Thursday, December 16, 2010

Back To Work

Well, for the first time in 4 years I have taken a freelance assignment. I am very excited. I haven't found anything in a long time that seemed like a challenge, but I think that this one will stimulate me. I will keep everyone posted.
In the meantime I hope everyone has a Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday Season.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vital Check Network

Has anyone had any recent contact with Vital Check, the company that provides copies of birth and death certificates? I used to use them when I first began doing genealogy research but haven't dealt with them in a while. I recently requested a copy of my own birth certificate and I have had nothing but problems with them. It has been 4 weeks and I still don't have my birth certificate, at this rate I could have requested it in the mail from my state vital records and already had it but I choose to go with Vital Check because it was supposed to be faster. Does anyone know how to get someone to respond to an email or phone call???

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cemetery in Eastern Tennessee Bulldozed

This came to me from a mailing list, very sad, hopefully they will get this taken care of.

Dorothy Lingar couldn't believe what she saw - a bulldozer shoving familygraves, both marked and unmarked, over a hill.Lingar and other family members were upset last week when the bulldozer,contracted to Vinland Energy of London, Ky., plowed through a familycemetery near Fourmile, in southeastern Kentucky. "We have never wentthrough anything like this. We're shocked," said Lingar, as she recalledwalking through the family cemetery as a child. "That's our history, ourflesh and blood, and we are upset. These were good people and they don'tdeserve to be treated this way."The incident happened Wednesday, as the bulldozer cleared land for a Vinland project in the area. Vinland Energy Vice President of Operations ScottGilbert told the Middlesboro Daily News the company is aware of whathappened at the cemetery."We're sorry that we disturbed it," Gilbert said. "We're going to do what wecan."You can read more about this crime in an article in the WKYT web site at

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Changing of Names

After just cruising through some message boards I came across a post that irritated me somewhat so I would like to review the changing of family names after immigrating to America.
We will use the last name of DeBusk as an example. The DeBusk family is of French orgin, emmigrating to America a little bit before the Revolutionary War. DeBusk is the American version of the name, obviously DeBusk is not actually French. As stated before the variations of the DeBusk name are DuBosc, DuBois, DeBois, and DeBose, which are all obviously French.
The specific post that I read was in response to someone asking where the DeBusk family was from and the response was that De means from and Busk is a town in France. The De part is correct, it does mean from but with a simple Google search you can see that there is no town in France called Busk, and why would there be, that is an Americanization of the original name.
So, remember when you are requesting information, the information you receive always needs to be researched, even if the person giving the information states that they have been researching for years. People are only human and many mistakes are made when you have been sitting in front of the computer or in front of a pile of papers for hours and hours.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fabricated Genealogy

by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG

Not even your family histories are safe from those who want to make a quick buck at your expense. Moreover, you might have been hoodwinked with a fabricated genealogy and your relatives might have been victims of estate frauds -- an old con game, and you might not even realize it.
Early in the 20th century, about 200 fabricated genealogies were produced by Gustav Anjou (1863-1942), a Staten Island, New York forger of genealogical records. Anjou developed a profitable business in mail-order ancestors for wealthy clients willing to pay about $9,000 for a family history. More than 100 genealogies compiled by Anjou have been located. They are widely accessible in most large libraries and have been reprinted many times, and probably are being used today by genealogists who are not aware that the pedigrees are false. Anjou, and others like him, simply grafted noble and royal ancestors onto their client's trees, sometimes by using invented European parishes and forged wills and vital records.
Not only did Anjou falsify many genealogies, evidently he fabricated his own pedigree and credentials, according to Gordon L. Remington, Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association and editor of GENEALOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE UTAH GENEALOGICAL ASSOCIATION, in an article that appeared in Volume 19, Nos. 1 & 2 (1991) of that periodical. In the same issue also appears an excellent article on estate frauds by Helen Hinchliff, and one by Robert Charles Anderson on the Anjou pedigrees.
According to Anderson, a certified genealogist and Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, a typical Anjou pedigree displays four recognizable (at least to the more experienced researcher) features:
-- A dazzling range of connections among dozens of immigrants (mostly to New England).
-- Many wild geographical leaps, outside the normal range of migration patterns.
-- An overwhelming number of citations to documents that actually exist, and include what Anjou says they include.
-- Here and there an "invented" document, without citation, which appears to support the many connections.
Among the genealogies compiled by Anjou are those for: BEACH, BELL, CALDWELL, DENT, FREEMAN, GRANT, HENDERSON, HOUSTON, MARSHALL, McCORMICK, NOWELL/NOELL, ORMOND, ROCKWELL, SEAMAN, TER BUSH, WELLING, and WHEELER. For an extensive listing along with the call numbers of the Anjou genealogies available at the Family History Library, see FRAUDULENT LINEAGES:
See also "Watch Out for Fake Family Trees," by James Pylant, editor of AMERICAN GENEALOGY MAGAZINE:
Estate frauds touched hundreds of thousands of American families. If you uncover references to a fortune or estate that some of your relatives tried to obtain years ago, be wary. Also, you may encounter family members who will not admit that they or their parents were defrauded and who still believe there is a lost family fortune out there somewhere.
The bulk of estate frauds has been associated with common surnames. These scams -- many of which occurred about 75 to 100 years ago -- worked like this. Confidence men sought "missing heirs" by placing advertisements in the personal ads or legal notices of newspapers. Then they planted stories in newspapers about huge estates that were soon to be awarded to rightful heirs. Naturally many people responded. Then these "heirs" -- at the urging of the swindlers -- would form associations as estate claimants, incorporate under the laws of their state and write letters to their cousins encouraging them to join the association, and pay the membership dues and special assessments for legal fees to fight for their "estates."
Newspaper wire services picked up dozens of such items about meetings of these various "heirs groups" in small towns. Eventually these stories began to appear in major newspapers such as THE NEW YORK TIMES. Naturally, appearance in prestigious newspapers gave credence to the stories of the estates. Among the well-known estate frauds are those for these surnames: BAKER, DRAKE, EDWARDS, EDWARDS-HALL, FISHER, HARPER, HYDE, JANS, KOHLER, MERCER, SPRINGER, and VAN HORN.
Read more about the "Baker Land Hoax," "Buchanan Estate Scams," "Halberts' Clone," "False and Faked Mayflower Genealogy," "Faked Seminoles in the Confederate Army," and "Hoax of the Century," by following the links from the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists' Genealogy Hall of Shame:
See also: Baronage's "Caveat Emptor" in re name histories and family crests; Cyndi's List: Myths, Hoaxes & Scams: ; and Genealogical Web Site Watchdog, which lists many Web sites that provide misleading or inaccurate genealogical information:
You might want to take a closer look at your family tree to see if some illustrious or phony ancestors have been grafted onto it and, if so, by whom. Before you brag to your grandchildren about those noble or royal lines, or those famous connections, be sure you are not perpetuating a myth, passing along a hoax, or barking up the wrong tree.
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Written by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG; Previously published by, Inc., RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Genealogy News, Vol. 3, No. 17, 26 April 2000. RootsWeb:
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PERMISSION TO REPRINT articles from ROOTSWEB REVIEW is granted unless specifically stated otherwise, PROVIDED: (1) the reprint is used for non-commercial, educational purposes; and (2) the following notice appears at the end of the article: Written by [author's name, e-mail address, and URL, if given]. Previously published by, Inc., RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Genealogy News, Vol. 3, No. 17, 26 April 2000. RootsWeb:

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Websites

I have a few comments that people sent with new websites to try out. Please be patient if you sent me the link, I prefer to check out each website before I post it. I will be checking them out and if they seem like they would be helpful then I will post them.

Forest Park Cemetery, Joplin, MO

I have received a few comments from people asking if I know how they can get photos of headstones at this cemetery. I do not believe that there is an actual on-line inventory of graves with photos, I haven't even been able a complete list of all the graves online. Having an on-line photo database is nearly impossible when you see the size of the cemetery.
There are a couple of ways to get photos of your families headstones. First of course is visit there, which for most people doesn't work. Another way is to find someone who is willing to take photos for you. There is a website called "Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness" which is a bunch of volunteers that are willing to go and get info or photos for people in the area where they live.
You will need to sign up as a volunteer and offer to do some volunterring of your own but it is worth it.
For information and photos of Forest Park specifically, you will need to contact the cemetery and get the location or section your family member is buried in. This can be done by sending a letter with a self-addressed, stamped evelope enclosed. Be sure to include your family members complete name, do not ask for them to look up everyone with a specific last name. If possible also include dates. This is how I originally found my family members in the cemetery.
Once you get that information back from the cemetery then visit "Random Acts of Genealogy Kindness" at
Once you are on their home page scroll down about halfway to the place where it says "Guidelines for making a request", click that link. This will take you to a page that lists all the rules for requesting a lookup, once you read those rules and you are at the bottom of the page you will see a box with "Let's Go Find a Volunteer" click on that.
Then you can enter the city and state you are looking for and it will give you a list of volunteers and what they are willing to do, for different cities, ect. Please remember that these people are volunteers, don't be greedy, impatient or rude. Also, return the favor and volunteer yourself. I used to make 2 trips a month to my local library to do newspaper lookups and I got a warm fuzzy feeling known that I was helping someone find something they probably wouldn't have gotten elsewhere.
Happy Hunting.