23 January 2015

The Seeming Indication of Their Death is Premature -- Tombstones may not just list the deceased!

Source for blank image: http://aremid.deviantart.com/art/The-Blank-Tombstone-119712435
Edited by DLR 


I am happy to report that my father and his wife are alive!

You may wonder why I feel the need to do this.  Well – they are both listed in Find-a-Grave!

Find-a-Grave, BillionGraves, CemeteryCensus, Interment.net are wonderful resources for our research.  We can learn a lot about the burial, death and maybe family members of the deceased.

Now, sometimes – a person is listed in Find-a-Grave for a particular cemetery and yet they are actually not buried there.  A surviving spouse may have remarried and is now buried with the first spouse (or vice versa). A person may have died elsewhere and is now buried with other family members in a completely different location. Maybe the person died and is buried in the cemetery and no-one ever updated the tombstone. 

There are also other reasons why we have to be careful in how we interpret the information we found on these websites – information based on a death certificate or an obituary (which might be in error on where the burial took place), people get reburied elsewhere, graves get moved, etc.  All of these factors can impact the accuracy of the information provided.

In the case of my father and his wife, it just so happens that in preparing for what is eventual for all of us, they went ahead and purchased a cemetery plot, had a tombstone  engraved with their names and birth dates and have arrangements in place for when they die for the stone to be updated. 

Their current listing has their death date as “unknown.”  This is true.  It’s just not unknown in the sense that we don’t know when they died, it’s unknown in the sense that they are not yet deceased!

Just a reminder to always keep looking for records and information even when we think we might have an answer – we might not have the full story.

Did I also mention that the cemetery is not in the community where they have lived for over 20 years?  It’s located where they met and grew up ... and, that’s a story for another day.








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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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22 January 2015

National Genealogical Society - December 2014 Quarterly Now Online



Volume 102, Number 4 of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly is now available online in the Members Only section of the website.

Feature Articles
+ Identifying Stephen Lockwood of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Easton, New York, Husband of Abigail Marshall, by Frederick C. Hart Jr., CG, FASG
+ John Walton, English Immigrant, New Hampshire Native, or Phantom?, by James Walton
+ Genealogical Research in Iowa, by Marieta A. Grissom


and other regular features ...



Editor’s Note: Please note that online access to the NGS Quarterly (NGSQ) and NGS Magazine are available only as long as your membership is active. You can access the NGSQ archive – the index is available for FREE and as a member you can access archives encompassing 1970, 1972–74, 1976, 1978–current.


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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21 January 2015

Genealogy References in Unexpected Places

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josh_Duhamel 

If you are reading this post you are familiar with genealogy and family history research.

You probably also have a passing awareness of the tv shows which have helped popularize our particular passion (see PBS’ "Genealogy Roadshow" Season Two Premieres 13 January 2015 and WDYTYA Returns! Are you set to watch or record?).

The other day, my daughter mentioned to me that she found that Josh Duhamel’s Wikipedia page includes a link to a rootsweb page for the Duhamel family.

For all the Wikipedia pages I have read, I have to admit that this was a first and kind of neat – a Wikipedia page with an explicit genealogy link, beyond the Wikipedia pages for those who have had episodes on WDYTA, Genealogy Roadshow, Finding Your Roots, etc., which link back to their episodes.

Have you also stumbled across a genealogical reference some place unexpected?













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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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20 January 2015

Rescued Film Archive



Archives – we love archives of all types!


Photographer Levi Bettweiser ... recently came across one of his biggest finds so far: 31 undeveloped rolls of film shot by a single soldier during World War II. Bettweiser tells us he found the film rolls in late 2014 at an auction in Ohio.

The article shares many images and there is also a video [5th image down] where he talks about the film and developing it (you can also access this video on the main page of The Rescued Film Archive).  The video runs about 10 minutes and I think you’ll find it worth your time. Besides discussing the actual developing of the film, he talks about using modern digitizing technology to see things that he couldn’t see on the negative with his naked eye. He poignantly states that rescued film is important as it represents “The photographers mark in history and these moments in time were important to me.”

As someone who “back in the day” did film developing with my dad – we too had a kitchen/bathroom film developing darkroom arrangement – it was fun to watch and be reminded of some of the fun times my dad and I shared doing this.  Though I do not develop nor print film anymore, I am still an avid photographer.  I have no pretensions of being particularly skilled at it and I just love the capturing of unique moments in time – moment which will not be repeated ever again exactly the same way (see Ramblings from a train ... using travel as an opportunity to “see” the world as it is now and as it was! which includes photos I took from said train ride)

Any photograph taken through time has the potential to show us a community, an event, people, and much more that are relevant to the story of our family.

This is what makes The Rescued Film Project so invaluable.

The Rescued Film Project is an online archive gallery of images that were captured on film between the 1930's and late 1990's.  Each image in our archive was rescued from found film from locations all over the world, and came to us in the form of undeveloped rolls of film.  We have the capability to process film from all era's.  Even film that has been degraded by heat, moisture, and age.  Or is no longer manufactured.

This project doesn’t actively seek out undeveloped film, it develops found film.


These are all great projects in that they make available to us what was once, in some ways, lost. 

Back in the days of camera film, I know that on more than one occasion I would come across a purchases disposable camera or a retired camera and realize that there was a partially used roll of film with photos taken at some time of some place.  Fortunately, I never disposed of any cameras without making sure they are empty and that is sometimes beyond the photographers control especially if they died soon after, a catastrophe struck, a camera was lost, or stolen (as my daughter's was in Spain several years ago), etc.

This also has relevance today with digital cameras and cell phones and tablets and iPads, etc., that serve as cameras.  If you don’t regularly download your photos from these devices, the images on them can become the equivalent of undeveloped rolls of film left in a camera – they could become lost forever.

Let’s all do our part to make sure that taken images will be available to future generations.





Editor’s Note: Some related posts ...












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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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19 January 2015

Martin Luther King Jr + Genealogy = the "Root" of the Man He Became

Source: http://friendsnas.org/education/S4_civilRights/Roots_of_MLK.pdf

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.  The impact he made on our society is monumental.  Many online and published works can tell you about the man and all that he did. Just Google his name, grab a cup of coffee, and be prepared to spend some time learning about him.

Since this is a genealogy blog, it seems fitting to share resources about his genealogy.  Here is a collection of found posts about the genealogy of Martin Luther King Jr.

+ The Genealogy of Martin Luther King Jr. (The Legal Genealogist, 2012)
+ Ancestry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (About.com, Kimberly Powell)
+ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: Brief Genealogy & Family Tree Download (GenealogyBank, 2014 – includes newspaper articles about Dr. King and his family)
+ The Genealogy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Upfront with NGS, 2014 – gives reference to a document produced by the National Archives From the Roots of a Tree: The Genealogy of Martin Luther King, Jr. which is now available through a different link on the Friends of the National Archives-Southeast Region page – this presentation includes excerpts from found documents)

So, as many enjoy today as a Federal Holiday, let’s not forget the man in whose name we celebrate this holiday and his ancestry, the "root" of the man he became.










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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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16 January 2015

Hart Island -- NYC’s Public Burial Ground -- Over 1 Million Burials -- Trying to Reveal Their Stories



Last year, in Upfront with NGS Mini Bytes, we had a brief blurb about Hart Island ...

Hart Island is NYC’s Public Burial Ground and the Department of Correction has created a database of Hart Island Burial Records. You can search on name, age, date of death, place of death (e.g., which hospital), etc.

I was reminded of this cemetery when a new online interactive project was announced last month, New York's forgotten finally remembered: Forbidden island where over one million 'unknown' people are buried in a mass grave reveals its secrets in online database.  This article is full of images from the facility and there is a video on the page (here’s a link to it) you will want to watch which talks a bit about the island and its history, the lack of access to the island, and The Hart Island Project with its The Traveling Cloud Museum telling the stories of some who are buried there.

Giving voices to those who can no longer (or ever could) is a large part of what we do as family historians.  We also desire the ability to show our respect for our deceased family members by visiting where they are buried – hopefully, someday, that might be true for those who have family buried on Hart Island.

Do you know of other public burial locations where visitors are not allowed?






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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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15 January 2015

Hidden Gems -- Record Collections Which Hold Records You Wouldn't Expect


Many of us who have been around the block a bit as far as doing research, are pretty willing to check out all kinds of record collections as long as we believe the cover the place and time of interest.

That said, if, on the surface, they don’t seem to be for the right place and/or time, we have a tendency to skip over them!  Often that is part of a smart strategy and on occasion, it might not be our smartest move.

I was reminded that we might be missing out on some hidden gems when we do this.  I was also reminded that it is really, really important to read the description of what a collection includes.  Sometimes we find that the description informs us of what is NOT included (e.g. certain counties might be missing from a state-level collection) or in this case, that the collection is NOT limited to those living in Delaware (you’ll understand this statement after you read further)!

The Michigan Family Trails blog reminded me of this with the post, OCCUPATION FILES ON ANCESTRY–1600-1995–What are they? Have you seen these?

My short answers were 1. I have no idea and 2. No.

The longer answer is that I went and check this collection out on Ancestry.com.  (Editor’s NOTE: You will need an ancestry.com subscription or access to one via a local library etc in order to access this collection).

The collection is officially called – Delaware, Craftperson Files, 1600-1995.  Basically, these are card file images from the Winterthur Library which is located in Winterthur, DE.  I think you can now figure out where the collection title comes from.


I did a search on entries for North Carolina and there are many.  This image just shows you a few entries of the about 900 entries (of 146,994 total) which pertain to North Carolina artisans.  Since crafts people often learned such from family and/or by being apprentices, looking into such individuals is always great fun!  I always want to try and figure out how/where/when/from who did they learn their craft.  Besides the New England states and other southern states, I also saw entries for Midwestern states like IN and OH.

This means that someone who is a craftsperson, which can include blacksmiths, furniture makers, metalsmiths and the finer crafts, might be found included in this collection.

Are there collections you have come across (not limited to Ancestry.com) which on the surface seem limited in an obvious way and yet are not – like our Delaware, Craftperson Files?





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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