Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Statement from German Ambassador in 1915

Was at the library in the microfilm section browsing issues of the St. Louis Modern View from 1915 and saw this cover page. I figured no comment was necessary.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

December Holidays and Observances

(See bottom of post for sources and notes)

December Holidays and Observances

Month-long observances (US)
  • National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
  • World AIDS Day (UN)
  • Rosa Parks Day (Ohio and Oregon)
  • Military Abolition Day (Costa Rica)
  • Great Union Day (Romania)
  • International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (UN)
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities (UN)
  • International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (UN)
  • World Soil Day (UN)
  • Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
  • National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (Canada)
  • Flag Land Base Day (Scientology)
  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (US)
  • International Civil Aviation Day (UN)
  • Bodhi Day (Buddhism)
  • Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic)
  • Feast of the Conception by St. Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos (Eastern Orthodox)
  • Remembrance for Egill Skallagrímsson (Ásatrú)
  • International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime (UN)
  • International Anti-Corruption Day (UN)
  • Human Rights Day (UN)
  • Alfred Nobel Day (Sweden)
  • International Mountain Day (UN)
  • Mawlid al Nabi (Islam) [Begins at Sunset]
  • Tohji-Taisai (Shinto)
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic)
  • Kanji Day (Japan)
  • Bill of Rights Day (US)
  • Zamenhof Day (Esperanto)
  • Posadas Navidenas (Hispanic Christian) Dec 16-25
  • Wright Brothers Day (US)
  • International Migrants Day (UN)
  • International Human Solidarity Day (UN)
  • Winter Solstice/Yule
  • Pancha Ganapati (Hindu) Dec 21-25
  • Forefather's Day (Plymouth, MA)
  • Hanukah (Jewish) [starts at sunset] Dec 24-Jan 1
  • Christmas (Christian)
  • Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)
  • Zarathosht Diso (Zoroastrian)
  • St. Stephens Day (Christian)
  • Kwanzaa (African American/Canadian) Dec 26-Jan 1
  • Boxing Day (Commonwealth of Nations)
  • Feast of the Holy Innocents (Christian)
  • Feast of the Holy Family (Catholic)
  • Watch Night (Christian)
  • Maidyarem Gahambar (Zoroastrian) Dec 31-Jan 4
  • New Years Eve (Gregorian calendar)


1)  This calendar focuses on Religious Holidays, International Observances as declared by the United Nations, and United States Observances as declared by the White House. I add a few extra observances of my own choosing.

2) As a family historian - what holidays might my ancestors have observed? What holidays do my current kin observe? I am unable to find an individual website with all of the days above listed. Which is one reason I find the process useful, for me, and perhaps useful for others. Wikipedia, as one might guess, comes closest, though in addition to not being complete (which I could fix) they have a lot of what I consider flotsam and jetsam. The calendar above consolidates and filters the information from a variety of sources.

3) I do not include weekly or monthly religious observances. By that I mean, many religions observe a weekly day as a holy day. Many religions also observe the first and/or last day of every month as a holy day. These days I have not included in the calendar. I also have not included the numerous Saints Days on the Catholic calendar, unless they are highlighted on one of the interfaith calendars I reference. 

4) Please let me know if you spot any errors, or if you have suggestions for additions.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weekly Genealogy Picks

Highlights from news stories and blog posts I have read in the past week that deal with my overlapping interests in Genealogy, History, Heritage, and Technology.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ancestry We're Related Sofware Glitch

Saturday I checked my Ancestry We’re Related app and was told I had 0 celebrity matches.

Here’s the chart of 40 celebrity matches I had on Friday.

I spent four years as a programmer in a corporate IT department and understand software glitches happen. I sent some feedback. Was told they were hopeful to have a fix this week. I’m cool with it. It's not like I'm paying anything for the mobile app, and I consider it mostly entertainment. Though I am researching the shared ancestries to see if I can add on to my ahnentafel.

Later Saturday I received an initial 5 celebrities which are up to 7 this morning. If the fix doesn’t restore the former matches as a bunch, but instead at the former rate of approximately one match a day, it will be interesting to see if new matches are added in with the old, as one might expect if the process is random, or whether there is some method to the order in which the matches are announced. Currently, all 7 were part of my original 40. (Though they are not a 1-1 match of my original 7)

I have also noticed the relationships aren’t exactly the same for all matches.
It is conceivable that the changes and the software glitch may be connected.

Current matches, relationships, and alleged shared ancestor:
• Bill Gates – 9th cousin 1x removed – Hannah Gore (*)
• Meghan Trainor – 9th cousin 2x removed – John Lathrop
• Lady Gaga – 10th cousin – Sarah Purrier (**)
• Britney Spears – 9th cousin 2x removed – John Smith
• Marilyn Monroe – 9th cousin – Ruth Wheldon (***)
• Johnny Depp – 9th cousin 2x removed – Capt. Richard Betts
• Matt Damon – 9th cousin 1x removed – James Clark

* Bill Gates was listed as my 9th cousin 2x removed with Susannah Hinckley as my shared ancestor. A closer relationship appears to have been found.
** Lady Gaga was listed as my 10th cousin with Thomas Mapes as our shared ancestor. I think the relationship is the same, except they have now decided to provide Thomas Mapes’ wife as the shared ancestor.
*** Marilyn Monroe was listed as my 9th cousin 1x removed with the shared ancestor of Thomas Burgess. Here too, a closer relationship appears to have been found.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Weekly Genealogy Picks

Highlights from news stories and blog posts I have read in the past week that deal with my overlapping interests in Genealogy, History, Heritage, and Technology.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lathrops, Scudders and Stoughtons (oh my!)

Gary Boyd Roberts (GBR), NEHGS researcher, in his article, #22 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: Notable Descendants of the Immigrant Stoughton Siblings of Massachusetts writes:

[Referring to Samuel Lathrop, 1623-1700]
Samuel’s first wife, the mother of his children, was Elizabeth Scudder, a sister of John Scudder of Barnstable, and known through the will of an English divine to be related somehow to the Scudders of Long Island. The new discoveries and immigrant kinsmen that vastly expand this clan are through Elizabeth Scudder, and the initial report of these discoveries appeared in the 75th anniversary issue of The American Genealogist (October 1997) in an article by Register editor Jane Fletcher Fiske. 
Jane Fiske discovered from Strood, Kent parish registers, the will of Reverend Henry Scudder, a marriage record of John Scudder and Elizabeth Stoughton, and other sources, some already published in TAG or in publications of the Scudder Family Association, that Elizabeth Scudder, wife of Samuel Lathrop, was the daughter of the above John Scudder and Elizabeth Stoughton, a sister of Thomas and Israel Stoughton of Dorchester, Mass.
I have traced my ancestry back to Rev. Thomas Stoughton and his wife Katherine, parents of Thomas, Israel, and Elizabeth above.

Rev. Thomas Stoughton's daughter, Elizabeth, had two husbands:
1) John Scudder
2) Robert Chamberlayne

I am descended from Elizabeth and Robert Chamberlayne

All of Samuel and Elizabeth (Scudder) Lathrop's descendants are kin to me through her mother, Elizabeth Stoughton Scudder Chamberlayne.

I have been unable to prove my Ancestry We're Related mobile app alleged connection with Samuel Lathrop's father, John Lathrop. However, for those celebrities with whom I'm alleged to share him as our common ancestor - if Samuel is their ancestor - I know I would also share the ancestor, Elizabeth Stoughton. The same distance. (Though some could argue we don't share the same husband of Elizabeth so it isn't exactly the same relationship. But I think #Cousin xRemoved stays the same.)

This could also explain why Ancestry is giving me the Lathrop connection (which I can't confirm), and not the Stoughton connection (which I can).

So far, according to Ancestry's mobile app, I am kin in this manner to Edgar Allan Poe, Carrie Underwood, George HW Bush, and his offspring. However, William Addams Reitwiesner, and GBR's Ancestry of American Presidents (2009), indicate George HW Bush's ancestor wasn't Samuel Lathrop, but his brother, Thomas. So Ancestry's mobile app is wrong, and I wouldn't be related to the Bushes unless John Lathrop were my ancestor. I am uncertain about Edgar Allan Poe or Carrie Underwood.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Embedding Google Drive Documents into your Blog or Website

 Do you have a document in Google Drive (such as a spreadsheet) you would like to embed into your blog or website?

By doing so, whenever you updated the document in Google Drive, it would automatically update on your blog/website.

Within the document, go to the File menu
Select "Publish to the web..."
  • Select "Embed"
  • If it's a spreadsheet, you'll have the option of choosing between "Entire Document" or an individual "Sheet."
  • Then click "Publish" 

You will be shown some html to copy/paste into your webpage or blog post

  • I have transferred the ahnentafel I created back in 2010 to a spreadsheet and created a new page accessible at the top of the blog.
  • I have also created a page for Notable Kin which currently consists of the table I began a week ago containing the alleged celebrities Ancestry's new mobile app has suggested.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Alas, A Different Secondhand Shop

I discovered the below photograph in a newspaper article about the community where my paternal ancestors lived. I wondered if it could be my second great grandfather, Moshe Leyb Cruvant and his children. He did own a secondhand shop at the time.

There were definitely some facial similarities with known photographs in my collection.

I decided I really needed to find a photograph of my great grandmother's brother, Sol, at a much younger age. (Or a photograph of my second great grandfather a little bit younger.)

Today I received several documents including this photograph. My second great grandmother, Minnie (Mojsabovsky) Cruvant, her three daughters Bertha, Stella and Flora, and two sons. That's either David or Ben at the top, and Sol at the bottom.

As much as I'd like it to be a match, the boys don't look the same.
And I don't think it's just a matter of adding a few years onto his age.

But I love this photograph.

Update: I've been reminded that we are only identifying individuals by their similarity in appearance to other known photos. The only faces that we are pretty certain about are in the top row: my second great grandmother, Minnie, and my great grandmother, Bertha, And in the middle row, right, Stella. My cousin who provided the photo doesn't think the other woman in the middle looks close enough to Flora, and she can't identify either of the males. Assuming it is a family photo and everyone should be a member of the family can lead to inaccurate conclusions.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Weekly Genealogy Picks

Highlights from news stories and blog posts I have read in the past week that deal with my overlapping interests in Genealogy, History, Heritage, and Technology.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day 2016

Caption for photo to left: Human Statue of Liberty. 18,000 Officers and Men at Camp Dodge, Des Moines, Iowa. Colonel William Newman, Commanding. Colonel Rush S. Wells, Directing. Mole & Thomas, 09/1918. (source)

November 11 is Veterans Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in the UK, Canada, Australia, France and Belgium. In Poland it is celebrated as National Independence Day.

Below are the names of ancestors, and their siblings, who I know served their nation's military, either in a time of war, or in a time of peace. I am including my Loyalist ancestors; their nation was Great Britain. Canada became their country after the war. I am including my Confederate ancestors too, despite their desire to form a separate nation. I am also including a Conscientious Objector ancestor since the DAR counts him as a Patriot.

Fifth Great Grandfathers
McGregory Van Every (1723-1786) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Michael Showers (1733-1796) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Mark Fretz (1750-1840) Patriot (Inactive Duty) Pennsylvania militia

Fourth Great Grandfather
David Van Every (1757-1820) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers (served briefly as a Patriot in the NY militia)

Fifth Great Uncle
Benjamin Van Every (1759-1795) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers (served briefly as a Patriot in the NY militia)
William Van Every (1765-1832) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Peter Van Every (1771-bef 1816) Loyalist/Fifth Lincoln and Second York regiments (War of 1812)

Fourth Great Uncles
David Van Every Jr. (1782-1847) Loyalist/Second York regiment (War of 1812)
Michael Van Every (1790-?) Loyalist/Fifth Lincoln and Second York regiments (War of 1812)

Second Great Grandfather
Ebenezer Denyer (1828-1872) (Mexican-American War) (Confederate Army)

Third Great Uncles
Samuel Jennings Denyer (1822-1861) (Gonzales County Minute Men - Republic of Texas -1841)
Samuel T Hartley (1830-1920) (Confederate Army)

Great Grandfather
Samuel Deutsch (1861-1938) (Franz Josef's Austro-Hungarian Army)

Second Great Uncle
Nelson D Van Every (1845-1926) (Union Army)

Melvin L Newmark (1912-1992), WWII
Martin J Deutsch (1907-1991), WWII

Great Uncles
Jerry Deutsch (1909-1950), WWII
Allen Deutsch (1914-1988), WWII
Harold Newmark (1915-2003), WWII
Mandell Newmark (1923-1945), WWII (DOI)
Bernard Feinstin (1913-1968), WWII
Seymour Feinstein (1917-1999), WWII

Stevan J Newmark (1942-1997) Army Reserves

Photographs of those who served in World War II

My grandfathers Melvin Newmark (1912-1992) and Martin Deutsch (1907-1991)

Allen Deutsch (1914-1988) and Maurice "Jerry" Deutsch (1909-1950).

Harold Newmark (1915-2003) and Mandell Newmark (1923-1945).

Bernard "Benny" Feinstein (1913-1968) and Seymour "Babe" Feinstein (1917-1999)

Who I Am

I’m an American.
I have immigrant ancestors from the following geographies:
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Great Britain
  • Canada
  • Lithuania
  • Transylvania
  • Volhynia.
My most recent immigrant ancestor was my maternal grandfather, who was born in Transylvania and immigrated to America in 1913 at age 6.

The earliest immigrant ancestors I have confirmed arrived in Massachusetts on the Swallow circa 1630-1635. If Ancestry Family Trees are correct, I have an ancestor, Thomas Clarke, who came aboard the Anna in 1623.

My maternal grandfather's family were almost deported.
My early maternal immigrant ancestors meet the definition of undocumented aliens.
Most of my paternal immigrant ancestors arrived in the US without knowing English.

I’m Jewish
I have ancestors and 3rd cousins (or closer) who are/were of the following faiths:
  • Jewish
  • Methodist Episcopalian
  • Mennonite
  • Pilgrim/Puritan Separatist
  • Lutheran
  • Christian Scientist
  • Catholic
  • Sikh
  • (and possibly Choctaw)
I'm a cisgendered heterosexual, though I've recorded multiple single-sex marriages in my family database. I have a third cousin who was likely murdered due to his sexual preference.

I agree with the famous words of Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ancestry We're Related Famous Kin

I have created a table containing the celebrities that Ancestry's We're Related app has told me might be kin, including the alleged shared ancestor, alleged relationship, and whether I have confirmed my half of the ancestry, disproven my half, or more research is needed. (I have no desire to spend time researching the ancestry of celebrities just to see if they share my ancestors. However, I do find it worthwhile to research my own ancestors and see if what Ancestry family trees suggest might be accurate.) 

Celebrity Alleged Shared Ancestor Alleged Relationship Y/N/?
Warren Buffett Swazey, Jospeh 1653-1717 8th Cousin 2x Removed
Mark Twain  Betts, Capt. Richard 1613-1713 6th Cousin 3x Removed Y
Johnny Depp Betts, Capt. Richard 1613-1713 9th Cousin 2x Removed Y
Marilyn Monroe Burgess, Thomas 1601-1685 9th Cousin 1x Removed ?
Winston Churchill Clark, James 1608-1674 8th Cousin, 1x Removed ?
Matt Damon Clark, James 1608-1674 9th Cousin 1x Removed ?
Thomas Paine Clarke, Katherine 1515-1553 7th Cousin 6x Removed ?
John Kerry Clarke, Thomas 1570-1627 9th Cousin 1x Removed ?
Henry David Thoreau Clarke, William 1553-1624 8th Cousin 3x Removed ?
Ronald Reagan Constable, Thomasine 1605-1682 10th Cousin ?
Ralph Waldo Emerson Durrant, Mary 1599-1631 6th Cousin 4x Removed ?
Bill Gates Hinckley, Susannah 1625-1675 9th Cousin 2x Removed ?
Helen Keller Jewell, Thomas 1608-1654 8th Cousin 3x Removed ?
Walt Disney Kerrich, Rose 1572-1627 9th Cousin 1x Removed ?
Carrie Underwood Lathrop, John 1584-1653 9th Cousin 2x Removed ?
Meghan Trainor Lathrop, John 1584-1653 9th Cousin 2x Removed ?
Lady Gaga Mapes, Thomas 1628-1687 10th Cousin ?
Benjamin Franklin Nevill, Cecilia 1488-1573 6th Cousin 7x Removed ?
Kate Upton Pierce, Timothy 1673-1748 8th Cousin 3x Removed ?
Kevin Bacon Smith, Samuel 1644-1719 7th Cousin 1x Removed ?
Justin Bieber Smith, John 1614-1710 9th Cousin 2x Removed ?
Britney Spears Smith, John 1614-1710 9th Cousin 2x Removed ?
Abraham Lincoln Taylor, Thomas 1574-1618 8th Cousin 2x Removed ?
Zachary Taylor Taylor, Thomas 1574-1618 4th Cousin 6x Removed ?
Jessica Simpson Wheldon, Gabriel 1600-1655 10th Cousin ?
Christina Aguilera Wines, Barnabas 1600-1679 10th Cousin ?


1) All of the above alleged shared ancestors are ancestors through my maternal grandmother, Myrtle Vanevery, and all but two are ancestors through my second great grandmother, Abigail Stuart, who was the second wife of Samuel Vanevery. Timothy Pierce (my shared ancestor with Kate Upton) and Thomas Jewell (my shared ancestor with Helen Keller) are alleged ancestors of my 4th great grandmother Sarah Showers, who married David Vanevery.

2) Perhaps more interesting to me than the links that have been provided are the links that haven't yet been provided. I have long known I am related to several celebrities through my Stoughton ancestry. (Also ancestors of Abigail Stuart) The Stoughtons are in my database. But none of these celebrities have appeared. (John Kerry has, but through a different alleged shared ancestor.)

3) I'm sure I have famous kin through the lines of my other three grandparents, but the documents necessary to trace my (and their) ancestry back far enough is currently undiscovered in Eastern Europe, if not completely lost. I know of three paternal cousins with Wikipedia pages, though not quite with the name recognition of the individuals above. Two more are already mentioned several times on Wikipedia, and separate bio pages could probably be written by someone, and not be deleted.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Weekly Genealogy Picks

Highlights from news stories and blog posts I have read in the past week that deal with my overlapping interests in Genealogy, History, Heritage, and Technology.

If you are registered to vote in the U.S., Schrödinger the Cat urges you to vote on Election Day, Tuesday November 8th. He's not allowed to vote, but if you are, do so.

Schrödinger the Cat's Election Theorem: You can’t know whether your candidate has won or lost until the votes are counted. Until that moment, your candidate is half a winner, and half a loser.