6 February 2008, Vol. 11, No. 6
Table of Contents
Editor’s Desk: News and Notes
Using RootsWeb
Bottomless Mailbag:
Readers Write In
What’s New:Databases, Freepages, and Mailing Lists
The Darkroom
You Found It
Subscriptions, Submissions,
Advertising, and Reprints
RootsWeb Resources
RootsWeb Helpdesk
Check here for site maintenance announcements
RootsWeb Newsroom
Check here for the latest RootsWeb news
RootsWeb Store
Check here for the latest in genealogy books, software, photos and more.
RootsWeb Spotlight
Know someone who has gone above and beyond in the service of RootsWeb? Nominate them for recognition on our Volunteer Spotlight page.
RootsWeb Review Archives
Check here for previous editions.
Editor's Desk: News and Notes
Society of Genealogists to Start Digitizing Its Library
The Society of Genealogists, in England, is home to a library of family histories, civil registration and census material, and the widest collection of county sources in the country.

The Society just announced they will be partnering with Frontis Ltd. to publish transcribed records, digitized documents, book facsimiles, and more from their library on their own website.

They will continue to sell content to Origins.net and FindMyPast.com.


Website Worth Looking At: Dead Fred: The Genealogy Photo Archive

Wish you had a photo of your great-granduncle? Or have a photo of him that you wish you could share with other family? Dead Fred is a great site for posting and locating identified and unidentified photos.

Right now the site boasts having 14,521 surnames, 75,245 photos, and 1,212 photo reunions.

If nothing else, it's a fun site to browse. Take a look.


Book Notice

The Gooding County Historical Society of Gooding, Idaho, is selling reprints of Gooding County Roots and Branches, volumes 1 and 2. The volumes have been combined into one book that costs $47.40 plus $8.00 shipping.

Volume 1 contains short histories of each of the towns in Gooding County and many of the churches, schools, and businesses of the area. There is a large section of family histories submitted by local people.

Volume 2 contains family pictures with histories attached to them.

To order, write to the following address:
Gooding County Historical Society, P.O. Box 580
Gooding, Idaho 83330

Or, e-mail the society president, Sharon Cheney, at scheney@magiclink.com.

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Using Rootsweb
By Mary Harrell-Sesniak. "Genealogy is not just a pastime; it's a passion."
Tips and Tricks: Keyboard Shortcuts I Can't Live Without
Oh to be better organized and efficient—it wouldn't be a new year without someone trying to work smarter.

And what better way to save time than by learning a few keyboard shortcuts. That doesn't mean you have to forgo your mouse, but keyboarding can save time and avoid the repetitive stress of having your hands leave the keyboard.

In the Windows world, shortcuts are implemented by using function keys, or by pressing CTRL, ALT, or the Windows Key in conjunction with another key. In the Mac domain, they generally work with the Control, Command (Open Apple), and Option keys.

So let's test your knowledge. What is the purpose of these three commands?

Command+P, Command+F, and Command+S

If you answered, print, find, and save, you are only partially correct.

Operating systems provide a set of universal shortcuts, but programmers have the ability to overwrite them. And that happens frequently in genealogy. CTRL+S, for example, can be used to cite a source in Family Tree Maker, or to open an individual's file or switch to the next screen in Personal Ancestral File (PAF).

Since each software program has its own shortcuts, open the Help Menu and search for a list. If you can't locate one under "shortcuts," search for "keystrokes." Another method is to prowl through menus and note the more common ones listed next to their features.

But some universal shortcuts, such as CTRL+A, CTRL+C, and CTRL+V are rarely overwritten. And the same goes for a Mac, which uses the Command Key in place of the CTRL Key.

I use these three commands almost every day:
CTRL+A is the universal command to select all (everything on a page).
CTRL+C copies everything selected into memory.
CTRL+V pastes the copied selection to where your cursor is located.

But why was CTRL+V selected when CTRL+P would make more sense? CTRL+P is generally used as a print shortcut. CTRL+V was chosen since it was adjacent to the C Key, which is used for copying.

One of the more common uses of CTRL+C and CTRL+V is to copy and paste repetitive data, such as when you wish to cite the same source for multiple members of a family.

Rather than retyping a citation, enter it into the first household member's record and then select and copy it. Then open the source field for another person and use CTRL+V to paste the source. There is no need to recopy the selection—you can continue to use CTRL+V to paste the data until you make another selection.

What a blessing this has been. One of my ancestors had seventeen children; CTRL+V rescued me from typing the same text sixteen times.

I also avoid using the mouse to select text. Rather than move my hand from the keyboard to the mouse, I use SHIFT+ a cursor key. Usually I choose SHIFT+Right Arrow to select to the right, but occasionally I select from right to left, or use the up or down arrow keys to select paragraphs.

You can also try SHIFT+Home or SHIFT+End to select from where your cursor is to the beginning or to the end of a line.

I'd like to leave you with one final shortcut—if you have ever worked on your family history at the local coffee shop or on an airplane, prying eyes are an issue.

Rather than use your mouse to close your programs, discreetly minimize everything by using the Windows Key+M or Open Apple+M. Then turn to your neighbor, smile politely, and say, "Can I help you with something?"

Chances are he or she is an avid genealogist who couldn't help snooping. So strike up a conversation—you might have a common ancestor.

There are many, many keyboard shortcuts, and Ray's Windows® Keyboard Shortcuts offers a respectable list for Windows users.

We'd love to see our Mac users create their own RootsWeb freepage of shortcuts. But until they do, here are some from the Apple website.

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Sibling Success

I often pursue what you call a "sideways" search. I call it an "end-run," but it's the same idea. Often, tracking siblings of an ancestor will result in some further information on a family, and sometimes another descendant will have a record or a family story that includes the information I am trying to find.

One of my end-runs was proving that my ancestor's mother was in Ohio by 1820 because a younger brother born before 1820 gave Ohio as his birthplace in censuses. But I can't prove who the ancestor was. He was born in Virginia around 1810 and no doubt came to Ohio with his parents. About the only possibility of proof he was in Ohio by 1820 would be a rare record of school pupils and a child seldom created any records.

By Ruth Dunlap

Did someone find your genealogy query on the message boards and come to your rescue? Did you find five more generations of your family in WorldConnect? We want to hear your genealogy success stories. Send your family history triumphs to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.

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Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In
RE: Adding Photos to Your WorldConnect Tree
I read your 23 January 2008 article called "Adding Photos to Your WorldConnect Tree" with great interest. I have my family tree at a couple of different websites because RootsWeb didn't handle photographs and other websites did.

However, I did not want to put the HTML tags in the Notes field as your article suggested. I use the Notes field for various information that I do not want published.

I tried and tested a few things until I hit upon this method. I am using PAF, so this terminology is theirs. I created two new "User Events" called "Document" and "Photograph" and two new "Marriage Events" called "Document" and "Photograph."

Then I opened up an individual for editing, clicked on "Options," "New Event," and selected "Photograph." I entered a date (if known), place (if known), and the HTML tags in the "Description" field.

It worked like charm! For an example of a "User Event/Photograph," "User Event/Document," and a "Marriage Event/Photograph" all in one record, see my grandmother's WorldConnect page.

Of course, now I want even more WorldConnect functionality. I have two suggestions:

1. I would like to see a "Has Photographs" alongside the check boxes for "Has Descendants," "Has Notes," and "Has Sources" on the "RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project—Global Search" page.

2. I would like to see RootsWeb check for WorldConnect pages with broken links and flag the pages that have one. I know, I know, I should test my own work, but I know a computer program could do this repetitive process much easier and faster. Bells and whistles would not be necessary—just a simple report.

By Rebecca Ann Jordan
The Watkins Man

Thanks so much for the improved newsletter. The increased font size is great and I love the new look. Instead of putting it aside and getting to it a few days or even weeks later I am now drawn to reading the Review right away.

One comment on "The Darkroom" photo of the Watkins man from last week. A Watkins man was a traveling salesman who purveyed ointments, cooking supplies, remedies, etc. He traveled to rural areas and his visits were anticipated, not only because of the goods he brought, but because of the gossip he brought.

I am sure this Watkins man was a "ladies man," as the submitter said. He sold his products to the ladies of the house and knew how to impress them by dressing nicely. I can remember my mother telling me about buying from the Watkins man and I was aware that we used Watkins vanilla in our house, but I do not ever remember any door-to-door sales in the 50s when I was growing up.

The New Schwanden Swiss Community Memorial

I am the historian for the New Schwanden Swiss Community in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The Swiss founded the area in May 1854 and settled there in March 1855, before Minnesota was declared a state in May of 1858. This area included the townships of Champlin, Dayton, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn.

Most of the family farms were taken over by the Three Rivers Park System in 1965 and absorbed into the Elm Creek Park Reserve, which has 3,600 acres of land. The last families were removed by the reserve in 2007.

I worked with the Park board in 1971 to have a Swiss Pioneers memorial built. It was dedicated on 30 October 1976 after $1,300 was collected from family members of the original Swiss pioneers. There is also an 1866 cemetery still being used at the old hub of the community.

After thirty-seven years a new memorial is being redesigned to replace the first one. The history of the community and the memorial has been on permanent display in Schwanden, Switzerland, since 14 May 2005, at the Ryslauferhuss Museum. I have not been able to find a place to display the full history online at this time, but thought I would let RootsWeb users know about it. The history is fully documented in writing and a short version is available if anyone wants one.

Comments and Corrections on Ancestry

Ancestry.com users, are you aware of their "Comments and Corrections" feature?

How often do you come up empty on a search when you know that you have your ancestor's name right? Well, maybe you had it right, but the transcriber didn't.

One example is the surname Patten, indexed by Ancestry on the 1860 and 1880 censuses in Clinton, Maine. According to vital records for Clinton, Maine, there was no Patten family there; however, there was a Potter family. All the given names and dates of birth for the "Patten" family that showed up in the census matched the information for my Potter family exactly. This was quite a big error and I couldn't find the family via Soundex.

On the left side of the census record search screen is a "View Record" link. If you click it and go to the next screen you will see a "Comments and Corrections" section. Click on it and you can "Add an ALTernate Name."

I chose to add the correct name, Potter. The reason I chose was "Transcription Error," and then I submitted the following: "According to the Clinton, Maine, vital records in Kennebec County, the family surname is POTTER, though it could easily be read as PATTEN. The 1870 census appears to support POTTER, though the 1860 and 1880 censuses are easily misread."

I first found out about this feature in October of 2007 after calling Ancestry. Since that time I have put in 155 changes, which will help other genealogists with their work via searches.

Making corrections like these will save other researchers lots of time and frustration.

Hope this is helpful and that others will take up this worthy cause.


By Mike Walton
Clinton, Maine

Have a story, question, genealogy resource, or tip you'd like to share with RootsWeb Review readers? Send it to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.

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BRITISH ANCESTORS will search the records of your English and Scottish ancestors stored in archives throughout England and Scotland, most of which are unavailable on the Internet. Friendly service, affordable prices.

For a no-obligation research assessment visit

For research of your EUROPEAN ancestors in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Holland, Italy, and Switzerland visit www.ancestorseekers.com/research/index.php

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What's New: Databases, Freepages, and Mailing Lists
New User-contributed Databases at RootsWeb

TENNESSEE. Gibson County. Rose Hill Cemetery in Humbold. 497 records.
Contributed by Cristie Sanders Wright.

NEW YORK. New York County. New York City. University of New York and Rutgers Female Institute, 1856 Alumni. 34 records. Contributed by Paula Lucy Delosh.

These databases have come online recently. They are searchable, but not browseable.

Submit Your Genealogical Data to a RootsWeb Database.

New/Updated Freepages by Individuals

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.

If your genealogy- or history-related site is located somewhere other than RootsWeb, you can add the link to RootsWeb here.

Request a Freepage (Free Web Account).

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

DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution
SMD = Society of Mayflower Descendants


  • idflic — Fort Lemhi Indian Community (Idaho)
  • msbrcdar — Bernard Romans (Mississippi) Chapter DAR
  • nyacsmd — Albany Colony (New York) Chapter SMD
  • nytcdar — Ticonderoga (New York) Chapter DAR
  • rikent2 — Kent County (Rhode Island) USGW


  • engcgs — Corbridge Genealogical Society (England)

Some of these Web pages might not be accessible yet. They are created by volunteers, so if one that interests you isn't up yet, please check again in a few days or next week.

Note that the ~[tilde] before the Web account name is required.
For example, the Fort Lemhi Indian Community (Idaho) website is at

Request a Freepage (Free Web Account).

New Mailing Lists

New Surname Mailing Lists


New Regional Mailing Lists

  • No New Regional Mailing Lists

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists

  • OH-HOLMES-OGS — This mailing list is for the Holmes County, Ohio, Chapter of OGS.
  • NEWENGLAND-SOCIETIES — This mailing list is a place where people can discuss the historical and genealogical societies in New England. Members are welcome to share information about a society they discovered and to announce society events. Members are encouraged to tell other researchers about societies that have been very helpful, etc.

To find or subscribe to a mailing list, or to search archived posts to more than 30,000 RootsWeb-hosted genealogy mailing lists, go here.

Request a Mailing List.

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The Darkroom

This is the 1914 class photo of the Gardenville School in Gardenville, Pennsylvania. My grandmother, Helen MICHENER, is the tall girl in the center back of the photo.

Submitted by Carol Norwood Doylestown
Doylestown, Pennsylvania

For a chance to see your ancestor's photo in the RootsWeb Review, send it to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com. Make sure to include your name and a brief description of the photograph.

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You Found It
A Family of Buds

In the Alabama census for Lowndes County, page 132, household 950, I found children in the Walker household named as follows: Bud (age 14), Little Bud (age 11), Buddy (age 8), Babe (age 6), Little Buddy (age 3), and Least Buddy (5/12 months).

Thanks to Ginger Jones
Prattville, Alabama
A Bachelor and a Spinster

I recently came across this entry in a Montreal, Quebec, Canada, parish register and found it amusing:

"Nathaniel Fox, bachelor, and Miss Eliza Hunt, Spinster, both of the city and district of Montreal . . . were united in Holy Wedlock this third day of January 1897. This marriage was duly solemnized between us [signed Nathaniel Fox, Elizabeth Hunt]."

Thanks to Myrna J. Coubrough

Found a funny name or humorous tidbit in old records, or an amusing entry in census, parish, church, or other records? Send these and other genealogy-related humor/humour items to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.

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  2. the following notice appears at the end of the article: Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 6 February 2008, Vol. 11, No. 6