11 June 2008, Vol. 11, No. 16
Table of Contents
Editor’s Desk: News and Notes
Using RootsWeb
Genealogy Tip
Bottomless Mailbag:
Readers Write In
Ancestor Seekers
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 frequently asked questions about RootsWeb.
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
The RootsWeb Review Celebrates its Ten-Year Anniversary
The first issue of the RootsWeb Review went out ten years ago this month, on 17 June 1998. Congratulations on ten years of keeping the RootsWeb community connected.
Changing Your Banner from Gray to Green

If you have a personal freepage and would like to change the background color of the RootsWeb masthead from gray to green, follow the instructions in the "Masthead Update for Freepages Sites" Newsroom Announcement.

If your genealogical society or group would like to change the background color of the RootsWeb masthead on its page, follow the instructions in the "New Mastheads—Look for Them Today" Newsroom Announcement.

Happy Birthday to Elaine Bukove

Elaine Bukove, our message board administrator, is celebrating her birthday tomorrow, on 12 June. Elaine has been with RootsWeb for nine years. Thanks for all your hard work Elaine.

Interactive Vietnam Memorial Wall and Family Tree Magazine Podcast

Do you have a family member that served in the Vietnam War? Footnote.com has created an interactive Vietnam Memorial Wall where you can search for and view individual names on the wall, as well as information about the individual (rank, years of service, casualty type, etc.). You can also add an image, a story, or other comments to the name. Check it out here.

Also, check out a new monthly family history podcast being produced by the popular Family Tree Magazine. Lisa Louise Cooke—creator of the Genealogy Gems podcast—hosts the half-an-hour program, which includes interviews with experts, tips on genealogy resources, sneak previews of upcoming magazine issues, and more.

Book Notice

American Fever—Australian Gold
By Denise McMahon and Christine Wild

Australians Denise McMahon and Christine Wild have completed five years of research into the lives of more than 170 men and women who ventured from America and Canada to Australia from 1850-70.

This book details the ups and downs of these immigrants' lives as they sought their fortune. Old newspapers, personal letters, and diaries unearth a history previously unknown, including information on many men previously missing from family histories.

For further information on the book, e-mail goldfever2008@gmail.com.

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Using Rootsweb
By Jana Lloyd
Creating Your Own Freepage on RootsWeb
Every month when I send out the Review, I include a list of new freepages (free Web pages) created by RootsWeb users and genealogical and historical societies. And every time I think, "I should make a Web page on RootsWeb." The problem is, I have only a basic knowledge of HTML.

I suspect there are many of you out there who also have very little or no knowledge of HTML or how to create Web pages. This article is for you.

This very basic guide will get you familiar with the resources on RootsWeb that can help you build your own Web page. It will not help you create the page of your dreams—yet. I will write several follow-up articles on this topic over the upcoming months that go into more depth.

Getting Started: What You Need to Build a Website
To build a website you need 1) space on a server where you can host your site; 2) software to help you create the site.

The great thing about RootsWeb is that it provides both of these things—it offers free space on its servers, and it has a very basic HTML editor to help you create your site. (It also has a basic WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor so you can create a page without having to know HTML, but as of this writing it is broken. I'll let you know when it is working again.)

I'm going to walk you through these first two steps. First we're going to request free server space for your site on RootsWeb. Then we're going to use the RootsWeb HTML editor to make a basic Web page. It's not going be a very pretty page—just a page. We will go into more about designing an attractive page in the follow-up articles.

Step One: Requesting Free Server Space on RootsWeb
1. Go to the RootsWeb homepage (www.RootsWeb.com).
2. Click the Web Sites tab on the main toolbar.
3. Click the "Request Free Web Space" link on the upper left-hand side of the page.

Note: You can only request space for one individual freepage on RootsWeb, although there is no limit to the number you can request for historical societies or other genealogical groups.

4. Click the "Freepages" link.

Note: Freepages are for pages created by individuals; if you want to create a page for your historical society, click "Genealogical/Historical Society Accounts."

5. Read the terms of agreement and click I agree at the bottom of the page.
6. Provide your name, e-mail address, and an account name, as directed. Write down your account name. You will need it for Step Two.
7. Click the Submit button.

In three to five days you will receive an e-mail stating that your request has been received. You will be given the URL for your Web page and a password, which you need for Step Two. You will also be signed up for the Freepages Mailing List at RootsWeb (FREEPAGES-HELP_L@rootsweb.com), where you can participate in useful discussions with other people working on their freepages.

Note: You cannot complete Step Two until you have received this e-mail.

Step Two: Creating Your Website Using the RootsWeb HTML Editor
Once you have received an e-mail from RootsWeb giving you the password for your new Web page, you can use the RootsWeb HTML editor to create a basic Web page.

1. Go to the File Manager at RootsWeb: http://freepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/fileman.
2. Enter your account name and password from Step One. Click Log in.
3. You will be prompted to select a "community." Select "Genealogy" from the drop-down list.

4. Click the Enter File Manager button.
5. Scroll down to the "HTML Editing Controls" box. Press the Create New HTML File button.

6. A field will appear with "Enter the name of the file" above it. Type "index" in the field, making sure to use only lowercase letters. Press Create and Edit.
7. Copy and paste the following in the box that appears. This is the basic HTML structure behind any Web page.


8. Think of a title for your Web page and type it between the <Title> </Title> tags. This title will not appear on your Web page anywhere; it will appear on the title bar of your Web browser.
9. Type something simple, such as "This is my first Web page," between the <Body> </Body> tags. This text will appear on your Web page. Anything on your Web page goes between these two <Body> tags.

Your document should look similar to this:

<TITLE>My Web Page</TITLE>
<BODY>This is my first Web page</BODY>

10. Click Save. You will be taken back to the main File Manager page, where you can see the file, titled "index.html."

Congratulations. You have now created your first Web page. You should be able to visit it by opening your Web browser and typing in the URL that was sent to you in Step One. It should look something like this (your account name will be behind the ~ in your URL):


Note that whatever you put between the <Title> </Title> tags is in the title bar of your Web browser; whatever you typed between the <Body> </Body> tags is on the actual Web page.

Next time we'll explore some ways to create a more dynamic, interesting page with images, formatting, and links to other pages.

By the way, if you have more experience with building Web pages, feel free to write in. I would love to get a dialog going. Send in neat tips—like how you added a guestbook to your freepage, where you found easy-to-use freeware online, or some tricks you've learned about using the RootsWeb freepage tools.

In the meantime, check out some tutorials written by RootsWeb users on HTML and creating your own freepage:

Pat Asher's "Web Tutorials".
Pat Geary's "Website Design for the Genealogist".
Juanita Ballard's "Help Pages".

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Genealogy Tip
By Mary Harrell-Sesniak
Creating a Printable List of a Folder's Contents

Sometimes tasks that should be simple aren't—like creating a printable list of the contents in a Windows folder (e.g., all the files in a folder or all the folders within another folder). This is a much-requested procedure and an important one for managing files and pictures. Since there is no built-in command within Windows to do this, Microsoft offers two solutions: 1) take a screenshot of the folder’s contents, or 2) use the Command Prompt within the operating system.


I have another solution. You can use Windows to create a batch file, or a file with a list of commands for the computer to execute.

  1. Open Notepad or a program that saves in text format. Notepad is located at Start>All Programs>Accessories>Notepad.
  2. Cut and paste the following into the document. The remarks (REM) lines aren’t part of the command, but they document the procedure so you can remember how to do it in the future.

    REM Save this file as myfilelist.bat in the folder where you wish to create a file list.
    REM Double-click the file to run the program.
    REM Previously published in RootsWeb Review by Mary Harrell-Sesniak.

  3. Save the document as a batch file. Select Save As from the File menu and navigate to the folder where you wish to create a file list. Name the file “myfilelist.bat”, making certain to add the extension “.bat” to the name (no spaces or quotes).
  4. Close Notepad. Navigate to the folder where the .bat file is located and double-click on it. A file named “myfilelist.txt” will be created in the folder.
  5. Open the .txt file and print or edit it as necessary.

Note: I have kept this process as simple as possible, but our more technically savvy readers may know variations. For instance, if you remove the “/b” from the command in Step 2, the dates and times will be included in front of the document names. And to sort by document types, add an “/oe”, which orders the list by extension.


Also, one word of caution. Feel free to share these instructions with others, but don't send the batch (.bat) file via e-mail as an attachment—although this one is safe, batch files are sometimes perceived as spyware.
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More About Orphan Heirlooms

After reading the article “Orphan Heirlooms” in the 26 March issue of the RootsWeb Review, I wanted to share my own heirloom story.

My story takes place over nearly thirty years. While I lived in Battle Creek, Michigan, during the 1980s, I loved to go shopping at antique stores and antique markets. There were plenty around Battle Creek. At one point I purchased a little leather-bound diary from 1880 that had been written in by a woman named Susie Errington. It was a charming little book, and I wanted to make sure it didn't get discarded and lost forever. At the time I gave no thought to transcribing it. Fast forward to about 2002, in Alpena, Michigan.

While I was in Alpena, I became interested in genealogy. I tried to read the diary, but it was nearly impossible because it was written in pencil and very faint. Even when I tried to enlarge and copy it, it was very hard to read some pages. When I bought a scanner I had much more success. I then moved back to Utah and continued to transcribe the diary while doing a little research on the young lady who had written it. I contacted genealogical societies in the Battle Creek area, and in Muskegon, since it was mostly written there, where the author was living in 1880. Both organizations found me much more family information, and together we got the diary completed and put online on two sites:

Fast forward again to March 2008. I received an e-mail from Starr Rico, who told me the location of a school where Susie Errington had applied for a teaching position. I wrote back and mentioned (as I always did) that I was searching for a family member to return the diary to. She replied and said, "I'm the Special Projects Coordinator for the Muskegon Family Heritage Network." After several conversations she offered to have her group take custody of the diary and put it in the Muskegon County Museum. I agreed, with the caveat that if a descendant ever asked for the diary, he or she could have it.

Starr did more research and found out Susie's marriage date; then found out Susie died a year after her marriage (which grieved both of us). She got in contact with Debra Stanley, Office Manager of Oak Hill Cemetery, to try and find Susie’s burial site. However, Debra did more than just find her burial site. She found a relative of Susie's that would be able to take the diary back. He was seventy-nine-year-old Eugene Provost, who lived almost exactly where Susie had been born and raised. I mailed him the transcription of the diary and Starr mailed him the diary itself. Eugene said he planned to show the diary to his ninety-eight-year-old cousin, who was very anxious to see it. No one knows why the diary was lost, but now it's back home where it belongs.

Without places like RootsWeb, and without all the great genealogical organizations that always seem to be just waiting for a special project, this could never have happened. No one knows why the diary was lost and that little book traveled at least 8,000 miles to get from Battle Creek back to Battle Creek, but it's finally home in good hands now. Starr and I feel that we've accomplished a miracle, and we don't know if we'll ever be this effective again. But we certainly will keep trying.

By Myra Herron
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Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In
Headstones for Union Civil War Soldiers Revisited

I am writing in response to the recent comments about free headstones being provided for Civil War veterans by the Veteran's Administration (VA). My husband is a member of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. He is also the grave registration chairman for our county in Michigan.

The Sons have undertaken a project for a number of years to register all Civil War veterans’ gravesites in the United States. In the process, cemeteries are walked and records are researched. If a stone identified as belonging to a veteran is unreadable or if there is no stone present, one is ordered; in many instances a dedication ceremony is also scheduled. We have held a dedication service for new stones placed every May for the last three or four years. The Sons can help with the forms and the necessary records that need to accompany the form. Sometimes they even dig the holes and install the stones if it's a small cemetery without a sexton who can do that job.

The Sons have a national website with links to different state departments and grave registration chairmen for each state. Each chairman has access to a database where they can look up grave locations.

By Mary, Michigan
Orphan Yearbooks

Jana Lloyd wrote an article titled “Orphan Heirlooms” in the 26 March issue of the Review, in which she talked about a reader’s orphaned yearbook find.

Orphan yearbooks are usually welcomed by alumni groups of the school or community where the yearbook originated.

My hometown's old high school was destroyed in a fire many years ago, and it destroyed their collection of yearbooks. Filling in the gaps has been the project of our alum group for many years. I’m sure many schools also have gaps in their collections, and even if they don’t, they usually welcome duplicates.

 If the school in question no longer exists or can't be located, local, county, and state libraries often welcome such orphans. So do local museums.

I was able to obtain an interesting "orphan"—a collection of old school photos from the 1930s through the 1950s—from another school in the community. An on-going project of mine is to identify those in the photos, which is proving to be a real challenge.

Yearbooks and school photos are important layers of history for communities.

More Difficult Surnames to Search

Editor’s Note:
We continue to expand our list of difficult surnames to search from lists published in earlier contributions to the Bottomless Mailbag.


A Court Record Database for Southeast England

My attention has been drawn to a website that could be useful to researchers with an interest in the Southeast area of England, particularly the London, Middlesex, area—especially where a relative may have been the perpetrator, victim, or witness to a crime; or where he may have been a judge, prosecutor, police officer, etc.

The site is www.oldbaileyonline.org and displays verbatim the reports of cases held at the Old Bailey, or the Central Criminal Court, from 1674–1913. There are also scanned images of the transcripts of trials.

The site is fully indexed. I recommend the Advanced Search for surnames. An Any Word search is available, as is a link to maps. Wherever a street/road is mentioned in the transcript, one click takes you there.

What’s more—it’s free!

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

Editor's note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the editor or of RootsWeb.com.

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Ancestor Seekers Tenth Salt Lake City Research Trip

Join others throughout the U.S.A. and Canada for the dream genealogy vacation. Spend a whole week at the Family History Library, accessing the world's largest collection of genealogical records with help and advice from accredited genealogist professionals. Opening and closing socials, theater trip, and other optional activities!

"Thank you all for such a wonderful experience." (Marsha, Iowa)

Visit http://www.ancestorseekers.com/slcrt/.

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

No New User-contributed Databases.

Submit Your Genealogical Data to a RootsWeb Database.

New/Updated Freepages by Individuals
No 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

ALHN = The American Local History Network
SUVCW = Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
UDC = United Daughters of the Confederacy
USGW = United States GenWeb


  • alnegens — Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society
  • arlrcjs — Little Rock Company (Arkansas) Jamestown Society
  • gapcgs — Paulding County (Georgia) Genealogical Society
  • njihcudc — Isaac W. K. Handy (New Jersey) UDC
  • ohsnodcs — Snodgrass Clan Society (Ohio)
  • okkinggs — Kingfisher County (Oklahoma) Genealogical Society
  • okrogwgc — Ward Grove Cemetery near Foyil, Rogers County, Oklahoma
  • tnalhnlc — Lauderdale County (Tennessee) ALHN
  • tnknox — Knox County (Tennessee) Local History Network ALHN
  • tnuvcwfd — Fort Donelson Camp 62 (Tennessee) SUVCW
  • txatasco — Atascosa County (Texas) USGW


  • canpenti — Penticton (Canada) Family History Centre

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 Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society website is at

Request a Freepage (Free Web Account).

New Mailing Lists

New Surname Mailing Lists

New Regional Mailing Lists

  • MS-HANCOCK-OBITS — A mailing list for sharing obituaries from Hancock County, Missouri.
  • INDIA-PAKISTAN-DNA — A mailing list for communicating with others about Indian and Pakistani sub continental DNA and for backing-up existing DNA projects through any testing company.
  • NEGEN-LANCASTER — A mailing list specifically for announcements and genealogy queries and data pertaining to the Lancaster County, NEGenWeb Project website.

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists

  • CSS — A mailing list for genealogists creating websites using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
  • FAMILYSEARCHLABS — A mailing list for the discussion of Family Search Labs including finding records, requesting lookups, and other topics regarding the Family Search Labs website.

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 a photograph of my great-grandfather, Zeb Odette, circa 1915. I have the Odette/Audet/Audet dit Lapointe line traced back to France, 1580.

Submitted by Rick Squires

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
What's in a Name?

In  the 1980s, while working in a bank, I found the following name: “Useless Love.”

Thanks to VLW
Colorful Seasons

My mother comes from the family line of Winter, and while researching I discovered a non-related Winter with the Christian name of Purple.

Thanks to Stuart and Kathy
Funnies in the FreeBMD

Here are a few interesting names I have transcribed for FreeBMD:

Olive Green Coates
Milder Currey
Fanny Packer
Owen Owen Owens
Kitchen Fawcett
Young Fry
Violet Tulip
Hugh Pugh
Wealthy Case

Thanks to Dave
On the Job

The person listed beneath my great-great-grandparents in the census has listed as his occupation, “whiskey drinker.”

Thanks to Cheryl
Some Family Humor

A little girl asked her mother, "How did the human race appear?"

The mother answered, "God made Adam and Eve and they had children and so was all mankind made." 

Two days later the girl asked her father the same question. 

The father answered, "Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved."

The confused girl returned to her mother and said, "Mom, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said they developed from monkeys?"
The mother answered, "Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his."

Thanks to Donna
Young Boozer

I found the name "Young Boozer" in a University of Alabama yearbook from the mid-1930s. I recall that this young man was a member of the football team. He apparently lived a long life, since there is a Young Boozer listed in the Social Security Death Index from Alabama who lived from 1912-2000 who seems to be the same person.

Thanks to Tom Cooper
Humorous Newspaper Headlines

In the last “Review,” someone wrote in about a humorous newspaper headline announcing the marriage of a woman from a town named “Normal” to a man from a town by the name of “Oblong.” The headline, "Normal Woman to Marry Oblong Man" immediately brought to my mind a similar headline from a North Central Iowa newspaper that has been a source of chuckles for several generations:

"Fertile Man Marries Manly Woman"

You'll find the towns of Fertile and Manly just north of Mason City, Iowa, in southern Worth County.


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

  1. the reprint is used for non-commercial, educational purposes; and
  2. the following notice appears at the end of the article: Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 11 June 2008, Vol. 11, No. 16