If you have Michigan roots, I highly recommend the website, FamilySearch Labs. This is the where the transcribed data is accessed from the LDS project called FamilySearch Indexing. FamilySearch has been scanning their microfilms, then the records are indexed and we can then view the actual images online through this site at http://labs.familysearch.org/. Michigan vital records are available from Birth records beginning 1867 up to 1902, Marriages 1868-1925 and Deaths 1867-1897. The search engine is excellent with different ways to "drill" down without too many hits and has a great soundex as well. I urge all of you to please go the the site, http://www.familysearchindexing.org/en/home/home.jsf?pname='homeTab' and sign up to volunteer in this endeavor. Even if you can only complete one batch a night or in a spare moment, the more records indexed the more will be posted and available for us all. I have been thrilled to have located many ancestors through the site and found information totally unknown to me. There are many other records available as well and also the U.S. Censuses. Give it a try you never know what you will come up!
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POST HILL CEMETERYIt is named after my ancestor, Joseph Post who was born in Connecticut and came with his mother in the Spring of 1793 which at that time was Falls Township, Luzerne County, PA It is located on Post Hill Road, just off Route 307, near Lake Winola, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. Many stones are broken and these two are laying down and difficult to read. These photos were graciously taken and sent to me by Dave Finn of Tunkhannock, Wyoming Pennsylvania who also is a direct descendent of Joseph Post. Dave's mother, Dorothy is instrumental in researching this family line for many years.
Died Nov. 27. 1859
Age 90 years
8 mo. 14 daysELIZABETH Wife of Joseph Post died Nov. 21 1857 Lord I pray
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Phoebe Alice Maud and James Albert Claude Freeman were born May 17th, 1887 in Oscoda County, Michigan. Maud was born first by a few minutes. The twins were children of Emery Edwin and Martha Ann (Alexander) Freeman. The family had relocated from Isabella County up to the forests so that Emery could log. There were a total of eight children born: Nellie May, Irene died in infancy, Tyna also died in infancy, the twins, Louis Elmer, George R.D., and Martha Fay. The photo on the right is shown left to right: Claude, Louis, Nellie and Maud taken in Michigan about ca 1893. This photo was prior to the family moving from the woods of Michigan and taking up homesteads in Fallon, Nevada. The twins were about 16 years old. Most likely photographed in 1903. Maud first married in 1907 and had one daughter who died at the age of three in 1913. She married a total of 5 times and adopting a son along the way. She died 5th of March, 1981 in Atascadero, California. Claude married 1st in 1917 to Myra Grace Batten and had one son who is still living. Marriage to Etta May Smalley in 1923 produced 8 children with two of them twin boys that died at birth in 1930. My father was the second son who has sinced passed away. Claude passed away August, 1976. This photo was taken in the 1950's. I feel very fortunate that I own these pictures, I so enjoy the baby picture and how cute they were. Claude had such a thick head of wavy hair that my Dad inherited it, plus my daughter and I! Let's keep those genes going! I only met my Grandfather a very few times in my life, but he lived through a changing time in America and he loved to tell stories about the "old days". Aunt Maud being the family historian, kept a calendar and notes of all the family events which my mother copied. It helped tremendously and her information was 99% accurate!
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Recently, due to the postings of bloggers regarding Ancestry, I have been contemplating on my "wish list" on the content I would like to see. First of all, I am a huge fan of this subscription website. I still pinch myself that I can go online and actually access the entire US Census and some States Censuses. I found ancestors in places that would have never been located otherwise. Among other things are the Military records with the pension files which I was able to order from NARA. (Since they raised their prices to a full file of $75.00 I haven't ordered). Of course there are things about it that I don't care for such as the content that they have been adding for the last couple of months. My research is still in the U.S. and I don't have much desire at the moment to venture across the ocean several centuries back! There is still alot here that can be posted. I do realize that they must meet the needs of their other subscribers as well. The family trees portion makes me cringe....the repeating of errors posting after posting! I try not to be so arrogant, but some of the corrections/answers can be easily obtained by just a couple of clicks. So to get back to my wish list: 1. New York State Census Records in full! 2. Easier access to the Revolutionary Rolls by index. 3. Vital Record images. 4. Wills/Probate Records. 5. Complete Mortality Records. I will stop here, I don't want to be too greedy!
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Googling for your family can reap some huge rewards towards unlocking mysteries in your research. Recently, a book was published by Daniel M. Lynch titled "Google Your Family Tree". I immediately purchased it so that I can learn how to drill down and better filter my searches. I received the book just before the holidays and haven't had a chance to get very far with it. What a wealth of information it contains! Everything from a simple search to using Google Maps. I cannot wait to get deeper into this. Google Books is another excellent way to delve into finding your ancestors in obscure places which the author explains on page 103. I have used this feature for some time now and it is constantly being added to. Of course, copyright laws inhibit full views, but you can locate the repositories of where you might locate a book of interest. Perhaps your local library can obtain you a copy through inter library loan. Sometimes snippet views are listed or partial pages. Full views are books that the copyrights have expired which leads to a big bonus. I have had huge successes with my research and have found my ancestors in various places that I am sure would have been overlooked. Case in point: ancestor John Tillman died in 1826 and left a will in Warren County, New Jersey listing all of his heirs. A book published called "Acts of the Legislature of the State of New Jersey" recalls a case 10 years later in 1836 where the heirs are petitioning the court to allow them to sell the land that was left to the widow due to hardships. They won their case, but the huge piece of information that was obtained in this article was the full family listing of names and relationships and a death of one of the heirs which would have never been recorded anywhere else. If I hadn't located the will originally, this would have been that breakthrough we are all looking for. It's another piece of that evidence to prove our families accurately or steer you into the original records. Subsequently, I have located other court cases with other ancestors and a Biography of my ancestor, Andrew Smalley that mentions and confirms my suspicions of who his parents are. All in all, you can learn a lot and find information that most likely you would have never found otherwise.
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Emma May Tillman was the daughter of David H. Tillman and Elizabeth Detrick. She was born on the 26th August, 1856 in Tunkhannock, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania and was the last surviving child in this family. Elizabeth died sometime between the 1860 and 1870 census possibly due to childbirth likely in Tunkhannock. No burial record has been found. David Tillman went on to reside with various family members until 1897 and is listed in the Luzerne County, PA death register. Buried in West Pittson Cemetery, marker unknown at this time. Emma married Andrew Anderson Smalley in 1873 in Wyoming County and they became the parents of 14 children, the youngest who was my paternal grandmother, Etta May Smalley. After the birth of the two oldest boys, they set off to Virginia City, Nevada where Andrew tried his hand with silver mining. There, two more sons were born to them, with one dying at 10 months old and apparently was buried in the Catholic Cemetery. I don't believe he was very successful and from there went to Mendocino County, California where 4 more children were born to them. Andrew worked in the timber forests. In 1888, they had worked their way up the coast in purchased a homestead of 160 acres on Hall's Creek in Coos County, Oregon. Emma died of stomach cancer in 1923 and Andrew went on the ripe old age of just shy of 90. They, with some of their children are buried in Norway Cemetery near Myrtle Point, Oregon.
This photo, so very special to me, was sent to me by a granddaughter of Emma's sister, Sarah Isabelle. This cousin was so very generous in sharing this photo as the Smalley House burned down to the ground in 1904 and everything was lost. Lois believes that the age of Emma in the photo is about 13 years old taken approximately 1869, 1870. You will note the photographer was C.B. Tinker of Pittston, Pennsylvania. I looked him up and sure enough, he is listed in the 1870 census of Pittston and his name is Charles, age 34 born in New York, occupation Photographer. His wife Frances is 27 and they had two sons; Harrison age 5 and Asher age 3.
Today, as I look at this photo, I am reminded of how much I appreciate fellow researchers and cousins who have been so willing to share their information.
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When I first started out in my research, I was naive and uninformed about the data I was collecting. As I grew further into this endeavor I kept reading and hearing about source citation. What is that? Why are the experts emphasizing this every chance they got? I had to find out more about this. What I understood was that each date, story, name gathering, and the photocopies that were adding up in my files was totally useless! How can it mean anything to anyone? There was no integrity to my research and I had to address it immediately if I was going to continue with my quest and do it right. The best book at the time available was "Cite Your Sources" by Lackey which was added to my library. I learned that there are varying degrees to sources; Primary sources are records that were created at the time of an event. Secondary sources are records that were created a significant amount of time after an event occurred. Circumstantial is probable evidence based on a collection of facts that, when considered together, can be used to infer a conclusion about something unknown. Each one of these items should be carefully considered when noting each document. I have become more diligent to record where I got my information, who it was produced by and when. It will help you in the long run when you need to revisit that item again. Since then, a book was published by Elizabeth Shown Mills called, "Evidence!" which has been now considered the methodology all genealogists prefer to use since it breaks it down further. The book is artfully written and explains how to cite each individual document you have gathered. It should be on the top of your list of books that you acquire. The purpose in this post is not to be nagging, but to prevent redoing your hard work and to make your information valuable evidence. Name gathering is only that, and all it produces in the end is perpetuating inaccurate information that will be copied over and over.....
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I have been following fellow genealogists blogs for quite some time now. I have learned a lot about the community and have found that we all have the same joys, frustrations and learning curves. My purpose is to share my data and post pictures and general thoughts about researching. My background in this all consuming hobby started back around 1979 when I was about 21 years old. My mother, Delores Freeman was always interested in history and passed that down to me. At that time, she had purchased a starter kit if you will, that contained pre printed family group sheets, pedigree charts and a small pamphlet that was geared for beginners on how to start family research. During that visit, she had presented to me a family tree that she had literally drawn out on this poster board. This tree had been a high school project that was created in 1951. She told me at the time that she was able to get some of the information from her great, great aunt who was in her 90's at that time. What a wonderful jumping off point! As we began to fill out the forms, I began to feel this overwhelming feeling that this was something I really wanted to know more about. The next day, I promptly went out and bought my self the same kit and went to town on it. That little how-to book was my bible for a good while and taught me how to write for vital records, order census film from my public library and other good information. To make a very long story short, through the years even while working full time, raising a child I still held onto that passion, but there were times when I had to put it aside a good while. It was quite cumbersome back then due to letter writing that took weeks to get a response to mainly negative. Our library ceased lending the census films. My interest peaked even more rabidly about 1994 when our family purchased our first computer (with Windows 3.1) and the Internet became available. Good people on family lists were so generous in sharing their data, which I am forever grateful for. I have not let up on my research and continue to pursue, travel and do what I need to accomplish my goals. I am lucky in a lot of respects, my dear Mother collected pictures, interviewed my Grandmothers and others and kept the notes. Recently she entered an assisted living center and I inherited all her files, letters, pictures she had gathered all those years. Another thing that I am so happy about is that my family history exists in the very early years in America, with many in the New England States. I have a wide assortment of different walks of life; Quakers, Puritans, Pennsylvania Dutch, Dutch Reformed, Palatines, and Huguenots. These folks all seemed to reside in the same states which makes it easier to research. I have made excellent progress and continue to gather the original records. My major goal is to document each fact and to enter that data into my program. I do have brick walls and continue to dig. I would like to publish my findings some day.
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