L-AGS color logo

The Livermore Roots Tracer

Volume XXIII Number 4

November 2003

Editors: Debbie Pizzato and Mildred Kirkwood, rootstracer@l-ags.org

Web Editor: Vicki Renz, webmaster@l-ags.org

The Roots Tracer is a quarterly publication with articles of interest to the genealogist.  It is published in February, May, August and November. Members are encouraged to submit articles of general interest. The deadline for each quarterly issue 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 rootstracer@l-ags.org.

Queries are free. Please send your queries to querymaster@l-ags.org.

Table of Contents

Member News President's Message CDs for the Pleasanton Library
Family Tree Maker Group Computer Interest Group Cherokee Research Query
Tri-Valley The Master Genealogist Group New Rules for California Certificates Jacot & Gerard Key Wound Pocket Watch
Are You Hiding Your Light Under a Bushel? Membership News Hillbilly Love Poem
Library News Using a GPS for Genealogy Livermore Valley History
That Flu Stuff New Genealogy Site Announced Revolution Records Housed in Pennsylvania
Lost, but Found G.R.O.W. Things to File
Pilgrim History Information on the Web A Little Humor Roots Tracer Staff


Member News

2003 Membership Chair Jane Southwick, membership@l-ags.org

Welcome to Our New Members

Bill Evans Gordon Jones Kit Richards
Glen Schimmelpfenig

Membership Report As of October 14, 2003

Membership Types and Number

Total Individuals

Individual Members



Family Members



Life Members






Honorary/Charter Members



Honorary Members



Total Memberships




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President's Message

President Dick Finn, president@l-ags.org

As I write this article my two years as president of L-AGS is just about up. I want to take this time to thank all of our members who contribute so much to the vitality of our organization. Some of them our general membership see - like our hardworking membership vice-president, Jane Southwick, and our other vice-president who is in charge of our very interesting programs, Mary Dillon. But behind the scenes are other equally hard working officers: our corresponding secretary, Kaye Strickland, and her husband Stan Strickland, our business manager. The other elected L-AGS officer is Marie Ross, our recording secretary. Without these hard working folks our progress would have been impossible.

In addition to our elected officers, we have others who contribute in so many ways. Kay Speaks leads both our Study Group and The Master Genealogist Group with much energy and Jim Lathrop has done a great job of finding some very interesting speakers for our Computer Interest Group.  The following people have taken responsibility for various other facets of our group:

We also have a number of other activities going on, some long term and others are one event. David Abrahams worked very hard as our representative to the California Genealogical Conference held in October. He is also heading up our very large indexing project of local records. Jolene Abrahams and a number of others are working hard in preparing for our November joint seminar with the local LDS churches.

I want to thank all of those behind the scenes (volunteers at the local LDS Family History Centers, those who helped on our seminars and indexing projects and at the county fair, our docents at the Pleasanton Library, etc.) who have helped with so many of our projects. Also we want to thank the wonderful speakers we have had the last two years.

Let me say again that for the size of our society our newsletter is tops. I review a number of newsletters and our Roots Tracer stacks up against any of them. A big thank you to Mildred Kirkwood, Debbie Pizzato, Vicki Renz, George Anderson, Eileen Redman, and all of the others who contribute in the writing, proofreading, printing, and distribution. Job well done!

All of our members should be very thankful for the work of our Nominating Committee: Frank Geasa, George Anderson, and Kathleen Young. These folks have worked very hard to find new leaders for L-AGS this coming year.

In finishing I ask all of our members to check their schedules and see where they can help L-AGS out. We are doing a lot for the genealogical community, but could do even more if we had more involved members. Please call any of the folks listed above and let them know where you can help out.

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CDs at the Pleasanton Library

By Robbie Robinson, cd.chair@l-ags.org

Currently, we have volumes 1 through 85 of the World Family Tree in our collection in the Pleasanton Library. Genealogy.com has just released volume 125 and we have the opportunity for any of our members who wish to do so to participate in a 50-50 purchase of these additional 40 CDs of vairous family trees submitted by people around the world, but primarily in the United States. Each of these CDs sells for around $40 and if you wish to buy 50 percent of one of these CDs, you can use it for a month before it is added to the collection in the Library.

If you come across a genealogy CD that you think should be added to our collection, please give me a "heads up" and we will take a look at the possibility of purchasing it.

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Looking at computer

L-AGS Family Tree Maker Group

Dick Finn, Acting Leader, ftm.chair@l-ags.org

The L-AGS Family Tree Maker (FTM) Focus Group meets  the first Thursday of the month (during the school year) at 7:30 p.m. at the Livermore Adult Education Facility, Room 11, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. The URL for a map to the school is http://www.L-AGS.org/sonoma.html. Note: the August and September meetings are held at the LDS Church at 950 Mocho Street in Livermore. The URL for a map to the church is http://www.L-AGS.org/mocho.html. Please use the back parking lot.

Most of our group are FTM users (from beginners – even those who have not yet installed FTM - to experts) who discuss problems and solutions, share successes, answer questions, and in general help each other with the Family Tree Maker software. At recent meetings we have talked about generating different types of charts that show specific information and generations, what is new with Version 11, and generating PDF and GEDCOM files. 

All persons interested or potentially interested in Family Tree Maker are invited to attend. For information on our group please call Dick Finn at 925-447-9652 or e-mail him at ftm.chair@L-AGS.org. Contact Dick for information about topics to be discussed. Visitors are welcome and there is no charge to attend. Bring your questions, comments, and handbook and if you have a laptop with FTM installed, you might bring it also.

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Laptop computer

Computer Interest Group (CIG)

By Jim Lathrop, cig@L-AGS.org and

Dick Finn, President@L-AGS.org

The CIG meets at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Livermore Adult Education Facility, 543 Sonoma Avenue. In the summer we meet at the LDS church on Mocho Street.

The purpose of the group is to assist members with computer related problems and share advice, information and horror stories. Recently we have had programs on the subscription service Ancestry.com, digital cameras, and using power point to illustrate a life. We hope to have programs in the future on search engines, drawing programs, scanning, and storage/organization techniques. Members are encouraged to suggest topics of interest, and suggestions for speakers are always welcome. Any genealogical computer related subject from software, to hardware, to web sites is appropriate.

Members with computer problems are encouraged to discuss their problems, and may call one of the mentors listed in the Members handbook or send a request for help (or a solution) to cig@L-AGS.org.

For information on CIG please e-mail either Jim or Dick.

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Indian girl cartoon

Cherokee Research Query

Norman Breazeal
jowbreazeal@hotmail.com    925-449-1823

Our family is trying to solve the mystery of whether we have Indian ancestors in our genealogy.

My grandmother showed an old photograph to several members of the family, a picture of my grandfather’s parents. My wife, cousin and aunt recall seeing the picture. Members of my family don’t know the whereabouts of the chest that contained family pictures. The lady in the picture was decked out in full Indian gear and looked Indian. My grandmother said the lady was Cherokee. She iterated several times that my heritage included Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indian.

My great-grandfather was William Marion Thomas and was married to Mary Jane Worley. William Marion Thomas was born in Missouri in 1850 and Mary Jane Worley was born in 1859. My grandfather was born August 30, 1876 in the county of Granby, Missouri.

The particulars we have located in the US Census are:

William Marion Thomas, Jr. (my grandfather) b. 30-08-1876 p.b. Granby, OK; m. 06-1900 p.d. National City, CA

William Marion Thomas (great-grandfather) b. 1850 p.b. MO; wife: Mary Jane Worley (Indian woman in picture) b. 1859 p.d. 1885 Barry Co., MO

We see, in searching on Cherokee Genealogy via Google, that Worley is a Cherokee Family name.

We would like to have more information about Mary Jane Worley and her parents. Mary Worley is listed as "W" (White) in the 1880 census. She may have been part Indian.

Thank you for your help.

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Sailing ship

Tri-Valley The Master Genealogist User Group

Leaders - Kay Speaks, tmg.chair@l-ags.org and Larry Renslow

Combining Filter Conditions Using The Master Genealogist

One of the powerful features of TMG is its capability to filter previously entered data. A filter lets you look at just a portion of your data. For example, all people born in Tennessee, all persons named Smith, all births in China between 1828 and 1910, or all places containing the word Paris. Filtered information can contain singular or a combination of data.

Filters are used to produce customized reports in TMG. Many filters are constructed using more than one condition, joined by one of the connectors AND and OR. Sometimes, it is a bit tricky to determine which connector to use. AND is used when both conditions must be satisfied. OR is used when it is sufficient that one condition is satisfied. A possible source of confusion exists because in some instances where the word AND is used to define the target group of the filter, OR is used in the filter itself.

If you want to find persons born in Australia AND persons born in New Zealand, the filter must be birthplace is Australia OR birthplace is New Zealand.

If you have three or more filter conditions and have both the connectors AND and OR, you can group the conditions using parentheses. TMG follows the standard rule that AND is applied before OR. However, it is a good idea to use parentheses to make certain the conditions are applied correctly. An example is a filter for all persons with a certain surname except those born in the last half of the nineteenth century. The filter must be :

Surname Equals NAME AND ( *Birth Date Comes Before 1850 OR *Birth Date Comes After 1899 ) END

Note: The asterisk * in the example appears as a check mark on the screen.

Without the parentheses the filter would find people with the Surname NAME who were born before 1850 and all people born after 1899 regardless of surname.

Up to eight conditions can be entered on the Filter definition screen.

Copied from the book, Get the Most Out of The Master Genealogist compiled and edited by Lee H. Hoffman, Chapter 11 – Filtering and Sorting by Allen Mellen, 2003, ISBN 0-9721567-0-4.

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New Rules for California Certificates

Since last July, only "authorized" persons have been able to receive "unrestricted" certified copies of birth and death certificates in California. All others receive certified copies with a stamp on the face of the document that states, "Informational: not a valid document to establish identity."

Under the California Health and Safety Code, Section 103526, those who claim eligible relationships must accompany mail, phone, fax and internet requests for certified copies of birth and death certificates with a notarized statement, under penalty of perjury, that the person making the request is an authorized individual. The Health Code defines an "authorized" person as one who is:

1) The person named on the record (The Certificate Holder).

2) A parent or legal guardian of the Certificate Holder.

3) A person entitled to receive the record as a result of a court order.

4) An attorney or licensed adoption agency seeking the birth record in order to comply with the requirements of the Family Code.

5) A member of a law enforcement agency or a representative of an another governmental agency, as provided by law, who is conducting official business.

6) A child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner of the Certificate Holder.

7) An attorney representing the Certificate Holder or the Certificate Holder’s estate or any person or agency empowered by statute or appointed by a court to act on behalf of the Certificate Holder or the Certificate Holder’s estate.

8) A funeral director who is ordering certified copies of a death certificate on behalf of an individual specified in Paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of Subdivision (a) of Health and Safety Code, Section 7100.

FROM: California Genealogical Society News, Vol. XXXIV, No. 5, Sept. 2003

Editor’s Note: I have a certificate with the stamp on it. I can barely read the information under the stamp!

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Jacot & Gerard Key Wound Pocket Watch

Circa 1871 – Model 83, N. 23583

By Douglas Mumma

Discovering a hidden treasure is always fun. While my wife, Joan, and I were cleaning out some junk (perfectly good things for which we now have no use), we were looking at some old pocket watches stored in domed display cases which belonged to her father and her grandfather, or so we thought. One watch of particular interest used a small key to wind it. Upon opening the rear watch cover, we found a picture of a woman whom we didn’t recognize. The picture was gently removed and we discovered a wonderful inscription engraved on the back of the watch cover, which read, "Presented to my Beloved Wife, Nov 14 1871, FWG". Now the mystery widened since this date preceeded Joan’s grandfather’s birth, so the watch couldn’t have been his. I pulled out Joan’s Gatter genealogy charts and there the answer leaped off of the page. On November 14, 1871, Annie "Tweenie" Elizabeth Gatter, was the first child born to Francis William Gatter (FWG) and his wife, Ellen Elizabeth Robertson in San Francisco. Francis was a ship captain, sailing the shipping routes up and down the Pacific Coast and to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). The San Francisco City Directory of 1871-72 had this entry – Frank W. Gatter, captain of bark "Fremont". So now we know at least this much history of the watch. The other wonderful treasure is this is the only known photograph of Ellen that has survived and few pictures even exist for Francis, so this was a double treat. We estimate that the photograph was likely taken around 1900, not long before Ellen’s death in 1901 in Tacoma, WA, at the age of 53. Francis lived until 1903, dying at the age of almost 62.

xFrontOpen1.jpg (20219 bytes) xBackOpen1.jpg (18326 bytes)
Watch open Back of watch open, with photo of Ellen
xinscription1.jpg (14841 bytes) xEllenRobertsonGatter1.jpg (10631 bytes)
Inscription Ellen Elizabeth Robertson Gatter, circa 1900

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Are You Hiding Your Light Under a Bushel?

By George Anderson

"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." Matthew 5:15

Matthew was speaking about religious teachings, not about anything so mundane as genealogy information. But if I can be slightly sacrilegious, I can paraphrase his gospel to say, "When you acquire family information, share it with your family." Don’t wait until you finish The Book. Don’t worry that it would be uninteresting to non-relatives. Don’t kid yourself that posting to the Web is the same as archiving for posterity. But do worry that you may never finish The Book and that some philistine — your executor — will trash your collection of old letters and photos.

Harriet and I have held to this outlook over the years. There is lots that we haven’t done yet and writing this article for the Roots Tracer reminds us to get busy again. We have published a few genealogy Books in full formality, with fancy covers, high resolution photos on glossy paper, index, table of contents, sources, bibliography, the works. These were printed commercially in at least 100 copies and sold at cost to relatives close and distant. We also donated copies to many libraries.

In contrast to these few Books with many copies, we have printed up more than a few books (lower case) in a few copies. Here is a partial list:

A slice of Danish life in 1832 - the probate proceedings for Christiane Margrethe Pedersdatter. 30 pages.

The diary of Tena A. Nelson for her trip to Denmark and Norway in 1902. 25 pages.

The 1923-1925 diary of Josephine Christine Marie Nielsen Hansen. 71 pages, 3 audiotapes of commentary by her daughter, Alvina Hansen Martinson, Harriet’s mother.

My Dear Beulah ... Letters from George Anderson Sr. to Beulah Black during the year before they were married. 63 pages.

From somewhere in France, 1918; letters to his family from Sgt. George Anderson with the American Expeditionary Force in the Great World War. 192 pages.

Dear Mother, Bros. and Sisters; Letters from George Anderson Sr. to his family in Kansas City, Missouri, from 1944 to 1952. 191 pages.

Elva’s Little Book of Inspirations; a notebook of religious and philosophical quotations collected by Elva Label née Black, 1895-2000. 106 pages.

Hjemkomsten: Two Harriets in Norway; my [Harriet’s] diary for the trip to Norway with Aunt Harriet Sybilrud in September and October, 1983. 32 pages.

Rev. James Dunn, 1732-1823; An index compiled by G. W. Anderson to parts of an 1891 book by Benjamin J. Gunn. 64 pages.

Jonathan Davis, 1730-1818, and his wife, Lucy Gibbs, 1738-1818, and their descendants. 38 pages.

Early records of the LeSueur River Church of Waseca and Steele Counties, Minnesota. 48 pages.

Paternal Ancestors of Bronwen Kari Bakke. 159 pages.

Hans Nikolaisen Holte (1801-1879) - a partial list of his descendants in Norway and America. 59 pages.

Some Norwegian Ancestors of Leah Liane Sanderson. 102 pages.

Maternal Ancestors of Margit Kristi Stamberg. 170 pages.

Descendants of Samuel Alexander Black, 1814-1902 and his wife Sarah Jane Dunn, 1825-1969. 63 pages.

The Olerud Family of Hadeland, Norway. 58 pages.

A more complete list of our books is on our family Web site at http://home.comcast.net/~gwajr/welcome.html.

We printed these books (published is too lofty a word) in less than 10 copies at minimum cost. We often used our home copier, sometimes with binding at Kinkos. Often there was minimum creative input from us, just a reprinting of some historical documents or letters that deserve to be shared and preserved. None of these minor books were sold. We gave them to close relatives at our expense for several reasons: to help the chances that at least one copy would survive the ages; to raise awareness among family members of our common heritage; to recruit the younger generations into the pursuit of family history and to repay those who gave us data or did us other non-genealogical favors.

The next verse in Matthew’s sermon reads, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works ..." A less sublime version would be, "Don’t hide thy genealogy - get it out there!"

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Membership News

By Jane Southwick

The winner of our membership prize given at the California State Genealogical Alliance Seminar in Foster City on October 18, 2003 was won by Glen Schimelpfenig of El Cerrito. We welcome him as a new member.

It is time to start membership renewals. We are now accepting dues for the calendar year of 2004. The cost is $18 for Individual membership and $25 for Family membership. You can give a check to Jane Southwick at the General Meetings or mail it to Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 901, Livermore, CA 94551-0901.

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Girl with pigtails

Hillbilly Love Poem

By Mildred Kirkwood

I received this from a cousin. I have no idea where he got it, or who wrote it.

Suzie Anne done fell in love;
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy ‘bout it all
She told her Pappy so.
Pappy told her, "Susie gal,
You’ll have to find another.
I’d just as soon your Ma don’t know,
But Joe is your half brother."
So Susie put aside her Joe
And planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
He said, "There’s trouble still...
You can’t marry Will, my gal,
And please don’t tell your Mother,
But Will and Joe and several more
I know is your half brother."
But Mama knew and said, "My child,
Just do what makes you happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe.
You ain’t no kin to Pappy.


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Library News

By Judy Person

The Pleasanton Library, according to Carl Cousineau, Services Manager, has no complaints about our collection, or anything we do. (My sense is that they’re grateful for the products and services we provide.)

We’ve wondered about two new computers, and Carl told us that the city has them on order with Dell, but Dell has some huge order and is not supplying the city until that order is filled. They will be Pentium 4s, with flat screens. That brings up the wireless network for connection to the Internet, which is somewhere on the list for the city Information Technology people. The Library Director, Julie Farnsworth, has inquired (and pushed a bit), but there are technical problems, as well as financial considerations. All public services are just hoping not to get cut way back in case the state withdraws even more sources of local income. The library is glad just to have the same services, and that they didn’t have to cut staff.

Some of our books have been on low shelves, which makes it difficult to read the titles, call numbers, etc. Carl is having library staff put our magazines on the lowest shelves, putting the bottom books where the magazines were.

We wish the Bay Area library consortium, BALIS, would subscribe to genealogy databases, like Ancestry+ and Genealogy.com, but Carl explained that member library systems vote on which databases they want, and there haven’t been enough willing to vote for the genealogy ones. I wish genealogists in the other systems would fuss and not just give up on their libraries. Squeaking wheels get the grease.

It has been noted that we could use more CDs and books on Scotland. Be sure to let us know if you have other suggestions.

The library has about 170,000 items in it, and is going to do a consultant-suggested re-arrangement, funded by the Friends of Pleasanton Library, to allow them to shoehorn in maybe 8,000 more, which would fill it to capacity. As it is, they have to remove a book for every one they buy, except that some are removed for falling poor condition and obsolete information. This wouldn’t change the location of our collection, except for the checkout materials, which will probably get shifted.

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Using a GPS for Genealogy

The following article is from
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
and  is copyright 2002 by Richard W. Eastman.
It is re-published here with  the permission of the author.

The U.S. Government’s Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is an excellent resource for locating old cemeteries, even small ones of only a dozen graves or even less. The information includes the exact latitude and longitude of each named feature. You can read the first article I wrote at http://www.ancestry.com/library/view/columns/eastman/5499.asp.

The geographic coordinates are useful for a couple of purposes. First of all, it is rather easy to find exact latitude and longitude of the cemetery on GNIS and then to find those coordinates on a good map of the area. However, with the use of a high-tech device, you can also easily obtain real-time instructions on how to drive directly to the cemetery.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) consists of a constellation of 24 active satellites (and one or more in-orbit spares) orbiting the earth every 12 hours. Four satellites are located in each of six orbits. The orbits are distributed evenly around the earth and are inclined 55 degrees from the equator. The satellites orbit at an altitude of about 11,000 nautical miles. These satellites broadcast time information that is accurate to a few microseconds. Receivers on the ground can decode these time signals, apply some mathematics, and thereby determine the exact location of the ground receiver, plus or minus fifty feet or less.

Global Positioning System was first used by the military some years ago and then, soon after, was adopted by the airlines. Using this technology, airline pilots and military personnel can determine their exact location at any time.

The early GPS receivers had a price tag of tens of thousands of dollars. However, as the technology matured, prices dropped. About ten years ago GPS receivers fell into a price range that became attractive to fisherman, hunters, backpackers, and RV owners. In fact, recently I have seen simpler GPS receivers on sale at the local Wal-Mart store for $99.95. However, most GPS receivers typically range from $129 to $999 for consumer models. You may even find GPS navigation units built into automobiles, although usually at prices well in excess of $1,000.

The thing that fascinates me is that the $129 units are just as accurate as the $1,000 units: both both can determine your location within 50 feet or less. Paying higher prices does not increase accuracy. It does, however, increase the number of features available. As you move up in price, you find GPS receivers with built-in maps, larger displays, and color displays. The high-end units made for automotive use will even talk to you in order to warn you of upcoming turns. The computerized speech units are a major safety enhancement, as you do not need to take your eyes off the road to read the map on the GPS receiver’s display.

I have used a number of GPS receivers in recent years and presently have an eMap that is manufactured by Garmin (http://www.garmin.com/products/emap/). This particular unit is typical of today’s GPS products: it slips into a shirt pocket, weighs six ounces, operates on two penlight cells, and has a built-in map of all the major highways, lakes, rivers, railroad tracks, and other major features within the United States. It also has the capability of downloading detailed map information for a small area, including side streets and topographical mapping information. The eMap has a "street price" of about $175.

So why would genealogists use a GPS receiver? To find the cemeteries! If you wish to drive to a cemetery that may contain the gravesite and tombstone of an ancestor, you can simply enter the latitude and longitude of the cemetery into your GPS receiver, and it will point the way.

A few years ago I used a newly purchased GPS to locate several small cemeteries in Epping, New Hampshire. I was looking for the grave of Daniel Dow, an ancestor who lived in Epping in the late 1700s and early 1800s. I know little about this man other than his name and the dates and locations of his birth, marriage, and death. I was hoping to find a few more details. The fact that it was a warm spring day and I had a brand-new convertible sports car added to the enticement, of course.

I first looked on the Geographic Names Information System’s Web site and printed out a list of all the cemeteries in Epping, New Hampshire. This list included latitudes and longitudes. I then jumped in my sports car, turned on the GPS receiver, and entered the same latitudes and longitudes into the GPS receiver (which can store up to 500 of these "waypoints"). Once that task was completed, I started the car and sped off. I selected the first cemetery, or waypoint, and the GPS receiver pointed the way. When I say "pointed the way," that is exactly what it did. The Garmin GPS receiver has an arrow that points straight up if the desired destination is straight ahead. If the destination is to the left or right of your automobile, the GPS receiver’s arrow points in the appropriate direction. The receiver also has digital displays that show your speed, the distance remaining to the waypoint, and a lot of other information.

The roads in Epping certainly are not all in a straight line. It is a typical rural New England village with winding back roads, many of them unpaved. I could not always follow in the exact direction that the arrow indicated, but I usually was able to go in the approximate direction. As I got closer and closer to the designated cemetery, the digital readout for "distance remaining" approached zero.

I easily found several larger cemeteries, but all proved to have no evidence of my elusive ancestor. I punched in the coordinates for the final cemetery on the list and headed off, following the advice of the GPS arrow. I soon found myself on an unpaved road that led through dairy farming country. The "distance remaining" display kept counting down, one mile, one-half mile, five hundred feet, one hundred feet, fifty feet. I didn’t see a cemetery and continued driving. However, the "distance remaining" started counting back up again.

I turned around at the next farmhouse and headed back. The "distance remaining" display repeated the earlier scenario. It counted down to thirty feet and then started counting up again, all with no cemetery in sight.

I made another U-turn and started a third pass although at greatly reduced speed. Again, the digits counted down. I then found that the display never went to zero. Instead, it would count down to thirty feet and then start counting up again. I overshot the location, so I backed up until the display said "thirty feet" and then stopped. The arrow pointed 90 degrees to my left. I turned the engine off and looked around. There was no cemetery in sight.

Being curious, I got out of the car and started walking to the left. I counted off thirty feet as I walked off the road and through the thick underbrush. At approximately thirty feet from my automobile, I stopped and looked around. Again, no cemetery was visible. However, I seemed to be standing on something substantial, even though it was covered with brush. I leaned down, pulled the brush away, and discovered that I was standing on a tombstone that had apparently fallen over many years ago and was now covered with New England’s finest thick brush.

In the next few minutes of poking through the thick underbrush, I found five more horizontal tombstones. With a bit of work, I was able to read the lettering on each. Thanks to the Geographic Names Information System and my GPS receiver, I had located a cemetery that was invisible from the road only thirty feet away. I doubt if I would have ever found that cemetery, had I been given a less precise description of its location.

GPS receivers have many uses besides genealogy. You can navigate down strange roads, find residential addresses that would be elusive otherwise, and even find fast-food restaurants while on cross-country trips. Best of all, a GPS receiver is the ultimate salvation for the male ego: you never, ever have to ask for directions.

I would suggest that a GPS receiver is an excellent tool, both for cemetery hunting and for non-genealogy purposes. If you have an interest in adding this high-tech marvel to your genealogy toolkit, I would recommend that you first spend some time on the Web learning about the capabilities of these fascinating devices. A few of my favorite GPS Web sites include:







By the way, I wish I could report some success in looking for Daniel Dow’s grave. Unfortunately, there was no trace of him in the brush-covered cemetery that I described.

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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 1918-1919 Influenza Epidemic

Between September, 1918 and June, 1919, 675,000 Americans died of Spanish influenza. It was the most severe pandemic in modern times.

Small communities like Livermore were less severely impacted than big cities. Seven cases of influenza were first reported in Livermore in mid-October, 1918. Dr. J. K. Warner, the Public Health Officer, issued the usual precautions - patients should be isolated and kept in bed, as the cause of death in other areas was identified as pneumonia. Avoid crowds and public meetings, and cough or sneeze only through a handkerchief.

Within two weeks the first local death was reported; the next week three more deaths made the news. One of these was a man found sitting in a chair in a local saloon. He was taken to an emergency hospital established in the Town Hall, but survived only a few hours. Another was the brother of the previous week’s fatality. Soon there were fifty cases in the community. Some cases were traced to three sources: one man became ill after a trip to Mare Island; another apparently contracted influenza from a visitor from Mission San Jose; several other people were apparently infected at a Red Cross dance at Tassajara.

Clearly the matter was rapidly becoming serious. The Board of Trustees adopted a set of regulations as a result of the epidemic. Card playing and dice shaking were not permitted in saloons. Chairs and card tables were removed from their premises. Crowding together in public places was frowned upon. Lodge halls were asked to curtail meetings; churches were discouraged from holding services; schools were closed. Even attendance at funerals should be limited to family members only.

What kind of measures could the townspeople take to lessen the danger of becoming infected? Small pellets of cotton could be placed in each nostril as a preventive. Instructions for making face masks were published. The Board of Trustees adopted an emergency ordinance that required any two or more people congregating in the Town of Livermore to wear face masks "except when partaking of meals." Failure to comply included a penalty of 5 days in jail or a $5.00 fine. Quarantines were enforced. The Town Marshal announced that he would "promptly arrest any person violating the quarantine," and warned any person from heavily infected areas to remain out of town until the epidemic was over.

In late January, Dr. Warner concluded that the draconian measures against the epidemic had proved successful. And, with only a few families still under quarantine, no more cases had appeared. Schools would be allowed to open by mid-February. But the townspeople were cautioned to keep their face masks on if they entertained out-of-town visitors.

By the end of February, life in Livermore had returned to normal. The town had gotten off relatively easy, with only 18 deaths, or 1% of the population, in the three months of the influenza epidemic’s greatest impact.

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Man in robe

That Flu Stuff

If you have a tummy ache,
If you’re weary when you wake,
It’s the Flu!

Is your memory off the track?
Is your liver out of whack?
Are there pimples on your back?
It’s the Flu!

Are there spots before your eyes?
It’s the Flu!
Are you fatter than some guys?
It’s the Flu!

Do your teeth hurt when you bite?
Do you ever have a fright?
Do you want to sleep at night?
It’s the Flu!

Are you thirsty when you eat?
It’s the Flu!
Are you shaky on your feet?
It’s the Flu!

If you feel a little ill,
Send right off for Dr. Pill;
He will say, despite his skill:
It’s the Flu!

He won’t wait to diagnose,
It’s the Flu!
Hasn’t time to change his clothes,
It’s the Flu!

For two weeks he’s had no rest,
Has no time to make a test,
So he’ll class you with the rest—
It’s the Flu!

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New Genealogy Site Announced

Familytoolbox.net has announced a new genealogy site featuring a variety of digitized original records. Called Sources2Go, the site contains over 20,000 digitized images of primary U.S. records including census, military, immigration and postal records going back 100 years. To view the site, go to Sources2Go.com. You can pan and zoom onto the grayscale images as well as see negative views of images. (Web editor's note: These URLs did not work as I was checking these links. I will try again and when I find they work, I will make them links.)

According to a press release announcing the site, "the images can be viewed with a JavaScript-enabled World Wide Web browser or with one containing the Macromedia flash plug-in. A high quality, non-watermark image on CD-ROM through the Family Toolbox.net online store is also available."

One of the many records available are images of over 29,000 War of 1812 military boundary land warrants.

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Revolutionary drummer

Revolution Records Housed in Pennsylvania

The David Library of the American Revolution, a privately endowed, nonprofit foundation devoted to the study of American History circa 1750 – 1800 is a treasure house of Revolutionary War Records.

Located in Washington Crossing, PA, the library was founded in 1959 by Sol Feinstone, who donated his collection of Revolutionary War manuscripts, his farm on which the library sits and an endowment. For those researching Revolutionary War ancestors, this is a remarkable source. There are 10,000 reels of microform and 40,000 books and pamphlets, a portion of which are British materials, some of which are located nowhere else. There are documents from the Public Records Office, other British repositories, Canadian and German archives and what has been described as a "formidable" collection of early American government and military records. Some of the microfilm deals with a large collection of newspapers and periodicals from the eighteenth century.

The facility is located at 1201 River Road, one mile north of Washington Crossing. There are several detailed web sites describing the library, the collection, directions, etc. Just go to Google, type in David Library of the American Revolution and make your selection.

FROM: "Kindred Spirits", Summer 2002, via California Genealogical Society News, Vol. XXXIV, No. 2.

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Thank you

Lost, but Found

By Irma P. Sohnchen, High Point, North Carolina

I would just like to say a special thank you to Dick Finn for helping me to find a lost side of my family. (She didn't know she was lost, but I did).

He was able to connect me with the great-granddaughter of Dr. John W. Robertson. I can now close those blanks after 10 years. What a great feeling!!

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G. R. O. W.

Genealogy Resources On the Web -
The Page That Helps Genealogy Grow!)
Compiled by Frank Geasa

The following site has links to several searchable online databases created by the Sonoma County Genealogical Society (CA) including Naturalizations 1841-1930, Deaths 1873-1905 and Cemetery Records 1846-1921.
If an ancestor or relative was from a British Commonwealth nation and died in either of the world wars, you might want to visit the site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Data includes name, rank, service, date of death, age, regiment and nationality.
If your Cuban ancestors served in the Cuban Liberation Army 1895-1898, you might want to visit this site, which lists the participants, many with considerable personal and family data.
If your ancestry includes Irish via New York City, you will want to visit this Irish in New York site, which includes descriptions of the neighborhoods, ads seeking relatives, marriage lists and a description of the gangs in New York.
If your African-American ancestor may have served in the 45th US Colored Infantry, the West Virginia State Archives would like you to visit the following site to see if you might claim some of the many unclaimed Civil War medals due those soldiers.
The following site offers a single gateway to the national libraries of the nations of Europe. The site includes information of their missions, collections, services and online offerings.
The Florida State Archives has a searchable index of the World War I draft registration cards as well as a database of Civil War pension applications.
The National Archives of the Netherlands has a growing online genealogy database (GenLias) with births, marriages and deaths from the Civil Register. An English language version is offered. Access is free but registration is required.
If you are researching ancestors from the original 13 states, you might want to become a Godfrey Scholar. For a very reasonable annual fee the Godfrey Memorial Library offers access to 150 years of the New York Times and a growing collection of digitized census records, old town records,; family histories and more. Courtesy of Eileen Redman.
If you are researching in Scotland, you might want to visit the site of the National Library of Scotland to see if a digitized large scale Ordnance Survey (1847- – 1895) of your town is available.
The Delaware Public Archives has searchable naturalization indices for the state. These are indexed by place of origin as well as by name. There is also a probate records index.
A visit to the site of the North Dakota State University Institute for Regional Studies offers online databases including indexes for Land Patents, territorial census records and naturalizations.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has recently updated PDF version maps of all the state’s counties, scale 1:100,000 available for printing.
An ongoing project to transcribe online the 1841 census for the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey can be found at this site.

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Filing cabinet

Things To File

Compiled by Vicki Renz

New SSDI Search Engine

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter (June 22, 2003) and is copyright 2003 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com/home/.

Another free Social Security Death Index online database has been announced. Even though there are already several such databases available, a closer examination shows that this one is different. It has all the features of every other SSDI search engine, plus 4 entirely unique ones:

Name Prefix Search – Enter from 3 to 5 characters for the last name and select the Prefix option. It will search on that last name prefix.

Year Range Searches – For both the Death Year and Birth Year, you can select to search a range of years instead of the year needing to be exactly right.

Age at Death Search – You can enter the age at which the person died. This is really effective if you don’t have any idea what year they were born or died but you do know their age at death.

You can click on the places that are returned in the results and get latitude and longitude, region information, aerial photos, maps, and more.

I tried the new database and can confirm that it works well. I really liked the feature that will automatically generate a letter to the Social Security Administration asking for a copy of the deceased person’s Form SS-5, an application for a Social Security number. You can directly print the letter, stuff it into an envelope, along with a check, and mail it to the address indicated. In a few weeks you will receive the copy of the original SS-5.

You can access the free Family Tree Legends Social Security Death Index database at http://www.familytreelegends.com/ssdi. The search engine will also automatically search the millions of records on GenCircles, looking for any records of the same individual.

Cliff Shaw, one of the developers, states, "I want it to be known that this SSDI search engine will ALWAYS be free." That is an important statement in this day and age of formerly-free services disappearing into for-pay sites.

Quick Tips from Ancestry Daily News

From Ancestry.com Daily Newsletter

High School Website Provides Clue

I just found the death date for two ancestors in the most unlikely place—a high school website. Ames High School in Ames, Iowa has a site with a feature called "Some have left us." I knew that several ancestors had never left Ames, and I had no clue when they died, but did know how old they were. I figured out about when they should have graduated from high school and the web site provided a death year.

Anne Miller, 27 May 2003

Check High Schools

My grandmother graduated from high school in 1910 in a small town in rural Missouri. Her memoir claimed she took four years of German in high school, but that seemed preposterous. I took a long shot and looked up the current high school. I called the office with what I thought was a silly request – records from 1910. A week later in the mail I received a photocopy of my grandmother’s entire transcript, and also her older brother’s. Check high schools and school system central offices – you never know what records have been kept.

P.S. She was right about studying German.

Janet Wright, 29 May 2003

Memory Joggers

Need help in getting your life story down on paper for your children and grandchildren? So do I. What’s a better time to start than now!

Make a special folder on your computer (or get a small (5x8 inches) notebook). Your first assignment is to make a list of all the vehicles your family owned, starting with the first one you can remember. Which one did you learn to drive in? Who taught you to drive? Which one took you on a memorable summer vacation? What was the first vehicle you had after you were married? As you write down your list, memories will come back, so leave room between cars to write notes about each one. Now go through your boxes of photos, looking for pictures of those cars. Scan them, and add them to your document to illustrate your list. Save them in the special folder on your computer.

Now we are on our way to getting our life stories together. More questions next time. J

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Pilgrim History Information on the Web

By Vicki Renz

As the Thanksgiving Holiday nears, here is a sampling of web sites that offer information about the history of the Pilgrims; their journey from England to Holland and back again; their voyage from England to America; their daily lives in the New World; and the history of Thanksgiving.

Mayflower History.com


Quoting from the home page, "MayflowerHistory.com is the Internet's most complete, thoroughly researched and accurate web site dealing with the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and early Plymouth Colony. This web site was originally created back in 1994 as the Mayflower Web Pages, and later moved to its own domain, MayflowerHistory.com, in 2002." The author, researcher and webmaster of MayflowerHistory.com is Caleb Johnson, who has studied and researched the history of the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and early Plymouth Colony for many years. He has edited and self-published several books, including The Complete Works of the Mayflower Pilgrims. He has also made several significant genealogical discoveries, including the discovery of the English origins of Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins. His article on the discovery, with all the supporting documentation, can be found in The American Genealogist of July 1998.

The web site includes:

Complete passenger list with links to biographies, genealogies and histories

Historical essays on the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and early Plymouth, including the history of the Mayflower; laws and punishments of Plymouth Colony; social roles of the men, women and children; religious beliefs of the Pilgrims; history of Thanksgiving; biography of Squanto; and accounts of the voyage of the Mayflower

Mayflower Genealogy Resources, including lists of passengers and crew; wills; useful addresses for researchers

Full text of some primary sources

Links to related museums and societies

The Plymouth Colony Archive Project at the University of Virginia


This mass of information was collected by noted archaeologist James Deetz and others. It includes searchable texts of court records, colony laws, seventeenth century journals and memoirs, probate inventories, wills, town plans, maps, and fort plans; research and seminar analyses of numerous topics; biographical profiles of selected colonists; and architectural, archaeological and material culture studies.

Plimoth Plantation : Living Breathing History


This web site includes views of a Pilgrim house and yard; Hobbamock’s home; and the Mayflower II; historical articles about the Wampanoag, the English colonists, Plymouth Colony, Thanksgiving, Myth and Reality; and Glossary. Online educational activities include activities for children and resources for teachers.

General Society of Mayflower Descendants


The official web site of the group that was founded to remember the Pilgrims and to share their heritage.

Includes some history of the Pilgrims and information about membership.

The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony: 1620


A study guide prepared by Duane A. Cline, former Education Chair of the Mayflower Society, for use by teachers, students, and anyone interested in learning more about the Pilgrims and their friends of the Wampanoag Nation.

The General Society of Mayflower Descendants is made up of state organizations. Some of those state societies maintain web sites with more Pilgrim information and activities. One that has outstanding information and several activities for children is The Pennsylvania Societyhttp://www.sail1620.org/.

Pilgrim Hall Museum – America’s Museum of Pilgrim Possessions


This museum houses Pilgrim possessions and Native American artifacts, telling the stories of America’s founding and traditions. The web site contains The Pilgrim Story, Beyond the Pilgrim Story, Thanksgiving Story, information about the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, biographies of passengers and more.

Thru the Looking Glass


From the voyage of the Mayflower to daily life, you’ll learn more about the Pilgrims here. Included are The Colonial Gazette, an entertaining daily commentary on life in colonial times; diaries; genealogies; a Document Center; and more.

Mayflower Steps


This site has an account of the Mayflower, its ties to Plymouth Barbican, the journey, its passengers, and more. Includes many photos of sites related to the Pilgrims and their departure from England.

Bassetlaw District, Nottinghamshire History and Tourism


Click the Tourism link to find two pages of information about the Pilgrims in England.

Bringing History Home : Go back in history as a character from one of these times….


Choose to be a character living in New Plymouth in 1636 and find out what life was like then.

Thanksgiving in American Memory (from the Library of Congress)


Includes the Congressional Proclamation, October 11, 1782; Thanksgiving Remembered; In Celebration of Thanksgiving; and the Thanksgiving Timeline.

The following pages from Scholastic are very well done – and not just for kids!

1620-1621 : A Picture Time Line


The story of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag begins before the Thanksgiving feast. Relive the Pilgrims’ first year in America and learn how the Wampanoag helped them survive in the New World.

Voyage on the Mayflower : Discover Pilgrim life as if you were there


Explore the Mayflower’s nooks and crannies, and learn what daily life at sea was really like in 1620. Meet the passengers and crew.

Plimoth 1621 : Find out about the daily lives of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag as you go back to the year of the first Thanksgiving.


Choices include: Life as a Plimoth Pilgrim, Life as a Wampanoag, and Daily life in Plimoth Village.

Thanksgiving CyberChallenge


Become a Thanksgiving expert. Visit web sites about the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag, and the famous harvest feast and learn new facts along the way.

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Smiley face pin

A Little Humor

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks!

From: "The Family Snoop," Merced County Genealogical Society, Vol 21, No. 6, June, 2003.

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Staff meeting

Livermore Roots Tracer Staff

Editors  Mildred Kirkwood
 Debbie Pizzato
Proofreading  George Anderson
 Vicki Renz
Printing/Distribution  Eileen Redman
Staff Contributors
Computer Interest Group Jim Lathrop

 Family Tree Maker Group

 Dick Finn

 Livermore History

 Gary Drummond
G.R.O.W  Frank Geasa
Life in the Past Lane  Jon Bryan
Study Group  Kay Speaks

 Seminars and Workshops

 Kaye Strickland
Things to File  Vicki Renz
Library News  Judy Person
Tri-Valley TMG User Group  Kay Speaks

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Last modified 11 November 2003 vlr