14 December 2014

Unusual Records of Death - Mourning Paintings

Mourning paintings took many forms, including watercolor on paper, silk, or ivory, and needlework of silk, cotton, or wool threads on a linen ground.  They were the tedious and exemplary work of schoolgirls, completed both as an academic exercise and as a reinforcement of the religious, literary, and historical teachings of the day.


Hurlbut Family Mourning by Sarah Hurlbut

Lemuel Hurlbut was a farmer from Newington, Hartford County, Connecticut.  He died 15 August 1808.  The other two memorials are for Hurlbut children T.H. and Hannah.


Affectionately inscribed to the memory of BENJAMIN WITT 
who died April 17 1818 Aged 68 years

This painting was done in memory of Benjamin Witt of New Braintree, Worcester County, Massachusetts,  died on April 17, 1818, at the age of 68



Masonic mourning painting for Rev. Ambrose Todd 
by Eunice Pinney


Ambrose Todd was the rector of St. Andrew's Church in Simsbury, Hartford County, Connecticut.  He was a member of the Morning Star No. 28 Lodge in East Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut.

A school painted memorial by Lydia M. Daggett 
of Providence, Rhode Island

This painting is inscribed with the words:

"Consecrated to the remains of John Daggett who was born Sept 9th 1800 and died July 5th 1803. And an infant child aged 10 hours who was born June 5th 1818." 


Sacred to the memory of Mr. Nathan March

This painting was done in honor of Mr. Nathan March who died in 1811 at the age of 39 in Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts.  The painting has been handed down through time with a letter identifying the little boy on the left.




By Sally Caldwell Woods


In Memory of John Caldwell son of Capt. Seth and Mrs. Cath. Arline M. Caldwell, who died October 14th, 1822. Aged 2 years and 9 days.



Artist unknown

Left:  To the Memory of Thomas May aged 10 days
Middle:  Affectionately Inscribed to the Memory of Lucy C. May aged 4 years and 8 months
Right:  To the Memory of April May aged 6 weeks


Artist Uknown

Captain Jonathan Foster was born in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts on October 11, 1727 and died there on July 28, 1813.  He was an officer in the Revolutionary War.  He married Rebecca Doorman and they had 6 children.Jonathan and Rebecca are buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery, Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts.


A Memorial for Isaac Dillingham by Lucretia Winslow

Isaac Dillingham was born on March 27, 1777 in Harwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, married Abigail Winslow there, and died there on December 30, 1807.  The artist, Lucretia Winslow was the sister of Abigail Winslow Dillingham.


Brewster Family Memorial ca. 1805

This was painted in memory of Augustus, William and Mary Brewster of Windham, Connecticut.


Windham County, Connecticut ca. 1815

Sacred to the Memory of Mr. Oliver Ingals who was drowned April 10th 1815 aged 45 years 

Sacred to the Memory of Jared Ingals who died July 2nd 1812 in the eighth year of his age


ca. 1810 New England

In Memory of Alice Child, Honaree Child, Julia Child, Laura Child and Charles Child.



by Mary Ann Cowan ca. 1825

This was painted by Mary Ann Cowan in honor of her mother Eliza Kirkpatrick Cowan who lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Memorial for Diadama by Eunice Pinney  1816

"In memory of Miss Diadama Pinney who died January 22nd AD 1816 aged 19 years.


Artist unknown ca. 1807

To the Memory of Rev. Enoch Pond who departed this life August 6, 1807 aged 51 years.



11 December 2014

Ear Candy - Genealogy Podcasts, Radio Shows and YouTube



The Urban Dictionary defines ear candy as "sounds that elicit a pleasurable response from the listener."

For most genealogists, these sounds are podcasts that teach us about everything genealogy.  Colder weather keeps us indoors for the most part,  so why not cuddle up with a set of earphones and get your genealogical education groove-on!

While this list (which is in no particular order) is by no means all inclusive, it should keep you busy for quite awhile. 



"Mondays With Myrt," "Wacky Wednesday," "Mastering Genealogical Proof" online study groups, "Genealogy Game Night"


Now that Marian Pierre-Louis has landed a great gig with the Legacy Family Tree Team as their new Social Media Marketing Manager, I hope that she will still have time to continue with her podcasts.  She is such a great host and interviewer!


George Morgan and Drew Smith are the hosts of the longest running regular weekly podcast in the world!  The one hour show is full of genealogy news and information.


Lisa Louise Cooke is called "The Queen of Genealogy Podcasts" and for good reason - she hosts 4 different shows!


Scott Fisher has created a new and different type of show for radio, aimed at showing how fun and interesting family history and genealogy can be. Genealogy is a topic that a lot of people are into and each week Scott talks about amazing finds and connections people make.


Jane Wilcox is well-known for her radio show and has now joined the team of contributing editors of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.  The Record is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal of great distinction in continuous publication since 1870 and is published quarterly by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.




Bob Packett loves to tell stories of the real people behind the often sterile descriptions found in history texts. His conversational style, filled with anecdotes, quips, and humor, will bring to life the characters of history.

And many, many more!

THE SEEKER - Linda Hammer
GENEALOGY ON DEMAND - Shamele Jordan
TALKING HISTORY PODCAST - Organization of American Historians
OPAL PODCASTS - Online Programming for All Libraries History and Genealogy Programs
GENETIC GENEALOGY VIDEOS - International Society of Genetic Genealogists
GENEALOGY NEWS - Patty Roy
THE GENEALOGY RADIO SHOW - Lorna Moloney
MOCAVO FIRESIDE CHATS - Michael Leclerc
THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND - Dave Crowther
GENIES DOWN UNDER - Maria Nothcote
AFRICAN ROOTS PODCAST - Angela Walton-Raji
MY SOCIETY - Federation of Genealogy Societies
MAPLE STARS AND STRIPES - Sandra Goodwin



04 December 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas with Surnames

The people over at Crestleaf are having a Scavenger Hunt using surnames found on their website.  The prize for the most creative is $250!  Here is my entry:



On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A Partridge in a Peartree


There are 3220 with the surname of Partridge and 60 with the surname of Peartree.


On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Two Turtle Doves

Only 6 with the surname of Turtledove.


On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Three French Hens


Only a partial for this one -  20,832  with the surname of French.


On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Four Calling Birds


This one I had to split up -  5 with the surname of Calling  and  too many to count with the surname of Bird.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Five Golden Rings


Only 3 with the surname of Goldenring.


On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Six Geese a Laying


I found the surname of Geese.


On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Seven Swans a Swimming


There are surnames of  Swan  and   Swim.


On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Eight Maids a Milking


With no surnames of Maids or Milking, I will use the name of Maidens.


On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Nine Ladies Dancing


Had to improvise with surnames of Lady and Dance.


On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Ten Lords a Leaping


I found the surnames of Lords and Leap.


On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Eleven Pipers Piping


There are oodles with the surname of Piper.


On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Twelve Drummers Drumming


There are 450 people with the surname of Drummer and 21 with the surname of Drumming.


I know it's not part of the song, but I was very amused to find quite a few with the surname of GRINCH!


01 November 2014

Northern California APG Chapter Welcomes Judy Russell!

Genealogists from the Northern California APG Chapter had cause to celebrate.  The San Francisco Giants were rewarded with a parade in San Francisco today for winning the World Series.  We had a Major League player from the genealogical community share a meal and hours of great stories with us.

Judy Russell, Carolyn Ybarra & Corey Oiesen


Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, is in Cali Land to give a day long seminar on Saturday for the San Mateo County Genealogical Society.  They had all kinds of plans for Judy this weekend, but SMCGS president Christine Green thought the Northern California APG Chapter might enjoy some face time with Judy as well.  Fifteen of us traveled from all over the Bay Area  and Stockton for this wonderful opportunity.

(back row)  Carolyn Ybarra, Corey Oieson, Janice Sellers
(front row)  Linda Okazaki  & Christine Green


NorCal APG members who joined us for lunch were:  Ellen Fernandez-Sacco (president of the California Genealogical Society), Jeff Vaillant (immediate past president of CGS), Corey Oiesen  ( APG Publicity Chair & CSGA Newsletter Editor ), Kim Cotton (vice president of CGS), Lisa Gorrell ( secretary for CGS), Joyce Morey (SMCGS), Todd Armstrong (CGS), Linda Okazaki (CGS), Christine Green (president SMCGS), Carolyn Ybarra, Janice Sellers and representing the San Joaquin Genealogical Society from Stockton was Jacqi Stevens (vice president) and myself (president).


Jeff Vaillant, Jacqi Stevens, My Empty Chair (I was the photographer for the day), Kim Cotton, Linda Okazaki & Christine Green


Judy had no problem at all feeling right at home with our group.  From the moment she arrived at the restaurant until we all walked out the door (3 hours later), it was non-stop story telling and sharing our most exciting genealogical discoveries.


Kin Cotton, My Empty Chair,  Jacqi Stevens, Jeff Vaillant & Lisa Gorrell

I absolutely love our Northern California group of people.  We do things a little different from other APG Chapters.  For instance - we do not have elected officers (no one is the boss of us :)), we don't charge dues and we don't have traditional chapter meetings.  Instead, one of us makes arrangements with a Northern California library, archives, etc for a "behind the scenes" tour and then we go out to lunch.  This formula seems to work for us and personally I accomplish more networking during one of our field trips than I do anywhere else.  We are a very friendly and happy group of people and welcome any member of  the Association of Professional Genealogists to join us on any of our field trips.  



Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, Todd Armstrong & Joyce Morey


Thank you Judy Russell for sharing your afternoon with us!


11 October 2014

Scholarships, Awards and Cash Prizes . . Oh My!




There are so many opportunities for genealogists to get recognized for their hard work, in some cases cash prizes are on the line.

Time is running for submissions to some of the organizations.  And for a few the deadline has already passed but you can prepare for next year.

While this is an extensive list, it certainly isn't complete.  If I missed one please let me know.


The scholarship is awarded to an experienced researcher in either  a paid or a volunteer position, in the service of the genealogical community.  This $500 scholarship covers full tuition at the (National Institute of Genealogical Research) NIGR, plus attendance at the Alumni Association dinner. Hotel and/or meal costs will be partially defrayed. 
Deadline is January 15, 2015.

All family historians and genealogists are invited to submit their favorite story for the contest. There is no entry fee and OGS membership is not required. Judges and judges’ immediate families may not participate.
Deadline: Entries will be accepted between January 1 and March 1, 2015.

Factual articles: either family history or local history, character sketches, or memoirs. Winning entries capture a sense of a family’s experience(s), the character of a locality, or reveal an individual’s character and personality.
Deadlines: Entries must be received between November 1 and December 31.

Established in 1996, the ASG Scholar Award is an annual scholarship providing a stipend of $500 toward tuition and expenses at one of three major academic genealogical programs in the United States. 
DEADLINE is past for submissions in 2014, however get yours in by September 30, 2015 for the next award.

Established in 2010 as a tribute to the memory of noted genealogist, Birdie Monk Holsclaw, this scholarship funds genealogical related education at the Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) for the awardee.
DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 1st of each year so get going for next year.

CONNECTICUT SOCIETY OF GENEALOGISTS LITERARY AWARDS
This long-running annual genealogy writing contest for New England–based genealogical works, awards a $1,000 grand prize for the best Genealogy, and two first prizes of $500 each for the best Family History and the best Genealogical Resource Publication. There is also a "fledgling essay contest" for new writers—winning entries may be selected for publication in The Connecticut Nutmegger.
DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 16, 2015.

DONALD MOSHER MEMORIAL AWARD FOR COLONIAL VIRGINIA RESEARCH
This competitive $500 Award, established in 2001 by Merrill Hill Mosher, CG, of Oregon, honoring her late husband, is administered by the BCG Education Fund. The Award funds scholarly research on colonial Virginia topics in the following categories: family genealogy, immigrant place or family origin, and publication of obscure or difficult Virginia resources.
DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 31st.

$1,000 awarded to a librarian with at least five years' experience whose primary focus is genealogy and local history and who is employed in a public, academic, or special library.
DEADLINE IS JANUARY 31st.

A three- or four-generation family history is required. The prize is an expense-paid trip to the next NGS Family History Conference and possible publication in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.
DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 31st.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak offers grants, each month, to genealogical societies, libraries, and individuals.

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies offers $500 scholarships that will be applied towards courses in the Certificate in Genealogical Studies program offered jointly by the University of Toronto, Faculty of Information Studies, PLC and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

Genealogists between the ages of 18 and 25 who have attended school in the last 12 months are eligible to apply.  SCGS Jamboree will provide the grant recipient with free three-day registration.

This award encourage and recognize our youth as the next generation of family historians. There are two categories, senior and junior. The senior category winner (high school student in grades 10–12 or ages 16–18) receives a $500 cash prize, a plaque, the NGS Home Study course, and a one-year NGS membership. The junior category winner (middle school student in grades 7–9 or  ages 13–15 years)  receives a plaque, the NGS Home Study course, and a one-year NGS membership. Presentation details of the winning submission may appear in NGS Magazine.
DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 31st

To encourage those pursuing a career in genealogy who have demonstrated serious interest in genealogy by attending regional and/or local conferences, undertaking genealogical training, and subscribing to genealogical publications.
DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 31st

Owner Dee Dee King has implemented a scholarship award program to partially reimburse "Transitional Genealogists" for educational opportunities and career-building endeavors.
Applications for scholarships for 2015 open November 1 - 7, 2014.


02 October 2014

The Great Registers of California


"Great Register" is simply the California name for voter registration records. It probably comes from the fact that the old registration books were huge and very heavy. The pages in the book are arranged alphabetically with each new registration appearing under the previous one.

Photo: San Joaquin County Historical Society

California voter registration began in 1867, the state legislature required each county to record voter information on the local level. The registers contained the voter's name, age, occupation, birthplace, when and where the granting of U.S. citizenship occurred and the court where that took place. 

The 1896 Great Register was the first to include detailed physical descriptions:  height, complexion, eye color, hair color as well as visible marks, scars, tattoos, physical deformities.   By 1910, no physical descriptions other than height were included. 

Women first start showing up in 1912, after California passed a state and local suffrage bill. 

By 1914, age was no longer included in the voter registrations, but specific street addresses began appearing, as well as gender. 

The comments column in the registration books can be very useful. They may include the date when the voter first arrived from another county where they were previously registered; when they left the county and for where; or when they died.

Familysearch has the Great Registers 1866 to 1910. They are indexed and searchable and you will find the site HERE


Jim Faulkinbury, CG has indexed all foreign-born voters in California for the year 1872.  You can browse the index HERE.  


Below are a few California Counties that have the Great Registers online:

BUTTE COUNTY:  1872 Great Register

MARIPOSA COUNTY:  1872 Great Register
                                1884 Great Register
                                             1886 Great Register
                                             1912 Great Register

MENDOCINO COUNTY:  1867, 1880, 1890, 1902, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

MODOC COUNTY:  1874 Great Register


SACRAMENTO COUNTY:  1866-1871 Great Registers
                                    1877 Great Register
                                    1914 Great Register

SAN DIEGO COUNTY:  1866-1879 Great Registers

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY:  1900 Great Register

SHASTA COUNTY:  Great Registers for the years 1866-1884, 1894, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1912, 1926

SISKIYOU COUNTY: Great Registers for the years 1867, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1886, 1888, 1892, 1904
                               1894 Great Register

TRINITY COUNTY:  1872 Great Register
                            1885 Great Register
                            1910 Great Register

TULARE COUNTY:  Great Registers for the years 1869, 1888, 1890, 1898

YUBA COUNTY:  Great Registers for the years 1867 to 1930





01 October 2014

Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History - They Have Records!

As usual, I come across these jackpots of great information whilst clicking away aimlessly looking for I know not what.

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History has a collection of Santa Cruz County Records from 1850 to the present.  You will have to visit in person to see most of the collection, but they have put a few of them online:

PUBLIC WORKS (1886 – 1955)
SERIES I.:  Civil Engineers and Licensed Surveyors (1933 – 1944)
Subseries I.A.:  California News Bulletins for registered civil engineers (1937 – 1944)
Subseries I.B.:  State Board of Registration for Civil Engineers (1933 – 1939)
SERIES II.:  County Building Records (1889 – 1925)
Subseries II.A.:  County Court House (1900 – 1925)
Subseries II.B.:  County Hall of Records (1924 – 1925)
Subseries II.C.:  County Jail (1889 – 1900)
SERIES III.:  Building Contracts (1886 – 1892)
SERIES IV:  County Clerk and Commissioner of Roads (1904 – 1955)
SERIES V.:  Blueprints and Maps
SERIES VI.:  Certificates for the Sale of Real Estate (1913 – 1914)
POLICE, SHERRIFF AND COURTS (1850 – 1952)
SERIES I.  Register of Arrests, 1876 – 1897
SERIES II.  Santa Cruz County Prison Register, 1884 – 1895
SERIES III.   City of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, Police Court (1933 – 1952)
SERIES IV.   Santa Cruz Judicial Township, Santa Cruz County, California, Justice’s Court (1928 – 1952)
SERIES V.   Santa Cruz Judicial Township, Santa Cruz County, California, Justice’s Court (1952)
SERIES VI.   City of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, Police Court (1933 – 1952)
SERIES VII.   Santa Cruz Judicial Township, Santa Cruz County, California, Justice’s Court (1928 – 1952)
SERIES VIII.   Record of the Probate Court (1873 – 1875)
SERIES IX.  Certification by Judge of Superior Court for the County of Santa Cruz (1880 – 1907)
SERIES X.  Probate and Miners Court Ledger (1850 – 1950)
SERIES XI.  Coroner's Inquest Records (1901 – 1939)  Scroll down the page and there is a link for a spreadsheet download of these records.
COUNTY TREASURER (1871 – 1984)
SERIES I.   Assessment Notices (1977 – 1984)
SERIES II.   Bond Registers (1954 – 1981)
SERIES III.   Abstract of County Court House Property (1927)
SERIES IV.   Assessment of Property for 1871 & 1873
SERIES V.   Santa Cruz County Treasurer – County Fund Ledger (1916 – 1926)
SERIES VI.   California State Board of Equalization – Board Roll of State Assessed Property for Santa Cruz County
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY RECORDS INVENTORY (1977 – 1978)
COUNTY CLERK (1866 – 1976)
SERIES I.  Candidate Statements – Record of Income and Expenses for Candidates (1894 – 1956)
SERIES II.  Burial Permits (1897 – 1914)  There is a link for a spreadsheet download of these records
SERIES III.  Voter Registration (1866 – 1976)  There are links to many of these registers
SERIES IV.  Naturalization Records (1871 – 1927)
Subseries IV.A.  Declaration of Intention
Subseries IV.B.  Petition and Record of Naturalization
Subseries IV.C.  Naturalization Citizenship Certificates
SERIES V.  Marriage Applications (1900 – 1975)
COUNTY HEALTH SERVICES (1860s – 1939)
SERIES I.:  Medical License Register (1876 – 1939)
SERIES II.:  Register for County Hospital (1873 – 1928)
SERIES III.:  Prescription Scrapbooks for Palmer Drug Company/Palmer Prescription Druggist (1897 – 1910)


The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, California
Open Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Open Fridays until 9:00 PM