January 31, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 31

Saturday January 31, 1914

In town. Aft. Meeting at Central Sch. J. brought me home

January 30, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 30

Friday January 30, 1914:

Evening Dance. 18 C--- first, medium and last with Jack. Had a good time. Miss T------Christy[?] Jack brought me home

Finding an Ancestor in Belgium (Part 5): The Latin Records

In Part 1 of my series on Belgium Research I talked about the challenge of finding an ancestor in Belgium Records. In this last post on the series, I will show you the next hurdle we faced - records written in Latin.

A search of the Roman Catholic Church Records of Kuurne in 1749 was successful and we found the marriage of Archie De Meuleunaere's 3rd great grandfather Joannes Franciscus Vereoestraete and Maria Catharina Callewier. But to our surprise the records were in Latin.


Marriage Record 1749
in Kerkelijke registers 1694-1813
 We had gone to attempting to read Flemish to French to Latin in the space of a half-day. But we were  in luck. I took Latin for five years (don't ask why, it's a long story) and even though that was more years ago than I care to say, I remembered a few words. It was enough to spot some words. I'm quite sure that even if a person knew no Latin they could still recognize the words for Marriage, Birth or Death.

And of course most of us will recognize the words "filia" (daughter of) and "filius" (son of) In this record I spotted the name Maria Catharina Callalwiere "filia Petrus Callewiere et Margaritae de groot" (4th line above the signature) So now we knew Maria Catharina's parents' names.

Johannes Franciscus Veroughstraete's parents' names were recorded as Joannes [Veroughstraete] and Anne van Brabant. Johannes Fanciscus was said to be from Pitthem which was another very nice clue.

By taking our time and going very slowly, we were able to find and understand many of the records we needed to find Archie's ancestry in Belgium back several generations. The records are wonderful - very complete and we could have gone further back but I developed a severe headache after a day of struggling to find, read and translate three different languages.

There is much I  could not understand even with the help of a French-English dictionary and a Dutch-English one. But I understood enough to allow us to find names; birth, death and marriage dates and birth, death and marriage locations. We will continue to add details to what we found, and one day we'll continue tracing the Belgium roots even further back in time.

So don't be dismayed by  the challenges. It can be done with perseverance and determination (and some dictionaries!)

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories: Memories of Dad (Week 5)

This is Week 5 of our second set of 52 weeks of topics for readers (and me!) to start a genealogy journal. Please join us for Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey We focus on memories of our parents, grandparents and others. We write for our children and grandchildren, that the memories are not lost over time. I hope you are keeping a journal, whether it is private or public, and joining us as we write our memories.

This week brought back memories of my father. I often think about him. My father died shortly after my 14th birthday. It was Christmas Day and I've talked before on my blog about how painful and difficult Christmas was, and still is, for me. But I want my children and grandchildren to know more than that about my dad. So this week I'm writing about my dad - his character, fun times, what I remember and miss the most. You can take part even if you are lucky enough to still have your father with you.

* What was your father like? Describe him physically. Tell us about his personality.

* What is your favourite memory of your father - maybe a family trip? Maybe it was quality time spent just with your dad?

* What was your dad's occupation?

* Did your father have any hobbies that you remember? What kind of music did he listen to? Did he smoke?

* Where was he born? Who were his parents? Remember you are writing this journal for your descendants and these are all facts they will want to know.

Your children and grandchildren will be thrilled to read the facts about your father but they will also want to know more about him as a person. Did he make dandelion wine? Did he like to cook? My dad loved peanut brittle and used to make it fairly often. I still remember the smell as he baked it in the oven. One of my greatest treasures is the candy thermometer he used!

My dad smoked and his special chair (the DAD chair!) was right beside his little smoking table where his pipes hung. I have that table and it brings back wonderful memories every time I look at it. Dad also smoked cigarettes and used to roll his own. I loved to help, and he would sometimes let me use the cutter after he rolled out the Player's Tobacco into the cigarette paper. Those of course were the days before anyone knew that smoking was bad for your health.

Dad was medium height, and very thin. He loved to socialize and I have hazy memories of him coming home from parties quite happy and jovial. I'm sure a few glasses of his favourite drink added to that festive mood!

He used to go hunting every fall, but never came home with anything. Fishing was another passion. He used to take me with him and we spent many hours together sitting by the river, not talking, just enjoying the quiet. My job was cleaning the fish after we came home and when I was 10 he bought me my own fishing rod. Funny that I have such good memories of our times together fishing but I hate fish and cannot eat it.

Dad also bowled and won many trophies. I wish I had them but my mother got rid of most of Dad's possessions after he died. I remember the year he and my mother (who was also on a bowling league) both won first prizes - turkeys! It was Thanksgiving and that year we had two turkeys - such a treat!

Dad loved dogs and was always bringing home a puppy for us. It really annoyed my mother and it wouldn't take too many months before the current dog would be put down and dad would have strict orders "no more dogs" But a few weeks later he'd come in the front door with a wiggling crying bundle of puppyhood.

Dad was a member of several organizations - the Lion's Club for one. I can't remember exactly what others but I do have some of his membership pins which I managed to grab and hide before my mother tossed everything.

We didn't have a television or a radio but Dad had a small record player which he loved. I grew up listening to show tunes (South Pacific, Oklahoma were a couple I remember, I think I memorized every single song on those records!) and George Formby (Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavour on the Bedpost Overnight is one song that haunts me to this day) as well as some Irish singers whose names I can't recall. My mom didn't care for music in the house so Dad tended to play his records when she was out.

Every night after supper Dad would go to the kitchen sink - one of this big deep white ones, not the stainless steel kind we have now - and pour vinegar into a small shot glass. That went into a larger glass of water and he'd drink it down. He never told me why but I suspect he thought it was good for him, it surely wasn't for the taste! Of course I tried the same thing but it was nasty!

Dad also loved to find properties up north where he might one day build a cottage. So off we'd go in the muggy heat of an Ontario summer to find these sites. Dad would take us as far as he could by car and then we'd head off through the woods - mosquitoes and black files pestering us constantly, sweating in the muggy July heat, with Dad trying to follow the map he had. I was hot and miserable and itching like crazy from all the insect bites. Mother and Dad would argue about the right direction to go. Branches of bushes would snap back and slap at my face as we fought our way through dense forest. We rarely made it to any of the sites and I was always terrified of bears hiding behind trees waiting to jump out at us.

Once my sister and I begged our parents to let us stay in the car after he parked us in the middle of a very dense forest. We sat and waited for hours for mom and dad to return. We were unbearably hot but afraid to open the windows more than a crack, or get out of the car in case there were bears. We had no water so we were extremely thirsty. It was so frightening to me that I actually wished I were in the woods with mom and dad!

What would you like your children and grandchildren to know about your dad? You can share here in the comment section of this blog post, or on Sharing Memories Facebook page or on your own blog or keep it private in a journal. I hope you'll join us!

January 29, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 29

Thursday January 29, 1914

Left school 8:45. Train to Thornton Dale. Tea at Miss Priestman's. Had a fine time. A good class. Dance "Rufty Tufty"

Note: In the back of this tiny diary, Ada has various dances listed, also dance movements and other assorted notes. On Jan. 29, 1914 she notes that the fare she paid to take the train to Thornton Dale that day was "2-5" I assume this is 2 shillings, 5 pence but am not sure

Getting Ready for RootsTech (A Video Story)

RootsTech is coming up soon! Don't miss this Technology-Genealogy Conference from Feb. 10-12 in Salt Lake City, Utah. It's not too late to register.

Since I'm an Official Blogger for RootsTech I'm busy making my preparations for the Conference. So, at hubby's urging, I made a short video which you can see below. My one condition was "No closeups!" This is my (our) first time making something like this, and I'm sure we'll get better as we make more!

I can't believe how awkward and stiff I appear! I'll never make it as a movie star. I'm too self-conscious in front of the camera! Next time I want a stylist and make-up artist...

We will be making more Videos when I'm at the Conference and these will be uploaded to Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel If you want to be notified of new videos, just click the SUBSCRIBE button on my YouTube page. Videos will also be embedded here in the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.

So have a look, and I hope you enjoy my little dog Webley and I talking about RootsTech.

Shoemaker's Ledger, Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Entries Jan. 23-31, 1897-1919


Several years ago I purchased an account book kept by a local shoemaker living in or near the communities of CrossCreek and Ritsey's Cove, Lunenburg Nova Scotia. There are no identifying notations to tell me who the shoemaker was, so I researched the names of his customers found in the book. I found them all living in CrossCreek and Ritsey's Cove so I assume the shoemaker lived nearby.

The entries I read date from 1897 to 1919. There may be some earlier or later - they are not in date order. Whoever kept the account book decided to keep track of money owed and paid by family. Each family has its own page (or pages) and shoe repairs and purchases are noted throughout the years the family used the service.
The shoemaker's ledger book is 17x7 inches and there are 212 pages covering 22 years. Continuing on with Jan. 23-31 entries, all years:

Jan-26 1897 John Risser Pair boots - Morris $2.25


Jan-26 1897 Nathan Hirtle pair boots - John $2.00

Jan-27 1897 David Conrad Pair boots soled, healed - Thom 15 c

Jan-27 1897 David Conrad Pair boots patched - Eldrage 20 c

Jan-28 1898 Henry Knock pair boots repaired 45 c

Jan-28 1898 Zenas Conrad pair boots $5.25

Jan-27 1899 Chemanna Winter's pair boots repaired - Morris 20 c

Jan-30 1900 Henry Garredt pair boots boy $4.00

Jan-25 1900 Daniel Zink of Lewis 1 shoe patched - Mrs. 10 c

Jan-25 1900 Nattie Knock pair shoes soled healed - Bell 55c

Jan-25 1900 Nattie Knock pair shoes repaired - Bell 25c

Jan-27 1900 Freeman Zink pair boots repaired 50c cash. $1.25

Jan-27 1900 Henry Garredt pair boots Willas $5.25

Jan-27 1900 Nattie Knock pair boots $5.25

Jan-29 1900 Eldredge Conrad pair boots soled healed 75c

Jan-29 1900 John Knock Pair shoes repaired - girl 60c

Jan-31 1901 Obadiah Zink pair boots soled 35c

Jan-23 1901 Nathan Hirtle pair shoes - Mrs. $1.75

Jan-25 1901 James Risser pair boots patched - Alton 25c

Jan-29 1901 David Conrad pair shoes - Mrs. $2.50

Jan-29 1901 Thomas Conrad pair shoes soled healed 70c

Jan-29 1901 Uriah Mosman pair boots - Simon $5.50

Jan-26 1909 Solomon Creeser pair shoes patched - Mrs. 15c

Jan-24 1910 Albert Wentzel pair shoes soled healed - Mrs. 45c

Jan-24 1910 Benjam Ritcey 1 boot patched - Leota 15c

Jan-24 1910 Stephen Ritcey Pair shoes repaired 10c

Jan-26 1910 Freeman Himmelman pair shoes soled healed - Perl 40c

Jan-26 1910 Melburn Lohnes pair shoes soled healed 75c

Jan-26 1910 Samuel Ritcey pair shoes repaired - Russel 10c

Jan-27 1910 Aseph Conrad pair shoes soled healed patched - Freddie 65c

Jan-28 1910 Freeman Himmelman pair shoes soled healed - Perl 40c

Jan-31 1911 Edward Creaser Est. pair of shoes repaired for Bertie $.25

Jan-31 1911 Harry Godley pair shoes repaired - Kenneth 25c

Jan-23 1911 Harry Godley pair shoes soled healed repaired 45c

Jan-24 1911 Archibald Conrad 1 shoe repaired - girl 15c

Jan-24 1911 Aseph Conrad pair shoes soled healed - Freddie 65c

Jan-24 1911 Thomas Ritcey pair shoes healed 25c

Jan-26 1911 Aseph Conrad 1 shoe repaired - Mrs. 10c

Jan-27 1911 Daniel Lohnes pair shoes healed - Mina 15c

Jan-28 1911 Josiah Wentzel one piece of leather $.25

Jan-28 1911 Solomon Creeser pair shoes repaired 40c

Jan-24 1912 Freeman Creeser pair shoes patched - May 10c

Jan-25 1912 Milton Ritcey pair overboots soled heeled 85c

Jan-27 1912 Samuel Ritcey harness job 10c

Jan-30 1913 Ritchard S. Lohnes pair shoes repaired - Libbie 15x

Jan-24 1913 Naman Wentzel pair shoes repaired - Mother 20c

Jan-25 1913 Benjiman Wentzel pair shoes repared - Eley 15c

Jan-29 1913 Ellen Conrad pair shoes healed 15c

Jan-29 1913 Samuel Ritcey pair shoes soled healed - Freda 40c

Jan-29 1913 Thomas Ritcey pair shoes soled healed - Dora 40c

Jan-30 1914 Daniel Lohnes 1 rubber repaired - Dora 10c

Jan-31 1914 Alven Creaser pair Caregon bottomed $1.50

Jan-31 1914 Samuel Ritcey a boot patched 10c

Jan-23 1914 Aseph Conrad pair boots soled heeled 90c

Jan-29 1914 Ritchard S. Lohnes pair shoes soled - Seasel [sic - should be Cecil?] 65c

Jan-30 1915 Daniel Ritcey pair shoes soled healed - Boy 80c

Jan-30 1915 William Woolf pair shoes soled heeled sewed - Merlean 80c

Jan-23 1915 Enas Smith pair shoes repaired Emly 25c

Jan-28 1915 Edward Creaser Est 1 shoe repaired - Ethel 15c

Jan-28 1915 Willet Creaser pair of boots soled and heeled one dollar

Jan-29 1915 Henry Creeser, carpenter pair boots soled 65c

Jan-29 1915 Solomon Creaser pair shoes shheeled - Clara 15c

Jan-31 1916 Charles Ritcey 1 shoe repaired - Mrs 15c

Jan-24 1916 Ritchard Lohnes Capt 1 shoe patched - Ronald 10c

Jan-28 1916 Alvin Creaser pair shoes soled heeled - Donald 45c

Jan-29 1916 Ritchard Lohnes Capt 1 shoe patched - Ronald 10c

Jan-24 1917 Solomon Creaser pair shoes repaired - Mrs. 25c

Jan-25 1917 Ritchard S. Lochnes putting on skates 10c

Jan-23 1918 Ritchard Lohnes Capt pair shoes soled heeled - Rhonald $1.00

Jan-25 1918 Harry Godley one shoe repaired - boy 15c

Jan-29 1918 Reuben Ritcey pair shoes soled heeled - Wallas $1.40

Jan-30 1919 Archibald Conrad one shoe soled - boy 25c

Jan-24 1919 Charles Ritcey pair boots patched - Harry 45c

Jan-24 1919 Gabriel Himmelman hair cut - Paul 25c

January 28, 2011

Win a $20,000 Journey to Your Homeland!


Who Do You Think You Are Season 2 Sweepstakes
Enter for a chance to win a $20,000 journey to your family's homeland from Ancestry.com.

I hope you've marked your calendars for Feb. 4, 2011! Season 2 of Who Do You Think You Are is about to start. You could win an amazing journey of your own by entering the $20,000 journey on Ancestry.com.

One week from today you can watch Episode 1: Vanessa Williams learns about the extraordinary lives of her trailblazing ancestors. February 4th, 8/7c

Episode 2: Tim McGraw discovers his family's surprising role in settling
the early American frontier. February 11th, 8/7c

Tune in throughout the rest of the season to watch Kim Cattrall, Rosie O'Donnell, Lionel Richie, Steve Buscemi, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd reveal their family stories.

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 28

Wednesday January 28, 1914


Evening J. took me too Spa Concert. Charles Tree & Frederic Dawson. A fine time. Reserved seats & [?] [?]

January 27, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 27

Tuesday January 27, 1914

Sch. Evening Club. Jimmie met Win afterwards. They are making it up

Finding an Ancestor in Belgium (Part 4): The French Republican Calendar

In my previous post on Belgium Research I told of finding a record for Emmanuel Blomme which began with a date. This date read

"on the 18th of Frimaire in the 8th year of the French Republic"

I did not know I'd wandered into the confusing world of the French Republican Calendar which was used in territories ruled by France from October 1793 to December 1805. Luckily we were researching in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and I was able to find a good guide to this calendar.

You will need a guide if you find yourself reading records based on this calendar.

MONTHS: The 12 months of the French Republican calendar do not correspond to our standard months January through to December. The months are based on natural events of the season. So there are 3 autumn months, 3 winter months, 3 spring months and 3 summer months. In French the months are

Autumn: Vendemiaire; Brumaire; Frimaire
Winter: Nivose; Pluviose; Ventose
Spring: Germinal; Floreal; Prairial
Summer: Messidor; Thermidor/Fervidor; Fructidor

Depending what country you are searching in, these months will be recorded in the language of that country (German, Dutch, Italian, Latin or French)

YEARS: Years are counted from the start of the French Republic (which learned was 22 September 1792) So I calculated that meant Wyant Emmanuel's record "....in the 8th year of the French Republic" should equate to 1792+8 or 1800.

But in the French Republic Calendar every year has 12 months and each month has 30 days exactly. Every 4 years (starting with the 3rd year of the Republic) an extra day was added. These extra days have their own special names.

There are only two leap years - 1796 and 1804. I found it very confusing!

Luckily the Family History Library Research Guide has a wonderful calculator. You must first find the day of the French month in one column then look across the page to the French month. There you find the standard month and day.

Then you return to the top of the calendar calculator and convert the French Republican year given in the record to a Calendar Number.

Then you turn to the correct Calendar (there are four in the guide) and convert the French Republican year to an actual date. It takes time but you can do it.

I was trying to convert "the 18th of Frimaire in the 8th year of the French Republic"

Using the Guide instructions, I looked up the  French Republican Year 8 in Calendar Three. The conversion was 1799.

Next I found FRIM. (abbreviation for Frimaire) and looking down the column under FRIM I stopped at 18. Remember I needed 18th of Frimaire. That converted to 9 December in our calendar.


Thus I could convert the record for Wyant Emmanuel from

"the 18th of Frimaire in the 8th year of the French Republic" to 9 December, 1799


In Part 5 of my series on Belgium Research we will delve into Church records recorded in Latin.

January 26, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 26

Jan. 26, 1914


Monday. School Evening Sch. of Art. J. waited for me. Brought me home. Mrs Wellburn to supper

Who's Your Daddy?!!

A few days ago I found out that I might have followed the wrong ancestral line on my Mother's English ancestry. I was contacted by another researcher who has different parents for my 3rd great-grandmother Betsey Norman born circa 1822 in Devon England. Does that mean she's right and I'm wrong? Not necessarily but....

My new-found contact has well-documented sources for Betsey and her family (spouse and children). So do I. We agree on our findings in Devon England census records from 1851 on. But I've never found Betsey in 1841. New-found contact has found a Betsey Norman in 1841 who could be my Betsey. Problem is that 1841 Betsey is with a different father than I have for her. And my new-found contact doesn't have any other proof of parents. So who is correct?

One other tiny piece of circumstantial evidence weighing in on the side of my new-found contact is that Betsey did name a son Nicholas which is the name of the father in that 1841 census record. Her other son was named after William's father so that's something to consider.

I opened my FTM program to look at what I have for Betsey and her parents. I haven't looked at this line in over 15 years so had to refresh my memory. Where did I obtain her parents' names? Ah, I see. About 20 years ago I searched through the Brixham Parish Records (Brixham being the place of birth Betsey gave in all the census records I found for her) In those records I found a Betsey born at the right time and assumed this was my Betsey. Perhaps it was but I never did try to find other proof!

Hmm. How did I make that very basic error of assuming without having more proof that the church Betsey was MY Betsey? Well - in my defense it was over 20 years ago. I wasn't as careful back then to not leap to conclusions without more proof, and I wasn't as experienced a researcher as I am now. It also was not very easy to obtain those English records as I can't easily order into a Family History Library. Okay enough excuses! I may have goofed.

Then I spotted something else of interest in my Family Tree Maker genealogy program. Betsey married her husband William Henry Williams around 1847. But I don't have their marriage record! Wow, I actually forgot that I didn't have it. Twenty years ago, obtaining a birth, death or marriage from England was difficult. You had to get the filmed indexes (remember I don't have a nearby FHL to order film), then find your ancestor's name and then find someone living in England to obtain the full record for you.

The FHL in Salt Lake City had a retrieval system for a few years where you could pay for one of their volunteers to obtain the actual record after you found what you needed in the microfilmed indexes. Unfortunately I didn't find out about that until a few years before that service ended.  I am guessing that I simply forgot I didn't have Betsey and William's marriage record.

Now we are fortunate to have FreeBMD to search the transcribed indexes and the ability to order the actual certificates online from GRO (General Register Office)  for England & Wales. What a boon! Even though it is a bit expensive to order a certificate now (GRO recently raised their prices from 7 L to 9.50L which converts to about $15.00 Canadian) it is well worth it if you are searching your UK ancestry.

And of course that 1847 marriage will seal it once and for all as to who Betsey's father is. Was I right to assume the birth in the Brixham church records was my Betsey? I'll let you know once the certificate arrives! I ordered it on Monday.

You'd think I'd be upset that the research I did on the parents I had for my Betsey might prove to be wrong. But I'm not. I'm actually kind of excited thinking that maybe I've got brand new lines to research! What fun! And I've reminded myself of an important lesson or two:

1. Don't assume, find more proof to substantiate what you find in one source.

2. Review your research a few times a year! I'd completely forgotten that I didn't have that 1847 marriage and could have obtained it a few years ago had I remembered.

Lesson learned and now to wait anxiously for that marriage record.

January 25, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 25

Jan 25, 1914

Sunday. Noon walk with Pa. Aft and eve. stayed in

Guess Who's Coming to Who Do You Think You Are

It's back. The much anticipated second season of "Who Do You Think You Are?" premiers February 4th on NBC.  Be sure to mark it on your calendars!

Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd will be featured in NBC’s second season of “Who Do You Think You Are?”

The series is sponsored by Ancestry.com. If Season One was anything to go by, Season Two should be a huge hit. I know I'm excited to watch and will be posting my reviews of each week's celebrity story. I love a good genealogy show!

January 24, 2011

Expert Connect - Going Going Gone

If you have often considered using Ancestry's Expert Connect, you can forget about it.  An email was sent out today from Ancestry declaring that Expert Connect is being closed down. Here's the email that was received by many bloggers including me.

Over a year ago Ancestry.com created Expert Connect as a way to expand its service offerings and provide additional assistance for members through an elite group of professional genealogists and researchers. Through this service, customers were given the opportunity to hire genealogists to retrieve records, perform research or simply acquire expert advice.

Though this service has been a positive experience, Ancestry.com has decided to focus on other business priorities, so as of March 18, 2011, Expert Connect will no longer be a service that Ancestry.com will offer to its members.

Both experts and members currently involved in Expert Connect have been notified of this update. We encourage members to finish out existing projects with experts they have located through the Expert Connect service and if needed, continue relationships for future projects they may have.

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 24

Jan. 24, 1914

Saturday. Got up at 1 o'clock. Went shopping. Wrote a bill out for Pa

Finding an Ancestor in Belgium (Part 3): The French Records

In Part 1 of my series on Belgium Research, I talked about finding my husband's great-grandfather Archie De Meulenaere's birth registration in 1884 in Tielt. It was written in Flemish but it wasn't too difficult to pick out and translate the key points. Having found Archie's parents' names, approximate years of birth and places of birth, we moved on to Step 2 - finding their marriage record and birth records.

Many of the records we found up to this point were in Flemish. Luckily it is seemed similar to Dutch. Since I can read standard Dutch phrases found in Church Records we could figure out the main points of each record.

We were ready to move on to Step 3 - continuing to look for birth and marriage (or death) records of the new ancestors we were finding.

This is when we began to encounter church records written in French. I began to feel quite confident, after all reading basic French is pretty easy for me, so no worries.... It turns out I was a little too optimistic and overly confident but more on that later.

Each record we had found so far had given us much new detail - places of births, exact birth dates and so on. So continuing backwards was quite easy. The challenge was in the various languages used in different records!

A search in the Civil Records of Ooghem found the marriage registration of two of the new names we found in searching birth records - Jan Baptiste Veroughstraete and Victoire van den Bulcke. The text was in French but it was very lengthy and very faded. My translation skills were far too limited to understand (or even see!) more than the basic details.


27 August 1820. Jean Baptiste Veroughstraete & Victoire Van den Bulcke, [...] age 26 years, born in Ooghem 27 November 1794.

Other names in the document were Anne Marie Grinonprier (it was difficult to make out) and Collette van Brabant who I had learned was Jan Baptiste's first wife. Here is what the French document looked like.
















Another document we found written in French was a birth registration in the Civil Records of Kanegem for 1812.

Key facts from document:

* 4 March 1812
* Child Amelie Grootaert born at 4 o'clock in the afternoon
* Parents Colette Blomme, 28 years old, spouse of Joseph Grootaert, 31 years old. Joseph's occupation was given as journalier
*Witnesses Augustin Blomme, 22 years old and Ignace [...] 64 years old.

This 1812 document was very clear and legible, such a treat to be able to read it without resorting to magnifiers, pastel paper and other methods to enlarge or make the image more legible.
We found and translated a few more French documents, growing more confident with each one. Then came a puzzler. I found a record for another ancestor - Wyland Emmanuel Blomme.

It was in French and it started with the date, which I read and translated as

      "18th of Frimaire in the 8th year of the French Republic"

I sat back at the microfilm reader and I'm sure my mouth dropped open. I had no idea what "Frimaire" meant and no clue what was meant for the "8th year of the French Republic!" I had just entered the rather confusing realm of the French Republican Calendar, something i had never heard of before.

More on the French Republican Calendar and how it affects your research in Belgium records in my next post.

January 23, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 23

Jan. 23, 1914

Friday. Dance Prac. J. had me first. News - I am to teach at Thornton Dale. Cycled to Scally. Last waltz - Ms. Vollum cycled back with us. Ms. Tickles? so kind.

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories: Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny & Santa! (Week4)

Last year saw 52 weeks of topics for readers (and me!) to start a genealogy journal. I called this series Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey

Keeping a journal is not always easy. Yet it's important for future generations. If we want to preserve the past, our own memories will one day be as valuable as those of our great-grandmothers. Our descendants will be thrilled to find a journal chronicling our lives and the lives of our parents and grand-parents.

With that in mind, this week's topic is all about your family traditions around such myths as the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and Easter Bunny.

* What traditions did your parents follow revolving around Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus?

* Were there other ethnic traditions in your family?

* Do you remember when you first learned that any (or all) of these myths were not real?

* What was your reaction to learning that they were not real?

* Have you carried the traditions on with your own children?

In my childhood I don't remember any talk of an Easter Bunny. We didn't get Easter Eggs or chocolate or any treats that I recall at Easter. Easter morning brought only new underwear and believe me, going to school next day and seeing all the other little girls showing off their new Easter dresses was horrible. I understand now that my parents did not have the money to buy us anything else but at the time I didn't understand at all.

Whenever I lost a tooth the Tooth Fairy visited and left me a dime. I was always so thrilled! Then one day when I was about 8 or 9, I spotted my broken tooth from the night before lying in the kitchen trash! I was devastated to find out that not only was the Tooth Fairy not real, but my mother had tossed my precious tooth into the garbage.

I think I learned that Santa was not real the Christmas Eve he came to our house quite drunk. He stumbled in late that night, ho-hoing and talking very loudly. To my surprise my father greeted him warmly. They sat and had a few drinks while Santa became increasingly loud. I was quite amazed as I had no clue that Santa drank anything but milk! And he knew my father! Eventually it dawned on me that he sounded a lot like our next door neighbour Mr. Hart.

Funny but the only traumatic one for me was finding out that the Tooth Fairy was a myth. I think I loved the idea of a beautiful little fairy with gorgeous clothes and wings flying around bestowing happiness (and money!) every time a little boy or girl lost a baby tooth.

What are your memories of these traditions?

January 22, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 22

Jan. 22, 1914


Thursday. Evening stayed in and worked. Got ready for Folly night's dance

Shoemaker's Ledger, Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Entries Jan. 16-22, 1897-1919

Several years ago I purchased an account book kept by a local shoemaker living in or near the communities of CrossCreek and Ritsey's Cove, Lunenburg Nova Scotia. There are no identifying notations to tell me who the shoemaker was, so I researched the names of his customers found in the book. I found them all living in CrossCreek and Ritsey's Cove so I assume the shoemaker lived nearby.

The entries I read date from 1897 to 1919. There may be some earlier or later - they are not in date order. Whoever kept the account book decided to keep track of money owed and paid by family. Each family has its own page (or pages) and shoe repairs and purchases are noted throughout the years the family used the service.
The shoemaker's ledger book is 17x7 inches and there are 212 pages covering 22 years. Continuing on with Jan. 16-22 entries, all years:

Jan-16 1897 Daniel Zink of Lewis pair shoes repaired - Charlie 50 c


Jan-18 1897 Daniel Zink of Lewis pair shoes soled healed - Mrs. 40 c

Jan-16 1898 James Oxner pair boots soled healed - Berdy 65 c

Jan-16 1898 Zenas Conrad 1 boot patched - girl. 10 c

Jan-18 1898 Henry Knock pair boots repaired - boy 50 c

Jan-22 1898 Daniel Zink of Lewis pair boots soled - Flossie 30 c

Jan-22 1898 John Himmelman pair boots soled healed 70c

Jan-18 1899 James Risser pair boots repaired 25c

Jan-18 1899 Reuben Smith pair boots - Nepean [?] $2.50

Jan-18 1899 Reuben Smith pair boots - John $2.25

Jan-21 1899 Daniel Zink of John pair boots soled healed 60 c

Jan-21 1899 Daniel Zink of John pair boots soled healed 65c

Jan-16 1900 John Knock 1 boot patched 10c

Jan-18 1900 Daniel Zink of Lewis sowing [sic] yoak [sic] straps 10 c

Jan-20 1900 Daniel Zink of John pair boots repaired 75c

Jan-22 1900 John Knock pair boots repaired - girl 60c

Jan-18 1901 Samuel Himmelman pair boots - Albert $3.50

Jan-18 1901 Samuel Himmelman Pair boots - Liddie $1.85

Jan-16 1910 Aseph Conrad Pair shoes soled healed - Doricy 40c

Jan-16 1910 Thomas Ritcey pair shoes soled healed 75c

Jan-17 1910 Naman Wentzel pair shoes repaired - Mother 20c

Jan-19 1910 Arthur Now repairing harness 15c

Jan-20 1910 Freeman Himmelman pair shoes repaired - Perl 20c

Jan-17 1911 Samuel Ritcey pair shoes soled healed 35c

Jan-17 1911 Samuel Ritcey 1 shoe patched - Russel 10c

Jan-18 1911 Hector Mosman pair boots soled 40c

Jan-20 1911 Freeman Himmelman pair shoes soled healed patched 75c

Jan-21 1911 Wilbert Wentzel pair of shoes repaired $.30

Jan-22 1911 Solomon Creeser pair shoes reapired - Clara 20c

Jan-17 1912 John Smith 1 boot patched - Murry 15c

Jan-19 1912 Freeman Himmelman 1 shoe patched - Robbert 10c

Jan-19 1912 Naman Wentzel pair shoes repaired - Mother 15c

Jan-19 1912 Sidnam Smith harness job 10c

Jan-20 1912 Daniel Zinck of John shoes & rubbers repaired 40c

Jan-20 1912 Freeman Himmelman pair boots soled healed 75c

Jan-16 1913 George Creaser pair shoes healed - Maze 15c

Jan-19 1913 Benjiman Wentzel pair shoes soled healed - Vinnie 45c

Jan-20 1913 Edward Creaser Est pair of shoes soled healed for Luetta 40c

Jan-20 1913 Seamore Ritcey pair shoes healed - Mrs. 15c

Jan-20 1913 Thomas Ritcey pair shoes repaired - Dora 30c

Jan-17 1914 Benjamin Wentzel pair shose heeled - Eley 15c

Jan-17 1914 Edward Creaser Est pair shoes soled heeled - Ethel 50c

Jan-17 1914 Solomon Creaser pair shoes repaired - Clara 20c

Jan-17 1914 Thomas Ritcey one shoe patched $.10

Jan-19 1914 Daniel Lohnes pair shoes heeled - Dauglas 25c

Jan-20 1914 Eli Mosher pair half soles 40c

Jan-20 1914 Enas Smith pair shoes repaired - Charl 40c

Jan-21 1914 Thomas Ritcey pair shoes soled heeled $.85

Jan-22 1914 Alex Smith pair shoes repaired - Edwin 30c

Jan-22 1914 Aseph Conrad repair work - 25c

Jan-22 1914 Eli Mosher pair shoes soled - Albert 60c

Jan-22 1914 Eli Mosher pair shoes repaired - Elva 25c

Jan-16 1915 Benjamin Wentzel pair shoes heeled - Vinnie 15c

Jan-18 1915 Ritchard S. Lohnes pair boots patched - Foster 30c

Jan-21 1915 Benjamin Wentzel pair shoes patched - Vinnie 15c

Jan-17 1916 Solomon Creaser pair shoes repaired - Carl 15c

Jan-18 1916 Harry Godley pair shoes soled 70c

Jan-18 1916 Harry Godley pair shoes soled - Kenneth 60c

Jan-21 1916 Alvin Creaser pair shoes soled heeled - Violet 50c

Jan-17 1917 Ritchard Lohnes Capt pair shoes repaired - Rhonald 80c

Jan-17 1917 Ritchard S. Lochnes 1 shoe repaired - Libbie 15c

Jan-18 1917 Solomon Creaser pair shoes soled heeled - Clara 70c

Jan-20 1917 Alvin Creaser pair shoes repaired - Donald 90c

Jan-20 1917 Edward Creaser Est pair shoes soled heeled - Ethel 65c

Jan-22 1917 Charles Ritcey pair boots soled - Harry 60c

Jan-16 1918 Freeman Creaser pair shoes soled heeled - girl 75c

Jan-16 1918 Harry Godley one shoe soled heeled - boy 35c

Jan-17 1918 Reuben Ritcey pair shoes patched 25c

Jan-20 1919 Lenore Oxner pair half soles and nails 45c

Jan-21 1919 Daniel Ritcey pair shoes soled heeled - Mrs. $1.00

January 21, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 21

Jan. 21, 1914


Wednesday. Evening Sch. of Art. Rage around at school. A fine time. Nice P.C. from Miss Vollum

Ships Passenger Lists to New Netherland (New York) - What Exists?

If you have early 17th century ancestors in New Netherland (present day New York) you may be among the majority who are confused by the available ships passenger lists for that time period.

Researchers need to understand that all "passenger lists" for travel from the Netherlands to New Netherland between 1654 and 1664 came from information on the debit side of the West India Company Account Book. This book showed who owed money when they arrived.

Information from the credit side (those passengers who paid prior to their passage) has not been published.

The list of those who owed money on arrival in New Netherland has been published but this brings us to a caveat. Researchers must be very cautious about which version they are using. Many of the early versions are incorrect or missing names.

Briefly, the first attempt at making a list of passengers from this account book was done by O'Callaghan in 1850 in his Documentary History of New Netherland. This published version only covered the years 1657 to 1664. It was reprinted in 1896 by The Holland Society. In 1902 the Holland Society published another version by A. J. F. van Laer, correcting errors in the earlier O'Callaghan version and adding a few more ships between 1654 and 1657.

The problem for researchers is that not only does this early 1850 version exist in early publications,it has been reprinted in various articles and journals in later years.

The corrected Holland Society 1902 version has also been reprinted. In 1963 Rosalie Fellows Bailey published an article which added more details to the 1902 version. It can be very confusing to genealogists as they hunt for an ancestor.

Complete details of which of the many published versions are accurate can be found in the explanation Which Published Versions of Ships Passenger Lists to New Netherland Are Accurate?

There are also many online versions of these early ships passenger lists but genealogists must be careful to check which version the site used for its source.

With that in mind, Olive Tree Genealogy has been reconstructing more information regarding these ships' passenger lists. Using new and reliable sources such as Abstracts from Notarial Documents in the Amsterdam Archives Olive Tree Genealogy has reconstructed names of those on board ships that have never been published before.

In total I used 9 different sources to reconstruct names of those not on previously published lists. Many new ships have been found, making a total of 81 ships passenger lists. These reconstructed ships passenger lists cover the years 1624 to 1664. The nine sources are fully cited online on my site and each additional reconstructed ship or individual name has a footnoted source attached. This means genealogists will know exactly where the information came from.

You can view these reconstructed and new passenger lists at
Ships Passenger Lists to New Netherland This is an Olive Tree Genealogy exclusive. If you find my reconstructed lists on any other websites I'd appreciate a note letting me know. Sadly, plagiarism and copyright violations are in full force on the internet.

I hope those who have New Netherland ancestors as I do, will benefit from this Reconstruction Project. I welcome submissions to the project but submissions of names must be accompanied with a full source notation. Submissions citing family lore such as "Grandma Alice always told me that our ancestor sailed to New Netherland on the ship Eendracht" will not be used.

January 20, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 20

Jan. 20, 1914


Tuesday. Sch. Evening. Gym class. Laugh. "If all the World"

Finding an Ancestor in Belgium Part 2: More Flemish Records

In Part 1 of my series on Belgium Research, I talked about finding my husband's great-grandfather Archie De Meulenaere's birth registration in 1884 in Tielt. It was written in Flemish but it wasn't too difficult to pick out and translate the key points. Having found Archie's parents' names, approximate years of birth and places of birth, we moved on to Step 2 - finding their marriage record and birth records.

Our first record to hunt for was the marriage of Henry and Rosalie. From that we assumed we might learn their parents' names which would help us verify that a birth record for each was the correct individual.

What a find the marriage record was! Exact dates of birth for bride and groom! Names and ages of parents! The record even noted Henry's mothers' name and the exact date she died. We were pretty excited.

Henri and Rosalie married in Tielt in 1882. Here is my translation:

Henry de Meulenaere, servant, 39 yrs old, living Schuyffers-Kapelle, born Canaghem 15 July 1842, father Felicianus de Meulenaere, labourer 71 yrs, living Tielt, mother Amelia Groothaert died in Tielt 12 Sept 1847 & Maria Blondeel, 31 yrs, living Tielt, b in Pittem 2 aug 1850, father Frans Blondeel, "kleermaker" (tailor), 62 yrs, mother Ida Veroughstraete, 60 yrs

We knew from Archie's birth registration that his father Henri or Henry was born circa 1843 in Kanagem. Now we had an exact date of birth and knew his parents' names so finding the correct birth record would not be difficult. A check in the FHL catalogue proved that records for this area existed for the time period we needed. We found the right microfilm and began looking. Once again the records were written in Flemish but I wasn't as worried about understanding them.

Henri's birth registration was found in the Civil Records of Kanegam.

It was fairly easy to spot his parents' names but I wanted to translate the entire document if possible.

There seemed to be so much writing that I figured there might be important details I would otherwise miss. It took me awhile but this is my translation to the best of my limited ability:

6 July 1842. Appeared before me Felicianus de Meulenaere, weaver, 32 years old, born in Thielt and living in the district, presenting a child from his marriage, born in the [....] and his wife Amelia Groottaert, spinster 32 years old, born and living in this district, a child by the name of Henry. Presented by Ferdinand de Bruyne [....can't read his occupation], 37 years old and Francis de Cloet, weaver about 57 years old, both living in this district


So far we had managed to go back two generations from Archie, and so far we only encounted Flemish records which to my eye were very similar to Dutch. So my little Dutch English dictionary plus my familiarty with early Dutch Church records of the 17th and 16th centuries was proving adequate for translation.

Anyone with Belgium ancestry should not be hestitant about diving in to the records. Yes we did run into much  more challenging time periods and records written in Latin and French, as well as the confusing (to me) French Republican Calendar, but all those obstacles were overcome with patience and perseverance. But more on that in the next blog post!

January 19, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 19

Jan. 19, 1914


Monday. School. J. has a fearful cold. Quarrel between J. and Win. He's gone with Dr. Royle. School of Art with Win.

January 18, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan 18

Jan. 18, 1914

Sunday Letter from J. Evening M. Yonster? came. age.? coach affaire. ch.

Finding an Ancestor in Belgium Part 1: The Flemish Records

A few days ago I talked briefly about Belgium research on my Ask Olive Tree blog. Several readers responded with more questions, so I thought I would elaborate in a series of blog posts.

My husband has Belgium ancestors, starting with his great-grandfather Archie De Meuleneare who was born in Tielt Belgium on 29 March 1884. Several years ago we took a research trip to Salt Lake City Family History Library with the goal of researching this line. It proved to be a very educational and challenging adventure! We very quickly learned that Belgium had two areas - Flemish and Walloon. Thankfully we knew Archie had been born in Tielt so it was an easy matter to check a map to find out that we needed to look in West Flanders records.

We started our research, checking first for Archie's birth in the microfilmed records for Tielt. The records are very complete, there are hundreds of microfilm reels of Civil Registrations, Parish Records and so on. But they are in a variety of languages, depending on the time period and the location! Some are in Flemish, some Dutch, some Latin and some French. We did not know this when we began our research but believe me, we quickly discovered it.

We stuck with Civil Registrations and Parish Records because of the language barrier. I erroneously thought the Church Records and Civil Records would be in Dutch (which I am familiar with due to my research for my New Netherland Series of books) but I was wrong. Luckily I can read basic church records in Dutch, French, Latin (and of course English). I cannot read any of them well enough to understand records that don't have standard phrases. So we thought we were good to go!

We found Archie's birth record in the Registers van de Burgerlijke Stand, 1795-1900 which has been microfilmed on several reels. These are the Civil Registrations for Births, Marriages & Deaths (Geboorten, huwelijken and overlijdens) in Tielt. The records are written in Flemish and French. When I saw that description I crossed my fingers that Archie's would be in French, the language I am most comfortable reading. I've never seen Flemish so had no idea if I could understand anything other than a name.

Archie's record was in Flemish but poring over it I realized it was very similiar to Dutch! I could understand some of the common phrases and words used in the record. Archie's birth registration was a complete surprise, since we had no idea his given name was Achilles. We had to phone my husband's grandmother to ask her to verify that we had the right man before we accepted that we had the correct record (even though the date of birth was correct and we knew his father's name was Henri).

As an aside, it took us some time to figure out why a man named Achilles would end up with the name Archie after arriving in Canada. My French sister-in-law explained that Achilles is pronounced as "Aw-shee" which of course sounds like Archie to our English ears!

Poring over the record we spotted the names of his parents quite easily - his father was Henry and his name was larger and bold so easy to pick out. It was a challenge to read but with a bit of time and the help of my Dutch-English dictionary I had it figured out.

Father Henry De Meulenaere was "een en vertig jaer" (41 years old) and "geboren Canegham" (born in Kanegem)

His mother's name was not bolded or large, but it wasn't hard to spot - Maria Rosalia Blondeel. The record gave her age "dry en dertig jaer" (33 years old) and where she was born "geboren Pitthem" (born in Pittem)

We were ready to move on. Our plan for our next step was to hunt for three items - the marriage of Henry and Maria Rosalia, and the birth records of both. Fingers were crossed that birth records of Archie's parents would be as detailed as Archie's and provide us with ages and places of birth of his parents.

I'll talk about looking for, and finding those three records in my next Belgium Research blog post.

January 17, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan 17

Jan 17, 1914


Saturday. Noon in bed. Then shopping. Aft. and evening stayed in and worked. J. has a bad cold

Why Take an IPad instead of a Laptop on a Research Trip?

On January 10 I wrote a review of the wireless keyboard versus the keyboard dock for the iPad. Becky left a comment that has includes a great question which I want to address today.

Here is Becky's comment:
I'm not as familiar with these new tools but I'm wondering what the advantage is for using your current set-up that you're written about here (even at RootsTech) over simply using a laptop on your lap on the sofa or at RootsTech? I don't have a netbook either, but that would be very portable. Can you explain the advantages of this iPad with the wireless keyboard setup? I'm just trying to learn.
Thanks for the good (and important) question Becky. My choices might not be the choices that are best for others but they work well for me. I have physical challenges and use a cane so anything extra that I need to carry has to be thought about carefully. But I think the awkardness of a laptop in terms of size and weight will hold true for most travellers.

My HP Laptop
First - size. It does matter. My laptop is not  a small notebook. It's big, heavy and awkward compared to my iPad. Resting it on my lap is uncomfortable and painful after an hour or more.





Laptop dimensions in inches: 12x11x2
iPad in case: 10x8x1/2

Laptop weight: 5 1/2 lb.
iPad out of case weight: 1.6 lb. The case is not heavy so not much weight is added

My Laptop
beside standard business envelope
The laptop has to go in a padded laptop case, which then goes on a wheeled laptop cart. It is awkard to drag it through the airport or around in a research library. It is awkward to take off the cart, open the case, remove the laptop, open it and place it so the customs officials can inspect it in the airport. It is difficult to get it in the airplane overhead bins and try to get the cart into the bin too before the attendants snatch it away to put elsewhere.


Ipad in case (sorry it's dirty!)
beside standard business envelope

My iPad slips into my large purse. I can remove it easily, open the case and let customs officials inspect it quickly. I can carry it without difficulty even with my cane.

Wireless Keyboard
beside standard business envelope
With the iPad I opted for an external keyboard which adds to size and weight. But the wireless keyboard is very small  - 11x5x less than 1/4 of an inch! And it weighs about 10 oz. So tucking it into a cloth bag and then into my oversize purse is easy.  





That means I don't have to listen to my husband grumble about having to push a laptop around as well as manage his own luggage, and no muttering under his breath as he tries to get the laptop into the overhead compartment of the plane while other passengers push by. I also forgot to mention that we have to make a minimum of one change, sometimes two, on our way by air from our home to Salt Lake City. So we double or triple the frustration of that cumbersome laptop.

I hope this helps explain why I am convinced that taking an iPad makes more sense (for me) than taking a laptop on a research trip. However since I bought a MacBook Air last week, I'm starting to rethink taking my iPad in favour of taking my new MacBook Air! I'll write about that once I make my final decision.

Interview with RootsTech Presenter AC Ivory

Today's interview is with A. C. Ivory who is one of the RootsTech presenters. A.C.'s Session is Mobile Apps for Genealogy and it's being given on Thursday Feb. 11

I asked A.C. to introduce himself but he modestly did not tell us about his wonderful blog Find My Ancestor
My name is A.C. Ivory. I am 23 years old and live in Taylorsville, Utah. I have been doing genealogy for a little over four years. I gained my interest in genealogy right before I left on an LDS mission to Calgary, Canada. While serving my mission I helped many people who were just starting their genealogy research. The past two years I have strengthened my education in genealogical research through blogs, podcasts, social networking, college classes, email lists and personal experience. I specialize in using technology, social networking and Mac Genealogy to help others learn more about tracing their roots.

I have always been intrigued with technology and have enjoyed learning how to use it for various tasks at home and school. When I was 14 I bought my first Palm Pilot because I thought the concept of having a mobile computer that I could install applications on was so impressive. Back in the day, those simple Palm Pilots were extremely advanced even though their functionality was quite limited. Over the years I have enjoyed seeing the rapid advance in mobile devices.

When I first got an iPod Touch I was amazed at the amount of web apps you could used to play games, surf the Internet, check your banking account and more. Then, Apple introduced the App Store and an explosion of apps emerged. Within months there were thousands of apps you could download and do almost anything imaginable on your little device. Soon, I found there genealogy apps creeping into the App Store as well as other apps that weren't specifically meant for genealogy but I found ways to incorporate them into my genealogical research.
I asked A.C. to tell us a bit more about his Session (without giving away the entire Session of course!) It's one of the Sessions I was able to sign up for, so I am naturally curious about what is going to be covered.
My session, Mobile Apps for Genealogy, will include a number of different apps available on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices. Some of these apps are genealogy specific, allowing you to create family trees, access online databases, learn how to do genealogy and share with with your friends and family. Other apps that I will be demonstrating aren't used by most people for genealogy purposes, but I will show how they can be used to help you stay organized, network with other genealogists and find new and innovative ways to become a technological genealogist.
This sounds great and I wondered what prior knowledge someone planning to attend would need
Anyone can attend Mobile Apps for Genealogy without feeling overwhelmed or the need to have a ton of technology skills. For anyone who has ever used an iPhone or like device, you know how easy and user friendly they are. All of the apps I will be demonstrating are just as easy to use as the Apple or Android operating systems. I hope that those who are thinking about getting one of these devices will attend to learn how easy and fun going your genealogy on a mobile device can be.

I also wondered what A.C. hope an attendee would take with them after leaving his session.

I hope that those who attend my session will leave with more understanding and insight on how they can use their mobile device for more than just making a phone call or texting. I want people, even the older generations, to feel like they can use these mobile devices and not be afraid to use them. With the development of the thousands of apps we will continue to see more being developed specifically for genealogy as well as those that we can incorporate into our research.

Of course I couldn't end the interview without asking my favourite question. I'm always excited to see the answers - What exciting developments do you foresee in the future for mobile apps?

I honestly believe that the invention of the iPhone, iPad and Android devices will help genealogy go where no one could have ever imagined - not even 15 years go. My grandpa has even told me that he could never have even dreamed of using something like my iPad back in the early 1980's when he was heavily involved with genealogy.

I think that as smart phones and mobile tablets grow in popularity there will be more software developers who are wanting their genealogy database programs available to their users on their mobile devices.

Genealogists who travel to archives and libraries are starting to take their mobile devices with them rather than their laptops because of the size and weight. It is much easier for someone to slip their iPad into their bag and take it with them then trying to gather all the cords, mice, batteries, etc. that you do with your computer. The more database apps available on their mobile device the more people you will see using them while doing their research.

One of my favorite features about using my iPad is the ability to have genealogy books, software, pictures, movies and many other files all on one device. I don't need to worry about carrying heavy books along with my laptop everywhere I go. I can easily switch from reading Evidence Explained to adding a source citation with a few swipes of my finger.

January 16, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 16

Jan. 16, 1914

Friday. 6:30. Letter from J. Evening dancing class. Had a fine time. Later to Miss T. Meny.... [can't read] set with [can't read]

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories: Cooking (Week 3)

This is Week 3 of our second set of 52 weeks of topics for readers (and me!) to start a genealogy journal. Please join us for Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey

Over the years I've learned that keeping a journal is not always easy. Yet it's important for future generations. If we want to preserve the past, our own memories will one day be as valuable as those of our great-grandmothers. Our descendants will be thrilled to find a journal chronicling our lives and the lives of our parents and grand-parents.

This weeks' topic is Cooking. I have very strong memories of my mom's cooking. No doubt most of you do too, some may even remember grandma's cooking. I thought it would be fun to share those memories.

* What was your favourite food that your mom cooked?

* Do you remember the smells in the kitchen?

* Have you copied your mom or grandmother's recipes to save them?

* Did you ever get to eat your Grandmother's food?

I wasn't very fond of my mom's cooking - our regular dinner fare was typically Pigs' Feet, Pigs' Tails, Tripe, Kidney, Heart, Ox-Tail Stew... basic cheaper cuts of meat which were not cooked very well! I remember sitting at the table staring at (and not eating) my plate of white quivering tripe on a white plate with heated milk poured over the top.

Mashed potatoes were simply crushed with a fork - no butter or milk was added. I used to pour ketchup on mine just to get them down! And it seemed every night we had baked apples for dessert. To this day I can't stand them and even the smell makes me cringe.

I don't remember eating anything my grandmothers made but I spent time with my maternal grandma so I must have eaten her food! She was born in England and I think she followed the English style of cooking. I do have her recipe for Spotted Dick which is an English dish of Suet Pudding with currants or raisins. I've made it and it's very good but it's a heart attack waiting to happen!

I do have really great memories of how my mother cooked. She used a coal-burning stove (sometimes wood) even though electric ranges and ovens had been around for years. We simply couldn't afford an electric one. I know my mom hated that stove but I loved watching her cook on it - throwing in some coal from the coal skuttle, or kindling, and lifting the top solid metal burners off with the special tool that hung at the side of the stove.

One of the things my mom made that I loved were Sour Cream Twists - a twisted bread-like thing that had the best taste ever. I asked my mom repeatedly for her recipe but she always said she didn't have one and didn't remember even making such a thing! I've hunted online with no luck but maybe one day I'll find something that sounds similar.

January 15, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan 15

Jan. 15, 1914

Thursday. Evening stayed in. Worked at lessons. Letter from T.K.H.

Shoemaker's Ledger, Lunenburg Nova Scotia

Entries Jan. 9-15, 1897-1919



Several years ago I purchased an account book kept by a local shoemaker living in or near the communities of CrossCreek and Ritsey's Cove, Lunenburg Nova Scotia. There are no identifying notations to tell me who the shoemaker was, so I researched the names of his customers found in the book. I found them all living in CrossCreek and Ritsey's Cove so I assume the shoemaker lived nearby.

The entries I read date from 1897 to 1919. There may be some earlier or later - they are not in date order. Whoever kept the account book decided to keep track of money owed and paid by family. Each family has its own page (or pages) and shoe repairs and purchases are noted throughout the years the family used the service.

The shoemaker's ledger book is 17x7 inches and there are 212 pages covering 22 years. Continuing on with Jan. 9-15 entries, all years:


Jan-09 1897 Daniel Zink of Lewis pair boots repaired - Flossie 10 c


Jan-11 1897 David Conrad Pair boots repaired - Thom 70 c

Jan-12 1897 David Conrad Pair boots soled, healed 75 c

Jan-14 1897 David Conrad Pair boots soled, healed 70 c

Jan-12 1898 Wille Conrad pair boots soled patched 70c

Jan-14 1898 Daniel Himmelman pair boots - Albert $1.75

Jan-15 1898 Freeman Zink pair boots soled healed 75c

Jan-09 1900 Daniel Zink of Lewis 1 shoe repaired - Mrs. 10 c

Jan-09 1900 Daniel Zink of Lewis pair shoes - Flossie $1.75

Jan-09 1900 David Conrad pair boots soled healed 75c

Jan-09 1900 David Conrad pair shoes soled healed 70c

Jan-09 1900 David Conrad pair soled 60c

Jan-09 1900 Willie Risser Jr pair shoes soled healed 75c

Jan-11 1900 David Conrad pair shoes soled - Mrs. 40c

Jan-12 1900 Eldredge Conrad pair boots patched 15c

Jan-12 1900 John Knock pair boots $5.50

Jan-12 1900 Willie Risser Jr Pair shoes soled healed 70c

Jan-11 1901 Daniel Zink of Lewis pair shoes repaired - Mrs. 15c

Jan-12 1901 James Risser pair boots soled healed 75c

Jan-09 1909 Mrs. Daniel Zinck pair boots soled healed - Eva 50c

Jan-14 1909 Israel Ritcey 1 boot patched 10 c

Jan-15 1909 Edward Creeser 1 boot patched - Leone 10c

Jan-11 1910 Solomon Creeser pair shoes repaired - Carl 70c

Jan-12 1910 Israel Ritcey pair boots soled healed 50c

Jan-12 1910 Samuel Ritcey pair boots soled healed - Mrs. 45c

Jan-09 1911 Daniel Zinck of John pair shoes soled healed - Lailie [?] 40c

Jan-09 1911 Wilbert Wentzel pair of rubbers heeled for Grace 35cents

Jan-10 1911 Mrs. Obadiah Deal 1 boot patched - Mrs. 10c

Jan-12 1911 Solomon Creeser pair rubbers soled healed - Clara 25c

Jan-15 1911 Archibald Conrad pair shoes repaired - girl 20c

Jan-11 1912 Edward Creaser Est pair of shoes repaired for Ethel $.15

Jan-12 1912 Ambros Creeser Putting on Skates - Roy 10c

Jan-12 1912 Sidnam Smith hair cut 15c

Jan-15 1912 Freeman Creeser pair shoes patched - girl 30c

Jan-15 1912 Isiah Wentzel pair shoes soled healed - George 30c

Jan-15 1912 Willet Creaser pair of boots soled heeled one dollar

Jan-09 1913 Benjiman Wentzel pair rubbers healed - Vinnie 20c

Jan-11 1913 Benjiman Wentzel pair shoes healed - Sadie 10c

Jan-15 1913 Benjiman Wentzel putting on 2 pair hokkey [sic] skates 20c

Jan-15 1913 Ellen Conrad pair shoes soled healed 50c

Jan-10 1914 Daniel Ritcey pair shoes soled healed - Vera 60c

Jan-10 1914 Freeman Creeser 1 shoe repaired - July 10c

Jan-10 1914 Solomon Creaser pair shoes soled heeled - Carl 75c

Jan-10 1914 William Woolf pair shoes repaired - Merlean 20c

Jan-14 1914 Daniel Lohnes 1 rubber repaired - Dora 10c

Jan-11 1915 Seamore Ritcey pair soled heeled - Joie 60c

Jan-15 1915 Edward Creaser Est 1 shoe heeled - Ethel 10c

Jan-10 1916 Isiah Conrad pair of shoes soled and heeled $.45

Jan-15 1916 John Smith pair shoes soled heeled - Murry 60c

Jan-15 1916 Solomon Creaser pair shoes heeled - Clara 15c

Jan-09 1917 Daniel Ritcey pair shoes soled heeled - Ida 65c

Jan-09 1917 Reuben Ritcey 1 shoe repaired 10c

Jan-10 1917 Edward Creaser Est pair shoes soled heeled - Ethel 65c

Jan-11 1917 John Smith pair rubber heels 50c

Jan-11 1918 Reuben Ritcey 1 rubber patched - Malkam [sic probably Malcolm] 10 c

Jan-14 1918 Daniel Ritcey pair shoes soled heeled - Ida 75c

January 14, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 14

Jan. 14, 1914 Wednesday

Evening. Sch. [School] of Art. J. waiting for me - the dear fellow. Took me for a walk up Stepney. Ripping

New Immigration records on Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com has added new immigration records. They include the following for Hawaii and Miami

Honolulu, Hawaii, Passenger Lists, 1900-1953

This index of passenger arrivals in Honolulu contains passenger's name, citizenship, age, and gender; date and ship of arrival at Honolulu; and the related "book" (volume), "list" (page), and line upon which the passenger's arrival is recorded.
 
Index to Alien Arrivals by Airplane at Miami, Florida, 1930-1942

The manifests in this collection record details on aliens who arrived as air passengers in Miami Florida.

January 13, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 13

Jan. 13, 1914. Tuesday

Meeting after Cafe. School. Evening gym class. very jolly. Went and came back with Win.

Interview with Schelly Talalay Dardashti, Presenter at RootsTech

We have an exciting interview today with Schelly Talalay Dardashti, one of the presenters at the upcoming RootsTech Conference in February.

Schelly focuses on Jewish genealogy as a journalist, blogger, online instructor and speaker. Her blog Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog  is the top-ranked, award winning blog in this niche.

Schelly's Session at RootsTech is on Friday Feb. 11 at 9:45 am. The title is It's in Our Genes: Revealing History via Technology (A DNA Project Case Study)

Schelly kindly agreed to me interviewing her about this upcoming session. Her responses not only provide a clear understanding of what her session will cover, I am sure you will find, as I did, that you have a better understanding of the use of DNA in Genealogy.

Following are my questions and Schelly's answers.

*Q: What is your background or interest in the topic you are presenting?

I grew up in an Eastern European Ashkenazi family that had been in Mogilev, Belarus since the 1700s. However, the family story was that “Talalay was our name in Spain” and that we were Sephardic Jews. No one in the family believed it, everyone laughed at the idea, but it was faithfully passed down to each generation.


Over the years, I’ve heard the same story from many researchers. But because of the time gap and the tragedies of Jewish history, paper trails were impossible to follow back to the 15th century of earlier.


Several years ago, after FamilyTreeDNA.com was formed, Judy Simon and I met at one of the annual international Jewish genealogy conferences. Judy’s family story was similar, “We were marranos in Spain.” Marrano is a derogatory, pejorative term for Jews forcibly converted to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition.


We knew there were more of us and we thought that setting up a DNA project at FTDNA would help confirm these stories. The rest is history. With more than 200 participants, we have now connected more than 75% of our Eastern European Ashkenazi families with confirmed Sephardic, Hispanic, Latino and Converso families (whether they knew of Jewish roots or not). There are other advantages to making these connections, covering medical conditions and other reasons.


The matches for Judy’s family and my own show genetic matches to Sephardic and Hispanic families, and we’ve followed up with traditional research in Spain. I will demonstrate these documents during the session.

*Q:  Can you elaborate a bit on your Session Title to help us understand what will be covered?
Using the IberianAshkenaz DNA Project at FTDNA, we show that we can confirm ancestral family stories, showing that our history is in our genes. While paper trails have disappeared and historical tragedies have intervened, we can still establish the connections of families and reveal their history.

Although the session focuses on Jewish history and families, similar studies can be formulated for other ethnic groups.

I will cover organizing a project, criteria for joining, how to encourage people to participate, the surprises revealed and fascinating connections.

*Q:  Does an attendee need any prior knowledge of the subject? What level of attendee is your topic geared to?

I’m not going to get into the complex biology of why genetic genealogy works – that’s a topic for its own session. I will explain the very basics of male Y-DNA and female mtDNA, the tests available for each and why they work the way they do, but will try to focus on the possibilities and results that can be achieved. I believe it is a good session for all levels as it demonstrates what genetic genealogy can reveal about our individual ancestries. Those who haven’t yet used DNA may understand how useful it can be, while those just beginning to consider it will learn more about what can be revealed.

*Q:  What do you hope those of us attending will take with them after leaving your session?

I hope that participants will carry with them an understanding of why genetic genealogy is exciting, how it can provide answers and solve problems, while also furthering family history research. I’m hoping attendees will understand that genetic genealogy is not paternity or forensic-focused, as some fear.

*Q: What exciting developments do you foresee in the future for DNA testing?

New tests and features are constantly being developed.


FTDNA, as the pioneer in the field, is on the cutting edge of the industry. Newer tests already can find individuals to whom you are related going back five or six generations, which may offer additional insight into family relationships.


As databases grow, more connections will be made possible. Surname and country projects grow in number at FamilyTreeDNA; and some researchers use community-based projects to link descendants of families from certain areas or town, adding to our understanding of ancestral connections.

*Q:  Is DNA testing useful for everyone (all genealogists) or only for individuals with research challenges they have not been able to conquer?

While some genealogists believe genetic genealogy is too complicated for beginners, many of us who work with these tools believe everyone should test right from the beginning. It will show historical connections from the beginning and beginners may be able to connect with those who have already done extensive research. Testing is also altruistic and adds more samples to the database, meaning that more connections can be made with larger databases.

As most researchers know, paper records may demonstrate mistakes in old and even contemporary documents. Whiled documents may have errors, blood doesn’t lie. A paper trail may not be clear, but a match at 12, 37 or 67 (or more in the future) markers shows that two individuals are indeed related. The more markers tested that match, the closer the time of the Most Recent Common Ancestor shared by two individuals and the closer the connection.

Once a genetic connection is made, a researcher can then continue to explore traditional genealogical methods and resources and find out how, when and where the relationship may be traditionally be documented.

*Q: Different companies have different DNA tests. How is an individual to decide which company and which test is best for their needs?

My first criterion is to test with the largest database available, which is found at FamilyTreeDNA, which has the largest number of YDNA and mtDNA samples. That means that a testee is more likely to find a genetic connection. Testing against a smaller database means results may be limited or non-existent. The majority of genealogists who use genetic genealogy utilize FTDNA for that reason. While it has the largest Jewish database, it also includes very large genetic databases for other ethnicities. It all adds up to the largest database to test against.

An inexpensive test with a smaller company may be wasted money as the database is too small to produce results.

The basic test is the relatively (pun intended) low-price 12 markers, basically a screening test. If two people do not match at 12 markers, they won’t match at a larger number of markers. Once one finds a match, it is recommended that the test be upgraded to more markers and see if the matching continues. That’s why some people just go for the larger-marker tests from the beginning.


The basic point to be made is that many people today do not know who they are. Families have been caught up in historic events throughout history. Often that history is unknown due to circumstances and then not communicated through the generations. Genetic genealogy helps us understand who we are.


The caveat is that people who utilize this amazing tool must keep an open mind as the results may be quite surprising (and I will cover this in my talk) or challenging to a person’s self-identity. Some people may disbelieve the results, while others immediately relate to what the results mean.

January 12, 2011

Ada Harland's Diary England 1914: Jan. 12

Jan. 12, 1914 Monday.

Evening - School of Art. Jack waiting outside for me. Brought me home. Little class girl L Allison dead

Ready, Set, Go!

Several years ago I wrote about planning ahead for a research trip to Salt Lake City Family History Library.  I haven’t been back in 5 years but am heading there in February as an Official RootsTech Blogger. Although I’ll be busy at the Conference, I’ve got 3 days beforehand to do my own personal research at the Library. Things change - technology advances, the Library rearranges items and makes new purchases - and that means it is time to work out a new plan.
  1. I need to organize my genealogy and decide what individuals or families I will concentrate my research time on. Part of this organization is making sure details are entered in my Family Tree Maker 2011 genealogy program on whatever device I am taking with me. Gone are the days of lugging around binders and cases full of paper notes and charts.
  2. Decide what device I am taking for my files and continued note-taking of research finds. At this time I’m torn between my iPad where I use an App called GedView, or my MacBook Air where I use Family Tree Maker for Mac I’m leaning towards the MacBook Air simply because it has the genealogy program I’m most comfortable with. I need a way to quickly look up, and add, facts and details.
  3. Make sure I have extra batteries for my Flip-Pal Scanner. (Read about how much I love this scanner) I don’t know if it’s going to work for me but I’m taking it with me. I hope it will scan records I view on microfilm as they are projected on the viewing surface of the microfilm reader. It will definitely save me from lining up at the photocopiers to copy records I find in books!
  4. Consult the online FamilySearch Catalogue for records (films, books) I want to consult. If I make a list now, it will save me hours of time once at the Library in Salt Lake City. Most microfilm is self-serve so if I have my list of numbers I can quickly go to the drawers and grab the first set of three films I need. 
  5. If I had not done this already, I would be booking my hotel now. You have many choices and will need to decide what is most important to you - proximity to the FHL, or cost, or a preferred hotel chain. This year I am staying at a hotel that I’ve never used before so I’ll be sure to let you know later in February how that worked out. 
  6. You will need a research bag to carry your devices and other necessary items. I like to have pens, pencils, markers, notebook or pad of paper, coloured paper for making hard-to-read microfilm more legible, kleenex (tissues), lozenges for dry throat, Tylenol  for headaches after staring at microfilm for hours on end, a few bandaids just in case, gum and a magnifying glass. I also toss in a small ziplock bag of coins in case I need to purchase a Copy Card although I can’t see me needing one this time.
  7. I am going to have to figure out a way of keeping my iPad (if I take it) and my MacBook Air safe. I can try to make sure I carry them with me at all times but I like backup plans so am going to think about a way to lock them up securely. Things do get stolen and you cannot leave such items lying on your microfilm reader table or at a table in the Library.
  8. Make sure I have padded cases to protect each of my devices. Yes they will be in a research or computer carry bag but they need to be protected on their own.
  9. Pack extra batteries, chargers, cables and whatever else might be needed with my devices - iPhone, iPad, Flip-Pal Scanner and MacBook Air. 
  10. Today I am going to see if my Magic Jack will plug into and work on my MacBook. If it does I will also take that plus a small portable phone so that I can call friends and family for free and they can call me for no more than it would have cost them to phone me at my home. 
That is my 10 point checklist for my planned trip to Salt Lake City. It’s all about efficiency and saving my limited time for the actual research! Fingers crossed that I have not forgotten anything.