Friday, July 30, 2010

Legacy Family Tree - newFamilySearch sync update

View article...DearREADERS,
Its good to hear our friends at Legacy Family Tree are working hard to obtain their "Sync Certification" with New FamilySearch. Today's blog entry explains they are already certifeid in access, print and ordinance status functions.

See more of Legacy's update announcement here.

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

180,000 new Chelsea Pensioner records

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Our friends at FindMyPast are certainly busy. They've explained the term ‘pensioner’ refers to an ex-soldier to whom a pension was paid, and not just to a resident pensioner at Chelsea Hospital. Please address all inquiries to

Click to search this database at FindMyPast.

        Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records 1760-1854 now available to search online
        In-depth and colourful insight into the lives of ordinary ranking soldiers
        Records include servicemen born in the UK and throughout the world, including India and Jamaica

Leading family history website has added a further 180,000 records to the Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records collection currently available online. The new additions comprise the service records of men pensioned out of the British Army between 1760 and 1854. The update means the collection now totals over four million full colour images of the service records of almost 700,000 soldiers pensioned out of the British Army between 1760 and 1900. has been working in association with The National Archives and in partnership with FamilySearch for nearly two years to scan, transcribe and publish online these records.

Many of the soldiers listed will have served in some of Britain’s most significant wars, including the Battle of Waterloo (1815), the Crimean (1853 – 1856) and both Boer Wars (1899 – 1902). Each individual soldier’s record consists of a bundle of a minimum of four pages, full of fascinating personal details, and could even be up to 20 pages long.

The details that can be found in these records are invaluable to family and military historians, providing a rich and colourful story of our ancestors’ lives, with a level of detail that is hard to find in any other historical records. Among the information included in these documents are the soldier’s date and place of birth, name and address of next of kin, height, hair and eye colour, distinguishing features such as tattoos, rank and regiment, occupation before joining the army, medical history and countries where, and dates when, the soldier served.

The records not only relate to servicemen born in the UK, but also throughout the world, with many soldiers born in India and even the Caribbean. These records are also invaluable to Irish, Scottish and Commonwealth researchers, as many men joined the British Army from these countries throughout the centuries.

The records list only those soldiers who either completed their full service in the army or who were wounded and pensioned out of the army. The records do not include those killed in action or army deserters or officers. The connection with 'Chelsea Pensioners' is that the pensions were administered through The Royal Hospital at Chelsea. The great majority of pensioned soldiers were out-pensioners and did not reside at the Hospital itself.

Debra Chatfield of said: “The Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records are a rich resource for family historians. For each soldier you’ll find a minimum of four pages of information, including a physical description and even details of other family members, such as their dates of baptism and marriage. These fascinating records enable you to find out so much about your soldier ancestors, including what they looked like, long before the invention of photography.”

For further information, please contact:

Leading UK family history website (formerly was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today. has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

In November 2006 launched the microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

As well as providing access to historical records, is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

In April 2007,’s then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company who were awarded The National Archives’ contract to publish online the 1911 census, which it launched in January 2009.

FamilySearch sponsors Photo Detective consultations

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Our friends at FamilySearch are providing a great service to attendees of the FGS Conference to be held in Knoxville, Tennessee 18-21 August 2019.

The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation
Maureen's most recent book.
FamilySearch-sponsored Free Photo Detective Consultation at FGS

Schedule a Free Photo Detective Consultation at FGS with Maureen Taylor!
Preserving Your Family PhotographsFamilySearch will be hosting Maureen Taylor, Photo Detective, as a free service to FGS conference goers in Knoxville, Tennessee August 18–21. The Photo Detective services will be offered as part of the FamilySearch booth’s activities in the exhibit hall during the conference.  Interested individuals can register for any available 10 minute session now online.  There are limited sessions available. Don’t delay! Register at

Registrants will have 10 minutes with Maureen during their scheduled time at the FamilySearch booth. It is recommended that you bring only ONE image/photo with you to the consultation. Be sure the photo you select fits one of the following criteria:

  • An original photograph in a protective covering to prevent damage during transport.
  • A high quality COLOR photographic copy of both the front and back of the image.
  • A high resolution color scan (of at least 300dpi) of both sides of the photograph. 

Fashionable Folks Hairstyles 1840-1900For the past 10 years, Maureen has been providing in-depth analysis of historical photos, primarily for people who are researching their family histories.  Maureen estimates that she’s studied over 10,000 photos in the past decade and The Wall Street Journal recently called her “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective.”  Maureen has been interested in old family photos since she was a child.  She has a graduate degree in history and has worked as a photo curator, genealogist, and writer. Combining all these interests as a photo identification/preservation expert, the focus of her work has centered on family photography, history and genealogy.  
Maureen finds it extremely rewarding to be invited to play a part in piecing together the most important history of all – the story of your family! Don’t miss this terrific opportunity during your FGS stay in Knoxville, Tennessee!

Sharing -- We Learned That in Kindergarten

Have you made a cousin connection because of a blog posting? Finding distant relatives because of the Internet isn't all that usual these days.

After yesterday's posting Write as you have never written before... I'd like to spotlight the Irish Mason Musings & Meanderings blog by fellow Tweeter and Genea-Blogger 'Irish Mason'. This blog is a great example of using free web resources to share your personal and family history. Hopefully more than your immediate family will benefit. You may even find that distant cousin who inherited more family photos or the infamous missing family bible.

You'll specifically enjoy Irish Mason's blog entry titled Treasure Chest Thursday - Priceless, Non Tangible - Stories.

Click to visit .

How is it that we are so blessed to be the story tellers -- the keepers of family traditions? In other cultures we might be called Shamans, or the wise ones (I particularly like that!)  

We know the old stories, recipes and remedies; we remember the ancestors; and most of all we LOVE to share traditions from days gone by.

I think sharing these stories via blogs is a great way to extend the sharing beyond our immediate family members. That way any one can find us, and learn more about an ancestor we've mentioned in a blog.

CREATE your blog in 3 EASY Steps

Step 1 - Go to & sign in with your Gmail account.
Select Create a Blog.

Step 2 - Name your blog & click continue.

Step 3 - Choose a template (They've got many to choose from.)

Your blog is then created, and you can click to start blogging.

This is a screen shot of the blogging form Ol' Myrt used to create this blog entry.
It looks like an email program where you type in a subject line.
You may add photos, videos and hyperlinks to other websites to any blog entry.
There are no rules, except to play nice. You may write as frequently or infrequently as desired. You can limit readers to those you invite (family only?) or open your blog for the entire world to read to create possibilities for reaching unknown distance relatives with the same ancestors.

Look for GeneaBlogger posts -- Treasure Chest Thursdays as more and more  genealogists share family stories, heirlooms and treasures through their blogs. The scanned images of family docs, photos, heirlooms, gravestones, diaries, clothing, etc will certainly inspire your own blogging efforts.

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

Companion Books: Who Do You Think You Are?

Before I headed out to Salt Lake for my grandson's baptism, Ol' Myrt here started this blog entry. Just thought I'd finish it up now for ya. (Is the use of the term "ya" too Palinish?)

A BIG thank-you to Audrey Collins from the National Archives (UK) who arrived in March as a house guest. It was a surprising delight for her to bring Ol' Myrt and Mr. DearMYRTLE a copy of the companion book to the BBC1 series. Who Do You Think You Are? Encyclopedia of Genealogy by Nick Barratt is available through Expect this book to lead you through research routines for ancestors whose records are in the UK. (Don't try the US website for as they'll try to charge you $500 US for this same book.)

Of particular interest is the chapter on "Social History: Working Further Back in Time." Here I discovered a simplistic summary of Common Law court records such as King's Bench, exchequer and chancery pleas. Just enough information to get me going, but not too overwhelming, since I am only a beginning researcher when it comes to records in England.

Helpful to beginning and intermediate researchers is the section on troubleshooting. This book has guides for:
  • Army Service Records - WWI
  • Army Service Medals - WWI
  • Early Army Service Records
  • Naval Service Records
  • Merchant Seamen's Records
  • Royal Marine Service Records
  • RAF Service Records (There are different tactics if your ancestor was male or female.)
  • Immigration
  • Emigration  (voluntary or involuntary)
Other chapters like "Origins and Meanings of Popular Surnames" are designed to get novice family historians mildly interested in the subject, I'd guess. Oh well.

All in all, this book is a good beginner's guide, with several case studies describing the research process.

Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family HistoryThe US version, Who Do You Think You Are? Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History is the companion to the NBC WDYTYA series that finally debuted this past winter. Author and friend Megan Smokenyak2 (that's Smolenyak Smoplenyak) was the chief genealogical consultant for the series.

This book is smaller and more closely follows the story line of the research process experienced by each of this last season's stars: Mathew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields, and Emmit Smith.

But the book also assists readers in preparing for their own ancestral journey including collecting what you and your family members already know, researching online, looking at census records, obtaining vital records, and figuring out what to do when crossing the pond.  Megan is absolutely correct when she writes:

"So it would be a pity to keep all your discoveries to yourself - or worse yet, take them to your grave with you (not to be morbid here, but one day you'll be an ancestor.) At least half the reason for tracing your roots is the joy of sharing." Ibid. p. 187.
Either book would be a fitting present to those fledgling family historians who were inspired by watching the TV series, but just don't know where to begin. I would say, you could also give them the link to Ol' Myrt's blog, but that would be a little self-serving, wouldn't it?

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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Julie Jones, RIP

Indeed, very sad news from Claire Bettag. Our prayers go to Tom Jones, Tommy and their extended family at this difficult time.

"This message brings very sad news, sent on behalf of Tom Jones. Some of you may know already that on Tuesday morning Julie Jones died peacefully, with Tom and her son, Tommy, by her side. As you may know, she had been in declining health since about February. But her situation had deteriorated substantially by June, and precipitously since then. After a brief hospitalization Julie had returned home last Friday with Hospice support.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, 7 August at the Universalist National Memorial Church, at 1810 16th Street, N.W., in Washington DC, at 10:00 a.m. Julie and Tom were members of the church for many years, and Julie had been a deacon and choir member there. Rev. Dave McDonald will officiate at the service. Tom is particularly pleased that Dave will preach, as it was a specific request Julie had made.

Julie's obituary will appear in the Washington Post on Saturday and again on Tuesday. It will mention that, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Julie's memory to Save the Children ( ). That organization sponsored Julie's trip a few years ago to Bangladesh and also supported Julie and Tom when they taught in Egypt years ago.

Many of our friends and colleagues got to know Julie over the years at various genealogical gatherings and events. Feel free to pass this information to those who would want to know."

Treasure Chest Thursday: Digital pics from an old camera

You know how pics stay in your digital camera, almost doomed to oblivion? Imagine Ol' Myrt's surprise when I unearthed the following pictures from an old digital camera taken during my May 2008 visit to the William Gist FROMAN grave site at the National Cemetery in Leavenworth, Kansas. William is one of my Union Civil War Vets. I had previously posted two of the pictures from that trip, but neglected to make a blog entry about the computer system designed to aid in locating gravestones at this cemetery.

This treasure has brought tears to me eyes as I recall the emotion of finding William's grave. It was easy, once I found the correct cemetery.

Fig. 1 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved
There are two National Cemeteries at Leavenworth. The first one we perused is at the fort, but the one with William's grave is on the south side of the town of Leavenworth. Close by the old soldiers' home and the newer VA hospital still stand. The entrance is quite modern and as you can see from my pics it was a beautiful day.

A few hundred yards in, you'll find a modern building where I hoped to obtain a map of the cemetery, though from looks of the empty parking area I didn't hold out much hope. The building appeared unoccupied.

Fig. 2 - Leavenworth National Cemetery Office, Leavenworth, Kansas.
(c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

On close inspection, I realized a semi-enclosed porch housed a "Grave Site Locator" with a computer terminal.

Fig. 3 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

From there is was easy to use the touch screen to type in my ancestor's last name. One could make note of the location, or print out directions. Mighty spiffy I'd say. (Sorry about the glare, but it was a very sunny day!)

Fig. 4 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

So we followed the curving lane and then I walked the area to locate William's grave.

It was all I could do not to cry as Holly Hansen took this picture for me. I had worried that the shadows would make the stone hard to read in the picture, so we took several shots with different settings on my camera.

Fig. 5 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

Why is it that we have these nifty digital cameras, but it is oh-so difficult to review the picture just taken on a bright day? Believe me, I took about 25 shots. Better to take too many than not enough photos, eh? I also made notes of the letters on the tombstone in my small spiral notebook reserved just for this purpose.

 Fig. 6 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

We did a little more exploring and discovered a small chapel on the grounds. I wondered if a memorial service had been held there for William? Then I remembered from William's pension file that his wife lived with a series of much younger men while her husband languished in the hospital. Times were difficult then for all concerned I guessed.

Fig. 7 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

I remember taking this picture, and using it in my blog entry on 4 July 2008. It was an incredible shot -- no cropping. And a fitting patriotic ending to my visit.

Fig. 9 - (c) 2008 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved

Ol' Myrt here was going to save this blog entry for Veteran's Day, but just couldn't wait to share it with my DearREADERS. After posting Write as you have never written before... earlier today, I decided there is no time like RIGHT NOW to take a picture or two and tell my grandchildren about my trip to learn more about one of their ancestors -- gives them a sense of history. 


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

Write as you have never written before...

Legacy : A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Personal HistoryThe Mormon Times reported Curt Witcher's plenary session remarks at this week's Brigham Young University Conference on Family History and Genealogy, including:

Witcher encouraged people to write. "Write as you never have written before." This writing can be about memories, describing a family photograph or center on themes such as a family's rituals.

Ol' Myrt here couldn't agree more. We must take pen in hand, or sit at our keyboards -- whatever it takes to tell the stories of our lives, and those of our most immediate ancestors. Otherwise generations that follow will miss the knowledge of heritage.

From the BYU Conference site:
Curt B. Witcher – “This I Believe: The Urgent Need to Record Living History”. Curt B. Witcher is the manager of the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN. He is a member of the Genealogy Committee of the American Library Association, a former president of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society, and the current as well as founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society.
You can still get in on the Thursday and Friday conference tracks. Find out more here.


What steps have you taken to document your personal history and your recollections of ancestors, historical events and family traditions?

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

Mac software - what's out there?

With a daughter and several Second Life friends using Macs, I'd like to hear suggestions from my DearREADERS about Mac genealogy software.

I'm particularly interested in software that will sync with newFamilySearch. Sere Current Certified Software Affiliates at the FamilySearch development website.

I know the old standby is Reunion, but their website doesn't indicate they are working toward syncing with FamilySearch, nor is the software listed on the FamilySearch development website.

MacFamilyTree IS listed as currently certified. What do you Mac users think about  MacFamilyTree, currently in version 6 with additional FamilySearch beta testing going on now?

Are there alternatives?

I am not interested in genealogy software using a Windows emulator, unless there is a compelling reason of which I am unaware.

Please post your comments on my blog.

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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saturday Family History Seminar Series at Riverton Library

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Ol' Myrt here hopes this new Riverton FamilySearch Library (a branch of the Family History Library) will maintain the momentum and keep up with these monthly seminars. This center has the potential to become an awesome training center.


27 July 2010

Dear Family History Consultants,
We invite you and any of your friends, neighbors, ward members, or interested genealogy enthusiasts to attend and to help publicize the Riverton FamilySearch Library’s second monthly Saturday Seminar, which will take place on Saturday, August 21, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. There will be three hours of instruction by family history experts covering a wide range of technical and research subjects.

All are invited to come and attend these free classes, which range from basic to advanced level.  Details of the classes can be found at


FamilySearch's Microfilm Conversion: 12 million + & counting

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

Millions of Historic Documents from Microfilms Now Emerging Digitally Online

FamilySearch’s microfilm conversion initiative is beginning to sail. Over 12 million digital images from thousands of microfilm, representing 8 countries, were published online for free viewing this month. FamilySearch’s online image viewer makes it easy for online patrons to view the newest digital images from Argentina, Costa Rica, France, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, and Spain.

This week the complete U.S. 1910 Federal Census name indexes for Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Missouri were also published online at FamilySearch’s Record Search pilot (, click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot) and coming soon to

See the chart below for the complete list of all the newly added or improved collections.

FamilySearch plans on digitizing and publishing online the bulk of its 2.4 million rolls of microfilm—representing 132 countries. In addition, it is now capturing millions of new images each year digitally “at birth” from its 185 field camera teams worldwide. It all translates to a steady stream of new digital image collections for genealogy enthusiasts to anticipate and enjoy.

Digital Images
Indexed Records
Argentina, Buenos Aires, Province, Catholic Church Records, 1642–1931
New Images
Costa Rica, Church Records, 1595–1992
New Images
France, Coutances, Catholic Diocese, 1802–1907
Indexed Records Only
Luxembourg Civil Registration, 1793–1923
New Images
Mexico, Aguascalientes, Civil Registration, 1860–1950
New Images
México, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886–1933, Part 1
New Images
Mexico, Hidalgo, Catholic Church Records,1546-1963
New Images
Mexico, Tamaulipas, Church Records 1703-1964, Part 2
New Images
Netherlands, Noord-Holland Province Civil Registration 1811-1940
New Images
Netherlands, Noord-Holland, Amsterdam Civil Registration 1811-1940
New Images
Netherlands, Overijssel Civil Registration 1811-1952 -
New Images
Netherlands, Utrecht Province Civil Registration 1811-1950
New Images
Netherlands, Zeeland Civil Registration 1796-1940 -
New Images
Netherlands, Zuid-Holland, Leiden Civil Registration 1812-1882
New Images
Netherlands, Zuid-Holland, Rotterdam Civil Registration 1811-1942
New Images
Netherlands, Zuid-Holland, 's-Gravenhage Civil Registration 1811-1882
New Images
Puerto Rico Civil Registration, 1836–2001
New Images
Spain, Alicante, 1762–1921, Part 1
New Images
Spain, Barcelona Civil Registration, 1886–1936
New Images
Spain, Cordoba, Civil Registration, 1841–1870
New Images
Spain, Sevilla, Civil Registration, Archivo de la Diputacion de Sevilla, 1841–1882
New Images
Spain, Sevilla, Civil Registration, Archivo Municipal de Carmona, 1841–1871
New Images
Spain, Sevilla, Civil Registration, Archivo Municipal de Marchena, 1841–1870
New Images
Spain, Sevilla, Civil Registration, Archivo Municipal de Sevilla, 1841–1882
New Images
Spain, Valencia, Census, Archivo Municipal de Torrent, 1875–1912
New Images
Spain, Valencia, Municipal Census
New Images
Spain, Valencia, Municipal Census, Archivo Municipal de Corbera, 1825–1920
New Images
Spain, Valencia, Municipal Census, Archivo Municipal de Gandia, 1611–1935
New Images
Spain, Valencia, Municipal Census, Archivo Municipal de Sueca, 1797–1921
New Images
Spain, Valencia, Municipal Census, Archvio Municipal de Carcagente, 1847–1920
New Images
U.S. 1910  Federal Census, Idaho
Indexed Records Only
U.S. 1910  Federal Census, Montana
Indexed Records Only
U.S. 1910  Federal Census, Nebraska
Indexed Records Only
U.S. 1910  Federal Census, North Carolina
Indexed Records Only
U.S. 1910  Federal Census, Oklahoma
Indexed Records Only
U.S. 1910 Census, Missouri
Indexed Records Only

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.