8 July 2009, Vol. 12, No. 7
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 Review Archives
Check here for previous editions.
Editor's Desk
In Memory of John Fuller

Over the years there have been many volunteers who have made a great contribution to RootsWeb – we currently have 20,000+ volunteers who assist with List and Board administration.  One such volunteer was John Fuller.  Anyone involved in the mailing lists is likely familiar with this name as John took on the responsibility of making sure the list descriptions were applicable, useful and up to date.  This may not seem like a lot unless you know that we add lists weekly, and that we have 30,000+ mailing lists.  John also maintained the Genealogy Resources on the Internet site, which is a one stop shopping for genealogical mailing lists on sites across the web.  It is with sad hearts that we heard of his passing on June 14 after a long struggle with cancer.  Until the end he was dedicated to assisting others – Thank you John!

WorldConnect Hints

The world of trees on RootsWeb changed last week. … You will now see hints for Ancestry.com appearing in both the individual and pedigree views for persons in your tree(s).  These hints will alert you to possible record matches for the individuals on your tree in databases on Ancestry.com.  Our hope is that these hints may lead you to a record that will assist you in your research.

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Using RootsWeb

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

GEDCOMS and WorldConnect

GEDCOMS are the nearly universal standard format for sharing genealogy.

Developed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, GEDCOM stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunication. The GEDCOM process allows exporting data from one genealogy program and importing into another. And many Web applications, such as WorldConnect, support GEDCOMS.

A simple text file is created with names and data in a hierarchical structure, that connects one person to another – but don't worry about doing this yourself, since your genealogy program will handle the mechanics. Just learn the steps for creating a GEDCOM.

You can create a GEDCOM for an entire file or portions. You can protect the identity of living individuals by privatizing.

Among the advantages of GEDCOMS are:

  1. sharing data without rekeying
  2. limiting what is shared
  3. uploading to the Web
  4. importing data when you switch software
  5. using a GEDCOM as a backup

The process of creating GEDCOMS is simple, since most programs place the feature on the File Menu. Wording may change, but the process is similar.
            File > Export
            File > Save as GEDCOM

Using Family Tree Maker 2009 (FTM) as an example, let's create a GEDCOM based upon all descendants of an ancestor.

  1. Select File > Export.

  1. Change Output Format from Family Tree Maker to GEDCOM 5.5, the latest version.

  1. Click option boxes to privatize living people or include / exclude facts, notes, media files and tasks.

  2. Change Entire file to Selected individuals to display the Filter window.

  3. Locate individuals by scrolling, or type a surname, followed by a comma and at least part of the given name. (e.g. Gainsborough, Ch). Choose Descendants to send all descendants of the individual to the right side. To remove one, select him/her and press Exclude.
  4. If desired, add more to your selection list (ex., Ancestors).

  1. Filtering in (including) or out (excluding) allows selection by specific criteria. Choose a field name (e.g. search where), a filter operator, and a value. Depending upon the select field, these  operators appear:

    Does not contain
    Does not equal
    Is after
    Is before
    Is blank
    Is not blank

    TIP: To find all persons with military service, filter a military field with the "Is not blank" criteria.

    Filter by vital facts or by any field in your file. As an example, eliminate individuals born before 1900, or locate records where information varies, such as in a military field which might specify a specific war (ex. Civil or Revolutionary).

    Search where: Birth
    Operator: Is Before
    Value: 1900

    Search where: Military
    Operator: Is not blank
    Value: (not used)

  1. Select OK to continue. A name and reference date is prompted (ex. Gainsborough_2009-05-12.ged). Feel free to change it, or where it is stored.

Once you have created your GEDCOM, share with others or upload to the Web. Here are some steps for importing to RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project.


WorldConnect accepts several file formats, but GEDCOMS are the most common.

  1. Before starting, read the FAQs from the WorldConnect Menu.

  2. Select Start here If new, register for a free account; otherwise login.
  1. Create a unique Tree ID (3-16 characters) and descriptive title. If the ID is already being used, try another. Read the Acceptable Use Policy and policies about living persons privacy filtering.
  1. Select Choose File, navigate to the GEDCOM on your computer, Open and Upload the file.
  1. WorldConnect will display a status report.
  1. If successful, you'll see, "Congratulations! Your new tree has been added to WorldConnect and will be available for the RootsWeb community to search within 36 hours." If unsuccessful, recreate the GEDCOM and try again.
  1. Tree Settings include:

    Display Options
    Living Person Options
    GEDCOM Download Options
    Owner Information (name, email and whether to be notified about post-ems)
    Manage Post-ems (messages left by others)
    Replace Tree with New GEDCOM
    Download GEDCOM
    Put Tree Online / Offline
    Delete Tree (this is permanent)
    WorldConnect FAQS (answers to questions)

  1. Display Options include:

    Bold Names
    Uppercase Surnames
    Default Pedigree Style (table / text)
    Maximum Pedigree, Descendancy, Register and Ahnentafel Depths
      (e.g., # of generations displayed in reports)
    Homepage URL / Title (optional link to outside webpage)
    Page Heading / Footer
      (what displays at the top / bottom)
    Allow HTML in GEDCOM
      (hypertext markup language for notes & sources; if novice select no)
    Fix Buggy CONC usage
      (necessary if online display of words run together)

  1. GEDCOM Download Options:
    To allow downloading, select yes and determine the depth (# of generations) allowed. An optional message can be added to each individual.

Now that you have this brief introduction, try uploading to WorldConnect. The Post-em feature alone is worth the experience.  As others find your lineage, they may leave you updates, corrections and source information!

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Genealogy Tip

By Joan Young

What Not to Send to WorldConnect

If RootsWeb developer, Randy Winch, wanted to hold a bargain basement sale of unusable files submitters have tried to send to WorldConnect in vain attempts to upload their family trees there would be quite an inventory available for purchase!

WorldConnect can only accept files with the file extension .ged (or zipped .ged files with the extension .zip). That hasn't stopped submitters over the years from unsuccessfully sending a wide variety of file types.

I asked Randy for a list of the more popular unacceptable files received by WorldConnect. He did a scan and came up with the following list.

The most common unusable file type is .ftw (which stands for Family Tree Maker for Windows) plus Family Tree Maker backup files with the extension .fbk. There is even an extensive collection of .exe files (executable program files) for Family Tree Maker (as well as other programs).

Also found in the unusable pile are a vast array of files with the extension .pdf (portable document file). Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and Access files (with .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .accdb, and .accde and similar file extensions) are also well represented. Open Office files (.ods, .odt) which are similar to MS Office documents, Rich Text formatted text documents (.rtf), JPEG and GIF image files are there. WorldConnect even has been sent a few Windows Help documents.

If these files don't strike your fancy, how about some DBase 3 Data files with memos, MacBinary III data files with a surprising number of versions represented, or UTF-8 Unicode HTML document text files?

The submitters of these wayward files mistook other files on their computers for their family tree GEDCOM (GEnealogical Data COMmunication) file – it’s easy to do.  Save your tree in GEDCOM format before attempting to upload to WorldConnect. Double check the file name of the GEDCOM file you wish to upload before proceeding to upload it. Use WorldConnect's browse option to locate and highlight your GEDCOM (.ged) or zipped GEDCOM (.zip) file for upload. 

For more information about GEDCOM files, see:
Using Technology to Dig Up Roots, RootsWeb Guide, Lesson 3.
For assistance with submitting a GEDCOM to WorldConnect, see:
World Connect Help Pages, and
Submitting Your Tree Via Postal Mail.

And remember:
Acceptable files: ged (or zipped gedcoms)
Unacceptable files: accde, doc, docx, exe, fbk, ftw, jpg, jpeg, gif, ods, odt, rtf, xls, xlsx and all other file types.

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Online Tree Triggers Contact

I was contacted by a third cousin who found my family tree on Ancestry.com. She asked whether I would be interested in sharing information on our common ancestors, and I gladly accepted.

She had found a good deal of information on our great great grandfather, Dr. Isaac Newton Jones. While I had some information on him, she knew much more and was happy to share. Among other items, she sent me copies of documents showing that he served as a member of Congress. The best part was that this wasn't the U.S. Congress, but the Congress of the Republic of Texas!

I now have copies of pay records that show Dr. Jones serving from November 5 to December 5 of 1838 and from December 6 to January 24, 1839 as the Representative from Red River. He received five dollars per day for his service.

My cousin also shared the circumstances of Dr. Jones' death on February 11, 1858. It seems that a new boiler had been installed on the Jones plantation in Lafayette County, Arkansas. During an inspection of this new addition, the boiler tragically exploded while he was standing next to it, killing him instantly.

These and other details gave me a much better understanding of the life of my great great grandfather. Had my cousin not found my online family tree, I may never have learned as much about him. 

Tom Caswell in UT
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Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In
One Act of Kindness Mushrooms

I enjoy reading the email I get from Rootsweb, but have never had anything to contribute. That has changed.  Two weeks ago, I got an email from someone on ancestry.com, inviting me to visit the web information they had provided on the Moeller family in Scotia, NE. They had seen postings by me on both RootsWeb and Ancestry, searching for my family in that area.  As it turns out the Zion Lutheran Church in Scotia, NE is going through their Church records, which date back to the 1890's.  As they look through these records and if they are able, they put together family trees and post them on web sites, such as ancestry.com. They are hoping to find living descendants of some of their early parishioners.  What a wonderful thing to do.  That is how I came to find my great great grandfather Carsten Moeller, his wife Christena Schmidt, their daughter (my great grandmother) Maria Magdelana Henrietta Moeller and other children.  This also led to Maria's husband Wilhelm Joehnk and his parents, my great great grandparents Fritz Joehnk and his wife Magdelena Seeman.

What an unexpected find and what a treasure to me and my family from this one act of kindness.

Elaine Neel in Derby, KS

Presidents and States as Given Names

While working on my family tree, I kept noticing that many woman were named after states and many men after presidents. My favorite name comes from my own tree -- Louisiana America Collinsworth b. 1863. All states were represented in my name search. I didn't do an exhaustive search, but found 4 states that only yielded males named after them: Arizona, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and South Dakota. As far as "Indiana Jones" goes, there are numerous real Indiana Joneses in various family trees. Another interesting tidbit is that every president through John Fitzgerald Kennedy has someone named after him. In my tree alone there are 7 persons with given names of George Washington and 10 persons with given names of Thomas Jefferson.  

Janice M. Marler of Mission, TX

Gratitude for Cemetery Transcribers

I have looked for the death date of an ancestor of my husband in Muskegon, MI for several years.  One day I was browsing on RootsWeb and came across an isolated cemetery reading.  It was by an individual who read the grave stones in a small cemetery in Muskegon, MI.  To my astonishment, there was the ancestor that I was looking for.  I have a large thank you to the gentleman who did the reading and to RootsWeb for preserving it.  

Virginia Skoglund

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 September 2009 Salt Lake City Research Trip

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)

CLICK HERE Or call TOLL FREE at 877-402-6846

Don't miss the Salt Lake Family History Expo
August 28-29, 2009

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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

The Genealogy JAM
A study of the families Hepler, Hublar, Roberts, Huffman, Hanner, Biggs and DuBose and related families in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Indiana.

Christopher Whitmore Family Tree and Genealogy
The primary surnames are Whitmore, Glover, Lowe, Lomas, Hodcroft & Gudgeon.  Secondary surnames include Vaughan, Cadman.

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

CAR = Children of the American Revolution
DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution
DUVCW = Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War
SSAWV = Sons of Spanish American War Veterans
UDC = United Daughters of the Confederacy
USD1812 = United States Daughters of the War of 1812


  • arhschs — Hot Spring County (AR) Historical Society
  • canfddar — Francis Diclos Chapter (Canada) DAR
  • flahdudc — Annie H. Darracott Chapter (FL) UDC
  • gabuttga — Butts County (GA) Genealogical Association
  • idedhdar — EE-DAH-HOW Chapter (ID) DAR
  • idipcdar — Idaho Pocahontas Chapter DAR
  • idofhdar — Old Fort Hall Chapter (ID) DAR
  • idwcdar — Wyeth Chapter (ID) DAR
  • idwhtdar — Wild Horse Trail (ID) DAR
  • ilmason2 — Mason County, (IL)
  • inscotgs — Scott County (IN) Genealogical Society
  • moduvcw — Missouri Department, DUVCW
  • mosp1812 — Saint Louis Pioneer Chapter (MO) USD1812
  • nyowadar — Owasco Chapter (NY) DAR
  • pabpcdar — Bethlehem Pennsylvania Chapter DAR
  • pafacdar — Fort Augusta Chapter (PA) DAR
  • pafcdar — Franklin County (PA) Chapter DAR
  • pafmcdar — Fort McClure Chapter (PA) DAR
  • pagrbdar — General Richard Butler Chapter (PA) DAR
  • pagtdar — George Taylor Chapter (PA) DAR
  • paiccdar — Indiana County Chapter (PA) DAR
  • palasdar — Lt. Asa Stevens Chapter (PA) DAR
  • pamcdar3 — Monongahela Chapter (PA) DAR
  • pamhhdar — Massy Harbison-Fort Hand Chapter (PA) DAR
  • papfscar — Parkinson's Ferry Society, (PA) CAR
  • papundar — Punxsutawney Chapter (PA) DAR
  • paqacdar — Queen Alliquippa Chapter (PA) DAR
  • parhccar — Regina Hartman Chapter (PA) CAR
  • patgjdar — Tah Gah Jute Chapter (PA) DAR
  • patpcdar — Tioga Point Chapter (PA) DAR
  • pawcdar — Wayne Chapter (PA) DAR
  • pawtdar — Witness Tree Chapter (PA) DAR
  • scjssawv — Micah J. Jenkins Camp No. 164 (SC) SSAWV
  • scprnyz — Palmetto Riflemen & New York Zouaves (SC)
  • tnmbrdcw — Major Belle Reynolds, TN Tent #4, DUVCW


  • ausjcdar — James Cook Chapter (Australia) DAR
  • ausmfhs — Mandurah Family History Society (Australia)
  • austasct — Australia Tasmania Cemetery Transcriptions
  • engnfksl — Norfolk (England) Surname List
  • onnorthu — Northumberland (Ontario, Canada) CaGenWeb

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 John Chew Chapter, Daughters of the American Colonists website is at

Request a Freepage (Free Web Account).

New Mailing Lists

New Surname Mailing Lists

New Regional Mailing Lists

  • CMC — Ireland based CMC for Christenings, Marriages and Cemetery records for all of Ireland.

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists

  • None

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

This photograph is of my great uncle, David Baker, from Lithopolis, Ohio. It was taken while he was sailing from Cocoanut Grove, FL to Key West, FL circa 1900. He was on his way to Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, to work there when it was a coaling station after the Civil War. During the Civil War he had served at Ft. Jefferson while Dr. Samuel Mudd and his co-conspirators were imprisoned there.

Linda Franks Beebe

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
She Too

In researching one of my families I discovered Hurcelia Too Walton (sometimes put as Hurcelia Tod) in Scotland.

I presume that dad, when taking her to be christened, said we are calling HER CELIA TOO.

Thanks to Liz Humphrys in Thirroul, NSW, Australia
Census Occupation

I was looking for a relative on an older census and found the relative.  His mother-in-law was living with the family and her occupation was listed as “living off her money.”  

Thanks to Julie Sutfin
A Flammable Name

While searching in Dekalb County GA records about 1920, I ran across a young boy of about 10 or 12 years of age named Gasoline.      

Thanks to Kyle L. Smith
Cause of Death

The following was found on a death certificate in Wichita, KS; "Talked
to death by the neighbor woman."

Thanks to Doris Weaver

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: 8 July 2009, Vol. 12, No. 7
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