September 3, 2015

Periscope Video: Showing a Finished Family Tree Book Created on Shutterfly

2:12 p.m. Eastern Time
LIVE on #Periscope: Showing a finished family tree book using Shutterfly

This video is now on Periscope TV for the next 24 hours. You can also find it on my Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel as Shutterfly Tutorial 4: Finished Family Tree Book

Review: The 15 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists

Review: The 15 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists
My good friend and fellow genealogist Thomas MacEntee has published another great book.

The book is entitled The 15 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists and is available at Amazon Canada at  The 15 Habits of Highly Frugal Genealogists

The full price is $3.95 CAN/$2.99 USD but it will be available for FREE download starting Friday 4 September 2015 through Sunday 6 September 2015

You can also find this book at

Anybody can read Kindle books even without a Kindle device with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets, and computers.  

Reading the book last night I was amazed at how many tips and ideas Thomas has for saving money on genealogy-related items. 

I wish I'd known about #24 and #29 last week! That's right, I said 24 and 29 because Thomas didn't stop at 15 tips. There are 33 helpful tips in total. 

Mark your calendars for September 4 and make sure you take advantage of this FREE offer! 


September 2, 2015

FREE 170 Million Wills & Probate Records on Ancestry!

FREE 170 Million Wills Now on Ancestry!
Wow! just published over 100 million wills written in the United States in the last 300 years for genealogists to search. More than 170 million pages from the largest collection of wills and probate records in the United States is now available online exclusively on Ancestry. 

With searchable records included from all 50 states spread over 337 years (1668-2005), this unprecedented collection launches a new category of records for family history research never before available online at this scale the United States.   

Until now, these records have only been available offline. Ancestry spent more than two years bringing this collection online, working with hundreds of different archives from individual state and local courts across the country and making a $10M investment to license and digitize the records. The documents cover well over 100 million people, including the deceased as well as their family, friends and others involved in the probate process. Ancestry expects to continue to grow the collection, with additional records available over the next several years.

To celebrate the launch of the new U.S. Wills and Probates collection on Ancestry,, the collection along with all U.S. birth, marriage and death records, will be available to explore for FREE, September 2 (12pm MT) through September 7 (10pm MT). 

Here are the records available as of today:

September 1, 2015

The Problem of Family Not Wanting Your Genealogy Research

The Problem of Family Not Wanting Your Genealogy Research
Several years ago I came to the realization that no one in my immediate family wants my 40 plus years of research on our genealogy. A few are mildly interested in hearing the more exciting stories of blacksheep ancestors or famous relatives or an intriguing mystery. No one but me does actual research into our ancestors. 

That means that my binders and file folders full of documents and charts are not something anyone is going to take and preserve when I'm gone. I'm sure many of you are facing the same problem. So...what to do?

My solution has been to create family books for each surname. I keep them short, no more than 30 pages for each book. Some surnames have multiple volumes and each volume is for one generation including children. These books are what I call "Coffee Table" books, meant to be picked up and thumbed through casually. Not all documents are included because that would turn into a book consisting of hundreds of pages! 

After publishing them on Shutterfly I give them as gifts at Christmas. That is one way the family stories and research might be preserved for future generations. If you are unfamiliar with Shutterfly I have a tutorial on using it on my Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel.

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 1)

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 2)

Creating a Memory Book in Shutterfly (Tutorial 3)

Another solution I use is to create books for sale to other descendants. Since I tend to research all siblings in a family I can often provide details, facts and documents on a large number of family members for each generation. I use Createspace for those books which then are made available on Amazon. See my list of books I have published here.  Money I make from these sales helps offset my expenses in subscribing to online companies for their databases. 

I also donate a copy of any books I create to local archives or libraries where the family settled.  This helps ensure that even more descendants will have access to my research in the future.

How have you overcome the problem of your family not wanting your genealogy records?

August 31, 2015

Are You on Social Media Channels?

Are You on Social Media Channels?
My Twitter Page
Are You on Social Media Channels? If not, you might want to have a peek at some. You could be quite surprised at how many genealogists can be found on various sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram,  Google+ and Periscope (and LinkedIn but it's more business oriented)

I am all of the above. They are great for making connections with other genealogists and if you are trying to generate any kind of income from your genealogy pursuits, they are a must.

My Instagram Page Today
Each Social Media channel has its own flavor and rules. Facebook for example is more casual where Twitter is a bit more formal (and you are constrained by a limit of how many characters can be each of your tweets or updates). Periscope is streaming video which you create yourself to show your followers or you are the watcher, and there are some intriguing "scopes" out there! Instagram relies on photos to capture other people's attention.

If you want to check out these Social Media Channels, here's where I can be found:

My Facebook Page
So come on over to one of my channels (or all of them if you want!), check them out and join me. Say hello once you get there, I'd love to see you. I am most often found on Twitter and Facebook but I am on Pinterest, Instagram and Periscope daily. 

August 30, 2015

Nursing Sister WW1 Photo Album: 28V Sisters in Mess Tent check flowers

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One. 

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.

Nursing Sister WW1 Photo Album: 28V Sisters in Mess Tent check flowers

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page.

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"

Tonight's Episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Tom Bergeron

Tonight's Episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Tom Bergeron
This Sunday, August 30 at 9/8c TLC will air TV host’s Tom Bergeron’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?

In the episode, Tom Bergeron sets out to unravel the murky history of his paternal roots. Tracing back over 400 years, he uncovers the dramatic story of his 10x great-grandparents, who endured brutal warfare and starvation in France. Then Tom follows their daughter, who was orphaned as a teenager and bravely set off across the Atlantic, playing a significant role in establishing the New World.

Brought to us by TLC with, the world’s largest online family history resource, teaming up again as a sponsor, Who Do You Think You Are? takes celebrities on a journey to discover their roots. 

Image credit: TLC

August 29, 2015

Book Giveaway! The History of Grenfell Saskatchewan

Good morning everyone! I have been de-cluttering my home for a few days now and came across two books I no longer want. This book is called

Grit Growth: The Story of Grenfell
author:A.I. Yule
Published by Grenfell Historical Committee 1980

There is a handwritten family tree inside for REEVE, Elliin/Ellim? Farms, Grenfell Saskatchewan starts with Charles Reeve born 1880 Birmingham England
This book is 347 pages with an index and is in very good condition.

There is a handwritten inscription "To Cousin Millicent with love from Olive Gay and all cousins at Grenfell Saskatchewan. March 1981" (Millicent was Millicent Lynn, mother of the Mayor of Midland Ontario)

Here's the deal - I'm giving this book away FREE. Yep that's right. The first person to contact me at olivetreegenealogyATgmailDOTcom will be the lucky recipient. 

All I ask is that you agree to pay for shipping but a caveat is that sending mail from Canada is expensive. Using Canada Post online I estimate this book will cost about $17.00 to ship. I will need your postal or zip code to calculate a more accurate cost.

August 28, 2015

Periscope Video of Antique Photos: My Collection of Ambrotypes & Daguerreotypes

Periscope Video of Antique Photos: My Collection of Ambrotypes & Daguerreotypes
LIVE on Periscope: Antique photos: my collection of Ambrotypes & Daguereotypes. Watch the saved broadcast for 24 hours on Periscope TV at

Search Alternates to Ships Passenger Lists to Canada Before 1865

Search Alternates to Ships Passenger Lists to Canada Before 1865
Barbara asked about finding a ships passenger list for her great-grandmother Elizabeth Hayes, born 1841 in Newcastle, England.

Read my answer at Search Alternates to Ships Passenger Lists to Canada Before 1865

Legacy Family Tree recently tweeted about my latest blog post  Find Your Ancestor on Ships Passenger Lists to Canada after 1865 at 

Find me on Twitter @LorineMS 


August 27, 2015

How a Toast Rack Keeps a Memory Alive

A Toast Rack Keeps a Memory AliveMy great-grandmother Sarah Jane Simpson, who was born in 1862, owned this toast rack. Sarah lived in Ramsgate England, where she kept a boarding house. I suspect she used this toast rack on the table for her family and boarders.

In Victorian times, toast was made and then placed in a rack to be set out on the table. The toast rack, along with many other small items owned by Sarah, were given to me by my grandmother Ruth Fuller (her daughter). 
The toast rack is safely displayed in one of my China Cabinets but it seems a shame to not put it to use.
David Simpson & Sarah Stead Wedding Day 1862
It is always difficult to know how or even if to use treasured family items but I have figured out a once-a-year use!
Every Christmas I host a large family dinner (30 or more guests). Putting Great-Grandmother's toast rack to use as a napkin holder works well. 
Every time I see the toast rack on my table I think of my grandmother and the talks we used to have. I think of great-grandmother Simpson who I did not know in life but know her through the stories my grandmother told me and the treasures I now hold that once belonged to her.