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Marine Corps records from the 1930's.

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David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I have determined that my grand uncle was serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1930 (per the U.S. Census).    Can you tell me why I can not find his records online on commercial websites?

 

Answer:  The records you see are not available online yet.  It is not to say someday these will not be available online. Presently you need to request them from the National Personnel Center in St. Louis, Missouri.  You can contact them online at: http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/


Cemeteries in Hamilton, Massachusetts

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David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I am planning a trip to Massachusetts this spring.  Specifically I am hoping to visit the cemeteries in Hamilton, Mass.  Can you give me some guidance of where they are and the condition of their records?

 

Answer:  The town of Hamilton was split off from Ipswich, Mass. in 1793.  So if you are looking for earlier burials you will need to search in Ipswich.  That being said the earliest gravestone in the Hamilton Cemetery is from 1707, obviously a cemetery that was being used prior to the incorporation of the town of Hamilton itself.  The Hamilton Cemetery is located on Bay Road (Route 1A) across from Cutler Road.  The gravestones before 1850 are referred to as G.R. 1 in the Vital Records of Hamilton, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849 (1908), and as G.R. 5 in the Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (1910).  The cemetery department in Hamilton can be reached directly at 978-468-5580.  This information is from my 2009 edition of A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries available from the NEHGS store.


Finding blue photographs in your family papers.

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David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I just inherited a patch of old family photos that are on blue paper.  Can you tell me what type of photograph this is and when they were taken?

 

Answer: The photograph you are referring to is a Cyanotype.  This photograph was a popular style ca. 1890-1910 from the albums I have seen.  This cyan-blue color paper print added that dimension of color that the albumen style print did not.  To learn more about cyanotype photographs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanotype


Searching for a lost sibling of an Irish immigrant.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I believe that my Irish immigrant to Massachusetts in the 1860's had a sibling already in New England.  Family story states that he took out ads in the newspaper to find him to no avail.  Can you advise a way to search for these adverstisements?

 

Answer:  Many Massachusetts Irish read the Boston Pilot newspaper.  This newspaper published a column entitled "Missing Friends".  It was very common for relatives to seek out lost immigrants in their family through this paper.  NEHGS started to publish these advertisements in the 1990's in a book series.  This same series covering 1831-1920 can be searched online on American Ancestors at: http://web1.americanancestors.org/Search.aspx?Ca=098&Da=263


A Marbler versus a Marble worker in 1850.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  While looking through the census I note a son of my third great grandfather with an odd occupation in 1850.  I am not sure what his son was doing if his job was a "marbler"?  I assume it has something to do with stone cutting.

 

Answer: Actually a marbler was not a stone cutter or worker of marble.  A Marbler was the name for one who produced the covers and end papers of books and ledgers that had marble swirled appearance.  To book collectors a beautiful marble cover is just as beautiful as a marble statue.  It would be interesting to see if his later occupations continued in the book manufacturing trade.


The meaning of a broken wheel carved upon a gravestone.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  While in New Hampshire I came across a relatives gravestone from 1889.  Carved in granite above his inscription was a broken wagon wheel.  He was not a wheelwright so I am unclear of the meaning, can you clarify?

 

Answer: Though this symbol is not that common, it is a representation I have seen before.  The wheel is a universal emblem for progress and eternity. A broken can not turn anymore, therefore symbolizing the end of the journey - in this case life's journey on earth.


Determining a Civil War unit history online.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I recently had a couple Civil War units I wanted to know about.  Sometimes searching on Google works okay, but what do you recommend?

 

Answer:  I have bookmarked the Civil War Soldiers System Regimental database on all my computers.  This database will allow you to search for both Union and Confederate units during the Civil War, as well as those involved.  The link to the website is: http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/regiments.cfm


A Quick Tip for determining a county online.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  At a recent lecture you mentioned a website you use on occasion to determine a county.  I did not write it down, and so I hope you can refresh my memory.

 

Answer: The website I use from time time to locate a county, or to determine how many towns, villages, or cities of a similar name is the Family History Library Catalog.  The new version of the catalog will automatically fill in the returns of the location you type in the place name search.  I also welcome other readers of this blog to mention sites they use. as well as Google.  The Family History Library Catalog website can be reached directly: https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog

 


Locating a cenotaph for a Massachusetts mariner who died in Cuba.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  In the 1840's and 1850's my ancestors brother was a resident of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.  I understand that Capt. Clifford Dunham died in Cuba in the 1850's.  Can you suggest where I might find something on him?

 

Answer:  On Americanancestors.org I was able to locate his marriage record in Tisbury, Massachusetts.  This is part of the pre-1850 Massachusetts Vital Series database. Clifford Dunham, 23, mariner, son of Saunders and Mary Dunham, and Mary Dexter, 29, dau.  of Benj[a]m[in] and Betsey Dexter, July 3, 1849. There is a very well constructed website for gravestones on Martha's Vineyard located at: http://history.vineyard.net/cemetery/cemlist.htm.  Located in the West Chop Cemetery in Vineyard Haven is a cenotaph memorial to Capt. Dunham who died at Havana, Cuba 18 July 1854.  It appears he died from yellow fever while serving aboard the Bark Scotland. Here is a direct link to the memorial online: http://history.vineyard.net/cemetery/wc/wc1016.htm

 


Researching Civil War Ancestors from Florida.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  After recently starting my family tree I found out my 2nd great-grandfather was a Confederate soldier living in Florida until 1922.  Can you tell me where I might find out about him on the internet?

 

Answer:  To determine which Florida regiment he may have been involved in I would suggest the "free "National Parks website - Civil War Soldier and Sailor System: http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/

You can also search an index to pensions awarded by the state of Florida to Confederate veterans online at http://www.floridamemory.com/Collections/PensionFiles/  Florida first awarded pensions to soldiers in 1885, and to their widows in 1889.  The files can be acquired from the Florida State Archives - R. A. Gray Building, 500 South Bronough Street, Tallahasse, FL 32399-025.


Medals awarded during World War II

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  Based on my uncle's discharge certificate I am trying to determine what some of his medals were. Looking for some guidance on where to look for images of the medals.

 

Answer: I have had this question once before.  The child of the veteran used this to assemble to missing medals for a shadow box for her dad.  I hope this website will also assist you.  It offers images and descriptions of the honors the veteran was bestowed for obtaining the medal. http://www.usamilitarymedals.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=world+war+II&gclid=CPzR2t7Rz6cCFcbd4AodhG3MEA


Questions about early non-paper photography

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
Online Genealogist

Question:  While going through family photographs from New York, I have been confused on the difference of an Ambrotype and a Dagerreotype.  Is there any difference really?

 

Answer:  The earliest form of photography used in America was the process that produce a Daguerreotype.  This was first know to be used in 1839 in America, and continued to be popular through the 1850's.  The basic way to determine a "Dag" from an Ambrotype is the metalic mirror image you will get when you tilt the cased photograph. A Boston inventor named James Ambrose Cutting is regarded the inventor in 1854 of the Ambrotype process. The Ambrotype will not give the same metallic reflective shine.  You will note that an Ambrotype has a greyish coloring, and is not as brilliant in contrast to the daguerreotype.  For a detailed description of each: (Ambrotype) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambrotype , and (Daguerreotype) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daguerreotype


Software to sort and map out old land deeds.

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David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I am looking for software to enter in many old colonial deeds from our town in New Hampshire.  Can you recommend a way to do this, or a software program?

 

Answer: When I have worked on transcribing Suffolk County Deeds for my hometown in Stoughton.  I simply transcribed them from scanned images from microfilm directly to Microsoft Word.  However you may want a way to plot and link adjoining land parcels.  If this is the case I would suggest Direct Line Software's product Deed Mapper. I have heard many genealogists rave about this software for doing town wide projects.  If you wish to find out more about it you can reach them online at: http://www.directlinesoftware.com/


The Military rank of Cornet.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  An ancestors gravestone from 1690 gives him the rank of Cornet?  What was the Cornet in the early military units in Colonial America?

 

Answer: The rank of Cornet was used starting around the time of the English Civil War and was discontinued in the year 1800 in America.  Generally the Cornet carried the battle flag for the unit. 


The sad discovery of a family history done by Gustav Anjou

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I understand that a genealogy on the Lilly family was attributed to the genealogist Gustav Anjou.  Is it true he was a genealogist who would fabricate genealogical lineages?

 

Answer:  It is a sad story but very true on what you have heard about Gustav Anjou (1863-1942). He would compile fascinating fabricated genealogies for his clients. Robert Charles Anderson identifies a listing of genealogies that can be attributed to Anjou.  Lilly is among those listed in Anderson's article - "We Wuz Robbed, The 'modus operandi' of Gustave Anjou" published in the Utah Genealogical Society's - Genealogical Journal (1991) 19:47-58.  The full title of the Lilly volume you mention is The Lilly Family: Lillie, Lille, Lilli, and Lily Families from Sweden to France to America, 1291-1898.


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