Since 1972 Vol. 15 No. 2 February 2015

Since 1972
Vol. 15 No. 2
February 2015
Thursday, February 12th
A publication of:
Muskegon County Genealogical Society
c/o Hackley Public Library
Torrent House
315 W. Webster Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49440-1208
[email protected]
Find us on
Past President:
Vice President:
Dawn Westcomb Kelley
Jane Appleton Schapka
Kathy Broughton DeCormier
Karen Page Frazier
Nancy Clark Spoon
County Clerk ................. Jane Gates
Dawn Kelley
Barb Martin
Facebook ...................... Norman Dagen
Historian ....................... Board Members
History Book Project ..... Kathy DeCormier
Hospitality...................... Jane Weber
John Slater
Phyllis Slater
Library ........................... Barb Martin
Membership .................. Paula Halloran
Newsletter ..................... Kay Bosch
Dawn Kelley
Pioneer Cert. Program.. Barb Martin
Programs & Publicity..... Board Members
Special Projects ........... Dawn Kelley
Website ......................... Shelly Nelson
VFW Post 3195, 5209 Grand Haven Rd.
Speaker Karen Frazier
You may have heard all the buzz about using Evernote for Genealogy,
but wondered where to begin. Karen Frazier will present the basics of
Evernote, and also review specific examples of organizing your stacks
and stacks of genealogy materials, pictures, charts, books, etc. She
will also show you the basics of Web Clip, and how to incorporate your
clips into Evernote for storage.
Karen (Page) Frazier is a Muskegon native. She earned her
Bachelor’s degree from Baker College, with a major in Human
Resources and minor in Psychology. She is a certified Senior
Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) via the Society for Human
Resource Management, and has worked in the Human Resources
field over 25 years. Her work experience includes the design and
classroom instruction of corporate training programs for numerous
Saturday, February 14
10:30am – 12:30pm & 2pm – 4pm
Space is limited, so please pre-register either online at
[email protected] or call the Torrent House, Local History &
Genealogy Dept. at 231-722-7276 ext. 240 to hold your spot.
How About Some Extra Genealogical Trivia
Questions This Month!
Answers can be found somewhere in this newsletter.
GOOD LUCK! This will be a fun one for you…..
1. What does IGI stand for?
2. Your grandfather’s sister’s daughter is your?
3. What is the standard genealogical way to write June 4,
4. What does “Intestate” mean when researching a dead
5. Where is the best place to start your genealogical
If you have not sent in (or brought in) your dues for
2015, please do so now.
They were due in Muskegon County Building 990 Terrace
December. Don’t miss anything we have coming for St. Use the front entrance on Terrace St.
2015. Renew Now!
MCGS volunteers are there every
HOSPITALITY HAPPENINGS Wednesday from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
The New Year
signals a time for
new beginnings so
Better still would be a
grownup picture to pair with it!
We are fortunate to have
numerous books placed in our
Local History and Genealogy
area lately. Come in and take a
A History of Michigan's Natural Resources: Agriculture
Mining and Lumber, by Mark Pickvet
Genealogy is becoming more popular
every day. Of course we all knew it was
important long before the television
picked it up. Here is the latest television
Thank you to Dennis Allen, who found
and shared this website info with us!
It is called “Silent Storytellers” and is
on PBS on
Sunday, January 4, 11:00 pm on HD/
Main Schedule
Description: The cultural, artistic and
personal stories cemeteries provide to their communities
are explored.
View Additional Airings
01/10/15, 10:00 pm Life
02/28/15, 4:00 pm HD/Main Schedule
TLC (The Learning Channel) has
announced the premiere date and a
partial lineup for this season of the
genealogy TV show.
"Who Do You Think You Are?"
There will be 8 episodes this year, with the premiere
scheduled for Tuesdays starting on February 24th, 2015
at 10:00 p.m.
The “Genealogy Roadshow” on
PBS (episode lineup) January 27,
2015 at 8:00 p.m.
February 3, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
February 10, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
The Shocking Story of Helmuth Schmidt: Michigan's
Original Lonely Hearts Killer, by Tobin T. Buhk
Death At The Lighthouse: A Grand Island Riddle, by
Loren Graham
Grand Traverse: The Civil War Era, by John C. Mitchell
History of the Finns in Michigan by Armas K.E. Holmio
Books below were donated by Clara E. Vickers.
Philip and Martha: Their Sons and Daughters The
Olmstead Family of Old Fairfield, Connecticut V.1 & 2,
by Donald Lines Jacobus
The Licking Lantern - March 2003
Goodrich Family, by Buell Burdett Bassette
Witlock Old Fairfield V.2, by Donald Lines Jacobus
The Newell Family of England and America, by Buell
Burdett Bassette
Gale Family of Salem, Mass., by Charles F. Townes
The Olmstead Family of Old Fairfield, Connecticut V.2,
by Donald Lines Jacobus
Asahel Blodgett of Hudson & Dorchester, NH: His
American Ancestors and His Descendants, compiled by
Isaac Dimond Blodgett
The Descendants of James Cole of Plymouth 1633, by
Ernest Byron Cole
Chronicle of a Border Town: History of Rye
Westchester County, NY 1660-1870 Including Harrison
and the White Plains Till 1788, by Charles W. Baird
Thank you Fran Harrington for sharing this information
below with us.
Round Rounds Genealogy: Descendants of John
Round of Swansea, Massachusetts
Did you know about this on
Apparently they have a few videos on youtube. Check it
The Harrington Family in America
Thomas Newell and His Descendants, compiled by Mary
A. (Newell) Hall
Twig Talk Vol. 15, No. 2 February 2015
US – A new genealogy website has launched called
Mapping the Freedmen’s Bureau – An Interactive
Research Guide. It is designed to assist people in finding
Freedmen’s Bureau records. Many of these records are
online, but are scattered across the internet. This new
website helps direct researchers to the available
resources. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and
Abandoned Lands (or Freedmen’s Bureau in short) was a
federal government agency set up after the end of the US
Civil War to aid freed slaves. The Bureau’s job was to help
solve many of the everyday issues encountered by newly
freed slaves. This would include such things as obtaining
clothing, food, water, health care and jobs. The Bureau
generated a considerable number of records that can now
be used by genealogists. The new website was created by
Angela Walton-Raji and Toni Carrier. It has several
interactive maps that researchers can use to determine
what records are available near their area of interest. If the
records are online, the map provides the appropriate links.
The maps list the Freedmen’s Bureau field offices,
contraband camps, Freedmen’s Bureau hospitals,
Freedman’s Savings Bank branches and locations of
United States Colored Troops (USCT) battles. Access is
free. -
Here is a great way to make your
binders attractive, interesting, and
looking like they might be worth
something to future generations.
customized for your order. They
run around $20 to $30. These
were all found by just doing a
Google Search for “Genealogy
Binders.” They vary in price and
style but may give you some
ideas on how you can customize
your own binders if you don’t
want to buy one of these.
You can make your own binders
in many ways too. Local craft
stores and scrapbook stores
have them. You could paint your
family information on them or use
permanent markers. Use insert
sheets on the front and sides
and decorate them to catch
US – Cartographer Dennis McClendon has created a
useful website called Chicago In Maps. It provides links to
online maps of Chicago found on different websites. Click
on the link titled Historic Maps to view an interesting
collection of historic street maps of Chicago. The value of
this website is that it saves you the effort of having to
search all over the internet for historic Chicago maps.
Something else to remember:
You should put names, dates,
and places on all of your old
members to help). But please
use safe ink. You can get pens
at the craft and scrapbook
stores that you can write on the
back of photos with.
US – The State Library of Massachusetts has completed
digitizing 8,400 images of World War I soldiers primarily
from Massachusetts, with some images of soldiers from
surrounding states. Many of the images are of individual
soldiers and contain biographical information, as shown in
the sample image below. This collection was donated to
the state library in 1935 by the Boston Globe newspaper. It
is a good collection to search if you had ancestors from the
Northeast who were soldiers in WWI. Access is free - See
It is VERY important to get all
photos and even filmstrips
labeled before it is too late.
Don’t forget to do slides as well.
UK – FamilySearch has created an important image
collection of United Kingdom World War I military service
records. These records span the years from 1914 to 1920
and consist of some 43.5 million images. The images are
arranged by last name, making it relatively easy to search
for an ancestor. The images come from the National
Archives. Access is free - See more at - https://
If you have old filmstrips you
can go to Radium Photo or
maybe Camera Shop and have them put on DVD too.
International Genealogical Index
First cousin once removed
04 June 1898
Died without a Will
Your oldest living family member (perhaps grandma)
Thank you to Genealogy On Line for sharing this
Twig Talk Vol. 15, No. 2 February 2015
What Will Happen to Your Digital Records in
the Future?
by Kay Bosch
Well you all know how we have all been preaching and
telling you to scan items and record your data on digital
media (i.e. CDs etc..). We have always said to back up
your data on CDs and DVDs over the years. So—in let’s
say about 50 years, will your data be readable? Will the
computer your future generations use be able to read all of
your hard work and information? Chances are NO!
Many of you remember may remember the good old 5 1/4”
floppy disks from back in the day. How about going even
farther back to punch cards. Even the 3 1/2” floppy and
Zip Disks are becoming a thing of the past.
So with technology changing so fast, how can we ensure
our future generations will have access to all of our digital
First, let’s look at what can cause our data not to be
readable both now and in the future:
1. Physical degradation—Experts tell us that the average
life span of CDs and DVDs is about 25 years. That is
assuming that there are no scratches or extreme heat,
etc… to cause an issue. A disk can fail for no reason
at all. One little scratch in one spot can cause the
entire disk to be unreadable.
2. Computer readability of your digital media—Even if
your storage media may be in good shape, that does
not mean that a future computer will be able to
understand what you put on it.
3. Connectivity—We have already gone from big bulky
pinned plugs, to USB hookups in just the last 10 years
or so. Everything is getting smaller. Who can say how
we will hook up media in the future!
4. Software readability—What software you use will also
matter in the future. Most computers are Microsoft
Windows based (although I know Apple is not going
anywhere anytime soon too), and as long as you keep
your programs updated all along through the years,
that will help you, but if you use an odd program and
never keep it updated you are asking for trouble down
the road.
The programs of the future are not
guaranteed to read the programs of the past. What
may be the “big hit” today may be obsolete in a couple
of years.
5. Losing your media—If you lose your media (i.e. a
house fire, loaning it to a family member, etc…) do you
have a back up?
That brings us to the whole point of my article: How do we
ensure that our future generations will be able to read our
data, use our data, and treasure our data and hard work?
Here are a few important things you can do. Now is a
great time to do them too. The weather is icky, and we are
all kind of stuck in our homes anyway!
Something that will not overwhelm anyone. Also, it would
be of interest to your future generations if you had a
handwritten chart done. Something to increase their
interest and maybe make them want to do more looking.
Our handwriting can be of great interest to future
generations. (Write neatly enough so they can read it
Make everything you print very easy to understand. You
might need the help of a friend or relative here. Get
someone who knows nothing about genealogy or your
family history involved. Have them walk into your storage
area and see if they can figure out what you have, why you
have it, who everyone is, etc… If they don’t understand
any of it, how can you be assured future generations will
know where to begin.
Use a few different programs (but make sure they are very
popular and have been around a long time) and keep them
all updated. You can keep the same information on all of
them (mostly by simply downloading a Gedcom file). Also,
use something like Microsoft Word (which is immensely
popular) for just notes and various data. Keep that
updated also. Always keep a back-up Gedcom file. That
is generic enough that any genealogy program will read it.
Make several back-up copies in several different media
types (i.e. USB Stick, CD or DVD, Disks, etc…) When the
new media types come out, watch them, and if they
become popular, add your data to that media as well.
Also, it is important to keep your information in a fireproof
safe or perhaps a Safe Deposit Box, or something that can
withstand disaster. Even if you keep your items at your
house in a simple file cabinet, just ask a family member or
friend to also keep the same copies at their home. Just
remember to keep more than one copy of everything in
more than one place. If you can scan all your old family
photos you can keep them on a media device somewhere
else and still have them backed up at home and also have
the originals to enjoy.
Put everything important inside a nicely decorated binder
and maybe in a nicely decorated Rubbermaid type box. I
say nicely decorated meaning that it should shout out to
future decedents that it is very important (or at least it was
to you). It should be something that draws their interest
and makes them want to know more. It should not look like
work to be done.
Write a letter for your descendants that explains what you
have done, why you did it, where it is, and what you would
like done with it. Make them understand how important it
was to you. They will value it more if they know more. You
might want to even put a provision in your will that if you
have no descendants all of your research and work could
be donated to a local genealogy group or the local library.
We still have to use printed charts and materials. We can Just so it goes somewhere where it will be used for future
scan a chart or info and make it digital; but keep the paper generations.
in an organized area and safe from fire, floods, and loss of
any kind. There is no way we can or should get away from Make sure that each of your children have copies of
using paper. Keep a master chart. Just one chart that is everything, your grandchildren, great grandchildren, and/or
easy to read and understand and just has the basic even nieces and nephews. Etc…. Anyone who you think
might have an interest. Talk to them and ask if they would
information on it.
like it!
Twig Talk Vol. 15, No. 2 February 2015
There are many old occupations in our ancestor’s records
that you have most likely never heard of. Here are a few I
ran across while doing some research. Many of the
occupations I found are just not done these days. Also,
when I found an occupation, it seemed to have a very
strange name that we would never call it today.
Consider this when you are researching. When you see
an occupation given in a census record or other record,
you may not be able to read it, but that might be because
you are not looking at the word in the terms they used
back in earlier days.
There are many sites that list old occupations. Some of
them list them differently.
When I looked up my
ancestor’s occupations I had to Google “Old Occupation
Names” I also added the term “Genealogy”. I had to go
through many different sites to find some of mine.
Abactor—Cattle Rustler
Damster—Damn Builder or Worker
Egg Factor—Sold Poultry and Eggs
Enumerator—Census Taker
Farrier—Shoed Horses
Gabeler—Tax Collector
Haberdasher—Sold all sorts of sewing supplies
Joiner—Fine Wood Maker/ High Quality Furniture Maker
Lace Woman—Lady’s Maid
Orderly—Officer’s Servant
Out Crier—Auctioneer
Raker—Street Cleaner
Stationer—Sold Newspapers (like a street seller)
Tabernarious—Tavern Keeper or Inn Keeper
Tide Waiter—Customs Enforcer. He often boarded ships
upon arrival to enforce customs regulations.
Tyresmith—Blacksmith who worked on wheels.
Yardman—Farm or Railroad Worker.
There are so many sites out there nowadays that it is hard
to know where you have been, how you have searched,
and when you last looked. What you should do is keep a
spreadsheet type of chart for each of the people you
were researching. Then list the sites you went to, your
types of search terms used, and what your results were.
This will keep you from repeating yourself too often. That
being said, you do have to go back to sites every few
months at least and see if any new information has been
With all of the names people name their children today
(not to mention the spellings), I feel very sorry for future
generations of researchers. Back in the old times,
however, there were some odd names and nicknames out
there as well (I still think today’s names are worse!). Here
are a few to think about as you are doing your research.
Remember that if you can’t understand what the Census
Taker was writing that it could be an odd name like one of
these below. Misspellings and spelling variations were
also common. Just Google something like “Genealogy
Odd Names” to find many sites with listings like what I
have below (Some of these names are from my
Here are the 2015 top 10 genealogy software programs with their prices listed for you. Thank you to several sites,
including “Top 10 Review” for this information! Check them out online, maybe you will find one you like.
Twig Talk Vol. 15, No. 2 February 2015
Important Upcoming Dates 2015
Regular Meetings
Board Meetings
7:00 p.m.
VFW Post 3195
5209 Grand Haven Road
5:30 p.m. at the VFW
January 8 (no meeting)
Genealogy Family
History Workshops
Torrent House Local History &
Genealogy Dept., 315 W. Webster
Morning and afternoon sessions!
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Please pre-register online at
[email protected]
or call 231-722-7276 ext. 240
January 16 (Torrent House)
10:30 a.m.
February 12
March 12
April 9
May 14
June 11
No meeting in July
August 13
September 10
October 8
November 12
February 12
March 12
April 9
May 14
June 11
No meeting in July
August 13
September 10
October 8
November 12
No meeting in December
Next workshop:
February 14
March 14
April 11
May 9
August 8
September 12
October 10
November 14
No meeting in December
No workshops in:
June, July, & December
Upcoming Programs:
► 2015—dues and membership
form if you haven’t renewed
March 12—“Dating Victorian Photographs Through
Women's Fashion & Accessories”
Speaker, Wendy Batchelder
► Ancestor’s baby pictures and
grown ups too!
April 9—“Discovering Your Roots” on DVD Speaker,
Professor John Collecta
► Lucky people will wear Mardi Gras attire as
colors and/or mask!
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Western Michigan Genealogical Society
“Exploring Family Search”
Presenters: John and Aloma Custer
at our Feb meeting.
Long Distance Genealogy, Researching your
family history from home, by Christine CrawfordOppenheimer
If you are feeling adventurous and want to get out a bit,
why not make a day of it and go to Detroit and check out
the program below.
It shows how to utilize a broad range of sources including
family correspondence, depository records.
Saturday, February 21st, 2015 at10:30am
I just love this idea I found on Pinterest!
and Sins of Omission”
Explorer's Conference Room, Detroit Public Library, 5201
Woodward Ave., Detroit. By Liz Kelly Kerstens, a
Certified Genealogist, the managing editor of NGS
Magazine, and the executive director at the Plymouth,
Michigan Historical Museum, will use case studies to
illuminate ancestors' lies and sins of omission that
become potholes along our research journey.
For more information visit this website:
Twig Talk Vol. 15, No. 2 February 2015