In Scotland the word Hogmanay is used to describe the New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31. The holiday is so important in Scotland that it tends to eclipse Christmas and gifts are given and received on New Year’s Eve. The custom of Hogmanay was mentioned in the Elgin, Scotland, records as “hagmonay” and is believed […]

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Sandy on December 30th, 2010

I recently included in a recent post “Facebook may be great but there are other social networking alternatives for genealogists” as one of the most popular social networks on the web for family genealogists. The latest news posted on the PRWeb describes the release of a new online history game by as a […]

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The town of Wesley Chapel near Monroe in North Carolina lost a house built in 1810 to fire in the early hours of Monday, December 27. Known as the Houston house, the two-story home stood on a property owned by a Monroe church and plans were in the works to move it to a site […]

Continue reading about Fire set by vandals destroys a 200-year-old house in Union County, North Carolina

“On this day in 1890, in the final chapter of America’s long Indian wars, the U.S. Cavalry kills 146 Sioux at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Throughout 1890, the U.S. government worried about the increasing influence at Pine Ridge of the Ghost Dance spiritual movement, which taught that Indians had […]

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Sandy on December 29th, 2010

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which comes under the Ministry of Culture, will be 150 years old in 2011. The organization researches archaeology and protects India’s cultural heritage. It performs an amazing range of activities, which include site museums, study of antiquities, and the protection of archaeological sites and ancient monuments.

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I’ve only recently discovered another great website for anyone researching Scottish Ancestors. It’s called ScotlandsPlaces and, as the name suggests, it allows users to search through different national databases using geographic location. A great  way to learn the social history of where your ancestors lived. On December 20th, the ScotlandsPlaces team announced the re-launch of […]

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Sandy on December 28th, 2010

The following announcement was posted yesterday, December27, on the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Blog: “The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Selects Family History and Publishing Expert to Head its Electronic Quarterly Magazine December 27, 2010 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) today announces the appointment of Matt Wright as Editor of […]

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The National Library of Scotland has now added Post Office Directories to its database. You can now access online 287 directories for the period 1774 to 1911. Several towns and counties are covered and you’ll see numbers in brackets beside each place name to indicate the number of directories available. Most of Scotland’s post offices also […]

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Sandy on December 27th, 2010

Based on feedback from users, has a lot of new records collections coming in 2011 from the United States and from outside the United States.  Here’s the latest new content list: From the United States: • More naturalization records, 1795-1900s • Improved 1930 U.S. Census • More New York, Boston and Philadelphia passenger lists, […]

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The story of Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth demise when he was gunned down in a rural Virginia barn by Union soldiers isn’t the one passed down by the Booth family who believe he escaped capture. The alternate story was written in the 1907 book “The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth” authored […]

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Sandy on December 24th, 2010

A brand new article from New York reports that human remains recently discovered in Siberia have delivered a DNA surprise. And, apparently the person traveled far from his/her place of origin. The existence of this new human relative was first revealed just nine months ago from a sampling of DNA recovered from a finger bone […]

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With social networks popping up everywhere catering to every imaginable interest group and, as you can well imagine, if there are sites for bird watchers there must be sites for genealogy. Out of the many sites, I’ve found several that are of interest to me and might also be of interest to you. If you […]

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Sandy on December 23rd, 2010

The successful celebrity family tree reality series “Who Do You Think You Are?” that aired on NBC has just released Season 1 on video. You can now look at the family history search of Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Brook Shields, Emmitt Smith, Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee and Lisa Kudrow. I believe the show was […]

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Sandy on December 22nd, 2010

I’ve been asked to republish my December 8 article so that someones dad could see it without having to search. For anyone who hasn’t seen the “You Tube” Christmas Shopping video at the end of the post it’s great. I doubt that the composer George Frederick Handel 1685 – 1759 even in his creative state […]

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For people researching family genealogy in the UK I’ve copied the following useful post from Alan Stewart’s blog Grow Your Own Family Tree: “The probate catalogue of Durham University’s North East Inheritance (NEI) Project is now online. The project aims to put online wills proved and administrations granted in the Diocese of Durham (covering County […]

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Elizabeth Roads of Edinburgh (pronounced Edinburra) is the first woman ever, after a 35-year career at the heraldry office forScotland, to be appointed herald at the Court of  the  Lord Lyon. The English equivalent, the College of Arms, has never had a female herald. The individual we call a “herald” today is not the trumpet-blowing […]

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Sandy on December 20th, 2010

Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850-1894) penned his own epitaph: “This be the verse you grave for me: Here he lies where he longed to be Home is the sailor, home from sea, And the hunter home from the hill” One of the great ones.  The rest are humorous and remind us that those who have passed […]

Continue reading about Graveyard Humor: Funny epitaphs from actual tombstones

Genealogy is not a boring word anymore that’s appropriate only to your grandparents. Quite opposite of what many people might think, an interest in genealogy has not only penetrated mainstream America, but it has spread around the world.  East of access is the key and organizations like, and have successfully advanced research […]

Continue reading about Suggestions from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Research on how to make history this holiday.

Sandy on December 17th, 2010

When I was about 6 years old in a Scottish Sunday School class one of the teachers was showing our little group a picture of Jesus riding on a donkey into Jerusalem. She then pointed to the golden haired image in the picture and told us that this was Jesus. And in an “out of […]

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Sandy on December 17th, 2010

I’ve just read an interesting article about a new sign has been erected at the entrance to the Eastern Bush Cemetery by The Southland District Council and the Eastern Bush Cemetery Trust. The purpose is to develop the new informative notice board that was put in place yesterday. It has the names and location of […]

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Sandy on December 16th, 2010

This is the latest press release from NBC: “December 16, 2010 NBC ANNOUNCES THE CELEBRITIES TRACING THEIR FAMILY TREES ON SEASON TWO OF ?WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?’ PREMIERING FEBRUARY 4 Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd Take a Look Inside Their Family […]

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Sandy on December 16th, 2010

The Society of Genealogists in the UK has just published the following press release: “Leading family history website has published online the complete 1911 census for England and Wales, allowing its members to view the original householder schedules for the first time. The 1911 census records are the most detailed of any census it includes places […]

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Sandy on December 15th, 2010

C.S Lewis (1898-1963)  was one of the most popular Christian authors of all time. His 7 book series, “The Chronicles of Narnia”  with the third book in the series “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”  topping the box office as the most watched movie last weekend. When Lewis started writing the […]

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Sandy on December 14th, 2010

One of my first articles on this blog was about the free Family Search website in October and since then they’ve made a lot of changes to the NewFamilySearch site, so it’s time for an update. You need to register to log on the “New Family Search” site, but you can still use the original […]

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The National Genealogical Society has developed the following a social media policy for it’s upcoming conference scheduled to take place atThe NGS 2011 Family History Conference will be held at the North Charleston Convention Center in Charleston, South Carolina, from 11–14 May 2011: “NGS does permit and encourage the use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter […]

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William Addams Reitwiesner of Washington, D.C. passed away on Friday, November 12, 2010, at the age of 56 after a battle with cancer. He was hailed as one of the best ever royal genealogists in the world. The following tribute written by Timothy Smith appeared in the Washington Post yesterday, December 11, 2010.

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I’ve just read an article in the UK Daily Mail Online about Professor Sir Paul Nurse who found out that his sister was really his mother. It’s a story similar to one that many genealogists come across during the course of their research.  When one sets out on a journey into the past it can […]

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Sandy on December 12th, 2010

After an incredible response from users over the past year, Ancestry has responded to people who have asked for more relevant search results and easier ways to locate data collections. Based on the feedback, they’ve  been making modifications to the forms over the past months, and this week they’re starting the roll out  the […]

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Sandy on December 10th, 2010

The Vatican secret documents have been the subject of myth for hundreds of years and we all enjoy the prolific supply of novels touting conspiracy theories, as well as, the movies based on the books. I’ll tell you right up front that there is such a library of archives in the Holy See called the […]

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The National Archives issued the following press release on December 6 to announce the launching of their new Web Site. The new web site was voted by the public in July of this year. Included is a streamlined access to historical documents and military service records and easy links to National Archives social media sites.

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Sandy on December 9th, 2010

I’ve written about The National Register of Historic Places once before. It’s a federal program run by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service for the preservation of significant cultural and historical buildings. The organization provides federal and state tax credits for restoration work but doesn’t include any development restrictions to preserve the […]

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Sandy on December 8th, 2010

The classic novels of Charles Dickens written in the 1800s express his unique and detailed observation of the human condition during the time of the Industrial Revolution in Britain.  His novels were dark and filled with a collection of complex characters who were subjected to the horrors of greed, poverty and child labor. And, like […]

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Sandy on December 7th, 2010

Well, they’ve done it again. And, depending upon your point of view, Google has either produced another great service (especially if you’re a shareholder) or, they’re yet another threat to the brick and mortar booksellers. Yesterday, December 6, brought a new announcement from Google that they had officially launched their eBookstore. It’s common knowledge that […]

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Sandy on December 7th, 2010

As a member of I view the company blog in my Google Reader.  Their latest post published on December 6,  is definitely a “laugh out loud” for readers and members.  In case you haven’t seen it yet, I’ve copied the post for you. You can also click on their link to see the original […]

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Frank Gregorsky, who is in the business of recording family anecdotes, has asked me to make a modification to my article on Preserving the Sounds of Family and I’m happy to do so.  His request was in response  to my comment, …when CD-ROM technology becomes obsolete (and this could happen soon), the technological advances of […]

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You might ask the question—What does technology have to do with Genealogy and History? The answer is– a great deal. As genealogists or a historians, whether amateur or not, we use modern technology to access records, store records, use GPS to locate places (from cemeteries to conferences), take digital pictures of records or historical sites, […]

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This post is a follow up to my post on October 21 of this year on the training of Arlington National Cemetery workers to receive job training for the first time. As I suspected the situation is now the subject of a criminal investigation with the discovery of eight sets of human remains ending up […]

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On December 3, 1947, Marlon Brando’s famous cry of “STELLA!” boomed across  the stage at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre at the first performance of Tennessee William’s classic play, A Streetcar Named Desire. Brando played the part of Stanley Kowalski, a working class Polish-American. The play revolves around a violent class with Blanch DuBois, played by […]

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The Scotland’s People web site is the best place to  find your Scottish Ancestors. So far, I’ve been able to go back 7 generations and I’m not finished yet. I’m currently writing a separate post on what I consider the best top 5 sites and this government web site  is included. The purchase of credit […]

Continue reading about Scotlands People Statutory Registration Fees: Service Improvements and Revised Fees to be Introduced Next Year

Sandy on December 2nd, 2010

Margaret H. Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was the first woman to hold the position of Prime Minster of Britain. She was also the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, and the first of only four women to hold any of the four offices of state. Iron Lady is a nickname […]

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The British “Society of Genealogists: The National Library & Education Centre for Family History” has published the following notice about  12 volumes of useful updates by using information  from collections of newspapers. The volumes clearly  illustrate how useful Burke’s Peerage can be as a research aid. Family historians with aristocratic ancestry will know how useful […]

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As I’ve said before I’m a big fan of They’ve now added a Century of Vintage Sears Roebuck and Company catalogs. I’ve heard of many ways uses for the Sears catalogs and I’m sure lots of people, given the popularity of collectors items, wish that they had saved them. Here’s a copy of the […]

Continue reading about $2,000 for a Home, 75 cents for Parcheesi: You’ll Find it All in a Century of Vintage Sears Catalogs, Now Available Online on

Sandy on December 1st, 2010

The following notice appeared in the Mormon Times, Desert News: “SALT LAKE CITY — Technologists and genealogists from around the world will gather at the first annual RootsTech Conference at the Salt Palace Convention Center Feb. 10–12. The conference, hosted by FamilySearch and sponsored by leading genealogical organizations, aims to bring technologists and genealogists together […]

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