wait until the current program concludes.

-- Featured
-- Military Roots
-- Military films
-- Shorts
-- Roots books
-- Ancestors, Season Two


Some of the audio/video streams are only 2-3 minutes long. Of special
interest see:

ROOTS BOOKS --> Hispanic Roots Part 1-4 hosted by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack,
featuring George Ryskamp, author of Hispanic Roots.

Sometimes as you click to view an audio/video stream, you'll have to sit
through a short commercial for AOL, Bounty paper towels or the like.

Admittedly, you'll need a high speed connection to the internet, which is
becoming the norm among computer savvy genealogists. Audio/video streaming
takes up more "bandwidth" than regular web pages.

The audio quality is excellent, and the video quality is state of the art
for current internet video streaming standards. You will notice a little
"jerkiness" in the video stream on even the most professional presentations.
Other, less formal, short subjects were obviously recorded with
lower-quality equipment and display with a more pronounced pixilated effect
even on my 1280x800 monitor.

The overall concept of sharing genealogical how-to family history info via
an internet audio/video stream is simply marvelous.

So move over YouTube (where you can upload and view personal videos)-- ROOTS

We're giving notice to Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken that
there IS another use of internet audio/video streaming.

Although there are indeed a TON of pop-music fans -- genealogists far
outnumber them! Ol' Myrt's hat goes off to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and
crew for pulling ROOTS TELEVISION together - cutting edge technology for
family historians in the information age!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy.

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

Sunday, November 12, 2006

GENERATIONS: A Bequest That Binds, and Divides

GENERATIONS: A Bequest That Binds, and Divides

From: Alison Pinsley
In the New York Times edition dated 11/12/06 Westchester Section, there is an article under GENERATIONS entitled "A Bequest That Binds, and Divides" which speaks of the family of a Holocaust survivor which argues about what to do with her letters. The author of the article, Ann Kirschner is the author of "Sala's Gift" (Free Press, 2006).

THANKS for the heads up, and GREAT hearing from you again. If my readers hurry TODAY to the New York Times website, they will find the full article online before it is locked in the "subscribers only" portion of the website. Here's an excerpt:

"This battle was not about money, or jewelry, or real estate. We were at odds over faded pieces of paper, a precious archive of letters and photographs that were mailed to my mother, Sala Kirschner, during her five years in Nazi slave labor camps. She had kept the secrets of these letters for nearly 50 years, breaking her silence only when she was about to undergo cardiac surgery in 1991. Until the day she gave me the letters, neither my father, a G.I. from New York who met the beautiful young survivor named Sala Garncarz soon after liberation, nor my two brothers knew any more than I did about her once large family, her experiences in the camps or the hundreds of letters that she preserved at great risk. "

The full article currently resides at:

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

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

Friday, November 10, 2006

Determine what records were kept

Determine what records were kept

In response to recent articles written by Arlene Eakle, Ol' Myrt wrote the following:

THANK-YOU, Arlene, for these last two thought-provoking articles. Beginning genealogists give up too quickly and do not consider alternative source documents. The same is true when one follows a migration pattern back in time to a different locality. If records aren't kept in the older area in the same format or similar jurisdictional archive, the fledgling assumes there are no records. Indeed, when encountering ancestors in ANY locality, one must do a thorough inventory to "Determine what records were kept.."

To view Arlene's original columns, see her genealogy blog:

-- The BIG Lesson - Loss of records is not loss of ancestry
-- Irish Record Holocaust: 30 June 1922

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

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

Thursday, November 09, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: Danish version of Legacy

NOTE: This is just in from Geoff Rasmussen of All inquiries should be addressed to him at:


Millennia Corporation Releases New Genealogy Software for Danish Researchers
Surprise, Arizona, November 9, 2006 – Millennia Corporation, a leader in family history software, today announced the release of the Danish language edition of Legacy Family Tree.
The software, used by beginners and professionals to record, plan, and share their family trees, is now the premier choice for Danish researchers.

"Until now, the choice for many [Danish] genealogists has been Brother’s Keeper or Family Tree Maker," wrote Lars J. Helbo in Alt om DATA (Everything about Data magazine). "The first has a rich set of functions and a perfect localization, but the user interface is not up to date. The latter has a modern user interface, but lacks a number of vital functions. If that was the dilemma, Legacy has the solution. Legacy simply combines Brother’s Keeper’s and Family Tree Maker’s strengths without their weaknesses."

Key Features
- user interface, reports, help files – all in Danish
- Danish census forms from 1769-1950
- Timelines of Danish history
- checklist of suggested sources for Danish research
- same excellent features as the regular edition including over 100 reports, To Do List, calendars, expert tips/advice, statistics, web site searches, and much more...

Pricing and Availability
Legacy Family Tree 6.0 - Danish Edition, is now available at for US $29.95.

Other Languages
Legacy is also currently available in the following languages: English (Australia), English (Canada), English (United Kingdom), and English (USA).

Translation is in progress for the following languages: Afrikaans, Deutsch (German), Eesti (Estonian), Español (Spanish), Français (French), Italiano (Italian), Nederlands (Dutch), Norsk - Bokmål (Norwegian), Norsk - Nynorsk (Norwegian), Português (Brasil), Suomi (Finnish), and Svenska (Swedish).

More information about the translations is available at

About Millennia Corporation
Founded in 1984, Millennia Corporation publishes the award-winning Legacy Family Tree genealogy software program, with headquarters in Surprise, Arizona. More information can be found at

Ancestry's open access to Immigration Collection

Ancestry's open access to Immigration Collection

A BIG THANKS to Dick Eastman for sending out the notice about's offer of free access to the new Immigration Collection through Nov 30th. From Ancestry we read:

"The IMMIGRATION COLLECTION has just tripled in size. This is the first time such a comprehensive collection of passenger lists has been made available online, with more than 100 million names from over 100 American ports. We're celebrating the announcement by giving you free access to the Ancestry Immigration through Nov 30th."

Check it out at:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

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

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

1837Online changes it's name

Ol' Myrt here has taken 2 days off from parent caregiving to visit a tiny cottage on Vashon Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle. I'm traveling sans laptop, but you'll never guess where I ended up on the first morning away -- at the local public library at a computer terminal. Hmmm...

Good thing I checked my email. I discovered an important bit of news: has changed it's name to "reflecting the expansion of [their] range of online records and services to both the UK and overseas markets. Originally named after the date when civil registration was introduced in England and Wales, the website has outgrown its former name. Since launching in 2003, the range of records offered has significantly expanded, with over 400 million records now dating as far back as 1664."

All vouchers (pre-paid viewing rights) at 1837online transfer automatically to the new site. In fact, if you type in it will automatically move your web browser to the new site.

Is my 1837online voucher still valid?
You will still be able to redeem any 1837online vouchers on the site. Simply visit, sign in and click on activate voucher on the left hand green menu bar.

Will anything change with my 1837online account?
As far as your account is concerned nothing will change. You will hold exactly the same account details including username and password but it will be with If you wish to contact us you will find our telephone number and new email addresses in contact us on the homepage.

Is my subscription still valid?
Your subscription still remains exactly the same and will not be changed.

LONGTIME readers of DearMYRTLE will recall it was through 1837online (now that I located several marriage and birth records for ancestors from England, ordered same online, and received them at my home in Bradenton Florida within about 2 weeks.

I LOVE the internet.

OK, now I am off to explore the west side of the island. The torrential rains have finally stopped, and the locals claim there is lots of something called "sunshine" to enjoy today.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Your friend in genealogy.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Genealogy classes at the Bellevue WA FHC

Genealogy classes at the Bellevue WA FHC


If you live in the Bellevue WA (greater Seattle area) be sure to come to the NW FAMILY HISTORY EXPO, Saturday the 11 Nov 2006 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 14536 Main St., Bellevue, WA 98007. In addition to the keynote address, there will be a choice of FIVE classes per hour. Ol' Myrt will be teaching two topics:

-- From an Index to the original document
-- GenSmarts Research Software
For details see:

ALSO, Ol' Myrt will be teaching a series of free classes!
Each class is a stand-alone topic, so it's not necessary to attend all classes to benefit. They are held 10am-11:30am on Tuesdays at the Bellevue Washington Family History Center located at 10675 NE 20th Street, Bellevue, WA. Since we'll be meeting in the building adjoining the FHC, researchers can continue to work during the class period. Call 425-454-2690 to pre-register to be assured of a handout. Walk-ins are welcome, but will need to download the handouts via the internet after class.

14 Nov 2006 Women are from Venus: Finding Female Ancestors
21 Nov 2006 Getting from index to the original document
28 Nov 2006 What to expect from US Federal Census Records
5 Dec 2006 Union Civil War Pension Files: a case study
12 Dec 2006 RootsMagic: Have your genealogy & share it too!
19 Dec 2006 GenSmarts: Artificial intelligence for family historians

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

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

Upcoming podcast with FamilyTreeDNA

Upcoming podcast with FamilyTreeDNA

I have subscribed to your columns for many years and it was very negligent of me not to inform you that you were on the wrong track in one of your more recent editions of your column on DNA testing! I apologize because I took it for granted that you knew what a valuable tool genetics could be for genealogy research, please forgive me!

I was a pioneer in establishing a DNA project, I selected SOUNDEX B400 surnames as a group to be included in my project and was very early in using Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) as a provider of Y-DNA testing for the BEAL/BEALE/BEALS/BEALL/ BELL surnames. My web site at: will provide you access
to a successful DNA PROJECT. Please visit the links derived from that web page.

-- Several articles of success in the use of DNA as a tool of genealogy research are at:

-- Beall News Release Regarding Descent From Colonel Ninian BEALL of Maryland to Charles Lyman Beall, III, 12 June 2006

-- Roberta Hull's New Article on Ninian Beall

-- New! The Beal 'One Name Study' has been added to the British based 'Guild of One Name Studies' website at by Ann Beal Logan. The study includes surname variants of Beall/Beals/Bale

[DNA is] really an important adjunct to family genealogy research.

I want to thank you for the many years I have enjoyed your columns and more recently your broadcasts!
Charles E. Beal
Project Coordinator/Manager for THE BEAL SURNAME DNA PROJECT
Family Genealogist, member of the National Genealogical Society, New England
Historic Genealogical Society, Old York Historical Society, Mayflower
Society, Beals Historical Society, Clan Bell International and the Beal
Family Association.

YES, Ol' Myrt here IS learning new tricks. My original interest in DNA was to support the Brigham Young University research on the topic, but it involved such anonymity that there was no real feedback for participants. I've spent time on your website and found many interesting genealogical breakthroughs came about because of the DNA work your family organization
has completed. With your kind permission, I am quoting your work:

By Charles E. Beal
I had noticed a number of questions that were being asked about our
ancestors and no one could provide satisfactory answers.

-- There were individuals with the surname Beal, Beale, Beals, Beall and
Bell that had never traced their ancestors beyond a few generations. They
had no idea which lines were theirs.

-- Others had traced their ancestors for many generations, but still were
looking for the place of origin and the first ancestor that had started
their line.

As examples:
-- BEAL: My first ancestor William Beale, b. 1664, York, ME. He had
Zaccheus, Richard, Obadiah, William, Jr., Samuel, Simeon and Benjamin to
carry on the family name. Later 4 generations down, Jonathan, Jr., dropped
the "e" off and then the surname Beal carried down another 8 generations to
my great grandsons, Christopher and Stephen Beal.

-- I have cousins that were spun off from various generations who still
carry the surname Beal. They all ask who was the father of William Beal and
from where in England did he come?

-- Another line, now determined by Y-DNA testing to not to be related,
Arthur Beal, Edward, Mainwarring, Manwarren Beal, also of York, ME and
England has many descendants living in the Jonesport and Beals Island area.
I was very interested in proving or disproving a relationship with my line
and finding their origin. This line has the fabled strongman, Tall Barney of
Beals Island. You can find a News Release giving the details of the search
and the determination of NO relation by checking my What's New web page.

-- In Hingham, ME & England, John Beal, started his American line and other
lines of Beal existed at Portsmouth, ME; Boston, Marblehead, MA; York, VA;
PA, NH and the other colonies. John Beal's descent has now been identified
and a genetic signature established by Y-DNA testing!
They most often went by these surnames: Beal, Beale, Bale, Beel, Biehl,
Beals, or other variations of the surname.

-- A legend exists that the Beale, Beall and Beal families were "Border"
Scot Clans that raided into England during and after the 1100s. We even see
Beal villages remaining today in Northumberland and North Yorkshire,
England. Who established these villages?"

NOTE FROM MYRT: For more see:

So, DearCHUCK, my interview with Bennett Greenspan, of will be available later this week through my podcast:

As I see it now, the advantage of DNA testing is to narrow down through WHICH of the Beal/Bell lines one descends, and therefore benefit from:

-- coordinating documentary evidence research with proven cousins

-- avoid wasting time working the non-related Beal/Bell lines

Is Ol' Myrt thinking along the right track?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

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

Monday, November 06, 2006

Family History Minute podcast

Family History Minute podcast

Although the Lebanon, Pennsylvania newspaper today referred to podcasting as the "latest genealogy fad" I believe this form of sharing information is here to stay. Ol' Myrt thinks you'll like listing to a new kid on the block in this genre:

Produced by: Brian Mickelson

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

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

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Problem with a name

Problem with a name

From: Phyllis
I'm having a problem with the name of "Elisamer" Martin in my family
history. He was [probably] born in Vermont circa 1793, married Irene Ripley
in 1814 (from info handed down, not verified), moved to Ohio circa 1815, had
children James, Ann Eliza, Edward, Eunice, Rachel, William, Simeon, Sarah
Rebecca, George Washington. Irene Ripley has been easy to trace back to
William Bradford of Plymouth Colony.

These are the various spellings in census records:

-- Elisamer or Elisamor Martin, 1820, Washington Co, OH
-- Elisamer Marten, 1830, Union Co, OH
-- Elisha Martin, 1840, Springfield, Clark Co, OH
-- E. Martin, 1850, Dayton, Montgomery Co, OH

I've looked up Scottish names in, but no clue there. Does a
"mer" on the end of a name have a meaning? Someone suggested it was a
junior, but I haven't had any luck tracing a Elisa or Elisha in Vermont.

Later census records of his children have him born in Vermont, so I feel
certain that's where he was born.

He died in September, 1859, probably Piqua, Miami Co, OH. No luck in
verifying this, however I found the 1860 census with just Irene. I have I think you mentioned a website with census records of those
who had died within a year of the census, or was it just wishful thinking?

Another problem - I haven't been able to find his parents. There were James
Martins in early census records in Vermont, but I have ruled them out
because of not having sons his age. James is not a name in the Ripley
family, so I feel it was probably Elisamer's father's name.

Three "cousins" and I have shared our information on this family, and we are
all stumped on the spelling of the name and not being able to trace the
Martins any further back.

OK, OK, kiddo. Let's take a deep breath and see where this discussion takes

FIRST, let's note that spelling variations are not all that serious.
Although we pick the most likely when entering an ancestor's name in our
genealogy management programs, we are careful to transcribe each supporting
source document with spelling, punctuation and grammar intact.

THE GIVEN NAME of surviving children MAY but do not always conform to a
naming pattern such as first male named after the paternal grandfather, and
second male after the maternal grandfather. An earlier child, who did not
survive, may have been named for a grandparent.

ScotlandPeople explains "Variations in forenames are very common in the
records. The name by which a person was born or christened, might look very
different when they married or died. For example, Elizabeth might be known
and/or recorded as Elisabeth, Eliza, Betty, Betsy, Beth, Bessie, Elspeth,
Elsie, to name but a few. Some of the influences brought to bear on Scottish
forenames are indicated [in the remainder of the article.] See:

The SURNAME Martin doesn't "have to be" Scottish.

YES, there were "mortality schedules" enumerated 1850-1880 with the US
federal census. Each schedule's purpose was to list those who died during
the previous 12 months from the "census date" including name, age and cause
of death. Be careful: the census date for some years was in June. The
collection can be browsed (page by page) or searched by name at

EXPAND the census search to include neighbors as well as other people in the
township. It is entirely likely your Martins came from the same places as
the neighbors. Vermont is one suggestion, but there are literally hundreds
of MARTIN households in the 1790 census for all of Vermont, so you'll need
to narrow it down by looking for clues in the known areas.

WHEN LOOKING AT SURVIVING DOCUMENTS about Martin to provide ancestral clues,
please note that VERY FEW are found online at this point in time. You've
mentioned using the online census records at

Ol' Myrt recommends using the Family History Library catalog online at: to find appropriate microfilms of original
records to order and view at your local Family History Center. If you wish
to locate a center near you, you'll also find that at On
microfilm, you'll be planning to:

1. Search each of the known locations for Elishmer's probate file. Most
certainly he owed someone money, even if he died intestate (without a will.)
Perhaps there is a mention of siblings back in Vermont.

2. Look at church records in the area for the christening records of the
known children. Perhaps the grandparents were mentioned or acted as

Perhaps in book format, or online at find out about county
histories which might explain where people came from that settled your
ancestor's part of Ohio. Most of these books were lengthy, over-sized
volumes, published between 1880-1910, and usually refer to even the
pre-Revolutionary War time period. People often paid money to have their
photo and bio inserted. Unfortunately most do not have an every name index,
unless a benevolent genealogical or historical society decided to undertake
the huge task.

4. There is a system of regional archives in Ohio. Find out about this and
other resources such as the microfilm collection of 48,000 rolls of Ohio
newspapers at:

5. Print out and study the OHIO RESEARCH OUTLINE developed by experts at the
Family History Library. This and other helpful guides are available at:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

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