Genealogy Blog

FGS Discount Registration Deadline Saturday

29 Jun 2012

The Federation of Genealogical Societies’ annual conference will be held August 29 to September 1 in Birmingham, Alabama. As always, it should prove to be an exciting few days filled with informative sessions, engaging speakers, and a packed exhibit hall.


FGS 2012 Conference Logo


The first day, Wednesday, is always dedicated to sessions for society management. The rest of the week will be filled with sessions for individual researchers. This year there will be several social events for attendees. On Wednesday evening, an opening social will be held at the Alabama Theaters. Thursday’s evening social will be held at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. (more…)

Rare Opportunity to Hear Great Minds in Genealogy

27 Jun 2012

This year the National Genealogical Society is celebrating the 100th anniversary of their journal, the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. The Voices of Genealogy series seeks to honor this by capturing on film many of the notable genealogists of our time. They have also released a special audio recording featuring two of the greatest figures in genealogy, Milton Rubincam and John Insley Coddington.

The 1986 Conference in the States was held in Columbus, Ohio. During the conference, Rubincam and Coddington held an Ask the Experts session, where they took questions from the audience. Their discussion offers the listener the opportunity to get advice (more…)

Historic Massachusetts Building Lost

25 Jun 2012

I spent a good portion of my youth in the town of Seekonk. Located on the Rhode Island border in southeastern Massachusetts. Genealogical research in this area can be very complicated. The town was originally a part of Rehoboth Separated in 1812, the town was further subdivided when East Providence and Pawtucket were formed into separate towns. In addition to the changing town boundaries, the territory kept moving back and forth between Massachusetts and Rhode Island until the border between the states was finally settled in 1865.

Grist Mill Tavern

Among the early settlers were the Hunt family. John Hunt, Senior, built a grist mill, (more…)

One of Two Remaining Children of Civil War Soldiers Dies

22 Jun 2012

The Civl War started more than 150 years ago. Last week one of the two remaining children of soldiers who fought in that conflict passed away. Both Stella Case and her father, John Harwood Pierce, led interesting lives.

Born in Quebec in 1848, he left home at the age of 11 and moved to the United States. He desperately wanted to serve in the Civil War, but was rejected for being too young. Finally, in 1862, he lied about his age and was accepted into the 11th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry. His unit saw service at the Battle of Shiloh and at Vicksburgs, (more…)

Best From the Blogs

20 Jun 2012

Getting caught up on my blog reading revealed some very interesting posts recently from some of my favorite bloggers. I wanted to share some of them with you today.

Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, is always interesting and informative. She has been running a periodic series on the terms of service (TOS) that website owners require users to agree to before using the site. Today in “Grave terms of use” she compared the user-friendly TOS of Find a Grave with the much more user-unfriendly TOS of BillionGraves.

Well-known genealogist Megan Smolenyak is fortunate to write for the Huffington Post on genealogical topics. (more…)

War of 1812 Ancestors

18 Jun 2012

Monday, June 18, marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the start of the War of 1812.

The bicentennial is being marked with much fanfare in Washington and elsewhere around the country.


USS Constitution

USS Constitution

The War of 1812 was the first time the United States officially declared war (although the Quasi-War with France and the first Barbary War preceded it, there were no official declarations of war in those instances). The War of 1812 was vehemently opposed by the New England states, who feared the damage that would come to their merchant fleets. Indeed, the War of 1812 had more official political opposition than anyother (more…)

The Ghost in Your Genes

15 Jun 2012

I often read Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogical Newsletter for news and other events in the field. Today I found a post about an interesting BBC article concerning genetics and biology. Horizon is a science and discovery series that has been running on the BBC since 1964. They recently discussed a revolution among some scientists concerning the way genes work and our genetic history and biology.

This group of scientists is promoting epigenetics. This is the theory that hidden influences on our genes could be impacting our lives. Epigeneticists believe that genes have “memory,” and that experiences can influence our genes, turning them (more…)

Broadway and Genealogy

13 Jun 2012

I was in one of my favorite cities in the world this week, New York, for a conference. Despite having grown up in the suburbs, I have always been a city boy at heart. Nothing beats being in such an incredible place. In many ways I envy my friends who have spent at least some time living here.

Other Desert Cities Playbill

This evening I took a break from work to go to a show with my friend (and fellow genealogist) Aaron Goodwin, who lives down here. He picked the show: Other Desert Cities. The play, starring Judith Light (who won a Tony award Sunday night (more…)

Mocavo Father’s Day Contest

11 Jun 2012

Father’s Day is a great day to honor all of your forefathers. In the United States, it started in several different areas simultaneously. The person who gets the greatest credit, however, is given to Sonora (Smart) Dodd. She wanted to honor her father, William Jackson Smart, a veteran of the Civil War. After his wife’s death, Smart raised his six children as a single father.

Over the course of the last century, Father’s Day has grown a great deal. Aside from the commercial aspects, it is a time to spend with our fathers and grandfathers. It is also a good time to (more…)

Southern California Jamboree Announces Live Webcasts

08 Jun 2012

The Southern California Jamboree is always a popular conference. Their attendance is always large, and the sessions are taught by some of the highest-caliber genealogists in the country. This year’s conference is being held June 8–10 in Burbank, California.

The Southern California Genealogical Society sponsors the conference each year. Hundreds of people from all over attend the conference, which has a large vendor area as well as the classrooms.

I know some of the organizers, and they are a great group of people. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, I have been unable to attend in person for a couple of years. This year, (more…)