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The Livermore Roots Tracer

Volume XXI Number 1

February 2001

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 of 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:

Table of Contents

Member News Possible Genealogy Stamp? President's Message
Editors' Note Happily Surprised Queen Esther Montour
Using PERSI Scout Promotes Family History Livermore History
Paper Trail, Part 2 Past Programs Study Group News
Computer Group News Family Tree Maker Group CD Collection Update
Illustrate Your Personal Story with Maps Military Records and Replacement Medals From the Attic
Life in the Past Lane G.R.O.W. Things to File
Upcoming Seminars Newsletter Staff Donations



Member News
By Kaye Strickland

Our New L-AGS Members

Caroline Foote

Robert E. Garrison

Van & Phyllis Gilbert

Norman Guest

Gene & Dot Ives

Bill & Virginia Loewe

Barbara McDonald

Craig Oakley

Eric & Nancy Thompson

Janet Richardson

Stephen & Edith McLeod

Edwin Clarey

Patron/Benefactor members: James Bahls, Ted & Gail Fairfield, Helen Ortez Eberle

We have 200 memberships :


Individual Memberships




Family Memberships




Patron/Benefactor Memberships




Life Memberships




Honorary Memberships




Honorary & Charter Memberships




Total Memberships



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Cancelled stamp

Possible Genealogy Stamp?

The following information was forwarded to us from Kay Speaks, who received it from one of the mailing lists she subscribes to.
Earlene Flemming works with the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee. She said that a stamp honoring genealogy is "under consideration." This means that the first rung on the ladder has been reached. But this also means that it could be a few more years down the road before a stamp is struck – or it could be next year. She doesn’t know and won’t know until a committee meets and decides. No particular stamp has been developed and one won’t be until the final approval comes in from that committee. Then the Postal System will contract someone to develop a stamp and what year it will be issued. What is needed right now is a showing of support from all of us interested in genealogy and who would like to see a stamp honoring our fabulous hobby. We need to write "lots and lots of letters." Ms. Flemming said it is better to write INDIVIDUALLY to her office, not as an organization, and let her know that you would like to see such a stamp issued. Here’s the address:

Earlene Flemming
Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
US Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Room 4474, East Building
Washington, DC 20260-2437

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President’s Message
By Jon Burditt Bryan
L-AGS President for 2000-2001

Welcome to 2001!

I want to welcome both new and old L-AGS members into the year 2001 and the New Millennium.

I also want to thank all of our L-AGS volunteers who help us as officers, leaders, writers, proofreaders, cooks (don’t we have some wonderful goodies) and other kindnesses too numerous to mention. Personally I find us to be so lucky to have such a uniquely talented group of over 200 persons from different backgrounds who can help answer many questions – from genealogy and history to computers, software and other high technology.

Please keep your program ideas coming in to our board members for all of our meetings, especially our regular monthly meeting. Remember I am wearing the "hat" of the Program Chairperson until we find another volunteer.

In February we plan to have L-AGS member Doug Mumma update us on how useful DNA appears to be in helping him solve some of his genealogical puzzles. I view this as a truly "state-of-the-art" project. I am happy to report that Doug was included in the cover article of U.S. News and World Report for January 29, 2001. Our speakers don’t get an introduction like that every day!

In March we will have J. Carlyle Parker of Turlock, CA tell us some of the things we can do at our local LDS Family History Centers when we cannot schedule a genealogy trip to Salt Lake City. Carlyle has spoken to L-AGS before but that was probably over a decade ago!

You might ask what kind of a genealogical expert is Carlyle? A hint at an answer may be found by using search engine Google <> on the Internet and searching for "J. Carlyle Parker" + "genealogy." I found 95 hits with articles and presentations that this dedicated librarian has written or given for over 20 years. I notice that the Pleasanton Library has five books authored by J. Carlyle Parker including one titled Going To Salt Lake City To Do Family History Research.

I am excited to announce that L-AGS is getting more involved with genealogical education in 2001. George Anderson and I worked with Marlene Herget, a social studies teacher at Mendenhall Middle School, to plan a unit on genealogy in her 7th grade class in February.

What suggestions and references do you have for getting our youth more interested in genealogy? Does anyone have a booklet on the Boy Scout merit badge – Genealogy? If so, I would like to borrow it.

P.S. Recently we helped Gary Ingram from the Grants Pass area of Oregon with some of his genealogical questions after he posted some queries on our L-AGS web site in January. Since "we scratched Gary’s back," he is willing to try to help "scratch our backs." He is a member of the Grants Pass Genealogical Society and the Headstone Hunters who provide photos of grave markers if requested. Gary says that he will try to help any of our L-AGS members who contact him.

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From the Editors

We wish to thank all of you who contributed articles or other information to the Roots Tracer. We really do benefit from written history, research experience and tips, trips taken, and stone walls as well as successful breakthroughs. And we believe our readers enjoy reading stories about those Mildred Kirkwood ancestors as much as we do.

Some of you may already know that Vicki Renz will be moving in the near future. Vicki has been an excellent editor of the Roots Tracer and will be greatly missed. We are extremely proud of the Roots Tracer and its staff. To maintain the Roots Tracer we will need to find another editor to share in its managing. If you think you would be interested, please let us know.

One of novelist Rick Moody’s ancestors was a murderer who inspired a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne called The Minister's Black Veil, the Associated Press said, and Moody is now writing "a family memoir that will track his haunted ancestor."

Reprinted with permission from: Paper Roots: A Weekly Round-Up of Genealogy in the News, a free e-mail newsletter.

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Danish flag

Happily Surprised
By Anna Siig

While in Denmark recently, a trip to a local museum and archive resulted in additions to my genealogy files.

I was staying on a farm outside of Nørre Nebel in Vest Jylland. The farm, called "Nebelgaard," once belonged to my great great-grandparents. It is where my great-grandmother was born and where she died. My grandmother was also born there. Was I "home?" You bet! My great-grandfather’s home farm, "Kjaerngaard," is right up the lane. It is now a vacation "resort" for handicapped people and their aides.

The man who owns "Nebelgaard" and I call each other "half cousins" since his father’s half brother was my father’s cousin. He is the same age as I and is full of stories about family members, ways and customs of the area and is generous with his time, humor and stories. We had a great visit! And I found out after I left, that his wife has recently rescued a box of old photos from the damp of the barn. Am I going back? Soon as I can!

The museum in Nørre Nebel contains exhibits which show a lot about life in that area over the years. At the Blåbjerg Archive, in the same building, we were greeted by six people, all volunteers. They were pleased to help me find information and expertly pulled out copies of various files and documents they keep there. Before we could turn around, I had leads on family members, had verified one bit of information and had copies of all we could manage in the time we had. (The archives are only open to the public two hours each Monday and other times by appointment.) Well-done copies of photographs of the farms at various stages were made and sent to me later. The copies of records and photos were quite reasonably priced. Copies of a legal document I have, regarding the one farm, have been made and will be sent to the archives. They welcome such items for their files. I was delighted to spend time with these generous, warm people and look forward to dealing with them again.

I want information from the town of Sønder Bork. Even though Sønder Bork is only about three miles away from Nørre Nebel, it is in another "kommune" (parish or township). Those archives are in the library in yet another town. Unless there is an archive hidden away there, the archive we saw in the library is rolls of badly scratched microfilm. The first roll we were given turned out to be the wrong one. We found a staff person who found the correct microfilm. It was only because my one great-grandmother has such an unusual name, Mette Kristine Hansine Nikolina Hansen, that we were able to spot her on the microfilm of the church records. After a frustrating and tiring time, my aunt and I made a few copies. The copies are barely legible. It was less rewarding and a lot less fun than visiting the archives manned by knowledgeable, helpful people and stocked with clear copies of the records.

Since 1968, I have been collecting stories and facts about our families in Denmark. Since I am the only one in either family collecting family information, I thought I had no avenues left but official documents, which are in various archives. I was delightfully surprised when I spent time with some of my mother’s cousins whom I hadn’t seen since 1947 or 1957. Many of them are my age and younger. I didn’t realize that some of these cousins have information and remember stories that my primary sources don’t have.

One of those primary sources, my aunt, shares information and photos with me but isn’t all that interested in genealogy. She was as surprised as I by the information some of her younger cousins know. Each time we visit, some new bit of information pops out of her memory, as it has with others. This time, a post card I borrowed from my aunt to share with the archives and return, disclosed an interesting story. Showing it to the man who owns "Nebelgaard" resulted in his telling me all about the family behind the signature on that post card. Great fun!

I know that one day I will go to the National Archives in Viborg and search there. However, it is much more fun to talk with people who heard the stories from those who lived them. Taking a tape recorder along next time will be high on my list of priorities. The continuing discovery of how strong the genes are and how far along the traits come has been fascinating. One bit of genetic information is about a blood enzyme that can affect our health. That is another important reason for doing genealogical work.

I have been blessed over the years with opportunities to meet five generations of our families in Denmark. It is a double blessing to have a chance to know some of them. I feel that through all this, I have come to know myself better as well.

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Queen Esther Montour, Pennsylvania, 1778-1779
By Mildred Kirkwood

Queen Esther Montour and her sister, Catherine Montour, were granddaughters of my 7th great grandmother. They were French and Indian, mostly Indian, and they were married to chiefs. The traders called Esther a queen because of her regal bearing. Queen Esther’s husband was a Seneca chief, Eghobund. They had one child, a son, Gencho. Catherine’s village, Shequaga, was at the south end of Lake Seneca. Their mother, French Margaret, had established a town at the mouth of the Chemung River, which Queen Esther took over after her mother’s death and it became known as Queen Esther’s Town.

In 1778, Congress raised an army to get the Indians out of the town of Wyoming in the Cherry Valley in Pennsylvania. Forts were raised and there were several skirmishes between the Army and the Indians. The Tories were also riling up the Indians against the Americans, and Colonel John Butler raised a huge army of 900 Indians to attack the Americans. Among the Indians were Catherine’s son, Roland Montour, and Queen Esther’s son, Gencho. Queen Esther went along with this army to observe her son’s heroics in battle. Instead, Gencho was not only killed, but his body was mutilated. This meant that his spirit could not join his ancestors, so Queen Esther vowed revenge and became a warrior herself.

On July 3, 1778, in the Battle of Jenkin’s Fort, the Indians captured 17 Americans. Queen Esther stood on a large rock dressed only in a breechcloth and war paint, holding a large club with a sharp, pointed rock fastened to the end. The Indians would bring a prisoner, bound, to the base of the rock. Queen Esther would scream "Gencho" and bring the rock down on the captive’s head. One by one, she killed 16 captives in this manner. One managed to escape and told what had happened to the others. (I understand that the rock is now known as Queen Esther’s rock and bears a plaque about this incident.)

In April, 1779, George Washington ordered the Americans to destroy the Iroquois League of Six Nations by going through the valley, burning the Indian villages, crops and orchards, and killing all the Indians they could. The Indians who escaped were forced to trek westward to join other Indian villages because they had no homes, belongings or food. One of the villages burned was Queen Esther’s town.

On August 29, 1779, the American army, led by General Hand, met the Indian army, led by Joseph Brant, at the Battle of Newtown. Many were killed on each side, including Queen Esther Montour.

This information is excerpted from The Wilderness War by Allan W. Eckert.

Montour County, Pennsylvania is named for Catherine Montour.

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Old reference book

Using and Writing Articles for PERSI
By Mildred Kirkwood

I recently attended a seminar class about the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and learned that the index only pertains to the titles of articles, not the contents. If you are looking for an article about John Smith, you will only find it if that name is mentioned in the title of the article. Therefore, if you want others to be able to access the information on your family, you need to put the name of the person, the dates involved, and the geographic location in the title of the article. For example, instead of naming my article in the last Tracer issue "My Cooper Ancestors," I should have titled it "Isaiah and Elizabeth (Montour) Cooper, 1778-1849, KY, IN, IL, OR."

Editor’s note: We will keep this information in mind for future family history articles that are printed in the Roots Tracer.

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Scout Promotes Family History

The following article appeared in Church News, Vol. 70, No. 31, page 15, and is reprinted here with the permission of the editor.

The 1850 United States Federal Census for Wake County, NC, is now available on the Internet thanks to more than 125 volunteers, 1,000 combined hours of service and a 14-year-old Boy Scout’s tenacity. Jason Bray, a member of the Cary 1st Ward, Raleigh North Carolina Stake, recently presented a 750-page census transcription to Susan Zolkowski, vice-president of the Wake County Genealogical Society, after demonstrating the census transcription on the Internet at the society’s monthly meeting.

Transcribing the 377-page census took five months, 100 megabytes of computer data storage, 50 pounds of computer paper and many community volunteers who helped Jason complete the Eagle Scout project.

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History 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

The First Fifty Years of Telephone Service in Livermore

Livermore is known to have been the 24th town in California to have telephone service.

The first instrument was installed in 1884 by J. O. McKown, a local druggist, who was also a stringer for a San Francisco newspaper. McKown was looking for some method faster than a telegram for getting news items to the paper. He was connected through the railroad lines that ran along the tracks.

News about telephone system expansion for the next ten to fifteen years is scant. Only random notes appear in either the Livermore Echo or the Livermore Herald. The Echo reported on January 7, 1892 that a new telephone line had been completed as far as Livermore the previous day. The paper noted also in October 1895 that "(T)he telephone office will shortly be removed to a building next to the Livermore Hotel…. Arrangements have been made whereby communication can be had through a telephone at the hotel from 8PM to 8AM with any of the night offices on the line." The Echo also advised its readers at year-end 1897 that "Brown and Beck have caused a telephone to be placed in their place of business, and customers may now order goods without the trouble of going down town."

At the turn of the century, the Sunset Telephone Company provided service. The company had two switchboards identified as Main and Black. The assigned numbers were switchboard-prefix and two or three digits: for example, Rev. James Stone was Main 381; J. H. Dutcher was Black 283. Later the very small number of rural connections was put on a Suburban exchange. Businesses and professional people generally did not include a telephone number in their newspaper advertisements, so those provide no clue as to the popularity of the telephone. The exceptions were Day’s Livery at Black 35, the Livermore Hotel at Main 34, and the local cigar factory.

Ad for cigar store

C. H. Acker, who was available at Main 61, ran a messenger and buying service, traveling to San Francisco each day to deliver messages and to buy any merchandise his customers ordered, provided he could carry it back to Livermore. In the early days, a customer could ring "Central" and she could often track down the person being called, following him around town, and when she eventually found him, deliver the caller’s message. Although there had been no notices of new telephone connections in the previous five years, the Herald reported in 1906 that the telephone company needed only a few more subscribers to reach 100, the minimum number required to qualify for night service.

Rival telephone companies began springing up in 1907. The first was Livermore Water and Power Company, followed in 1908 by the Midway Telephone Company, and in 1909 by the Home Telephone Company. These small companies, including Sunset Telephone, were absorbed by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph (PT&T) in 1915. PT&T eliminated the third digit in a telephone number, so that Main 771 became 77, and at the same time did away with all three of the old exchange designations. Businesses were on single-line service. On two-party residential lines, the first telephone had a suffix "W", and the second one a suffix "J": "W" was one ring; "J" was two. If a subscriber was on a four-party line, in addition to the "W" and "J" suffixes, "I" and "M" were used. With the change in telephone numbers, callers were told to ask for a number, not a name; otherwise "Central" had to look up the number in the directory which would delay the caller’s connection. Most rural lines provided up to ten-party service. In addition to the two numbers and a suffix, such as 25F (the "F" identifying it as a farm line), another digit was added so that a rural number might be 25-F-6, that indicated when "Central" rang six consecutive times, the call was for you.

The number of telephone service subscribers grew from 100 in 1906, to 200 connections by 1910, and 350 by 1917. In the fall of 1926, PT&T made major improvements to Livermore’s telephone system. It replaced the old magneto (hand-crank) exchange with a battery system and installed five sections of new switchboard capable of providing for 445 lines and 765 subscribers. Six hundred and twenty old-style crank instruments were replaced with the newer pedestal model. Subscriber numbers were unchanged: one house on Sixth Street had the same telephone number, 2-W, from 1916 until 1956, when dial service started here. (A neighbor in the same block had telephone number 2-J; let’s hope they were friends.) One more improvement to report: as of February 1st 1929, the telephone operator provided a time of day service.

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Kansas map

Paper Trail, Part 2
By Linda Trudeau

In my last article I wrote about the search which began with a father’s name on the birth certificate of my friend Anna. The week I wrote the article, back in October 2000, I received e-mail from a relative. I’d taken a name from a World Family Tree entry, and e-mail’d away! The cousin, by marriage, had family information matching all we’d found in the census reports. Over the next few days frantic e-mails back and forth. You know the type, "we’re so excited, we’ve found a connection, this is what I have to share, what do you have"…Checking e-mail several times a day, printouts, checking and re-checking names, dates and places. What fun! A week later she’s sharing family history documents completed 30 years ago: names, dates, places, family reunion lists, and the like. Somewhere other family members had done some cursory work, leading our search back several generations, and giving us directions in which to look for more ancestors.

A few weeks later, another e-mail from a 2nd cousin, another line of the family. Turns out she and her sister-in-law had been doing research for a year or so, and their families hadn’t ever connected with the line we were researching. So much so fast, more e-mails, trying to keep it straight, and the cast of characters growing. I’d e-mail to Anna with the latest developments, and at first we’d have to go over the lineage, but soon she had it down pat.

I was able to take the documents I’d received from one cousin and send them to the others, as well as all of our census work. They sent their work, and photos. Photos of great-grandparents. . . .their farm, their 50th anniversary party. What a treasure. It felt so wonderful to be able to assist in putting these lines together, not to mention gathering all of the information for Anna’s own files.

Somehow our e-mails made their way to other family members, including some first cousins who are in their late 70s and 80s. There was some skepticism with our story, and yet they were more than happy to share some memories of their Uncle James, Anna’s father. They described his home behind the county jail, when he was the sheriff, taking dinners prepared by his wife to the prisoners in lockup, the smells of their grandmother’s baking, and the rural farm life.

Anna provided me with a photo of her mother as a young woman, and her own high school photo. I took both of these, and a small photo from a newspaper article of her father, and with a bit of work on the computer, created a group photo of all three. Looking at them together, the resemblance to her father was striking. I e-mailed this to all the e-mail cousins, and received the same responses I’d felt the first time I saw it – "Wow! No doubt about those genetics!"

We were contacted via e-mail again, by another first cousin living here in California. He was so warm and inviting in his e-mail, what a wonderful response.

The e-mails all led to Christmas morning, when the new California cousin called to say "Merry Christmas" to his new cousin, and "Welcome to the family."

More e-mails and phone calls have followed, more research to do, trips to plan, photos to share. And to think, less than a year ago, we had only a birth certificate with a father’s name. . .

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Slide projector

Past Programs
By Debbie Pizzato, Program Chair

At the November meeting Margaret L. Ingram presented "Writing Your Life History." Margaret doesn’t let the fact that she lives in Albany, Oregon keep her from lecturing and teaching about writing life history. She has helped people interested in writing in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Arizona. Her lecture motivated you to get started with writing one story at a time, thus not such an overwhelming task. And although there are things to consider before and during your writing, she truly freed you to write the things you want people to remember about your life. For a small investment, she also provided a 52-page workbook she developed and published titled Personal History Workbook.

During December’s meeting several L-AGS members shared their experiences with genealogical research. Just to name a few, Norm Bailey showed how a very old bible and hand sewn samplers helped him find the Chapin family. David Abrahams talked about his uncle Alfred who carefully saved everything! And gifted storyteller Gary Drummond inspired us again to write down those family stories when he shared stories his mother told.

In January, L-AGS member, Dick Finn presented "Publishing a Low Cost Family History." Dick got his start from an aunt who designated him family historian and gave him two oversized scrapbooks loaded with photographs and documents. You know the kind – those with the sticky pages that we are not supposed to use for photographs and documents because you can hardly get the photographs and documents off the sticky pages! And of course, all of Dick’s family members wanted copies of the scrapbook contents. Dick took the scrapbooks to a shop, no longer in business, and had the pages reduced to a more manageable size, added descendant charts and created for his family a remarkable family history book. Since then he has created other family history books with great success. One of the examples he used was about 2 or 3 generations with history of the family, profiles of some individuals, chronological listing of major events, and family stories with photographs and family group sheets. Cost for 185 pages, comb binding, 20# paper, cardstock back and clear cover ranged from about $10.50 to $11.00 each. Upgrades will of course increase the price. Dick favors an 8½ by 11 inch book size and said that 60# acid free paper, although more costly, is the best quality.

The cost for one copy of his most recent work, done at Office Max, was $9.05 for printing on 24# paper, $3.29 for binding and covers, with an additional $1.00 for the front cover (a watercolor of an ancestral village painted by Dick), and $1.00 for a clear insert that covered one particular photograph, for a total of $14.34 with no minimum number of copies.

The quality of the photographs in the finished product was most impressive. He scanned them into Photoshop software, added text, and printed them on glossy photo paper with an Epson printer. The photographs added great appeal to the book.

For shipping to family members, Dick uses bubble envelopes and ships book rate through the postal service.

Dick provided a do-it-yourself tips handout. His family history books were excellent examples that said, "You, too, can create a low cost family history book!"

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Study Group News

Our first meeting of the New Year was held in January with our new leader, Kay Speaks. The topic, "Naming Patterns," generated many questions and much discussion. We had a group of people in attendance who are very knowledgeable regarding their various areas of research and were willing to share their knowledge of naming patterns with the rest of the group. We discussed the naming patterns of America, Ireland, Norway and other Scandinavian countries, China, Portugal, and Germany, to name a few. Kay brought several handouts on different naming patters, so we could take those we were interested in. She also referred us to an interesting book, The Book About Names, by Milton Meltzer, published in 1984. In it he discusses the history and philosophies of naming of many different peoples and cultures.

The topic at our next meeting, February 15, will be "Census Records," focusing on what can you do once you have found an ancestor in the census – where do you go from there? We will meet at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore, in a classroom with a telephone connection to access the census records on-line at See you there!

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Computer Interest Group (CIG) News
Dick Finn at

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 now and then. During the last several months we have had speakers talking about the use of scanners and also a talk on working to upgrade and restore your old photographs.

In January, we had an expert in the use of both scanners and digital imaging software, who spoke on the fine details of scanning and photo restoration work.

In the coming months, we plan to hear from software producers, what’s new in hardware and software that might help genealogists, and also which Internet providers will best meet your needs. Bring a friend.

During the school year we meet the fourth Thursday of every month except November and December at 7:30 at the Livermore Adult Education Building, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. URL for a map to the school:

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

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Green tree

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 Building during the school year, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore.

We are primarily a group of FTM users (from beginners - even those who have not installed FTM yet - to experts) who discuss problems and solutions, share successes, answer questions and in general help each other with the Family Tree Maker software. At some of our last meetings we have discussed why a person might want to upgrade to Version 8 of Family Tree Maker, printing useful charts and other documents, the subdividing of FTM files into subsections that can be sent to specific relatives, and producing a book using Family Tree Maker's "Book" feature.

All people interested or potentially interested in Family Tree Maker and related software are invited to attend.

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CD Collection Update
By Jay Gilson

The L-AGS 50-50 Purchase Plan for Genealogy CDs will be activated again in March, 2001, following board approval of the new budget. As you recall, we purchased the majority of our CDs in 1999 and 2000 with this plan, which calls for 50% of the purchase price to be paid for by the L-AGS member/donor and 50% by L-AGS. Our source for the CDs is Everton Publishers, which gives us a 20% discount, free shipping and no state sales tax – a true bargain. L-AGS members participating in the 50-50 plan have exclusive use of the CDs in their homes before they are placed in the Pleasanton Library.

Family Tree Maker has been working overtime to provide us with over thirty new CDs. We are anxious to have these new CDs in our public use collection, including such titles as New York in the Revolutionary War (CD143), Maine and New Hampshire Settlers (CD523), Ohio Soldiers in World War I (CD549), American Source Records in England (CD364) and Early Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi Settlers (CD527).

All CD titles and retail prices are listed in the L-AGS website <> on the CD Buy/Wish page. The CD titles and content description are also accessible from Family Tree Maker’s website <> by clicking on "Complete list" in the "Family Archives" Site Feature. The contents of each CD are displayed by clicking on the CD’s title.

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Illustrate Your Personal Story
with Maps

By Vicki Renz

At our November Study Group meeting, we talked about writing our personal life stories. I brought in examples of web sites that offered inspiration, topics to cover and ways to organize your information.. We also talked about commercial software, and an e-book that you can order and download to your computer, then print it out or only print parts of it as needed. There are also several books available that offer help in writing your story, including fill-in-the-blanks to help get those memories flowing. From doing that research, I gave everyone a sheet of twenty questions to help start working on their stories.

I started working on those questions in December. Although they can be done in any order, I started with the first one – "Who were your elementary school teachers? Write something about one of them." As I was listing their names, I included their descriptions and where their rooms were in the school, how far away the school was, etc. I decided I would like use a map to illustrate the distance instead of just saying "three blocks away."

I used MapQuest and put in the address for the house I lived in when I started kindergarten. When that map appeared, I noticed several options for making the map more personal and useful. Here is what I did:

Go to MapQuest <> and click on "Maps." Enter the address, city and state desired. Click on "Get map" and then the map appears.

Now, there are three ways to add more individual information to your map.

Scroll down to the purple area called "Show nearby businesses on the map" and choose from the several available categories. I chose "Gov/School" then clicked in "Schools" and the next map included my elementary school and my junior high.

On the left side of the screen, click on "Customize maps." Here you can change the title of the map, its size, its color and basic icons. I chose the "House" icon, changed its name to "First house in Lakewood" then clicked the "Update" button and there was my map with the caption under the house icon.

Also on the left side of the screen, there is an option to "Add locations." I clicked on it and added the address for the second house we lived in which was only a few blocks away from the first one. Then I had a map with the two Lakewood houses and the two nearby schools I attended. I customized that map again by changing the caption for the second house and its icon.

MapQuest gives several print options, but I didn’t want the map on a separate page; I wanted to include it as a graphic on the question page in my "Memories" binder. So I saved it as an image file on my computer and will be able to use it again without having to redo the customizing.

To save the map you want, right click (on a PC) on the map image. Choose "Save picture as" from the menu that appears. A window opens where you fill in the folder name and the file name for your map. Click "Save" and your map will be available for future use.

I have saved several maps – where my best friend’s house was, the first house I remember in Columbus, my grandparents’ houses and other houses we have lived in. So go to MapQuest and experiment with it. The maps you include will be a great addition to your life story!

P.S. from Debbie:

I have the complete address of my grandparent’s residence taken from a death certificate. I put that in MapQuest and was pleased to find the exact location. It also indicated railroad tracks identified as Santa Maria Valley Railroad, where my grandfather worked as a conductor. Now I can add this to my history.

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Bar with Bronze Star

Military Records and Replacement Medals
By Connie Pitt

A while ago, I decided to send away for information regarding my fathers military records. I had a one-page Naval record about my father but wondered if there were more pages. The information I had seemed so skimpy. I followed the on-line procedures at the National Archives and Records Administration web site, <> and filled out Form 180. In the ‘Other Information And/Or Documents Requested’ space, I wrote "Please send replacement medals," only because I had read somewhere, that Form 180 was also used for re-ordering them. I didn’t think that my Dad had ever won any medals, as he never talked about any, but I put it on there anyway.

About five months later, to my surprise, I received a two page report telling me about all the medals my father had received for the Asian/Pacific, European-African-Middle Eastern, and American Campaigns. He also received a WWII Victory medal and the record showed names of all the ships he served on. It showed my fathers occupation (working in a drug store after school) at the time he left high school in order to join. Dad never talked to us kids about his time in the service, so it was wonderful to have this information.

I called my older brother and told him what I had found out. He said that when he was packing up our father’s things back in 1987, after Dad had passed away, he found some medals; the only one my brother could find in his basement now (where he stored Dad’s things), was a multi-colored bar with the bronze star in the middle.

A month after I had received the two page report, a package arrived containing the replacement medals, ones like my father had received plus two different honorable discharge pins. The only replacement medal that was not included was the bronze star. They said that they do not re-issue these medals, but sent me a list of places that sold second-hand bronze star medals. There was no charge for the medals. I didn’t replace his bronze star because my brother sent me Dad’s bar with the bronze star on it.

On the web page that I used, there are also links to NARA pages for other types of government records that can be ordered.

Medal and pins

Three medals

Honorable Discharge Pin

World War II Victory Medal

Honorable Discharge Pin

American Campaign Medal

European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal

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Old trunk

From the Attic

Mildred Kirkwood:

From Grandma’s Remedy Book

The following items are from an old book I inherited from my grandmother Kirkwood. The binding and title page are missing, so I don’t know the name of the book or when it was published.

This book has many pictures and drawings that illustrate the rules for good health and the remedies for all kinds of ailments. Click on the picture for an enlargement if you are interested in reading this page.

Bathtub drawing

Cure for Nail in the Foot

To obtain relief from the terrible effects which sometimes take place from running a nail into the foot, take peach leaves, bruise them and apply to the wound. Confine them in their place by a bandage, and the cure is accomplished. Renew the application twice a day, if necessary; but one application is generally sufficient. Both men and animals have been cured in a few hours, when they were apparently on the point of having lock-jaw.

Imperial hair restorer

This valuable formula, which was for many years the private secret possession of the imperial family of Germany, has put a fine growth of hair on many a bald pate.

Formula: Burn sole leather (the soles of cast-off shoes) to a crisp, pulverize and mix with a small quantity of fresh lard, then apply at night to the parts lavishly, rubbing it into the scalp thoroughly. On retiring, tie up the head carefully to avoid soiling the bed clothing. Repeat every night for eight or ten days.

Vicki Renz:

Here is my Family Bible after being restored! As you can see, it is all in one piece!

This is a photo of the first page of recordings in the "Family Records" section in the middle of the Bible. My great-grandparents marriage is recorded at the top of the right-hand column. Restored Bible

If you recall, I reported last issue that I sent it to The Book Craftsman in Mentone, California <>. This Bible began with my mother’s grandmother’s family and has family information recorded in the center four pages.

It was returned on December 15 – just before Christmas, as he had promised.

He used the existing back cover and turned it into the front cover since it has a design on it. He reattached the spine and made a new back cover and new hinge papers. He repaired some pages, photocopied some and added some recording pages in the middle, so I can put down some more family information. And then he put it all back together! You can actually open it up and turn the pages and it won’t crumble away in your fingers!

When the Bible was returned, there was an envelope in the box with some items that he had found inside the Bible. There was a postcard of the Little Dutch Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, sent December 1, 1915, a scrap of a calico cloth, a little paper note written by a child, the title page of a small New Testament, a lock of hair about 4 inches long tied with a little thread and three braids tied together with a little thread. Of course I have no idea whose hair it is, but it’s a remarkable piece of family history treasure.

I am very excited about this project and recommend this company very highly. The pick-up and delivery process was very smooth and he was very prompt in calling me and giving me his estimate, which I thought, considering the poor condition of the Bible, was extremely reasonable. I have some small diaries my grandfather kept during World War I that fall apart whenever I open them. These will be my next project so that I can continue transcribing them for my family.

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Life in the Past Lane
An Assortment of Articles and Advertisements From Small Newspapers
in the Early 20th Century
Compiled by Mildred Kirkwood

Victoria’s First Hotel  From Wilma Myers

The hotel was built my paternal grandmother’s father. She was born in Victoria, B.C. I would welcome any information about the Colonist.

The Thistle corner building, known to all old residents as Bayley’s Hotel was sold to Mr. Architect Trounce yesterday for $20, and the work of tearing down began immediately. In a day or two nothing will be left to mark the spot where stood the pioneer hotel of Victoria. The Building was erected by Chas. A. Bayley about 1854 for hotel purposes. When the "rush" came in 1858, the upper flat, a mere loft, was furnished with cots and straw mattresses, and there the early gold seekers were wont to stretch their weary limbs at $2 per head, and gasp for breath in a fetid and overcharged atmosphere til the morning light forced its way into the apartment through tiny windows on Yates Street side.

In 1858 J.C. Keenan leased the barroom, til lately occupied by Mr. Thistle, and dispensed cocktails at two bits a glass.

At that period water was very scarce – the supply being obtained from a spring at Spring Ridge, and drawn about town in carts and delivered at people’s doors. Consequently a "bit" a glass for water was the tariff at all town bars. Yates and other streets were then mere lanes, although a city had been laid out and mapped some years before. It is said that Bayley accidentally built his hotel on the street line, and that rather than disturb what was then the finest building in Victoria, the surveyors shifted the pegs and produced the disagreeable and unsightly "jog" from Government to Broad Street.

Other and better hotels soon arose and Bayley’s then closed its doors. It was next converted into a meat market, and continued as such until Mr. Thistle leased it for saloon purposes.

About 1864 a tragic event took place upstairs. A butcher named Gray was supposed to have conceived a passion for poisoning dogs with strychnine. He would call a passing canine and present him with a bone plentifully sprinkled with the deadly white grains. In a few minutes the poor brute would heel over and die. Everyone decried Gray for his apparent cruelty; but, as it turned out, he was experimenting in the interest of science – to ascertain the power of strychnine. When he had found out how long it took to kill a dog, he took a dose himself, and died in a short time. The old building will be replaced by a handsome three-story hotel. – Colonist – (No date given)

Will Exchange for Anything That Don’t Eat From Gary Drummond

Livermore Echo, January 7, 1898

Two cultivators; one sulky plow; one Stockton sulky gang plow; two single plows; one sidehill plow; one subsoil plow and extras; seed sower, second hand and new leadbars; neck yokes; doubletrees; clevises; chains; wire rope pulleys; scrapers; hayhooks of all kinds; crowbars; picks; mattocks; scrapers; saws of all kinds; two stoves; dishes; lamps; wagon-poles; buggy-poles; wheels; five spring wagons; four buggies; four carts; six lumber wagons; two complete hay racks and trucks; four buck rakes; one revolving rake; three mowing machines; extras to Tiger and Buckeye mowers, good as new; one Singer, one Wheeler and Wilson sewing machine; blacksmith outfit – a bargain – bellows, anvil, vise, drill; No. 3 tire upsetter; sledge; hammer; swedges; three bedroom suites, two walnut, good as new, guaranteed as two parties owned them; cupboards; meat safes; tables; water pipe; etc.

Call at "Nancy Hanks" shop, Second Street

The Accident From Dorothy Chappell

This newspaper clipping came to me in a small box of pictures. My grandmother, whose maiden name was Harbison, lived near Arbuckle when she was growing up. Joseph was a relative.

Monday Mr. Joseph Harbison ran his automobile in Geo. B. Brown’s garage, throwed on the brake, leaving the valve to the main power box wide open and jumped out. Immediately the car snorted, lunged forward as luck would have it, there was a blank space in the garage room opposite his car, sticking its nose in the concrete wall of the building and tearing some of its front fenders. Mr. Brown said if the building had been a wooden structure instead of concrete, that car would not have halted this side of the mountain summit.

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G. R. O. W.
(Genealogy Resources On the Web – The Page That Helps Genealogy Grow!)
Compiled by Frank Geasa

The Mexico/Arizona Biographical Survey has the biographical records of more than 18,000 Hispanic individuals, most of whom lived in Arizona before 1875. There is a list of surnames, the records are searchable and sources are shown. Also has links to other Arizona sites.

If you are interested in ‘Newfoundland Genealogy’, a site by that name offers inscriptions from many cemeteries, transcriptions of old wills, information on Fish Rooms from the early 1800s and links to several other good Newfoundland sites:

An ongoing transcription project at the Ricks College Family History Center offers a searchable file of over 240,000 marriages in the western states. The records are available for viewing along with the source of the information.

The book A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Before 1690 by James Savage has been scanned in to this site and can be searched online.

The links of ‘The Ethnic Cultural Network’ section of the Saskatchewan site could be useful to almost anyone, even if they are not researching that Canadian province.

For those with roots in Ohio, you will want to examine the site ‘Ohio’s Guide to Genealogy’. The site has great links to other sites focused on Ohio genealogy and has them categorized by type (cemeteries, marriages, etc). A handy category is the listing of the genealogy societies in Ohio.

A site offering a search of the 32,000 Civil War prisoners held at the infamous Andersonville Prison is available using data from the US Park Service.

Two indexes related to late 19th century marriages and deaths taken from small newspapers around Baltimore County, Maryland are available at the site

If you need a quick, short, rough translation, a site offering translations both ways between English and either French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or Russian is available at

For those researching Italian ancestors, an excellent site with a searchable surname database and many informative notes resides at

If those Italian ancestors were from Sicily, you will also want to visit a site devoted to that area. Among its offerings are passenger lists from the 1890s, maps and many good links to sites focusing on Sicily.

The Demographic Database for Southern Sweden includes search lists for births/baptisms, marriages and deaths/burials. Searches can be done by parish . The English version is at

If you are researching family in Ireland, a site you will want to visit periodically is the Ireland Counties CMC Project. Volunteers are contributing christening, marriage and cemetery records. There are presently eight counties involved and there is a query capability.

The National Archives of Canada is adding to the information they are putting on the web and asking what should be next. They already have an index of the WWI military records and the 1871 Census of Ontario available for searching. It offers advice on borrowing microfilm from them.

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Filing cabinet

Things To File
By David Oakley

L-AGS Future Programs

February 13, 2001 – L-AGS member Doug Mumma will give us an update on his project of using DNA in genealogy research.

March 13, 2001 – J. Carlyle Parker will present "Wanting to Go to Salt Lake City But Can’t."

May 8, 2001 - John V. Heyse will talk about "German Research - Finding and Using the Church Records."

Need Latin Translation?

For a quick translation of a few Latin words, the following site allows you to type in the first few letters of the word and receive a list of the words with that root. <>

If you permanently need a little Latin translated, check <> where you get two files, suitable for two 3 ½" floppies, that will do simple word translations on your computer. The dictionary is about 27000 entries, as would be counted in an ordinary dictionary. This may generate many hundreds of thousands of "words" that one can construct over all the declensions and conjugations. But this is a modest, student-size dictionary. The point of this tool is to help in simple translations for a beginning Latin student or amateur.

I went looking for "Vobiscum" as in "Pax Vobiscum" and couldn’t find it even just putting in a "V" and scrolling down to where it should be between Vix and Vocabulum. Then I tried to get from English to Latin with "Peace with you". I got lots of definitions of peace and pages of examples of with. So it won’t do everything, but it is better than going out to the library.

User’s Favorite Websites

Top Genealogy Websites – Family Chronicle is surveying experienced web surfers to determine which of the web’s 1,300+ genealogy sites are not to be missed. They’re particularly interested in discovering "hidden gems" – little-known sites with a lot to offer. At <> there is currently a list of 172 sites that have been mentioned in voter’s ten-best lists. The top sites are the ones we are familiar with, of course. But for new people, you soon get to sites I have never heard of. Even the 172nd site turns out to be of interest, if not of value, to me – it shows genealogies of royal families, but in German.

Mailing Lists

I found the article on mailing lists at <> very interesting. I recommend it for your file so that you can mention it to the next generation of genealogists who ask you how to get promptly into a group whose name you recognize. There may not be much in your particular line for a while, but keep the bait out there.

Birth Records May Be Out Of State

William Dollarhide has an interesting article at <>. He tells a tale of corrected birth records in states other than the birth state, Delayed Birth Records not filed in the State Repository, where to find Delayed Birth Records on-line, the Kentucky Delayed Birth Certificate Index, and where to look for records of Citizens Born Abroad. He includes all of this information and the stories of unusual locations of his father’s and grandfather’s birth records.

Determining the Value of a Farm

The following item is reprinted from "Musings and Gleanings from the World of History and Genealogy" with the permission of Heritage Quest Magazine <> and the author, Richard L. Hooverson <>.

The value of land fluctuated during the various financial panics that swept our country (1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907, 1929), and the value of a dollar changed over the years due to inflation and deflation.

An easy way to estimate the value of an ancestor’s farm is to check the "value of real estate" entry in the federal censuses (1850, 1860, 1870), then determine the size of the farm from deed records, plat books, tax records, or the census Agricultural Schedule (1900, 1910).

If a 100-acre farm had a value of $3000.00 in 1870, the value of each acre was $30.00, according to your ancestor’s estimate. By checking with a local real estate agent who specializes in rural properties, the approximate current value of the farm or a similar farm can be determined. This, when compared to the 1870 value, will give a rough idea of the ancestor’s wealth.

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Upcoming Seminars

February 16-18, Rialto, CA – Conference of California Historical Societies, Southern Symposium. Birth of the Inland Empire hosted by Bloomington, Etiwanda, Fontana, and Rialto Historical Societies at the Best Western Empire Inn, 475 West Valley Boulevard, Rialto, CA 92376.

February 17, Fresno, CA – California State Genealogical Alliance Quarterly Board Meeting in Fresno at SPCA.

February 17, Sun City, AZ – West Valley Genealogical Society Seminar with Birdie Monk Holschaw at the Lakes Club, Sun City, AZ.

February 24, Whittier, CA - The Whittier (California) Area Genealogical Society will host their annual seminar on 24 Feb 2001. This year's speaker is Richard Wilson, author of articles and computer books for genealogists. He will present a summary of popular genealogy programs, using the Internet for effective research and using a scanner to add photographs to your printed genealogy.

March 17, San Mateo, CA – San Mateo County Genealogical Society presents an all-day seminar with Myra Vanderpool Gormley speaking on four different topics, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, Geneva Hall, West 25th Avenue and Hacienda, San Mateo.

March 24, Santa Rosa, CA - The Ninth Annual Sonoma County Genealogical Society seminar features Helen F. M. Leary, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, just off Highway 101 at the River Road/Mark West exit north of Santa Rosa. Topics will be: Is This the Same Man, or a Different One with the Same Name?; From Present Residence to Former Address: How to Backtrack an Ancestor Who Has Moved; Time Lines and Real Lives: How to Use Ancestors’ Life Patterns to Find Their Parents; The Last Gasp: Weighing the Evidence. Pre-registration recommended, $15 members, $18 non-members, $20 at the door.

March 15-17, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT – Annual Computerized Genealogy Conference. For information, contact BYU Conferences and Workshops, 136 Harman Continuing Education Building, Provo, UT, 84602-1516; call 801-378-4853.

March 24 & 25, Pasadena, CA – Southern California Genealogical Society is sponsoring the 32nd Annual Jamboree in the Exhibition Building of the Pasadena Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA. For information, call 818-843-7247.

April 7, Sacramento, CA – Sacramento German Genealogical Society annual Seminar. Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the La Sierra Community Center, 5325 Engle Road, Carmichael, with speaker Dr. Roger Minert, noted German family historian. Subjects include German phonetics; personal names spellings; church, civil, archival and parish records research.

April 12-14, Salt Lake City, UT – Utah Genealogical Association presents "Forward to the Past 2001 Conference." For class list and registration form, contact UGA, P.O. Box 1144, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110.

May 5, Sacramento, CA – Sacramento Family History Center Spring Seminar at the Roseville Stake. See their web site for details.

May 16-19, Portland, OR – National Genealogical Society Annual Conference in the states – "Explore New Frontiers." For information, visit their web site at

June 2, Sacramento, CA – Root Cellar - Sacramento Genealogical Society presents Curt Witcher.

July 31-August 1, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT – Annual Genealogy and Family History Conference. For information, contact BYU Conferences & Workshops, 136 Harman Continuing Education Building, Provo, UT 84602-1516; call 801-378-4853.

September 12-15, Quad Cities, IA and IL – Federation of Genealogical Societies Annual Conference "Great River Bend Genealogy – A Heartland Gathering." Hosted by Blackhawk Genealogical Society of Rock Island and Mercer Counties, Illinois and Scott County, Iowa Genealogical Society. Web site, e-mail: , or phone: 1-888-380-0500

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B&W Logo

Livermore Roots Tracer Staff


Editors Vicki Renz Staff Contributors
Debbie Pizzato Livermore History Gary Drummond
Proofreading George Anderson G.R.O.W. Frank Geasa
Things to File David Oakley
Life in the Past lane Mildred Kirkwood
Printing & Distribution Mildred Kirkwood Computer Interest Group Dick Finn
Joyce Siason Family Tree Maker Group Dick Finn
Linda Trudeau Past Programs Debbie Pizzato
Library News Judy Person
CD-ROM Updates Jay Gilson

The following pages are still open for adoption:

  • From the Attic
  • Meetings/Seminars

If you would like to be responsible for one of these pages, please contact Vicki Renz or Debbie Pizzato for more information.

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Open book

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 9 April 2004 vlr, 10may04.0547 gwa