Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Genealogist's Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even my spouse.

The dining room table with clutter was spread
With pedigree charts and with letters which said...
"Too bad about the data for which you wrote;
Sank in a storm on an ill-fated boat."

Stacks of old copies of wills and such
Were proof that my work had become too much.
Our children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And I at my table was ready to drop
From work on my album with photos to crop.
Christmas was here, and such was my lot
That presents and goodies and toys I'd forgot.

Had I not been busy with grandparents' wills,
I'd not have forgotten to shop for such thrills,
While others bought gifts to bring Christmas cheers,
I'd spent time researching those birth dates and years.

While I was thus musing about my sad plight,
A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a great fright.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the drapes and yanked up the sash.

When what with my wondering eyes should appear,
But an overstuffed sleigh and eight small reindeer.
Up to the house top the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and 'ole Santa Claus, too.

And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of thirty-two hoofs.
As I drew in my head, and bumped it on the sash,
Down the cold chimney fell Santa--KER-RASH!

"Dear" Santa had come from the roof in a wreck,
And tracked soot on the carpet, (I could wring his short neck!)
Spotting my face, good 'ole Santa could see
I had no Christmas spirit you'd have to agree.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings, (I felt like a jerk).
Here was Santa, who'd brought us such gladness and joy:
When I'd been too busy for even one toy.

He spied my research on the table all spread
"A genealogist!" He cried! (My face was all red!)
"Tonight I've met many like you," Santa grinned,
As he pulled from his sack a large book he had penned.

I gazed with amusement--the cover it read
Genealogy Lines for Which You Have Plead.
"I know what it's like as a genealogy bug."
He said as he gave me a great Santa hug.

"While the elves make the sleighful of toys I now carry,
I do some research in the North Pole Library!
A special treat I am thus able to bring,
To genealogy folk who can't find a thing."

"Now off you go to your bed for a rest,
I'll clean up the house from this genealogy mess."
As I climbed up the stairs full of gladness and glee,
I looked back at Santa who'd brought much to me.

While settling in bed, I heard Santa's clear whistle,
To his team, which then rose like the down of a thistle.
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
"Family history is Fun! Merry Christmas! Goodnight!"
--Author Unknown
 -- The earliest attribution found for this particular poem is for Gibbs Publishing House of Toledo, Ohio, which published it as a Christmas Card. Some Web sites attribute the poem to Dora Mills c. 2001, but it has been around since at least 1988. Dora Mills does appear to have written at least one poem based on Clement Moore's poem, titled A Christmas Incident which appeared in the Ash Tree Echo in January 1983.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Researching Your Family History on the Internet

The Spring classes for Tri County Community have been set and Larry is bringing back an update version of his most popular class - Researching Your Family History on the Internet.

The Internet offers a wonderful array of databases, records, and other resources for researching your family tree online. Knowing how to search and where to search online is a must for any genealogist using the Internet for their research. Without this information, you may just end up spinning your wheels.
This course will teach you how to search like a pro, find genealogy databases, and discover your family history on the Web. All the top sites such as Ancestry, FamilySearch, GenealogyBank, Fold3, National Archives, Google, Mocavo and many more will be covered. Students will learn how to find these resources, tips and tricks on using them, and how to put them to use in their family research.
Pre-registration and pre-payment is required in order to get a confirmed seat. This course is open to all, but some knowledge of the genealogy research process is required to make effective use of the course material. This course will be offered on two different nights and seating is very, very limited.

Instructor - Larry Van Horn (14 Week Class)
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tuesday (Starts January 15)
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Thursday (Starts January 17)

You have basically Monday, December 17 and Tuesday, December 18 to get on the list before the college closes for the holidays. You will be able to register after the holidays starting on January 7.
As of this writing Tuesday night is filling fast with more seats available on Thursday night. Since class size is limited to 13 only, I highly recommend you do not delay in getting registered. Once they are full, I can't squeeze anyone else in.lineage
Hope to CU all in classes.
Tri County College genealogy instructor Larry Van Horn discusses a lineage and how to use DNA testing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Free Genealogy Workshop to Discuss DNA This Weekend

Free Genealogy Workshop to Discuss DNA Tests in Genealogy Research
Local Family Historian to Conduct Free Genealogy Seminar
Genealogists trace family trees through vital records and historical documents. But most of you, like most all genealogists, will find like that inevitably the paper trail eventually ends in a “brick wall.”

Non-paternity events, such as illegitimate births, adoptions, and name changes can also mean that a branch you are tracing may not, in fact, be part of your biological tree. There is a way to conduct genealogy research under such conditions and thanks to genetic genealogy DNA testing, that break through brick walls and find the truth.

If you are interested in genealogy, genetic genealogy testing or have already testing and looking for more information, then a free genetic DNA genealogy workshop that will be held on December 8 is a must attend.

Larry Van Horn, noted local family historian, syndicated genealogy newspaper columnist, and genealogy instructor/lecturer will conduct this free genetic genealogy seminar for genealogists on December 8 (Saturday morning) between 9:00-12:00 a.m. at the Moss Memorial Library, 26 Anderson Street in Hayesville, North Carolina.

Larry, who has been teaching genealogy classes at Tri-County Community College for the last 14 years, will present material that will aid the newcomer in discovering their family's past using this new high tech genealogy tool.

So if you are interested in researching your past, and uncovering your family's great American story, be sure to mark December 8 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Moss Memorial Library on your calendar.
Larry Van Horn discusses autsomal DNA testing results on an ancestral chart (Photo by Gayle Van Horn)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"HMS" Bounty Victim was a Fletcher Christian Descendant

HMS Bounty crew member Claudene Christian Photo: Alamy/@ClaudeneC

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.

I am sure you have read about the loss of tall ship "HMS" Bounty in the super storm Sandy. The ship was a replica of the famous HMS Bounty seized by Fletcher Christian and other mutineers in 1789. One crew member of the modern replica, Claudene Christian, has died and the ship's captain is missing. In an ironic twist, Claudene Christian was the great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Fletcher Christian, the instigator of the original mutiny.

Claudene Christian was a graduate of University of Southern California, as well as a former Miss Teen Alaska. She also was the creator of “Cheerleader Dolls.” (See http://www.cheerleaderdollcompany.com/about/my-story for more information. You can read about Claudene Christian and even watch a video of her at that web site.)

An almost exact replica of the original, the "HMS" Bounty was built for the 1962 filming of the Hollywood Classic “Mutiny on the Bounty”, starring Marlon Brando, but also featured the helm used in the 1935 movie starring Clark Gable. In recent years, the Bounty made cameo appearances in a score of movies from “Treasure Island” and Spongebob Squarepants to “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest.”

You can read more about this tragic story at http://goo.gl/UCj1L.

My thanks to newsletter reader Peter McCracken, publisher of ShipIndex.org, for telling me the sad news.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Centennial Farms

Does your family have a farm that has been in the family for 100 years? To qualify as a centennial farm, an agricultural property must have been owned by a straight or collateral line of descendants of the original owner for at least 100 years. To learn more about the centennial farm program, who qualifies, and how your family can register a centennial farm, read the current article on the Genealogy and Family History blog, www.genealogyandfamilyhistory.com.

Cursive, foiled again

Imagine sometime in the future generations of future adults who cannot read or write in cursive. Hard to believe huh. Future genealogists who will not be able to read old records they need to conduct their genealogy research!

Gene Weingarten addresses the question in an article in the Washington Post Magazine click here Thanks to Dick Eastman and his EOGN newsletter for the heads up on this article.

High-Tech Tomb Hunter Finds Unmarked Graves for a Living

By Marty Graham, Wired Magazine

Elizabeth Agin’s professional popularity is simple and deep: The Tennessee-based cemetery science investigator knows where the bodies are buried -- and she can find out where there are more.

In the past five years Agin, 31, has identified hundreds of unmarked graves, using a combination of ground-penetrating radar (GPR), GPS, geospatial software and a sharp eye. She's one of a handful of specialists hired chiefly by cemeteries and construction survey teams -- people who need to move bodies, count them or identify them and the extra space around them.

It's an obscure science, and one that's generating renewed interest as a new search for remains of people murdered by the notorious Manson family unfolds at two California ranches. Agin says that some of the techniques she uses could help searchers, who are relying on cadaver-sniffing dogs, soil samples and ground-penetrating radar to try to identify grave sites.

You can read the complete story by clicking here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cemetery photos: permission required?

Can you legally photograph cemetery tombstones without getting permission first? It is a subject I have never thought about, but The Legal Genealogist, Judy G. Russell has.

She is highly qualified to write about legal issues that affect genealogists, as Judy is both a law professor at a major university and a Certified Genealogist (CG).
You can read about Judy's thoughts on this subject on her blog - The Legal Genealogist by clicking here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ancestry.com to be sold to Permira Funds for $1.6 billion

By Tom Murphy, The Associated Press

Genealogy website Ancestry.com has agreed to be acquired by a group led by European private-equity firm Permira Funds in a cash deal valued at about $1.6 billion.

The offered price of $32 per share is a nearly 10 percent premium over Friday's closing price of $29.18. Ancestry.com's shares jumped 8 percent, or $2.33, to $31.51 in Nasdaq trading Monday.
The company operates a website for researching family history and has more than 2 million paying subscribers. It says more than 10 billion records have been added to its site over the past 15 years. The company develops and acquires systems that digitize handwritten historical documents, and it works with government archives, historical societies and religious institutions around the world.

Earlier this year, Ancestry.com created a nationwide name index from the 1940 U.S. Census after the National Archives posted it online. The index makes it easier for researchers to look up digital images of the actual census forms on Ancestry.com's website because they don't need a subject's exact address.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali called Ancestry.com "the world's largest online resource for family history" in a recent note.

Ancestry's services were used on the NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are?" which tracked celebrities as they researched their family history. Ancestry.com also was a sponsor of the show, and its shares took a hit in May, when NBC said it would not renew for a fourth season.

But Squali said the show will likely be revived on a cable network.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maryand Guard member helping commemorate Battle of Antietam

Maryland Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Mark Pheabus, pictured portraying a Confederate gun crew ammunition carrier at a Civil War reenactment in Westminster, Md., will participate in the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam this weekend. (Photo by Nancy McKenzie)

By Donna Miles, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (9/14/12) - Army Staff Sgt. Mark Pheabus puts on his uniform every month to train with the Maryland National Guard’s 29th Military Police Company in Westminster, Md.

This weekend, however, he’ll be wearing a very different uniform, portraying a Confederate soldier at reenactments marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

Days after Americans observed the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, Pheabus will be among thousands gathering in Sharpsburg, Md., to commemorate the bloodiest single day in U.S. history.
Antietam was the first major Civil War battle to take place on Northern soil. It pitted Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia against George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac at Antietam Creek.
The 12-hour battle on Sept. 17, 1862, claimed a mind-boggling 23,000 casualties among Union and Confederate forces. That’s more troops killed, wounded and missing than during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War combined.

The 150th commemoration, which kicks off today at Antietam National Battlefield and continues through the weekend, will include reenactments and a wide variety of forums, tours and lectures to help educate the public about the battle.

It also will include a candle-lit remembrance ceremony. The names of all 2,108 Union and 1,546 Confederate soldiers that were killed or mortally wounded in the battle will be read aloud, followed by an artillery salute.

For Pheabus and his fellow reenactors, participating in the battle’s 150th anniversary “is a very big deal,” he said.

A history buff since childhood who grew up fascinated by the Civil War, Pheabus participated in his first reenactment in the mid-1970s. After a hiatus due to conflicts with his military drill weekends, he returned to the hobby several years ago.

Pheabus has portrayed both Union and Confederate soldiers, as well as civilians on the battlefield. “I have all the uniforms, equipment and camping gear,” he said.

This weekend, however, he’ll be a member of Lee’s army, which some historians say technically won the battle. However, McClellan had halted Lee’s invasion of the North.

And though Lee’s troops had held their ground at the end of the bloody day, the Confederates were so depleted that they had to limp back to Virginia, making it a less-than-overwhelming victory.
The outcome could have been markedly different, Pheabus recognizes.

Many of Lee’s forces were underequipped, the result of an uneven distribution system that left some Confederate states with packed warehouses and others with nothing.

In addition, Lee lost about one-third of his army at the Potomac River crossing. Many of the Confederates were focused only on defending their homes and saw no reason to press into Maryland and points further north.

McClellan had a big advantage going into the battle. One of his soldiers, a corporal from the 27th Indiana troop, had found Lee’s battle plan in a field, wrapped around three cigars.

McClellan’s army also outnumbered the Confederates almost two-to-one, but the Union general kept many of his soldiers in reserve rather than committing them to the battle.

“Lee’s army could have been destroyed right there if McClellan hadn’t been so timid,” Pheabus said.
Historians are mixed on that point. In a recent presentation for the Defense Department’s historical speakers’ series, retired history professor Tom Clemens said McClellan, considered by many historians to be an ineffectual commander, was in fact hamstrung by political and military jealousies that ultimately led to his removal from command.

Although the 150th anniversary commemoration will focus on the battle and its impact on the Civil War’s outcome, Pheabus said he’s looking forward to bringing alive the stories of the soldiers who fought it. In many cases, he said they’re just like today’s men and women in uniform.

“They have so much in common,” he said. “They were all away from home, missing their families. It’s everything that our soldiers experience now.”

Although the Battle of Antietam is remembered for its human toll, historians note that it proved to be transformational -- for the United States and the U.S. military.

A week after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves held in Confederate territory, but ironically, not those in Maryland. That order took effect Jan. 1, 1863.

Lesser recognized by many are the new doors the Battle of Antietam helped open for the armed forces. It laid the foundation for today’s military medical system and its logistics network and led to the founding of the American Red Cross, the Christian Commission and other nonprofit organizations supporting the military.

The tactics of the battle continue to be studied today and analyses of them will not only fill volumes, but libraries. Historians attribute the heavy human toll at Antietam to Napoleonic doctrine and tactics – with concentrated forces, rank-and-file battle formations and close-quarters combat -- along with artillery, improved rifles and “Minie ball” ammunition that caused massive internal damage.

The magnitude of the carnage proved to be a test bed for the newly organized Union Ambulance Corps that evacuated casualties from the battlefield. Troops too wounded to be moved were treated for the first time in new, semi-permanent field hospitals.

And despite their differences, Union and Confederate soldiers were treated side by side, receiving the same level of care from the Union Medical Department. “Humanity teaches us that a wounded and prostrate foe is not then our enemy,” remarked Dr. (Maj.) Jonathan Letterman, medical director for McClellan’s army.

Letterman was a visionary in other ways as well, and is remembered today as the “Father of Modern Battlefield Medicine.”

He took lessons from Antietam and other Civil War engagements to develop a medical evacuation system that transported casualties to a field dressing station, then a field hospital, then to a large field hospital away from the battlefield.

And frustrated by delays in getting medical supplies where and when they were needed, Letterman came up with an efficient distribution system that ensured regiments had ready access to basic medical supplies and a reliable source of replacements.

Meanwhile, another Civil War luminary, Clara Barton, provided surgeons with critical medical supplies, fed and comforted the wounded, and even helped surgeons during operations.
Remembered as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” Barton took her experiences at Antietam and elsewhere during the Civil War to found the American Association of the Red Cross in 1881. She also established what became the Missing Soldiers Office, which helped to locate more than 22,000 missing soldiers after the war.

Another nongovernmental organization, the U.S. Christian Commission, gained a strong following after the battle. Created by leaders of the Young Men’s Christian Association and Protestant ministers, it rallied to provide medical, recreational and religious support for Union troops.
Antietam also introduced the horror of war to many Americans through the combat photography of Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardner and his assistant, James Gibson.

“If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along streets, he has done something very like it,” The New York Times wrote of Brady’s “The Dead of Antietam” exhibit.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


This is an email I received from one of my genealogy students. Congraduations Kevon. Your hard work paid off.

Hi Larry,

I have had a remarkable summer in searching genealogy and thought that you might have fun reading about it. I have blogged it at http://myjourneysintothepast.blogspot.com/. It tells of the agony of searching for a person with ZERO info except for a first name and a 1930 U.S. Census record. It's a four-part blog so join the journey.

Your teaching helped to make all of this possible and I am truly indebted to you for your guidance into the realm of genealogy. Thank you for all the time and effort you give to us, your humble students.

May your fall classes find more people making major finds because Miracles Still Happen!

Until then,
Kevon Hardin

Monday, August 20, 2012

Will "Who Do You Think You Are?" Re-Appear on Another Network?

Courtesy of Dick Eastman's EOGN http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2012/08/will-who-do-you-think-you-are-re-appear-on-another-network.html

"Dan Bucatinsky posted the following on his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/DanBucatinsky: "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" on DVD ! And Season 3 coming soon. Look for an all new season in 2013!!! on an all new network!
And who is Dan Bucatinsky? and why would he know? Dan was the co-executive producer (along with Lisa Kudrow) of the recently-canceled U.S. version of "Who Do You Think You Are?" on NBC. I would think he should know."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fall 2012 Beginner/Intermediate Genealogy Class at TCCC Peachtree NC

We still have four seats available for the Deginner / Intermediate genealogy class that will start on August 30 at Tri County Community College. This class will not be taught again until the Fall of 2013 at the earliest so do not delay in signing up for this popular class. If you have wanted to take a general genealogy class to help your research along then do not miss this opportunity.

Who Do You Think You Are? - Beginning/Intermediate Genealogy Course
NBC's TV program Who Do You Think You Are? sparked a lot of interest in genealogy research. If you would like to learn how to do your own family research then this course is for you. Some of the course material includes the usage of a variety of record sources in the pursuit of ancestor hunting. Sources such as vital records, census, church records, court, military, land property, and tax records will be discussed in detail. Genealogy basics as well as advanced topics such as DNA testing will be included as part of this course. This course is a requirement to take any of the advanced genealogy courses offered at TCCC.

6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Thursday (12 weeks)

You can sign up for this or any of my other two advanced genealogy courses (must complete above class to take advanced classes) by contacting Lisa Long, the director of community outreach at TCCC via phone 828-837-6810.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ancestry.com Releases Completely Searchable 1940 U.S. Federal Census

PROVO, UTAH – (August 3, 2012) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, is proud to announce that it has completed the records indexing process for the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, which is available at www.ancestry.com/1940census. All 134 million records are now easily searchable by name, date, place of birth and other key information recorded in the census. These records, which are free to search, offer valuable insight for the nearly 90 percent of Americans who either have family members recorded in the 1940 U.S. Census or are in it themselves.

Since the initial release of the 1940 U.S. Census by the National Archives in April, Ancestry.com has progressively published information from this important family history resource state by state. Ancestry.com has made this vital family history information while providing an engaging user experience including the ability to search for maiden names or other family names, often a roadblock when searching records. Additionally, users can make corrections or update information that is incomplete, leading to a better overall database of information.

Assisting in navigation of the 1940 U.S. Census is Ancestry.com’s Interactive Image Viewer, which enables users to easily peruse document pages with simple graphical overlays. The viewer adds highlights, transcriptions and other functionality directly on the Census page. This enables searchers access to small census fields by simply scrolling over them for a pop up that magnifies the information recorded by census takers. With the ability to zoom in on individual records, these new features dramatically improve the usability of the 1940 U.S. Census, which previously only included images of the paper records. These paper records, handwritten in small entry fields, have traditionally been very hard to read, making the visual enhancements in the Interactive Viewer a huge improvement.

“We are so excited to be publishing our index to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census for free on Ancestry.com,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. “As one of the most anticipated family history resources ever, the 1940 Census is a fantastic way for almost every American to get started making discoveries about their family history as well as a key new resource for so many of our two million existing subscribers. Experienced through our new Interactive Image Viewer, the stories and discoveries inside the 1940 Census really come to life.”

Users can now find basic information such as their ancestors’ names and where they lived, but also gain more insight about their ancestors’ daily lives. This information includes whether they owned or rented their home, the value of the residence and how many people resided there. For the first time, census takers in 1940 also asked questions specific to income and education. Interestingly, details like prior military service, the ability to read or write, and whether citizens spoke English – all asked in prior censuses – were not asked in 1940.

The entire census can be viewed online at www.ancestry.com/1940census

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fall 2012 Genealogy Classes at TCCC Peachtree NC

The following are the classes that I will be teaching this Fall at Tri Community College in Peachtree, NC. At this point you can get on the interest list, but they won't sign you up until later this summer when they creat the classes in their course computer system.

Researching an American Genealogy, Part 2 - Advanced Genealogy Course

For those who want to learn how to build pedigrees and reconstruct family groups, tying them from one generation to the next, this course is a must. This course also has value to other researchers. Historians, demographers, and sociologists studying people in the past will find that this course will provide important guidance in assessing which records will provide the facts needed. Part 2 of this popular advanced genealogy course will cover in-depth records and their uses. This course will look at vital records; census; probate and basic legal terminology; land records; court, church; and military records; and many more.
Prerequisite: Beginning/Intermediate Genealogy Course
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tuesday Nights (13 weeks)
August 21 - November 13, 2012

Planting Your Family Tree Online

When you decided to work on your family history, you undoubtedly learned about places you should go (libraries, archives, courthouses, cemeteries, etc.) and tools you should use (libraries, catalogs, microfilm, etc.). As genealogists, we should seek out new resources and adopt new tools that may prove valuable in our research. This course will accomplish that by introducing you to new technology "places" and tools that you can use in your genealogy research. Social networking; blogs; wikis; photo and video sharing; genealogy software: free, paid and on the web; and online trees are just a few of the topics to be covered in this new technology related
Prerequisite: This course is open to all, but a basic understanding of
genealogy principles and computer technology is strongly recommended.
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Wednesday (10 weeks)
September 5 - November 7, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are? - Beginning/Intermediate Genealogy Course

NBC's TV program Who Do You Think You Are? sparked a lot of interest in genealogy research. If you would like to learn how to do your own family research then this course is for you. Some of the course material includes the usage of a variety of record sources in the pursuit of ancestor hunting. Sources such as vital records, census, church records, court, military, land property, and tax records will be discussed in detail. Genealogy basics as well as advanced topics such as DNA testing will be included as part of this course. This course is a requirement to take any of the advanced genealogy courses offered at TCCC.
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Thursday (14 weeks)
August 16 - November 15, 2012

You can get your name on the course interest list for any of these genealogy courses by contacting Lisa Long, the director of community outreach at TCCC via phone 828-837-6810.

* Larry Van Horn - Biography *

Larry Van Horn is a native of San Antonio, Texas, who joined the U.S. Navy in 1971 and served on a variety of ships and in the naval aviation community until his retirement in 1993. He retired with the rank of Chief Petty Officer. During his naval career he earned the Navy Achievement medal (2 awards) and the Navy Commendation Medal during his 22 years of military service.

He is currently employed at Grove Enterprises in Brasstown, North Carolina, as the assistant/technical editor of an international communications magazine, and the magazine's staff journalist. Larry has written several books, dozens of magazine features, and hundreds of technical articles for a variety of communications publications here in the United States.

Larry has been a family historian/researcher for the last 33 years and is currently researching hundreds of ancestral family surnames and has documented nearly 35,000 ancestors and descendants in compiling his family genealogy. This includes ancestors who served during in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican American War, Civil War, World War I/II, and two Texas Rangers.

When Larry is not chasing his family roots he is the teaching genealogy at Tri County Community College in Peachtree, North Carolina. He has taught numerous classes over the last 13 years including Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Genealogy; Genealogy and the Internet; Organizing Your Genealogy, Hidden Genealogy Sources and Using Family Tree Maker, Legacy and Master Genealogists Software.

He regularly lectures throughout the Tri-State area to various civic groups, schools and genealogical groups on a variety of family history subjects. Larry also works with the local legal community researching difficult probate court cases requiring specialized genealogical research techniques. He writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column (Finding Your Roots) on genealogy. He is member the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the National Genealogy Society, and he has served as the elected National Registrar for the Nicolas Martiau Descendants Association for the last nine years.

Larry currently lives in Brasstown, North Carolina, with his wife Gayle Hennington-Van Horn.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog: War of 1812 Resources

As awareness of and excitement for the War of 1812 Bicentennial grows, so do the number of genealogy research aids. Not one to be outdone, Carolyn Barkley has prepared her own overview of the genealogical sources on the "2nd War for American Independence."

You can read about it at http://www.genealogyandfamilyhistory.com/?p=908

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Legacy SIG to Meet

This month's Legacy genealogy Software (http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/) Interest Group (SIG) will be held at the Moss Library in Hayesville, NC, on 16 Jun at 9:30 am.

As suggested, we will start with the basics of entering names, dates and places with Jean Odom and Al Swint in charge of the program. Bring your laptop follow along. Bobby Johnson will also have his Flip-Pal scanner there for you to examine.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Clay County NC Genealogy Group to Meet Saturday

There will be a meeting of the Clay County Genealogy Group this Saturday, June 2 at 9:30am at Moss Memorial Library, 26 Anderson Street in Hayesville, NC. This is a great group of folks, no dues, no officers, just great genealogy help, fellowship and sharing.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Genealogy Class Tonight 5/31/2012 in Young Harris

The Mountain Regional Library in Young Harris, Georgia, is sponsoring a night with expert genealogists tonight (Thursday evening) from 7-10 p.m. Their will be folks from the DAR/SAR, other organizations and your humble genealogy teacher. After the initial talks the rest of the evening will be spent one-on-one with the experts of your choice. Best part it is "free." So if you are in the neighborhood of Young Harris Thursday evening, drop by and say hi. They even have "free" food and refreshments. Hope to see a few of you there.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Returning an old Shore Family Bible

Several years ago, I bought an old Bible at a local auction in North Carolina. Although the copyright page is missing, it dates pre 1901.

Inside is written in script, "Annie Catherine Shore from Aunt Lou, Oct. 9, 1901" and "Commit thy way into the Lord - trust in Him."

On the preceeding page, is written; "Sallie Ward Shore, Blackstone, VA July 25, 1904." The date is underlined twice. Through investigation I have uncovered that Annie was the older sister of Sallie.

Inside the bible, there are no center pages for entering family genealogy information. There is however, scrapes of paper. One is a handwritten reference to "Bessemer, AL. 2216 - 11 Ave." The other is a receipt made out to Sallie W Shore June 22, 1915, from Farmville, VA, To State Summer Normal School of Virginia. For Board 15.00 and Registration 1.00, signed by J.L. Jarwan. There is also a pressed piece of fern between the bible pages, and a red candy wrapper for Apollo chocolates. There is also a small handwritten note of bible scriptures. On the Bible's last back page is written again, "Sallie Ward Shore, July 25, 1904."

My earlier post in 2001 on the Shore Message Board, brought a response from Robert L. Shore. Though he indicates he does not descend from Sallie Ward Shore, she does appear in his family line.

According to his email, it was thought her father's name was "Valley" Shore, though he had some doubts about the accuracy of the first name at that time. It was known though, that he was the son of Dr Henry "Edwin" Shore of Nottoway County, who in turn was the brother of Mr Shore's third great grandfather, Thomas Shore of Petersburg. These two in turn, were descended from Dr John Shore Jr of Petersburg and later of Nottoway County. Dr Robert Shore's first wife was a Ward, so he suspects that Sallie Ward Shore was part of that family.

My further search, brought me to Find a Grave which reveals that Sallie Ward Shore, was born March 1890, and died October 17, 1953. She is buried in the Lakeview Cemetery in Blackstone, Nottoway County, Virginia. If these dates are correct, that would make Sallie eleven years old when Aunt Lou gave the Bible to her older sister Annie.

Sallie's father was Valentine Shore, born Feb 14.1855, died July 28, 1938. He was the son of H.E. Shore and Ann C. Epes. He married Miss Sallie E.E. Ward on Nov. 21, 1877 in Nottoway County, Virginia. Sallie was born 22 Feb. 1857, died April 28, 1939. She was the daughter of Robert Ward and Louise F. Shore. The Ward family were one of the founding families of Nottoway County.

Known children of Valentine Shore and Sallie E.E. Ward, and listed at Find a Grave, are also buried in the Lakeview Cemetery in Blackstone. Those include; Annie Catherine Shore, Robert Fitzgerald Shore, Sallie Ward Shore, Elizabeth Rebecca Shore and Lelia Valentine Shore.

Another interesting discovery, is the reference of the Shore family and the Red Brick House, which today remains a landmark for the town of Crewe and Nottoway County. You can read the story at http://www.longwood.edu/staff/welchds/Crewe/history.html . This lovely southern colonial revival style is unique and a living reminder of the late 19th century Southern history. The Red Brick House may also be found at:

Are you related to Sallie Ward Shore, her parents or siblings ? Perhaps you know someone who is related to this family. My goal has always been to return this old tattered Bible to family members. This search for Sallie and her family reminds me how important it is to not lose touch of those special people that have preceeded us. You may contact me at gayleh@brmemc.net . I look forward to your reply.
Gayle Hennington Van Horn

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

89 Places for Finding a Woman's Maiden Name: A Checklist of Sources

This article is courtesy of the May 1, 2012 Genealogy Pointers newsletter from Genealogy.com, an article written by the legendary William Dollarhide.

(This article first ran on July 26, 2011. When it appeared we asked readers to come up with additional suggestions of sources for a woman's maiden name. Here are two of them.

1. Evidence of a female's maiden name can be found in military and civilian pension records. On the other hand, it is highly unlikely to find that information in the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (listed as "Civil War soldiers & sailors online index" and found at http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/).

The only information provided in the index are Last Name, First Name, Union or Confederate, State (or Origin), Unit Number, and Function (Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, etc.). Also, you are likely only to find mention of a spouse in a modern military record. Military records of the early 20th century and earlier provide only a physical description of the soldier, muster and pay records, disciplinary actions, hospital records, and final papers (if they died in action). The spouse or other dependants are not mentioned. Submitted by Michael Murphy, APG

2. Look at the son's middle names especially the first born. If unusual, it should be considered as a possible maiden name of the mother. I did this with my own son and have found several instances in my ancestry of this practice. Submitted by Judy K Pfaff

Now for Mr. Dollarhide's article itself:- Discovering the maiden name of a female is often the biggest problem we have in genealogy. Whether you are researching your families in person, through the mail, or by "Googling" the Internet for sources, the basic search is still the same. As in all research tasks, we need to identify the possible places where such a record exists, but
in particular, find the place where an actual document may exist that mentions the birth name of a woman. Here is a basic checklist of some places to look:

Birth Records
● Birth certificates
● Delayed birth records
● Corrected birth records
● Affidavits for correcting birth records
● Newspaper birth announcements
● Oral histories
● Published biographies
● Personal diaries & Journals

Marriage Records
● Marriage applications & licenses
● Marriage certificates
● Newspaper announcements
● Family Bible

Divorce Records
● Newspaper announcements
● Court proceedings
● State or County-wide vital records indexes

Death Records
● Burial permits
● Death certificates
● Newspaper announcements
● Obituaries
● Funeral records
● VA burial database online

● Sexton's office
● Tombstone inscriptions
● Cemetery maps and indexes

Census Records
● Name of father-in-law included in a family grouping
● Brother-in-law included in a family grouping
● 1890 veteran's census including widows of veterans
● 1925 Iowa state census (only U.S. census with the question, "Maiden Name of Mother?" for every person listed).
● Names of neighbors, as clues to sibling's names
● Clues from parents' birthplace, leading to further census work

Major Databases & Indexes
● Google searching
● FamilySearch.org searching
● Ancestry.com, et al.
● RootsWeb family name searching
● Name indexes on the Internet

Vital Records Indexes and Compilations
● Kentucky birth/death index (as an example of several states available on the Internet)
● The Barbour Collection (for Connecticut, as an example of published compilations)
● New England Vital Records (as an example of published town reports)
● County-wide indexes, such as the many RootsWeb county pages of the Internet

Bible Records
● State-wide collections, such as those at Virginia and Louisiana state archives
● Home and relatives sources
● Church collections (Bibles donated to churches for Sunday School)

Probate Records
● Wills
● Administration records
● Appointments of administrators/executors
● Dispositions and judgments (naming heirs)
● Estate settlements

Church Records
● Confirmations
● Marriages
● Christening
● Baptisms
● Burials
● Death notices
● Church membership lists
● Vestry records

Medical Records (may be accessible to close relatives only)
● Doctor's office
● Nursing home

● Civil War Soldiers & Sailors online index
● Correspondence
● Miscellaneous home sources
● Oral interviews
● Patriotic society membership applications
● Funeral home records
● Hospital records
● Soldier home records
● Land ownership & deed records
● Civil court records
● Criminal court records
● Newspaper articles
● Social Security applications
● Social Security job history records
● Draft registration records
● Driver's license
● Frakturs and needlepoints (family names)
● Fraternal club records
● Homestead records
● Immigration records
● Insurance papers
● Military personnel records
● Military medical records
● Personal journals and diaries
● Professional license applications
● Passports applications
● Pensions
● Queries at mags/websites
● Voter registrations
● Who's Who/compiled biographies

Friday, April 20, 2012

DNA DAY SHORT SALE - Ends Apr 21 11:59 pm

For those who have been waiting for a sale at Family Tree DNA from Bennett Greenspan.

Well if you haven’t heard it’s again DNA day and Family Tree DNA felt that was good enough for us to have a short two day sale.

Nearly the entire offering will be on sale these two days, including upgrades that were not on last year's sale. The sale will begin at 6PM Thursday April 19th and will conclude at 11:59PM on Saturday April 21st.

There will be no need for a coupon - all prices will be automatically adjusted on the website.

New Kits
Current Group Price SALE PRICE
Y-DNA 12 $99 $59
mtDNA $99 $59
Y-DNA 37 $149 $129
Y-DNA 67 $238 $199
Family Finder $289 $199
mtFullSequence (FMS) $299 $249
Y-DNA 12 + mtDNA $179 $118
FF + Y-DNA 12 $339 $258
FF + mtDNA $339 $258
FF+ Y-DNA 37 $438 $328
FF + mtDNAPlus $438 $328
Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-DNA 67) $797 $657

Y-DNA 12 $89 $59
mtDNA add-on $89 $59
Y-DNA 12-37 Marker $99 $69
Y-DNA 37-67 Marker $99 $79
Y-DNA 12-67 Marker $199 $148
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR1 to Mega) $269 $199
mtFullSequence upgrade (HVR2 to Mega) $269 $199
mtFullSequence add-on $289 $219
Family Finder add-on $289 $199

Login to place your order and when it's Over it's OVER!

Best regards,
Bennett Greenspan

P.S. The website link for Family Tree DNA is http://www.familytreedna.com/

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What is the current status of Roots TV?

I have confirmed with Dick Eastman that Roots TV is off the air for good. Roots TV RIP>

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Work of Art and Love Found in the Pine Log Cemetery

Every once in a while, during our travels around in local cemeteries filling photo request and doing cemetery inventories, I come across tombstones that truly are works of art. Today I found one of those in the Pine Log Baptist Church Upper Cemetery here in Brasstown, North Carolina, that deserves to be shared with the readers of this blog.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

RootsTech Conference Will Broadcast Select Sessions Free Online

RootsTech, a leading family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 2-4, 2012, announced today that fourteen of its popular sessions will be broadcasted live and complimentary over the Internet. The live broadcasts will give those unable to attend worldwide a sample of this year’s conference content. Interested viewers can watch the live presentations at RootsTech.org. The second-year conference has attracted over 3,000 registered attendees.

The free online sessions include the keynote speakers and a sampling of technology and family history presentations. Following are the fourteen broadcasted sessions and speakers.

Thursday, February 2

8:30-10:00 am MST (10:30 am-12:00 pm EST), Inventing the Future, as a Community (Keynote Address) by Jay L. Verkler

11:00 am-12:00 pm MST (1:00-2:00 pm EST), Do I Trust the Cloud? by D. Joshua Taylor

1:45-2:45 pm MST (3:45-4:45 pm EST), Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink

3:00-4:00 pm MST (5:00-6:00 pm EST), Twitter – It’s Not Just “What I Had for Breakfast” Anymore by Thomas MacEntee

4:15-5:15 pm MST (6:15-7:15 pm EST), Eleven Layers of Online Searches by Barbara Renick

Friday, February 3

8:30-9:30 am MST (10:30-11:30 am EST), Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities (Keynote Address) by Josh Coates

9:45-10:45 am MST (11:45 am-12:45 pm EST), Publish Your Genealogy Online by Laura G. Prescott

11:00 am-12:00 pm MST (1:00-2:00 pm EST), Optimize Your Site for Search Engines by Robert Gardner

1:45-2:45 pm MST (3:45-4:45 pm EST), Genealogists “Go Mobile” by Sandra Crowly

3:00-4:00 pm MST (5:00-6:00 pm EST), Google’s Toolbar and Genealogy by Dave Barney

Saturday, February 4

8:30-9:30 am MST (10:30-11:30 am EST), Making the Most of Technology to Further the Family History Industry (Keynote Address) by Tim Sullivan and Ancestry.com Panel

9:45-10:45 am MST (11:45 am-12:45 pm EST), Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 by Lisa Louise Cooke

11:00 am-12:00 pm MST (1:00-2:00 pm EST), Future of FamilySearch Family Tree by Ron Tanner

1:45-2:45 pm MST (3:45-4:45 pm EST), Privacy in a Collaborative Environment by Noah Tatuk

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are? Season Three Video Preview

Who Do You Think You Are? will return for its third season on Friday, February 3 at 8/7c on the NBC network. Twelve more celebrities will trace their ancestors and discover hidden stories from their past. Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jason Sudeikis, Jerome Bettis and Paula Deen will explore their roots in the NBC genealogy show.

The promo for the show has been released and you can view it below.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beginner Class Post: American County and Town Sources

For the students in my Tuesday night beginner class here are three possible references you might want to consider purchasing to help you pursue county and town record sources.

Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Available from Amazon.com for $25.50

Red Book - American State, County and Town Sources edited by Alice Eichholz
Available from Amazon.com for $30.88

The Handybook for Genealogists, 11th edition (out of print) by Everton Publishing
10th Edition only available from Amazon.com for $43.40

These are excellent reference books for anyone researching an American genealogy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Martin Sheen, Reba McEntire, Helen Hunt Among 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Season 3 Cast

The NBC genealogy series returns Feb. 3 with a new group of celebrities exploring their family history. Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis and Paula Deen Take a Look Inside Their Family Histories on NBC's Genealogy Alternative Series Produced by Lisa Kudrow.

Viewers can take an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities when NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" returns for its third season on Friday, February 3 (8-9 p.m. ET). The celebrities who star in the series are Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis and Paula Deen.

From executive producers Lisa Kudrow ("Friends," "Web Therapy") and Dan Bucatinsky ("Lipstick Jungle," "The Comeback") - through their production company Is or Isn't Entertainment and Shed Media U.S. ("Supernanny," "The Real Housewives of New York City") -- "Who Do You Think You Are?" is an adaptation of the award-winning hit British television documentary series that leads celebrities on a journey of self-discovery as they unearth their family trees that reveal surprising, inspiring and even tragic stories that often are linked to crucial events in American history.

"We're very excited about the stories we have this season. This fantastic group of people we have will take us to countries we haven't visited before which is thrilling and gives us glimpses into crucial details of history that not only shaped their families, but our world," said executive producers Kudrow and Bucatinsky. "This is what we love about this series; it's so enriching for us the viewer, as well as the participants and their families."

From Ireland's freedom fighters to the American Revolutionary War, and from the African nation of Cameroon to Bulgaria, "Who Do You Think You Are?" will reveal the fabric of humanity through everyone's place in history. Each week a different celebrity takes a journey into their family's past, traveling all over the world. While giving viewers an in-depth look into their favorite stars' family tree, each episode will expose surprising facts and life changing encounters that will unlock people's emotions, and show just how connected everyone is not only to the past, but to one another.

Ancestry.com continues in its role as NBC and Shed Media's official partner on the series, helping to provide the exhaustive research used to build each story. "'Who Do You Think You Are?' is such a beautiful showcase for the type of discoveries people can make through family history research," said Josh Hanna, Executive Vice President for Ancestry.com. "We are extremely proud to help produce a program that inspires so many to begin their own journey of discovery and are excited to see it grow more this season."

"Who Do You Think You Are?" is produced by Shed Media U.S. in association with Is or Isn't Entertainment. Alex Graham, Kudrow, Bucatinsky, Jennifer O'Connell and Al Edgington are the executive producers. The unique, award-winning series is based on the popular BBC television documentary series from Wall to Wall Productions, created and executive-produced by Graham.