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Saturday, September 17, 2016

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Attach Sources From MyHeritage to

You can find historical records on several different databases around the web. The more resources you find, the better you understand your ancestor.  Have you ever found a record on a site that you wish you could add to your ancestor's record? MyHeritage has a new feature which allows you to attach records to individuals in Family Tree.

After reviewing the instructions on how to search for records on MyHeritage from Family Tree on (Family History Easy Botton:  Create New Sources in Family Tree from MyHeritage), I chose to search to see which records I could find on my grandfather (Emory W. Vance):

In the "Search Records" box on the individual record for Emory W. Vance, are the  different places that you can search for records. Curious to see the new "Attach source to FamilySearch," I selected the MyHeritage link which brought up the following results for Emory:
The second record which is Emory's headstone comes from BillionGraves:

At the bottom of the record is the link for attaching the record to my grandfather's record on When you click on this link, it creates a source which you can edit if necessary:
This feature saves so much time.  I do not need to create an entirely new source from scratch. Also, being able to search MyHeritage from the individual record on narrows down records very quickly because it uses the information on the individual record for the search parameters. I do not need to enter information every time I search MyHeritage.

If you have not added the information that you have found to Family Tree on, you will not be able to use this time saving feature. In addition to that, as you attach the records that you find on your ancestor, they appear as sources on your ancestor's record. This helps others to learn more quickly about your ancestor at first glance.

The first record below from BillionGraves is the record that I just attached from MyHeritage:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Popular RootsTech Event Open for Registration

Popular RootsTech Event Open for Registration

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA (September 15, 2016)—FamilySearch International has announced that registration to RootsTech 2017 is now open. RootsTech is an annual family history and technology conference where guests of all ages are inspired to discover, preserve, and share their family roots, heritage, and stories across generations—past, present, and future. In 2016 the event attracted more than 28,000 attendees in-person from all 50 US states and 30+ countries. RootsTech 2017 will be held February 8–11 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The popular Innovator Summit and free Family Discovery Day are also open for registration. The website for registration is

The 4-day conference will offer attendees a full lineup of inspiring and well-known keynote speakers, over 200 informative sessions, including hands-on computer labs taught by industry professionals and leaders, interactive activities and helpful exhibitors in the expo hall, and entertaining evening events, all designed to inspire and empower personal family discoveries. Early bird discount pricing is available for a limited time on 4-day passes at just $159 and $189 for the RootsTech plus Innovator Summit pass. Passes for the Getting Started track start at $49 for a single day and $69 for a limited 3-day pass. All passes include access to the popular expo hall and morning keynote sessions.

Starting off the 4-day RootsTech conference is the Innovator Summit, a unique 1-day conference designed for serious entrepreneurs, developers, and innovators interested in giving their creative ideas traction in a growing multi-billion-dollar industry. The event also offers attendees the opportunity to interact and connect with industry influencers, executives, and investors. The Summit will include a morning general session (the keynote speaker will be announced soon), over 20 classes, the Innovator Showdown semi-finals, and more. Innovator Summit ONLY passes are available at the discount price of $99.

Along with the Innovator Summit, the Innovator Showdown returns to RootsTech with $100,000 in prizes. Innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world and from any industry are invited to compete with their latest products or services that enable individuals to discover, preserve, and share their personal and family stories, memories, or ancestral connections. The top 5 finalists will be invited to present their product or service on the main RootsTech stage before a panel of judges and a live audience on Friday, February 10, just after the morning keynote session.

Registration for Family Discovery Day is also now open. The event takes place on Saturday, February 11, 2017, and is designed for families and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This free and fun 1-day event includes inspiring messages from Church leaders, engaging classes for families, youth, and young single adults, and evening entertainment to inspire and help families and members discover, preserve, and share their family connections. Family Discovery Day attendees will also have access to all the interactive activities and exhibitors found in the RootsTech expo hall. Event details, including speakers and classes, will be made available soon at Registration is required.

About RootsTech
RootsTech, held February 8–11, 2017, and hosted by FamilySearch, is the largest global family history event in the world! The sixth annual conference—celebrating families across generations—is the perfect place to discover and share your family's stories and connections through technology.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

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Little Family Tree Teaches Children Family History

I am always looking out for activities for children for family history. I see little children all the time passing time on a parent's smartphone or mobile device. "Today's children intuitively understand how to use touch devices such as smartphones and tablets. They use them to play, watch, and learn. The objective of Little Family Tree is to bring a child's personal family history to them through this learning medium and to share it in a way that is accessible to them."  See Little Family Tree Handout

Little Family Tree, from Yellow Fork Technologies LLC, is a great app that will engage your children and grandchildren using the data and photos that you have added to Family Tree on (it's FamilySearch Certified). Little Family Tree won 3rd place in the Children's category of the 2015 LDSTech App and Game contest. The activities are more meaningful and effective if you have added photos and basic information to Family Tree, otherwise the games and activities that children select from the house displayed in the app will use a default photo.

I downloaded the app from Google Play for $3.99, and I have to say that it is worth every penny. I am having fun with most of the games and activities myself. Just think about the minutes you spend waiting on an appointment or looking for something useful to keep children entertained. Well, now you can have fun with the children or grandchildren while they learn about their family.

Little Family Tree requires an adult to grant permission to access your account to use the app, but they do not share that information with anyone else. You also get to select the person who is playing the game which tailors the experience to that person, and it is so much fun to play together. 

The home screen, a house, is where you select the games you want to play. I figured out that the lights come on in the house when you click them. Even the youngest child can play scratch off which reveals a photo of a family member behind a rectangular grey shape. Check out their video:

Some of the games that I have played so far are:
  • Scratch off (explained above)
  • Relationship Bubbles where you match the mother, father, and child
  • Sing-a-long where you dress up family members before they perform a song
  • Heritage Dress Up where you dress a family member in the clothing from different countries
Visit Little Family Tree to learn more and discover more activities, and be sure you have beefed up Family Tree and Memories a little on Then go download the app on Google Play or at the App Store today! It is also available at Amazon Kindle. 

I will be watching for any updates they come out with for this app!  Have you seen any other great family history apps for children out there? If so, please share in the comments below!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

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Now Study Your Last Name with Genealogies on

Search The Guild of One-Name Studies on
I received the press release included below about collections of The Guild of One-Name Studies being available now at I was inspired by the addition of the Guild of One-Name Studies to today. It was difficult to find at first. It is not in the record collections, but you will find it in the Genealogies collection. For the first time, I decided to search the "Genealogies" collection which has been available on for quite some time.  I have included the press release below for you, but I  am starting with my first search and a little background about my research challenge.  Here goes:

You might raise the question: "How can the Genealogies database benefit people researching African American ancestors?" I have been researching my great grandfather "John Henry Foster" for decades. He died in 1899, and he would have been born after 1880 which means he would not appear on a census.  The only record I have for him is his marriage to his wife Mary Elizabeth Patterson (Mayliza) in Mississippi.  

After his death, the family lived in Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi. I would like to learn as much as possible about this family before taking a research trip. Since researching the family group has not helped determine anymore about John, perhaps studying the people with the same name living in this geographical area will provide clues.

I am hesitant to exclude down to only African American people with the surname Foster because it might cause me to miss important clues. Even though a person may not be African American, a person with the same last name living in the same area may lead to  a former enslaver, and I do not know as of yet if Fosters were enslaved or free prior to 1865. Anyone by that name living in the area prior to 1900 may lead me to historical documentation.
  1. Access the collection by going to
  2. Genealogies
  3. Enter your surname (I also entered Mississippi for a location)
  4. Click Search.
I was surprised to find Fosters living who lived in Jefferson and Warren Counties (see screenshot below). Were they connected to my Fosters from Vicksburg? Did my Fosters from Vicksburg migrate from McBride prior to 1900? That is at least one clue to follow. I will follow up by researching this family to learn more about them, and I will look for more clues from people who lived in the same geographical area. Perhaps I will find siblings or other connections to John Henry Foster.
Result of searching "Foster and Mississippi" in Genealogies Collection at
Next, figured out how to locate the Guild of One-Name Studies Collection on from The Guild of One-Name Studies is Now Available at When you search the Genealogies collection, you need to click the "All' button next to the blue "Search" button. Select Guild of One-Name Studies from the list (See the screenshot of this search above). Then click search. You will get results from only that collection.

I know Foster is probably not the original name for my family as far as I can tell, but it is interesting to know the earliest mention of that surname. One of the earliest Foster mentioned in the collection is Bridget Foster (supposedly married in 1767) from Liverpool. Now get this!  I could actually research the Fosters who came from places in England (births, marriages, etc.) AND migrated to the United States AND migrated or had descendants who migrated to Mississippi. This could connect me to people who might have enslaved my family. I am envisioning courthouse records already. I just need to exhaust the possibilities in the database. Long shots right? Well, it is better than what I had before, nothing!

I could also trace the Foster's living in the area that my Foster's lived in Mississippi to see if they are related to me or if they are part of the slave holding family. This could link me to clues about my own family.  Anyway, I hope you can appreciate this little synopsis of how I include new collections to my own research. If you want to learn more about The Guild of One-Name Studies, visit Guild of One-Name Studies on FamilySearch Wiki and Guild of One-Name Studies.
Press Release from

For Immediate Release
Guild of One-Name Studies Is Now Available at
The online resource helps people trace the possible origins and variations of their last name.
LONDON, UK and SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (September 6, 2016)—The Guild of One-Name Studies, a charitable organization that promotes facts about given surnames, and FamilySearch International, a nonprofit and the largest genealogy organization in the world, announced today The Guild’s collections will now be searchable at  The partnership gives Guild members another source for preserving their great work while also allowing more researchers across the globe to benefit from exploring the variant spellings of their personal surnames and possibly connect with others with the same last name throughout the world. 

The study of one’s last name (one-name or surname) researches all known occurrences of that particular surname in all identifiable resources worldwide, as opposed to the ancestors or descendants of a person. Such richly compiled studies can assist a family history researcher see the geographical distribution of surnames in their tree over centuries which can help in reconstructing family lines bearing variants of those names. A common hope of customers that use surname studies is to identify the actual geographic locale of origin of a family surname. This could very well happen for unique surnames, but for common surnames that reflect an occupation (like “Farmer” or “Fisher”) or a patronymic-type surname (Johnson or Williamson), there may not be a single place of origin.
Cliff Kemball, Guild Publicity Manager said “The partnership with FamilySearch give Guild members another method of preserving their One-Name Study data.  Their data is fully preserved for the long term, while still remaining within the control of the Guild member, who may update, replace or delete it as their work develops.”
The Guild was founded in 1979, and has over 2,980 members, studying over 8,935 individual surnames.  The Guild of One-Name Studies website launched April 1, 2016, and is continually expanding its list of surnames. The Guild expects the volume of data submitted by Guild members to significantly increase now that they can make their research contributions online. And teaming up with will ensure more people are making interesting discoveries about their surnames.

David Rencher, the Chief Genealogy Office for FamilySearch, said, “The rigorous standards and guidelines required by the Guild of One Name Studies for members of the guild make this the highest quality data available for these surnames. Those who administer and oversee the collection of this data have spent decades collecting all instances of the surnames from a wide variety of records. Since many of these sources are yet to be made available on the Internet, this new set of records on FamilySearch is a rich new source of information.”

To see if your surname has been researched by The Guild community, go to, Search, Genealogies, enter your last name, and search Guild of One-name Studies.

More information about the Guild can be found at where researchers can also register their own surnames.

About The Guild of One-Name Studies
The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world's leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple). The Guild is a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting the public understanding of one-name studies and the preservation and accessibility of the resultant information. Founded in 1979, the Guild now has over 2,980 members spread across the world, studying over 8,935 individual surnames.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

What Was Meant for Evil

Day 8: I am thinking about a battle many of us face without us realizing it. It sours our relationships, and blocks our path to true freedom. The biggest problem is that many go through life without a name for the animal. We do not know why we react and feel powerless to choose a better response.

I want to share how I feel the Lord has helped me overcome it to the degree that I am able as Steven Covey taught:

Between the stimulus and your response lies a period of time where you can choose your response. How you use that time makes all the difference.

I have had an horrific life, but you would never know it because I was led to the gospel of Jesus Christ and have been given the Gift of the Holy Ghost which enables me as it is eluded to by Paul in the New Testament to have the benefit in prayer to have the spirit to utter the things to the Lord that I need that I am not able to communicate in words. What mercy!

In the beginning when bad things happened, I would black out and wake up on the other side of my response. Scary eh?   Well after my membership in my church and dedication to newfound principles, I became more conscious. I learned that my responses were a sum total of my experiences and the experiences of my ancestors...both habitual and both in my DNA.

I learned that even though I was not bound in chains, my mind was. I was not free. I attribute this knowledge to the desires I had to become a better person and to help others do the same.

I felt inspired to pray a specific prayer that I would be shown the things that were learned during enslavement and adaptations that I needed to unlearn. My answer came years ago in the book mentioned in the Ebony article, Do You Have Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome? I learned what I asked to learn.

Bad things have not stopped happening to me, but today I feel great power between the stimulus and the response. I am able to prolong the response without flying off the handle. I actually use the bad things smiling because I know by the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ what was meant for evil will always turn for my good.

To keep up with #BeTheChangeYourBrotherNeeds posts, follow me on Facebook.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

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Those Places Thursday: St. Francis Academy

I spent my four years of high school at St. Francis Academy. If you tried to find it today, you would not because the name was changed years ago to Joliet Catholic Academy when the diocese combined the two Catholic high schools in Joliet.

Boys attended Joliet Catholic High School and girls attended St. Francis Academy in my day. I was against being sent here in the beginning because I had always attended school with boys. I felt rather odd at first having only girls in classes.

After the first few months, however, I started noticing how much easier it was to learn without boys interrupting or showing off for the girls in the room. The girls did not feel the need to compete for attention from boys. I felt we were able to concentrate better, and we definitely got a lot of serious work done. We also were able to discuss sensitive topics which we could not have around boys.

Sister Marie Grunloh

It seemed that I had more opportunities for leadership positions, and my ambition to express myself through writing began freshmen year when I joined the school newspaper, "The Focus."  My teacher was Sister Marie Grunloh, which was pronounced Greenlow. The first thing that she taught me was, "You need to have a nose for news." She would click her nails together when she said that. 
                                                                Marie Grunloh

I was prompted to search for a photo of her on the internet so that you can if possible capture her eagerness to serve and sweetness.  At the same time that she was moderator for the school newspaper, she taught GED classes to prisoners in the local correctional facility.   I was her student for three of the four years that I took Journalism at St. Francis Academy, and I know I developed the ability to write in a way that is interesting and informative. I also had four years of grammar and literature.

We would create a sample layout of each page of the newspaper monthly. 
Sample page layout

By my junior year, I was the editor of "The Focus." She taught me how to submit all the articles to the printer and take the copy that came from the printer and stick each pre-cut element (photo, ads, headlines, captions, etc.) onto each respective page. Many deadlines often found me sprawled across my bedroom floor preparing each page to be submitted for printing the next day. 

I had such a great passion to write.  It was a desire that my father could not quench even though he wanted me to love math or sciences more. I am grateful for Sister Marie and this wonderful experience at St. Francis Academy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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Wills Can Prove That Enslaved People Were Inherited

Graves of Burwell Chick (1776-1847) and his wife, Massey Henderson Chick in Springwood Cemetery in Greenville, SC
How would you determine if your ancestor inherited enslaved people or actually was enslaved? Wills are a resource that is color blind when it comes to documenting the former slave owner and the enslaved. Sometimes you can track the descendants of former slave owners and learn the names of the enslaved people that they inherited.

Proving Pettus W. Chick owned slaves
It was not possible to tell from the will of Pettus W. Chick (1806-1887) whether or not he had once been a slave owner. His died almost two decades after the end of slavery, so his will did not list enslaved people as property. If you recall, he did provide for people of color in his will: Eliza, Anderson, Pettus, Myra Dawkins, etc. See Uncovering records that link the slaveholder and enslaved.

Whether you are a descendant of a person of color who was formerly enslaved or a descendant of the Chick family who owned slaves, the next best step would be to look among the indexed wills for people with the Chick surname who lived in Union County, South Carolina. This may help determine the parents of Pettus or find the names of enslaved people.

A search among indexed wills turned up Burwell Chick (1776-1847). This was an unfamiliar name, but after locating the actual will, it became obvious that he was the father of Pettus W. Chick:
“Second, I give to my son, Pettus W. Chick, the following negroes to wit, Tom, Hardy, Green, old Sitter patt, Elisa, Jim, Thorton, Tinsley.”
The names of the enslaved people that Burwell divided between his other sons and daughters are named in this will. See Will of Burwell Chick of Greenville.
Having been named in Burwell’s will and with the names of enslaved people he inherited, it is safe to assume Pettus was a slave owner at least as of February 1847. On the 1869 State Census for South Carolina three persons of color with the same names as those inherited by Pettus are living near him: Eliza, Green, and Tinsley.

Is this the same Eliza?
So the question remains: Is the Eliza mentioned in Burwell’s will the same Eliza that Pettus left an inheritance to in his will decades later? There is much information to be found on Burwell Chick and his family, but what might astound African American researchers is that there is also more to discover about Eliza as well.

In the book, Our Father’s Fields: A Southern Story, written by James Everett Kibler, an account of Pettus and Sara Elizabeth Henderson Chick and Sara’s maid, Liza, is given. Liza was supposed to have helped Sara run the Buck Hotel located in Maybinton, Newberry County, South Carolina before the Civil War as well as Chick Springs in Greenville. Alice Dawkins Sims, a slave born before 1850 remembered Sara taking Liza to Chick Springs to help.

Much extensive research is being accomplished in order to determine whether or not this Liza is the same Eliza that lived near the Chick family in 1870 and 1880 who Pettus mentioned in his will.

Next steps
These steps might uncover more:
  1. Descendants of Burwell Chick are beginning to share their history online. It may be helpful to find out if they know more about Eliza.
  2. An historical society was formed for Chick Springs, and they may have resources on Burwell or Eliza: Chick Springs Historical Society.
  3. Check other records generated by Burwell Chick that may reveal more about Eliza (day books, account books, ledgers, bill of sale, etc.).

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Genealogy Resources for Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

Milwaukee Public Library - Genealogy Resources
Milwaukee County was created in 1834 in Michigan Territory from Brown and Iowa Counties. The National Genealogy Examiner’s Top Sites for Milwaukee County resources are Wisconsin and Milwaukee County: Online Genealogy and Family History Library. See more resources linked below.

Search through this finding aid to learn about collections held in 19 different repositories across Wisconsin: Archival Resources in Wisconsin: Descriptive Finding Aids

The following Wisconsin State Census records are searchable online:
Search the United States Census here.

Immigration and Naturalization
Milwaukee Public Library Resources
Family History Library Catalog resources

See Wisconsin Military Records. Also, search the following databases at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum:
  • Civil War Database
  • Spanish –American War Database
  • World War I Database
Contact the Milwaukee County Probate Division to locate wills, estate records, and guardianships.

Milwaukee County Historical Society: Genealogy & Historical Research Collections

Vital Records
Learn about other marriage record collections here.


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Attacks in Facebook Genealogy Groups

Facebook admin have noticed an influx of accounts with hacked Facebook profiles infiltrating genealogy groups on Facebook. If you are an admin or member of a Facebook genealogy group, how do you keep safe? The admin of the Irish Genealogy Page, Anne-Marie Healy, created a support group on Facebook called Scam & Spam Alerts! Where genealogy buffs can keep abreast of "of current email scams and phone scams and scammers and spammers on Facebook and other internet dangers."

Inactive accounts
A Facebook account brings added responsibilities to protect yourself and the people with which you are connected. The worst thing you can do is to allow your account to remain dormant for months without knowing what is happening with your account. Admins see several dormant accounts when they go through Facebook Group member request. They cannot let if you are just not active or if you were hacked previously and stopped using your account. A good admin will not accept membership requests to a group if the Facebook profile has no posts for six months to a year. You should deactivate you account for a few weeks at a time until you become active again:

To deactivate your account:
  1. Click the account menu at the top right of any Facebook page
  2. Select Settings
  3. Click Security in the left column. Choose "Deactivate your account," then follow the steps to confirm.
"If you deactivate your account your profile won’t be visible to other people on Facebook and people won’t be able to search for you. Some information, such as messages you sent to friends, may still be visible to others. If you've deactivated your account, you can reactivate it at any time just by logging in. If you can't remember your password, you can request a new password" (Facebook Help).

If you have set you Facebook preferences so that your posts or profile photo does not show, a good admin may not accept you to a genealogy group. Consider allowing your posts and profile photo to be visible until you have been accepted to the group you requested to join.
Change your password often, and use passwords that are not words that can be found in the dictionary. Use a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols, and test to see how strong your password is at Password Meter. See more advice on how to keep from getting hacked at How not to get Hacked According to Expert Hackers.

Help protect others connected to you or in genealogy groups with you on Facebook. Be sure to join the Facebook group, Scam & Spam Alerts! They have more specific suggestions and illustrations:
Do not click on links to websites that you do not recognize. Use Dr. Link Check. As a member of Facebook genealogy groups, help to keep your group safe by reporting spam, pornography, and other suspicious posts to the group admins. You should also report the profile to Facebook.

Recent attacks
Recently, there has been a rash of Facebook accounts being hacked. Another account is created using the person's current Facebook profile. Then all connected friends receive another friend request, and the madness continues. Let your Facebook friends know immediately if you are hacked. Report it to Facebook.

Change your profile photo. Change your Facebook password, and your e-mail password associated with Facebook. Set your preferences to send a notification when someone logs onto your account from a different place than you ordinarily access Facebook.

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Now Study Your Last Name with Genealogies on

Search The Guild of One-Name Studies on I received the press release included below about collections of The Guild of...


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