Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another Year; Another Countdown

It's that time of year again for the annual
New Years Eve countdown Ball drop!

New Year’s Eve Ball, 1978; (The New York Times)

The Times Square Ball is dropped each year during the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City. The Ball was first lowered in 1907, and has continued to do so every New Year’s Eve with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was suspended due to the wartime “dimout” of lights in New York City.
So dust off those flute glasses have a New Year's Eve toast:
Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true.  ~ Alfred,  Lord Tennyson
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

NARA is ready. Are you?

It's coming....
             The National Archives will release the 1940 Census on April 2, 2012, making it available for online searching - free of charge
Are you prepared to dive in?

What you need to know in order to begin research in the 1940 census:
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Eve Sighting

Merry Christmas to all
and to all a Good Night!
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

1675 Will extract of Cornelius Bom

1675 Will extract of our 8th G-Grandfather Cornelius Bom of Rotterdam > Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine; vol 1, pg 86
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Have A Holly Jolly Christmas with this Tradional Eggnog

 A Classic 1936 Eggnog recipe from Four Roses distillery (not for the kiddies):

Four Roses Eggnog Recipe
1) Beat separately yolks and whites of 6 eggs.
2) Add 1/2 cup of sugar to yolks while beating.
3) Add 1/4 cup of sugar to whites after they have been beaten very stiff.
4) Mix egg whites with yolks.
5) Stir in 1 pint of cream and 1 pint of milk.
6) Add a pint of Four Roses Bourbon and 1 oz. Jamaican rum. Stir thoroughly and serve very cold.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

1690 Death Record for Simon Chapacou

Although I do not have a tombstone image for Simon, locating his death record is pretty exciting.

1690 Death Record from Saint-Antoine-de-Longueuil, Quebec,
of our ancestor, Simon Chapacou.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This Date in History: "THIS IS NO DRILL"

--Telegram from Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC) to all ships in Hawaiian area - December 7, 1941

(source: NARA)
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WWII Draft Registration Cards - Check both sides

Tuesday's Tip:   Remember to check the backside of the draft registration card.

Note that the reverse side of the registration card gives a decent physical description of the individual in addition to the date of filing.

U.S. World War II Draft Registration Card
for Andrew Kolbush dated 4/27/1942.

Andrew listed his younger brother, Joseph, as his contact. Joseph soon after enlisted on 23 Jun 1942 at the age of 41 yrs.
It is interesting to me that nowhere on this card is there an indication that Andrew served in WW1 and was disabled.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Pearl Harbor survivors share stories of attack

World War II Navy veteran Clarence Pfundheller

Many veterans did not talk too much about their experiences after World War II, but this week four Pearl Harbor survivors are visiting the historic site on this 70th anniversary to recall and record their memories of the event as part of an effort to ensure these stories will survive to be shared with future generations.

Read full story here: Pearl Harbor survivors share stories of attack

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Shopping Saturday: Where else but Macy's

In 1862, Macy established an in-store Santa at Christmas time. Soon after, he began decorating his large windows with themed, illuminated displays to attract the attention of passers-by and pull in customers.
The Macy's Star, which has been present since the very beginning, comes from a tattoo that Rowland H. Macy got as a teenager when he worked on a Nantucket whaling ship, the Emily Morgan.
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Recipe Friday: Plum Pudding

This 1723 recipe by John Nott is one of the earliest recipes written down for Plum Pudding, later known as Christmas Pudding.

The cooks and confectioners dictionary; or, The accomplish'd housewife's companion; John Nott; 1723

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

The 1722 Inventory of Andrew Job's Estate


An Inventory of ye Goods & Chattels of 
Andrew Job Lately Deceased 
Being of ye Township of Notingham In ye County of Chester
To his wearing Apparell .......................09 16 00 
To Sundry goods in ye Parlor ..............26 00 06 
To Sundry goods in ye Closet.............. 03 11 00 
To Sundry Utensils in ye Midle Room 04 09 00
To Sundry Goods up Staires................ 08 04 11 
To Sundry Utensils in ye Cellar ...........02 17 00 
To Sundry Moveables In ye Kitchen.... 05 12 00 
To Sundrys In ye Shop .........................03 00 00 
To Sundry Utensils About ye Plantation 09 10 08 
To his Stock of Cattle, Horses & Hogs 
Upon His Plantation............................ 62 03 00 
To ye Corn growing Upon ye Ground 30 00 00
                                    Sum Total 165 04 01 
Notingham, ye 9th day 
of ye 4th mo 1722
              A True Appraisement By us
                        William Brown Senior 
                        Samuel Little 
                        John Churchman

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

Celebrated as the national holiday in the United States to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony in 1621 after a winter of great starvation and privation, this day was proclaimed as Thanksgiving Day in that year itself by the then Governor William Bradford, while the feast was shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native Americans. Since then, the tradition of observing Thanksgiving Day has continued. People take part in the festivities with full joy and enthusiasm to celebrate the harvest and blessings granted upon them in the previous year.

Happy Thanksgiving!
 from Tangled Trees
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

They Knew That They Were Pilgrims

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Nathaniel Morton describes the departure of the first pilgrims:
"So they left that goodly and pleasant city [Leyden], which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits. When they came to the place [Delft Haven] they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.
The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other's heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.
Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succour; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts. Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not; for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew; if they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world."

Source: New-England's memorial by Nathaniel Morton, William Bradford, Thomas Prince, Edward Winslow; 1669

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Tombstone for Edward Teach

Died on the this date, 22 November 1718: 
Blackbeard - pirate and captain of Queen Anne's Revenge (originally a French merchant ship which he captured & converted into a warship of forty guns)
Otherwise known as Edward Teach, also seen spelled as Thatch, Thach, Thache, Thack, Tack, Thatche and Theach.
Believed to have be born in Bristow, England, c.1680.
Blackbeard, who engaged in active piracy 1716 to 1718, met his demise in Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina, at the hands of Lieutenant Maynard with his attacking forces.
Teach's corpse was thrown into the inlet while his head was suspended from the bowsprit of Maynard's ship.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

FamilySearch - A Valuable Resource that keeps on Growing. just keeps getting better.  They are constantly adding more and more records.
My hint for today:  Bookmark the site and visit it often.
Oh - and the best part: it's free!

My find for today:  the Death Record for our 2nd G-grandfather, John J. Busch.

Database:  Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Final Payment Voucher Card for Thomas King of TN

Index Card reference to the Final Revolutionary War Pension
 Payment Voucher for our 4th G-Grandfather, Thomas King:

(viewed on Fold3)
The Pension Ledger record for Thomas is shown in the previous post.
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Jonesboro, TN, Rev War Pension Ledger Record

Below is the Pension Ledger Record recorded in Jonesboro, TN,  for our ancestor Thomas King (1754-1847) who served in the Revolutionary War. Note that his date of death is recorded in the ledger on the far right.

(click image to enlarge)
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tom Harrison receives war medals 66 years late

(AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)
 Tom Harrison, 93, displays his World War II medals at his home in Salt Lake City. Harrison spent several years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp after enduring the brutal Bataan Death March. He returned home to his family, and more than six decades later, just received six medals honoring his service, including the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Find Your National Treasure

   The Fairfax Genealogical Society'

An all-day, in-depth presentation by nationally-recognized genealogists, designed to enhance your genealogical research skills. In recent years, we have adopted the highly successful conference format with lectures in several tracks. These tracks are designed to provide something of interest for every level of genealogist. In addition, there is always opportunity to visit with many vendors with genealogical resources and examine their products.

Save the Dates:    Saturday-Saturday, March 23-24, 2011

Location:   Marriott Fair Oaks
11787 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway
Fairfax, VA 22033
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring Veterans Day

Each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery a wreath is placed at the Tomb of the Unknowns.  With this ceremony we honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.
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Family Recipe Friday: Romanian Apple Cake

Quick, easy, & yummy!
Romanian Apple Cake

  • 5 apples, peeled & cored
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c chopped walnuts (optional)
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease & flour a 9 x 13 pan. Cut apples into 1" wedges and set aside.  (I do 1/2" wedges)

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until blended. Mix in the baking soda, oil, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir in the flour, just until incorporated. Fold in the apples (and walnuts).

3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly.  Dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday’s Child: Lula A., Dau of J.M & M.A. Casteel


Lula A. Casteel
Daughter of Joseph M. & Minerva A. Casteel
Died 19 May 1873
Aged 5 months 7 days
Buried in Charity Cemetery, Macoupin Co. IL
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Monday, November 7, 2011

1820 Knox Co. TN, SCI FA: Madison vs Casteel / Greenlee

4 July 1820    Knox County, Tennessee 
County Court Minute Books

Civil SCI FA
PLTF John H Madison
DEFT Abednego Casteel & Francis Greenlee. Secy of John Rice

In this cause the sheriff having returned two writs of scire facias against the Defendant "not to be found" on motion of the plaintiff by his Attorney it is considered by the court that the plaintiff recover against the Defendants fifteen dollars forty one cents the sum in the scire facias as specified and also the costs of this scire facias -
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Tennessee Genealogical Society

Tennessee Genealogical Society, founded in 1952,  is located near Memphis, TN, and has offices and a lecture room in the Germantown Regional History and Genealogy Center, which houses a 14,000 volume library.
The Tennessee Genealogical Society mission:

  • To acquire, preserve, and make available genealogical history and records.
  • To publish materials relevant to Tennessee genealogy and history.
The TGS website also provides access to their quarterly periodical, Ansearchin' News, which is keyword searchable and allows viewing of the full text of each issue.

Ansearchin' News Archives

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    John Paul Jones's 1777 USS Ranger

    Ship sloop (3m) L/B/D: 131.4 (berth deck) × 28 × 11 dph (40.1m × 8.5m × 3.4m) Tons: 697 bm Hull: wood Comp: 140 Arm: 18 × 6pdr Built: James K. Hackett, Portsmouth, N.H.; 1777.

    On this date in history John Paul Jones, master of the newly built ship USS Ranger, leaves Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with a crew of 140 men enroute to France, beginning its raids on British warships during the Revolutionary War.
      ~ ~ ~

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Follow Friday: Feeling Lucky?

    If you feel today is your lucky day in genealogy you should visit SaveThePhotos.

    This is a wonderful blog that posts 'rescued' photos along with any notes or research the author can share. As Sharon states regarding her published photos:  [these photos are] "Residing in my box with other rescued photos now living again on the Internet, hoping to find their way back home to distant or close relatives."

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    The 1794 Massacre of William Casteel's family

      Knox County, TN, History; Published 1853

    Amongst other acts of Indian hostility perpetrated in Knox county, was one which occurred on the 22nd April 1794. William Casteel lived south of French Broad, about nine miles above Knoxville, and two miles from the then residence of Doctor Cozby. The latter had been an old Indian fighter, from the first settlement of the country, he was, of course, held in deadly hatred by the Indians, and had often been selected as a victim of their vengeance. He had his house always prepared for defense, and never allowed himself to be taken by surprise.
    At evening, of the 22nd, his domestic animals gave the usual tokens of the presence of Indians, when, observing from his house, he could discern, obscurely, the stealthy march, in Indian file, of twenty warriors passing across the end of a short lane and concealing themselves in the fence corners and the adjoining woods. The door was at once barricaded, the fire extinguished, two guns primed afresh, and with these he prepared to defend his castle and his family, consisting of his wife and several children, one of whom only could shoot.
    A space of more than one hundred yards had been cleared around his building, and there was light enough to see the approach of an assailant within that distance. From the port-holes, in each angle of the house, a constant watch was kept, and orders were given by Cozby, in a loud voice, to the members of his family, as if commanding a platoon of soldiers. The stratagem succeeded. An hour before day the Indians withdrew, and went off in the direction of Casteel's cabin.
    Early next morning Anthony Ragan came to Casteel's, and found him dead, from a lick received on his head from a war club; he was scalped, and lying near the fire, dressed, and with leggins on, having arose early for the purpose, as was supposed, of accompanying Reagan to a hunt, which had been agreed on the preceding day. Mrs. Casteel was found on the floor, scalped in two places - a proof that it required two warriors to conquer he - her night cap with several holes cut through it, a butcher knife stuck into her side, one arm broken, and a part of the hand of the other arm cut off. She seemed to have made resistance with an axe, found near her, stained with blood. One of the daughters received a stab, which, piercing through the body, went into the bed-clothes. She and two brothers were scalped. The youngest child, two years old, having the cranium entirely denuded of the scalp, was thrown into the chimney corner.
    Elizabeth, the oldest daughter, ten years old, now Mrs. Dunlap, still living near the scene of the horrible massacre of her father's whole family, was found weltering in her blood, flowing from six wounds inflicted with a tomahawk. Besides these, she was also scalped. Reagan gave the alarm to the settlement; urgent pursuit was immediately made, but the savages escaped. While preparations were made for the interment of the massacred family, Elizabeth showed signs of life, moaning when an attempt was made, by Col. Ramsey, who was present, to close one of the gashes upon her head. She was taken to Mr. Shook's, who then owned Major Swan's mills, where Doctor Cozby dressed her wounds. She did not recover for two years. The rest of the family, six in number, were buried in one grave, under a black-oak tree, still standing.
    Mr. Casteel was a soldier of the Revolution, from Green Brier county, VA, and had never received anything for his services. Of the heroic wife and mother, nothing more is known. An effort has been made to procure a pension for the surviving daughter. Thus far it has been fruitless.

    (ANNALS OF TENNESSEE by J.G.M. Ramsey; pages 592-593; 1853)
    ~ ~ ~

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Tuesday's Tip: Scour the Local Gen. Society Publications

    It may take some time, especially if there is not an index available, but the local Genealogical Society publications contain a wealth of information - some of which may cause you to do a happy dance.

    During our recent visit to the Allen County Public Library, we spent some time reading the regional genealogical publications in search of the tidbits that will help fill in some family puzzles.  One collection was the Wilkes Genealogical Society Bulletin (Wilkes Co. NC). The society was established in 1967, and the twenty-eight page WGS Bulletin is published four times per year.

    One of the publications contained the
     WGS Bulletin Subject Index By Keyword.

    It was in this index that I found:
    From there I was able to pull the volume it referred to and view the actual land record of our ancestor, John Underwood, which is shown in the previous post.

    The Wilkes Genealogical Society has indexes to its Bulletins available online at:

    The local society publications contain gems of information that you may not easily find elsewhere and are definately worth the time to peruse.  But a word of warning: like historical newspapers, they can be addicting to read.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    1779 Wilkes N.Carolina Land Grant to John Underwood

    (Click image to enlarge)

    John Underwood:  received Grant #16 for 298 acres of land on the waters of Fisher Creek near Roaring Gap Creek adjoining Henry Kearby; based on Warrant/Entry No. 211 dated 22 Oct 1778. Grant is recorded in Book No. 39, p.16; William Underwood and Henry Kearby Chain Carriers.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Rosabell (Cassingham) St.John of New Bedford, MA

    Rosabell (Cassingham) St.John
    Pine Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, MA

    (photo by  D J Pimentel /

    b. 4 Dec 1878 in Providence, RI
    daughter of Albert Odian (Frank) & Emma (Warburton) Cassingham
    m. Alfred Adelard St.John on 13 June 1899 in New Bedford, MA

    I am hoping for a random act of a genealogically kind person to clear the lichen off of Rosabell's stone.   

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    1864 Burial Record for Michel Tetreau dit Ducharme

    St. Pie, Quebec, burial record of ancestor, Michel Tetreau Ducharme, spouse of Marie Louise Letarte:

    (click image for clearer view)
    Translated by a wonderful genealogy friend, Pierre:
    "to-day 11 July 1844, we undersigned priest have buried in the parish cemetery the body of Michel Tétreault dit Ducharme, died 2 days before, at the age of 63 years old. Were present Pierre Jubinville and François, Guillaume and Michel Tétreau his sons that were not able to sign"

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Defense Saving Stamps


    The Defense Postal Savings Stamp Albums were distributed by the U.S. Treasury, mostly through the Post Office Department. It was a way for the government to have the public help finance the war effort. War savings stamps were first issued in 1917, during World War I. In May, 1941, the America on Guard series appeared, consisting of 10, 25, 50 cents, $1 and $5 denominations. Use was encouraged as a way for the public to save money and at the same time contribute to the war effort.

    School children would fill an "album" with $18.75 of low denomination stamps, 10-cents or 25-cents, and hand it in to the post office in exchange for a War Savings Bond, which would mature in 10 years to $25.00. Adults could buy larger denomination stamps, place them in correspondingly higher value "albums" and trade them in upon completion for $50.00, $100.00 or higher denomination War Savings Bonds. The program continued after the Second World War, ending in June 1970. (source: National Postal Museum)

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Historical Maps of Pennsylvania

     Historical Maps of Pennsylvania is a wonderful site that contains over a thousand map images organized chronologically beginning with the 16th century and continuing though the 21st century.  It also gives direction to where additional maps can be found.


    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Fairy Soap

    The N.K. Fairbank Co. in Chicago manufactured soap as well as animal and baking products in northern Illinois. The company had several factories and two international offices. An original Fairbank creation, Fairy Soap, was purchased by Proctor & Gamble and remains one of the best-known European household brands.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    This Date in History: The Battle of Germantown

    The Battle of Germantown, a battle in the American Revolutionary War was fought on October 4, 1777, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, located just north of Philadelphia.  As part of the Campaign for Philadelphia, George Washington decided to attack the British garrison in Germantown in hopes of surprising the British and Hessian armies.  If Washington's plan had been successful, it might have brought the war to a quick end. But, instead, the British victory in this battle ensured that Philadelphia would remain in British hands throughout the winter of 1777–1778.
     Artist's rendition of the Battle of Germantown (October 1777)
              (Oil, date unknown, by Xavier D. Gratta, Valley Forge (Pa.) Historical Society.)
    British Regiments :
    Light Dragoons ( 16th or 17th)
    Two Composite battalions of grenadiers
    Two Composite battalions of light infantry
    Two Composite battalions of Foot Guards (1st, 2nd & 3rd Guards)
    5th Foot later Northumberland Fusiliers and now the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
    25th, (King’s Own Scottish Borderers)
    27th Foot (Inniskilling Fusiliers and now the Royal Irish Regiment)
    40th Foot (South Lancashire Regiment and now the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment)
    55th Foot (Border Regiment and now the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment)

    American Units:
    Wayne’s Pennsylvania Brigade
    Weeden’s Virginia Brigade
    Muhlenburg’s Virginia Brigade
    Maxwell’s Light Infantry
    Colonel Bland’s 1st Dragoons
    Stephen’s Division
    Stirling’s Division
    Pennsylvania Militia
    Maryland Militia
    New Jersey Militia

    (click image for larger view)

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    The 1833 Marriage of Jean Baptiste Brouillet & Marie Josephte (Louise) Denis Laporte

    On May 13, 1833, after 3 bans made during the "prones' of the parrish mass, between Jean-Baptiste Brouillette, living in this parrish, son of age of Jean-Baptiste Brouillette, farmer, and of Françoise Larrivée, his father and mother from this parrish, on one side, and Marie-Josephte Denys, daughter under age of Jean-Baptiste Denys, also farmer, and of Marie-Josephte Bachand, her father and mother, from this parrish, on the other side, no impediment being found, with the agreement of the parents, I undersigned priest received their mutual marriage consent and gave them the nuptial blessing, in front of Sieur Joseph Porlier, undersigned, Moyse Blanchet, friend of the spouse, of Jacques Daigle and Élie Smith, friends of the bride, and many others who could not sign.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Preserve access to Virginia's Vital Records!

    FROM: Peter E. Broadbent, Jr.
    DATE: September 20, 2011
    RE: Potential Changes in Virginia’s Vital Records Laws
    Public Comment Deadline, October 6, 2011
    The Virginia legislature is considering changes to Virginia’s laws on access to vital records which could either expand – or severely limit – research access to birth, marriage, and death records.
    It is critical for all members of the genealogical community to file comments by October 6 with the Virginia legislative commission considering this issue.
    Currently, birth records held by the Virginia Department of Health are closed for 100 years, with marriage and death records closed for 50 years. After these time periods, the records are supposed to be turned over to the Library of Virginia (LVA), though VDH has tried to delay this. The copies of marriage and death records at the Virginia county or city level are not closed, but are public records (if they can be found).
    VDH has limited access to its statewide “closed” records to “immediate family members,” excluding even grandchildren.
    Senator Harry Blevins of Chesapeake put in a bill in the 2011 Virginia General Assembly to modestly improve access to records, which was referred to the Virginia Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) for study. When the Virginia Genealogical Society (VGS) became aware of this study, it offered comments urging i) that death certificates held by VDH become open records immediately, since there were no legitimate privacy or identity theft reasons for keeping death certificates closed, and ii) that the range of family members who can access closed vital records be significantly liberalized.
    VGS and LVA worked with JCHC staff educating staff about genealogists’ need for these records, the Surgeon General’s emphasis on family medical histories, and supplying information from physicians about the importance of death certificates in compiling family medical histories.
    We were therefore very disappointed when a JCHC staff study was released on September 19 which is confusing at best, and proposes restrictions, not liberalizing, access.  Indeed, staff testimony made it clear that they supported closing all records (including the open county and city marriage and death records) and lengthening the closed VDH period to 125 years for births and 75 years for marriages and deaths.
    While the staff report suggests allowing an Ancestry-type indexing system of the VDH database to allow close relatives access, the staff made it clear that VDH, not LVA (which has the genealogical experience) should do this, potentially taking vital records away from LVA.
    Please email comments referencing SB 865 (with your name and address) to, or fax them to 804-786-5538, or mail to:  Joint Commission on Health Care, P.O. Box 1322, Richmond, VA 23218, to arrive by close of business on Thursday, October 6, 2011.
    If you are out of state, you might explain that you do research in Virginia, and that closing records will discourage travel to Virginia for research.
    If you have examples where your current research has been blocked by VDH, include this.
    Unless extensive public comments are received by October 6, Virginia’s vital records may become closed, threatening genealogical and family medical history research, and blocking new members for lineage societies.
    Please send in your comments now!

    Peter E. Broadbent, Jr.
    Former President, VGS

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Fairfax VA Genealogical Society Fall Fair

    This October, the Fairfax Genealogical Society invites you to participate in the

    Military Records with Craig R. Scott, CG

    Saturday, October 29, 2011
    9:00 AM to 2:30 PM

    Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department
    2148 Gallows Road
    Dunn Loring, VA 22027
      Featured Speaker: Craig R. Scott, CG
      Craig Scott was the co-editor of Northern Virginia Genealogy (1996-1997) and the editor 
      of the Scott Genealogical Quarterly (1987-1995). 
      He is the author of The 'Lost Pensions': Settled Accounts of the Act of 6 April 1838 
      and Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, Inventory 14
       (Revised)He has co-authored several books relating to records in Northern Virginia. 
      He is President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with 
       over 2,800 titles in print.
      A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than twenty years, he
       specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the
       military. He is the current president of the Association of One-name Studies and was
       the Clan Scott Genealogist (1985-2000). He is a member of the Library Board of 
      Virginia, and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists, 
      and the Maryland Genealogical Society. He is also on the Editorial Board of the 
      National Genealogical Society, and the Coordinator for the Military Courses at the 
      Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University.

      This session will delve into how to properly research your ancestor during the wars 
      and after. It will include a look at the militia for Colonial and British forces, records 
      of service, bounty land records, manuscript collections, and other records. 
      Pre-Revolutionary War records are at the British or colonial/local/state level, and the 
      nature of colonial service is local.

      Military records for the War of 1812 and later wars changed a great deal from those 
      for conflicts before the Revolutionary War. Except for State militia units, the nature 
      of service is national, and there are consolidated service records, pension records 
      and bounty land records located at NARA. Come find out how to research your 
      ancestors who fought in the War of 1812.

      This session will show how to research provost marshal records, recruits, draft records, 
      substitutes, and medical records. It will include a look at conscription in the South and 
      the North.

      or fill out the registration form and mail it along with your check to the address shown 
      on the form.
    TO REGISTER: Register online at
    Download the mail-in registration form

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Locating Online Newspaper Archives

    Wikipedia - a go to place for general infomation has a

    This list includes free and pay sites of digital online newspaper archives organized by locations.

    Below a is sample showing the listings for New Jersey:
    Have fun!