Saturday, January 31, 2009

FamilySearch Pilot: +40 Million names since 5 Jan 2009

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following, although dated yesterday was distributed today by our friends at Please address all inquiries to .

30 January 2009

Since the last update on January 5, 2009, FamilySearch added over 40 million new records to its Record Search pilot. Individuals with international roots from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, and the Philippines will find some nice surprises in the newly added collections.

Birth, marriage, and death records were added for the Netherlands and Ireland. Irish researchers in particular have been anxiously awaiting the 23 million records from the Irish Civil Registration indexes. These records date from 1845-1958 and are also known as the Statutory Registration Records. Statutory registration for Protestants began in 1845 and for Catholics in 1864.

Many thanks to the thousands of online FamilySearch Indexing volunteers who helped make these wonderful records available.

See the chart below for more details. The new records can be searched for free at
(Click Search Records, then Record Search pilot).

Collection Name, Indexed Records, Digital Images, Comments
  • 1869 Argentina National Census 232,853 157,133 New
  • California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records 1835-1931 43,407 61,017 New
  • Canada Census 1916 1,811,736 36,263 New
  • Costa Rica Church Records 1595-1992 1,387,505 260,367 New
  • Germany Burials 1500-1900 3,633,851 -- New
  • Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958 23,023,320 70,971 New
  • Mexico Aguascalientes Catholic Church Records 1616-1961 -- 601,572 New
  • Netherlands Births and Baptisms 1,350,335 -- New
  • Netherlands Marriages 374,659 -- New
  • Netherlands Deaths and Burials 206,477 -- New
  • Philippines Marriages 2,224,877 -- New
  • 1920 United States Census 2,437,479 50,364 Added Alabama
  • 1850 United States Census 1,425,756 -- Added Alabama and Indian Population
  • 1850 United States Census (Slave Schedule) 869,079 -- Added Alabama, Missouri, and South Carolina
  • 1850 United States Census (Mortality Schedule) 37,993 -- Added Louisiana and Indian Population
  • 1870 United States Census 7,954,406 -- Added Pennsylvania

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More "Genealogy Jam"

see also: Genealogy Jam

Ol' Myrt received the following responses to her question "...what type of "genealogy jam" are YOU making?"

From: Marcia
I also have been making quilts of the family history. My first was a lap robe for dad's wheel chair with photos of his parents, Mom's parents Mom and Dad and then me and my sister, the grands and the greats. It is still on dad's bed even if he has passed on. Mom loves it dearly. My next quilt was for my oldest daughter's 40 birthday. We made a queen size quilt for their bed with memories of her 1st forty years. I had to repeat this for our other daughter. Now I am working on Senior Year quilts for my grand children. One down, one is progress and 2 to go. These are wall hangings of photos the grands love the most. They can decorate the dorm room or place at end of the bed. People love these and I agree they are fun to make and give .

To: Marcia

WOW!!! Can I share your email and quilt pic with my DearREADERS?

From: Marcia
Sure. I'm working tonight on a High School Senior quilt. Enjoy and I want to show your quilt to my garden club tomorrow too.

To: Marcia
Speaking of your garden club meeting tomorrow -- think about HEIRLOOM PLANTS in the garden, the kind you remember at Gramma's house! Lilac, Peonies, Snap dragons (take off a blossom and "pinch" the jaws to open and close the dragon's mouth!)

THAT is another kind of genealogy jam!

From: Marcia

You think up my alley! I am the Heritage Herb Lady and working on going around to schools and clubs talking about the old kitchen gardens and how the herbs were used in 1800-1850. Like Lambs Ear was the bandaid of 1800. It has astringent properties and the fuzzy leaves soak up the blood. Rosemary sprigs given to someone is so they will always remember you and a little bag of Rosemary under your pillow will help you clear your head so you remember more. In March I have my first Herb Lady make-up party at Stagville.

I so hope we have time to talk at NGS in Raleigh in May about other ways to save and make memory starters.

I used to have an online class of Genealogy Scrapbooking and in the chats I would have a topic like "Doing laundry without electricity". I made a kit and gave them places on the internet to research old laundry ways. The ladies would go with ideas and then could talk to mom or grandma about what it was like. Having more information it made it easier to write the stories and ask detailed questions. The kit was to make it easier for them to record it for their scrapbooks. Most people don't have photos of grandma doing the laundry but the stories are there and the every day things really make the person come to life and become a lighthouse in the history of our lives. I did this weekly for 3 years where half the chat was how to research the topic and the other was about scrapbooking. As I use a Mac I had a lady help with computer details. I have made 6 scrapbooks on the different
branches of the family.

I had the interest in the old stories since childhood but the new ways of saving the photos came from the fire storm where my parents lost everything. The families didn't want to give up their photos so I asked for scans so they could keep the originals and yet they would be shared. The beginning of the scrapbooks. At same time my grandchildren were reading the colorful children's books and I thought this is a way to tell the old stories. In digital scrapbooking you make it once and can print several copies.

I have loved your sharing with all of us out here in cyberspace. I have learned much and your ideas get picked
up and used so often I hope you know you are one of the biggest assets in the genealogy scheme of things.

So, my DearREADERS, I ask again - what sort of "genealogy jam" are you cooking up? Ol' Myrt here would be thrilled to spotlight your projects.

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


DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board

© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved. This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

NARA, Footnote: African American History Collection

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Please address all inquiries to .

The National Archives and Launch Online African American History Collection

Over a million pages of original documents, letters and photos, most digitized for the first time.

Lindon, UT - January 29, 2009 – In celebration of Black History Month, is launching its African American Collection. has been working with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C., to digitize records that provide a view into the lives of African Americans that few have seen before.

These records cover subjects including slavery, military service, and issues facing African Americans dating back to the late 18th century,” explains James Hastings, Director of Access Programs at NARA. “Making these records available online will help people to better understand the history and sacrifice that took place in this country.” has spent the last two years with NARA compiling this collection and is currently working on adding more records that will be released in the upcoming months. African American records currently on include:

Service Records for Colored Troops in the Civil War – Records for the 2nd-13th infantries including enlistment papers, casualty sheets, oaths of allegiance, proof of ownership and bills of sale.

American Colonization Society – Letters and reports relating to this colony established in 1817 for free people of color residing in the U.S.

Amistad Case – Handwritten records of this landmark case beginning in 1839 involving the Spanish schooner Amistad, used to transport illegal slaves.

Southern Claims Commission – Petitions for compensation resulting from the Civil War.

“The Southern Claims Commission records are a very rich, often overlooked resource for African American family research. They often contain information that cannot be found anywhere else,” says Toni Carrier, Founding Director of the USF Africana Heritage Project. “These records document the experiences of former slaves during the Civil War and in the days immediately after. Many contain detailed narratives that make it possible for descendants to envision the lives and experiences of ancestors.” is also working on additional record collections that will be released shortly. Those records include:

Records of the US District Court for the District of Columbia Relating to Slaves, 1851-1863 – includes slave schedules, manumission papers and case papers relating to fugitive slaves.

Records for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862-63 – minutes of meetings, docket books and petitions pertaining to emancipation of slaves.

Registro Central de Esclavos 1872 (Slave Schedules) – registers from Puerto Rico giving information for each slave: name, country of origin, name of parents, physical description, master’s name and more.

Records Relating to the Suppression of the African Slave Trade and Negro Colonization, 1854-1872 - letters, accounts, and other documents relating to the suppression of the African slave trade.

Correspondence of the Military Intelligence Division Relation to “Negro Subversion” 1917-1941 - record cards and correspondence of the Military Intelligence Division (MID) that relate to activities of blacks in both civilian and military life.

In addition to these records, also features member contributions that include topics ranging from the Underground Railroad to Women Abolitionists to African Americans receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“The contributions to our site have been impressive,” says Russell Wilding, CEO of “It’s exciting to see people connect with history and with each other.”

To view the African American Collection on visitors can go to

About Footnote, Inc. is a subscription website that features searchable original documents, providing users with an unaltered view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit

About The National Archives
NARA alone is the archives of the Government of the United States, responsible for safeguarding records of all three branches of the Federal Government. The records held by the National Archives belong to the public – and it is the mission of the National Archives to ensure the public can discover, use, and learn from the records of their government.

NARA Contact:
The National Archives Public Affairs staff
(202) 357-5300 Contact:
Justin Schroepfer
Marketing Director
(801) 494-6517

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NGS: Librarians' program at May 2009 conference

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from the National Genealogical Society, by way of Pam Cooper on the GeneaLibrarian Mailing List. Please address all inquiries to

Special program for librarians at National Genealogical Society Family History Conference

Arlington, VA. January 28, 2009. The National Genealogical Society will be holding its annual Family History Conference from 13-16 May 2009 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

On Tuesday, 12 May, a special Librarians’ program, sponsored by ProQuest, will be held at the Convention Center. This program is free to all librarians who work with family history patrons or genealogy reference materials. Advance registration is required.

Librarians attending this program will hear several excellent speakers. ProQuest will provide lunch for attendees and will be available to answer questions about their products.

Presentations on the program will include talks on volunteers – recruiting, retaining and rewarding; creating and maintaining specialized collections and services for genealogy researchers; the Colonial and state records of NC in the Internet age; and collection development.

Librarians attending Librarians Day may also want to consider attending the entire NGS conference – which commences on Wednesday 13 May through to Saturday 16 May. The Exhibit Hall which features genealogical vendors and services will be open throughout the conference.

Conference rates and further information can be found on the NGS website at

The National Genealogical Society, founded in 1903, is the premier national society for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced family historian. NGS serves its members by providing genealogical skill development through education, information, publications, research assistance, and networking opportunities.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 Invests in Future of Genetic Genealogy w/ DNA Testing for $79

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: A few weeks ago, while attending the "secret" meeting with genea-bloggers, writers, librarians, and lecturers at HQ, Ol' Myrt heard about this new pricing structure for DNA testing. The goal is to get as many into the pool so that there is someone for you to connect with as soon as possible. Remember that we're narrowing things down to one particular DNA haystack to coordinate ancestral research. Invests in Future of Genetic Genealogy by Offering DNA Testing for Only $79

Affordable Access to DNA Testing Reveals Family History, Genetic Cousins, Ancestral Occupations, Geographic Origins and More

Provo, Utah, January 27, 2009 --, the world’s largest online resource for family history, has reduced the prices of its genetic genealogy DNA tests, allowing consumers more affordable access to the family history information provided by these tests.

Effectively immediately, the 33-marker paternal lineage test is now only $79 (down from $149). The paternal lineage test analyzes DNA in the Y chromosome, which is passed virtually unchanged from father to son. Advanced paternal lineage tests, maternal lineage tests (which looks at mitochondrial DNA passed from a mother to her children), and combination paternal and maternal lineage testing options are also part of the product suite.

With similar DNA tests typically costing more than $150, the new $79 price offers individuals the best available value for genetic genealogy DNA testing. Test options priced in the $79 range usually test fewer markers and are less genealogically useful.

“ has built a reputation synonymous with family history, and we think that DNA testing is a great complement to membership in our core service,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of “Our very clear goal is to build the world’s largest database of genetic genealogy results. Substantially reducing the price of our 33-marker paternal lineage test will allow more people than ever before to unlock the mystery of their ancient origins and to find living relatives from around the world.” has one of the fastest-growing genetic genealogy databases in the world -- helping more and more of its members to extend the branches of their family trees, discover living relatives they never knew existed and find new leads where traditional paper trails dead end. “The acquisition of more DNA participants will benefit family historians, genetic genealogists and researchers seeking colorful facts about their family histories,” Sullivan added. In addition, users who were tested with other genetic genealogy testing services can enter their test results and compare with others in the DNA database, the only online DNA database that offers this functionality.

As part of their test results, participants receive:
  • Ancient Haplogroup determination with information about that group and a map of their migrations
  • Online results that can help to potentially identify genetic cousins
  • Access to the rapidly expanding, searchable DNA database

With the launch of the expanded DNA testing options, has also introduced tools that allow users to add their DNA results to their online family trees. DNA results are inferred to all relevant members in the family tree, multiplying users’ chances to find and make connections with genetic cousins who might not otherwise see their results. Since July 2006, more than 8.3 million family trees have been created online at

About Genetic Genealogy
Genetic genealogy uses DNA testing to determine the genetic relationship between individuals. The two most common types of genetic genealogy tests are Y chromosome DNA (paternal line) and mitochondrial DNA (maternal line). Genetic genealogy provides a means to validate or supplement historical records with genetic data. There are many benefits including the ability to confirm or refute existing or suspected family connections. It may also help to determine the ancestral continent of origin or homeland and find living relatives. Genetic genealogy DNA tests do not provide conclusions regarding propensity toward disease or disclose information about inherited traits.

About Ancestry and The Generations Network
The Generations Network, Inc., through its flagship property, is the world's leading resource for online family history. has local websites in nine countries and has digitized and put online over 7 billion names and 27,000 historical records collections over the past ten years. Since July 2006, users have created more than 8.3 million family trees containing 810 million profiles and 15 million photographs and stories. The Generations Network also includes,,,,, Family Tree Maker and Ancestry Magazine. More than 7.7 million unique visitors spent over 4.5 million hours on a TGN website in November 2008 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).

Web sites:

Genealogy Jam

A week ago, Ol' Myrt here served as the dinner speaker at the conclusion of the 2009 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, sponsored by the UGA (Utah Genealogical Association.) My topic:

Where do we go from here?

Let them eat JAM.

So I talked about how we don't need to know the precise process Grandma Myrtle went through to make her delicious homemade raspberry jam in order to enjoy eating the jam.

And the same is true for those with whom we share our compiled family histories.

Though we must, as competent genealogists, dot all our "i"s and cross all our "t"s, we must consider our audience when we tell the story of our ancestors.

At the end of the my presentation, I showed them the "genealogy jam" I made my father's 88th birthday. He and Blanche had difficulty remembering much of anything, except the old timey songs, and places they used to visit. In fact when I'd tell Dad that one of my siblings or the grandchildren were coming for a visit, he ask me to sit down with him and remind him who that visitor would be.

He'd say, I want to talk with him/her, and ask questions, so he/she will know that I love him.

So I created this living memories photo quilt, with the groups of siblings and their posterity shown. Dad and my step-mother Blanche are in the green field in the middle of the quilt. I chose the turquoise because it is one of Blanche's favorite colors.

If I'd said much more about it during my speech, I would have totally broken down in tears.

Thanks to Marjorie Soles, of the FGS board for taking my picture with the quilt at the conclusion of my talk.

So what type of "genealogy jam" are YOU making?

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


DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board

© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to
Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Monday, January 26, 2009

WhollyGenes: 2009 Genealogy Conference & "Land Cruise"

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friend Bob Velke, of Please address all inquiries to


Hosted by Wholly Genes, Inc.

Wholly Genes, Inc., of Columbia, Maryland, is proud to announce the 2009 Genealogy Conference and "Land Cruise," 26-30 August 2009.

Prompted by economic conditions, the company has broken from the tradition of its annual conference on a cruise ship and is hosting this year's event in the pastoral setting of an historic hotel in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, about 2 hours west of Washington D.C.

This setting provides a very inexpensive venue for the genealogy presentations while its proximity to Washington D.C. offers the opportunity to follow those preparatory lectures with an all-day research trip to the extraordinary research repositories of the nation's capital.

As in previous years, the focus of the conference is on providing first-class genealogical speakers on topics that will interest all researchers. To that end, this years speaker list includes some of the most respected and knowledgeable professional genealogists in the world,

- John Philip Colletta, Ph.D. - a popular speaker, prolific author, and expert on research at the Library of Congress, among many other topics.

- Marie Varrelman Melchiori, CG, CGL - a full-time researcher for 30 years, an expert on the National Archives, military records, and other topics.

- Patricia O'Brien Shawker, CG - the Director of the National Institute on Genealogical Research, author, and an expert on research at the DAR Library and National Archives, among other topics.

- Craig Roberts Scott, CG - publisher, professional researcher for more than 23 years, and an expert on a wide variety of record types and resources, including colonial, Civil War, federal records, migration, military, Quaker, and government publications.

The four-day conference will start with a day and a half of lectures about methodology, repositories, records, and finding aids in D.C. (including NARA, the Library of Congress, and the DAR), followed by a full-day research trip to Washington D.C. (the "land cruise" part), and then another day and a half of presentations, among other activities.

The company will also offer a series of presentations about its flagship product, The Master Genealogist (TMG), but, in another break from tradition, those software presentations will be concentrated on the last day of the conference, allowing researchers the choice to register for a
three- or four-day conference, according to their interest.

"Our annual conference is very popular so we're happy to be able to continue the tradition with a format that is extremely cost-effective," said Bob Velke, President of Wholly Genes, Inc. "We're looking forward to another great opportunity to learn to be better researchers while enjoying the company of others who are doing the same," he said. The event has been sold out for each of the last four years and is limited this year to just 200 attendees so the company expects it to fill up quickly.

At under $400 per person (for double occupancy), including meals and all conference events, the event is less than half the price of last year's conference and a fraction of the cost of a typical genealogy conference.

There's even free wireless internet and free parking.

You can find more information about the 2009 Genealogy Conference and "Land Cruise" to Washington D.C. at

About the company
Wholly Genes Software is a privately held corporation founded in 1993 with the goal of providing professional-caliber software tools to family historians. Its flagship product, The Master Genealogist, is among the highest rated family history project managers and is in use in more than 30 countries around the world.

Bob Velke
Wholly Genes, Inc.
9110 Red Branch Road, STE O
Columbia, Maryland 21044
410-715-2260 x150

READER'S FEEDBACK: GenesReunited maps in city areas

Early this morning, Ol’ Myrt here logged in to SECOND LIFE, just to work through a few instant messages from members of our online genealogy community. I’ve simply GOT to share some insight shared my friend Mathoni who has been using GeneaReunited’s new map feature. Since neither of us had our headsets on, we communicated in instant message format as follows:

[6:27] Mathoni Zuhrah: On GenesReunited they have a kind of Google Earth which
[6:27] Mathoni Zuhrah: takes the 1891 and 1901 census address
[6:27] Clarise Beaumont: Yes, I blogged about it yesterday. See: GenesReunited: unveiling the new maps feature.
[6:27] Mathoni Zuhrah: OK.
[6:27] Clarise Beaumont: Isn't that really kewl?!!!!
[6:28] Clarise Beaumont: So neat that you thought to bring it to my attention...
[6:27] Mathoni Zuhrah: Yes
[6:27] Mathoni Zuhrah: Some problems with it though
[6:28] Clarise Beaumont: Oh really -- what have you noticed?
[6:28] Clarise Beaumont: This sounds like something is worth telling my readers....
[6:28] Mathoni Zuhrah: I tried putting in names I knew where in a city area
[6:28] Mathoni Zuhrah: and it didn’t show them
[6:28] Clarise Beaumont: So in congested areas, it is a problem -- perhaps the street doesn't exist any more?
[6:29] Mathoni Zuhrah: It may be because those areas were bombed perhaps
[6:29] Mathoni Zuhrah: and they are using modern maps
[6:29] Mathoni Zuhrah: Some streets may have disappeared
[6:29] Clarise Beaumont: Oh golly, that is a good point.
[6:30] Mathoni Zuhrah: or there are too many names for the file to hold for an area
[6:30] Clarise Beaumont: Can I quote my SL friend Mathoni in my blog? This is an important observation.
[6:30] Mathoni Zuhrah: Sure
[6:30] Mathoni Zuhrah: For the cause
[6:30] Mathoni Zuhrah: Its only my surmise
[6:30] Clarise Beaumont: Oh, thank-you for adding to the understanding of the option.
[6:30] Clarise Beaumont: This is such a GREAT way to communicate.
[6:30] Clarise Beaumont: I love ya -- thanks for sharing.
[6:31] Mathoni Zuhrah: Welcome
[6:31] Clarise Beaumont: ((((((((((hugs)))))))) to you and your dear wife.
[6:31] Mathoni Zuhrah: TY must get on with recording a song
[6:31] Clarise Beaumont: ok... ttyl
[6:31] Clarise Beaumont: byeeeeee

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


Podcasts:DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A picture is worth 1,000 words

Last week, Ol' Myrt here challenged her DearREADERS to identify a genealogical nightmare and here are some of your responses:

Carrie Taylor wrote “I think you snuck into my home and took a picture of my desk!!!”

Dlpisaacson wrote “Are these records that "survived" the flooding from Katrina?”

Judy Burns from Oklahoma City wrote “I believe that it is census records at the National Archives.” Good guess, but not the answer Ol’ Myrt was looking for. Indeed the 1890 US Federal census records suffered from water damage when a fire broke out in the building where it was stored, rendering all but 6% unsalvageable.

Sharon Howell wrote: "I've looked at your web site and your blog. I can't find the answer to the nightmare you showed us last Tuesday, 1/13. It looks like the way my father kept his papers, but that was straightened out in 2000. I assume its from a library or archive or somewhere that is being paid to keep records safe, and they just haven't gotten to these, yet."

Amy Hawkes, obviously a regular reader said “I believe the records in the photo are the ones you referred to in your sentence: "Interesting fact: It took 6 [sic] months to flatten the rumpled Gretna Green, Scotland marriage records, so they could be scanned."


Where was the picture taken? Gretna Green, Scotland
What is the record group? Marriage records

YES, Amy, you are correct. The Gretna Green, Scotland marriage records took 18 months to flatten, and only 3 days to scan.

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


DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

USGenWeb: where do volunteers live?

As a volunteer webmaster for Pierce County, Washington GenWeb, Ol' Myrt here received an email late last night from an inquiring reasearcher, partially quoted below.

From: Jim (in Florida)
Subject: PierceCountyWA GenWeb

Was wondering if you could help with getting an OBIT ?

Julie M. Hedlund B 15 April 1888 in Norway or Wisconsin
Or Julia D 27 April 1968 in Tacoma, Pierce Co. WA.

Hope you can lead in in right direction.


This was Ol' Myrt's response:

Hello and thank-you for your inquiry. USGenWeb volunteer webmasters are not lookup volunteers, kiddo. Most don’t even live in the counties they sponsor.

However, the Tacoma Public Library does have a fairly comprehensive obituary collection. As mentioned at the Pierce County Washington GenWeb site:,
you’ll need to contact the ASK A LIBRARIAN desk at the library for assistance.

Good luck with your research. Gosh, I wish I was in Florida – its cold here with all the snow in Utah. The area does have one saving grace, though – a little thing they call the Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City.

The more I thought about Jim's inquiry, the more I realized it is high time Ol' Myrt here spotlighted the massive volunteer effort displayed at My part is small, as I only sponsor a few counties. But hundreds of thousands of hours have gone into developing useful state and county websites.

Family Tree Magazine has named the USGenWeb Project to its annual 101 Best Web Sites for genealogy list for 2008. A BIG congrats and THANK-YOU hugs go out to National Coordinator Tina Vickery and her mighty band for jobs well done.

You don't know what gems you will find until you venture out and explore the USGenWeb websites for the localities where your ancestors once lived.

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


Podcasts:DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

GenesReunited: unveiling the new maps feature

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: HitWise reported "Genes Reunited is officially the number 1 family website based on market share of UK Internet visits during 2007." Our friends at GenesReunited have kept busy in 2008 and 2009, hence this announcement about a new feature of their site.

Plot your ancestors on a map! We are introducing Maps to Genes Reunited. Now when you search for your ancestors in our census records, not only will you see your search results in a list; we will also plot them on a map. Look out for the "show results on a map" link when searching the census records.

Maps will make it easier to see where the people in your search results were located at the time of the census, helping you uncover whether any are indeed the ancestor you are searching for. This will also enable you to piece together how your family has moved around over the decades. To use the new Maps feature, search the census records for your ancestors now.

Friday, January 23, 2009 Format change

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at . Please address all inquiries to Micha Reisel.

NEW FORMAT for GenClass!
From the Feb 2009 Newsletter, reprinted by permission.

"GenClass is now using a new and improved format for our online Genealogy classes. Each class will be designed as an independent study where you work at your own pace on eight lessons (two lessons per week), and interact with your instructor via e-mail. Optional class chats may also be scheduled at the instructor's discretion.

All classes begin on the first of each month and end on the 28th of each month.

Think of it as having your own personal genealogy tutor!

The GenClass instructors are excited about this new format as it will give us a greater opportunity to work more closely with our students for what we hope will be a more effective and enjoyable learning experience!

If there's a course you've thinking about taking, now is the perfect time!

If you're new to GenClass, we look forward to meeting you!"

Genline:1898-1920 BMD

NOTE form DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Please address all inquiries to

Birth, marriage, and death records between 1898 and 1920 have now been added to Genline for the following counties in Sweden:


Records for the parishes within Skaraborg are the next in the schedule to be added. Click here for the preliminary production plan for the addition of church records up to 1937.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CT: Nutmegger searchable at NEHGS

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was jsut received from our friends at the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. Please address all inquiries to


CSG Nutmegger now available as online searchable database.

Boston, MA & East Hartford, CT – January 22, 2009 – The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists (CSG) announce today the first phase of bringing the CSG’s flagship journal The Connecticut Nutmegger online as a searchable database, available to members on both organizations’ Websites.

The Connecticut Nutmegger has served as the “journal of record” for the CSG since 1968. During this time it has captured a wealth of information for genealogists such as vital records, probate records, bible records, headstone records, memorials and other useful records. The Nutmegger also presents well-documented family histories and genealogical articles, covering hundreds of families – mainly with Connecticut ties. Published articles include commentary on and corrections to previously published family lines, vital records and town histories. Book reviews, research tips, queries and other valuable tools for genealogists are also available.

Dick Tomlinson, Chair, CSG Publication Committee, said, “This project cuts new ground in cooperation between the Connecticut Society of Genealogists and the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It benefits the members of both organizations by bringing forty years of accumulated genealogical treasures off the bookshelves and into digital databases.”

NEHGS President and CEO, D. Brenton Simons, said, “We are pleased to work with CSG in this way. The Nutmegger is a marvelous resource for those researching in Connecticut and we know countless people will benefit from having it available online.”

This database will be released in stages over the next year, starting this week with volumes 1-6, which cover the years 1968, its first year, through 1973. Additional sets of five volumes will be added periodically throughout this coming year. The database search facility is very similar to that of the NEHGS Register and allows searches by last and/or first name, or by subject keywords. Images of the original pages may be seen from the search results page. It is also possible to browse the pages of the Nutmegger by entering a Year (or volume number) and a page number. This first installment indexes 12,347 names and 477 subject records.

For more information on The Nutmegger, visit the CSG Website, or the NEHGS Website,

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the country's oldest non-profit genealogical organization. With more than 20,000 members nationally, NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to help make accessible the histories of families in America. Located at 99-101 Newbury Street in Boston, the NEHGS research library is home to more than 12 million books, journals, photographs, documents, records, and microfilms. NEHGS also boasts one of the largest genealogy manuscript collections in the country, covering more than four centuries of local and family history.

About CSG
The Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc. was founded in 1968 to serve those interested in genealogy and family history and has a particular focus on Connecticut. CSG is a non-profit genealogical organization with more than 3,300 members nation-wide. Through meetings, seminars, classes, publications and other resources, CSG seeks to aid its members and to make genealogical data more readily available. It maintains a research library, including more than 18,000 member charts, at 175 Maple St. in East Hartford, CT that is open to the public M-F from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mailing address: P.O. Box 435, Glastonbury, CT, 06033. Phone: (860) 569-0002. For more information visit .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New England Historic Genealogical Society: 5 million additions

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the New England Historical Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries through the society's website:

Boston, MA – January 2009 – New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announces the addition of 5 million names to its databases during 2008 to help its more than 23,000 members around the country with their family history research.

The new data includes more than 1 million new Massachusetts records and more than 3 million records to the Social Security Death Index database.

The NEHGS Web site,, is home to more than 120 million searchable names in 2,500 databases covering areas like New England, New York, Canada, and the eastern United States.

Some of the new databases include:
- Massachusetts Vital Records Birth Indexes from 1911-1915
- New Netherland Connections; Vol. 1-7
- Torrey’s Marriages
- Boston Church Records
- Plymouth, MA Court Records
- Families of Ancient New Haven, CT; Vol. 1-8
- The Great Migration 1634-1635; A-F surnames

“We are thrilled with the success of last year’s content programs, said Sam Sturgis, Coordinator of Website Database Development. “Our goal is to digitize one or two databases every week and make them available on our Web site.”

NEHGS has more than 100 volunteers around the country who help scan and digitize the vast collections housed at NEHGS’ 8-story research library located at 99 Newbury Street in Boston.

The NEHGS Web site,, has been providing access to important research information including vital records, published genealogies, manuscript archives, articles, resources, and other records since 1999. The site receives more than 15,000 hits per day.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the country's oldest non-profit genealogical organization. With more than 20,000 members nationally, NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials to help make accessible the histories of families in America. Located at 99-101 Newbury Street in Boston, the NEHGS research library is home to more than 12 million books, journals, photographs, documents, records, and microfilms. NEHGS also boasts one of the largest genealogy manuscript collections in the country, covering more than four centuries of local and family history.

Monday, January 19, 2009

WRITING: Just for a few friends?

First you do it just for love, then you do it only for a few friends, but finally you end up just doing it for money. I notice George G. Morgan and Michael John Neill who used to write free columns are now available only in the plus edition of
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. When will you be migrating to the third stage?


Ol’ Myrt here is sure that you voiced this question with only the kindest intentions when it comes to describing the fine work of my colleagues. But, your comment does bear consideration and discussion.

Supporting oneself in the field if genealogy isn’t something many of us are likely to accomplish as independent researchers, lecturers, podcasters or authors in this economy. Speaking strictly as an author, there are only a few venues for our work, and Dick’s offer is a good one. He manages to collect the best of the best in this manner.

As for my personal journey, my alter-ego DearMYRTLE began writing for a large group -- the Genealogy Forum on AOL -- where my articles were freely viewable. Ol' Myrt's move to the Internet marked a change in the information super highway. In the olden days (1984-85) we could only send email to those on the same service provider, as the internet hadn't been invented yet.

Who knows what the future will bring?

Ol' Myrt's intention is to maintain objectivity and impartiality. Dick invited me to participate as a guest author in his blog last year as he considered this new element of his work. It was something I'd like to have done, since our views about objectivity and impartiality are similar. At that time, I declined his offer due to constraints that are no longer a consideration.

The majority of Myrt's work will always be available to the public, though I do wish that copyright would be considered by blog scrapers and those who wish to cross-post in their local genealogy society newsletters.

I cannot imagine that any of the genealogy writers would say we only do this work for financial considerations.

It has been Ol' Myrt's honor to come to know many of the leading professionals in our field. Just yesterday, I participated in a conversation where a professional researcher admitted using his/her frequent flyer miles to get to a research facility without charging the client for travel expenses. Each professional that I've come to know personally is found to have both highly-tuned research skills and high ethical standards. Yet, I think most of what is done in the 'ethical department' isn't immediately evident. It just happens that yesterday's discussion was unusually candid.

If truth be told, there isn't a single genealogist worth his salt who doesn't do this work for the LOVE of it. I think hang gliding might be a delightful alternative, but I am just too curious about my ancestors to make the switch.

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


Podcasts:DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to . Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Barn raising - internet style

Ol' Myrt here has been very much interested in the development of genealogy wiki entries at Just now, as a registered user, I received the following email from Content Coordinator Michael Ritchey, about a grassroots effort to complete work on the Maryland section of the FamilySearch Wiki. In short, here's what he had to say.

"Here's a quick note to tell you about a project being developed by the FamilySearch Wiki community: the Maryland Barn Raising. A wiki barn raising is a short, focused community effort to create or revise content relating to a single topic such as "genealogical research in Maryland."

During this barn raising, we will revise the Maryland Portal and all the Topics pages it links to. At the end of the barn raising, the wiki will contain information about all the latest and best records to use to find Maryland ancestor. The wiki community needs your help to make this effort a success! We'd love it if you would pitch in and contribute a few edits to the Maryland pages. You don't need to be a Maryland expert to contribute, but experts are certainly welcome!

To see a list of pages we plan to update and also a list of simple tasks that non-experts can do, take a look at our Maryland Barn Raising Tasks page at

This first barn raising is proving to be a lot of fun, and we're learning things that will be foundational to barn raisings for other areas of the world. Hope to see you soon on the wiki!"

This, my DearREADERS is an excellent idea -- a project in the virtual environment with a historical moniker describing the activity to a "T". I hope my 2008 FGS roomie Kearby Parker will pick up on this blog entry, as she has expertise in eastern shore Maryland and her input will be invaluable.

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


DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board

© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

2009 NGS Conference: Info

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at NGS. Please visit for additional information.

2009 NGS Family History Conference

Local Tours, Pre-Conference Sessions, Free Events, and More

The 2009 NGS Family History Conference in Raleigh will take place in the brand new Raleigh Convention Center. Hotel accommodations are in the adjoining new Marriott Hotel or nearby at the Sheraton or New Clarion Hotels. All conference hotels are offering free parking to guests.
Raleigh is the capital of the state of North Carolina and is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. It is the second most populous city in North Carolina after Charlotte. It was founded in 1792 as North Carolina's capital city and named for Sir Walter Raleigh.

Downtown Raleigh has undergone much recent development with more than $1.3 billion in investment, including the brand-new Raleigh Convention Center and Marriott Hotel.

Fayetteville Street in downtown has undergone a major renaissance with outside artwork, outdoor dining, and many restaurants. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is just 15 minutes from downtown.

Attendees of the 2009 NGS Family History Conference will find Raleigh a great place to stay. In addition to the conference, visitors can explore the many great cultural and historical offerings in the city, and attend local tours, pre-conference, and free events.

A complete listing of all the sessions and tours is available at

2010 NGS Conference: Call for Papers

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the National Genealogical Society. Please address all inquiries to

2010 NGS Family History Conference-Call for Papers

Effective 1 January 2009, proposals are being accepted for the 2010 NGS Family History Conference, "Follow Your Ancestral Trails," to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 April–1 May 2010. Salt Lake City is a place where you discover millions of records for ancestors who lived almost anywhere around the world. The international theme for this conference encourages submissions for lectures on topics about ancestral countries, both old and new. Other possible topics include methodology, problem solving, federal records, military records, land records, migration, ethnic, technology, and family history writing.

Sessions are generally limited to fifty minutes plus a ten-minute question-and-answer session. Syllabus material (PDF files), due in early 2010, is required for each lecture or workshop presentation and will be included in the syllabus distributed to all conference registrants.

Please see proposal guidelines at for instructions regarding submission of proposals.

Speakers may submit any number of proposals.

NGS members will be given first consideration as speakers.

Lecturers will receive complimentary conference registration and publications. Compensation, per diem, and lodging will be based on the number of lectures given, and transportation expenses will depend upon the speaker’s home address.

Deadline for submissions is 1 April 2009.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Family Pursuit: private family trees

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Please address all inquiries to

Family Pursuit Announces the Release of Private Family Trees

Provo, Utah, Jan. 14 - Family Pursuit, a leader in online collaborative genealogy research tools, today announced the release of Private Family Trees. Designed specifically for collaboration, this unique wiki-based website is now available for private use for the genealogist who is looking for a better way to work with others.

Family Pursuit’s private family trees allow researchers to share not only conclusions, but their ongoing research, sources, extractions and theories with those invited to join the trees. They are the perfect solution for sharing research with the entire family, interacting with other family genealogists, or working within a family organization or one-name study.

Some of the collaborative tools available for private family trees include:
  • Inviting an unlimited number of family members to join a private tree
  • Organizing and sharing ongoing genealogy research
  • Creating and assigning tasks
  • Sharing research logs and extractions
  • Adding living individuals
  • Keeping all information about living and deceased individuals private
  • Involving and mentoring family members
  • Participating in family discussions
  • Receiving notifications of changes made by tree users
  • Rolling back and forth any change made by any user
  • Advanced merging and unmerging

Along with these new private trees, Family Pursuit continues to offer its Community Tree which has been created for genealogists to share research with the genealogy community to reduce duplicate efforts, accelerate research, and network and connect with distant relatives.

“We have found that many genealogists feel more comfortable working privately with those they already know. A Private Family Tree offers this security,” said Mike Martineau, founder of Family Pursuit.

“When genealogists feel confident in their research conclusions, they will be able to easily copy their conclusions to the Community Tree for others to view and add to. A Private Family Tree also allows the inexperienced genealogist to be privately mentored by more knowledgeable relatives. We are excited to offer a bridge between those who are overwhelmed by the amount of research and those who want to help but don’t know how. We look forward to continuing our progress in developing these important tools, and being a part of bringing more people into the work.”

About Family Pursuit
Started in 2004, Family Pursuit, a Provo, Utah company, provides web-based applications to accelerate family history work by providing a framework for genealogy researchers to work together in their efforts and to easily share their ideas, theories, research and conclusions. Family Pursuit enables genealogy enthusiasts to involve family members who have never engaged in family history work, bringing families together in sharing the rewarding experience of researching, exploring, and creating a personal understanding of their heritage. Visit for more information. additions

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Please address all inquiries to:


Added this week:
1832 Maidstone Gaol Return
The return from the County Gaol and House of Correction at Maidstone from 1 January to 31 December 1832 lists all prisoners (full name), place from whence committed, number of days detained in the year (before final commitment; after final commitment; and after conviction), and sentence, giving time of imprisonment (if any), or whether acquitted, discharged, executed, transported, whipped, or died in gaol.

1837 Westminster Poll Book
A poll was taken 26 July 1837 for the election of two members to represent the City of Westminster in Parliament. The candidates were Lieut.-Col. de Lacey Evans, John Temple Leader, and Gen. the Right Hon. sir George Murray, K. G. C. This poll book lists the electors with full name (surname first) and address (in italics), dashes indicating for whom they cast their votes. The names are listed alphabetically by first letter of surname, arranged in the eight parishes of Westminster, plus the extra-parochial Precincts of the Savoy.

1844 Camden Society Membership List
The Camden Society for the Publication of Early Historical and Literary Remains was one of the leading antiquarian societies of its age. 1200 members paid £1 per annum in advance and received gratis whatever volumes were published by the society during the year. Members who paid an additional £10 thereby compounded for future subscription, and are indicated in this membership list (corrected to 2 May 1844) by the letter (c.).

1856-1860 Unclaimed Naval Prize Money from the China War
Various prize moneys were awarded to officers and men who served on board her Majesty's ships on the China Station during the war of 1856 to 1880. Firstly, there was a parliamentary grant of one month's pay to those serving on the Acorn*, Actaeon*, Adventure, Algerine*, Amethyst, Assistance*, Banterer*, Barracouta, Belleisle, Bustard, Calcutta*, Camilla, Clown*, Comus, Cormorant, Cruiser*, Drake*, Elk*, Encounter, Esk*, Firm*, Forester*, Furious*, Fury, Haughty*, Hesper*, Highflyer*, Hornet*, Inflexible*, Janus*, Kestrel*, Lee*, Leven*, Melville, Minden, Nankin*, Niger*, Nimrod*, Opossum*, Pique, Plover*, Princess Charlotte, Racehorse*, Raleigh, Sampson*, Sans Pareil*, Slaney*, Spartan, Starling*, Staunch*, Surprise*, Sybille*, Tribune, Volcano*, Watchful*, Winchester, and Woodcock*; in addition Canton booty was awarded to those serving on the ships asterisked (plus the Bittern and Coromandel tenders) at Canton on 28 and 29 December 1857, when that city was bombarded and captured. Then those on board the Bustard, Cruiser, Esk, Forester, Haughty, Highflyer, Lee, Niger, Nimrod, Sampson, Surprise, and the boats of the Elk, were rewarded for the captures of junks for breach of blockade of Canton River between 29 August and 19 December 1857. Other captures made by her Majesty's ships led to various other awards distributed between 1 January 1855 and 19 February 1863. Nevertheless, for one reason or another a substantial number of these prizes, from as little as 1s 7d to as much as £28, remained undistributed by 1902, when this comprehensive list of the unclaimed moneys was printed. In each case the sailor's name is given first (surname, then christian name or initials); rank or rating; ship in which serving at time of capture or award; parliamentary award; Canton booty; capturs for breach of blockade of Canton River; other captures; and then the total.

1859 British Patent Abstracts
Abstracts of British patents for new inventions applied for and granted from 1 January to 31 December 1857: giving date, name and address, and short description of the invention. It is then stated whether 'Letters patent sealed' or 'Provisional protection only'.1874London Publicans and Innkeepers, and British Brewers &c.Henry Downes Miles compiled The London and Suburban Licensed Victuallers', Hotel and Tavern Keepers' Directory, which also had sections listings brewers, maltsters, hop factors, distillers and rectifiers of the United Kingdom.

1877 Teacher Training Examination Lists
The Education Department set examinations for candidates for admission into training colleges, and for the office of teacher. This is the list of successful candidates from England, Wales and Scotland at the examination at Midsummer 1877. The number in the first column shows order of merit in each class in the examination; then there is the name of the candidate (surname, christian name and any intermediate initial(s)), the school in which engaged, and the training college at which examined. The names of pupil teachers are shown in italics, with the 'school in which engaged' column left blank.

We now have 8.5 million entries directly available online.

Free unlimited search.

All records hand-indexed (no OCR).

Purchase sets of scans, or buy open access to the surname(s) of your choice, including variants.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Genealogical nightmare

Can you identify this picture? It just breaks your heart, doesn't it? Archivists have nightmares about discovering record groups that look like this.

WHERE was it taken?

WHAT is the record group?

(Dick, Curt, Elizabeth, Randy, Diane, Ancestry Insider, and Drew need not reply, since you already know the back story on this.)

In case you need another view, here you go. Ol' Myrt will give you until 10am Mountain Daylight time Friday 16 Jan 2009 to respond to Then Friday at noon, I'll send out the details.

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


DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally. access issues

Remember that TGN/ data center Ol' Myrt told you she toured last Friday? Well, those very computers have been acting up. If you've been trying to do searches on, you may have noticed connectivity issues the last few days. Here's the latest update from Anastasia, my inside contact at

"I just wanted to let you know that has been experiencing some server difficulties over the past couple of days. Our IT team is working to isolate and, once isolated, solve the problem. The issues have not allowed users to access at certain times of the day.

I’ll continue to keep you updated as the IT team works to figure out these performance issues. The blog, at, will also continue to be updated."

Wonderful to see that is keeping us in the loop.

I promise, Ol' Myrt here didn't throw a monkey wrench at those server racks.

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


DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Monday, January 12, 2009

READER'S FEEDBACK: January Organization Checklist

RE: 2009 January Organization Checklist

From: Martha Taylor
I'm overwhelmed, which always leads to confusion. I inherited an extensive amount of genealogy from my mother. She left me with tons (47 boxes and two file cabinets). Her library of books I donated to a local library that had no genealogy department. Her mother started it and now I have it. Unfortunately, she didn't teach me what to do with it. I have studied, read, joined groups, etc. Your filing system so far is the only one that makes sense to me.

Questions about the family history notebooks:
  • My father was adopted. I have information about a possible birth family for him but its not proven yet.
  • Do I follow from my mother to her father, then to his father?
  • Do I follow the female side - mother to mother to mother?
  • Also how do you handle multiple marriages?

I just need to get a start and then I think I can put it together. I feel my contribution to this project is to put it into some form that future generations can make sense of instead of all these file folders stuffed with papers.

Thanks for your help and all the work you do.

First, thank-you for taking such great care of your mother's genealogy. Donating the books to the local library as a basis for their genealogy reference collection is a fitting tribute for the research your mother and grandmother did over the years.

Few care to make the effort to preserve the unique compiled family history info inherited from their "genealogy nut" relatives.

Just to clear things up on the filing system, I'll give you a sneak peek of items from the next checklist. Ol' Myrt here wouldn't want you to languish in agony until the 1 Feb 2009 release date.

Remember we've got 12 months to work through this monumental task of finally getting organized. When we take things step by step, it isn't as overwhelming.

In the case of adoption, I'd create 2 smaller notebooks, one for the adopted lines, and one for the blood line. Usually adoptees decide to trace one line or another. Be sure each family group sheet printed out for the adopted line includes the notation - ADOPTED LINE. Otherwise, when DNA sequencing is added to the mix, it will become confusing since the markers won't match.

In your specific case, it is important to place your adopted research in the adopted line notebook, behind a divider tab labeled clearly "RESEARCH - not yet proved".

For the brothers & sisters of each direct line ancestor, it is essential to collect any information that falls in your lap. More importantly realize that many brick wall challenges on your direct ancestor will be solved by searching the records of his siblings. These are called "COLLATERAL LINES". So in February's checklist we'll add a tab in our surname notebooks and clearly label them collateral lines. There will be more explanations about why Ol' Myrt here doesn't want them intermingled with your direct line ancestors.

Don't worry, the February checklist also includes a full page introduction to be printed out for each of your family history notebooks with an explanation of the layout and design, in addition to definitions of direct and collateral lines. I didn't include the introduction page with January's checklist, because then Ol' Myrt would have too much explaining to do.

Regarding what to follow in those family history notebooks. Yes, place family group sheets printed out from your genealogy software first of your mother, then her father, then his father in the surname notebook for your mother's maiden name. Your mother is the youngest direct line ancestor with that last name.

For your mother's mother's side of the family, remember that her mother (your grandmother) is the youngest by that last name on your family tree. So you'd insert a family group sheet where your grandmother is listed as a child in her parents' household, then follow that last name to her father, her grandfather -- all going to the surname notebook for her maiden name, not her married name.

Then as each generation presents a wife with a new-to-you maiden name, you will create a new surname notebook. If you don't have much on this name, you can combine several surnames in alpha order into one regular sized notebook. Remember Ol' Myrt here has 263 surnames, but only some 70-odd notebooks, because some names don't have much accumulated documentation.

If there is a multiple marriage, each family group sheet printed from your genealogy management software will list the multiple spouses for the husband and wife in the family, and will include notes you've included about both marriages in notes for an individual. The family group sheet for the second marriage (even if there are no children of issue) is filed in the appropriate surname notebook with accompanying documentation and photos.

If it is a man's multiple marriage, the family group sheet is filed in chronological order in your direct line notebook, followed by accompanying proof documents and photos.

In your case, let's say you descended through the first marriage of your father. File the family group sheet for the first marriage first, with proof documents and photos. Then file the second marriage's family group sheet, with proof documents and photos. You now have a fairly complete view of your father's life as an adult. Follow this by the blood line family group sheet where your father appears as a child in the family of his father and mother, with proof documents and photos, once you've obtained them. Follow this with the blood line family group sheet where your father's father appears as a child in the family with his parents.

If it is a woman's multiple marriage, the subsequent family group sheets are filed in a new surname notebook (or part of a consolidated surname notebook) under her new married name, followed by supporting documents and photos. Reference to this marriage are discovered when looking at:
  • The family group sheet where the woman appears as the daughter in her parent's household.
  • The family group sheet where the woman appears as the wife of her first husband, since additional spouses are part of her listing.
THIS is a lot more work than I had expected my DearREADERS to work through for getting organized in the month of January. So, from now on I will only clarify currently available checklist items. As questions arise where the answers are already scheduled in upcoming monthly organization checklists, Ol' Myrt here will just ask her readers to be patient. We must learn to crawl before we can walk.

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


DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour

Family History Expos Genealogy Podcasts

DearMYRTLE's Facebook® Group Message Board
© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved.

This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.

Introduction to One-Name Studies: Online Course

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received by our friends at The Guild of One-Name Studies. Please address all inquiries to

Brand New Online Course: Introduction to One-Name Studies

The Guild of One-Name Studies and Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd are pleased to announce a brand new five week introductory course on One-Name Studies, starting 27th April 2009. This is the first course of its kind, either online or in the classroom. The new online course will be a guide and introduction to One-Name Studies, run by online genealogy specialists Pharos Tutors assisted by the considerable experience of the Guild of One-Name Studies, probably the most dedicated group of genealogists in the world.

The course covers surnames and their history; core records needed for one-name studies; the analyses of one-name data and all the practical aspects of running a one-name study.

Prospective students can pay and enrol via the Pharos website – at a price of £42.99. The Guild of One-Name Studies will also be offering free membership to the Guild for the remainder of the financial year for all non-Guild members who sign up for this course.

The course is suitable for all genealogists who have an interesting or unusual surname, or who wish to research their surname in greater depth. It will also be of significant interest to existing one-namers.

Helen Osborn, Managing Director of Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd, said today “We were delighted to be approached by the Guild who share our vision for genealogy education and we look forward to working with them on this and future projects.”

Cliff Kemball, Guild Treasurer & project mentor for Pharos courses, said today “The availability of this introductory course on One-Name Studies is a significant development in the Guild’s aim to increase the facilities available to its members and in its charitable aim of advancing the education of the public in one-name studies.”

More information about Pharos and their courses can be found at

About The Guild of One-Name Studies
The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world's leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple). The Guild is a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting the public understanding of one-name studies and the preservation and accessibility of the resultant information. Founded in 1979, the Guild now has over 2,200 members spread across the world, studying over 7,700 individual surnames.

About Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd
Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd was the first British organisation to provide online courses for genealogists. The Company is run by two professional genealogists, Helen Osborn and Sherry Irvine. Pharos exists to teach the best and most rewarding ways to search for ancestors in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and to help others discover as much as possible about the lives of their ancestors.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour 13 January 2009 genealogy podcast

Click to listen to the podcast without iTunes.

DearMYRTLE’s Family History Hour 13 January 2009 genealogy podcast is available for listening via computer or transferred to any .mp3 player if you choose to download the file. An alternative would be to download the file automatically via iTunes. You don’t need an iPod to listen. For a complete list of current DearMYRTLE podcasts visit: You may play, pause, rewind and listen to podcasts as many times as you wish.


Google Your Family Tree Book — Makes a Great Gift!
Daniel M. Lynch, author of Google Your Family Tree: Unlock the Hidden Power of Google published by FamilyLink in Provo, Utah. Just the thing you'll need to get your year started off right. This book is fast becoming a genealogists bible for using Google, includes a review of the top free websites for genealogists. This segment begins 3 minutes 28 seconds into the podcast.

Dan Lynch is a marketing consultant and professional genealogist based in Connecticut. A fourth generation American of Irish and Italian descent, Dan has enjoyed the many challenges of researching his family history since the late 1970s — the era of the American Bicentennial and Alex Haley's ground-breaking novel Roots. His hometown of Waterbury, Connecticut is rich in history and was one of four cities featured in the 2007 Ken Burns documentary, 'The War'.

After fifteen years in the computer industry, Dan focused his skills on the emerging online market for genealogy and in 1998 joined Ancestry, Inc. as vice president of business development helping to launch the Web site — one of the fastest growing community sites at that point in Internet history. During his tenure, the company acquired RootsWeb, the oldest free online community for genealogy research. Following three years at Ancestry, Dan worked for the A&E Television Network during their brief ownership of and the Family Tree Maker software franchise.
In 2002, Dan founded Mattatuck Consulting, a private consulting firm specializing in Internet and search engine marketing solutions. His clients include The Statue of Liberty-Ellis
Island Foundation
(New York), FindMyPast (London),, Inc. and
(Utah), as well as other organizations outside the genealogy sector

Dan is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), a Life Member of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists where he also served as board member and vice president, and is a frequent lecturer at local and national genealogy conferences. He has been featured on several television programs, including ABCs Good Morning America, has published and maintains several popular genealogy Web sites, and his articles have been published in leading genealogy publications including Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle, Family Tree Magazine, and the APG Quarterly.

Chapter headings include: Search Engine Basics, Interpreting Web Search Results, Advanced Search
Techniques, Language Tools, Google Books, Google News Archive, Blog Search, Images & Video, Google Alerts, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Notebook, Google Toolbar, Other Tips & Tricks. Appendices include Getting Started in Genealogy, Top Sites for Genealogists, Other Search Engines, Web Search Engines Defined, Syntax Summary and Quick Reference.

Myrt's review copy of Google Your Family Tree: Unlock the Hidden Power of Google included two quick-reference cards: Effective Google Searches and Advanced Google Searches, with tables indicating commands like:

  • allintitle: Find results where all keywords appear in the page title.
  • site: Find results on a specific website matching other search parameters

Stefanie Condie is brand manager for MyCanvas, a role that allows her to help people preserve and share their family stories. She holds masters degrees in business and journalism from Columbia University. Her areas of expertise include web publishing and product/brand management. This
segment begins 24 minutes into the podcast.

MyCanvas is the new name of AncestryPress where you can publish books for family charts. You'll find MyCanvas by going to and clicking Print & Share. During the podcast, Stefanie and Myrt discuss the process of taking your GEDCOM file, uploading it to Ancestry in either:

  • Public mode (with living hidden)
  • Personal mode (name public but info hidden)
  • Private mode (all private)

to bring it into the MyCanvas environment. Included is an overview about creating various publications to print from home or have bound professional in a variety of formats. MyCanvas includes template pages, if more than 5 generations are required.

Click to search selected pages of Elizabeth's book.

Eizabeth Powell Crowe is the author of Genealogy Online 8th edition. Libbi joins Myrt to discuss the rising interest in DNA among genealogists, and the fact that the costs for testing is going down. This
segment begins 46 minutes into the podcast. Here are the links to article Libbi brings to Myrt's attention:

Check out Libbi's blog for more DNA entries:


Click to subscribe, and receive 2 free charts!
Everton's Genealogical Helper Magazine Providing family history insights since 1947. Subscribe and receive 2 free genealogy charts.


HB has a simply marvelous collection of genealogy books, with over 3,000 titles in print. 30%
off the regular price of select titles. First come, first served - quantities limited. Phone orders only: Toll-free: 1-800-876-6103 / Local: (231) 537-4021.

Genealogy Books, Genealogy CDs & Family History

GPC publishes over 2,000 genealogy books and compact discs featuring colonial genealogy, Irish
, immigration, royal ancestry, family history, and genealogy methods and sources. is the online home of Genealogical Publishing Company, Clearfield Company, and
Gateway Press.

Second Life Once you've joined (it's free), search for Ol' Myrt whose avatars there are Clarise Beaumont (casual) and DearMYRTLE Writer (official). We typically have 2-3 genealogy how-to voice chats each week at various locations in Second Life. Search also for Just Genealogy, Genealogy, Family History Centre and follow those links.

Milseán Chocolate ShoppeOrder lucious chocolates from Myrt's favorite Milsean Shoppe.
(Myrt's nephew's in-laws have created a wonderful chocolate bark of
either white or dark chocolate with almonds and/or cranberries.) Milseán (meel-shawn), in Gaelic (Ireland's ancestral language) means "Sweet Things". Visit the retail shoppe at the renovated Aldergrove Fire Hall, at 2900 272nd Street, in Aldergrove, BC or order online.

Brite Music has great kids' music, songs & activity books. The music is also available in .mp3 format for your iPod. During the podcast you'll hear "I know my
. Ol' Myrt taught her young children to memorize the family telephone number using this song, and now her daughters are teaching Myrt's grandchildren using the same song. It's from the Safety Kids CD.

Find out more about this digital magazine with the latest tips and tricks for using technology to get your research done!

Click to visit DearMYRTLE's blog.


Click to view the Teach Genealogy Blog

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


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© 2009 Pat Richley All Rights Reserved. This and previous blog entries are fully searchable by going to Myrt welcomes queries and research challenges, but regrets she is unable to answer each personally.