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This Week's Survey: Ancestral surname changes

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Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked if you have genealogical connections to American presidents. The results are:

 

34%, Yes, I have one to five connections.
31%, No.
25%, I’m not sure.
8%, Yes, I have six to fifteen connections.
2%, Yes, I have sixteen or more connections.

 

This week's survey asks whether any of your ancestral surnames were changed. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Manila

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

MANILA (f): Manila Dewey (Stafford) Browne (b. 12 June 1898) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, daughter of Leroy and Priscilla (Allen) Stafford of Cheneyville, Louisiana, “received her name in response to her father’s patriotic enthusiasm during the Spanish-American War, her birth having occurred about the time of Admiral Dewey’s famous victory over the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay” (George Mason Graham Stafford, Three Pioneer Rapides Families: A Genealogy [New Orleans, 1946], pp. 369, 371).

Of 534 persons named Manila in searchable census indexes for 1900, 279 were born in 1898 or thereafter (seen 17 February 2012 on www.ancestry.com).


A Note from the Editor: Final Thoughts on Genealogical Sharing and a Blog Profile

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

We continue to receive lots of email on the positive and negative aspects of sharing genealogical information. We’re wrapping up this topic (at least for now) in The Weekly Genealogist with just a few more reader comments.

 

Robert Snyder of Midland, Michigan:

I'd like to add my voice to those who, in spite of some negative events, have had mostly positive experiences with online contacts. A descendant of my great-grandmother's sister found me online a year ago. She had a family Bible, which unlocked a half-dozen thirty-year-old puzzles on my Rarick and Lake families. I've had many such serendipities over the years, and they far outweigh the handful of negatives. Online contacts are a huge boon to the genealogical community.

 

Karen Abel of Morgan Hill, California:

I would like to add my positive experience with sharing genealogical data. Yes, I get frustrated when I see my data, complete with exact notes, in someone else’s database. But that frustration is far outweighed by the positive side of having my data posted online. I have been contacted by countless cousins who have seen my data. This has led to sharing of information and the formation of new friendships. Several years ago, I was contacted by a very distant cousin in Germany. We not only shared our data, but we went on to do further research for one another. She went to the archives in Stuttgart and found ancestral information that I would never have had access to on my own – and thus provided me with some fascinating family history back to the 1400s and 1500s. I was finally able to meet her during a trip to Germany last August. My own experience has been that sharing data is well worth it.

 

Donald F. Nelson of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts:

Last fall I received an email from a woman in Yorkshire, England, who had found me through an Ancestry.com tree. She asked whether I would like to receive digital copies of photographs of me and my family from the 1930s. I said yes, and when the photos arrived they were authentic and ones I’d never seen before. The woman from Yorkshire and I have figured out we are third cousins. Apparently, the photos were originally sent by my grandmother to some undetermined relative of my cousin. My cousin and I have been exchanging information on the Thackwrays of Yorkshire ever since. Only the web could lead to this.

 

Debbie from Connecticut:

How can you ensure your research is acknowledged? Is there any way other than asking the person you are sharing it with to make an acknowledgment? Is there some kind of accepted tradition/method/procedure amongst genealogists and family researchers to give credit to the researcher? Or do we only rely on the integrity of those we share with to acknowledge?

I'm quite curious as this is somewhat of a new notion to me, partly because I am just now at the point where I really have anything of value to share. I have shared tidbits here and there before and certainly have been the recipient of help from others, but have never given this concept much thought. I was somewhat taken aback by the number of negative experiences reported, but then last week I saw several photos which I had shared with a cousin now on display in her tree, with no acknowledgment of where she got them. Then I got a little taste of how some of these respondents felt! I'm not overly upset and I am still happy I shared them, but it would have been nice to be noted as the one who originally had the photos and found the corresponding information, some of which took years to dig up. I am certainly going to go back through my own records and make note of any information I received from others and give them credit, if I haven't already!

 

It seems that many of you still have plenty to say on genealogical sharing, and I encourage you to begin a conversation on the NEHGS Facebook page or in the General Genealogy section of the NEHGS Discussion Board.

 

A New Featured Blog

 

Our latest blog profile is by Diane Boumenot, who writes One Rhode Island Family. Here, Diane introduces herself and her blog:

 

I have been pursuing genealogy as a hobby for several years. I was surprised to discover that my mother's family was among the earliest settlers of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where I live. As I continue to learn and grow in this field, it has been wonderful to reach out for help and advice through my blog. I enjoy discussing the different research problems and puzzles that I encounter, or telling the amazing stories that my ancestors — just like everyone else's ancestors — left behind. My extended family enjoys reading the stories on my blog and sometimes new readers turn out to be descended from the same branches, and we can share information. Lastly, if a method or resource works well for me, I try to pass that knowledge on.

I have written two posts about visiting NEHGS: "What I saw at the NEHGS,” concerning my discovery that my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother had been crossed out of the family Bible, and "Got Some Help With My Tree,” about a wonderful research weekend.


Harvard Square’s Blacksmith House Has Untold Connection to Runaway Slave

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

“[Mary] Walker was an enslaved woman who fled north to freedom and ended up owning one of the more famous houses in the Boston area. It’s one of the best known houses on Brattle Street in Cambridge, in the heart of Harvard Square, immortalized in poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who lived not far away.”

Colonial-era Belmont Home Escapes Demolition and Is Moved to New Site

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Although a developer had already had demolition permits in hand, the Thomas Clark House, built circa 1760, in Belmont, Massachusetts, was saved from destruction.

Family’s Secret Now in the Open: Cousins Track Down Their Hidden Black and Jewish Ancestry(2)

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Cousins researching their genealogy discovered “that their family hadn't come from Scotland after all but from Jamaica.”

This Week's Survey: Genealogical connections to American presidents

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked how often you go online for genealogical purposes. The results are:

 

38%, Multiple times a day
21%, A few times a week
16%, Once a day
12%, About every other day
6%, A couple of times a month
4%, Once a week
2%, Less frequently than once a month
1%, Once a month
<1%, Never

 

This week's survey asks about whether you have any genealogical connections to American presidents. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Boadicea

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

BOADICEA (f): A Latinized form of BOUDICA, the widowed chieftainess of the Brythonic Celtic Iceni (who held lands in what is now Norfolk). In an arrangement common with client kingdoms in recently conquered Roman territory, her husband Prasutagus had willed his domain to his daughters and to Rome — which disregarded the daughters’ claims. Boudica was subsequently severely flogged, her daughters raped; outraged by their treatment, she led the Iceni, Trinovantes, and other tribes in a bloody rebellion in A.D. 60/61 which led to the destruction of Camulodunum (Colchester, Essex), Londinium, and Verulamium (St. Albans), before the Romans crushed the uprising at the Battle of Watling Street. Boudica’s revolt was seen in later years as a heroic resistance to Roman tyranny in what is now England, and is commemorated in Thomas Thornycroft’s statue, “Boadicea and Her Daughters” (1901–2), by the Thames River near Westminster Pier, London.

 

Boadicea Townsend m. Stafford, Conn. 20 Aug. 1771 Thomas Warner (Stafford, Conn. Congregational Church Records, Corbin Coll. [SG COR 5] 176, p. 14). In about 1787 Thomas and Mehitable (Griggs) Wakefield of Enfield, Conn., had a daughter Boadice Wakefield, who died there 8 Sept. 1807 in her 20th year (“O: don’t forget that you must die, / and turn to dust as well as I”) (Francis Olcott Allen, The History of Enfield, Connecticut, Volume III, 3 vols. [Lancaster, Penn., 1900], 3:2479). At least one bearer of this rare given name used the nickname “Dicy” (which suggests di- could be the accented syllable). Boadicea “Dicy” Scott (not, so far as I know, related to either Mrs. Townsend or her daughter) m. Kent, Conn. (by Rev. Daniel Porter), 29 May 1802 William Brown of Kent (Kent VRs, Barbour Collection of Conn. VRs, citing orig. town rec. vol. 2:64).


Spotlight: Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Washington

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Washington

 

Skagit County is located in northwest Washington, about fifty miles south of the Canadian border. Mount Vernon is its county seat. The Skagit Valley Genealogical Society has made a number of resources available on its website. Click on the Cemetery Index link in the contents list on the left side of the page to access the database.

 

Obituary Index


The database indexes Skagit County obituaries that have been extracted from a variety of weekly newspapers in the county’s small communities and from the daily editions of the Skagit Valley Herald. The Skagit Valley Genealogical Society has been collecting obituaries since 1987. There are approximately 29,000 records in the index. The database includes some obituaries from the 1970s and early to mid-1980s, with more consistent coverage from 1987 through September 2008. You may request copies of the obituaries for a small fee by writing to the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society.

 

Click on the Databases link in the contents list on the left side of the page to access the following resources.

 

Skagit County Death Index


This alphabetical-by-surname database contains 679 records. It is drawn from a Skagit Valley Genealogical Society publication, Skagit County, Washington, Death Records 1891–1908. The records in the index were extracted from records on file with the Skagit County Auditor's Office. The data fields in the index include name, date of death, and age at death.

 

Pioneer Book


This alphabetical database is an index to more than 4,000 early residents of Skagit County who died between 1926 and 1955. The records are drawn from The Pioneer Book of Skagit County, Washington, a publication of the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society. The data fields in the database are surname, given name, age, and date of death.

 

Union Cemetery, Sedro-Woolley, Washington


This alphabetical database is an index to the records of Union Cemetery, Sedro-Woolley, Washington. The burials indexed here cover the period from 1889 through 1992. The data fields in the index are site (burial location), name, birth date, and death date.

 

You will also find links to an every name index to the 1910 federal census for Skagit County, an every name index to the 1910 federal census for all counties in Washington State, and the Skagit County District Clerk’s Report on the Birdsview School (1888–1932), including a name index to children who attended the school. Please note that the Washington State index was completed in 2005 and has since been moved to The Washington State Digital Archives.


A Note from the Editor: Genealogical Sharing and Sampler Databases

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

The issue of sharing — or “stealing” — genealogical information online has continued to resonate with readers and we received many more emails on this topic. Several people wrote to ask why we hadn’t included any reader excerpts about the positive aspects of sharing information online. Frankly, no one had written in with positive stories the first week — it was the negative practices that really seemed to strike a nerve.

 

This week we have three positive accounts to share.

 

Susan J. Rabick of Grand Rapids, Michigan:
I have connected with people who were from other branches of my tree, which has been exciting because our branches had generally lost touch. (There are cases of separated orphans, a North vs. South division in the Civil War, etc.) While sometimes I can get bare bones facts from online sources, other descendents can provide the wonderful stories behind the facts.

 

Joan Schuette of Fitchburg, Wisconsin:
A third cousin who lives in Sweden found me because a cousin here in the U.S. set up a website that contained my research and notes. (I had given my permission.) We have now visited each other and, recently, another Swedish cousin visited. I had to share this good news! 

 

Jared Handspicker of Nashua, New Hampshire:
I just wanted to put in a plug for those of us who, despite having experienced some negatives related to sharing our research online, have had mostly positive experiences. Those positive interactions bring a greater joy to genealogical research that leads to a greater desire to do an even better job, and to put more time and effort into perfecting our research techniques, and so on. Let's not dwell on the negatives since the positives of sharing surely seem to outweigh them!

 

Samplers and Sampler Databases

 

The cover story of the spring issue of American Ancestors magazine — which has just been mailed to members — has given me a new appreciation for samplers and the stories behind them. Dan and Marty Campanelli’s article, “Following the Threads of the Carver Fruit Tree Family Register,” traced the history and genealogy behind a sampler created in the early nineteenth century in Taunton, Massachusetts. The story has heightened my sampler awareness, and I know now about two initiatives designed to collect sampler information.

 

Recently launched by the University of Delaware, the University of Oregon, and the Sampler Consortium, and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sampler Archive Project intends to create an online searchable database of information and images for all known American samplers and related girlhood embroideries from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. As the project progresses, an online database that will make information and digitized images available to the public will be unveiled.

 

"Our hope is that historical societies, art museums, private collectors and families will help us build this online database by contributing information and digital photographs of the antique samplers in their possession," says University of Delaware history professor Ritchie Garrison. Project staff members estimate that there may be as many as 15,000 to 20,000 American samplers in existence. "Our goal," says University of Oregon professor Lynne Anderson, "is to find them all." If you have an historic sampler or know of a collection that should be included in the Sampler Archive, you can let the Project know by filling out a brief questionnaire by visiting http://samplerarchive.org/, clicking the downloads tab, and then selecting “sampler survey.” For more on the Project and for background on samplers, you can read “Stitches in Time Go Online.”

The National Society of Colonial Dames of America has a long-standing interest in samplers. In 1921, the National Society of Colonial Dames in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts published American Samplers by Ethel Stanwood Bolton and Eve Johnston Coe, now available on GoogleBooks.

 

In order to bring this knowledge up to the present day, the Society has undertaken a decorative arts sampler survey which includes samplers in museums, historical societies, and individual collections. To learn more, visit http://www.nscda.org/site3/decorative_arts_sampler_survey.php. To participate, fill out a sampler survey form, available on the webpage. Survey results and a link to the sampler database are available at http://www.nscda.org/samplers/samp_home.php.


Storing Digital Family History

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Seattle Times Q&A/Technology columnist Patrick Marshall answers a reader question about how best to ensure that photos in a time capsule will last for 100 years.

Long-lost Identities of Slaves Uncovered in Old Virginia Papers

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

A new website, "Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names," the first online resource to list slaves' names across all of slaveholding Virginia, has revealed the identities of 3,200 slaves from unpublished private documents.

Family’s Secret Now in the Open: Cousins Track Down Their Hidden Black and Jewish Ancestry

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

Cousins researching their genealogy discovered “that their family hadn't come from Scotland after all but from Jamaica.”

This Week's Survey: Frequency of online research

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked what methods you use to share your genealogical information. The results are:

 

93%, Email
62%, Postal mail
42%, Telephone calls
38%, Online message boards or forums
36%, Genealogical or historical website
18%, Published book or article
16%, Commercial website
13%, Other
10%, Lectures and presentations
8%, Personal website
5%, Social media websites
4%, Your own blog
<1%, Someone else’s blog
<1%, Instant messages
<1%, Twitter

 

This week's survey asks how often you go online for genealogical purposes. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Permenio

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

PERMENIO (m): PARMENION was a powerful general in the Macedonian army of Kings Philip II and his son, Alexander III (the Great). His son Philotas (named for his paternal grandfather) was high in Alexander’s cavalry. In December 330 B.C., after a number of Alexander’s Persian conquests, Philotas and several of the King’s bodyguards (Companions) were reported to have entered into a conspiracy to kill him. After torture Philotas was said to have confessed before his execution to plotting against the King because Alexander was now claiming to be a god. Although there was no clear proof that Parmenion was involved in the plot, he held too powerful a position to remain alive; Alexander sent an express messenger ahead to Ecbatana (Hamadan, Iran) with orders to kill the old general. The Greek PARMENION was Latinized as PARMENIO and variant PERMENIO, accented on the second syllable.

 

Permenio Callisthenes Shaw, b. Raynham, Mass. 7 Oct. 1779, son of Jonathan [Jr.] and Lydia (Gushee) Shaw (Raynham, Mass. VRs, p. 25), was named both for Parmenion and for another anti-Alexander plotter: the philosopher Aristotle’s great-nephew Callisthenes (d. 328 B.C.), a historian who turned against Alexander’s adoption of Persian royal customs, was implicated in another conspiracy, and died in prison. The choice of these two long, anti-tyrannical names for a small child in Revolutionary War Massachusetts is quite telling. His parents were big readers — some later children were Amyntas (b. 25 Sept. 1785), named for Alexander the Great’s grandfather; Cassini Shaw (b. 10 Sept. 1790), named for the astronomer; and Henrietta Maria Antonietta Shaw (b. 8 Jan. 1793), for Henrietta Maria of France, Queen of England’s Charles I, and of course for Queen Marie Antoinette, very much in current events that year (Raynham VRs, p. 25).(There is no connection between the male name PARMENION/PERMENION and the female PARMELIA/PERMELIA, which is a form of PAMELA.)


Spotlight: South Dakota and Montana

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Moody County Historical Society, South Dakota

 

The Moody County Historical Society is located in Flandreau, South Dakota. Moody County is on the eastern border of South Dakota and Minnesota. The Society has made resources available on its website, including a cemetery database, a land patents database, and a veterans’ list. These databases are in PDF file format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

 

Cemetery Database


The Moody County cemetery database contains more than 8,000 records. It is arranged alphabetically by surname. The data fields include name of the deceased, date of birth, date of death, grave location (block, lot, grave), veteran status, comments, id number, and cemetery name. Information found in the comments field includes place of birth, military service details, cause of death, parents’ names, spouse’s name, marriage date, gravestone inscription, and much more.

 

Land Patents Database


The South Dakota Land Patents Database is derived from General Land Office and Bureau of Land Management information. It contains land patents issued between 1859 and 1995 by the United States in what is now the state of South Dakota. The data fields for each land transaction in the database include: date, location (township, range, section, meridian), name of person the land was patented to, case type, conveyance type, county, and the patent document identification number. You should be advised that the data fields only appear as headers on the first page of this nearly one hundred page file. This information can be used obtain copies of the patent file from the National Archives.

 

Veterans List


The Veterans List is an alphabetical database of Moody County veterans, from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. It has about 1,200 records. The data fields include last name, first name, war served in, regiment/branch, company, date enrolled, end of service, rank at end of service, and cemetery in which the veteran is buried.

 

Parmly Billings Library Genealogical Resources, Montana

 

The city of Billings is located in south central Montana. It is the county seat of Yellowstone County. The Parmly Billings Library has made some Billings-area resources available on its website. These databases are in PDF file format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them.

 

Vital Statistics from Early Billings Gazettes

 

The vital statistics database contains more than 13,000 names. It indexes births, deaths, business licenses, and other records of early residents of Billings as recorded in the Billings Gazette. The index covers the period from 1882 to 1901. It is arranged alphabetically by last name. The data fields include name, date of publication, type of event, place, and newspaper title. The notices include marriages and births, delinquent taxes, registered voters, naturalizations, student status, prisoners, pardons, business licenses, commitments to an asylum, and obituaries.

There is a second database of the Billings Gazette indexes that covers the 1930s. The database contains scanned images of original typed indexes. According to the website, the indexing is not comprehensive. There is an A to Z database, which is very large, and three smaller databases broken into alphabetical sections.

 

Early Billings City Directories


A number of early Billings city directories have been scanned and uploaded to the website. They are for the years 1883, 1894, 1900–1901, and 1903–1904. It should be noted that pages containing only advertisements were not scanned.


A Note from the Editor: Following Up on Genealogical “Clan” Characteristics and Sharing Genealogical Information Online

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Two of last week’s stories struck a chord with readers and we received many responses, some of which will be shared here.

 

Genealogical “Clan” Characteristics

 

The excerpt on “clan” characteristics from The Grant Family (1898) by Arthur Hastings Grant elicited a number of emails, particularly from readers who didn’t think I gave enough credibility to the occurrences of those characteristics in the various lines of the Grant family.

From Letha A. Chunn of Prescott, Arizona: I read the Genealogical “Clan” Characteristics discussion in your last newsletter with interest. I am a marriage and family therapist with theoretical underpinnings in Bowen Family Systems Theory originated by Murray Bowen, M. D., in the mid-1900s. There may be more truth to the family/clan characteristics than you may think. Dr. Bowen described certain family processes that are extant in families through generations, and developed a “family diagram” (a genogram), a sort of a family tree of these intrafamilial processes, to track them. One of the processes he describes is family extinction, not to mention branches of the family that succeed vs. those that don’t, and the reasons why.

 

The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family operates out of Georgetown University under the direction of Michael Kerr, M.D. An overview of the theory can be seen on their website at www.thebowencenter.org/

 

Sharing Genealogical Information Online

 

Ronald Miller’s story of how his genealogical research had been posted online by others led to a number of reader emails. Unfortunately, we only have room for a fraction of them here:

 

Anonymous:

I had a sour experience with sharing information, and have tried to learn from it. A number of years go I met a distant cousin on the web and we started exchanging data. I had recently put ten or twelve generations of my ancestors together, and was very eager to pass on all my wonderful work. I sent him a GEDCOM file of it all. Some months later I came across some forum postings by this cousin offering new info on this ancestry as though it were his original work.

Well, live and learn. I freely offered the GEDCOM file, and there was no discussion about further dissemination. So I have only myself (and my eagerness to show off) to blame. Perhaps in the years since, it has helped others in their research. After all, that's what genealogy is all about, in my opinion.

 

Now all these years later, I have new research which I am putting online. I chose to create my own website, and make it publicly available. I have put each family group on a separate web page. The citations, images, charts, etc, are also on separate pages. I feel it makes the site easier to navigate. But more importantly, it limits the amount of info that can be copied in one operation. There are many thousands of pages, and if someone wants to copy them all, one at a time, then I'm willing to let them have it. Needless to say, I do not do GEDCOMs at all, for anybody.

 

Janet Bailey:

I offer family information to relatives and share information with those researching the same lines. Early on I would share a GEDCOM with new cousins but later I found my information online. No one asked for permission but felt that adding my information and my research to their database made it their own. I now do not share any of my research online or via GEDCOM or tree format. I will correct information that I see on Ancestry or other places, but do not add mine. I would rather wait until I am ready to publish with thorough edits and full sources. My working GEDCOM is not something I want on the Internet. 

 

Ellen Stevens Newton of Boothbay, Maine:

I share my information with people that place queries online, but I am very cautious about accepting unsourced information. I have often found that what is so freely given without proof is usually copied and often incorrect. One example is a French family in Maine. I studied countless records and manuscripts and traveled to Boston and New Hampshire to prove the correct lineage. Shortly thereafter I saw an online genealogy of the same family on Ancestry.com, and knew it was incorrect. I contacted the submitter and offered my resources and proof, and the information was met with some hostility. I think that folks are just grasping at whatever information they find and assume it's true. There are many erroneous family lineages online that will be perpetuated by those not willing or unable to take the time to do it correctly. Researchers beware!

 

Daisy Thomas:

Recently when I contacted someone to verify her posted information, she said she just copied from others online. Do I want to give out all my hard work for nothing? Absolutely not! Just a little name recognition would be nice. I also had the experience of having my data botched up completely by someone else, and I was then grateful my name was not on it. Back in the days before www, we did a lot of snail mail with correspondents sharing information back and forth. I made a major breakthrough on our family that no one had cracked in over fifty years of trying. I, of course, shared that with a correspondent, who later posted it all on the web, signing his name as if he did it all by himself. Like Mr. Miller, I was the one to do all the leg work, and traveling miles and miles to gather this info searching through primary documents. Also, like Mr. Miller, I will not post any of my research on the net. And I have over forty years of data that I've gathered. All of our family members that are interested in it have a copy with the caveat that they not post it online while I'm still living.


This Popular Website Helps Icelandic Couples Avoid Incest

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean




The Íslendingabók database contains genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland dating back more than 1200 years. The project goal of tracing all known family connections between Icelanders from the time of the settlement to the present also has practical applications — to help avoid dating between close relatives in this country of 300,000 people.

Remembering “Roots”: The Series that Inspired a Nation

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

An article in the Sag Harbor [N.Y.] Express features interviews with members of the Eastville Community Historical Society about the impact of “Roots,” thirty-five years after it debuted.

Rare List of P.E.I. Acadians Intrigues N.B. Researchers

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

“Acadian researchers at l'Université de Moncton have discovered a list of 289 names of Acadians who were living on Prince Edward Island in 1763.”

This Week's Survey: Communicating genealogical information

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked you to characterize your experience of sharing genealogical information online. The results are:

 

33%, I have had both positive and negative experiences sharing my genealogical information online.
32%, I have had mostly positive experiences sharing my genealogical information online.
29%, I do not share my genealogical information online.
6%, I have had mostly negative experiences sharing my genealogical information online.

 

This week's survey question is on how you share your research more generally. Take the survey now!


Name Origins: Naphtali/Naphthali

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

NAPHTALI/NAPHTHALI (m): One of the twelve sons of Jacob; his mother was Bilhah (maid of Jacob’s favorite wife Rachel). (Genesis 30:8).

 

One New England example is Naphtali Webb (1729–1804) of Scotland and Hanover, Conn., a son of Zebulon and Judith (Hayward/Howard) Webb of Windham and Canterbury, Conn.; he married Mary Mudge (Rev. John Adams Vinton, The Giles Memorial [Boston, 1864], pp. 511, 518).

The name was popular in the Daggett family of Attleborough, Mass., as apparent from that town’s VRs, where as many as seven appear (pp. 90, 659), including: Naphthali Daggett, “slain by a tree,” 6 March 1717/8, no age; Naphthali Daggett, b. 6 Jan. 1724/5, son of Thomas and Sarah (Stanley) Daggett; and two sons of Thomas and Sibble (Stanley) Daggett, b. 18 March 1757 (d. Attleborough 13 July 1769 and 19 Aug. 1771).


Spotlight: L. E. Phillips Memorial Library, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

L. E. Phillips Memorial Library, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

 

The L. E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has made some online resources available through its Local Genealogy section. The city of Eau Claire is located in the west-central part of the state and is the seat of Eau Claire County. A portion of the city is in Chippewa County, which lies to the north. Barron County is located north-west of Chippewa County.

 

Eau Claire Historical Search

This tool will search across all of the library’s local history databases at the same time. The databases include the obituary and cemetery indexes maintained by the Genealogical Research Society of Eau Claire (GRSEC); biographical sketches and research notes of Lois Barland, an Eau Claire author and amateur historian; local history sources; marriage records; Wisconsin biographies; and the 1910 atlas .

 

To search the databases enter a last name, first name, or maiden name in the search boxes and click submit. The results returned are sorted by database and a green dot will appear on the tabs of the databases in which records have been found. To view the specific results returned in your search, click on the database tab. Descriptions of the obituary, marriage, and 1910 atlas databases follow.

 

The obituary index covers the period from 1858 to the present. The records have been extracted from more than twenty newspapers. The data fields include last name, first name, maiden name, birth date, death date, age, images, and newspaper source/date. Click on the Source/Date link to view the list of newspaper abbreviations. Click on the deceased’s surname link to view the detailed record. There are additional data fields in the detailed record. They are nickname, notes, spouse, burial place, burial zip code, and headstone image. There is also a link to a map showing the location of the cemetery. In some cases there are gravestone images as part of the detailed record.

 

The marriage records database is an index to marriages that occurred in Eau Claire County between 1854 and 1928. It indexes records found at the Eau Claire County Courthouse. The data fields in the index are groom’s last name, groom’s first name, bride’s last name, bride’s first name, marriage date, volume, and page number.

 

The 1910 atlas database provides information about property and property holders in Eau Claire County. The data fields in the search results include last name, middle name, first name, suffix, page town range and section.

 

Barron County Historical Search


The Barron County database is an index to birth, death, divorce, and marriage notices found in local newspapers. The newspapers include the Rice Lake Chronotype, the Barron News Shield and the Cumberland Advocate, from approximately 1900 to 1950. In addition, the database also includes some more recent notices from the above newspapers and from the Chetek Alert.

 

Obituary Index: The data fields in the obituary index include last name, first name, maiden name, birth date, death date, age, images, and source/date of the newspaper. Click on the deceased’s surname link to view the detailed record. The additional data fields in the detailed record include nickname, notes, spouse, burial place, burial zip code, and headstone image. There is also a link to a map showing the location of the cemetery.

 

Birth Index: The data fields in the birth index include last name, first name, notes, source information (newspaper title), and source date (publication date). Information in the Notes field includes date of birth and parents’ names.


A Note from the Editor: Genealogical “Clan” Characteristics

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

An article on the website of the British newspaper The Mirror recently reported that British World War I soldiers with the names White, Walker, and Thomas were most likely to have won medals for gallantry. The data comes from ancestry.co.uk, which compiled a list of soldiers awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The article went on to report: “Despite research revealing only 4% of people know about their ancestors from the Napoleonic war era, 41% believe they have got at least one hero in their family tree and two million think there is a bravery gene that runs in families.”

 

Claims of a bravery gene reminded me of the introduction to The Grant Family: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of Matthew Grant of Windsor, Conn., 1601–1898 by Arthur Hastings Grant. (Published in 1898, the book is available on Archive.org.) I’ve never seen such sweeping claims for common family characteristics across hundreds of years and thousands of miles as in this book. Arthur Grant grouped the Grant family into a clan system — “each clan consists of the descendants of one of the great-grandsons of Matthew Grant in the male line” — and enumerated general family and specific clan characteristics in the introduction.

 

Certain other traits are found generally throughout the Family, among which may be noted absolute honesty in word and deed, unflinching tenacity of purpose, and a tendency to reticence and unobtrusiveness. . . . The Family has been characterized by a devoted loyalty to American institutions, not a royalist being found among them, and many who did not fight in the Revolution rendered services of equal value at home . . . There have of course been black sheep among us, although the compiler has not felt it necessary to uncloset the few skeletons that we have; but Dr. Patterson, whose opinion was based upon a wide knowledge of the history of New England families, said that ours was the cleanest he knew, and a corroboration of this is found in the fact that only seven illegitimate births have come to the knowledge of the compiler.

There is, however, a marked difference in the characteristics of the various clans . . . This is especially noticeable in the matter of general education, one clan in particular being on the verge of illiteracy, while another (Z) is noted for its long continued interest in educational matters. Three clans suffered to an unusual degree from consumption and one from intemperance, but both these tendencies appear to have been largely overcome. Considered geographically, clans A, C, and Z are the most widely dispersed, while L and Q are the most concentrated, the former in southern New York and the later in two small districts in Connecticut and Ohio; it is quite probable that these two clans would be benefited by migration, as too close a nesting of families tends ultimately to impair vitality and check development. Clan B resides in the South; it has been noted throughout its history for its military achievements, and was at one time the wealthiest clan, but suffered severely through the Civil War. K is today unquestionably the wealthiest of the larger clans. A, K, L, and Q are noted for raising large families, while D and E have narrowly escaped extinction, and within a few years the name will have disappeared in clan H.

I have used the Grant genealogy myself (my husband and children being members of Clan B) and found it to be quite reliable. Arthur Grant was clearly a devoted and meticulous genealogist, but his opinions about family characteristics seem quaint and rather misguided from a modern perspective. Other nineteenth- and early twentieth-century genealogies also reveal quirky or outdated philosophies that I personally find fascinating, as part of the ongoing evolution of the field of genealogy.


Orphan Train Riders, Offspring Seek Answers about Heritage

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

 From the 1850s to 1929, about 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children from New York and other East Coast cities were sent west to be resettled. A growing number of descendants of the orphan train riders want to know more.

With DNA Testing, Suddenly They Are Family

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

 “Most adoptees are hungry for information that will lead to their birth parents, but some are also expanding their conception of family as they embrace a far-flung constellation of second, third and fourth cousins.”

A Pahticulah Way of Talking

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Powers Jean

Jean Powers
Associate Editor

This article discusses the portion of a new book, Speaking American: A History of English in the United States, that examines Bostonian ways of speaking from 1650 to 1700. (A New York Times article treats the book more generally.)

This Week's Survey: Sharing genealogy online

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked if you make your genealogical information available online. The results are:

 

48%, I do not have my genealogical information online.
32%, I have my genealogical information online on a commercial genealogical website, available to anyone who can access the site.
13%, I have my genealogical information online, on a website accessible by invitation only.
7%, I have my genealogical information online on a personal genealogical website, available to anyone.

 

Although this survey only allowed respondents to choose one answer, several readers wrote to let us know that they use more than one of these options. Richard Greenough commented: “I keep trees under all three online options. My three largest GEDCOMs are free on Rootsweb. Several smaller active research trees are on Ancestry.com. Two or three very small trees on Ancestry are kept private. I also have a personal domain with free PDF reports.”

 

Although many people have had positive experiences with posting genealogical information online, one reader shared his negative experience. Ronald Miller wrote: “This week's survey question about putting genealogy information online struck a nerve. I have done a lot of research since the early 1980s, by going to the places where my ancestors lived and exhausting the resources of the local courthouse, library, cemeteries, historians, genealogists, etc. In addition to U.S. destinations, my research has taken me to locations in England, France, Germany, and Switzerland, among them many places with records never microfilmed by the LDS. I did my best to write complete histories — not just family trees with names and dates.

 

“To make a long story short, much of my research has been copied online word-for-word by other people without even a mention of who wrote it. One person even had the nerve to copy my footnotes, which included commentary such as ‘I visited the cemetery on 10 June 1984 and found the headstones, but later learned at the library that they had been moved.’ In another case, someone copied one of my histories but substituted an incorrect maiden name, and that erroneous maiden name is now shown on hundreds of Internet family trees. When I discovered it, I tried to correct the error but people responded by claiming "everybody else" says the name is correct. Given that I have spent thousands of hours, dollars, Euros, francs, pounds, etc., putting together histories and now maybe hundreds of people are taking credit for my writing, I doubt if I will ever put anything online. I believe that people should understand what could potentially happen to their information if they do.”

 

Mr. Miller’s experience has prompted this week's survey question, which asks you to characterize your experience of sharing genealogical information online. Take the survey now!


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