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The Livermore Roots Tracer

Volume XX Number 2

May 2000

Editors: Vicki Renz and Debbie Pizzato

The Roots Tracer is a quarterly publication with articles of interest to the genealogist. Members are encouraged to submit their "Profiles" and articles of general interest. Queries are free. The Roots Tracer is published in February, May, August and November. The deadline for each quarterly is the 15th of the previous month. Submissions must contain the name on the submitter, as well as the name of the author, publication and date of any published article that is being quoted. Send material to: The Roots Tracer, P. O. Box 901, Livermore, CA 94551-0901 or E-mail: rootstracer@l-ags.org.

Table of Contents

Member News New Feature Page President’s Message
Future Programs New DAR Chapter Calendar of Meetings
Upcoming Seminars Are You My Cousin? The Matheny Family
Patience Pays Off Livermore Valley History Computer Group News
Family Tree Maker Group Library Hours CD Collection Update
Nourse Letters Second "Ancestors" Series Past Programs
G.R.O.W Things to File You Never Know
CGS Family History Fair a Success Genealogist’s Psalm Donations

Our New L-AGS Members

Frank Geasa

Marge Henry

Francine M. Montez

Kelly Thomas O’Hair

Lloyd & Mary Lou Guymon

Madeline Arthur is the winner of a L-AGS Membership at a local school fundraiser

We have 175 memberships :


Individual Memberships
Family Memberships
Benefactor Memberships
Life Memberships
Honorary Memberships
Honorary & Charter Memberships
Total People


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Old Trunk

New Feature Page!
"From the Attic"

Your Roots Tracer editors would like to add a new feature in the next issue. We would like to call it "From the Attic." It would be short (quarter-page) articles about some of your heirlooms, artifacts from your ancestors or some treasures from your family history.

For example, how about that quilt that Grandma made, or the little cane seat rocking chair you inherited from Aunt Doris, or an old interesting photograph of your Great Uncle Clifford in his military uniform?

So we are hoping that you will support this idea and submit a paragraph or two about some of your family heirlooms. Our next issue will be distributed in August, so you have plenty of time to write a few sentences for our new feature!

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President’s Message

Leo Vongottfried and I represented L-AGS at the LCAC Millennium Fair on April 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The turnout of people was somewhat disappointing. This was partly due to the cold, damp and windy weather. Also, I was comparing attendance to about fifteen years ago when there was probably five times as many persons.

Leo and I gave out between two and three dozen L-AGS brochures. Using a map of the U. S. we had about 24 individuals place a pin where they were born. CA won this contest with nine as might be expected. What was unexpected was a three-way tie for second between NY, AL and KS (my home state) with two each. Other states represented with one pin were WY, MO, MN, TX, SD, OH, PA and NH. Canada also had a pin. We also passed out all (about twenty) of the California Genealogical Society (CGS) Fair brochures. We shared the table with the Friends of the Livermore Library (FOLL) represented by Vange (Evangeline) Jones and Gail Bryan. They had a light day as well because they only were able to sell two new FOLL memberships.

When business got especially slow after 3 p.m., we decided to pack up and leave at 4. Leo and I were wondering what we might do to attract more volunteers next year. The work crew who was taking down the tent covers may have suggested one solution. We noticed that they opened a bottle of wine and were sharing it about mid afternoon. Leo and I decided that we would each be willing donate a bottle of wine next year!

At our L-AGS Board meeting we had a very pleasant surprise. It was announced that there was a $100 gift to be used to add to our genealogy collection of CD-ROMs, so the Board decided to extend the 50/50 program (from about $ 600 to $ 700). Earlier Jay Gilson and George Anderson had suspended the 50/50 CD-ROM program because we had already spent the amount allotted in our budget for CD-ROMs. With all these new purchases, we currently have about 350 CD-ROMs. A "Thank You" goes to all who contribute to this program.

Jon Bryan

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Future Programs

May 9 – "My Tips and Techniques for Planning a German Genealogy Trip" presented by L-AGS member, Doug Mumma.

June 13 – "Using Land & Property Records" presented by Pat Isom, San Ramon Valley Genealogy Society (SRVGS) member and director of the Alamo Family History Center.

July – Annual Picnic for members & guests only. Details on time and place will be announced soon.

August 8 – "Newspaper Research" presented by Carol Glover, SRVGS member.

September 12 – "20th Century Emigration" presented by L-AGS member David Abrahams.

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New DAR Chapter in Livermore

L-AGS member Jane Everett has announced that there is a new chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Livermore.

The official name is the Josefa Higuera Livermore Chapter. Sue Overturf, also a L-AGS member, is the Regent.

Jane reported that the chapter was started because there has been such an increase in population in the area, that Livermore could start its own group.

They will hold meetings on the first Saturday of the month, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., from September to May. Until a permanent meeting place is found, meetings will be held at various members homes or a local restaurant.

There is also a more informal "Breakfast Group" that meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday mornings at 8:30 a.m. at the Lyons Restaurant in Livermore.

This is a terrific opportunity to learn more about the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The local DAR members are available to answer questions and help in applying to the society for membership. And you don’t even have to travel far!

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Calendar of Meetings

Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society has the following monthly meetings:

Family Tree Maker Focus Group: 1st Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Livermore Adult Education Building, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. During the summer, meetings are held at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore. For information call Dick Finn 925-447-9652, e-mail computer@l-ags.org.

General Meeting: 2nd Tuesday (except July), 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Beth Emek, corner of College Avenue & South M Street, Livermore. For information call Debbie Pizzato, 925-606-7466, e-mail program@l-ags.org.

Study Group: 3rd Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore. For information call Vicki Renz 925-443-4303, e-mail study@l-ags.org.

Computer Interest Group: 4th Thursday (except November and December), 7:30 p.m. at Livermore Adult Education Building, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. During the summer, meetings are held at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore. For information call Dick Finn 925-447-9652, e-mail computer@l-ags.org.

Other Area Genealogy Societies General Meetings

Contra Costa County Genealogical Society:
2nd Thursday of each month, 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the new Concord Police Station, 1350 Galindo Avenue, Concord.

East Bay Genealogical Society:
2nd Wednesday of each month, 10 a.m. at the Dimond Branch of the Oakland Library, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue, Oakland. This location is subject to change. For information, check their web site.

Hayward Area Genealogical Society:
4th Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m. in the San Lorenzo Library, 395 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo.

Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society:
3rd Thursday of each month, 1 to 3 p.m. in the Community Room, CivicBank of Commerce, 1940 Tice Valley Road, Walnut Creek.

San Joaquin Genealogical Society:
3rd Thursday of each month at 1:00 or 7:00 p.m. at Brookside LDS Church, 800 West Brookside Road, Stockton.

San Mateo County Genealogical Society:
3rd Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. in the Belmont Central School, 525 Middle Road, Belmont. 

San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society:
3rd Tuesday of each month (except August and December), 10 a.m. at LDS Danville Stake Center, Stone Valley Road at Smith Road, Alamo.

Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society:
3rd Thursday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. (except August and December) in the community room of the Santa Clara City Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara.

Solano County Genealogical Society:
4th Thursday of each month (except July, August, November and December) at 7:00 p.m. in the Fairfield Senior Center, 1200 Civic Center Drive, Fairfield.

Sonoma County Genealogical Society:
4th Saturday of each month at 1 p.m. (except July, August, and December) in Room 2009, Lark Hall, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa.

Stanislaus County Genealogical Society:
3rd Thursday of each month (except July and December) at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Covell hall, 1600 Carver Road, Modesto.

Tracy Area Genealogical Society:
4th Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Lolly Hansen Senior Center, 375 9th Street, Tracy.

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Upcoming Seminars
and Workshops

May 12 – National Archives, San Bruno, CA Workshop "Military – Part 1 Pre-Revolution to War of 1812" taught by Rose Mary Kennedy, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., $15. Call Rose Mary at 650-876-9009 to register and reserve a space.

May 20 – The Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County, presents Marguerite McCurry, Charles Green, and LaRayne Green, "30 Ways to Find a Maiden Name," "Immigration & Passports," "Land Records, & Immigra-tion/Emigration Records," 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.$15 by mail. LDS Church 800 Sylvan Ave. Modesto, CA.

May 31 - June 3 - National Genealogical Society Annual Conference in the States "New England, Bridge to America," Hosted by the New England Regional Genealogical Conference, Providence RI

June 11 – 16 - Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University, Birmingham, AL. Choice of seven course tracks, registration $375, housing/meals on campus $160.

June 16 - National Archives, San Bruno, CA Workshop "Military – Part 2 Civil War to World War II" taught by Rose Mary Kennedy, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. $15.

The San Mateo County Genealogical Society presents Grace-Marie Hackwell, noted Civil War Historian. "Locating Your Civil War Solider," and "Writing your Civil War Soldier’s History," $12, by mail, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church of San Mateo, corner of Hacienda and 25th Avenue, San Mateo, CA.

July 20 – 22 – National Conference sponsored by the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN - more than 90 lectures over three days, research methodology, technology in genealogy and more.

August 5 – German Research Association presents "Family Tradition: How to Separate Fact from Fiction in Genealogical Research" and "Tracing the Origins of early 18th Century Palatine Emigrants" at the Joyce Beers Community Center on Vermont Street North of University.

August 24 - 26 – British Isles Family History Society, USA, 13th Annual Seminar, Long Beach CA, Contact the British Isles Family History Society - USA, 2531 Sawtelle Boulevard, PMB 134, Los Angeles, CA 90064-3124.

September 6 to 9 – Federation of Genealogical Societies – National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. "A World of Records." For information, write FGS Business Office. P.O. Box 200940, Austin, TX 78720-0940, call 888-FGS-1500; fax 888-380-0500; or e-mail fgsoffice@fgs.org

September 16 – 17 – San Diego Genealogical Society "Genealogical and Family History Fair," Scottish Rites Center. Information is on their web site.

September 22-24 - Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) - Sixth Annual Convention at the Best Western Salt Lake Plaza Hotel. For information, write: FEEFHS 2000 Convention, P.O. Box 510898, Salt Lake City, UT 84151-0898 or see the web site.

September 23 – Placer County Genealogical Society will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with an all day seminar.

October 6 – 9 – POINTS National Conference – 2000,[Italian-American] Austin Doubletree Hotel, North. Contact The PNC – 2000 Organizing Committee, 10401 Misty Hollow Cove, Austin, TX 78759 for registration material; Austin Doubletree Hotel North 1-512-545-3737 for room reservations.

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"Are You My Cousin???"

DNA Testing May Be Able To Answer That Question For You!

By Doug Mumma

I’m sure that all of us have wondered about the relationship between ourselves and another person with the same or similar surname. In the past, we could only determine relationships through oral or written histories and then verifying the facts through confirming records in church registers, civil records, or other primary documentation. A new technique of analyzing a person’s DNA now allows you to precisely determine whether or not you and another person with the same surname have a common ancestor - hence cousins. While it won’t tell you exactly who the common ancestor is, it will determine that there was a common ancestor. Wow! That’s impressive, but how can that happen?

Let us first review a little bit about genetics. From beginning biology books, we discover that the nucleus of a human cell contains 46 chromosomes arranged or grouped in 23 pairs. In each pair, one chromosome was provided by the mother and the other by the father. The first 22, which are very similar, are called autosomes. The 23rd pair, however, is different. It may contain two X-chromosomes or it might contain an X and a Y chromosome. It is the male whose sperm can contain either an X or a Y chromosome as his contribution to the 23rd pair. If the father passed a Y-chromosome as his contribution to the 23rd pair, then the child will be a male. If he passed an X-chromosome, then the child will be a female. So, men pass their Y-chromosome only to their sons and this determines whether a baby is male or female. So, by analyzing a male’s Y-chromosome, a unique "fingerprint" can be established for that particular male. The same "fingerprint" is passed on only to his sons and through their sons to descendant generations. This "fingerprint" can then be equated to a particular surname.

Likewise for women, they pass a mitochondrial DNA on to their daughters that can be analyzed and a female "fingerprint" established on the female side. As a result, you can either determine whether two people have a common ancestor up the male side of a person’s ancestry or up the female side. Most of the studies, however, have focused on the male side, primarily because of the amount of data and information that has been accumulated for men through various ancient records. Okay, but how is all this done?

I won’t get in to a deep technical discussion about the detailed DNA testing and analysis techniques, but suffice it to say that careful analysis of a specimen of a person’s DNA will provide a resultant pattern that is unique to that individual. This pattern is passed on from generation to generation without significant alteration and that pattern is unique to that particular person. The DNA sample itself is very easy to collect by using a special swab stick and swabbing the inside of a person’s cheek. During the swabbing process, pieces of a person’s DNA sloughs off on the swab stick, which is returned to a laboratory for analysis. That is all there is to it. Blood is not taken and no other invasive probes are required. Are there any risks having a DNA Y-chromosome sample analyzed? Yes and no. While there is no health risk, there is a minor risk someone could perform additional DNA tests and learn about your medical condition, both present and future. Normal Y-chromosome testing however analyzes an area of the DNA chain that is considered to be a "wasteland" which contains no genetic information. The only other hazard is you might discover that your DNA does not match your surname pattern. This could mean an unknown adoption occurred some where in your ancestral line or one of your grandmothers strayed and there was infidelity. Hummmmm!

Have there been any tests to prove it works? Yes, there have been lots of Y-chromosome tests and, in fact, it is a standard technique that is used every day in paternity cases to determine whether a person is the father of a male child. It is recognized as a definitive test by the law. The question is whether it is possible to use this technique to go back in one’s ancestry many generations. Again, the answer is "Yes." Several background review articles have been written about DNA testing and genealogy. Kevin Duerinck has an excellent article titled Genetics and Genealogy which contains excellent reference links. Neil Bradman and Mark Thomas also wrote a good survey article in the magazine, Science Spectra, about Y-chromosome lineage projects.

Some of the various projects have shown, by testing a wide range of ethnically diverse humans as well as chimpanzees, that this group had a common ancestor 188,000 years ago in one study and between 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in another. A recent celebrated use of DNA is the one where it was questioned if President Thomas Jefferson fathered any children of his slave, Sally Hemings. The question was raised because of her descendants’ desire to be buried in the exclusive Monticello graveyard reserved for the exclusive use by descendants of Thomas Jefferson. The results of Y-chromosome testing DNA of Sally Heming’s descendants and Thomas Jefferson’s uncle’s line (Thomas had no surviving sons) clearly showed that a Jefferson did father one of Sally’s children, but these tests could not determine whether Jefferson himself fathered the child. Dr. Bryan Sykes recently reported on a study he conducted with men who had the Sykes surname and was able to determine that they all came from a common ancestor or that they did not show the Sykes "fingerprint" because of adoption or non-paternity issues. Dr. Mike Hammer of the University of Arizona has developed a database on Jewish men considered to be "Kohanim" or "Cohanim," or Jewish priests. These priests are not appointed, but are endowed with this position because they inherit it from their father. These surname links survive from biblical times.

With this overwhelming evidence of the ability to trace male lineage using Y-chromosomes, several DNA testing companies have recently been formed or expanded their services to offer Y-chromosome testing to the genealogical community. I have personally contacted three such companies, all of whom work in close liaison with universities to perform the analyses and interpret the data using population genetics. These companies are Family Tree DNA which works with Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona; GeneTree which works with Dr. Scott Woodward of the Brigham Young University; and Oxford Ancestors, a new company working with Dr. Bryan Sykes of Oxford University of England. Oxford Ancestors will be offering their MaleMatch Y-chromosome testing services in the near future.

My personal interest is drawn to these relatively new DNA surname tracing techniques because of some missing links in my own family research of the MUMMA surname. For example, we have not been able to verify the point of origin for the Mumma family in Germany since the name does not exist there. There is evidence to suggest that we descend from the Mommas of Germany, but not proved. Likewise, we can’t say for certain from traditional records that the three known Mumma progenitors who arrived in America in 1731, 1732 and 1749 were even related to each other. In addition, there are about 10 other name variations such as Muma, Mummey, Mewmaw, Moomey and others that may descend from the original Mumma progenitors, but again have no proof.

Using these new DNA Y chromosome testing tools, these questions should be easy to answer and for that reason, I am assembling a group of men with the Mumma surname (or alternate spellings) from various unconnected trees to participate in a Y-chromosome testing program. At the conclusion of this project, I hope to answer the simple, yet elusive question – "Are you my cousin?"

Kevin Duerinck: Genetics and Genealogy
Neil Bardman and Mark Thomas: Science Spectra, Number 14, 1998
Y Chromosome DNA Data on Jefferson and Hemings
Family Tree DNA - Genealogy by Genetics. Ltd.
GeneTree, Inc
Oxford Ancestors

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Green Tree

The Matheny Family

(Relatives I’m Glad I Never Knew)

By Mildred Kirkwood

It’s interesting to find who your ancestors were, when and where they lived, etc. But they really come alive when you find out about their character. I found such information in court records of Stafford County, Virginia.

Daniel Matheny was born in England about 1638 and immigrated to America about 1660. In 1661, he was one of the leaders in a Protestant uprising against the Roman Catholics in the Colony of Maryland. The uprising failed and he moved across the Potomac River to Stafford County, Virginia.

He married Sarah Wentworth, daughter of Thomas Wentworth, in 1663.

In 1683, he bought a plantation (The Hope), where he lived until he died in 1686. He seemed to be constantly in court, either suing a neighbor or being sued by someone. After he died, Sarah carried on in the courts.

When he died, Sarah gave an inventory of all the goods and chattels of Daniel Matheney: "4 Cows and three calfes by their sydes; 2 Cows and one yearling and advantage; 1 bead, 1 bolster, one Rugg and blanckett, a parcell of Flax, a parcell of old Coopers Tooles; 2 broaken Iron potts; a pcell of old pewter, two old guns, one payle, one piggin, 3 old trays, one table. Total 3500." (Seems hard to believe when he owned a plantation!)

After Daniel died, Sarah and Daniel’s son, William, tried to evict his mother from her home. In court on 11 February 1691/2: "Sarah Metheny widow humbly complaining sheweth that William Metheny the Eldest son of your poor Petr denies your poor Petr ground to work upon for herself and her children and threatens to turn her off from the land that was your Petrs husbands and says he knows not whether your Petr hath any land there or not and uses opprobious and threatening words against your poor Petr." She asked that the land be surveyed and she be given a full third for her dower.

She got what she requested, but lost the large home that she had lived in for years. Evidently, William lost the home to George Brent. Neither Sarah nor William seemed to take this very well.

George Brent rented the home to Joseph Eyres, but when Eyres went to move into the home, he found that Sarah and William "forceably holds ye same from him by Lockinge up ye Horse." The constable didn’t believe it and went to the house. "Roome was locked but noe body in it that I could see but ye aforesaid Sarah Matheney comeinge did owne that shee had corne there wch she had bought." It seems that Sarah and William had stored corn in some rooms and stabled a horse in another room in the house! William had the keys and was told to hand them over to the Constable and help to remove the horse, which William refused to do and he was arrested.

William then asserted that the home belonged to him. He couldn’t produce any records to substantiate his claim and the court found against him. George Brent was found to own the home.

I’ll just bet that Sarah and William made wonderful neighbors for the tenant!

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Smiley Face Pin

Patience Pays Off!

By Pamela Sue Perkins Boggs

On my birthday this year, March 21, I got e-mail from someone that found my message on a search engine that I left in May of 1999. She was just starting out, and we have the same set of great great grandparents. It was so cool!

She gave my name to her great uncle; he found me in the phone book and called me 2 days later. He’d been looking for our side of the family for 20 years. He used to play with my father when they were young. After my dad’s parents divorced when he was seven, he never saw that side of the family again.

About three weeks later I visited with this person and showed him what information I had and he showed me what he had. My grandmother had made a wonderful baby book for my dad so his first seven years were very well documented. It included pictures and newspaper clippings they didn't have so I was able to share that with them. It is nice that they live only an hour away so we can get together.

We will keep in touch via the e-mail.

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"Most of our ancestors came to this country and wandered around until they found some place just as (bad) as the place they’d left."

FROM: Mystery novel involving a genealogy convention, "From Here to Paternity" by Jill Churchill.

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Old Book

Livermore Valley History

By Gary Drummond

Editor’s Note: Gary Drummond has long been a student of Livermore Valley History. He is the author and editor of several publications on valley history, including the stories of Mary Ann Harlan Smith, William Mendenhall and James D. Smith, Headmaster of Livermore College from 1875 to 1893. He is on the Board of Directors of the Livermore Heritage Guild

Supplying Water in A New Community

Supplying water to a growing community like Livermore one hundred and thirty years ago must have been a challenge. Individual wells provided water to some homes and businesses, and perhaps even to one’s neighbor. But there was also a community well. It was located on the north side of the street opposite the old City Hall at First and McLeod. Two oil cans were suspended over a wheel so that when one can went down the other came up, and was operated by hand. And that’s where many pioneer housewives in Livermore got their supply of domestic water.

By 1875 Livermore had two competing water companies. One was the Arroyo Mocho Water Company, organized in the fall of 1873. It had secured rights to water coming down from what is now the Mines Road area. The other was the Livermore Spring Water Company, incorporated in October 1874. This company’s water came from Las Positas Creek, that runs along what is now I-580 and then had a lot more water in it than at present.

What were the motivations for each of these? The Arroyo Mocho Water Company listed water for irrigation as its primary goal, with a supply to town comparatively unimportant. Its distribution system was comprised of wooden pipe, made in Washington Territory and shipped down here; it was claimed to cost less than iron pipe, would last as long as iron, and most important, the water would be uncontaminated. The company work force dug a ditch 36,183 feet long to bring water close to town, and then laid 7,500 feet of wooden main in the main streets of town with side connections to customers. The Arroyo Mocho Water Company offered free water (for the interim).

The Arroyo Mocho Water Company was never successful in moving water from the Mocho, and instead started taking water from the Arroyo del Valle. In October 1875 the company announced that water had been turned into the street mains, but "for a week or some more to come," it would not furnish water to its customers "as the water will taste of the pipe until it has been washed out." The enterprise was never a success: besides low water pressure, its water smelled strongly of hydrogen sulfide and was unfit for drinking.

The Livermore Spring Water Company, in contrast, pumped water from Las Positas Creek into a series of reservoirs for business and residential service. One reservoir was down near the creek; another was located on the hill opposite the Masonic (Roselawn) Cemetery, and water was pulled up there by a steam pump. (The reservoir was still there as late as 1950.) The water was conveyed into town in a redwood flume one and a half miles long and from there was distributed in the town through iron pipe. As the community grew, it became necessary to provide water storage facilities near the center of town. Tanks were installed between First Street and the railroad tracks east of Livermore Avenue with a total capacity of 50,000 gallons. It was from that point that water was distributed to businesses and residences for a number of years to come.

There is evidence the Livermore Spring Water Company was undercapitalized. In November 1875, it assessed its shareholders 75 cents a share, and threatened in its assessment notice that "any stock upon which this assessment shall remain unpaid…. will be advertised for sale at public auction…" And 1500 shares of stock owned by two prominent Livermore men were lost in this way.

A footnote to the town well described in the first paragraph: it was used until about 1880 and then was inadequately filled when abandoned. In the winter of 1889, it caved in for the first time. In February 1916, a woman walking along the street "was surprised to find herself sinking into the ground. Fortunately her downward progress stopped when she had sunk a few feet…" That time the town fathers made certain the well site was completely filled.

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Computer Interest Group (CIG) News

Dick Finn at rwfinn@pacbell.net

The CIG meets once a month to hear speakers on a wide variety of genealogical computer related subjects such as software (new, revised, how to use it, etc.), hardware (computers, storage devices, scanners, cameras, printers), web sites, useful CDs, etc., that help us in our quest for genealogical information. Often we have very useful handouts and even a door prize or two. During the last several months we have had speakers talking about the many genealogical software packages on the market including Family Tree Maker, PAF, and The Master Genealogist as well as "Genealogy on CD." We plan to hear from other software producers and Internet providers.

During the school year we meet the fourth Thursday of every month except November and December at 7:30 at the Livermore Adult Education Facility (formerly the Sonoma Avenue School), 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. During the summer we met at the LDS Church at 950 Mocho Street in Livermore.

Members needing help with a computer problem may call one of the mentors listed in the Member’s Handbook.

For information on CIG please call Dick Finn or George Anderson. Contact Dick or George for information about topics to be discussed or to let us know about items you would like to hear about.

Family Tree Maker Focus Group

The L-AGS Family Tree Maker (FTM) Focus Group meets the first Thursday of the month at 7:30 at the Livermore Adult Education Facility (during the school year - formerly the Sonoma Avenue School), 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. During the summer we meet at the LDS Church at 950 Mocho Street in Livermore.

We are primarily a group of FTM users (from beginners to experts) who discuss problems and solutions, share successes, answer questions and in general help each other with the Family Tree Maker software. The members of the group have generated an enhancement list that has been presented to FTM for action. We look forward to seeing them implement some of our suggestions.

All people interested or potentially interested in Family Tree Maker and related software are invited to attend. Contact Dick or George for information about topics to be discussed.

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Pleasanton Public Library Hours

Monday and Tuesday – Noon to 9 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

A L-AGS docent is on duty in the genealogy area at the library on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members who would like to volunteer to be a genealogy docent may contact Jay Gilson at 925-447-4054 or jdgilson-at-comcast.net

Livermore Family History Center

Bill Silver, Director
Monday – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

At the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, 925-443-2750.

L-AGS members who would like to serve as docents at the Family History Center may contact Jeanne Tanghe at 925-447-7800.

Pleasanton Family History Center

David and Lola Cummings, Directors
Tuesday – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Pleasanton LDS Church is on the corner of Valley and Paseo Santa Cruz, 925-846-0149.

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CD in Color

CD-ROM Collection Update

By Jay Gilson

L-AGS members response to the 50-50-purchase plan for genealogy CDs this spring has been outstanding! Members contributed $565, therefore the L-AGS budget for CD purchases this year is now fully subscribed. In addition to this good news, outright contributions for CD purchases by members have been very strong, already amounting to $170 this year. Good for us!

We continue to have the largest collection of genealogy CDs in the Bay Area and they are all available to the public, seven days a week, at the Pleasanton Public Library. Members should be proud of our part in the public service that we and the Pleasanton Public Library provide in this regard.

A total of 35 new CD titles and 10 World Family Tree CDs have been added to our collection. Check the L-AGS web site before going to the Pleasanton Library for these new titles to insure the new 50-50 CDs have been shelved because donors get two months exclusive use.

CD 013 Family Pedigrees, Evertons Computerized Family File, V2 CD 399 Marriage Index: DC, DE, MD, VA
CD 014 Family Pedigrees, Evertons Computerized Family File, V3 CD 452 Census Records: CA, NM, OR, TX, UT, 1850
CD 017 Birth Records US and Europe 1600-1880's CD 453 Census Microfilm Records: AL, AR, LA, MS, 1850
CD 129 Church Records: Adams, Berks and Lancaster Counties, PA CD 501 Immigrants to Pennsylvania, 1600s-1800s
CD 157 New York Families, 1600s-1900s CD 502 Massachusetts Probate, Town and Vital Records
CD 206 Genealogy Records- Maryland Probate Records, 1674-1774 CD 503 Virginia Colonial Records, 1600s-1800s
CD 214 New York Deaths, 1700s-1900s CD 504 Early New England Settlers, 1600s-1800s
CD 215 Vital Records: Rhode Island, 1500s-1800s CD 507 Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929
CD 222 Marriage Index: Iowa, 1851-1900 CD 508 Midwest Pioneers, 1600s-1800s
CD 258 Naturalization Records: Philadelphia, 1789-1880 CD 509 North Carolina Wills, 1665-1900
CD 262 Tithe Applotment Book of Ireland, 1823-1838 CD 510 Colonial Virginia Source Records, 1600s-1700s
CD 268 Scottish Immigrants to America CD 511 Early Tennessee Settlers, 1700s-1900s
CD 270 Lewis's Gazetteer of England, Ireland and Scotland CD 512 Pennsylvania Colonial Records, 1600s-1800s
CD 271 Irish Flax Growers List CD 513 Virginia Land, Marriage and Probate Records
CD 274 Ontario and Nova Scotia Settlers CD 650 Land Records: Kentucky, 1774-1924
CD 355 Passenger and Immigration Lists: Germans to America, 1850-1874 CD 651 Land and Tax Records: Ohio, 1787-1840
CD 357 Passenger and Immigration Lists: Irish to America WFT 33-37 World Family Tree SuperBundle 7
CD 397 Marriage Index: Connecticut, 1635-1860 WFT 38-42 World Family Tree SuperBundle 8
CD 398 Marriage Index: Texas, 1851-1900,  
50-50 Contributors Wes Nelson Vicki Renz Phyllis Houlding George and Harriet Anderson
Judy Person Beverly Ales Peggy Norman Jane Southwick
Gary Bradley Lori Codey Jon and Gail Bryan Mildred Kirkwood
Jay Gilson
Purchase Contributors Roy Statham Phyllis Houlding Anonymous Donor

Many thanks to all these generous people for their contributions.

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Covered wagon

Nourse Letters

By Sue Peterson

In 1850, my great-great grandfather, Rev. James Nourse, collected family history information and some family letters in a scrapbook he titled "Family Memorials." This book was passed down from father to son and was inherited by my father. It includes about 60 letters and many other documents such as notices and newspaper clippings. Photocopies were made of the letters before the book was donated to Yale University. My aunt, my two daughters and I have been transcribing the letters over the years. One interesting letter is from James Nourse, the original settler, to his son, James. The father, with his wife Sarah and nine children, left England for America in 1769, and in 1770 he bought a plantation which he named "Piedmont" in what was then Frederick County, Virginia, but now is Jefferson County, West Virginia. In 1778, the year of this letter, James Nourse represented Berkeley County in the Virginia House of Delegates. There is a mention of the business of the house, but most of the letter deals with personal affairs. Handwriting, punctuation, abbreviations and sometimes the condition of the letter itself often makes the letters difficult to read. But the information and language in the letter make it very interesting. Here follows that letter. I hope you enjoy it.

William’s burg Octo 30th. 1778

Dear James

Your Mama wrote me she had a Complaint in her bowells, which made me impatient for post day, it is arrived but no letter from Piedmont: I flatter myself there is one upon the road by a private hand. I had a letter from Joseph. Alexandria is to be his residence & will spend his Christmas at home –I some times feel I shall not be at home much sooner – but tis at present uncertain[.]

Henderson’s affair is on hearing[.] I suppose he will be allowed some land, but will loose his kingdom.

[A?] bill has passed our house to empower the Executive to lay an embargo on provisions for a limited time. [I]t is intended only till the army is provided – where there is a large quantity of flour or grain the owner is to be obliged to sell, at the price 3 freeholders fix. [B]ut I am told by one of the senate that they have altered the bill[,] an Alteration I think contrary to the sense of our house[,] so that if it passes it will be for fear the army should suffer[.] Col. Hit[e?] tells me grain had rose before he came out to 4 dollars, I am very willing the army should have any of my grain[,] but I see not the least reason why I should not have the full price or instead of grain every one next year will make tobacco.

Press old Mr Wormely for the grain, when tis delivered examine it before you permitt it to be ground for me – I hope [Hoo_?] keeps sober. [B]eg the favour of Mr. Miller to keep his eye on him as to honesty & sobriety, he is no more to be depended upon than a Negro.

I wrote my Brother what a fine Colt he had but a few days before I learned Bob’s fate.

Send me the process of mashing for the [stills?] for the use of Mr. Cowling[.] I have given him the best instruction I can but fear my memory may fail me – I was down there last sunday[;] he is at present very well, she looks but indiferent, but better than I expected. [H]e has an horse mill for grinding his malt [using?] an easy plan requires no mill wright [.] [I]f Ishmail had done his it would have been done more like a Workman. [B]ut I am doubtful if I can give you instructions sufficient to set about it[,] but will attempt it[.] [T]he stones stand as our does. [T]hro the stones is a perpendicular iron spindle about 3 foot long and in size about 2 inches by 2 1/2 or 3 at most – in which is fixt a trundle head about 2 foot diameter[;] it may be better with three – the spindle is drawn to near a point & works upon a piece of brass on a block – this stands in a house on the side next the outdoor work (which also may be covered as the posts are not in the way, Rye straw will do). [Y]ou’ll observe that it turns upon the same principle as a turner lathe[.] [O]n the out side is a large perpendicular axis – hewed octagon[,] it may be larger where the arms penetrate than at top or bottom – two of the arms go quite thro & of course must be double length[,] 30 foot[,] of the other four, which are 15 foot. They are Braced above & below as in the sketch, the Cord works on the arms as a [skain?] of thread does up a [reel?], & has like it two holes so as to keep the cord to proper tightness[.] [T]he horse is fixed within the Cord to one of the arms. NB. the longer the axis is thro which the arms are fixed, the better the brace & the more convenient for covering –

[sketch of mill]

Joseph tells me he as wrote you word you sell your beer too low, nobody takes less than 20 dollars here some more, tho they give as but 2 dollars for barley.

I hope your mama keeps constantly to riding every fair day[.] [I]f she should be but indifferent pray neglect not to send for Dr. Armstrong.

I have rec’d for [Harpers?] £16:15:7 1/2 [16 pounds, 15 shillings, 71/2 pence] which is half feriages for [Nick Regan?] £4:13 – which is for 31 days 3 [shilings] pr day the hire of his horse, they would allow nothing for damages – for Thomas Violet £4:4 –as his appear to be only 28 days hire – I made out a bill for both charging [-?-] pr day & the damages[,] but the quarter master General would pay no more than 3 [shillings] & no allowance for damages – let me know in [your] next of Mr Rutherford comes down – when you are in cash you may pay the above as I fear I shall expend it here, with the greatest Economy I have dined once with the Governor & once with a set that keep horses[.] I sent my horse into the Country, & there I pay 4 [shillings] pr day – Assure your mama of my warmest love & anxious desire of returning as soon as I can with propriety[.] I long to embrace you all[.] [T]he Blessings of the Almighty be with you tis the constant prayer of your very Affectionate father

James Nourse

I see Jo has advertized the land & so have I – I must run as I am upon the Norfolk Committee

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Ancestors Tree logo

Second "Ancestors" Series Coming To PBS Beginning June 2000

KBYU Television announced that the second Ancestors series will air on PBS stations beginning in June 2000. Thirteen episodes combine dramatic stories with expert instruction. Ancestors looks at how records such as census, probate, vital, military and immigration, can provide important information about our ancestors’ lives. It shows viewers how and where to find these records and how to use them. Ancestors also follows the personal stories of individuals whose search has led them to a discovery of their heritage.

The new Ancestors was shot on location around the world. Host Scott Wilkinson takes viewers from Ireland to Hong Kong, in the search for family history records. He also visits some famous genealogical repositories, like the National Archives and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the British Public Records Office in London, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The series highlights places family history information is found. The episode titles are:

  • Records at Risk
  • Family Records
  • Compiled Records
  • Genealogy and Technology
  • Vital Records
  • Religious Records
  • Cemetery Records
  • Census Records
  • Military Records
  • Newspapers as Records
  • Probate Records
  • Immigration Records
  • Writing a Family History

The focus of the new Ancestors series is instruction provided by experts in genealogical research. Producer Marcy Brown said that "after the first series aired in 1997, we received feedback from viewers wanting more specific instruction on finding their ancestors." The Ancestors experts give tips and instruction that will help viewers navigate the world of genealogical records.

In addition to the broadcast series, a printed family history research guidebook and an instructional video will be available. Online, Ancestors offers "how-to" courses that can be taken at home, a teacher’s guide, and an expanded web site that provides additional instruction and resources and serves as a gateway to genealogy on the Internet. There is also a companion book, In Search of Our Ancestors, a collection of 101 inspiring family history stories, published by Adams Media.

Ancestors was produced by KBYU Television, Provo, Utah, in cooperation with Wisteria Pictures, Inc. Major funding was provided by Ancestral Quest, Inc., the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, and Brigham Young University, with additional support from U.S. Bank. The Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and Brigham Young University provided content development assistance.

For more information about Ancestors, and to find the air dates and times in your area, visit the Ancestors web site or contact your local PBS station.

Made available courtesy of ANCESTORS/KBYU (c) 2000. All rights reserved.

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Slide Projector

Past Programs

By Jon Bryan

At our February regular meeting, L-AGS members, Susan Peterson, David Abrahams, G. E. "Robbie" Robinson and Gary Drummond read from letters and diaries of the 1800s.

Susan read from a letter that a brother sent to her great great grandfather in Pennsylvania in 1836. The brothers both supported temperance but were on opposite sides of the slavery question. He may have been foreseeing the Civil War when he writes about "… stirring up the spirits in the South which will eventually shake the government to its foundations."

David read parts of letters and diaries from his wife’s second cousin’s grandfather, Samuel Stone Knowles, who was born in 1840 in Indiana. He began writing these letters near the beginning of the Civil War when he was about 20. In one letter Samuel says, "It is a disgrace that Lincoln was elected" and indicates that he was a supporter of Stephen Douglas. He writes about attending church, Sunday school, picnics and his plan to study law. He courted Belle Terhune and "if she continued as an honest, upright and virtuous lady during his three years of military service" they would get married.

Robbie read from letters that his great great grandfather John Rutherford (1798 - 1875) in Kentucky wrote to his oldest son Bayless in Indiana from 1851 to 1874. He was a self-educated country farmer, and wrote about the family and their health, weather, crops, farm animals and the prices they bring and the farm economy. John also reported about the war and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – "The President’s Proclamation has caused great confusion and harm in the Union ranks - more than it ought to have done."

Gary read from pages copied from a neighbor’s pocket diary that included a ten-day period at the end of the Civil War (April 10,1865 to April 19, 1865) plus some year-end remarks. The writer, an unknown man, worked in a Union military hospital near the Ohio River in southern Indiana. His entries included comments on the daily weather in Southern Ohio and news about the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination.

At our March meeting, Livermore Mayor Cathie Brown talked about her experiences with the newest Livermore Sister City - Snezhinsk, Russia. The cities were paired because both are nuclear research areas.

Snezhinsk faces enormous problems as it tries to make the transition from one of Russia’s ten "secret cities" to a peacetime economy. It was felt that Livermore’s experiences would be of help in guiding Snezhinsk’s leaders in that direction. I am impressed with our Mayor’s efforts to make this Sister City Program work. Mayor Brown and her assistant, Kris, take Russian lessons; and she speaks of the Snezhinsk Mayor and his family as her extended family. She hopes to get enough Livermore citizens involved with this Sister City program so it can become self-sustaining should the Federal monetary support disappear. Our special "Thank you" goes to member Hal Norris for suggesting that we invite Mayor Brown to give us this presentation.

At our April meeting, Anne M. Homan presented "In Their Own Words," a history of the Morgan Territory Road, with assistance from readers Walter Davies and Pauline Thompson and projectionist/husband Don Homan. Anne is a retired high school English teacher who lives on Morgan Territory Road. She used slides of the area and excerpts from some of the many interviews she conducted over the past several years. She is planning to publish a book from those interviews in the near future. Her narration and the readers made for a vivid presentation. In the audience was Bill Morgan whose ancestor, Jeremiah Morgan, was the person for whom Morgan Territory Road was named. Anne included stories about the various early settlers of the area: American Indians, Portuguese, Mexicans, Italians and Swedes. Having enough cash flow was often a problem for these ranchers and farmers. During Prohibition some helped solve this problem by bootlegging. Another method was swapping eggs, butter and cream for goods with the Livermore merchants.

In Anne’s closing she says, "My history of Morgan Territory Road’s community reveals people who have learned to live together in harmony, despite coming from amazingly diverse cultures and experiences, supporting each other in a somewhat primitive, even harsh, but beautiful environment."

We wish Anne much success with this upcoming book. I, for one, want to purchase a personal copy to read and re-read the rest of my life. Thank you Anne for those eleven pages of the script, which you provided to me. If PBS would not try to cut it down to only thirty minutes, the book would make an excellent television program or series when it becomes available.

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Tree Sprout

G. R. O. W.

Genealogy Resources On the Web – The Page That Helps Your Genealogy Grow!

Good site for immigrant ships and their history, from various Internet mailing lists. www.fortunecity.com/littleitaly/amalfi/13/ships.htm

Links to Cemeteries around the world. Very large database, includes addresses and locations, some are searchable. www.josephculligan.com/cemeteries.html
From San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society Newsletter, February 2000

Hundreds of online newspapers, some of which have put back issues, up to 200 years old online. http://www.neh.gov/projects/usnp.html
From California Genealogical Society Newsletter, March 2000, by R. Cole Goodwin

Genealogical Periodical Annual Index provides about 15,000 name, location, or topical index citations to articles in about 350 leading genealogical periodicals. GPAI also has material published in book form.
From Napa Valley Genealogical & Biographical Society, March 2000

A new California "history site" opened in February 2000. K & K Publications of Martinez, CA went live with books and information dedicated to California history and genealogy.
www.kkpub.com (soon to be kkpub.org)

If you would like to obtain a free issue of The Family Chronicle visit their website or call 1-800-326-2476. Some articles include "Immigration at Castle Garden," and "Writing a Family History." www.familychronicle.com
From San Joaquin Genealogical Society Newsletter, March-April 2000

American Civil war site with Union or Confederate military-unit histories, and war related information.

If your ancestor was a railroad worker after 1936 check this site for information on researching railroad employees.
From San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society Newsletter, February 2000

There is a searchable Lutheran Web page that links many Lutheran resources.
From the San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society Newsletter, March 2000

The Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has a website with holdings and research services.

A new history magazine is out and you can sample it on line.
From Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County Newsletter, April 2000

This obituary site uses surnames as a keyword to search more than 290,000 full text 19th and 20th century obituaries from USA and Canada.

Chicago researchers, this site provides the name, address, and phone number of each of the 42 cemeteries of the Catholic Archdiocese. You can print a form to send for information on the person that you are researching.

The American Immigrant Wall of Honor has a site to search the Wall, place a name, or several other links

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Filing Cabinet

Things to File

Hamburg – Link to Your Roots

Do you think Hamburg might have been your ancestor’s emigration port? The City of Hamburg played a major role in emigration to the United States of America. It is the only city of emigration that has succeeded in keeping complete passenger lists from 1850-1934 in its federal archives. These lists include German emigrants in addition to millions of people of other nationalities from Eastern Europe. In a project called "Link to Your Roots," the Hamburg archives made available on the Internet the years 1890-1893. By the year 2003, the archive expects to be able to display the entire lists covering the years 1850-1934. Access to the Hamburg Passenger Lists may provide valuable information showing the emigrant’s town of origin, age, fellow travelers and profession.
From information sent by Ortwin Runde, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, 17, February 2000

Ship Guide Web Site
By Dick Finn

For those of you who are looking for information about ships, ship passenger lists, pictures of ships, etc., the following site maybe of interest:
I found the ship that my grandfather’s family came to America on in December 1902. Some of you may remember the diary that his Aunt Jennie wrote of their trip across the Atlantic and the boiler blowing up. Reading about the ship I found out that all of the boilers were replaced in 1903. I guess that would have been some comfort to Jennie.
I hope you find something of interest also.

Finding the Maiden Name

Jackson County, MI, Genealogical Society claims nothing will give greater clues to maiden names than on mortgages and the witnesses to old wills and deeds.
In the 1800s and before, it was traditional when the daughter married, as part of her dowry, for the father to either cover their mortgage or carry a note for his son-in-law. If you can find to whom their mortgage payments were made, 70% of the time it will be the bride’s father.
In the lower left-hand corner of most deeds, you will find signatures of two to four witnesses. The first is always from the husband’s side. The next is usually from the wife’s side to protect her one-third dower right under law.
From Napa Valley Genealogical and Biographical Society Newsletter, December 1999

Check Your Travel Guides
From Lori Codey

I stumbled on an interesting tidbit the other day that might be of interest to other members.
In the index in the back of my AAA Tour Book (this one happened to be the California/Nevada edition) I found a heading called "Genealogical Information" under the "Forts & Military Installations – Historic Buildings & Houses" section. This topic might be worthwhile to look-up in other Tour Books when traveling to other states.
There were only two places listed in the CA/NV book, so I don’t know how prolific or scarce the listings might be for other states. But it’s worth a try.
Editor’s note: Since I work at the Livermore Library, I checked a few of the AAA Tour Books for other states. I didn’t see a specific heading for "genealogical information," but I did see entries for genealogical and historical societies, museums, libraries, cemeteries, etc., that may be helpful in researching an area.

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Light Bulb

You Never Know

By Dick Finn

I have found that one can never know where you might find information on people on your family tree. I have been looking for some time for just about anything on the brothers and sisters of my great-grandfather. I had found out that his oldest brother, James Albert, left England about 1869 and was next heard of near Santa Rosa, California, in 1885. We know he was a thatcher in England and a farmer in Sonoma and Lake Counties in California. After his first wife died he remarried and had at least one child. The sad thing is that the one surviving grandchild does not want to talk at all about her parents or grandparents. For some reason all of the information she has she is not willing to share. To learn more about that side of the family I have been looking for great grandchildren who are willing to share information – I think I have found one.

A month ago all I knew about the second child, Elizabeth, was that she was born about 1849, married a London "bobby" named Tom, and had 18 children. A newfound cousin in England wrote me that someone in England was interested in the surnames Finn and Woodward – the very names of the parents of these brothers and sisters. I wrote the person only to find that he had passed away a few years ago. His wife was none the less very interested in the Finn/Woodward line. She confirmed that her husband was indeed descended from the same James Finn and Elizabeth Woodward. In fact his great grandparents were none other than Thomas Pryor and Elizabeth Eleanor Finn. Tom was in fact a London Metropolitan Police officer who joined at Scotland Yard in 1869.

The next daughter was Laura Alice born 1850 at Canterbury. She married William Jordan in August of 1878 at Chilham. We know they had a son, William, who was born in 1880 at Cheriton, but that is about all.

The next child was Angeline. We knew that she married a Charles Goodale and they had a son, William "Will" just before or after they moved to Australia. I had written a couple of Goodales in Australia, but with no response. Then good fortune smiled on me. I saw an e-mail from a person who was willing to get some information for a person from the Maritime Museum in Adelaide. I e-mailed him at once and asked if he would mind looking for Goodale when he went to the museum. He struck gold. Charles was not Charles at all, but James, the farm labourer. He and his wife, Angeline, and son, James had sailed to Australia on the good ship Forfarshire in 1874. The kind soul who found this information also called the three Goodales in the Adelaide phone book and gave them my address. I have just heard from one of them. He sent a picture of James and Angeline, their children, and grandchildren. The children match exactly the faces of two people I have in a pre-1900 photo album! Another child found.

The next child was Jane Mary "Aunt Jennie." Some of your will remember that it was Aunt Jennie who wrote the interesting diary of her trip from England, along with her brother, my great-grandfather, and his family including my grandfather. Jennie had never married but had a very interesting life ranging from being a general servant at the Leamington Hotel in London to being the wife of one of the wealthiest men in the village of Chilham.

The last child was my great-grandfather, John Edward, the farmer, gatemaker, thatcher, and lay preacher.

The bottom line is that whenever an opportunity arises, no matter how insignificant it may seem, take advantage of it. You never know what new information on your family you might find.

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Blue Ribbon

CGS Family History Fair a Success

From Jon Bryan

Thanks to volunteers Dave and Ann Shoemaker, Stan and Kaye Strickland, Mary Dillon, Mildred Kirkwood, Dick Finn, Leo Vongottfried, and George and Harriet Anderson who worked at the L-AGS booth at the Family History Fair. We handed out about 100 L-AGS brochures, telling about our organization, the Pleasanton Library and our web site.

According to Jane Steiner, pre-registrations were down about 15% this year, while the number of vendors remained the same. The number of volunteers to help organize the Fair was down nearly 50%, and without those volunteers, the Fair for next year may be in jeopardy.

One speaker who impressed me was Sandra Hargraeves Leubking, who seemed to be a bundle of energy. She flew in from Chicago and gave five presentations in the two days. I was able to speak with her and learned that she is a writer, an editor and is prepared to speak on about 40 different genealogical topics. I heartily suggested that she be invited back next year.

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The Genealogist’s Psalm

Genealogy is my pastime. I shall not stray.
It maketh me to lie down and examine half-buried tombstones.
It leadeth me into still courthouses.
It restoreth my ancestral knowledge.
It leadeth me in paths of census records and ship’s passenger lists for my surname’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the shadows of research libraries and microfilm readers,
I shall fear no discouragement,
For a strong urge is within me.
The curiosity and motivation, they comforteth me.
It demandeth preparation of storage space for the acquisition of countless documents.
It annointeth my head with burning midnight oil;
My family group sheets runneth over.
Surely birth, marriage, and death dates shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of a family history seeker forever.

By Wildamae Brestal

Sent by Peggy Norman from a list on RootsWeb.

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Donations to L-AGS

Some of our members have wished to donate books or other items to our group. We will be happy to receive such donations. The donor will receive a Thank You note to use for tax purposes, if desired.

Other members have wished to make a monetary donation on behalf of a loved one or friend. These donations will be used according to the donor’s wishes, or if none is expressed, we will purchase items for our Pleasanton and Family History Libraries.

We welcome such donations and our Corresponding Secretary will acknowledge the gift. If a memorial, an acknowledgment will be sent to the family.

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Last modified 10may04.0547 gwa