30 January 2008, Vol. 11, No. 5
Table of Contents
Editor’s Desk
Using RootsWeb
Bottomless Mailbag:
Readers Write In
What’s New: Databases, Freepages, and Mailing Lists
The Darkroom
You Found It
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Editor's Desk
The New RootsWeb Review Format
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Using RootsWeb
Following Through with My New Year's Resolutions, Part II

One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to revisit brick-wall ancestors I had put aside years before. In my last article, I showed you what I had done to pick up the trail for my third great-grandfather, Abraham ROBINSON. I searched Quaker Corner, the new global search engine for the USGENWeb Archives, the RootsWeb mailing list and message boards, WorldConnect, Ancestry.com, Google, FamilySearch, www.linkpendium.com, and www.cyndislist.com. Part I of my search can be found here: http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/review/2008/0116.txt.

After completing these searches for Abraham ROBINSON, I set out to cast a wider net and learn more about other family members (spouses and siblings) and people connected to Abraham.

I call this type of search a "sideways" search, which is akin to a lateral pass in football. If you can't make progress in research by moving backward, try moving sideways by learning all you can about the siblings and other people connected to your brick-wall ancestor.

I knew James ROBINSON, older brother of my second great-grandfather Joseph and son of Abraham and Prudence ROBINSON, had married twice. Both marriage records can be found at Ancestry.com in their New Jersey Marriages Collection. James was married first to Elizabeth PETERSON on 1 December 1806 and second to Hannah STEELMAN on 11 April 1833.

I repeated all the searches I had previously done for Abraham ROBINSON for James ROBINSON and his wives, and I found a WorldConnect family tree that indicated James's second wife Hannah STEELMAN had a sister Mary who married a Jeremiah ROBINSON/ROBERTSON. Coincidence? Maybe--but worth pursuing. I clicked the link to add a Post-em Note to the entry for James ROBINSON in this database in the hope that either the tree submitter or another researcher would find my note and make contact.

I looked for more information about Joshua and John SMITH (researching the surname SMITH is always challenging), who administered the estate settlement of Abraham ROBINSON. I also searched for a possible relationship between the ROBINSONs and Lydia (RIDGWAY) FOGG, who made Joseph ROBINSON the executor of her will and to whom she left her entire estate.

I struck out (as expected) in finding any connection to the SMITHs, but did find that Abraham's grandson, Richard ROBINSON, married a Sarah P. SMITH and they named a son W. Smith ROBINSON. So I'm going to continue checking on the SMITHs of Salem County, New Jersey. I found several WorldConnect databases with extensive information on the RIDGWAY and FOGG families but, again, found no readily identifiable connection to my ROBINSONs.

Another consideration--especially when you are faced with an extremely elusive ancestor who seems to have landed in a UFO from outer space--is the possibility of a name change or alternate spelling--even when you are dealing with a rather straightforward name such as ROBINSON. Expanding searches with wildcards can help you find additional records and fill in gaps when variant spellings may be involved.

Using the wildcard search Abraham Rob*son on Ancestry.com, I found a tax list from 1773 for an Abraham ROBERTSON in Salem County, New Jersey, that is quite possibly for my Abraham ROBINSON. The tax record lists Abraham ROBERTSON as a "single man" in 1773, which would help me narrow down a marriage year for Abraham if he is indeed the right Abraham.

Wildcard searches for the given name Abr*m ROBINSON also proved helpful. My Abraham ROBINSON shows up in Greenwich Township, Gloucester County, in a 1781 tax list, but is listed as Abram ROBINSON in the same township in 1782.

I saved the best for last. While searching for records that I'd either missed before or that have been added since my last visit, I found Salem County, New Jersey, court records (Petitions for Guardianship) at Ancestry.com. In 1807, June term, there was an entry for John ROBINSON, ward, with his parent listed as Abraham ROBINSON. So I now have a likely younger sibling of Joseph and James to find.

In genealogical research, the searches and discoveries never end. There will always be new information to find and new "cousins" to meet. So I will probably be making the same New Year's resolution again next year. I hope you do the same.

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Lost in Oz--The Search for James Carey
By Liam Martin

A gravestone in St. Joseph's RC Church cemetery in Dunloy, County Antrim, North Ireland, bears an inscription that begins, "Erected by John Carey in memory of his beloved mother Margaret Carey who died in 1903 and his father Richard Carey who died in 1908 aged 81 years. . . . Also his uncle, James Carey, who died in Australia in 1889, aged 72 years."

Richard Carey was my maternal great-grandfather; James Carey my maternal great-granduncle. Family tradition says that James moved to Melbourne, Australia, as a bachelor. When he died, the family in Dunloy received a letter about James's death from his parish priest. The priest suggested that a relative come and sort out the disposal of the estate; otherwise, lawyers would milk the proceeds. However, Richard Carey was seventy-two and his son John was running the farm and couldn't be spared. The matter was left in the hands of the Australian lawyers.

Eventually, some 800 pounds was transferred to Ireland and distributed among James's four Carey nephews and nieces. This (and possibly previous sums) allowed the family to invest in businesses and farms. One of his nephews, John Carey, used his share to buy a farm in Gortgole (Rasharkin); and his niece Ellen, (my grandmother), used her portion to purchase a leather workshop and two shops in Mill St. Ballymena.

Several family descendants are now millionaires, some several times over, and one is a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Gregory. Many others have succeeded in commerce and some have scaled the heights of academia. At least seven entered and served in the priesthood throughout their lives at home and abroad.

In short, James Carey's financial support helped bring success to many members of my family, and I have been looking for genealogical information about him for six years. As far as I could find, no documentation remained about the date he sailed to Australia, the ship that carried him there, what he did for a living, or where the site of his grave was.

Finally, in 2007 I searched the new online Victoria, Australia, Department of Justice BMD file, extending the search to ten years on either side of James's 1889 death date, which I got from the Dunloy gravestone. This turned up an interesting death record as follows:

"Number 1827 - 14th November, Marnoo, Shire of Kara Kara, County of Kara Kara - James CAREY (Farmer) - Male, 69 years - Death from Influenza and heart failure (signed Alfred Giles Esq. JP 15 Nov) - Parents unknown - No 16073 - Informant, Fredrick Reese, Marnoo - Registrar, M. Golden - Buried, 16 Nov. 1899, Gray's Bridge Cemetery (Witnesses, E. Morgan and J. Boyle) - Born, N. Ireland - Not Married."

1899? Could this be the same James Carey?

The Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV) carried out a search in the Victorian probate index that showed a James Carey, farmer, died at Marnoo, 15 November 1899. There was an administration order, which implied that he did not leave a will. Copies of wills and administration orders are held at the Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV), but the papers relating to the administration order for James Carey were marked S11--closed.

A GSV volunteer went to PROV and put in a request to look at the closed administration papers of the deceased James Carey. To make a long story short, he was finally able to see the administration file. It provided a valuation of James's 300-acre property, shares, and bank accounts. But most importantly, it confirmed his identity as my great-granduncle; it stated that he had a brother named Richard in Ireland living at Glenbuck townland near Dunloy in County Antrim. (It also indicated that the lawyers had managed to dissipate about a third of the estate's value, earning themselves a fee equivalent to about 500,000 pounds today.)

James left an impoverished Ireland for Australia in the desperate times of the 1846-50 potato famine. His subsequent lonely efforts down under fuelled the progress of those he left behind and they represent a disproportionately large contribution of one individual to the prosperity of his relatives.

And it is not surprising that it took six years to track him down since the date of death on the Dunloy gravestone was off by ten years. Just goes to show that even "facts" carved in stone can lead the unsuspecting genealogist astray.

To read the full story of my discovery and document images, visit my website.

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Bottomless Mailbag
Photo Recognition Software
By Deborah Cook, Australia

John P. Wilz asked for photo identification software. My Heritage has a face recognition section on their website. They use algorithms to do this. The more people who upload their photos, the better this will work. It is such a great idea for genealogy with the frustration many have with photos.



Happy Fact for Iowans
By M. W. Green

I've been searching censuses for years, but yesterday I discovered something new about the 1925 state census for Iowa.

The family I was seeking appeared at the bottom of the page, and I knew there were more children than were listed so I went to the next page. At first it appeared to be a duplicate. Then I discovered that the far left column with the names had been trimmed to run alongside a second page on which appeared the names of the fathers and mothers of each person in the household, with their birthplaces, and if alive, their ages. Amazing! And there was yet another page following that listed, among other things, which church they attended.

The lesson here for me is that we should not be in such a hurry that we fail to explore the record before we extract the data.

Adding More Than Photos to Your WorldConnect Tree
By Pat Geary
Last week you gave instructions on how to include photographs in your WorldConnect Tree. Not only can you add photographs to your World Connect database--you can include links to important documents.

A Web page I created explaining how to do this:

An example of a hyperlink I embedded in my WorldConnect files:

Also, you can match the look of your database at WorldConnect to a website that is associated with it:


Hopefully, some day we will be able to add a small amount of CSS directly to the WorldConnect database through the user interface.

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ANCESTOR SEEKERS researchers at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City will search this vast collection for your ancestors from the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, or Europe. Friendly service, affordable prices.

For a no-obligation research plan and quotation visit

For help from professional genealogists in England or Scotland visit

Or join us 13-18 April for our TENTH SALT LAKE CITY RESEARCH TRIP--the dream genealogy vacation!

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What's New: Mailing Lists, Databases, and Freepages
New User-contributed Databases at RootsWeb
The following databases have come online recently. They are searchable, but not browseable

VIRGINIA. Hanover County. 1916 Ashland Graded School Alumni List. 17 records. Paula Lucy Delosh.

VIRGINIA. Hanover County. 1915 Ashland High School Alumni List. 55 records.
Paula Lucy Delosh.

VIRGINIA. Henrico County. 1875 Richmond Colored High and Normal School Alumni List. 87 records. Paula Lucy Delosh.

New/Updated Freepages and Homepages by Counties, States, and Historical Societies

To Request a Free Web Account

To access one of these Web pages, paste the following extensions into http://www.rootsweb.com/~xxxxxx

For example, the Stark County (Illinois) USGW website is at: http://www.rootsweb.com/~ilstark

DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution

flppcdar -- Puc Puggy (Florida) Chapter DAR
ilstark -- Stark County (Illinois) USGW
mnmhs -- Milaca Historical Society (Minnesota)
ncrandol -- Randolph County (North Carolina) USGW
nvsscdar -- Silver State (Nevada) Chapter DAR
txnchs -- Navarro County Historical Society (Texas)
txwtgs -- West Texas Genealogical Society

New/Updated Freepages and Homepages by Individuals
To Request a Free Web Account

If you have a new or substantially revised freepage at RootsWeb and would like to see it mentioned here, send the URL, the title, and a BRIEF description, including major surnames, to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.

No New/Updated Freepages and Homepages by Individuals.

New Mailing Lists


NC-AFRICAAMER -- This is a mailing list for anyone with an interest in African American genealogy in North Carolina.
SA-DE-EMIGRANTEN -- This is a mailing list for immigrants and their families, as well as a collection-point for historical-, passenger- and genealogical-data related to the post-WWII emigration to South Africa. It mainly covers the period 1948-61, and the ships of the Holland-Afrika Lijn: "ss Zuiderkruis," "ss Waterman," and "ss Grote Beer."

No New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists

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The Darkroom

Daniel W. Pflueger, my maternal great-grandfather, pictured next to his traveling Watkins store, about 1900 in Indiana. Every woman that sees this picture says something to the effect of, "Oh, a ladies man!" I don't get it, but that won't be the first time.

Submitted by J.P. Smith, Arizona
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You Found It
Found a funny name or humorous tidbit in old records or an amusing entry in census, parish, church, or other records? Send them to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.

My toddler daughter started calling her great-grandmother, Violet Viola, "Grape Juice Grandmother." It took us a while to realize it was because she thought we were saying, "Grape-Grandmother" instead of "Great-Grandmother." "Grape-Grandmother" loved the purple connection to her given names and we all call her "Grape Juice" to this day.

--Thanks to Shirley McDaniel


A dear little lady, with whom I worked, was called "Mine" by her grandchildren. When I asked her where they got such an endearing name, she told me that when they were little, she was always admonishing them not to touch the things that were "mine." I shouldn't have asked. I thought the name was sweet.

--Thanks to Eleanor W. Sandford

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Permission to reprint articles from the RootsWeb Review is granted unless specifically stated otherwise, provided

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  2. the following notice appears at the end of the article: Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 30 January 2008, Vol. 11, No. 5