Recent Posts

I’m Scottish born and spent my formative years living in the historic Scottish town of Stirling, with it’s splendid castle, home to Scottish royalty. Growing up in an area literally steeped in history did leave its mark later on.   We listened as children with pride to stories of the legendary William Wallace, King Robert […]

Continue reading about What happened to the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots ladies-in-waiting?

Here’s the latest information on new records at Findmypast via Alan Stewart’s “Grow Your Own Family Tree“: Australia: New South Wales “Containing over 29,000 records, the New South Wales Goal Photographic Books 1871-1969 consist of entries of prisoners from 14 different gaols around the state. The records are particularly fascinating as they contain not only […]

Continue reading about New Essex and Yorkshire UK records, new Australian records and more newspapers

For Earth Day, please listen to  “Nature’s Greatest Mimic” imitate the sound of chainsaws destroying its habitat:  

Continue reading about Earth Day: Hear natures greatest mimic imitate the sound of chainsaws destroying its habitat

I loved the Star Wars trailer (see below) and am looking forward to seeing the movie. It’s packed with action shots, storm troopers and favorite characters for both Star Wars fans (like me) and all moviegoers. It’s family-friendly entertainment. The main theme of the preview comes from the series’ hero Luke Skywalker, who says, in homage to […]

Continue reading about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer points to family genealogy

Sandy on April 17th, 2015

Fold3 by Ancestry is offering free access to their Civil War collection through April 30, as follows: “April was a big month in the American Civil War. Not only did the conflict begin in April 1861, but this year marks the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant, as well as Lincoln’s assassination, in April […]

Continue reading about Fold3 offering free access to Civil War collection

With rumblings that the first sketch H.G. Peter’s Wonder Woman is headed for the auction block, there is, as far as my research goes, one person who says that it’s not. The link to the article is provided below. Many of comics iconic heroes are so old now that items from their beginnings are very […]

Continue reading about Ultra-rare first sketch of DC’s Wonder Woman on the auction block? Maybe not

Sandy on April 10th, 2015

A little soul in the form of a cat took up residence in our back yard a year ago. After a several weeks of giving her some tasty morsels, we discovered that she had been declawed, her vocal chords tampered with and abandoned to the outdoors to fend for herself. She is now part of […]

Continue reading about ASPCA founded April 10,1866

Sandy on April 6th, 2015

Have a Happy Passover! What is Passover? Passover is an eight-day festival celebrated in early spring from the 15th though the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan and commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from a life of slavery in ancient Egypt. The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation over […]

Continue reading about Happy Passover

Sandy on April 5th, 2015

Continue reading about Happy Easter to all!

Sandy on April 3rd, 2015

Continue reading about Why Good Friday is called “Good Friday”

Sandy on March 31st, 2015

How time flies. On March 31, 1999, the writing and directing brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski released their second film, the mind-blowing science-fiction blockbuster The Matrix. Born and raised in Chicago, both brothers dropped out of college and started a house-painting and construction business before they got into the film industry. They collaborated on two screenplays, […]

Continue reading about The Matrix: How Time Flies

FamilySearch has added to its collections more than 5.8 million indexed records and images for Australia, Canada, Hungary, Russia, South Africa, and the United States. Notable collection updates include 2,435,483 indexed records from the Canada Census, 1911 collection; 2,069,202 indexed records from the Australia, Queensland Cemetery Records, 1802–1990 collection; and 310,900 images from the Russia, […]

Continue reading about FamilySearch adds more than 5.8 million indexed records and images for Australia, Canada, Hungary, Russia, South Africa, and the United States

The following press release comes from the Globe Newswire: “SALT LAKE CITY, March 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Knowles Collection, a quickly growing, free online Jewish genealogy database linking generations of Jewish families from all over the world, reached its one-millionth record milestone and is now easily searchable online. The collection started from scratch just […]

Continue reading about Popular online Jewish genealogy collection surpasses one million entries

Sandy on March 21st, 2015

I’d like to share the following article by Dick Eastman who writes the best of the best genealogy blog Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter:  “Overheard at a genealogy conference recently (repeated from memory so the wording might not be exact): Person #1: “I won’t put my genealogy information online because I am afraid someone might steal it.” […]

Continue reading about Who Owns Your Genealogy Data? Via EOGN

England’s Immigrants 1330-1550, a fully-searchable database containing over 64,000 names of people known who migrated to England during the period of the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death, the Wars of the Roses and the Reformation. The information within this database has been pulled from a wide selection of published and un-published records – […]

Continue reading about England’s Immigrants Database 1330–1550 a worthwhile resource

New additions to the Findmypast database are the Queensland, Australia, immigration records. They include: “Queensland, Brisbane Register of Immigrants 1885-1917 Containing over 48,000 records, the index was compiled from Registers of Immigrants per Ship Landed at the Immigration Depot at Brisbane. These records were maintained and used by the immigration department. The purpose of these registers was […]

Continue reading about New Queensland, Australia, immigration records go online

If you find it difficult to remember your passwords you’ll be interested to know that Yahoo has recently taken the first step towards eliminating them by introducing an on-demand feature that has users logging on with computer generated passwords. I’m wondering if this will work and, of course, we shall see. “If you’re one of […]

Continue reading about Yahoo just took the first step towards eliminating passwords

Sandy on March 17th, 2015

Ever since St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 A.D in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, many legends have been passed down. As the patron saint of Ireland he is said to have baptized hundreds of people in a day. He explained the Holy Trinity using a three-leafed shamrock. What is known about St. Patrick comes from […]

Continue reading about Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Sandy on March 13th, 2015

The following article written by Trevor Hammond for Newspaper.com can be used universally. That said Newspapers.com is a wonderful resource for family history researchers: “If a simple search on Newspapers.com for an ancestor’s name isn’t returning the results you want, try including wildcards or Boolean operators in your search. Wildcards are great if there are multiple spellings or possible […]

Continue reading about How to search using Wildcards and Boolean operators

Sandy on March 11th, 2015

The following information comes from the National Genealogical Association (NGS): “The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the live streaming of ten lectures from its 2015 Family History Conference, which will be held 13‒16 May 2015, in St. Charles, Missouri. NGS members and others across the United States and overseas, who are unable to attend the […]

Continue reading about Live Streaming Lectures from NGS Conference

Sandy on March 7th, 2015

Very moving please watch and listen, it will be your gain. This event did indeed spread outrage around the world. Beautifully narrated:

Continue reading about Leaving Selma

Sandy on March 4th, 2015

Fold3 has a great website. I like to share the following interesting article featured on the Fold3 blog: “In early March 1918, soldiers with the flu began reporting to the infirmary at Camp Funston, an army training camp in Kansas. Within three weeks, 1,100 men at that camp had also come down with the flu. It […]

Continue reading about Spanish Flu Pandemic that began March 1918

I remember growing up there was discussion as to whether marmalade was first made by the English or the Scots. The real thing is so delicious, I’m sure it really doesn’t matter. As published today in The Herald, Scotland: “They’ll be choking on their toast in deepest middle England this morning as news spreads that […]

Continue reading about Marmalade Wars: Scotland toasts victory over England

Sandy on February 27th, 2015

“Leonard Nimoy, known worldwide as Mr Spock in the original Star Trek television series, has died. He was 83. His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, told the New York Times he died of of pulmonary disease, which he attributed to a smoking habit he had ended 30 years ago. He was hospitalised in Los Angeles earlier this week. […]

Continue reading about RIP: Leonard Nimoy, Mr Spock on Star Trek, dies aged 83

Sandy on February 26th, 2015

Some interesting news from the Associated Press, February 26, 2015: “NEW YORK –  Barnes & Noble is keeping its Nook Media digital business after all. The bookseller had planned to combine Nook and its college bookstores into a single company separate from its retail operations. Barnes & Noble’s retail operations, which include its bookstores and the […]

Continue reading about Barnes & Noble to keep Nook digital business after all

The Genealogist is a UK based website with a constantly expanding database. Their most recently added Tythe maps will give family researchers insight into where their ancestors worked and lived in the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire. Other counties will soon follow.  See below: “Many family historians want to get an insight into where their […]

Continue reading about Tithe maps for four English counties go online: What land did your ancestor own or occupy?

Sandy on February 22nd, 2015

I know this post is not about genealogy, but it could mean a lot of family historians could stick around to tell their story and make a difference. As usual it’s a maybe, although it does come from a good source, Rutgers University via Gizmag cite Rutgers as the source. If you can understand my intro then […]

Continue reading about Ingredient Olive oil leads cancer cells to their death

Sandy on February 16th, 2015

As a follow up to my previous post, I’d like to share an article What to you get from DNA testing? written by Betty Malesky for the Green Valley News and Sun, which touches on how far we’ve come since it all started in 1985. I found her comment in the article, “Back only 10 generations […]

Continue reading about What do you get from DNA testing?

The following news release comes from Ancestry.com at the RootsTech conference with a new story centric website and groundbreaking advancements in AncestryDNA that will revolutionize how people discover their ancestors: “(PROVO, Utah) – February 11, 2015 – Ancestry, the world’s leading family history service, is ushering in the next generation of family history, with the debut of an updated […]

Continue reading about Industry leader Ancestry.com talks innovation and new collections at annual RootsTech conference

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed. Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join […]

Continue reading about How the holy martyr St. Valentine became associated with romance

Sandy on February 9th, 2015

If you’re a family historian looking for ancestors in Ulster, Northern Ireland, Ulster Ancestry looks like an interesting and useful resource. I’ve been hearing about the Scots-Irish, especially in North Carolina for several years so the following article written in Ulster Ancestry explains a lot. I grew up in Scotland learning about Irish names in […]

Continue reading about Who are the Scots-Irish? The Thirteenth Tribe?

Many people have heard of Concord, North Carolina because of NASCAR and the Charlotte Motor Speedway which is actually in Cabarrus County’s Concord and home to Hendrickmtorsports and others. What you might not realize is Concord as a beautiful and historic place to live. I recently came across the following article, which appeared in Living […]

Continue reading about Concord, North Carolina, listed on National Register of Historic places since 1986

Sandy on February 5th, 2015

Launched in 2013 Founders Online, is a tool for seamless searching across the papers of our Founding Fathers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton. Our Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) David Ferriero’s most recent blog post has written that since 2013 the database has grown to a […]

Continue reading about National Archives search tool Founders Online

I’d like to share an article published on Daily Finance that I think everyone should read. You can also click on Daily Finance to see the video. The stores that sell these supplements are, Target, Wal-Mart,,Walgreens, and GNC. Prepared to be amazed at the perfidy of the companies that manufacture the herbal supplements for these giants: “Testing of […]

Continue reading about Well known businesses sell herbal supplements that flunk the test: Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware)

The following notification comes from the British National Archives: “We are pleased to announce that our partners at Findmypast have published the Poverty Relief Loans records (record series T 91) from our collection online for the first time. The Irish Reproductive Loan Fund was a privately funded micro credit scheme set up in 1824 to provide small loans to […]

Continue reading about British National Archives has Irish Poverty Relief records online

TheGenealogist has added thousands of Missing in Action records to their database. The news release is as follows: “TheGenealogist has released over 800,000 records to their growing military collection, including 574,666 Killed in Action records, 226,214 unique Missing in Action records, and 13,967 other records. Researching a soldier from among the Killed in Action records […]

Continue reading about Find records of First World War servicemen Killed or Missing in Action online

On, January 25th every year Scots all over the world gather to celebrate the birth of Scotland’s Bard, Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796). Robert Burns, born in Alloway, Ayreshire, Scotland, is also known as the Ploughman Poet.  His popularity back then (and now) is probably due to the fact that he wrote […]

Continue reading about Celebrating Scotland’s Bard Robert Burns on his birthday, January 25th.

Sandy on January 22nd, 2015

Findmypast.co.uk has added an impressive line-up of Irish newspapers to their collection. This news release has a list of recently added publications: “New Irish newspapers continue to be added to our collection all the time and the first month of 2015 has been no different. Since our update last month, we added over 1.1 million new […]

Continue reading about More Irish newspapers added to Findmypast collection

If you’re struggling to write your family history and imagine the life your ancestors led, explore how they grew up, were educated, dressed, and married, the new website History Lines could give you a jump start. Personally, I’ve often wondered how events and cultural influences of the day affected my ancestors daily lives. History Lines […]

Continue reading about A new and very different genealogy website gives you a jump-start on writing your family history

Sandy on January 19th, 2015

Instead of today’s pettifogging, please keep the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. alive in the way this great man intended:  

Continue reading about Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

I remember growing up in Scotland finding fossilized shells in the Ochil hills (quite a distance above sea level) near Stirling, an area about as far from the ocean as is possible to be in that country. I also heard talk of a discovery of a fossilized whale type creature in a former peat bog […]

Continue reading about Predator the size of a motorboat swam in Jurassic Scotland

Former 1st lady Laura Bush will be keynote speaker at the increasingly popular conference RootsTech 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah, describing generations in one particular of the country’s most well-known families. Her life in the Whitehouse, including her viewpoint on difficult post-9/11 days and the importance of family members will be discussed. RootsTech is […]

Continue reading about Former 1st lady Laura Bush will be a keynote speaker at RootsTech 2015

The following information on Genealogy Roadshow comes from Ancestry.com. The fascinating line-up will make interesting viewing: “From descendants of the infamous pirate Blackbeard to heroes of the Holocaust, PBS’ GENEALOGY ROADSHOW uncovers family secrets in the series’ second season, which premieres Tuesday, January 13th at 8:00 p.m. ET and airs Tuesday through February 24th. Genealogists Kenyatta […]

Continue reading about The Genealogy Roadshow heads to New Orleans, St. Louis, and Philadelphia

Sandy on January 8th, 2015

Elvis Aaron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. Today he would have turned 80.  His musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B […]

Continue reading about Elvis Presley would have turned 80 today

CNN reported experts at a Boston museum opened up a 1795 time capsule buried by Sam Adams and Paul Revere in front of live-cameras Tuesday, January 6, 2015. It was buried by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere in 1795. The more than 200-year-old antique — thought by experts to possibly be the oldest unopened time capsule in […]

Continue reading about Museum Opens America’s Oldest Time Capsule Buried by Paul Revere, Sam Adams

The latest news from ScotlandsPeople is as follows: “The 1914 births reveal how patriotism gripped parents of babies after Britain declared war on 4 August. The final few months of 1914 witnessed a new fashion for naming boys Kitchener after Lord Kitchener,Secretary of State for War. Field Marshal Lord Kitchener’s face adorned thefamous recruiting posters […]

Continue reading about ScotlandsPeople has added Scottish births in 1914, marriages in 1939 & deaths 1964.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the sophisticated calendars and writing systems of the Maya and also about their ritual sacrifices. We still, however, don’t know what caused their civilization to collapse around 900 A.D. Although it has been suggested before that a drought hit the Mayans, the new results do strengthen the case. A team […]

Continue reading about Belize’s ‘Great Blue Hole’ might hold clues to Mayan demise!

Sandy on December 31st, 2014

Happy New Year from SpittalStreet.com

Continue reading about Happy New Year 2015!

Sandy on December 28th, 2014

I’d like to share a charming account of William Morrison a native of Scotland who arrived on Ellis Island on the steamship Caledonia more than a hundred years ago. Mr. Morrison was a coal miner and was, according to his papers, en route to Matherville, Ill. The article appeared in QCOnline.com and was written by […]

Continue reading about Mercer County Illinois documents now on FamilySearch.org

Whether North Korea was, or was not, the cause of the cyber attack last week at Sony Pictures in response to “The Interview” is, in my personal opinion, only the tip of the iceberg. Now we have Microsoft Corp’s Xbox Live and Sony Corp’s PlayStation networks experiencing user connection problems on Christmas Day and beyond, […]

Continue reading about It comes as no surprise that Xbox is has been hacked and the implications are as bad as the Sony experience. Why?

Sandy on December 23rd, 2014

John Robert “Joe” Cocker, OBE (Order of the British Empire) was an amazing English rock and blues singer who burst on the scene in the 1960’s. He was born May 20, 1944 in the industrial town of Sheffield, England and died December 22, 2014 in Crawford, Colorado.

Continue reading about RIP Joe Cocker one of the best rock singers ever

Sandy on December 19th, 2014

The following useful information published on Ancestry.com’s blog has the potential to help you research and view your ancestry in a whole new light: We’ve launched our latest free research guide for the great state of Montana. Here are five things you might not know about Montana.  When settlers began arriving in Montana in earnest […]

Continue reading about Free Montana Research Guide

Sandy on December 17th, 2014

Starting on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. This year Hanukkah began at sundown yesterday, December 16, 2014.  A miracle happened  in 168 B.C.E. when the Jewish Temple was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus. Many of […]

Continue reading about The miracle of the oil—Happy Hanukkah!

Continuing my previous post about the precarious situation brought about by human predators. Brought to us by CNN news the Northern white rhino is teetering on the brink of extinction with only five left worldwide.

Continue reading about Northern white rhino dies at San Diego zoo; only 5 left worldwide

I’ve been a fan of James Rollins amazing Six Sigma novels for several years and I think his latest, The Sixth Extinction (Sigma Force), is the best to date—at least until his next book is published. At the start of each book Rollins publishes informational nuggets of truth vs. fiction to get the juices flowing.  In […]

Continue reading about James Rollins novel “The Sixth Extinction” cleverly relays an important warning to everyone

I’ve traveled around the world about three times during my life. Many years have passed since those days, but it’s safe to say I’ve journeyed extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the South Pacific, Australia and Central America and more. I’ve always found regular folks to be friendly and kind to people visiting their […]

Continue reading about Christmas Truce December 24–25, 1914: WWI enemies swap gifts and sing carols together

Sandy on December 8th, 2014

On December 8, 1980, John Lennon’s (former member the The Beatles) peaceful domestic life on New York‘s Upper West Side with his wife Yoko Ono and their son Sean was shattered by 25-year-old Mark David Chapman. Psychiatrists diagnosed Chapman as a borderline psychotic. He was instructed to plead insanity, but instead he pleaded guilty to […]

Continue reading about Remembering John Lennon murdered Dec 8, 1980.

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in […]

Continue reading about Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: Pearl Harbor bombed Dec 7, 1941

So, what else is new?  We’ve been hearing about royal scandals for a long time now but this one could have an interesting outcome. DNA tests have confirmed that the ancient bones found under a car park in Leicester are those of Richard III – but they also point to a sex scandal in his family […]

Continue reading about Genetic analysis raises questions about legitimacy of Henry VIII and other English royals

The following news release comes from the National Genealogical Society(NGS): “Registration is now open for the National Genealogical Society’s thirty-seventh annual family history conference, Crossroads of America, which will be held 13–16 May 2015 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. Conference highlights include a choice of more than 150 lectures, given by nationally known speakers and subject matter […]

Continue reading about Registration now open for the 2015 NGS Family History Conference

WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. It is an online library catalog that lets you look up items in libraries around the world and perfect for family historians, genealogists and everyone else. The items available include books, electronic documents, journals, microform, and audio and video recordings. Best of all its […]

Continue reading about WorldCat the largest network of library content in the world and it’s free.

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, was born at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, on November 30, 1864, one hundred and fifty years ago. Churchill came from a family with a long history of military service and joined the British […]

Continue reading about Winston Churchill was one of the most inspiring leaders of the twentieth century

Sandy on November 26th, 2014

By 1916, United States citizens were referring to Thanksgiving Day as Turkey Day, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the Pilgrims might not have eaten turkey at all. According to historians, the Pilgrims ate wildfowl, corn, and venison.  Turkey first claimed its place as the Thanksgiving bird in the 1700s when Founding Father […]

Continue reading about The history of Thanksgiving

Sandy on November 23rd, 2014

The story behind one of the world’s most epic survival stories is to be displayed in an archive at the National Library of Scotland. If the account was written as fiction many folks would find it hard to believe. The epic tale of the crew’s survival is real and has become the stuff of polar […]

Continue reading about The greatest survival story of all time

The archive of an Indiana Jones-like Scottish adventurer is to be made available to the public by the National Library of Scotland for the first time. Papers belonging to Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor (11 February 1915 – 10 June 2011) will appear on the website of the National Library of Scotland. Fermor, also known […]

Continue reading about Scottish adventurer’s archive now online at the National Library of Scotland