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September 30, 2014

Edwin Manktelow's WWII Dog Tag Goes Home

I am happy to announce that Case #22 Edwin Mankletow has a happy ending! The found dog tag has been sent to Edwin's son. Thank you to all my readers for their help tracking down Edwin's family.
Edwin's son receives his Dog Tags by mail and has it framed to hang beside the framed photo of Edwin in 1942


Edwin's grave


September 29, 2014

WWI Canadian soldiers' remains identified

After almost 100 years these WW1 Canadian soldiers' remains have been identified. The Department of National Defence released the names of four men who died during the Battle of Amiens in August 1918.

WWI Canadian soldiers' remains identified
Wounded at Battle of Amiens
from Collections Canada
Their bodies were found  in 2006  in a back garden in Hallu, France, 120 kilometres north of Paris, by by 14-year-old Fabien Demeusere. Eight soldiers' bodies were uncovered but so far only 4 hav been identified. The remains of the eight soldiers will be buried next to each other near the graves of other soldiers from the 78th Battalion at a ceremony set for May 2015 at Caix cemetery in France.

  • Clifford Neelands
Neelands was born in Barrie, Ontario, and moved with his family to Winnipeg. He worked as a real estate agent before joining the 78th Battalion. Lt. Neelands was one of six officers in the 78th who died in the Battle of Amiens.
  • Lachlan McKinnon
McKinnon grew up in Scotland, arriving in Canada in 1913. He had worked as a butcher. After he enlisted, he was back in the U.K. by 1915. Before going to fight on the continent, he married a woman from Glasgow. Pte. McKinnon was seriously wounded in his left leg while serving as a rifleman on the Somme front in 1916.
  • William Simms
Pte. William Simms of Canada's 78th Battalion died in the Battle of Amiens in France on Aug. 11, 1918. (Archives/Royal Winnipeg Rifles Museum) Simms was from a large farm family in Russell, Man. Pte. Simms took part in all the major Canadian offensives of 1917. One of his brothers also died in the war.
  • John Oscar Lindell
Lindell was born in Sweden in 1884, came to Canada when he was about 20 and ended up in Winnipeg. Lance Sgt. Lindell worked as a railroad foreman before he joined the 78th battalion in 1915.


Continue reading this  story at WWI Canadian soldiers' remains identified

September 28, 2014

Mystery Marker Found in Wagoner Oklahoma Cemetery

Mystery Marker Found in Wagoner Oklahoma Cemetery
The Three Forks Genealogy Society recently unearthed a mystery marker at Elmwood Cemetery  in Wagoner Oklahoma. The marker, found buried in the earth, read

 "The Year of Our Lord 1919, Bethel Hill A.M.E. Church." It listed the pastor as William J. Stanley and the church trustees as A.J. Foster, A.L. Rollins, R.A. Montague, J.L. Rollins, and J.H. Montague. 

Members of the Society have so far been unable to find out exactly who these individuals were and are asking for help from the public.

Continue reading this story at Group asking for public's help to identify mystery marker found in historic Wagoner cemetery

Credits: "Research" by jscreationzs on FreeDigitalPhotos.net


September 27, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 1916 Postcard L-3

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 1916 Postcard L-3The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.


This postcard, written in French, is dated September 1916. It is labelled "L-3"so I am assuming it was on the left side of page 3.

September 26, 2014

Find A Grave Community Day - Mark Your Calendars!

Find A Grave Community Day - Mark Your Calendars!
The following announcement was sent to Olive Tree Genealogy:

Find A Grave is an incredible resource offered for free. All of the information on the site is pulled together by an extraordinary group of volunteers around the world. With Find A Grave recently surpassing 100,000,000 photos on the site we are reminded of the dedication of the volunteers. But even with their strong determination, they can’t do it alone.
 
100 million photos is amazing, but it also reminds us that we have some work left to do. On October 18th we are organizing a Community Day. A day to pull together people from all walks of life to a common purpose of helping the gravesites of our fellow brethren be remembered. We all have gravesite stories that touch us deeply. The internet has allowed us all to have those moments without having to leaves our homes.

For more information on how to participate in the Find A Grave Community Day, visit http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2014/09/22/find-a-grave-community-day-october-18th/
 

September 25, 2014

How I Wish I Could Ask Uncle Wally About His Family

Walter Fuller ca 1916
My grandfather Charles Fuller was born in Ramsgate England in 1893. He died young at the age of 48 in Guelph Ontario. In an odd twist of fate, his younger brother Walter, who was born in 1912 is still with us. Uncle Wally is now 102 years old!

How I wish that Uncle Wally was not deaf as a stone because I sure would love to ask him questions about my grandfather and his parents and grandparents. 

Can you imagine the stories that Uncle Wally could tell?


September 24, 2014

Another Year of Ontario Vital Statistics Registrations Added!

Another Year of Ontario Vital Statistics Registrations Added!
New records on Ancestry.com include one more year of Ontario Vital Statistics Records. Now you can search 1928 marriages, 1913 births (I'm anxiously waiting for 1914 for my father's birth registration!) and 1938 deaths.

I'm very excited about this new year of records, but be aware that there are indexing errors. You may need to be creative, use wildcards, ignore first names and so on, in order to find an ancestor. Some errors that I spotted this morning in my own searches were:

"Percival" as "Persfuffal" and "Eileen" as "Celeen" and "Quebec" as " Iacbie" The images these were taken from were quite clear and legible.

That doesn't negate the value of the record set, but it does make searching them more of a challenge.

 

September 23, 2014

WW1 Vernon Internment Camp Graves Being Restored

Pleasant Valley Cemetery in British Columbia holds the broken tombstones and neglected graves of many of those interred during World War 1. After WWI broke out, over 8,500 Canadians, many naturalized citizens, were taken to one of the 24 internment camps across Canada, including a large one in Vernon that ran from 1914-1920. Another 88,000 Canadians were forced to register and had to report on a monthly basis to officials.


WW1 Vernon Internment Camp Graves Being Restored
Vernon Internment Camp - Greater Vernon Museum & Archives
The Vernon and District Family History Society and the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund are working together to repair the forgotten graves.

The names of the internees still buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery are:

  • Mile Hecimovich (d. 1917)
  • Ivan Jugo (d. 1917)
  • Timoti Korejczuk (d. 1919)
  • Steve Sapich (d. 1917)
  • Wasyl Shapka (d. 1918)
  • George Vukop (d. 1916)
  • Samuel Vulovich (d. 1918)
The names of the internees that were originally buried in Vernon and moved to Kitchener, Ontario (Woodland Cemetery) are:

  • Bernard Heiny (d. 1918)
  • Karl Keck (d. 1917)
  • Leo Mueller (d. 1919)
  • Wilhelm Wolter (d. 1918)
Read more  at  A dark past unearthed

September 22, 2014

Lost and Found Bible Returned to Owner after 40 Years

Lost and Found Bible Returned to Owner after 40 Years
When Betty Gibson collected debris that had been scattered by a tornado in 2006, she had no idea that the Bible inscribed “Presented to Deborah Savely by Mother and Daddy. June 1961" had been lost by Deborah in 1974.

Betty stored the Bible in her basement but found it while rummaging through the box. Determined to find the owner, she enlisted the help of other people who found Deborah after a great deal of research. The Bible was returned, much to Deborah's delight.


Read more at Lost Bible found in tornado debris after 40 years

Image Credit: "Old Bible" by Arvind Balaraman on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

September 21, 2014

Welcome Home Mable! Lost but now Found

A few days ago I posted about looking for Mable Savage

Welcome Home Mable! Lost but now Found
Mable Salvadge ca 1890s
When my husband bought lovely self-portrait (not a selfie, an actual painting done ca 1890s by Mable herself) , we were told that Mable (Mabel) Savage was a teacher in Stratford Ontario. But we've never been able to find Mable. Until yesterday.

Many of my wonderful readers tried to help find Mable. Several Facebook friends also tried to find her. We didn't have much to go on, just her name, place of residence, occupation and that she was thought to have never married.

One of my Facebook friends and reader of this Olive Tree Genealogy blog spotted my post and went on a hunt. Diligent and creative searching on Ancestry.com led him to Mable Salvage (Salvadge), an unmarried teacher in Stratford Ontario. Further research on my part led to the conclusion that this is indeed "our" Mable! 

16 year old Mable is found living with her younger siblings and her widowed mother Fannie Salvage in Stratford, Perth County Ontario in 1891. Her grandfather William Ruff, 80, is living with the family. William and his daughter Fanny were born in England and Fanny was working as a carpet weaver to support the family.

Ten years later Mable is found living in the town of Mitchell which is just outside of Stratford. Her occupation is recorded as teacher and her date of birth 9 August 1874.

Going back to 1881 provides her father's name - Robert Salvadge age 42 and sadly the deaths of her father Robert and older brother Charles in October 1882 of Typhoid Fever.

Mable and her younger sister Louisa lived together for many years at 176 Hibernia Street in Stratford and are found together as early as 1935.  By the 1957 Voter's List, Louisa was not with Mable.

I also found Mable Salvadge on a list of school teachers in Ontario as of November 1932 and she was recorded as teaching at the Avon School. 

So now we have a bit of detail to type up and tape to the back of the beautiful painting that Mable created of herself as a young woman. This is what I love about collecting - finding the stories of the individual or individuals who once owned the item, and giving them a voice after many years of silence.

Welcome home Mable!





September 20, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album p. 21

p. 21 R Hospital Ward 30. 34 beds
This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

 
p. 21 V Cartoon drawing by L. Cpl T. Satch.1925

"If you like an officer, you salute him. If not you tie your boots"

September 19, 2014

Looking For Mable

Several years ago, my husband bought a portrait of a beautiful woman. According to the antique dealer who owned the store,  the painting was done by Mable (or Mabel) Savage and was her self-portrait. Mable was said to be a teacher in Stratford Ontario Canada.

For years we have searched for Mabel to no avail. We do not know if she was a Savage by birth or by marriage. We estimate her date of birth to be ca 1870-1880 and this painting done ca 1890-1900.

Do you recognize Mable?  This is not the original frame. You can see from the shadowing that the portrait was originally in an oval frame that was not with the portrait. My husband bought the portrait loose and chose the mount and frame you see below.


September 18, 2014

WW 1 Photo Album Archive page 25

Continuing on with my WW1 Photo Album archive here is the 25th page in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's album.

WW 1 Photo Album Archive page 25
Simpson Photo Album Toronto Ontario Canada ca 1920s
There are only 2 photos on this page. In the photo on the left I am fairly confident that is my Grandmother Ruth (Simpson) Fuller Richardson Bates (the taller woman). The photo on the right is Doris herself (with the tie at her neck) and I think that is her mom Cordelia (Cook) Simpson standing beside her.


September 17, 2014

Crowdsourcing for Genealogy - What Does the Record Say?

Today I am crowdsourcing from other genealogists. An 1805 record for my ancestor John Greenlees has me stumped. There is one word I cannot figure out. My husband and I have spent hours going over it and comparing it to other words on the record page in hopes of understanding the clerk's letter formations.

Now it's time to ask for help. Here is the cropped image. My ancestor is John Greenlees from Fermangh Ireland. The word I cannot read is the top line. It is the word after Fermangh and it is in the column heading "Where Born: Parish"

Crowdsourcing for Genealogy - What Does the Record Say?
I have looked at the parishes and townlands in Fermanagh - and there are a lot! I still cannot figure out what that word says.  We think, after much deliberation, that the first letter might be "A".

To compare the letter formations, here is the complete record page. I hope someone more familiar with the places in Fermanagh or with a better eye than I have, will be able to help. You can also view  a larger image here. You can enlarge it with the magnifier when it loads. Thank you for any ideas!


September 16, 2014

Scanning Family Photos to Reveal Genetic Disorders

There's an interesting article on Newsweek called Scanning Family Photos Can Reveal Rare Genetic Disorders

Scanning Family Photos to Reveal Genetic Disorders
Software for Scanning Faces for Genetic Disorders
According to the article, research led by Dr. Nellaker and Prof. Zisserman at the University of Oxford has have developed software that can detect the risk for genetic disorders in children, such as Down and Treacher Collins syndromes, just by scanning old photographs of their family members.

30 to 40 percent of genetic disorders involve detectable abnormalities in the cranium and face. The Oxford project, called Clinical Face Phenotype Space scans family photos and cross-references them with a database built from images of people with known genetic disorders. 

The algorithms and other details are explained in the Newsweek article. It's an intriguing concept and  I'll be watching this project to see what new developments, if any, occur.

September 15, 2014

DNA Gave My Husband a Completely Different Great Grandfather

A few months back I wrote about a surprising DNA match with my husband in a post called DNA Results Leave us Gob-Smacked! 
DNA Gave My Husband a Completely Different Great Grandfather
Comparison of hubs' mother's DNA with Alice
Hubs and another man were a .64% match with a predicted relationship of 2nd or 3rd cousin. I don't have permission to use his name so I'll call him John. John's family tree showed no surnames that matched hubs. Emails to John revealed that he was born in the same small town as hubs and his ancestors had settled there many generations prior, just as hubs' ancestors had done. 

A 2nd cousin match meant that John and hubs probably shared a great-grandfather, while a 3rd cousin match meant they shared a 2nd great-grandparent.

I was puzzled, as we had researched hubs' genealogy several generations back without seeing any link to John and his lines. John also had done extensive research on his lines several generations back. We knew who hubs' and John's great and 2nd great grandparents were - and they were not the same. 

John was as intrigued as we were, so our next step was to have John's mother and hubs' mother tested. We also tested hubs' father just in case the match was on his side. The DNA results were in - hubs matched John's mother (let's call her Alice) with 3.00% shared. Because we had also tested hubs' mother and father, we knew if matches were on his maternal or paternal side. It was conclusive - it was on his maternal side. 

A look at the matches for hubs' mother showed that she matched Alice (John's mother) with 6.9% shared and was estimated as a 1st or 2nd cousin. First cousins share grandparents, while 2nd cousins share great-grandparents. 

Comparison of hubs' mother's DNA with John

Since DNA doesn't lie, I had a closer look at John's family names, especially the names of his great-grandparents on his mother's side. John's great-grandparents were George Cooper & Sarah Jane Jickling. Suddenly I remembered a little tidbit of family lore that had passed on from hubs' grandmother on his mom's side. His grandmother had always claimed that hubs' grandfather Bert Holden was not really the son of Bristol Holden because Bert's mother Elsie Phyllis Markham had been "fooling around with the hired man named Cooper" If this were true it meant that hubs' great grandpa (his mother's grandfather ) was not Bristol Holden but someone named Cooper. 

Bingo! It looked like that family rumour might be true. I began researching the Cooper family in and around St. Mary's and found lots of supporting evidence for the rumoured parentage of Bert Holden. 

At the time Elsie became pregnant with Bert (August 1917) one of George and Sarah Cooper's sons lived beside Elsie Markham's brother Albert. One of George and Sarah's sons and a nephew lived beside Bristol Holden on his farm just outside of town. Who better to be "a hired hand" on the farm of Bristol Holden than either the son or the nephew?

Elsie married Bristol Holden 7 months before Bert was born.  She was 19 years old and had only arrived in Canada from England 4 years earlier. Her only family was two brothers one of who was killed 10 days before Bert was born.  Elsie was orphaned at 6 months of age and passed from relatives to strangers until her oldest brother (who was a Home Child sent to Canada at the age of 11) saved enough money to send for her in 1913. 

It seems very likely that poor Elsie found herself pregnant, either from the married son of George and Sarah Cooper or (more likely) the unmarried nephew, who according to John's mother Alice, was a known "rogue". Given her situation she no doubt was happy to marry Bristol. Did he know the baby was not his? We will never know. Elsie may have told him. Or she may have initiated some intimate moments with him, then told him she was pregnant. He would of course assume the baby was his. 

In the end it doesn't matter what the details are. We cannot blame Elsie. It was 1917 and she was a  pregnant unmarried girl. She had few choices. By all accounts she and Bristol had a happy marriage and she was a good mother. In the end that is what matters.

But back to the nephew. If he was Bert Holden's biological father, then Alice and hubs' mother are 1st cousins twice removed. Allice's grandparents were George Cooper and Sarah Jickling and this same couple would be hubs' mother's 2nd great-grandparents. 

The line of descent would then be:
  • George Cooper (1843-1922) & Sarah Jickling
  • George's son Herman Cooper (1873-1958) & Caroline Martin
  • Herman's son Gordon Alfred Cooper (1899-1970)
  • Bert Holden
  • Hubs' mother
  • Hubs
 Our theory is that Gordon Alfred Cooper was the biological father of Bert Holden. We are continuing our research to try to prove or disprove this theory. We may never find out whether it was George or one of his uncles or his father but we do know that George & Sarah are direct ancestors of hubs' mother.  We have eliminated some sons and grandsons of George & Sarah as being too young or too old. We have narrowed the suspect list to those with the closest proximity and who might have been "the hired hand" on the Holden farm in 1917.

One last item is that we have seen a photo of Gordon Alfred Cooper's legitimate daughter and there is a striking resemblance to hubs' mother at the same age. Just one little tantalizing bit more to add to the puzzle.

I would love to find some descendants of Caroline Martin's parents George King Martin & Hannah Robinson, have their DNA tested and see if they match hubs' mother. That should tell us if Bert's biological father is indeed Gordon Cooper or if we need to eliminate him and look at his uncles again.

September 14, 2014

Certificate Frederick Swindells, a Power Loom Overlooker Found

 This lovely print was discovered in a local antique shop yesterday and I wanted to share it in case a descendant wishes to purchase it.

The handwritten label, signed by 3 men, reads:

This is to certify that Fred W. Swindells was admitted a member of the above General Union in the Leigh District on the 5th of July 1907

The bottom of the certificate reads  

"Campbell & Tudhope  Chromo Lith  Glasgow"

The Union is the General Union Associations of Power Loom Overlookers. The seller is asking $250.00 and the Antique Store is the Barrie Antiques Centre in Barrie Ontario Canada.

Being the curious sort I couldn't resist looking for Fred W Swindell on Ancestry.com. To my delight I found him in the 1911 census with his wife Emily.

He is listed as a Silk & Cotton Weaving Overlooker, age 25 and born Macclesfield, Cheshire, England but living in the Leigh District of Lancashire England.  His full name is recorded as Frederick William Swindell.

Wondering how his certificate ended up in Ontario Canada I checked immigration records on Ancestry.com and found him visiting England in various years - and listed as a citizen of Canada. So it appears he settled in Canada at some point in time.

Update: I just found Emily Swindells arriving in Canada in 1921, heading to join her husband in Guelph Ontario. That is where both my parents were born and my roots there go back to the 1840s.

September 13, 2014

500 Child Skeletons from Irish Famine found in Workhouse Grave


500 child skeletons from Irish famine found in grave
Seven years ago the skeletons of 500 children buried in a mass grave in what was once the Kilkenny Union Workhouse.

545 children were buried within the grounds of the Kilkenny Union Workhouse between 1847 and 1851, two thirds of whom were under age six when they died. Studies on the teeth revealed that scurvy was rampant among the children

Skeletal studies found that all of the infants between six and twelve months – and three quarters of the children between one and twelve years of age – had been affected by stunted growth.

Read more at 500 child skeletons found in workhouse mass grave tell of struggles during the Great Hunger

Image credit: wikimedia commons Irish Famine

September 12, 2014

The Chirurgeon's Apprentice: The Saddest Place in London England

The Chirurgeon's Apprentice: The Saddest Place in London England 

Recently I stumbled on a fascinating and moving blog post called The Saddest Place in London: A Story of Self-Sacrifice


The article on is about a little corner of London England called Postman’s Park, where, to quote from the blog post:
On a stone wall, underneath a makeshift overhang, are a series of ceramic plaques, each one painted beautifully with the names of people who died while trying to save the lives of others.
Take a moment to see the plaques and read the stories.  

Image of plaque for Solomon Galaman in Postman's Park, London England on

September 11, 2014

Franklin Expedition Ship Found After 169 Years!

Franklin Expedition Ship Found After 169 Years!
HMS Terror
Queen Elizabeth sent her congratulations to all Canadians a few days ago. Why? Because we found one of the lost ships from the Franklin Expedition after 169 years! Searchers are not yet sure if they have found HMS Erebus or HMS Terror.

The two ships of the Franklin Expedition and their crews disappeared during an 1845 quest for the Northwest Passage.  They were the subject of many searches throughout the 19th century, but the mystery of exactly what happened to Franklin and his men has never been solved. All 128 members of the Expedition died when their ships became locked in ice while exploring the Arctic in a search for the Northwest Passage.

Inuit testimony in the late 1840s  claimed that one ship sank in deep water west of King William Island, and one ship went perhaps as far south as Queen Maud Gulf or into Wilmot and Crampton Bay. The location of this wreck backs up that testimony which was widely discounted previously.

Earlier searches had discovered the bodies of a dozen or so men from the Franklin Expedition on King William Island. Watch a video about the discovery of the wonderfully preserved mummies at Franklin Expedition Mummies

A search team made up of a partnership between Parks Canada, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the Arctic Research Foundation, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy and the government of Nunavut made the discovery.  They confirmed it on Sunday using a remotely operated underwater vehicle recently acquired by Parks Canada. They found the wreck 11 metres below the water’s surface.

Since 2008, Parks Canada has led six major searches for the lost Franklin ships. Four vessels — the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Kingston and vessels from the Arctic Research Foundation and the One Ocean Expedition — led the search this summer.

Read more and watch videos at Long-lost ship from Franklin expedition found and at Lost Franklin expedition ship found in the Arctic



September 10, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album p. 11

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.


p. 11 R Staff outside a hut

p. 11 V burials

September 9, 2014

Vote for Your Favourite Genealogy Rock Star

It's Genealogy Rockstar Time in the Genealogy Community. Choose your favourites from nearly 150 nominees.  What is a Genealogy Rockstar? John D. Reid defines this as
Rockstar genealogists are those who give "must attend" presentations at family history conferences or as webinars. Who, when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. Who you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter?
The list of nominees is here Please cast your vote at Rockstar Genealogist(s) 2014: voting now open before Saturday September 13th. 

Yes Olive Tree Genealogy is on the list of nominees under my name Lorine McGinnis Schulze, so if you want to vote for me, that's great! I'd love it if you did. If you don't want to vote for me, that's okay but  please do vote for someone.

Credit: "Gold Star And Silver Star Award" by pixtawan from FreeDigitalPhotos.net


September 8, 2014

Has Jack the Ripper Been Found Through DNA?

A few days ago the Daily Mail UK published an article written by Russell Edwards. Mr. Edwards believes he has found the true identity of Jack the Ripper, the serial killer responsible for  at least five grisly murders in Whitechapel in East London during the autumn of 1888.

The story is compelling. Mr. Edwards owns a shawl said to have been found on or near the body of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper's victims. One of the policeman who investigated the murder in 1888 took the shawl home to his wife and she immediately packed it away, unwashed.

The shawl was passed on from one generation to the next until  2007 when the current owner at that time decided to auction it off.  Edwards, a self-confessed amateur detective, bought the shawl and enlisted the help of Dr Jari Louhelainen, a world-renowned expert in analyzing genetic evidence from historical crime scenes. His credentials are top-notch in his field.

Dr Louhelainen was able to extract 126-year-old DNA from the material and compare it to DNA from descendants of Eddowes, resulting in a perfect match. Thus the shawl was proven to be Eddowes, which answered questions about its provenance.

DNA samples from what Dr. Loouhelainen believed to be semen on the shawl were then compared with a descendant of the sister of the prime suspect, again with a perfect match as the result. Mr. Edwards believes this new DNA evidence proves conclusively that Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jew who had fled to London with his family, escaping the Russian pogroms, in the early 1880s, was Jack the Ripper. Edwards'  book Naming Jack the Ripper will be published by Sidgwick & Jackson today, September 9th. 

Some questions spring to mind - why did they not test descendants of all the suspects in case another match was found? How do they know that Mr. Kosminski's semen was found at the scene because he was a customer of Ms. Eddowes, rather than her murderer? 

I will almost certainly purchase the book in hopes of reading more details of the analysis of the DNA sample. Although the shawl is not listed in the inventory of items found on Catherine Eddowes or in her room, I do not find that too unusual. I suspect the police officer who supposedly asked permission to keep the shawl, may have taken it home with him before the inventory was taken - with or without permission of his superiors. What did intrigue me was the listing of a skirt patterned with Michaelmas daisies. The same design of Michaelmas daisies occurs on the shawl.

Continue reading full details at WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Jack the Ripper unmasked: How amateur sleuth used DNA breakthrough to identify Britain's most notorious criminal 126 years after string of terrible murders

September 7, 2014

Sharing Memories Good News

 
I'm excited to announce Sharing Memories prompts are now published in an ebook Writing Your Memoirs For Descendants: Prompts for Recording & Preserving Your Family Stories and Memories

Many new prompts have been added to this book. My weekly Sharing Memories prompts began in December 2009 and ended last week with a total of almost 200 prompts designed to jog memories of childhood experiences and stories. 

I encourage my readers who want to preserve family memories and stories to continue their weekly writing and recording. If we don't record our memories they will be lost within a few generations.

So why wait? Start recording your memories today!

P. S. this ebook can be read on the free Kindle App for smartphones or tablets or the free Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader.

September 6, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW 1 Photo Album p. 12

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

p. 12 R Funeral Service

p. 12 V Nurses

September 5, 2014

I Want....

I Want....
The following article is © Barbara A. Brown and posted on Olive Tree Genealogy blog with her permission

Yep -- I want ancestors with names like Rudimentary Montagnard or Melchizedick von Steubenhoffmannschild or Spetznatz Gianfortoni, not William Brown or John Hunter or Mary Abbott.

I want ancestors who could read and write, had their children baptized in recognized houses of worship, went to school, purchased land, left detailed wills (naming a huge extended family as legatees), had their photographs taken once a year -- subsequently putting said pictures in elaborate isinglass frames annotated with calligraphic inscriptions, and carved voluble and informative inscriptions in their headstones. I want relatives who managed to bury their predecessors in established, still-extant (and indexed) cemeteries.

I want family members who wrote memoirs, who enlisted in the military as officers and who served in strategically important (and well documented) skirmishes. I want relatives who served as councilmen, schoolteachers, county clerks and town historians. I want relatives who 'religiously' wrote in the family Bible, journaling every little event and detailing the familial relationship of every visitor.

In the case of immigrant progenitors, I want them to have arrived only in those years wherein passenger lists were indexed by National Archives, and I want them to have applied for citizenship, and to have done so only in those jurisdictions which have since established indices.

I want relatives who were patriotic and clubby, who joined every patrimonial society they could find, who kept diaries, and listed all their addresses, who had paintings made of their horses, and who dated every piece of paper they touched. I want forebears who were wealthy enough to afford, and to keep for generations, the tribal homestead, and who left all the aforementioned pictures and diaries and journals intact in the library.

But most of all, I want relatives I can find!!!

Note that Ms. Brown's "I Want" article was originally posted in 1994 to the National Genealogical Conference, FIDO bulletin board forum. This article also appeared in IIGS Newsletter August 1998 with her permission. Ms. Brown offers lookups in Who's Who books from 1901 to 1978 and Social Register Directories from 1917 to 1971. She can be reached at babrown12@yahoo.com

September 4, 2014

Identifying a Loyalist Shipwreck from a Cannon

Identifying a Loyalist Shipwreck from a Cannon
This is a fascinating archaeological find. A five-foot-long cannon  was recovered from an eighteenth-century shipwreck near the St. Augustine Inlet. 

The ship was part of a huge fleet that evacuated British Loyalists from the colonies near the end of the American Revolution. It sailed from Charleston and was probably carrying both civilians and soldiers who were seeking refuge in St. Augustine. It is hoped that the team can identify the ship and find records of its passengers.

Continue reading at Cannon Could Help Identify Loyalist Shipwreck

September 3, 2014

WW 1 Photo Album Archive page 24

Continuing on with my WW1 Photo Album archive here is the 24th page in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's album. It looks like we are in to the mid 1920s now.

 This page in the album only held 2 photos. On the left is Doris' cousin Vera Simpson born 1925, and on the right is Doris with her dog.
 Vera was the daughter of my grandmother's brother Sydney (Uncle Syd) Simpson and his wife Ellen (Aunt Nell) Webb.