Updates about Olive Tree Genealogy website and other FREE genealogy records. Bringing you tutorials, genealogy book and app reviews, genealogy news, genealogy specials and more. Helping you find your family tree and ancestors.
Wow! Ancestry.com just published over 100 million wills written in the United States in the last 300 years for genealogists to search. More
than 170 million pages from the largest collection of wills and probate
records in the United States is now available online exclusively on
With searchable records included from all 50 states spread over 337
years (1668-2005), this unprecedented collection launches a new category
of records for family history research never before available online at
this scale the United States.
Until now, these records have only been
available offline. Ancestry spent more than two years bringing this
collection online, working with hundreds of different archives from
individual state and local courts across the country and
making a $10M investment to license and digitize the records. The
documents cover well over 100 million people, including the deceased as
well as their family, friends and others involved in the probate
process. Ancestry expects to continue to grow the collection,
with additional records available over the next several years.
To celebrate the launch of the new U.S. Wills
and Probates collection on Ancestry,, the collection along with all U.S.
birth, marriage and death records, will be available to explore for
FREE, September 2 (12pm MT) through September
7 (10pm MT).
Several years ago I came to the realization that no one in my immediate family wants my 40 plus years of research on our genealogy. A few are mildly interested in hearing the more exciting stories of blacksheep ancestors or famous relatives or an intriguing mystery. No one but me does actual research into our ancestors. That means that my binders and file folders full of documents and charts are not something anyone is going to take and preserve when I'm gone. I'm sure many of you are facing the same problem. So...what to do? My solution has been to create family books for each surname. I keep them short, no more than 30 pages for each book. Some surnames have multiple volumes and each volume is for one generation including children. These books are what I call "Coffee Table" books, meant to be picked up and thumbed through casually. Not all documents are included because that would turn into a book consisting of hundreds of pages!
After publishing them on Shutterfly I give them as gifts at Christmas. That is one way the family stories and research might be preserved for future generations. If you are unfamiliar with Shutterfly I have a tutorial on using it on my Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel.
Another solution I use is to create books for sale to other descendants. Since I tend to research all siblings in a family I can often provide details, facts and documents on a large number of family members for each generation. I use Createspace for those books which then are made available on Amazon. See my list of books I have published here. Money I make from these sales helps offset my expenses in subscribing to online companies for their databases.
I also donate a copy of any books I create to local archives or libraries where the family settled. This helps ensure that even more descendants will have access to my research in the future. How have you overcome the problem of your family not wanting your genealogy records?
Are You on Social Media Channels? If not, you might want to have a peek at some. You could be quite surprised at how many genealogists can be found on various sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Periscope (and LinkedIn but it's more business oriented) I am all of the above. They are great for making connections with other genealogists and if you are trying to generate any kind of income from your genealogy pursuits, they are a must.
My Instagram Page Today
Each Social Media channel has its own flavor and rules. Facebook for example is more casual where Twitter is a bit more formal (and you are constrained by a limit of how many characters can be each of your tweets or updates). Periscope is streaming video which you create yourself to show your followers or you are the watcher, and there are some intriguing "scopes" out there! Instagram relies on photos to capture other people's attention. If you want to check out these Social Media Channels, here's where I can be found:
So come on over to one of my channels (or all of them if you want!), check them out and join me. Say hello once you get there, I'd love to see you. I am most often found on Twitter and Facebook but I am on Pinterest, Instagram and Periscope daily.
Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept
by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a
nurse during World War One.
The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain.
album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in
the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished
without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive
Tree Genealogy with permission.
Each image has been designated
an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is
the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand
I will be posting the entire album and my additional
research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming
months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos.
The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic
"Nursing Sister WW1 Photos"
This Sunday, August 30 at 9/8c TLC will air TV host’s Tom Bergeron’s episode of
Who Do You Think You Are?
the episode, Tom Bergeron sets out to unravel the murky history of his
paternal roots. Tracing back over 400 years, he uncovers the dramatic
story of his 10x great-grandparents,
who endured brutal warfare and starvation in France. Then Tom follows
their daughter, who was orphaned as a teenager and bravely set off
across the Atlantic, playing a significant role in establishing the New
World. Brought to us by TLC with Ancestry.com,
the world’s largest online family history resource, teaming up again
as a sponsor, Who Do You Think You Are? takes celebrities on a journey to discover their roots. Image credit: TLC
morning everyone! I have been de-cluttering my home for a few days now
and came across two books I no longer want. This book is called
Grit Growth: The Story of Grenfell
Published by Grenfell Historical Committee 1980
There is a handwritten
family tree inside for REEVE, Elliin/Ellim? Farms, Grenfell
Saskatchewan starts with Charles Reeve born 1880 Birmingham England
This book is 347 pages with an index and is in very good condition.
There is a handwritten
inscription "To Cousin Millicent with love from Olive Gay and all
cousins at Grenfell Saskatchewan. March 1981" (Millicent was Millicent
Lynn, mother of the Mayor of Midland Ontario) Here's the deal - I'm giving this book away FREE. Yep that's right. The first person to contact me at olivetreegenealogyATgmailDOTcom will be the lucky recipient. All I ask is that you agree to pay for shipping but a caveat is that sending mail from Canada is expensive. Using Canada Post online I estimate this book will cost about $17.00 to ship. I will need your postal or zip code to calculate a more accurate cost.
great-grandmother Sarah Jane Simpson, who was born in 1862,
owned this toast rack. Sarah lived in Ramsgate England, where she kept a
boarding house. I suspect she used this toast rack on the table for her
family and boarders.
In Victorian times, toast was made and
then placed in a rack to be set out on the table. The toast rack, along
with many other small items owned by Sarah, were given to me by my
grandmother Ruth Fuller (her daughter).
The toast rack is safely displayed in one of my China Cabinets but it seems a shame to not put it to use.
David Simpson & Sarah Stead Wedding Day 1862
It is always difficult to know how or even if
to use treasured family items but I have figured out a once-a-year use!
Every Christmas I host a large family dinner (30 or more guests). Putting Great-Grandmother's toast rack to use as a napkin holder works well.
Every time I see the toast rack on my table I think of my grandmother and the talks we used to have. I think of great-grandmother Simpson who I did not know in life but know her through the stories my grandmother told me and the treasures I now hold that once belonged to her.