Wow! Meryl Streep, Stephen Colbert and other celebrities trace their heritage

Those “Wow” moments in genealogy.

GenealogyBank readers write us all the time with their “WoW” moments – telling us what they found.

This new PBS television series let’s you see the wow moments as Meryl Streep; Stephen Colbert and other celebrities discover their roots for the first time. The genuine awe and surprise is real.

Faces of America” – is filled with “Wow” moments – watch this

The series starts this coming Wednesday – February 10th and runs through March 3rd in the 8-9pm (ET) time slot.

The series will trace the ancestry of:

Meryl Streep, Stephen Colbert, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Queen Noor, Yo-Yo Ma, Louise Erdrich, Kristi Yamaguchi, Mario Batali, Eva Lonigoria Parker, Malcolm Gladwell, Elizabeth Alexander and Mike Nichols.

It’s not often that genealogy is in the spotlight – get your family & friends to watch – maybe they’ll catch the genealogy bug too.

It’s a great day for genealogy!

Sign up for GenealogyBank now and see what you’ll find about your family!

Wow!

Joshua Hempstead (1678-1758) – I was blind but now I see.

New London Historical Society (CT) is doing a terrific job serializing Joshua Hempstead’s diary on their site.

Styled the Joshua Hempstead Blog – each entry of his diary captures the details of life in Colonial Connecticut. Hempstead’s diary entries are dated from September 8, 1711 through November 3, 1758. He died 22 December 1758.

According to historian Bruce P. Stark, “The diary, the only one of its kind in Connecticut, fills over 700 tightly-packed, printed pages and provides a detailed picture of the life of Hempstead, his family, neighbors, and acquaintances. It also includes a great deal of information about events in New London and eastern Connecticut.” See his complete article: Joshua Hempstead published on the Connecticut Heritage Gateway.
I am looking forward to reading his diary entries for the time his sight was restored in 1831. Here is the account from the newspaper Connecticut Courant 12 July 1831

According to the newspaper he was blind for ten years but being “of an industrious habit” he went to work in his fields every day.

One day after being “led into the field” … “while at work, he placed, as usual, his staff in the centre of a hill of corn, as a guide when stooping with a quick motion, the top of the staff struck his eyebrow a violent blow and glanced over the eye, producing a severe pain.” The blow restored his sight and he “hastened home alone, bearing the joyful tidings, to his astonished and happy family.”

Now – that’s a great family story. If you don’t have your ancestor’s diary passed down in the family or preserved at a historical society – check and see if the stories of their lives were recorded in one of the 3,800+ newspapers in GenealogyBank.

It’s a Great Day for Genealogy!

Many thanks to Barbara Matthews for alerting me to the New London Historical Society’s decision to put Joshua Hempstead’s diary online.
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How do I limit my search to only the "List of Private Claims" volumes?

A: We are working on making it possible to bookmark each one of our historical documents on GenealogyBank. When we have that enhancement in place you will be able to search only one book at a time.

For now – you need to fine tune the search by adding the term “List of Private Claims” in the include keywords with search terms box and adding 1880 to the date field.That will narrow your searches to just those two volumes. See the attached example.

You may then add the surname of the family or name of the individual you would like to research.

You may search these volumes on GenealogyBank:

List of Private Claims ….. (1880/1881) – Volume One
List of Private Claims ….. (1880/1881) – Volume Two

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Find and document your ancestors in GenealogyBank

List of Private Claims – 1815-1881 – Online

John and Jane Q. Public have been petitioning Congress for all types of reasons for over 200 years. The reason for each request may vary – but Congress considered every request.

In 1880 the Senate, presided over by William A. Wheeler (1819-1887), authorized the publication of the List of Private Claims – that listed all claims brought before the Senate from 4 March 1815 to 3 March 1881. The list was so long – 2,056 pages – that the Senate published it in two volumes. This list is in GenealogyBank.

(Photo of William A. Williams, Library of Congress, digital ID cwpbh.03976)

The full title describes it: List of private claims brought before the Senate of the United States from the commencement of the Fourteenth Congress to the close of the Forty-sixth Congress. Prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate, pursuant to the orders of the Senate of April 9, 1840; February 27, 1841; February 8, 1849; March 3, 1855; and March 16, 1866; the act of July 20, 1868, making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the government for the year ending June 30, 1869; and the resolution of the Senate of June 16, 1880. December 21, 1880.

In these typical examples from volume 1, page 931 we see that:

H.W. Jernigan of Georgia had petitioned the Indian Affairs Committee for “Indemnity for Indian deprivations during the Creek War”

Martha Jernigan petitioned “For property stolen by the Indians in the Florida War”

John B. Jerome petitioned “For property destroyed during the War of 1812″

Jerome & McDougal – petitioned for the “Confirmation of land title”

Margaret Jerome petitioned for an “Increase of pension”

James Jewett petitioned to be released from prison.

Some were “passed” as John B. Jerome’s request and others, like James Jewett’s request were rejected.

You may search these volumes on GenealogyBank:

List of Private Claims ….. (1880/1881) – Volume One

List of Private Claims ….. (1880/1881) – Volume Two

Discover your heritage, preserve it and pass it on!

Be a part of GenealogyBankSign up Now.

Find and document your ancestors in GenealogyBank

Cincinnati Volksfreund, 1863-1904, now online – early Ohio German language newspaper

GenealogyBank adds Cincinnati Volksfreund (1863 -1904) an early Ohio German language newspaper.

Click here to Start searching Cincinnati Volksfreund

An Obituary from the Cincinnati Volksfreund – 9 July 1890.

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Idaho Statesman turns 145 years old!

Congratulations to the Idaho Statesman newspaper – it turned 145 years old yesterday!

Click Here to search the old pages of the Idaho Statesman 1864-1922 in GenealogyBank.

Read about the fall of Richmond and the ending of the Civil War; sift the paper for the old obituaries, marriage notices and birth announcements.

“But now everything has changed.
The once little village has been transformed to the big, modern city…
and I am sure were I to revisit your beautiful city,
I would be a veritable Rip Van Winkle.”

G.B. Baldwin
20 Dec 1908 Idaho Statesman


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Find and document your ancestors in GenealogyBank – the best source for old newspapers & documents on the planet.

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The Old Cemetery – a tour in 1822

Newspaper articles can tell us about our ancestors and also the details of the cemeteries where they were buried.

“English names often startled us
as we walked through
the alleys of tombstones…”

I found this article giving a detailed tour of the Père Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père-Lachaise) written in 1822 – one of the oldest and most visited cemeteries in Paris if not the world.

Click Here: to read the complete article published in the 30 April 1822 Eastern Argus (Portland, ME).

By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos’d,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos’d,

By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn’d,
By strangers honour’d, and by strangers mourn’d!
Alexander Pope “Elegy To The Memory Of An Unfortunate Lady. 1717”

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GenealogyBankSign up Now.

Find and document your ancestors in GenealogyBank – the best source for old newspapers & documents on the planet.

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Marriage Announcements -

Get the most out of GenealogyBank!







Whether you’re looking for a wedding announcement published on July 22, 1802, July 22, 1862 or July 22,1962 – GenealogyBank is your comprehensive source.
I didn’t know that was in GenealogyBank!

(Dallas (TX) Morning News – 22 July 1962)
(Maine Eagle – 22 July 1802)
(Baltimore Sun – 22 July 1862)

TIP: Focus your search by the type of article – In this example limit your search to only the marriage notices. Click on the highlighted topic and only those articles will appear in your search.

Discover your heritage, preserve it and pass it on!

Be a part of GenealogyBankSign up Now.

Find and document your ancestors in GenealogyBank – the best source for old newspapers & documents on the planet.

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Genealogy – Growing Even More Popular

“In ever increasing numbers … genealogists becoming more numerous … in every part of the country.”

“Almost every large city has its own genealogical society.”

That sounds like an article from today’s newspaper – but it was written in 1912.

(Read the complete article – 16 Dec 1912 San Jose Mercury News).

But it is as true now as it was nearly 100 years ago when this article was written.

There are more genealogists now than every before.

Genealogists today as then are using the tools and data available to “do accurate and truthful genealogical research.”

Genealogists then and now are working at two goals:

1. To accurately research, document and record the information on their extended family tree.

2. To preserve, disseminate and pass down that information to the rising generation.

Discover your heritage, preserve it and pass it on!

Be a part of GenealogyBankSign up Now.

Find and document your ancestors in GenealogyBank – the best source for old newspapers & documents on the planet.

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Michelle Obama’s – Slave Roots – Friendfield Plantation & Grover Cleveland

(CNN Photo of a slave cabin)

CNN has produced Tracking Michelle Obama’s slave roots - a video tour of Friendfield Plantation in Georgetown, South Carolina – where Michelle Obama’s 2nd Great-Grandfather James Robinson was a slave.

At least one President has been to Friendfield Plantation – in 1894 President Grover Cleveland hunted there. Read the complete news account – Bagged Twenty-Nine – The President’s Fine Shooting on the Second Day Out – 19 Dec 1894 – State (SC)

(Illustration of Pres. Grover Cleveland hunting – from his book: Fishing and Shooting Sketches. NY: Outing Pub., 1906.)

Discover your heritage, preserve it and pass it on!

Be a part of
GenealogyBankSign up Now.

Find and document your ancestors in
GenealogyBank – the best source for old newspapers & documents on the planet.

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