23 July 2009

Family newsletters



DearREADERS,
So this is the year the family organization finally convinced you to take over the family newsletter, eh? You know you've dreaded the thought of revamping the layout, but where can you turn for assistance in taking your family newsletter "from DRAB to FAB?"

"It used to be that catching up on family news was a weekly event — maybe a Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house, or summer nights sitting on your back porch enjoying an ice cream cone with your father or a favorite aunt. In today’s fast-paced society, with families scattered across the globe, for many of us those personal one-on-one moments are few and far between. A printed/digital publication is a good way to bring everyone together again. But it doesn’t have to read like the teleprompter of the evening news."

Prolific writer and genealogy instructor, Lisa A. Alzo provides five categories to consider when adding pizazz to your family newsletter. Ol' Myrt's grandchildren will like Lisa's suggestion to use Discovery Education's Instant Puzzle Maker at www.puzzlemaker.com. Be sure to see Lisa's "Take Your Family Newsletter from Drab to Fab!" in the July/Aug 2009 issue of Discovering Family History magazine on pages 52-53.

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

20 July 2009

Labrador: cemetery research

DearREADERS,
When visiting with a newbie to Second Life yesterday afternoon, a new friend mentioned she has Labradorian genealogy research on her father's side of the family tree. I didn't realize until this morning that Elizabeth Lapointe provides insights into Newfoundland and Labrador genealogy. So to get Belle started on the right track, here's a bit of Elizabeth's advice concerning cemetery research.

"The Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador has done some excellent work in getting the transcription of gravesites completed. There are nearly 1,000 cemeteries transcribed and, if you know where the community cemetery is, you can go to their website to see if the headstone was transcribed for that community.

They have nearly 800 transcriptions in the database so far and you can request a search of their database for a fee. You can also go to www.stonepics.com, where they have a quarter of a million names and dates from headstones and monuments in Newfoundland. There are also pictures of some 1,700 cemeteries in the 177 volumes available for purchase on CD."

You'll probably also wish to visit Elizabeth's website www.GenealogyCanada.com.

SOURCE
Lapointe, Elizabeth. "Exploring Newfoundland and Labrador Genealogy. Discovering Family History (magazine). July/August 2009. pages 8-11.

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


18 July 2009

New England research




DearREADERS,

In a recent announcement published in the August 2009 Issue of the Family Chronicle, there is a chance for you to learn how to trace New England roots:


Come Home to New England

August 10 – August 15, 2009. The staff of the New England Historic Genealogical Society invites you to participate in our classic intensive weeklong program, “Come Home to New England.” Research your roots with expert assistance at the extensive NEHGS library, one of the premier facilities for genealogical records in the world. Whether you are a first-time participant or have enjoyed this program in the past, you are sure to benefit from a visit to our library and extended time with our staff of professional genealogists as they welcome you “home” to New England. Throughout the week of guided research, you will have the opportunity for one-on-one consultations, daily lectures and special extended library hours. To register please call 617-226-1226 or mail payment to: NEHGS, Education/ Tours, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116-3007.


Missing from the notice is the link to HisGen's website www.NewEnglandAncestors.org where some online research can be accomplished. From there, Ol' Myrt discovered the specific page with the 5 day schedule: http://www.newenglandancestors.org/7133.asp


Sounds like a real opportunity to attend a daily class, and have on-site research assistance.


Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt :)

DearMYRTLE,

Your friend in genealogy.

Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com


17 July 2009

Foreign word lists & letter writing guides

DearREADERS,

When discussing French-Canadian ancestors, Richard Crooks discusses baptismal parish registers “The first fact encountered is the date of the event. It is important to note that the event being recorded is the baptism and not the birth. The date consists of the day of the month, the month and the year usually written out in words instead of numerals. If you need a little help deciphering the date, Family Search has a helpful French Genealogical Word List found at www.familysearch.org/ENG/Search/rg/guide/WLFrench.asp that not only includes numbers, dates and times but also includes a list of several hundred key genealogical terms.” SOURCE: “Find Your Francophone Ancestors”. Discovering Family History. May/June 2009 pages 49-51.


This reminds Ol’ Myrt that there are a number of genealogy word lists. Hope these help you decipher those old documents.

· Czech Genealogical Word List

· Danish Genealogical Word List

· Dutch Genealogical Word List

· Finnish Genealogical Word List

· French Genealogical Word List

· German Genealogical Word List

· Hungarian Genealogical Word List

· Icelandic Genealogical Word List

· Italian Genealogical Word List

· Latin Genealogical Word List

· Norwegian Genealogical Word List

· Polish Genealogical Word List

· Portuguese Genealogical Word List

· Spanish Genealogical Word List

· Swedish Genealogical Word List


Here are guidelines with sample letters to be used when writing for official records in a foreign language.

· Czech and Slovak Letter-Writing Guide

· Finland Letter-Writing Guide

· French Letter-Writing Guide

· German Letter-Writing Guide

· Italian Letter-Writing Guide

· Polish Letter-writing Guide

· Portuguese Letter-writing Guide

· Spanish Letter-Writing Guide


Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt :)

DearMYRTLE,

Your friend in genealogy.

Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com

16 July 2009

The London Gazette




DearREADERS,

If your ancestors lived in the greater London area from after about 1665, then you’ll appreciate hearing about "The London Gazette: Published by Authority", an article by David A. Norris posted in Internet Genealogy magazine in the December/January 2009 issue.


“For such a long-lasting institution, the beginnings of the London Gazette were a quick stop-gap measure to deal with one of London’s worst disasters. Bubonic plague broke out in the city in 1665. King Charles II moved his court to Oxford, and many other Londoners who could leave also did so. The plague was so contagious, the courtiers feared any contact with London at all, even with its newspapers. To convey important news, the government started an official newspaper, which they called the Oxford Gazette. When the plague subsided, the newspaper was relocated with the royal court and continued as the London Gazette."


The London Gazette may mention court cases involving ordinary citizens, according to Norris who also notes the archive is online at www.gazettes-online.co.uk .


Pictured above: Future prime minister Winston Churchill appears in the London Gazette on 23 June 1896, when he was promoted to first lieutenant in the 4th Hussars. Because of such notices in the London Gazette, “gazetted” came to mean “promoted”.


Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt :)

DearMYRTLE,

Your friend in genealogy.

Myrt@DearMYRTLE.com


15 July 2009

Motivation for determining paternity

DearREADERS,
Aside from using www.ScotlandPeople.gov.uk, Ol' Myrt here has had little experience with Scottish records research, in that she has only helped a few DearREADERS find clues about progenitors and doesn't claim Scottish ancestry on her own family tree.

"Other fruitful sources of information are the Kirk Session records that recorded the meetings of the local church elders. The church elders were very much concerned with the moral well-being of their flock, and with bringing those who went astray to task, and you may well find mention of ancestors. Illegitimate births were often recorded here along with the father's name. You may also find that your ancestors were among the many who had celebrated an irregular marriage and were subsequently summoned before the Kirk Session. These records will be coming soon to ScotlandsPeople. In the mean time those that still exist are available at the Scottish National Archives, www.nas.gov.uk and you can search the catalogue under CH2 to see if these minutes are available for a particular parish." SOURCE: Marian Press' "Researching Scottish Ancestry" from Family Chronicle Magazine. July/Aug 2009 pages 35-37.

This leaves Ol' Myrt wondering if the reasons for determining paternity also includes the need to see that the child and nursing mother do not become wards of the parish, as I've seen in my fledgling attempts with my personal 1600-1700 English parish registry research.

Whatever the motive, we're thankful when any shred of evidence includes the mention of an ancestor. Ours isn't to play the part of a judge of morals.

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

14 July 2009

Zeppelins (not the Led type)



ABOVE: The USS Akron carried fighter planes inside the hull, the places could be launched and recovered in mid-air.

DearREADERS,
My father-dad called them dirigibles. Other than the Goodyear "blimp" hovering over football fields or hydroplane races in my youth, and the terrible tragedy of the Hindenburg, Ol' Myrt here knew little about Zeppelins until David A. Norris wrote about the ages of the great airships in his article "Zeppelins: Luxury Liners of the Sky" published in the Feb/Mar 2009 issue of History Magazine.
"The passenger zeppelin was once a symbol of modern mechanical and technological progress. As long as battleships, these grand passenger liners of the skies were buoyed in the air by vast bags of hydrogen. Their passengers enjoyed leisurely trans-Atlantic journeys of luxury and comfort. Then, a single spark ignited a catastrophic blaze that destroyed the finest one in the world, Germany's Hindenburg, ending the age of the zeppelin.
A zeppelin is on of three types of lighter-than-air craft, or airships. Also known as rigid airships, they held hydrogen-filled gas bags, called cells in a light metal frame. A blimp is an airship without a metal frame, with a gondola and engine mounts attached to the gas bag. In between were semi-rigid airships, using gas bags atop a partial frame." See pages 13-17.
David discusses the history and uses of these flying machines, though I was surprised that instead of aircraft carriers, after WWI, the US Navy ordered several to deploy small planes as pictured above.


It would be interesting to hear from my DearREADERS who may have had an ancestor that piloted one of those zeppelins or the small planes they could deploy. Perhaps some trace of personal insights could see the light of day.
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

13 July 2009

Cemetery mapping site



DearREADERS,
"You’re probably familiar with most of the existing sites, which offer the facility to search for graves and transcriptions by name or location for free, such as Find a Grave, www.findagrave.com or Interment.net, www.interment.net.


Another new site focusing on cemeteries has appeared on the cyberspace horizon. Names in Stone, www.namesinstone.com, is a cemetery mapping site that lets you search for a grave,
and then view a map showing where it is in the cemetery and the nearby plots." *



Ol' Myrt here couldn't agree more with fellow geneablogger Lisa Alzo continues "Cemetery mapping is a good way to expand your family research to see the bigger picture. As noted on the site, maps that show each grave’s location allow you to visualize families, and fill in the missing pieces in your genealogy puzzle — perhaps by finally finding elusive ancestors, or even discovering those you did not even know existed."



But you must be cautious and not jump to conclusions about family relationships, as certainly Lisa knows. Competent genealogists take cemetery research a step or two further by locating courthouse and church documents to determine true family relationships. Case in point: The PLAYER FAMILY tombstones at the Salt Lake City Cemetery, in Utah. You'll see the tombstone pictured above listing my ancestors:

PLAYER
Alma O 1862-1929
Mary Elizabeth 1862-1903
Bertha 1895-1897

So, would you think that Alma and Mary are sisters, and that Bertha is the daughter of one of them, perhaps born out of wedlock?

Well, if you did, you'd be wrong because family group sheets, sexton records and Salt Lake County birth and death records collected and in Ol' Myrt's personal library indicate that:
  • Alma O[ades] Player is my paternal great-grandfather.
  • Mary Elizabeth was Alma's wife, daughter of William Brockerman and Emma Smith (Yearsley) Wright.
  • Bertha was their 5th child, born in Salt Lake on 9 June 1896 and died 3 Feb 1897.
* SOURCE:
Alzo, Lisa. Virtual Memorial: Names in Stone. Internet Genealogy Magazine. April/May 2009, page 39.



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