11 November 2009, Vol. 12, No. 11
Table of Contents
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
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RootsWeb Newsroom
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RootsWeb Review Archives
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Using RootsWeb

By Joan Young

Social Networking for Family History Researchers

One of the most popular topics on the Internet today is "social networking." Social networking can refer to a wide variety of resources for interacting with other people. The topic encompasses everything from dating services to sharing information about a hobby or profession -- any resource that involves connecting people with common interests and goals.
Social networking is nothing new for genealogists. We've been networking for many years before the term "social networking" came into popular usage. Before the Internet, we connected with other researchers who placed information in historical society files and through newsletters that were circulated via postal mail. 
Since the early days of RootsWeb, genealogists networked with the help of mailing lists, message boards, and the WorldConnect family tree database. 
RootsWeb Search capabilities were enhanced over the years (including the introduction of global search) for these existing resources making it faster and easier to connect with others. Features such as metasearch were created which enabled a single search of many databases at one time. In addition to improved search capabilities within RootsWeb, Google's widely-used search engine indexed data housed at RootsWeb providing access for many people who'd never before visited RootsWeb.
RootsWeb's My Account registration feature provides the option to add a photo so others can put a face to their online genealogy friends. Ancestry's profile page provides a similar resource for connecting with others.
Today, we have social networking resources outside RootsWeb that can be used by genealogists to expand upon, and interact with, the resources we continue to use within RootsWeb.

Facebook is the most popular general social networking site used by family history researchers. Facebook offers the ability to add "friends" with similar interests, and join "groups" such as the RootsWeb Users Group or the Ancestry Users Group. Even some of our mailing lists such as Pennsylvania Dutch Life have formed groups on Facebook. Our friends and groups can keep their status updated by answering the question "what's on your mind?" on their "wall" and having the posts show up in our "newsfeed." We can control what news we receive and want to block, as well as control our privacy options. We can also post our own updates on our wall.

To get started at Facebook, create an account, and search for your genealogy friends -- you will find many of them already there. Once your friend requests are accepted check to see what groups your friends belong to that may interest you too. You can also search for groups of interest on your own.
Twitter is another site you may find useful. Posts known as "tweets" are limited to 140 characters but may provide links to more detailed pages where you can learn more on the topic of the brief tweet. Genealogists are using Twitter to link to genealogy Web sites and blogs (Web logs).

Use Facebook and Twitter to share discoveries you have made at Ancestry with others on Facebook and Twitter. This Ancestry.com blog entry describes how to do this.

I found an 1860 census record for my great-grandparents before they married, when both were working on a farm in Salem County, New Jersey, at ages 17 and 18.  I guess this is where they met and married.  Through the sharing link at Ancestry.com I was able to post my find to my profile on Facebook for others to see.

Blogs are another related resource for genealogists. Blogs can be as varied in topic as the bloggers are in their genealogical interests. Use Facebook and Twitter to find genealogy blogs for topics you are researching. Bloggers post new blog entries on a regular basis and you can learn from their experience and share in their discoveries.

I follow many genealogy blogs including Ancestry.com's blog where I learned about Member Connect, another tool to enable researchers to connect with others who are researching the same ancestors you are.

A good place to locate blogs would be Thomas MacEntee's site, GeneaBloggers.
Search for Thomas MacEntee and other bloggers on Facebook and Twitter as well.

For more help and discussion about these and other new social networking resources, subscribe to the RootsWeb mailing list: Emerging-Tech.

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Genealogy Tip

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

A Few Twittering Tips

With social networking, popularity counts. We accumulate friends and applications – some on a serious level, and others just for fun. And one of the more entertaining options, is to interact with other social networks.

Take Twitter, for example. If you use multiple sites, you can follow your favorite tweeters on other networks, such as  MySpace and FaceBook. Just install a widget, (a Twitter goody), and you will be spared the repeated logins.

As with most services, explore the Terms of Service (TOS). Twitter discourages redundant messages, and as they put it, you can control, “how much we bug you about various things.”  Decide if you want to know about new followers, text, text e-mails, or even if you want to read their newsletter.

Finding tweeters is easy – type in a name, topic or company, and you are ready. Searching for “genealogy” produces many options.

As Twitter grows in popularity, so does its applications. There are apps for the iPhone, iPod, Google Desktop, and even regular phones. Trottr, for example, “allows you to send audio messages to anybody around the world... All by making a simple phone call.” I haven't located any specific to family history yet, but they are sure to come.

One of my favorite activities is to find someone interesting, and see who they are following. I'm not yet a prolific tweeter, but if you search for me, you'll find some of my favorite tweeters!

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Multiple Connections and More

I've had my complete genealogy database posted at WorldConnect for many years, updating it occasionally.  During that time, I've been contacted by many people with whom I've shared information -- and that's my main purpose for having posted the data.

But last month I made use of another great advantage of having posted my data at WorldConnect.  My hard-drive crashed, and at the same time, I lost my most recent back-ups.  Fortunately, I had updated my WorldConnect data only several months ago.  What a relief it was to be able to download it back info my own computer, with only a few weeks of data left to re-enter!

Thank you, Rootsweb, for making that possible!

Mona Houser in Missouri
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Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In
Family Treasures Were Saved

When my father remarried he asked me to remove everything that had been my mother's because he wanted her children to have them. I then distributed them to my sisters and brother.

The stepmother was not too happy about it, but she knew Dad was adamant in his desire that we have mother's "treasures."  So when Dad died before my stepmother, there were no problems in regard to those things that had been our mothers.

When there are second marriages, the wise surviving spouse should make a distribution of those keepsake items so they do not become part of the second marriage. If the surviving spouse does not mention such a distribution, perhaps the children should tactfully ask about it, circumstances permitting

Name withheld

Cemetery Listing Error

In researching cemetery records for my husband's family, I was looking for his great-grandmother to see if her parent’s names were listed.  She was born in 1882 and died in 1985, living to be 103 years old.  To my surprise I found her with a birth date of 1982.  This would have made her 3 years old when she died.  When I brought this to the attention of the cemetery, they were as surprised as I was.  It seems that in updating their records, the transcribers were entering two-digit years and the computers automatically made the assumption that the year was 19xx.  Unfortunately for them, they had several hundred thousand entries that they would have to check to assure that anyone born before 1900 was listed correctly.

Thanks to Sandy Asbury

Saving and Losing Family Photographs

After my mother's sister died, her widowed husband eventually retired, and a young man who'd spent the summers with my aunt and uncle came to live with him.  I had no objection to that arrangement, but decided now was the time to go through my aunt's collection of family photographs.  By then I was living in New York, but on my next visit to my parents, I asked my uncle if I could go through the photographs.   I took a great many of them, mostly of my grandmother, her grandchildren, their playmates, and some of family groups, including one showing my great-grandmother Vaughn holding me, an 8-month-old baby.

The one thing that I did not ask for was the large, framed oval photograph of my Vaughn grandparents.  I felt my mother should be the one to ask for that, as she was the oldest child.  Well, she didn't ask and, after the death of my uncle, I discovered it was missing. My mother didn't have it, nor did any of her surviving siblings, or their children.  By the time I discovered the photograph was missing, the young man had moved his wife and child into the house, which he had inherited.  I suspect his wife simply threw the Victorian- style photograph out.

Thanks to Odessa Elliott

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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Mesa, Arizona Family History Expo - January 22-23, 2010

Let our light shine on your family history research. Family History Expos is your beacon in a sea of family history. Learn techniques and technology in our FREE exhibit hall. Come to our FREE keynote address by Ancestry.com CEO, Tim Sullivan. Register now for classes - information resources, software, Internet research, social networking, publishing, charting, more. Visit our Blogger Bistro/Twitter Café. Paid registrants get personal, professional help from professional genealogists. Door prizes. Goodies. Tools you need to guide you. Let Family History Expos be your lighthouse. Register early at Family History Expos.com


ANCESTOR SEEKERS researchers at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City will search this vast collection of records from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and other European countries. Friendly service, affordable prices.

For a no-obligation research assessment visit AncestorSeekers.com.

Or join us 21–26 FEBRUARY 2010 for our 14th Salt Lake City Research Trip – the dream genealogy vacation!

NEW! Some Old Norse Families book, and Monographs

Some Old Norwegian Families available; M1 Ivar in Valen, M2 Lillienskiold, M3 Munthe,. For more info and Word.doc flyer email Enoch Haga Publisher: Enokh@comcast.net.

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

ILLINOIS. Union County Blackhawk War and Mexican War Veterans, 125 records; Lynn Bernhard 

Submit Your Genealogical Data to a RootsWeb Database.

New/Updated Freepages by Individuals

The Queenealogist’s Home Page lists documents and articles about the Chenot, Hecht, Jergens, Leyes, von Dreele, and Watson families in Ohio and elsewhere.

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 Websites by Counties, States, and Historical Societies

ALHN = American Local History Network
CD 17th Century = Colonial Dames of the 17th Century
DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution
UDC = United Daughters of the Confederacy
USD 1812 = United States Daughters of 1812
USGW = United States GenWeb Project


  • akbridil — Bristol Bay - Dillingham Borough (AK) USGW
  • akfairns — Fairbanks North Star Borough (AK) USGW
  • akkpwhbo — Ketchikan - Prince of Wales - Hyder Borough (AK) USGW
  • aknomebo — Nome Borough (AK) USGW
  • aknsboro — North Slope Borough (AK) USGW
  • akskagna — Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Borough (AK) USGW
  • akvalcor — Valdex-Cordova Borough (AK) USGW
  • akwrapet — Wrangell-Petersburg Borough (AK) USGW
  • akyakuta — Yakutat Borough (AK) USGW
  • akyukkoy — Yukon-Koyukuk Borough (AK) USGW
  • aldsdar — Dripping Springs Chapter (AL) DAR
  • alergdar — Emassee-Robert Grierson Chapter (AL) DAR
  • alttbudc — Alabama Division Newsletter, The Ties That Bind, UDC
  • azcgvdar — Casa Grande Valley Chapter (AZ) DAR
  • flwh1812 — War Hawks Chapter (FL) USD 1812
  • ky7suvcw — Kentucky Camp 7, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
  • kyfchgs — Floyd County (KY) Historical & Genealogical Society
  • laobcudc — Ouachita Blues Chapter (LA) UDC
  • miepcd17 — Elizabeth Patch Chapter (MI) CD 17th Century
  • nefkgs — Fort Kearney (NE) Genealogical Society
  • nhgilsum — Gilsum Township (Cheshire, NH) USGW
  • nhrindge — Rindge Township (NH) USGW
  • nyjdar — Jamestown Chapter (NY) DAR
  • nynrcdar — North Riding Chapter (NY) DAR
  • ohbutle4 — Butler County (OH) ALHN
  • pabtcd17 — Beaver Town Chapter (PA) CD 17th Century
  • pafadar — Fort Antes Chapter (PA) DAR
  • scgmbdar — General Marion's Brigade Chapter (SC) DAR
  • sgpogf — One Great Family (based in Singapore)
  • tnjccudc — Johnson City Chapter 754 (TN) UDC
  • tnroane2 — Roane County (TN) ALHN
  • tnwbbudc — William B Bate Chapter (TN) UDC
  • txehs — Everman (TX) Historical Society
  • txhbgudc — General Hiram B. Granbury Chapter #683 (TX) UDC
  • txhuguen — Texas Huguenot Society
  • txja1812 — Joseph Acker Chapter (TX) USD 1812
  • varappa2 — Rappahannock County (VA) free and enslaved coloreds


  • englpopc — Landulph Parish (Cornwall, England) Online Parish Clerk
  • engwahs — Waltham Abbey (Essex, England) Historical Society
  • onweghs — West Elgin (Ontario, Canada) Genealogical and Historical

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 Ketchikan - Prince of Wales - Hyder Borough (AK) USGW website is at

Request a Freepage (Free Web Account).

New Mailing Lists

New Surname Mailing Lists

New Regional Mailing Lists

  • ENG-DBY-STAPENHILL — For family history research of the Parish of Stapenhill (and surrounding area) in the County of (South) Derbyshire, England
  • ENG-SRY-WAVERLEY-DISTRICT — For family history research of the Waverly, Surrey, Registration District, which includes Hambledon and all of the small villages south of the Guildford Registration District

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists

  • CSLSA — This list is for research into the history of the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association (in what is now northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas) and the genealogy of its members.

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 is a picture of my mother, Jean Zulkowski ZEBO (Zaborowski), taken in 1918 in Pittsburgh, PA when she was six years old. She is wearing a traditional Polish folk costume and holding a Polish flag.  She told us she wasn't smiling because she didn't want to have her picture taken.

Thanks to Diane Zebo Brookins

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
Not Just Any Tom, Dick, Or Harry

My maternal grandmother's maiden name was HARRY......you can imagine how much fun that is to research.

Thanks to Jan McClintock
Wildlife Conservation

About 45 or 50 years ago, I was searching in some old Massachusetts records and found a family had named their newborn daughter, Preserve Fish.    

Thanks to Jennie Vertrees
By The Way

A cousin of my mother's married a man of English heritage named "Bytheway".     

E. Heller in Pennsylvania
What’s In A Name?

While researching my husband’s direct line from the UK, I came across the unusual name of “Standup Skinner”.  I wonder what the story is behind that name.

Thanks to Shirley Skinner in Western Australia

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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