Category: Tips

4 stories of hidden treasures you can still look for today.

4 stories of hidden treasures you can still look for today.

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There’s reason to believe you could find a major treasure horde.  After all, there are quite a few still out there just waiting to be unearthed!  Here are just 4 stories of hidden treasures you can still look for today as long as you have a metal detector.

For most metal detectorists, the thrill of the hunt is the driving force behind their metal detecting.   You never know when that signal goes off what you’ll unearth. 

stories of hidden treasures
4 stories of hidden treasures and hordes you can still look for today.

The Treasure of Little Bighorn

During the Battle of Little Bighorn in June 1876 in eastern Montana, a steamboat called the Far West was leased by the government and sent up the Bighorn river to resupply General Custer and his men.

It is said that while Captain Grant Marsh had anchored the ship at the confluence of the Bighorn and Little Bighorn rivers to wait for soldiers to come and unload the supplies, two freighters from Bismark, North Dakota stopped and asked him for help.  They requested that the Far West take on the $800,000 in gold they were carrying because they had just narrowly averted capture by Native Americans several times and were worried if they didn’t hide the gold somewhere it would be stolen.  Although the Captain didn’t want to take on the gold, he did.  Then, he continued to wait for Custer’s soldiers to come and unload the supplies.

As he waited, captain Marsh became nervous about having so much gold on board so he headed upriver to a safer anchorage.  He then took the gold ashore and buried it.

He then returned to the confluence of the two rivers to see if he’d be able to rendezvous with the soldiers.  Unfortunately, instead he received word of Custer’s defeat and was asked to transport the wounded to safety.  With this, the gold was forgotten until the Captain contacted the freighting company several years later.  He even led them to the place he had remembered burying the gold but, the landscape had changed during the time he’d been away and, that $800,000 in gold hasn’t ever been recovered.

Yamashita’s Gold

During WWII Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita and his men stole a great deal of gold and other riches from the countries they invaded.

It is also said that even top officials including the Emperor himself participated in looting during the war.

As the story goes, all of the treasure these high ranking Japanese officials found was stored in Singapore, then relocated to some caves in the Philippines.  The goal was to then transport the treasure from the Philippines to Japan after the war was over, but that was never accomplished.

Some of the treasure is said to have stayed in the Philippines while other portions of it were lost at sea when the merchant ships it was being smuggled in were sunk by Allied forces.  Although many scholars say Yamashita’s treasure is a myth, others believe and they’ve been on the hunt ever since.

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure

Forrest Fenn is a writer and art collector in his late 80’s who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Back in the 1980’s Fenn was diagnosed with cancer.  He was lucky though, and he beat it.

When he recovered, he was inspired to hide somewhere between $3 – 5 million of his personal treasures including gold, jewels, and priceless artifacts somewhere “north of Santa Fe” and “above 5,000 ft”.

He then wrote his memoir “The Thrill of the Chase” and in it included a poem he wrote that will lead readers to his buried treasure – if they can decode it.

Since then he’s also published another book titled “Too Far to Walk” that includes a map of the area where the treasure is hidden but doesn’t give away the exact location.

So far, no one has found it, but maybe you can be the lucky treasure hunter.

Civil War Treasure in Virginia

Stories of treasures buried during the Civil War abound.  One of the more plausible involves a Confederate Commander named John Singleton Mosby.

In the spring of 1863 Commander Mosby had just finished raiding a Union camp and had over 40 prisoners, one of whom was a Union officer.

The officer had a bag that he had been using to store priceless family heirlooms and artifacts, along with some gold and silver pieces he’d stolen from Virginia families.

Commander Mosby took this bag, estimated to be worth over $350,000, and began heading south with the prisoners back toward Confederate territory in Culpeper, Virginia.

Around New Baltimore, Virginia though, a scout spotted a group of Union soldiers.  To avoid them the scout led the group through the woods.

It is at this point that Commander Mosby became nervous about the heirlooms returning to Union hands so, he and Sergeant James Ames buried them between two trees.  He then marked the two trees with an “X” and they rejoined the group which successfully returned to Confederate territory.

After some time, Commander Mosby asked Ames to return to the site with six of his best men to recover the treasure.

While there, the men were all captured and subsequently hung.

Mosby never returned to claim the treasure though he did speak about it to friends and family on his death bed, saying he wished he could have recovered the treasure so he could return the heirlooms to the families they belonged to.

As you can see with these four stories alone, there’s enough treasure out there for everyone!  

So, grab a professional deep seeking metal detector and head out treasure hunting.

As always, be sure to check the local and national laws before you get started. When metal detecting on private property always obtain written permission from the land owner. You never know what you might dig up – maybe you’ll even find one of these treasures!

____________________

About the author

Michael Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written extensively on the subject of metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He has traveled world-wide in his pursuit of educating, exploring and advising others in the proper use of metal detectors. Outside of the business he enjoys mentoring students, being involved in the community and spending time with his family.

photo credit: dad1_ via photopin cc


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Genealogy obsession in Iceland opens academic doors.

Genealogy obsession in Iceland opens academic doors.

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As I’ve written in previous posts, much of human history has involved the management of relationships, marriages, etc. to safeguard against incestuous relationships, and has resulted in an impressive genealogy obsession in Iceland.
Genealogy obsession in Iceland
Genealogy obsession in Iceland opens academic doors.

Iceland, with its population of only 320,000, is one small corner of the globe that still deals with the issues of living in the shallow end of the gene pool, manifesting in today’s Icelanders’ preoccupation with genealogy and family history.

In one instance, a group of students from the University of Iceland engineering department created a smart phone app, allowing users to simply bump phones to see if they have a common ancestor, as well as if there’s a relationship and just how close it is.

Prior to the smart phone app, the “Book of Icelanders” (Islendingabok), has been the receptacle of genealogy records. Kári Stefánsson, an Icelandic neurologist, created a web-based version of the “Book of Icelanders” to provide constant access to its users. Kári Stefánsson and Fridrik Skulason claim to have documented 95% of Icelanders of the past three hundred years.

A benefit of the impressive job Icelanders have done tracing their family genealogies, is the extensive collection of data available for studies and experiments in many  disciplines including science, social studies, health and genetics.

Another example of the benefits of pursuing genealogy was described in my previous post “Owning a home: Military least likely and fire fighters more likely to own”. In this case, a statistical analysis of census data by Ancestry.com provided data to study home ownership trends over the past century.

Although the thoughts of the current and future benefits of genealogical study are pleasant ones, consider the negative – how would such caches of genealogical information have been used during WWII in Germany? The thought is truly frightening.

Previous posts about this topic are:

Icelandic Ancestry: the Icelandic genealogy database is now available online. 

Ingenius incest prevention app created by University of Iceland students.

The Science of husbandry on a human scale.

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc


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Ingenius incest prevention app created by University of Iceland students.

Ingenius incest prevention app created by University of Iceland students.

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I previously wrote an article about my fascination with the ‘science of husbandry on a human scale‘.

My interest in this subject was piqued by my own Acadian ancestry and the Acadians’ practice of ‘managing’ biological relationships through the church in order to safeguard against close relatives marrying and having children. This has been a necessity through the centuries as a result of people living in small communities that were widespread. The modes of transportation were primitive and substantially increased the possibility of relationships and marriages within family lines. The Acadians recognized these relationships as existing within levels of ‘consanguinity’ or ‘closeness of biological relationship’.

The culture that shares the this Acadian practice to the greatest degree is that of Iceland. They have taken their management of these relationships to a different and greater level through consultation with the Íslendingabók database, a national database of ancestral lines and family trees reaching back several centuries, with their incest prevention app.

Students of the University of Iceland in Reykjavík won a contest for apps run by the Íslendingabók database. With their Android incest prevention app called ‘Sifjaspellsspillir’ or ‘Incest Spoiler’, two people with the app just tap their phones and if they share a grandparent, they will receive an alert. The creators are hoping to make it able to alert regarding common great grandparents in the future.


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A Primer on Cemetery Research to Find Ancestors

A Primer on Cemetery Research to Find Ancestors

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Cemetery research absolutely is one of the most valuable tools for genealogy research.
Although I’m pretty much housebound and don’t get out much now, there was a time when I did venture out and do research in places such as cemeteries. As a matter of fact, I previously wrote about one experience at an old Catholic cemetery in Nova Scotia where I and my family spent the better portion of a day checking out the burial sites of our ancestors – and there were bunches of ’em.

By Jillynn Stevens, Ph.D., MSW

Grave Tombstone of Marguerite Melanson.
Cemetery research led to the discovery of Marguerite Melanson’s burial site.

When you’re working on researching distant generations of ancestors, cemetery research is one of the most satisfying, hands on forms of genealogical exploration you can do. It’s one way to connect with a tangible reminder of particular ancestors, which is often an elusive feeling. Finding a tombstone or other sign of the resting place of an ancestor can give you insights into who they were. Is their tombstone humble or grand? Does it contain an inscription that speaks of a simple life, of one that hints at a great love story, or a somber and religious disposition? What dates are inscribed? The information source is rich, yet locating cemeteries and navigating the research process isn’t always straightforward. Here’s how to get started with genealogical cemetery research.

What can I expect to learn from a cemetery?

It’s important to note that cemeteries and grave markers can be excellent sources of information about the deceased. While they are not primary information sources, they can clarify details such as:

An ancestor’s name, including obscure details like maiden names and middle names or even occasionally pet names, but most often:

  • date of birth
  • date of death
  • the names of family members including parents, spouses, and children
  • religion
  • military service
  • fraternal order membership

Cemeteries are a wonderful source of information that can confirm what you’ve learned from earlier research. In other cases, you’ll garner information that you didn’t know. For example, there may be symbolism on a tombstone suggesting that your ancestor was a member of the Masonic Lodge or perhaps they are buried in a Catholic burial ground. Each of these small clues can open up new avenues for research and exploration.


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Transcription: Marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson of Cape Breton – Part I.

Transcription: Marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson of Cape Breton – Part I.

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Transcription: Documents related to the marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson of Cape Breton.

____________________________________________________

The following are transcriptions from photographic images of approximately half of a collection of documents related to the marriage of Elizabeth Sampson and Clifford Carter of Sampsonville, County of Richmond, Nova Scotia, Canada. The second half of the transcriptions and links to the actual document images will be published either tomorrow or the day after.

Fine print in the margins was indecipherable due to image quality.

—————-

Sampsonville CB
May 16th 1916

I consent to the marriage of my son Clifford Carter (who is within twenty one years) to Elizabeth Sampson.

his
Philip  X  Carter
mark

marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson

—————-

Sampsonville CB
May 16th 1916

I consent to the marriage of my daughter Elizabeth Sampson (who is within the age of twenty one years) to Clifford Carter.

Mr. Vinny Sampson
his
X
mark
Witness

Laura Sampson

marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson

—————-

29/

May 20/16

No……………………191

Clifford Carter

AND

Elizabeth Sampson

MARRIAGE LICENSE AFFIDAVIT

Rich

marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson

—————-

(There is indecipherable fine pring text in the left 1″ margin, due to image quality.)

FORM OF AFFIDAVIT

I, Clifford Carter
of Sampsonville in the County of Richmond
labourer make oath and say as follows :

I, and Elizabeth Sampson
of Sampsonville in the County of Richmond
are desirous of entering into the contract of
marriage, and of having our marriage solemnzed at Sampsonville
in the County of Richmond.

I am the age of nineteen and eleven months years, and the said
Elizabeth Sampson, is
under twenty one years.

I am a bachelor and the said Elizabeth
Sampson is a spinster.

Philip Carter & Vin Sampson of Sampsonville in the County of Richmond labourers, both whose consent to such marriage is required, has consented thereto in writing

(Two lines of ‘struck-through’ text that is unreadable.)

I believe that there is no affinity, consanguinity, prior marriage or other lawful causes or legal impedment to bar or hinder the solemnization of our marriage.

Sworn to at St. Peters in the
County of Richmond
this 16th
day of May 1916.

Clifford Carter
Signature of Deposed

Before me,
A. J. MacCuish
Issuer of Marriage License

marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson

Marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson

___________

V 29

Richmond – 1916

Carter, Clifford

Sampson, Elizabeth

—————-

marriage of Clifford Carter and Elizabeth Sampson

Here are more documents related to this marriage.

—————-

The complete original scans of the document clips above can be accessed by clicking the image. To access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, click on the name link above, or search the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar. It is recommended to search using both methods as the results do sometimes differ. All data on this site is available for free access and download.


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View history through time lapse mining from internet archived photos.

View history through time lapse mining from internet archived photos.

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Just imagine what it would be like to see historical changes in our world occur over time.
One site that gives us the ability to view history through time lapse mining from internet archived photos is a reality.

 

Lombard St., San Francisco
Lombard St., San Francisco

Ricardo Martin-Brualla of the University of Washington and David Gallup and Steven M. Seitz of Goggle Inc. have devised a method of mining photos of a particular subject from the numerous free archives online, piecing them together chronologically, setting them around a median, and stabilizing the result, creating a time-lapse video.

The video below shows the results of this process using images spanning several years of oft photographed landmarks such a Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Lombard Street in San Francisco, glaciers in Alaska and Norway, the World Trade Center and major cityscapes.

The process has been tested and improved upon using subjects that are frequently photographed by the general public and saved to free photo storage and sharing sites such as Picasa, Panoriamio and Flickr.

This process they call time-lapse mining takes millions of photos available online, sorting chronologically, and creating a 3D time lapse video of the subject. Once the photos have been overlapped to document the very slow changes over time, the images are stabilized.

According to the researchers:

The scale and ubiquity of our mined time-lapses creates a new paradigm for visualizing global changes. As more photos become available online, mined time lapses will visualize even longer time periods, showing more drastic changes.

 

So far, the researchers have created 10,728 time lapses of 2,942 landmarks, the majority of which are in Europe. The quantity and subject matter of these videos is dictated solely by the availability of images online.

I find this new technology fascinating and can’t wait to see how this progresses.


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Transcription: Obituary for Harold Everett Redetzke; 1935 – 2002

Transcription: Obituary for Harold Everett Redetzke; 1935 – 2002

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Harold Everett Redetzke+ + + + OBITUARY – HAROLD EVERETT REDETZKE + + + +

May 18, 1935 – October 12, 2002

Harold Everett Redetzke, age 67, died on Saturday, October 12, 2002 at his home in rural Sebeka, MN. Harold was born to Elmer and Margaret (Kimball) Redetzke on May 18, 1935 in Butler Township, MN. Harold was united in marriage to Norma Eckert on June 8, 1957 in Sebeka, MN. They lived in Foxhome, MN for several years and then moved beck to Sebeka where Harold tanned until retirement. Harold served on the Red Eye Township Board for a few years and was a member of Our Saviour‘s Lutheran Church. Harold underwent heart transplant surgery on September 27, 1987 at the University of Minnesota Hospital.

Redetzke, Harold Everett; MemorialHarold is survived by his wife Norma Redetzke of Sebeka, MN, to their union were born five children; two daughters, Diane Steinkraus and her husband Ronnie of Sebeka, MN, Debbie Redetzke of Lincoln, Nebraska; three sons, Myron Redetzke and his wife Pam of Sebeka, MN, Marvin Redetzke and his wife Lori of Sebeka, MN, Calvin Redetzke and his wife Joni of Sebeka, MN; seven grandchildren, Lacey Eckman and her husband Justin, Shawn Redetzke, Jeremy Redetzke. Levi Steinkraus, Evette Steinkraus, Reid Redetzke, and Logan Redetzke; five sisters, Delilah Hasbargen of Frazee, MN, LaVern Milbradt of Sebeka, MN, Donna Super and her husband George of Menahga, MN, Joyce Slininger and her husband Bill of St Cloud, MN, Darlene Hought and her husband Konnie of Foxhome, MN; two brothers, Marlyn Redetzke and his wife Joyce of Sebeka, MN, Donald Redetzke and his wife Roseann of Ely, MN; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Gordon, infant sister Mavis and nephew Corey Hought.

[Handwritten: ‘Herbert Redetzke (Bro.)’]

Memorial Services were held on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 1:30 P.M. at Our Saviour‘s Lutheran Church in Sebeka, MN with Reverend Mark Manning officiating. Organist was Hilda Mary Schoon and congregational hymns were “In the Garden,” “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling.” Honorary Pallbearers were Glen Kimball, Randy Redetzke, Daniel Besonen, Ryan Milbradt, Larry Huotari, Benny Olson and Gerald Olson. lnurnment will be at Green Hill Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements by Cardini — Behrens Funeral Homes of Sebeka and Menahga, MN.

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 


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Tombstone: Anna E. Blythe (nee Murray)

Tombstone: Anna E. Blythe (nee Murray)

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Tombstone of Anna E. Blythe
Tombstone of Anna E. Blythe

The following is a transcription of the tombstone of Anna E. Blythe. Anna died August 9, 1925 in Danville, Vermilion, Illinois, USA.

Anna E. Murray

wife of

Charles E. Blythe

1873 – 1925

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.


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Transcription: Marriage Record for Oscar Thomas Blythe and Thirza Estelle McKim

Transcription: Marriage Record for Oscar Thomas Blythe and Thirza Estelle McKim

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Marriage for Oscar Blythe and Thirza McKim

This is my transcription of the marriage record for Oscar Thomas Blythe and Thirza Estelle McKim of August 9, 1930 in Butte Fourche, Butte County, South Dakota.

Marriage for Oscar Blythe and Thirza McKim

Original Form Text is black. Text entered by hand is blue.

_____________________________

South Dakota Department of Health

Division of Public Health Statistics                                                                                                                                            County No. 655

RECORD OF MARRIAGE                                                                                                                                                            State No. 139423

Date of Marriage: Aug      Month: 9      Day: Yr.: 1930

Where Solemnized: Butte Fourche

City, County: Butte

GROOM

Full Name: Oscar Thomas Blythe

Usual Residence: Nisland, Butte

(City, County) Butte

BRIDE

Full Name: Thirza Estelle McKim

Usual Residence: Fruitdale

(City, County) Butte

Age

(last birthday)

24

White X

Other

(state)

Date of Birth:

Age

(last birthday)

19

White X

Other

(state)

Date of Birth:

Place of Birth:

Place of Birth:

Number of times previously married:

Last Marital Status

Widowed Annulment

Divorced Never Married X

Number of times previously married:

Last Marital Status

Widowed Annulment

Divorced Never Married X

SDVS-11

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.


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Icelandic Ancestry: the Icelandic genealogy database is available online.

Icelandic Ancestry: the Icelandic genealogy database is available online.

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Previously, I wrote about the Incest Prevention App called ‘Sifjaspellsspillir’ or ‘Incest Spoiler’. It was created by University of Iceland students for a contest by the Íslendingabók database and its purpose is to alert two people of a possible familial connection when they tap their phones.

Later, in a related story, the “Icelandic Roots: Genealogy, Heritage, & Travel” website announced its release of the Icelandic genealogy database through their site.

The database is available with a monthly or yearly subscription. Access is also available to organizations and researchers by contacting them.

While continuing to add names and other great features, the database also links you to events, dates, occupations, cemetery records and burials, photos and more.

They will assist with your genealogy research by helping you find your family tree, connecting you with family members, and  providing ancestry charts and reports. All this is possible through their popular “Cousins Across the Ocean” project or you can complete their online request form for more information.

If you’re interested in finding out more, there are tips for using the database, and they also explain its history. If you have Icelandic research to do, this site and database are well worth checking out.


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Transcription: Sworn Statement regarding the Birth of Matthew Coon

Transcription: Sworn Statement regarding the Birth of Matthew Coon

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The following is my transcription of the Sworn Statement regarding the birth of Matthew Coon.

State of Wisconsin
County of Waushara

Mrs. Mary Russell & Sarah Bradway being duly sworn upon their oaths say that they reside in said County and state that are acquainted with Isabel A. Coon widow of David Coon of Co A Batt Regt Wis Vols, and was acquainted with the said David in his lifetime.

That they were present at the births of Matthew E. Coon child of the said David and Isabel A. and know that he was born on the 3 day of November 1861 at the town of Bloomfield in said County and State.

They further say that they have no intent in any application in which this may relate.

Mary Russell

Sworn and subscribed before me this 27th day of February 1867 and I certify the affiants to be credible persons and that I have no intent in the claim of said Isabel A. for increase of pension  the word Poysippi erased & Bloomfield enten????? before signing —

James Russell  Justice of the Peace

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 


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Vintage watches and vintage photographs make a wonderful combination.

Vintage watches and vintage photographs make a wonderful combination.

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The old, hackneyed saying of “a picture’s worth a thousand words” couldn’t be more true than with this image I stumbled across on Pinterest this morning of vintage watches repurposed as portrait frame bracelets.

Luckily, that’s all that’s needed in this case as this blog seems to be in Swedish – which I totally don’t understand at all. I could use Google Translate or some other translation service to read the post, but why bother? The picture truly is self-explanatory.

Then I started thinking of other time pieces that could be converted this way, especially if they’re broken.

Here are the possibilities brought to mind:

  • Grandfather clock.

  • Pocket watch.

  • Mantle clock.

  • Watch pendant.

  • Wall clock.

While rummaging through garage sales and thrift stores in the past, I never would have thought to look at old clocks, watches, etc. Seeing this post (oops! I should say image as I couldn’t read the post) has changed that completely – and I’m going to start looking out for such items to use as frames for family photos and vintage images from my family tree research.

Sometimes the best ideas are other people’s ideas!

photo credit: practicalowl via photopin cc


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Transcription: Tombstone of Zotique Cloutier, Rosa Kingsberry, Raymonde Cloutier, Rene Cloutier, Ronald Cloutier, Rollande Labelle

Transcription: Tombstone of Zotique Cloutier, Rosa Kingsberry, Raymonde Cloutier, Rene Cloutier, Ronald Cloutier, Rollande Labelle

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Transcription of the family tombstone of Zotique Cloutier, Rosa Kingsberry, Raymonde Cloutier, Rene Cloutier, Ronald Cloutier, and Rollande Labelle.

 

Cloutier Family Tombstone
Cloutier Family Tombstone

 

CLOUTIER

1891     Zotique Cloutier     1972

epoux de

1902     Rosa Kingsberry     1994

1932     Raymonde Cloutier

1944     Rene Cloutier     1994

1938     Ronald Cloutier

epoux de

1941     Rollande Labelle

___________________

The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.

All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.

 


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Sometimes it pays to look to the present for information about the past.

Sometimes it pays to look to the present for information about the past.

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It’s amazing what information about the past including people and events can be found by searching through online newspapers, magazines, etc. – even if they are in a foreign language.

I’m routinely having to read, translate and understand documents written in their original language such as French, German, Swedish, and so on. My go to method for getting started is accessing ‘Google Translate’. To have a web page translated, just type the complete original language url in the Google search box, press ‘search’, find what you’re looking for in the search results list and click on ‘Translate this page’.

El Economista TranslatedOne such site I’ve recently accessed was ‘El Economista’ a Mexican, Spanish language online newspaper. On this particular day, the headlines were dominated by news of Javier Duarte de Ochoa and his handling of the crisis created by the recent tropical storm. Javier Duarte is the Governor of Veracruz, Mexico.

Above is a clip from the Google translated site mentioned and as you can see the text in the first paragraph is quite understandable, although not quite grammatically correct. I would always suggest finding independent confirmation elsewhere to confirm your understanding, if possible.

I routinely search through newspapers in the areas in which I’m researching and I have stumbled upon some real ‘gems’ related to my research, including a rooming house arson fire a recent ancestor escaped from, another ancestor whose name was published as a deserter in WWI, and most recently news of a tragic train crash in a community from which my own father’s French Canadian family originates. It was particularly heartbreaking to read the names of the deceased in the online French language news sites, and to recognize many of them as distant relatives.

Using Google translate  is also a useful tool if transcribing documents from their original language. Go to the main Google translate page, type the text in question in the left box, making sure it’s labeled with the correct language and click ‘Translate’. The English translation will appear to the right if English is the selected language. Text can be translated to and from numerous languages.

photo credit: Augie Schwer via photopin cc


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New Link: Online Newspapers Archive

New Link: Online Newspapers Archive

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Learning of this online newspapers archive site was very exciting to me. Some of the most valuable information we can find in our genealogical search comes from newspaper accounts because they provide a more detailed reflection of the lives of our ancestors – not just facts and figures. I have added this link to the main ‘Genealogy Links’ page in the top menu.

 

Online newspapers archive.
Online newspapers archive.

The Online Newspapers Archive site endeavours to centralize the thousands of historical newspapers from various sources in one location.

The first newspapers I looked for were those in the Acadian territories of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick before, during and after the expulsion. My family names do show in the papers available after 1850, but it will take some time to sift through them.

The newspapers for Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois and Kentucky also look promising as a great deal of our family history took place in these states.

One great disappointment, though is that there is nothing yet for the United Kingdom.

Although there are great gaps in the newspapers available for some geographical regions, what is available could provide that ‘gem’ one or more of us have been seeking.

I definitely intend to investigate this site further.


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Unravelling the mysteries behind one of Canada’s oldest cemeteries.

Unravelling the mysteries behind one of Canada’s oldest cemeteries.

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I had to post this article as soon as I saw it. Visiting this graveyard was one of the best family experiences we’ve ever had – and it was a great opportunity to explore our own family history.

As a matter of fact, the tour guide, Alan Melanson and I are 7th great grandchildren of Charles Mellanson and Marie Dugas (Charles was a son of the original Melanson couple – Pierre and Priscilla.)

Stuart, Erin and Alan Melanson in graveyard.
My children, Erin and Stuart, sit through an enthralling tale told by fellow ‘Melanson’ cousin, Alan Melanson, the very informative and entertaining tour guide.

It’s been a century since Fort Anne became Canada’s first administered national historic site, but much of the history surrounding the once hotly contested grounds in Annapolis Royal, N.S., is still shrouded in mystery.

On Monday, a team of researchers hope to use new technology to unlock some of the old secrets buried within Fort Anne’s Garrison Graveyard, which is one of the oldest English cemeteries in Canada.

“To understand where we’re going, we need to understand where we’ve been,” said Ted Dolan, Parks Canada’s site and visitor experience manager for historic sites in southwestern Nova Scotia.

“Any additional information that we have as to what happened on our landscape in the past is really going to inform us as to who we are and where we come from.”

Dolan describes Fort Anne as “the most fought-over piece of land in Canadian history since European colonization.” Originally fortified by the Scots as early as 1629, the site was later taken over by the French, before it fell to British troops in 1710. It would remain a regular battle scene for another 50 years.

While over 200 British headstones still stand in the Garrison Graveyard, Dolan said researchers believe there could be more than 2,000 people buried at the site whose wooden markers have since decayed over time.

In addition, prior to 1710, Dolan said French soldiers and Acadians from the region were buried at the nearby St. Jean-Baptiste parish, which had a cemetery located close to the fort.

While researchers aren’t completely sure where the French and Acadian cemetery is, he said they have a “pretty good idea. . .”

Read on . . .

Source: Unravelling the mysteries behind one of Canada’s oldest cemeteries | CTV News Atlantic


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Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions to 1 Dec 1918.

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions to 1 Dec 1918.

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The following are the most recent Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions to 1 Dec 1918.

You may have noticed that the usual FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com updates post from mid-October did not appear. This was due to a much reduced quantity to list. The few between October 1st and October 31st have been included in the list below.

In future, the only scheduled updates and additions posts will be the ones on the first of the month. However, if the quantity of links warrant it, there could be an additional post at the mid-month.

 

FamilySearch.org updates and additions.

Canada

Costa Rica

Honduras

Germany

New Zealand

Peru

Portugal

South Africa

United Kingdom

United States

 

Ancestry.com updates and additions.

Canada

Germany

Ukraine

United Kingdom

United States


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Remembrance Day: A civilian’s responsibility?

Remembrance Day: A civilian’s responsibility?

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Today being Remembrance Day, I was thinking about a recent post in which I quoted an article exploring how Canadians need to do more for Remembrance Day.

Since then, while watching all the usual Remembrance Day coverage on television, I saw a news report about the increasingly troubled Canadian Legions. Several have closed or are slated to close because of low memberships and revenue.

What really surprised me, was to learn that civilians can become members and reap the same benefits enjoyed by military members and veterans.

Acccording to Toronto.com, “The legion has been losing members at a rate of about 8,000 a year. Part of that is due to death – the largest cohort of members are veterans of the Second World War, a conflict that ended more than 70 years ago – but it has been a challenge to attract and retain veterans of more recent conflicts.”

The Royal Canadian Legion was founded in 1926 to lobby for the needs of veterans returning from the first world war.  That service expanded to include other veterans, including those who’ve never been to war.

Some believe the Canadian Legion has become outdated and no longer represents the military and veterans as they exist in today’s world.

Mark and Stuart in Remembrance Day Parade.
Mark and Stuart in Remembrance Day Parade. c 2000.

A discussion on the subject between my husband, Mark and I caused me to immediately say, “Why don’t we register and get memberships for the kids as Christmas gifts?”

Mark is a veteran, but the others would be civilian memberships.

Then, while researching the subject, I discovered this Global News article about how the veterans themselves feel. I was shocked at how out of touch I have been, especially being the wife and daughter of military veterans.

According to those interviewed for the article:

One of the biggest complaints they have is the number of civilians who are now members. Though most of them mean well, they’re not making the Legion enough of a home for those who’ve served Canada because they don’t understand the military culture.

“There’s a very strict disconnect between what they do, and what we do …”

Also, because of this disconnect, they don’t always provide the services that veterans need — like enough support for those who suffer from PTSD.

Erin in her Air Cadet Uniform
Erin in her Air Cadet Uniform c 2007.

Surely there are ways to include civilians in some of the programs, increasing understanding on both sides? Although a civilian, I am a sufferer of PTSD and a program I could access that is separate from the woefully inadequate mental health system might be a place to start.

I never considered myself out of touch because of my background in the military and veteran cultures. However, as different as veterans and civilians are, there are indeed common circumstances and obstacles we all struggle with.

These articles caused me to doubt my idea of giving civilian memberships as gifts.

Then again, isn’t that a good place to start?

Civilians becoming members would enable learning more about our veterans, and increasing our understanding of each other.

At the very least, some if not all of the endangered legion branches may be saved. This could actually buy time for the legions to update and adapt to today’s veteran and their families.

My genealogy research into the extensive military history of both sides of our family has taught me a great deal and enabled me to become aware of how important it is for civilians to support our veterans – and never forget the sacrifices made in all conflicts, including World War I and World War II.

Related articles:

 


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Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions to 1 Nov 2018.

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions to 1 Nov 2018.

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The following are the Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions to 1 Nov 2018.

Featured image: House in Lesotho.

FamilySearch.org updates and additions to 1 Nov 2018.

 

Canada

Chile

Dominican Republic

France

French Polynesia

Germany

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Lesotho

Liberia

New Zealand

Peru

United Kingdom

United States

Worldwide

 

Ancestry.com updates and additions to 1 Nov 2018.

Yet again, there is nothing new over the past two weeks.

I will keep checking to see if Ancestry.com starts showing these additions and updates to their site.


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A primer on cemetery research to find ancestors.

A primer on cemetery research to find ancestors.

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I’ve always loved gravestone and cemetery research to find ancestors.

Although I do most of my genealogical research via the internet, and in a very small amount via snail mail, there is something visceral about visiting the actual graves of our ancestors and recording the information about them (and their families if in family plots).

In previous posts, I related the story of my family’s genealogical driving tour of Nova Scotia a few years ago. The first was about our exploring a community cemetery and the other was regarding our experience taking the Fort Anne graveyard tour.

When you’re working on researching distant generations of ancestors, cemetery research is one of the most satisfying, hands on forms of genealogical exploration you can do. It’s one way to connect with a tangible reminder of particular ancestors, which is often an elusive feeling.

Finding a tombstone or other sign of the resting place of an ancestor can give you insights into who they were.

Is their tombstone humble or grand?

Does it contain an inscription that speaks of a simple life, of one that hints at a great love story, or a somber and religious disposition?

What dates are inscribed?

The information source is rich, yet locating cemeteries and navigating the research process isn’t always straightforward. Here’s how to get started with genealogical cemetery research.

 

What can I expect to learn from a cemetery?

 

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions to 22 Aug 2015.

 

It’s important to note that cemeteries and grave markers can be excellent sources of information about the deceased. While they are not primary information sources, they can clarify details such as:

  • an ancestor’s name, including obscure details like maiden names and middle names or even occasionally pet names;
  • date of birth;
  • date of death;
  • names of family members including parents, spouses, and children;
  • religion;
  • military service; and
  • fraternal order membership.

Cemeteries are a wonderful source of information that can confirm what you’ve learned from earlier research. In other cases, you’ll garner information that you didn’t know.

For example, there may be symbolism on a tombstone suggesting that your ancestor was a member of the Masonic Lodge or perhaps they are buried in a Catholic burial ground. Each of these small clues can open up new avenues for research and exploration.

 

How to find out where someone is buried?

 

There are many ways to find where your ancestors are buried.

The first is to look at any records associated with their death, including certificate of death, obituaries, church notices, and other funerary documents. Consulting similar information for spouses, siblings, children, and parents can also sometimes lead you to the right information.

If you know your ancestor’s religious affiliation, it’s possible to find out if there’s a church or community cemetery. Consult local records and histories.

Finally, there are a number of cemetery guides online that can help you locate an ancestor’s gravesite.

You might also want to try billiongraves.com and findagrave.com. They can be very helpful in locating family members and their information.

 

Making the most of a cemetery visit.

 

Whether you’re already near a cemetery where an ancestor is buried or you’re making a special trip, there are several things you’ll want to do to make the most of your visit.

The first is to bring a copy of any information you have about the ancestors, such as names and dates of birth. If you have a map or details of the cemetery, bring those as well, as large burial grounds can be difficult to navigate.

To document as much information as possible, bring paper and writing implements or electronic devices to record information and make any notes.

Consider bringing a digital camera with you to document the cemetery, individual headstones, and the relationship between specific stones that may be useful later.

Avoid taking grave rubbings, if possible. It’s a source of conflict but most people today feel that the risk of damage to the stone is too high. A high resolution camera now yields a wonderful degree of detail.

A final note on the logistics of cemetery visits: dress appropriately for being outdoors, and think ahead to things like bug spray and sunscreen. Wear a hat, and bring plenty of water as your visit may be a lengthy one.

If the cemetery you’re visiting is on private property, get permission first.

If the cemetery in question has a caretaker and you’re able to find them, spend a moment saying hello and explaining your mission. They may have valuable information.

Finally, if you’re headed into a cemetery that’s overgrown, isolated, or in an unknown area, consider bringing a companion for both company and safety.

A professional genealogist can help you with all types of genealogical issues, from completing all your research to answering specific questions about cemetery research.

____________________

Jillynn Stevens is a writer and researcher. She is the Director of Digital Content Marketing for Be Locally SEO where she enjoys helping clients expand and improve their businesses through articles, blogs, website content and more.


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The Mormons are making major changes to their genealogy database to recognize same-sex families / LGBTQ Nation

The Mormons are making major changes to their genealogy database to recognize same-sex families / LGBTQ Nation

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During Pride Month in June, LGBT people interested in family history received interesting news. Beginning next year, the world’s largest genealogy organization, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will release a redesigned website that will include same-sex families.

FamilySearch.org, sponsored by the Mormons, first said in 2015 that it would add a feature for same-sex relationships, the Deseret News reported. Now, the major overhaul to the website’s system should be ready by 2019.

There are several other family history sites – Ancestry.com is probably the best known – that already allow same-sex recognition. In addition to Ancestry, other major sites are Israel-based MyHeritage and England-based Findmypast. FamilySearch is the only one that is totally free for all of its databases.

For LGBT genealogists, the FamilySearch news was a pleasant surprise . . .

Read on . . .

Source: The Mormons are making major changes to their genealogy database to recognize same-sex families / LGBTQ Nation


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Trials and tribulations of being a genealogy and history blogger.

Trials and tribulations of being a genealogy and history blogger.

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Regular readers may have noticed a problem with several posts from the beginning of September.
August 28th I purchased a plugin and theme that were supposed to streamline the curation of content of interest to my readers and myself. However, within about a week I noticed that it was bringing up a lot of ‘junk’ and I deleted it. (I’m still waiting for a refund.)

Today, I was doing the final tweaks of setting up this lovely new site theme and happened to notice that the links and videos from some or all of the posts placed by this plugin had broken.

I wasted no time and today I spent the time necessary re-linking and fixing the videos in the posts.

This selection of articles was the result of my cherry picking from the dozens suggested by the plugin. They are of great interest to me – and hopefully you too.

If you had trouble accessing the full articles and media or videos, please do check them out now they’re working.

…and thank you for your patience!

 


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How ancient DNA is transforming history | IT

How ancient DNA is transforming history | IT

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Over the past 10 years, a new field has emerged which is revolutionizing our understanding of human history and anthropology. Ancient DNA, the analysis of DNA from human remains, is beginning to unravel some of the mysteries of the past, like the migration of people and the spread of culture, through periods of time from hundreds to tens of thousands of years.

Until recently, our reconstruction of the past relied on archaeology and tentative hypotheses, but now the hard science of genetics is beginning to take a leading role in understanding the population patterns we see across the globe today. At Trinity College Dublin, Prof Dan Bradley is a world leader in this emerging field – he has been trying to understand the human past from DNA for the past 25 years.

“For years, we had been looking at modern genetic data and trying to understand how population patterns may have come about,” he says. “But compared to ancient human DNA, the problem with modern data is that it can only bring us so far.”

Bradley explains it was the case of Ötzi the ice man, one of the first ancient Europeans to have their genome sequenced, which made him realize the power of ancient DNA.

Read on . . .

Source: How ancient DNA is transforming history


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Common mistakes in genealogy | Ancestry

Common mistakes in genealogy | Ancestry

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It doesn’t matter if you are new to genealogy or have been doing this for a while, we’ve all made them — mistakes and assumptions as we climb up our family tree.

Crista will share some of the common family history research mistakes and give tips about how to avoid them.

Start Your Journey Today:
http://www.ancestry.com/s89750/t38352/rd.ashx

Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsc0AQkAh_2cQmxqwD6VWRw?sub_confirmation=1

About Ancestry:

Bringing together science and self-discovery, Ancestry helps everyone, everywhere discover the story of what led to them. Our sophisticated engineering and technology harnesses family history and consumer genomics, combining billions of rich historical records, millions of family trees, and samples from almost 10 million people in the AncestryDNA database to provide people with deeply meaningful insights about who they are and where they come from.

We’ve pioneered and defined this category, developing new innovations and technologies that have reinvented how people make family history discoveries. And these discoveries can give everyone a greater sense of identity, relatedness, and their place in the world.

https://www.youtube.com/user/AncestryCom


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