January 20, 2017

Finding Answers to Old Family Mysteries

"Growing up, Lisa Smith shared a room with her grandmother Maurine Chaney Everette in the family’s home in California. Her grandmother, Smith said, was like a mother to her. She was there to cook and bandage scraped knees. But there were things she rarely talked about — her scar, details of her childhood spent in an orphanage in Oklahoma. When Maurine died in 1992, she took much of her past with her."
All Lisa knew of her grandmother's past was that Maurine grew up in an orphanage in Oklahoma, she'd been involved in a train accident, and she had a brother. Searching online quickly provided Lisa with clues and then to connections with new-found cousins.

From there she was able to find a newspaper story of the 1918 train accident in which Maurine's father, mother and baby sister were killed. Read the full story In search for lost relatives, Nebraska woman uncovers truth about long-ago tragedy in the Omaha World Herald

January 18, 2017

Irish and Great Famine Documentary on YouTube

Screenshot from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuKPBaUCq2E
Thanks to Gail Dever I learned about a new Documentary about the Irish and Great Famine on YouTube.

This  new documentary tells the story of the Irish who fled poverty and the Great Famine of 1847 and traveled to Canada. This was such a tragic time for Ireland. My own McGinnis ancestors fled Ireland to escape starvation when the potato crop failed, and arrived in Canada in the summer of 1846.

Gail has written a very complete blog post about this so please read her article using the link above.

January 16, 2017

Roman Coins Found in Japanese Castle

 Since 2013, a team of archeologists has been excavating Katsuren castle in Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture. Recently ten Roman coins were found at the site.

According to the scientists an Ottoman coin had inscriptions that dated it to 1687, while the Roman coins appeared to be much older -- from at least 300 to 400 AD.

The finding of these coins confirms speculation that the area of Okinawa had trade relations with the rest of Asia. Archeology is similar to genealogy in that even a tiny find can lead to huge revelations and provide more clues for future research.

Continue reading this archaeological story at Ancient Roman coins found in ruined Japanese castle

January 15, 2017

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album: Loose Photo

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.

WW1 Loose photo Snap taken outside the hut 1916
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 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 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"

January 13, 2017

Friggatriskaidekaphobics Beware!

Friday the 13th. Bad luck. Black cats walking in front of you. Touch wood if you say something and don't want it to come true. Bad luck comes in threes. Step on a crack, break your mother's back.... these are some of the many superstitions that have passed down through the ages.

But where do they come from? Did our ancestors touch wood as way of protecting themselves from bad things happening? Superstitions often arise because we humans need a way to explain things that don't seem to have an explanation.

 Superstitions continue even in our enlightened age for one simple reason - they are passed on from generation to generation!  Most of us have one or even two superstitions which we may try to keep hidden. Here are a few of our more common superstitions and how they formed.

Don't walk under a ladder. One theory holds that this superstition arises from a Christian belief in the Holy Trinity: Since a ladder leaning against a wall forms a triangle, "breaking" that triangle was blasphemous.

Black cats walking in front of you. This fear (superstition) may have arisen from fear of witches and witches familiars, most often thought to be black cats.

Knock on Wood (Touch wood). This is a very common superstition, believed to ward off evil or bad luck. This may have come from ancient belief in trees having spirits. A good spirit in the wood could protect you from evil. I know my grandmother carried this tradition of wood touching on and I confess so do I!

Friday the 13th. Friggatriskaidekaphobics fear Friday the 13th. The fear of Friday the 13th dates back to the late 1800s. Friday has been unlucky day and 13 has a long history as an unlucky number. Combine the two and it's a double whammy!

So to all you Friggatriskaidekaphobics out there, take cover! Today is your worst day.


January 11, 2017

U.K. War Office Records Available Online

Five volumes of War Office, Class 42 (WO 42) have been digitized and are now free to view on the The National Archives UK website. WO 42 covers half pay and widow's pensions in the 19th Century for Provincial and other Loyalist and Canadian officers. 

It is chock full of genealogical information such as marriage certificates and references to widows. There are several online sections, organized in alphabetical order. (see image on left)

The images are freely available. 

LOYAL AMERICAN AND CANADIAN CORPS is a subset within WO 42 - War Office: Officers' Birth Certificates, Wills and Personal Papers 

Also see UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960

January 9, 2017

Unlock the Past Cruise 2017 Papua New Guinea

Ready for a sea trip? Join the Unlock The Past Cruise 2017 Papua New Guinea



Date: 28 July–7 August 2017
Duration: 10 nights
Ship: Pacific Aria
Price:
  • conference AU$450 (non-genealogy companion sharing a cabin ($250)
  • cruise – at the rate of the day – click here for current guide to rates

An exciting new cruise featuring:
  • a completely different kind of itinerary – to Papua and New Guinea and and its islands, one of the emerging and exciting new cruise destinations.
  • a 10 night cruise providing a balanced schedule:
    • 4 days at sea – lots of time for our usual wide ranging conference
    • 5 days in ports and/or around islands – great sightseeing and fascinating shore excursions
  • some of the  best conference facilities of any ship we have seen – we will have two of the Pacific Aria‘s three conference rooms available for our exclusive use for the entire cruise
  • a conference program headed by Dr Tom Lewis, one of Australia’s foremost Pacific war historians and authors, supported by other recognised experts. The program will have around 40 talks, mostly in a single stream
  • a special WWII Pacific War stream. 2017 will be the 75th anniversary of the Pacific war coming to both Australia and New Guinea. 1942 was the year:
    • the Japanese attacked the Australian mainland (including Darwin and Broome by air and Sydney by submarines).
    • the Japanese attacked New Guinea including Rabaul and Milne Bay (places visited by this cruise) and the Kokoda Trail.
    • of Battle of the Coral Sea, the first time the Japanese were checked in their relentless southward advance.

January 8, 2017

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Photo Album 37 R

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.

WW1 37R Le Trepont Receiving Convoy from front
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 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 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"