31 December 2013


If you haven't guessed by some of my postings on this GENEALOGY and FAMILY HISTORY WRITING SITE, I have an intense interest in DNA, DNA Science and Genealogy, Human History, archeology, anthropology, cultural studies, and spirituality - reincarnation; the WHO WHAT WHERE WHY AND WHEN of writing about human beings.

Genealogy research can take us only so far because it relies on records - usually written records and truly, many people are only able to go back three to five generations without loosing the trail.  Once in a while I meet someone who, because they are related to royalty or aristocracy (or maybe a Jewish rabbi who was famous) has found more convincing evidence of connections further back. Once in a while I meet someone who came to understand themselves through hypnotic regression be because they found themselves in a past life.)

DNA can help us understand more about how the people who passed on their genetics to us traveled the world and settled, and of course DNA tests are allowing us to learn more about our ethnicity as well.  Our notions of who we are have a lot to do with ethnicity.

DNA tests can help us connect with other people who may be related to us. (Everyone on earth is related in some way, but that's a very big concept to understand.)

03 December 2013


At this time I'm announcing a Holidays Hiatus from Blogging. 

I'll be back in the new year; can't image the day I'm not interested in genealogy. I like sharing what I've discovered or learned over many years with you too much to quit. 

Don't know about you, but it's time to do some filing, some decorating, some entertaining, and some laying around doing nothing (OK, how about just sleeping in?)  Most Americans seem to feel the same way.  Google Bloggers always experiences less interest in reading and writing blogs at this time of the year.

Since I've posted so very much information in the past, I encourage you, if you're in the mood, to explore my posts by using the archive and search features on the sidebar!  Most of the information is useful for your family history research and writing, or alternatively, your interest in spirituality - reincarnation.

I was about sixteen years old when I first heard about reincarnation and it made sense to me right away, but it was here and there over many years that I started reading around about it and came to understand the Hindu idea of transmutation, in which a soul progresses through the animal kingdom into humans as it advances, and read about the notions of the Buddhists and other religious and spiritual groups who have and do believe that the soul incarnates into many bodies - many lives - in order to learn and progress spiritually. 

Over the last decade or so, using hypnosis, more people are exploring the possibility that they lived before.  It's a mystery really, but there are some people who seem to recall quite a bit and the idea is to document as much as possible that comes out in these sessions and then do the research genealogically.  There is a limitation to this, of course.  The past life must have been in a time and place in which people were keeping the records we use now.

Last year I met a woman who specializes in past life regressions and she said that her interest in the subject began in her teenage years during her winters in Alaska, where there was a lot of time to stay inside and explore.  Her attitude was that since regressions work to help people heal, why question how it all works.

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a waiting room and got to talking to a stranger.  He said "Someone is telling me you're very family oriented."  I hadn't been talking about anything personal, not the holidays, not family, and maybe he was just trying to get to know me more, but I wondered later "Why did he say, someone's telling him?  Maybe he's a natural psychic?"  So I laughed and said, "I'm really into genealogy and family history research and writing."  I wasn't sure he knew what I meant.  Then he said "There are many people behind you."  I think he meant that he saw a lot of ancestor spirits standing behind me.

Some people would be a little scared by this interaction, a stranger speaking this way, but I wasn't.  I knew that it all might be a way of making me tell him personal information and I knew I didn't want to share too much with a stranger.  When I got home I thought about it a lot.  Of course I want to believe that my ancestors are "behind" me as in being supportive, and that there are people who I've never met in this life - and a dozen or two whom I have - that will be there for when it is my time.

I do believe the ancestors (who are not in current incarnations) are witness to some of our lives; they've got a lot of people to check up on so not all the time!

Whatever you believe, have yourself a lovely holiday season!

I look forward to 2014!

25 November 2013


This year the 1940 census has given us so much to look forward to, so much to research and add to our family history writing and genealogy research. 

Thanksgiving gatherings are a good time to talk about the family history and to add stories to your research.

I like to add family stories, testimonials, oral histories, to any book on a family that I write, mindful that it's documentation that makes the project a genealogy project rather than a story project and that some of the stories may not hold up to the research. 

The biggest protestations I've encountered while research genealogy come from those who grew up believing something or other about their family that the research doesn't prove, but when writing about these discrepancies it's the wording you use to explain the controversy.  For instance I was once researching a branch of a large Southern family and they had held a family reunion a few years previous.  One of their earnest and sincere members sent me a copy of the genealogy that had been distributed to the members.  I followed this research back and found that it stuck right where I was but this family researcher didn't bother to write "The following is speculation."  I had to.

The information you may have found in the 1940 census is a good starting point for discussion, especially if you bring along some copies to look at after everyone has eaten and the left overs have been put away and the dishes washed!  Family members who lived during the Great Depression or World War II may hitch onto information about who was supporting the family, who joined the CCC's (Civilian Conservation Corps), and so on.

Record whatever anyone has to say. 

Though I've found that some stories people tell are inaccurate, I've also gotten some informational leads that lead me to the accuracies.

22 November 2013


The assassination of President John F. Kennedy was fifty years ago today. 

Recently I read a couple new books about his presidency as well as his relationship with his wife, Jackie, that focused on his last year or so of life.  I also rewatched the Oliver Stone film that came out a few years ago that starred Kevin Costner and suggested CIA involvement - a coup.  There have been so many conspiracy theories and notions about who was behind this assassination; the Mafia, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, Texas Oilmen, Fidel Castro - and Cuba, the Soviet Union - Russians, Democrat Haters, and maybe you could name a few others.  Maybe we will never know.

ONE THING FOR SURE IS THAT SOME AMERICANS THOUGHT KENNEDY'S IDEAS AND VALUES WERE RADICAL.  Fifty years later things have changed greatly such as that we went from a country in which racism was a fact to a time when not being politically correct can get a celebrity in trouble, if not sued.  The other morning I was listening to a morning radio show and the host was interviewing a Black man on why he gets to call other Blacks Nigger.  The host pointed out that Jewish people do not go around calling each other Kike.

Besides the 50th anniversary being a publishing event, I sometimes think that the Kennedy Presidency is felt by those who remember those days, to be the best of America. Some feel that the assassination itself ended America's innocence. (Others feel that Watergate ended it.)  I think it had it's good points (much more privacy as the best example) and it's bad.

What is meant by America's innocence?

ANSWER THAT FOR YOURSELF and ask your family members who were alive then.  Interview them and record their memories of JFK and this black day in American History.

13 November 2013


I have very mixed feelings about tombstone projects. 

Volunteers go through cemeteries, take the information down off the tombstone - sometimes photographing - and put it on the information up on the world wide web - the Internet for anyone who uses the net to access. 

To me this can be culturally insensitive and as I see it, no graveyard that allows it is sacred.  Some cultures do not allow picture taking of the living, believing that this takes some of a person's essence or soul and some see tombstones as ancestral and even where the soul rests.  THE TOMBSTONE CENSUS TAKERS SEEM TO EASILY GAIN PERMISSION or DO NOT CARE about these things.  It makes me question what paying for a sacred space or privacy in death is all about.

The tombstone project volunteers put information up that is less than 70 years old and the US government thinks of 70 years as the privacy zone - thus the 1940 census was just revealed and records in many states are sealed for the same reason - privacy.

Some people have tombstones that have been carved with the name of the spouse who isn't dead yet. This communicates information such as the name of the living person and that they have been widowed.  Not private.  In some places, not safe at all.

I can't even get into all the ways the information can be used by identity thieves.

MAYBE THE WORST THING ABOUT TOMBSTONE PROJECTS is that they give the FALSE IMPRESSION that the burials with tombstones are all the burials in that cemetery.  YOU SHOULD STILL CONTACT CEMETERIES IF YOU ARE TRYING TO FIND RELATIVES, and the Death Record of that person should record if they were buried and where, or if they were cremated.  So don't use tombstone information without the death record for your genealogy.

As funerals and cemeteries and tombstones are more expensive, I suspect more people will be going with cremation in the future, unless their religion forbids it.

Please be aware that some cemeteries have no tombstones, or at least many that have been eroded or stolen.  There is no national law that says you have to buy one. Many cemeteries have about 2/3rds of their burials unmarked.  This can be because no one ever bought a tombstone or because more than one person is in the tomb.  Check the rules and regulations for the city, county, or state about this, but in some places a purchased tomb site allows two burials, one atop the other.  (In goes the destitute child or the ex wife!)

Also check into the religious beliefs about burials which may differ because a person is Muslim or Jewish, as examples.

I HAVE FOUND A NUMBER OF TOMBSTONES THAT WERE CARVED WITH INCORRECT INFORMATION, including misspellings of names, variations of the name the person was born with being very common.  This can give you the impression you have not found the person you're looking for. 

Finally, the birth date may not be accurate.  In some times and places the date on the tombstone is the date the person was BAPTISED, and the death date, the date they received LAST RITES.  Really!

23 October 2013



At "Died in House" you pay to get the details on who, if anyone, died in your house.   You might find out someone died in their own bed in your bedroom.  You might find out there was a murder or a fire.  DOES THIS REALLY DEVALUE A HOME when it's up for sale?

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE DIED IN A HOUSE (something that used to be very common before the hospital or hospice became the place to go and die) DOESN'T MEAN THE HOUSE IS HAUNTED, but these days people from many cultures, including our own New Age culture, are concerned about BAD VIBES.

And if a house has bad vibes, what can you do about it?

You can have the home blessed by a priest.  You can do Feng Shui or maybe burn sage and candles and make up your own ritual.  Of course this means you are telling any ghosts or entities (orbs anyone?) that they must go so you think or believe they are there.  If you read around this subject you'll learn that psychics think The Other Side is not so far away from us at all.  One psychic says you can tell if they are earth bound or on The Other Side by how high up they are.  See a ghost walking on the same floors you do?  Then they are earthbound.  A few feet up?  Not!

Is it all total superstition?  After all there are millions of people on this earth who are going to die - somewhere.  For a person who is terminally ill to pass on in their own home is often their last wish.  I think it would be mine!

21 October 2013


One of my friends confided in me that she recently went on the Internet and searched for information on some family that she left behind.  She said that since then she cannot get these people out of her mind even though more than a decade went by from when they lost contact and she searched for them again.  She even dreamed of meeting some of the children she saw in pictures on the Internet.  She hadn't really wondered about them through those years and she had no reason to think they missed her. 

She found out about a divorce since she found out about a re-marriage, which she finds shocking.  She knows where they live and work now.  She's thinking about the positives and negatives of trying to reunite with them, or at least visit them.  She did all that without any genealogy database research.  However, she feels certain that if she does decide to reignite a relationship she needs to honesty tell them about the things they have said and done as individuals and collectively that hurt her and so her reason for moving on.  She pretended not to hear or know when she was around them.  She played dumb for many years.  She doesn't want to be that way any more.

The reasons for her departure from this branch of her family are considerable.  She said for years she made efforts to keep relationships going and found it to be very one sided.  She also said that though her income was average she got the feeling they were dismissive of her because she was considered to be the poor relation.  Last but not least, when she thought about it, theirs was a very different family culture, and she wasn't sure if this was just about their family or that culture.  She thought of them as materialistic and greedy.  She thought they were always looking at relationships in terms of what they were getting or not getting from people but didn't give as good as they got.  She thought of them as poor examples of their religion.  She thought the females dominated the men and the children were never raised to actually leave home.  They were a rare multigenerational and extended family.

I could sense the pain in my friend.  So I asked her to consider what she would want out of a reconnection after over a decade.  Did she think maybe they changed or would be more participatory or nicer to her?  (There is always the chance that they've changed! but do people ever really change because you want them to?  Well, I've changed!  Have you?) Would a reunion just result in more pain?

I don't have those answers for her but it occured to me that maybe she was inspired by the recogniztion of her own mortality to see them. Maybe she, at least, wanted to leave this earth without any grudges.

Can genealogy or family history projects heal families?  I think the marketing of genealogy promotes that idea.  My experiences is sometimes but it's not something to count on.  When I was teaching genealogy I had students whose families were extremely cooperative and who could easily put together big books of photos, documents, and warm memories without actually doing research.  Others were alone in the project from beginning to end.

I think just about every family has some secret that they collectively do not wish to discuss or recall.  You could say whole families are haunted by something. 

Such as?

Such as domestic violence, molestation, even a murder.  Membership in Organized Crime or someone in prison.  Sexist favoritism of the males in the family that left the females floundering or forced to endure unhappy marriages.  Unwed motherhood was a big one, though far more common and acceptable now.  Mixed marriages or someone leaving the religion of the family is also something that has ripped families apart in the past but is now more common and acceptable.

As a genealogist none of these things shock me.

16 October 2013


Here is a video that retells a tale about Stingy Jack and the Devil by a Pagan Witch Collective!


The Halloween that is celebrated in the United States is rooted in Celtic traditions and is associated with the cycle of life and death.  The carved Jack O' Lantern pumpkin we are familiar with now had its roots in Celtic Ireland where a turnip was carved to hold a candle and held in hand.  The turnip was probably a practical idea since a turnip was  simply available.  I'm not sure how or when pumpkins were used and then turned into laughing Jack-O-lanterns, but maybe it was as simple as that pumpkins grew in the Americas.

In the South-West, and that includes California and wherever Mexican immigrants have settled, a Halloween-like celebration is called The Day of the Dead. The Day of the Dead is a day - even a week - for family to gather at the graves of loved ones, to celebrate with food and drink (and offer them some).  With humor many creations of sugary skeletons include skeletons participating in all aspects of life, singing, dancing, and simply performing their earthy professions, and are sold in special bakeries.

While Halloween has taken on horrific, even evil, connotations, that many of us do not involve ourselves in and it has even turned into an "anything goes" weekend, to those who are more interested in the spiritual tradition, Halloween is a time when the
"veil" between this world and the world of the afterlife is especially thin and so communication with those who had passed on before us.  Some people do rituals to contact these ancestors, others simply light a candle, do special prayers (All Souls Day of the Catholic Church), or mantras to release any soul that is in Purgatory to Heaven.

The belief of ancestor contact has roots in the Pagan or Country or Folk beliefs and is tied in with the agricultural cycle of the year, which is also coordinated with the seasonal weather cycle.  Fall is the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, the European countries, when the harvest takes place.  The pumpkins and gourds are about to be harvested.  Some plant and tree life is only resting and will grow again after dormancy in the spring.  Soon the earth will cool, snow will come, and people will spend more time indoors.  To our ancestors who lived generations ago in caves and other dwellings, staying close to the burning fire, busy themselves with crafts, and resting was essential, as was relying on many foods that had been stored. 

From watching the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of life, a great many early cultures decided that reincarnation makes a lot of sense. 

13 October 2013


If you've seen the death records of your ancestors a generation or more back, you know that many diseases than have since been "conquered" took our people out of this life. One of the most common diseases that killed people was TUBERCULOSIS and it's to blame for more than one of my ancestor's death.

Here is what author of BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, Larry Dossey, has to say:

"Consider the history of tuberculosis, one of the great scourges of humanity. As biologist Lyall Watson notes, skeletal evidence for tuberculosis has been found in graves in Germany dating back two thousand years and in Egypt's Old Kingdom. Engravings from 2500 B.C.E. show spinal deformities that, along with hieroglyphics descriptions provide clear descriptions of death from tuberculosis. The disease was common in ancient China, India, and Greece, where it was described by Hippocrates five centuries before Christ...

As cities grew larger and people moved about more freely, tuberculosis became pandemic. Waves of the "White plague" spread across the world, devastating cities in its wake, competing with the "black death" in ferocity. The last and greatest European epidemic began in England during the sixteenth century and peaked in London around 1750. The capital cities of western Europe were affected in turn though 1870. Then, Watson states, "There was a sudden, marked, and inexplicable decline in TB everywhere that records have been kept - beginning, it seems, in Germany in 1882... WHY?... Surgical interventions in tuberculosis did not begin until 1912, and antibiotic therapy in this illness was unknown until 1944. "But something did happen in Germany in 1882 that could be very significant," Watson observes - the discover by Dr. Robert Koch of the cause of tuberculosis, MYCOBACTERIUM TUBERCUILOSIS. Almost overnight physicians and researchers could actually see the organism for themselves, and common citizens could visualise it from illustrations."

"Almost immediately," Watson states, "There was a marked decrease, not only in the incidence of the disease, but also in its mortality. Deaths fell from 600 per 100,000 to around 200 in less than a decade... The recent improvements can all be attributed to better medical care, but nothing comparable happened to account for the sudden and rapid decline which is evident in Hamburg and Berlin during the 1880's. Nothing, that is, except Koch's discover and spreading awareness of what lay behind the disease that had come to be called "Captain of all the Men of Death."


08 October 2013



British colorist Jordan Lloyd, 27, met fellow colorist Mads Madsen, 19, from Denmark when he started posting on Madsen's subreddit 'Colorized History'...

If you haven't seen this series of American Civil War Photos that have been colorized, you've got to check this link.  Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Mark Twain, General Custer... so many others. 

I notice that when I see black and white photos I tend to think of the times they were taken in as very long ago. There is a distance there. When I saw film and photographs that had been taken in color of the World War II era, I realized that wasn't so long ago.  The feeling is the same here.

02 October 2013


This book was Copyrighted in 1979, 1983, and 1988, so there were updates.  That was pre-Internet and the changes were probably due to the great number of resources such as adoption registries in the back of the book.  The book is a keeper for me because of the parts like this which take a side of NATURE rather than NURTURE.


... "In 1952 there appeared in Mental Health magazine a short letter entitled, "Children without Genealogy - A problem of adoption."  It began, "May I draw attention to the observation that lack of knowledge of their real parents and ancestors can be a cause of maladjustment in children."  It was signed by a British psychiatrist, E. Wellisch, who went on to note that in questioning whether it matters if a child has such knowledge, it should be remembered that most people accept their own genealogy as a matter of fact, and are no more aware of it than one is of one's shadow or mirror image.

... Expanding this analogy, Wellischy pointed out that the shadow and mirror image of a person have a considerable psychological significance in that they are extensions of the body image - a concept he borrowed from Paul Schilder to describe a picture of our own body which also extends beyond its confines.  Wellisch reminded his readers that the shadow was regarded by primitive people as an actual part of the body, and the mirror was used in witchcraft - in Gothic tales heroes sold their shadows and mirror images to the devil with disastrous results...

The deeper he went into his study, the more Wellisch was struck by the Adoptees loss.  He noted how everyone, including himself, took the presence of others with similar physcial characteristics for granted, because they had grown up surrounded by relatives who resembled them... "


Well, this is still one thought provoking book.  I was thinking about this today because of a distant relative who has been having major issues with an adopted child for many years.  The child is all grown up now and still troubled.  This person does not at all look like his adopted family.  He began looking for family through adoption registrations the day after he turned 18.  He did, in fact, succeed in being reunited with siblings who had also been put out for adoption and none of them had done well.  The family of origin was British, possibly Jewish British, and Anglo-Saxon Protestant American.  The adopting family was Italian, Armenian, and Catholic.  Besides not at all looking like the family he was raised in, and despite being well loved, not abused, and also given lots of therapy, the genes dictated his personality, temperament, and weaknesses.  The birth parents had all their children taken away from them due to abuses.  They were addicts.  He became an addict and abusive as well.

In this case nature has dominated nurture. 

Every situation is different.


Quote " Ms. Lifton, who lectured widely about the potential psychological effects of adoption, was best known for a nonfiction trilogy: “Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter” (McGraw Hill, 1975), in which she recounts her adulthood search for her birth mother; “Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience”(Dial, 1979); and “Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness”(Basic Books, 1994).
An outspoken proponent of open adoption, Ms. Lifton was often interviewed on the issue in the news media. (Nine states now allow adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.)  She was a past board member of the American Adoption Congress; in recent years she also worked as a psychological counselor, with a practice centered on adoptees and their families." Unquote

21 September 2013


Duck Duck Go, Yahoo, and Bing, are currently the search engines that compete with Google.  Since this Google Blogger is gratis the Google company, I always use Google to find it.  I feel lucky to be able to blog without paying for the opportunity, though I do put a lot of energy and effort into it, which is my contribution.

I was amazed to find out, when a library I use changed their search engine to Bing, that the ranking of this blog is number one or higher than on the Google search engine itself at Bing, and at Duck Duck Go, the search engine that is taking over a lot of Google and Yahoo's business since the NSA/ Edward Snowden news.  One of the reasons for this is the paid advertising that comes up for companies with names similar to the title of this blog. The other reason is that other search engines use different criteria for ranking, and one of those criteria is that bloggers sometimes have more freedom of expression than advertisers. 

I always hope I'm providing interesting and valuable information for my readers.  Recently I installed a link so that people who come to the blog through a post that is not the most recent post can go to the top of the blog with a click.  The Google Blogger statistics help me see what posts the readers find most interesting.  Many of my posts are read some time after posting.

I'm also looking more at where the readers are coming from and am composing a Page that lists the countries from which readers approach this site.  I'm always wondering if those readers are interested in or involved in Genealogy research in their own countries, or if they are more interested in the spirituality I present here as an alternative!

18 September 2013


Thought this article was one of the best about the new Coat of Arms used by the Middleton Family, which of course includes daughter Catherine, Kate, Prince William's wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.


The simple design features 3 acorns to represent the Middleton's three children.

Illustrations and this:

..."Coats of Arms came into being during medieval tournaments like jousting when knights would be recognised by the motifs on their shields or helmets and heralds quickly learnt the different ones in use, taking up responsibility for the control of their use.

Their use declined in competition and battle but they became more widely used in society.
The College of Arms, a branch of the Royal household, is the official body in the UK that deals with coats of arms and their team of experts - funded by the fees they charge and not taxpayers money - design and research heraldic or genealogical issues.

The arms are given for free while the money people pay is for the research and design of the coat of arms.

However, that doesn't mean that just anybody can pay the fee and get a coat of arms. The cumulative knowledge of the Earl Marshal gathered over hundreds of years has given them the skill of tactfully suggesting that people don't proceed with their application.
The late Peter Gwynn-Jones, a former Garter King of Arms, once said: 'In practice, eligibility depends upon holding a civil or military commission, a sound university degree or professional qualification, or having achieved some measure of distinction in a field beneficial to society as a whole.'..."

14 September 2013


This is the full mini documentary film.  Barbro Karlen was born into a Christian family in Sweden this time around. She has retained her skill and talent as a writer, like Anne Frank, and published her first book at 12.  Her priest was concerned.  A psychiatrist said she was normal, but she didn't tell him about her memories.

Barbro's parents, especially her mother, believed her after a trip to Amsterdam. Then, around the age of 15 she began to forget the dreams and memories that were with her as a child.  She had a brief marriage at 19 and a son, and needed to find a way to support them besides writing.  She retained a fear of men in uniforms but she trained horses for the Mounted Police, which was her career for 15 years. Her past life memories came back to her.  Why had she remembered a past life when most people don't?  Feelings of persecution on the job brought nightmares that she'd had as a child came back to her  - day and night.  She even considered suicide.

11 September 2013


American GIs trapped in the tragedy of the holocaust - an untold story.

In December 1944 thousands of American soldiers who were captured during the Battle of the Bulge were transferred to a Nazi concentration camp , Stalag 9B. When commanders explained that religion made no difference to the Americans men were selected because they had a Jewish surname, their mother's maiden name was Jewish, or their name sounded Jewish or they looked Jewish.

About a third of the men captured were then sent off to Buckenwald's satellite camp Berga, a slave labor camp. Though using captured soldiers as labor was against the Geneva Convention these men were used anyway. Some of them didn't make it. Some were alive to tell their tale in 2002 when this PBS video was made.

Lots of black and white film and photos.  Sometimes I wish the filming had been in color as black and white distances us from what happened in that war and in those camps.  This film truly did present a story I'd never heard before.

10 September 2013


US WAR BRIDES link - site by Michele Thomas

There are testimonials here: "This is the largest immigration of women to ever come to the U.S. They left their families and everything they knew behind for the love of a soldier. Many of these brides knew that they would never see family and friends again. These brides hoped for a better life, some had a wonderful life while many did not. Fear of never being able to see their children if they left plus the lack of money keep them here."

07 September 2013



All I know about my mother's past is that she came over from England on a steamship with her mother when she was a child right after World War II.  I don't know where in England they were from.  I think they left Liverpool.  How can I find out more about my mother and grandmother, both who are now deceased?


You probably want to start with SHIP MANIFESTS since your grandmother and mother will first show up on the United States Census in the 1950 census which won't be out for another decade.  A ship manifest may tell you where they left and where they are going to.



A person may have APPLIED for Social Security without ever collecting it.  You can check the SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH INDEX to see if either ever collected.  They may have collected nothing but the death benefit but, if so, they should be on the Index.  Even if they are not on the index it's worth the time and money to send away for the original application.

The original application should give you their mother's maiden name as well as where she was going to work, if, like many people in the past, she only applied because she had to for employment.  Be aware that a person may not have applied if they were self employed, if they or their spouse was a doctor or if they or their spouse worked for the rail road.

As for ship manifests there are a number of independent sites such as THE SHIPS TRANSCRIBERS GUILD that have looked at original handwritten manuscripts and turned them into text on the Internet.  You can check ANCESTRY, FOLD3, or another SUBSCRIPTION genealogy research database for NEW YORK SHIP RECORDS.   My guess is that they will be listed as having left SOUTH HAMPTON, England to NEW YORK, but there were a lot of other ports open and operating in that era.  Ships from German ports and from Liverpool stopped in South Hampton.  Some people got off one ship for a few days and continued their voyage across the Atlantic on another.

PS: I did a search for British War Brides and found that the Queen Mary was used as a ship to bring brides to the United States.  

05 September 2013


LINK TO WORLD WAR II SHIPS inc QUEEN MARY used as troop carrier  Site by WW2troopships.com & WWIItroopships.com
Web Site Copyright © 2007 Shayne E. Wallesc & Wendy J. Hochnadel



February 3 - May 19, 1946 Six war bride voyages, transporting 12,886 European brides and children to the United States and Canada.

May 23 - September 18, 1946 Seven war bride voyages transporting European brides and children to Canada. Ten stowaways were discovered on the first crossing.

September 1946 Carried a total of 765,429 military personnel. Sailed a total of 569,429 miles (916,407 km). Carried up to 15,000 troops at one time. Carried wounded returning to the United States. Transported Winston Churchill three times to conferences. Carried 12,886 G.I. brides and children.

THIS SITE IS ATTEMPTING TO RECREATE USEFUL INFORMATION.  If you go to the site you'll link to a form to fill out for reportage of specific crossings called CROSSING SUBMISSION FORM. That includes those of you who were in the war and the brides!

24 August 2013



Great Grandpa walked across the border of Mexico and the United States from somewhere in Mexico and before 1920. He was alone. He was Mexican and we are now fifth generation Mexican-Americans. Eventually he worked for the same manufacturing company in Arizona for over 30 years, a company that no longer exists, so I don't think I can contact anyone there to ask about his employment or personnel records. No one seems to know what village in Mexico he left. Maybe he never said. I'm not sure he became a citizen but I think so, especially because of his work history. I found the family on the 1920 census and he was not a citizen. He was in his mid-twenties. Now I'm not sure of his birth date. Other than the census I haven't found anything on Ancestry, the genealogy research database. Any Suggestions? Marie C.

Answer: The personnel records might very well have this birth date and place and other information that could be useful to your genealogy research generally and finding them is an interesting idea that I think you should pursue a bit. You might check around to see if that company's records were destroyed or held in an archive or historical society or library somewhere, since the company was a big employer, instrumental to the history of the area, and around a long time.

Start with the closest public library to where the company was and also ask the local historical society. There are some company records available here and there for industrial age "Company Towns." I've found some that relate to my own research including a photo of one ancestor which was in a file.

However, I think your best bet is to search for his WORLD WAR ONE DRAFT REGISTRATION as ALL MEN, even those who were not citizens, up until about the age of 40 had to REGISTER, and your GP seems to be in the right age category. The registration asks the birth date and place as well as an address and name of the closest relative, which may or may not be your great-grandmother, but could verify their marriage. They asked such details because of the notion that unmarried and childless men would be called to serve before the married with children.

There were 3 or 4 draft registrations for the World War over about 2 years time and up to about the age of 40. Registration is not the same as a draft or enlistment record or a military record, though they are stored under MILITARY RECORDS in the Ancestry and other genealogy databases.

I would also suggest that after you get that Mexican hometown you look for CHURCH RECORDS. I've found that church records sometimes contain interesting notes by the priest or minister in the margins besides the mostly usual names, occupations, and addresses. The Church records from Mexico may record GP's birth or baptism, and could include his marriage there or in the United States by notation. I've found that in small towns the church records have comments about who has gone to America or come back for a visit, and so on.

17 August 2013


ZSR SPECIAL EDU : NC Baptist Historical Collection  AKA Ethel Taylor Crittenden Collection in Baptist History.


The North Carolina Baptist Historical Collection (also known as the Ethel Taylor Crittenden Collection in Baptist History) documents the history of North Carolina Baptist churches, institutions, and individuals. The collection contains materials on Southern, Missionary, Primitive, African-American, Union, and Alliance of Baptist churches. These materials include over 16,000 books, periodicals, association annuals and other printed materials; church records; association minutes; and church vertical files. In addition, there are more than 1000 biographical folders containing information on and photographs of Baptist pastors and Wake Forest alumni.

The collection serves as a repository for records from North Carolina Baptist churches and institutions. See our church records page for more information about these collections. The NCBHC is also the repository for the Alliance of Baptists and the Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina archives.

In addition, a complete set of the print version of the Biblical Recorder, the official journal of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, published biweekly and in existence since 1833, is available in the NC Baptist Historical Collection. Access to the recently digitized and completely searchable Biblical Recorder is also available. The Biblical Recorder office also publishes an online version of the journal which varies slightly from the print version. To access the online version, or for more information about the history, subscription information, or staff information, you may visit biblicalrecorder.org.

13 August 2013


Using a search feature to mine information from old newspapers can be a lot of fun and reward you with information you never thought you could get your hands on.

Consider that obituaries, engagement and wedding notices (and photos!) and that this information can help you link to other records which may be more recent and get you past the 70 year wait due to privacy laws, which we all agree need to be in place for the protection of the living.

A draw-back.  Misspelled surnames and this time it's not about bad handwriting.  One family I research had about 12 different spellings to the surnames as they were reported - birth, death, engagement, wedding, and even one family member who had been arrested in a newspaper, small but the only paper in the Capital of that county.  I finally figured it out.  The paper didn't have enough letters to TYPE-SET the pages.  So in this case there must have been extra O's!

07 August 2013


These days, with so many people moving around the country for work and so busy, it takes a while to feel you are a member of a community.  As well, if you are far from where  your family of origin in the United States settled  you may not know much about their lives in a historical niche because you're so distant from that place and time.  Contacting the Historical Society that is in that area may just be the start for your research.


Because most Historical Societies have some people - often older people - who have stayed put and know a lot about the area. They may just know of your family.

That's what happened to a friend of mine who found out that the home her immigrant ancestors had lived in for a couple generations was on a HISTORY TOUR of the area.  She actually got to go see the house and hear this local expert talk about them.  They were thrilled to meet her as well!

Some historical societies also offer some low-cost look up services for you if the records you need are not on databases or microfilms.  This is especially true of local newspapers.

03 August 2013


I once had a potential client that I decided not to work with because of her rigidity! 

Seriously, this woman was a highly educated and successful social worker of Jewish background with a very unusual surname.  My preliminary research based on the town that she said her family was from, but a town she was distanced from by three generations, revealed a cluster of this unusual name - with spelling variations.  SHE REFUSED TO BELIEVE THAT THESE PEOPLE COULD BE RELATED based on the idea that surname spellings never changed.  She was arguementative and I could tell that she would never be able to take the small leap of faith required and that I'd be fighting to prove things to her all the way.

The fact is that surnames have been very changeable through history.

African American slaves who were freed got to choose their own names.  Sometimes siblings all chose different surnames.  Did they do this formally and legally?  NO.  Assuming a name for some time is all it took - to be KNOWN by a name.  Some tried out a name, didn't like it, and went with another.

This is just one example of the flexibility or a surname.

Another ; I've heard the "They Changed Our Name At Ellis ISland"  so many times.  I don't argue it but this is 99% of the time pure bunk. They did process people quickly and we always have the problem of bad handwriting or misinterpretations of a name, but a mispelling or misunderstanding at Ellis DID NOT CHANGE AN IMMIGRANT'S NAME LEGALLY.  They did not have to go with a mispelling.  In the five minutes or so that they were processed, clerks were not changing the family name.  End of that old story.

Many people did decide to AMERICANIZE their surname, sometimes by spelling it different or spelling it more according to how it would be written in English.  Few went with legal proceedings, which cost money, to take off an ending, or ad or subtract a letter.  As a result, I have found so very many documented families with a wide variety of spellings.  In one family the name was slightly different on Ellis, on naturalization, or WWI draft registrations, and on census.  They were the same family though.

As I mentioned on a recent post, there is also the SPANISHIFICATION of certain surnames due to immigration. So, it's not always about ANGLICIZING!

30 July 2013


I'm not sure how "Platt" maps got their name. 

(If any of my readers know the answer to that, please leave a comment!)

Platt maps are maps that often feature the property lines of farms or rural areas, areas that may now be cities or suburbs.  In a way they are like zoning maps today.

Platt maps have the names of the owners of that land on a specific year and can tell you so much about the early settlers of an area,  and lead you to more information such as who got Land Grants, names to search for in early wills and land sales, etc.

Something that can be a fun early genealogy research lesson for kids is to find the Platt map for where you live now and see how many of the roads, lakes, and other geographical features bear the names of those early settlers say right before and after the Civil War.

I like the big old fashioned maps that have been replaced by digitalized editions on the internet as I find them far easier to read, but if you live far away from a library that houses the big maps this is a good option.  Locally, you might find that a historical society or university library has a collection that you can use without being a member or student.

After the American Revolution, many soldiers who fought for little or no pay and lived were rewarded with land.  These are called "Reparation Lands."  Not exactly "40 acres and a mule" but something like that.

Looking at the same area before and after the Civil War is also an interesting history lesson.

25 July 2013


I've been visiting local historical sites.  But I have to tell you that when I first moved to Southern California and met people who were born and raised here (people who seem to be in the minority) they told me that there was NO HISTORY HERE. 

How could that be?

Hadn't they been taught some American History or some local history in school?

So I set out to learn the history of California, of the South West, and of my local area on my own.  I toured adobe houses, missions,  museums, and learned about what had been torn down via books.  Now I revisit some of these places.

First there is the history of Spanish Mission Building.  There is also the history of Native American Tribes: California had so many natural resouces that it was an area of diverse tribal cultures.  Then there was the Rancherio period; Spanish Land Grants which were later divied up.

One of the most interesting things I learned was that during the Spanish Land Grant and Rancherio period, before there was that surge of immigration from the east coast west, a few explorers and adventurers made their way west.  Most of these people were men, they were often Scottish, and when they MARRIED INTO SPANISH FAMILIES THEY BECAME CATHOLIC AND SPANISHIFIED THEIR SURNAMES.

Over the next couple posts, I urge you to learn your local history, especially as it becomes your family history at one point or another!

03 July 2013


This is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle of Gettysburg. 

Here is the link to the park and the special celebrations: GETTYSBURG PA - CIVIL WAR - 150th ANNIVERSARY  JULY 1-4 amazing events!

23 June 2013


The other day I was trying to explain the notion of "Body Memory" to someone and I found myself talking about my dog.

The dog I'm the person of was a rescue animal.  I got her at a county run animal shelter that is not a "no kill" shelter; most in big cities aren't.  Just recently when renewing her license, I learned I was not her second owner, but her third.  I still feel sure that her name has always been the same and that she was born in the home of her original owner, who may have been a backyard breeder.  I also learned when I adopted her that she has at least one liter, but for all I know she may have given birth many times, and then was spayed.

My dog reacts emotionally, shaking, when her feet are on stainless steel.  Doesn't matter if this is at the vets or in a sink, or anywhere else - the feel of it frightens her. I think she associates the feel with pain and loss.

When I first brought her home she always pulled her feet or paws away if I tried to touch them.  Over many full body massages and months of learning to trust me and not exhibit signs of separation anxiety, she stopped pulling away and started waiting for me without crying.  Now she lets me touch her feet and paws and I sometimes hold them in my hands.  Again, I think she associates the feelings - physical and emotional - with pain.

I took my dog into the closest groomers, a store that also sells cute doggie items, and depending on what sort of barking she hears she will either, wag her tail and look up at me with excitement (small chirpy sounds) or shake with fear and even back away (the harsher barking of a larger dog) and this is very specific.  Because she has exhibited fear, which is uncharacteristic for her overall friendly temperament, I don't want to leave her at a groomer and groom her myself.  I recently took her to a benefit for the shelter and she peaceably sat near a massive Irish Wolf Hound and German Shepherds.  All well behaved.  The dogs at the groomers were further away, leashed, and also well behaved, but yet the VOCAL SOUND of dogs either made her think she was going to meet a long lost relative (maybe her mother) or an enemy!

My dog can't tell me what she's feeling or thinking in any moment, but it's clear she is reacting.  Memories are inside her - maybe her mind which is part of the body, or her body itself as mind.


I'm convinced that some people practice genealogy to gain a different perspective on themselves, by way of getting to know more about the people they are genetically related to, especially so if that person has always felt different, as if they were born into the wrong family.  (At last you've found an eccentric sea captain a few generations back who seems to be the only other person in the family besides yourself who loved to sail!)

I'm also convinced that some people are very influenced by their past lives.  (You sailed and were the sea captain yourself!)

Some people think that there is no such thing as past (or future) lives, as is the case for reincarnation, but that people do have BODY MEMORIES and these can be inherited.  (You love to sale because you have the body memory of the sea captain!) A body memory might, as in the case of my dog, give you a reaction - positive or negative - that  maybe makes no sense.

Say tuned for more on Body Memory in the future posts of ANCESTRY WORSHIP - GENEALOGY

C 2013 Ancestry Worship Genealogy

18 June 2013



EXCERPT: "The disparity was tiny — only about 12,000 — and was more than made up by a gain of 188,000 as a result of immigration from abroad. But the decrease for the year ending July 1, 2012, coupled with the fact that a majority of births in the United States are now to Hispanic, black and Asian mothers, is further evidence that white Americans will become a minority nationwide within about three decades."


Something I realized long ago is that ON THIS PLANET White People ARE the minority!
That is if you are counting as White, only people who have no recent ( say 1/16the)  DNA that is Hispanic, Black, Asian, Native American - and are simply European from way back, but then I remember a long time ago a Jewish Woman friend told me that Jewish people were a separate Race as well.


13 June 2013


You don't have to be a fan of Michael Jackson to be enthralled with the Jackson family drama, and most recently in the news, another law suit by the Jacksons and another law suit to the Jacksons, and the suicide attempt of Paris Jackson, Micheal's daughter by Debbie Rowe. 

Some people think that they spin all their personal business just to make more and more money, becoming more famous for being famous than for talent!

I want to see what the best lawyers can do for rich people in the courts of this nation.  So every day I checked in to see what was happening in the trial. 

Then came the news that daughter Paris had tried to commit suicide.

So much speculation why.

Paris is coming into her adulthood with great advantages and disadvantages.  She is high profile, like it or not.  I suspect she doesn't like it so much.  For me this brings in questions of Fate versus Self Creation and, of course, reincarnation - spiritual stuff. 

Also  there's speculation on her relationship with her birth mother, then the legal wife of Micheal Jackson, who may have treated Ms. Rowe as a surrogate, and the true parental heritage of the children, with more than one man having admitted to donating sperm to Michael Jackson's cold storage long ago. 

Can the Jacksons and Rowe keep this private business or will AEG's lawyers try to use that information to make the Jackson children to appear to have less right to any winnings?

I read a number of web sites that prove and disprove this heritage with photo comparisons. I came across one that was very convincing that Micheal is the genetic father of  all three children.  This site showed that the media lightened photos of the children's skin color and then provided photos of many famous people who had at least one self-identifying Black parent who looked White.   Let's just say that Michael had very distinctive feet which all three seem to have inherited.  Feet!


Where do I stand on all this?

I don't think who the kids parents are genetically has anything to do with who their legal parents are - it's if they had been adopted - and it should have NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on them being more or less deserving of any money won in the suit.  So I see no need for it to be brought up.

This is not a trial over parentage or heredity but about if Micheal Jackson was responsible for his own addiction and death or his doctor was and who was behind the doctor - Jackson or the company that was paying him for a final tour.

Debbie Rowe also fascinates me, especially because she breeds dogs and horses on her ranch, which she bought after selling her Beverly Hills house, and has been out of the children's lives by Michael's command, for many years.  She strikes me as a Fertility Goddess, an Earth Mother, one who accepted she would not raise the children or be in their lives too much.  Over the years Debbie has rallied when her concern over the children was tweaked by other law suits.  I suspect Micheal was not just the Love of Her Life but also a Big Heartbreak.

What teenager heading towards womanhood would not want to know her birth mother, especially because grandma Katherine is a senior senior citizen, sorry, just too old to be dealing with teenagers!  Are you like me, kind of rooting for Debbie here, hoping that she can be and do more?

C 2013 Ancestry Worship Genealogy All Rights Reserved including Internet and International Rights

09 June 2013



I noticed that my post on proving Native American ancestry has been getting a lot of hits, so I thought I would post this helpful link which leads to lots and lots of other informative links including Dawes Rolls and Guion-Miller Roll as well as Census Enumeration of Pueblo Indians, 1790-1939.


So... What if you think you have Native American ancestry but no known member of your family is "card carrying" members of a tribe with reservation rights?

I may have said it before, but it's worth repeating.  Census records are the backbone of American genealogy but everything you read on them may not be right and when it comes to "color" or race or ethnicity, what you see written down may be the word of the reporting individual (hopefully a family member but sometimes a neighbor) or the opinion of the census taker.

I've seen someone called Black or Negro when living in the American South who was called White in Chicago.  I've seen large farm families who proved to have a Native American ancestor with one child called Black and the rest called White - and across the street another farm where they were all listed as Indian.

We can learn about the niche specific attitudes about race and color and ethnicity from this though, can't we?

07 June 2013


FORBES : HUMAN FACE IN 100,000 YEARS  link here (hope the advertisement doesn't pop!)

OK here's a clue... bug eyed!

EXCERPT: "Kwan says that 60,000 years from now, our ability to control the human genome will also make the effect of evolution on our facial features moot. As genetic engineering becomes the norm, “the fate of the human face will be increasingly determined by human tastes,” he says in a research document. Eyes will meanwhile get larger, as attempts to colonize Earth’s solar system and beyond see people living in the dimmer environments of colonies further away from the Sun than Earth."

(Dr. Alan Kwan, who holds a PhD in computational genomics from Washington University.)

04 June 2013


Orphans in the family?

Very common.

I was watching an old movie the other day, about a family in the Smokey Mountains, called " Where the Lilies Bloom," which was based on a novel by Vera and Bill Cleaver.  Since I did some extensive research for a family with roots in the Smokey Mountains, I've heard so many stories of living off the land, early marriages, and good neighbors who have a fine sense of community.

The crisis in this film is that children are left orphaned when their father dies and because they do not want to be put in foster care they decide to hide his death.  Of course the fact that this takes place in the Smokey Mountains makes it doable.  The children can bury him without anyone knowing and they can blame to be busy with collecting herbs to make medicinals and farm work when visitors come calling to talk to their dad. It goes on for a while, the children exhausted but still attending school so as not to raise any red flags, until the worn out 14 year old daughter who leads the family admits the problem to the owner of the land whose sister wants it back.  A younger daughter marries the older man who wanted to marry her, despite promises to the dying father.  Thus the land they were renting becomes owned by that daughter and family.

These days in the United States we seem to be ignorant about how many children were orphaned in the old days, often because their mother died in childbirth or afterwards of related causes.  Believe it or not, two children out of three were orphaned in England in Charles' Dickens days, which is why Charles Dickins novels were so popular - all those street urchins.  Today's blended families are most often because of divorce.   Used to be blended families were because of death.

HOWEVER, BE AWARE THAT IN THE 19th century and before, an ORPHAN was defined as a child without a father (to support the family) and if you hear that a child was orphaned in your family, their mother or a step-mother may still be living.

There are orphans in my family, and I'm still researching to find out more about the people who took them in and raised them!

27 May 2013


Horatio's drive is about Horatio Nelson Jackson, who left San Francisco in 1903 determined to drive an automobile across the continent of the United States on what was mostly dirt roads that were for Wagon Trains or Horse 'n Buggies.

He had been on the road a short time when other men, who were sponsored by automobile companies, decided that they would beat him or perhaps make it to the east coast if he gave up. These men failed.
Nelson did it for a $50 bet, which he never cared to collect, and racked up thousands of dollars in expenses, and the automobile he was driving was not one of the notables.

A fun film  with lots of vintage daring-do that will inspire you to take some back roads on your summer vacation, which begins any moment, since today is MEMORIAL DAY!

25 May 2013


Another natural disaster - another episode of record busting and destructive weather.  I'm not going to get into END TIME predictions here, though I meet people who believe that's where we at - the end of time on earth.  Instead I'd like to say that I think it's fantastic that there is an effort - on FACEBOOK - to reunited people with the family photographs that are being found in rubble, in trees, all over, and sometimes far away from the 17 mile, 1.3 wide path of the Tornado.

(By the way, I notice that Hurricanes/ Super Storms have names but Tornado ands do not!  Why is that?!)

This has gotten me thinking about photographing all my family photos with my digital camera which has a setting called DOCUMENTS, and which allows you to take close up pictures, and holding all of them on a CLOUD or other photograph holding site, so that if ever my own rare family photos are destroyed by fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, etc.  they will be somewhere else.

Of course I've uploaded some photos as I use a FamilySearch product, but my paperwork (handwritten notes, photocopies, etc.) are bountiful and valuable too, and I want to preserve all that so that whomever inherits my research work and family history writing will be able to follow what I did to get to that point. 

And I'm ever more concerned with privacy issues as NO I do not want my photographs to be open to the viewing of anyone else without my knowledge and permission. 

23 May 2013



Take a look at these look-a-likes and tell me what you think.  These people are not supposed to be related.

If a genealogist researched them, I wonder, would they still be considered not related?

Some time ago I contacted a person who may have a relative in common with me.  It's been a while and perhaps she was just being polite when she said she would go through some pictures.  I have to admit I WANT TO SEE WHAT THIS PERSON LOOKED LIKE!  If I saw them out shopping at the mall, would I instantly guess they were related to me somehow?

Seems from the time a baby is born, people are trying to figure out who it looks like.  Some see the mother.  Some see the father.  Some see a great uncle.  It is really strange when you don't look at all like your siblings.

21 May 2013


As it says on the back of the pack, this film is the story of a group of Polish Woman who outwitted the Nazi's during World War Two.  More to the point, Irena Sendler and some of her social worker friends were gentiles and are now gifted with the title Righteous of All Nations, by Yad Vashem.

Over 2500 Jewish children were saved from death by being taken from the Warsaw Poland ghetto where they and their families awaited deportation and death.  They secreted these children mostly in Catholic Convents with the nuns.  Everyone involved risked death as punishment for their heroic activity if they were caught.  Of course the children were required to learn new Christian names and act as Catholics and it was all very stressful and confusing for them. But they lived.

This is a PBS video but there was a lot of financial help behind it which is noteworthy.  The Polish and Slavic Federal Credit Union.  The Foundation for German Polish collaboration,  Rafal Obinski and the Legion of Young Polish Women are just some of the funders.  I realize I had never heard of these people or organizations before this film. 

Winner of the Best Documentary Audience Award in the UK Jewish Film Festival 2012, I am always glad to know that historians are trying for a balanced view of history, because I've heard a lot of Catholic bashing and Polish bashing in my lifetime.  Yes, an estimated 6 million Jewish civilians were exterminated by the Nazi's in Occupied Poland, Occupied Hungary, and so on, but so were millions of Catholic Poles and Christians in several countries.