14 December 2011, Vol. 14, No. 12
Table of Contents
Message from the Editor
Using RootsWeb
Genealogy for Kids and the Future
Bottomless Mailbag:
Readers Write In
What’s New: Databases, Hosted Sites, and Mailing Lists
Volunteer Opportunities
The Darkroom
You Found It
Subscriptions, Submissions, and Reprints

RootsWeb Resources
RootsWeb Helpdesk
Check here for frequently asked questions about RootsWeb.
RootsWeb Review Archives
Check here for previous editions.
Message from the Editor:
I have had the privilege of being part of RootsWeb for many years and for the past 5 years I have worked behind the scenes on things such as creating mailing lists, message board improvements and managing the day-to-day operations of the site. For the past few years I have been the editor of the RootsWeb Review working with Gerhard, Joan and Mary to create an informational and entertaining newsletter. It saddens me to tell you that this will be the last edition of the RootsWeb Review. For 14 years we have laughed at funny names, cried over amazing discoveries, screamed in frustration at our brick walls, and most importantly we've grown and found our roots together. I encourage you to stop by the Newsroom for updates on what is happening around RootsWeb. Best wishes to you and your families for a wonderful holiday season.

Anna Fechter
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Using RootsWeb
By Joan Young
"Looking Back Over the Years"
The RootsWeb Review has long been a staple for many RootsWeb users to keep abreast of new additions such as new Web pages and newly approved mailing lists. In addition, every writer who has contributed to the content of the RootsWeb Review has done so with the goal of helping RootsWeb users become more knowledgeable about the resources RootsWeb has to offer and to provide the information needed to make the most of every feature offered.

Looking back over the years, I first came upon the RootsWeb Review at its inception in June 1998 when co-editors Myra Vanderpool Gormley and the late Julia M. Case published the first edition. Among my favorite features in the early days, were the articles by the RootsWeb techies giving us insight into the technical issues behind the scenes. One of the System Administrators referred to himself as a "Hack of All Trades" which sums up early RootsWeb pretty well. The work was a labor of love and everyone pitched in and did his or her part, staff and volunteers alike. RootsWeb in the early days seemed to have been assembled with 'a lick and a promise' as my mother would have said, and oh what a promise it was to become.

As RootsWeb grew, so did the corps of volunteers and staff who pulled together to assemble the largest free genealogy site on the burgeoning Internet where everyone could research family history and discuss it with others via the mailing lists and message boards and growing number of websites put together by volunteers and genealogical organizations and societies.

I like to think of RootsWeb as a marketplace where people can meet -- people always have been and will continue to be the heart and soul of RootsWeb. Over the years, the content--databases and family trees, increased but the heart and soul has always been the people who volunteer their time, knowledge and effort.

The archives of the RootsWeb Review provide a timeline of the growth and resources at RootsWeb. The Review always included a touch of humor (funny names or situations) and items of human interest contributed by the vast cadre of readers.

Articles have run the gamut from how to use the mailing lists and message boards, making sure your query grabs the reader's attention, posting data, using the RootsWeb Surname List and much more. We covered the entire spectrum of using RootsWeb in the early days when more and more researchers were first purchasing home computers and dabbling with Internet usage for the first time whether or not they had previous experience with researching family history. More recently, we covered adoption research and DNA as interests and resources evolved. We discussed preserving your data at RootsWeb after you are no longer able to maintain it.

Times change and researchers' needs change. How people communicate and keep informed has evolved over time. That brings us to the final chapter for The RootsWeb Review. I like to think of it not as an ending but rather as a passage toward newer means of communication (as one door closes another one opens).

Have you joined our RootsWeb Genealogists group on Facebook? Are you making use of the RootsWeb mailing lists and message boards? Volunteer list and board administrators as well as a large knowledgeable group of "experts" on various surnames, localities and topics (religious groups, occupations, military, ethnic groups) are out there to help you on all of RootsWeb's resources that have continued to expand over the years. RootsWeb search engines are still there to help you find what you are seeking.

So I won't say "goodbye" but rather "I'll see you around RootsWeb on the many boards, lists, databases, and websites I 'haunt' on a daily basis." I'd like to thank all of the readers who have enjoyed and commented on my articles for the past several years and who have written to me privately with comments and suggestions. Also, thanks to the list administrators who have copied Review articles with attribution to their mailing lists to help keep their list members informed.
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Genealogy for Kids and the Future
By Mary Harrell-Sesniak
For some, genealogy is all about the past -- but for others, it's all about the future, e.g., passing the love of family history onto the next generation. This is not an easy task, but remember, there is usually one family historian in each generation, so plant seeds early.

What strategies will best engage children to pursue genealogy?

  1. Bring history into the present by displaying family artifacts. Allow children to handle (and preferably own) special treasures. If your family did not pass items on, seek historical artifacts in antique malls or flea markets and have fun finding photos on the Web. You might even try eBay, to find toys, tools, ink wells, combs, pantaloons, petticoats, etc.
  2. Take field trips to places of interest. Start with upbeat destinations, such as the ancestral homes, historical parks or the Appalachian Trail, before introducing cemeteries and museums.
  3. Share expertise with teachers and help develop classroom projects or a genealogy club. Create coats of arms or demonstrate how pedigree charts, sailing ships, looms or the Underground Railroad worked. See the Mendenhall Plantation in Jamestown, NC for a photo of a special cart that transported slaves to freedom.
  4. Work with organizations that support genealogy through merit badges, essay contests or memberships. Many do not have age requirements, and some have specific chapters for youth. A complete list of active Hereditary Societies can be found at www.hereditary.us/list_a.htm. Or you may wish to peruse these sites:
    Boy Scouts Merit Badge
    Children of the Confederacy
    Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Chapters sponsor essay contests on topics such as Christopher Columbus and American History. The projects are open to all students of varying ages, regardless of ancestry.
    National Society of the Children of the American Revolution (CAR)
  5. Try "who shares your birthday" or "see who we are related to" projects, such as this YouTube video documenting how a 12-year-old girl connected all but one U.S. President, Martin Van Buren, to a common ancestor, John Lackland (1166-1218).
  6. Scan and compare family photographs. Let the child determine common features shared with ancestors.
  7. To illustrate a traditional life, grow vegetables or cook historical recipes, such as those from The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887) by F. L. Gillette and Hugo Ziemann, published at Project Gutenberg.
  8. Create a family history area or wall in your home. Include a family tree, maps and other special items.
  9. Setup a family tree at RootsWeb's WorldConnect. As the file is updated, your technologically-adept child can upload the GEDCOM and become a co-author. Not only will this help with family research, but it looks impressive on resumes and college applications. Click here for an explanation of the GEnealogical Data COMmunications format.
For more ideas on instilling the love of genealogy in children, visit:
As we say goodbye to RootsWeb Review, please know it's been a pleasure writing for you these past 4½ years. I'll still be around helping on message boards, publishing on WorldConnect and writing my blog.

Have a wonderful holiday and please subscribe to the free e-zine, Ancestry Weekly Journal, where you'll find many great tips and articles on genealogy!

And remember,
“genealogy is not just a pastime; it's a passion.”
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The Miracle of Message Boards
I live in Canada and although I knew that my father's family had lived in Wisconsin and Michigan around the time he was born in 1891, I had no idea where. Father died when I was 16 before my interest in genealogy, but I had asked some pertinent questions and knew the names of all of his grandparents. In 2000, I placed a notice on the Murchie message board and received a reply from a member of the Murchie family in Michigan.

I had been unable to find the marriage record of my grandparents, Flora Isabella Murchie and Christopher Condie and the Michigan family had been wondering for some time what had happened to their great-grandmother, Isabella Blundell Murchie, she just seemed to have disappeared in their words. When we finally connected through the message board, they provided me with the information that my grandparents had married 15 May 1890 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and I was able to provide them with the data they needed on great-grandmother who had returned to Canada and died in Saint John, New Brunswick 26 Apr 1926. I was also able to provide them with the information that the Murchie family had emigrated from the Isle of Arran, Buteshire, Scotland in 1831 to northern New Brunswick during the Highland clearances, and with the link to the ancestors in Arran.

It is interesting to note that grandfather's surname had been misspelled as "Conlie" on the marriage record which would have made it difficult to find, but the Michigan branch of the family had located it under "Murchie", all other data was accurate. None of this cross border exchange would have been as easily possible without the message boards.

Thank you to Alice Condie Garner
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Bottomless Mailbag: Readers Write In
Abbreviation Confusion
The hair stands up on my neck when I spot usage of "ca." It could mean California, Canada, or circa. I try and spell everything out.

When I was forced into clerking for the United States Army (US Army) in 1968, I discovered that the US Army had a specific regulation for abbreviations. For instance, engineer=engr and service=svc. I don't know what is there today, I did find reference, but not as detailed as I recall.

Happy ABC'n to you,

Thank you to Joe Rooney, Santa Clara, California
“Common” Surnames
Having a surname in your family tree that is also a common word can make your research a little more difficult. But then again, having a very uncommon surname can also make it hard to find your family. Is there any easy research?

My grandmother's maiden name was Volume. A search on Ancestry.com produced 307,693 results--Rootsweb, 115,897. Familysearch.org is horrendous and a Google search would be out of the question.

Thank you to MB

Try hunting for the name FURNISH. I find a lot of references to court documents, with phrases such as "must furnish this" or "furnished that." Lots of furniture ads too, but hardly anything regarding a family's history.

Thank you to Tonya Cate

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

Submit Your Genealogical Data to a RootsWeb Database.

New/Updated Freepages by Individuals

Request a Free Website Account.

New/Updated Websites for Counties, States, and Historical Societies
  • cjkangs—CJ's Genealogy Society Kansas
  • cpcemet2—Colorado Cemeteries
  • engwhdar—Walter Hines Chapter (England) DAR
  • kajeffer—Jefferson County Kansas History and Heritage Project
  • ksallehp—Allen County Kansas History and Heritage Project
  • kslinchp—Lincoln County Kansas History and Heritage Project
  • ksosaghp—Osage County Kansas History and Heritage Project
  • ksottahp—Ottawa County Kansas History and Heritage Project
  • kswoodhp—Woodson County Kansas History and Heritage Project
  • kssumntp—Sumner County (KS) Trails to the Past
  • kygrant3—Grant County (KY) ALHN
  • mawdhs—Massachusetts Webster-Dudley Historical Society
  • ohcd17c—Ohio State Society Colonial Dames XVII Century
  • okcd17c—Oklahoma State Society Colonial Dames XVII Century
  • okfrcdar—Fort Reno Chapter (OK) DAR
  • txjbbdrt—James Butler Bonham Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas
  • ukgwrc—Great Western Railway Casualties (UK)
  • varichaa—Greater Richmond Chapter (VA) Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society
  • viatdar—Virginia Adam Thoroughgood Chapter DAR
  • wvsbdar—South Branch Valley Chapter (WV) DAR
  • wyfremtp—Wyoming Fremont County Trails to the Past
  • zafmvhg—Mpumalanga (South Africa) Voortrekker History and Genealogy
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.

Request a Free Website Account.

Mailing Lists
New Surname Mailing Lists
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.
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.

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

If you know of genealogically-related volunteer opportunities please post them to the General Volunteer Projects message board.

The Darkroom
Boyce family - 1903
Photo of the Samuel Boyce family about 1903 in front of their home at Flatwoods, TN. My grandmother told me that each family member was to bring their favorite possession for the picture. Seated are my g-g grandparents, Sam and Harriett Boyce (couple on left); and great grandparents, Tennessee Roper Ricketts and Etta Boyce Ricketts (on the right). They are surrounded by their children and grandchildren who were their prized possessions.

From left to right--holding the gun is Claire Boyce; the one with the banjo is William Earl Boyce; the next one is Clair's twin, Claude (but cannot see what he is holding). With the mules is Herbert Boyce; T.R. Ricketts is holding Maude Ricketts; seated on the ground with the dog are Kate Ricketts and Ernest Frank Ricketts. Standing with the bicycle are Albert Boyce and Mary Boyce. Not pictured is Elizabeth "Lizzie" Boyce.

Thank you to Darlene Johns

Boyce family - 1903
This photo is of four generations of one branch of my tree.
Pictured are: my great-great-grandmother Anna Ortiz Yancey (1840-1927), her daughter Della Yancey Blake (1872-1957), Harriet Blake Goodall (1895-1971), and Jerome Goodall (1916-1989). I never met any of them even though the latter three generations were alive when I was.

I was sent the photo by my cousin (2c1r) John Goodall (Jerome's brother) after I documented that branch and tracked him down using RootsWeb. Jerome, John and their brother Frances went to boarding school in Los Angeles with the actor Gregory Peck (who later went to Cal with my parents).

The photo shows why I always try to find living cousins, no matter how distant. You never know what they might have about your common ancestors.

Thank you to Bob Juch

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You Found It
Virtuous Names
Not only was there one Preserved Fish, but three generations so named. “Preserved” is a Puritan name used, I think, for babies that had been preserved from a miscarriage. It was used for both sexes, too. Robert Lyman and Hepzibah Bacom of Northampton, MA. (bearing children in the 1660s and 70s) had: Sarah, John, Thomas, followed by Thankful, Hepzibah, Preserved, Wait and Experience, all girls. Thankful, my ancestor, married Daniel Hall in 1693, and the couple had, among those with normal names, Silence and Preserved, again girls. Perhaps the only virtues left are Faith, Hope and Charity – at least in nominal terms.

Wilson Brown, Denver

Humor from Beyond the Grave
While visiting Key West in 2007, my husband and I came upon a humorous gravestone that said "I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK!" The grave belonged to B. P. Roberts, born May 17, 1929 and died June 18, 1979. I had often heard this gravestone existed but never knew where, imagine my interest when I happened to walk upon it at Key West Cemetery.

Thank you to Jan
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  2. the following notice appears at the end of the article: Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 14 December, 2011, Vol. 14, No. 12.
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