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December 30, 2016

New Year's Genealogy Resolutions for 2017

At the end of 2015 I wrote a blog post How Did I Do in 2015 and New Year's Resolutions for 2016

What were my 2016 goals and did I achieve them?

2016 GOALS & RESOLUTIONS

One of my goals in 2016 was to continue growing my Twitter profile with quality followers, and find time to work on Instagram and Periscope. But mainly in 2016 I resolved to continue to focus on my writing - both non-fiction and fiction.

DID I ACHIEVE THOSE 2016 GOALS

1. Twitter
I started 2016 with 10K followers on Twitter. I continued to work to grow that number with quality followers and as of December 2, 2016 I have reached 11.8K (11,800). Growing my Twitter reach is important to me but it was not my main focus in 2016, nor will it be for 2017

2. Instagram & Periscope
After a great deal of study and applying myself on both these Social Media outlets, I determined that, while they are fun, they are not a useful part of my business model. I believe Periscope could be but due to my limited physical mobility, the optimum way of using it is too challenging for me.

3. Writing Genealogy & Mystery Books

I'm very pleased that in June 2016 I published my first fiction - a genealogy mystery book about a middle-aged genealogist who has a penchant for stumbling on dead bodies as she researches her ancestors. In "Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery" readers meet Janie Riley. Janie and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. She must solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes.

Death Finds a Way is available as a paperback on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and the CreateSpace eStore  Also available as an e-book on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

As well as my venture into mystery novel writing, I completed and published several genealogy-history books in 2016.

2017 GOALS

My goals for 2017 are easy to formulate. I plan to focus even more on my writing. Presently I am 3/4 of the way through a first draft of Janie Riley's second adventure which I hope to publish in 2017. "A Grave Secret" and follows Janie's journey to the most haunted village in England as she searches for her 4th great-grandparents.

Of course I will continue my genealogy research as well. I look forward to new challenges and opportunities in the New Year!  What are your goals for the coming year?

December 26, 2016

Medieval Book Curses

Most Genealogists love books. Many of my Facebook friends drool over shared photos of amazing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and rooms completely devoted to books.

In Medieval times, books were hand-printed and drawn by scribes. They worked long difficult hours, often bent in excruciating postures. Hands cramped. Backs and necks went into painful muscle spasms. Books were a treasure - expensive and often one of a kind. So it is not surprising that scribes and book owners devised methods of protecting their work.

They came up with an ingenious way - writing curses at the beginning and end of a book. The curses included "excommunication from the church and a horrible, painful death. Steal a book, and you might be cleft by a demon sword, forced to sacrifice your hands, have your eyes gouged out, or end in the fires of hell and brimstone.” [ November 09, 2016]

An example of one of these Medieval curses is

This book belongs to none but me
For there’s my name inside to see
To steal this book, if you should try
It’s by the throat that you’ll hang high.
And ravens then will gather ‘bout
To find your eyes and pull them out.
And when you’re screaming, "oh, oh, oh!"
Remember you deserve this woe.

The curses were meant to stop readers from ripping out a page, stealing the book, or scribbling within the book. This practice was so wide-spread that a book has been written about these Medieval curses.  Anathema! Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses. by Marc Drogin available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

Read this fascinating story at Protect Your Library the Medieval Way, With Horrifying Book Curses

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas to My Dad

This is the only photo I have of my entire family at Christmas. It was taken in 1955. I'm the youngest one sitting on my dad's knee and holding a very precious gift - a walking doll.

I was very close to my father and it came as a blow when he died at the age of 47 on Christmas Day 1960. I still remember the gift I bought him that year. I was in Grade 9 and had gone out on my own and purchased a little daschund china dog with cups hanging from its side. And there it sat, unopened, under the Christmas Tree while we waited for news from the Oshawa Hospital that Christmas Day.

I was curled up in a chair in the corner of the living room while my mother and older siblings whispered in hushed tones in the kitchen. I remember our phone ringing many times. I remember the endless waiting while I stared at those unopened presents to my father lying under the tree.

It was my brother who came to tell me that our father had died. The phone had rung and everyone was quiet. I heard nothing until my brother came into the living room and said "He's gone" It was difficult to feel anything except shock and bewilderment. 

I don't remember the rest of the day except at one point I sat in front of the tree and unwrapped the gift I had bought my father. I don't know what happened to that little dog with hanging cups. I'm glad I don't have it. I have enough sad memories at Christmas without a constant reminder the other 364 days of the year.

I still miss my dad even though 50 years has passed. Christmas is a hard time for me. I love my family and love watching them open gifts, love having the big Christmas dinner(s) but late afternoon and early evening Christmas Day is a reflective and sad time in my heart. I'm always surprised by how much I still miss my father!

So Dad - here's to you on this Christmas Day. You are not forgotten. My children and grand-children hear my stories about you and your life - as short as it was. Your photo hangs on my living room wall. And you are the reason I started searching our family tree. It was all for you. And genealogy led me to many marvellous things in my own life. Death took my father at far too young an age but I won't let him be forgotten.

December 23, 2016

Black Death Skeletons Found in Plague Pit

 48 skeletons of men, women, and children have been found in a plague pit near an ancient monastery in rural England. 27 of the 48 ranged in age from a newborn baby to adolescents.

DNA extracted from teeth and sent to McMaster Ancient DNA Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has shown the people buried there died from Bubonic Plague. It is likely that as the disease ran rampant through their village, so many became ill so quickly, and died within days, that normal burial practices were abandoned.

Many of those who fell ill probably sought help from the nearby monks who would have offered what help they could. Some would have been brought by family in hopes the monks would see to their burial.

Even though the 48 were in a mass grave, they were not dumped in a heap. In fact each body was laid out East to West, not overlapping or touching the body next to them. 

Rare plague pit with 48 skeletons — from newborn to elderly — shows a society cut down by the Black Death

December 21, 2016

Canadiana.org's Failure to Correct Mistakes

Canadiana.Org has digitized 21 films of the Heir & Devisee Commission Papers (Heir & Devisee Commission papers 1797-1854, found in their Heritage Collection), and that's a good thing for genealogists. These records have valuable and informative genealogical documents.

But as mentioned in a previous blog post I wrote in August 2013 called Heir & Devisee Commission 1797-1854 on Canadiana.org - Listing Errors and a Workaround, the index and description of what is in each film, as provided on Canadiana.org, is INCORRECT.

Of the 21 microfilms on Canadiana.org, 10 are incorrectly identified as to volume numbers and content contained. 

I have been slowly going through each film and noting the correct contents in detail.  My first set of detailed listings of the contents of film H1133 can be viewed at No Response from Canadiana.org so here are the Heir & Devisee Commission Film Details 

It has been three (3) years since I wrote to Canadiana.org (more than once) offering my list of corrections for their website and the one brief response I received was from whoever monitors their Twitter account - that response was simply that they would pass my message on. It is extremely disappointing to realize that Canadiana.org simply doesn't care about serious errors on their website - errors which affect researchers. 
 
A complete and correct list of contents of film H1135 can be found on Olive Tree Genealogy website at Finding  Aid for Heir & Devisee Commission Online Films

December 19, 2016

My Christmas Tree 2016



Merry Christmas everyone! I put up my Christmas Tree today!

Some of my surnames are

Peer, Vollick, King, McGinnis, Downey, Stead, Simpson, Burkholder, Fuller, Greenlees, Johnston, Shuart, Van Slyke, Ryckman, Bradt, Van Valkenburg, Damen, Caiser, Taine, Philpot, Norris, Higginson, Bell, Caspall, Holford, Smith, Dawson, Marical, Baker, Larroway, De Graw, Gingerich, Jamieson, Hubbard, Laming, Williams, Norman, Whibley, Page, Crunden, Fryer, Van Horn, Snediker, Sutton, Elvery, Anson, Blandell, Jackson, LeRoy, Winne, Hommell, Snider, Bellinger, Warner, Van Alstyne, Muller, Deroche, Wust, Kehl, Earl, Cole, Burd, Vrooman  Post, Shuart, Uziele and more.

December 18, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album Netheravon

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"

December 16, 2016

1803 shipwreck discovered in Great Lakes

The second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes, an American-built, Canadian-owned sloop that sank in Lake Ontario more than 200 years ago, has been found, a team of underwater explorers said Wednesday.

The sloop Washington was built on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania in 1798 and was used to transport people and goods between western New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario. In 1802 it was hauled across land to Lake Ontario after being sold to Canadian merchants.

The Washington set sail from Kingston, Ontario, for Niagara, Ontario on November 6, 1803. The vessel was caught in a fierce storm and sank.At least three crew members and two merchants were on the sloop. All aboard died. 

Read the full story and watch the video at 1803 shipwreck discovered in Great Lakes - This is a Great One

December 14, 2016

The 12 Genealogy Days of Christmas

The 12 Genealogy Days of Christmas To my readers: I wrote this jingle in December 2013 to reflect my version of The 12 Days of Christmas for genealogists. I haven't shown it in a few years so here it is again!

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the second day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the third day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
5 brickwall solutions
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
6 new found cousins
5 brickwall solutions
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the seventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
7 marriage records
6 new found cousins
5 brickwall solutions
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
8 tombstone photos
7 marriage records
6 new found cousins
5 brickwall solutions
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
9 DNA test results
8 tombstone photos
7 marriage records
6 new found cousins
5 brickwall solutions
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
10 Eureka Moments
9 DNA test results
8 tombstone photos
7 marriage records
6 new found cousins
5 brickwall solutions
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
11 genealogy subscriptions
10 Eureka Moments
9 DNA test results
8 tombstone photos
7 marriage records
6 new found cousins
5 brickwall solutions
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 well-sourced family trees
11 genealogy subscriptions
10 Eureka Moments
9 DNA test results
8 tombstone photos
7 marriage records
6 new found cousins
5 brickwall solutions
4 family photos
3 Pedigree Charts
2 Source Citations
and a Family Bible for my McGinnis family  

Credits: 
Original lyrics by Lorine McGinnis Schulze 2013
Image "Merry Christmas10" by gubgib on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

December 13, 2016

Missing Friends Database 1831-1921 Online!


Great news for those searching Irish ancestors!  A new project sponsored by Boston College’s Irish Studies Program and produced by the Office of Marketing Communications
has digitized the Boston Pilot's Missing Friends Column covering 90 years of Irish individuals seeking information their friends or family members who left Ireland for N. America. This explanation from the website:
From October 1831 through October 1921, the Boston Pilot newspaper printed a “Missing Friends” column with advertisements from people looking for “lost” friends and relatives who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. This extraordinary collection of 41,249 records is available here as a searchable online database, which contains a text record for each ad that appeared in the Pilot.
Back in May 2010 I published a blog post about a new OliveTreeGenealogy.com project called  The Missing Friends Project. My goal was to extract the names of those who immigrated from UK to America or Canada and who were inquired about by family in various 19th Century newspapers.

My Missing Friends Project starts with Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, published in London England and their weekly column (1886-1900) called "Long Lost Relatives". I also began extracting names of those in the Boston Pilot, published in Boston Massachusetts (1831-1921).

You can search for extracted names from Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper and the Boston Pilot on my ongoing Missing Friends Project .  But don't miss this new digitization project for the Boston Pilot names !    
Search the Missing Friends Database

December 12, 2016

Nay-Sayers of We're Related Need to Chill Out!

We're Related app by Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com's We're Related App is taking genealogists by storm!  As long as you have a family tree on Ancestry you can try it out. You'll be matched up with celebrities and Facebook friends who are possibly related to you. All you have to do is verify that the shared ancestor shown is in both your trees.

Some genealogist nay-sayers have proclaimed the App "trash", "garbage", "a waste of time" and so on. But I (and others) disagree. As all genealogists know you must remember not to accept the findings until you prove the two lines of descent!

It's important to teach beginners the importance of verifying trees found online. What better way to do that than with something fun? That is what the We're Related app is - a fun way to learn and a fun way to see what celebrities or Facebook friends you are related to.

So I say -- Ease up nay-sayers! Have a bit of fun and enjoy yourselves. Methinks you take yourselves just a little too seriously. And the problem with the dismissive manner with which you are treating those who are enjoying the app is that you create the very division you say doesn't exist - "us" against "them" - the "expert" against the beginner. It makes those of us having fun with We're Related feel like there's a snobbier IN group -- and we aren't part of it.

Okay off my soapbox now -- here's how the app works. First, It's free.

You can mark than one of your  trees as "active" so I created trees for my son's father's line, for each of my daughters-in-law and for my husband, as well as myself. So far it's been fun to see what celebrities and Facebook friends I am related to.I've had dozens of possible relatives so far. I've verified about 10 of them and ditched about 6 as they are not correct. I haven't had time to check the rest but I won't be accepting them as true until I do.

So far I've proven that I'm related to several Facebook friends, got a near miss with Cyndi of Cyndi's List (her male ancestor married my ancestor but it was a second marriage for mine and I am descended from the first husband). The funny thing is that one of my daughters-in-law is related to more of my Facebook friends than I am!

As for celebrities, I've proven my relationship to Teddy Roosevelt, Matt Damon, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. One of my sons has a proven relationship from his dad's line to Winston Churchill which I think is very cool.

So go ahead, ignore the nay-sayers and have a bit of fun!

P.S. Massey is my married name.

December 11, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 47V Le Trepont YMCA

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.
WW11 47V Le Trepont YMCA building

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"

December 9, 2016

Figuring Out Whether an Image Can be Used Online

Genealogists love images. Genealogy bloggers love them even more. But it isn't always easy to figure out if an image found online is okay to use without breaking the law.

How do we know if  an image is copyright? Is it public domain? So many questions that are sometimes hard to figure out the answer to.

LifeHacker has made it easier for us. They've published a chart from Curtis Newbold, The Visual Communication Guy, that explains copyright, fair use, creative commons, and public domain.

Learn more at Follow This Chart to Know If You Can Use an Image from the Internet

December 7, 2016

Holocaust Jacket Leads to Life Story of Ben Peres

 A woman hunting for bargains at a tag sale on July 4, 2015, found a blue and grey striped jacket hanging in the back of an upstairs bedroom closet.

She immediately recognized it as a jacket worn by a prisoner at the Nazi Dachau concentration camp during World War II. The number 84679 on the front of the jacket confirmed that it had indeed been worn during the Holocaust.

After purchasing the jacket she donated it to the Kuperferberg Holocaust Center at Queensborough Community College, where it is the centerpiece of an exhibit about the life of the man who wore it,  Benzion Peresecki — who was rescued from Dachau Concentration Camp and later came to America and became Ben Peres.

The jacket is a piece of history and allows the story of Mr. Peres to be shared with the world. Read the full story at  Holocaust jacket found at tag sale leads to a life story

December 5, 2016

70 Year Mystery of Missing US Airmen Solved

On 27th November  1945 a C-47 Aircraft carrying U.S. Airmen Judson Baskett, a Flight Officer, William Myers, a First Lieutenant, and Donald Jones, a First Class Private, left Singapore for Penang. It was never seen again and the fate of the three men remained a mystery.

Twenty years after their disappearance the wreckage of an airplane was supposedly spotted in the Malay Peninsula but no followup was conducted. In 1985 hikers stumbled on the wreckage.

Finally in 2009 the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur was notified of the sighting and in 2015 the remains of the crew were flown to America for forensic testing. 

Read the full story Mystery of Three US Airmen Who Vanished in Malayan Jungle Finally Solved after 70 Years

December 4, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 39V No 2 Canadian General Hospital

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"

December 3, 2016

Meme: Immigrant Ancestor Frances Holford Higginson

Frances Holford Higginson was born 28 May 1769 in Lower Peover, Cheshire England along with her twin sister Sarah Holford. Not much is know about Frances' life - her parents  John Holford and Ann Harrison were from Devanham Cheshire but settled in Lower Poever shortly after their marriage. In 1787 at the age of 18, young Frances married Thomas Higginson, a tax collector and wheelwright in Lower Peover. Over the next 15 years the couple had 8 children born in the town. 
I really like that both Thomas and Frances could write their names. For a woman that was fairly rare in the 1780s so it appears Frances had some basic education. It is not known exactly what happened to the family but some misfortune did fall on them - the loss of the family's home in 1805. An impoverished Thomas, deep in debt, signed over his land and effects before July that year. The couple had 8 children to care for, the youngest only 3 years old. 
Sometime between 1805 and 1831 Thomas died. In December that year Frances, a widow, set sail for New York with her daughter Elizabeth (Betty) Bell and Betty's children Ann, Phoebe, Mary, Peter & Joseph. They were meeting Betty's husband Peter Bell who had previously settled in New York.

Peter and Elizabeth and their children as well as Elizabeth's brother John Higginson eventually left New York for the wilderness of a new settlement in Upper Canada (present-day Ontario). Peter filed a petition for land in 1839 explaining that he wasn't happy living in New York and desired land in Arkell Ontario.  But what happened to Frances?

She was 62 years old when she left her homeland for America. Did she die there? Or did she travel with the Bell family to Upper Canada and die there? The records are sparse for Upper Canada in that time period and her death remains a mystery.  It must have been difficult for Frances - and I suspect she never saw her other children again after 1831. Her daughter Sarah remained behind in England until June 1841 when she too left for America, settling in Illinois with her husband Aaron Richardson. Poor Sarah died in Illinois that August.

What challenging lives our ancestors lived! I cannot imagine leaving my children and grandchildren behind and venturing off to an unknown land at 62 years of age. I am glad though that Frances was with her daughter Elizabeth and some of her grandchildren.  I hope that was some comfort to her.

December 2, 2016

Building a Backup to Internet Archive's Digital Collections

The Internet Archive needs our help. According to their blog:
You may not know this, but your support for the Internet Archive makes more than 3 million e-books available for free to millions of Open Library patrons around the world.
Your support has fueled the work of journalists who used our Political TV Ad Archive in their fact-checking of candidates’ claims.
It keeps the Wayback Machine going, saving 300 million Web pages each week, so no one will ever be able to change the past just because there is no digital record of it. The Web needs a memory, the ability to look back.
Throughout history, libraries have fought against terrible violations of privacy—where people have been rounded up simply for what they read.  At the Internet Archive, we are fighting to protect our readers’ privacy in the digital world.
So this year, we have set a new goal: to create a copy of Internet Archive’s digital collections in another country. We are building the Internet Archive of Canada because, to quote our friends at LOCKSS, “lots of copies keep stuff safe.” [ by Brewster Kahle]
Find out how you can help on the Internet Archives Blog:  Help Us Keep the Archive Free, Accessible, and Reader Private

December 1, 2016

12 Christmas Gifts for a Genealogist

Here's a list of a dozen gifts your favourite genealogist might like for Christmas. Maybe you could even sneak one or two for yourself!

  1. Ancestry.com subscription
  2. DNA Kit 10% off AncestryDNA Nov 29-Dec 14 in U.S.A. or Ancestry DNA in Canada
  3. Echo Smart Pen by Live Scribe for recording Family Stories and Memories. I love my SmartPen which I bought on Amazon. I use it to record my 93 year old auntie's stories of her childhood, then I plug it into my laptop and the digital record transfers. Using the pen while auntie speaks, I make jot notes in the special notebooks. Then I can play the recorded stories by touching any word in the notebook. Very cool!
  4. Legacy Family Tree Webinars subscription
  5. Rootstech 2017 Registration
  6. A loupe for magnification so you can scrutinize old photos and documents for clues.
  7. A Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite, Nook, or other e-reader so you can purchase genealogy books and read them in airports, waiting rooms, on the beach or pretty much anywhere
  8. A subscription to the Genealogy Magazine of your choice. I like Family Tree Magazine, but the one you drool over could be very different.
  9. A beautiful journal for writing your own memoirs. I love Iona Handcrafted Books and have asked my hubby to buy me another one this Christmas as I'm on my last one. Tip: If the checkout won't accept a non-USA order, just email or phone as they do accept international orders.
  10. A Shutterfly gift certificate  I love Shutterfly for creating family photo books or calendars. It's also great for simply getting copies of your family photos so you can share them with family members
  11. Acid Free Storage boxes for your treasured family photos and original documents
  12. A copy of the Genealogical Mystery Novel "Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery" by Lorine McGinnis Schulze, available in Paperback or E-Book. In this debut novel, middle-aged Janie Riley is off to Salt Lake City to research her ancestors. Little does she know that murder and mysteries await her!

November 27, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 41V Madame de Bure Jeanne

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"

November 26, 2016

Winner of the DEATH FINDS A WAY Giveaway

Olive Tree Genealogy is pleased to announce the winner of the random draw for my book Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery was Susan Gingras Calcagni.

Congratulations to Susan! Death Finds a Way is a genealogy mystery book set in the past and the present, and my first venture into fiction. I'm excited about the positive reaction from genealogy and mystery enthusiasts! With a 4.5 star rating on Amazon.com this is a genealogy mystery book you don't want to miss! 

If you are not familiar with the story here is a summary:

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. With her husband Steven, Janie heads to Salt Lake City Utah to track down her elusive fourth great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to more than she bargained for. Her discovery of a dark secret brings her closer to danger. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present, and untangle a web of lies before disaster strikes?

Read some of the reviews for the book on my author page  My other books (non-fiction) can be viewed on my Blog Book page.

November 24, 2016

Save on a Legacy Tree Research Project!

Good news for genealogists. From November 24 to December 23, 2016, you can save $150.00 when you order a 40 hour + research package from Legacy Tree!

Use this link (https://www.legacytree.com/olivetreegenealogy ) and the code SAVE150 to order your research package.

I have used Legacy Tree's research services. I was very impressed! The researcher assigned to my query was very speedy with her response and very professional. She showed a thorough understanding of what I knew and what I wanted to find out.

Within the week I received a detailed report which contained new information on my ancestor. The report also provided me with recommendations of more research that could be conducted. My particular search is in Germany which is an area of research unfamiliar to me and where I do not have access to the records. I will definitely use their services again to pursue this ancestor.

November 23, 2016

Genealogy Mystery Book Death Finds a Way Giveaway!


A Giveaway for Thanksgiving! Olive Tree Genealogy is giving away the genealogy mystery book Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. With her husband Steven, Janie heads to Salt Lake City Utah to track down her elusive fourth great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to more than she bargained for. Her discovery of a dark secret brings her closer to danger. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present, and untangle a web of lies before disaster strikes?

With a 4.5 star rating on Amazon.com this is a genealogy mystery book you don't want to miss! 

Death Finds a Way Giveaway starts on Thanksgiving Day November 24 at 12:01 a.m. EDT and ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT Black Friday November 25. The winner will be announced on Olive Tree Genealogy blog the day following the contest.

Entry Requirements: For a chance to win you must do two things:

1. Share this blog post. For example, you might share on a social media site such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+. You could provide a link to this blog post on your own blog, or share on a mailing list.

2. a) Send an email to otg.giveaway@gmail.com and tell me where you shared the news of Olive Tree Genealogy Giveaway.
    b) Be sure to put Death Finds a Way GIVEAWAY as the subject of your email

Contest Rules:
1. No purchase necessary.
2. One Winner will be chosen at random from entries received. See details above for entry requirements
3. The winner will receive a paperback copy of the book Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery.
4. Giveaway contest starts Thanksgiving Day November 24 at 12:01 a.m. EDT and ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT Black Friday November 25.
5. You are responsible for anything in regards to the legality of entering a contest in the area in which you live.
6. The winner will be notified via your provided contact information and the winner's name will be posted on Olive Tree Genealogy blog.

Please note that only entries received at otg.giveaway@gmail.com can be accepted.

You might also like to see the other books written by Lorine McGinnis Schulze at http://LorineSchulze.com

November 20, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 40V Colonel Bridges

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"


November 19, 2016

Meme: Immigrant Ancestor Lucas Dircksen Vanderburgh

There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (in both USA and Canada)

Lucas Dircksen Vanderburgh first appeared in New Amsterdam (in New Netherland) about 1652 and soon after his arrival he married Annetjie Cornelis, the daughter of Cornelis and Adriantje (Wallings) Shubber of Durgerdam, North Holland. He was one of the signers of the Lutheran petition1 in Oct 1657, so his origins may have been German rather than Dutch.  

Lucas was a Sergeant in the service of the Dutch West India Company as early as
1652. While still a member of the Company, he applied in 1654 at the New Amsterdam City Hall to become a tavern keeper.

That same year, Lucas was given a patent for land at Mespat, Long Island,  but never settled there. In 1655, he paid 60 guilders for Lucas Hendrickson, a drummer, to take his place in an expedition against the Swedes at Delaware.  In 1656 he submitted the following petition asking for his discharge from the Dutch West India Company:

"To the Noble, Very Worshipful, Honorable Director-General and High Council of New-Netherland. Shows with humble reverence Luycas Dircksen, Sergeant inthe service of the Honble Company here, that he, petitioner has served the said Honble Company for a period of about four years and that he would like now to transport himself with his family to the Southriver of New-Netherland, to settle there, where he has bought a house.  He requests therefore, that your Noble Worships will kindly please to discharge him from the service and consent to his removal thither, which doing etc."
[signed] Luycas Dircksen

Lucasí petition was approved.  He left for the South River Delaware, where he was granted a patent for land on 10 Feb 1657 near Fort Casmir.  However he was soon back in Manhattan where he remained. Lucas became a well known tavern keeper in New Amsterdam.  He initially operated his tavern from his home on 21 Broadway, but by the mid 1660s he kept a tavern called "The Signe of the Fort Orange" in Manhattan.


He was often being sued in court for debts owed and there are many court documents involving him throughout his lifetime. 

Lucas and 92 others appealed to their leaders of New Netherland in September 1664 to negotiate a peaceful agreement with the English. Their petition, in part, read 

"Right Honorable.  We ... cannot conscientiously foresee that anything else is to be expected for this fort and city of Manhattans (as your Honors must be convinced), than misery, sorrow, conflagration, the dishonor of women, murder of children in their cradles, and, in a word, the absolute ruin and destruction of about fifteen hundred innocent souls, only two hundred and fifty of whom are capable of bearing arms, unless you be pleased to adjust matters according to the conjecture of the time.

Your honors are ... better aware than we, that four of the English Kingís frigates are now lying in the road at Nyack, with six hundred soldiers, ... for the purpose of reducing New Netherland to his Majestyís obedience.  In compliance with that commission, the English General hath sent divers letters to your Honors, summoning this city and Fort Manhattan, promising, in case we voluntarily submit, that we shall not experience the least loss or damage ... ."

The English reached a peaceful accord with the Dutch and in Oct 1664, Lucas and many other New Amsterdam residents swore allegiance to the King of Great Britain. Lucas died in 1669. His long and turbulent life of struggle and debt was over. 
 

November 16, 2016

Medieval Graffiti

Graffiti from the Middle Ages found in St. Margaret's Church in Cley-Next-the-Sea, on the north coast of Norfolk in eastern England, provides insight into personal expressions of faith in medieval England.

Matthew Champion, project director of the Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Surveys, explains that the ornate octagonal font that dominates one end of the nave of the church has  carved stone panels depicting religious scenes, including a baptism and the ordination of a priest. Tiny fragments of paint in the crevices confirm that the font was brightly decorated in medieval times.

On what looks like bare stone, flashlights reveal patterns: a series of perfect circles, filled with six-petaled flower patterns, scratched into the stone.

Read the description and conclusions about what this medieval graffiti meant at  Writing on the Church Wall

November 14, 2016

Skull Reunited With Body of Girl Murdered in 1887

Not Mary's actual skull
Almost 130 years after Mary Tuplin was murdered, a ceremony has been held to reunite her head with her body. As bizarre as this sounds, the skull of the pregnant 17 year old Prince Edward Island woman had been separated from her skeleton body for forensic examination and was never reunited. It remained in the coroner's office over the years and eventually a local family took it home where it remained.

The murdered girl's body was discovered in the Southwest River on July 4, 1887, just a short distance from where she lived with her parents in Margate. She had been shot twice in the head and dumped in the river, her body weighted down with a heavy stone.
 
William Millman, 20, was convicted of the murder and hanged, despite the jury’s recommendation for mercy. Many local islanders believe he was innocent and the story is still told on the island.

A service was held on August 21 at the United Church cemetery in Margate, P.E.I., where Mary's skull was buried with the rest of her remains.

Read more at  Skull of murdered P.E.I. teen finally reunited with her body after 129 years 
and Mary Pickering Tuplin, 1887 murder victim, properly laid to rest

You can also read the full text of "Verbatim report of the Millman-Tuplin murder trial [microform] : Supreme Court, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1888"

November 13, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 62V Newspaper Clippings

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"


November 12, 2016

Meme: Immigrant Ancestor John Greenlees

Thomas Ridout survey of 1821
There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada)

John Greenlees, my great-great-great-grandfather, was born somewhere in Ireland circa 1791. In 1814 he married Elizabeth Johnston in Galloon Parish, Clogher Diocese, County Fermanagh. He was noted as living in the Parish of Aghalurcher at that time, so it is very possible that is where he was born. 

Sometime between 1819 and 1826 John, Elizabeth and their three eldest children left Ireland for the wilderness of Upper Canada (present day Ontario). We do not know what drove them to leave their home and no ship passenger list has been found to give a more precise year of arrival in their new land. But in November 1826 John put an ad in the local paper about a lost heifer he found on his property. He states that the heifer was seen in August "last" which may indicate 1825. 

In the 1842 census for Nelson, John and family are noted as having lived in "the Province" 21 years so I can narrow his arrival year to circa 1821. Halton County, where John and family settled, was not even opened for settlement until 1816. So we can imagine how wild and rough it would have been. Forests would have covered almost all the land. John would have had to quickly build a log home for his family and his young children ages 2 to 6. He would have needed to clear land to plant crops so the family could survive the winter. Winters can be rough in Canada! 

John and Elizabeth had 4 more children born to them in Upper Canada, and they lived long and fruitful lives. They are both buried in Lowville Cemetery and their tombstone reads:

In memory of John Greenleese who died Nov. 5, 1868 Aged 75 years also Elizabeth wife of above Died Apr. 6, 1872 Aged 84 years & 8 mo's both natives of Ireland.
A few short years of evil past
We reach the happy shore
Where death divided friends at last
Shall meet to part no more.