Friday, May 28, 2010

Central Coast Genealogy Calendar: June 2010

"In these divine pleasures permitted to me of walks in the June night under moon and stars, I can put my life as a fact before me and stand aloof from its honor and shame." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals

Thursday, June 3
Monterey County Genealogical Society
7:00 PM (Doors open at 6:00 PM)
Jim Robeson - "Find A Grave Web Site"

Saturday, June 5
San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society
12:30 - 1:00 PM - Research Class: "Beginning Your German Research" – Robert Albert
1:00 PM - Business Meeting
1:15 - 1:45 PM - Social time, book and drawing sales, snacks, coffee and tea
1:45 PM – Main Room - Continuing and Expanding German Research – Robert Albert
1:45 PM - Lunch Room – Top Ten Research Mistakes - Roma Miller

Sunday, June 6
Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County
1:30 - 3:30 PM
Schelly Talalay Dardashti - "Current Trends and Recent Discoveries in Sephardi and Converso/Bnai Anousim Research"

Tuesday, June 8
Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Computer Interest Group Meeting
Georgine Herd – "Family Tree Maker – Intermediate to Advanced"

Tuesday, June 15
Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
5:30 - 6:30 PM
Genealogy Tools
Delores Pedersen – "How To Get the Most Out of Message Boards"

Tuesday, June 15
Conejo Valley Genealogical Society
6:45 - 8:45 PM - General Meeting

Saturday, June 19
Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Kenneth Baxter Wolf - "How I went about turning a handful of underappreciated family mementos into a line that stretches back to Germany in the 1740s."

Saturday, June 19
Ventura County Genealogical Society
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Anne J. Miller, Ph.D. - "Overcoming Obstacles that Interfere with Finding Your Ancestors"

Please send me an email if you would like to have your event included in this monthly calendar series.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daughters of the American Revolution Participates in Blue Star Museums

DAR Museum one of more than 600 museums
to offer free admission
to military personnel and their families this summer

WASHINGTON, DC - The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is proud to announce its participation in Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 600 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2010. Families can visit for hours of operation and additional information. The complete list of participating Blue Star Museums is available at

The DAR Museum is already open to the public for free year round, so in recognition of the Blue Star Museums partnership, a specially designed scavenger hunt tour of the building will be available for active duty military personnel and their families along with a goody bag. The DAR Museum is composed of 31 period rooms depicting scenes from life in early America, as well as permanent and changing exhibitions which showcase American furnishings and decorative arts prior to 1830. The current exhibition "Honoring Lafayette: Contemporary Quilts from France and America," runs through September 4, 2010 and celebrates the life of the Marquis de Lafayette and explores the cultural bonds between France and America. Also offered through the Blue Star Museums program will be free admission to DAR Library for genealogical research as well as a special scavenger hunt section for the Americana Room exhibits (which are free year round) featuring items from the historic manuscript collection.

"The Daughters of the American Revolution is honored to partner with the Blue Star Museums program to offer active duty military personnel and their families not only a special free self-guided tour to our DAR Museum and Americana Room but also to waive the research fee for our DAR Library," says DAR President General Linda Calvin. "For 120 years the DAR has promoted historic preservation, education and patriotism and it is only natural to participate in this worthy program to show our appreciation for the U.S. Military personnel and their families."

"America's museums are proud to join the rest of the country in thanking our military personnel and their families for their service and sacrifice," said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman. "I cannot imagine a better way to do that than welcoming them in to explore and enjoy the extraordinary cultural heritage our museums present. The works of art on view this summer will inspire and challenge viewers, and sometimes they will just be a great deal of fun."

"There have always been wonderful examples of partnerships between museums and military installations, but the scale of this gift from the museum communities to military families is thrilling," said Blue Star Families Chairman Kathy Roth-Douquet. "Military families work hard for this country, and it is gratifying for us to be recognized for that. We anticipate that thousands of military families will participate in the program and visit museums this summer – many of them for the first time. Blue Star Families will work hard to help our military families make the most of these opportunities."

Blue Star Museums Details

More than 600 museums in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are taking part in the initiative. Blue Star Museums runs from Memorial Day, May 31 through to Labor Day, September 6, 2010. The free admission program is available to active duty military and their immediate family members (military ID holder and five immediate family members), which includes active duty Reserve and active duty National Guard. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. For questions on particular exhibits or museums, please contact the museum directly. To find out which museums are participating, visit The site includes a list of participating museums and a map to help with visit planning.

* * *

You can download the self-guided tour to your iPod or other MP3 device by visiting the DAR Museum Podcast page, or by going directly to the iTunes Store and searching for "DAR Podcast."

If you're summer plans do not include a trip to Washington, DC, but you'd like to take a look at the DAR Museum, you can always take a "virtual tour" of the DAR Period Rooms from the comfort of your own home. In your pajamas.

For more information, please visit the DAR's web site.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Complimentary Membership for all NGS Members

This has sure been a busy week for announcements and freebies! I received this message in my inbox this morning from the National Genealogical Society:
Dear Member, we've got some great news!

As part of a special partnership between the National Genealogical Society and, all NGS members will receive a complementary three-month membership to ($20 retail value). You don't even need to enter your credit card, and the membership will not renew without your expressed permission. is a relatively new family history website, but they’ve already managed to compile over 1.2 billion records, online family tree tools, a community forum, and lots of other resources – all of which are available at no cost to you as part of your complimentary membership. Your membership includes unlimited viewing of millions of original census and vital records. However, some services and documents provided by other companies to such as contact information reports, on-site court record retrieval and Footnote images are not free. You can obtain this information on a fee per document basis. NGS has a number of new members who are just beginning family history research and this gives them an opportunity to search the indexes for free and become familiar with various record groups.

So, why would donate over $170,000 worth of membership resources to NGS and its members? Three primary reasons:

1. Give Back - Our mission at is to make family history simple and affordable. The National Genealogical Society and other non-profit groups provide valuable resources and information to the family history community, and we’re committed to supporting these efforts.

2. Get The Word Out - launched in July of 2009, and has quickly become one of the most frequently visited family history websites in the US. Despite that, many people still don't know about us!

3. We Need Your Feedback - It's VERY important to us!

The truth is, we're just getting started in building our product. We’ve added a lot of records and built some useful resources, but we’re most excited about the innovative tools and additional record collections we can add to help make family history simple and affordable. As you use our product, please give us your feedback - good or bad. The more specific, the better!

The main feedback is of course: "get more data" - and we're doing just that. Already this year, we've added over 300,000,000 records, including broad access to UK Census and Vital indexes and original images.

[personal account info removed]

We look forward to helping you explore your family history!

Joe & Julie
Product Managers

With a very successful conference in Salt Lake City completed, NGS is pleased to be announcing the first of several new affiliate relationships this year that will provide additional benefits or discounts to NGS members. Archives' mission is to make family history records more accessible and affordable and NGS is excited to work with them towards this shared goal. We all benefit from the recent increased interest in family history and we hope this three-month complimentary membership will facilitate your research.

Jan Alpert, President
National Genealogical Society
Did you see that? NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED. Now that's really free, in my book!

Oddly enough, my husband was just asking me the other day if I had ever tried I'll admit that I have - for some client research earlier this year - but I did not find anything useful at that time. I do want to point out that my search was done before the "renovation" that has been underway for a while, so I need to take a peek at what they've got to offer now. Besides, can you ever really have too many subscriptions to genealogy resources (don't answer that, hubby)?

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Free Webinar: Family Tree Maker Advanced Topics

This really seems to be the day for press releases! I received the following announcement from
Your family tree has come so far.
Now let us help you extend it.

Family Tree Maker Advanced Topics
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm Eastern

Register today for this FREE WEBINAR


Join the Family Tree Maker 2010 team as we take you on a tour of the software and demonstrate some of the advanced features available in Family Tree Maker 2010—Ancestry’s premium family tree software.

In the webinar we will share tips on features like these:

* Publishing charts and reports
* Working with Web Search
* Merging
* Exporting different branches of your tree
* Using keyboard shortcuts
* Attaching and detaching people
* Choosing relationship types (for souses and children)
* Resolving unrecognized place names

Additionally, we will have some of our developers—the folks behind the scenes—answer some of your questions. Please submit your questions in advance by visiting the Family Tree Maker blog.

We hope you will join us and the Family Tree Maker community to learn more about some advanced tools that will help you create a more complete and accurate tree.

Register now

SPEAKER — Duff Wilson, Sr.
User Interface Designer — Family Tree Maker
Duff has 20 years of software design and development experience creating user-friendly interface designs which have earned national awards. He holds a master’s degree from Utah State University in instructional technology with an emphasis in computer-based instruction. He is an avid genealogist. In the process of designing Family Tree Maker, Duff has worked closely with countless genealogists, ranging from novice to expert.

Moderator — Michelle Pfister
Senior Product Manager — Family Tree Maker
Michelle has 20 years industry experience with companies such as Microsoft, WordPerfect, and NTT/Verio. Products she has worked on include Microsoft SharePoint, WordPerfect Suite, Corel WordPerfect Legal Edition, and several Verio eCommerce offerings. One of her passions is making software simple to use, yet powerful for the pros.
For more information about this event, please click on the Register link above, or contact

Disclaimer: I am not a paid advertiser for I do have a subscription to their services which I paid for with community property money of my husband's. Or whatever. You know what I mean.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Upcoming Event: Historic Walking Tour of the Santa Barbara Cemetery

Resignation by Ettore Cadorin (Petry)
Historic Walking Tour of the Santa Barbara Cemetery with Historian, David Petry, author of The Best Last Place: a History of the Santa Barbara Cemetery.

Sunday, May 30, 2010, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Rain or Shine!)
Meet at the Cemetery Chapel, 901 Channel Drive.

For more information, please visit The Graveyard Rabbit of the California Central Coast.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal Provides Free Access to U.S. Military Databases

Remembering our military ancestors for Memorial Day.

Folks who are working on their DAR, SAR, UDC, and SCV applications - or anyone researching an ancestor's military service - may be interested in the following announcement, which I received from Gena Philibert Ortega, Genealogy Community Director at FamilyLink, Inc. Invites Family Historians to Honor Their Veteran Ancestors by Researching Military Records

To help families discover their ancestors WorldVitalRecords provides free access to U.S. Military Databases

PROVO, UT, May 26, 2010–, an online family history resource, today announced free public access to all of its United States Military databases from May 27, 2010 through June 1, 2010 in honor of Memorial Day.

"Providing free access to our U.S. Military Records allows the public a chance to find their ancestors and remember their sacrifices," said Gena Philibert Ortega, Genealogy Community Director for FamilyLink. "Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and was a day to honor those who died in the Civil War. Since then it has become a day to honor all of our soldiers who have died during war time."

Featured free U.S. Military records include:

World War II Army Enlistment
This collection includes the names of over 8 million people who enlisted in the army during World War II (1938-1946). Information in this database includes an enlistee’s birthdate and birthplace, marital status, education level, occupation and more. Researchers can use this information to order military records for their ancestor from the National Personnel Records Center.

Air Force Register Extracts
Over 1.65 million names of Air Force solider who were promoted to the rank of officers are listed in this database from the Uniform Officer Records published by the Department of the Air Force.

Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps
This database includes names and information about Navy and Marine officers from 1864 to 1973.

Revolutionary War Collection
This new collection of digitized books chronicles the names of the men who fought in the American Revolutionary War as well as the events. Nine states are represented in this collection: Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Vietnam Memorial Index
Dedicated in November 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors members of the United States military who died in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War or were still categorized as missing in action (MIA) at the time the monument was built. Its black granite walls are engraved with nearly 60,000 names. The Vietnam Memorial Index pinpoints the panel and line numbers needed to locate a veteran’s name upon the walls of the shrine.

U.S. Korean Causalities 1950-1957
This database contains selected descriptive data about U.S. military personnel who died by hostile means (i.e. battle deaths) as a result of combat duty in the Korean War. The data were usually extracted from Department of Defense Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) as well as from each of the four military services of the Department of Defense. The variables available from each casualty record may include: Name, Military Service Branch, File Reference Number, Service Number, Military Grade or Rank, Pay Grade, Date of Casualty, Service Component, Home of Record (place and state), Birth Date, Cause of Casualty, Aircraft Involvement (air/non-air casualty), Race and Citizenship.

"All of these military records and more can be found at," added Ortega. "What better way to honor our ancestors than taking some time to research those who have served in the military."

Service Records of Confederate Soldiers
This index includes records from the Confederate government and the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The records are card abstracts of original muster roles, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, Union prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, inspection reports, etc. A given soldier may have multiple documents.

World War II Reserve Corps Records
Documenting the period 1938 – 1946, this series contains records of approximately nine million men and women who enlisted in the United States Army, including the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. In general, the records contain the serial number, name, state and county of residence, place of enlistment, date of enlistment, grade, Army branch, term of enlistment, longevity, nativity (place of birth), year of birth, race, education, civilian occupation, marital status, height and weight (before 1943) and military occupational specialty (1945 and later).

About,, is simplifying family history research by providing many easy-to-use tools and resources to discover and connect with others interested in family history. WorldVitalRecords provides access to more than 1.5 billion international and U.S. records. provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 258,000 monthly visitors. The site registers 3.6 million monthly pages views and serves tens of thousands of paying subscribers. With thousands of databases—including birth, death, military, census, and parish records— makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree.

WorldVitalRecords was recently named one of the 50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites by ProGenealogists, WorldVitalRecords is part of the, Inc. network of family-focused interactive properties including, GenealogyWise, FamilyLink and the My Family application on Facebook.
I do not know if this deal means "free - with a credit card number" or "free - without a credit card number." I will find out tomorrow when the offer starts.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Gena Philibert Ortega.

Disclaimer: I am not paid to advertise for WorldVitalRecords. I have my own subscription to their services, which I paid for with very own money. Ok, maybe my husband's very own money. But you get the point. I just like to share information about free stuff.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: John S. BROWN

John S. Brown's headstone is here, but where is his body?

John S. (Smith?) BROWN was the son of Zachariah BROWN and Mary HAWS. He was born on June 23, 1838 in Washington County, Tennessee.

John married Serena BAXTER on September 26, 1858 in Greene County, Tennessee. They had 5 children together:
  • Mary M. BROWN - b. 28 Feb 1860 in Greene Co., TN; died 10 Jul 1942 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
  • James Franklin BROWN - b. 09 Jun 1863 in Greene Co., TN; died 22 Nov1931 in Fergus, Montana.
  • Ruth Ella BROWN - b. March 1871 in Greene Co., TN; died after 1916.
  • Deluna Frances BROWN - b. 03 May 1876 in Greene Co., TN; d. 20 Dec 1953 in Kingsport, Sullivan Co, TN.
  • Katie J. BROWN - b. c. 1878 in Greene Co., TN; presumed dead before 1910.
John died of acute heart disease on October 10, 1919, in Greene Co., Tennessee. His headstone, above, is located in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee.

However, rumor has it that because of a disagreement between his daughter Deluna, son-in-law Frank SWANAY, and himself (they tried to have him legally declared a "lunatic" 3 years earlier so they could get control of his estate), his body is actually buried in Bethesda Cemetery with his parents. I have found no proof of this, although it is odd that John's date of death is not inscribed on the headstone at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

Serena's headstone is on the other side of John's.

For sources and information about this family, please contact me.

Headstone of John S. Brown photographed by Elizabeth O'Neal, May 1994, Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Monday, May 24, 2010

Best Bytes for May 17-23, 2010

"It's like looking for John Brown in the Civil War." 

I heard a genealogist say this once as a description of the proverbial genealogical "needle in a haystack." I had no idea that one day I'd be looking for that very same needle.

As I mentioned on Saturday, I've been up to my eyeballs in BROWN genealogy for my ProGen final exam. It's been fascinating to re-examine this family in order to "prove" that my great-great-grandfather, John S. Brown, is the same John S. Brown who served as a private in the 60th Mounted Tennessee Infantry (Confederate) during the Civil War.

Why am I going to all this trouble when I could have just "got 'er done" with something much simpler? Well, for years, my family claimed that we had ancestors who fought on both sides of the Civil War. My aunt tracked down several Union ancestors, including John Dunn and his mysterious father, Samuel Marion Dunn, as well as John's father-in-law William H. Swatzell. However, we have never been able to "prove" that any ancestors fought for the Confederacy.

So... this is now my mission. I'm hoping that the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) will find my proof argument compelling enough to approve my application. I'll keep you posted.

* * *

But Don't I Need A First Life First?

The week before last, I attended a meeting of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), right from my own computer. Actually, I had to venture into Second Life (SL) for this meeting, which was something fairly new to me. Second Life comes with a bit of a learning curve, but thankfully, I had a wonderful mentor in SL-APG president Genie Weezles. In addition to Genie, I ran into several other familiar faces... although I didn't know they were familiar at the time.

My SL alter-ego: Serena Snowfield. I look just like this in RL (HA!).
DearMYRTLE gives a great tutorial about how to get started in Second Life here (she's quite the hottie, don't you think?). Unless you're a video game-addicted teenager, it will probably require some practice for you to get the hang of it. I'm still trying to figure out how to walk to a spot and sit down without stepping all over everyone. There are actually quite a lot of genealogists on SL, and they're friendly and helpful, just like in RL (real life).

If you find yourself in SL, look me up: I'm Serena Snowfield (Serena was my gg-grandmother's name). I apologize in advance if I step on you, fly over your head, or start dancing unexpectedly.

* * *

In Other News:

Blogger recently announced that they had improved their Preview Post feature in Blogger in Draft. Now, Blogger announces improvements all the time that I don't find to be all that great, but I have to say that I love, love, love the new Preview feature. Finally, you get to see how your post will *really* look after it's published, not just in that silly pop-up window (that you still get in regular Blogger).

A preview of Blogger in Draft's new Preview feature.
Another feature of Blogger in Draft that I like is the photo uploader. This isn't new, but I haven't had a chance to mention it here yet. You get to see ALL photos that you've uploaded in the past (provided that you're using the Picasa account that comes with your blog), not just the photos you've uploaded for a particular post.

I like that I can go back and select photos I've used in the past without having to clutter up my Picasa album with the same photos over and over again. For example, I've got about 14 images of THIS from my early days of blogging (and not knowing where my photos went to live). Some Picasa housekeeping is definitely in order for me.

The wide, open space of a new blog.
If you haven't tried it yet, give Blogger in Draft a whirl.

* * *

On Saturday, our local newspaper published an article about a Japanese-American who fled the area with his family during WWII (he was invited to speak at a local church yesterday). At that time, Japanese residents were being rounded up and sent to War Relocation Camps in North Dakota. The story he tells of his family's hardships is fascinating.

Cartas... Letters From Home (a local Santa Barbara photo-blogger) also published this article, and included photos from the Library of Congress.

* * *

Hewlett Packard has "expanded" their recall of notebook computer batteries due to fire hazard. If you own an HP notebook computer, you'd better check to see if your battery is one of these. I wouldn't want your computer to burn up and have you lose all your precious genealogy data!

* * *

A Sampling of my Favs from Around the Blogosphere:

Anne Morddel of The French Genealogy Blog wrote an interesting post about the census in France. If you're looking for ancestors in the French census, Anne has some tips on how to find them.

IrishEyes of "'On a flesh and bone foundation': An Irish History" posted 13 Tips + 1 for conducting research in Ireland. This is great advice, not just for research in Ireland, but for anywhere. You can always catch more flies with honey, as my grandma used to say.

I enjoyed Reconstructing the 1790 Census on Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Genealogy Blog (not just because I'm a Tennessee researcher myself). She shares her frustration in trying to "amass a 'census' of persons residing in Tennessee, 1787-1791." Doesn't sound like an easy task.

Apple of Apple's Tree shared a fascinating ancestral heirloom she found for sale while surfing the web (all for the low, low price of $4,000). You just never know what you'll find out there on the Internets, do you?

Brett Payne of Photo-Sleuth ponders the story of a family photo in Three Men and a Pipe ... to say nothing of the dog! Who knew that a photo of a few men clowning with a dog could have so much back-story!? Stop by and let Brett know if you think he's on the right track.

Finally, take a look at What Blooms in Santa Barbara in May on Cartas... Letters From Home. Sadly, my yard does not look as lovely as any of these.

* * *

The Last Byte

I would like to thank Greta Koehl of Greta's Genealogy Blog for picking "Little Bytes of Life" as her Follow Friday recommendation last week. I would never, however, describe myself as a "well-organized researcher," but I'm glad that I must hide it well!

Thanks also go to Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings and John Newmark of TransylvanianDutch for including my post about Our Trip to the N.S.C.A.R. National Convention in their weekly "Best of" lists. Go visit their lists for more terrific posts that you may have missed!

Have a wonderful week!

Copyright © Elizabeth O'Neal

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SNGF: The Time Capsule

It's Saturday night, and me without a date. Ok, I have a date, but he's on the other computer doing genealogy. And we're both too exhausted to go anywhere.

Such is the life of parents of a young child.

Anyway, tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun involves a trip in the dMarie Time Capsule. Yeah, I never heard of it either, which is why I decided to check it out tonight.

I entered the date of 02 October 1917, which was the date of my paternal grandparents' marriage. I tried some earlier dates (like the date of the first Memorial Day, since I've got Memorial Day on the brain this week), but there isn't as much information for pre-1900 dates.

Here's what was going on that day/week:

Top News Headlines This Week:
Oct 4 - British assault on Broodseinde, France

Top Songs for 1917
Rockaway by Howard Johnson
My Sunshine Jane by Keirn Brennan
Hawaiian Butterfly by George Little
Lily of the Valley by L.W. Gilbert
Huckleberry Finn by Cliff Hess
The Bombo-Shay by Henry Creamer
Indiana by Ballard MacDonald
Some Sunday Morning by Gus Kahn

1917 Prices
Bread: $0.09/loaf
Milk: $0.44/gal
Eggs: $0.36/doz
Car: $375
Gas: $0.24/gal
House: $5,520
Stamp: $0.02/ea
Avg Income: $1,100/yr
DOW Avg: 74

U.S. President
Woodrow Wilson

U.S. Vice President
Thomas R. Marshall

People born on October 2
1917 - Francis Jackson, organist & master of Music/York minister
1917 - William Marshall III, Chicago IL, actor (Blacula, Honky)

Hot New Toys in 1917
Radio Flyer "Liberty Coaster"

Top Books in 1917
On Growth and Form by D'Arcy Thompson

I've heard of almost none of those things. But I'm sure they would have meant something to my grandparents.

Photo of the Radio Flyer "Liberty Coaster" by Radio Flyer. Visit their cool timeline page. My kid has their Classic Red Tricycle and loves it.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Registration Now Open for 2010 Professional Management Conference

I received the following press release this morning:

Charting Your Path to Success – APG PMC, 17 August 2010, Knoxville, Tennessee

As professional genealogists we must educate ourselves on business issues, methodology, technological advances, and many other issues related to research. Conferences offer formal training opportunities as well as the ability to network with other professionals. Lunchtime and after–hours are often great times for networking. Put education at the top of your priority list and join us at this upcoming event.

The 2010 APG Professional Management Conference (PMC) on 17 August 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee offers great educational opportunities. Register by 1 June and save $20.00. For more information see:

The topics for the 2010 PMC include:

*From the Trenches: How We Manage Clients, Time, and Projects*
Laura Prescott

*A Key to Success: Your Online Presence*
D. Joshua Taylor

*Overcoming Obstacles that Interfere with Genealogical Research*
Anne J. Miller, PhD

*Expand Your Revenue: Produce and Sell Your Lectures in Video Format*
Donna M. Moughty

*Niche Planning and Marketing*
Paula Stuart Warren, CG

*Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities*
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG

*Get Published in Magazines!*
Leslie Albrecht Huber

*Notice*: There are two important changes to remember about the 2010 PMC. Prior PMCs were held on the Wednesday before the FGS conference started, but this year the PMC is a day earlier. The 2010 PMC is scheduled for Tuesday, 17 August. Lunch is included this year and is not a separate registration item.

Go to for program details.

To register, go to In order to attend the PMC, individuals must also register for at least one day of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference.

For Facebook members, information and a list of some attendees is available on the event page:

Permission is given to forward this to all interested parties.
Oh, how I wish I could go to the FGS Conference this year. Knoxville is just a hop and a skip away from Greeneville, Tennessee, a place where I have lots of unfinished genealogy business to do!

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Surname Saturday: BROWN (PA > TN)

For the past few weeks, I've been working on my ProGen "final exam": the PROOF ARGUMENT. I could have picked something fairly easy, like proving that so-and-so is the father of such-and-such (something I already know to be true). But I decided to tackle something slightly more difficult: "proving" that my great-great-grandfather, John S. Brown, is the same John S. Brown who served as a private in the 60th Mounted Tennessee Infantry (Confederate) during the Civil War.

Fun, huh? But, more on that later.

As a result, I've been heavily immersed in BROWN genealogy. Here is the generation on which I am currently working (and, more confident of its accuracy), that of John S. BROWN:

* * *

John Smith BROWN was born on 23 Jun 1838 in Washington Co, Tennessee, and was the son of Zachariah BROWN and  Mary HAWS. He died on 10 Oct 1919 in Greene Co, Tennessee.

John married Serena BAXTER on 26 Sep 1858 in Greene Co, Tennessee. Serena was the daughter of Barnett BAXTER and Melissa CUNNINGHAM. She was born on 20 Dec 1840 in Greene Co, Tennessee, and  died on 15 Jan 1916 in Greene Co, Tennessee.

John and Serena had 5 children:

Mary Melissa BROWN -  She was born on 28 Feb 1860 in Greeneville, Greene Co, Tennessee. Mary married 1) James McDonald (d. 1889), and 2) Frank Brandon c. 1894. She died on 10 Jul 1942 in Black Mountain, Buncombe Co, North Carolina.

James Franklin BROWN - He was born on 09 Jun 1863 in Greene Co, Tennessee. He married Emma Lee Smith c. 30 Jul 1884 in Greene Co., Tennessee. He died on 22 Nov 1931 in Winifred, Fergus Co, Montana.

Ruth Ella BROWN - She was born Abt. 1871 in Greene Co, Tennessee. She married A. Jackson Baxter on 01 Mar 1891. She died Aft. 1916.

Deluna Frances BROWN (my great-grandmother) -  She was born on 03 May 1876 in Greene Co, Tennessee. She married William Franklin SWANAY on 23 Jul 1891 in Greeneville, Greene Co, Tennessee. She died on 20 Dec 1953 in Kingsport, Sullivan Co, Tennessee.

Katie J. BROWN - She was born Abt. 1878 in Greene Co, Tennessee, and is believe to have died before 1910.

* * *

I am still in the process of verifying information on the children, since the number of children living at the time of John's pension application is part of my argument (no, their names were not mentioned, and neither was his wife's).

If you think you might have information about this family, please feel free to leave me a comment below, or click on the cute, pink "contact" button over to your left. I am happy to provide source information upon request.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, May 21, 2010

British Library and brightsolid to Digitize Millions of Historic Newspapers

The British Library recently announced a partnership with brightsolid to digitize up to 40 million pages from the historic national newspaper collection, making this resource available for the first time online:
Spanning three centuries and including 52,000 local, regional, national and international titles, the British Library holds one of the world’s finest collections of newspapers. Each year the Newspaper Library at Colindale is used by 30,000 researchers in subjects ranging from family history and genealogy to sports statistics, politics and industrial history. This vast resource is held mainly in hard copy and microfilm, necessitating a trip to the north London site for people wishing to use the collection.

The partnership between the British Library and brightsolid will enable the digitisation of a minimum of 4 million pages of newspapers over the first two years. Over the course of ten years, the agreement aims to deliver up to 40 million pages as the mass digitisation process becomes progressively more efficient and as in-copyright content is scanned following negotiation with rightsholders.
You can read more about this project here and here.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Deluna's Painting

"Deluna's Painting" Digital image. Photograph of a painting of Deluna (Brown) Swanay. Photographed by D. Swanay. Date unknown. Maryland.

About Wordless Wednesday.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our Trip to the N.S.C.A.R. National Convention

Last month, my daughter and I took a trip to Crystal City, Virginia, for the National Convention of the National Society Children of the American Revolution (N.S.C.A.R.). For those of you who have never heard of this organization:

C.A.R., the nation's oldest, largest, patriotic youth organization, offers membership to anyone under the age of 21, lineally descended from someone who rendered material aid to the cause of American Independence as a soldier, sailor, civil officer, or recognized patriot in one of the several Colonies or States, or of the United States.
In a nutshell, it's kind of like the DAR or SAR, except for kids.

I had never been to this event before, and neither had my daughter, of course, so it was going to be a new adventure for both of us (in more ways than one). My daughter loves airplanes, but 6.5 hours of sitting cooped up in one place is a serious test of patience for an adult, not to mention a 3 year-old. Let's just say... I've never been so glad to get off an airplane in my whole life.

Our first day of the Convention involved a trip to DAR Headquarters for the Senior National Board Meeting (adults are referred to as "seniors"). Board meetings are almost never interesting to photograph, so I'll share a few of my daughters favorite moments.

You've seen this one before, but I couldn't help myself. It involves 3 of my favorite things: my kid, the DAR, and pansies.

So tempting: the New Hampshire Toy Attic in the DAR Museum. "Mommy, I want to play with those TOYS!" "Sorry honey, you can't."
Serious 3 year-old disappointment.

Disappointment abated. Outside the Toy Attic is a place where kids can play with real (reproduction) Colonial toys. My daughter wasted no time organizing a tea party for her bear.

Kid-sized antique furniture! Who doesn't want this in their living room?

You can't sit on the adult-sized Rococo-style settee in the Iowa Room.
And no, I haven't tried.

Our final evening included a formal banquet. Lighthouses were everywhere in honor of the National President's theme, "Reflections of Independence." Her project was to raise funds to aid in the restoration and preservation of the Morris Island Lighthouse in Charleston, South Carolina.

These two lighthouses really lit up, and so did the kids and adults who posed here for photos. My daughter is pictured holding a ball that I was forced to buy in order to get her to stop screaming, "Bouncy ball! Bouncy ball!" during the election meeting. It's true: I had to bribe her to vote.

How the modern, tech-saavy kid copes with boredom at formal events:
iPod, headphones, bear.

Our final day included a trip to Mount Vernon for the installation of National Officers and Senior National Officers. You can't tell from this picture, but it was cold, windy, and seriously miserable, weather-wise.

Yep, that's me getting installed as the Senior State President for California.
I could use a clone, if anyone knows how to make one.

As a side note, I've noticed over the past, say, 4 years, that I've been taking considerably fewer pictures when I travel. I used to come home with hundreds of images; now I'm lucky if I make it home with a few dozen. I'm thinking it might have something to do with constantly watching to make sure my kid doesn't run into traffic or single-handedly destroy an antique toy museum... which doesn't leave much time or energy for photography.

No time for sight-seeing or genealogy on this whirlwind trip, but we did have a lot of fun, and made some special mommy-daughter memories that we wouldn't otherwise have made. One of my favorite excursions was a walk to the mall under the hotel for dinner (pizza) and some light shopping (blister treatments and a few new toys). It wasn't the Smithsonian, but it was a moment in time that I won't soon forget.

We'll be heading out for another adventure at the end of June... this time to Pocatello, Idaho, for the N.S.C.A.R. Western Regional Meeting. At least this time it won't involve such a long plane ride!

Copyright © Elizabeth O'Neal

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Little Bytes of Life" Among's Top 100 Genealogy Sites

I have been so crazy-busy (not to mention out-of-the-loop) since I returned home from the N.S.C.A.R. National Convention / visit with my Dad. You can imagine how surprised I was to learn that "Little Bytes of Life" was included among's list of "Top 100 Genealogy Sites."

As always, it amazes me that anyone even reads my blog (especially since I've been short on content lately), much less has anything nice to say about it. Awards are downright shocking.

There were, in my humble opinion, some glaring omissions to this list, but as explained:
We put a focus on finding hidden gems in the community, so there's a good chance that some of these are sites you won't have seen before. It's a testament to the vibrancy of the online genealogy community that even this selection of 100 sites had to leave out a lot of quality content. Nevertheless, these are the 100 we came up with, presented in alphabetical order. We hope you enjoy reading them!
Momma always taught me to just say "thank you" to a compliment, and not to ask questions. So... thank you,, for finding "Little Bytes of Life" to be one of your "hidden gems." Hopefully it won't remain hidden for too much longer!

Congratulations to the other 99 wonderful sites on this list. I hope that you will take the time to visit them and say "hello!"

And to the "glaring omissions" I say, "You guys are all ROCK STARS in my book." You know who you are.

Copyright © Elizabeth O'Neal

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

My mother and me, 1963.

A Mother's Love

There are times when only a mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.

There are times when only a mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.

There are times when only a mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.

For a mother's heart and a mother's faith
And a mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the angels
And sent from God above.

--Author Unknown

My daughter and me on our first Mother's Day, 2007.
(Yes, I really was as tired as I looked.)

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and moms-to-be out there. It really is the hardest job you'll ever love.

Copyright © Elizabeth O'Neal

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: And Mommy Was So Proud

"And Mommy Was So Proud" Digital image. Photographed by Elizabeth O'Neal, April 15, 2010, DAR National Headquarters, District of Columbia.

About Wordless Wednesday.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal