Discover your inside story. Save 20% on Ancestry DNA April 21-26

September 30, 2016

Irish Orphans to Australia in 1853

 Irish Central has an interesting story of the Mountbellow Workhouse orphan girls being sent to Australia in 1853. From the website - this explanation:
The Mountbellew Workhouse Project was established to trace the descendants of the Irish emigrants who traveled on board the Palestine ship to Australia in 1853. On board were 33 Mountbellew workhouse orphan girls. The project is trying to connect with as many of the orphan workhouse girls' descendants in Australia in the hope of telling the girls' stories, establishing where they came from in Galway and, hopefully, connecting with their Irish cousins. Also, some of the orphan girls' siblings went to the USA.
The list of girls is given on the website. If you have any information on those mentioned in this story please contact the Mountbellew Workhouse Project Facebook page
 
Read the names of the girls and their stories at Could your ancestor have been an orphan workhouse girl who emigrated in 1853?

September 28, 2016

The Sculptor Who Created Facial Masks for WW1 Disfigured Soldiers

Anna Coleman Ladd was a sculptor from Philadelphia, living in Manchester, Massachusetts who devoted herself to helping disfigured WW1 soldiers. Working from a cast of the individual's face, Anna created a lifelike mask which the solider could wear in public.

Reading about this made me think of Boardwalk Empire and Richard Harrow who wore a tin maks over half his face due to disfigurement during WW1. 

Read about this amazing woman and her work at Anna Coleman Ladd- American sculptor who devoted her time throughout WWI to soldiers, who were disfigured

You can also review her documents and papers at Anna Coleman Ladd papers, circa 1881-1950 

Image credit: American Red Cross Studio for Portrait-Masks File: Scrapbook 1914-1933. Box 2, Folder 70 on Archives of American Art

September 26, 2016

Irish Civil Records FREE online!

Irish Civil Records are now searchable online at Irish Genealogy. And they're free!

The site explains that
The Civil Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths are the official State records of Births, Marriages and Deaths in Ireland. The registers of births, marriages and deaths and the related indexes are maintained by the Registrar General in the General Register Office. The Index books can be viewed at the General Register Office, Werburgh Street, Dublin 2.
The General Register Office (Oifig An Ard-Chláraitheora) is the central civil repository for records relating to births, stillbirths, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships and adoptions in Ireland.
The Indexes to the Civil Records of Irish Births, Deaths and Marriages date from 1864 with non-Roman Catholic Marriages recorded from 1845. The indexes to Births over 100 years old, the indexes to Marriages over 75 years old and the indexes to Deaths over 50 years old.

Many of the records have been digitized and are available online. 

       Search the Irish Civil Records

September 25, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 50 R Winter Mess

This 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.
Winter Mess

The 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 her permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right­hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left­hand side page.

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"

September 24, 2016

Our Immigrant Ancestor: Christian Barentsen Van Horn

There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada)


My 9th great-grandfather Christian Barentsen Van Horn was in New Amsterdam (present day New York City) by 1653. In 1655 he was among the Dutch who sailed with Peter Stuyvesant from New Amsterdam to the South River, the Dutch name for the Delaware, and captured the Swedish settlements there.

Christiaen Barents, or Barentsen, a carpenter, came from Hoorn, in North Holland. with his wife, Jannetje Jans, and one child, it is supposed, in or perhaps previous to the year 1653. On August 3, of that year, he had a child, Cornelis, baptized in the New Amsterdam Dutch Reformed church. Another son, Jan, was baptized in the same church, March 18, 1657.

In 1657 Christian began selling the property he had acquired in New Amsterdam. Christaen Barentzen was admitted, April 17, 1657, to the Small Burgher right of New Amsterdam. He bought a plot of ground, February 17, 1654, on the west side of Broadway, opposite Wall street. Christiaen sold the premises, or a part thereof, Nov. 17, 1657, to Cornelis Pluvier, for 1616 guilders 13 stivers in cash, and a mortgage for 1233 guilders 7 stivers, or about $1,140.

In 1658 he, with others, were building a mill near the present Wilmington, Delaware. His sales of land, November 17, 1657, and May 30, 1658, were probably with a view to settling permanently on the Delaware, whither he appears to have removed in the latter year, and presently we find him engaged in building a mill in the City of Amsterdam's unhappy Colony of Nieuw Amstel. Before he could complete the work he was seized with the fatal malady which swept through the settlement that summer, and from which he died July 26, 1658.

Jacob Alrichs, Vice Director of the Colony, sent word of the death to the Orphan Masters at New Amsterdam, with an inventory of the estate, and the request that his widow might be assisted. A petition presented by her to the Director-General and Council in relation to the estate of her deceased husband was by them referred to the Orphan Masters, the order bearing date the day of her second marriage.

On 12 Dec. 1658 in New Amsterdam, Jannetje married Laurens Andriessen Van Buskirk. For the next year or more, Laurens and Jannetje attempted to secure a final settlement of Christian Barentsen's South River estate without full success. Soon the Van Buskirks, and her Van Horn sons, moved Ito New Jersey where in 1662 Laurens purchased land on Bergen Neck, south of the present Jersey City.


September 23, 2016

You Never Know What Lies Buried Under a Broken Toilet in Italy

An Italian man's work on a broken toilet led to an amazing historical find.

Digging a trench he found a subterranean world tracing back before the birth of Jesus: a Messapian tomb, a Roman granary, a Franciscan chapel and even etchings from the Knights Templar.

See the New York Times storie Centuries of Italian History Are Unearthed in Quest to Fix Toilet

September 21, 2016

WikiTree Announces Source-a-Thon



Genealogy community donates $3,000+ in prizes to support sourced genealogy

September 7, 2016: WikiTree will be kicking off Family History Month with a three-day sourcing marathon, October 1-3, 2016. Individuals and organizations from around the genealogy community are coming together to support this event by donating door prizes for participants. Over $3,000 in genealogy prizes have already been pledged.

Citing sources is required on WikiTree’s collaborative, free family tree, but inexperienced genealogists don't always record them. As Mags Gaulden, a WikiTree leader, states, “In a perfect world all genealogies would be well-sourced, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. We have all run across online genealogies that are just repeats, copy-and-pastes, of what someone else had thrown up based on what aunt Mabel told them back in the 70s.”

Second-hand family information deserves to be preserved and shared, but it needs to be verified. Generous genealogists in the WikiTree community help each other every day by confirming the information in unsourced profiles and adding citations. 200,000 profiles on WikiTree's 12-million person tree are currently identified as needing independent verification. The Source-a-Thon is a major community event to slash that number, draw attention to the importance of sources, and to have fun doing it.

Live chats will be hosted every few hours during the three-day event for participants to cheer each other on. During the chats, random winners will be drawn for valuable prizes including full memberships at MyHeritage, FindMyPast, Ancestry, Fold3, Newspapers.com, and GenealogyBank, DNA tests from Family Tree DNA, conference passes for RootsTech, software, books, gift certificates, t-shirts, research assistance, and much more.

To be eligible for door prizes, participants must register in advance and get a “race number.” See http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Source-a-Thon

Prize donations will be accepted until race day. Contact eowyn@wikitree.com if you would like to support the Source-a-Thon with a donation for participants.

WikiTree: The Free Family Tree has been growing since 2008. Community members privately collaborate with close family members on modern family history and publicly collaborate with other genealogists on deep ancestry. Since all the private and public profiles are connected on the same system this process is helping to grow a single, worldwide family tree that will eventually connect us all and thereby make it free and easy for anyone to discover their roots. See http://www.WikiTree.com.

September 20, 2016

170 Years Without a Museum - Until Now!

Barrie Ontario (Canada) is 170 years old and it has never had a museum. Until now. Tomorrow, September 21, 2016 marks the launch of an online museum by the Barrie Historical Archive (BHA)

Help celebrate the launch of Barrie’s online museum with the Mayors’ Seat Reception on Wednesday Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m. at the City Hall Rotunda.

This one-night only reception will give you the opportunity to rub shoulders with Barrie’s former city mayors and explore some other historical exhibits including the screening of 75 year-old ultra-rare footage from Barrie’s past. Tickets are free but you need to get on the guest list to attend. To register for the reception go to barriearchive.ca/mayorsseat.

September 19, 2016

Ohio Mystery of the Wandering Tombstone

I love stories like this! What a great mystery in Ohio.

A Copley Township landowner recently discovered a 19th century headstone buried in underbrush on land that has belonged to his family for at least 60 years. The marble slab is for Akron businessman William D. Stevens (1819-1886).

The mystery is that Mr. Stevens is buried in a family plot at Glendale in Akron Ohio, and this is confirmed by cemetery records. So how and why did his tombstone end up on a stranger's land? And....is Mr. Steven's body there too?

Continue reading at Local history: Unearthed Copley headstone is mystery beyond grave

Image: Screenshot from Akron Beacon Journal website 

September 18, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 43V

This 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.
43V Chez Moi. [Home] Summer 1915
 
The 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 her permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right­hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left­hand side page.

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"

September 17, 2016

Our Immigrant Ancestors: Nicholas Bieri, Mennonite to Pennsylvania

There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada)

My 7th great-grandfather Nicholas Bieri, presumed to be a Mennonite, was born circa 1687 in Berne Switzerland and probably fled to the Palatinate Germany with his parents before 1711. In 1727 he set sail on the ship Friendship from Rotterdam to the Netherlands. The Friendship carried 150 Swiss Mennonite families on its journey.

From the Netherlands this ship sailed to Cowes, Isle of Wight, England. On 20 June 1727 the ship left Cowes and set out across the Atlantic Ocean. The Friendship arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 16 Oct. 1727 after a grueling 4 month journey. Only 46 Palatine families arrived safely.

By the winter of 1727 Nicholas was at the Pequea Creek Settlement in Conestoga (now Lancaster Co.) Chester Co. Pennsylvania. He was part of the second largest group of Swiss Mennonites to settle there; the original group having gone in 1710. In 1728 he crossed the Susquehanna River in Springettsbury Manor, travelling with his family by covered wagon (conestogas) and settling on the north shore of Codorus Creek, one mile south of present day York, Manchester Tp. York Co. Pennsylvania. In 1729 Springettsbury Manor was included with Lancaster Co. when it was organized and separated from Chester Co.

Some of the Maryland settlers had been encroaching on the territory and in 1733 Samuel Blunston was commissioned by the Pennsylvania proprietors to issue temporary licences to citizens of Pennsylvania for land in Springettsbury Manor. Patents were to be granted on final purchase by the proprietors from the natives. In 1733 Nicholas obtained a Blunston licence for land in Springettsbury Manor. He was one of over 50 German-speaking settlers to do so. On 20 Oct. 1736 the Blunston licence was confirmed by Thomas Penn and a patent granted for 200 acres on Codorus Creek.

However Nicholas plantation along with others in the Springettsbury Manor, had become involved in the boundary dispute between PA and Maryland. The settlers agreed to allow Maryland to survey their land but found themselves deceived and discriminated against by Maryland authorities, so on 13 Aug. 1736 he and 55 other settlers at Springettsbury Manor petitioned to be re-instated as citizens of Pennsylania and not of Maryland. The settlers stated they had erred in allowing Maryland to assume their lots, and the Council in Philadelphia promptly declared them under the protection of Pennsylvania.

Nicholas and his neighbours (including the famous Michael Donner of the future ill-fated Donner Party) had written previously to the Governor of Maryland informing him of their intentions to acknowledge the jurisdiciton of Pennsylvania. Their actions were regarded as a revolt by Germans and on 21 Oct. 1736 the 56 signers were ordered arrested for sedition. 300 men from Maryland attacked the settlers - their property was stolen, homes were burned, crops were destroyed, and men and their sons were marched 100 miles on foot to prison.

Nicholas himself was arrested in 1737 on a writ issued from the Supreme Court of Maryland for refusing to hold his land under Lord Baltmore, and sent to Annapolis jail. He gave bail for release but was allowed to keep his land until the dispute was settled between PA and Maryland.

On 2 May 1737 172 acres of Nicholas' land was surveyed to Captain Charles Higginbotham of Maryland, and on May 5 the land was granted to Captain Higginbotham by Lord Baltimore. In 1748 Nicholas was taken to court in Philadelphia for refusing to give Higginbotham the land.

In 1761 he died in Manchester Tp. York Co. Pennsylvania. His wife, Barbara Ann Miller married Jacob Kagy about 5 or 6 years later.

September 16, 2016

Van Alstyne Genealogy Group

Jan Martense de Wever [the weaver] was the immigrant ancestor of the VAN ALSTYNE family in America. He and his wife, Dircken Hermanse Boertgen and at least two children came to New York area from Drenthe Province, Netherlands prior to 1655.

The surname VAN ALSTYNE does not appear until 1689 in Albany church records. Prior to that date, Jan used the patronymic Martensen, meaning son of Marten. He was also called "de Wever" meaning the weaver.

The surname has been found as Van Alstyn, Van Valsteyn, Van Aalstein, Van Aelstein and VAn Alstyne. Herman Jansen continued the name without the Van, and in some cases it became Alston.

If you are a descendant of Jan Martense and his wife Dirckien Hermanse Boertgen, this group is for you.

See more about the family at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/nn/surnames/vanalst.shtml

Join the group page at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1762726030678715/

September 15, 2016

Update Soldiers of the First World War Online Database

As of September 15, 2016, 333,687 of 640,000 files are available online in the Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. Please visit Digitization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Service Files for more details on the digitization project.

Library and Archives Canada is digitizing the service files systematically, from box 1 to box 10,686, which roughly corresponds to alphabetical order. Please note that over the years, the contents of some boxes have been moved. You might find that the file you want (with a surname that should have been digitized) is now located in another box that has not yet been digitized. So far, they have digitized the following files:

    Latest box digitized: Box 5608 and Levesque.

September 14, 2016

Welcome to New York City, 1609

Welcome to New York City, 1609 is a fascinating look at 17th Century New Netherland (New York)
"Have you ever wondered what New York was like before it was a city? Find out here, by navigating through the map of the city in 1609. You can find your block, explore the native landscape of today’s famous landmarks, research the flora and fauna block by block, and help our team continue to rediscover 1609."
To take a virtual walk around the city, the Welikia Project  encompasses all of New York City, including the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, and surrounding waters.

September 13, 2016

Gold Award 2016 Rockstar Genealogists

Kudos to the genealogists who placed first and won Gold in the 2016 Rockstar Genealogist contest. I'm especially pleased to see my friend Gail Dever take gold in the Canada category. Read Gail's reaction to her win at 2016 Rockstar Genealogist gold award winners… stunning

The list of Gold Winners is found here

The list of Silver and Bronze Winners is found here

Congratulations to everyone! 

September 12, 2016

Olive Tree Genealogy Wins Silver in Rockstar Genealogists 2016

Olive Tree Genealogy is very honoured to be awarded the 2016 Silver Rockstar Genealogist title in the Canada category! Gold medal winners will be announced tonight followed by extended lists by "nationality" of the genealogists.

The criteria for Rockstar Genealogist was given as "Rockstar genealogists are those who give "must attend" presentations at family history conferences or as webinars, who when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. 

If you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter they are likely Rockstar candidates."

Thank you to all who voted for me, and congratulations to all other winners!

See the full list of Rockstar Genealogists 2016: Silver & Bronze Awards in categories at Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections.

September 11, 2016

Bronze Age Woman Ava Comes to Life

A young woman who died over 2,700 years ago has come to life with a facial reconstruction of her skull. Her skull and teeth were found at Achavanich in Caithness in 1987.

Reconstructing the face of an individual from Britain so many years ago is a fascinating task. 

Continue reading the fascinating story Facial reconstruction made of Bronze Age woman 'Ava'

You might also enjoy the BBC article Effort to unlock secrets of 3,700-year-old woman 'Ava' 
 
Image credit: Screenshot from BBC News

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 32 V

This 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.
Rock Drawings

The 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 her permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right­hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left­hand side page.

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"

September 10, 2016

Our Immigrant Ancestors - Adriaen Crijnen Post of New Netherland & New Jersey

There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada)

Recife Brazil Early Settlement
My 9th great-grandfather, Adriaen Crijnen Post was most likely from The Hague, Netherlands. He and his wife Claartje Moockers, resided in Brazil in the West India Company's colony.

From 1630 to 1654 (24 years!) Recife, a Northeastern city in the Atlantic coast of Brazil, was held by the WIC (West India Company). Adriaen's daughter Maria (my 8th great-grandmother) was baptised in Recife Brazil in June 1649. By the time Brazil fell to the Portuguese in 1654, the family had left for the Netherlands. On 30 June 1650 the ship "New Netherland's Fortune" sailed, arriving in New Netherland on 19 December 1650 and it likely that Adriaen and his family were on this ship.

Adriaen and his family were on Staten Island by 1655. Adriaen was a representative of Baron Hendrick van der Capellen, the owner of one-third of Staten Island. As the superintendent of a group of twenty people who were to farm Staten Island, Adriaen set up a colony which flourished.

In the summer of 1655 the Peach Tree War began over Hendrick Van Dyke's shooting of a Native woman stealing peaches from his trees in his orchard in Manhatten. As a result, the settlements on the lower Hudson River and around New York were destroyed by Iroquois attackers. On 15 Sept. 1655, the colony on Staten Island was burned to the ground by the Natives from Hackensack. Twenty-three people were killed and sixty-seven taken prisoner, among them Adrien, his wife, five children, and two servants.

In Oct. 1655, Adriaen was released by the Hackensack chief Penneckeck to bargain with Petrus Stuyvessant for the release of prisoners. Adriaen made the journey between Manhattan and the Native headquarters at Paulus Hook, New Jersey several times before an agreement was reached. Fifty-six captives were released in exchange for powder, lead, guns, blankets and wampum. Among those freed were Adrian's wife and children.

Returning to Staten Island Adrian was ordered by Van der Capellan to gather survivors and erect a fort. Trying to keep the group fed, he found a few cattle that the Natives had overlooked roaming in the woods  That winter Adrian and his family camped in the company of some soldiers  in the burnt-out settlement.  They butchered some of the cattle they had found and obtained milk from others. Stuyvessant recommended to Post that he and "his people" and cattle move to the stockade on Long Island but Adrian stayed.

By Spring of 1656 Adrian was ill and unable to perform his duties, so Clara Moockers Post requested that someone else be appointed as van der Capellen's agent. In April of 1656 Clara petitioned Stuyvessant asking that the soldiers be allowed to stay, but Stuyvessant decided that since there were only 6 or 7 people on the island, a garrison was not required and they should all move to Long Island.

Adrian regained his health and between 1657 and 1663 he had three children baptized at the Reformed Church. He was in the New Amsterdam courts often, suing on behalf of his employer. He eventually left Staten Island and settled on the mainland of present-day Bergen, New Jersey.


September 9, 2016

NEW PODCAST SERIES IT’S ABOUT TIME

SIR TONY ROBINSON TELLS STORIES FROM THE PAST IN NEW PODCAST SERIES IT’S ABOUT TIME

New history podcast from Ancestry launches with three compelling episodes

•    Sir Tony Robinson brings stories from the past to life in the present
•    Tales include a sordid murder in Victorian England, immigration to America through a Charlie Chaplin classic and the split of famous suffragette sisters the Pankhursts
•    Podcast brought to you by Ancestry, available on iTunes and Stitcher now

New podcast series It’s About Time has launched online (Wednesday 7th September), featuring narrator Sir Tony Robinson bringing stories from the past to life in the present.

It’s About Time is produced by Ancestry , the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, and the first three episodes are available to listen to and download for free through iTunes and other podcast platforms.

The series, which will see further episodes released over the coming weeks, sees Sir Tony as the chief storyteller, stepping back in time to bring a variety of yarns to life.

Listeners can learn more about the podcast at the It’s About Time webpage: www.ancestry.co.uk/its-about-time

In the first episode, Sir Tony tells the tale of the murder of 17-year-old Mary Ann Mason in Victorian Dudley – right at the heart of industrial Britain in the 1850s. Mary Ann was shot to death in a pub, and her killer was hanged for his crime, but the story behind the murder makes it all the more incredible.

The second episode of the series takes its inspiration from iconic Charlie Chaplin film The Immigrant. Sir Tony uses the comedy and satire of the film to bring to life the real hardships of immigrants to America in the early 1900s, when Chaplin himself made the trip to chase his American dream.

The Pankhurst sisters are the focus of the third episode, specifically the story of how a family so closely linked with the suffragette movement could end up so far apart.

Further episodes to be released in the coming weeks of the debut season of It’s About Time feature the Jedi-like adventures of actor Mark Hamill’s ancestors, and an exploration of the genetic history of humankind today as Sir Tony explores the context of his own DNA test results. 

Sir Tony Robinson said: “I absolutely loved telling these stories on It’s About Time. This isn’t just reading from a history book, rather we’re bringing stories from the past to life in the present for a modern audience. I hope that everyone who listens enjoys them as much as I enjoyed making them.”

Ancestry’s UK and Ireland Country Manager Sue Moncur commented: “Millions of us listen to podcasts every week and we felt that this was an amazing opportunity to do some really creative and engaging storytelling around some less well known tales from history. It’s something we’ve wanted to do with Sir Tony for quite a while so we hope people listen, subscribe and enjoy It’s About Time as much as we do.”

To find out more about It’s About Time, search for it now on iTunes or Stitcher, or visit It’s About Time’s website at www.ancestry.co.uk/its-about-time

September 7, 2016

Preserve the Pensions Project Fully Funded!

Thanks to Judy Russell for posting about this news on Facebook.

The Preserve the Pensions project has been fully funded! An anonymous donor of $500,000, the match by Ancestry, and the donations of FGS2016 attendees have managed to fully fund the project. The War of 1812 pension files will be digitized and put online for all genealogists and researchers to use at no cost.

Preserve the Pensions Project was begun to preserve and digitize 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension Records with the help of the genealogy community.

I think we all need to give a huge thank you to Ancestry.com as well as those individuals who generously gave donations. Ancestry gets bashed a lot in public forums but look at what they have done!  

In support of this monumental task of digitizing 7.2 million pages, Ancestry.com has provided a dollar for dollar matching grant, so every dollar contributed will make four more pages accessible and free for everyone.

This is great news for genealogists who need access to those War of 1812 Pension Records! 


September 5, 2016

VOTE For Your Fav Rockstar Genealogist

The 2016 edition, the 5th year, of Rockstar Genealogist is open for voting.

Rockstar genealogists are those who give "must attend" presentations at family history conferences or as webinars, who when you see a new family history article or publication by that person, makes it a must buy. 

If you hang on their every word on a blog, podcast or newsgroup, or follow avidly on Facebook or Twitter they are likely Rockstar candidates.

The list of nominees is available at the link above. If you want to vote for ME (and I hope you do!) my name is WAAAAAY down the list under "S" Look for Lorine McGinnis Schulze .

The genealogist you choose to vote for does NOT have to be a speaker! They can be a popular blogger. (Like me? hint hint)

September 4, 2016

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album: 44V 2-2


This 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.

The 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 her permission.

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right­hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left­hand side page.

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"

September 3, 2016

Meme: Immigrant Ancestor Jonas Larroway, a Loyalist

1797 Certification of Jonas Larroway's Service in Butler's Rangers
There is a lot of discussion about immigration in America right now. Tempers have flared, and different groups hold various strong opinions. There is also Brexit, where immigration was a large focus of the recent vote which resulted in the U.K. leaving the E.U.

I've been following this for several months and it occurs to me that those of us in Canada, America, and Australia have immigrant ancestors. Have you researched yours? Do you know who they were, why they came to your country and when? Do you know how they fared once settled in their new land? Were they welcomed? Were they shunned? Was their discrimination based on their religion or ethnic origin? These are all questions that are important, and interesting to discover. With that in mind, I'm the dedicating Saturdays (as many as needed) as the day to join me in discussing your immigrant ancestors.

You will be able to read any you are interested in by using the keyword Immigrant Ancestors. I'm going to share each week what I know of my immigrant ancestors to North America (whether that is USA or Canada)

Jonas Larroway, United Empire Loyalist, born 1731 Schoharie Co. New York, was descended from the LeRoy dit Audy family who settled in New France (now Quebec) from France in 1668. His great-grandfather, Simeon LeRoy dit Audy was born in Creances Normandy. Simeon settled first in Quebec, Canada in October 1668 where he married a Filles du Roi named Claude (Blandina) Deschalets, an orphan who was sent to New France with her two sisters to be married to a suitable French settler.

The LeRoy surname underwent great changes, becoming LeRoy dit Audy or Ody in New France, and Laraway or LeRoy in the United States. Jonas was my 5th great-grandfather and he married in 1754 in Schoharie New York, Elizabeth (Betsy) Muller, daughter of Johannes Nicholas Muller and Maria Dorothea Wuest, a Palatine line.

Jonas fought in Butler's Rangers during the American Revolution and settled at Niagara, Ontario in 1783.

Jonas, along with other Loyalists, suffered greatly for what he believed in. He had to flee his home in New York to remain loyal to the King of England. 

September 2, 2016

Barnardo's Homes Photo Archives Opened

Thomas Barnardo started giving orphaned and destitute children a home in the UK in 1866. His homes, known as Barnardo's Homes, spread across the UK in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

Between 1869 and 1920 over 100,000 children from Barnardo's were sent to Canada in the belief they would have a better life in that new country. After arriving in Canada they were sent to receiving homes then to farmers who had expressed a wish to take one. Some suffered abuse and were treated as nothing more than free labour but others found loving homes.
 
Now Barnardo's Homes has released many of the photos in their archives. Read more about the opening of the photo archives at Barnardo's archive photos reveal first foster children

Dating back to 1874, the archive contains 500,000 images and 300 films of the visual history of the organisation, including their work overseas in Canada and Australia.

Information about access to the photo archives can be found at Barnardo's Photo Archives

Photo on left is Albert Finch (1890-1976) is my husband's great-grand-uncle. The photo was taken while he was in Barnardo's Homes.

Albert was admitted to Barnardos Homes as an orphan on 16 February 1899 age 8 years. He spent one night at the Receiving H0use in Stepney East London and in February 1899 he was transferred to Sheppard House in Bow, East London. In May 1899 Albert was boarded out with foster parents in Romsey Hampshire where he remained for two years before returning to East London to Leopold House in March 1901. On 21 March 1901 he was sent to Canada on the SS Tunisian.