8 April 2009, Vol. 12, No. 4
Table of Contents
Editor's Desk
Using RootsWeb
Genealogy Tip
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 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

Over the past few years we have seen a few changes to the Review – the loss of our beloved editor, Myra, changing from weekly to monthly mailings, and now another transition of editors.  Jana Lloyd has moved on to greener pastures and passed the reins of the editor responsibilities for the RootsWeb Review on to me.  I am grateful to have two dedicated writers, Mary and Joan, and a great support team – Gerhard, that’s you – who have helped to make this transition go smoothly.  I have been a fan of RootsWeb for many years, have worked with the site for the past two years, and I am excited for this new opportunity.

If you have ideas or suggestions that you would like to share for what you would like to see in the Review, what you think we could do better, etc. please email me, anna@rootsweb.com.   

I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter!

Anna Fechter, RootsWeb Review Editor
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Using Rootsweb

By Anna Fechter

New RootsWeb Feature – Hosted Site Registry

Have you ever wondered what our staff sits around and talks about, or why we choose to work on some projects versus others?  Do you ever wish we would work on something that you feel should be done?  Or are you just curious about how our team works?  We do get asked some of these questions, although I think they go unasked more often than not, so I thought it would be nice to give you a brief insight into how our team works. 

Let me introduce you to the team:  Randy Winch, developer extraordinaire, Doug Cortney, another brilliant developer (Doug splits his time between Genealogy.com and RootsWeb), Bill Keating, Systems Administrator, David Graham, Product Manager, Anna Fechter, Community Operations Manager, Ben Tyler, Operations Assistant Manager, and the Operations team, Gerhard Ruf, Michael Rasmussen, and David Coleman.  Together we coordinate and work to make sure RootsWeb is a great place for the community to gather.

Each month we meet a few times to discuss high level planning, sorting out what needs to be worked on, how current projects are coming along, what still needs to be done, if there is anything new to be done, etc.  We have a list of wishes and needs and we try to balance out what can get done during the month.

So how come you don’t see something new every month?  Each month a certain amount of time is allocated to bug work, systems maintenance and day-to-day tasks, and in between that work we squeeze in new work, which is sometimes visible and often times not, such as projects like the new servers last year.  We would like to have a new feature every month but we would also like to keep Randy sane and happy!

Which brings me to our new feature... Close to a year ago we started thinking about what we could do to enhance the searching of sites hosted on RootsWeb, especially those that are part of larger organizations or societies.  We now have a solution – the Hosted Site Registry!

The Hosted Site Registry is a one stop registration for your sites hosted on RootsWeb, taking the place of the Websites Registry.  We have improved the functionality and added new features to the registry, including the ability to choose an associated organization.

As you can see, you can choose to register your site in association with an organization, and select whether you would like it categorized as a Regional, Surname or Miscellaneous site.  Each category will be separated out and will be searchable based on the information you have provided.  We know there is a lot of great information that you have a lot of time compiling and we hope that this new feature will allow others to more readily find your sites.

We are starting out with a set list of organizations based on the sites that we currently host.  If you are part of an organization other than the ones we have listed you can choose the “Independent society or organization” option.

Many members host family sites.  In this case the form will look a little different as we split out the entry fields so you can enter up to 10 surnames that others can search by to find your site.

And lastly, you can choose to associate your site with one of the Miscellaneous categories. Please choose the category that best fits your site.

Sites will initially be searchable based on key words and associated names.  Searching for US GenWeb will return a list of the sites who have registered as a US GenWeb site.  Searching for Jones will bring you a list of all of the sites registered with Jones surname.  Additional browse features and mother minor changes will be coming soon.

Please visit the Hosted Site Registry, www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/hsr , to register your website(s) – as an added bonus for using our new feature during the month of April, we will enter your name in a raffle to win one of two Ancestry Annual World Deluxe subscriptions.

The Hosted Site Registry is in Beta, so we are still working to fine tune the process and would love to hear your feedback!  Please email us at helpdesk-post@rootsweb.com with the subject line of “Hosted Site Registration” and let us know what you think.

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Genealogy Tip

By Mary Harrell-Sesniak
"Genealogy is not just a pastime; it's a passion."

Labeling Documents for Genealogical Proofs

Genealogy societies generally require proof and source documents to be labeled – lest the application paperwork should become shuffled while reviewing.

Many require your name, eligible ancestor, and details such as the chapter you wish to join, or generation of the ancestor.  In the case of an early American proof, this can result in as many as 70-80 documents – as each ancestor's birth, marriage, death and connection to the next generation must be proved.

Rather than label by hand, create labels.

For simplicity, try a free online service, such as Avery Dennison's Design and Print Online. Prompts are easily followed by clicking next – and after creating a label sheet, print at home or save for later use.

  1. At www.avery.com, select Design and Print Online.
  2. Register if prompted.
  3. Select by product number, description, or category (ex. address labels).  This example demonstrates by category, which displays a screen shot showing specifics.
  1. To select a blank label, select Basic Design and click the label graphic to continue.
  2. Try Quick and Simple (or Enhanced Editing for complete control or Mail Merge to import data from your computer.)
  3. As information is entered, it is copied to the next label. Individualize each label, if desired.
  4. Select a font and review for changes.
  5. Select Print or Save, to save in an Avery format.  Choosing print displays a pdf (portable document format) file, which offers the ability of saving the file to your computer.
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Genealogy Angel

I have learned that genealogy angels do not always come with obvious halos.  I was researching in the Meigs County Library and a loud, genial elderly man was keeping up a constant distracting conversation as he monopolized the only copy machine.  So I left and went to the Meigs County Historical Association, where I was monopolizing the copy machine when I heard the loud man come in.  Darn! 

I finished my copying and went out into the other room where the records are kept and the loud man (who had announced in a booming voice that he was "Ted") asked me who I was looking for.  Although I was pressed for time (and did not feel too fond of Ted), I politely said I was looking for James Tracy, my 3rd great grandfather, who seemed to have been born under a cabbage leaf because there was NO information about this man anywhere. 

Ted said, "You mean THIS James Tracy?" and pointed to the book open in front of him.  There was James' handwritten declaration of intent to become a citizen, which listed his birth date (1811), birthplace (Gallen Parrish, Kings County Ireland), his embarkation date (April 1836, from Liverpool), his arrival date and port (June 1836, Philadelphia), and that he had stayed in Philadelphia for a year before coming to Meigs County, OH. 

I was flabbergasted.  I had just learned more about my lost ancestor due to Ted's kind assistance than I had learned in months of searching.  Ted was happy to have helped.  He polished up his halo and flew off to hog the copy machine, but I did not mind.


Nancy Schleich
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Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In
Mixed Feelings

Several years ago, on a whim, I drove to the part of the country where I knew my relatives had grown up, married and my parents died.  I had exhausted Rootsweb.com and Ancestry.  So, during my trip I stopped at small little towns and asked the police department where the marriage and death records would be held.  At one small town, the gal at the desk asked me casually if I wanted police records too.  I thought; sure, why not, not believing for a minute that my wonderful, delightful and pristine family would be found there.  Much to my horror ... I found reams of records concerning my great grandfather and his brothers .... and his soon to be wife’s brother as well ... all listed on police blotters of 1900 or so!!   In one fell swoop I found my great grandfather, an unknown cousin and a future brother-in-law all in jail for public drunkenness.  I followed this group, and a few more cohorts through two states ... I'm sure their mother wasn't proud, but I was delighted!!  

Rosie Fuller, Aloha, Oregon

Thanks to RootsWeb

I just received the Rootsweb Review, 11 March 2009, Vol. 12, No. 3 and had to write and let you know that your newsletter just provided me with the link to find the document I have been searching for the last 8 years.  Your article on death certificates caught my eye, especially the LDS free pilot website.  I have been searching for death confirmation on a Fred W. Snell.  Fred was married to my Great Aunt Hattie Maria VanOrnam.  I thought, “I have tried everything else so I might as well check out the website.”  When I typed in his name, up came an Arizona Death Certificate but what really made my heart start beating was seeing the names of his parents, William S. Snell and Parthena Sherman, in the records detail.  When I opened the document, there was my Fred.  His brother, Frank, was listed as the informant, his parents names were listed and it showed his burial as Long Beach, California.  I had found his grave 8 years ago.

Thanks so much for helping me track down this document!

The Missing Grandpa

Although I approached my dad a number of times about his father, he never shared any information about him with me.  Nearly 20 years after my dad's death, I felt a need to find details about my missing grandfather. I contacted my aunt, my dad's oldest sister, and asked about her father. She was only 13 when he apparently left home, but she readily told me what little she knew about him. Her scant information was the spark that kindled my interest in Genealogy, and it still burns today at nearly 80 years of age.

Yes, I found my grandfather, dead of course, and his story was one I knew my aunt would not want to know. I omitted the unpleasant portion, and told her I knew where he was buried and when he died. She immediately began  making plans to visit his grave, but she became ill, and died shortly thereafter. She was in her 90's.

Jack Lamphier in Florida

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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Calling All Ancestral Scots – Homecoming Scotland 2009

Throughout 2009, over 300 major events and festivals will pay homage to Scotland as the home of Robert Burns, Whisky, Golf and Great Minds & Innovations. One much talked about event is The Gathering 2009!  Why not be a part of history and join clan members from around the world to witness Scotland's largest ever Clan Gathering!

So come home in 2009 and join the year of celebration!  For more information about planning a trip to Scotland go to www.cometoscotland.com  or to trace your family history, please visit www.ancestralscotland.com.

Ancestor Seekers September 2009 Salt Lake City Research Trip
31 AUGUST – 5 SEPTEMBER 2009 – 10% Discount for Early Registration

Join others from 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 us   Or call TOLL FREE at 877-402-6846

Masterwork pedigrees that tell a unique and remarkable story. Yours.

Extraordinary, original and like nothing else, these custom, handcrafted pedigrees are meticulously created as dramatic works of art. Each original is unique and customized by the artist to reflect your unique family heritage. Whether the style be historic, heraldic, ancient or contemporary, the design is created by hand on rich, archival paper then stain-aged with rich textures and antique tones. The finished art is then mounted with fine, hand-made papers and exquisite mattes. Finally the entire work is custom framed, then shipped to you to be displayed and handed down as an heirloom for many generations. For more information email forebearers@comcast.net

The 40th Annual Genealogy Jamboree, sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society, will be held June 26-28 in Burbank, California. Jamboree offers over 100 lecture sessions by speakers that Dick Eastman called "...a Who's Who in genealogy."  Headliners include Andrew Wait, Senior VP and General Manager of Family History for Ancestry.com; Tony Burroughs, FUGA; David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS; DearMYRTLE; Maureen Taylor; and many, many more - far too many to mention by name. Friday night's banquet features Dr. Tukufu Zuberi of the PBS series History Detectives.  This year's ethnic track focuses on British Isles. Among the 60+ exhibitors are Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, NEHGS, NGS, and FGS. Free events on Friday morning include beginner genealogy sessions, Genealogy Boot Camp for Librarians, Kids' Family History Camp, and a tour of the SCGS Family Research Library.  Visit www.scgsgenealogy.com for the details and to register online. Discount for early registration by May 15.

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


Submit Your Genealogical Data to a RootsWeb Database.

New/Updated Freepages by Individuals

USS Henry R. Mallory includes the stories of the survivors of this ship’s last and fateful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.  These stories give the reader a feeling of how it really was when the balance of power was still waning from one side to the other. This happened during one of the biggest convoy battles of the war.  The loss of lives was one of the largest of any ship sinking.  Here is one of the untold and largely unknown but heroic stories of the battle of the Atlantic.

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

AHGP = American History and Genealogy Project
ALHN = American Local History Network
CAR = Children of the American Revolution
DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution


  • cahcmcar — Hiram C. Meek Society (CA), CAR
  • cargdgs — Roots and Gold Dust (El Dorado, CA) Genealogical Society
  • cophoto — Colorado Genealogical Photos
  • kyboyd2 — Boyd County (KY) AHGP Projects
  • kyestil2 — Estill County, Kentucky AHGP
  • kyhopkgs — Hopkins County (KY) Genealogical Society
  • kylewis4 — Lewis County (KY) AHGP
  • micd17c — Michigan State Society Colonial Dames 17th Century
  • micrgs — Cass River (MI) Genealogy Society
  • mnrrvn — Red River Valley of the North Histories (Kittson Co, MN)
  • momgcsar — M. Graham Clark Chapter (MO) Sons of the American Revolution
  • momcdon2 — McDonald County (MO) Genealogy
  • njcdvdar — Captain Daniel Vliet Chapter (NJ) DAR
  • tnrhea — Rhea County (TN) ALHN
  • wamlcdar — Mary Lacy Chapter (WA) DAR
  • widoor2 — Door, Kewaunee and Manitowoc County (WI) Irish Immigrants - ALHN


  • bracurit - Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
  • mexgudar - Guadalajara Chapter (Mexico) DAR

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 American History and Genealgy Project Lewis County (Kentucky) website is at

Request a Freepage (Free Web Account).

New Mailing Lists

New Surname Mailing Lists

New Regional Mailing Lists

  • None

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists

  • CA-VCGS — A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the activities of the Ventura County (California) Genealogical Society (VCGS) and genealogical resources available in the Ventura County area.

  • UNIFORMS & BADGES — A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding military uniforms and badges, providing insight on descendants of those bearing military uniforms and badges. We welcome discussions on the topic from all military groups for any time.

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.

The Darkroom

Lillie McGuckin Greenwood Shawver, b. 3 Jan 1877, d. 27 Sep 1960, won first prize with her FOSTER LUMBER CO of Tonkawa, OK dress. This was probably a Cherokee Strip, OK celebration about 1910 - 1912.

The pointed pieces of wood, on her hat, were porch trim. There are other pieces of trim on the dress. Around her waist and in her hair are curl shavings produced by an old hand plane. There is a sample bundle of wood shingles on her left side, a window screen with the wire and molding in front, below her waist, picket fence samples at the bottom, and around her waist paint sample boards with more paint sample boards near the bottom and on the sides of her skirt.

Gene Fountain Marshall

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
How Old Was That?

Mick & Paddy are reading head stones at a nearby cemetery. Mick says,
'Crikey! There's a bloke here who was 152!'

Paddy says, 'What’s his name?'

Mick replies, 'Miles from London!'

Thanks to Maggie Lambert, of Canberra, Australia
A Reminder From The Past

While moving to a new home, I opened an old box filled years before by my now deceased mother.  It contained cherished items that she valued, including items from her mother, and her grandparents.  The best item was a handwritten note from mom telling me to “Be Careful Butterfingers.”  That was what she called me whenever I was going to handle something delicate.  This was my mother telling me that everything in the box was very fragile and very special.  What a happy memory.

Thanks to Sally
A Unique Census Occupation Listing

In an old census record, I found this entry for two grown children who were still living at home with their parents.  Under Occupation they were listed as "without gumption."

Thanks to Joan

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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If you use a spam-filtering program, in order to receive the RootsWeb Review please make sure that you're allowing e-mail from rootswebreview@email.rootsweb.com. The RootsWeb Review is a free publication of The Generations Network, Inc., 360 West 4800 North, Provo, UT, 84604

The RootsWeb Review does not publish or answer genealogical queries, and the editor regrets that she is unable to provide any personal research assistance or advice.

RootsWeb Review welcomes short (500 words or less) articles, humor, stories, or letters, and reserves the right to edit all submissions. The announcement of books and products is provided as a community service and is not an endorsement in any way. Pictures for "The Darkroom" should be at least 72 dpi, preferably jpgs.

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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: 8 April 2009, Vol. 12, No. 4