Friday, May 23, 2008

Enumerate Me!...and him...and her...and her...

Last year a popular video went viral on YouTube. You’ve probably heard of it by now. It’s called Google Me. A guy named Jim Killeen goes on a quest to find other guys named Jim Killean using Google. A quest he says that “all started when I Googled my name…”

Well, heck, we genealogists have googled a lot of our names over the years. So I’ve decided to do a shameless genealogical spoof called Enumerate Me!” "It all started when I searched my name in the census, and then I searched other genealogists names in the 1900 census…”

OK, so I couldn’t find an EXACT match for "Lisa Cooke," but I’m content with the only Lisa Cook found in the 1900 census. She was born Sept 1859 in Tennessee. A widow at the age of 40, she ran the family farm in Cedar, Carroll Co., AR which also housed her son Fred, and mother Molly Robinson.

There were 13 choices for Louise Cooke. I liked the one found in Schuykill Haven, Pennsylvania. She was born in England in 1846 and came to America in 1867. Married to a coal miner foreman named William (ah, there's another name match!), Louise had 5 children, though only 4 survived. A daughter named Louise still lived with the couple.

Oh, but I couldn’t just stop with my name. No genealogist is safe! So on to my fellow genealogy podcaster, Bill Puller of The Genealogy Tech Podcast.

William Puller of Camden, NY was born in Scotland in Nov. 1878 was one of 23 William Pullers in the 1900 census. He was a weaver of rugs, and at the age of 17 he immigrated to America. In 1900 at the age of 21 he was boarding with 84 year old John Meyer of Germany and his family in Camden. It was a household full of industrious English speaking immigrants from Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and England, not surprising as John’s much younger wife was from England.

Myrtle Dear (which appears as "Dear, Myrtle" on the census form, lol) lived in Steen Creek, Rankin Co., MS, and was the 13 year old sister of Annie Rogers. Myrtle was born in Jan of 1881 and lived with the Rogers along with her mother Jane. The Dear women were pulling together in this farming community as both Annie Rogers and Jane Dear were widows with children still at home. She was one of two Myrtle Dears to choose from.

Blogger Apple of Apple's Blog had quite a popular name in 1900 with 42 appearing in the census. My personal fave is Apple Appinlove of Upton, Wilkes Co., GA, a 16 year old black man born May of 1884 in Georgia. He was a day laborer living with his brother Zan Ware. A close second is Apple Pie Bell of Watters, Floyd Co., GA a 13 year old also born in GA. I knew Georgia was famous for peaches, but I guess apples too!

Just one Randolph Seaver appears in 1900. He's a 53 year old living in Corry, Erie County PA. Randolph Seaver (we'll call him "Randy Seaver" like our friend and blogger) a native of New York, was a Physician and husband of 19 years to Nellie.

And finally we have nine ladies by the name of Anna Schander (not quite Anna-Karin like the Swedish genealogy podcaster, but they'll do) including one living in Ottawa, LaSalle Co., Illinois. She was born in February of 1870 born in Illinois to a German mother, and was the wife of a bartender named Joseph.

I guess I’m the genealogist who found myself – and fellow genealogists - in the 1900 census that is!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Do you know all there is to know about backing up your hard drive?

Bill Puller is back and he's talking about hard drive backup. In the newest episode of The Genealogy Tech Podcast Bill walks us through our back up options. This is GREAT timing for me, as I just bought a portable hard drive after a recent hard drive scare. But Bill explains we probably need more than just a portable hard drive to do a good job keeping our genealogy files safe and secure.

You’ve probably read Bill’s articles in some of the prominent genealogy magazines. He’s had some other things going on that have put the podcast on the back burner for a while, but he’s back at the microphone , and I for one, am very happy about that.

Bill was really helpful to me when I was first getting started, and continues to be a great comrade in podcasting. And while we’ve never met, we’ve become good friends and he’s been a big supporter of Genealogy Gems. Gosh, it’s so nice to know someone who understands the technical stuff! You won’t want to miss it.

FREE Military Records

According to the following press release is making their American military records available for free online now through May 31, 2008 in honor of a new agreement reached with the National Archives.

WASHINGTON and PROVO, Utah, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, today announced an agreement that makes millions of historical records more easily available to the American public. The agreement, which will be signed today at the NARA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and celebrated with a military theme in honor of this Memorial Day, allows for the ongoing digitization of a wealth of historical content, including immigration, birth, marriage, death and military records.

The initial NARA collections to be digitized under the new agreement include INS Passenger and Crew Arrival and Departure Lists from 1897-1958 and Death Notices of U.S. Citizens Abroad from 1835-1974, which have not been available to the public outside of NARA research rooms before now.

To commemorate the agreement on the eve of Memorial Day, is making its entire U.S. Military Collection -- the largest online collection of American military records -- available for free to the public. From May 20 through May 31, people can log on to view more than 100 million names and 700 titles and databases of military records, the majority of which come from NARA, from all 50 U.S. states.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What you must know to save your research from destruction!

We’re going to tackle a difficult subject this week. I’ve got an amazing story for you of how nearly 50 years of research was on it’s way to the garbage dump until some heroic genealogy society members stepped in. What these ladies did will have an impact on many generations to come.

In Genealogy Gems Premium Episode #4 we’re going to cover what you must know to save your research from destruction! Don’t let your hard won research be at risk. Listen to this amazing story, and go through the steps you must take today in order to preserve your hard work and legacy.

Do you really know where your research and photographs will be in 50 years?

As a bonus with this episode I have a Genealogy Materials Directive for you that you can download from the Premium Episode #4 show notes. Use this document to identify what you have and who will eventually get it.

To become a Genealogy Gems Premium Member CLICK HERE There’s still time to use the 20% off $29.95 the annual membership fee available to subscribers of the free Genealogy Gems Podcast newsletter. (expiration date: May 31, 2008)

And, there is a 100% money back guarantee: you either like it, or I give you your money back!

Here’s what a Premium Member had to say in the Message Forum:
“…I love your Podcast, I think that is great tool for anyone who may be a beginner or advance genealogist. I have found the information you have provided very helpful and plan to play them over and over again.”

Join today and get access to all the Premium Content including members-only podcast episodes, videos, and the FREE bonus features.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Do you remember the Doo Bee song? Episode 47

I had so much fun producing Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #47! It was truly a walk down memory lane.

May 22 was a big day for Mr. Rogers because on that day in 1967 he launched Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. In this episode we will look back at Mr. Rogers, and you will hear the first version of his Won't You Be My Neighbor? song from an album from my childhood played on my old Fisher Price record player! Then I'll tell you a story about my brush with Romper Room, (and another blast from the past with the Doo Bee Song), and in the show notes you'll find a very old B&W video of Captain Kangaroo.

Then it's on to the announcement of our Ancestor's Handwriting Analysis Contest Winners and another fascinating analysis by Paula Sassi, CG. This time a simple signature from 1900 reveals much about the man who wrote it.

I've also got a terrific website for you that will make you look amazingly organized (and very thoughtful!) as well as help you build strong family bonds.

James Mowatt of the Historyzine Contest will instruct us on how to Gird Our Loins.

And finally an exciting announcement that you won't want to miss!

It's Genealogy For Your Ears!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What Do You Do When Family Isn't Family?

Back in September of 1984 I was a newly wed just back from my honeymoon. So that may explain why I don't remember catching the episode of the popular "Who's the Boss" TV show called "I Dream of Genealogy." If you missed it too, no worries, because now you can free on NBC Universal's website called

When I found this episode, I thought I would just catch a couple of minutes, but ended up watching the entire thing. (TV was pretty cute back in the eighties!) In this genealogically themed episode, Tony's daughter Samantha (played by Alyssa Milano) is prompted by a schoolwork assignment about family history to write a letter to the mayor of a village in Italy in hopes of making contact with Tony's maternal grandfather. Tony is delighted to meet his maternal grandfather for the very first time when he comes to visit, but is shocked to discover that his house guest may not be a member of the "famiglia" after all.

It's a charming episode, and reminds us that half the joy of genealogy is the wonderful people we meet along the way, even if they don't share our DNA.

Friday, May 9, 2008

And you thought my mom was just a great quilter!

You heard her on Genealogy Gems Episode #40, now see her in all her glory - My Mom, Ellen Koehn!

Torn apart and put back together again...

Art Buchwald, the world-famous humour columnist is one of many Jewish Americans who share their stories of World War II in the The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP), a program of the American Folklife Center.

You can listen to Art, a member of the 113th Fighter Squadron, 4th Marine Air Wing of the Marine Corp, discussing his boot camp experience where they "tore you apart and put you back together again." And in the audio clip "Life in Marines for a Jewish boy from New York" he recounts the harassment he received and the surprising reason for it.

The Veterans History Project commemorates Jewish American Heritage Month with a special series of 10 first-hand stories of Jewish Veterans of World War II. The Library of Congress' Jewish American Heritage Month 2008 theme, “The American Jewish Experience,” was inspired by the Library’s book and exhibition “From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life.”

According to the book, “the view of America as both a haven and a home reflects the country’s extraordinary hospitality to the civilizations and cultures of the diverse groups of Jewish immigrants who, over the centuries, made America their home. The twin blessings of freedom and opportunity encouraged and rewarded active participation in society-at-large. But persistent challenges to group survival have also been a consequence of this unprecedented freedom, and, in response to these pressures, new modes of group affiliation and identification emerged.”

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Genealogist Racketeers!

Who would have thunk?! Genealogists immortalized on the big screen in a less than positive light. Where were my smelling salts when I needed them!

My husband & I went to the movies last night at our favorite grand old theater complete with Wurlitzer organ solos between movies. The theater has been running the complete works of Bette Davis from 1931 to 1938. The first in the double feature was a movie called "Jimmy the Gent" starring James Cagney as Jimmy Corrigan, genealogist, and Bette as his feisty love interest.

Wait a second...James Cagney playing a genealogist!

Yep, Jimmy Corrigan is a “genealogist” con artist who seeks out the heirs of rich people who have just died for a cut of the inheritance. If he can’t find them, he makes them up for a commission. He's a hot headed fellow who more than once throws a book through the glass pane in the door to his office that has his title painted on it "Genealogist."

Ah, but a genealogist can't be all bad, and by the end of the "picture" (as Grandma always called them) Jimmy goes legit and wins his girl, Bette. A riveting story of genealogy redemption!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The British Are Coming...To FamilySearch!

Here's some good news for those of us researching British ancestors...

SALT LAKE CITY-FamilySearch announced today it is working with the UK family history Web site and The National Archives of the United Kingdom to increase access to select British historical records. The first major projects will provide access to millions of names of deceased British soldiers and seamen from eighteenth to twentieth century. and FamilySearch were recently awarded licenses by The National Archives to digitize and make available both the Chelsea Pensioners retired soldiers records between 1760 and 1914, and the Merchant Seamen's collection of records dating from 1835 to 1941.

Chelsea Pensioners and Militia Records
The three-year project will digitize and index nine million images from the War Office's Royal Hospital Chelsea Soldiers' Service documents dating from 1760 and Militia Attestation Papers documents from 1870, through to 1913.

The records truly bring to life the comings and goings of pensioners (patients) in the Royal Hospital Chelsea, including each ex-serviceman's name, age, birthplace and service history, as well as details of physical appearance, conduct sheet, previous occupation, and in some cases the reason for discharge. After 1883, details of marriages and children may also appear.

Merchant Seamen Records
The Board of Trade's merchant seamen records from the periods 1835 to 1844 and 1918 to 1941 will also be digitized and indexed. When the project is complete, the public will be able to easily search online for the names and date and place of birth of ancestors who served as merchant seamen.

Many of the twentieth century records include portrait photographs of the sailors as well as personal details and summaries of their voyages. The records include people of many nationalities and women's service records.

Nearly a third of UK families have ancestors who served as a merchant seaman, and many Americans have British roots, making this series of records extremely important to genealogists and family historians.

Digitization partnership
FamilySearch will digitize the records on site at The National Archives, and will create indexes and transcriptions to enable online patrons to easily search the records and images at both and

Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at said, "This is great news for anyone who has hit a brick wall in their family history research. Servicemen and merchant seamen played a hugely important role in the United Kingdom's military, economic and social history. The details included in these two sets of records will open up a wealth of new information about their lives to family history enthusiasts and military historians alike."