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RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Free Weekly E-zine
Editor: Myra Vanderpool Gormley, Certified Genealogist RWR-Editor@rootsweb.com
RootsWeb Review does not publish or answer genealogical queries, and the
editor regrets that she is unable to provide any personal research assistance.
Post your queries on all relevant surname and locality
RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees: http://rwguide.rootsweb.com/
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE
1. Connecting through RootsWeb: Searching for the Captain;
Searching for the Captain
My uncle, Dr. H. C. Stewart, was a battalion surgeon in World War II. He died in 1981. He never spoke with his children of his war experiences. Last summer they asked if I (as the family historian) could tell them anything about their father in the war. I had the text of the two bronze stars he had received, and was able to find a wealth of material on the 82nd Airborne and 320th Glider Field Artillery on the Internet and in books. But one mystery remained.
While dying of cancer and heavily sedated for pain, he began worrying verbally about "A---" and where he was, and if he was safe. His sister explained to the children that "A---," a Jewish man, had been Dr. Stewart's assistant surgeon until he was taken prisoner in Holland. Dr. Stewart had been especially concerned about A---'s welfare when he as a doctor was involved with the 82nd Airborne in opening a Nazi death camp in northern Germany.
Dr. Stewart's sister also said her brother had learned after the war that A--- returned to the United States before war's end. There is no evidence they ever contacted each other after the war. I had documented Dr. Stewart's war service in a satisfactory manner, but the question of just who A--- was dogged me.
I contacted the U.S. National Archives, and was able to learn through a search of old Provost Marshal IBM cards that he was Capt. N. S. A---, identified him with the correct unit, and gave me a birth date. However, the card had one incomplete line -- it said he was held in prison camp 04. Prison camp numbers in the system had three digits. The card said Capt. A--- was returned to American Control on March 21, 1945.
A newspaper search showed Patton's Third Army passed by both a Stalag (enlisted men's camp) and an Oflag (officer camp) camp on that date. It will turn out to be a wrong conclusion.
I went to the telephone White Pages on the Internet and found no N. S. A---s. Then I found a record in the Social Security Death Index http://ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.com/ for that name. That gave me a date (in the 1970s). I contacted the newspaper in the town where he had died, and learned they had no files from those back years. They aimed me at the local library. The librarian was most helpful in sending me a photocopy of the obituary. And sure enough, the man was Dr. N. S. A---, who had served in World War II, been taken prisoner, and had escaped.
It listed survivors. Back to Internet White Pages. The two sons had common names, and there were several of each in the state where he had lived. The wife's name produced no results. But the sister, with a married name, was a SINGLETON. I wrote her a long letter explaining my interest and providing my phone number.
Four days later the phone rang. It was the sister! Would I please call the widow, and she gave me the number. The widow told me of her husband's escape the night the camp was being abandoned in the face of oncoming Russian troops, and of the fact that they had been married just a few weeks before his capture during the glider invasion of Holland. (He had also been in the glider invasion of Normandy with my uncle.)
She was 14 years his junior, and she has a photo from the wedding, with my uncle standing behind her new husband. When I told my cousin of all this, he was enthusiastic about joining me in making a visit to Mrs. A---. It looks like we'll do just that next month.
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Adding Branches to the Family Tree
When I signed on to RootsWeb.com about three years ago, I never dreamed how big my family was going to get.
I was not adopted, but I was not raised my by birth mother. I was on RootsWeb.com searching for the name that I had gathered from my birth certificate and memory as a kid. I posted some queries and got some replies and the people were helpful, one in particular. It turns out he was my cousin, and he contacted his mother (who was my mother’s sister), and it all began. I had been e-mailing this person for about six months before we even know we were cousins.
It’s a happy story. I traveled to New Jersey and met my birth mother after 43 years, plus I found an aunt, uncle, sister, brother, seven cousins, and we are now up to seven second cousins. So, now thanks to RootsWeb, I have another whole family.
This is the really, really short story about this. I just want to give thanks to all that helped me find a family I didn’t even know that I had. I hear stories like this all the time, but I think the length of separation in this one -- 43 years -- is what makes it different.
Thank you, RootsWeb for being there, and helping me find the other branches of my family.
2. NEWS AND NOTES
RootsWeb hosts many military-related topics among its mailing lists, many of them with large numbers of international subscribers, such as the WORLDWAR2 and GREATWAR lists:
GREAT WAR (WORLD WAR I: 1914-1918)
WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)
Additionally, there are other war-specific or related lists that you might
find of interest and of value in your research. To discover the names of the
various military mailing lists available, please see:
From this page follow the links to the mailing lists of interest where
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2b. GOBBLEDEGOOK of GEDs. Readers frequently write that they have downloaded a GEDCOM from RootsWeb's WorldConnect (or another site) but are unable to read it and want to know why.
A GEDCOM (an acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunications) is a plain text file, nothing more; but it is formatted in such a way that attempting to read it in a text editor or word-processing program can prove to be a daunting task for most of us.
The best way to handle a GEDCOM is not to open it like a regular text file, but instead carefully note what you named the file and where you saved it on your computer. Then launch (start) the genealogy program you normally use, create a new file, and import the GEDCOM into that newly created file. Voilá! The data will appear exactly like it would for any file you created directly within your genealogy program.
Be sure to create a new file, giving it a unique name. You do not want to merge others' unverified GEDCOM data into your genealogy files.
See also "Using Technology to Dig Up Roots" in RootsWeb's Guide to
Tracing Family Trees:
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2c. VIRUSES, WORMS, AND HOAXES. Educate yourself about viruses and worms because they do not go away. They are a constant threat and could destroy your valuable genealogical material. You will not receive any of these varmints from RootsWeb's mailing lists because all posts to them must be in plain text and they can not contain attachments, but you might be fooled into thinking so by some of these nasty critters that can forge (spoof) the "From" address.
Accurate and current information about computer viruses can be found at:
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2d. SPOTLIGHT ON SOME DISTINCTIVE WEBPAGES AT ROOTSWEB.
NEW SOUTH WALES GenWeb: See its Lineage Project, which lists researchers
tracing all descendants from a common ancestor. The ancestor is either the
earliest-known immigrant or the earliest-known ancestor born in New South Wales,
Australia. Another project of note is its Marriage Witness Indexes for New South
POLISH ROOTS? Visit PolandGenWeb site, which contains various records
transcription projects, links to translation aids, and many other resources for
Explore these and other countries of the WorldGenWeb Project:
3. WHAT'S NEW AT ANCESTRY.COM
The entries in this database are linked to the images from which the data was
extracted. From the images of the paper slips you can see that almost everything
is handwritten, except for a stamp representing the parish where the event
occurred. With this priceless information at your fingertips, these indexed
images are essential to your research. Access these and other records by signing
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LESSONS ONLINE ($29.95 each; includes a 30-day subscription to
SCOTTISH ANCESTRY. Starts June 3. Learn how to research your Scottish ancestry with Janet Reakes, Australia's most-accredited genealogist. Reakes teaches genealogy basics and covers sasines registers, surname databases and clan societies, Scottish Civil Registration Districts, Gretna Green and Border marriages, and more. http://www.myfamily.com/isapi.dll?c=home&htx=training%2FgenClass&class=2
BEGINNING GENEALOGY COMPUTER CLASS. Starts June 6. Join Georgeann Malowney to learn how to take your family history research further using your computer. This course includes such topics as search engine techniques and researching in the right place. Learn how to use your computer to improve your genealogical research. http://www.myfamily.com/isapi.dll?c=home&htx=training%2FgenClass&class=4
4. NEW FREE USER-CONTRIBUTED DATABASES AT ROOTSWEB
USA Military Records: 117th General Hospital Roster, 1944
USA Military Records: Company H, 2d Regt., Nebraska Vol. Inf., 1898
USA Military Records: Fort Dix, New Jersey, 2nd Training Regiment,
USA Military Records: Korean War: Army Clerk Typist School--Summer 1954
ALABAMA. Cullman County. St. Bernard College Catalogue, 1921-22
CALIFORNIA. Los Angeles County. Winter 1947 Graduating Class of
COLORADO. Otero County. La Junta High School, Class of 1944
KANSAS. Sedgwick County. 1927 Wichita High School Year Book (Faculty)
LOUISIANA. Orleans Parish. Graduating Class of John McDonogh High
MINNESOTA. Stearns County. Sauk Centre High School Class of 1938
NEW YORK. Ulster County. Gazetteer and Business Directory of Ulster
PENNSYLVANIA. Dauphin County. 1948 Senior Class, the Catholic High
PENNSYLVANIA. Montgomery County. Abington High School Class of January
TEXAS. Hidalgo County. World War II Aviation Cadets of the Advanced
RootsWeb thanks the individuals and groups who contribute their material to
share with the genealogical community. See the full list of contributors and all
the categories at
5. NEW ROOTSWEB MAILING LISTS
MAILING LISTS. For an index to more than 24,800 RootsWeb- hosted genealogy mailing lists, visit http://lists.rootsweb.com/
NEW SURNAME MAILING LISTS
NEW ETHNIC AND SPECIAL INTEREST MAILING LISTS
AR-FAMILY-GROUP-SHEETS -- The Arkansas Family Group Sheets Project
To subscribe or unsubscribe to/from any RootsWeb-hosted mailing list, send a plain text (not HTML) e-mail message with only the word SUBSCRIBE (or UNSUBSCRIBE) in the message body to: [name of list]-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org (for mail mode) or to: [name of list]-Demail@example.com (for digest mode)
To request a new mailing list: http://resources.rootsweb.com/adopt/
6. NEW PERSONAL FREEPAGES AND HOMEPAGES AT ROOTSWEB
ACUFF, ADCOCK, COOK(E), FRIZZELL, HALE, JAKES, KING, LUNA, MCELROY, PIT(T)MAN.
Genealogy research of these and allied families mainly in the Southern United
States during the early 1800s on up until present day Included are family bios,
census records, old family pictures, death certificates, marriage certificates,
CORBET/CORBETT. Genealogy and family history of James CORBET, born in
Ireland, lived in Ayrshire, Scotland, and CORBETT descendants in Ontario,
DANIEL, COLLIER. Family History for the DANIEL and COLLIER families and their
related surnames Texas migration of the following surnames: BIBLE, COLLIER,
CLARK, DANIEL, FRY, GRAF, GUNTER, HARKEY, HENTSCHEL, KRAKOWSKY, KUBITZ, OBENHAUS,
PYE, SCHNEIDER, SCHOPPA, TIEMANN, ZOCH.
MISSOURI. Northwest Missouri Cemeteries. Collection of thousands of names of
people buried in various locations in this locality. Contains cemetery
information, pictures, and locations as well as some family relationships. The
site is searchable and always under construction.
NEW HAMPSHIRE. Cheshire County. Contains transcriptions of various books for
this locality pertaining to genealogy and local history.
NEW YORK. Washington County. Woodlands Cemetery, Cambridge. Includes record
transcriptions as well as photos of many of the stones. Woodlands Cemetery is
situated on the old Turnpike outside of Cambridge. It contains interments
beginning in 1858 and has been used by people from many of the area communities.
NEW YORK. Washington County Photos. Collection of photos of the people
PENDARIVS, WILLIAMS. James PENDARVIS and Nancy WILLIAMS family line of
Alachua County, Florida
The May/June issue of FAMILY CHRONICLE is on the newsstands now or you can
obtain a free trial copy by visiting
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7. FROM ROOTSWEB REVIEW'S BOTTOMLESS MAILBAG
Love Thy Neighbor (even if she is thy cousin)
When I was growing up, before the advent of television, my parents derived much pleasure from the visits of other "old-timers." Much to my youthful disgust, they would sit for seemingly endless hours and talk about their parents, grandparents, cousins, and uncles and aunts, as well as all the kinfolks of the neighbors.
Never in my remotest dreams did it ever occur to me that I should have been listening instead of smirking. Now that most of those who could have supplied the answers to many of my questions about those souls from whom I sprang, are gone, I have developed an interest in genealogy. If only someone had taken it upon himself to preserve some of the fruits of these meetings on paper, how much easier would the tracking down of my ancestors now be.
Early in my quest for information about my progenitors, I became amazed at the frequency at which they intermarried. Marriages of second, third, and even first cousins were not uncommon. After reflecting upon this phenomenon, I have concluded that perhaps we should not be too harsh in judgment of those kissing cousins of days gone by. Let's consider their plight:
First, there just were not many people from whom to select a marriage partner, especially in the rural areas where the pioneering families lived. Travel was severely restricted, since they had neither automobiles or roads -- the horse was the "mane" mode of transportation. (Usually, the horse was one with which the fields were plowed, wagons and sleds were pulled, and general farm work performed, so knights upon prancing steeds our ancestral swains were not.) Add to this the fact that trying to wrest a living from the rocky hillsides was a six- or seven-day-a-week job for all able-bodied males of the family and it will be understood that courting did not enjoy prime-time billing. Maybe this was Mother Nature's application of the principle of survival of the fittest to those earlier generations -- only the most-determined people married and reared families.
>From the studies I have made thus far in my embryonic genealogical
Having no expertise in the field of genetics, I cannot say if the many horror stories about inadequacies and deformities of the offspring of parents whose families have excessively intermarried for generations have any validity. I only know that if I were a young man seriously considering matrimony, I would not take any chances. Conceded, love may be blind, but it doesn't have to be stupid and irresponsible as well.
A couple who expects to combine their talents and genes to produce children would be wise to have some genealogical knowledge of each other. I am speaking from experience -- I inadvertently married my fifth cousin, and all five of our children, with no exceptions, were born stark naked and with hair all over the tops of their heads.
8. HUMOR: Powerful Genes
My great-grandmother was a strong woman. She buried three husbands. Two of them were only napping.
9. SUBMISSION GUIDELINES, REPRINT POLICY, SUBSCRIBING HELP
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Site established 01/01/01 (01 January 2001). Page created 24 May, 2002. Last updated 19 Jun 2002 01:56 +1000
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