Sunday, April 27, 2008

BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 27 April 2008


It is Sunday and time for the latest installment of DearMYRTLE’s BEST of the Internet for Genealogists Awards. New this week is the revised AWARD LOGO shown at the top of this blog. Best of the Internet award winners are entitled to the use of this award graphic, with a link back to this blog entry.

[Ahem, drum roll please…]

The BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 27 April 2008 awards go to:

BLOG: Dick Eastman's The Dark Side: Genealogy Rip-Offs Listed published 18 April 2008 spotlights some of the most notorious offenders that catch newbie genealogy researchers off guard. Thanks Dick for a great blog entry!

INSTRUCTION: Everyone's favorite genealogy researcher & lecturer, Arlene Eakle, has come up with Virginia Tax and Rent Rolls: A Checklist of Evidence posted 20 March 2008. In addition to the checklist, which should be copied and worked through for each of your Virginia ancestors, Ol' Myrt here discovered "Taxes could be paid in any medium or currency: skins, tobacco, hemp, flour, Johannes Coins, Guineas, Moidors, Doubloons, Pistols." You learn something every day.

DATABASE SITE: The NGS National Genealogical Society's AMA Deceased Physician Research Database "is a collection of cards originally created by the American Medical Association. They provide information for physicians who died between 1906 and 1964. If a card is found it may include date and place of birth, information about education, information about licensing and place(s) of practice and place, date and cause of death. The cards include no information about parents, spouses or children. Whenever possible we include information from published medical directories, and the 1880 Federal Census record. The fee is $15.00 and there is a $5.00 surcharge for non-members. In addition to the large database on cards that NGS was given by the American Medical Association, we have a collection of published materials relating to physicians. Because of the fragility of the AMA cards, we do not permit access by anyone other than NGS staff members. Interested persons may request searches via the Internet or by post."

SCANNED IMAGE SITE:'s Brady Civil War Photos which are the NARA (National Archives & Records Administration T252. "Mathew B. Brady coordinated a team of photographers to help him document the Civil War, resulting in over 5,600 portraits, landscapes, and battle scenes. "Mathew B Brady and many of the decade's best photographers created the photographs in this collection. There are detailed portraits of notable men of the era, as well as photos of soldiers, living and dead, battlefields, scarred landscapes, and cities burned and bombed by invading troops. They portray the horrors of war and images of life in camp. They represent photojournalism in its infancy and present us with real-life interpretations of our nation at war with itself." Title is 100% complete and is freely accessible regardless of membership.

PODCAST: Again Ol' Myrt focuses on The National Archives Podcast Series for a realistic look at record-keeping in the Sex, Lies & Civil Registration podcast. "When you have been researching family history for even a short time, you will realise that the information shown on certificates is not always completely accurate! Sometimes this is the result of an honest mistake, or mis-interpretation of the question; sometimes people are being ‘economical with the truth’; and sometimes they just tell outright lies. Why? The answer is usually to do with money or sex, and sometimes both." Also available via free subscription at

VIDEO: You'll get a kick out of this creative video from the Arlington Heights Memorial Library with a whimsical look at how one "log" could learn how to search one's roots at this library with over 7,000 books, maps, etc.

COMMENTARY: A new friend in Second Life, James V. Gill created a wonderful
tribute to Paul B Hendrickson, who was a veteran of the 33rd Division in World War I. "When he passed away in 1990, his daughter Betty (Hendrickson) Gill found neatly packed away in the family home 125 letters he wrote home during his time in service. The letters were to his mother and to the neighbor girl who after the war became his wife." This website serves as a great example of how to document the life of an ancestors. Bravo James for the transcriptions and
scanned images that tell the story of this gentleman.

INNOVATION: eBay is not new, nor is the presentation of genealogy items for sale (which today number 2144). But consider how much you can save by purchasing ANY items from this "international garage sale" website. Those items you regularly need (or want) for your home or office can usually be purchased for a lot less than retail, and the impact on your the impact on your budget will be significant. That means you might free up some financial resources for that next research trip!

MOST INTERESTING THREAD: Carnival of Genealogy #46 topic: inherited traits posted 18 April 2008. "Where'd you get those baby blues? That luscious red hair? love for adventure? A talent for music?" - Edited by Creative Gene's Jasia. Read about Steve Danko's Mad Scientist eyebrows, Becca's musical gene, Amanda Erickson's stubborn heart disease and lunatic leaning by another contributor.

If you'd like to submit a blog entry, the next Carnival of Genealogy, the topic is: "A Place Called Home. It's time for a geography lesson. Pick out a city/town/village where one of your ancestors once lived and tell us all about it. When was it founded? What is it known for? Has is prospered or declined over the years? Have you ever visited it or lived there? To a certain extent, we are all influenced by the environment we live in. How was your ancestor influenced by the area where they lived? Take us on a trip to the place your ancestor called home. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2008."

ETHNIC STUDIES: Please note the development of the Norwegian Baptisms, Burials and Marriages 1700-1900 collection in Records Search at This is not the first of non-US/Canada databases and scanned images to become part of the FamilySearch collection. This is a free access website, though you will need a valid email address to login.

Please note that this week's award winners may have published the spotlighted content earlier, it is just that this week Ol' Myrt here stumbled across them and wishes to honor excellent work.

If you have suggestions for winning genealogy content be sure to drop me a line. After all, we get by with a little help from our friends.

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

© 2008 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

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