All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Category: Stories

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

The ancestor quest: humor, poems and prose for Genealogists.

I have gathered and transcribed several items of humor, poems and prose for Genealogists that have touched me in some way. The ones I have selected and printed below are my favorites of the hundreds that can be found – and the ones that hit home the most.


Dear Ancestor


Your tombstone stands among the rest;
Neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
On polished, marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
So many years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you.



 Genealogy – where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.



Murphy’s Law for Genealogists


The public ceremony in which your distinguished ancestor participated and at which the platform collapsed under him turned out to be a hanging.

When at last after much hard work you have solved the mystery you have been working on for two years, your aunt says, “I could have told you that.”

You grandmother’s maiden name that you have searched for four years was on a letter in a box in the attic all the time.

You never asked your father about his family when he was alive because you weren’t interested in genealogy then.

The will you need is in the safe on board the Titanic.

Copies of old newspapers have holes occurring only on the surnames.

John, son of Thomas, the immigrant whom your relatives claim as the family progenitor, died on board ship at
age 10.

Your gr. grandfather’s newspaper obituary states that he died leaving no issue of record.

The keeper of the vital records you need has just been insulted by an another genealogist.

The relative who had all the family photographs gave them all to her daughter who has no interest in genealogy and no inclination to share.

The only record you find for your gr. grandfather is that his property was sold at a sheriff’s sale for insolvency.

The one document that would supply the missing link in your dead-end line has been lost due to fire, flood or war.

The town clerk to whom you wrote for the information sends you a long handwritten letter which is totally illegible.

The spelling for your European ancestor’s name bears no relationship to its current spelling or pronunciation.

None of the pictures in your recently deceased grandmother’s photo album have names written on them.

No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, owned property, was sued or was named in wills.

You learn that your great aunt’s executor just sold her life’s collection of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer “somewhere in New York City.”

Ink fades and paper deteriorates at a rate inversely proportional to the value of the data recorded.

The 37 volume, sixteen thousand page history of your county of origin isn’t indexed.

You finally find your gr. grandparent’s wedding records and discover that the brides’ father was named John Smith.



Whoever said “Seek and ye shall find” was not a genealogist.


Strangers in the Box


Come, look with me inside this drawer,
In this box I’ve often seen,
At the pictures, black and white,
Faces proud, still, and serene.

I wish I knew the people,
These strangers in the box,
Their names and all their memories,
Are lost among my socks.

I wonder what their lives were like,
How did they spend their days?
What about their special times?
I’ll never know their ways.

If only someone had taken time,
To tell, who, what, where, and when,
These faces of my heritage,
Would come to life again.

Could this become the fate,
Of the pictures we take today?
The faces and the memories,
Someday to be passed away?

Take time to save your stories,
Seize the opportunity when it knocks,
Or someday you and yours,
Could be strangers in the box.

Originally posted 2016-04-26 10:17:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Transcription: The last Will and Testament of Hannah Stone


Last Will and Testament of Hannah Stone







This is the last Will and testament of me Hannah Stone of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in the County of Dorset ???? woman made this twenty fourth day of  April one thousand eight hundred and thirty four ffirst I direct my just debts ffuneral and testamentary expenses to be paid by my Executrix hereafter married And all the Rest Residue and Remainders of my household goods ffurniture linen cows cattle and all other my personal estate and effects what nature or kind ????? I give and do bequeath unto my daughter Ann Corney wife of William Corney of Weymouth aforesaid Sailmaker to and for her own use and benefit and I hereby appoint my said daughter sole Executrix of this my will and lastly I hereby revoke all wills codicils and other testamentary dispositions made by me at any time or times heretofore and do publish and declare this to be my last will and testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written The Mark and Seal of Hannah Stone ?? signed seales published and declared by the said Hannah Stone the Executrix as and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in her presence at her request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto Fred Chas. Sleggatt S??  Weymouth Thos. Corrall
Proved at London 15th October 1835 before the judge by the oath… (remainder missing)


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 2015-12-03 17:09:54. 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

Transcription: Crandall Family burial site memorial marker.


The following is my transcription of the Crandall Family burial site memorial marker of Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts. The graveyard is located at Pound Road, Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island.


Reverend John Crandall was the 8th great grandfather to my children through his first wife.


Featured image: Crandall Family Burial Ground, Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island.


Ancestral Burial Site


Crandall Burial Site
Crandall Burial Site memorial marker.

Elder John Crandall 1st Wife Died 1669
1647 Hannah Gaylord 2nd Wife 1678

1753 John Crandall after 1819
Rev. War Veteran
1755 Anna Gradner Wife

Tombstone of Reverend John Crandall
Tombstone of Reverend John Crandall.

Esther Lewis Crandall Lydia Saunders Crandall

1738 Lewis Crandall 1830 John G. Crandall
1790 Hannah Crandall Lizzie Primus
1793 Joshua Crandall

erected by the
30 May 1994




c.1609 – 1676


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 2016-12-09 13:35:18. 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

Transcription: 1564 will of Thomas Blyth of Louth, Lincolnshire.

The following is  my transcription of the 1564 will of Thomas Blyth of Louth, Lincolnshire, England.

In the name of God Amen.

The xxvijth Daye of ffebruary in the year of our Lord God a thousand five hundreth sixtie and four I Thomas Blyth of Louth ??????? draper ???? in boddie and parfecte in remembrance doth ordaine and maketh my laste will and testamente in manner and form following. First I bequeath my soule to God almightie my only creator and ?????? and my boddie to be buried in the Church or Churchyarde ?????? ?? shall please God to call me to I give and bequeath to the pore people of sssssss sssss shilings and ?????? pence. ???? give to ye poore people of Thorneton three shillinge and ?????? pence.

Item I give to the poore people of O??ersby five shillinge. Then I give to the reper????? of the Cathedrill Churche in Lincolne si? pence.

Item I give and bequeath to Elizabeth my wife fortie pounds with than half parte of my household and my new cupboard in the ????? parlor only ??????.

Item I give and bequeath to Edward John William and Jonathan, my sonnes to ???? out of them twentie pounts. And if it please God that any of my sonnes decease before they be of the age of xxj yeres, than my will is that the parte or parts of them for deceased shalbe evenly divided amongest the bretheren that livest.

Item my will and my ??? is that Edward Blyte my sone shalbe kept three yeres at Lo?oth or some other good scoole of my ????, and if his ?????? think it be apte to take l???ing, than my will is that he shall goe to Cambridge for ??? yeres his twentie poundes will disthan?e ??ym.

Item I give and bequeath to Elizabeth and Grace my daughters either of them twentie poundes, and if either of them dye before they be married, then my will is that her parte that is dis????ed be equally divided betwixt Edward Blyth and John my sonnes, and the daughter that lyveth. And if they both dye, than my will is that my foure sonnes aforesaide shall have it ????? ??????? them.

Item I bequeath to Catheren my daughter fortie pounds and my will is that George South shall have the order of her, to before as he shall ??????? mete for her proffitt.

Item I doe require my brothers George South, Patrick Blyte and Will Blyth to be helpers and aff??????? to myne Executor in all his needes and ?????? and for these payments I doe give ????? ????? of them one olde ??yere.

Item I doe require and ????????? ? ????? ??????? to be the supervisor of this my last will and for yis payment I doe give hym fortie shillings.

Item I give and bequeath to my younge master William after fortie shillings and I ???? ?????? requiring hym to be good in???? my ?????????? children the residue of all my goodes my debts payed and funerall expense deducted I give and bequeath to Thomas Blyth my oldest sonne, ??????? ?????? the sole Executor of this my last will and testament provided alwayes that if uppon the ???? of my goods my debts beinge payede and my funerall expense deducted, that it shall appe?? that myne Executors ?????? shall not amounte to the ??ere valu of fortie poundes then my will is ???? ??????? my daughter shall abate of her legacie before written to the valu of f????? poundes and every childe to abbate for morhe of theire portons at the saide ?????ing ? ????? my ???? ?????? ?onth shall declare equally by theire dis????ons. ?oe that my full meaning is that my Executors parte shalbe fortie poundes. And my will and mynde further is that my saide Executor shall not declare noe will uppon my goods that were myne during three yeres ???? ????ing this present daye except he be married.

And then if it shall soe come to passe that myne E????? shall disease within the saide three yeres, then my will is that ??????? my saide wife, yf the ?? ???ing shalbe the sole Eecutrix sholde have had ??? ?? ha?? lyved, the saide three yeres ???? whereas I am indebted ?oute the children of my late brother Thomas ??????? in certaine somes of monney my mynde and will is that forte poundes thereof shalbe payed on to the handes of the saide George South ymmediatly after my disease, uppon ? dis??????? and the rest to be payed within three yeres, if they per????? any ?????????? in my saide Executor and yf my saide Supervisor and my brother So??the think my saide Executor to ?????? in  his fulfillment, then they be theire dis??????? to ta?? ????? as my saide brother ?????????? children maye be affirmed uppon theire ???? ymmediatly. In Witnes hereof onto this, my last will and testamente I have subscribed my name with my ????? hande in the presense of Thomas Otleye, Davide Johnson, Lawrence Troydall, and Willm Baylye, and Christofer Willinson ????? George So??the provided always, that yf it shall fort??? either that my wife shall marry, or my sonne Thomas to marrie, or that they cannot ????? that then and ymmediatly after ????? marriage or disagreemente that my wife shall have my lease of my farme in ???saye for the terme of ten yeres that ?? ???????? ????????? hath promised me in the same.

Probatum (continues in Latin… unable to read or translate)

Transcription of the 1564 will of Thomas Blyth of Louth, Lincolnshire, England.
Transcription of the 1564 will of Thomas Blyth of Louth, Lincolnshire.



As you can see by the strings of question marks above, I had trouble transcribing several words. If you know any of the missing words or phrase, please do comment with them and I’ll update the transcription.

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 – Civil War letters of Pte. David Coon now completed.

I’m very happy to say I have finally completed the transcription of the 100+ pages of letters from Pte. David Coon to his family during his time of service and his capture and imprisonment by Confederate forces in Libby Prison and then Salsbury Prison, where he died late in 1864.

I do apologize for taking so long, but it was a great deal of work and had to be done when I could find time amid my responsibilities updating and maintaining my four blogs and my daily responsibilities as a wife and mother of two young adults.

I have divided the transcription into individual website pages containing 10 pages of letters each. The pages can be easily scrolled through using the page navigation links at the bottom of each web page.

This is a treasured artifact of our family. We do not hold the original letters, but we do have an original typed transcription of the letters completed in 1913 (interestingly enough, 100 years old as of this year) by David’s son Dr. John W. Coon.

My Signature

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

photo credit: lisby1 via photopin cc

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.


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.

photo credit: deflam via photopin cc

Kaziah Hancock: Artist paints portraits in honor of fallen soldiers.

This video is actually quite old, but I find it – and the artist, Kaziah Hancock  – quite amazing!

Kaziah Hancock portrait.
Portrait of Dale Panchot by Kaziah Hancock.

She paints, frames, and ships the portraits of her ‘friends’ and ‘buddies’ to their grieving families, as with this one for Minnesota’s Dale Panchot.

I’m posting this video in honor of the US Memorial Day and the lost souls.

As a military daughter, wife and mother, I truly appreciate the efforts of anyone to honor our military heroes, especially those who gave their lives for their country, whatever country that may be.

photo credit: The U.S. Army via photopin cc

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.

photo credit: brainpop_uk via photopin cc

Newfoundland and Labrador are the gems of Canada.

Melanson Village Community Hall
Melanson Village Community Hall

Mark is scared to death.

As we get closer to retirement, I’ve been focusing on possible places we could retire to. Unfortunately, unless something drastic changes, it isn’t likely we’ll be able to afford to stay in British Columbia, where the average home price in our area is $375,000.

This is not what Mark wants to hear. His family has lived in Chilliwack, British Columbia since the 1930’s after his grandmother sold the family farm on the Saskatchewan prairie.

I always thought like Mark. Having spent most of my life in British Columbia among the mountains, I never could foresee living elsewhere – until 2005 when we traveled to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to research my mother’s Melanson, Acadian family history.

New Brunswick was pretty in its own way and it was great seeing it as we drove through, but there was something primal tugging at me in Nova Scotia. Each of the Acadian sites we visited tugged at me more and more.

Melanson Mountain Sign
Melanson Mountain directional sign.

I had this strange feeling of ‘welcome home’, which was bolstered by the odd coincidences we experienced, the people we met and the places we discovered. One of the weird coincidences was my being disappointed in how little there was in my family’s pioneer ‘Melanson Settlement’ site.

All my life I’d heard my mother talk about the dike systems devised by the Acadians to drain the land on the ocean front and create some of the most fertile farmland anywhere. We were never able to find an example of the aboiteau (dike valves) that were used – not at Grand Pré museum, nor at the Melanson Settlement site or anywhere else. Yet, that very day, on our way after seeing the Melanson Settlement and being very disappointed, we happened upon a non-descript little house with a sign out front, “North Hills Museum.” We decided to stop and check it out. It seemed like the usual home refurbished to look as it had centuries before with period furnishings, art, utensils, dishware, etc. We did, however, strike up a conversation with the woman working there and upon mentioning our disappointment in the Melanson Settlement and not being able to find an aboiteau, she said, “We have an aboiteau stored here, ready to be archived and put on display.” I couldn’t believe it and my mind raced as she led us to a back barn being used as a storage shed – and there was the aboiteau. From one angle it looked like  a log, but looking up from the open end, the valve could be seen and it was easy to imagine it in operation. This and other odd coincidences such as the graveyard tour at Fort Anne being led by Alan Melanson, another direct Melanson descendant, led to my feeling like we were expected and welcomed.

Since this trip to Nova Scotia and my resulting love of the area, I’ve been checking out properties there and have seen some amazing, waterfront acreages with heritage homes for $100,000 or less. This would be ideal for our retirement budget. Every time I show Mark one of these, I can see the panic in his eyes.

Over the last few years, I’ve been noticing the wonderfully charming, quaint commercials being produced by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. Each time, I feel so sorry that we never ventured that far while visiting the east coast on our genealogical quest. There’s something about the charm and hominess of these ads that invokes the same kind of ‘Welcome Home’ feeling and I mentioned to Mark that it might be smart to consider retiring there as well. The bonus there is that the rugged waterfront, high cliffs and jagged rocks are somewhat reminiscent of our Rocky Mountains in British Columbia. Again, I immediately saw panic in Mark’s eyes.

After this experience, I truly believe there is an innate tie between us and the homeland of our ancestors. I’d never seen Nova Scotia before and have no explanation for the deep draw and connection I experienced.

I still wonder at the ads produced by Newfoundland and Labrador tourism and have placed the videos of my favorites below.

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Videos

Iceberg Alley

Secret Place

Most Easterly Point

Gros Morne




Place Names

The Edge

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 results: Leicester parking lot remains are those of Richard 3rd.

DNA lab testThe remains found under a parking lot in Leicester are indeed those of Richard III.

The identity was confirmed by tests conducted comparing DNA from the remains and those of Richard III’s nearest living relative, Michael Ibsen, a Canadian who descends directly from Richard III’s sister Anne.

Richard III is 1st cousin, 24 times removed to my children, who directly descend from Richard III’s uncle and brother to Richard III’s mother Cecily de Neville, Richard de Neville, Earl of Salisbury.

After Richard III died in a battle at Bosworth Field, Henry VII, the victor, put his body on display, afterward burying him in Grey Friars monastery. The monastery having later been destroyed, the location of Richard III’s burial remained a mystery thereafter – until now.

With the support of donations to the Richard III Society, research led to the parking lot in Leicester where the remains were discovered. The skeleton will be reburied at Leicester Cathedral and a tomb erected in his honor.

It’s amazing to realize how much DNA has opened up the world to us – both past and present. Through DNA, we can answer questions we once thought impossible to answer.

Now I’m seriously thinking of looking into DNA testing for myself and my husband to confirm relationships proven as much as possible through research alone. DNA could be the ultimate tool to resolve those brick walls where we believe in a relationship but can find no definitive proof.

Hilarious history: From Napoléon’s petit package to Pythagoras’ fear of farts | Ancient Origins

History is often presented in grey, rather dry terms, but when you do a bit of digging, our past is full of remarkable people who had wicked senses of humor and died with as much vigor as they lived.

In this article we will look at some of the most prominent people and funny events in history, where you just have to laugh.

Plea For A Pilgrim’s Pint

The Pilgrims were the first English settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. It has been said that the first thing said to the Pilgrims by the Native American Samoset, was specifically: “Do you have any beer?” in perfect English.

European trade routes to North America had already existed for several generations and cod fishermen and trade diplomats had traveled extensively to the Americas from Europe.

Historical records back up the fact that Samoset was the first Native American to greet the pilgrims and the possibility that he requested a cold beer is actually supported by most specialists.

Read on . . .

Source: Monumentally Funny Events in History: From Napoléon’s Petit Package to Pythagoras’ Fear of Farts | Ancient Origins

Transcription: US WWII Draft Registration Card for Albert Rascher

Transcription: US WWII Draft Registration Card for Albert Rascher.

Albert Rascher WWII Draft Card
Albert Rascher WWII Draft Card

REGISTRATION CARD — (Men born on or after April 28, 1877 and on or before February 16, 1897)

Line 1
NAME: Albert Rascher

Line 2
PLACE OF RESIDENCE: R.F.D. No. 1 – Arlington Heights Cook Illinois
(The place of residence given on the line above will determine local board jurisdiction; line 2 of registration certificate will be identical)

Line 3
(Mailing address if other than line 2. If same, insert word same)

Line 4

Line 5
AGE IN YEARS: 47; DATE OF BIRTH: August – 14 – 1894

Line 6
PLACE OF BIRTH: Palatine Illinois

Line 7

Line 8

Line 9
(Number and street or R. F. D. number) (Town) (State)


D. S. S. FORM 1 16-21630-2    Albert Rascher
(Revised 4-1-42)      (over)        (Registrant’s Signature)


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.

Sometimes it pays to look to the present for information about the past.

It’s amazing what information about the past including people and events can be found by searching through online newspapers, magazines, etc. – even if they are in a foreign language.

I’m routinely having to read, translate and understand documents written in their original language such as French, German, Swedish, and so on. My go to method for getting started is accessing ‘Google Translate’. To have a web page translated, just type the complete original language url in the Google search box, press ‘search’, find what you’re looking for in the search results list and click on ‘Translate this page’.

El Economista TranslatedOne such site I’ve recently accessed was ‘El Economista’ a Mexican, Spanish language online newspaper. On this particular day, the headlines were dominated by news of Javier Duarte de Ochoa and his handling of the crisis created by the recent tropical storm. Javier Duarte is the Governor of Veracruz, Mexico.

Above is a clip from the Google translated site mentioned and as you can see the text in the first paragraph is quite understandable, although not quite grammatically correct. I would always suggest finding independent confirmation elsewhere to confirm your understanding, if possible.

I routinely search through newspapers in the areas in which I’m researching and I have stumbled upon some real ‘gems’ related to my research, including a rooming house arson fire a recent ancestor escaped from, another ancestor whose name was published as a deserter in WWI, and most recently news of a tragic train crash in a community from which my own father’s French Canadian family originates. It was particularly heartbreaking to read the names of the deceased in the online French language news sites, and to recognize many of them as distant relatives.

Using Google translate  is also a useful tool if transcribing documents from their original language. Go to the main Google translate page, type the text in question in the left box, making sure it’s labeled with the correct language and click ‘Translate’. The English translation will appear to the right if English is the selected language. Text can be translated to and from numerous languages.

photo credit: Augie Schwer via photopin cc

Transcription: Obituary for Camille Vachon

The following is a transcription of the French text of an obituary for Camille Vachon.


Camille Vachon
Camille Vachon

VACHON, Camille

À l’Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis, le  20 juin 1990, à l’âge de 83 ans et 10 mois, est décédé monsieur Camille Vachon, époux de dame Marie-Anna Boily. Il démeurait à Sts-Anges. La famille recevre les condoléances à la salle municipale, 317, des Érables à Sts-Anges, vendredi de 13h 30 à 16h 30 et de 19h à 22h, samedi de 13h à 14h 45. Le service religieux sera célébre le samedi 23 juin, à 15h, en l’église de Sts-Anges et de là au cimetiére paroissial, sous la direction de la Maison.

Armand Plante Inc.
875, Ste-Thérèse

Il laisse dans le deuil, outre son épouse, ses enfants, gendres et belles-filles: Marie-Laure (Melvine Gagné), Laurent (Annette Drouin), Magella (Marie-Claire Drouin), Reina, Gemma (Laurent Lallamme), Guimond (Françoise Turmel), Thérèse (Adrien Lacroix), Pierrette (Denis Lagrange), ses vingt-deux petits-enfants, ses sept arriéres-petits-enfants; son frère et demi-soeurs: Valère, Germaine (Adélard Tardif), Eva, Iréne (Hermel Doyon), Agathe, Fernand (Jeannine Crenier), Rita (Antonio Labrie), Carmella (Freddy Jolicoeur), Imelda, ses neveus, niéces, cousins, cousines et de nombreus ami(e)s. Pour renseignements, 1-397-6948.


ENGLISH TRANSLATION (via Google Translate)

At the Hôtel-Dieu de Lévis, on 20 June 1990 at the age of 83 years and 10 months, Camille Mr. Vachon died, husband of Marie-Anna Boily. He remained in Sts-Anges. Family condolences will be received at the Municipal Hall , 317 Maples Sts-Anges, Friday from 13h 30 to 16h 30 and 19h to 22h Saturday from 13h to 14h 45. The funeral service will be held Saturday, June 23 at 15h, in the church of Sts-Anges and then to the parish cemetery under the direction of the house.

Armand Plante Inc.
875 , Ste- Thérèse
St. Joseph

He is survived by, in addition to his wife, children, sons and daughters, Marie-Laure (Melvin Won), Lawrence (Annette Drouin), Majella (Drouin Marie- Claire), Reina, Gemma (Laurent Lallamme), Guimond (Françoise Turmel), Therese (Adrien Lacroix), Pierrette (Denis Lagrange), twenty- two grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, his brother and half-sisters: Valere, Germaine (Adelard Tardif), Eva, Iréne (Hermel Doyon), Agathe, Fernand (Jeannine Crenier), Rita (Antonio Labrie), Carmella (Freddy Jolicoeur), Imelda, his nephews, nieces, cousins ​​and numerous friends. For more information, 1-397-6948.


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