13 April 2011, Vol. 14, No. 4
Table of Contents
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, and
RootsWeb Resources
RootsWeb Helpdesk
Check here for frequently asked questions about RootsWeb.
RootsWeb Newsroom
Check here for the latest RootsWeb news.
RootsWeb Store
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RootsWeb Review Archives
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Using RootsWeb

By Joan Young

More on the Message Boards

I have a confession to make. Yes, I've been keeping something hidden from you all this time - I follow list messages and subsequent discussion when my RootsWeb Review articles and tips are quoted (with proper attribution as noted in every issue) on RootsWeb mailing lists. Usually this occurs when a list administrator or subscriber feels that a specific article or tip might be helpful or informative for the list members. This eavesdropping on my part may seem like a matter of vanity or ego, but it really isn't. By following the comments and posts, I know which topics the readers (and RootsWeb users) are discussing, and also what questions or problems they encounter. This lets me know what areas of RootsWeb need further explanation. I also make note of any e-mails I get from readers with comments or questions and tuck them away for possible future articles or tips.

Last month's tip contained information about the RootsWeb message boards and how to get the most from proper use of the surname box. Judging from comments that came to my mailbox or were posted on lists, RootsWeb users need help in the following areas: 

1) Updating e-mail addresses on old messages posted on the boards: Posting on the message boards has required registration for several years and any posts you have made since the registration requirement are linked to your registration status. If you go to MyAccount and update your e-mail address or other account information (such as a change of name) this will update all board posts associated with your username(s). Older posts may be updated in some cases also. If you have more than one username, all will be updated in this manner provided the usernames are all linked to your account at RootsWeb's secure site.

2) Finding existing posts you have made to message boards: Finding your old posts enables you to check to see if your posts require editing or removal (hopefully followed by replacement with an updated post). Many users are apparently unaware that they can click the VIEW POSTS link on any board message for their username to bring up a list of all posts they made under that username. Very recent posts may not be found if your messages were posted after the latest search engine indexing of boards. So don't be surprised or confused if you don't find brand new posts in a search, they will, eventually, be indexed and searchable.

3) Using the new user edit and message removal features on the boards: Use the new EDIT feature to fix errors or typos or merely to help draw attention to your post by replacing a weak subject line with one that will attract searchers. Last month's tip explained how the surname box can help future researchers find your posts--so you may wish to review old posts you have made to ensure the surname box is used correctly and advantageously. Comments from readers stressed the fact that the message subject is equally important in drawing readers to your message and many felt this topic needed greater emphasis now that an editing option is available.

4) Editing existing posts to replace a weak subject line with an attention-grabbing subject: If your old posts include non-informative subjects such as "Help!" "Genealogy" "Looking for Family" or "Searching" you will want to replace them with a more informative subject such as "Seeking Parents of Abraham ROBINSON who died in 1802 in New Jersey" or "Need Obituary for James H. SMITH who died in January 1920 in York, PA." Give a clue as to what you wish to learn from your query, who it concerns, and the time frame and location. There is a cable TV show "Curb Appeal" on the HGTV Network. The host of the show always emphasizes that in real estate, if you are trying to sell a home, potential buyers decide within seconds from a home's exterior whether they are interested in going inside or moving on. Subject lines of our board posts are much like a home's curb appeal...and potential readers and helpers make up their minds as quickly as a potential home buyer whether they are going to look inside at the content of your message. No one is going to help you or make a connection with the family if they don't read your post.

I hope you will forgive me for eavesdropping on your list discussions. Hopefully, attentive list administrators will continue sharing relevant articles and tips on their lists and encouraging their list members to subscribe to the RootsWeb Review.

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Genealogy Tip

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

Clearing the Browser Cache

As you surf the Web, the browser cache records temporary information.

It does this to improve your surfing experience, as each time a page is visited, it records items you view or access to your computer.  When a page is revisited, cached items are already identified, so page views open faster.

Over time, image and data intensive sites cause the disk cache to expand. Surfing slows and many experience freezing and other errors.

So if you are experiencing issues with your browser, clear the cache.

Steps for Clearing Browser Cache
(Older versions may require adjustments in instructions.)

Many browsers offer additional assistance, as seen in this screen shot from Google Chrome.

  • Clearing browsing and download history
  • Deleting cookies and other site data
  • Clearing passwords
  • Clearing Autofill form data
  • Clearing Adobe Flash Player storage settings (used more for games than for genealogy

Screen shot from Google Chrome


After selecting the appropriate options for your browser, clear the cache, close and relaunch the browser.

If you are still experiencing issues, perform maintenance on your computer and check to see that your browser version is up-to-date. Many clear the browser cache on a weekly basis.

For more information, see the Ancestry help article, How do I clear my Temporary Internet Files?, or wikiHow's article "How to Clear Your Browser's Cache".

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Connecting the Dots

According to US Census data from 1860 through 1920, my grandfather Jackson reported that his father and namesake was born somewhere in PA in about 1815, to parents who were born in Canada. Other old hearsay family info from cousins noted that he was born in Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1797, but this belies the Census info. (In fact, the 1797 birth year is engraved on his tombstone in St. Joseph, MI.)

I recently made contact for the first time with second cousins in California, who told me an old family story that the great grandfather, who was living in Lake County, IL in 1855, was descended from at least one parent who was of at least part-Potawatomi blood, a tribe which thrived in Upper Ontario, Wisconsin and Michigan in about 1800.

Following up on that, I found that a very similar story was told to cousins in Michigan about his Native American connection. And following that, one of my nephews told me that my mother had told him a remarkably similar story.

That version of our collective 'history' of our great grandfather's early life seems to have implanted itself in such far-flung places as New York State (from my grandfather and my late mother), to Michigan (from cousin-descendants of another of his sons), and to California (from descendants of one of his daughters). I'm now just about ready to buy that version of his history, but it seems incongruous to me that descendants of Midwestern Canadian Potawatomi people would have been on Pennsylvania in about 1800.

Thanks to Bob Wilson Jr. in Beaufort, South Carolina
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Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In
Tagging Headstones

After much thought about how to contact unknown related families, I came up with this idea.
On 3x5 cards, I wrote the name of ancestor, listing birth, death, added my name, address and phone number, and how I was related. I slipped the 3x5 card into a zip lock bag, attached it to a wooden dowel and placed the dowel at the headstone of my ancestor in the cemetery.
We drove back to Washington. Within a week a "cousin" called, to tell me that she had found my 3x5 card, at the headstone of a shared great grandmother!
That was in 1991. Since then we have added documents, pictures and stories to our Bricker, Doherty, & Wallgreen families of Jefferson and  Madison Counties, Montana.
Was it good idea to have placed those little bags at the headstones, one week before Memorial Day? We think so.

Thanks to Shirley Penna-Oakes in Tum Tum, Washington

Three Brothers Get Hitched to Three Sisters

I have been researching my mother’s family of Reeds for some years and know the main characters back to the late eighteenth century. The family comes from Plymouth in Devon and has always been connected to the Royal Naval Dockyards at Devonport. I knew that the mother of my great grandfather Bertram Reed had died in childbirth and that my gg grandfather had remarried soon after and had five further children with his new wife. However, I knew nothing more about the half-siblings until a couple of weeks ago, when a descendant of one of them wrote to me. It turns out that three of these Reed brothers had married three sisters called Dangar. My informant told me she used to visit the house of one of the sisters as a child and that the three brothers and three sisters would gather every Sunday.

I know of a brother and sister in my family marrying a brother and sister from another family, but this is the first time I have heard of a case of three brothers and sisters marrying each other. How common is it?

Thanks to Nick Fielding
A Search Tip

If you are searching for something like “war of 1812,” also search for “war of i812” and “war of i8i2.”  It is amazing what will come up in the search that you hadn’t seen before.

“war of 1812” - About 2,950,000 results

“war of i812” - About 5,090 results

“war of i8i2” - About 11,100 results

Thanks to Rebecca Ann Jordan

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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42nd Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree

42nd Annual Genealogy Jamboree. Friday to Sunday, June 10-12, 2011. Over 100 speakers and exhibitors and 130+ class sessions will help conquer even your most stubborn brick wall. Sessions will cover classic research techniques and introduce the newest online information resources. You’ll learn old and new methods of finding your ancestors, and you’ll have fun too!

Thursday’s Family History Writing Conference will jump start the process of writing your family history.

Jamboree is sponsored by Southern California Genealogical Society, Burbank, CA. Register by April 30, 2011, for the early-bird discount. And check out our mobile app!

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

OHIO, Muskingum County. Partial Records of Death - Muskingum Co., OH, 37 records; Linda Franks Beebe

NEW YORK, Genesee County. Daily News Index WWII 1946, 4292 records; Genesee County History Department

VIRGINIA, Spotsylvania County. Berkley School, number 5, 13 records; Paula Lucy Delosh

Submit Your Genealogical Data to a RootsWeb Database.

New/Updated Freepages by Individuals

FAMILY TWIGS, the Journey Continues has been updated with new data, and a new way to enter the site.  It also has been more closely integrated with four referenced trees in the WorldConnect Project.

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
DW1812 = US Daughters of the War of 1812
USGW = US GenWeb
TTTP = Trails To The Past


  • arhsvgs — Hot Springs Village (AR) Genealogical Society
  • flrfcdar — Rufus Fairbanks Chapter (FL) DAR
  • ilhhs2 — Hinckley Historical Society (IL)
  • ilsr1812 — Sangamon River Chapter (IL) DW1812
  • kylogatp — Logan County (KY) TTTP
  • laavoyel — Avoyelles Parish (LA) USGW
  • macharlt — Charlton Township (MA) USGW
  • micryshs — Crystal Community (MI) Historical Society
  • mnlscdar — Lady Slipper Chapter (MN) DAR
  • nchuguen — North Carolina Huguenot Society
  • ohlorai2 — Lorain County (OH) USGW
  • txrbcd17 — Richard Borden Chapter (TX) CD17C
  • waswanps — Swansonville (WA) Pioneer Society
  • wvjacktp — Jackson County (WV) TTTP


  • mltadami — Adami Collection for Malta Genealogy
  • wlsblfhs — Breconshire (Wales) Local Family History Society

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 Hot Springs Village (AR) Genealogical Society web site is at

Request a Free Web Site Account.

New Mailing Lists

New Surname Mailing Lists 

New Regional Mailing Lists

  • FL-UDC — A mailing list is for the distribution of information about the history, genealogy, events, etc. in Florida related to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a heritage society of descendants of confederate veterans.

  • SOUTH-AFRICA-ORANGE-FREE-STATE — A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical, cultural or historical interest in the province of the Orange Free State, South Africa.

  • AUS-NSW-MACLEAY-RIVER — For discussion of local and family history research in the Macleay River and Kempsey region of New South Wales, Australia

New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists

  • CELEBRITY-CONNECTIONS — A mailing list to share, search, and discuss kinships with celebrities, including Actors/Actresses, Athletes, Musicians, Outlaws, Folk Heroes, Writers, Inventors, et al.

  • PROFESSIONAL-ITALIAN-GENEALOGY — A mailing list is for the use of professional genealogists who work in Italian records.  It is intended as a forum for the sharing of information specific to Italian research.

  • WILLIAMSON-DNA — A mailing list for the discussion of DNA testing for the Williamson surname.

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 York, Erie County Census 1855, 1865, 1875

Palestine, Illegal Immigration from Nazi-Occupied Europe, 1938-1946

Poland, Jewish Holocaust Survivors Registered in Warsaw, 1945-1946

Poland, Jews Displaced from Biała Podlaska to Mie̜dzyrzecz Podlaski, 1942

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

This photo is of my Choctaw great grandmother, Nancy Jane Dean, and her husband, Lorenzo Dow Smith and their three daughters, from left to right, Rosa E Smith (Hodges), Serentha Smith (Holt), and Pearl Lillian Smith (Weiss).  Nancy Jane Dean was the daughter of Susannah Jane Dean Dean, who was the daughter of Melinda Folsom Dean, who was the daughter of Capt. Jeremiah and Mary (Nail) Folsom.  We have just recently made the 'Choctaw' connection, after searching for almost 40 years.  Yakoke!!!

Thanks to Anumpuli Shali - Long Talker

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
Notable Kings

In 1870 Lawrence Co, Alabama (AL) in Twp 4, R 9 are the following notable Kings as heads of households:
Ransom King, born about 1815 in NC
Wash King, born about 1817 in AL
Caesar King, born about 1830 in AL

There's also a King, James born about 1830 in AL.

None of these are my line, but due to their ages, the uniqueness of their names, and that they are all listed as black males, and the uniqueness of their names, they could be brothers.
I wonder if the second one got stuck with the washing and if momma spoiled the baby boys and treated them more "regally" than the hardworking, older boys.

Not to be outdone, the white Kings nearby included a Saint and an entire Council.
Philamine (Philemon?) King, born about 1816 in NC (Twp 4, R 9)
Council King, born about 1820 in AL. (Wolf Spring, in HH of mother Winnie).

Thanks to Briana Felch in Huntsville, Alabama
The Demise of Freelove

A cousin, James Mecham, married a girl named Freelove Bliss in the late 1600's in Massachusetts.  In 1715, he hacked her to death along with her sister, and was then judged to be insane and hanged in Rhode Island.

Thanks to Ed Maul
Ding Dong

My husband's paternal grandmother was a dear sweet lady who went by "Belle" but her name was Ossiebell Alonzo Kunkle Patterson.  She named a daughter Mountie Bell.  I cannot imagine where they got those names.

Thanks to Marsha Patterson

My mother had a male friend named Ice Scraper.

Thanks to Patricia Hulbert

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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