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Based on my recent trip to France as seen in the just-prior blog entry, I have located some 90 grandparents with the help of several genealogists and a “town expert”. But, they were all born before 1860. Most were born before cameras were even invented. So they fell into the “Blank Picture” abyss. That is, there was no picture available for them. It is always nice to include at least one picture in a Register Report.

The President of FAN-Genealogie, Lisa Bersinger, suggested using their signature from the birth certificate of a child, a will, a probate document or where ever a signature was provided. Sometimes if they were uneducated, the signature may be “his mark”. But whatever, it is closer to “them” than nothing.

I have just returned from a research trip to Alsace Lorraine, France to see if I could break a brick wall. The lead up to and actual experience contains several teachable components which I will attempt to share.

First, some personal background. My grandmother was born in Weitbruch, France near Strasbourg in 1882. She was brought to this country as a 10 year old in 1892. She was my grandfather’s third wife, married in 1904, and she died in 1980. I spent many days of my formative years in her home and presence. But of course I had little interest in France or her ancestry then. She often served Hungarian Goulash (a German dish) but often sang the Marseillaise (French national anthem) so she clearly reflected the history of the Alsace region and its back and forth national identity. I was too young to learn much more than that from her.

Point: Learn all you can from and about relatives who are older before they pass on, through biographies or recorded interviews.

Second, some information on France. The Alsace Lorraine section has many Civil records and many Church records and you will find them written in German, French and Latin. These records exist from 1792 just after the Revolution to 1937, given the 75 year rule. Where the U. S. has a 72 year rule on public availability of records, France has a 75 year rule. The law in France dictates that a child can not be removed or left out of a will. (This can lead to interesting circumstances and did in my case.) The witness to an event is often a teacher, relative or friend. In this region covering many villages and cities there is a genealogy association of some 100 members called Fan-Genealogie, and they have a most useful web site, with a $15 annual fee. There is also for Europe another web site named geneanet.org, some of which is free.

Point: Understand the area of interest, its rules, laws and resources. This requires work and follow through as well as persistance.

Whether one attends family reunions, uses WorldConnect on Rootsweb, reads genealogy magazines or other efforts, while collecting data of the moment, the prime effort should be to collect names and addresses of others with the same interests. Here’s one of my stories. Two years ago I read in the NEHGS magazine American Ancestors an article by a James R. Miller entitled Philatelic Genealogy Update. He was living part time in Haguenau, France to research his ancestors. I wrote him, he called me (since overseas calls in France are free) and he in turn identified a member of FAN-Genealogie who was “the expert” on the hometown of my grandmother, Weitbruch, 20 miles south of Haguenau. The expert sent me 5 full generations of ancestors of my grandmother. During the intervening two years I joined geneanet.org and for my surnames I recorded the e-mail addresses of those with the same names as mine from Weitbruch or nearby. As I prepared for my trip to Alsace I e-mailed each person and asked them for dinner and for help. Some lived elsewhere, but some showed up.

Point: Collecting names and addresses of other researchers and maintaining contact is critical to progress in genealogy.

Two years ago I was told the vital records were available only in Strasbourg and would cost €5 each. The money was to me a problem but less challenging than how to get the money to Strasbourg. They have no PayPal. On this trip to Alsace I learn from Mr. and Mrs. Miller that the records for Department 67 in which I am interested are all on line and free and have been for just a few months. There are 100 departments in France and many are now up in the same context. Some are not. But here is how I get to Department 67, in which I am interested.
Alsatian parish registers and vital records can be seen at: http://archives.cg67.fr/. Scroll down to the picture with “Adeloch” and click on “Acceder aux registres.” At the bottom of the next screen, mark the box “J’accepte ces condition,” by which you’re saying you won’t sell the images you save, place them on the internet, or show them to people outside your family, and that you’ll always identify the source code (shown on the screen with the images you download) and show the Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin as the repository. Once you have a check-mark in the box, click on “Acceder à la version graphique” (which may require Adobe Flash).
You’re now presented with a keyboard in a AZERTY format rather than a QWERTY which we have in the US. Start to type the name of a village you’re interested in. For Weitbruch, after you type W E, the screen will have Weitbruch, and you click on the village name.
Now you’ll see a virtual bookshelf with the registres. (Key: BMS=baptemes, mariages, sepultures; NMD=naissances, mariages, et décès; TD=tables décennales, which are like indexes for 10-year periods). From 1792 to 1807 the Revolutionary calendar was in use; A 1= year 1, etc. You’ll find a conversion chart to change these dates into regular calendar dates at http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/calendar/, scroll down to French Republican Calendar. The FAN-généalogie website (http://fan-genealogie.org/) has background information on the calendar in the Main Menu, Dossiers pratiques, Calendriers.

I’d suggest you look at a register before plunging into the Revolutionary Calendar.

Pick a marriage from data with which you are familiar. Bring-up the appropriate register on your screen and find the act. A scroll bar at the bottom lets you move rapidly. There’s a + and – button on the top right to zoom in or out; use multiple clicks. The + and – buttons next to the sunshine icon lets you darken/lighten the image. Once you have something that you want to copy, click on “Imprimer” at the top of the screen. Use a screen capture program to make digital copies or the trusty Shift/Control/4 with a MAC. The acts are free. This is an incredible resource, now available in many departments, soon all of France.

Point: With some help from many other people and staying on top of the issues like payments and availability, one can truly advance one’s knowledge. And as in this example, locate hard to find documents which can stand as reliable Sources as opposed to using someone’s guess.

Let’s create a Family History Book. But let’s do it inexpensively.

First, reread How to Create a Family History Book in an earlier submission on this site. That piece essentially suggests that after you have researched several surnames as far as it appears possible, you should create a list of all the family surnames which descend to Grandfather 1, then a list of all which descend to Grandfather 2, and so forth.

If you think about it, this actually means you are collecting the names of all of the ancestors of your grandmother and those of your great grandmother, and maybe other grandmothers. At any rate, it will soon become clear how these surnames should be organized.

Here is how I organized mine, and named the books:
• The Bourlands and Allied Families From Massachusetts and Delaware: Barrett, Barron, Bigelow, Blandford, Brigham, Flagg, Frost, Gale, Garfield, Howe, Keyes, King, Mason, Moore, Prescott, Rice, Scott, Strutt, Tainter, Vassall, Ward, Warren, Wheeler, Wheelock and White

• The Ancestors of Mary Elizabeth Cardwell, wife of Elmore Claude Bourland, including the Allied Families of Ashby, Cardwell, Gill, Graham, McGary, Perrin, and Royall

• The Ancestors of Elizabeth Ann Bobbitt, wife of Harvey Rice Bourland, including the Allied Families of Berry, Bobbitt, Hackley, Rash and Warren

Now for each of these surnames, you will have created a Register Report using your genealogical software. In some cases you may have combined two surnames because the second generation or perhaps the third married and changed her surname. But if you have performed good research and followed your leads well, you will have something which looks like mine – 6 to 25 surnames per book. And don’t feel bad if the numbers are less, nor proud if more.

So, let’s say we have 8 surnames which descend to your great grandmother and the Register for each is saved in a folder.

You may have added pictures of persons or their environment to each Register. You may have taken key facts and put them in a “text box” with color and an enlarged font. Using whatever techniques appear appropriate, you will have made the Register as readable and attractive as possible.

Now let’s print each Register. But wait! Not on paper, select from your Print selection window the choice to “Print or Save as a PDF”. PDF stands for “Portable Document Format”. It can be opened and read by the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Almost any computer made can open a PDF; and no one can alter its makeup easily.

Now to make a book, we must combine the several PDF documents (or Registers now in PDF form) into a single document. First, you will want to create a Foreword within which you might comment on the process of research you have used, and other appropriate observations. Next you should create a Table of Contents. Each of these documents should have a PDF created for them. And lastly make a cover for your book. Every document should be turned into a PDF.

Now starting with the Cover, you will add to it each PDF in turn. For this, simply drag first Foreword, then the Table of Contents, then each Register into its logical, alphabetical position behind the preceding PDF. Thus, you are turning one rather small PDF (the Cover) into a rather large one with all of the sections and Registers you have created.

Now you have an option requiring some money or some work.

Do what? What should be done is the following:
• Create an Index of each Section and Chapter, so that one can go to a surname with a mouse Click;

• Create an Index entry for special chapters or additions you may wish to include in the book. For example, a lengthy citation for an award given to someone, or an historical write-up of an event in which someone participated, or a Bibliography, or maps. For this we will need Adobe Acrobat Professional. This is a highly useful piece of software which allows you to add or delete pages, insert pages, combine documents and perform many useful operations on documents. It is also rather expensive for a one time use.

If you wish, buy Acrobat Professional at about $400, sometimes less. An alternative is to go to a Print Shop or Service Bureau which has the software and have them do it for you. After you have prepared a plan for this book and collected the Chapters and additional data you want, the time spent on Acrobat Professional is probably less than 1-2 hours.

Now you will burn a CD or DVD with the new Book and replicate it as many times as you wish.
Lastly, buy a Memorex CD Labeler for about $30 and create professional looking labels to apply to the CD or DVDs you have created.

You’re finished. You’re published.

You have left a legacy for your descendants!

I have written and talked many times both in this Blog and certainly in the classes which I teach on genealogy concerning the documentation of one’s Sources. I admit to having within my database many items with no Source. They generally have come from fellow researchers who also had no Source for the data, or from the Internet in the same condition. I do not consider someone’s name or an Internet address a valid Source.

The truth is, genealogy data which is missing a Source is of no value beyond the barest hint of what, where and how to look to prove that data. I always warn individuals to whom I send data that if I have no Source, beware!

Creating the citation for a Source is important. The maven for such citations is Elizabeth Shown Mills. Her book Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian, now in its 16th printing, 124 pp. is a classic.

Ms. Mills has just opened a new web site at www.historicpathways.com. She says the following there by way of introduction:

Elizabeth Shown Mills is an historical writer who has spent her life studying Southern culture and the relationships between people—emotional as well as genetic. Published widely by academic and popular presses, she edited a national-level scholarly journal for sixteen years, taught for thirteen years at a National Archives-based institute on archival records and, for twenty-five years, has headed a university-based program in advanced research methodology.

A popular lecturer and past president of both the American Society of Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Elizabeth is the author, editor, and translator of 13 books and over 500 articles in the fields of genealogy, history, literature, and sociology. She has delivered over 1,000 lectures internationally, has appeared on radio and TV talk shows on three continents, and was featured on BBC’s 20th and 30th anniversary specials on the novel Roots.

The web site lists many of her writings and contains numerous articles of use to the budding as well as the experienced genealogist. In addition there are links to many useful sites.

I would urge the reader to visit the site and take to heart her recommendations on citing your Sources in a meaningful fashion for data you locate. Remember, accuracy in genealogical data is more important than data used in a legal courtroom.

The concept of a Tiny Tafel was developed by Paul Andereck, former editor of Genealogical Computing magazine. It is a method of communicating to a public such as readers of this blog the surnames which the writer is or has researched.

In most cases the surname is that of a grandparent of the writer.

The form is as follows:
Soundex for surname4 characters
Earliest ancestor birth year (4 numbers – YYYY)
Ancestor interest level (1 character (not used in this example)
Latest Descendant birth year (4 numbers – YYYY)
Descendant interest level (1 character (not used in this example)
\Ancestor Birth Place
/Descendant Birth place

The Soundex code is the mathematical representation of a surname. It is useful in locating variant spellings of that name, such as Smith, Smythe, etc.

Here is my Tiny Tafel, with the promise I will send a Register Report on a requested Surname in exchange for one from you. Be sure you include in the Register all Notes and all Sources.

A210 1680 1757 Ashby\Leicestershire, England/
A632 1825 1857 Artz\Weitbruch, Bas-Rhin, France/Weitbruch, Bas-Rhin, France
B130 1649 1842 Bobbitt\Glanmorganshire, England/Madisonville, Hopkins Cty, KY
B164 1610 1610 Beverly\Jamestown, James Cty, VA/Jamestown, James Cty, VA
B210 1627 1767 Bishop\Probably Kingston, Surrey, England/Windsor Cty, VT
B230 1664 1664 Basset?\Chickacorn District, VA/Chickacorn District, VA
B240 1578 1707 Bigelow\Suffolk Cty, England/Marlborough, Middlesex Cty, MA
B260 1640 1822 Baker\England/KY
B262 1760 1867 Biggers\/
B400 1557 1593 Bayly\/England
B400 1764 1856 Bull\England/Tippecanoe Cty, IN
B426 1509 1561 Belgrave\Glemsford, Suffolk Cty, England/Cambridgeshire, England
B433 1650 1650 Boltwood\Hadley, Hampshire Cty, MA/Hadley, Hampshire Cty, MA
B453 1611 1642 Blandford\/Sudbury, Middlesex Cty, MA
B530 1701 1727 Bond\/Powhatan Cty, VA
B532 1672 1735 Bounds\Dorchester, MD/VA
B551 1772 1772 Banen\Boney\NC/NC
B600 1683 1798 Baer\Germany/Maryland
B600 1628 1779 Berry\England/Mecklenburg Cty, VA
B620 1642 1642 Briggs\Boston, Suffolk Cty, MA/Boston, Suffolk Cty, MA
B620 1638 1793 Brockway\London, England/Washington, Cheshire Cty, NH
B620 1667 1701 Brooks\Springfield, Hampden Cty, MA/Deerfield, Franklin Cty, MA
B625 1475 1731 Brigham\Holme, Yorkshire, England/ Middlesex Cty, MA
B630 1592 1697 Barrett\Kent, England/Marlborough, Middlesex Cty, MA
B630 1571 1571 Brede\Cranfield Parish, Bedfordshire Cty, England/England
B645 1740 2008 Bourland\Londonderry, Ireland/Miami, Miami-Dade Cty, FL
B650 1600 1630 Barron\Waterford, Ireland – probably/Watertown, Middlesex Cty,
C234 1534 1624 Castle\/Stratford On Avon, Warwick Cty, England
C240 1600 1600 Chickle\Isle of Wight, England/Isle of Wight, England
C420 1600 1681 Claus\Truchtersheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France/
C435 1627 1627 Clayden\England/England
C440 1716 1716 Claywell\/
C452 1540 1608 Collins\London, Middlesex, England/Dorset, England
C462 1610 1610 Clarke\Banham, Norfolk Cty, England/Banham, Norfolk Cty, England
C634 1614 1877 Cardwell\Wiltshire, England/Manitou, Hopkins Cty, KY
C654 1734 1773 Crumley\Chester Cty, PA/Frederick Cty, VA
C660 1710 1710 Carrier\Colchester, New London Cty, CT/New London Cty, CT
D000 1592 1592 Daye\Boscombe, Wiltshire, England/Boscombe, Wiltshire, England
D120 1774 1774 Davis\VA/VA
D130 1717 1753 David\Wales/Kent Cty, DE
D250 1830 1830 Dickson\Indiana/Indiana
D250 1739 1739 Dixon\/
D500 1710 1760 Denny\MD/Charles Cty, MD
D541 1676 1676 Dunlap\Dorchester, MD/Dorchester, MD
D635 1638 1664 Dryden\Edmonston, Scotland/
D645 1708 1791 Darling\/Kent Cty, DE
E216 1722 1792 Egbert\/Franklin Cty, KY
E512 1645 1672 Empson\Delaware/Kent Cty, DE
E520 1621 1621 Eames\St Georges, Fordington, Dorset, England/Dorset, England
E524 1768 1935 English\Ireland/San Diego, San Diego Cty, CA
F420 1570 1657 Flagg\/Watertown, Middlesex Cty, MA
F620 1635 1655 Frisch\/
F623 1495 1600 Frost\Glemsford, Suffolk Cty, England/
F630 1692 1717 Forwood\Ireland/Brandywine Hundred, New Castle Cty, DE
G000 1588 1619 Guy\Upton Gray, Hants, England/Upton-Gray, Hampshire, England
G262 1540 1607 Gawkroger\Sowerby, Halifax, Yorkshire, England/York, England
G300 1682 1723 Good\Schriesheim, Baden, Germany/
G400 1577 1641 Gale\/Watertown, Middlesex Cty, MA
G400 1745 1785 Gill\/Chester Cty, SC
G520 1910 1970 Gomez\Arroyos de Mantua, Cuba/Chicago, Cook Cty, IL
G613 1710 1710 Grafton\St John’s Parish, Baltimore Cty, MD/Baltimore Cty, MD
G614 1583 1677 Garfield\England/Watertown, Middlesex Cty, MA
G616 1739 1777 Gruber\Bas-Rhin, France/Niederschaeffolsheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France
G626 1620 1620 Grasser\Bas-Rhin, France/Schaeffersheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France
G650 1725 1852 Graham\Sterlingshire, Scotland/Madisonville, Hopkins Cty, KY
G651 1645 1645 Griniff\England/England
G652 1567 1567 Granger\England/England
G653 1650 1879 Grandy\Roxbury, Suffolk Cty, MA/Rising Sun, Ohio Cty, IN
G653 1695 1695 Greenwood\Lebanon, Tolland Cty, CT/Lebanon, Tolland Cty, CT
G653 1614 1614 Grentte\VA/VA
H000 1599 1667 Howe\Hatfield, Essex, England/Marlborough, Middlesex Cty, MA
H200 1590 1590 Hawes\England/England
H240 1535 1675 Hackley\Isle of Wight, England/Essex Cty, VA
H252 1631 1631 Hawkins\England/England
H342 1513 1513 Hedelstone\Glemsford, Suffolk Cty, England/Suffolk Cty, England
H400 1644 1756 Hall\Ireland/Kent Cty, DE
H416 1617 1675 Holbrook\Glastonbury, Somerset, England/Scituate, MA
H436 1762 1762 Hildreth\Amherst, Hillsborough Cty, NH/Amherst, NH
H450 1597 1627 Hallom\Burnham, Essex Cty, England/Charles City Cty, VA
H620 1746 1746 Harris\,Richmond Cty, VA/North Farnham Parish, Richmond Cty, VA
H630 1722 1722 Harriot\Woodbridge, Middlesex Cty, NJ/Woodbridge, NJ
H630 1604 1644 Hayward\Sowerby, Yorks, England/Sowerby, York, England
H630 1570 1620 Howard\England/
H630 1613 1613 Hurd?\England/England
I524 1747 1786 Inslee\Woodbridge, Middlesex Cty, NJ/Woodbridge, NJ
J520 1756 1756 James\Warren Cty, NC/Warren Cty, NC
J520 1667 1667 Jones\Saybrook, Middlesex Ctry, CT/Saybrook, Middlesex Ctry, CT
J525 1606 1606 Johnson?\/
K100 1737 1737 Kapp\Haguenau 67, Bas-Rhin, France/Haguenau 67, Bas-Rhin, France
K155 1665 1665 Kauffmann\Bas-Rhin, France/Mommenheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France
K200 1606 1727 Keyes\Unknown/Shrewsbury, Worcester Cty, MA
K450 1625 1744 Klein\Truchtersheim, France/Mittelschaeffolsheim, France
K520 1567 1630 King\Woodham Mortimer, Essex, England/Dorset Cty, England
K523 1607 1607 Knight\/
L000 1833 1833 Lee\/
L000 1699 1725 Lowe\/
L152 1610 1769 Loving\Kensington, Warwickshire, England/Laurens Cty, SC
L165 1582 1582 Lovering\Westminster, London, England/London, England
L200 1745 1745 Lewis?\/
L350 1857 1857 Latham\/
L500 1629 1629 Lewin\England/England
L500 1468 1763 Lnu\Glemsford, Suffolk Cty, England/
L516 1661 1661 Lambert\Lancaster Cty, VA/Lancaster Cty, VA
L520 1760 1882 Lang\Weitbruch, Bas-Rhin, France/Weitbruch, Bas-Rhin, France
L520 1833 1833 Ling\South Carolina/South Carolina
L650 1571 1571 Lorran\/
M242 1821 1821 McCollister\/
M250 1686 1810 Mason\Kent Cty, DE/TN
M260 1744 1785 McGary\Ireland or Virginia/Harrodsburg, Mercer Cty, KY
M320 -2158 -2158 Matthews\Cowes, Isle Of Wight, England/Cowes, Isle Of Wight
M452 1526 1526 Millington\Holme, Yorkshire, England/Yorkshire, England
M500 1941 1941 Mena\Cuba/Cuba
M600 1610 1628 Moore\Henham, Essex, England/
O455 1747 1786 Ohlmann\Niederschaeffolsheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France/Rottelsheim
P200 1572 1753 Pike\Bridgewater, Somersetshire, England/Middlesex Cty, NJ
P362 1639 1672 Petersson\Bogen, Varmland, Sweden/New Castle Cty, DE
P400 1723 1723 Paul\Kienheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France/Kienheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France
P420 1635 1675 Paulus\/Niederschaeffolsheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France
P530 1585 1639 Pond\England/Marlborough, Middlesex Cty, MA
P620 1615 1646 Pierce\York, England/Hingham, Plymouth Cty, MA
P623 1604 1674 Prescott\Lancashire, England/Clinton, Worcester Cty, MA
P626 1622 1654 Parker\Roxbury, Middlesex Cty, MA/Lancaster, Worcester Cty, MA
P635 1888 1918 Perdomo\Finca Las Nuevas, Sancti-Spiritus, Cuba/Jatibonico, Cuba
P636 1636 1734 Porter\Of Weymouth, Norfolk Cty, MA/Columbia, Tolland Cty, CT
P650 1639 1688 Perrin\England?/Henrico Cty, VA
R100 1630 1650 Ripp\/Kriegsheim 67, Bas-Rhin. France
R163 1760 1822 Robertson\/KY
R200 1660 1818 Rash\/Hopkins Cty, KY
R200 1643 1714 Rees\New Castle Cty, DE/
R200 1594 1787 Rice\Barkhamstead, Herts, England/Hubbardston, Worcester Cty, MA
R200 1642 1913 Ross\Amherst Cty, VA/Bonham, Fannin Cty, TX
R240 1556 1819 Russell\Ratcliffe, Middlesex, England/Greene Cty, PA
R243 1615 1640 Rockhold\VA/VA?
R255 1808 1808 Rischman\/
R400 1579 1579 Riley\/
R453 1691 1759 Roland\Germany/probably Lancaster Cty, PA
R534 1743 1743 Randolph\/
S152 1662 1685 Spence\/Somerset Cty, MD
S152 1615 1615 Spencer\Shropshire?, England/Shropshire?, England
S160 1630 1680 Schaeffer\Kriegsheim 67, Bas-Rhin. France/
S300 1450 1535 Scott\Glemsford, Suffolk Cty, England/Glemsford, England
S324 1630 1670 Stoeckel\Bilwisheim, 67, Bas-Rhin, France/
S330 1656 1656 Stout\Gravesend, Kings Cty, NY/Gravesend, Kings Cty, NY
S335 1693 1693 Stedham\Brandywine Hundred, New Castle Cty, DE/New Castle Cty, DE
S335 1580 1580 Stidden\Holland?/Holland?
S335 1617 1658 Stidham\Gothenburg, Sweden/Christina, New Castle Cty, DE
S336 1637 1637 Stodder\England/England
S340 1610 1656 Stoll\Schaeffersheim, France/Mittelschaeffolsheim, France
S346 1752 1776 Sadler\/Virginia
S350 1692 1692 Seaton\Culpeper Cty, VA/Culpeper Cty, VA
S360 1613 1613 Storey?\Yorkshire, England/Yorkshire, England
S360 1730 1730 Story\Duck Creek, Kent Cty, DE/Duck Creek, Kent Cty, DE
S363 1612 1612 Stratton\Jamestown, James Cty, VA/Jamestown, James Cty, VA
S363 1464 1536 Strutt\Glemsford, Suffolk Cty, England/Glemsford, England
S363 1625 1653 Sturdivant\/Glanmorganshire, Wales, England
S365 1624 1624 Stream\Glastonbury, Somerset, England/ Somerset, England
S520 1696 1696 Schenk\/
S530 1513 1754 Smith\/Amwell Township, Hunterdon Cty, New Jersey
S536 1628 1628 Saunders\Lancaster Cty, VA/Lancaster Cty, VA
S600 1514 1538 Sayre\Doddington, Hinwick, Bedforshire, England/England
S600 1514 1514 Squire\Hinwick, Podington, Bedforshire, England/England
S625 1636 1636 Sargent\/
S643 1525 1561 Scarlett\Nayland, Suffolk Cty, England/
S650 1732 1732 Shearin\Bertie Cty, NC/Bertie Cty, NC
S650 1680 1680 Shearin?\/
T425 1558 1558 Twelison\Yorkshire Cty, England/Holme, Yorkshire Cty, England
T500 1601 1601 Towne\England/England
T536 1593 1756 Taintor\South Wales, England/Shrewsbury, Worcester Cty, MA
T614 1615 1615 Tarville\/
T620 1887 1887 Torres\Yaguajay, Cuba/Yaguajay, Cuba
U536 1619 1619 Underwood\/
V240 1524 1619 Vassall\of Rinant by Caen, Normandy, France/Stephney, England
V435 1665 1720 Veltin\Niederschaeffolsheim , Bas-Rhin, France/Bas-Rhin, France
V552 1649 1649 Vining\Wincanton, Somerset, England/Wincanton, Somerset, England
W140 1660 1818 Weibel\Mommenheim 67, Bas-Rhin, France/Weitbruch, France
W200 1808 1840 Weiss\/
W300 1591 1908 White\probably England/Matewan, Mingo Cty, WV
W300 1756 1756 Wood(?)\/
W325 1517 1578 Watson\/Holme, Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, England
W326 1581 1581 Whittaker\Dorset Cty, England/Dorset Cty, England
W420 1600 1703 Wheelock\Shropshire, England/Marlborough, Middlesex Cty, MA
W426 1741 1774 Walker\North Farnham, Richmond Cty, VA/Northumberland Cty, VA
W430 1659 1659 Willet\Hartford, Hartford Cty, CT/Hartford, Hartford Cty, CT
W436 1756 1756 Walter\Bas-Rhin, France/Wintershouse 67, Bas-Rhin, France
W436 1583 1583 Wolterton\Heigham, Norfolk, England/Heigham, Norfolk, England
W460 1580 1609 Waller\Chevening, Kent, England/Norfolk, East Anglia, England
W460 1465 1685 Wheeler\/Concord, Middlesex Cty. MA
W630 1603 1638 Ward\Yorkshire, England/Sudbury, Middlesex Cty, MA
W650 1485 1754 Warren\Wiston, Suffolk Cty, England/Spotsylvania Cty, VA
W656 1645 1677 Warner\Hartford, Hartford Cty, CT/Hadley, Hampshire Cty, MA
Y250 1736 1758 Yocum\Tulpehocken Creek, Berks Cty, PA/Virginia

I have written and spoken numerous times on the subject of one writing an autobiography. I believe it is the one great thing one can do for his or her descendants. I convinced my father to do so about a year before he died and I have read it several times a year for the 30 odd years since he died.

The following anecdote hit home with me (and by the way has nothing to do with politics).

Vice President Dick Cheney was being interviewed recently on television about his just released book, In My Time. His daughter Liz was in the interview with him and indeed helped him write the book.

The interviewer asked if it helped or not to have his daughter part of the writing process. Cheney enthusiastically replied it had helped. He went on to ask how many people have the opportunity to “sit for many hours and tell war stories” to a son or daughter. Cheney writes in his book, “It is a rare blessing to have reason to spend so many hours of quality time telling your daughter about your life and work.”

I doubt I will ever have the opportunity of such a long chat with a child, but I will have my equivalent when my children read the autobiography I have been writing for over 10 years.

My Format: After writing what I quickly remember about where I was living and what I was doing – school, Navy, early jobs and so forth – in chronological fashion with each section headed by the year, I have perhaps several times a month remembered events of some interest and added them to the year they occurred. Today I have about 80 pages, with a sufficiency of pictures or diagrams to add to the words. I will continue to add as I age.

When will it be read, since no one has at this time …… I haven’t figured that out yet.

The software company for my genealogy software (Reunion) produces a daily Q & A e-mail where one can pose a question and receive from other members an answer. Sometimes the answer must – and does – come from the company itself. All questions/answers are categorized and may be queried at any time in a database available to all.

Lately there have been many questions on “where” to put certain data. Such data is often military service, membership organizations, illnesses, cause of death, education and so forth.

While there are many ways to skin a cat, I will share my way. Everything I learn about a person is placed in the Notes section (and most software has such a section) in chronological sequence. Any work in genealogy should be for the benefit of others, whether they be relatives or descendants. Such writings must be interesting and easily followed, and a chronological biography is readable. Jumping from listings of Military to Census to Illnesses is not.

Now, let me quickly acknowledge some people have a major reason for performing genealogy to determine if there exists a genetic predilection to a disease and others may wish to account for wartime efforts. In this case a Flag or a Named Fact like Cause of Death would be appropriate.

Yet while in those cases I would applaud the use of named events, I would still insist that the chronological paragraphs of findings are more readable and thus suggest one uses both techniques.

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