February 28, 2015

Get Ready! Who Do You Think You Are Starts March 8

Get Ready! Who Do You Think You Are Starts March 8
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returns this spring to give eight new celebrities a unique opportunity to dig into their roots and learn more about their family history. The two-time Emmy nominated series is Executive Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky. New episodes begin Sunday, March 8 at 10/9c.

 TLC announces the additional featured contributors for the upcoming episodes:

* Melissa Etheridge, who heads to Quebec to trace the history of her paternal side, learns about the scandalous marriage of her 6x great-grandparents.

* America Ferrera, who brings the series to Honduras for the first time ever, learns about the father she barely knew, and unravels her great-grandfather’s role in the violent Central American political system.

* Tony Goldwyn, who is familiar with his prestigious paternal Hollywood lineage, but knows little about his mother’s side of the family. In his episode, he comes to learn about his 3x great-grandparents, who fought for women’s rights and westward expansion.

* Josh Groban, who discovers his 8x great-grandfather was a highly educated and renowned scientist that studied astronomy, and was quoted by Isaac Newton himself.

Previously announced celebrity contributors include Julie Chen, Angie Harmon, Bill Paxton and Sean Hayes. The episodic air order is currently scheduled as:

March 8           Julie Chen
March 15         Josh Groban
March 22         Angie Harmon
March 29         Sean Hayes
April 5             Tony Goldwyn
April 12            America Ferrera
April 19            Bill Paxton
April 26            Melissa Etheridge

Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, is teaming up again with TLC as a sponsor of the upcoming season. As part of the show sponsorship, Ancestry provides exhaustive family history research on each of the featured celebrities, which is used to build out the story of each episode.


Take a look at a Sneak Peek

February 27, 2015

WooHoo! 19 Years and Counting for Olive Tree Genealogy Website!

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to Olive Tree Genealogy...... Happy 19th Birthday to me. 

Olive Tree Genealogy began sometime in the winter of 1995 but it wasn't until February 1996 that it was given space on the old Rootsweb site.

That site is still online at http://rootsweb.com/~ote/ and it holds all the "extra" free databases and goodies that I don't have room for on Olive Tree Genealogy at http://olivetreegenealogy.com/

Eventually I purchased my own domain name "Olive Tree Genealogy" and set up another site as a companion to my "Ote" site.  

 
I am often asked why I created Olive Tree Genealogy. After my husband died in 1993 and I was injured at school by a student, my enforced inactivity and loneliness was pretty tough to take. A friend suggested I learn how to set up a website on this new phenonemon called "the internet". 

Many of the big sites we use today did not exist when I set up Olive Tree Genealogy. CyndisList came online right after me. Rootsweb started up around the same time. Ancestry.com didn't exist. Hard to imagine, isn't it?  Olive Tree Genealogy is a senior in Internet days. Back then the few genealogy sites online were, as all sites were, battleship grey with no fancy bells and whistles like search engines!


I started with one ships passenger list and some historical articles I wrote about Huguenots, Walloons, Loyalists and Palatines. That  ship's list was so popular and I received so many requests for more that I began hunting for others. Now Olive Tree Genealogy has over 1,500 ships lists online. And they're all free.

What am I up to now? Well I'm busy with writing my books and maintaining my blogs and websites as well as my personal genealogy research of course. Here's a list of my main blogs and websites.

Blogs

Olive Tree Genealogy
Ask Olive Tree
Ancestors At Rest
Past Voices: Letters Home
The Paper Trail
Antique Hunter
Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy
 
 
Websites    
 Olive Tree Genealogy
Naturalization Records
Ancestors At Rest
All Census Records
The Genealogy Spot
Olive Tree Extras
Past Voices
The Great War
Canadian Military Heritage Project

Writing genealogy and history books also keeps me pretty busy!  You can read a bit more about me if you are interested, or see some of the early versions of Olive Tree Genealogy at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/olive-tree-genealogy-history.shtml


February 26, 2015

Rare Inscribed Roman Tombstone with Skeleton Found

Rare Inscribed Roman Tombstone with Skeleton Found
I find these stories fascinating and love to share them with my readers. An ancient and rare Roman tombstone with a skeleton under it has been found in a Roman cemetery in Cirencester

The carved tombstone reads  D.M. BODICACIA CONIUNX VIXIT ANNO S XXVII which translates to read In memory of Bodicia. Wife. Lived 27 years

Cotswold archaeologists believe that the skull found under the stone is that of Bodica.


Continue reading, and see the photographs at  'Incredibly rare' Roman tombstone found complete with human remains of a woman named 'Bodica'

Credits: Image from http://www.cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk/
In memory of Bodicia. Wife. Lived 27 years
 

February 25, 2015

Introducing Ken McKinlay, Professional Genealogist

Introducing Ken McKinlay, Professional Genealogist
Ken McKinlay is an Ottawa Ontario based genealogist. Olive Tree Genealogy recently interviewed Ken so that I could introduce him to my readers. 

I've seen Ken's meticulous research on various Facebook groups and am very impressed with his research skills and citing of his sources. Read on for my questions and Ken's responses:

How and when did you become involved in the field of genealogy?

I first became involved in genealogy and family history due to my curiosity. I had always heard stories that a branch of the family was descended from Loyalists, another branch came to North America on the Mayflower, and yet another branch came to Scotland from Ireland. I wanted to find the truth behind each of these family tales. Amazingly enough those stories have all turned out to be true. I have been able to document that I am a descendant of Lt. Caleb Howe of the Queen’s Rangers (I have three or four other Loyalist lines I’m working on too), I can trace one of my lines to Elizabeth Tilley of the Mayflower (I’m also looking at a possible Brewster connection), and the McKinlay family that settled in Thornliebank, Scotland did come from Londonderry, Ireland around the late 1830s.

What is your main genealogical focus?

Over time my genealogical focus has gone from researching my own roots to doing research for clients and also helping out those that post to certain genealogy related groups on Facebook. What I enjoy most is sharing my knowledge. What I’ve found is that I enjoy teaching people how to do research, whether it be speaking at a society meeting (a little stressful for me but I do enjoy it), blogging, or telling someone where I found the information I had posted in response to their Facebook query. If I can educate someone as to how the information can be found that then means they can better learn how to do their own research.
 

What are your website(s) and blogs?

I do have a blog called Family Tree Knots found at http://familytreeknots.blogspot.ca/. There the focus is on the methodologies of genealogy research and where to find those oftentimes elusive records. When I’m dealing with my own research my blog becomes a “lessons learned” post plus a way to share the findings with family members.
 

Do you have a Social Media presence? 
I can be found on various social media sites including:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kmwebott

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kmckinlay

Google+: https://www.google.com/+KenMcKinlay
 

Do you believe a Social Media presence is important?
I find that a Social Media presence is important since it allows me to interact with a much larger audience than just that found in the Ottawa region. It may be that I have information that someone is looking for or, more often, someone else has the information I’m trying to find. A simple post or query using the applicable site can lead to the key answer or document to resolve an outstanding problem.


Are you a member of any genealogical societies or organizations?

I’m a member and director at large of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), a member of the Ottawa branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), a member of the United Empire Loyalists’ of Canada (UELAC), and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).
 

What does genealogy mean to you? Why do you believe it is important?

Genealogy is not only a way of learning about where the family came from but also the impact that history and society has had on each of us. We all have heroes and villains in our tree and they make the research interesting. Yet it is the common person that has helped bring us to where we are today. Finding out the causes of why the family moved from Ireland to Scotland or from a village in Yorkshire to the industrial city of Glasgow can make the history that they teach in school much more interesting.


What do you believe is the most exciting development in genealogy today?

I think there have been two important and exciting developments in the past several years. The first is the increased amount of documents that are now available to researchers without the need to either visit an archive or library or to send away and way weeks or even months for a response. That isn’t to say that archives and libraries aren’t important. Those brick and mortar buildings are a vital component to our research. However, with more records available at relatively low costs or even free anyone can start research their family tree. The second is genetic genealogy. As an adjunct to tracing the various lines using the well-known paper records, DNA testing has helped make connections to possible distant cousins.
 

Do you have a prediction or hope for the field of genealogy in the future?

In the near future I think that with the continued digitization projects more “lost” clues on our families will be uncovered. However, I don’t think it will be a rosy future 50 to 100 years from now when it comes to future genealogists trying to figure out our lives. So much of what used to be recorded in newspapers or even in letters is now being done electronically. Yet we don’t know if that information will survive us.

February 24, 2015

Quebec Family History presents Roots 2015 Conference

Olive Tree Genealogy received the following announcement
Quebec Family History presents Roots 2015 Conference

The Quebec Family History Society presents Roots 2015 – An international conference on family history in Quebec from June 19-21, 2015 at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. It is the largest English language genealogical conference held in Quebec.

Some featured speakers are: Gary Schroder, President of the Quebec Family History Society; Lesley Anderson, Teacher and Consultant with Ancestry.ca; Edward Zapletal, Publisher, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, and History Magazine; Ed McGuire, President of the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogy Society; Glen Wright, Author and Lecturer; Johanne Gervais, Computer Specialist and Genealogist; Deborah Robertson, Librarian and Genealogist; Lorraine Gosselin, Lecturer and Genealogist; Marilyn Gillespie, Professional Photographer; Luc Lepine, Author and Military Historian; and Denyse Beaugrand-Champagne, Historian and Archivist with Bibliothéque et Archives Nationales du Quebec.


For further information and to register go to www.qfhs.ca

Sign up NOW for 13th New England Regional Genealogical Conference

Sign up NOW for 13th New England Regional Genealogical Conference
The 13th New England Regional Genealogical Conference Navigating the Past: Sailing into the Future will be held in Providence, Rhode Island on 15-18 April 2015. The conference will include more than 90 lectures by speakers including Judy G. Russell, Lisa Louise Cooke, and Genealogy Roadshow host Joshua Taylor, as well as Ancestors Roadshow, Special Interest Groups, workshops, and a bonus track of presentations in the exhibit hall.

Why pay full price? Save 20% by registering now! NERGC Early Bird registration deadline is February 28th. To register online or download the Program Brochure, go to www.nergc.org.

February 23, 2015

16th Century Plague Graffiti Found on Walls of Church

This fascinating yet sad story begins with 
"Heartbreaking" graffiti uncovered in a Cambridgeshire church has revealed how three sisters from one family died in a plague outbreak in 1515. The names Cateryn, Jane and Amee Maddyngley and the date were inscribed on stonework in Kingston parish church." (BBC News)
Continue reading this story and see the photos of the graffiti at Cambridgeshire church plague graffiti reveals 'heartbreaking' find

February 22, 2015

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album 5V

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

February 21, 2015

TLC REUNITES LOVED ONES ON NEW SPECIAL LONG LOST FAMILY

The following announcement was received from TLC

-- One-Hour Special Airs Sunday, March 1 at 10/9c --

(Los Angeles, Ca.) – Hoping to find their biological families, two adoptees team up with hosts Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner to embark on an emotional journey in the new one-hour special LONG LOST FAMILY.  For hosts Chris and Lisa, the painstaking search for answers is familiar territory. Both of them were adopted as young children, later searching for – and ultimately reuniting with – their biological families. Premiering Sunday, March 1 at 10/9c on TLC, viewers will watch adoptees go through the ups and downs of trying to track down loved ones they’re so anxious to meet.



Christopher Hanson hasn’t seen his mother in 30 years. After being left in a grocery store parking lot when he was only 6-years-old, Christopher has been haunted by this memory for most of his life and has always longed to reunite with his mother. Eventually adopted by a loving family, Christopher is desperate to unlock the mysteries of what happened on that day and discover exactly why he never saw his mom again. 

Paula, a 54-year-old grandmother of 10, knows very little about her biological family. She is longing to meet them and find out why her parents kept her for a few days, only to give her up and never reach out again.
Chris and Lisa are uniquely poised to provide emotional support and guidance as the adoptees brace for the rigors of this difficult search. Hitting so close to home for both Chris and Lisa, the two will stop at nothing to try and give Christopher and Paula the news both so desperately want to know.

Ancestry.com, the world’s leading family history service, is teaming up with TLC again to sponsor this special. In coordination with LONG LOST FAMILY, Ancestry provided AncestryDNA kits used by the two adoptees to confirm their biological families while Chris and Lisa used records on Ancestry.com to help bring Christopher and Paula’s exhaustive searches to an end.

LONG LOST FAMILY is produced by Shed Media who also produces TLC’s WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

February 20, 2015

A Fascinating Look at the Digitization of Canadian WW1 CEF Files

Library and Archives Canada has posted a fascinating series of images showing their digitization process of the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) service files from WW1. Each photo has a brief explanation of what that step entails. 

A Fascinating Look at the Digitization of Canadian WW1 CEF Files
Sure wish they could let us see the personal photos and letters that are found in files but apparently that is not going to happen. 

See Vault to Screen: Digitization of First World War Service Files for a glimpse of their setup and process.



February 19, 2015

Woohoo! Just Ordered Proof Copy of my Van Valkenburg Vollick Book

Yesterday I ordered the proof copy of my new book on the Van Valkenburg-Vollick family. This book has been a dream for many years. I've been researching the Vollick (aka Follick) families for over 15 years in hopes of compiling a book one day. 

Isaac Van Valkenburg aka Vollick fought with Butler's Rangers during the American Revolution. He and his wife Anna Maria (Mary) Warner settled in Upper Canada in 1782. Isaac's Land Petitions, Affidavits of witnesses regarding his Loyalty to the British Crown, letters about Mary's ordeal after American Patriots burned her home and sent the family fleeing north to Canada in 1779, and other records are found in this book. 

Stories of Isaac's ancestors back to the first settlement of New Amsterdam (present day New York City) and Albany in the 1620s and Mary's ancestors back to the 1709 Palatine immigration from Germany to New York are included. 


Proof Copy Cover Van Valkenburg - Vollick book
This is Volume 1 of From Van Valkenburg to Vollick and is the story of Isaac Vollick the Loyalist and his sons and daughters. Volume 2 is almost ready for publication (it's about Isaac Vollick's son Cornelius Vollick and descendants of that branh), and Volume 3 has been started (it's on Isaac's son Storm Follick and descendants of that branch). Isaac had 5 daughters so there will be many more volumes to come.

February 18, 2015

Lost African American Burial Ground Discovered in Philadelphia

Archaeologists in  Philadelphia unearthed what may be the resting place of nearly 3,000 African Amerians buried under a playground in the city’s Weccecoe Park.

Lost African American Burial Ground Discovered in Philadelphia
Screen Shot from Liberty Voice
" Historian Terry Buckalew accidentally stumbled on a mention of the cemetery while researching the 19th century civil rights activist Octavius Catto for a documentary film project. He found a record of family members of Catto’s fiancĂ© buried in something called Bethel Burying Ground, a site he had never heard of."

The names of almost half of those buried have been discovered and historians hope to be able to find the names of everyone laid to rest in that spot.

One stone that has been uncovered reads "Amelia Brown, 1819, Aged 26 years” with this epitaph: “Whosoever lives and believeth in me, though we be dead, yet shall we live.”


Continue reading this story at Thousands of African-American Graves Found Beneath Philadelphia Playground

February 17, 2015

Rootstech 2015 Videos Online

If, like me, you missed out on going to RootsTech this year, don't despair. The RootsTech 2015 Videos of the streamed sessions are now online.

As of today the following sessions are available from Thursday and Friday. Still to come are Saturday sessions.

Thursday Keynote Session
Dennis Brimhall, Mike Mallin, Tan Le

30 pieces of tech I can't live without
D. Joshua Taylor


You've Mastered the Census and Basic Search, What Next?
Karen Auman

What's New at FamilySearch
Devin Ashby

Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy
Diahan Southard

Building a Genealogy Research Toolbox
Thomas MacEntee


Bring Your Ancestor Back to the Future
Anne Leishman

February 16, 2015

Happy 50th Anniversary to the Canadian Flag

Oops missed this by one day! Canada’s national flag celebrates its 50th anniversary!

Approved by Parliament on December 15, 1964, the flag was proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II to take effect on February 15, 1965.

February 15, 2015

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Album 8R

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 
Night Staff

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

February 14, 2015

Don't Lose Your Genealogy Data!

Keeping your genealogy research safe and sound is important. I'm so pleased that iDrive is extending their special offer to readers of Olive Tree Genealogy blog!



iDrive is offering my followers 1TB of automatic Online Backup Storage PLUS 1TB of Sync Space file storage, for $14.88 for the first year. This is a 75% savings off the regular price of $59.50 and saves you almost $45.00. Offer good until Feb. 28/15

iDrive just received the prestigious PC Mag Editors Choice award for online backup for 2015. iDrive is easy to install and easy to use. There's no learning curve and you can start protecting your years of genealogy research immediately. 

Use this link for the Olive Tree Genealogy exclusive iDrive offer

February 13, 2015

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told WINNERS

1917. Mother in my grandmother's arms. Godfrey my future step-father is standing in front of the family
Very cool!! My story about my mother and step-father won in The Greatest Love Story Ever Told contest. Read about it here and also read the other stories of #2 and #3

Thank you Crestleaf for a fun contest!

February 12, 2015

Coming Soon! Ancestry Academy, Beta Testing & iOS App Full Search Features


 
Ancestry.com announced some pretty cool things yesterday:

o    A new and improved  Ancestry.com website will make it easier for anyone to discover and tell the rich, unique story of their family, through new features and site enhancements that will reinvent the ways Ancestry members create and showcase their family story.  The new site experience is currently in limited Beta and will be demonstrated at RootsTech On Friday, Feb. 13 at 1:00 pm MT (Room 151) as well as at the Ancestry booth. Visitors to the Ancestry booth will be able to opt in to participate in the Beta.

o    Ancestry mobile will introduce a full search feature in the iOS app that will empower users to access 15 billion historical records and hints anytime, anywhere in the native app environment. The intuitive interface will make both simple and advanced searches easier, while the presentation of search results will also help you quickly identify and prioritize the most important results, making search less complicated.  The Ancestry mobile team will showcase version 1 search in the Ancestry booth and discuss search and other mobile features in length during an FGS class, “Ancestry’s Mobile World,” on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 1:00 pm MT.

o     Ancestry.com will also remain committed to providing the best in educational resources with the launch of Ancestry Academy in April. The new resource will offer how-to tutorials and historical guidance to help experts and novices alike. Released as a limited Beta this week, Ancestry Academy will be showcased via demo in the Exhibit Hall on Friday, Feb 13 at 3 pm MT. Those interested in participating in this Beta should stop by the Ancestry booth for more information.
 

February 11, 2015

Rootstech Streaming Schedule - at Last!

If you couldn't make it to RootsTech this year, don't despair. Several sessions at RootsTech including the general keynote sessions on Thursday, and Saturday will be streamed live on the home page of RootsTech.org. 

After the conference, recordings of these sessions will be posted on the website for a limited time. Here is the Streaming Schedule for RootsTech 2015

February 10, 2015

Medieval Mortuary Chests to be Opened

Medieval Mortuary Chests to be Opened
From the Romsey Advertiser:
The inventory of the tombs’ contents, believed to be the mortal remains of some of the early royals of Wessex, will be assessed in the coming weeks. They are also thought to contain three bishops as well as other artefacts.
Other interesting facts will almost certainly come to light once the chests are opened and the bones thoroughly examined
Experts believe those interred include Canute, King of England, Denmark and Norway, his Queen Emma of Normandy, as well as their son Harthacanute. Canute, who died in Shaftesbury in November 1035, was originally buried in Winchester’s Old Minster before work on the city’s cathedral had even begun.
Read the rest of this story at Winchester Cathedral unveils plans to open medieval mortuary chests

February 9, 2015

New Copy of Magna Carta Discovered in Scapbook

New Copy of Magna Carta Discovered in Scapbook
Another copy of the famous Magna Carta has been found in Kent England. Experts are now revising their estimate of how wide-spread the Magna Carta was and now believe it was copied and distributed throughout many churches in England.

With the 800th Anniversary of the signing of the original Magna Carta in 1215, this discovery has sparked new excitement among experts.

Continue reading this story at Magna Carta edition found in Sandwich archive scrapbook



February 8, 2015

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Album 1R

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

February 7, 2015

Rootstech 2015 Schedule

RootsTech is happening February 12–14, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

Here is the schedule for this amazing conference combing genealogy and technology. Since some of the lectures and workshops were streamed last year and are available online, I believe we will see the same thing happen this year.

Stay tuned because I will post about that as soon as I know about it.

 

February 6, 2015

AncestryDNA Available in United Kingdom and Ireland

Great news for our friends in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.  Ancestry DNA is now available to purchase in the United Kingdom and Ireland!

Ancestry.com sold their first DNA kit in the U.S. in 2012, and since then, more than 700,000 people have used AncestryDNA to discover more about their family history. 


Wonderful news for the U.K. and Ireland but when is it Canada's turn?

February 5, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday to Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

Happy 12th Birthday to Olive Tree Genealogy Blog
Happy Birthday to Olive Tree Genealogy Blog! Can you believe it is 12 years old? Almost a teenager, wow!

It all started when a friend invited me to post on his new blog and suggested I start my own blog. My response was "Huh? What's a blog?" Yep that's right. 12 years ago blogs were just starting up and not many people were aware of them. 

It was February in Canada. It was cold and snowy and we Canadians always get the February blahs. So I started a blog. This blog. And I found I loved doing it! 

My family always tell me I'm pretty talkative and here's proof: I've written 2691 blog posts since birth in February 2003.

How many times have my blog posts been read? The blog stats show almost 3 million pageviews (2,276,622 pageviews)

Here's a few stats that might be of interest - one is where my readers live and what browser is most often used.

No surprise that the majority of my readers live in the USA with Canada coming in second. And the most popular browser is Firefox. I am surprised at how popular Internet Explorer is!





I hope my readers aren't bored with me (yet) as I plan to carry on sharing my stories with you for another 12 years at least!!

Out of curiousity I looked up what the most popular blog posts were for the last 12 years. Omitting blog press releases about new genealogy goodies coming online, here are the top 5 posts in the last 12 years:


  1. Personal Opinion about Copyright
  2. Heads up all Genealogists!
  3. What Happens to Your Genealogy Research When You're Gone?
  4. Organizing Family Photos - creating a plan
  5. Creating a Family Story Book Using Flip-Pal
And now I'm off to have some cake and blow out 12 candles.

February 4, 2015

Ancestry Working on Improved Website

For the past few weeks I've been a beta tester for the new website Ancestry.com is developing. I love it! It's visually appealing, easy to use,  and has all kinds of nifty features in the Family Tree section. We beta testers have had a few meetings with Ancestry.com executives and I'm happy to report they are listening to our feedback. 
Example of a page in the new Ancestry site

If you want to be a beta tester and are going to Rootstech 2015, you can sign up at the Ancestry.com booth. You can also sign up online (URL is given below)

Below is the official word from Ancestry on this new project:

Over the past year, we have been conducting extensive research and testing to gather user feedback on our existing Ancestry website and to identify critical pain points. As a result, we have been working on a groundbreaking initiative to evolve the Ancestry website to meet the needs of our users. We will introduce a new and improved Ancestry experience that makes it easier for anyone to discover and tell the rich, unique story of their family. 



The improved Ancestry website includes:



  • A new LifeStory view to transform your ancestors’ facts and events into engaging, unique stories
  • A new, intuitive, modern look to streamline your work flows and make your family story the focus
  • Historical Insights to discover significant historical events that your ancestors may have experienced
  • A new Facts View to make it easier to validate facts with sources, and edit and review facts contextually
  • A new Media Gallery where you can consolidate all your media in one place



We will be showcasing the Ancestry beta at RootsTech, Feb. 12-14. Visitors to the Ancestry booth will be able to opt in to participate in the beta. For those not at RootsTech who would like to be invited to the beta, visit this link to request to be on the waitlist: http://home.ancestry.com/beta



We will be inviting new participants off the waitlist to join the beta over the next few months.
 

February 3, 2015

Canadian Directories Online

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the online database Canadian Directories

An addition to the page includes full versions of the directories in PDF format, as well as newly digitized directories which are not available through the database.

These 152 new directories are for the Ontario cities of Hamilton, Kingston and London and for the counties of Southwestern Ontario.

February 2, 2015

The Ryckman Family - Harmen Janse Ryckman of New Netherland New York

Harmen Janse Ryckman (my 9th great grandfather) came to the New World with at least one child - his daughter Margarita (Grietje) Harmense Ryckman. By 1662 Grietje had married Jacques Cornelise Van Slyke, the son of Cornelis Antonissen Van Slyke and his Mohawk wife, Ots-Toch. Jacques and Grietje settled in the new village of Schenectady. Grietje's father lived in Albany as early as 1666 and there he died circa 1677

Official Seal of New Netherland
Harmen was living near Albany in 1667 as per a court record which states

"....in his [Robert Sanders] house and lot standing here and lying here in Albany, adjoining to the south and east the street, to the north Harmen Janse Ryckman, and to the west Volkie Jurriaense, widow of the late Jan Van Hoesen...'
[Source: Early Records of the City and Colony of Albany and Colony of Rensellaerswyck, 1656-1675, translated by Jonathan Pearson. Vol. 1:410]

Harmen's brother, Jan Janse Ryckman, married Tryntie Janse and settled in Beverwyck. By 1663 Jan was dead, his widow remarried to Eldert Gerbertse Cruyff. They had one son living in 1663 - Albert Janse Ryckman, married to Neeltie Quackenbos. From this line came many of the Ontario Rykman families.

Continue reading about the Ryckman family at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/nn/surnames/ryckman.shtml

February 1, 2015

Nursing Sister Phillips WW1 Album 70-R

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 
--- Inglefield, Pilot of Flying Corps (Corpses)

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.