All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Category: Tools

My favorite genealogy research links for general searches.

The following are my favorite genealogy research links for broad, more general searches.



Originally posted 2015-08-19 10:14:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Transcription – Obituary for Doyle Clement Cadwallader


Obituary of Doyle Clement Cadwallader


Obituary of Doyle Clement Cadwallader
Obituary of Doyle Clement Cadwallader

10/20/1944 Press Gazette




“In the midst of life we are in death.
In the moment that ye think not,
In the twinkling of an eye,
The Angel of Death may appear.”

The foregoing quotation seems to me very fitting for Doyle Clement Cadwallader, whose death was caused by an automobile accident while he was returning home on September 30, 1944, when the last chapter was written in the book of his earthly life. It had been a short, simple but kindly story, the story of a good son and brother.

Doyle was next to the youngest of ten children, five sisters and four brothers, all living and all, were at his bedside when he passed away, in Hale Hospital, Wilmington, Ohio. The sons of Ira and Nannie Wilkin Cadwallader, he was born near Danville, Ohio, on March 15, 1925; and died on October 12, 1944, aged 19 years, 6 months and 17 days.

Doyle was a graduate of the Hillsboro High School in the class of ’42, after which he was employed as Desk Clerk and Bookkeeper at the Parker Hotel, in Hillsboro. On December 1, 1943, he enlisted in the Merchant Marine and served on a supply ship during the invasion of Southern France. He was home on a thirty-day furlough and would have retired to his duties on October 6th had the fatal accident not occurred.

He was united with the Church of Christ in Danville in his early boyhood days, where he still remained a member until his death.

While we have known his parents most all our lives, yet it was only since he began working at the hotel that we learned to know Doyle. Many times we discussed the present day trend of events as compared with those of yesterday. He was outspoken but tactful, showed a very high degree of intelligence and a promising future — A Friend.


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Originally posted 2015-12-17 15:32:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Transcription: Will of Richard Jaques

The following is my own transcription of the 1652 will of Richard Jaques.


I wish to thank Glynn at Norfolk Tours  for his time and effort in filling in nearly all of the many blanks in my original transcription of this will.

Will of Richard Jaques.
Will of Richard Jaques.

Will of Richard Jaques

Memorandum that in the month of Januarye in the yeare of our Lord God according to the Computation of the church of England one thousand six hundred fiftye and twoe and on or upon the sixth day of the same month Richard Jaques late whilest he lived of Crittleton in the Countye of Wilts Clearke deceased being of perfect mind an memorye and having a serious purpose and desire to settle and dispose of his Estate did by word of mouth utter and declare his last will and testament nuncupative in theis or the like words in effect following that is to say hee gave and bequeathed all his Estate whatsoever unto Grace his wife saving and excepting ten pounds which hee gave unto his Apprentice and ten pounds more to the poore of the parish of Crittleton aforesayd And whereas hee had an Estate for yeare in two leases his mynd and will was that all the tyme and tenure unexpired at the Death of Grace his sayd Wyfe should remaine and ????? and hee gave and bequeathed this same unto the two sonns of Mr. Reynds (Reynes) And further being moved by Mr. M??e to give something to and amongst his kindred answered shee might doe it if shee would meaning thereby that he left the same to the discretion of his sayd wife At all and singular which premises me the sd Richard Jaques was of sound memorye and understanding and uttered and spake theis or the like words in effect in the presence and hearing of the wittnesses, whose names are here subscribed. The marke of Mary Mill, Elizabeth White the marke of Mary Ward.
The two and twentieth day of May in the yeare of our Lord 1653. issued out a commission to Grace Jaques the Relict and principal legatarye named in the sd will to administer the goods chattels and debts of the sd deceased according to the ????? and effect of his will there being no Executor named herein shee being first ???????? by virtue of a special Commission well and truly to administer the same.


The image of the document above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Originally posted 2016-07-19 09:37:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Genealogy Transcription: New England Marriages Prior to 1700; Kni – Kno.


Following is my transcription of “New England Marriages Prior to 1700″ for surnames starting with ‘K’ from Knight to Knowles, and all varied surnames of spouses.






Knight - U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700


KNIGHT, Joseph (1673-) & Martha (GIBSON) LILLEY, w Reuben; 4 Apr 1699; Woburn
KNIGHT, Lawrence (-1728) & Elizabeth INGERSOLL, m/2 John BATTEN 1729; 2 Nov 1696; Salem
KNIGHT, Macklin?/Mautlyn?/Matting? & Dorothy _?_; b 1643; Boston
KNIGHT, Michael & Mary BULLARD; 20 Oct 1657; Woburn
KNIGHT, Nathan & Mary [WESTBROOK]; b Mar 1693/4; Portsmouth/Scarboro
KNIGHT, Philip (-1668) & Margery __?__, ?m/2 Thomas BATEMAN, m/3 Nathaniel BALL 1670/1; b 1647; Charlestown/Topsfield
KNIGHT, Philip & Margaret [WILKINS]; b 1669; Topsfield
KNITE, Philip (1669-1696) & Rebecca [TOWNE] (1668-); b 20 Aug 1693; Topsfield
KNIGHT, Richard (1602-1683) & Agnes [COFFLEY?] (-1679); b 1632; Newbury
KNIGHT, Richard & 1/wf __?_; Hampton, NH
KNIGHT, Richard & Dinah ? ; b 15 May 1642; Boston Y
KNIGHT, Richard (-1680) & 2/wf? [Sarah ROGERS] (-1685+); b 16 Jan 1648(9?), b 1647?, 1648+/- Newport, RI
KNIGHT, Richard & Joanna __?__ (not Ann CROMWELL, w Thomas, m/3 John JOYLIFFE/JOLIFFE, see Robert KNIGHT); b 1652?; Boston
KNIGHT, Richard & Julian __?__; b 1664; Boston
KNIGHT, Richard & Hannah (TOWNSEND) HULL [ALLEN], w Thomas, w Hope, m/4 Richard WAY 1687; b 1680; Boston/Dover, NH?
KNIGHT, Richard & Remember GRAFFTON/GRAFTON; 10 Apr 1685; Marblehead/Boston
KNIGHT, Richard & Sarah [KEMBALL] (-1727, New London); b 1689; Charlestown
KNIGHT, Richard & __?__; b 1690; RI
KNIGHT, Richard (1666-) & Elizabeth [JAQUES] (1669-); b 1697; Newbury
KNIGHT, Robert (1585, 1590-1676) (ae 86 in 1671?) & _?__; b 1631, ca 1620?; York, ME
KNIGHT, Robert (ae 51 in 1666) & 1/wf b 1640; Boston/Salem/Marblehead/Manchester
KNIGHT, Robert (-1655) & 2/wf Ann CROMWELL, w Thomas, m/3 John JOYLIFFE 1656/7; b 1652; Boston
KNIGHT, Robert (1667—1739+) & 1/wf Abigail WILLSON/WILSON; 3 Feb 1686; Ipswich/Manchester
KNIGHT, Roger (1596-1673) & [Anne] __?__; b 1636, b 13 Jul 1633; ?Portsrnouth, NH
KNIGHT, Samuel (1649-) & Amy [CARLE]; ca 1670, bef 27 Jul 1676; Kittery, ME
KNIGHT, Samuel (-by 1715) & Sarah ( __?__ ) HOW, w Abraham; 16 Oct 1685; Roxbury
KNIGHT, Samuel (1675-1721) & Rachel CHASE, m/2 S. MUNKLEY; 19 Jul 1700; Tisbury/Charlestown/Sudbury
KNIGHT, Walter & Elizabeth __?__ (-1634?); b 1610?
KNIGHT, Walter (1587-) & ?2/wf [?Ruth GRAY]; b I642, b 1620?, 1635?; Salem
KNIGHT, William (-1655/6) & 1/wf [?Emma POTTER]; b 1638, b 1635?; Salem/Lynn
KNIGHT, William (-1655/6) & 2/wf Elizabeth (?LEE) BALLARD/BULLARD], W William, m/3 Allen BREAD; aft 1639; Salem
KNIGHT, _ ?__ & Sarah __?__ (1665-1727): New London
KNIGHT, __?__ & Sarah __?__; Boston
KNIGHT, Walter & __?__; b 1651; Braveboat Harbor
KNOTT, Andrew & Susanna __?__; b 1689; Boston
KNOTT, George (-1648) & Martha ? _ (-1673/4); b 1630?, b 1634; Sandwich
KNOTT, Richard (-1684) & Hannah (DEVEREUX) [GREENFIELD], w Peter, m/ 3 Joseph SOUTH by 1689; ca 1674?, aft 1672, ca 1672; Marblehead
KNOWER/KNOWES, George (1617, 1697?-1675) & Elizabeth __? _; b 1650; Charlestown
KNOWER, Jonathan & Sarah [WINSLOW]; b 1685, b 1680; Malden/Charlestown
KNOWLES, Alexander (-1663) & __?__; b 1634?; Fairfield, CT
KNOWLES, Edward (1671-1740) & 1/wf Ann RIDLEY; 27 Feb 1699/1700; Eastham
KNOWLES, Eleazer (?1645-1731) & Mary _ ? _ (-1732); ca 1681?, b 1683; Woodbury, CT
KNOLLYS, Rev. Hanser (1598-1691, in Eng) & Anne? …ENEY (-1671, in 63rd y); Dover, NH/Eng
KNOWLES, Henry (?1609-1670) & _ ? _ [POTTER] (-1670+); b 1645; Warwick, Rl
KNOWLES, Henry & __?__
KNOLLES, John (-1685) & Elizabeth (WILLIS?/BILLS?], w Ephraim DAVIS?; b 1641; Watertown/Eng
KNOWLES, John (-1705) & Jemima ASTEN/AUSTIN (1641-]; 10 Jul 1660; Hampton, NH


The complete original scans of any documents clips linked above can be accessed by clicking the images.

To access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, search using the linked names above or the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link, both in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results do sometimes differ. All data on these sites is available for free access and download.


Originally posted 2016-03-29 08:58:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Transcription: Last Will and Testament of Richard Chatterton of Caenby, Lincolnshire, 1657.

The following is a transcription to the best of my abilities of the last will and testament of Richard Chatterton of Caenby, Lincolnshire, 1657.

He was 9th great grandfather to my children and the son of Rachell Chatterton of Glentham, whose 1653 will also appears on this site.


Featured image: St.Nicholas at Caenby. Although originally built in medieval times, it was retored 1795 and 1869. © Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.  


Last Will and Testament of Richard Chatterton of Canby
Last Will and Testament of Richard Chatterton of Canby.

In the name of God Amen the eight and twentyeth day of August one thousand six hundred fifty seaven I Richard Chatterton of Canby in the county of Lyncolne, yeoman being weake of body but of ??????? remembrance (God be praised) do ordaine this to be my last will and testament In the first place I command my soule unto the hande of Almighty God resting in a moderate christian and comfortable observance which is wrought in me by God the Holy Ghost that by the ????? ??????? and ???????? of God the Sonn all my sinns and fully and freely forgiven me And that whomsoever my soule and body shalle separated and shall enjoy the joy of those heavenly places that are prepared for the ????? of God In the ???? place I commit my body to the earth from whence it came there to be paid up in a  common ??????????? and ???????? till my saviour ??? second coming nothing doubting but that I shall have a joyfull ??????? that day of the ???? will resurrection and divine the sonne may be decently interred in the ???????? and I happen of ????? And as ??????????? that would ?? ? estate whom with God hath blessed me and doe dispose of the same as followeth In the first place and give and bequeath unto John Chatterton my sonne tenn pounds of lawfull english monie  to be paid unto him within one yeare after my decease Item I give and bequeath unto his two children each of them one ewe sheepe and one lambe to be delivered into theire ?????????? custodie for theire use and benefit within one month next after my decease Item I give to George Chatterton my sonn tenn pounde of lawfull english monei to be paid within one yeare next after my decease Item I give unto his daughter two ewes and two lambes to be delivered to the said Georg within one month next after my decease to and for the use and benefit of the said childe Item I give to Richard my sonne threescore pounds of good and lawfull english monie to be paid unto him when he shall attaine to the age of twentye and one yeares And  if it happen the said Richard shall prove a good husband and dutifull and obedient and loveing unto Ellen his mother and give a signall testimonie of his paines and diligence unto my supervisors in this my will mentioned then I give unto my sonn Richard fortie pounde more to be paid unto him when he shall attaine unto the age of twenty and one yeares Item I give unto Rachell Williamson my daughter sixteene pounde thirteene shillinge and foure pence of lawfull english monye to be paid within one yeare next after my decease Item I give unto Richard Williamson her sonne one two yeares old colt Item I give unto Robert Williamson another of her sonns one two yeares old colt both of them to be delivered to Rachell theire Mother within one yeare next after my decease to and for theire use and advantage Item I give unto the daughter of my daughter Mary (H or F)owler  one ewe and one lambe to be delivered to her mother for the use of her daughter within one yeare next after my decease from whereas William (H or F)owler of Bromby in the County of Lyncolne gent before the intermarriage of his sonn William (H or F)owler unto Mary my daughter promised to make her a good and lawfull ???????? for her life of all his lande in the County of Lyncolne if it happen the said William shall hereafter make her a good and lawfull ????????? of all his lande which he is now seized of for her life in the Countye of Lyncolne I then give and bequeath unto Mary my daughter fortie pound to be paid within one yeare next after such assurance be made and perported Item I doe constitute ordaine and make Ellen my wife the sole Executrix of this my last will and testament to debte whome I give and bequeath all the residue of my goods chattels ????? ready monye ????? and household staffe whatsoever unbequeathed my debte first paid my loyaryes satisfied and my ???? ???? discharged in assured confidence that I have rather that shee will faithfully and justly performe the same and will be loveing unto and holyfull to all my other children And I doe hereby appoint my welbeloved brothers John Chatterton and Robert Maultby supervisors of this my last will And my desire is they will use theire best endeavours to see the same performed according to the ?????????????? ?????? And if any ambiguitie question or doubt shall hereafter arise about anything therein contained I doe hereby give full power and authority unto them and the survivor of them to determine the same And what is soe determined I doe hereby will and I doe give my brother John Chatterton forty shillinge and to my brother Maultby forty shillinge for theire paines to be taken therein above all charges they shalle put unto And my will is in ???? any legatees herein named be not contented with such determination of my said supervisors then I doe give unto him or them soe discontented the sume of two shillinge and six pence only And doe will that they shoe or be soe displeased shall have noe other benefit by this my will In witness whereof, unto this my will I have set my hand and seale the day and yeare first above-written Richard Chatterton his marke and seale signed sealed and published in the ???????? of John Chatterton ????? Ba?iton Williame Hughs marke

This will was proved at London before the Judges for probate of wills and granting Administrations lawfully authorized the second day of December in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty seaven by the oath of Ellen Chatterton Relict and sole Executrix named in the said will to whome Administration was Committed of all and singular the goods Chattells and debte of the said deceased shee being first sworne by Commission ?????? to Administer


Click on any of the images below to see them in full size.

Chatterton, Richard, d. 1657; Will

Chatterton, Richard, d. 1657; Will 2

Chatterton, Richard, d. 1657; Will 3


The images below link directly to the original documents. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

Originally posted 2016-01-06 12:44:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Police can request your DNA from sites like Ancestry, 23andMe.


Millions of people have handed their DNA over to genetic testing companies like Ancestry or 23andMe to learn more about their family history.

Eric Yarham wanted to learn about his heritage, so he mailed off his saliva to 23andMe.

“I’m just trying to unravel the mystery that is your genetics,” said Yarham.


Yarham was surprised to find a tiny portion of his DNA profile can be traced back to sub-Saharan Africa. He was also unaware that his genetic information could end up in the hands of police.

“The police make mistakes and I would rather not be on the unfortunate end of one of those mistakes, as a result of my DNA being somewhere that is unlucky,” Yarham said.

Both 23andMe and Ancestry confirm your DNA profile could be disclosed to law enforcement if they have a warrant.

23andMe Privacy Officer Kate Black said, “We try to make information available on the website in various forms, so through Frequently Asked Questions, through information in our privacy center.”

According to the company’s self-reported data, law enforcement has requested information for five American 23andMe customers since it began offering home test kits more than a decade ago.

23andMe’s website states, “In each of these cases, 23andMe successfully resisted the request and protected our customers’ data from release to law enforcement.”

Black said she wouldn’t entirely rule it out in the future. “We would always review a request and take it on a case-by-case basis,” Black said.

Read on . . .


Source: Police can request your DNA from sites like Ancestry, 23andMe

Originally posted 2018-01-12 11:48:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

My favorite and most used US genealogy research links.


The following is my extensive list of my favorite and most used US genealogy research links. Although the vast majority of these are free, there are a few paid sites included that I do subscribe to – simply because I find them invaluable.


Originally posted 2016-06-23 15:39:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Creating and safeguarding a digital library of genealogy records and images.


The first consideration when starting to research your genealogy is creating and safeguarding a digital library of genealogy records and images.


Creating and safeguarding a digital library of genealogy records.
The importance of creating and safeguarding a digital library of genealogy records.

I have been a computer user from the day of the old single-use word processors. Therefore, I tend to digitize everything into my own digital library of valuables from family photos, tax documents, bills, bank records, correspondence – and of course, genealogy records, genealogy databases and data.

I’m not a novice. I’m well aware of the pitfalls of relying on a digital library, but I’m as guilty as the next person for procrastination and rationalization.

When it comes to doing the tasks necessary to ensure my genealogy records are secure and permanent, I tend to think, “It’s OK, I’ll do it later.”

There are, however, some very serious pitfalls of putting these things off.

Some of the compelling reasons for digitizing records include:

  • Immediacy of sending genealogy records digitally over the internet.
  • Ease of organization, storage, searching and reproduction.
  • Ability to share family genealogy records between yourself and others.
  • Retain genealogy records in condition at the time of scanning to safeguard against the inevitable ravages of time on physical documents, etc.
  • More and more genealogy records are “born-digital”, never having been in physical form at all.

The digital backup we are used to is not sufficient to safeguard and archive records. The process required includes:

  • Storing with background, technical and descriptive information.
  • Storing records in several locations.
  • Archiving for a very lengthy period of time.
  • Saving genealogy data at a very high resolution.
  • Periodically backing up stored genealogy records to new media to prevent loss of data.
  • Converting file formats and media to new ones to avoid obsolescence.
  • Ensuring access to the digital genealogy records collection.

For my own digital archive storage, I am using a 1 terabyte hard drive and save all important genealogy documents and photos to it. If my sum total of research at this point wasn’t as large as it is, I would use the ‘cloud’ as a backup. But there are limits to the quantity of data it will hold.

All of my original genealogy files and data are on my computer.

I also transfer the files periodically to a new backup using the newest technology and format.

I don’t believe in using CDs, DVDs or even flash drives for permanent storage at all as I’ve had too many fail.

photo credit: Sean MacEntee via photopin cc

Originally posted 2017-01-21 11:25:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Forensic Genealogy: Dead men do tell tales.


I tend to use a combination of the more general genealogy research techniques as well as some of those considered to be forensic genealogy.


I didn’t even realize I used these techniques or that there was actually a name for them until I read the following article.


forensic genealogy
In forensic genealogy – dead men do tell tales.

While the Bermuda Triangle is the end of a journey, the Forensic Genealogy Research Triangle represents the beginning of an ancestral research journey.

History, Geography, and DNA create the perfect equilateral triangle of forensic research. If you must supply documentation for a legal case that requires source citations or written reports, you are now entering the world of forensic genealogy.

When I set out to research this article, I was a tad surprised to see forensic genealogy described as a “modern” approach to family research, as though it were invented yesterday. The practice has been around for quite some time. Only recently has it gotten a sexy name and the respect and appreciation it deserves.

I have heard forensic genealogy described as “the study of kinship and identity as it pertains to the law.”

That’s a good definition, but I prefer professional genealogist Megan Smolenyak’s description – “reverse genealogy” – because in many forensic cases, you begin with the deceased and you look for the living, compared to conventional genealogy, which usually starts with the living and looks for the deceased. (Ms. Smolenyak is the author of Trace Your Roots with DNA.)

A lot of forensic research is figured out by available documentation with science and technology mixed in. The three most important sources of this area of study are:

  1. Photo analysis
  2. Database mining
  3. DNA analysis


Research Formula


Forensic techniques + conventional research = forensic genealogy


In other words, forensic genealogy takes the facts discovered by conventional genealogy and weaves them together to give you an entire picture. It is a relatively modern approach to family research for the legal profession and law enforcement. I’ve heard it referred to as “CSI Meets Roots.”

One of the most common uses for forensic genealogy is to locate missing heirs to estates. This is not a new practice. In fact, Laurie Thompson, a highly respected former Regent of a New York City Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter, provided genealogy research to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, in addition to finding next of kin, for more than 40 years. She didn’t have the luxury of online databases; she did it the hardcopy way. The answer to a case may be found in a city directory or in hospital or cemetery records. So “high-tech” is not necessary in forensic genealogy, but it sure does help. Where the high-technology comes in handy is with the DNA testing; but in the end, the science must be supported by the analyses of photos and documents.

A short list of areas that are served by forensic genealogy includes:

  • Probate and estate cases
  • Guardianship cases (next of kin)
  • Civil pension, Social Security, or veteran benefits
  • Land issues


Experts in the Field


Colleen Fitzpatrick


Fitpatrick is described as a “real-life CSI detective who has helped crack the most compelling mysteries of our time.” Currently, she is a consulting genealogist for the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL).

Boasting a PhD in nuclear physics, as well as an MS in physics from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, Colleen Fitzpatrick founded her own high-tech optics company (Rice Systems) in her garage. She subsequently contracted with NASA, the US Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Science Foundation, as well as other civil and government agencies.

Fitzpatrick is the author of several best-selling books on genealogy, including Forensic Genealogy, which is considered “The Reference” for the entire profession. Dick Eastman, renowned genealogist and host of his own website Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, highly recommends her book. Other books by Fitzpatrick include DNA and Genealogy (2005) and Dead Horse Investigation: Forensic Photo Analysis for Everyone, among others.


Dee Dee King


An expert in the field of forensic genealogy, Dee Dee King serves on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG); a professional business league. The Council’s website offers valuable research resources, including links to probate codes, bar associations, state rules of evidence, genealogist/attorney relationships, and more. The Council also offers classes, and those who pass the course receive a Forensic Genealogy Institute Certificate of Completion.

Forensic genealogy in short is research, analysis, and reporting in cases with legal implications. It’s mining for research gold, using creative resources outside the realm of conventional genealogy research. It is applying scientific processes to traditional research to arrive at an answer. It is the dead speaking from the grave… “where are you?” Do you hear dead people speaking? If you do, forensic genealogy may be for you.



Originally posted 2016-12-04 07:02:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

5 ways to find out more about your ancestors.


You would think, since we live in a digital age, we would be more in touch with exactly who we are and where our families came from. There was a time when most UK and western families were comprised of Britons who could trace their lineage back countless generations. Such is the case with our family.


Those days are quickly fading into obscurity as more and more people travel the globe and emigrate to new countries, perhaps many times in their lifespan.


Are you looking to trace your family tree? You can find out more about your ancestors using these 5 handy tips.

(Featured image above: Lincolnshire Regiment, WWI.)


1.   Start with your own immediate family.


Family portrait from the mid to late 60's with us girls in coordinating outfits hand made by Mom.
My immediate family portrait from the mid to late 60’s with us girls in coordinating outfits hand made by Mom, c. 1967. (That’s me third from the left, just behind my Mom.)

Sometimes Mom and Dad know more than they’ve shared with you.

Perhaps you were too young and they didn’t think you’d be interested, or they were just too busy with the everyday affairs of raising a family.

Start with your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They might have clues you could easily follow up on!


2.   Search photo albums and scrap books.


Search photo albums and scrapbooks.

This is another tip you could use right in your own home. Start checking out the family photo albums and scrap books. These might hold clues to ‘unknown’ ancestors you never knew existed.

Sometimes families keep mementos through countless generations and these might hold the real key to your ancestry!


3.   Research driving records.


Traffic Violator

Whoever would have thought that learning to drive a car would be a way in which some long-lost relative could find you in their family tree?

As you are preparing to take your driving theory test and are making use of online practice tests, just think about how important this might be one day. Not only will passing your driving theory enable you to go on to the practical exam, but some day, that driving licence just might put you in touch with a distant cousin you might never have met otherwise.

They may have more information on ancestors you want to record in your genealogy.


4.   Online resources and genealogy chat rooms.


Genealogy chat rooms.

One really useful site that many searching their ancestry use is an online chat room at Genes United. Here you can chat with others, post messages that you are looking for a specific branch of the family, or simply talk to others about how they are proceeding in their search.

Other important genealogy research sites are the GenUKI group of sites and the UK GenWeb, Canada GenWeb and the US GenWeb sites, which provide valuable information, tips and hints, and also a ton of links to other valuable resources and sites.


5.   Join a family history society.


Federation of Family History SocietiesThere are a number of family history societies that you might like to join. Some are small local sites while others have a huge online presence.

Certain church affiliations put a great deal of emphasis on ancestry, so you might find a family history society in your local church as well.

Whether you find information from driving records or from relatives you find online in chat rooms, there are so many ways in which to conduct a search that were never available in previous generations. In fact, there are even DNA testing sites that can tell you if you are a ‘blue blood’ or of mixed ancestry.

The key is to be persistent and record, chart and document everything you learn. There are numerous free or inexpensive software programs that make this easy, leading you through step by step.

Before long, you may even be able to trace your lineage back to the Middle Ages.

Wouldn’t that be fun?

Originally posted 2016-05-18 11:43:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Transcription: Obituary for Leonard Scott Keefer of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Obituary for Leonard Scott Keefer


obituary for Leonard Scott Keefer.
Obituary for Leonard Scott Keefer.


Scott Keefer died at his home in this city last Saturday morning about nine o’clock, aged 73 years, 3 months and 12 days.

While his health had been failing gradually for the last two or three years, it was not until about New Year, when he had a severe attack of la grippe, that it was felt there was any cause for worry. He did not seem to recover from the effects of this attack, and about ten days prior to his death he took a serious turn for the worse, and continued in a critical condition until death occurred Saturday morning from heart failure.

Mr. Keefer had been a resident of Dell Rapids for nearly thirty years, having been a grain buyer until he retired a few years ago. He was born in Paynesville, Ohio, December 6th, 1812. When he was eight years old he moved with his parents to Wisconsin, where he resided until about 33 years ago, when he came to Egan, Dakota, to take charge of a grain elevator. While a resident of Egan he was a member of the Masonic fraternity and also an active member of the Methodist church, of which he was treasurer and a leader.

After leaving Egan he was located at Flandreau for a time and then came to Dell Rapids, where he has since resided.

He was a veteran of the civil war, having enlisted as a member of Co. H. First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, at St. Paul, February 8th, 1865, and served in Tennessee until the close of the war, being discharged Sept. 27, 1865. He was an active member of the G.A.R.

He had been married twice, the last time to Miss Anna Qualseth, in 1892, who with four sons and one daughter survive him. There are also a son and a daughter of his first marriage, W. S. Keefer, of Rozellville, Wis., and Mrs. Cora Gaske, of Beaver Dam, Wis., both of whom, and the latter accompanied by her husband, are here to attend the funeral.

The children here are Leonard, Harry, Dewey, Annie May and Geddy.

Mr. Keefer was widely known and was universally esteemed for his kindly ways and disposition, his public spirit and good citizenship.

The funeral was held Wednesday, at the home at 1:30, and at the M. E. church at 2 o’clock, Rev Black conducting the service, which was largely attended.


We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all those who so kindly assisted us in the sickness and death of our dear husband and father; for the beautiful floral offerings and to the old soldiers and choir and to Rb. Black, of the Methodist church, for his words of cheer and comfort.

Mrs. L. F. Keefer and Children.


You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

Originally posted 2016-08-19 20:44:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Irish Genetic Homeland Finder: Ancestry by DNA, place names, surnames.

The Irish Genetic Homeland Finder website is taking advantage of Ireland being the one country that preceded all others in using paternal surnames, by using the surnames as well as DNA and geographical place names in pinpointing direct male ancestry for approximately 1,000 years.
Irish Genetic Homeland Finder: Ancestry by DNA
Irish Genetic Homeland Finder traces Irish Ancestry using DNA, place names, and surnames.

This is an interactive site available to anyone who may be curious about their Irish surname, or those interested in more detailed research into Irish surnames that appear in their family tree.

Registration for this site is free and the first six queries are free, although there are fees applied on a pay as you go basis for additional queries.

All that is necessary is to input your surname(s) of interest to find locations where farmers with that surname cluster, in addition to place names and castles associated with the surname(s). Once the search button is pressed, it is possible to zoom within the interactive map to find known areas of concentrations of the names.

This works particularly well in Ireland because original farming families of a particular surname can still be found farming the lands of their ancestors. Those farmers also used their name in naming places they lived and castles they built, owned and passed on through their families.

If there is more than one Irish surname in one’s ancestry, it is possible to input all surnames and find locations where the highest concentration of each surname can be compared and finding likely places where both surnames coexisted.

Searches can be saved to avoid ever having to pay for the same search twice.

When examined in conjunction with an ancestral DNA test, it is possible to achieve a much more detailed and precise result. The DNA test can help to reveal surnames of ancestors and neighbors up to about 1,000 years ago.

I don’t have much Irish ancestry, but I’m sure this site could be hugely valuable to those whose Irish ancestry is more significant.

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The benefits of storing your DNA for future use.

Assisting with legal issues, future comparison for accuracy, investigation of family histories, and verification of paternity and maternity are only a few of the benefits of storing your DNA for future use.
storing your DNA for future use.
The benefits of storing your DNA for future use.

As of June 2013, it has been legal for law enforcement officers to obtain DNA samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted of a serious crime. The purpose of this collection process is to enable the police to easily scan DNA evidence that has been collected from other crime scenes with the intention of helping them solve more cases. Although this was a controversial Supreme Court decision, it has also opened the door for individuals to consider protecting their rights by storing their own DNA samples. After all, evidence is not always as tamper-proof as it should be, and it could be extremely beneficial to have a professionally collected and stored sample for comparison’s sake.

What are the perks of storing DNA samples?

There are many reasons that an individual could decide to store their DNA. For example, it can provide an easily testable record of their family line for future genealogy enthusiasts, and it can also speed up the process of determining paternity. From a legal standpoint, being able to conclusively verify whether or not someone is the parent of a child can be imperative in certain cases. It is also important to consider the implications of DNA on criminal cases. The Justice Project has helped people become exonerated years after a conviction by comparing DNA samples, and now everyone has the opportunity to make sure that a reliable sample of their DNA will be available if they find themselves accused of a crime they did not commit.

How will stored DNA impact a legal case?

It is necessary for a DNA sample to be properly processed and stored in order for it to provide reliable results during a legal case. Any tampering or improper storage of DNA could cause the results to be skewed. Additionally, it is important to note that prosecutors do not always use DNA as evidence. In these cases, having properly stored DNA could very easily help lead to an acquittal, especially if any DNA that was found on the scene does not match the samples that are provided by the accused. Even if someone does get convicted, their stored sample could end up getting them exonerated in the future if new DNA evidence is found.

What happens if the DNA samples do not match?

If a prosecutor claims that an individual’s DNA links them to a crime but their sample does not match the one that the accused has in storage, it will typically become necessary for law enforcement officers to obtain a second sample. Going through this process can help erase any doubts about improper storage and processing, and it can make the difference between an acquittal and a conviction. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense for everyone to protect themselves by storing a sample of their DNA with a professional collection company.

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King Richard III’s genome to be sequenced by scientists.

Previous posts I’ve written described our fascination with King Richard III and the search for his grave, which ended successfully when his skeleton was unearthed in a Leicester parking lot in England.

Richard III, King of England

Now scientists have announced they will be sequencing Richard III’s DNA, which is of great interest to us and numerous other descendants of Richard III and his family.

He is an ancestor of Mark’s family and has been the subject of some research on my part. The resulting posts were:

Richard III's grave in Leicester parking lot.I’ve been toying with the idea of getting Mark’s and my DNA, and now that DNA profiles are more prevalent, it’s looking more and more like it would be a worthwhile endeavor.

Tombstone plaque for Richard III.Research can only be so accurate. Every family and generation has experienced their scandals and secrets that were never documented, and which may have affected the recorded ancestries, such as a child born from an illicit affair that was never disclosed. Even more questionable are the undocumented connections.

DNA might be helpful in solving some mysteries in more recent generations of branches of my family, as it is the one and only way we might have to prove blood connections to family and ancestors, either confirming or refuting the documentary evidence. It would be wonderful to have some of my questions answered and suspicions and theories confirmed.

photo credit: University of Leicester via photopin cc

photo credit: OZinOH via photopin cc

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Transcription: US, WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 – John Croll Macpherson for John Croll MacPherson

This is my transcription of the US, WWI Draft Registration Card for John Croll Macpherson.


US WWI Draft Registration Card for John MacPherson
US WWI Draft Registration Card for John MacPherson




John Crowl Macpherson     (First Name, Middle Name, Last Name)



1230 E. Flanders, Portland, Multnomah, Oregon     (No., Street or R.F.D. No., City or town, County, State)


Age in Years     32


Date of Birth     April 7, 1886     (Month, Day, Year)



CELL 5        White     X

CELL 6        Negro

CELL 7       Oriental


CELL 8       Citizen

CELL 9       Noncitizen


CELL 10     Native Born

CELL 11     Naturalized

CELL 12     Citizen by Father’s Naturalization Before Registrant’s Majority


CELL 13      Declarant     X

CELL 14      Non-declarant

CELL 15      If not a citizen of the U.S. of what nation are you a citizen or subject?     Scotland


CELL 16      Mgr. Bakery


CELL 17      Meier & Frank Co.


CELL 18      Sth (?) Morrison Portland Multnomah Or.     (No., Street or R.F.D. No., City or town, County, State)



CELL 19      Hilda Macpherson


CELL 20      1230 E. Flanders Multnomah Or.     (No., Street or R.F.D. No., City or town, County, State)



Form No. 1 (Red)

John Croll MacPherson

(Registrant ?????????????????????)         (OVER)


36-1-16 “C”



CELL 21      Tall

CELL 22      Medium     X

CELL 23      Short


CELL 24      Slender

CELL 25      Medium

CELL 26      Stout


CELL 27      Brown


CELL 28      Brown

CELL 29      Has person lost arm, leg, hand, eye, or is he obviously physically disqualified? (Specify.)     No.

CELL 30     

I certify that my answers are true; that the person registered has read or has had read to him his own answers; that I have witnessed his signature or mark, and that all of his answers of which I have knowledge are true, except as follows:



Mrs. William W. Porter

(Signature of Registrar)

Date of Registration     Sept. 12, 1918.


      |      LOCAL BOARD

      |     DIV. NO. 7

      |     COURT HOUSE

      |     PORTLAND, OREG.

(The stamp of the Local Board having jurisdiction of the area in which the registrant has his permanent home shall be placed in this box.)

??-????     (OVER)


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.


Transcription: Whitcomb burials of Lancaster, Massachusetts, prior to 1850.

Whitcomb Burials
Whitcomb Burials

Transcription of the Whitcomb burials of Lancaster, Massachusetts, prior to  1850.












The founders of the town, and their descendants during the 17th century at least, buried their dead without formal services—foll0wing the custom of the Puritans in England-—and perhaps a plot of ground for the family graves was sometimes selected within the home lot or orchard. Early in the present century ancient graves were visible near the sites of both the Roper and the Prescott garrisons. But in the infancy of the Nashaway Plantation, land adjoining the meeting-house site was set apart for common use as a “burying place.” The practice of marking graves by incribed headstones probably did not begin until after the resettlement, one apparent exception being that of Mrs. Dorothy Prescott, who died in I674. The oldest date now to be found is that over the grave of the first ]ohn Houghton—I684. For half a century all memorial stones were but fragments of slate riven from some ledge, or rough granite slabs, upon which unskilled hands rudely incised name and date,—the latter being often upon a foot-stone or on the back of the head-stone. Many of the older inscriptions are illegible to most eyes. In his History of Lancaster, Reverend A. P. Marvin has given a plan of this ancient burial place, upon which the marked graves are located and numbered, and has added literal copies of the epitaphs. In the following carefully revised list of inscriptions the same numbering is adopted. Their arrangement is indicated by division lines. Numbers omitted are of stones not lettered, or of misplaced foot-stones found to belong with other numbers.

Whitcomb Burials of Lancaster, Massachusettts
Whitcomb Burials of Lancaster, Massachusettts



Here Lyes Buried | ye Body of Mr | DAVID WHETCOMB \ Who Died April | 11th 1730 in ye 62d | Year of His Age
Here lied Buried | ye Body of Mrs. Mary | Whetcomb Wife to | Mr. David Whetcomb, | Who Died Janury | 5th, 1733-4 in ye 67th | Year of Her Age.
Here Lyes Buried | ye Body of Mr. HEZEKIAH WHETCOMB | Who Died May 6th. | 1732 in ye 31st Year | of His Age

Of the 4 Whetcomb gravestones legible prior to 1850 only the stone of Josiah Whetcomb remains in 2013.


The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.


Here’s how to find unindexed records on .

unindexed recordsNews Flash! Unindexed records are available on and they can be searched if you know how.

I certainly didn’t realize that indexing does not include all records until I read a post by Crista Cowan on the <a rel=”nofollow” href=” +blog%29&utm_content=Netvibes” target=”_blank”> blog.

For this reason, it can pay to view an entire record set for additional information. She includes a video tutorial for browsing full collections on Ancestry. This is a great way to find elusive information that could help get through those brick walls.

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Chris Hadfield and Benedict Cumberbatch are cousins?

To coincide with the return of Commander Chris Hadfield from the international space station, has announced that he is 6th cousin to british actor Benedict Cumberbatch who is starring as the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Chris Hadfield’s role being based in reality, Benedict Cumberbatch’s based in fantasy, they both explore the frontier of space.

I loved Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in the recent series and as much as I’m indifferent to all space epics, I might just watch Star Trek Into Darkness, solely because he’s in it.

It’s a small world, uh-h-h, universe?

What happened to civility and cooperation in genealogy research?

The vast majority of my interactions with regard to my own genealogical research and that of fellow genealogists has been friendly, cooperative and extremely helpful. Infrequently, however, I have been in a position to wonder what is happening to the culture of civility and cooperation in genealogy research?
Debate and controversy are good. Rudeness and harassment are not.

Although there have been small incidents that could be termed problematic, there were two situations which could be characterized as ongoing harassment.

I have been actively researching 4-8 hours per day for almost twenty years and have amassed a database of about 122,000 individuals.

Of these, about 20% are without sources and notes and could be considered speculative at best. Now here it is important to note that I have thousands of sources and images that are not yet attached to individuals. This is because I choose to make good use of my subscription dollar and save the sources I find to an ‘unattached’ folder on my computer while entering the basic identifying information into my database.

When my subscription expires, I then take several months to attach the sources found to the individuals in the database. The result is that a number of the seemingly ‘unsourced’ individuals do have sources that have simply not been entered as yet.

I have been criticized for unsourced individuals being included in my database, but I do explain (and have a written policy on the site explaining) that I include unsourced information as the sources may simply have not been entered, or they are used as ‘clues’ to further research. Although there have been instances where the information – or at least part of it – was erroneous, the vast majority of these proved to be valid. All information in my database should be evaluated solely on the quality of the sources. If there are no sources, one can assume it is speculative and choose to not use it.

However, it is important to note that my online database has not been updated in months and I don’t intend to update it in future. This is because of issues with the software using identifying numbers which change with each and every update, causing numerous broken links and seriously affecting the performance of the site. If anyone knows of a genealogy website publishing system that allows for access to sources, images, etc. and uses the name and not ID numbers, please do let me know.

If you find a line you’re researching in my database online, feel free to contact me to inquire if I have any unentered sources, images or other information. I will gladly foward them and/or a gedcom of that particular branch.

I do, however, intend to transcribe sources on Empty Nest Genealogy, and these will include sources that are not actually entered into the online database, thereby making them available anyway. This will be a slow process, but I am working on it.

Now, back to these incidents.

Incident #1

The first of these occurred about a year ago when a woman named ‘Barbara’ emailed me about my efforts researching the family of James Harmond Reynolds, which includes extensive Hubbell and Keller lines. To illustrate our connection, the mother of my husband’s father and older brother remarried after a divorce to Harmond James Reynolds, whose mother was Elizabeth Keller (see chart).

What's happening to civility and cooperation in genealogy research?
Chart illustrating my family’s connection to the Hubbell / Keller lineage. (Click on the image to see it in full size.)

She berated me for using any Hubbell data as, according to her, we are not connected to the Hubbell lineage. Following is the copied and pasted email string to illustrate.

…I am contacting you, as you appear to be the link for the Blythe Family Tree on “Our Famiy History”  and you have the data of “The Descendants of Nehemiah Hubble and Lucretia Welton” included.  As I am the keeper of this information and this work is copyright protected, I am curious as to why you have included it.  There are only 12 “BLYTH” names in the book so if this means you are connected to one of them I would be interested in having your information.

What is very stressful, is that for whatever reason, be it a computer glitch or input, you have a number of inaccurate pieces of data and these inaccurate bits are not reflected in the book.

My request is simply that you remove the links to “The Descendants of Nehemiah Hubble and Lucretia Welton” or at least only show your direct relationship back to it.  As an organization we have worked very hard, for many years, getting the family data as correct as possible and again, very distressing to see it used in this way with so much incorrect data portrayed as though it comes from us…


…I am sorry you feel this way. My father-in-law, Marshall Blythe is the step-son to James Reynolds and half-brother to William and Helen Reynolds, who are related to the Kellers and Hubbles. You can see the connection in the database.

Just because I have cited your publication does not mean it was used as the source for all of the data and sometimes where the data of more than one source conflicts, I have to choose what appears to be the most accurate data. You will see that there are several sources cited for each individual and/or fact – and not just yours. Are you positive the information you have is actually the correct information? Also, citing a publication as a source is not an infringement of copyright.

I would, however, like to know what information is incorrect and I will work to correct it. Unfortunately, in the exchange of genealogy information, mistakes do happen and I apologize for any that may exist in this data.

Without specific information about errors you have found, I will have to rework the data to try and find the errors you speak of. This could take a quite a while…


I can appreciate you entering the lineage back from your father-in-law relating to the Keller’s and Hubble’s but since you aren’t doing the actual research for the entire HUBBLE descendants of Rawdon – and I am – and I was the person who did the work for the publication of The Descendants of Nehemiah Hubble & Lucretia Welton AND published a corrections booklet to the book in 2005 AND have maintained updating the Corrections – yes, I suspect I am more certain of the facts of the family than you.No, you are correct that citing a publication as a source is not an infringement of copyright, however, we hobby genealogists also need to encourage a level of ethics in our use of material produced by others. I stand by the fact that your Marshall (Reynolds) Blythe is not blood related to the whole of the HUBBELL/HUBBLE/HUBBEL/HUBEL/HUBLE clan going back to Rock, England and therefore you should allow that research to be posted by those that do the research for that line.  That research is being done by the U.S. Hubbell Family Association and they also are always actively updating their information and that said, even I do not try to duplicate their work beyond entering the name only of the direct line back to Richard HUBBALL…


I do understand Barbara’s concern over any errors in another researcher’s data, but I object completely to the idea that because one individual started to research a line first, they own that lineage.

I finally stopped responding and was relieved she had ceased emailing me, thinking the whole thing was over. Then I read a post on Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter regarding ‘discouragement of newbie genealogy researchers’ and commented about my own position on including unsourced information. Unfortunately, this newsletter site has been redesigned and no longer goes back that far in its archives, so I can’t quote from it directly.

The same day, there was a reply from Barbara repeating her opinion about ownership and rights to genealogy research, and making a direct slam to me without naming me (and I paraphrase): “a database of 115,000 individuals does not a genealogist make.” Now, I know this was the same woman because she had previously referred to my database of 115,000 being impossible to accumulate.

Incident #2

Gravestone of Evan Dhu Shelby
Tombstone of Evan Dhu Shelby.

The second incident occurred much more recently in response to a post on this site regarding Evan Isaac Shelby, in which much was recounted about his ancestor Evan (Dhu) Shelby, the pioneering immigrant from Wales to Pennsylvania. There has been a lot of controversy over whether the nickname ‘Dhu’ was ever used as it is only recorded as being associated with this individual in anecdotal evidence of the period. However, a later ancestor was also known as Evan Dhu Shelby, as is clearly stated on his tombstone (see right).

A gentleman commented on the post,


Back around 1903 someone made application to the DAR and picked up the ‘dhu’ and used it in their application(s).

The use of Dhu first appeared in an early book by Armstrong in which he provides no basis for the use. I suspect he picked it up by mistake from a poem by Alexander McLachlan “In memory of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, 1629 -1719″. This is a poem that pays tribute to a Scotsman who went by “Evan Dhu”

Later Janet Schonert wrote a book “Chasin Shelbys” and continued using “dhu” as a middle name in error.

ALL of the researchers who have made the pilgrimage to St. Carron’s church in Wales and have looked at the ACTUAL baptismal records of Evan Shelby(see below) have confirmed that Evan had NO middle name, further, other than the DAR, which has no basis for the use of dhu, Alexander’s mistake, and Schonert who has perpetuated it, no other researcher or author has found any evidence to support its’ use.

The two premier Shelby authorities, Cass Knight Shelby, and Johnnie Mulinax Johnson, along with Shelby document historian Judith Trolinger have debunked the use of Dhu.

Over the years I have tried to educate as many Shelby researchers with the facts, but once the cow is out of the barn….

For you serious Shelby researchers here’s a partial list of Shelby research sources: (and yes, I’ve included those that use “dhu” ….sigh)


1. Notable Southern Families, Armstrong, Zella, 1918, 273pgs.

2. A Report on the First Three Generations of the Shelby Family in the United States of America – by Shelby, Cass K.”, 1927, 26pgs.

3. Sketches of the Shelby, McDowell, Deaderick, Anderson families, Moon, Anna Mary, 1933, 150pgs.;view=1u

4. The Shelby family: ancestry and descendants of John Shelby and his son David Shelby ; pioneers of Tennessee, Galloway, Howard S. 1964, 352pgs

5. Chasin’ Shelby’s [sic] : a basic outline of the descendants of Jonathon, Jacob, Rees Shelby, Schonert, Janet D, 1971, 109pgs

6. Our ancestors and kinsmen: the Shelbys, Polks, McLartys, Perkersons, Tarpleys, and Camps, Camp Max W. , 1976, 128pgs

7. Our Shelbys, Johnson, Johnnie Mullinax, 1991, 209pgs

8. Rees and Mary Shelby: ancestors & descendants, Johnson, Johnnie Mullinax, 1994, 510pgs. (This book is THE Gold Standard, most exhaustive and best researched for Phillip Selby/Shelby’s line)

Now, I don’t have any issue with the above comments as they are succinct, illustrating his reasons for believing the name Dhu is inaccurate, but I responded with my reasons for choosing to leave the nickname Dhu in the database while explaining the controversy surrounding the name in the notes.

My response included:

Anything entered in my database that is not supported by a source is described as such. Where ‘family stories’ are unsubstantiated, they are identified as such. I clearly identify all my sources and unfortunately, if I have a document source, it takes precedence over word of mouth evidence that is anything but first party…

Only to receive a response back from him:

“I would love to see any documentary source that contradicts the information I’ve already sourced. The information I have that is not sourced and disagrees with the information you’ve provided will be changed.”

How can I prove a negative ?

There IS no document that supports/proves that Evan had “Dhu” as a middle name.

On the other hand, Evan’s ACTUAL baptismal/christening documents at St. Caron’s church, transcribed in Judy Trolinger’s notes that I provided are indeed PROOF of his real name. (See posst by Jef SHELBY at Genforum and Ancestry as he too has inspected the ACTUAL documents from the 1700′s).

Still believing that the absense of a name on a birth certificate is not definitive proof that it was not used, I responded again:

I have only ever referred to ‘Dhu’ in brackets or quotes in my database as a nickname, which he most likely would have come by at a later age. I do use this as it is mentioned in documentary sources I have found, which include Sons of the American Revolution applications and biographical documents, among others.

I then believed this debate to be concluded until I came upon this thread of comments to a post I made on the site, in which I directed readers to the data, images and sources I had made available.

The first comment was from a different person and he states:

…”Evan Shelby DID NOT HAVE A MIDDLE NAME OF DHU!. A very early researcher threw that one in- It simply means ‘black’ in Galic (sic)”…

The gentleman who had responded to the post on my genealogy blog then responded:

…I have tried repeatedly to help this researcher/historian repeal her use of “dhu”…. …I have posted what I believe to be exhaustive and logical support as to why Evan did not have Dhu as a middle name at… for those reading this post…

The response to him from the first commenter was:

“Dhu” (?) =s DUH!!!

Then there was a response back to him:

Really ? I thought its’ use was DHUmb

At this point, I was seeing ‘red’ and posted the following response:

I’m so disappointed in how rude some (very few mind you) researchers are. This gentleman has refused to accept the fact that I have a difference of opinion on this matter.

I have every right to disagree with Judy Trolinger, as much as her research has been helpful to me and numerous others (and with him) because there is at least one written account of the use the name ‘Dhu’ and since it’s documented as having been used by a later Evan Shelby (I have an image of it on a tombstone), it’s not inconceivable that it was used with this earlier Evan and carried on through the family. This would be considered a ‘nickname’ and would not be documented on a birth record, which is this researcher’s rationale for my being wrong. I may very well be wrong, but since there is some anectodal evidence of its use, I prefer to keep it until proven otherwise. If he would bother to check further, he would find the image of the tombstone documenting the nickname ‘Dhu’ in my database.

There is nothing ‘DHU’mb about my conclusions. As long as I make it clear why I make them in my research, which I do on the main website and his entry in the database site at….

Now, I do apologize that this post has been so long-winded, but I wanted to depict accurately what happened in both these incidents.

As far as I’m concerned, there is no room in genealogy for kingdomship, lack of civility, and harassment as a result of differing points of view.

I am so thankful that the vast majority of genealogy researchers I’ve dealt with have been pleasant, helpful and led to some relationships with other researchers through my blog and database site.

Please do let me know if you find any erroneous information in my database, but please do include a source or a link to a source as support for me to change my information. I appreciate any help I can get.

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Access to FBI files is possible with

InvestigationEver wondered how you can get information about a family member who my have been investigated in the past? A new website for accessing federal investigation files called can now help – at least with federal investigations.

No matter what the reason for the investigation is, major crime, murder, smuggling, you can search.

There is bad news however. These files will only be available for a finite period of time as only a small portion of these files will be preserved at the National Archives. The rest will be destroyed in the interest of saving space.

Files on living people will be provided with written permission.

I visited the site and placed a request for the file of an ancestor of ours, William Read Kirk, who was last known to be an inmate in the Ohio State Penitentiary at the time of the 1930 fire. Once I got into the site, I was asked to complete the form with contact information and mailing address and stipulate a maximum I will pay in fees if the quantity of pages exceeds the initial 100 free pages. After clicking next, I was taken to a new screen to view the letter completed using the information I had input. Finally, the letter was forwarded on my behalf to the FBI. They state it can take anywhere from one week to ten days to get a response.

In addition to, another site called already exists to assist with getting one’s own FBI information, as well as records from the US Secret Service, US Marshals Service, Defense Security and Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Thousands of wills online, including Shakespeare, Austen and Drake.

I was so excited to hear the news that thousands of wills are now online by Among the wills published are those of famous and noted individuals including William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Sir Francis Drake.

Thousands of wills are now online.
Thousands of wills now online.

According to’s news site, “We’ve just added the most important collection of wills for England and Wales from before 1858 proved by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. It’s packed with wills from members of the old middle and upper classes and paints a rich picture of life at that time.”

Richard Chatterton Will
Thousands of wills now online.

Of all of the source documents I’ve worked with, my favorite are wills. I love the look of the beautiful scripts used throughout history and thoroughly enjoy the challenge of transcribing them as accurately as possible. I find that wills are the most information and ‘colorful’ documents. Yes, yes, I know they’re pen and ink and ‘black and white’ in reality, but what I mean by ‘colorful’ is that they provide the details of the lives of the persons involved. It’s never just dates, locations, etc. Wills provide the prologue, main story and epilogue of an individual’s life and introduces us to their family and sometimes friends. We learn details of financial circumstances, social standing, property owned, and best of all, their relationships, whether good or bad.

Once we have come to understand the contents of a will, we know more of their life story. Although they are only accessible through paid subscription, offers a 14 day trial period for users to check it out before committing to a full subscription.

How to Apply for a Métis Status Card

Symbols of MetisTo apply for a Métis Status Card (aka Aboriginal Status card, Indian Status card), first you need to get the required information to prove your native ancestors. If you’re wondering about who qualifies for Métis Status, generally anyone with Native ancestors is biologically Métis. Which card you have depends on who your ancestors were.

Usually this means you need to start with yourself, and work backward through your family tree. You cannot randomly pick out a native american you were told “you might be related to” and try to match your tree with that person. This is why it can take some time to get your tree together and time to find a native ancestral line.

Start by making a family tree chart. Every person on the chart has 2 parents, so they become like branches in the tree (you can find blank tree charts online). Write your name and birthdate as the first person, then add your parents as branches in the next column, then their parents in the next column, etc., with each generation in a separate column. Add the birthdates and marriage dates for each generation. Eventually you will need to search archival records or church records for previous generations, but always work backward in time, verifying ancestors as you go.

If and when you do find your native ancestors, you will need to get copies of all records linking each generation back along that line, because most organizations do not do this for you without charging a fee, as it is so time-consuming. Métis organizations are not funded by government to find your native ancestors and prove that line. It is up to you to prove to them who you are. Some organizations will not verify your line at all, and will simply refuse membership.

For yourself, you need a birth or baptism record that states who your parents were. Then for every person along that line, you will need a record that states who their parents were. Usually this is referred to as a “long form” record, because it provides proof of parents’ names. Because some families have multiple persons with the same name, the only way to know for sure whether each person is completely documented is to have both the birth and marriage records that state parents’ names. You will need records like this for each generation going back to your native ancestor. Names and dates obtained from regular internet sites or family trees are not considered proof. You need to get copies of the government or church records, or other legal documents, either online or from that agency.

Once you have copies of all the actual records to prove your native line (without any unproven gaps in the line), you need to find out which Métis organization best fits your ancestry, and will represent you as a member of their Métis community.

Métis organizations have different requirements, objectives, and offer different kinds of representation. They are not usually affiliated with each other and do not share the same membership information. They also offer varying services for the application fee. Some only give aboriginal status cards, others offer programs and services. If you are interested in having help with your tree and also knowing the results of whatever is found, you should ask the organization about this service, what it will cost, and what you will get for your money, as some provide your tree information and others don’t.

Before applying, you might want to speak to their representatives or employees personally, to help determine the likelihood of being accepted into their community, and whether you feel their community best represents you and your ancestry. Some organizations may deny you status if you don’t have a specific type of proof, so you don’t want to find out that you have paid an application fee only to be turned down, then have to pay another organization to apply to their registry. Conversely, other organizations may seem to require very little proof.

Either way, a solid Métis community registry should contain documented proof of every generation, from your baptism or birth record to your native ancestor, without gaps. If you only have your standard issued birth certificate that does not state your parents’ names, then you need to either get your baptism record from your church or your “long form” birth certificate, which is available from the government, and send in copies to the organization. You will also need this same kind of document for each generation. This is the only way a registry can prove that all of its members are actually descended from Native Americans. The amount of funding an organization gets will depend on the number of registrants who have complete documentation, and whether your organization is prepared to negotiate funding on your behalf.

Once you have decided which group to apply to and have got your paperwork in order, you are ready to apply for your Métis Card.

Go to the organization’s website, and download the Métis Status Card Application Form. Fill out one application per person. Add your documented proof either by supplying copies (never send actual records), or scan them as computer files.

Include the required photo, and sign the application. Either mail the package or send it by email with payment for processing (never send cash in the mail).

Check periodically to see if your application will likely be processed soon. Some organizations take over a year to process so you shouldn’t wait until the last minute. Once you have your status, you can let others in the family and community know how to apply for Métis Status Cards too!

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Why would a typist and transcriptionist want to spend her leisure years typing and transcribing?

The answer?

I’m a genealogy fanatic and typing and transcription are a very large portion of the workload necessary to conduct research, handle sources and documents, and transcribe images of documents into editable text to make it searchable. Although I made the majority of my living as a business owner and Administrative Assistant using these necessary skills, I find I’m using them just as much if not more in my quest for my family’s history and heritage.

I’ve looked into dictation transcription services in case I find a need for them and can afford them one day to ease my workload when (knock on wood) my blogs really take off. The majority of the sites I looked at offered basic transcription services without specialization, but I couldn’t believe the wide range of services offered by Daily Transcription Services.

Their areas of expertise include:

  • Academic: Thesis, lectures, speeches, student services, focus groups and interviews.
  • Corporate: Business meetings, data entry, conference calls, dictation, market research, video conferencing and voice to text.
  • Closed Captioning: Multimedia captions, foreign captions and pop up and  roll up captions.
  • Legal Services: Forensic transcription, depositions, court reporting, etc.
  • Post Production: Full range of post production services including clean and actual verbatum, and transcription from both good and difficult audio sources.
  • Transcription Services: Audio and video transcription, podcasts, dictation, voice to text and webcaption transcription services.
  • Language Services: Dubbing, translation, caption, and lip sync services in numerous languages.
  • Writing Services: Writers experience in television, film, journalism and film offer screenplay and script services and formatting, as well as ghost writing.

I have never seen a company offer such  a broad range of services at a variety of skill levels before. Perhaps, if I ever tire of genealogy and decide to make extra money for our retirement, I could apply to this company?

I don’t know if I ever could or would give up my genealogy as there’s always a new mystery to be solved and new questions to be answered.

photo credit: alanclarkdesign via photopin cc

DNA Solved Mystery for the Child of the Last US Soldier Killed in Vietnam

On Friday, the family of John O’Neal Rucker gathered with Tia McConnell and her husband Allan and their two boys Matthew and Quentin at the Veterans’ Memorial at Linden’s courthouse to honor her newly discovered father.

Tia had been an orphan in Da Nang, and was adopted by Karen and Jack Whittier of Colorado after being evacuated from Vietnam. After a lengthy and problematic search for her birth family, Tia discovered that John Rucker was her father.

She honored her father with placement of a flag at the monument that recognized him as the last American soldier to die in Vietnam. Rucker had been a member of 366 Combat Support Group, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing during the Vietnam War, and was the last American soldier to die in Vietnam, having been killed by a rocket attack on January 27, 1973. Sadly, this attack and John’s subsequent death occurred only hours before the Paris Peace Accords were signed, ending the Vietnam War.

Mae Rucker, John’s mother, had met Tia and her family the day before, after Tia’s search led to John and DNA testing proved the connection. Despite a negative first test in comparison to John’s mother, they persevered and had another test done to confirm the result. This time her DNA was compared with John’s two sisters and the tests were positive, indicating a 91 percent match, which is impossible unless the parties are closely related.

This story has finally convinced Mark and I to get our DNA tested. It’s something I’ve been considering for quite a while now, but I’ve been hesitant because I wasn’t sure I trusted the process enough yet.

Mark and I want to test our DNA rather than our children’s because we feel it would allow us to maintain separation of the data from our two different branches. I’m curious to find if my suspicions are correct and there are commonalities between the two branches.

I’ll post later about the process and results.