Friday, November 27, 2015

Finger Lakes Mystery

My first mystery novel - set in the Finger Lakes
This is what has distracted me from my genealogy research over the past year. The book is finally published and can be found on Amazon.

I have started the second Caitlyn Jamison adventure and this one will include genealogy research that will be critical to solving the murder. Can't wait to work out that scenario.  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving and White Friday

Sitting around the table last evening for our holiday eve dinner, I realized once again that the most important thing in life is family, friends, and good health. In our small family gathering last evening, I knew that we were blessed with each.

I enjoyed a recent Dick Eastman blog post featuring The Heirloom Registry's suggestion that people participate in White Friday. White Friday is when a family sleeps in, has breakfast together, then goes around the house looking for items with a history. The registry has a downloadable form if desired, but the object is to document the family heirlooms. For larger items, the documentation can be attached to the back; for smaller ones, the documentation can be filed with other important papers - maybe your will?

Enjoy and cherish the family time, and have a fun-filled White Friday!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ellis Island Immigration Facts

Genealogy 101 Presentation - Fredericksburg, VA
One of my pet peeves is when someone says, “I can’t find my ancestor, because they changed his name on Ellis Island.” I am quick (usually too quick and a little too forceful) to correct that statement.

Over the past month, my hubby has given two Genealogy 101 presentations to residents in our development. The first group numbered about fifty; yesterday’s session was for those who couldn’t make the September session, and he was doing it for two people in particular – fifteen showed up.  Those numbers, plus the number of beginning genealogists who attended our Fredericksburg Regional Genealogical Society’s October 10 conference, indicates there are a lot of people who are just starting their genealogy journey.”  As my husband points out at each of his sessions, “Warning: This can be additive.”

And that is why I wanted to share a link of an article found in GenealogyInTime Magazine.

This article is accompanied by great photos of Ellis Island, then and now. It is difficult to imagine how they processed an average of 5,000 people a day. There is a chart showing ten ports of arrival in North America for 1903, with Ellis Island receiving far above what the other ports experienced.

The article mentions not everyone was successful in entering.  Each immigrant was given a cursory medical exam and asked questions like, “Are you a communist?”

If an immigrant was to be sent back, and the article suggests that more than the estimated 2% were sent back, someone would accompany that person, and maybe the entire family would return. If you can’t find your ancestor, they may have accompanied someone back to the homeland.

“When looking for immigration records on Ellis Island, always check for other relatives +/- 3 years from the date when you find a record for one of the family members.” This is because often, a husband, or other family member would come ahead, get a job, save up, and then send for the family.

The article is full of search hints, and explains the reasons why some immigrants wanted to change their name.  Another hint I had forgotten was that Ellis Island was for steerage class passengers. If your ancestor traveled first or second class, they disembarked in downtown Manhattan.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Herbert Beardsley 1888 - 1918

Herbert Beardsley abt 1898

I don't have much information on Herbert, but I did have this cute photo in my collection. The photo was taken by Herb Saylor. I'm assuming Herbert was around ten years old when it was taken. He was a nephew to my great-grandmother, Jessie Tucker Agard. This photo, along with a number of others was stored in a corner of the family barn for many years. I saved as many as I could, but this photo has much damage.
What I do know is that Herbert Beardsley was the first child of Frank J. and Carrie B. (Tucker) Beardsley. Herbert remained single, living with his parents and working on the farm of Mr. Bodle. In January 1916 he fractured his leg from jumping from a wagon.[1] 

On 20 December 1918, Herbert succumbed to a bout of pneumonia, a result of influenza. His funeral was held at the home.[2]  Herbert was buried in the Mecklenburg (NY) Union Cemetery next to his parents, Frank and Carrie (Tucker) Beardsley, though the stone is indexed as “Robert W. Beardsley.”

[1] “Herbert Beardsley,” society note, Ithaca Daily News, 18 January 1916, p. 7 col. 6. [ accessed 20 Sept. 2012]
[2] “Herbert Beardsley,” death notice, Ithaca Daily News, 30 December 1918, p. 7, col. 6. [ accessed 20 Sept 2012]

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Is Silence Golden?

I have neglected my genealogy blog for the past few weeks and am excited to be able to get back to researching the Tucker family line, and continue transcription of my great grandmother's journals as well as transcribing the history of the Jacksonville Community Church.

So, what has taken me away? I am in the process of finishing my first mystery novel. Have been seriously working on it for the past year, and am now in the final (I hope) editing stage. 

The other distraction for the last month has been filling my role as organizer/ point person for our genealogy club's October Fall Lecture Series. That was held yesterday at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg. We had over 100 people register, and had to cut off registrations early last week. We ran two tracks of sessions from Skill Building with national speaker Sharon Hodges, to Genetic Genealogy: DNA by another national speaker, Shannon Combs-Bennett. One of our members presented on Genealogy meets Social Media. Other sessions went into Burned County Research Methodology, Researching African American ancestors, and Getting the most from Family Search and Stephen Morse websites.

When the speaker asked the 80+ people sitting in the session on Family Search and Stephen Morse, how many used, I was the ONLY one to raise my hand! When I was a baby genealogist, SteveMorse was my go-to for finding New York City births and marriages. It was amazing to me that so many people are not aware of his site. It has so much great information.

I was pleased when several of the speakers stressed: Do not put online or publish any information about living people. If you want to put your own information out there, fine. You do not have the right to make anyone else's information available to the public. 

Anything found on the Internet is ONLY a clue. Do your own research, and verify, verify, verify.

Cite your sources as you go. Use timelines.

Take caution when posting vacation photos. If you say your whole family is at Disneyworld, everyone will know your house is empty. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Genealogists to the Rescue!

A Facebook post I received this morning called for help:

FB friends, we need help! We bought this cedar chest at an estate sale and found it had a hidden drawer underneath. In it was a stack of letters, drawing of a house, marriage license and birth certificate. The letters are addressed to Arlise Mord at Methodist Hospital in Sioux City and are from 1947. They are postmarked from Wausau, NE. There are also letters from Arlise to Stanley W. Anderson in Sioux City. There are baccalaureate and commencement notices from the School of Nursing, 1949. Arlise's birth certificate (Mar. 7, 1928) to Arthur Emanuel Mord and Esther Helen Larson (maiden name). He was a farmer in Wausau. The wedding license is for Arlise and Stanley (am guessing the letters were their courtship while she was in nursing school.) Everyone loves a "happily ever after", so PLEASE SHARE THIS, we would love to give it all back to their families!

Immediately after posting this I had time to do a quick Findagrave search. Arlise Anderson came up with a full obituary.  Wow - wish my family were that easy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

AncestryHealth and AncestryDNA

A recent Genealogy In Time article about Ancestry’s future growth strategy caught our attention. What was most disturbing is that Ancestry has sold its DNA sequences to Calico, a Google affiliated company. Here is the 2013 announcement about Calico.

“MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – September 18, 2013 – Google today announced Calico, a new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases. Arthur D. Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech and Chairman of Apple, will be Chief Executive Officer and a founding investor.

Announcing this new investment, Larry Page, Google CEO said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art—one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation—to take this new venture forward.” Art said: “I’ve devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry’s focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I’m tremendously excited about what’s next.”

We don’t doubt the philosophy behind this company – quality of life – is an important one. What concerns us is the privacy issue. Not only will over a million people who have had their DNA tested through Ancestry have their sequence available to another company, that information is accompanied by extensive family trees. And who else might gain access to this information?

We think it would have been a much better idea if Ancestry had first gotten permission from those who had had their DNA tested through that site. But then, it is about money.