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The Daily Genealogist: Thanksgiving Dinner Traditions

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week's survey asked if you have any ancestors who were Mayflower passengers. 5,010 people answered the survey. The results are:

50%, Yes, I have one or more ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower.   
7%, According to family lore, I have one or more Mayflower ancestors but I have yet to prove it.   
17%, I don't know whether any of my ancestors arrived on the Mayflower.   
26%, No, I do not have any ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower.   

This week's survey asks about your Thanksgiving dinner traditions. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist: Mystery of a 257-Year-Old Cannon Lingers

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Mystery of a 257-Year-Old Cannon Lingers
A Revolutionary War cannon used by the British and then by the Americans that disappeared in about 1961 from the Saratoga National Historical Park has been returned.

The Daily Genealogist: Wilton, Connecticut, Resources

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
valerie

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Wilton's Cemeteries

The town of Wilton is located in Fairfield County in southwestern Connecticut. The twelve cemetery databases on this website draw from files in the Wilton Public Library History Room. Locate the search box in the center of the page, enter a name in last name/first name order, then click search. This will open a new page with links to corresponding cemeteries.

You can also browse cemetery burial lists. Click on the cemetery name link to open a new page containing a brief description of the cemetery, its location, links to the burial databases and, in many cases, explanations of lot locations. Click on the green rectangle to open a database. Click on the Home button to return to the site's homepage.

You will also find a link that will take you to a new page with links to three Ridgefield, Connecticut, cemetery databases on the Find A Grave website.

Wilton Library Obituary Index

This index to obituaries published in the Wilton Bulletin from January 1937 through September 2005 can be searched by date and/or by name (last name/first name). Results include full name, date of publication, and page number. If you would like to view the complete list of individuals whose obituaries appeared in the newspaper during a particular year, enter the last two digits of the year in the search box.


The Daily Genealogist: Thanksgiving-related Family History

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, we share two holiday-themed contributions from Weekly Genealogist readers.

Carol Ubosi of Silver Spring, Maryland, sent a copy of the 1897 Thanksgiving Day diary entry penned by her grandmother, Mary Miller Bell of Harrison, New York. Mary Bell (b. 1878) was the daughter of Samuel Bell, a member of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment who died in 1883. Mary Bell celebrated the holiday with her mother, Elmira Bell, her grandmother, and her two sisters: Thanksgiving Day. We observed this day in a quiet way. No one except our own family took dinner but we had a good dinner and we all were in good health so we enjoyed it. The dinner consisted of Roast chicken, pickled beets, sweet potatoes (boiled), turnips, white potatoes, pickled peaches, sweet cider and pumpkin pie. No callers.

Deborah Sweet of New City, New York, wrote about her family's unusual Thanksgiving centerpiece: We descend from seven Mayflower passengers via the Mullins, Fuller, and Alden families, so at least some mention is always made of the Pilgrim celebration and a special (some might say peculiar) object takes center stage on our table. While many have elaborate floral arrangements, the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving table is a humble brick.

I had attended an Alden Family reunion in Duxbury, Massachusetts, several years ago. One of the highlights was a walk through the woods behind the Alden House, to the recently discovered site of the original Duxbury home of John and Priscilla Alden. The site had been excavated, studied, and reburied. During the dig, some of the original house bricks had been removed from the site and retained by the Alden Kindred of America. Over the course of the reunion, a silent auction was held and I won one of the bricks!

And that is how a simple brick, quite probably made by the hands of my 10th great-grandfather John Alden nearly 400 years ago, graces our Thanksgiving table and reminds us of our heritage. I hope that this ordinary object with such an extraordinary past will continue to be cherished by future generations of our family.

 


The Daily Genealogist: Mayflower Ancestors

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week's survey asked whether you or your ancestors served in major American conflicts from 1775 through 1975. More than one answer could be selected. 4,856 people answered the survey. The results are:

83%, The American Revolution (1775-1783)   
54%, War of 1812 (1812-1815)   
10%, Mexican War (1846-1848)   
79%, Civil War (1861-1865)   
18%, Spanish-American War (1898)   
55%, World War I (1914-1918)   
73%, World War II (1939-1945)   
27%, Korean War (1950-1953)   
28%, Vietnam War (1959-1975)   
1%, None of my ancestors nor I served in any of the conflicts listed above.   
1%, I don't know if any of my ancestors served in any of the conflicts listed above.   

This week's survey asks if you have any ancestors who were Mayflower passengers. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist: What We Found at Hart Island, the Largest Mass Grave Site in the U.S.

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

What We Found at Hart Island, the Largest Mass Grave Site in the U.S.
"It's a place where few living New Yorkers have ever set foot, but nearly a million dead ones reside: Hart Island, the United States' largest mass grave, which has been closed to the public for 35 years. It is difficult to visit and off-limits to photographers."

The Daily Genealogist: Terrace Public Library, British Columbia, Canada

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
valerie

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Terrace Public Library, British Columbia, Canada

The city of Terrace is located on the Skeena River in western British Columbia. The Terrace area has been home to the Kitselas people, a tribe of the Tsimshian Nation, for thousands of years. The Terrace Public Library has made a number of local history resources available on its website: Click the Local History tab and then the Online Resources tab to access them.

Felber Photo Gallery
Joe Felber immigrated from Switzerland to British Columbia in the 1920s and ultimately settled in Terrace. He worked for a number of mining companies over the years. The online collection of his photos contains 294 images.

Eleanor Muehle Newspaper Archive
Issues of the Herald, a local newspaper published under various titles over the years, have been digitized. The database covers 1900 through 2013. You may search the archive by keyword, and searches may be limited by years of publication. The fields in the search results are newspaper title, publication date, volume and issue numbers, and a snippet of the article. Click the snippet to view an image of the newspaper page.

Terrace: Images and Reflections of the Skeena River Valley area
The "Stories" section is a collection of more than forty stories of people, places, and events related to the Terrace area written by a number of individuals. In many cases the stories have been illustrated with photographs.

The "Pictures" section  includes family albums, army pictures, historical photographs of Terrace and Usk, and more. The photographs are generally captioned.


The Daily Genealogist: Ancestors who Served

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week's survey asked what style you use most often when writing up a family sketch. 3,206 people answered this survey. The results are:

10%, I use Register style.   
5%, I use NGSQ or modified Register style.   
12%, I use the quasi-Register style generated by my software program   
5%, I use another style.   
24%, I use a style I created.   
44%, I don't write family sketches.   

This week's survey asks whether you or your ancestors served in any major American conflicts from 1775 through 1975. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist: Ancestors Who Spoke Languages Other Than English

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week our survey question asked whether you or your more recent ancestors spoke a first language other than English. Two of the emails we received in response to the survey are excerpted below:

Diane Brook of Wales, UK: My great-grandmother spoke Irish, although born in Scotland of Irish parents. I now live in Wales in the UK, so I am very aware of the non-English languages of the British Isles. I published an article called "Mother Tongues" (Family Tree [UK], November 2011) on the ten languages in Britain and Ireland that were current before 1066 and survived into the period 1500 and later. The article includes sources for researching an ancestor's native language. Also referenced are emigrant communities that preserved some of these languages. [Many thanks to Helen Tovey at Family Tree who kindly posted this article on their blog and provided a link to AmericanAncestors.org. -- Editor]

Debbie Semonich of Shelton, Connecticut: When I answered the survey, I first thought of my immigrant great-grandparents and then I wondered if my grandmother, who was born here, spoke Slovak or English as her first language. This question made me think about the fact that one doesn't have to be an immigrant to have a first language other than English. My mother-in-law was born in Connecticut and her first language was French, which I believe she spoke exclusively till she attended elementary school. More amazing to me is her father, who lived his whole life in Connecticut. Not only was his first language French, but his only language was French! Many of the French-Canadian families in his town had been there for at least three generations and spoke only French. I believe it wasn't until my in-laws' generation that English became more important. I think it is rather sad that my husband and his siblings were never taught French. They could never really converse with their grandparents and other family members who spoke only French--such a loss of part of their identity and culture.


The Daily Genealogist: Brainerd, Minnesota, Resources

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Brainerd, Minnesota, Resources

The city of Brainerd is located in central Minnesota. It is the seat of Crow Wing County. The city has made some historical resources available on its website.

Historical Newspapers
A number of issues of two Brainerd weekly newspapers have been digitized. The Brainerd Dispatch's image database, digitized from microfilm found in library and historical society collections, covers August 2, 1883, through December 27, 1901. (A few issues are missing and were not microfilmed.) A few months of the Brainerd Tribune from 1872 have also been digitized. More issues will be added in the future. Click on the date link to open a PDF file with the newspaper pages. Scroll down the file to move from page to page.

Historical Photos
Five photographs of Brainerd scenes are on the website.

Historical City Maps
Twelve files containing maps of Brainerd, ranging from 1871 through 1949, are in this collection. Some map files, such as the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, contain several pages of images. Click the thumbnail image to open the PDF files. Scroll down the file to move from page to page.

The Downtown Brainerd Historical Walk link provides a PDF file with a guide and maps for a walking tour of Brainerd, as well as two videos about the city's history.


The Daily Genealogist: Writing a Family Sketch

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week's survey asked if you or any of your more recent ancestors spoke a first language other than English. 4,301 people answered this survey. The results are:

1%, Yes, my first language was not English.   
5%, Yes, one or both of my parents spoke a first language that was not English.   
21%, Yes, one or more of my grandparents spoke a first language that was not English.   
23%, Yes, one or more of my great-grandparents spoke a first language that was not English.   
13%, Yes, one or more of my great-great-grandparents spoke a first language that was not English.   
36%, No, my ancestors from my parents through my great-great-grandparents all spoke English as their first language.   
1%, I don't know.   

This week's survey asks what style you use most often when writing up a family sketch. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist: Pages from an Underground Railroad Conductor's Diary Preserve Fugitive Slaves' Stories

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Pages from an Underground Railroad Conductor's Diary Preserve Fugitive Slaves' Stories
Philadelphian William Still served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and his journal, begun in 1852, contains information about each fugitive he encountered. The Still diaries have recently been digitized as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Preserving Freedom project.

The Daily Genealogist: Additional Madison County, Alabama, Resources

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Additional Madison County, Alabama, Resources

Madison County is in northern Alabama along the Tennessee border. The Madison County Records Center (MCRC), established in 2001, is located in the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library and staffed by Probate Court personnel. The Center archives non-current documents (generally dated 1809-2004) delivered to or developed by the Probate Judge's office. MCRC staff has developed indexes to the records.

Marriage Records Indices
Records in the marriage records index cover 1809 through 1973. Some additional records through 2004 have been indexed. The index may be searched by groom's first and last name and bride's first and last name and year. Results can be sorted by last name. The search results include volume and page numbers and license date.

Probate Indices
The probate indexes may be searched by case number or by last name and first name. The data fields in the search results are name, case number, and description.

Chancery Indices
You can search the Chancery Court Records indexes by case number, last name, first name, and year. The data fields in the search results include year and case number plus the following for both parties involved: last name, first name, business name, additional name, and notes. An asterisk in the additional names field indicates that others are mentioned in the record.

Other Holdings
These indexes include Confederate Pensions (1898-1907, 1908-1914), Cotton Mill Affidavits for Child Laborers (1908-1915), Delinquent Tax Docket (1890), Naturalization Certificates (1847-1906), Naturalization Records (1818-1846), Unofficial Register of Births (1881-1912), and more.


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