March 31, 2015

Another Orphan School Photo from 1919

While sorting and organizing my thousands of old photos, I came across another photo in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's papers.  Doris was my grandmother's brother's only child and when she died in 1998 at the age of 89, all her photographs and photo albums came to me. Even though I do not know any of the people in most of her photos, I can't bear to throw them out without sharing them here. 
This is Lambton Park School, Toronto, 1919 at 50 Bernice Crescent, Toronto Ontario. Doris made a chart with her best recollection of the students' names. 

Back row: ?, Mr. Sproulx - principal, ?, Max Gilbert (wearing toque), rest unknown

4th row: Harrold Quarrington, ?, Florence Tipper, Alice Adams, Marion Mortimer, itola Quarrington, Ethel Chown, Frank Ellins?

3rd row: ?, Trudy Turner, Doris Simpson, Hazel Turner (with bow), Barb Douglas, Gladys Marrett, Kelly Taylor

2nd row: Diasy Chown, Janet Jamieson, Muriel Bell, ?, Dorothy Douglas, Lillian Marrett, Marjorie Summerfield, pauline Kerr

front row: Cliff Gilbert, ?, Norm Kirkwood, Robert Gilbert (holding sign), ?, ?, Billy Lee? , Jim Jemmett


If you have an ancestor in this photo and would like to own it, I will gladly send it to you free of charge. Just leave a comment on this blog post with a way to contact you.

March 30, 2015

A 1922 Orphan School Photo - Do You See an Ancestor Here?

While sorting and organizing my thousands of old photos, I came across this photo in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's papers.  Doris was my grandmother's brother's only child and when she died in 1998 at the age of 89, all her photographs and photo albums came to me. Even though I do not know any of the people in most of her photos, I can't bear to throw them out without sharing them here. 

Perhaps a descendant of one of the children in this school photo taken in Toronto Ontario Canada in 1922 will recognize an ancestor! Doris labelled the back with names which I have typed out below:

George Syme School, 844 Windermere Ave., Entrance Class of 1922. Teacher Miss Margaret Evans

Back row: George Sidney, Frank Arnott, Sydney Waterman, Sydney Hasted, Percy Marshall, Edwin Downes, Alfred Tempest, John Arnott, Leslie Horton

Middle row: Blanche Syme, Verna Williams, Mary Russell, Doris Simpson, Clarence Syme, Reginald Dounes, David Lyons

Front row: Maird Bannerman, Florence Martin, Leah Dempster, Hazel Turner, Anne Foulds, Grace Kirk, Grace Coe, Blanche Grey


If your  ancestor is in this photo and you would like the original, just email me at olivetreegenealogyATgmailDOTcom and I'll be happy to mail it to you at no cost. 

March 29, 2015

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 14V - The Ward

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 14V - The Ward


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.

March 28, 2015

My Fearless Female Blog Post featured on FamilySearch

I'm excited to announce that the blog post I wrote about Eileen Vollick was chosen by FamilySearch as their lead story about Fearless Females. 

Eileen was the first woman in Canada to qualify and receive her pilot's licence in 1928.

Read all the FamilySearch stories at Find Stories of Women Relatives with Inspiration from Fearless Females.  


 My previous stories about Eileen are

Carnival of Genealogy: Famous Canadian Ancestor Eileen Vollick, first licenced female pilot in Canada

Women's History Month: A Pioneer Female Pilot

 

 


March 27, 2015

Almost Time for Who Do You Think You Are? on Sunday

Sean Hayes’ estranged father has a troubled past, so Sean goes on a journey to discover the root of the problem on Who Do You Think You Are?, airing this Sunday, March 29 at 10/9c on TLC.

Sean’s journey takes him to Chicago where he uncovers the sad details of his grandfather’s early death on skid row. Sean then follows his ancestral trail to Ireland, where court documents reveal the chaos in the Hayes family runs generations deep. Through Sean’s search, he is able to deepen his understanding of his father and appreciate that he’s broken a turbulent family pattern on his own.

Who Do You Think You Are? is sponsored by Ancestry.com

Image credit: TLC

March 26, 2015

Heritage Designation for Black Cemetery

The Smith Cemetery on Banwell Road, which dates back to 1850, was designated a historical site in September by the Town of Tecumseh, Ontario. It will receive a provincial designation in a ceremony planned for the summer and will be renamed the Historic Banwell Road Black Cemetery.

One of those buried is James Ross. Ross was murdered at the age of 80 in July 1899. On 06 February 1900 his killer 30 year old Levi Stewart was hung for the crime in Sandwich, Ontario (currently part of Windsor). 

There are only 5 surviving headstones in the cemetery but more than 100 black Canadians are believed to be buried there.17 known burials can be viewed on Find-A-Grave

Continue reading at the CBC article Black cemetery in Tecumseh receiving heritage designation  

Caveat: the date of death given in the article on CBC for James Ross is incorrect. His death certificate clearly shows the year of death to be 1899.

March 25, 2015

Using Evernote for Genealogy

I thought this was an interesting blog post about using Evernote "12 Surprising Ways to Use Evernote You Might Not Have Considered" 

While it is not genealogy-specific the author has some intriguing ideas that might be useful to researchers. 

Of course if you are just getting started with Evernote, or considering using it, you might want to grab a copy of the e-book I wrote called "Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 Easy Steps" 

The book costs less than a cup of coffee and is easy to follow with lots of screenshots.

Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 Easy Steps available as an Ebook on Amazon

March 24, 2015

Organizational Project Part 5: The Domino Effect in an Organization Project

In January I began my plan to sort, organize and digitize my family photos.  I ended up ordering archival boxes and sleeves from a company called GetSmartProducts

My Alcove for Binding Books
I've previously shared how I am organizing, sorting and purging these photos and if you missed those earlier posts, you can view them by clicking on the lable "Organization Project" at the bottom of this post or in the right side bar.

If you're also organizing I am willing to bet you have run into what I call "The Domino Effect". That's when you realize that in order to sort items "A" you have to make room somewhere in your house to store them, and that means rearranging/organizing a closet in Room "B". But the closet is full so you have to make room for those items (after you sort and purge of course!) somewhere else - perhaps in cupboard or closet "C" but closet "C" is also full.... and on and on it goes.

That happened to us yesterday. My husband needed more room for a project he is working on so I agreed to give up a small room in the basement that we use for binding my coil-bound books and doing lookups on microfiche. 

That meant the unbound books and the equipment (binding machine, laminator etc) had to be stored elsewhere and it had to be somewhere easily accessible. Okay my office in our loft would do nicely....IF I made some room on the big table for the equipment, and room in the closet for the unbound books.

Making room on the table meant sorting, organizing, purging and filing 3 large cardboard boxes of miscellaneous papers - business papers, personal papers, genealogy papers - it was all a big mess of unsorted "stuff". 

Because I really didn't want to start on that task, I made a decision that was unusual for me. I would be ruthless. Any old scraps of paper that I scribbled on with vague references or notes, would be tossed in the garbage. Any old research would be likewise dumped in the trash. I would only keep documents (business, personal and genealogy) that absolutely needed to be kept. That's not easy for me. I have good intentions - one day I will read through all the notes I made in 2002 and see what, if anything, needs to go into my files. But I realize that now, at this stage of my life, it is unlikely I will ever get to that. So --- decision made, no turning back and I began sorting. 

After 3 hours I had a garbage bag full of papers that my husband will dump into our burning barrel and destroy. The bag weighs over 25 pounds. I tossed old fan-fold genealogy (and you know how old that must have been). I found, and discarded, an old leather wallet that had sentimental value. I even found unopened mail from 2012!

And so the project continues. My husband has removed all his "junk" from my office credenza (yes he kind of took over my lovely office in our loft) which provides room for all the unbound books and the ones he is busy binding today.

The large table is ready for the bookbinding equipment. As difficult (and scary) as it was for me to throw out all those papers, it feels really good to have done so!

My hoarding tendencies have to be overcome at times. I hate throwing out paper because maybe, just maybe, I will need it one day.... but after yesterday I feel I'm on the right track and can't wait to get at my 3 drawer lateral filing cabinet that is crammed full of genealogy papers! 

Here are links to the previous blog posts about this project:

Organizing Family Photos - Creating a Plan

Organizational Project Part 2 - Family Diaries

Organization Project Part 3 - Digitizing Family Slides

Organizational Project Part 4 - Sorting the Family Photographs

March 23, 2015

Virginia Slaves' Identities Discovered and Online

Virginia Slaves' Identities Discovered and Online
Recently the Virginia Historical Society found the names and occupations of 3,200 slaves listed in private documents. These documents came from basements, attics and stuffed in drawers of old papers. 

These papers had been donated to the Virginia Historical Society long ago but had never been sorted or read. They consisted of letters, diaries, ledgers, books and farm documents from Virginians dating to the 1600s.

Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names  is their free online resource listing slaves' names. It is fully searchable. Search results include images of the original record, as seen from the image above.

Read more at Long-lost identities of slaves uncovered in old Virginia papers

March 22, 2015

Help Blaine Bettinger with a DNA Study

Fellow genealogist and DNA expert gathering data about the ranges of DNA shared by known relatives. While it is possible to predict approximately how much DNA you share with a close relative, the actual numbers vary greatly.

All Blaine needs is a known relationship (for example brother/sister; father/child; cousins) and two numbers from your DNA results.  Blaine explains where to find these numbers if you have a kit from FamilyTreeDNA at http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2015/03/04/collecting-sharing-information-for-known-relationships/ 

The submission form is also found there. If you are using 23andMe, you will probably need
 this explanation on how to get those two numbers. See  http://blog.kittycooper.com/2015/03/lets-all-help-collect-dna-statistics/

Please note that using Kitty's method above you will still need the largest number in the list as that is your second number to submit. 

If you submit before April 1, 2015 you will be eligible for a draw to win a Family Finder DNA kit. 

Olive Tree Genealogy submitted 3 sets of relationships for Blaine's study and have a few more to do. Let's all help Blaine with this study! 

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 9 R Pte. W. Coldron Letter

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.

Letter from Private W. Coldron




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.

March 21, 2015

Almost Time for Who Do You Think You Are? With Angie Harmon

Angie Harmon sets out to discover the roots of her beloved father, whose heritage is relatively vague, on Who Do You Think You Are?, airing this Sunday, March 22 at 10/9c on TLC.

On her journey, Angie uncovers the dramatic story of her 5X great grandfather, who endured hardship and danger as an immigrant coming to America. She discovers that he fought in the American Revolution and risked death for standing his ground. She makes modern connections with some of her own values that appear to have been in the family for generations.

Key details discovered in Angie’s episode include:

·         Angie traces all the way up to her 5x great grandfather Michael Harmon. She discovers that Michael was the first immigrant ancestor on the Harmon side, and to her surprise, from Germany.

·         Angie discovers Michael Harmon gave up his freedom to come to America, fought for his new country’s independence, and risked everything at a pivotal point in America’s history.

·         Angie finds out that Michael Harmon as an indentured servant once arriving in the US.

·         Michael Harmon was released from servitude right in the middle of the Revolutionary War, and enlisted with the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment on May 10, 1777.

·         Angie discovers that Michael Harmon camped at Valley Forge under the command of George Washington.

·         However, Michael and his entire Pennsylvania line mutinied due to horrible conditions. Eventually the U.S. army met their terms, and the soldiers were able to leave service if they chose – Michael’s war service ended after the mutiny.

·         Michael owned multiple plantations and finally got married and had 7 children, perhaps starting the tradition of big Harmon families.

·         Angie finds her ancestors land on an old map, and heads out to see her ancestral land.


Image Credit: TLC

March 20, 2015

ArkivDigital Free Weekend Access

Saturday March 21 is Genealogy Day in Sweden and many of the genealogy societies, libraries and archives throughout the country are hosting exhibits and lectures.

ArkivDigital, your online digital archive with nearly 53 million images, will be hosting an “open house” this week-end. We invite all who are interested in their Swedish history free access to our entire online historical archive on Saturday and Sunday (March 21-22, 2015). Take the opportunity to research your Swedish heritage and discover the wealth of records in our online archive.

All current subscriptions will be extended two days because of the two free days (March 21-22). 


Each month approximately 600,000 new color images are added to ArkivDigital. During February, the following records were added:

  • More estate inventories (bouppteckningar) for the period 1901-1940.
  • Collection “Krigshandlingar Stora nordiska kriget: Krigsfångar” or “War Documents of the Great Northern War: War Prisoners” which includes information about the soldiers who were imprisoned in connection with Karl XII’s war or the Great Northern War.
  • Selected parts of the Poor Relief Board in Malmö (Fattigvårdsstyrelsen i Malmö) archive. In these volumes you will find not only information about paupers but information about foster children and much more.
  • Beginning to add material from The Public Orphanage of Stockholm (Allmänna barnhusets) archive.

March 19, 2015

Another Van Valkenburg to Vollick Book Available!

I'm pretty happy to announce that V. 2 of my series on the Van Valkenburg aka Vollick family is now available. It was a long time in the making but what a great feeling to be able to share my research and tell the family's stories to other descendants.


Cornelius Vollick, son of Isaac Van Valkenburg aka Vollick, left New York during the American Revolution. Eventually the family arrived in the wilderness of Upper Canada in 1782 as impoverished Loyalists. They settled in the Niagara area with other disbanded soldiers from Butler's Rangers. There Cornelius met and married Eve Larroway the daughter of another Loyalist who fought with Butler's Rangers. With their 9 children Cornelius and Eve carved a life in this new land. Descendants will find documents, photographs, newspaper clippings and information about Cornelius and Eve and their children and grandchildren in this 110 page Family history book. 

The book From Van Valkenburg to Vollick: V. 2 Cornelius Vollick and his Follick and Vollick Descendants to 3 Generations is available on Createspace  and on  Amazon.com

Sadly I have no control over when it might appear on Amazon for Canadians but both companies above ship to Canada. For descendants eagerly waiting for Volume 3 - the story of Storm Follick and his descendants -- it's coming soon! 

March 18, 2015

Canadian and Americans Banished to Australia in 1839

Canadian and Americans Banished to Australia in 1839
Did you know that after the Rebellion of 1837 (also referred to as The Patriot War) dozens of American and Canadian prisoners were banished to Australia? These men who had fought against the British Crown were put with other prisoners from England.

Taken to Tasmania and New South Wales, they were put to work as forced labour, for which they were paid a minimal wage. Most of the surviving prisoners  were eventually pardoned in 1848

For lists of men on  Ships transporting rebels who were banished, see the following 3 ships lists:

* Canadian Convicts to Australia 
* List of men on Marquis of Hastings 1839 Canada to Van Dieman's Land, Australia 
* The Canton 1839 Canada to Van Dieman's Land, Australia

To read about the Rebellion of 1837 see the historical overview.

March 17, 2015

Kiss Me, I'm Irish!

In honour of St Patrick's Day, when tradition has it that we all want to be Irish, I really AM of Irish heritage. 50.2% according to my DNA results. (Well okay that's a combination of British and Irish but I'm going with it anyway)

John Greenlees and his wife Elizabeth Johnston came from Fermanagh Ireland to the wilds of Upper Canada (present day Ontario) with three children - George about 5 years old, Thomas about 3 years old and my 2nd great grandmother Jane who was under 2 years old. The year was 1819. What a perilous journey that must have been!

Joseph McGinnis and his wife Frances (Fanny) Downey made the journey from famine stricken Co. Down Ireland with their year old daughter Bridget (Delia) in 1846. They were both barely 20 years old.

It must have been a nightmare voyage and I am sure that like most of the Irish who left Ireland during the Famine Years, they and their loved ones suffered greatly at home. Joseph and Fanny arrived in Ontario and settled near family who had arrived much earlier. They were my 2nd great grandparents and sadly I know nothing of their parents or origins other than learning last year that they came from the area of Katesbridge, Co. Down Ireland. They were very poor Catholics and the land they settled on was more swamp than anything else.

So - I have three Irish great-great grandparents (Joseph, Fanny and Jane) and two Irish Great great great grandparents (John & Elizabeth). Out of that mix I get four Irish surnames: Greenlees, Johnstone, McGinnis & Downey.

I hope this Irish blessing worked for them! "May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you're dead."

March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Special on AncestryDNA Kits

Still haven't tested your DNA? Need more kits for family members? Great news! Ancestry is having a St. Patrick's Day special on DNA testing! 

(Not yet available for Canadians)

March 15, 2015

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Album 8 L

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 Phillips WW1 Album 8 L
Abstract - Letter, pasted in, dated 1st December 1915.
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.

March 14, 2015

Josh Groban this Sunday on Who Do You Think You Are?

Josh Groban this Sunday on Who Do You Think You Are? Josh Groban knows little about his mother’s lineage and sets out on a journey to learn more about this side of his family on Who Do You Think You Are?,  airing this Sunday, March 15 at 10/9c on TLC.

 Josh traces his ancestors’ roots from Los Angeles to Germany and follows the trail of his 8x great-grandfather, discovering a brilliant man who was not only a deacon, but also a music and singing teacher and a well-known astronomer. But Josh finds that his ancestor’s predictions of cataclysmic doom put him in the crosshairs of the church and the fate of his family on the line.

 Key details discovered in Josh’s episode include:

  •     Josh Groban traces his mother’s family all the way back to 17th century Germany; he finds an ancestor with a brilliant mind who clashes with the church and is tormented by his dark visions of the future.
  •     Josh’s 8x great-grandfather, Johann, was not only a deacon with a wife and children, but taught music and singing at the local university.
  •     An accomplished man, Johann was also a well-known astronomer whose observations of a comet caught the attention of luminaries like Sir Isaac Newton.
  •     Josh learns that his 8x great-grandfather authored more than 12 books on topics ranging from astronomy to mathematics and theology and was part of a movement at the time that believed science was a better way to understand God.
Image Credit: TLC

March 13, 2015

Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files – Update of March 2015

Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Service Files – Update of March 2015
As of today, 129,271 of 640,000 files are available online via Library and Archives Canada Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database.

I still have not see my relatives' complete files go online but I just have to be patient. I hope other genealogists are finding their family members' files going online.

March 12, 2015

Introducing Lisa Alzo, Guest Genealogist


Introducing Lisa Alzo, Guest Genealogist
Lisa Alzo lives in Ithaca New York and is a writer extraordinaire. I first met Lisa a few years ago at RootsTech when we both participated in a panel discussion on writing Family History books. 

Lisa impressed me with her passion and her knowledge and later I attended a webinar she gave on writing. It was excellent and if you ever get the chance to hear Lisa speak or attend one of her presentations, I urge you to attend.

I interviewed Lisa for this blog post and hope you enjoy reading more about her!





1.     How and when did you become involved in the field of genealogy?

I began researching my roots in 1991. I wish I could say that some family experience, medical reason, or curiosity inspired me to search for my Slovak ancestors, but to tell the truth I became a genealogist quite by accident.



I was in my second year of the Master of Fine Arts Degree program in Nonfiction Writing at the University of Pittsburgh and enrolled in a class, “The Literature of Pittsburgh” for which one of the required readings was Out of This Furnace, Thomas Bell’s classic novel about three generations of Slovak men working in the steel mills of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Bell’s book prompted me to ask my mother about our family history and I subsequently learned about the life of my grandmother, Verona Straka Figlar, who immigrated to the United States from the tiny village of Milpos, Slovakia in 1922. After barely making it through Ellis Island, Verona began her life in America as a domestic, and through an arranged courtship, married Janos Figlyar, a hardworking, but stern Rusyn coal miner/steelworker. Once married, Verona struggled to raise seven children during the Depression, and withstood her husband’s fondness for alcohol and frequent violent outbursts. As the details of Verona’s background, journey to America and struggles as an immigrant woman were revealed to me, I came to appreciate her as more than just my grandmother, but someone with a poignant life story.



Thus, I embarked on my genealogical journey, researching my maternal grandmother’s side of the family. This was in the days before the Internet was an integral part of daily life. Before the availability of millions of genealogical Web sites, online census records and immigration databases, I searched courthouses, spent countless hours viewing microfilm in the Carnegie and Hillman Libraries in Pittsburgh, PA, wrote to the National Archives, conducted approximately 30 oral history interviews, walked in my grandmother’s footsteps during a visit to Ellis Island, and traveled to towns such as Barton, OH, and Wilkes-Barre, PA. I read numerous books and articles on Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn history and culture, immigration, the Great Depression and other topics.



After six years of thorough research, and several more years of writing and revising I earned my degree, and also finished my first book, Three Slovak Women, originally published by Gateway Press (2001). The book is now in its second edition, published through CreateSpace, and sold via Amazon.com



2.     What is your main genealogical focus?



I am a freelance writer, blogger, instructor, and lecturer.



3.     Please tell us more about your main focus.

I specialize in Slovak/Eastern European genealogical research, writing your family history, and using the Internet to trace female and immigrant ancestors.



4.      What are your website(s) and blogs?

  Author Website: http://www.lisaalzo.com

  Blog: The Accidental Genealogist http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com

  Baba's Kitchen Recipes:  http://www.babaskitchenonline.com

  Immersion Genealogy http://www.immersiongenealogy.com

 

5.     Do you have a Social Media presence? 



Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lisaalzo

Twitter @lisaalzo

Google+ Lisa Alzo

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/famhistwriter



6.     Do you believe a Social Media presence is important?

I think when used correctly, social media is a great way to connect with cousins and colleagues, and essential for any professional who wants to build a genealogy-related business.



7.     Are you a member of any genealogical societies or organizations? YES.



Association for Professional Genealogists

International Society of Family History Writers and Editors

Genealogical Speakers Guild

Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International

National Genealogical Society

Carpatho-Rusyn Society

Mifflin Township Historical Society (Board of Directors)

  
8.     What does genealogy mean to you? Why do you believe it is important?



Genealogy is important because it provides a window into ourselves. My work as a genealogist (and writer) goes beyond the usual collecting of names, dates, and places. Using oral and social history, I take great care to explore who the people were rather than just “names without faces.” I strive to give a voice to the silences of those who have gone before.


9.     What do you believe is the most exciting development in genealogy today?



Genetic Genealogy (DNA) – it is breaking down brick walls and helping genealogists make discoveries they otherwise might not happen upon.  Also, I love all of the apps and tools to make it easier to record and share family stories.



10. Do you have a prediction or hope for the field of genealogy in the future?



I see collaboration being more of the standard. We are seeing it now with social media and online family trees. I think technology will continue to drive when, where, and how we connect with family members and fellow genealogists. With watches, bracelets and other devices our family trees and information will hopefully become even more accessible.



11.  Please feel free to add anything you would like to say that hasn’t been addressed by the questions above.



I am the author of nine books, hundreds of magazine articles, and several genealogy Quick Guides. I enjoy writing about topics that serve to educate and inspire others.



            Thank you for asking me to do this guest interview.

March 11, 2015

Winner of the Ancestry 6 Month U.S. Discovery Membership

A few days ago Olive Tree Genealogy announced a giveaway. Thanks to TLC and Who Do You Think You Are, I had a  6-month U.S. Discovery membership to Ancestry.com to award to one lucky winner. 
 
To enter, readers had to share my blog post about the contest and watch the first episode of this season's Who Do You Think You Are?, then answer a simple question. I'm pleased to say everyone who entered had the correct answer.
 
After the contest ended last night, I used a Random Name Generator to select the winner. 

And the winner of the 6-month US Discovery Membership on Ancestry is

Terry Meltzer

Congratulations Terry! I will be mailing the instructions for claiming the prize directly to Terry. Thanks to all who participated.

March 10, 2015

Organizational Project Part 4 - Sorting the Family Photographs

In January I began my plan to sort, organize and digitize my family photos.  I ended up ordering archival boxes and sleeves from a company called GetSmartProducts

Organizational Project Part 3 - Sorting the Family Photographs
On a roll with my first general sort of the family photos!
The acid-free boxes and sleeves finally arrived last week! I agonized over how to begin and how to sort the hundreds of family photographs. Should I sort by topic such as "Trip to Mexico", "Wedding"? Or should I sort by decade? Perhaps I should sort by individuals - one box for each of my children, one for grandchildren? 

My husband thought I should simply sort into 3 piles - Keep, Throw Out and Undecided. That doesn't work for me but if it works for you, use it! 

Eventually I decided that I would start sorting the same way I use online search engines - in broad categories first, then refining the sort bit by bit.

Since I have been married three times (Divorce, death and current), it was easy to sort the photos into those different times of my life. I took 3 purple boxes and made a temporary label with the surname of each husband. I labelled a 4th box "pre-marriage". So I had 4 boxes that pretty much covered my entire life to the present day. 

Purge Pile
Having lots of older family photographs too I needed to label more boxes - one for my mother and her family before marriage and one for another family surname. Then I began my sort. 

As I opened each box of miscellaneous photos, I quickly sorted keeping 3 objectives in mind:

1. Purge (garbage photos, blurry photos, photos of people I didn't know, etc)

2. Give to other family members 

3. Put into my labelled acid-free boxes

It was amazing how quickly this job went! Keeping my box categories so broad was a huge help. I wasn't worried about who was in the photo, where it was taken, did I have multiple copies, etc. I was able to glance at a photo and determine fairly quickly what "era" it was - Marriage #1, #2 or #3 

I'm not done but I'm 3/4 of the way through the first general sort. It's going to be fun to refine my sorting, one box at a time - that's going to be next. 

I also had one larger acid-free box for 5x7 photos and 1 acid-free box for anything bigger than 5x7.  The one thing I am going to add is one more box for my grandchildren' s photos. I'll share my sorting strategies for refining my first general sort in my next blog post.  

Here are links to the previous blog posts about this project:

Organizing Family Photos - Creating a Plan

Organizational Project Part 2 - Family Diaries

Organization Project Part 3 - Digitizing Family Slides


March 9, 2015

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Album 7R

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 Phillips WW1 Album 7R


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.

March 8, 2015

Women's History Month: Winnebago Escape Part 3

Continuing with the published story of my mother, aunt and grandmother's adventures in the 1970s:

Women's History Month: Winnebago Escape Part 3
During the course of the trip they stayed at a great deal of campsites for they were in no particular hurry.  They were delighted to find that most of the overnight spots, be they private or government run, were clean and well kept.  Rates varied between four and  six dollars a night,  with the occasional State Park  costing as low as a dollar fifty. 

Hooked to the rear of the Winnebago, the three widows had seen fit to attach a small economical Envoy Epic.  Though they didn’t realize it at the time, this car was never sold in the United States.  But did the little Epic give them any trouble?  Not on your life.  In all they put more than 5000 miles on the car with it never missing a beat.  The only  problem they had with the arrangement occurred when the arrangement when the Epic hit a bump, throwing the front wheels at an angle.  When this occurred, the little car would sway back and forth at an alarming rate scrubbing miles of rubber off the front wheels.  However they knew enough to stop the Winnebago, get out and straighten the steering wheel of the Epic  and all would be fine again. 

But don’t be mislead.  They were prepared for emergencies even though their trip was trouble free.  Each had coveralls and knew how to handle tools.  Though they weren’t about to do an engine teardown by the side of the road, they had taken a course in auto mechanics and knew how to make small repairs, change propane bottles, fix balky stoves and hook the Epic to the rear of the Winnebago.

Indeed the only spot of trouble they had occurred on the streets of  New Orleans where a brazen  young man had the gaul to pinch Mrs. Ruth Bates, the senior member of the group.  Resisting temptation, Mrs. Bates scorned he young man’s amorous advances turning on heel and leaving without saying a word.  Delighted with their trip and quietly  pleased with  their ability to cope with such an adventurre, the threesome have made plans to visit the Maritimes this summer.  We trust that their luck holds up and secretly wish that we were able to do the same thing.


Part 3 of 3