Thursday, October 30, 2008

CoG #59: Apathy is foreign to my genes

In conjunction with the US election on November 4th, the topic for the 59th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: Politics and Our Ancestors.

There have been several lawyers and judges over the centuries, but I have been able to find only one direct ancestor who held a public office. My 9th great grandfather, Barnabas Horton, one of my earliest non-Native ancestors to step foot in America, is described thusly:
BARNABAS HORTON, of Southold, L. L, was born in 1600, at Mowsley, Leicestershire, England, and died July 13, 1680, at Southold, Long Island. His wife, Mary, survived him. He emigrated to America prior to 1640, and settled at Hampton, New Hampshire. As early as 1651 he removed to Southold, and resided there until his death. He held many public offices and was one of the prominent men of Southold. He was deputy to the General Court of the New Haven Colony in 1654, 1656, 1658, 1659 and 1661. In 1663 and 1664 he was a commissioner for Southold. - Source
While he may have been the most recent direct ancestor to entangle himself in local affairs by actually holding office, politics are of great interest to my family, in all branches, and have been for generations. Getting involved in political parties, campaigns, protests, internships on Capitol Hill, voting in every election, and freely and eagerly voicing our opinions, are things my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents have done. I suspect apathy is foreign to my genes.

During the summer of 1990 I interned on Capitol Hill for Congressman William L Clay of St. Louis. Mostly I opened and helped respond to constituent mail, though I also proofread a couple chapters of one of his books. I also worked two summers at the St. Louis County Election Board, and helped Gephardt campaign in Iowa in 1987-8 while I was attending college in Grinnell, IA.

I will be standing in line to vote at 6 am on the morning of November 4th.

[Image created by footnoteMaven]

Sunday, October 26, 2008

UK Passenger Lists

A few days ago I mentioned that the UK Passenger Lists had been added to Ancestry.UK, and I provided Ancestry's description of the database:

This database is an index to the Board of Trade’s passenger lists of ships arriving in the United Kingdom from foreign ports outside of Europe and the Mediterranean from 1878-1888 and 1890-1960. Information listed on the passenger lists may include: name of passenger, their birth date or age, port of departure, port of arrival, date of arrival, and vessel name.
And then I went on and talked about how I hoped to obtain access to the international edition of Ancestry so I could see if my Newmark ancestors' arrival in the UK from Poland was in there. I'm not sure how I missed "from foreign ports outside of Europe."

As I've written before, my Newmark ancestors did a lot of traveling in the first decade of the 20th century. Likely in 1904 my second great grandfather, Samuel, and great grandfather Barney traveled from London to Quebec. In July of 1907 they definitely crossed over into the US, and those documents suggest they arrived in Quebec in May of 1904, though I have been unable to find backup for this. I knew that sometime between July of 1907 and October of 1908 they returned to the UK, and in October of 1908 they returned to the US with another of Samuel's sons, Sol. The rest of the family followed in March of 1909.

So while I still don't have a date for when they arrived in the UK from Poland (estimated in 1893), I did make a trip to the St. Louis Genealogical Society offices this weekend and using their computers found Samuel and Barney's return trip from the US to England on June 21, 1908.

I've drawn a box around Samuel and Barney. They traveled only under their first initial, so theoretically it could be a different S Newmark and B Newmark. However, both of the travelers were tailors, which matches, and both of them are single or traveling unaccompanied by their spouse. (That's what the tally mark by their name indicates, here's a closeup of that box on the form):

The only other information it provides is their port (Southampton), they traveled third class, and they were considered British subjects. (later pages contained lists of foreign subjects. This was the first page of the manifest, the date of the ship's arrival was on every other page.)

Barney and Samuel had lived in England for at least ten years prior to traveling to North America, and the rest of their family still lived in England, so it's logical they would be treated as British subjects. They also had to have made a return trip around this time, so I am fairly certain that this is their passage.

During this Week

Birth, marriage and death anniversaries for my ancestors and their kin during the upcoming week:

Gregorian Calendar: October 26-November 1
Oct 26, 1956 – Melvin Edwin Denyer died (1st Cousin Twice Removed)
Oct 27, 1921 – Janice (Liebovitz) Newmark was born (Great Aunt)
Oct 29, 1887 – Louis Julius Stern was born (2nd Great Uncle)
Oct 29, 1908 – Aaron Cruvant Stern was born (1st Cousin Twice Removed)
Oct 29, 1969 – Minnie (Van Every) Benold died (Great Aunt)
Oct 29, 1987 – Selig Seymour Oxenhandler died (1st Cousin Twice Removed)
Nov 1, 1910 – Agnes Lee Roberts born (1st Cousin Once Removed)
Nov 1, 1936 – Bernard Feinstein and Belle Hoffman married (Great Uncle and Great Aunt)

Hebrew Calendar: Tishri 27 – Heshvan 3
Tishri 29, 5681 – Agnes Lee Roberts born (1st Cousin Once Removed)
Tishri 29, 5518 – David Van Every born (4th Great Grandfather)
Tishri 29, 5680 – Sarah Jane Van Every died (2nd Great Aunt)
Tishri 30, 5684 – Judson Adrian Van Every died (2nd Great Uncle)
Heshvan 1, 5763 – Roswell Spear died (2nd Cousin)
Heshvan 1, 5765 – Israel David Newmark died (2nd Great Uncle)
Heshvan 1, 5610 – Samuel Jennings Sliver Denyer and Zarelda Ann Singleton married (3rd Great Uncle and 3rd Great Aunt)
Heshvan 1, 5639 – Benjamin Feinstein Born (2nd Great Uncle)
Heshvan 1, 5680 – Sigmund Oxenhandler born (1st Cousin Twice Removed)
Heshvan 3, 5659 – Henry Blatt born (2nd Great Uncle)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

UK Passenger Lists

Ancestry.UK yesterday added incoming passenger lists (1878-1960).
This database is an index to the Board of Trade’s passenger lists of ships arriving in the United Kingdom from foreign ports outside of Europe and the Mediterranean from 1878-1888 and 1890-1960. Information listed on the passenger lists may include: name of passenger, their birth date or age, port of departure, port of arrival, date of arrival, and vessel name.
My second great grandparents Samuel and Rose Newmark immigrated to England from Poland at some point in the early 1890s with their four eldest children: Sol, Barney, Nellie and Morris/Moses. I don't have an international subscription, but with my US subscription I was able to search for my surname, and while they don't allow you to access any other details, they do provide the names and ports of entry. There are several Samuels, one Rosie, one Nellie, and a couple Morrises. No Sol, and no Barney, but there is a B. Newmark. Enough to suggest their records might well be there.

I believe the St. Louis Genealogical Society office has a full subscription, so I will visit them this weekend and see what I can find.

Monday, October 20, 2008


A week ago the mother of a good friend passed away. The family didn't want a crowd at the funeral so my friend was quiet for a week. While I would have respected her family's wishes, I would have liked to know. There was an obituary, but I don't read the obituaries daily, so I missed it.

I have heard several of my parents' generation remark that they read the obituaries daily, but I haven't felt the need. I'm realizing I'm now old enough (turning 40 in January) that perhaps I should be too.

I don't subscribe to the local newspaper. I gather my news online. I can read the St. Louis Post Dispatch obituaries online, but that requires me to make a special effort to visit the website daily, and I am sure I would miss days.

There are only two ways I would be certain to see all obituaries in a timely fashion. If they were emailed to me, or if they appeared in my RSS newsreader. handles the obituaries for many newspapers - including the St. Louis Post Dispatch. They have an email service called ObitMessenger.

For $20 a year you can get every obituary sent to you with a particular surname (up to 5 surnames) across all their newspapers. They call this their Genealogy Package. Though it only sends you an obituary if the surname matches the deceased's. (So you won't get the obituary if it is their maiden name, or the surname of one of the relatives mentioned in the text.)

For $200 a year you can get every obituary with any keyword anywhere in the text (up to 5 keywords, and extremely common words not permitted.) For $15 per year you can get up to 5 keywords for one newspaper. They call these their Custom Keyword Packages.

That's nice, and has its uses. I might consider their Genealogy package for a few of my surnames someday. However, at this moment all I want is every obituary for one newspaper.

Luckily, I discovered on the Post Dispatch website that they do offer an RSS feed. I suspect not every newspaper does. Today I've added another feed to my newsreader, and I won't miss another obituary.

During this Week

Birth, marriage and death anniversaries for my ancestors and their kin during the upcoming week:

Gregorian Calendar: October 19-25

October 19, 1898 - Henry Blatt was born (2nd Great Uncle)
October 19, 1919 - Marvin Feinstein was born (1st Cousin twice removed)
October 19, 1920 - Samuel Tillman Hartley died (3rd Great Uncle)
October 22, 1791 - William Denyer and Jane Goldfinch were married (4th Great Grandparents)
October 22, 1902 - Theodore Deutsch was born (Great Uncle)
October 23, 1866 - Samuel William Denyer was born (2nd Great Uncle)
October 23, 1919 - Sarah Jane (Van Every) Colbert died (2nd Great Aunt)
October 23, 1990 - Clara (Rubin) Newmark died (2nd Great Aunt)
October 25, 1919 - Sigmund Oxenhandler was born (1st Cousin Twice Removed)

Hebrew Calendar: Tishri 20-26

Tishri 20, 5580 - Andrew Van Every and Nancy Lucellas were married (3rd Great Grandparents)
Tishri 21, 5663 - Theodore Duetsch was born (Great Uncle)
Tishri 23, 5649 - George Van Every was born (2nd Great Uncle)
Tishri 24, 5552 - William Denyer and Jane Goldfinch were married (4th Great Grandparents)
Tishri 25, 5680 - Marvin Feinstein was born (1st Cousin Twice Removed)
Tishri 25, 5682 - Janice (Liebovitz) Newmark was born (Great Aunt)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Meme: 25 Things

Bill West has tagged me in a meme that has been traveling quickly around the genea-blogosphere. For those of you who don’t know me, this provides a list of facts that when combined may say a lot about me.

10 years ago I was....

1. 29 years old
2. A COBOL programmer for AG Edwards and Sons
3. A freshly minted Uncle
4. Performing my poetry weekly at the Venice Café open mic
5. Maintaining a website at Geocities, mostly focused on politics and Victor Hugo

Five things on today's to-do list:

1. Happy Hour with some colleagues
2. Performing my poetry at Hartford Community Cafe
3. Watch the Presidential Debate I DVRd earlier this week
4. Enter some data I collected from the St. Louis County City Directories last night at the library
5. Finish writing my response to this meme.

Five snacks I enjoy:

1. Dried fruit
2. Carrots and hummus
3. Cheese and crackers
4. Peanut butter and celery
5. Chocolate

Five places I have lived:

1. Clayton, MO
2. Grinnell, IA
3. Georgetown, DC
4. University City, MO
5. Brentwood, MO

Five jobs I've Had:

1. Stockboy
2. Congressional Intern
3. Poet/Fiction Writer
4. Computer Programmer
5. Grant Writer

#3 has never provided me with a steady paycheck. I think my earnings still fall in the double digits. Total. For over 10 years. I need to work on increasing it.

Like so many memes, I’m supposed to tag five more geneabloggers to answer this. I’ve tried to name five who haven’t responded to this meme yet, however, it’s possible I’m tagging someone who’s already been tagged by someone else, as this meme has been traveling around.

1. David at OakvilleBlackWalnut
2. Amanda at Random Ramblings
3. Chery at Nordic Blue
4. Craig at GeneaBlogie
5. George at George Geder

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Days of the Week

I really ought to wait 6 days before posting this, but I'll post it today anyway.

The FootnoteMaven has a post on Nursery Lore and what it means if you are born on ___ day of the week.

Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving.
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

She has even more details for each day of the week, as the poem only tells a fraction of some of the superstition and lore.

She then asks others to reveal what day of the week they were born on.

I, like the FootnoteMaven, was a Tuesday child. I, too, am not full of physical grace. I am somewhat clumsy actually. Nor do I consider myself wealthy, solemn or sad, other attributes attributed to Tuesday children. I have a tendency towards optimism and mirth. The word, Tuesday, comes from the Norse god of Combat and Heroic Glory, which are also far afield from my personality.

However, I come from a different tradition than the traditions that likely sparked this poem. In the Jewish tradition, Tuesday is an auspicious day of the week. Some say 'lucky' though Judaism doesn't really teach that luck exists.

The origin of Tuesday's special nature is the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1

Ask most, and they will tell you that G-d "saw that it was good" each day of the first six days of creation. That's not true. (Follow the link above, and read the actual text. You will see I'm right.) On the first, fourth, fifth and sixth days, He did so. On the second day He said nothing. On the third day, He said it twice. The day G-d was silent was the first Monday, and some suggest that is why few people like Monday. Tuesday was when G-d spoke twice, blessing the day twice. And that is why it is considered auspicious. And maybe that is why I have a tendency towards optimism, and a desire to make myself and others laugh.

270 Digital Libraries

270 Digital Libraries organized by state.

Hundreds of libraries and archives exist online, from university-supported sites to individual efforts. Each one has something to offer to researchers, students, and teachers. This list contains over 250 libraries and archives that focus mainly on localized, regional, and U.S. history, but it also includes larger collections, eText and eBook repositories, and a short list of directories to help you continue your research efforts.
Three examples:

Missouri Historical Newspaper Project (scanned and searchable issues from 13 newspapers across Missouri. Some 19th century, some early 20th century.)

Digital Past "The North Suburban Library System offers a treasure trove of photographs, postcards, diaries, oral histories, documents, movies, interpretive exhibits, and other historical materials from libraries, historical societies, museums, and other cultural venues throughout Illinois. "

American Journeys "This site contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later."

Returning to St. Louis City - 1908

Today, October 15, is Blog Action Day. "Blog Action Day is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion." The theme for 2008 is Poverty.

I thought I would return to a post I wrote back in July. St. Louis City Housing Conditions in 1908. I wrote about the disturbing conditions I had discovered that my ancestors had lived in from a report given by the Civic League of St. Louis. It was an 88-page report, though, and I only quoted a few paragraphs. I will try to give a fuller picture of what life was like for those who lived in this area bordered by 7th and 14th streets, and Lucas Avenue and OFallon Street. (1908 and 2008 maps provided in July post.)

I am going to "copy and paste" several clippings from the report straight into this post as it is certainly easier than transcribing or rephrasing, and the images should be readable.

Let's start with a chart of the number of bathtubs found in the neighborhood

As the report states, "It is useless to try to add anything to the force of such figures as these." As one might expect, the majority of tubs were in the apartments of the building owners.

A lot of space is given in the report to the conditions of the Yard Vaults, since toilets were a new innovation and rare.

Another factor the report considered was the overcrowding situation. They compared the neighborhood to a similar report Chicago had conducted.

Housing conditions in St. Louis City have improved greatly in the past 100 years. However, I have heard people over the years, when comparing the situation in today's inner cities to the situation in the tenements, to focus a lot on crime. There is a sense that things are different today.

The differences that exist, I suspect are due mostly to technology, and greater access to a different class of weapons, and less to do with the individuals involved. The authors of the report back in 1908 knew that there was a connection between crime and poverty that was unrelated to race, nationality or ethnicity. As Victor Hugo wrote, "If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness." (Les Miserables, p. 14)

Understandably, many of the posts for Blog Action Day will focus on what it means to be poor today. Author, John Scalzi, had an excellent blog post three years ago on that topic: Being Poor. The Blog Action Day site had a list of resources for those interested in fact sheets, statistics, and suggestions on what can be done to alleviate poverty around the world.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fractions and DNA

in honor of what some localities refer to as Indigenous Peoples Day or Native Americans Day:
Short Math Quiz

Your mother told you she was ½ Choctaw and ½ Cherokee. Your father told you he was ½ Choctaw.

You are in front of a bunch of judges and they start asking you questions, and they want to know what your percentage of Choctaw blood is. What do you tell them?

What if you only have a primary school education? Do you think you’ll get it right

Reading through the testimonies my great grandmother, her half-sister, six cousins, and her uncle provided to the Dawes Commission, one thing remains constant. None of them understood fractions. Fractions can be difficult.

There were eight testimonies delivered in November of 1900. And my previous post on my Choctaw ancestry was based on reading through those eight testimonies. Another search turned up one more testimony delivered a year later. Samuel T Hartley, the brother of my second great grandmother, Sarah Hartley, brought another daughter of his before the commission. She was completely flummoxed by the questioning, and while it doesn’t say it, I suspect she was close to tears by the end. Her responses were all over the place, and it was clear she was very confused. Her father was present though, and was called to the witness stand. His testimony didn’t directly conflict his testimony of a year prior, but he was asked slightly different questions, which led to more information.

In 1901 he claimed his father said he was ½ Choctaw. And that his mother said she was ½ Choctaw and ½ Cherokee. (He had no proof. Neither had ever had their names on rolls, or applied for land. That is why the commission denied the applications, they wouldn’t give land to just anyone who said they thought they had blood from one of the 5 civilized tribes, no matter how earnest they looked. They needed some evidence, and DNA evidence wasn’t around back then. My ancestors had no proof beyond what they had been told by their parents and grandparents.)

In 1900 he had been asked whether he claimed his Choctaw heritage from his mother or father. His response was ‘father’. (It should have been ‘both’ but maybe he thought from the question he had to choose one.) The next question was how much blood his father had, so he had responded ½, and from that the Commission told him he would be ¼, and he accepted that.

If the 1901 testimony is accurate, his mother claimed to be 100% Native American, half Choctaw, half Cherokee. And since she would be my mtDNA ancestor, taking the test might actually solve this question for my family. If my second great grandmother was ¾ Native American, then I am 3/64, which is getting higher and higher as I continue doing research. A year ago I thought I was only 1/128.

Here are the people named in the nine testimonies I have downloaded from Footnote, and their percentage of Native American DNA assuming the testimony given by Samuel Hartley in 1901 is accurate.

First Generation
(1/2) George W Hartley
(1/1) Eliza Beasley

Second Generation (3/4)
Samuel T Hartley (married Margaret ___ and Nannie ____)
Sarah Ann Hartley (married Ebenezer Denyer and George W Foster)
[Research indicates there may have been a third child named William Hartley]

Third Generation (3/8)
Caroline Hartley (married Jesse M Taylor)
Georgia Amelia Hartley (married Miles J Phillips)
Robert Hilliard Hartley (married Louisa ___ )
Sophronia Hartley (married James Cagle)
Virginia Hartley (married Henry Shultz)
Amie Hartley
Samuel H Hartley
Eddie Hartley

Samuel William Denyer (married Alice Gollihar)
Margaret Jane Denyer (married Melvin Van Every)
Eliza Caroline Foster (married William T Reeves)
[George and Sarah Foster had two other children: George Foster Jr. and Sarah Ann Foster. Neither testified before the Dawes Commission as far as I can tell.]

Fourth Generation (3/16)
Taylor children: Maudie, Claudie, Mattie, Earline, Jesse
Phillips children: Hester, Ruby
Hartley children: Bessie Leanner, Youler May
Cagle children: Dessie, Edna [later children include: Flossie, Hazel, Ruby, Otis]
Shultz children: Birdie, Callie, Julia, Richard
Denyer children: Alfred, Arthur, Addie, Zenovia, Lee, Samuel, William, Melvin
Van Every children: Minnie, Samuel, Willa, Evva, Myrtle

Sunday, October 12, 2008

During this Week

Birth, marriage and death anniversaries for my ancestors and their kin during the upcoming week:

Gregorian Calendar: October 12-18

October 13, 1757 - David Van Every was born (4th Great Grandfather)
October 15, 1942 - Stevan J Newmark was born (Uncle)
October 15, 1942 - August A Benold died (Great Uncle)
October 16, 1720 - Israel Swayze was born (5th Great Grandfather)
October 16, 2004 - Israel David Newmark died (2nd Great Uncle)
October 17, 1896 - Ida (Waldman) Cruvant was born (2nd Great Aunt)

Hebrew Calendar: Tishri 13-19

Tishri 14, 5481 - Israel Swayze was born (5th great grandfather)
Tishri 14, 5649 - George Robert Harrison Van Every was born (1st Cousin Twice Removed)
Tishri 15, 5661 - Melvin Edwin Denyer was born (1st Cousin Twice Removed)
Tishri 15, 5722 - Sara Ann (Foster) McCarty died (2nd Great Aunt)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dogs Rule

Today is Dogs Rule Day. Created by Pedigree dog food, it is an "International Holiday for Dogs".

If anyone deserves their own holiday, it's dogs. So let's celebrate our best friends and recognize their contribution to the quality of life on earth. All we have to do is give our own dogs a little extra love, share our stories and pictures with friends, and do a little something extra to make the world a better place for dogs.
I posted back in June several photographs of dogs I have known over the years. Here are a couple I never knew.

Choo-Choo was the best friend of my great grandmother, Helen (Lichtman) Deutsch. Here they are at their address on Mozart Street in Chicago, IL.

This is a photograph of my great grandparents Barney and Bertha (Cruvant) Newmark, with their sons Melvin, Harold and Mandell. Mandell appears to be holding a dog, unfortunately, no one knows his/her name.

Here are 101 ways to celebrate Dogs Rule Day

Here are ten of them:
2 Give an extra minute of bellyrubs in the morning.
3 Play fetch 'til your arm falls off.
11 Give her the other half of your sandwich. Just this once.
15 Hire a bus. Allow her to catch it.
17 Bark with her at the postman.
28 Donate some blankets to your local shelter.
36 Sing him a song. Maybe wear a costume.
38 Post flyers for the local dog shelter.
45 Get a tattoo of him.
58 Start or support a local spay/neuter program.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Smile For the Camera: Funny Bone

The word prompt for the 6th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Funny Bone. Show us that picture that never fails to bring a smile to your face! An amusing incident, a funny face, an unusual situation.

I love candid photographs of my grandparents when they were children or young adults. This photograph is of my maternal grandmother, Myrtle Van Every, and I find the smoked glasses she is wearing humorous (as did I think she, from the caption). If she was 'looking for stars' I assume she was in the vicinity of Hollywood. I don't know who is with her in the photograph. They could be friends, however equally possible is that they are relatives, as one of the letters her father wrote to her around this time indicates she had visited unspecified cousins in California. (And since her father had over a dozen siblings, that doesn't narrow it down much.)

This photograph is of my paternal grandfather, Melvin Newmark. It was taken approximately 1930 just at the right moment before he dived off what looks like a lake dock. There's a good chance he was in the "Lake of the Ozarks" area of Missouri. I believe the photographer was "Sissie" Feinstein, who would ultimately become my grandmother. The photograph was in her scrapbook. I don't know who his friends are. They appear to be having a lot of fun.

Hebrew Date Conversion

Approximately 10 days ago would have been my great grandmother, Bertha Cruvant's 121st or 122nd birthday. As I posted in my weekly list of upcoming family events, I don't know what her birthday is on the Gregorian Calendar. I only know her birthday on the Hebrew Calendar, as she was born on Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year. The Gregorian date depends upon what year she was born, which is unknown.

Her family used the Gregorian/Civil calendar for most events, so we know the Gregorian birthdays for all her siblings. However, since her birthday fell on a religious holiday, that was the date remembered.

As her birthday approached it occurred to me: I wonder which of my relatives share birthdays or anniversaries on the religious calendar? I wondered how I would go about figuring this out. Two people born on Oct 7th, 2008 and Sept 18, 1999 would actually share the Hebrew birthday of 8 Tishri, but I have recorded the Hebrew dates for very very few events in my database - and in those cases the only place to record them has been in the notes.

There are online calendar converters that can convert between the two calendars, such as the one at hebcal. However, I'd have to go through every event in my database, plug it into the conversion program, and enter the results in an excel table or something. That would take a long time, and I figured this was the perfect thing for a software program to accomplish. I searched for some online, but was unable to find anything for the Mac.

The only genealogy software I could find that probably can accomplish this is Dorotree. However, there is no Mac version, so I haven't been able to test it.

One of the reasons I like my genealogy software, IFamily, is that it isn't a product of some huge company that releases (pricey) updates once-a-year on average. The developer is continually releasing (free) updates, and continually soliciting suggestions for new features. So I posted the suggestion in the forums that the On This Day feature that currently allows one to see all the events that occurred on a single day be modified to generate a list for a Hebrew date. Have the software convert all the dates for me, and see which ones match up.

The newest version now does this. [Version 2.464 / It isn't released yet, but can be requested.] Once again, I am not aware that any other genealogy program for the Mac has this feature yet. If one does, let me know in the comments.

Now I know that in addition to being the birthday of my great-grandmother, Rosh Hashana (Tishri 1) is also the anniversary of the death of my great aunt, Thelma (Malpe) Newmark (Sept 18, 2001), and the birthday of my second great uncle, Abe Gold (Sept 19, 1895).

Today, Tishri 10 (the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur), is the birthday of my 2nd great-aunt Blanche Blatt (Sept 28, 1887), and is also among other events the 4th birthday (Sept 25, 2004) of the daughter of a cousin of mine, though I intentionally don't name living relatives on my blog, and have erased the names associated with the recent events in the image below.

[*Note* The software feature makes no adjustment for time-of-day. Therefore if an event occurred on the Gregorian calender after sunset, but before midnight, the Hebrew date conversion will be one day off. Since it is rare that I know the time of day for an event, this isn't a concern for me. But it could be important to remember for those cases where time-of-day is known.]

Monday, October 6, 2008

57th Carnival of Genealogy has been posted

The 57th Carnival of Genealogy has been posted. Almost four dozen entries about family history discovered in newspapers.

The topic for the next edition of the COG will be: Halloween Hauntings... Fact or Fiction? We're going to have some fun with the Carnival of Genealogy this time around. Halloween is coming up in a few weeks. In keeping with the spirit of the season, write a story about or including one of your ancestors. It can be fact or fiction. Don't tell which it is (until after October 15 when the COG is published), let your readers guess. We should all get some great comments as readers try to determine if our Halloween genea-story is fact or fiction! Was your ggg grandmother a witch? Did you live in a haunted house when you were growing up? Were there bats in Aunt Betty's belfry? Did you ever meet up with a ghost when you were looking for an ancestor's grave? See if you can stump us! The deadline for submissions is October 15th.
Sounds like a fun challenge.

Note: Recently I redesigned my blog here, and added a widget from the CoG that contains quicklinks to past carnivals, and the submission page. It's on the far-right sidebar underneath the list of categories.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

During this Week: Oct 5 - Oct 11

Birth, marriage and death anniversaries for my ancestors and their kin during the upcoming week:

Emma Van Every - born Oct 6, 1871 (1st cousin twice removed)
Benjamin Feinstein - born Oct 6, 1888 (2nd great uncle)
Melvin Edwin Denyer - born Oct 8, 1900 (1st cousin twice removed)
Andrew Van Every and Nancy Lucellas - married Oct 9, 1819 (3rd great grandparents)
Judson Van Every - died Oct 10, 1923 (2nd great uncle)
Belle "Sissie" Feinstein - died Oct 11, 2002 (grandmother)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

mtDNA Research

Using mitochondrial DNA, researchers are able to prove that Vikings conquered much of the British Isles. Viking Mice.