Saturday, August 29, 2009

SNGF: Ancestors I've Met

For SNGF this week, our challenge is to list the ancestors we've met.  I'm afraid I haven't met that many:

* my parents, who are still living
* three of my grandparents (one still living)
* one great-grandparent

The ancestors I've met who have passed on are:

* Gladys Viola Healey Shinn, my great-grandmother. She born in 1898 in San Francisco, married Elmer John Shinn and came to Lodi, CA where she lived the rest of her life.  She died at age 100 in 1998, one week before my eleventh birthday. Buried at Stockton Rural Cemetery, Stockton, San Joaquin, CA.

* Jane Rose Lapiccirella, my grandmother.  She was born in Warren, OH in 1930.  Came to Michigan at some point and settled in Jackson, Jackson, MI where she died in 2004.  I only met her once when I was a baby and she came out to California for a visit, though I talked on the phone with her and exchanged letters with her over the years. Cremated.

* Everett Heman Shinn, my grandfather, son of Gladys V. Healey Shinn above.  Was born in San Joaquin Co., CA in 1925.  He lived in Lodi and later Isleton, CA and died in Sacramento, CA in 2000.  Buried in Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery, Woodbridge, San Joaquin, CA.

Not As Scottish As I Thought...

I think it is pretty common for genealogists, when they first start researching their tree, to find that at least one family legend or given turns out to be false or different than originally thought.  I've had this happen to me a number of times, most recently the other day while researching the supposedly Scottish family of my great-great-grandparents, Marion Wood Allen and John Grant Allen.  I'd always read and was led to believe that Marion's paternal family was Scottish and came to Canada at some point in the 19th Century then to Michigan in the late 1880s.  Likewise, John Grant's paternal family was also supposed to be Scottish, came to Pennsylvania in the mid-1800s and then Ohio in the 1860s. 
After doing some digging into Marion's father, Charles, and his family it is starting to look like they weren't so much Scottish as Ulster-Scots (aka Scotch-Irish).  What I've found in the last month on Charles' family is that they were from County Cavan and County Armagh, Ireland.  So far I haven't found any connection to Scotland among the Woods or Montgomerys (Marion's paternal grandparents).  John Grant's father, Joseph, also seems to be more Irish than I thought.  On several death certificates and census records for his children, Joseph is said to have been from Scotland but Joseph himself consistently says he was from Ireland on census records.  The fact that his wife, Elizabeth Clemens/Clements was from Ireland, also leads me to believe Joseph was though I still wonder why his children kept listing him as being from Scotland...
Now I'm pretty firm in the belief that they were all Ulster-Scots.  What I want to know is why the Irish connection for all these families wasn't passed on but the tenuous Scottish connection was.  Was this common for Scotch-Irish families, to play up their ancestral heritage while ignoring where they were actually born and their family lived for some generations? I always was told the family was Scottish because that was what my father was told and never had reason to doubt it.  Now it seems as though, while my mother's family was settling the new world, my father's were settling Ireland...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Wild Sweet Peas


The wild sweet peas and Shasta daisies (not pictured) grow EVERYWHERE around Mt. Shasta, these pictures were taken near the Sisson Museum
Privately held by Leah (address for private use), CA, July, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Stamp Picture Album

"These stamp picture albums were quite the rage in 1900," wrote my great-grandmother, Georgia Wellons Berger, on a scrap of paper inside one of those said stamp picture albums. When I came across the album I had never heard of such a thing and still don't know much about "stamp pictures" or these little albums. Stamp pictures are just that, pictures not much bigger than a stamp in a little album designed like a stamp book. My great-grandmother's album features several of her relatives: some of her siblings, an aunt and possibly others. The only problem is I can't identify most of the people in the album. I suspect that most of the people are friends and neighbors of the Wellons family in Yreka, California around 1900. I thought I'd pull out this little mystery album since the prompt for this week is to "talk about an orphan picture containing people you do not know. Provide comments on your best guess about date, place, subjects."

The album is badly water damaged (not by me) and the binding is starting to fall apart so I was a little wary about scanning it. That's why some of the pictures may seem a little poor or fuzzy because my first priority was protecting the book even if it was at the expense of a good scan. I know using an adhesive to stick pictures to a book can be horrible for the pictures' longevity which is why I am thinking about removing them from the book, though I'd rather not and they are actually in okay quality. What are your thoughts on the matter? Anyway, here is the cover:First page (none of these people are identified):
Some of the loose pictures:(the little girl, who is unidentified, is holding a kitten)

(another unidentified woman. I've always wondered what she is looking at)

Two more pages (some people identified):
Last page (none of these people are identified):
Some more loose pictures (three of the five are identified. The woman on the top to the right, my great-grandmother's aunt "Mat" aka Martha Miranda Webb Nicholson; the little boy under her, is my great-grandmother's brother "Willie" aka William Andrew Wellons; the woman to his right is, maybe, "Sadie" aka Sarah Elizabeth Wellons Benson, my great-grandmother's sister):

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dynastree.com Reaches Out to Bloggers

In case you haven't read their blog post, Dynastree.com has been reaching out to the genealogy blogging community by offering voucher codes good for a month of their premium subscription. GeneaBloggers is offering 100 vouchers and Dynastree.com recently sent me 10 to give away. To redeem the code and get a month of free premium service on the site:

1. Go to http://www.dynastree.com
2. Log-in if you are a member or create a new account if you are new to the site
3. After creating or logging-in to your account, you should be directed to an ad for their premium service. Select that you would like to try their premium membership.
4. Once you get to the ordering page, select the one month subscription option and then enter your voucher code below that.
5. Hit 'redeem voucher' and you should be all set!

The voucher code they sent me is: Dii-trLFZK-o0

For a good review of the site, read this article. After playing around with Dynastree for awhile, I have to agree that the site really only works if everyone in your family is online and technologically knowledgeable. I had fun with the site and have started building a tree though there were a few bumps along the way. When I first started creating my tree, I opted to start from scratch but then changed my mind and decided to upload one of my GEDCOM files. Suffice to say, things got a little confusing as I tried to find the upload option and at one point when I went to the FAQ area of the site, I somehow ended up in a German-language version (I think I must have done something and that this is probably not a site quirk). Overall, I like the site though I still have much more exploring to do and I don't believe it is something my family will get on board.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Madness Monday: Shoes!

My great-great-great-great-grandmother was Sarah Shoe (don't you just love that name?!) and until recently she was a brick wall. Sarah was born around 1806, probably in Churchill, Somerset, England. She married William Shepstone/Shipston and had three daughters, Charlotte (my line), Elizabeth and Ellen (or Helen). Sarah died in 1832 (around the time she had Ellen/Helen) in Churchill. Sarah's husband died about five years later, leaving their children orphans at around the ages of 10, 9 and 5. I always wondered who Sarah Shoe was and what happened to the girls after their parents died. Then awhile back, I found Charlotte and Ellen/Helen in the 1841 census, apparently living by themselves. But clicking on the image reveals they were in fact living with George and Mary Shoe (transcribed as "Thoe").

I believe George and Mary were Sarah's parents and the girls' grandparents but have not been able to confirm it. Other things I want to learn about my Shoes are: Who were Sarah's siblings? When exactly was Sarah born and where? Why are there two wedding dates (three years apart) for William Shepstone and Sarah? Who were George's parents and siblings? What was Mary's maiden name and who were her family? Was George married more than once and if so, who was Sarah's mother? Where did the Scholl rumor come from and what evidence is there that was actually the family's surname? Why isn't Elizabeth listed with her sisters in 1841? While I'm still in the middle of researching all this, it has been a bit disheartening because I haven't gotten very far in answering any of my questions. Don't you just hate it when a brick wall comes down only to be built right back up again?!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

SNGF- Ultimate Genealogy Goal

This week's SNGF has to do with our ultimate genealogical goal. I can honestly say that this is something I have never really thought of and because of this, it took me awhile to sit and think about what my goal would be. My ultimate genealogical goal is actually multi-part but the bottom line is that I want to chart my family history as thoroughly and accurately as possible for my descendants and relatives. Within this "bottom line" are these smaller goals:

  • I want to put together a book covering all the descendants of James Jackman, colonist of Newburyport, MA.
  • Put together a fully sourced and documented book covering my ancestry
  • Share my findings with all my relatives
  • Find pictures of all of my grandparents and great-grandparents.
  • Visit my ancestor's homelands, including: Italy, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland and stateside locations in Michigan, New England, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa, Oregon, Indiana, Illinois, etc.
  • I've got some pipe dream goals too like eradicating all the mis-information that is running rampant with some of my lines (especially my Masons) and, of course, breaking down all my brick walls and taking all my lines back to the stone ages.

I'm hopeful that I've got another forty years at least (I'd be 61) to work on these goals (and longevity runs in my family). I work on my goals inch by inch each year, but I have not made research my top priority nor do I expect to any time soon (work, social and school responsibilities prohibit this). Though I do think that by the time I retire and have more free time for genealogy I'll have gotten a pretty good head start! I guess if I wanted to achieve my goal now, I'd have to quit blogging, social networking in general, my job, school, and most of my social life... the next time I talk to my parents I'll let them know that is my new plan, I'm sure they'll be thrilled.

I'm sure ten years from now my goals will be different, though I don't think the bottom line will ever change... Thanks for an interesting and thought provoking Saturday night, Randy! =)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Mossbrae Falls




Mossbrae Falls, Dunsmuir, CA
Privately held by Leah (address for private use), CA, July, 2009


Defending Myself

Recently, I've found myself in an interesting situation in which I have to defend my recent post where I talked about how misleading the new Ancestry ad campaign is, including one commercial in particular. First of all, I do not have an "anti-Ancestry agenda" nor did I accuse Ancestry of "stealing credit for member submitted photos." I said the commercial was misleading because that, in my opinion (as an AMATEUR genealogist who makes no claims of knowing everything there is to know about genealogy), is the truth. First of all, the commercial in question makes it sound like there is some sort of connection between census records and photographs, that simply by searching a census you will be led to find pictures of your ancestors. While it would be great if this were the case, it is simply not. For another thing, the commercial makes no mention of the fact that the vast majority of the pictures of people on the site are user-submitted and that finding a picture of your ancestor on the site is far from guaranteed and contingent on a user submitting the photo. And in case you're wondering, I recently re watched the commercial to see if there was any kind of fine print stating my points and there isn't.

As for my so called "anti-Ancestry agenda," I don't have one and never have. When I first got into genealogy in the late 1990's, Ancestry.com was one of the first places I went to and a decade later, it is still my first stop for any genealogy related questions and my overall, favorite website. I have been a happy member since 2001 and as of 2009, I am thinking about upgrading my membership to the World Deluxe level. I also receive their magazine, regularly read their blogs, and am considering getting their Family Tree Maker program again. But you know what? There is room for improvement at Ancestry (as there is with anything else, including myself and this blog) and I'm not going to pretend it is a perfect place and not say something when, in my opinion, they need to improve.

First of all, the new search stinks. It stinks to high heaven and the majority of the cursing I do in a day is due to how horrible it is. Second of all, I'd like to see Ancestry make free the databases which are free on other sites. This is just a personal thing with me, a quirk if you will, and not something I expect anyone else to agree with. I just think, from a marketing standpoint, it would look better for your company to offer the same books and records for free that are listed as free on other, competitive sites such as Google Books and FamilySearch. I also think doing that would keep more people on the site because I can't tell you how many times I've been on Ancestry working on a line when I have to go open a new tab or leave the site entirely to go find the record that I want to see for free on FamilySearch but is inaccessible to me on Ancestry. Thirdly, I think the new marketing campaign is misleading. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never even done genealogy before, who probably only knows the names of their grandparents at best. How do you think they'd feel if they were first getting into genealogy, knew absolutely nothing about it and the Ancestry commercial I discussed earlier comes on TV? They'd probably be elated and excited and go on Ancestry and then be tremendously disappointed because they didn't find a picture of their great-grandfather when they were going through the 1880 census. While Ancestry has a lot to offer, it doesn't have all the answers like it, in my opinion, claims in its new commercial(s). I have names and lines that I have never found a scrap of information on at Ancestry and the majority of pictures I've found on the site are of coats of arms and family crests, which anyone worth their salt in the genealogy world can tell you are bogus (these are individually granted, not "given" to families and surnames).

I know they present Ancestry as the place with all the answers for a reason. Honestly, if I worked for Ancestry, I'd be tempted to do the same campaign because it is very seductive and I'm sure, very successful for them. I just think they need to re-work their spots to mention (or at least include in fine print) that information isn't guaranteed and you shouldn't get your hopes up too much. Bottom line is that I'm worried these spots will get people into genealogy, get their hopes up and make them walk away from it because it didn't pan out like the commercials made it look.

FYI, here is the commercial so you can judge for yourself:



Now, please don't send me hate mail/comments! Thank you.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Twice in a Row!

I made Randy's "Best of..." two weeks in row! I was shocked the first time and even more surprised the second. Thank you Randy, you've made my day- twice!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

SNGF: My Great-Grands

This week's challenge:

1) List your 16 great-grandparents (actually, by my calculations it would be 16 great-great-grandparents) in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 - 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don't know all 16 of your great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.

1. John Grant Allen, 18 May 1869, Niles, Trumbull, OH - 27 Sep 1955, Jackson, Jackson, MI. 1/2 SCOTTISH, 1/2 IRISH.

Married on 18 May 1890 in Wyman, Montcalm, MI to

2. Marion Wood, Feb 1871, Summit, Jackson, MI - ?, probably Manistee, Manistee, MI. 1/2 SCOTTISH, 1/2 CANADIAN English (orig. GERMAN, SCOTTISH and ENGLISH)

3. Frederick Rendle Croad, 12 May 1865, Sydling St. Nicholas, Dorset, England - 27 Sep 1932, Lakeview, Montcalm, MI. ENGLISH.

Married in July 1885 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales to

4. Mary Stokes, 16 Apr 1867, Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales - 26 June 1923, Lakeview, Montcalm, MI. ENGLISH

5. and 6. Unknown parents of Giuseppe Lapiccirella, Vieste, Foggia, Apulia, Italy. ITALIAN

7. and 8. Unknown parents of Maria Nicoletta Daccia/Dacci, Foggia, Apulia, Italy. ITALIAN.

9. Heman Doyle Shinn, 8 Dec 1853, New Jersey - 4 July 1928, Lodi, San Joaquin, CA. 3/4 ENGLISH, 1/4 IRISH
Married on 8 Dec 1874 in San Joaquin Co., CA to

10. Emma Sophia Tock, 27 Jan 1859, Charlotte Co., New Brunswick, Canada - 11 Apr 1928, Lodi, San Joaquin, CA. ENGLISH

11. Lauren Everett Healey, 27 Aug 1873, Newark, Alameda, CA - 11 Feb 1959, Santa Clara Co., CA. ENGLISH (and a little FRENCH and DUTCH)

Married 21 Oct 1896, Mt. Eden (now Hayward), Alameda, CA to

12. Kathryn Nielsen, 25 Nov 1875, Mt. Eden, Alameda, CA - 12 Mar 1918, Alameda, Alameda, CA. DANISH

13. John William Berger, 17 Aug 1841, Bremen, Marshall, IN - 12 Dec 1891, Oakland, Alameda, CA. GERMAN

Married 9 Dec 1866 in Evansville, Vanderburgh, IN to

14. Susanna (von)Allmen, 9 Feb 1849, Olney, Richland, IL - 11 June 1932, Stockton, San Joaquin, CA (buried in Oakland). SWISS

15. George Washington Wellons, Jan 1849, Pulaski, KY - 1 Feb 1932, Yreka, Siskiyou, CA. ENGLISH (note: Wellons was orig. Llewelyn, a Welsh name)

Married in June 1878 in Durango, LaPlata, CO to

16. Mary Anna Webb, 25 Jan 1862, Lawrence Co., IN - 12 May 1926, Yreka, Siskiyou, CA. ENGLISH and possibly 1/4 NATIVE AMERICAN.

So that breaks down to 2 (partially) SCOTTISH, 3 (partially) IRISH, 1 (partially) CANADIAN English, 6 ENGLISH, 1 (partially) ENGLISH, 1 DANISH, 1 SWISS, 1 GERMAN, 4 ITALIAN and a smidge of FRENCH, DUTCH (from New Amsterdam era of New York) and maybe NATIVE AMERICAN (this is a family rumor which has yet to be proved or denied). I am mostly Italian and English. Growing up, my Italian ancestry played a big role in my family, moreso than any other branch, so I think that is why I identify with my Italian heritage more than anything else when it comes to the European side of things. If I want to break it down to states (based on where each branch settled from more than a few generations), I am mostly a Michigander and a Californian.

Out of all these, I consider myself a Californian first and foremost.

Thanks for making my Saturday night a fun one, Randy! =)

Revised List of People and Places in My Tree

This week's writing prompt is to update any old posts you feel deserve it. There are actually several old posts I'd like to revise and update, but the most nagging one of all was this one from back in February. I wrote the original in a bit of a hurry and left out some necessary details, like specific towns, communities, etc. For one, I've been contacted by people sure that we were related several times because of that post, only to have hopes dashed when I mentioned the specific places where my family was from. I also wanted to include more surnames in this one. I know there are a lot on this list, a WHOLE lot, but my thinking is that since I mention all these lines on this blog, I should include them all. Half of my paternal lines are missing however because my grandmother's family continues to be my biggest brick wall (I really need to go to Italy and research that bunch!).

Paternal:
Allen:
Jackson, Jackson, MI
Manistee, Manistee, MI
Blanchard, Isabella, MI
Niles, Trumbull, OH (and surrounding areas)
New Castle, Lawrence, PA
Scotland
Lapiccirella:
Vieste, Foggia, Apulia, Italy
Warren, Trumbull, OH
Daccia/Dacci:
Foggia, Apulia, Italy
Croad:
Sydling St. Nicholas, Dorset, England
Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales
Lakeview, Montcalm, MI/Millbrook, Mecosta, MI
Wood:
Scotland
County Cavan, Ireland
Galt, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
South Dumfries, Brant, Ontario, Canada
East Zorra, Oxford, Ontario, Canada
Summit, Jackson, MI
McKillop, Huron, Onatrio, Canada
Bloomfield, Oakland, MI
Rolland, Isabella, MI
Beam/Boehm:
Sussex, NJ
Beamsville, Lincoln, Niagara, Ontario, Canada
East Zorra, Oxford, Ontario, Canada
Stokes:
Chedzoy, Somerset, England
Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales (and surrounding areas)
Shepstone/Shipston:
Congresbury, Somerset, England
Axbridge, Somerset, England
Churchill, Somerset, England
Clemens/Clements:
Ireland
Shenango, Lawrence, PA
New Castle, Lawrence, PA
Tizzard:
Frampton, Dorset, England

Maternal:
Berger/Barger:
Rindal, Bavaria, Germany
Stark, Ohio
Bremen, Marshall, IN (and surrounding areas)
Prairie, Shelby, IL
Evansville, Vanderburgh, IN
Prussia (doing missionary work)
South Bend, Saint Joseph, IN
Wabash, IN
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Oakland, Alameda, CA
Matz:
Bavaria, Germany
(von)Allmen:
Unterseen, Bern, Switzerland
Olney, Richland, IL
Evansville, Vanderburgh, IN
Steiner:
Lauterbrunnen, Bern, Switzerland
Wellons:
Wales (as Llewelyn, though undocumented);
Virginia
Pulaski, KY
Richland, Warren, IA
Indianola, Warren, IA
Palmyra Twp., Warren, IA
Durango, LaPlata, CO
Keno, Klamath, OR
Yreka, Siskiyou, CA (and surrounding areas)
Hudson:
Virginia
Pulaski, KY
Webb:
Orange, IN
Marion Twp., Lawrence, IN
Coles, IL
Sheridan, Crawford, KS
Durango, LaPlata, CO (and surrounding areas)
Hornbrook, Siskiyou, CA (and surrounding areas)
Mason:
Wayne, KY
Lawrence, IN
Shinn:
England
Mt. Holly, Burlington, NJ
Burlington, Burlington, NJ
New Hanover Twp., Burlington, NJ
Mansfield Twp., Burlington, NJ
Woodbridge, San Joaquin, CA
Doyle:
Ireland
Vermont
Rochester, Monroe, NY
Placerville, El Dorado, CA (and surrounding areas)
Douglas, NV
Woodbridge, San Joaquin, CA
Tock:
Gunhouse, Lincolnshire, England
Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England
Burton upon Stather, Lincolnshire, England
Calais, Washington, ME/St. Stephen, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada
Lodi, San Joaquin, CA
Wadd:
Burton upon Stather, Lincolnshire, England
Healey (orig. Haley):
England
Cambridge, Middlesex, MA
Rehoboth, Bristol, MA
Brimfield, Hampden, MA
Chebogue, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Newark, Alameda, CA
San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Mott:
Hempstead Harbor, Nassau, NY
Mazatlán, Mexico
San Jose, Santa Clara, CA
Benicia, Solano, CA
San Francisco, CA
Nielsen:
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Ottawa, Erie or Sandusky, OH
Mt. Eden (now Hayward), Alameda, CA
Petersen:
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Ottawa, Erie or Sandusky, OH

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Genealogy Through A Wider Window

There is a great post over at Olive Tree Genealogy about how reluctant (or should I say obstinate?) some people are about actually walking away from the computer and doing genealogy research the old fashioned way. I agree with her completely about how frustrating those people can be and I am ashamed to admit it, but I use to be one of those people.

I came into genealogy in the late '90's when the internet was becoming a more viable resource for genealogy information and research. In fact, one of the things that roped me into genealogy was an article about the USGenWeb project. Since online genealogy was the "hot thing" at the time (as I guess it still is), it was what introduced me to genealogy. Not long after, I learned about Family History Centers and the collections most libraries have for genealogy. But, I was lazy, new to genealogy and going outside my home for information just sounded like too much work (keep in mind that I was about twelve at the time). During this time, I WAS one of those annoying people that would post on boards and mailing lists whining about my brick walls and demanding instant gratification. When some kind person would suggest offline resources I'd just balk and write them and their suggestion off as not feasible.

Then I stopped being twelve, got serious about genealogy and got off my duff. I can tell you right now, that was the best genealogical decision I ever made! Think it feels great to take down a brick wall through Ancestry or FamilySearch? Try actually working for the information, driving from cemetery to cemetery in 110 degree heat, slaving over microfilm and books, then you'll know what happiness really is when you hit pay dirt. Actually going out and researching made me see genealogy through a wider window, it made me appreciate genealogy and other genealogists and it taught me valuable research skills (though I've only just recently mastered the microfilm reader!).

Now, when I see people doing what I use to do, ignoring offline resources, it annoys me and makes me sad because they don't know what they are missing. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people who are coming into genealogy these days are doing so thanks to ads by online sites. I don't think these people have any idea just how much richer the resources are offline and that for real results, most of the time you have to put in hard work and leave your computer. Go to the genealogy section on Yahoo! Answers, or any of the message boards and mailing lists and you can get a real idea about what the general mentality is amongst newcomers to online genealogy. Everyone wants free, fast, instant information about their family tree. I don't mean to slam newcomers, I just think that advertisements from online sites mislead them into thinking all the answers are online and at your fingertips and that there is no need to leave your home which just propagates the bad mentality Lorine wrote about. I think those that get into genealogy like I did, through the internet, break down into three groups. Those passionate about genealogy will branch out from just online resources, like me. Those who get into it because it is a fad, will quickly leave when they learn they can't find everything online. And then there is the middle group who are interested but not enough to actually do offline research. Sadly, I think the middle group is the fastest growing...

UPDATE: as I'm writing this one of the new commercials for Ancestry just came on TV. It is the one where the guy is talking about how his father always wanted to know what his mother looked like. So the son went onto the Ancestry site, found a census record and before he knew it, he had all this information and pictures of her (I know I always find TONS of pictures of my ancestors when I am looking through census records...). Thank you for this commercial Ancestry, you just proved my point.

UPDATE 2: See my response to the hostile remarks I got for this post here.

Genealogy From A to Z

This is a popular Facebook meme that has been going around where you answer a question based around a letter of the alphabet. A friend (non-blogger) and I put a genealogy spin on it and came up with these and I thought I'd give it a try:

~A: Pick a random number from here and look that person up in your ahnentafel. Alternate: use today's date instead of a random number

~B: Are your ancestors mentioned in any books? If so, what books?

~C: How did/do the people in your family celebrate? Any holiday traditions?

~D: Look at your tree and find any events that occurred on this date, like births, deaths or marriages.

~E: Pick an ancestor and describe what kind of an education they had, such as where they went school or what they majored in in college.

~F: Food plays a big role in family traditions. Talk about a recipe, cooking technique that has been passed down or memory having to do with food.

~G: List a gravesite of an ancestor that you've visited or would like to.

~H: List a historical event that your ancestor either witnessed or was a part of.

~I: Talk about an ancestor's immigration experience.

~J: Find "junior" in your tree and write a little something about them.

~K: List what is known about your most frustrating brick wall ancestor(s).

~L: Research some genealogy terms in another language, example: cognome=surname in Italian.

~M: List an ancestor who served in the military and any conflicts they were involved in.

~N: List an occurrence where a neighbor was actually a relative or in some way connected with an ancestor.

~O: Find a new obituary or talk about a favorite or what, in your opinion, makes a good obituary.

~P: Pick a place where you're ancestors lived that you find interesting or would like to visit.

~Q: Have a genealogy query? Post it here for the whole internet to see.

~R: Any members of royalty in your tree?

~S: Share a tip about sourcing.

~T: Try and translate or transcribe a document of genealogical significance to you.

~U: Research some unknown relatives (those you haven't researched much or don't have much on).

~V: Any special vacations or trips either you or your ancestor went on? Alternate: talk about a type of vital record or area on a vital record that you think is underutilized in genealogy research.

~W: A lot of times, a witness to an event (like a marriage) is also a relative. Research some of the witnesses listed in your records and find out if they have any ties to your family.

~X: Do you have any records where instead of a signature is the mark X? Talk about that record, the practice in general or what effect improved literacy and educational opportunities have had on genealogy research.

~Y: Pick an especially significant year for your ancestors or talk about a year in history in which you'd like to visit.

~Z: Find someone in your family tree whose name (first, middle, maiden or last) starts with the letter Z or a relative who lived in a place that started with that letter. My cousin came up with this as an alternate: talk about a child in your family tree that didn't get a chance to see their first birthday (meaning they passed at zero years of age).

I've got some relatives and friends doing this through e-mail (I was hoping this would get them blogging, but oh well). I'm going to do a post on one letter (starting with A, ending with Z)whenever the mood strikes me, there is no timetable or deadline. These are just the questions we came up with, if anyone out there wants to play along, feel free to come up with your own questions/letters or use the ones above. These can be answered in one sentence or a series of posts, it is up to you how much you want to write.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: 4th of July at Lodi Lake


All the people loved the fireworks... the Canadian geese, not so much.
Lodi, San Joaquin, CA
Privately held by Leah (address for private use), CA, July, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

(Belated) SNGF: Genealogical Threes!

This week's Saturday Night Genealogical Fun looks like just that, fun, though I am not going to answer all the questions...

* Three genealogical libraries I frequent
(not going to answer as I don't visit enough genealogical libraries to qualify)
* Three places I've visited on genealogy trips
(not going to answer because I haven't gone on any genealogical trips outside of the California)

* Three genealogy societies I belong to (or want to)
* Three websites that help my research
* Three ancestral graves that I've visited
* Three ancestral places I want to visit
* Three brick wall ancestors I want to research more

Three genealogical societies I want to join (I am currently not a member of any):
1. NEHGS
2. San Joaquin Genealogical Society
3. UELAC


Three websites that help my research
1. Ancestry.Com
2. FamilySearch.Org
3. Google


Three ancestral graves that I've visited:
1. my great-great-grandparents, George Washington Wellons and Mary Anna Webb
(Evergreen Cemetery, Yreka, Siskiyou, CA)
2. my great-great-great-grandparents, John R. Shinn and Maria(h) Adelaide Doyle
(Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery, Woodbridge, San Joaquin, CA)
3. my great-great-grandmother's sister and her husband, Sarah Jane Tock and Simon O'Dillion Turner
(Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery, Woodbridge, San Joaquin, CA)

Three ancestral places I want to visit:
1. Sydling St. Nicholas, Dorset, England
2. Michigan (Jackson, Isabella, Mecosta, Montcalm and Manistee counties)
3. Vieste, Foggia, Italy

Three brick wall ancestors I want to research more
1. parents of Charles Wood (Charles Wood and Jane Montgomery)
2. my great-grandparents, Giuseppe Lapiccirella and Nicoletta Dacci/Daccia
3. all my early Kentucky ancestors (I'd love to know where they came from- Virginia perhaps?)