Monday, September 23, 2013

Non-traditional Genealogy Resources

Genealogy tip for today: Non traditional genealogy sources



Genealogy Tip for today: We are all familiar with the typical sources of information we use in our research of family history – vital records, wills, baptismal certificates, etc. There are a variety of sources right at home that the folks from Ancestry have written about:

Genealogists typically use the same types of records for performing family history research: vital records, old censuses, deeds, and more. However, there are many other types of sources that can be useful in genealogical research. This list is only a sampling of the many non-traditional genealogical sources a family history researcher may discover.

Family Bible

Family bibles can be a great resource for genealogists. It was once common practice to record family births and marriages in the family bible. In fact, these may be the only place where the events were ever recorded. When recording information from a family bible, be sure to not the date when the bible was printed. This is important in determining if the information was recorded at the time the events happened, or copied from older records (for example, a 1775 marriage that was recorded in a bible printed in 1885 has been copied, and therefore may or may not be completely accurate).


Old letters can provide genealogists with a story about their ancestors. They may provide information about births, deaths or marriages, daily life, fighting in a war, and more. Envelopes that accompany letters provide addresses and the date of mailing (which is especially important if there is no date on the letter itself).

Baby Books

Baby books provide the names & birth dates of the people they were written about. They may also list the names of family members and godparents. These books also often contain a physical description of the baby, baptismal dates, and addresses.

Account Books

Account books were often kept by the head of household (typically the father), and contain records of financial transactions. These may include land sales or purchases, cash advances to a child, equipment purchases, household expenses, and more. Miscellaneous notes, such as births, deaths, marriages, baptisms, and occupations may also be included in account books.


Diaries were commonly written during important historical events, such as the California Gold Rush, wars, and migrations. It was also common for people to write diaries about their daily lives. Unfortunately, many diaries have not survived, but those that have can be a genealogical gold mine, containing personal stories, names, dates, locations, and much more.


Old photographs not only provide an image of what an ancestor looked like, names & dates may be written on the back. The city where the photograph was taken may also be listed, as well as a brief story about what is happening in the photo.




1553 The Sadians defeat the last of their enemies and establish themselves as rulers of Morocco.

1561 Philip II of Spain gives orders to halt colonizing efforts in Florida.

1577 William of Orange makes his triumphant entry into Brussels, Belgium.

1667 Slaves in Virginia are banned from obtaining their freedom by converting to Christianity.

1739 The Austrians sign the Treaty of Belgrade after having lost the city to the Turks.

1779 The American navy under John Paul Jones, commanding from Bonhomme Richard, defeats and captures the British man-of-war Serapis.

1788 Louis XVI of France declares the Parliament restored.

1795 A national plebiscite approves the new French constitution, but so many voters sustain that the results are suspect.

1803 British Major General Sir Arthur Wellesley defeats the Marathas at Assaye, India

1805 Lieutenant Zebulon Pike pays $2,000 to buy from the Sioux a 9-square-mile tract at the mouth of the Minnesota River that will be used to establish a military post, Fort Snelling.

1806 The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrives back in St. Louis just over three years after its departure.

1864 Confederate and Union forces clash at Mount Jackson, Front Royal and Woodstock in Virginia during the Valley campaign.

1911 The Second International Aviation Meet opens in New York.

1912 Mack Sennet's first "Keystone Cop" film debuts, Cohen Collects a Debt.

1945 The first American dies in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon to French forces.

1952 Richard Nixon responds to charges of a secret slush fund during his 'Checkers Speech.'

1954 East German police arrest 400 citizens as U.S. spies.

1967 Soviets sign a pact to send more aid to Hanoi.

1973 Juan Peron is re-elected president of Argentina after being overthrown in 1955.

1983 Gerrie Coetzee (Gerhardus Coetzee), boxer from South Africa; first boxer from the African continent to win a world heavyweight tittle (World Boxing Association).

1983 Gulf Air Flight 771 from Karachi, Pakistan, to Abu Dhabi, UAE, bombed; all 117 aboard die.

1992 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonates 3,700-lb. bomb in Belfast, completely destroying the Northern Ireland forensic laboratory, injuring 20 people and damaging 700 houses.

2002 The first public version of Mozilla Firefox browser released; originally called Phoenix 0.1 its name was changed due to trademark issues with Phoenix Technologies.

2004 Hurricane Jeanne causes severe flooding in Haiti; over 1,000 reported dead.



63    Augustus Caesar, first Roman Emperor, who introduced Pax Romana, the era of peace.

1800 William Holmes McGuffey, educator famous for his book Eclectic Readers.

1838 Victoria Chaflin Woodhull, the first woman presidential candidate (1872) in the United States.

1863 Mary Church Terrell, educator and civil rights advocate.

1865 Emmuska Orczy, baroness and author of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

1889 Walter Lippmann, journalist, one of the founders of The New Republic Magazine in 1914.

1889 Louise Nevelson, sculptor.

1915 Clifford G. Shull, physicist, improved techniques for exploring the atomic structure of matter.

1926 John Coltrane, influential jazz saxaphonist.

1930 Ray Charles, rhythm 'n' blues piano player and singer.

1934 Ahmad Shah, Crown Prince of Afghanistan and heir apparent to the throne.

1936 Valentin Corazao, Interim President of Peru (2000-01) after Pres. Alberto Fujimori was removed from office by Congress.

1943  Julio Iglesia, singer, songwriter with more than 2,600 certified gold and platinum records ("To All the Girls I've Loved Before," "Summer Wind").

1949 Mary Kay Place, Emmy-winning actress (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), singer.

1949 Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen, singer, songwriter, musician ("Born to Run," "Born in the U.S.A"); his multiple awards include 20 Grammys, two Golden Globes, and an Oscar, the latter for "Streets of Philadelphia" (1994).

1961 William "Willie" McCool, American astronaut; among those killed when Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates while reentering Earth's atmosphere (2003).



(SHIB-uh-lith, -leth)


1. The use of a word or pronunciation that distinguishes a group of people.
2. A slogan, belief, or custom that's now considered outmoded.


According to the Book of Judges in the Bible, the Gileadites used the Hebrew word shibboleth (ear of corn; stream) to identify the fleeing Ephraimites who couldn't pronounce the sh sound. 42,000 Ephraimites were slaughtered. Earliest documented use: 1382.


Some massacres in which the pronunciation of a word played a key part:
Parsley Massacre
Battle of the Golden Spurs
Sicilian Vespers
The meaning of the term has now widened. It could be applied to anything, not just the pronunciation of a word, that distinguishes people. It could be a way of eating, dressing, etc.


"Kurdish Iraq's two dominant parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, fought a civil war in the 1990s. Ordinary words turned into shibboleths. Using the word afrat for 'woman' revealed a link with the KDP; the PUK used the word zhin. Today, the two parties share power. This has resulted in an attempt at linguistic fusion that makes Ferhadi shudder: whenever political leaders refer to women, they say 'afrat and zhin' to show that they have overcome old divisions."
Sophie Hardach; 'Professor, You're Dividing My Nation'; The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington, DC); Jun 23, 2013.

"Osborne's allies say his urge to win is greater than his eagerness to parrot Thatcherite shibboleths."
Rafael Behr; The Politics Column; New Statesman (London, UK); Jun 28, 2013.
The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with. -Bruce Springsteen, musician (b. 1949)
Today’s Recipe

1 package(s) (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
3/4 cup(s) (about 1 1/2 slices bread) fresh bread crumbs
4 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine, melted
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
1/4 tablespoon(s) dry mustard
1 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
1 1/2cup(s) milk
8 ounce(s) (2 cups) Cheddar cheese, shredded


1. In 3-quart saucepan, cook macaroni as label directs. Drain well.

2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 9-inch square baking dish or casserole. In small bowl, toss bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter until moistened. Set aside.

3. To saucepan, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour, mustard, salt, and pepper; stir until blended. Stir in milk; cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.

4. Spoon macaroni into prepared baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni. Sprinkle crumb mixture over top. Bake until bubbly and top is golden, about 20 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes for easier serving.
Now You Know!