Originally conceived in 1997, the Mixed Roots Foundation (MRF) was established last year to act as a resource for the adoptee community and to help people with the adoption experience. Because so many adoptees know little or nothing about heir family of birth, MRF has stepped in to help them.
The Global Adoptee Genealogy Project (GAGP) was announced today to help adoptees understand their genetic past. The project will help provide access to DNA testing to help those who know nothing of their ancestry. MRF is partnering with two organizations well known to genealogists, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA, who will conduct the DNA Read more »
As we all know, (or at least we hope you’ve remembered!), Mother’s Day is just around the corner. That’s right folks: Just over a week until that beautiful Sunday when we celebrate the mothers in our lives.
Mocavo owes a lot to mothers across the world. We all do! Without mothers, there would be no family, and thus no family history. In addition to our Mother’s Day Story Contest, our team wants to help you celebrate with the perfect gift. Your mother gave you your family; now you can give her the gift of family history.
For the next two weeks, Mocavo will Read more »
Everyone knows that if you live in Dallas, you’re a Texan. And those who live in Honolulu are Hawaiians. And anyone who lived through the 70s knows about Native New Yorkers. But what do you call people from Boston? Or Fort Wayne? Or Trenton?
For some states, there can be multiple terms, such as Connecticuter (the official term) and Nutmegger (the colloquial term). One great place to find the official way to refer to residents of the states is the United States Government Printing Office. This is where you will discover that a Bostonian is also a Massachusettsan. Someone who lives in Read more »
Bad news out of Ottawa today for archivists, genealogists, historians, and librarians. CBC news reported today that as part of the latest budget cuts, the federal government will be eliminating a series of libraries and archives across many different branches of government.
More than 400 notices have been sent to Library and Archives Canada (LAC) alone. 20% of the LAC workforce will be let go. These cuts are set to occur over the course of three years.
The library at Transport Canada is now closed and workers are packing up the collections. Staff members told CBC News that much of the collection will Read more »
When I was in London wandering the exhibit hall at Who Do You Think You Are? Live!, I picked up an interesting new book by David T. Hawkings. Pauper Ancestors: A Guide to the Records Created by the Poor Laws in England and Wales explores records of tremendous value to genealogists.
The introduction gives a brief overview of the care of the poor in England and Wales. The main body includes discussion of almost two dozen different types of records from the Poor Laws. Among the records discussed are Parish Accounts, Bastardy, Pauper Apprentices, Ratepayers, Sickness and Death, and Assisted Migration.
Each chapter Read more »
Did you know that Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare both died 23 April 1616, but they did not died on the same day? How is that possible? Easily. Cervantes died in Spain while Shakespeare died in England. And these two countries were using different calendars at the time.
The Julian Calendar, established in ancient Rome, was not completely accurate in measuring the length of a year. As a result, the vernal equinox had changed by 10 days by the late sixteenth century. This was interfering with the date of Easter and causing problems for the Catholic church. In 1582 Pope Gregory Read more »
The role of serendipity cannot be underestimated in genealogy. Sometimes it is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I remember a couple of years ago when I was in London researching my book on Benjamin Franklin’s family. I was at the Society of Genealogists and took a book off the shelf about Northamptonshire. It told me where some of the records were for the parish of Ecton where his father was from.
The book told me that some of the records had been found by an antiquarian in the late nineteenth century who was concerned Read more »
Those who know me well know that one of my pet peeves in genealogy is the biggest myth in American history: that anyone’s name was ever changed at Ellis Island. There is not a single documented case of anyone’s name ever being changed during the entire time the immigration station was open.
Ellis Island was staffed by professionals who spoke languages from around the world. They did not have difficulty communicating. People’s names changed either before they left for America, or after they settled here.
One thing that may confuse people into thinking that names were changed is the variant spellings in documents. Read more »
When transcribing and abstracting documents, it is important to have an accurate record of the original. In striving for this accuracy, people often get confused about when to use [sic] and when not to.
Errors occur in records all the time. Reversed letters and words, duplication of words, as well as switched names and other errors are all commonly experienced. When a mistake appears in the record, it is important for the abstractor/transcriber to show that the error appears in the original.
The term should always be italicized and appear in square brackets immediately following the error. Sic is Latin for “thus,” meaning Read more »
Genealogy is not always limited to individuals. If you want a real challenge, try tracing the history of some genealogy companies! (Does the word Broderbund ring any bells with some of you?) In addition to researching the history of families, many people research the history of their homes.
I did this a bit in the 1980s and 1990s. When I was a freshman in high school my family moved into an eighteenth-century farmhouse. It was built by a Revolutionary War veteran who served as one of the Minutemen who responded to the alarm at Concord. It stayed in his family until the Read more »