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The Livermore Roots Tracer

Volume XXIV Number 3

August 2004

Editor:  Diana Carey, 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 Family Tree Maker & Computer Interest Group
Library News National Archives - eVetRecs National Geographic Magazines
Puzzle High School Yearbook Finding John Marion Rigdon's Grave
Livermore History The Genealogical Helper G.R.O.W.
Scrapbooking What's in Your Medical Pedigree? MyFamily.com Web Site
Things to File Mail Order Bride England to Tasmania in 1836
Alameda County Fair 2004 Seminars Puzzle Solution
Roots Tracer Staff


Member News

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

Welcome to Our New Members

Terry Berry Maggie Maryon Pat Davis
William & Carolyn Fletcher Patricia C. Northam Richard Lerche
Dana & Joe Baca Marge Jergentz

Membership Report As of July 15, 2004

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, Jolene Abrahams, president@l-ags.org

Let's put our hands together and clap for the success of our L-AGS booth at the Alameda County Fair. There are so many wonderful stories our volunteers have told. It would be great if someone might gather them so we could publish the stories in The Roots Tracer. Anyone? Many THANKS go to the Committee of Jon Bryan, Frank Geasa and Leo Vongottfried for bringing this together. An equal amount of applause goes to all the volunteers who gave so much of their time to help in any way.

The next big project for L-AGS is the October 9th Seminar. It will be a one-day seminar with two speakers giving lectures, Leland Meitzler from Heritage Quest and Cath Madden Trindle. Heritage Quest will have a large vendor's table full of genealogy wares. It will be held at the Radisson Hotel in Dublin.

SEATING IS LIMITED! You can download the registration form from our web site. Or call Jolene & David at 447-9386 for a registration form. Cost is $25.00 per person, which includes lunch.

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Looking at computer

L-AGS Family Tree Maker Group and

the Computer Interest Group

The Family Tree Maker Focus Group is not meeting throughout the summer months. CIG will meet on Thursday, August 26, 7:30 p.m. at Sonoma School.

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Library Notes

By Judy Person

Judy Person will be meeting on August 10 with the consultant about space planning for genealogy in an enlarged or new library. If anyone has strong ideas, Judy would love to hear them.

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National Archives -


By Cheryl Lacombe

Anyone who’s been in the military knows that trying to get personnel records can be frustrating. The government has tried to simplify things by allowing online record requests.

Answer a few simple questions and print out a signature verification sheet. Fax the sheet to the number listed within 20 days of your request. The hardest part is the wait.

To visit this site, use the following web address:


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National Geographic Magazines

Need background information, photographs or maps of places in your family history? National Geographic magazine can prove to be a valuable source.

They've written articles about countries, U. S. states, migration routes across the seas and United States, including highways, rivers, and old wagon roads. There is information on military branches and specific wars. Many colorful people such as Buffalo Bill (Col. W. F. Cody), Daniel Boone, and many presidents, possible relatives, are included. There was even an article on the DAR story (Nov. 1951 issue). Sorry, I no longer have this one.

I am dissolving my collection of magazines from 1946-1995, with a few earlier issues. Any of these back issues can be yours for 10 cents an issue. I have an index for all issues from 1888 to 1995, which you're welcome to use to find your area of interest. (Hobbies too! They’ve covered a range of topics.)

If interested, please give Kathleen Young, L-AGS Member, a call at 925-606-7361 to arrange a time to meet or for a topic to look up.

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Puzzle Page

A Crossless Word Puzzle

The surnames of 31 well-known authors of genealogy and history, especially on our local scene, are buried in this puzzle. Start at the upper left-hand corner and follow the meandering path through the entire 450 cells. The path can go right or left, or up or down, but not diagonally.  Every cell is visited once and only once.

The clues below are keyed to the numbers in the maze.

Don't peek now, but the answer is farther down this page.

1. ___, Lyman Copeland, packrat of pioneer manuscripts 16. ___, Dan, "History of Tesla"
2. ___, Fray Juan, California explorers’ diarist 17. ___, Cyndi, the list lady
3. ___, George B., "Handybook for genealogists" 18. ___, Myron, "History of Alameda County", 1883
4. ___, George Keene, "Civil War genealogy" 19. ___, Herbert, "A history of the city of Pleasanton"
5. ___, Charles M., "The Atlantic bridge to Germany" 20. ___, Gary, "... architectural styles in the Livermore Valley"
6. ___, Elizabeth Shown, "Evidence!" 21. ___, Elizabeth Gorrell, "City directories in the Sutro Library"
7. ___, William, "Map guide to the U. S. Census" 22. ___, Anne Marshall, "The morning side of Mount Diablo"
8. ___, Bob and Pat, "The Amador-Livermore Valley" 23. ___, John Camden, "The original lists of persons of quality ..."
9. ___, Hubert Howe, eponym of a Berkeley library 24. ___, Rhonda R., "The complete idiot’s guide to online genealogy"
10. ___, Virginia Smith, "Dublin Reflections" 25. ___, Barry, tireless local historian and journalist
11. ___, Barbara, Livermore history authority 26. ___, Janet, "... the story of Robert and Josefa Livermore"
12. ___, J. Carlyle, "Going to Salt Lake ..." 27. ___, Myra Vanderpool, "Family diseases: are you at risk?"
13. ___, Tony, "Black Roots" 28. ___, Angus, "In search of your European roots"
14. ___, Johni, "The Source" 29. ___, P. William, "Passenger and immigrations lists index"
15. ___, Dick, of e-mail newsletter fame 30. ___, Melvyl, he of the library decimal system
31. ___, Val D., "Researchers’ guide to American genealogy"

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High School Yearbook Lists

By George Anderson

Have you benefited from data that has been posted to the Internet by volunteers in your ancestors' home localities? You can repay those volunteers for their efforts by posting additional data that you yourself might have about those localities.

I, and probably most of you, have high school yearbooks from our teenage days. A list of the names of the students from those ancient - in my case - times is obviously of value to genealogists. Many local sites already carry these lists.

The GenWeb site for Blue Earth County, Minnesota, where Harriet and I grew up, did not have the high school rosters for the years that we attended. So I spent a few hours digitizing them from the yearbooks that we have. I used optical character recognition (OCR) in an attempt to avoid keyboarding, but I am doubtful it saved any time considering the misreadings that had to be corrected.

Since we have a personal Web site, I posted the list there: (http://home.comcast.net/~gwajr/Mankato_HS/mhs_main.html). Then I corresponded with the webmasters for the county and state GenWeb sites and found that both wanted the data. The county webmaster posted a link to our site, and the state webmaster wanted to post the list itself. The editor of a semi-annual newspaper for old-timers from the county said she wanted to announce the posting in the next issue. Having a personal Web site is not a prerequisite for contributing your yearbook lists, because you can always just mail the data to the local historians.

Someday, after our Web site and the GenWeb sites are Googled again, a genealogist looking for, say, Eugene Brinkman, will hit on the list for Mankato High School in 1941, and (if it is the right Eugene) be able to pin him down in time and place, and be able to get a yearbook photo and other information from me or from the Mankato Library.

Once I was sermonizing some new genealogists with the well-known commandment, "Talk to the old people before it is too late." Suddenly it dawned on me: I am an old people. I should pass on what I know to the younger generations, even if they don't realize yet that they will want it someday. Contributing your collected information about a place to the historians and genealogists of that place is one way to pass it on, and at the same time, repay the volunteers in that place for what you have learned from them.

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Finding John Marion Rigdon's Grave

By Gary Drummond

The story handed down in my mother's family is that her grandfather, John Marion Rigdon, died of typhoid fever on January 11, 1886 and was buried at Hansen, Nebraska, a small town across the Platte River, six miles south of Grand Island. After his death, his widow and four children returned to Illinois where they had family ties.

Several years ago, I visited the Adams County, Nebraska Historical Society to learn if there were burial records for the Hansen cemetery. They were not immediately available, but I asked them to let me know if they found anything. Meantime I walked the cemetery in an attempt to find a stone. No luck.

Two months later, the Historical Society found that five gravesites had been purchased in the name of Marion John Rigdon in 1886 - close enough to be the person I was looking for.

More recently, I found the cemetery in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois where my great-grandmother, John Marion's widow and my grandfather's sister are buried. Guess who's buried there also - John Marion Rigdon.

Was the Hansen, Nebraska grave ever used?

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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.

Macon.jpg (63934 bytes) Livermore townspeople were fascinated in November of 1934 when they were treated with a view of the USS Macon, a U. S. Navy dirigible, as it flew over the community. One native remembered that the Grammar School children were given a "special" recess when the airship came over the town. He remembered "its shadow was just like an eclipse of the sun."

The Macon was the fifth in a series of lighter-than-air craft designed for naval scouting purposes. It was 785 feet long, twice the size of the Graf Zeppelin and had a top speed of over 85 miles an hour. It had a hollow steel hull, the inside of which was described as an open cavern of girders, cables and catwalks. Observation platforms were located at both the nose and the tail. Inside the hull were 12 large helium cells for loft. There were also eight large 560-horsepower engines that drove outside propellers. The propellers were adjustable either up or down to provide take-off and landing control.

The airship was staffed with 100 officers and men that were provided sleeping accommodations, a large mess room and galley.

A unique feature of the airship were five Sparrow Hawk bi-planes that were stored in the ship's interior. They were released by a trapeze and harness arrangement that was lowered from the Macon's underside. Retrieving a plane was somewhat more difficult because the pilot had to match his plane's speed with the dirigible in order to catch the trapeze "hook."

The Navy’s airship program was doomed in February, 1935 when the Macon encountered severe crosswinds off Point Sur and tore off the upper fins of the tail. Even though the fins were known to have been damaged, repairs had not been finished before the airship was ordered out for what proved to be its final reconnaissance.

The crew, provided with life jackets and rafts, jumped into the water as the ship neared the ocean surface. Only two lives were lost of the 83 crew members aboard.

The airship now rests in 1500 feet of water off the coast. Recently a fisherman led the Navy to the discovery of the remains. The Navy and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have been studying the remains using mini-subs. The group has been able to map the Macon's remains with a sonar-scanning device in hopes of being able to recover one of the rare Sparrow Hawk bi-planes from the hull.

(The hangar at Moffett Field is the last visible reminder of the U. S. Navy's dirigible program.)

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The Genealogical Helper -

Death and Rebirth?

By George and Harriet Anderson

When we started dabbling in genealogy 31 years ago, we did what every beginning researcher of the time did: we subscribed to "The Genealogical Helper" from Everton's. That company was 26 years old even then. The "Helper" was then and for many more years the only popular - as opposed to scholarly - magazine for genealogists in the U. S. As genealogy grew, so did the competition to Everton's. A few years ago, the Everton family lost control of the company and then just recently, the new owners also gave up.

The news went out this month along the genealogical hotlines: "Everton's is dead!", "The Helper, even with its new name, is dead!"

But wait! As Mark Twain said about the story of his own death, "The news is premature."

Dick Eastman, in his weekly e-mail column dated July 19, 2004*, reported:

... Holly T. Hansen, Vice President for Family History at Everton Publishers, Inc. posted the following message on this newsletter's blog:

Hello Dick,

You should be aware that there is false information circulating through the genealogical community as well as the subscription list of Everton's Family History Magazine (formerly the Genealogical Helper) that the company has closed. The truth is, the company is going through reorganization, with new ownership and management who are dedicated to returning the Genealogical Helper and company to its rightful place as an icon within the genealogical community.

The city of Logan, Utah, has secured the donation of the Everton Genealogical Library, and will soon be making the contents of the 60,000 + volume collection available to the public in a variety of formats. This is very exciting news, as the Library is one of the largest private genealogical collections in the US and contains invaluable resources for all those interested in family history research. As the former Editor of Everton's Genealogical Helper, I have been involved in discussions with a group of individuals who have worked tirelessly to save the Everton Library and bring this collection to the city of Logan, including Bobbie Coray, Verne Bray, Walter Fuller, and Scott Jackson.

There are plans to immediately bring back the design, format, and content of the Genealogical Helper, which for decades provided the most effective educational information, tools and research material of any industry magazine. Cutting edge technology in online research will become a prominent feature of the magazine. All current subscriptions will be honored.

This is a very positive development for the genealogical community. Stay tuned for announcements from the City of Logan within the next couple of days.


Holly T. Hansen
My Ancestors
Research, Retreats, and Products

* The above article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2004 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/ .

This drama is still unfolding. Maybe "The Handybook for Genealogists", like the Helper, will also arise from the ashes and resume its regular rollout of new versions. These good, gray standbys of genealogists have served us well for a long time. May they once again do so.

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G. R. O. W.

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

A Guide to Catholic-Related Native American Records in Midwest Repositories can be found at this Marquette University Libraries site.
If you are wondering which repositories have copies of commercial insurance maps such as the Sanborn maps for a certain town, this site might help you. Courtesy of George Anderson.
If you would like to see if something of interest to you exists in the various archives of the UK, the A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held throughout England, dating from the 900s to the present day. Search by a surname or keyword and see what comes up.
If you are planning a family reunion, you may find this non-profit site affiliated with Brigham Young University of interest. For a modest fee they offer a system that uses your supplied Gedcom file to print up to 80 generations of your family on a single 3.5’ x 6’ page.
If your are searching for ancestors in Colorado, you may want to visit this Colorado's Historic Newspaper Collection site which offers digital searching of dozens of Colorado's newspapers of yesteryear.
The following site offers searchable passenger lists of ships going to various places such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa but it focuses primarily on ships going to Canadian ports.
A site with many search lists of transcribed marriages, primarily USA but also other locations.
If your ancestors were from Northeast Vermont you will find many great search lists on this site by Janice Boyko.
A site with many good links to death indexes for the Chicago and Cook County Illinois area as well as links to death indexes elsewhere in the USA is at:
Do you have a document for one of your Scottish ancestors that has an occupation listed, but still leaves you wondering what he did for a living? Perhaps this site can help you.
The Berks County, Pennsylvania Government site has online search lists of birth, death, marriage and estates available at this site:
The following site has links to many good indexes of individuals participating in wars the USA has been involved in, up to and including the Viet Nam war.
This site explains the terminology of the various degrees of cousin relationships. It also has links to other interesting sites focusing on cousin relationships with discussions on such topics as marriage laws, customs, etc.
If you find your ancestor's photo in this online archive, the site offers it free for the cost of the postage to send it to you.
If your genealogy includes ancestors who lived in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York you will find links to numerous genealogy based search lists as well as to interesting informational sites at

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By Mildred Kirkwood

Have you thought of scrapbooking as a way to preserve your family history? We usually think of writing books about our ancestors, but what about your life and the lives of your descendants? What would you give if your ancestors had made a scrapbook about their lives?

I started a scrapbook about 4 years ago and had done a total of 3 pages! Then, I was at a Home and Garden show at the Fairgrounds and saw a Creative Memories booth. I stopped to talk to the representative and was given a free year of lessons, given by our own Connie Pitt. I started the classes last November and have been enjoying them immensely.

I am now working on my third scrapbook. The first one was about my grandson, Jesse, who is now 29 years old. I started it with the marriage of his parents and his birth. There are many pictures about his first day home from the hospital, with all the relatives there to welcome him. In the journaling, I told about how my dad, who was a strong man who rarely showed emotions, with tears in his eyes because he never thought he would live to be a Great Granddad. Everyone in the family took turns holding him and having their pictures taken with Jesse.

There are stories about Jesse from Grandma's viewpoint. I remember the early years of his life, which he doesn't. Making this scrapbook was a real adventure for me because it was like reliving his growing up. It is priceless to him, since he did not have any of his childhood pictures.

I also made a scrapbook about a trip that Jesse and I took when he was 12 years old. Every once in awhile, he will mention something we did on that trip and it is all included in his scrapbook – from the train ride at Fort Bragg, through Oregon seeing the aquarium at Depoe Bay (where the "Free Willy" whale was later taken to recuperate), watching the fish climb the fish ladder at Bonneville Dam, watching a bicycle race through Virginia City, exploring the Bodie ghost town, marveling at the Devil's Postpile and getting held up on a stagecoach ride at Columbia.

Now, I'm working on a scrapbook about my life. I hope my descendants will value it for the look back at how my life was before TV, computers, etc. Much of the time, we lived without electricity or running water, which they can't begin to imagine. I'm including scanned copies of my important papers – birth certificate; grade school, high school and college diplomas; marriage license; etc., so they won't have to search for them.

Now, I will also have to do scrapbooks for my daughter and my other two grandsons. Then, I can start on books about my ancestral families.

I think scrapbooks are a wonderful way to give my family the fun of looking at all the pictures and reading the journaling. My daughter says that I usually remember the most embarrassing things that have happened. Well, I think it gives human interest to the information. Where else will they see stories about themselves when they were kids and did funny stuff? I’m having a great time, reliving my life and the lives of my family.

I have now also bought a film scanner and am scanning all the photos into my computer in Photoshop Elements. This will give me tons of photos to use in future scrapbooks. I also intend to put the photos on CDs and put them in pockets in the back of each scrapbook.

Incidentally, Connie is also holding lessons at the Heritage senior apartments in Livermore. She is also showing the residents how to find information on the Internet. They are absolutely thrilled when she finds information about their ancestors.

Scrapbooking is now the number one hobby in the United States, and genealogy is number two. Isn't it great that both of the most popular hobbies fit together so well?

If you haven't tried scrapbooking, I highly recommend it. You will enjoy it and will be giving your family something to enjoy for years to come.

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What's in Your Medical Pedigree?

By Mildred Kirkwood

I recently had a very scary experience and I think it may be something that has happened in my family before.

The day before Thanksgiving, I bought a Turkey Dinner from Safeway and put it in my refrigerator. On Thanksgiving Day, I went to a movie with my daughter, grandson and his fiancée. The plan was that my daughter and I would return to my apartment and get the food, which would be taken to her house to be heated up for dinner.

While at the movie, I went to the bathroom and returned to my seat. That is the last thing I remember for 6 ½ hours!

They tell me that when I returned to the seat, I started laughing – to the point that people in the surrounding seats glared at me. On the way home, I told them stories from my childhood and cried. I told the same stories over and over and they wondered what was wrong with me.

When we got to my apartment, I opened the refrigerator door and started to cry. I said "some bad people sneaked into my apartment and left a turkey in my refrigerator!" At this point, my daughter thought maybe I had fallen in the theater bathroom and hit my head. So, she took me to the Emergency Room at Kaiser, Walnut Creek. They did a bunch of blood tests and a CAT scan of my head (to rule out an injury or tumor). All of the tests were negative. The doctor said it was probably Transient Global Amnesia, possibly due to a migraine headache. My daughter said that I had intermittently complained that my head hurt and a few minutes later would say I didn't have a headache.

The first thing I was aware of was being on the gurney going for the CAT scan, but I wasn't aware of the scan itself. Evidently, I asked the same questions over and over, without remembering the answer. My daughter would finally tell me "You’ve asked that question 3 times already." They gave me an IV of migraine medications (the name of which I don't remember!) and I was able to go home. Obviously, we did not have Thanksgiving that day, but we did have it on the next day.

This is frighteningly like the short-term memory loss that my mother suffered after several strokes and like her sister who has Alzheimer's.

My great-great grandfather had some sort of malady that we have been trying to diagnose for years. He would disappear and would generally be brought home by someone in town who knew him. He did not know where he had been or what he had done. After they came to Oregon on a wagon train in 1843, they lived on a farm and the neighbors were not close. When he disappeared, they would have to have a search party go out to find him. He was once found lying under a bush and crying.

Now I wonder, was he also suffering from Transient Global Amnesia? There is no record of his having migraines or "sick headaches" as my grandmother called them. But, in his time, there was no medication for migraines.

It's really frightening to think that, had I been alone, I might have wandered away and who knows where I could have wound up. It's bad enough to know that I talked to my family about things that I have probably not told them in the past. I told my sister that I had probably told all my secrets and she said "Yes and probably everyone else's, too!"

The Neurologist tells me that Transient Global Amnesia rarely happens twice to the same person. I hope he is right, but twice since then I have had intermittent headaches that were on the way to being migraines and I have quickly taken my medication to stave them off.

I can't help but wonder if anyone else in my family has had an episode like this. I have been interested for some time in medical pedigrees, and this episode has sharpened my interest. About the only information we usually have for an ancestor's medical history is what is written on their death certificate, but something like this is not likely to show up there, since it's not a cause of death. We are lucky in my family to have a book that was written by my great-grandfather's niece in which she told about his episodes.

There is an article on family health histories in the New England Ancestors magazine, Summer 2004, Vol. 5, No. 3.

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MyFamily.Com Family Website

By Shirley Siems Terry

Last fall, Wayne and I took a trip to Nebraska and Missouri to attend two family reunions and do some family history research. My annual Nebraska DAMKROGER Reunion is one we've often attended. The Missouri one, made possible by the internet, was an exciting first-time experience.

In March of last year, one of Wayne's DINNEL cousins invited me to join a private website on MyFamily.com that had been set up by some distant TERRY cousins. The Administrator is the only one who pays an annual fee (about $30) for the site. They did not set it up as a one-surname site, but all the families are inter-related having settled in Daviess County, Missouri. Most were members of the Old Scotland Church of Christ, which has a wonderful old cemetery where two sets of Wayne's great grandparents are buried. The church was founded in 1856 and may have been Baptist for the first years. At that time it was in a community named Madelaine, but is now rather isolated. In addition to TERRY and DINNEL, some of the other surnames are BROWN, FOSTER, HAMMON (D) S, SCOTT, STRETCH, THOMAS and TROXEL.

There are probably 75 active members of the site although another 50 or more have been invited. For the Member Profile, I believe only the name, e-mail and birth date are required although many also have mailing addresses, phone numbers, pictures, interests, etc. You can see all postings made on the site by that member. Members enter their user-name and password to access the site. Every time someone makes a posting or adds a picture to the site, e-mails go out to the membership, which include a direct link after which you can access the main page. The administrator for our site has evidently chosen for it to remain a private site, because you cannot locate it by internet searches or even searches from MyFamily.com, although this parent site does have a search feature giving contact information, but not a direct link, to sites fitting your search criteria.

The headings are Calendar, Photos, News, Chat, On-Line Family Trees, History, File Cabinet and Recipes. The Calendar automatically announces birthdays and anniversaries of the members. Members can set up a date and time to Chat. I haven't utilized the ...Family Tree section, so I'm not sure if you up-load your GEDCOM or have to enter the pedigree data manually. The History, File Cabinet and Recipe sections for our site are under-utilized. Often people do not choose the right category, as there is much history under both Photos and News. I would advise anyone setting up such a site to inform members of where to put things.

My favorite headings are News and Photos. Last summer while planning our trip to my family reunion in Nebraska, we decided to go on over into northwest Missouri to visit Daviess County where the Terry's, along with several other families from Indiana, settled in 1851. I had done lots of research on Wayne's lines when I first began my research in 1966, and we had made a very brief visit to Old Scotland about 1970. But we now had a new digital camera and more time to visit all the cemeteries, libraries and courthouse. I put a notice of our trip in the News section suggesting that we’d love to meet any cousins who happened to live on our route. My trip notice elicited a long chain of responses. Someone suggested meeting at a restaurant on the Saturday we said we'd be there. We were thrilled to have about a dozen people meet at Toot-Toots in Bethany. We spent about three hours eating and talking, then another hour or so with the administrators of the site at their motel. They and another couple agreed to meet us for church services the next morning at the Old Scotland Church of Christ. Almost everyone in the small congregation is related to Wayne through Terry, Hammond or Dinnel. One couple invited all six visitors to dinner in their home and we spent the afternoon sharing family history. There had been a funeral and burial the previous day, which kept our hosts from attending the mini-reunion.

One of the couples attending both the reunion and church service own the Colonial Rug and Broom Shoppe in Jamesport, also in Daviess County. The Amish moved into the Jamesport area in the 1950s and it is now quite a tourist town. On Monday, Jane left her husband, Larry, at the shop and took us on a tour of a number of Amish farms and businesses, which was lots of fun since she seems to be the self-appointed publicity chairman for the area.

I don't think I've ever had a more enjoyable trip (and as many of you know, we've lived and traveled a lot). We were gone from home four weeks driving 6,000 miles (4,000 towing our 30' trailer)! We had a spectacular trip, met lots of cousins, did lots of research, attended six churches with cousins at all but one, visited 25 cemeteries and took 600 digital pictures including about 400 in cemeteries. After arriving home, I uploaded 260 pictures, mostly of tombstones, to the Photos section of the website.

Last year's reunion was so much fun that another has been planned for this Fall, and we just can't miss it! This year it will include a buffet dinner on Saturday evening at a Terry-owned restaurant with church services and a potluck at Old Scotland on Sunday. With the longer notice time and all the hype on the site, we are hoping to meet even more cousins. So far, we know cousins will be there from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Virginia and, of course, California.

Old Scotland Church from the back. Old Scotland Church from the front. Tombstone of Robert J. and Susan M. Terry

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Things to File

By Jolene Abrahams

NARA Puts Databases on the Internet

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently launched Access to Archival Databases (AAD), a new research tool that makes a selection of the Archives' most popular electronic records available to the public, over the Internet. The URL is http://www.archives.gov/aad .

AAD provides researchers with online access to more than 350 databases, which over 20 Federal agencies created, and NARA plans to expand the system to more than 500 databases. In addition, this tool provides the ability to search, retrieve, print out, and download records. Another plus is one of providing important contextual information to help researchers understand the records better, including code list, explanatory notes, and for some series or files, related documents.

Notable databases in the initial release of AAD include:

Since the launch of AAD, thousands have flocked to the site; therefore, expect to experience a wait time.
NARA Press Release, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20406, phone 1-86-NARA-NARA.

From the Root Digger, April 2004

Veterans' Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched an online database of more than 3 million records of burials in its 120 national cemeteries.

The Nationwide Gravesite Locator, accessible at http://www.cem.va.gov contains records of interred veterans and their dependents dating to the establishment of the first national cemeteries during the Civil War. Also listed are burial records since 1999 from some state veterans cemeteries and from Arlington National Cemetery (operated by the US Army rather than the VA). The VA will update the gravesite locator nightly with the previous day's burials.

The basic search is by first and/or last name. You also can enter a first and last initial, or the last name plus a partial first name. The advanced search adds options for a middle name, birth and death dates, and cemetery.

Results show the interred person's name, rank and branch of service (if available), service dates, birth and death dates, burial date, the cemetery and its contact information, and the grave's exact location.

Before 1994, each cemetery kept its burial records on paper. Records for four cemeteries - Long Island, Los Angeles, Fort Rosencrans and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - are incomplete, so some burials may not be listed.

From the MoCoGenSo Newsletter, July/August 2004

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Mail Order Bride?

By Arleen Wood

My paternal grandmother, Hannah, died in 1907 when my father was 7 years old. My aunt said my grandfather, Lars Sogaard, was corresponding with someone. On the morning of June 2, 1908 he got all dressed up and left, returning later in the day with Caroline (Petersen), announcing "This is your new mother."

How did he meet Caroline? Did he know her in Denmark before he immigrated to Minnesota in 1891 at the age of 21? Perhaps she was his first love in Denmark. Marriage and census records indicated they were the same age (38), but nowhere do the records indicate where Caroline lived in Denmark before emigrating in 1907. Or did he advertise for someone in the Den Danske Pioneer, the oldest Danish-American newspaper in the United States?

A couple of years ago I contacted Den Danske Pioneer headquarters in Chicago. They informed me they did not have any archival newspapers for the years 1907-1908. Perhaps we would never know. Then this spring while reading the mail on DENMARK-D@ rootsweb. I found out that there were archival copies on microfilm of the Den Danske Pioneer newspapers at the Nebraska Historical Society, which were available for interlibrary loan. I ordered them through the Pleasanton Library and waited for what seemed an eternity for them to arrive. I went to the library the afternoon they arrived. I knew they were written in Danish, but to my dismay, the type was Gothic! It was not an easy read! I started "reading/scanning" the newspapers from July 1907, not knowing what they said, but hoping the name of my grandfather, Lars Sogaard, was unique enough to jump out at me. After a couple of hours, my eyes were glazing over and the sun was coming in through the skylight, hitting the computer screen, making it difficult to see. I decided I would read through the December 1907 issues and then come back another day. I was now down to December 19, 1907 and I was beginning to feel this was really stupid, maybe I was obsessed! Suddenly my eyes were drawn to a line which said Clements, Minn. On closer inspection, the name of my grandfather appeared - hyphenated, So- on one line and gaard on the next!


The translation to English is:

Housekeeper Wanted

An older girl or younger widow wanted as

housekeeper for a small family in a well-to-do

home. No small children. Write Lars So-

gaard R.F.D. 1 Clements, Minn.

Much about Caroline still remains a mystery to me. I wonder how she adjusted to the harsh Minnesota winters. A few years later, Lars bought a farm in Northern Minnesota where the winters were more severe. Perhaps that is why they moved to the Danish settlement in Junction City, Oregon in 1920.

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"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness."

Alex Haley

FROM: Genealogical Proverbs and Quotations in Everton’s Genealogical Helper, July–August 1994. Submitted by Erma McCue.

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A cruel journey: England to Tasmania in 1836

By Harriet Anderson

If we had a contest among L-AGS members about who has relatives in the farthest-flung corner of the world from here, I might win. Mine are in Tasmania, the island-state of Australia south of the mainland.

In the Roots Tracer for Winter 1985 I described a trip that George and I made to Tasmania in the spring of that year, searching for the home my great-uncle Niels Peter Nielsen built after he immigrated from Denmark in 1885. Niels Peter had settled in Eaglehawk Neck at the south end of Tasmania, married Isabelle Mary Jane Batchelor, raised seven children, then about 1900 had pulled up stakes and taken his family to New Zealand. As far as we knew, there were no living relatives still in Tasmania. Before Tasmania on that same trip, we had been in New Zealand and met a number of Niels Peter's descendants living there.

After enjoyably exploring the area around Eaglehawk Neck in our rental car, we pulled into a motel in the small town of Nubeena. While eating in the motel's restaurant, George idly looked at the matchbooks placed in the ashtrays on the table. Imprinted on the matches was the logo, "Nubeena Motel, Colin Batchelor, proprietor." Could he be a relative? We asked to talk to Colin and he said, yes, he was related to Isabelle, and he would ask his father to bring some of his family papers around the next morning.

Among the most interesting papers the father showed us was a typed transcript of the diary written by Isabelle's great grandfather, Samuel Elliott, during his sea voyage from England to Tasmania in 1836. Many "immigrants" to Australia were convicts sent there against their will, but Samuel was not: he was classified as a professional. We recognized the historic value of Samuel's diary, but had no way to copy all 11 pages then. When we got home, we asked a professional genealogist in Tasmania to locate a full copy of the transcript for us, and she did. She learned that the transcript is not rare, although the original handwritten diary has apparently disappeared.

When I corresponded with my newfound cousins in New Zealand, none of them knew of the existence of the diary, so I sent all of them copies. Samuel Elliott was their ancestor, although not mine.

The diary is much too long to print in the Roots Tracer. For those interested in reading it, we have put the full text on our Web site at:

http://gwajr.home.comcast.net/Elliott_diary.html   (case sensitive)

It is heart wrenching to read of the many deaths at sea. One of those was Samuel's own daughter, as he writes on Tuesday, the 3rd of January, 1837:

The old proverb says "Accidents seldom happen alone" and so we found it.

This morning my wife left the berth to get a little coffee I had prepared for her. The ship rolled so much that scarce anyone could keep their feet and my sweet little Betsy about 5 months old was actually tossed from the top berth on to the floor. She was apparently uninjured, but what we could not see she felt so that she died soon after our landing. About 8 p.m. the wind was blowing a gale, on a sudden the wheel broke and we were in an awful state for about an hour and a half, but through mercy we were preserved once more.

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cartoon game

Cartoon Game

Use your imagination. See what you can come up with for a caption for this cartoon.

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Memories of Alameda County Fair 2004

By Jon Bryan

First, let us say "Thank you very much" to our nearly 60 genealogy volunteers who served at Alameda County Fair 2004 at our Genealogy Booth! This effort would not have been possible without all of you. We had the Genealogy Booth staffed from 11 AM to 8 PM for all of the 17 days of the Fair.

We gave away about a 1,000 copies of our genealogy handout (also found under Genealogy for Students on our website) and about 500 copies of our L-AGS brochure! For visitors living outside our Valley, we offered a list of Bay Area Genealogical Societies.

Our special "Thank you" goes to Technology (Adventure) Building Coordinator Steve Perich and his fine crew including Jennifer and Rene. Every time we needed help from them, this crew provided it.

The organizations that were involved with volunteers included: The Josefa Higuera Livermore Chapter of The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Tracy Area Genealogical Society (TAGS), San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society (SRVGS), Tri-Valley Macintosh Users Group (TMUG) and Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS).

This year we widened our Genealogy Booth by adding screens to hold information behind our two tables. We had two PCs plus two Mac computers, which we used to "live access" various genealogy databases on the Internet with DSL connections. We added two printers, so each computer had its own printer. The Genealogy Booth added 50 % to the number of volunteer time slots at Alameda County Fair 2004 to cover from 11 AM through 8 PM during the 17 days.

In 2004, we had four different maps at our Genealogy Booth where visitors could place a pushpin to indicate their place of their birth - World, USA, California and Bay Area. We have had similar maps in recent years at the fair. For the first year our maps showed decreases in the total number of pushpins both for the foreign countries and the USA. Last year our pushpin count for foreign counties were down, but in the total count they were more than made up for by USA increases. This year the total number of pushpins was down about 19 %.










389 1,309 1,698

The pushpin count shows at least one pin for each of the 50 states. This was our second year in a row at the Fair for us to have all 50 states show birth representation. In 2002, we were close with 49 states, but failed to show a birth representative from Rhode Island.

California had 866 birth representatives in 2004 (1,108 in 2003), down by about 14 %. After California, our next ten States in 2004 were: New York (49), Illinois (47), Texas (43), Pennsylvania (36), Ohio (36), Colorado (34), Washington (33), New Jersey (32), Michigan (31) and Massachusetts (26).

We were nearly 25 percent down for birth representatives in foreign countries when 2004 (280) was compared with 2003 (371). The ten next largest birth counts for 2004 were Canada (44), Mexico (17), England (14), India (14), Russian (13), China (12), Germany (11), Philippine Republic (11), Australia (6) and Japan (6).

At the Fair in 2004, our volunteers tried to give more visitors a customized printout with their name and/or their ancestor's name on it using databases including the California Birth Index (CABI), California Death Index (CADI), Social Security (SSDI) and Census Records. I was using our VitalSearch subscription for CABI and Godfrey.org for census records. Our thinking was that visitors might retain this longer than one of our generic handout sheets as in previous years. This year I think some of our most treasured handouts were copies from census records.

At our Genealogy Booth in 2004, I thought some visitors were better prepared for us based on our four previous fair years. Some came with more information. Others said something like I intended to bring data about my ancestor, but I forgot. Can I come by your booth later during the fair? We certainly said, "Yes," unless it was the last day of the fair.

When I encouraged visitors to input their own data into the computer, I sometimes was amazed. Some could "type circles around me operating the computer." Youngsters barely old enough to be in the CABI (1905-1995) database would catch on so quickly.

One pair I helped was a daughter-mother couple, each using one of our computers. I first showed the daughter how to find her own name in CABI. Next I showed her that a surname and Mother's maiden name might show siblings. She immediately began inputting names of cousins born in CA. Then I showed mother how to use CABI with an unusual Italian name. We found several names, but she didn't recognize one older lady born in the 1920s among them. She asked if we could look up this person in the in CADI. It turned out this person was her Aunt and only lived two days after birth. This probably explains why her now deceased father never mentioned this older sister. He may not have known about her because it may not have been mentioned to him. I hope both this daughter and mother will continue their genealogy with this curiosity and wonderful problem-solving abilities.

Our favorite comment that we heard from the 2003 Fair was a compliment from one satisfied visitor who said, "This Genealogy Booth is the best booth at the Fair!" In 2004, we heard similar comments on several occasions. Please plan to join us at the Fair in 2005 and beyond as a Genealogy Booth volunteer.

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L-AGS Is Moving!

New Meeting Location

Starting in September, 2004

Architect's rendering of Congregation Beth Emek's new home in Pleasanton

This drawing was found on Congregation Beth Emek web site located at http://uahc.org/ca/ca010

The new address for Beth Emek is:

3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton

Located on the east side of Bernal Avenue

Across from McDonalds

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August 20: Military Records, Part II, Spanish American War to Viet Nam. Class/workshop will be at the National Archives, 1000 Commodore Drive in San Bruno, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. For information contact Rose Mary Kennedy, 650-238-3488. $15.00 payable in advance.

September 8 – 11: Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference; Austin, Texas. See www.fgs.org for information.

September 12: Nordic Countries, Finno-Ugric Cultures; Immigrant Genealogical Society, Burbank.

September 17 – 18: The Conference of California Historical Societies will have a symposium in Fremont at the Newark/Fremont Hilton, 39900 Balentine Drive, Newark.

Sept. 25 - Oxford, England: The Oxfordshire Family History Society's Open Day 2004 Demonstration and workshop. Details are still developing. Keep a watch on http://www.ofhs.org.uk/ .

September and October - The French-Canadian Heritage Society of California. A 24-day historical, scenic, and personalized research tour. About 14 days in the Maritime Provinces or 10 days in Quebec City and Montreal. For information, contact jimesther@aol.com.

October 1 to 3 - Romulus, Michigan: The Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) and The Polish Genealogy Society of Michigan (PGSM 2004 International Conference. For information, contact http://feefhs.org .

October 9: L-AGS Seminar – see our web site for information! www.L-AGS.org 

October 10 to 16 - Salt Lake City, Utah: The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH). For information http://www.isbgfh.org

October 23 - Chicago, Illinois: Newberry's Family History Open House. Features lectures, tours, and information booths that will acquaint visitors with the Newberry Library's facilities, staff, and resources. Admission is free. For information, http://www.newberry.org/nl/genealogy/L3gfriends.html .

November 12: Growing Tree You Can’t Climb; Immigrant Genealogical Society, Burbank

Nov. 17 to 19 - Albany, New York: The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Assisted research at the New York State Library and Archives. For information contact education@nygbs.org .

April 23, 2005 - Santa Rosa, California: Sandra Luebking will be the featured speaker at the next Sonoma County Genealogical Society all-day seminar. Details can be found at  http://www.rootsweb.com/~cascgs/luebking.htm .

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Puzzle Solution

Noted Genealogists and Historians

31 well-known authors of genealogy and history, especially on our local scene.

1. Draper, Lyman Copeland, packrat of pioneer manuscripts 17. Howells, Cyndi, the list lady
2. Crespi, Fray Juan, California explorers’ diarist 18. Wood, Myron, "History of Alameda County," 1883
3. Everton, George B., "Handybook for genealogists" 19. Hagemann, Herbert, "A history of the city of Pleasanton"
4. Schweitzer, George Keene, "Civil War genealogy" 20. Drummond, Gary, "... architectural styles in the Livermore Valley"
5. Hall, Charles M., "The Atlantic bridge to Germany" 21. Kot, Elizabeth Gorrell, "City directories in the Sutro Library"
6. Mills, Elizabeth Shown, "Evidence!" 22. Homan, Anne Marshall, "The morning side of Mount Diablo"
7. Dollarhide, William, "Map guide to the U. S. Census" 23. Hotten, John Camden, "The original lists of persons of quality ..."
8. Lane, Bob and Pat, "The Amador-Livermore Valley" 24. McClure, Rhonda R., "The complete idiot’s guide to online genealogy"
9. Bancroft, Hubert Howe, eponym of a Berkeley library 25. Schrader, Barry, tireless local historian and journalist
10. Bennett, Virginia Smith, "Dublin Reflections" 26. Newton, Janet, "... the story of Robert and Josefa Livermore"
11. Bunsha, Barbara, Livermore history authority 27. Gormley, Myra Vanderpool, "Family diseases: are you at risk?"
12. Parker, J. Carlyle, "Going to Salt Lake ..." 28. Baxter, Angus, "In search of your European roots"
13. Burroughs, Tony, "Black Roots" 29. Filby, P. William, "Passenger and immigrations lists index"
14. Cerny, Johni, "The Source" 30. Dewey, Melvyl, he of the library decimal system
15. Eastman, Dick, of e-mail newsletter fame 31. Greenwood, Val D., "Researchers’ guide to American genealogy"
16. Mosier, Dan, "History of Tesla"

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Staff meeting

Livermore Roots Tracer Staff

Editor  Diana Carey
Proofreading Mildred Kirkwood
George Anderson
Vicki Renz
Printing/Distribution  Eileen Redman
Staff Contributors
Computer Interest Group

 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

 David Abrahams
Things to File  Jolene Abrahams
Library News  Judy Person
Tri-Valley TMG User Group  Kay Speaks

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Last modified 10 August 2004 vlr