Familysearch.org Needed Changes

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on

In previous blogs I’ve mentioned my concerns about data loss and record inaccessibility (see Ancestry Site Changes – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 6 Jun 2015 & Poof Be Gone-How Quickly Records Can Disappear 3 Jun 2015).  A wonderful option to preserve your research would be to include it at Familysearch.org’s Wiki Tree.  Unfortunately the site is not user friendly if you are not an LDS members.  Let me demonstrate-

To access the Wiki, first sign into the site.  If you don’t have a sign-on, you may create one even if you aren’t an LDS member, however, you won’t be able to link between Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org to sink data.

I have an extremely large well sourced tree that I would love to have on the Familysearch site.  I’m going to outline the steps below of what I would have to do to build my husband’s paternal line on the Wiki.  Below, on the right hand side, you can see that there are no parents identified on my Wiki Tree for William Lewis Samuelson.

There may be other Wiki Tree users who do have William’s parents.  To discover if there is, one must click on the +Add Husband (or + Add Wife).  Then, type in what you know.  I typed in Gustaf Theodore Samuelson 29 Apr 1870 Baileytown, Portage, Indiana as the birth info and 9 Oct 1947 San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California as the death info.  After clicking “Add,” 25 parent choices are presented.  You may select 1 provided or by scrolling to the bottom, include a new couple.

In this case, I would “Add Couple” 1 – Gustav and Lulu Mae Cook.  Once added, the Wiki Tree changes to the following:

That wasn’t very time consuming but here’s where my problems begin.  I have 19 facts for Gustav Samuelson on my Ancestry tree:

Familysearch has 4 citations:

Really, Familysearch only has 1 source – the Legacy user that imported the information cited for 4 events but did the user did not include where he/she found the evidence.  Truly, I’m not impressed with Familysearch’s sources for Gustaf.  This is no improvement over the earlier trees that the site displayed.  I equate this practice with only citing an Ancestry Family Tree that was unsourced to begin with. The citation is meaningless.

I could add the sources I found plus the 18 photos and the several additional records that I’ve scanned and uploaded to my Ancestry tree to the Familysearch Wiki but that takes quite a bit of time. I feel like I’m duplicating what I’ve already accomplished by re-entering the citations from Ancestry to Familysearch.  Instead, I would prefer to spend my time further building my tree.

Perhaps, if down Gustaf’s line, Familysearch’s sources improved AND the tree was filled in I would enter my citations for Gustaf but let’s compare Gustaf’s parents in the Wiki to what I have in Ancestry:

Way too much to have to add!  Way too time consuming!

So I thought maybe I would just add 1 photo to Wiki and keep the lines simple by just adding my direct line (no collaterals – no sibs!).  Last evening I added my maternal grandparents, Ivan “John” and Mary Violet Kos Koss.  I compared sources from ancestry to familysearch and added the difference.  Then, I selected ONE photo for my mother, grandmother and grandfather and uploaded to Familysearch.  This is what the photos looked like:

Mary Violet Kos Koss
Dorothy Koss Leininger
ivan-john-koss
Ivan “John” Kos Koss

There’s nothing wrong with these 3 photos and I did agree that the site would first approve them before posting but its been a day and they’re still not displayed.  At this rate, it would take me YEARS before I had my tree on Familysearch and it wouldn’t even be my complete tree.

I understand that the LDS Church has an agreement with Ancestry.com and to quote an old commercial, membership has its privileges, but there needs to be an expedient alternative for genealogists, such as uploading an existing tree to the Familysearch site.

I vocalized this to a church Elder when I visited the Family History Library in March.  He mentioned why uploading a gedcom wouldn’t be conducive and why PAF was discontinued.  I understand the evolution of technology and don’t long for the Windows 3.1 days or dial up internet.

I am also extremely thankful and do appreciate the dedication of thousands of LDS members who have preserved and published records over the years.  To make all that work free to the general public is commendable and more than generous.  The LDS members, however, are not the only compilers of trees.  If non LDS members have a sourced tree I don’t understand why LDS wouldn’t want it.  I strongly believe that it would be in EVERYONE’S best interest if nonmembers could easily synch their records onto the WIKI. I would even pay to do this and I bet other genealogists would, too.

 

Ancestry Site Changes – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 7 Jun 2015.

I mentioned briefly in my last blog about the changes to Ancestry.com.  There’s always an adaption period when there is a site revision but I’m really having difficulty with this “new and improved” version, more than with previous updates.

Back on February 19th, Ancestry announced on their blogsite that the site was in the process of beta testing improvements.  Ancestry.com noted that their design team had 3 underlying principles – Make it beautiful, usable, and delightful.  (IMHO, I don’t think they reached any of their principles.)

I didn’t sign up at the time to be a part of the members who could check out the changes.  Last week I received the following email:

“If you haven’t heard (or seen), we’ve made some huge changes to the Ancestry website. But the “New Ancestry” is much more than a new look. It’s new features that help you tell stories as remarkable as the people who lived them.
It’s the new LifeStory that turns the facts in your ancestor’s life into a narrative timeline, like a biography.
It’s Historical Insights that let you walk a mile (or two) in your ancestor’s shoes.
It’s a new media gallery that puts all your records and pictures in one place.
It’s a streamlined design that’s easier to use—on your desktop or mobile devices.
It’s your family story, reinvented.

Can the new Ancestry really do all that? See for yourself. All the research and information you have now will be on the new Ancestry.”

Let me be clear that I do appreciate THE EFFORT that went into the improvement.  A major revision is never easy. Here’s what I think they got right:  I love the Life Story view for several reasons.  I believe that it will hook many more individuals to genealogy who have difficulty with putting the bits and pieces of records all together to understand one of their ancestor’s lives.  I shared Life Story with my husband who supports my work but never caught the genealogy bug.  He said the inclusion of pictures and the narrative was “captivating.”  He especially liked the Historical Insights feature that adds local/national events to an ancestor’s timeline.  I can see this as a benefit in drawing in younger users, too, who may have learned about an event, like the Civil War, but have difficulty in how the event connects to a direct line relative.  The pictures and facts together are powerful.  Kudos to the genius’ who came up with this concept!

I also really like the Media Gallery that places all of my uploaded pictures and records side by side for easy viewing.  I wish they would further refine this feature to include a drop and drag so that I could move the pictures around and place them in chronological order as I’ve added as I’ve discovered and it makes me crazy that they aren’t in order.

Matching records to the timeline is also beneficial and if used correctly, may even give the site more validity as critics frequently express their frustration over unsourced or poorly sourced (citing a tree that originally cited a different tree).  I wish there was a way to fix all my poorly cited sources from my baby stage of genealogy.  For example, I sourced ALOT of my Leininger, Long and Harbaugh families from various family history texts.  I made the source name as “Text” and not the actual book’s name because several versions of Ancestry ago, citations weren’t as easy to add.  I would like a way to quickly change the word “Text” to the correct title.

So Ancestry got a lot right in the New Ancestry but here’s where I disagree with the design team meeting their principles…

  1. Usable

From my desktop computer I am often not able to access my tree at all using Internet Explorer and at times, not even with Chrome or Firefox:

 

From my Kindle, accessing from the web, I get this view but the links don’t work.  You can see all the links I tried as they are in a different color:

 

From my Kindle, accessing via the downloaded ap I do get my tree but it is not easy to maneuver.  Note that you can no longer click an arrow on the right margin to move the tree back further generations.  Now you must make several clicks to move to a previous generation (click on the person then click to view the tree again).

From my laptop, using Chrome or Firefox, I can use the site and get this view. See the arrows on the right that still allow me to move back generations quickly:

Clearly, the design team failed in making the site useable on different devices. Maybe they were rushed by the news that Ancestry is on the auction block.  I don’t know but I hope they get the Kindle site working as I love using my Kindle when I research away from home for the portability, lightness of the device and various features I can quickly access (photo, notes, internet, etc.)

  1.  Beautiful

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I don’t think the site is beautiful at all. As seen above, the color scheme is drab. Although the above pic doesn’t clearly show the contrast, the bright pink and blue against the pastel pink and blue when there is no picture is not attractive.  Maybe the design team thought that would be a good way to alert the user that a picture is needed but it just looks out of place to me. And seriously, have we not moved beyond gender stereotyping of girls in pink and boys in blue?  With the current color scheme I’d rather see white and light gray.

  1. Delightful

Huh?  Delightful, according to Word’s Thesaurus, means pleasant, charming, lovely, wonderful, enjoyable, amusing, agreeable, enchanting, delicious.  None of these adjectives would I use to describe the revision. Maybe innovative as no one else has the Life Story and record matching features that are absolutely awesome.

I hope the tech team can quickly fix the glitches. I also hope that Ancestry can be expediently acquired by a group who cares about genealogy so that it can continue to operate, grow and provide the services that we’re paying for at a reasonable price

Poof Be Gone-How Quickly Records Can Disappear

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 3 Jun 2015.

It’s officially Hurricane Season (June 1st-November 30th) and I’m predicting several storms.  My rationale for the prediction is from observation and experience.  May was hotter than usual and the summer rain pattern began early this year.  By rain pattern, I mean the afternoon thunderstorms that drench the Tampa Bay region between noon and four daily, followed by a gentle Gulf breeze and sunshine for the rest of the day.  The Gulf’s temperature is already hotter than in years when we didn’t have much hurricane activity, thus supporting my prediction.  My husband hates hearing my last reason for a bad season but I stand by this – our daughter is moving back to the area.  Every time she had signed up to take a medical school exam (MCAT, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3) there has been a hurricane – even when she had relocated to New Jersey.  I can’t explain why she hits the hurricane jackpot every time she has to take an exam but she has two more coming up – mid August and early October so I’m preparing for the worst!

About a month ago, Genealogy Ninja Thomas MacEntee sent an email about a new Kindle E-Book he had just released called Preserving Your Family’s Oral History and Stories. He proposed the question, “How Safe is Your Family History?”  and used the term “future proof” meaning making sure that your records will be available in the future.   When I read this I immediately got a smug feeling – my family records and photos are all digitized.  Most are public on Ancestry and privately held in Picassa.  I have given copies on DVDs to several relatives around the US.  The originals are kept in acid free sleeves in plastic storage bins on the highest shelf in the middle of my climate controlled home to insure against flood, wind, mold and water damage.

My smugness didn’t last long.  Soon after reading the email I got a call from both my sister-in-law and daughter.  Neither could find the DVD I had given them and they needed a picture. Turns out my son can’t find his copy, either.  Sure, I could give them all another copy but what would happen if they again lose it or it malfunctions and something happens to me?

The next week I was sitting in my favorite chair, blogging away on my old laptop.  A mosquito landed on my leg and I immediately slapped it.  Not only did I miss the mosquito I had shifted in the chair and knocked the thumb drive into the armrest.  I didn’t think much about it until several hours later when I tried to eject it.  The device could not be found.  I could find it – it was right in front of me sticking out of the laptop.  Unfortunately, my computer could no longer read it because somehow it had snapped a connection inside the drive.  I tried to remain calm thinking that I have most everything backed up to Dropbox except one file.  Surely, it must still be somewhere on my hard drive. Nope, I hadn’t saved it because my laptop is old and I don’t trust it.  I tried to go to recent documents but I guess I hadn’t opened it on the laptop recently so it wasn’t there.  The next day my husband found the Excel document in my temp files.  It wasn’t the most up-to-date version but it was much better than not having it all.

Okay, so DVDs get lost and thumb drives break, there are still clouds, right?!  Well, only when they work.  In mid-May a coworker asked to see a picture of the hydroponic garden that my son had built.  I open my (not so) smart phone and couldn’t access the picture.  Seems I had used up all my memory space somehow.  I went from camera to gallery but still couldn’t access it.  No worries, I thought, I have my photos sent to Picassa so I’ll just log on and find it.  That’s when I discovered that you can’t view your photo in Picassa if your phone doesn’t upload it which mine didn’t do.  Granted, this was not a major loss but it further lessened my smugness about my “future proofing” a tad more.

In the 3rd week of May I was visiting the Tampa Bay History Center to research Jose Marti’s visit to Tampa (see blog 14 May 2015  Marker Mistakes-Historical Plaque Inaccuracies) when I learned the center doesn’t have a printer or scanner for researchers’ use.  I didn’t bring my digital camera, I wasn’t going to trust my new thumb drive, I couldn’t use my phone so I thought I was absolutely brilliant by taking photos of the pages with my Kindle.  Well, I wasn’t so brilliant.

I got home late from work that night and was preparing for all day field trips with my students for the next two days so I didn’t take a look at the photos.  I assumed they were going to go directly to Picassa.  I know, I know, never assume in genealogy; someday I will get that lesson down.  Three days after I had taken the photos I was holding my Kindle, purse, clipboards, travel mug, beach towel, and while getting out of the car, the Kindle slipped out of it’s sleeve and hit the garage floor.  I noticed several hours later the Kindle screen was cracked.  I also learned that my photos hadn’t been sent to Picassa because I had signed on to my Kindle with a different email address that Picassa didn’t recognize.  I was able to keep rotating the device until I had the pics emailed from one address to another but it was a major pain in the neck after a long hot tiring day (and kudos to Amazon staff who were so nice about helping me save the photos AND sending me out a replacement Kindle 2 days later!) Well, by now I was no longer feeling secure about by ability to future proof my records.

To make me even further concerned, Eric Jelle, of Genedocs Templates on Facebook, posted this on Memorial Day Weekend:  ” I would also like to take a moment to inform/remind members that both my grandfather and his father (Grandpa Richard) had their discharge paperwork burned and lost forever in the horrible fire in 1973 in St Louis at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). Before I even knew the fire happened or its 16 – 18 million military service document destroying impact, I had inherited the member copies of both Rays and Richards service info and then made color copies and sent them to NPRC after learning they had nothing on file. Of course, I went the extra mile and included service portraits of each too! IF you have these documents or end up with them – please send copies to NARA/NPRC which has a new fireproof facility in St Louis so you can rest easy they likely will not be easily burned again.”  Fire!  Don’t even want to think about that.  I live in an area with lots of lightning which causes lots of fires. I got that nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach reading his post.

I don’t want to sound paranoid but I’ve had too many tech issues in the past month not to be worried.

I guess it’s a miracle we find any documents today given all the things that can cause destruction.  I’m hoping I’m wrong about the upcoming hurricane season and I’m hoping my work will be preserved.

The only solutions I can come up with is to make sure that our work is shared as much as possible and that both electronic and hard copies are made.  I am making a point of saving my Ancestry tree to Legacy monthly and a copy is kept on my hard drive and in Dropbox.  I have tried the Wiki Tree on Familysearch.org but I have some concerns about relying on it.  First, its a Wiki and anyone can change what you input.  That could be a positive if someone is correcting an incorrect entry but it can also be disastrous if someone is deleting your correct information.  Second, maybe it’s me but I have a difficult time maneuvering on the site’s tree.  Third, I have a large tree and don’t have time to input or click and select from the site’s choices to build.  I spoke with a tech person when I was at the Family History Library in March and there is no option to upload a gedcom, old PAF or any other genealogical management program. So, Familysearch.org is not a viable alternative for me.

And now there’s the Ancestry rumors circulating again.  I’m not overly concerned with their upcoming auction but one never knows what a new buyer will do.  I never thought PAF would go away or Rootsweb would not have continued to grow.

I do absolutely love Ancestry’s new format (though I hate the drab background colors) that permits turning your ancestor’s timeline into a story.  I’ve noticed some minor glitches but the edit feature allowed me to make corrections quickly and easily.  I’m thinking of taking the stories and printing a family book for an additional safeguard against losing data. A hard copy could even be donated to a library or historical society even further insuring your hard work isn’t lost.

My last fail safe method to preserving our family tree is to further motivate family members who have shown an interest in genealogy as I would like them to continue on with the work that I began when I can no longer do so.

I’d appreciate hearing any preservation ideas you may have!

Circular Migration Patterns-How History Repeats Itself

 

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 30 May 2015.

My family does not stay in one place for long which makes tracing them a challenge.  As I mentioned in my last blog, my husband and my family also tends to migrate in circles.  -I’m still in Harbaugh Country but I’m thinking about the odd way I discovered this phenomena with my Duer family.

I had traced my paternal grandmother’s line back to a Maria Dure with the help of some distant cousins in the late 1990’s but I hit a brick wall with Maria and was unable to discover who her parents were.  My cousins said she was German which made sense as Maria married Henry John Kuhn Jr. who was born in Germany 3 Dec 1831.1  I tried to obtain a death certificate, probate records, cemetery records, and obituary for Maria hoping that a clue would be uncovered as to her parentage but nothing was available electronically.  Then, online trees started showing Maria as the daughter of a John Duer and Mary Cook in Mahoning, Ohio.  I wasn’t sure if my Maria was John and Mary’s daughter so in April 2010 I emailed a “cousin,” Edward Duer Whitley, about a posting I had found on Genforum.  Ed informed me that I had spelled Maria’s last name wrong – reversing the last two letters (Dure should be Duer).  He mentioned that he had been searching for Maria’s line for years as he had updated all of her siblings but had been unable to trace her. That was because Maria and her spouse had relocated to Mercer County, Ohio.  Ed gave me his electronic tree going back to Robert Dure (1563-1617) who spelled his name the way I had spelled Maria’s.  I don’t know why I had the original and not the most recent spelling. Perhaps Maria’s children had remembered the original name and that was what was passed down my line.  Some mysteries we will never solve!  Ed and I had only corresponded for a few weeks when I lost contact with him.  I never discovered what happened and assumed he died as he was 93 years old.  I know in genealogy we shouldn’t assume anything but he was up there in years, and then just disappeared.  Since Ed had not made his tree public, it was fortunate that I had contacted him when I did or his years of work may have been lost. (My next blog will be about disappearing data!)  I have entered all the information Ed shared with me on my public Main Tree on Ancestry.  What was truly odd, though, was the timing of this find.

Maria’s great great grandfather, Thomas Stone Duer, was christened 29 Sep 1663 in Charleton, Devonshire, England.2 He emigrated with his maternal Uncle George Stone to Philadelphia in 1683.3  Thank goodness he was a Quaker so there’s wonderful records of Thomas and his wife, Elinor “Ellen” Beans (Bayne/ Bane) but I will save Ellen’s story for another day.

Thomas and Ellen had a son, Thomas, born 7 Mar 1702 in Falls, Buck, Pennsylvania.4 From the Duer Bible, Thomas married in 1729 but the Bible does not list his wife’s name.5 Ed discovered she was Mary Ann Hollinshead, born 11 May 1712 in St. Michaels, Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies, the daughter of Daniel and Ann Alexander Hollingshead.  Ann died in Feb 1715 in Barbados.6 Why was the family in the West Indies?  Daniel was in Barbados as an indentured servant.7  After Ann’s death, he remarried, completed the terms of his servitude, and moved with his family to New Jersey where he died in 1730.8

Why move to New Jersey?  That I haven’t yet proven but I do know that while in New Jersey a strange family event occurred.  “Daniel Hollinshead was born in Leicestershire, England in 1683. He was one of several brothers, one of whom was Captain under the Duke of Marlborough and was killed at the Battle of Blenheim. One of his brothers was a merchant in Boston, of him, he used to relate the following incident: While riding along the road at a distance from home, he overtook a person traveling the same way: They entered into conversation and after some time discovered that to their great joy, they were brothers. They had not seen each other since childhood. This brother had been shipwrecked on his passage from London to Boston and had lost the whole of his fortune. He went with his brother to his home in New Jersey where he then lived, obtained a public office, and died in Sussex County in 17–.”9

To sum up, Daniel Hollin(g)shead moved from his birthplace of Leicestershire, England to Barbados, West Indies as an indentured servant and then to Sussex, New Jersey where he died.  He met his long lost brother who traveled from England to Boston, after being shipwrecked somewhere, and then on to Sussex, New Jersey.  

Yes, this is a weird chance meeting but what I find odder is my own child’s migration route 300 years later.  

My oldest left Florida to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.  During a January term, she visited friends in England who were attending Cambridge University and there she finalized her decision of where she wanted to attend medical school.  Upon her graduation from MIT, our daughter moved to Grenada, West Indies.  Why?  As an International Baccalaureate graduate she insisted she wanted an international medical school experience.  The medical school, St. Georges, is based on Long Island, New York.  As I’ve noted in my previous posts, the early founding families of Long Island were my husband’s lines, along with his family connections with the Caribbean and the Dutch West Indies Company (see Motherhood and the Brain blog 10 May 2015).  Our daughter did not choose the school based on previous family connections to the area, rather her decision was based on its strong international curriculum.  St. George’s students spend the first two years in Grenada, West Indies and the last two years either in the US or England. She selected her last two years to be in Morristown, New Jersey. We have no relatives in New Jersey so why pick Morristown?  At the time of her decision we didn’t even know where Morristown was located in New Jersey.  She said she was drawn to it after speaking with fellow students who knew the area.    

Even stranger, at the time of her decision I made the comment to a coworker in Florida that our daughter was relocating to New Jersey.  Turns out, he happened to have been the former principal of Morristown High School.  Truly, it’s a small world after all!

But before continuing on, let’s review my family’s migration patterns:  We know our daughter was not the first in the family to move from Boston and the West Indies to New Jersey.  If you take into consideration her student loans, she’s not even the first indentured servant in the family.  But moving to Sussex, New Jersey is not the same as moving to Morristown, New Jersey.  Well, the family travels will take another twist!

Thomas and Mary Ann Hollingshead Duer had a son, John, who married Susannah Miller in Sussex, New Jersey in 1773.10  After Thomas served in the New Jersey Militia during the American Revolution, he and Susannah relocated to, you guessed it, Hanover Township, Morris County, New Jersey.11 Thomas and Susannah are my daughter’s 5 great grandparents.  We did not know this relationship until a year after she was residing in an apartment that was built on the former site of the military encampment where her 5th great grandfather was housed during the American Revolution.  Our daughter is a DAR but not through this line which we had not


1United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

2Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection – Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001

3Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2012.

4Hinshaw, William Wade. Marshall, Thomas Worth, comp. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Supplement to Volume 1. Washington, D.C.: n.p. 1948.

5Editor. Literary Era, Vol. III, 1896, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Repository:  486-7, Print.

6Sanders, Joanne McRee. English Settlers in Barbados, 1637-1800. S.l.: Brøderbund, 1999. Print.

7England, Terri. Indentured Servants on Barbados Bristol Servants: A-F. N.p.: n.p., 2002. Print.

8Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection – Deaths [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.

9“The Hollinsheads.” Our Ancestors, A Genealogical & Biographical Magazine, 2.2 (1882): n. pag. Print.

10The Henry B. Baldwin Genealogical Records.” Publication: File OR919.3B193r, (26 Jun 2010): Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio.

11Jackson, Ronald V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. New Jersey Census, 1643-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.

Memorial Day Memories

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 24 May 2015.

Most holidays start with Happy – Think Easter, Thanksgiving, and New Year. So every year, when I hear about the upcoming “holiday” sales in honor of Memorial Day, I cringe.  I don’t consider Memorial Day a holiday.  Yes, it’s a 3 day weekend.  Yes, school is almost over for the year.  Yes, it’s even a time to spend with family and friends but it is not a holiday.  On Memorial Day I believe we should all honor those that came before us allowing us the freedom we have today.

I will not be visiting graves this weekend as all of my family is buried far away from where I reside.  That doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking of the sacrifices of my forefathers and my memories of past Memorial Days.

As a child, my grandmother, Non, always took me with her to tend to the graves of her father and uncle.  As a first generation American, she had no fallen soldier graves to care for in this country but I remember the cemetery filled with small flags to honor American veterans.  Non was lucky her Sonny, my Uncle George, had made it home safely after serving in the Coast Guard during World War II.  

George and Betty Mione Kos

As Non and my mother pulled weeds and clipped grass growing around the stones, I would read the inscriptions if I could, because my multicultural neighborhood had many markers engraved in languages other than English.  Although I could not read the Polish, Lithuanian, Greek, Italian and like my Great Grandfather’s memorial, Croatian, I knew that the men buried there had shared a common experience in a war.  The back of the cemetery held the graves of World War I veterans, the middle section seemed to be for those killed in World War II and in the front, Korean and Vietnam veterans.  Too many lives cut short too soon. 

I am also fortunate to have my father’s diary from World War II while he was stationed in Alaska.  

Orlo Guy Leininger

His war time experiences were very different from my husband’s uncle.  With a German surname, my father was not sent to Europe but to the Pacific theatre instead.  My dad’s sister, Mary Ellen Leininger Tronolone, enlisted as a Yeoman, First Class, in the Navy.  Most of her service was in Washington, DC.

Mary Ellen Leininger Tronolone

Having known most of these family members I am proud of their bravery and thankful for their service.  You can read more memories of soldiers by visiting a Crestleaf blog, Real Letters of Love, Hope & Inspiration Written by Soldiers – A Memorial Day Tribute 

Genealogy Gems – More Online Resources You Need to Know About

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 21 May 2015.

Last time I told you about 5 of my favorite free sites and here’s a few more that I think you’ll love as much as I do:

  • Every Sunday, with my morning coffee, I look forward to reading The Genealogy News Weekly Edition sponsored by Genealogy Today support@genealogytoday.com.  This newsletter contains lots of press releases from the most well known organizations in genealogy to keep you up-to-date, as well as research tips and findings from historians around the world. I click on the links and when I find one that may help me with a brickwall, I copy and paste the site info as a comment on my ancestry tree associated with the person I’m stuck on. This way, I don’t forget the source to check out and I don’t feel rushed to do it immediately.  Since my tree is public, others researching the same ancestors can see the comment and check it out themselves.  Win-Win for everyone!
  • Another very good newsletter is Genealogy and Technology E-News by Thomas MacEntree, also the founder of Geneabloggers.  You can subscribe at geneabloggers@gmail.com.  I’ll be writing a future blog soon about info in one of the past newsletters.
  • I’ve mentioned Legacy before but they deserve to be mentioned again – weekly newsletter and webinars that are well worth taking.  Subscribe to their email list at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/LegacyLists.asp
  •  My infatuation with Pinterest is recent.  I created an account when it was new but I couldn’t figure out how to use the site for genealogy so my husband commandeered it and posted all kinds of building, gardening and craft ideas. That worked for me – my backyard is gorgeous with all the ideas he’s found!  Last winter I returned to pinterest with genealogy in mind and organized my site as Genealogy Guffaws (humor), Genealogy Quotes, American History, Middle Ages and Genealogy Organizers.  Go to https://www.pinterest.com/ and put your interest area in boards or type my site names (Genealogy Guffaws) to go directly to my pages. You’ll be amazed at all of the genealogy related info that is out there.
  • My personal favorite of all is Google Picassa https://picasa.google.com/.  I have uploaded all my photos and stored them in the cloud.  This way, I don’t have to worry about their destruction, my family has access and they’re organized by person so I can find the photo I’m looking for quickly, wherever I am.  The absolutely coolest feature, though, is facial recognition.  I had a lot of old photos in which my dearly departed ones didn’t bother to identify the people. Picassa gives you suggestions as to who they might be based on photos that you have already identified.  It does tend to mix up young children – confused my kids several times but since I knew who they were it was a quick fix.  I have this downloaded on my desktop but you can view it anywhere, anytime.  I also have my smart phone photos sent directly to the site.  For my recent trip to Salt Lake City, Picassa created a book based on the photos that it uploaded. It was a wonderful way to remember the trip and took no time on my part to do that!

Hope you’ve found these free sites valuable.

I’m always looking for more so let me know about others that are your personal favorites.

Genealogy Gems – Online Resources You Need to Know About

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 17 May 2015.

I was rereading Mills’ Professional Genealogy this past week and the chapter on The Essential Library got me thinking of the resources that I consider must haves.  Mills was referring to books on a shelf but I find myself using more online resources these days.  Wish her books had a Kindle edition; it’s so clunky to carry around!

Besides the obvious Big 5 resources – Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3, Heritage Quest and American Ancestor – that I can access as a paid member anywhere or use at my local library for free, I find lots of good info at these FREE sites:

  • Genealogy In Time Magazine in their words, “maintains the most complete list available on the internet of the newest genealogy record sets from around the world.”  I love this resource for the time they save me in identifying newly posted internet records from around the world.  See more at here.
  • Crestleaf.com blog has innovative ideas and heartfelt and humorous stories.  They email me links to their featured stories so I can quickly click what I’m most interested in.  Here’s examples of just a few of this week’s offerings:  21 Ways to Know You Were Raised by Polish Parents – Infographic, 5 Simple Ways to Organize Your Digital Family Photos, 7 Useful Smartphone Apps for Genealogy Research, If You Grew Up in the 1960s, You Definitely Wore These Things, The Most Important Step Missing From Your Genealogy Research, and Simple Tips for Dating Old Family Photos Using Women’s Hairstyles-Victorian Era.  Sign up at http://crestleaf.com/blog
  • Paper.li allows me to create my own newspaper – daily, weekly or monthly – on the topics that I want to read about.  I’ve entitled my own newspaper Genealogy@Heart.paper.li and it’s delivered to my email with interesting articles on history, genealogy and genetics.  I love the professional formatting and the articles arranged by topics – for example, science, business, politics, etc.  It takes only a few minutes to set up and it’s simple to add or delete sites. To create your own paper visit here.
  • Linkedin –were you aware that there are genealogy groups at this site?  There are 269 groups noted – some are open to all and some are private.  Once you’ve created a profile go to interest areas and type in genealogy.  Click on those that interest you https://www.linkedin.com/
  • Facebook – I don’t use Facebook like most folks do; I rarely post anything about me but I definitely use the info that organizations have posted.  Check out the Association of Professional Genealogists, Genealogy Buffs and ask to join Deciphering Genealogy Script, Lineage Society of America and Genedocs Templates.  Also look for your local and state genealogy and historical societies.

Next time – 5 more free sites that are simply awesome for genealogy!

Marker Mistakes – Historical Plaque Inaccuracies

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 14 May 2015.

Finding documents with conflicting info is common.  Determining which information is correct takes careful analysis.

Lisa Lisson’s article in Crestleaf about the Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Researching Your Family’s Genealogy notes that you can’t believe everything you read.  (Check it out here.)

Although Lisa’s referring to documents, I had to laugh when I read the following headline in the Tampa Tribune, one of our local newspapers:

marti-plague
“Jose Marti historical marker outside Ybor building is wrong.”1

The marker states that Jose Julian Marti Perez, a Cuban poet and political theorist, slept at the Cherokee Club in 1891 on his first visit to Tampa.  Problem is the Cherokee Club wasn’t opened until March 25, 1896, months after he had died in 1895 in Cuba.  Oops!  Evidently when the plaque was installed in the 1960’s no one checked for accuracy.  Several members of the Florida State Genealogy Society have written that they have errors in plaques in their counties, as well.  I don’t know why it never occurred to me that a plaque could be wrong; I assumed that someone somewhere had done the research.  Apparently they did but the information was still wrong.  A well respected Tampa historian, Anthony Pizzo was interviewed 30 years ago about the plaques that are all over town.  The project began in the 1940’s. “Mr Bock at the time was the director of the Military Institutes of Cuba.  He volunteered to make the historical markers at the military foundry and put them all over Ybor City.  He said, ‘All you need to do is the research and write them up.’  We were beside ourselves – what a fantastic deal!  So I took it upon myself to find out as much as I could, and I started to interview oldtimers, Cubans who were in their 80’s and 90’s.  What I learned from them was unbelievable-that we had such a rich history.  Then I started meeting historians in Havana, and one of the friends I really admired very much was Jose Rivero Muniz.  He had written many books-he wrote Conquistadors En La Florida and Los Cubanos En Tampa, which I cherish!”2  Pizzo added, “The first marker was erected in front of the Ybor factory.  It is a beautiful stone put up by the Ybor City Rotary Club.  I think it was in 1949.  That was the first one.  And of course when Castro took over our project became paralyzed.”3  A local foundry agreed to cast the plaques at a discount and individuals donations poured in.  “I quess I personally have been involved in putting up more than forty historical markers not only in Ybor City but all over Tampa.”4  Makes you wonder how many other plaques contain errors.

The story made me want to discover where Marti spent his first nights in Tampa.  First I went to the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser site to verify the building date but the construction details just note Pre-1940 Commercial.  Tampa was incorporated in 1849 but the area where this building is located was not in the city limits. At the time, it was an unincorporated area.  The current building, now on the National Register for Historic Places, was built as an exclusive men’s club and to house the offices of Vicente Martinez Ybor (pronounced Ee’ bor) the planner of Ybor City, which is now part of Tampa. I guessed that Marti slept in a hotel that was at that site before the Cherokee Club was built.  I found the deed information in the Library of Congress records:

“Original and subsequent owners: The building is located in the Ybor City subdivision, Block 31, lots 6 through 10. The title records for this building, supplied by Chelsea Title and Guaranty Company, Tampa, Florida, are as follows:

1886

Deed recorded December 1, 1886, filed February 24, 1887 Book W, page 572 W. Wells and wife to Vincent Martinez Ybor, lots 6,7,8

1886

Deed recorded December 1, 1886, filed February 24, 1887 Book W, page 572 W. Wells and wife to Vincent Martinez Ybor and wife

1887

Deed recorded January 25, 1887, filed June 18, 1887 Book X, page 64 Vincent Martinez Ybor and wife to Ybor City Land and Improvement Company”5

cherokee-club
VIEW OF FRONT CORNER – Cherokee Club, 1318 Ninth Avenue, Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL6

“The Cherokee Club, built by the Ybor Land and Improvement Company and opened March 25, 1896, was the most exclusive men’s club in the city. This club was unique in that its members combine persons of Latin and American heritage. The object of the club was to promote social intercourse of its members. The popular pastimes in the club were relaxation, entertainment and gambling.

In 1924 Jose Alvarez bought the club and operated it as a restaurant and hotel called the El Pasaje. Although the club was closed during the prohibition, the restaurant and the bar were the center for many luxurious banquets.“7

My guess was wrong – there was no hotel on the site during Marti’s first visit to Tampa. That location was a vacant lot. Unless Marti camped out on the grounds, which I doubt as the mosquitoes would have eaten him alive and then he may have contracted malaria, he had to have slept somewhere else.8

Marti arrived in Tampa and was received by “Carbonell on the morning of November 26, 1891. That day lunch at the guest house Leonela Nestor, who had great memory, and narrated details of the war…”9

“We do not remember days, we remember moments” -Cesare Pavrese

Leonela Nestor may have had a great memory of the war in Cuba but he didn’t have a very good memory of dates. Either he got the day of the week or the day of the month wrong.  I suspect it was the day of the month as Marti must have arrived on November 25 and not the 26 because in the evening, Marti gave a lecture at the El Liceo Cubano, 1300 7th Avenue, a social and political club founded in 1886.10  His speech was so well received that “after a time they carried Marti off literally on their shoulders through the streets of Ybor City in the early hours of a Thursday morning singing the Ten Years’ War-era hymn of independence known as the ‘Bayamo Anthem’ and eventually delivering him to the door of host Nestor Carbonell.”11

In 1891, the 26th was a Thursday so it is most likely that Marti arrived in Tampa on the 25th.12

Although the newspaper article doesn’t cite its source, I did find a reference for Marti staying in a boarding house owned by Ramon Rubiero de Armas.13 I think it’s more likely that Marti stayed at the home of his host, Nestor Carbonell.  We know, “that the next day, November 27, (the 26th) again at the home of Leonela Nestor, both discussed details related to the future creation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party.”14

marti
(Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

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Marti was invited to speak that evening by the Cuban Patriotic League in remembrance of the anniversary of the execution of 8 medical students.  The event was also held at the Liceo Cubano.  After the speech, Marti is said to have “drafted documents related to the future Party” on Nestor Leonelo’s desk.15

Marti departed Tampa on November 28 after receiving a farewell toast at the El Liceo where his previous evening’s writings were read to the attendees.

If Marti did not stay with Carbonell, he certainly spent much time at his home.

Who was Marti’s host, Nestor?  Nestor Carbonell Leonelo Figueroa was a journalist and teacher turned Captain of the Cuban Liberation Army who considered himself a “socialist, though he never specified of what school.”16

Nestor emigrated to Key West from Cuba in 1888 but was forced to leave due to his political views.  Arriving in Tampa with his 3rd wife and 8 children, Nestor was aided by friends to open a school, publish a newspaper, La Bate, and serve as a librarian and treasurer of the newly formed Revolutionary Club, the purpose of which was to raise funds to liberate Cuba from Spain.  A club member had heard Marti lecture in Philadelphia and recommended that he be invited to Tampa to speak at a fundraiser for the Revolutionary Club.   By May 1891, Nestor was named president of the club and extended the invitation to Marti to come to Tampa.

Carbonell writes of Marti “Hence, when from a group of Cubans (from) Tampa invites you to take participation in an evening, you accept the invitation.”17

So where did Nestor live in Tampa?  Since there is no 1890 US Federal census record for Tampa I looked for city directories.  The Tampa Public Library’s oldest directory is from 1906.  The Tampa History Museum has a slim volume from 1893 but you must make an appointment to view it through the Tampa Public Library.  I have an appointment for next Monday and I’ll share with you what I discover.

The Tampa Tribune article notes that there were other errors in the plaque.  You can read it in its entirety here:

I’m challenging you to check out a plaque in your community and let me know what you find. Wouldn’t this be an interesting project for a local genealogy group, historical society or a social studies class?  I don’t think I’ll ever look at plaques the same.

___________________________________
1“José Martí Historical Marker outside Ybor Building Is Wrong.” TBO.com. 1, 10 May 2015. Web. 11 May 2015.

2″Tony Pizzo’s Ybor City: An Interview With Tony Pizzo.” Tampa Bay History7.2 (1985): 142-60. Print.

3Ibid

4″Tony Pizzo’s Ybor City: An Interview With Tony Pizzo.” Tampa Bay History7.2 (1985): 142-60. Print.

5Fl-271, Habs Ho. “Cherokee Club (El Pasaje).” Historic American Buildings Survey (n.d.): n. pag. Library of Congress. Web. 13 May 2015.
6“Prints & Photographs Reading Room | Prints & Photographs Division – Library of Congress.” Prints& Photographs Reading Room | Prints & Photographs Division – Library of Congress. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
7Fl-271, Habs Ho. “Cherokee Club (El Pasaje).” Historic American Buildings Survey (n.d.): n. pag. Library of Congress. Web. 13 May 2015.
8Altonen, Brian.  Public Health, Medicine and History The 1890 Census Disease Maps.
9“Néstor Leonelo Carbonell Figuerosa.” EcuRed. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
10 Rajtar, Steve. A Guide to Historic Tampa Florida. Charleston, SC: History: 169, 2007. Print.
11Lopez, Alfred J. Jose Marti:  A Revolutionary Life. Austin:  University of Texas Press: 253, 2014. Print.  Information taken from Hildago Paz. Jose Marti 1853-1895, 144-145.
12″November 1891 Calendar.” November 1891 Calendar. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.

13Wright, E. Lynne. It Happened in Florida Remarkable Events That Shaped History. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot: 62, 2010. Web. 13 May 2015.
14“Néstor Leonelo Carbonell Figuerosa.” EcuRed. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015.
15Ibid
16Casanovas, Joan, and Joan Casanovas.  Bread or Bullets!:  Urban Labor and Spanish Colonialism in Cuba, 1850-1898. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh: 217, 1998. Print.
17Carbonell, Nestor.  PROCERES. Ensayos Biográficos. Havana: Montalvo y Cárdenas,1928. Print.

Motherhood and the Brain

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 10 May 2015.

A extra special welcome to my readers from across the pond – Australia, Finland, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovakia, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and closer to home – Canada and of course, the good ole U.S.A.  Happy Mother’s Day to All!

My day will be spent being spoiled by my family, recuperating from my recent conference in New York City, processing what I learned, and planning how I can incorporate it in my work – both in counseling and genealogically. The conference, Learning & the Brain, Educating World-Class Minds: Using Cognitive Science to Create 21st Century Schools, was phenomenal  So many passionate educators, psychologists, and physicians from around the world united to discuss research findings on how to prepare students for being global citizens.  I kept thinking about my family tree.  I call my husband and me Mutts – as in belonging to no special breed.  Our people have migrated across several continents for lots of reasons and I bet your family tree is very similar to ours.

Every time I visit the Big Apple I am reminded of a family paradox.  My husband’s family was early Dutch settlers who operated a farm on the East River in what is now the Wall Street district.  A large bank currently sits on the farm property and that particular bank owns the mortgage on our home.  I don’t think that’s right. It’s downright absurd.  My husband agrees that his family has never done well with real estate ventures and selling that farm on what is currently such expensive property validates our opinion.

While walking around Manhattan this past week my thoughts turned to Ghislain1 and Adrienne Cuvellier de la Vigne, Walloons who emigrated from Leiden to New Netherlands with their children in 1624.2

Born about 1586 in Valenciennes, France, Adrienne’s maiden name most likely refers to her father’s occupation, which in English would be a cooper.  Coopers made barrels and utensils, primarily out of wood.  Ghislain’s last name could also give us a hint as to his family’s profession, Vigne means vineyard in French.  I’d rather like to think of this as a match made in heaven instead of a marriage to consolidate business – the vineyard owner’s son and the barrel maker’s daughter but I will never know.  I do know the family stayed intact and together through much adversity to create a new life in a new world.

Although a truce between Holland, France and Spain began in 1609, about the time of Adrienne & Ghislain’s marriage, there was no telling if it would be continued after its 1621 expiration.  Complications further arose in the region between the Roman Catholic and Protestants.  Valciennes was part of the Netherlands but ruled by Catholic Spain. Adrienne& Ghislain were Protestant.  We know from Baptism records of their children that by 1618, the family had relocated to Leiden, Holland, an area that was known to be safe and tolerant.3  There the family adapted by changing their names; Adrienne became Ariantje and Ghislain became Willem Vienje. (I’ll continue to use their birth names.)

How the family was selected by the Dutch West India Company to settle in New Netherlands is not known.  Hart (1959) mentions that a wealthy merchant and founder of a Lutheran congregation in Amsterdam, Herman Pelgrom, was living in Nuremberg where he married a Susanna Cuvelier in 1578.  Pelgrom’s four sons from his first marriage were involved with the New Netherland’s Company in Amsterdam by 1609.4 Some researchers believe Susanna Cuvelier Pelgrom was related to Adrienne and tipped her off about the opportunity but I can find no connection.  Perhaps the Vignes’ heard town gossip and volunteered to go.  However they were selected, the family must have been eager to start a new life as land was scare in Holland and the promise of religious freedom must have been enticing.

In the Spring of 1624, two ships, the Eendracht (Unity) and the Nieuw Nederland (New Netherland), sailed into the North (Hudson) River, bringing the first colonists to New Netherlands.  “Although we do not have a Netherlands record regarding the departure of Ghislain and Adrienne (Cuvellier) Vigne and their children Marie, Christine, and Rachel, they certainly were on one of these vessels, as their son Jan would be the first male child born in the new colony, or at least the first male child who survived and remained there (Sara Rapalje was the first female child born in New Netherland).”5

Have you ever sailed on New York’s Harbor?  Each time, I marvel at the breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline and reflect on the past hopes and dreams of immigrants as they approached Ellis Island and the promise of what Lady Liberty stands for.  That is not what greeted the Vignes’.  Instead, they were met by a French ship blockading the Dutch for the purpose of claiming the land for the French king.  “The Dutch vessel, ‘rendered imposing by two cannons’ forced the French to leave rather than fight.  The way clear, Captain May brought some of the immigrants 144 miles up the Hudson River and docked at Fort Nassau” (what is now Albany, New York).6

The following year, the Vignes’ began farming in Manhattan. The family grew with the addition of son, Jan.  Happiness was brief; by 1632 Ghislain had died leaving Adrienne with 2 minor children as the eldest daughters, Marie and Christine (from whom my husband is descended), had married. Marie married Jan Roos and shortly after his death, Abraham Ver Planck.  Christine married Dirck Volgersen.

Eleventh Great Grandma Adrienne did not remain a widow for long.  Jan Jansen “Old Jan” Damen, emigrated to New Netherlands about 1634.  Old Jan was a warden of the Dutch Reformed Church and owned a large piece of land just west of the Vigne farm.  Combined together, the land tract ranged from Pine Street north to Maiden Lane and from the East River to the Hudson River.  We’re talking prime Manhattan real estate today!  Before the marriage, a prenuptial agreement was signed.  In part, it reads “Dirck Volgersen Noorman and Ariaentje Cevelyn, his wife’s mother, came before us in order to enter into an agreement with her children whom she has borne by her lawful husband Willem Vienje, settling on Maria Vienje and Christina Vienje, both married persons, on each the sum of two hundred guilders … and on Resel Vienje and Jan Vienje, both minor children, also as their portion of their father’s estate, on each the sum of three hundred guilders; with this provision that she and her future lawful husband, Jan Jansen Damen, shall be bound to bring up the above named two children until they attain their majority, and be bound to clothe and rear the aforesaid children, to keep them at school and to give them a good trade, as parents ought to do. This agreement was dated the last of April 1632.”7

The prenuptial did not insure tranquility in the family.  On June 21, 1638, Damen sued to have Abraham Ver Planck and Dirck Volckertszen “quit his house and leave him the master thereof.”8  Dirck countered with a charge of assault and had witnesses testify that Jan tried to “throw his step-daughter Christine, Dirck’s wife, out of doors.”Records show that Adrienne remained married to Old Jan but continued a positive relationship with her adult children. This must have placed her in a difficult position.

Old Jan’s character is further shown in 1641 when, as a member of the 12 Man Council he was one of only three on the committee who wanted to exterminate local Native American tribes.10 Although out voted, Damen persisted.  In February 1643 he “entertained the governor (Kieft) with conversation and wine and reminded him that the Indians had not compiled with his demands to make reparations for recent attacks. ‘God having now delivered the enemy evidently into our hands, we beseech you to permit us to attack them,’ they wrote in Dutch on a document that survives today.”11 The Governor agreed thus Kieft’s War, a three year conflict between the Algonquin tribes and the Dutch resulted. It was the begining of the end for Damen.  His neighbors horrified by the bloodshed nicknamed him “the church warden with blood on his hands” and expelled him from the local governing board.”12  I wonder how Adrienne felt.  Was she ostracized by the townsfolk along with her husband?

Leaving politics, Old Jan began to amass considerable wealth in a new way – as one of the owners of La Garce, a privateering venture run between 1643-1646.13  (If you don’t know French, you really must do a google translate of La Garce.  This is what makes genealogy so wickedly interesting!)  You also read correctly that Old Jan financed a privateering venture, aka piracy.  When you think of La Garce, think Pirates of the Caribbean.  Records show that in April 1645 the vessel returned to New Netherlands with goods of tobacco, wine, sugar, and ebony seized from two Spanish ships in the West Indies.  In 1646, it returned from the area off the Bay of Campeche, Mexico with a load of sugar and tobacco.14

In 1649 Old Jan returned to Holland due to a court case in which he was defending Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director General of New Netherlands, leaving Adrienne behind on the farm.  He died before returning to her, in 1651.

I wonder how the neighbors treated Adrienne after Old Jan was gone –  did they shun or embrace her? There are no records to tell us.  I speculate that Great Grandma lived quietly until her death in 1655.

And what happened to the farm?  Damen’s “heirs sold his property to two men: Oloff Stevensen Van Cortlandt, a brewer and one-time soldier in the Dutch West India militia, and Dirck Dey, a farmer and cattle brander. Their names were ultimately assigned to the streets at the trade center site. Damen’s was lost to history.”15

Unfortunately, so was the whereabouts of Adrienne’s burial.  Christina Vigne’s husband, Dirck, and her sister, Maria Ver Planck, were sued by Dutch Reformed Church Elder Claes Van Elstandt on March 8, 1658, for nonpayment of Adrienne’s grave.  The pair claimed to have given money to Rachel Vigne’s husband, Cornelius Van Tienhoven, who had absconded with it 16 months prior. The court ordered all heirs to pay for the grave.16  The debt was paid but there is no mention in the records of where the grave was located.

On this Mother’s Day, I wanted to remember Adrienne.  Although she died 360 years ago there are mother’s today still seeking safety from brutal spouses, war, and religious conflict. My Mother’s Day wish is that they can persevere and be as strong as Adrienne.


1Ancestry.com. New York, Genealogical Records, 1675-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.

2Dorothy Koenig and Pim Nieuwenhuis, “The Pedigree of Cornelia Roos, an Ancestor of Franklin D. Roosevelt,” New Netherland Connections [NNC] 2(1997):85-93, 3(1998):1:1-5, correction 3:2:34-35 corrected Ghislain’s originally recorded name as Guillaume.

3Parry, William. New Netherland Connections Quarterly, Vol 3 No. 1, Jan-Feb-Mar 1998.

4 Hart, Simon. The Prehistory of the New Netherland Company: Amsterdam Notarial Records of the First Dutch Voyages to the Hudson. Amsterdam: City of Amsterdam Press, 1959. 22.

Macy, Harry Jr. The NYG&B Newsletter, Winter 1999, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society at http://www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org (search for the pdf – you don’t have to be a member to view this)

6 McNeese, Tim. New Amsterdam. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2007.56.

7 New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Volume 1, ed. and trans. by Arnold J. F. Van Laer. Baltimore, 1974

8 McVicar, Hugh D. McVicar Post Ancestry: The Ancestry of George Wesley McVicar (1884-1936) and Naomi Theresa Post (1881-1951) : 16 Generations of Family from Toronto to Scotland, New England, New York & Overseas. Madison, Wisconsin: E. J. Burch, 2003. 38.

9 Ibid

10 “Blackmail as a Heritage: Or New York’s Legacy from an Earlier Time.” In The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 771. New York: Century, 1887.

11Lupton, Eric.  “Ground Zero:  Before the Fall.” In The New York Times, June 27, 2004.

12Ibid.

13Jameson, J. Franklin. Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period:. New York: A.M. Kelley, 1970. 9.

14New York State Secretary’s Office. Dutch Manuscripts, 1630-1634. Vol. II. New York: Weed Parsons, 1865. 36.

15Lupton, Eric.  “Ground Zero:  Before the Fall.” In The New York Times, June 27, 2004.

16 Rollins, Sarah Finch Maiden. The Maiden Family of Virginia and Allied Families, 1623-1991: Aker, Alburtis, Butt, Carter, Fadely, Fulkerson, Grubb, Hagy, King, Landis, Lee, Scudder, Stewart, Underwood, Williamson, and Others. Wolfe City, Tex.: Henington Pub. ;, 1991. 20.

Specials to Share!

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com 29 Apr 2015.

I had planned to write about my decision to obtain Certified Genealogist status but this week I discovered 3 special offers so I’ve revised my plan to let you know what I found.

DEAL #1

If you aren’t a Legacy member, you may not know that you can take advantage of their webinars; some cost, some are permanently free and others free for just a limited time.

For a list of their archived webinars visit:http://www.familytreewebinars.com/archived_webinars.php

I’m not a member of Legacy so I only watch the free ones.  I first learned about the webinars when I signed up for their weekly email newsletter after I purchased Legacy software last Christmas as a present to myself.  I ended up with Legacy because I was so frustrated with Family Tree Maker (FTM).  My extremely large public “Main Tree” on Ancestry.com stopped synching with my desktop FTM last May.  I called FTM customer service and they blamed Ancestry.  Called Ancestry and they blamed FTM.  This went on for several weeks.  I did what everyone does when you call a call center and can’t get help – hang up, wait a few minutes and call again with the hope you’ll get someone more knowledgeable.  Unfortunately, that didn’t work, either.  FTM reps did sent me a useless email with instructions several times but it didn’t fix the problem.  Next I posted on the Ancestry Message Boards asking for advice.  Surprise, surprise, discovered from the Message Board that I wasn’t alone with the problem so I began to explore other family tree software options.  Looking at them seriously made me start pining for my old PAF from Family Search!  Since that’s no longer available, for a temporary fix, I downloaded Legacy’s free family tree standard software

https://www.legacyfamilytree.com/DownloadLegacy.asp#Download

and was happy that it could quickly save my Ancestry tree.  I liked that it also gave me an error report.  I just wanted a product that would serve as a backup on my desktop in case I couldn’t sign on to Ancestry but the more I used Legacy, the more I liked it so I decided to buy the latest version.  I haven’t really explored all of its features yet which is on my to-do list.  I am trying to download my Ancestry tree monthly and save it to Legacy.  After a weekend thumb drive disaster, it’s something I really will make time to do on the first of every month (Famous Last Words!) but that’s another story…

On Monday I listened to the passionate webinar presentation by Bernice Alexander Bennett regarding her volunteer work at the National Archives and took the challenge she mentioned.  No spoilers here – this is a must listen to training offered through May 1st! on Legacy so sign on for the 1 hour class “United States Colored Troops Civil War Widow’s Pension Applications:  Tell the Story.”

DEAL #2

The second special offer with a limited time is that Fold3’s Civil War records are FREE for the month of April.  If you aren’t a paid member then you’ll really want to check this out by Thursday, April 30th at 11:59 PM!  You’ll have to register your email at

http://www.fold3.com/ 

but it’s well worth it.  I stayed up way too late last night but got all of my “close” Civil War records saved to honor the 150 years since the war ended.  This included my great great grandfather Ferdinand Kable (Ohio Infantry Unit 29 Company A), 2 times great uncles Thomas, Prosser, and Mark Duer, (Ohio 99th Infantry Regiment, Company F), my husband’s great great grandfather Samuel August Samuelson (Indiana Infantry Unit 73), and 2 times great uncle Thomas Charles Thompson (Illinois 1st Light Artillery Battery).  I also saved records for several coworkers whom I’m working on their trees for my Certified Genealogist portfolio.

Then I got totally side tracked and looked up the War of 1812 pension records for my 3rd great grandmother, Mary Polly Dennis Hodge Adams Elder Search.  Yep, GGGGrandma outlived 4 husbands.  Her first husband, John Hodge, died in combat and she was left in 1813 with twin boys in the Ohio wilderness.  And to think I thought childcare was a nightmare when my kids were small; I can’t even imagine what she went through!  Her second husband, Edward Adams, whom I’m descended from, died in 1822 leaving GGGGram with 5 kids.  She then married Owen Elder and after a 6th child, became a widow again in1830.  The pension records were under her last husband, William Search’s name. Someday I plan on writing more about the hunt for Mary and her family.

DEAL # 3

Got an email from our friends at geneablogger about an Ancestry.com contest to win a 6 month US Discovery Ancestry membership.  I don’t know what happens if you win and you’re already an Ancestry member – I figure I’ll do a pay it forward and give it away or negotiate with them for a discount. If you’re interested first go to

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440336180/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1440336180&linkCode=as2&tag=geneabloggers-20&linkId=A7V4AIHNDL6WSJ3D

and click on “Look inside” on the right hand side of your screen.  You want to go to the back of the book and write down the LAST PAGE NUMBER.  Then, enter the contest:
http://www.geneabloggers.com/giveaways/win-6month-ancestrycom-membership/?lucky=7964 
Simplest entry I’ve ever participated in but I did like Ancestry’s former October contests where you tried to use your research skills to discover the answers.  Never won but sure had fun!  Hint, Hint, Ancestry – do it again!

Next time, really, I’ll be writing about the reason I decided to go for the gold standard of genealogy – Certified Genealogist.