23 June 2015



As a genealogist, I have to look at documents and depend on them but I also have to know that sometimes documents are incorrect and can be incorrect for many reasons.  That includes census records that record the same person as White one year, Black ten years later, because that was the perception of one census taker or another. 

Birth certificates can be incorrect because they are often a recording of testimony.  Women can have identified the wrong man as the father on them.  (Such was the case with Marilyn Monroe, whose mother identified a husband she had just divorced as Marilyn's father, when it was another man.)

Although I know that some people are asked to provide their birth certificate for certain jobs or governmental benefits, I've always thought that a social security number is enough.  These days, and we have the Internet and Genealogy Databases that provide free personal information, including information on the living, for rampant privacy invasion.  It's as if nothing is left that is personal.  But if Rachel Dolezal had been asked to provide her birth certificate, as a documentation that she is Black,  if the NAACP required that she be Black to be employed by them, that would have been racist of them.  You do not have to BE Black genetically to do a good job advancing the cause of equality.

Rachel Dolezal, who has been working for the NAACP (National Association of the Advancement of COLORED PEOPLE) turns out to be White.  So says her parents, who also raised four of her siblings, adopted, who are visibly Black (or African American.)   Rachel SELF IDENTIFIES as Black.  She probably did as far back as she remembers her Black siblings but maybe it's more than that. Rachel is saying something about her INNER LIFE not her appearance, though yes she does like to wear hair styles that might be thought of as Black.

That is why she sought out the job she did.

Frankly, I think that if she's been doing a good job, that's all that should matter. If I were her  I would have told her not to resign. 

You see, lots of people self identify with the ONE ETHNICITY of many that they have rights to, the one that they feel the most comfortable with or are most proud of.  Many "Heinz Variety 57" people in the United States will declare their ethnicity to be that of their surname, even if they are now only 1/8th or 1/16th Scottish or Irish or whatever.  They may even have a tartan kilt, but be mostly Polish.

A person who carries a Hungarian surname but is mostly English and other than Hungarian is the actor Richard Gere.

I think Rachel Dolezal should take a DNA test that may locate some COLORED PEOPLE as ancestors.  I'm using this now outdated term because I happen to think the terms White and Black are oppositional, setting up conflict, and that we are all COLORED, but OK... some ancestors who tie her in with the African continent, in fairly recent history when it comes to genes, since we apparently ALL can trace back to Africa.

I also wish she, and everyone else, would read a book called ONE DROP by Bliss Broyard, which I read and reviewed for this blog some time ago.  In Bliss's case, her father, who passed as White, on his near deathbed, admitted he was Black and so then were his children, but actually, he wasn't 100% Black and neither was she.  Otherwise he wouldn't have been able to pass. The book is about Bliss' family history search and wrangle with how Black she is or isn't.  It only take ONE DROP of Black Blood (or Jewish Blood or whatever) for a person to be considered so, or so some people think.

But is DNA the point?  Not when it comes to SELF IDENTITY.

I had a friend who, while not saying she was BLACK, had one ancestor who was a Black and free woman, and who married an Irish servant when he was emancipated from his long service contract. Though blond haired, blue eyed, and as WHITE as one could appear, all these generations later, she also SELF IDENTIFIED with BLACK CULTURE.  She knew all about African art.  She loved Black men. She even said things that could be thought of as Anti-White racist. She had "one drop" of Black blood, and in her case, she so depended on it.

Likewise, I've had a friend who self identified as NATIVE AMERICAN, who didn't look it and had one grandfather who refused to talk about his heritage, which was suspected to be Native American.  She didn't have to prove anything to head up a local Native American interest group.  She felt tied to the world of the Native Americans.  I started her on a genealogy quest so that she could learn more about her heritage while circumventing her uncooperative grandfather.

Along with the DNA testing, I also think it's time for Rachel to do her genealogy, to be surprised by what she may find, as so may be her parents.

Finally, it's time for Rachel to be regressed hypnotically in search of this life and past life experiences that help her SELF IDENTIFY as BLACK.  I suspect that she has had a life in which she was a slave, if having four siblings who are visibility Black is not enough to be Black, or if meeting people in this life, or exposure to another culture than the one born into isn't enough.

Here is my point: How is this different than say, BRUCE JENNER, the male Olympic Athlete of fame who has been married to women three times, and fathered, SELF IDENTIFYING AS A WOMAN?  Despite his recent Vanity Fair cover, which was the result of some experts in hair, makeup, costuming, and photography, making him appear a woman, and despite any cosmetic procedures he may have had,  Bruce cannot change his DNA.  He is a man this life, but I'll bet that if he is hypnotically regressed, he will find that he has been a woman in many lives or in his most recent past life!

If we can accept (and the American public seems to have, wholeheartedly,) that Bruce Jenner is a WOMAN, we can accept that Rachel Dolezal is BLACK!

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13 June 2015


A nice lady named Elizabeth contacted me a while back hoping that I could be quoted, if there was some link, through genealogy or reincarnation, between two notorious figures of Old Central Europe, Vlad Tepes (otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler) who lived in Transylvania and was Romanian and a Prince and military leader, and Elizabeth Bathory, a Hungarian countess who was probably mentally ill, and who may have murdered dozens of beautiful young girls, in order to preserve her own youth or beauty. 

It seems that the Hollywood horror flick mythologies of Hungarians and Romanians as creepy people is taken for history and with all the media fascination, films and television shows that are occult based, about witches and vampires in recent years, I suppose there are a lot of people who feel familiar with and enjoy "the dark side" and want to explore "power."

The story of Elizabeth Bathory is associated with evil, with vampirism, and of power over the powerless, like a huge number of Slovak servant girls gone missing.  Were they so desperate for work that when their friends disappeared but they still went on interviews to the manor house?

No one should be worried about Elizabeth and inheriting mental illness, which I believe to be schizophrenia,  unless they can trace their genealogy and DNA back to her through their MATERNAL LINE.  Science has now proven that while sons inherit the gene for this mental illness, they cannot pass it on through their children.  It is passed from a mother to her children, meaning only Elizabeth's two daughters could pass it on.  Even then there is evidence that a person can have the gene for it and not develop it and further that about 20% of schizophrenics are spontaneously healed of the mental illness as they age.

It seems unbelievable to me that the locals didn't know something was amiss and put a stop to it before so very many young women were disappeared. Remember that there were so fewer people alive on earth back in those days, fewer people per square mile, fewer people to keep track of, less anonymity.  People lived off the land, agriculturally, and even if there was a manor house or castle or estate with a town around it everyone knew everyone because the main business of the estate was agricultural so in the villages they were seeing people they knew frequently, working with them every day, and gossiping about each other, keeping track of who married, who had babies, and who died. 

What is implied is that because Elizabeth Bathory was noble and came from a powerful family she could get away with anything, that no one, not even her husband or family, would put a stop to her behavior, and that they were all sociopaths if they didn't try to stop her because all this was simply not right.

I found this site that is interesting http://bathory.org/shyla.html   Anyone wishing to quote the owner of that site would need to get in contact with them.  And you would want them to provide their documentation for each statement.

If we look at this story from a genealogical POV, trying to prove it, we would need documentation recorded in reliable old books and ledgers.  I've yet to find any documentation of any murders that Elizabeth might have committed through anything close to a public or civil record, but according to this site, she recorded 612 deaths in her diary.  So let's go back to the reality of living in those days, the smaller population, the way everyone knew everyone, and consider that 612 girls lured to torture and death, is greatly over and beyond the numbers that some of our most notorious mass murderers have been able to get away with today.  Think about 612 girls in a relatively short period of time and in one place.  What did she do with the bodies?  Maybe her diary is full of her hallucinations and ravings?

Since such subjects are of fascination, I've met people who say that they think Elizabeth, a powerful lady, was the subject of slanderous accusations.

So many things about Elizabeth Bathory's life were ordinary.  She was from nobility and she married a noble.  She married, she had children, she was supposedly able to compartmentalize so well that she was considered a loving mother.  Who hasn't heard another woman being called a bitch or witch today?  . 

Was she "a witch"?  As for "witches," people should know that during the times these people lived in, the accusation of witchcraft could be used on any woman who was not understood, or any woman who had not married or had children, or who was considered ugly or deformed, or who was different, or simply not liked.  People were born into their class, their roles in this life and there wasn't a lot of tolerance for people who were different.  It was an era of superstition, not science.  When people accused other people of being witches, they were not talking the present day organization called Wicca, or nature worship, or the paganism of say, Native Americans.  Talk of evil and witches (and Satan) was almost always that of people who were Christians and Bible based. 

As for reincarnation,  this is where I'm really thrown. Is there someone claiming to be a reincarnation of either or both Vlad and Elizabeth out there?  Certainly I've never met anyone claiming so or heard of anyone claiming so. 

And let's wrap our minds around this further, Vlad may have chopped off the heads of those he killed in battle and put them on spikes, but he wasn't the only one.  This tactic was used by the Turks.  It was used in South East Asia in the 1960's and 1970's.  The same tactic of exhibiting the heads of those killed is being used by ISIS.   Terrifying.

Reincarnation has been accepted as a spiritual reality by Hindus, Buddhists, and many other religions throughout the world for a long time.  It was a matter of belief.  A sensibility.  These days, through the use of hypnotic regression, and through the testimonials of children who recall past lives, there seems to be more evidence for it.  Having a past life or lives and recalling it through these means, dreams, deja vu, and so on, is not associated with "the dark side,"  or evil.

That's not to say that people never remember horrible things happening to them while regressed.

I was in a classroom in which everyone was regressed and there was a couple there who believed themselves to be soul mates who, in the past life they shared, were both victims of a concentration camp during the WWII Holocaust.

10 June 2015


Today, because of the dependence on the keyboard, typing, and text, school children are not being taught CURSIVE WRITING... HANDWRITTING.

Oh you've read me complain about dealing with bad handwriting on documents and the poor way in which they are read and then typed into databases.  Much of my personal research STILL will not come up on databases and I've wasted so much time trying misspellings!   BUT TO NOT KNOW HOW TO HANDWRITE?

That is an educational disaster.

If your child is one who will not learn to handwrite in school - which usually began I believe in the first grade and used to be taught before or with printing - make it a summer project to teach them.

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25 May 2015


A few months back I attended a short introduction meeting to a well regarded pre-needs service that features no frills cremation.  Years ago when I first heard of cremation, along with first hearing about Hinduism and reincarnation, I thought it made sense as an option.   With the cost of funerals and burials outrageous (I was quoted $25,000 average to be buried in the same town my parents are - were - for much less) it is more the ONLY OPTION for many, including me.  As it turns out the cost of this pre-paid no frills cremation in a much larger more expensive city than that town is far less that $5000.  I had been quoted double that for cremation in the smaller town.

My feeling is that when my time comes nobody is going to travel to my funeral or to see a stone in a cemetery.  Wouldn't it be better to just have my urn (or in this case a wood memory box) shipped somewhere or better yet, to someone who will then spread my ashes?

But you know, as a genealogist, someone who checks into FIND A GRAVE as a resource, as well as tombstone projects, cemetery records, and burial records, to accept being so - so - disappeared - is a thought.

What I did not want was a burial at sea.  Romantic a notion it is I've spent little time on boats and generally expect to get sea sick.  I love the view of the ocean, but no, I would only want my ashes to be spread in view of the ocean, not in it. 

And really, I can imagine the memory box with my ashes in it, turning up at a Garage Sale, or stashed in a moldering basement, or, if you've seen the funny film, MEET THE PARENTS, sabotaged by a cat as a litter box.  (!)

To go back to the beginning of this story though, this recent inquiry of funeral costs started because I called a cemetery to find out if a burial record I had could be confirmed.  Was there a tombstone and what was the plot number should I come visit.  The cemetery asked me to send the death certificate that stated that the burial had taken place there.  They said there had been a flood but basically, they would look into it but could not identify the burial as is.  They even said that perhaps there had been an "illegal" burial which was that relatives would have buried the person in the middle of the night there... I doubted that, as  there was the county death certificate stating the name of the funeral home and the priest and the cemetery.

While I was on the phone, I asked what it might cost, if the grave was located and did not have a stone, to put a simple stone on it.  I was shocked when I was told the cost would be $10,000. 

Sorry but $10,000 is for a college education, a business start-up, a newer used car.  I personally wouldn't spend that much on a wedding.

Still, I thought that with dozens of descendants alive, maybe they would want to pitch in for the tombstone. 

There are so many forgotten people.  The woman who was buried, probably legally, whose grave was so poor as to never have had a stone, or perhaps that was washed away in a flood, died young and horribly, with young children in the house.  Today, dead since the 1920's, she is the great mother of two, the grandmother of two, the great grandmother of several...  Only her DNA survives.

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16 May 2015


The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives, established online in January 2000  is AMAZING!

Quote, "GG Archives offers one of the largest collections of Social and Cultural historical documents from the 1800s through 1954 with concentrations in Steamship and Ocean Liner documents and photographs, Passenger Lists (Transatlantic European Voyages; Some Australian and South African), U.S. Navy Archives and additional materials covering World Wars I and II, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Immigration documents from Ellis Island, Castle Garden and other Immigration Stations. Learn how to use the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives to get the most out of your visit.

*** Spice up your family history project with pictures of the ship your ancestors came to the U.S. on  but don't stop there, find a poster, menu, or ticket, that they may have used or one like it.  Just remember that the use of pictures for personal use for free - a family publication that isn't being sold - but for profit one must research the image source and respect copyright.

13 May 2015


Images from Dover Publications
(Search this blog for posts using the subject IMMIGRATION!)
Here is the link to RED STAR information

05 May 2015


This morning I learned that there is a "controversy" because the actor Ben Affleck, who was one of the stars whose family genealogy was explored on the Louis Henry Gates Jr. show WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? asked that it not be revealed that some ancestor of his owned slaves.  Apparently when private e-mails were hacked in a recent Hollywood scandal, and these e-mails were publicized, it was discovered that he had asked for this consideration and it was given.


I completely agree with what LOUIS HENRY GATES Jr. explained, especially because I have been watching the previous seasons on DVD and my criticism was that there was perhaps too much emphasis on the whole slave - slave owners thing.  Affleck would have been just one more, and well, the rest of his family was more interesting, providing, over all, a more interesting show and series.

I think ANYONE whose personal family history is going to be revealed to the world in these shows SHOULD have a say about what goes on the air.

I wonder how it is that anyone with such fame and the according WEALTH needs to have their genealogy done for free in exchange for their personal family heritage - any of it - and their reactions to it - as entertainment!  Sometimes I've winced watching.

Professional genealogists are expensive but affordable to the well-to-do and the wealthy and being able to trust your genealogist is important.  As is that the genealogist keep to professional behavior which is to report to the person paying for our services.  We are not spies.  We are not scam artists.  We are not reporting into tabloids.  And now we should also have the client sign that they are not using the information for illegal purposes - such as stalking.

Doing it on your own is a middle class - working class endeavor - which is why the subscription databases which are free at so many Family History Centers and Public Libraries - are so appealing.  These databases have opened genealogy up to the masses.

So,  famous people who can afford PRIVACY allow their fame to attract an audience.

I would sure like to see what the contracts signed for the show look like!

The shame is not in Affleck being sensitive.  Other guests with slave owner ancestry appeared to be appropriately mortified, and we are not responsible for what our ancestors did or didn't do anyway.  These days we agree slavery was and is wrong.  DID YOU KNOW THAT MORE WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE SEX TRAFFICKED right now than the entire population of Africans brought to the America's unwillingly? Apparently it is still OK for the female to be the ultimate slave because this would not be happening if men were not buying.

The shame is that e-mail is increasingly useless due to hackers.  It used to be that it saved you a phone bill long distance, but now, these hackers also feel it isn't enough to personally read your life and get to know you so they can set up an Identity Theft, but they want the WORLD to know your business, in an attempt to show off.  Why are not more of them in prison instead of hackers conventions? 

An e-mail that I use in conjunction to this blog has been hacked three times.  Each time it was caught and I changed the passwords.  However, it felt to me like someone - perhaps a genealogy database company - was trying to screw things up for me.  I never ever use the e-mails associated with this blog for anything personal!

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28 April 2015


YAHOO NEWS - DUMPSTER BABY MEETS BIOLOGICAL PARENT  full article by Avianne Tan re Good Morning America

WHAT A STORY!  This one made me cry...

Robin Barton was found in a dumpster recently after birth with his umbilical chord still attached and covered with garbage by a police officer, who is now retired.  A recent reunion with the officer who saved his life lead to his BIOLOGICAL FATHER contacting him!

Buenina is the officer who found him.
Meza is his biological father.


Barton always knew he was adopted, but only recently did he ask his adoptive parents to tell him the whole story, Buelna said. After Barton learned what had happened, he called the Santa Ana Police Department right away to get reconnected with Buelna and to thank him, Buelna added.

The reunion made the local news. Meza saw it on T.V., and he called the police department, which verified he was the father before allowing him to meet with Barton on Sunday, Buelna said.

Meza told KABC he had been searching for Barton for years.

"For 24 years, I always said I would like to find him, and I finally did," he said.

Barton, who was raised an only child, now has five sisters from his biological father and more relatives who he's thrilled to meet, Buelna said.

“I’m going to meet as many family members as I can,” he told KABC.

Buelna is also making plans for Barton to finally meet his biological mother, who is currently in Tijuana, Mexico, he added.

Barton told KABC, "I forgive her because she was a young woman in a very compromising position."


22 April 2015




The Native American National Council will offer amnesty to the estimated 240 million illegal white immigrants living in the United States....

“We will give Europeans the option to apply for Native Citizenship,” explained Chief Sauti of the Nez Perce tribe. “To obtain legal status, each applicant must write a heartfelt apology for their ancestors’ crimes, pay an application fee of $5,000, and, if currently on any ancestral Native land, they must relinquish that land to NANC or pay the market price, which we decide.

“Any illegal European who has a criminal record of any sort, minus traffic and parking tickets, will be deported back to their native land. Anybody with contagious diseases like HIV, smallpox, herpes, etc, will not qualify and will also be deported.”


When I saw this headline I thought it was a joke.  And I'm still not sure it isn't.  I think it was meant as humor or jest.  I realize it was said to make a point.  The worst thing about it is Anti White Racist.  The kind of Racism that is politically correct these days.

So here's the thing.  I'm one of millions of American's whose ancestors did not own slaves, were not slaves, were not Native American, and did nothing to move or otherwise kill Native Americans.  Yes I am sure.  My bloodline wasn't here early enough to participate. 

So where did this fellow get his figure of 240 million?

What does he plan for the millions who are part Native American by blood?  Will they get a discount?

Will we all have to present our genealogies to some Native American council to prove we have nothing to apologize for?  (Did you know that the Nazi's expected people to turn over their genealogies to prove they had no Jewish blood?)

I've read around and took a college course or two about Native American history and culture and spirituality and know enough to know that all tribes were not - as they seem to be today - united.  In fact some of them battled each other historically, often for resources.  Early settlers who were farm steading and pioneering were, in general, shocked by Native American tactics which seemed excessively brutal compared to the European standards of battle at the time, which felt almost gentlemanly to them in comparison. An example was that some Native Americans killed not just men who were not at war with them, but women and children in attacks that spread fear across the land. 

I've read about the Trail of Tears; one family I researched for had ancestors who were both marched and pointing the guns, as well as some who hid in the hills because before 1840 they were already intermarried with Natives.

It's a stereotype to think that Native Americans were all smoking "peace pipes" and getting along because they were not.  That is all newish as is the New Age adoption and interpretation of the religious beliefs of various tribes. There were more tribes with variant cultures in California and the resources were so good that they seem not to have fought each other for them but some tribes were famous for stealing from other tribes.  And now with gambling and casinos legal on reservations there are issues arising about who can benefit.

When someone tells me they are Native American I ask WHAT TRIBE(S)?  Because I still want to help and direct them towards the best resources for them.  If someone tells me that they want to prove their Native Americaness in order to get tribal benefits including casino rights, I will do my best, but I know that it may take more than the documentation.

Who is Native American and on what basis is now also challenged by DNA tests.

I have no "ancestral crimes" to apologize for here in the US and besides the Biblical "sins of the fathers" warning, I'm not sure ANYONE is responsible for ANYONE ELSE's SOUL - Behavior - or Crimes, unless maybe were talking parents being responsible for their children. 

But let's say that you're doing your genealogy and you find out that someone whose blood flows through you was a criminal back in the day.  They were arrested.  They died in prison.  There is nothing you can do about the past but try to learn from it and try to do better.  I've met those people who unveiled a family secret, that someone killed their wife - domestic violence - or that they were a Nazi.  I even worked with one woman who was pretty sure that she was the result of a Nazi breeding program.


I've helped Native Americans with their genealogy and also have helped White people who know or suspect they are part Native American - even before there was DNA tests.  I've reached out to tribes for help on their end for others who want to track family history and rarely gotten any response.

The question of diseases is also controversial.  I've heard it repeatedly that Whites deliberately killed off Native Americans with smallpox.  This is part of something that can be considered anti-White racism even if it is repeated by college professors with agendas or even printed in some bad books. 

I've heard Whites don't get and die of smallpox and were thus only carriers.  That they went as far as to give Native Americans blankets full of the disease.


Some of my own White ancestors in the European Country of Hungary are documented to have died of smallpox.  There were horrible killing epidemics there and in other "White" countries.  I've seen Church records of all sorts of epidemics sweeping through Europe... you turn the page and dozens are dying off - cholera - typhus. A village of 200 houses and 50 people are dead in a month or two.  Let's remember the misunderstood plagues.  Medical science is still trying to figure out the flu that killed off millions in the early 20th century.  My own ancestors were spared that though they said that ALL THEIR NEIGHBORS LOST AT LEAST ONE FAMILY MEMBER.  They credited that a priest had blessed their house and marked the door.

There were also smallpox and other epidemics that killed White European people in early America, including the Philadelphia of our founding fathers.  PEOPLE WERE SO FRIGHTENED OF CATCHING IT THAT THEY WOULD ABANDON DIEING FAMILY and come back only after they were dead to bury them.  Ignorance about disease was prevalent then.  We know so much more now.  And with our scientific knowledge we should reconsider repeating this ignorance. Yes, people who have never been exposed to a disease before are often going to die from it, with no "natural resistance" at all.  We await "natural resistance" to Ebola!

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