October 5, 2015

Hundreds of Irish Famine Graves Discovered in Massachusetts

Hundreds of Irish Famine Graves Discovered in Massachusetts
"In an apparently empty field, covered by grass and just a few inches of soil that had accumulated over the years, lie approximately 600-900 gravestones marking the second resting place of bodies previously disinterred from the Irish Catholic Cemetery in Waltham, Massachusetts."

This is a very inspiring story from Irish Central: Rhode Island woman's quest uncovers hundreds of Irish Famine graves

I won't spoil the story by telling you what happened and how Annie McMullen made this amazing discovery. Please take a few minutes of your day to read what can be accomplished with dedication and perseverance. 

October 4, 2015

Nursing Sister WW1 Photo Album 40R Nurse

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.

Nursing Sister WW1 Photo Album  40R Nurse

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"

October 3, 2015

Who Was Buried in the Grave and Where Did the Body Go?

This is a mystery story. I am hoping my wonderful readers will have some ideas for solving this bewildering mystery.


My daughter-in-law was going through her deceased grandmother's papers recently and came across the photo you see on the left.

Robert Leslie was her grandfather, and this is his grave. Robert Leslie is buried in Pine Hill Cemetery in Scarborough Ontario. However the family had no clue who was buried with him! They did not know of any Christine Leslie and Robert's wife Bernice (my daughter-in-law's grandmother) just died this year (2015). 

The plot in the cemetery had been purchased for two - Robert and Bernice. The stone had space to the right of Robert's marker which was intended for Bernice's name. 


Robert's daughter does not know why a marker with the name Christine and the dates 1922-1999 were on her father's grave. As far as the family knew, Robert had no sisters. So my daughter-in-law asked me to investigate.

Due to Canadian privacy laws the last publicly available census for Ontario is 1921 so I could not look for Robert and his family to verify there was no sister Christine. Birth records are also not available for the time period I needed. So I contacted the cemetery. 

They informed me that the only person buried in the grave was Robert Leslie and there was only one marker on the stone. They also noted that the right side of the stone was left empty and a notation on the records stated  a marker with Bernice's name on it was to be added on her death.

I sent the cemetery the photo we have and asked if someone could actually go to the grave and verify that there was only one marker on it. They very kindly agreed to do so.

The photo above is the photo they sent me on October 1st this year. As you can see it is the same stone but it only has one marker - for Robert Leslie. The marker for Christine is gone.

I asked the cemetery if they would check their records for a Christine Leslie born 1922 and died in 1999 buried elsewhere in the Cemetery. A search was made with zero results. There was no one named Christine Leslie buried in their Cemetery and they had even searched their records by first name (Christine) and surname Leslie to see if anyone was buried there in 1999. The search came up empty. No Christines and no Leslies were buried there in that year.

We have enlarged the photos to verify that they have not been altered. The photos are real. At some point in time the photograph of Robert and Christine was taken. We do not know when but we know it was Robert's son who took the photo and gave it to his mother. 


So many questions come to mind: Who was Christine? Why was her marker put on Robert's grave and why was it removed. Who put it on and who removed it? Was she ever buried in Robert's grave or was it just her marker on the stone? 

Did the cemetery make a mistake and put the marker for Christine on the wrong stone and they removed it? But if that was the case the office would have found a burial record for a Christine (surname unknown) buried there in 1999 - and they found no such record!

Did someone sneak into the cemetery at night and bury Christine's ashes in Robert's plot, then place a marker there? If so, who removed it, and why?


My challenge to my reader is: Put on your sleuthing caps and see if you can solve the mystery of Christine! If you have access to the Toronto newspapers for 1999, maybe you can find mention of a Christine dying that year. 

October 2, 2015

Cemetery Walk Through Alpine City Cemetery in Utah

Cemetery Walk Through Alpine City Cemetery in Utah
Join me on a Cemetery Walk through Alpine City Cemetery in Utah. This is the first of five videos walking through this cemetery.

With thanks to Sonja Nishimoto for sending these wonderful photos to OliveT ree Genealogy for publication. I am creating the videos and uploading them to Olive Tree Genealogy YouTube Channel.

October 1, 2015

October 1st is Ask an Archivist Day

October is Ask an Archivist Day
This is such a great idea and a wonderful opportunity for genealogists and historians! 

So if you have a question you want to ask an Archivist just follow any (or all) of these Twitter accounts, wait for 11 a.m and ask your question.


While you're on your Twitter page, why not also connect with me @LorineMS (Olive Tree Genealogy) I'd love to see you there!


September 30, 2015

Microfilm at Your Fingertips!

Microfilm at Your Fingertips!
How many of you remember "the good old days" pre-Internet when we spent hours in libraries and archives scrolling through microfilm in a dark room? I sure do! 

Now, thanks to The Internet Archive, (part of the WayBack Machine) microfilm is coming right to your computer! Here is their description of the focus of this project:

As books become old and begin to fall apart, librarians depend on microform to preserve their content for the future. Tiny photographs on long strips of film (microfilm) or small cards of film (microfiche) are all that remain of hundreds of thousands of documents that have disintegrated over the last century. While microfilm is perfect for storing and protecting this material, it is a does not allow for much access. In following its mission to provide universal access to all human knowledge, the Internet Archive is teaming up with libraries all over the world to begin digitizing microfilm and microfiche. The goal is to get as much content off the shelves and online.
The books in this collection are from a variety of libraries including the University of Chicago Libraries, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Alberta, Allen County Public Library, and the National Technical Information Service.
You may also want to view the newspapers that have been digitized from microfiche.

So don't wait, click over to https://archive.org/details/microfilm and let your fingers do the walking!

September 29, 2015

1912 Postcard Medina New York

I am lucky enough to have rescued some early 1900s postcards from a flea market. I will be posting them here and on my Olive Tree Genealogy site for all to view. Perhaps you will find an ancestor or two!

Miss Cora E. Dunn, Medina New York. to "Dear Friend" from "Bertha Brown. 1912