Archive for July, 2017

I had always known I had ancestors who fought in the American Revolutionary War, and kept promising myself that I would join a Lineage Society like the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR. Then one day my friend, Terry, announced that she had bought me a ticket to the DAR Christmas Dinner and told me when and where to meet her. I just needed a not so subtle push. I joined after proving my lineage to Eleazer Bliss who served in the American Revolution from Massachusetts

If your ancestors lived in any of what became the 13 Colonies, you probably have family who fought in the Ward of Independence. To find ancestors during the Revolutionary Ward period (1764-1783), you want to look for someone who was born between 1710 and 1765, though there may have been older men who served.

You may not be just looking for someone who served in a military capacity, but someone who supplied food, served in the Continental Congress, cared for soldiers families, ministers who encouraged patriotic service, persons who gave material aid to the soldiers, which includes Dr.s and Nurses. Your ancestors may also have given service by serving in town governments and other civil service responsibilities.

My ancestor, Adaonijah Bidwell, was a minister who donated 3 years of his salary to help fund the War. Jedidiah Dewey, another ancestor, was also a minister and was part of what is called the Black Robe Regiment. While not an actual fighting unit, it was comprised of ministers who kept the spirit of the revolution alive in their congregations by promoting American Independence and mustering support. Both men are considered Patriots. I have others who served in local militias and one who was killed at the battle of Saratoga, If you find one ancestor who served you probably have more, as fathers, sons, and grandfathers often rotated their service times to have someone at home caring for fields and herds, and their wives families often lived close,  and the wife’s father and grandfather may also have served.

The following Databases are free to search;

  • DAR Patriot Database where you can find your ancestor’s  name, their Patriot ID number, rank, where they served from, death date and location of records., unit name and commanding officers.
  • The DAR Descendants Database, which allows you to find out if you have an ancestor in the database by searching starting with your 4th g grandparents.
  • There is also a ‘learning document’  found on Finding A Patriot that can guide you through this process if you need help. Scroll down the page to where you see the Databases listed, and you will find the tutorials.

Whether or not you decide to join an organization such as the DAR of SAR [Sons of the American Revolution] these records give documentation to help you prove your ancestry.

Read Full Post »

I’ve always known that I had Pioneer ancestors,Wagon Train Dirt Road.png but you may have them and not even know it.

Generally, if your ancestors moved to, and helped originally settled an area they may be considered to be Pioneers for that particular area and may be featured in books and databases that are dedicated to the original settlers. Those who came on the Oregon Trail, or to California during the Gold Rush, or Mormon Pioneers who settled what was called the Utah Territory were all Pioneers.

  • If your ancestors came to the Utah Territory before the coming of the railroad in 1869, they would be considered Pioneers.
  • The best way to find out if you have Mormon Pioneer ancestors is to take a look at your family tree and find those ancestors who died in the Utah, surrounding states, or the Colonies in Mexico, and were born somewhere else. Then check out the Overland Trail Website .
    • A search for your ancestor will tell you if they came as a Pioneer, which Wagon Company they came with, when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and who traveled with them. I like to search initially for just the surname, as it will pull up other family members who may have traveled separately, You will also find links to stories and journals about that particular company.
  • There is a similar site is available for those who came west on the Oregon Trail, though it is a bit more complicated to search.
  • Each State or area may have different criteria as to what is considered a Pioneer. For example, to join the Society of California Pioneers, your ancestors must have arrived in California prior to 1 January 1850

On the 24th of July in Utah we celebrate Pioneer Day with Parades, Rodeos, Fairs, Breakfasts and so much more. It is a good day to find out a bit more about those who came before you – Pioneer or not.

Read Full Post »

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 3.03.28 PM.pngMy lost grandmother today is Amy Hutton Stewart, so I’m going to see what Google has. if I simply put in her names, I get a whopping 11 million plus results. So I need to narrow it down. Since I am looking for her parents, I want each search result to include her maiden name so I will search for :

  • Amy “Hutton” Stewart. Putting any word in quotes guarantees that word will be included in each result..
  • I know the time period she lived in, and where she lived. so I will add that to the search: Amy “Hutton” Stewart 1755…1839 Greenwich New York. Several dots between the dates allows Google to search a range of dates. I now only have over 6 thousand results – sill too many.
  • Moving the quotes to include the name “Amy Hutton” pulls my results down to 3, and that may be too few for me, but let’s explore the results.
  • If I have now looked at the results of my search and I’m pleased with the words I used in the search,  I can set up a Google Alert with the same search.

To set up a Google Alert you need a free google account. If you use gmail you already have an account. If not, it is worth setting one up not only to use the Alerts feature, but many other features that are helpful to genealogists.

  • Go to google.com/alerts and type or copy your search into the Alerts search field. Now the search engine at Google will continue to search the internet for you. If a new webpage is added that matches your search, or if new content is added to the pages you have looked at, you will get an email notification. The link within the email will take you to the new results.

Happy Google-ing.


Read Full Post »

Ipad screen.PNG

Mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones were made for doing family history.  They are nice because they are smaller and more portable than even laptop computers. I like my tablet because of the larger screen, but I’m often with just my phone when I need to access my family history, or record something that I want to preserve. I have found over the years that there are a few apps that, for me, are must haves, and that enable me to be productive where ever I am;

  1. A note taking system. I use Evernote, but there are other programs such as One Note by Microsoft. Evernote is free, syncs across all my devices, allows me to capture pictures, & audio. My blog post in January of 2013 talks about Evernote.
  2. Cloud Storage. Most tablets have limited storage, so having  a cloud  to save to and download from is really important. I use Dropbox for most of my files, and I also use Google Drive. Both are free for a limited amount of space, which will be sufficient  for most people.
  3. FamilyTree App and Memories App. These are free and allow access to my tree on Family Search so I can work on files away from home. The Memories App lets me take photos of documents and/or record audio and automatically upload it to my Family Tree. I can record my Uncle telling about me about my Grandmother and have the story preserved in his voice.
  4. Photo Management. I use several programs, but my favorite it Scan Pro.  You do pay about $4.00 for it, but it does more for me than my camera. It scans quickly and saves the scan as a .pdf. My phone/tablet camera allows some editing, but I also want a photo management app such as Photo Bucket or Photo Shop Express. This gives me more flexibility when I’m away from home.
  5. Document Management. I also want to be able to work on spread sheets and documents while I’m ‘out and about’ so I have an app for word and excel.
  6. Additional Browser. I added the Dolphin Browser, in additional to my Chrome Browser, to my ipad for online searching, because it  has a web clipping feature that lets me capture and save webpages using my tablet

I have other apps, and while the apps are not the full programs, they will work very well while you are away from home. On a trip a couple of years ago to Boston, I was able to capture documents at the New England Historical Society, photograph tombstones, adjust the photos, and share them, record an oral history at a cemetery, add information to my FamilyTree, and much more.

Read Full Post »