Personal History - Genealogy

  • Most Topular Stories

  • StoryCorps 388: Rocket Man

    NPR: StoryCorps Podcast
    NPR
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:14 pm
    Alton Yates tells his daughter, Toni, about being part of a small group of Air Force volunteers who tested the effects of high speeds on the body, and helped prove that space travel was safe for humans.To hear more stories visit http://storycorps.org/listen. If you'd like to write to participants you can do so at podcast@storycorps.org. To make a donation visit http://storycorps.org/donateMusic Info:  "1986" by Fredrik"Narwhal" by Pram
  • Sep 29, Baseball Season and Jeter Era End

    Writing Your Life Story Blog
    28 Sep 2014 | 6:20 pm
    Derek Jeter is a rare breed in baseball these days. Not only did he play his entire career with one team, the storied New York Yankees, he also played with incredible passion and integrity. The regular season ended today and the post-season is about to start and there are great stories for the teams that will continue in the playoffs.
  • Tips for Dealing with Details

    The Heart and Craft of Life Writing
    11 Sep 2014 | 2:56 pm
    Several pages into a highly recommended memoir, a factual error popped my eyeballs nearly out of my head. Can you find the mistake?In September 1963, the Cuban and Russian governments placed           nuclear bombs in Cuba.In October 1963, the Cuban Missile Crisis ended….In November 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated.In December 1963, I was born….The Cuban Crisis was in 1962! Both that event and the JFK assassination are indelibly burned into my memory. The author can’t remember, I thought, but how could something this obvious slip by the…
  • 6 Tips to Get Your Family Tree Off to a Good Start

    Ancestry.com Blog
    Juliana Smith
    1 Oct 2014 | 8:22 am
    When you’re first getting started with your family tree, it’s tempting to just dive in and start adding names. If you do a little reconnaissance beforehand, you can give your tree in a firm foundation in which it will thrive. 1. Start with yourself. I know you may not find yourself as interesting as all those remote and exotic ancestors who lived in a different era, but you are the anchor of your family tree, and to those who come later, you will be that exotic ancestor who lived in a different era. What memorabilia do you have? Look at all of your family records and scan them all for…
  • Vertigo (A September 11th Memoir)

    WordPress Tag: Personal History
    Luke Dani Blue
    11 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Image c/o The Guardian Smoke, a slow, silver bloom from a small wound in the closed off face of the tall building. It seemed like it might only smoke and then die out, like fires I’ve spotted along the horizon. I think we we’re all wishing for it to break and crumble into itself: the boy in front of me in his Brooks’ Brothers get-up, my roommate beside me letting out a long, awful moan like an injured dog; no doubt also the other students, filling the sidewalk for thirty feet and the people who had simply stopped their cars in the middle of the block and now stood, leaning…
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    Writing Your Life Story Blog

  • Sep 29, Baseball Season and Jeter Era End

    28 Sep 2014 | 6:20 pm
    Derek Jeter is a rare breed in baseball these days. Not only did he play his entire career with one team, the storied New York Yankees, he also played with incredible passion and integrity. The regular season ended today and the post-season is about to start and there are great stories for the teams that will continue in the playoffs.
  • Sep 23, Personal Historian Libby Atwater Has Helped Others, Now Finally Tells Her Own Story

    23 Sep 2014 | 4:38 pm
    Yes, of course, people should tell their stories! This is the rallying cry from just about all personal historians. We encourage, motivate and inspire others to tell their life stories. We work hard to gather material, interview, organize and help put the finished product together for those willing to hire us. And yet, many of us fail to do the same thing for ourselves. Hmmm, practice what you preach, anyone? Nice to see that Libby Atwater (www.chooseyourwords.net), a Personal Historian and longtime member of the Association of Personal Historians, has finally finished and published her…
  • Sep 17, Going the Distance

    16 Sep 2014 | 5:47 pm
    Going the distance, be that a long distance run or accomplishing any goal in life, is important to me. I know from my own experience that the times I've wanted to quit or give up, yet persevered, have been some of the best learning situations. Sunday I ran another half marathon. That's 13.1 miles. Running and going the distance is part of a theme for a memoir I am working on.
  • Sep 12, Dog Days of 9/11

    11 Sep 2014 | 6:00 pm
    Every year on the anniversary of 9/11 I am in a reflective mood. Of course, I am not alone, as all of us who remember the horror of that day of terrorist attacks can't help but recall where we were when we saw or heard the events that unfolded on that morning. What always moves me each anniversary is learning more of the heroic tales of those who helped amid the tragedy. Today on the Today Show (NBC) I learned about a service dog that is believed to be the last surviving search dog who worked at Ground Zero in New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Sep 9, Laughing Matters

    9 Sep 2014 | 4:23 pm
    I have continued to think about how important having a sense of humor can be, both in life and in our life stories. The recent death of yet another celebrity, Joan Rivers, certainly keeps this top of mind. Joan was fearless when it came to comedy; no subject was off limits. Her brash approach could offend, but she also found truth in the "brass tacks". A post on the blog of the Association of Personal Historians speaks of the importance of humor in personal histories. In What's So Funny Ruby Peru expresses her views of how humor is important in our stories, but warns against approaching it as…
 
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    The Heart and Craft of Life Writing

  • Tips for Dealing with Details

    11 Sep 2014 | 2:56 pm
    Several pages into a highly recommended memoir, a factual error popped my eyeballs nearly out of my head. Can you find the mistake?In September 1963, the Cuban and Russian governments placed           nuclear bombs in Cuba.In October 1963, the Cuban Missile Crisis ended….In November 1963, John F. Kennedy was assassinated.In December 1963, I was born….The Cuban Crisis was in 1962! Both that event and the JFK assassination are indelibly burned into my memory. The author can’t remember, I thought, but how could something this obvious slip by the…
  • Accentuate the Positive

    1 Sep 2014 | 1:10 pm
    Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positiveE-lim-inate the negative Latch on to the affirmativeDon't mess with Mr. Inbetween.Who doesn't recognize the value of this sage advice from the 1945 hit sung by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters? But you may not realize the power of this advice for your writing when applied at the micro-level of sentences. I'm not talking here about avoiding negative topics. I'm talking about the value of rephrasing sentences from negative statements to positive. One of the most compelling examples of this is found in an online article, Kurdish Female Warriors On the Front Lines…
  • Five Powerhouse P's for Your Memoir Opening

    25 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Everyone knows that the first paragraph of a story is the most important and often determines whether a reader will continue or set the story aside. Follow tips in this guest post from Matilda Butler to learn how to gain instant reader connection with a hot opening paragraph. Read the tips, then put them into practice by entering the “First Paragraph” Contest described below the tips. Don’t dawdle about the contest. Entries are due by midnight PDT September 3. It’s only a few words, so you can do it! If you are already nodding your head, then here's the link to the contest rules…
  • Mystery Solved

    18 Aug 2014 | 10:58 am
    I couldn’t put words to the vision, perhaps because the vision itself wasn’t clear. Looking across the Godfrey’s living room while  babysitting, I vaguely sensed a phantom group of sophisticated people gathered in a dimly lit, smoke-filled living room much like this one. People lounged on sofa and chairs, some sitting on the floor. They sipped martinis or gin and tonic, discussed philosophy, and ascended to levels of vision inaccessible to mere mortals. These beings were in touch with another realm, larger than life. In touch with the gods? This vision stirred a nameless yearning…
  • Author Interview: Kathleen Pooler

    7 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    Today I’m privileged to have Kathleen Pooler stop by to answer some questions about her newly published memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead. In any memoir, the author today tells the story of the author back then, and sorting through the jumble of memories and pain to find a meaningful story thread can be a daunting task. Kathy has done a terrific job of finding that thread and turning it into a story that should touch nearly everyone’s life. If you haven’t personally experienced the sort of trauma she did, odds are strong that you know others who have. Let’s hear some back story for…
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    Ancestry.com Blog

  • 6 Tips to Get Your Family Tree Off to a Good Start

    Juliana Smith
    1 Oct 2014 | 8:22 am
    When you’re first getting started with your family tree, it’s tempting to just dive in and start adding names. If you do a little reconnaissance beforehand, you can give your tree in a firm foundation in which it will thrive. 1. Start with yourself. I know you may not find yourself as interesting as all those remote and exotic ancestors who lived in a different era, but you are the anchor of your family tree, and to those who come later, you will be that exotic ancestor who lived in a different era. What memorabilia do you have? Look at all of your family records and scan them all for…
  • Upcoming Ancestry Events: October 2014

    Crista Cowan
    1 Oct 2014 | 6:48 am
    Here in the U.S., it is officially National Family History Month.  Fall is in full swing.  Crisp air.  Crunchy leaves.  The perfect weather for taphophiles (also known as cemetery enthusiasts).  We hope you’ll join us this month for our FindAGrave Community Day on October 18th. We’ve also got some great webinars, tweetchats, and family history events planned throughout the month.  Take a look at the complete list below and choose the events that will help you create the perfect Family History Month for you and your family. Webinars:What’s New at Ancestry.com:…
  • Enter For A Chance To Win Professional Research Assistance!

    Kristie Wells
    30 Sep 2014 | 7:24 pm
    Just getting started and need help building a research plan? Hit a brick wall on your great great grandfather? Have a family myth you would like to prove or disprove?Then enter for your chance to win our Branch Out contest. The Grand Prize winner*, upon confirmation of eligibility, will receive the following prize package: Twenty (20) hours of ProGenealogists researchOne (1) year Ancestry.com World Explorer Plus MembershipOne (1) Family Tree MakerTwo (2) Ancestry.com DNA kits – one for you, and one for a family member!The Grand Prize package has an Approximate Retail Value…
  • Piecing Together US Marine’s WWII History

    Ancestry.com
    30 Sep 2014 | 12:50 pm
    By Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Lisa Elzey, Ancestry.com Family Historian“My uncle, Walter Rybicki, was a US Marine during World War II who died on 6 Feb 1944. How do I find out the details of how and where he died? Where can I obtain the records?“ – NormGrowing up in the late fifties and sixties, World War II seemed so long ago, the stuff of family legend at the dinner table (stories about relatives and neighbors who had served and returned, and relatives and neighbors who had served and did not return), or the subject of thrilling black and white feature films at the local cinema…
  • Ask Ancestry Anne: Is the Family Civil War Story True?

    Anne Gillespie Mitchell
    30 Sep 2014 | 6:41 am
    Question: My great grandfather Henry Melrose was with the 1st West Virginia Cavalry in the Civil War and was in the 1889 Oklahoma land run. What a life! I think he was at Gettysburg. At some point he was shot and left for dead but survived. Where and when was he injured? Was he a POW? Where are the muster rolls?Answer: When researching Civil War soldiers, I start with two Ancestry data collections: U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 and U.S., Civil War Solider Records and Profiles, 1861-1865, which in this case tell us the same basic information: Henry was a private in Company C, 1st West…
 
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    WordPress Tag: Personal History

  • Vertigo (A September 11th Memoir)

    Luke Dani Blue
    11 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    Image c/o The Guardian Smoke, a slow, silver bloom from a small wound in the closed off face of the tall building. It seemed like it might only smoke and then die out, like fires I’ve spotted along the horizon. I think we we’re all wishing for it to break and crumble into itself: the boy in front of me in his Brooks’ Brothers get-up, my roommate beside me letting out a long, awful moan like an injured dog; no doubt also the other students, filling the sidewalk for thirty feet and the people who had simply stopped their cars in the middle of the block and now stood, leaning…
  • Where Were You?

    thegenealogygirl
    11 Sep 2014 | 3:00 am
    History is filled with pivotal events – tragedies, disasters, atrocities, war.  Often we hear
  • A TRIP BACK IN TIME: PART II

    ninamishkin
    10 Sep 2014 | 1:53 pm
    University of Salamanca. August 1990. [The story thus far:  In the summer of 1990, I left the United States for the first time in forty years on an inexpensive two-week tour for older travelers sponsored by the University of New Hampshire. "Inexpensive" was key for me -- which explains why the destination was Salamanca, Spain, the hotel had only one star, the food was unhealthy and unexciting, the program had twenty-eight participants (too many) and I agreed to share a room with a stranger. It wasn't all a disappointment though. R., my luck-of-the-draw roommate, turned out to be…
  • Time Capsule

    motherabroad
    10 Sep 2014 | 12:31 pm
    Today I was digging around in what is left of my near decade in Moscow, Russia. To my great joy I found a heap of old negatives which I had assumed were lost. Some of the ones in that heap I knew would be there – baby photos from when my daughter was born – but some of them were a real delight to find mixed in – old student groups, random street shots, birthday parties, pictures of myself ages ago, and more. Eager to see the actual images, I taped some of the strips to the window, shot them with the sky as a background, and inverted them in a photo editing program. Of…
  • Sky and Snow

    lunacatd
    9 Sep 2014 | 8:34 pm
    What else could there be, except snow and sky, sky and snow, as far as the eye can see and beyond. O
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    The Geneaholic

  • My Geneaholic Wednesday - 1 October 2014

    1 Oct 2014 | 10:04 pm
    The first day of my birthday month, i'm almost 71 years old.  I still dream like i'm 21 and in college.  Unless it's about my daughters, then I'm like 41 and worried about them.*  Read email and blogs, and wrote  The Young Fred Seaver All Dressed Up -- Post 327 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday and then FamilySearch Enhances Their Country/State/Province Search Pages and set it for later.*  Went off at 11 a.m. to McDonalds for lunch, then to the library to see John's group, and then the CVGS Board meeting.  Only two hours, mercifully.*  Home by…
  • My Geneaholic Tuesday - 30 September 2014

    30 Sep 2014 | 10:26 pm
    Nine months gone, three to go until 2015.  I actually dated a post 2015 the other day...changed it after it posted.*  Read email and blogs, then researched and wrote Technology Tuesday - MyHeritage Mobile App - Research.  Added to the Best Of post.*  Worked on the Probate presentation for four more hours - got more labels on, reviewed the Rose book again, added some text and images.  About 90% done now.  I don't feel as much pressure as I did last week.  17 days to prepare a new talk is a challenge!*  Researched and wrote Checking Out…
  • My Genealogy Sunday and Monday - 28 and 29 September 2014

    29 Sep 2014 | 9:47 pm
    One more day left in September.  12 days until my SDGS talk...worknig on it!1)  Sunday, 28 September:*  Read email and blogs, finished up the Best of the Genea-Blogs - 21 to 27 September 2014 post.  *  We went to church, and home by 11:30 a.m.  Watched football for awhile, ate lunch, and read until the Chargers game at 1 p.m.   Chargers beat Jaguars 33-14, so now 3-1.  Padres lost 9-3 to Giants and finished 77-85.  *  Online at 4:30 p.m. for awhile to read and check Facebook.  Went in for dinner at 5:15 p.m. and watch TV news.*…
  • My Geneaholic Saturday - 27 September 2014

    27 Sep 2014 | 9:00 pm
    This was the SDGS seminar day with Cyndi Ingle presenting.*  Read email and blogs in a hurry.  Left at 8:10 a.m. for Mission Bay.*  Got there by 8:30 a.m. to register, get my packet, get a hug from Cyndi, and talk to friends.  Got a seat in the second row on the right and enjoyed the first two talks.  Then lunch, and I sat with Paul, Yvette, and others, and Cyndi came over after she ate.  Paul got a picture of us and put it on Facebook.  Cyndi gave her two afternoon talks.  I won a prize basket - the first one drawn.  Came close on another.
  • My Geneaholic Thursday and Friday - 25-26 September 2014

    26 Sep 2014 | 9:33 pm
    Only four more days in September.  The days just fly by. 1)  Thursday, 25 September:*  Read email and blogs, then wrote Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 233: List of Children of Norman and Benjamin Seaver in Westminster, Mass. and 2015 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) - Early-Bird Registration Ends October 31, 2014 and set it for later.*  Left at 11 a.m. for the bank, got a haircut, the library to check on passports, and Office Depot for the photo black ink cartridge.  Home by 12:15 p.m.*  Worked on the Probate presentation for several…
 
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    Before My Time

  • Book Notes: Alfred Street by Russell McLauchlin (and now, an index!)

    1 Oct 2014 | 6:59 am
    Alfred Street (Burton Historical Collection)The other day I was talking with a cousin about someone in our family tree who lived on Arndt Street in Detroit. I thought I'd read a book about life on Arndt Street, but when I tried to look it up, I couldn't find it. Thinking it might have been another street, I looked at a map and realized, yes, it was Alfred Street, not Arndt. I'd enjoyed the book, so yesterday I walked my dog to the library to check it out again. The author, Russell McLauchlin, was a music and drama critic for The Detroit News, and many of the essays in the book originally…
  • Detroit: The Arnold Home for the Aged and Hospital for Incurables

    29 Sep 2014 | 1:58 pm
    Detroit Society for Genealogical Research recently posted to their Facebook page the link to a finding aid for the records of the Arnold Home for the Aged and Hospital for Incurables. Knowing that my great-grandmother Kate Pettis Kerr died there, I went to Detroit Public Library the other day to have a look at the records, which are part of the Burton Historical Collection.To use the records, you must request them at the desk (Burton). At first, the librarians had trouble locating the records. I had printed out a copy of the finding aid to take with me, which may have helped. Eventually the…
  • Translating an 1821 Luxembourg Militia Record

    7 Sep 2014 | 3:55 am
    Below is a militia record pertaining to Nicolas Petit (1802-1869), husband of Anne Maria Hauer (1804-1877) who was, according to calculations made by my Legacy database, my 3rd great grand-aunt. I've been working on the translation of this document and have used two colors to add what I have to the image below.I'm fairly certain about the lines which appear in turquoise, but would appreciate corrections if I'm wrong. Also, I don't understand what is meant by "Sr." in the second line of text where it says "Sr. Petit, Nicolas."I need help with the red items from someone who is familiar with the…
  • Family Entertainments of the Mid-1900s

    18 Aug 2014 | 6:51 am
    Before TV made entertainment a passive thing, people used to sing and play musical instruments. My grandmother Evelyn Hauer Kerr, I'm told, was quite the piano player when friends gathered at her home in Detroit.On my dad's side, my grandparents John and Gertie Krentz also had a piano in the living room at their farm in North Dakota. Although this photo is a little blurry, I can make out sheet music for Mockin' Bird Hill and something by Hank Snow.I asked my cousin Mary, who grew up near my grandparents, what she remembered about that piano. "I used to play around on that piano on a Sunday…
  • Ask your mother!

    28 Jul 2014 | 5:49 am
    Today I did a Google search to find out what kinds of birds besides robins lay blue eggs. I clicked on Images in hopes of quickly finding a comparison chart. For whatever inexplicable net-surfer reason, I then clicked on a charming little picture of a nest with three blue eggs in it, and ... voilà! ... serendipity happened! As family historians, we've all seen some great lists of questions to ask our relatives about the past. This list has some fresh questions that might result in some really interesting answers from your closest relative: 10 Questions to Ask Your Mother Now
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    NPR: StoryCorps Podcast

  • StoryCorps 392: Outcast and OK

    NPR
    29 Sep 2014 | 9:03 am
     Marcia Sutton talks to her partner, Sandra Sowder, about what happened after she came out.  Darnell Moore tells his friend Bryan Epps about an incident that shaped his youth. Music Info: "Genius and Theives" by Eluvium http://eluvium.net/works/"Hello is This Your House?" by David Wingo and Explosions in the Sky http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/18317-explosions-in-the-sky-prince-avalanche-ost/"Demus", by Charles Atlas http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Charles_Atlas/
  • StoryCorps 391: A Grave Responsibility

    NPR
    21 Sep 2014 | 10:34 pm
    Dr. Lori Baker, a forensic scientist, tells her husband, Dr. Erich Baker, about identifying bodies of immigrants who died while attempting to cross into the United States.To hear more stories visit http://storycorps.org/listen. If you'd like to write to participants you can do so at podcast@storycorps.org. To make a donation visit http://storycorps.org/donate Music Info: "Water From The Same Source" by Rachel's from the album "Systems / layer".
  • StoryCorps 390: Making Ends Meet

    NPR
    13 Sep 2014 | 10:53 pm
    Kenny Thompson, a volunteer mentor, tells students Gary Barber and Dakota Gibson about discovering that some kids he works with couldn't afford school lunch.To hear more stories visit http://storycorps.org/listen. If you'd like to write to participants you can do so at podcast@storycorps.org. To make a donation visit http://storycorps.org/donateMusic Info:Back to Wisconsin by Cranston - http://cranston.bandcamp.com/track/back-to-wisconsin "1986" by Fredrik- http://www.frdrk.org
  • StoryCorps 389: 9/11 Stories

    NPR
    8 Sep 2014 | 10:57 am
    Sekou Siby, a former kitchen worker at Windows on the World restaurant in the World Trade Center, remembers losing his coworker Moises Rivas along with many others on September 11, 2001. John Yates was working at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. His office sustained a near-direct hit from American Airlines Flight 77, and Yates suffered burns on almost 40 percent of his body.To hear more stories visit http://storycorps.org/listen. If you'd like to write to participants you can do so at podcast@storycorps.org. To make a donation visit http://storycorps.org/donateMusic Info: "That Kid in…
  • StoryCorps 388: Rocket Man

    NPR
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:14 pm
    Alton Yates tells his daughter, Toni, about being part of a small group of Air Force volunteers who tested the effects of high speeds on the body, and helped prove that space travel was safe for humans.To hear more stories visit http://storycorps.org/listen. If you'd like to write to participants you can do so at podcast@storycorps.org. To make a donation visit http://storycorps.org/donateMusic Info:  "1986" by Fredrik"Narwhal" by Pram
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    Brooklyn Historical Society Blog

  • Photo of the Week: Transformation & Discovery

    Julie May
    1 Oct 2014 | 6:15 am
    Cortelyou Road and Flatbush Avenue, 1916, v1973.2.106; Brooklyn oversize 19th century collection, v1973.002; Brooklyn Historical Society. As we should expect of our climate these days, the weather has been all over the place.  While I’m not one to complain about warm weather, sunny skies, and a gentle breeze, I have to admit I’m eager to don a cozy sweater, perhaps some light gloves, and to reacquaint myself with my tights collection.  I’ve always looked forward to Fall for the fashion magazines, new school supplies, any sort of change.  It seems to be a time to reboot after an…
 
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    Video Biography Central

  • Courage, Generosity, Faith and Hidden History: Films for Non-Profits

    Jane Shafron
    17 Sep 2014 | 6:03 pm
    Films for non-profits – both in their creation and in their viewing - can be made the centerpiece for connecting to the donor community and for fundraising. They can be shown in exhibition spaces at one-off events (possibly as part of a well advertised "launch") or set up on screens as part of the permanent collection.A well planned and carefully made video can also be used on web-sites to educate and inspire visitors, and uploaded or linked to on social media to create interest and goodwill...A proven facility for story telling, experience with on-camera interviews, creativity in making…
  • Backing Up The Human Mind

    Jane Shafron
    2 Aug 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Getting ready for a summer vacation this year got me thinking: We back up the important data in our computers don't we? So why don't more of us back up our minds, or help the ones we love to back up their minds?  Is there any practical way to preserve something of ourselves - for the ones we leave behind - beyond disaster or death?Science has so far struggled with solutions, and much of what it has suggested is grisly, to say the least, and still very early in its stages of development.We know for example that a mouse, having eaten the brain of another mouse who has learned a maze, will…
  • 5 Things We Always Regret at the End

    Jane Shafron
    19 Apr 2014 | 3:46 pm
    What will you regret, at the end? An Australian palliative care nurse named Bronnie Ware worked for years with the dying; easing their passing after medicine had done all it could. Reflecting on the many patients she cared for, she came to see how much people grew when they were faced by their own mortality. "Every single patient found their peace before they departed, every one of them." She also noticed recurring themes when folks reflected on their lives, and pondered the things they regretted. Late in 2011, she decided to write a blog about the top 5 things she had observed people felt…
  • The Spirit of Place and a Tribute in Video

    Jane Shafron
    19 Mar 2014 | 10:46 am
    Is there really such a thing as spirit of place? The ancient Romans certainly believed in guardian spirits, or genius loci, and made offerings to keep on their right side. The idea has evolved over time and is reflected in art and literature and the Romantic idea that a place can be more than the sum of its soil, its nature and structures, and its people - it can be enchanted.And if ever there was an enchanted land, a tough parched land promising plenty but demanding all, then it is the farms and fields surrounding Altus, Oklahoma where Peggy and Johnnie, and their ancestors going back to the…
  • It's Official: Nostalgia is Good for You

    Jane Shafron
    16 Nov 2013 | 12:31 pm
    Exciting new research reported this month in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletinby Tim Wildschut and others shows that time spent reminiscing makes people more optimistic. This finding, which is consistent with previous, smaller studies, seems to retire forever the old canard that remembering the past suggests a fear of the future, is inherently maudlin and destined to make us sad.Perhaps the best description of the benefits of nostalgia (anticipating the research that was to follow) comes from the sociologist Fred Davis in 1977:"It (nostalgia) reassures us of past happiness and…
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    Origin Hunters - Genetic Genealogist

  • DNA Mysteries: Iberian R1b-V88 in Africa

    24 Sep 2014 | 5:28 am
       When I first heard about R1b in Africa, my immediate assumption was that the predominantly Celtic haplogroup must have been a recent transplant.  I ran some of the V88 haplotypes against the big databases (FTDNA & ySearch) expecting to see matches to European men within the African colonial timeframe.  It wasn’t that easy.  Common ancestor analysis put the R1b Africans (V88) thousands of years removed from the rest of their European R1b cousins.  Where did they come from?  How did they get there?   I started with the given that the R1b…
  • Iberian R1b Y-DNA: First Movers in Europe

    12 Aug 2014 | 10:20 am
       The disputed origins of haplogroup R1b, most commonly thought of as Celtic, remains split between Iberia prior to the end of the last ice age and various West Asian locations after the ice age.  A new view on the R1b homeland comes out every year.  With all we know about DNA, shouldn’t we be coming to a consensus?  Typically, I refer to R1b as Celtic to help an audience make the connection between lettered haplogroups and culture or ethnicity.  I also add the caveat that Celtic is a misleading label.   R1b is supergroup of cultures including; Iberian,…
  • Your Autosomal DNA Tapestry

    26 Jun 2014 | 1:36 pm
    Deep Into DNA*   What does a tapestry have in common with your autosomal DNA?  A tapestry is a colorful and complex weaving that tells a story.  Your autosomal DNA is a complex weaving of 3 billion base pairs inherited from your ancestors.  Autosomal DNA can tell multiple stories about ethnicity, health and relationships.  As you will see, your DNA can be quite colorful.Bayeux Tapestry (Source: Wikimedia Commons)   Every year new tools become available to help us understand our genetic patterns and learn about the stories written in our genes. …
  • DNA, SNP, STR, OMG!

    16 May 2014 | 1:28 pm
    Deep Into DNA*   Oh my gosh, there are many acronyms in genetic genealogy.  You have to agree that using the acronym DNA is better than writing deoxyribonucleic acid repeatedly.  Although, when we talk about using DNA for genealogy and we only use acronyms, they start to lose their meaning and become just another ‘thing’.  “Hey, I’ve got a SNP.  Do you have a SNP?”  “I dunno, let me check.”     Maybe I’m weird.  I like to understand what all the acronyms mean and how they play a part in the larger picture....continued…
  • TribeMapper Contest Winners

    1 May 2014 | 4:31 am
    Congratulations to all our winners!The winners are:Michael DurkinGeorge HeubachSylvia JacksonPaul SmithJennifer ZinckStay tuned as we unravel their history over the next weeks.Thank you to everyone who entered.  The TribeMapper Report is now on sale until June 1, 2014.  Details are on the OriginsDNA website.Where did you come from?
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    emptynestancestry.com

  • FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Additions and Updates – 29 Sep 2014

    Christine Blythe
    29 Sep 2014 | 10:21 am
    The following is the list of FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Additions and Updates to date, September 29, 2014. FamilySearch.org Additions and Updates Belgium Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1609-1909 Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration, 1582-1912 Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1541-1910 Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1913 Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, 1621-1910 Belgium, Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1580-1920 Belgium, Namur, […]
  • Sign of the times: Ancestry.com killing local genealogy societies?

    Christine Blythe
    28 Sep 2014 | 11:25 am
    To me, the new article I discovered today on the Simcoe Reformer website illustrates a disturbing trend in which the larger, conglomerate sites such as Ancestry.com are killing local genealogy societies. I must admit, I’ve never been one to do physical research. As one whose personal income depended on computers, the internet and their use […]
  • Remains of four WWI Canadian soldiers have been identified.

    Christine Blythe
    27 Sep 2014 | 11:37 am
    Of the recovered remains of eight Canadian soldiers of the 78th who were MIA during the Battle of Amiens in France in August 1918, four of the WWI Canadian soldiers have been identified to date by the Canadian Department of National Defence. Those identified include: Pte William Simms of Russell, Manitoba was one of two […]
  • Transcription: Adjutant General’s letter re David Coon’s death.

    Christine Blythe
    26 Sep 2014 | 6:52 am
    The following is my transcription of a letter from the Adjutant General’s office regarding David Coon’s death during the Civil War. Adjutant General’s Office Washington, D. C. June 5th, 1865. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt from your Office of application for Pension No. 89.92.5, and to return it herewith, with such […]
  • FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Additions and Updates – 20 Sep 2014

    Christine Blythe
    26 Sep 2014 | 6:50 am
    Following are the latest FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com additions and updates since my last update post of September 11, 2014.   FamilySearch.org Argentina Argentina, Entre Ríos, Catholic Church Records, 1764-1983 Belgium Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1609-1909 Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration, 1582-1912 Belgium, East Flanders, Civil Registration, 1541-1910 Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1913 Belgium, Liège, Civil Registration, […]
 
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  • Massive Online U.S. Obituaries Project Will Make It Easier to Find Your Ancestors

    genealogybank
    1 Oct 2014 | 7:03 am
    Massive Online U.S. Obituaries Project Will Make It Easier to Find Your Ancestors was originally published at . FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank (GenealogyBank.com) today announced an agreement to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. It will be the largest—and perhaps most significant—online U.S. historical records access initiative yet. Find out more at: http://www.genealogybank.com/family-search/ The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million U.S. newspaper obituaries readily searchable…
  • Your Uncle, My Uncle, Every American’s Uncle: Uncle Sam!

    Scott Phillips
    30 Sep 2014 | 9:18 am
    Your Uncle, My Uncle, Every American’s Uncle: Uncle Sam! was originally published at .Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this blog post, Scott searches old newspapers to learn more about the origins and history of an American icon: Uncle Sam. All of us who love genealogy and family history know that every family member seems to have their own “favorite uncle.” I have two favorite uncles: Uncle Chuck Clark and Uncle Jim Vanek. I bet you have a favorite uncle or two as well, so it is only fitting that the…
  • The Crush, Texas Train Crash: a Bizarre and Deadly Spectacle

    Gena Philibert-Ortega
    29 Sep 2014 | 8:31 am
    The Crush, Texas Train Crash: a Bizarre and Deadly Spectacle was originally published at .Introduction: Gena Philibert-Ortega is a genealogist and author of the book “From the Family Kitchen.” In this blog post, Gena reads old newspaper articles to learn about a strange episode from the past: a fatal train crash that was deliberately staged in Texas in 1896 as a publicity stunt. Our ancestors experienced some strange events that never made it into the history text books and have been largely forgotten now. In September 1896 many people witnessed—and even more read about in the…
  • Old Obituary Tells War of 1812 Veteran’s Story

    Thomas Jay Kemp
    26 Sep 2014 | 8:26 am
    Old Obituary Tells War of 1812 Veteran’s Story was originally published at .Here is the old obituary of Captain Ambrose Spencer (1795-1814), a young man who fought and died fighting the British during the War of 1812. This obituary from the 1800s was a good newspaper research find. Green Mountain Farmer (Bennington, Vermont), 30 August 1814, page 3 The veteran’s obituary was published in this Bennington, Vermont, newspaper because his brother John Canfield Spencer (1788-1855) was “of this village.” Enter Last Name Per the obituary, Captain Ambrose Spencer served with Major General…
  • Divorce Records in Newspapers: Genealogy Research Tips

    Scott Phillips
    25 Sep 2014 | 9:31 am
    Divorce Records in Newspapers: Genealogy Research Tips was originally published at .Introduction: Scott Phillips is a genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past® genealogy services. In this blog post, Scott describes how divorce announcements in old newspapers helped him fill in his family tree. Early on in my work as a genealogist I made the decision to subscribe to GenealogyBank.com to see what they might have in their online Historical Newspaper Archives that could help me with my family history research. I subscribed as a member well over four years ago now and it is still…
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    Radaris

  • Radaris Releases New Site Design and Personal Profile Page Layout

    radaris
    30 Sep 2014 | 8:01 am
    We have an announcement: we’ve updated our look! Our site http://radaris.com now looks better, works smoother, and can help you sort through millions of free online profiles faster. Not only that, we’ve also changed our personal profile page layout to make our public profiles more visible, accessible, and user-friendly. The new layout of our personal […]
  • The Newest Way To Learn More about Your Family History

    radaris
    26 Sep 2014 | 11:28 am
    When you’re searching for information about your family, the web is probably your go-to resource for answers. Filled with family search engines, helpful tips and tricks, accessible town records, and people search options, the internet is a reliable option to help you get to know your ancestors.  However, often times genealogists forget to take a […]
  • 5 Ways to Get to Know Your New Neighborhood

    radaris
    23 Sep 2014 | 12:19 pm
    No matter who you are, moving is never an easy process. For many new homeowners and home owning veterans alike, the struggles that come with purchasing a new house are greatly outweighed by the benefits of finding a new place and neighborhood to call home. One of the biggest challenges of new home ownership is […]
  • Age is No Requirement for Friendship

    radaris
    19 Sep 2014 | 9:09 am
    This week we share the story of two people who have already found their friends. Erling Kindem, 89, and his 3 year-old neighbor, Emmett Rychner, have became very good friends over the years. Kindem, a World War II veteran became friends with the boy and his family after Emmett took interest in his tomato garden. […]
  • Family History 101: 3 Tools To Help You Find Out About Your Past

    radaris
    16 Sep 2014 | 8:06 am
    Researching your family history has quickly skyrocketed to the third most popular hobby in the US. While to most, genealogy is a labor of love, it can become frustrating at times. If you’re a seasoned researcher you may struggle with locating records, or if you’re a new family history hunter you may not even know […]
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