Monday, December 29, 2014

Military Monday: Cousin Buddy Suchy - WWII Casualty

Russell James (Buddy) Suchy 
 7 Dec 1923 - 16 Nov 1943

(click image to enlarge)

The World War II Diaries provide a day-to-day record of operational and administrative activities. Available on, these war diaries were submitted by most units in the Navy, and most of the Marine Corps war diaries were submitted by aviation units such as fighter squadrons. 

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections

The Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection contains 45 newspaper titles that include historic Illinois newspapers ranging from 1831 to 1975 and is continually growing.  You can browse by collection, date, or title. The website also offers Simple and Advanced Search options.  A great feature:  readers can easily correct  the OCR text to improve future search results.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

FindMyPast world access is free this weekend

From Friday, November 7th to Monday, November 10th, you’ll be able to access:

  • Birth, death and marriage records from the USA, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand
  • Travel and migration records from all over the world
  • Millions of newspaper pages from countries that include Germany, France, China, Denmark, Ireland and the USA
  • Military records from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, as well as our WW1 collections to ensure that everyone has the chance to trace their family this Remembrance weekend 
To find out more about the Free Weekend visit: 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Greetings

Happy Halloween!

 Halloween party at State Normal School, Kearney, Nebraska. c.1908
Library of Congress American Memory Collection
Nebraska State Historical Society, [Digital ID, e.g., nbhips 12036]
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Getting Ready for Halloween

c. 1917
Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.  
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Confederate pomp amid burial of slave's daughter

Mattie Clyburn Rice, who was 91 when she died in September, devoted her energy to confirming her father's Confederate service.

Read more here:
Weary Clyburn was in his early 80s when Mattie was born.

Read the full story here:

Read more here:
Confederate pomp amid burial of slave's daughter |

Monday, September 29, 2014

Street Life in Victorian London

A fascinating, photographic journey showing the grim reality of life on the streets of London in Victorian Britain as captured by John Thomson in 1877.
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Finding Your Roots" Returns to PBS

"Acclaimed PBS Series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Returns Tuesday, September 23 at 8pm ET for its Second Season
The 10-part series explores the heritages and ancestries of 30 of today’s leading entertainers, athletes, chefs, and media personalities, including: Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Khandi Alexander, Tom Colicchio, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Derek Jeter, Stephen King, Nas, Anna Deavere Smith, Sting, and Courtney Vance"
Click HERE to read the complete press release.
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Deerfield Gravestone Restoration Project


"Kai Nalenz, president of Gravestone Services of New England, compares some of his recent restoration work in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Deerfield to photographs of their original state."   Recorder/Micky Bedell

Read the full article here:  Labor of love: Deerfield family completes gravestone restoration project | The Recorder  
By TOM RELIHAN   Recorder Staff
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Searching the Google Newspaper Archives

Currently, Google News search only returns content from the past 30 days. The "advanced web search page" will let you search by date or date range, but only up to 1970.  To search in earlier time periods, you can use xxxxx

For example, I used Macoupin 1880
and found:
To see if there is a newspaper covering your area of interest,
check the list of the digitized historical newspapers available
If you know the specific time period and place you are searching, you can actually read though individual newspaper issues by choosing a newspaper from the above list and selecting the "Browse this newspaper" tab.
Have fun!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Eva Bell Casteel - Age 2

Eva Bell Casteel
daughter of James P. & Arra A. (Bacon) Casteel
  U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule
1880 Macoupin County, Illinois
(Click image to enlarge)
Eva is listed on the bottom.
Cause of death: Throat Disease
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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Chris Welcheck (1907-1969)

Christopher L. Welcheck
son of Stephen & Margaret (Busch) Welcheck

Cleveland Plain Dealer
18 Aug 1969
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Long Time TMG User is Feeling the Blues

Today in my email I read the latest Wholly Genes Newsletter.   As a long time user of The Master Genealogist, I was saddened when I read the following:

I am sad to report that the decision has been made to discontinue The Master Genealogist ("TMG").

While thousands of TMG users appreciate the program's many powerful features that are unmatched in other software, the market for those advanced features has proved to be insufficient to support the infrastructure that is necessary to support it and continue development. A variety of my own health issues have also contributed to this decision as I have fewer opportunities to focus on the things that would be necessary to develop and market the program.

There is every reason to believe that TMG will continue to work for existing users for the foreseeable future but official support will end at the end of 2014, although we may release some more bug fixes (but no new features) before that.  In the interest of those who may want to communicate their data to family members or upgrade to the latest release, we will continue to sell the full product and updates through September with the understanding that product development has been discontinued.

After the end of the year, I expect to maintain the support forum which would be available for user-to-user support. Other online support forums, including the TMG-L mailing list, are also available to users.

For 25 years, TMG has repeatedly pushed the boundaries of genealogical software and promoted the highest principles of scholarship in record-keeping and reporting.  It has encouraged users to expect more from their family tree software, especially in the area of source citations, and the industry has responded by setting new and higher standards in its suite of "standard features." To lesser degrees, programs have begun to emulate some of TMG's other innovative features, including its powerful filtering/searching functions, flags, customizable screen layouts, shared events (i.e., witnesses), and narrative output options.

As genealogical data has become more sophisticated, researchers have been increasingly confronted with the many limitations of GEDCOM in transferring that data. For more than two decades, our GenBridge technology has demonstrated that much more complete and accurate transfers can be achieved through direct imports. Other family tree programs have implemented the GenBridge technology or developed similar direct-import strategies, resulting in the preservation of precious data for countless researchers.

I am proud of the leadership role that TMG has played in the evolution of genealogical software and I encourage TMG users to continue to press developers to raise their standards and implement features that allow researchers to do the same.

In the interest of preserving users' data, I have released a document that details TMG's internal file structure and I will make GenBridge available for free to developers who wish to produce a direct import from TMG insofar as their programs support the same features.

It goes without saying that this has been a painful decision and is a significant milestone for me. TMG has been a major part of my life for more than 25 years and it is not easy to let it go. I recognize too and regret the degree to which it may leave researchers uneasy about the future of their data and the prospects for their research tools. I am taking a necessary step back from the genealogical community but with the hope that my contribution to it has left researchers better equipped to accomplish their research goals.

Bob Velke
Wholly Genes, Inc. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: John Herbert Dillinger (1903 -1934)

On this Date in History: Jul. 22, 1934
John Dillinger, gangster and bank robber during the Great Depression, was shot dead at Biograph Theater in Chicago, Illinois.

(source: findagrave)
John Herbert Dillinger
June 22, 1903 – July 22, 1934
Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Wanted Poster of John Dillinger, 06/25/1934
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Friday, July 4, 2014

Celebrating July 4th

 (Source: Library of Congress)
1923 Fourth of July parade at Takoma Park, MD

Have a Safe & Happy Fourth of July!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Researching Ancestors in the County of Kent, England

Recently, I spent an evening seeing what general records I could find available online relating to County of Kent, England.
On my 'go to' list of websites are the Online Parish Clerk sites. So that was where I started.
Through the Kent Online Parish Clerks website  (, I was able to find a link to Maidstone Paypers 1834 which provides a list of some of the people receiving parish relief from Maidstone during that year.
According to the OPC, the original Maidstone Parish Chest list contained names of other people for which there was no extra family information so were not included in the extract.
From here I was led into the Rootsweb hosted Kent Genealogy webpage which contains a treasure trove of very useful links for researching ancestors in the County of Kent, England
Now I have plenty of records to peruse through for our ancestors!
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Friday, June 27, 2014

1719 Land Record for Edmund Casteel

Land transaction between Edmund Casteel and his wife Johanna to Jeremiah Perdue recorded in Prince Georges County, MD, Land Record Book E, p. 0714- 0717 

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Darn Those Frisky Horses

The Daily Times (New Brunswick, NJ)
Tuesday, March 11, 1913

Maybe our G-Grandfather, George Kolbush, got some free fruit & veggies out of the deal.
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Saturday, June 7, 2014

1901 Marriage Record of Horace Lefebvre to Philomene Thibeault

From the record book:  Marriages Solemnized in the city of Lowell, 1901

(click image to enlarge)
Horace Lefebvre, age 28, born in Manchester, NH, Nov 1872
son of  Joseph & Julia (Lambert) Lefebvre
married 1 January 1901
Philomene Thibeault, age 20, daughter of Luther & Genevieve (Cotes) Thibeault
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Monday, June 2, 2014

Died on this Day in History: Lizbeth Borden

Lizzie Borden

Born 19 July 1860 in Fall River, Massachusetts

Sunday school teacher; tried for the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother but was acquitted in 1893.

Died 2 June 1927 of pneumonia at age 66.

Buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Fall River, Bristol, Massachusetts

Click census images below to view:
1880 census

1900 census

1920 census
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Register Now for Jamboree's Free Live-Streamed Sessions

45th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree
 is offering fourteen live-streamed sessions free of charge.

Click HERE for listing of sessions offered June 6 - June 8

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Steve & Theresa (Stosz) Hack

Whiting Memorial Park
Ocean County, New Jersey

('Thank you' to Rich, a find-a-grave volunteer, who photographed this marker for me.)
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014