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Monday, September 15th, 2014
4:44 am - Obit lookup request: Catherine (Brennan) Shannon

I'm trying to locate an obit for my gg grandaunt, Catherine Brennan Shannon. She died 2 April 1932 in Alameda County, California.

She was the widow of John Shannon, who'd died in 1924 in San Luis Obispo.

Any help gratefully accepted!

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Saturday, August 16th, 2014
2:13 pm - Horrible Death

KYVR_7017497-2857Hey all. I am hoping to get some help, if it's possible. Being unable to travel at the moment (school is back in session), I've found myself hitting a sort of brick wall with an event that happened in Boyd county, Kentucky on February 25, 1925. All I have is my 3xgreat uncle's death certificate to go by, and even that is difficult to read.

What I am able to make out is that his right arm was torn off by belt, a fracture to right..., and that he died 18 hours after the accident due to shock and hemorrhaging. I've looked on newspaper archives available online to try and locate an article about the accident, if there is one, but came up empty handed.

So questions: What is the full description of what happened to cause Benjamin's death? Where might be a good place to find out about what happened (travel works too, I just can't travel until spring break)? Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated!

current mood: anxious

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Monday, August 4th, 2014
4:00 pm - Kindle Unlimited - A Gift to Genealogists?

Another resource that has just "opened up" in a big way is genealogy books in ebook format.

Amazon recently introduced its Kindle Unlimited program, which allows you to borrow and read as many Kindle ebooks as you like, for $9.95 a month. I wonder if genealogists have grasped what a godsend KU may be. Here's why:

In the genealogy section of the Kindle ebook store on Amazon, along with the how-to-climb-your-family-tree books, there's a huge number of reference and raw-data collections, from histories of specific families to ships' records, newspaper abstracts, etc. The problem with such books in the past has been that you didn't know until after you purchased one (whether a print or a digital copy) if it contained information relevant to your own research.

With Kindle Unlimited, this pig-in-a-poke problem vanishes.

Here's what you could do to further your research without gambling on books that may or may not have anything of use in them (to you). With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you could borrow ten genealogy ebooks (the maximum allowed at one time). Then you could flip through them, or use your Kindle device's search feature, to find any information of use to you. If you don't find anything, then you can simply return them and borrow ten more.

I know that these days, there are tons of information for ancestor hunters available for free or for a subscription fee at the dedicated genealogy websites such as

But there's still a lot of data locked up in various small-press books and books by individuals writing their own family's story. Kindle Unlimited gives us genealogists a virtually cost-free way to unlock those books -- at least the ones that have been committed to ebook format (and you might be surprised how many there are).

By the way, you don't even need a Kindle device to read Kindle books. You can download a free Kindle reading app for your smartphone or laptop that will do the trick. (Also BTW, I do NOT work for Amazon.)

(3 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, March 13th, 2014
10:06 am - Sweden -- identifying location

If any of you out there are in Sweden, or have studied Sweden, this question is for you.

I'm transcribing my father's notes and I've come across something I'm not confident of, and Google is not helping. I have someone who was born in Aby <something>, Berga, Kronoberg,Sweden.  The <something> looks like Lateri or Latevi, but I can't be sure. Does this sound familiar to anyone?


(7 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
4:36 pm - Poll on Genealogists and Information

Hello, genealogy! I've been researching my family history for several years now and recently returned to school to (hopefully!) become a genealogy librarian one day.

In my studies right now, I've been asked to learn about how a specific group of people use information. It seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about genealogists!

I'm informally gathering some thoughts about how family historians find and use information. So, I'm hoping some of you will be able to help me! I've created a poll on my journal and I'm hoping you will take a few moments to fill it out and share your thoughts.

There are 11 questions total, with a lot of options, and you can feel free to answer any or all of them. If you run out of space in the text boxes, find yourself checking "other" a lot, or just want to elaborate on something, please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments. If you want to participate but feel something you'd like to say is private, feel free to PM me.

Thank you!

Link to the Poll on my LJ

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Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
10:36 pm - Census look up request, Ontario, Canada, 1891

There's a 2 year old John English in Perth, Lanark Co, Ontario, that I can find on, but they have the 1891 set up so I can't see other members of the household.

If anyone could help, I'd appreciate it.

I think this may be the son of John Joseph English and Ann McGlade (who died 6 months after her son's birth), but don't know, really.

thank you!

(4 comments | comment on this)

Monday, December 30th, 2013
11:44 pm - Dead Ends...

Feel like just throwing this out there and see if it triggers anything. One branch is just throwing me for a loop. Also has to do somewhat with the picture I posted a few weeks ago (well, the identified one at any rate).

Identified lady, Martha Holmes, married Anthony King b. 25 Feb 1786 in Rhode Island; d. 14 Feb 1851 in Grattan, Kent County, Michigan. They had George, Alzada, Alanson, Sally, Nancy, Malinda, Harriet, Roxana, and Franklin between 1810 and 1831. All kids except the last were born in Chenango County, New York (I suspect all in Norwich). There are two children I haven't identified. The family then moved to Sterling, Macomb, Michigan in 1830. Completely stuck in New York. There are a couple King families from Rhode Island that settled in Norwich, but they appear to be well documented which makes me wonder if my Anthony was a nephew or cousin that followed family over. So, there's that.

Martha and Anthony King's daughter, Sally, married a man called Andrew Davison. I'm stuck on Andrew, too.  He was born abt 1806 in Connecticut according to census records. Doesn't show up in the Barbour Collection, so I have no idea where.  I just noticed there was an Andrew and Sally Davison who were married in 1837 in Delaware County, Indiana. Andrew was granted land in Sterling, Macomb County, Michigan in 1833. Not sure why they would marry in Indiana, but there was one other Davison that married in 1836. Thought there may be a connection there. Maybe. Maybe not. Children names are: George, Nancy, William, James, Sarah, and Nellie.

PicturesCollapse )

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10:27 am - It seemed at first that my site had been hijacked

Will write more on this, later.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Sunday, December 15th, 2013
3:43 am - Some (23&Me) DNA Humor


(I will edit in the video in a bit in the hopes of getting around the "getting stuck in the queue" thing when it comes to links, but if that doesn't work, I'll stick it into the comments and unscreen myself) Yay, it worked.

This is in Norwegian (it's from a comedy talk/sketch show), but there are English subtitles available.  Click on the CC (closed captioning) button if the English subtitles don't automatically come up (ETA: The CC button doesn't show up on the embedded video until you start playing it.).  It looks like Youtube has added the ability to have those captions translated as well, so if you wanted, say, German or Spanish subs, you could do that too.  They just might be very a crappy translation, though.

To give some background:  the blonde guy behind the desk (Bard) and the dark haired guy sitting on the right in the office-style chair (Vegard) are brothers (full biological ones, I believe).  The blonde-haired guy on the left (Calle) is unrelated to the other two, AFAIK.

Although when I was looking for this video again to get all the stuff for this post, I came across a few recent ones that said that the FDA has told 23&Me to stop doing health-related DNA tests (I don't know if that's true or not), so this may be something that you can no longer recreate with your brothers/sisters/friends for fun and in the spirit of potentially one upping each other, if you were just dying to do so.  (ETA:  According to actionhero, you can still do this, but you'd have to upload your raw DNA data to for $5 to get the health info.)

(14 comments | comment on this)

Saturday, December 14th, 2013
12:06 am - No source family trees

Recently I've been contacted by a lady who claims her husband is related to my g g g grandmother. She was very excited to talk to me about her 'research' and the relatives she's found in America (We're in the UK).

She gave me access to her tree on Ancestry and she has little or no sources to back up her tree. I've tried my best to link her husband to my family but I can't do it, there are too many alternatives and blanks. I asked her if she has any documents but she doesn't buy certificates to back up her claims and relies on those 'shaky leaves'. Actually her family tree reads like a fantasy page not a family tree, with links on individual pages that have no basis on the person they are suppose to be related to.

Truthfully, I'm not sure how to say I can't link our families without documentation and I'm not spending money on non-direct family links. Fortunately I gave her my gmail and I don't read that (and I just found out she sent me spam mail - I shouldn't be surprise XD).

I've taken leaps of faith before, putting something down before getting documentation or finding documents to back up what I've found but I really can't put anything on if I'm not sure.

How are you on the no-proof - no-inclusion on a family tree and, if you use Ancestry - how much do you look at those shaky leaves?

(21 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, December 8th, 2013
3:37 pm - This went viral

My husband's church (well, I guess it's mine, too, by default)

Whoever thought this little congregation would make the New York Daily News?

They did locate the Texas descendant after the article was posted. She doesn't like to travel in winter, so she's planning to come to Michigan in the spring and they will give her the letter in a special ceremony.

They also spoke to some relatives in New Mexico and here in Michigan, but I believe the other ones were distant cousins. The Texas woman is a direct descendant and the letter will go to her.

Apparently two of the three are quite interested in art. Interesting.

(3 comments | comment on this)

Saturday, December 7th, 2013
2:51 pm

I was just sent a photo of a lady who is confirmed to be my 5th (!!!!!!) great grandmother.  I scanned a bunch of older photos from my great aunt and another lady resembles her quite a bit.  Presented together below. I think they're the same, but I'd like to have opinions one way or the other.

Also, what would you call what these two figures are wearing on their heads?  Another thing that leads me to believe they're one in the same, but I don't recall ever seeing anything like it before.

(18 comments | comment on this)

Monday, November 11th, 2013
8:18 am - Mundia

I only heard about Mundia yesterday - didn't even know it existed.  I googled to try and find the purpose of Mundia, which isn't really working for me anyways, and I see the entries are 3 years old.  Obviously I've missed the boat here.
Can anyone shed light on what Mundia is and why I would want to use it?  I'm a paid subscriber on Ancestry, but Mundia gives me error messages.  Is it still active?  It says beta, but that means it's been 3 years in Beta?

(4 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
4:40 am - organizing

Hello genealogy, I get the feeling that I've found about all I'm going to find about my family history. That's the wrong attitude but, I haven't done that badly; maybe someday more records will become available or I'll get on a TV show and they will use their unlimited resources to find out what I haven't been able to! I look at my two file boxes and I see how unorganized I am and look that as my next challenge. At this time my children have little to no interest in this and maybe they never will. I'm hoping that someday someone will find my work relevant but it would be a lot easier if it was accessible and not a wild collection of manila folders.

How do I organize my stuff? Where do I put a copy from a city directory showing where my grand parent lived in 1896? Should every individual get a folder, should folders be organized by surname, something else than folders? - I'm really clueless on this.

Any help about what you do would be - helpful.

If I don't respond to anything, it may be because my computer is on it's last legs.

Thank you.

(10 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, October 20th, 2013
10:07 am - Genealogy Interest Poll

I've done a poll on genealogy interest (or lack thereof) here

(3 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
1:19 pm - new here and in need of help

Hi. I need help to find info on my great-great grandfather. I have his name and birth date but i am very very insecure about the birth place. According to a family member of mine he was born in Groß Legden in East Prussia but when i look it up online there's only a place called Groß Lengden and that's in Saxony. I am, to say it mildly, confused. The East Prussia-part I am pretty sure of, since i was told as a child that my great granddad was from Königsberg (He's not. He was born in Haderslev, Denmark. But i am guessing that whoever told me this as a child just got the generation wrong?).
How should i proceed from here? I am from Denmark and have no clue as to how the archive-stuff works in Germany. Are there online parish registrations in Germany? Or how does it work?

in Denmark you can look in online parish registrations up to 1960 so it's easy for me to find out stuff about my Danish ancestors but it seems that it will be harder to find stuff in Germany. I am sorry if this entry is a bit confusing... but i am confused myself. Lol

Btw. If anyone needs help to find ancestors in Denmark i'd be happy to see if i can help you out :)

(11 comments | comment on this)

Monday, September 23rd, 2013
10:01 pm - 1910 US Census look up?

I'm trying to get more information on Thaddeus McIntyre and family, living in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio in 1910.

Thaddeus born ~1855 in Ireland. Wife Margaret born about 1868 in Ireland. Children Thomas, Margaret, Andrew, and John.

I'd like to know if the street address for their home is shown and what Thaddeus's occupation is, as well as the children's.


(2 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, August 18th, 2013
7:16 pm - I need help breaking through a wall

I need some help breaking through a wall in my research, perhaps someone can help me with ideas/suggestions/hints?

I am looking for any and all info on Abner Trimble, father of John A. Trimble. I know John A. was born 10 Oct 1819 in Franklin County, OH, and died 14 April 1893 in Mononoa County, IA.

From a census record, I found out that his father (Abner) was born in England, and his mother (Polly or Mary) was born in Germany. I got the parents' names as Abner Trimble and Polly Hawthorne from a brief bio of John A., which indicated that both parents died while he was an infant. I had previously found records indicating that Abner served in the War of 1812 with a company from Ohio (Capt Bartholomew Fryatt's company, 27 Apr - 30 June 1812). Recently, I managed to locate a marriage record from Franklin County, OH for Abner Trimble and Mary Maythorn, dated 12 April 1814.

And that's all I have - no birth, no death, no immigration, nada. I keep finding mention of an Abner Trimble who was buried in French Guinana or some such, but I have no reason to believe he ever left the USA once he arrived.

Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.


(12 comments | comment on this)

5:48 pm

Anyone here have any access to resources or tips on how to go about Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania and Orange County, New York?  The Orange County Genealogical Society is backlogged and expensive.  Being on the west coast, I just don't have the resources or time to go out there.  I'm pretty sure a one-way plane ticket was the cost of a few hours of research.  Other than a few run of the mill pages, I haven't been able to find a whole lot of resources for Susquehanna either.

I don't know if I've posted about this before, but I'm looking for Smiths—John Smiths galore and a William Smith. Think I might have, but it doesn't hurt to have another look, I suppose.

My 4th great grandma was Abigail (Smith) Little who married Levi Little.  Most of what I know comes straight off her headstone:

My theory is that her parents are John and Suzanah (went by Susan) Smith who married at the First Presbyterian Church at Goshen, New York on 7 Jul 1792.  Estimated John's dates to be b. abt 1770 and d. abt 1812 and Susan I believe is buried at the Community Cemetery in Monroe, Orange, New York (really hard to read from this photo, but it looks like it says wife of John Smith on there:

Any ideas? I know Smiths are not impossible——difficult, but not impossible! ;)

My William Smith was born about 1785 in Pennsylvania.  Know he was settled in Susquehanna for quite a while.  Have no other locations for him.  Married a Jennie or Jemima.  Guessing Jennie, since a bunch of the grandkids are named Jennie down the line.

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Friday, July 5th, 2013
2:03 pm - Talk about Lucky!

I was very successful, in a fairly short period of time, in finding out what happened to some of the descendants of my maternal great-grandfather's siblings (Grandma's father).I was quite surprised at how easy it was, for that branch of the family. Subsequently, I've tried to track down information about other branches of the family, and haven't learned much about the others yet.

How did I get so lucky with these particular relatives? It all boils down to two individuals.

The first person is the man who wrote a book, Descendants of Thomas Pier, and had it published through one of those genealogy publishing houses. The book is still in print, but I have yet to order a copy. The author, now deceased, got a lot of his information from military records and from the New England genealogy society. Cool, I thought. I also found out that those cousins joined the LDS Church, and LDS members are interested in family history. I'm not LDS, but everyone is on this Earth for a reason and I'm glad those distant cousins are around! ;) They live in the Pacific Northwest.

A United Methodist guy picked up where the author left off. He's still living, as far as I know. From what I can tell he's related to me by marriage. He researched his wife's family as well as his own blood relative.It looks as though he and the book author might have exchanged tidbits of information. I'm not sure if they ever met in RL. He had a website about the Piers which was quite old when I found it, by Internet standards. The man hadn't worked on the website for several years; there were some inaccuracies, but I think most of it was spot on. The site has since been taken over by another family and all of the info is changed. His wife did not accept my FB request, so I had to let that go.

Well, maybe I should order a copy of the book while I still can. I'm glad I started my search when I did, before the website expired. Had I not found the website, I wouldn't know about the book! Some of the descendants live nearby, as it turns out. I got to meet two of them in person. We had lunch together. Nice!

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