9 June 2010, Vol. 13, No. 6
Table of Contents
Editor’s Desk: News and Notes
Using RootsWeb
Genealogy Tip
Bottomless Mailbag:
Readers Write In
What’s New: Databases, Freepages, and Mailing Lists
Volunteer Opportunities
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: News and Notes
Ancestry Wiki
We would like to let you all know about a new Ancestry.com feature – the Ancestry Family History Wiki!  The Wiki, along with other free resources, is available in the Learning Center.  Currently you can review the Red Book and The Source with more to come when we are beyond the beta stage. When you are signed in with your RootsWeb or any Ancestry login account you will be able to edit and add content – you can do this by clicking on the Edit links on the right hand side of the page above each article.
Expanded MIME Type Support for Hosted Web Sites

We have expanded the functionality available for hosted web sites (Freepages, WWW and Homepages) to provide support for KMZ and KML mime types.  These file types were developed by Google to allow for the “display of geographic data in an Earth browser such as Google Earth and Google Maps.”  For more information on using this functionality on your web pages, please refer to the KML tutorial.

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Using RootsWeb

By Joan Young

Demystifying RootsWeb's Message Boards

As a volunteer administrator of RootsWeb message boards and RootsWeb mailing lists I've been asked many questions about the proper use of the boards and the message board gateway. Among the boards I administer, the USA General board is, by far, the one that attracts novice board users who frequently need help in proper board usage. I've addressed the most common issues that arise for new posters below to help demystify board usage and gateway replies. 

Selecting the most appropriate board for posting a new message:
Consider your goal when posting a new query. What information do you hope to learn? On which board would you most likely find knowledgeable people to answer your questions?

The message boards are divided into three main groups: locality, surnames, and topics. Consider whether your query is primarily locality-based (you want to learn about a business, hospital, street address or neighborhood where you have located your ancestor), surname oriented (you are asking about a specific ancestor or family, and/or the family about which you are posting lived in multiple locations), or topical (census questions, ethnic groups, vintage photos, occupations, to name a few).

It is easy to fall into the trap of posting on a "catch-all" board such as the USA General board when actually very few posts are best suited for that board. USA General should be used in cases where the subject of your query immigrated to the USA and you don't know where in the country the person or family settled and lived. If you know the state or better yet the county, your message should be posted on the most local board that is relevant. Where multiple locations are involved for your ancestor or family, choose the surname board. If your post more closely concerns questions pertaining to Native Americans, Germans who settled in Pennsylvania, Acadian-Cajuns -- consider whether the Ethnic/Race Topic boards may be the best place to post.

If you would have chosen to post on a particular subject board but there is no board for the applicable topic or surname, click the Request New Board link, found at the bottom of every board page, and request to have a new message board created.

If you post on a General board (including USA General) where another board would be more appropriate, in all likelihood you will later find that the board admin has moved your post to the board they felt was most appropriate based upon the content of the message.  Even if this happens you will still receive a notice of any replies to your message.

Helping others find your post:
A common misconception is that more people will find your post if you post it on multiple message boards. Since the boards are globally searchable anyone searching for the subjects and names included in your query will find your post on the one most relevant board. The same message posted on many boards will muddy the search results.

In addition to the simple search for every word in a query, the Surnames (last name) box can be used as a valuable tool for you, the poster, to enable the searcher to find your post. This is especially true when surnames in your query are also common words, place names, or given names. For example: your GERMAN, IRELAND, JOSEPH, JAMES, CREEK, LANE surname ancestors may be difficult to find in an every word search. Knowledgeable searchers will use the last name/surname (advanced search) option to find these difficult surnames.

You can help searchers find your query by proper use of the Surnames box when you post. List each surname (and only the surname/last name) included in your query one after the other separated by a comma and a space as the surnames are shown above. Do not include slashes or other symbols or extraneous words that are not surnames in this box. Even "and" or "or" can trigger improper search results. For example, use of wildcard searches (partial name searches) for surnames that may be spelled ANDERSON or ANDERSEN will find every "and" included in the Surnames box. Only use hyphens when the surname is actually hyphenated. Remember that the Surnames box's function is to enable the search engine to find the names included in your post and not every name you are researching.

Handling Gatewayed Board Posts on a Mailing List:
If you are a RootsWeb mailing list subscriber and you see messages being posted on your lists that state they are gatewayed from the message board (with the from address being gc-gateway@rootsweb.com) and you wish to reply or to view the entire thread to which the current post responds, click the link included in the gatewayed post to view the thread on the board.

Do not attempt to contact the board poster using the gateway e-mail address as it isn't a functional contact address and it will bounce. Your reply must be made on the board via the included link for the poster you are attempting to contact to find your reply. Many board posters are not subscribed to the corresponding mailing list.

Registration when you first post a message or reply on a board
The first time you post a new message or reply on a message board you will be asked to register if you are not already registered with RootsWeb or Ancestry.com. Registration is not required to search or browse the boards. 

Registration is easy to accomplish and allows you to make global updates to your account in the future should your e-mail address or other account information change.  RootsWeb message boards and registration are completely free. To register or update an existing account, go here and follow the instructions.

Put the above information to work today and post a new query to help break down your brick walls.

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Genealogy Tip

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

Time Lines and Chronologies

An effective technique for creating a family history is to establish a time line.

Place events chronologically in outline form, and intersperse with historical, local and familial events. Once the structure is set, look for gaps where information is lacking and make notes of documentation and records to be completed.



Sources / Comments


Family residing/renting in Hamilton Co., Ohio

Census - farming


1st child Maria born

Bible Record, 1920 Census


Family moves to Dearborn Michigan
Henry Ford develops assembly line

Family Letter
(Was father in auto industry?)
(Is there a city directory?)


World War I begins



2nd child Stephanus born

Bible Record, 1920 Census


Father registers for draft – occupation mechanic

Draft Card (Did father serve?)


Influenza epidemic, World War I ends



Census shows family residing/owning property in Girard, Crawford Co., Kansas; running a general store

(Look for land records and advertisements.)

And don't forget to include:

  1. Legal Transactions (land, probate)
  2. Migration and Immigration
  3. Military
  4. Occupation
  5. Religious (church formations and movements, persecution)
  6. Territorial (counties and state formations)
  7. Vital Records (dates, locations)
  8. External Events (economic, political, social, diseases, man-made and natural disasters)

To locate time lines and chronologies at RootsWeb, enter “time line”, “timeline”, “historical time line” or “chronology” in the Search Engine, located from RootsWeb's Main menu.
Rootsweb.ancestry.com > Searches > Search Thingy

You can also find Search Thingy by entering the address directly from a search engine.

Most search engines, such as Google, offer the ability to limit searches to a specific site, such as RootsWeb. Explore the advanced options, or use the “site” command in conjunction with a keyword, such as state or country names.

Capitalization doesn't matter, and if you wish two keywords to be located together, surround them in quotes. For example,

            Chronology “Civil War” site:http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Vary terms, so results are comprehensive.

Google's Search Results
Chronology county formation (almost 200 results)
Time line county formation (about 100 results)

Chronology War (over 450 results)
Chronology “Civil War” (over 250 results)
Time Line “Civil War” (over 3,000 results)

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Willing to Share

Several years ago I had great success tracking one of my grandfather’s brothers. My sister and I went to a small town in Central Ontario to find the dates on his gravestone. The town was just a crossroads with a general store. Due to some large trees, we were unable to see where the church was.  So my sister went into the store to ask where it was located. The lady in the store asked why we were looking for the church. Once my sister explained, she said, “Why don’t you talk to his sister-in-law, Delta, who lives down the road?”  My sister thanked her and we quickly collected the information from the gravestones, and then visited Delta.  

She was a wonderful 93 year old lady, who was only too happy to chat about my family. She not only knew my great grandparents, but also my great great grandparents. She gave me several photos of my great grandparents and told us wonderful stories not only about my family but about the way things were back in the early 1900’s.  She mentioned that the streets of Toronto were lit by gaslight, told us about meat rings, and the types of things young people did for entertainment. We visited her several times and had many enjoyable chats. She had given me some negatives of pictures my great uncle had taken, that no one in his family wanted. I had them printed and she was able to identify several people in the pictures. There were even photos of her as a 16 year old. 

Thanks to Dorothy Thornton
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Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In
Rereading Works for Me

Your article about rereading old letters is like my personal filing system.

First, everything goes into a box.  About once a year, I sort everything in the box into an accordion-type folder, divided into family groups.  In the course of this process, I have to handle every piece of paper and I reread many of them.

Then every year of so, I sort the accordion file's section into binders, requiring me to handle and reread those papers once again.

Each time I handle a piece of paper, there is the chance I will see something I didn't see before or some information will make sense in light of new information.  Occasionally, while leafing through the binders, another old paper will divulge its secrets.

Thanks to Israel Pickholtz in Jerusalem, Israel

Alec Was Smart

My father, Edwin Thomas Andrew SPRATLEY, a machinist by trade, was addressed as 'Alec' by everyone I knew, including my mother.  This puzzled me and when as a teenager, I asked him how this came about, he explained. As a youngster he had joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an aircraft mechanic. As an inveterate prankster, he became known as a 'smart Aleck', and the 'Alec' part stuck forever as his name.

The RAF transferred dad to South Africa at the start of the second World War, where he met and married mom. This was apparently where he assumed the nickname.

When I visited his brother, my Uncle Bob, in the mid 1970s, dad told me to introduce myself as 'Eddies's son from South Africa'.  His English family did not know him as Alec.

Thanks to Stephen D. Spratley

Keep Searching

Until a few years ago, I only knew that my great grandfather Adolphe had supposedly been born in the Netherlands, but had no proof.  Family stories related that my paternal grandfather, Daniel Bessie, Adolphe’s son, had always joked that his given name was actually "Daniel Nathaniel Nathan Cohen Bessie."  

As soon as any new archive appeared on the web, I'd look up the name. No luck until November of 2007, when I again wrote the name into my browser.  Lo and behold, not only did the name come up, but so did a complete genealogy of my family going back to before 1680 in the Netherlands. It included many addresses and occupations.  It even confirmed that great grandfather Adolphe was born in the Netherlands - but with a different given name, that he apparently changed to Adolphe later. Now I have eleven generations listed!

Finding this genealogy seemed quite amazing, as the family at that time practiced the Jewish religion, and I'd assumed that all Jewish records would likely have been lost during World War II.

Thanks to Dan Bessie

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

Or join us 29 November - 4 December 2010 for our 19th Salt Lake City Research Trip – the dream genealogy vacation!

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

TENNESSEE, Crockett County. Avery Cemetery,   30 records; Cristie Sanders Wright  

US Death Records: Joskem2, 18 records; D Joskem

KANSAS, Bourbon County. Woods Cemetery Bourbon Co KS, 25 records; robin hixon

NEW YORK, Genesee County. Batavia Daily News, 6508 records; Genesee County History Department

PENNSYLVANIA, Berks County. Alumni, 32 records; Paula Lucy Delosh

Submit Your Genealogical Data to a RootsWeb Database at
(http://userdb.rootsweb.ancestry.com/submit/) .

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 Free Web Site Account.

New/Updated Websites for Counties, States, and Historical Societies

CD17C = Colonial Dames of the 17th Century
DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution
DRT = Daughters of the Republic of Texas
DUVCW = Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War
NSCAR = National Society Children of the American Revolution
SAR = Sons of the American Revolution


  • albwcdar — Big Wills Creek Chapter (AL) DAR
  • cttttp — Connecticut State Trails to the Past
  • dctttp — District of Columbia Trails to the Past
  • detttp — Delaware State Trails to the Past
  • flalach2 — Alachua County FL) US GenWeb
  • flbradf2  — Bradford County FL) US GenWeb
  • flfsldar — Fort San Luis Chapter FL) DAR
  • flihc — Florida Irish Heritage Center
  • fltttp — Florida State Trails to the Past
  • gaohoope — O'Hoopee River (GA) Pioneers
  • idtttp — Idaho State Trails to the Past
  • ilczmsar — Captain Zeally Moss Chapter (IL) SAR
  • iljodatp — Jo Daviess County (IL) Trails to the Past
  • kyclintp — Clinton County (KY) Trails to the Past
  • kycumbtp — Cumberland County (KY) Trails to the Past
  • matttp — Massachusetts State Trails to the Past
  • metttp — Maine State Trails to the Past
  • mopmwcar — Pvt Martin Warren Chapter (MO) NSCAR
  • msshgs — Skipwith (Mississippi) Historical and Genealogical Society
  • nhcarrtp — Carroll County (NH) Trails to the Past
  • nhtttp — New Hampshire State Trails to the Past
  • nylivitp — Livingston County (NY) Trails to the Past
  • ohmths — Morgan Township (Butler, OH) Historical Society
  • oratcdar — Applegate Trail Chapter (OR) DAR
  • parfbduv — Ruth F. Barnhart Tent 56 (PA) DUVCW
  • patttp — Pennsylvania State Trails to the Past
  • ritttp — Rhode Island State Trails to the Past
  • scforttp — South Carolina Forts - Trails to the Past
  • scghostn — South Carolina Ghost Towns - Trails to the Past
  • sctttp — South Carolina State Trails to the Past
  • tntttp — Tennessee State Trails to the Past
  • txssrdrt — San Saba River Chapter DRT
  • vaforttp — Virginia Forts - Trails to the Past
  • vaghostn — Virginia Ghost Towns - Trails to the Past
  • vatttp — Virginia State Trails to the Past
  • vawlcdar — Washington-Lewis Chapter (VA) DAR
  • vttttp — Vermont State Trails to the Past
  • wacwcdar — Chief Whatcom Chapter (WA) DAR
  • watttp — Washington State Trails to the Past
  • wvtttp — West Virginia State Trails to the Past


  • ngalcwgw — Lagos, Nigeria – World GenWeb

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. These sites are accessible at www.rootsweb.com/~xxxxxx, where xxxxxx is the account/site name.

Note that the ~[tilde] before the Web account name is required.
For example, the Delaware State Trails to the Past web site is at

Request a Free Web Site Account.

New Mailing Lists

New Surname Mailing Lists

New Regional Mailing Lists

  • OREGON-TTTP — This list will be used to communicate with the county administrators or those interested in becoming county administrators for the Oregon Trails to the Past Project.

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists

  • ANCESTRY-TREE-TO-GO-APP — A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the ANCESTRY TREE TO GO application for portable devices; iPhone and iPod Touch.
  • AUS-BUSHRANGERS — This list is for the discussion of Australian bushrangers and other assorted bush criminals.  It is for the advancement of Australian ocial and family history knowledge.
  • FTM-MAC — A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the Family Tree Maker genealogy software program for Mac operating systems.
  • LYON-DNA — This mailing list will focus on the utilization of Y-DNA testing to resolve issues and make advances in LYON genealogy. The scope would be worldwide and would include spelling variations such as LYONS, LYONE, de LYON, LION, LIONS, etc.
  • ST-DAVID-OF-WALES — This list is for exchanging information among the members of the St. David of Wales in New England Priory of Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem.
  • WV-CW-UNCLAIMED-MEDALS — This list is for the discussion of nd finding family members to claim their West Virginia Civil War Soldier's Unclaimed Medals.

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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Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for an opportunity to give back to the genealogy community?
Check this section to learn more about some of our hosted projects and other projects you can participate in.

The World Archives Project is helping to keep the world’s stories alive. You can too by typing information from historical records into searchable online collections that are available to the public for free. Learn more.

New projects to Key:

New South Wales, Australia, Entrance Books for the Vernon and the Sabraon, 1867-1911
London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1841-1911, Form 2
Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census, 1919

For a complete list of projects to key, and search click here.

If you know of genealogically related volunteer opportunities please email Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.

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The Darkroom

James W. Fulghum was born to Mathew Fulghum and Sarah Dickinson in Wayne County, North Carolina on 17 January 1825.  After both parent had died, he moved to Georgia with his older sister, Elizabeth and other members of the family.  He was married to Jane Harrison Fulghum on 7 February 1846. James and Jane had 10 children.

He served in the Army of the Confederate States of America and was a member of Company H, 2nd Regiment, Georgia State Troops.  In 1863, he petitioned the Adjutant General for a discharge so that he might return to his farm and ten children, all in need.  While awaiting word on his request for discharge, James contracted a virulent pneumonia.  His wife, Jane, went to care for him and contracted the pneumonia from him.  Both died of this virulent pneumonia, James on 22 December 1863 and Jane on 14 January 1864, leaving the ten children orphaned.  James was buried in a family cemetery in Washington County, Georgia.  Jane was buried at the Bethlehem Church in Warthen, Georgia.  Relatives and close friends raised the orphaned children.

Thanks to Robert Fulghum in Greenville, North Carolina

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
Mae West!

My husband, a minister, was making hospital visits.  He approached the information desk's clerk and asked for the room number of "Mae West."  That was the only name he knew a parishioner by.  The information desk clerk laughed.  He tried to convince her it wasn't a joke.  When she looked it up in her files, she could only find an "Elizabeth West" as a patient.  He went to her room to find his parishioner.  Her legal name was Elizabeth Mae West.  No one had ever called her anything but "Mae West"!

Thanks to Andrea Jenkins
Pioneer Defined

Last month I came across a unique comment in the California Pioneer Card File at the State Library.  In the space for Miscellaneous Information, the son of one of the Gold Rush pioneers had written about his father, Nothing noteworthy. Worked hard; played poker; drank some; sang and danced; stayed nowhere; fond of fighting; died poor; buried under an oak; grave unmarked – just a typical pioneer."

Thanks to Kathie Kloss Marynik in Granite Bay, California
We Met

My mother’s maiden name was Ouimette, (French Canadian), and pronounced "we-met".  We were coming out of church one Sunday, and our new parish priest, after saying good morning to my mother, announced that she looked familiar, and what her maiden name was.  When she said Ouimette, his puzzled reply was: "We did?"  Our family always laughed about that priest's response.

Thanks to Marcia Paterna

Years ago I worked in a doctor's office.  One of his patients was named Czaltina Bacon.  Her first name was pronounced Sizzleteena.

Thanks to J. Truchon

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: 9 June 2010, Vol. 13, No. 6
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