B-Ann Moorhouse (1925-2008)

Joy Rich, Editor, Dorot: The Journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society (New York), contacted me with the sad news that B-Ann Moorhouse has passed away.
She was a terrific genealogist. When I began researching in the 1960s I got to know her and always appreciated her kindness and assistance.

With permission I am reposting Joy’s announcement of her passing.

I write to you with a heavy heart about the passing of B-Ann Moorhouse. B-Ann was a professional genealogist (and a CG) for several decades. She was loved and respected by the enormous number of people whose lives she touched.

B-Ann was the epitome of kindness and graciousness. She believed in people and encouraged them to fulfill their potential. She was always eager to share – especially with the next generation of professional genealogists and with librarians and archivists – the astonishing amount of wisdom, knowledge, and insight she had in the field of genealogy, particularly concerning Irish and colonial American genealogy.

Another area of great interest to B-Ann was the history of African American families in Brooklyn. B-Ann was the founder in 1978 of the Ulster Historical Foundation’s Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild, a research co-operative established to link people worldwide who shared a common interest in Irish genealogy. She also founded the Genealogy Workshop at the Brooklyn Historical Society, which, at the time, was named the Long Island Historical Society.

She authored numerous articles for genealogical publications, abstracted Kings County, New York, administration proceedings and typed them on an extremely temperamental computer, and created finding aids for New York City for several New York state censuses. B-Ann was given access to basements and storage rooms in New York City’s Municipal Archives (when it was still in the Tweed Courthouse), Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court, and the Long Island Historical Society. Left to her own devices, she proceeded to rummage around and found many hidden treasures that she brought to light.

B-Ann passed away on February 15, 2008, in Georgia. Her beloved niece, Ann, who assured me that B-Ann died peacefully, moved her there last year so that she could care for B-Ann in her last months. It will bring a smile to your lips to know that, under Ann’s care, our B-Ann of the small frame gained sixteen pounds in six months.

Soon before she moved to Georgia, Jim Garrity and I paid her what turned out to be our final visit. We took her for a stroll on the promenade in her Brooklyn Heights neighborhood and then out to dinner. We had a wonderful time. It is just one of so many good memories of her that we will have with us always.

B-Ann will be dearly missed by her friends and her family.

Joy Rich
Brooklyn, NY

Halvor Moorshead Retires

For more than two decades Halvor Moorshead has been in the forefront of genealogy.

Consistently on target his four publications Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, History Magazine and his newest title Discovering Family History are the best in the field. Readable and useful, you save each issue, mark them up and act on the suggestions, tips and ideas. I wish we could say that about every genealogy magazine.

Halvor has the pulse of genealogy. He knows where we need to be researching, the tools of the trade and the “next big thing” – and he knows how to present it. As publisher we all could see his hand in framing each issue so that it would be up to date and on target.

I personally have been grateful to know him and benefited from his candor, knowledge of the field and smiling good humor.
And hey, he’s a heck of a nice guy too.

Halvor is not leaving the stage just yet – he will be a consultant for the new publishers and he will be at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Kansas City in May. I am organizing an event there in Halvor’s honor and will post the details to this blog. Be sure to be there to wish him well.

Here is the official announcement from Halvor Moorshead:

I am retiring on Friday, 29 February 2008I wish I had the capacity to e-mail everyone with whom I do business – and my friends –individually about the following but this is not practical so I am sending out this general announcement about important changes affecting our publishing company.

I have sold Moorshead Magazines – which includes Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, History Magazine and the new Discovering Family History and will be retiring. The sale finalizes on Friday 29 February 2008.

This is not quite as radical as it first sounds. I am selling the company to two of the staff – Ed Zapletal and Rick Cree. They have made it clear that their main reason for buying the company is that they do NOT want any changes. There will obviously be some differences as I will be out of the picture, but there will be no staff changes. Victoria, Marc and Jeannette will be continuing in the same roles.I turned 65 in November and want time to travel and do other things with Marian (my wife) while we are still capable (I also plan on spending a lot of time researching my own genealogy!). I also want to do more lecturing.

I am intensely proud of what we have done with Moorshead Magazines – we have dedicated loyal and highly experienced staff. Ed and Rick have both been with me for 24 years – way, way before we published Family Chronicle. We work very well together and we have been pretty successful. Things are going well – Discovering Family History looks as though it will become another success story and this is important to me; I very much want to retire on a high note. Part of the sale agreement is that I will act as a consultant related to the magazines for three years so I am not entirely cut off. In addition, I plan to be at the NGS Annual Convention in Kansas City in May, largely to say good bye personally to the many friends I have made in the genealogy field over the years.

Halvor

It’s February and Valentine’s Day is almost here.

GenealogyBank is off to a great start this month. It added 2.9 Million new records and documents – bringing the collection to well over 216 Million documents – that’s an estimated 1.5 Billion names.

GenealogyBank added content for 41 newspapers from 20 States including titles like:

Springfield (MA) Republican 1861-1909
Boston Journal (1870-1899)Philadelphia
North American (1841-1877) and another 38 titles.


It’s February and Valentine’s Day is almost here.

I found an early Valentine’s story about the second wedding of Amos Broadwater (1804-1901). It was published in the Baltimore Sun 28 Jan 1895.

Amos also lived in Garrett County, MD family – but he was more prosperous than Wooly Bittinger. He was born in Loudon County, VA and died in New Germany, Garrett County, Maryland.

His wife of more than 60 years, Sarah (Sigler) Broadwater (1809-1893) died in 1893. By that time their family had grown to 12 children; 99 grandchildren and 102 great-grandchildren.

In January of 1895 at age 91 Amos, who was “hale and hearty and looks much younger,” fell in love again and married Eliza Warwick a blushing bride of 51 years. The article went on to say “Mr. Broadwater is the oldest man in Garrett County and is quite well to do.” The new couple had no children.

GenealogyBank is packed with historical documents and vital records. With more than 2 Million records added this month it is easy to document your family tree.

Give it a try at our special low introductory rate – only $9.95 – give it a try right now.

Finding People with Common Names

Finding people with unusual names can be very difficult but it is easy to find them on GenealogyBank.

Today I was looking for Henry B. Platter and his good wife, Rachel (Bittinger) Platter. The Bittingers are my cousins and many of them are from Garrett County, Maryland.

Now, Platter is an unusual name. It would be easy for a search online to bring back every record that spoke about cooking, kitchens, plates or platters.

On GenealogyBank, I was able to instantly zero in on records
about them.

With just a few clicks I was able to find a dozen documents
about the Platter family. I began opening them one by one.
The first hit came from the historical documents and was a pension request by Henry’s wife, Rachel Platter. I quickly discovered Henry had served in the Civil War, a private in Company A, Second Regiment, P.H.B. Maryland Infantry and received a pension of $72 a month (certificate No. 1045070). (This is from: Pensions and increase of pensions for certain soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. Feb 5, 1925: Serial Set Vol. No. 8392, Session Vol. No.A68th Congress, 2nd SessionH.Rpt. 1385).

This is a terrific document – it gave me a lot of details about the family. The record showed that he and Rachel had married on March 12, 1867. That would have been hard to find anywhere else.

It also states that he died on October 4, 1923 leaving her in need of assistance; how long he had served in the Civil War and that his disability was caused during the war.

This document showed that she owned her own home, the value was $500. Perhaps her house looked like this one. It is a picture of her nephew Charles “Wooly” Henry & Sarah (Hoover) Bittinger and their family in front of the family home in New Jerusalem, Garrett County, MD.

It was taken in 1937 just a few years after Rachel Platter had requested a pension. Perhaps Rachel had a similar home.
(Photo by Arthur Rothstein; Library of Congress Photo LC-USF34- 026095-D).

Wow. It’s great that
GenealogyBank has been digitizing so many documents. I never would have found this one on my own. It was easy to find it online at GenealogyBank.

Their names, marriage and death dates, military service; details about their house, their income – bingo, there it was – all this family history in one document.

GenealogyBank added over 42.5 Million family history records last year and added another 2 million just this week. It now has over 216 million historical newspaper articles, obituaries, government and historical documents online. records and documents online.

Give it a try right now. It’s available at a great “get acquainted” rate – only $9.95 for 30 days.

I found documents that gave me the details I needed for my cousins in the back hills of Maryland ….. what will you find?