|If you haven't already, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book to make sure you don't miss an email.|
|Back to top|
| By Joan Young
|Obtaining an obituary (when you already have proof of death)|
| They say nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. Records involving both can help in your genealogical research. Even if you already have obtained a death certificate or located an individual in the Social Security Death Index when the death is recent (mostly 1962 to the present), or found burial or cemetery data -- obtaining an obituary can still be helpful. You may think that once you have ascertained the date and location of death you no longer need to look further. You may be missing valuable family information if you overlook an obituary.
In some cases, obituaries are nothing more than a two or three line statement of the death of an individual with very little useful family information. In other cases, obituaries can be a goldmine fleshing out your ancestors' lives. Obituaries often include a list of all living relatives and sometimes those who are no longer living. They may provide you with married names of siblings you hadn't previously discovered. You may learn where family members were living when the obituary was published. Sometimes, small town newspapers will include the name of another town with the notation "please copy." This can be a clue that the deceased was originally from that town, previously lived there, or has family there. My great-great-grandmother, Catherine (DIETERICH) SMITH died in York County, Pennsylvania, and her obituary carried the notation "Lancaster papers please copy." I knew very little about Catherine and this tip gave me a lead to pursue.
Additionally, an obituary may (if you get lucky) provide information about your family member's life you would otherwise have never known. My great-grandmother's obituary stated that she'd been in good health until the Atlantic City (New Jersey) railroad disaster of July 1896 when her back was badly injured. I hadn't known about the train wreck before finding the obituary. Another ancestor's obituary contained the information that when she passed away at an advanced age she could still "read her Bible without glasses which she had never worn." This not only told me about her eyesight but also informed me this female ancestor could read at a time when many women could not.
There are many online resources both free and subscription where you can find obituaries. Some resources are:
Cyndi's List, Obituaries
Free Online Obituaries
Linkpendium (click on the locality links for the location where your family member died and then on: Obituaries and Funeral Home Records)
RootsWeb obituary resources:
RootsWeb User-Contributed Databases
RootsWeb message boards. Select the advanced search option and search the Classification "Obituary."
Search and/or subscribe to an obituary mailing list
If you cannot find the obituary you seek you can post a query on the appropriate locality message board or mailing list to locate a volunteer in that area who may be able to obtain the obituary you need, use volunteer resources such as Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, or contact a library or Historical Society for their available obituaries.
|Back to top|
|Patience Really is a Virtue|
| In January 2007 I posted a message on the SLABY surname message board on Rootsweb. That board is so little used that my post is still on the first screen, almost 4 ½ years later. My grandfather left Germany in the early 20th century, and I knew he had brothers, and I was looking for relatives in Germany or elsewhere. A few weeks ago I heard from a second cousin in Germany who said he found my post by accident. He is a grandson of one of the brothers of my grandfather. We’ve exchanged a lot of information by email since then. Thanks, Rootsweb, for maintaining message boards for even some of the less frequently seen names!
Jerilyn Marshall in Cedar Falls, Iowa
|Back to top|
|Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In|
|Do you really know…?|
| My Dad was the informant for his mother's death certificate. The death certificate said she was born in Kansas.
In doing this family's research, I found that his mother left with her family when she was about 5 years old and lived in Kansas for about six years. He remembered and also told me that she talked about the wheat fields in Kansas.
I now have her birth certificate and a form stating where she was baptized. It was not in Kansas but in New Orleans, LA.!
Audrey Borde, Metairie, LA
|Unlikely Source Of Information|
| Something unusual happened as I watched "Antiques Roadshow" on 16 May. Presenting from Biloxi, Mississippi, they showed a set of four pictures. I looked at the names under the top two pictures and was flabbergasted as well as excited. The names were Moses Gibson and Elizabeth Gibson. I sat up and paid attention because I knew they were some of my ancestors. Moses Gibson (1783-1857) married Elizabeth Paisley (1785-1846), and they had several children.
Unfortunately, Antiques Roadshow policy prevented my finding out who has the pictures. The owners probably are related, and I do wish AR would have given them my name and address/telephone number. Nevertheless, it was an exciting moment.
| I teach genealogy classes and run workshops.
One student came in with three certified birth certificates for himself with different dates! When was he actually born? Yes the dates were only a few days apart but they were still different.
I have never seen any type of government document that you could say without any hesitation was accurate.
|Back to top|
|31st IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy|
Register now online for the 31st IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Washington, DC. Aimed at all levels, the Conference is invaluable for solving family history research problems! It’s got 200 sessions on vital records, shtetl research, the Census, Sephardic genealogy, DNA, etc. Use our 40 Resource Center computers to access computerized databases (such as ProQuest), covering historical newspapers, Holocaust records, etc. Attend Breakfasts with the Experts to help solve family history "brickwalls." Attend Special Interest Group luncheons; "schmooze" with others researching your ancestral region. And – submit your surnames to the Conference Family Finder, so other researchers can reach you!
|What’s New: Databases, Hosted Sites, and Mailing Lists|
|New User-contributed Databases at RootsWeb|
| CALIFORNIA, Kern County. The Bakersfield Californian 2009 Obit Index 5032 records; Sharon Dulcich
CALIFORNIA, Kern County. The Bakersfield Californian 2010 Obituary Index 4864 records; Sharon Dulcich
MINNESOTA, Pine County. Recorded Births of the Village of Sandstone, 1894 - 1953 1105 records; Connie Glattly, Pine Cnty. Genealogical Society
MINNESOTA, Pine County. Recorded Deaths of Sandstone, Pine County, MN 1915 - 1957 1205 records; Connie Glattly, Pine County Genealogy Society
TEXAS, Erath County. Johnson Cemetery - Family Plots 269 records; James and Julie Myers
TEXAS, Erath County. Johnson Cemetery, Surveyed Plots 335 records; James and Julie Myers
VIRGINIA, Caroline County. Alumni List 72 records; Paula Lucy Delosh
VIRGINIA, Stafford County. Alumni Lists 37 records; Paula Lucy Delosh
Submit Your Genealogical Data to a RootsWeb Database
|New/Updated Websites for Counties, States, and Historical Societies|
| DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution
KHHP = Kansas History and Heritage Project
USGW = US GenWeb
TTTP = Trails To The Past
www.rootsweb.com/~48643x, where 48643x is the account/site name.
Note that the ~[tilde] before the Web account name is required.
For example, the Garfiled County (Colorado) Trails to the Past web site is at
Request a Free Web Site Account
|New Mailing Lists|
| New Surname Mailing Lists
Request a Mailing List
|Regional Mailing Lists|
|Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists|
| Are you looking for an opportunity to give back to the genealogy community?
Check this section to learn more about som;e 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
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.
| This is a picture of my mother, Hazel Mildred McClarity pretending to drive the car, and next to her, with the large bow, is her sister Ethel Del McClarity. My mother Hazel was born in 1910, so I would guess this picture to be taken about 1915. At that time they lived in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, on Euclid Avenue.
I did extensive research on the car. I ended up contacting the Director of Marketing of the Gilmore Car Museum who in turn contacted the Editor of the Brush Runabout who stated that, "After some research I saw it was not a Pope Toledo, though the fenders are similar. I now say it is a Locomobile of 1905 or 1906."
Thanks to Diane Schroeder
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.
|Back to top|
|You Found It|
|Unusual Name Variant|
| Many many years ago, I was tracing some related-by-marriage families from New Jersey to Michigan - Van Buskirk, Fanckboner, Crose. I was using the printed census index for 1850 for Kalamazoo Co., Mich. (all we had then), and could NOT find William Fanckboner, so I decided I would just have to go through the census line by line until I found him. Indeed, sandwiched in between 2 Crose families was Frank Bones, 47, NJ with the right wife and children. In 1860, he is recorded correctly as William Fanckboner. I guess when the census taker asked his name he just answered "Fanckboner."
Marin Co., CA
|Always a Saint|
| I have been indexing the "Appointments of US Postmasters" and found the name "Saint Virtue" as one of the postmasters for a town in Lancaster, PA during the 1860s. Unfortunately, I was unable to find that name in any census records although there were some with S as a middle initial for last name Virtue. Oh well. It would be hard to live up to that name.
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
|Back to top|
|Subscriptions, Submissions, and Reprints|
To manage your e-mail communications (i.e., to subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, or to sign up for others), visit our newsletter management center at any time. To completely unsubscribe from this newsletter, click here.
If you use a spam-filtering program, in order to receive the RootsWeb Review please make sure that you’re allowing e-mail from email@example.com. The RootsWeb Review is a free publication of Ancestry.com Operations 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.
All mail sent to the RootsWeb Review editor is considered to be for publication—send in plain text (please, no attachments, other than images for The Darkroom) to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com and please include your full name and e-mail address in the text.
Permission to reprint articles from RootsWeb Review is granted unless specifically stated otherwise, provided:
| © 2011 Ancestry.com