500 Years of Women
Here's a little something to get Women's History Month started. Enjoy!
Here's a little something to get Women's History Month started. Enjoy!
Yeah, I didn't know what this meant either, but I wish I had time for it. It's an Irish language weekend on Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Here are a few more details:
25 - 27 APRIL 2008, KINGSTON, ON, CANADA
BEGINNER TO CAINTEOIR LÍOFA:
CLASSES AT 7 LEVELS
RANGANNA AG SEACHT LEIBHÉAL
SIAMSA, DANCING, SINGING, IRISH MUSIC, CÉILÍ
DÍOSPÓIREACHT, COMHLUADAR, SCÉALTA AGUS BRÉAGA
$200.00 CDN, $200 US
SAN ÁIREAMH: BÉILÍ OÍCHE AOINE GO LÓN DÉ DOMHNAIGH,
DHÁ OÍCHE LÓISTÍN, FÉAST, CÉILÍ,
INCLUDES: MEALS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT TO SUNDAY NOON,
2 NIGHTS ACCOMMODATION, BANQUET, CÉILÍ
If you're interested, just email email@example.com.
Well, now you can volunteer to index records for Ancestry.com. Read more here:
Is anyone keeping count? I've lost track . . .
This is the kind of story that reminds us that the stash in our own attics could contain national treasures:
Helen Keller Photo from 1888
A couple of months ago, Ancestry.com was approached by Fox News to have someone on to answer questions about the candidates' roots. At the time, there were a lot more candidates -- about eight, as I recall. At any rate, I was selected to do the spot, so had to study up on everyone. I was pretty darn sure I would get asked about Huckabee since he had just won Iowa earlier that week, but in fact, I was only asked about Obama and Clinton.
With Huckabee now out of the race, I thought it might be time to share one of the vignettes I had ready to go if asked that evening in the studio. It concerns his grandfather, William Elder (appropriately named), who leaned toward younger ladies. When he was 36 years old, he married a 17-year-old, and then when he was 57, he married a 21-year-old. He's must have felt a little sheepish, though, because as this doc shows (his second marriage), he only admitted to being 52.
Click here to learn about his ancestors. I think we all feel that way sometimes . . .
Was delighted to read this from Juliana Smith at the 24/7 Family History Circle:
How would you like a free, 28-page book that answers this question? Well, check out this generous offer from The Genetic Genealogist (aka Blaine Bettinger)!
Well, his real name was Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó, but he entered this country as Bela Lugosi, probably because he was from a place then known as Lugos, located in present-day Romania. His Ellis Island record is interesting because it shows him arriving in New Orleans and details about his inspection. And now there's a play about this well known immigrant at Ellis Island:
Taking a Chance on America: Bela Lugosi's Ellis Island Story
She's 100% Irish, and I happen to be a fan, so that's enough reason to write about Kathy Griffin when St. Patty's Day is rapidly approaching. Poking around in her roots, my fancy was captured by her Irish-born grandfather, Patrick J. Griffin (actually, both of her grandfathers were Irish-born).
But here's something you don't see everyday. You know how there's a question about military service in the 1930 census? Here's his response. Apparently, he served in both the Boer War and the Spanish-American War. His obit claims he was a captain for the British in the former, and a second lieutenant in the latter. How's that for a one-two punch?
Last year, I had the opportunity to dig into Barack Obama's roots. Around last St. Patty's Day, Ancestry.com went out with the news that he was part-Irish. After that, I started hearing from members of the Irish media. Where exactly in Ireland did his family come from? That's what everyone wanted to know.
It took some elbow grease, but as I blogged last year, we were finally able to determine that Moneygall gets the bragging rights:
Finding Barack Obama's Irish Roots (click to see the tombstone that pointed me in the right direction)
That's why I was delighted to come across these videos:
My latest orphan heirloom article concerning the return of an inscribed fountain pen that was owned by William Lee Bell, a pilot who was killed in WWII, is now in the current issue of Ancestry Magazine:
There's a little bit of a postscript that's not in the article itself since it occurred more recently. Lt. Bell's plane was recovered in 1998 and there's an exhibit about it at the General Patton Museum in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg. As part of my research, I located a family member who had just recently come into possession of a photo of Lt. Bell and was kind enough to email me a scanned copy. When the article came out, Jim Gilmer, who had submitted the case to me, saw the photo -- and informed me that the museum had been looking for a photo of the pilot to complete the exhibit. And now, thanks to the family and Jim, the museum has it. Here's part of the exhibit that Jim generously sent me images of. It's nice to know that Lt. Bell's pen has been returned to his family, that his image has been sent to Luxembourg, and that his memory is being protected on both sides of the pond.
Just thought this was a cool story!
I would love to hear that this is a false alarm, but in case it’s not, I'd like to encourage folks -- especially anyone with NJ roots or residency -- to do whatever they can about this potential restriction of NJ vital records access:
Here’s a relevant article that Dick Eastman wrote that might be used to help educate Quigley and others:
And this might also be useful. Folks trying to gain greater access to records in PA have created this site to get across the message that many states are actually making access to records easier, even to the point of making digitized, searchable records available online (often for free):
Megan will be presenting "Trace Your Roots with DNA," "Beyond Y-DNA: Your Genetic Genealogy Options," "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones" and "Find That Obituary! Online Newspaper Research" for the Virginia Beach Genealogical Society on March 29. The event will be held at the Virginia Beach Central Library at 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd. Hope to see you there!
Yeah, I know that might sound a little strange that I'm excited that the International Society of Genetic Genealogy has a newsletter, but based on the first issue, this one is a keeper. Go check it out here and be sure to scroll to the bottom to learn how to subscribe.
I'm just a little bit excited! We've just learned at RootsTelevision.com that we've won not one, not two, not three, but four Telly Awards! The Telly Awards "honor the very best local, regional and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and work created for the web." And we're beyond delighted to win four in our very first year!
Anyone care to guess which four shows won?
I'm catching up on 2008 grants. This is the first of several!
Lynn Maffessoli of Jersey City, NJ is making a documentary about the discovery of information surrounding her great-grandmother’s unsolved murder. After researching her family’s history for five years, she was startled to learn that her great-grandmother was murdered in March of 1930. In her documentary, Lynn will recount her ancestor’s actions on the day she was murdered. The grant will be used in support of this documentary – and I confess that one of the reasons I selected this application is because it resonated with me since one of my own great-grandmothers was murdered in 1932.
. . . from my first cousin, once removed, Gabby!
February 14, 2009 - Secaucus, NJ - Hudson County Genealogical Society - “Trace Your Roots with DNA” - 11:00 am - Secaucus Public Library, 1379 Paterson Plank Rd.
April 18, 2009 - Anchorage, AK - Anchorage Genealogical Society - "Introduction to Ancestry.com," "Reverse Genealogy: Techniques for Finding Your Lost Loved Ones," "Find that Obituary! Online Newspaper Research" and "Cases That Made My Brain Hurt" - ZJ Loussac Library, Wilda Marston Theatre, 3600 Denali St.
Hope to see you there!
The Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance has been locating, registering and preserving Alabama's lost cemeteries since 2003. They have located many cemeteries that were hidden in the woods or about to be destroyed by new developments, and had legislation passed to protect the rights to visit those cemeteries. Their website is utilized by every county in Alabama as well as accessed by other visitors. The grant award will assist them with finding a new server for their website.
P.S. We’re still waiting to hear back from the awardees of the 100th month grant in February so we'll share that later.
If you have a relative who's gone missing in New York, it might be worth learning more about Hart Island. It's estimated that 800,000 people have been buried at Hart Island, New York City's largest potter field, from 1869 to the present.
A remarkable woman named Melinda Hunt has made it her mission to help those buried there be known. Most recently, she managed to obtain -- through the Freedom of Information Act -- a list of the 50,000 buried there since 1985. Read more here:
So Ireland is trying to attract roots travelers from Australia and New Zealand:
Go Green and Discover your Irish side
and Scotland is trying to attract roots travelers from Canada:
Tourism chiefs eye expat market at inaugural Scottish week in Toronto
I just finished reading Bloody Foreigners about the history of immigration in England -- and based on this emerging pattern of trying to attract folks back to their homelands for a visit and the information jammed into this book -- there are a lot of countries (Denmark, France, Jamaica, India, etc.) that should start trying to entice the English "home" for a holiday!
Ah-ha! That explains it! All of a sudden, I started getting lots of orphan heirloom applications in rapid succession. After wondering what was going on, I discovered the answer -- Jana Lloyd's article in the current issue of Rootsweb Review:
I'm delighted, of course, but I'd like to take this opportunity to make a personal plea. I've done countless orphan heirloom rescues over the years (you can read about a bunch of them here), but there's been a bit of a disturbing trend. More and more, when I do the detective work to find the family of origin and get back to the submitter, I get no response -- even if I try several times. Frankly, this is frustrating as it forces me to solve multiple cases in order to write a single article, and I wind up feeling, well, cheated. There's no rescue and I can't get the time (and sometimes money) I invested in the research back. It's to the point where I sometimes have to research five cases in order to be sure to have one to write about (sadly, I'm not exaggerating).
So here's my plea: By all means, submit your orphan heirloom to be rescued. I welcome it. I love doing the sleuthing! For me, there's nothing like the thrill of the hunt. But please don't submit if you're not quite sure whether you're truly ready to return the item to the family of origin yet (yes, I know, we can become quite attached to these items even if they're not from our own families). So please be sure you're ready and willing to participate in the rescue before submitting, OK? Thanks!
23andMe has added an interesting new feature: Ancestry Painting. Here's my husband's:
Here's how 23andMe describes Ancestry Painting (which I see as a sort of admixture assessment):
"As populations became separated over the millennia, small genetic differences developed that can still be used as signatures of geographic ancestry. Ancestry Painting looks at those signatures in the 22 numbered chromosomes (that is, all but X and Y) to infer where in the world the ancestors who passed you each stretch of DNA were most likely to have lived – Africa, Asia or Europe.
Ancestry Paintings essentially give you a snapshot of where your ancestors lived before the beginning of the colonial era about 500 years ago. That’s because the massive migrations that have occurred since then have blurred many of the genetic boundaries that had developed over the millennia. For example, most Americans trace their ancestry not to the continent where they live but to Africa, Asia, Europe or a combination of those places."
So my husband -- who's half-Italian and half-Carpatho-Rusyn (think Slavic) -- comes out 99% European and 1% Asian. See those little splotches of orange? That's his Asian contribution, according to 23andMe. Would be interesting to hear results from anyone who's tested both with 23andMe and DNAPrint Genomics.
Here are the details I promised last week . . .
PROVO, UT, March 26, 2008 -- RootsTelevision.com, an online channel dedicated to all aspects of genealogy and family history, has been recognized in the 29th Annual Telly Awards for four of its original productions. Selected from more than 14,000 shows were "DNA Stories: A Tale of Two Fathers" (documentary), "Heir Jordan: Extreme Genealogy" (entertainment), "Roots Books: Psychic Roots" (talk show), and "Flat Stanley's Family Tree" (children's audience).
"We're delighted," said RootsTelevision.com co-founder, Marcy Brown. "To receive this kind of recognition during our first year of existence is remarkable, and winning in four different categories is even more astonishing. We take this as an indication that our decision to pioneer online programming for the substantial but neglected niche of millions of genealogists was a risk worth taking."
The four winning shows include an episode of "DNA Stories," a series that focuses on the exploding hobby of genetic genealogy and shows how avid roots-seekers are using DNA testing to solve family history riddles. The award-winning "Tale of Two Fathers" episode features Bob Zins and his efforts to determine whether the man who raised him was really his father. "Heir Jordan: Extreme Genealogy" showcases the unexpected twin talents of Jordan Auslander, who's both a professional genealogist and stand-up comic. "Roots Books," a talk show hosted by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, received its award for the especially popular "Psychic Roots" episode that centers on a discussion of the role of serendipity in genealogy between Sharon and popular speaker and author, Hank Jones. And "Flat Stanley's Family Tree" follows the beloved children's character as he explores his colonial roots in Williamsburg, Virginia and his gold rush roots in California.
Founded in 1978, The Telly is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional and cable TV programs, as well as the finest video and film productions. The Telly Awards, a highly respected international competition, annually showcases the best work of the most respected production companies in the world.
RootsTelevision.com was co-founded by producer, Marcy Brown, and professional genealogist, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (yes, her real name). Marcy and Megan, who frequently refer to themselves as "two chicks and a channel," launched online in late 2006 and already provide more than 1,000 videos -- free, on-demand and 24/7 -- for family history enthusiasts around the globe. For more information, please visit www.rootstelevision.com.
Links to the award-winning shows:
DNA Stories: A Tale of Two Fathers
# # #
Press Release Contact Information:
89 N. University Avenue, 4th Floor
Provo, UT 84601
Here's the latest I've heard on Annie Moore (first immigrant through Ellis Island) from a good friend in Ireland:
There is a proposal before Cork City Council to erect a plaque to Annie on the lane where she lived, Rowland's Lane. This is where no. 2 is still standing and which is as far as I know the only house where she lived in is still left standing. The occupants of the house are traveling to New York for a few days and are going to Ellis Island, etc.
It also seems that the fund-raising efforts for her memorial are going very well!
Kelly Gang Raises $85,000