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# Monday, June 20, 2011
Photo Gift Ideas
Posted by Diane

So I promised to share the photo gift my son (with some help from me) gave his daddy for father’s day:


I had a picture I snapped of Leo with his dad printed on canvas (that’s why there’s a shiny spot on the left side of the picture—it’s the flash reflecting off the canvas), so it resembles a painting. I took advantage of a great sale at CanvasPeople.com, but other photo-gift sites such as Shutterfly and Snapfish can do this for you, too.

The frame (minus the glass and backing) came from our local Michael’s store, and the canvas is hung from a picture hanger tapped into the canvas stretcher.

You’ll get more ideas for displaying family photos from our Family Photo Essentials CD

We also suggest family history-themed gifts in this free “Giving Trees” article on FamilyTreeMagazine.com


Genealogy fun | Photos
Monday, June 20, 2011 12:37:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [15]
# Friday, June 17, 2011
150 Years Ago Today in the Civil War: East Tennessee Convention
Posted by Diane

A second round of East Tennessee Convention meetings was held June 17-20, 1861, in Greeneville, Tenn. Delegates from East Tennessee and one county in Middle Tennessee drafted a memo to the Tennessee government asking permission to leave the Confederacy and form an independent state aligned with the Union.

The Tennessee legislature rejected the convention’s request, and the governor stationed Confederate forces in East Tennessee.

Late in 1861, Scott County resolved to break away from Tennessee and form the Free and Independent State of Scott. The law remained on the books until it was re-discovered and repealed in 1986, though neither the Union nor the Confederacy had ever recognized the state.

As early as the 1840s, Andrew Johnson, then a Tennessee state senator, introduced state legislation—which failed—calling for East Tennessee to separate from the rest of the state. After the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, Unionists and secessionists campaigned for their causes throughout the state. Early referendums failed on whether to hold a convention discussing secession, but June 8, 1861, Tennesseeans voted in favor of an ordinance to secede. Most eastern counties remained heavily against.

According to Life in Civil War America, more battles were fought in Tennessee than any other state except Virginia. After the Union victory at Fort Donelson in 1862, Johnson became the state’s military governor.

Remember, you can nominate a Civil War event for this series—just click Comments or e-mail me.


Civil War
Friday, June 17, 2011 12:22:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
Genealogy News Corral, June 13-17
Posted by Diane

  • The renowned genealogy portal site Cyndi’s List has been upgraded with improved navigation, a custom database, and a custom administrative interface to make using the site quicker and easier for both visitors and Cyndi. Visit the site at CyndisList.com.

Genealogy societies | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, June 17, 2011 11:38:07 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
We Knew Him When!
Posted by Diane

Back in the January 2008 Family Tree Magazine, we had an article about Anthony Ray, a young genealogist, member of California’s Antelope Valley Genealogical Society and webmaster of The Berreyesa Researcher

Anthony, now a junior majoring in music at West Coast Bible College in Lancaster, Calif., has just been awarded the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant. (Can we spot ‘em or what?)

Here's Anthony:

He was introduced as the grant winner during a banquet at last week’s Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank.

You can read our 2008 article on Anthony Ray here and see the press release about the Suzanne Winsor Freeman grant here


Genealogy Events | Genealogy for kids
Friday, June 17, 2011 10:24:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, June 16, 2011
A Marriage Certificate Finds its Family
Posted by Grace

Whenever I find loose family photos or paperwork at antique malls (which is very often, because I love antiquing), I always feel sad for the families separated from the ephemera. On a trip home recently, my dad showed me a marriage certificate he'd found in an estate sale cleanout. (Guess where I get the antiques habit from?)

This beautiful certificate was for Walter C. Peck of Cleveland, Ohio, and Irene E. Kershner of Berwick, Pa., who were married on July 5, 1924, in Berwick, Pa., by the Rev. H.R. Shipe. I just had to know if this marriage certificate had a family that would want it.

So I did a little genealogical detective work on Ancestry.com.


(Click the image to enlarge it)

I found a Walter (age 31) and Irene Peck (29) living at 1273 Bonnieview, Lakewood, Ohio, in the 1930 census (recorded on April 5, 1930). They had two children, Clarke (5) and Carlos (8 months), and Walter was a ticket agent for a steam railroad. They rented their home for $50 a month and owned a radio set.

But Irene also showed up listed with her parents, William and Sarah Kershner, at 373 Monroe, Berwick Township, Pa., on the 1930 census (recorded April 8, 1930). Her two sons, Clark (listed as 4 and 11 months) and Carlos (7 months), are also included. (I'm figuring they were visiting during enumeration time.) I found the Kershners at the same address in the 1910 census, with Irene, 10 at the time, being among seven listed children.

Irene pops up in the 1920 census as a sister-in-law to Jacob and Lucretia Nagel in Lakewood, Ohio. She worked as a stenographer at a chemical company.

A WWI draft registration card filled out June 5, 1918, for a Walter Clark Peck living at 1339 E. 80th St. in Cleveland states he worked at a chemical company in Cleveland -- perhaps Walter and Irene had a workplace romance. Walter's emergency contact was his mother, Elizabeth Peck, who lived at the same address. Walter shows up on the 1910 and 1920 censuses living with his parents, Clark W. and Bessie Peck, in Cleveland.

Ohio death records show Walter C. Peck, born in 1897, died at home in Fairview Park, Ohio, on Nov. 13, 1961. I couldn't find a death date for Irene; Carlos Peck passed away in 2002.

But Clark Peck is still alive, and I called him on the phone today. He's a bit hard of hearing, so I mostly spoke to his wife, Beryl (Heiser) Peck, who confirmed pretty much everything I'd found.

Beryl said Walter Peck and Irene Kershner had met at Grasselli Chemical in Cleveland, where they'd both worked. Walter later worked for the Canadian Pacific Rail for many years; Beryl said Walter traveled around the world a couple times before he passed away in his 60s. Irene lived until the last 1980s. Now in his late 80s, Dr. Clark Peck practiced dentistry and taught at Case Western Reserve University for 30 years. He and Beryl now live in Westlake, Ohio, and have two children and many grandchildren.

By the time I got off the phone, I was tearing up from happiness. Beryl thanked me multiple times for contacting them -- I'll be mailing out the marriage certificate (and a copy of this blog post) to her and Clark today. I'm so glad that this beautiful record will return to its family -- and stay with them for many years to come.


Related resources:
Ancestry.com | saving and sharing family history | Vital Records
Thursday, June 16, 2011 2:49:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [11]
Build Your Genealogy Skills From Home at Our Virtual Conference
Posted by Diane

We’ve been keeping something up our sleeves for the end of the summer, but it’s time to let the cat out, at least a little bit.

We're planning our Family Tree University Summer 2011 Virtual Conference to give you an intensive dose of genealogy education without leaving home (or the library, or your sister’s house, or the table at the coffee shop where you’ve parked your laptop). 

The Virtual Conference is an online workshop from Friday, Aug. 19, to Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011. Attendees get an all-access pass to view 15 pre-recorded video classes and participate in live chats. You can join in every day or as your weekend schedule allows.

Classes are organized into three tracks:

  • genealogy technology
  • research strategies
  • ethnic research

A detailed list of classes and instructors is coming soon.

You’ll be able to download classes to watch again later or access ones you’ve missed, and you'll get a swag bag of ShopFamilyTree.com goodies.

Stop by Family Tree University for more Virtual Conference details and our early bird discount code on tuition (good until July 15)


Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Webinars
Thursday, June 16, 2011 11:08:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [7]
# Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Free Webinar on Writing Your Memoir
Posted by Diane

If your family history research has led you down the path of writing—and maybe even selling—your life story, think about registering for this free, hour-long webinar hosted by our friends at Writer’s Digest magazine.

How to Write a Marketable Memoir, taking place Monday, June 20, at 1 pm Eastern (that’s noon Central, 11 am Mountain and 10 am Pacific), will give you tips on how to self-edit, “hook” readers, find your voice, and research the potential market for your work.

The webinar is presented by literary agent Paula Balzer, author of the book Writing and Selling Your Memoir.

Click here to register for the free How to Write a Marketable Memoir webinar.


saving and sharing family history | Webinars
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:20:03 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Monday, June 13, 2011
Father's Day Gifts for Family History-Minded Dads
Posted by Diane


Apparently, dads get the short end of the parental appreciation stick. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an average of $106.49 on their dads this year. Mother’s Day spending averaged $140.73 (but this gap has narrowed in recent years).

So in the interest of fairness this Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, I browsed around for some ideas for a dad who likes family history. (I’m dying to include what my little Leo is giving his daddy, but I’m afraid of spoiling his surprise, so I’ll show and tell after Sunday.)

  • A framed picture of dad with his kids or grandkids, or dad as a youngster with his dad, is a classic. Or I’ve heard about moms taking pictures of the wee ones wearing dad’s or grandpa’s shoes, tie and hat, and adding a frame. 
  • If you’ve been doing genealogy research, put together some of the items you’ve found into an album (here are some ideas), or burn a CD.

Editor's Pick | Genealogy books | Genealogy fun
Monday, June 13, 2011 5:03:57 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
Visit National Parks Free June 21
Posted by Diane

The US National Park Service will waive all entrance fees on Tuesday, June 21, the first day of summer. 

Among the beautiful and historic sites you could visit are Civil War-related places such as Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home, the Gettysburg battlefield and Appomattox Court House. 

You could convince Dad to take the day off work and celebrate a late, budget-friendly Father’s Day (Father's Day is next Sunday, June 19).

Use the Find a Park feature to find parks by name, location, activity or topic. If you scroll down and click a state on the US map, you'll open a page that shows you all the National Parks in that state.


Celebrating your heritage | Civil War | Museums | Social History
Monday, June 13, 2011 3:06:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, June 10, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, June 6-10
Posted by Diane

  • Manassas, Va., is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas (also called Bull Run) with an event July 21-24 featuring battle re-enactments, living history demonstrations and more, including an appearance by Patrick Gorman (Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood in the 2003 film Gods and Generals). Learn more and purchase tickets at ManassasCivilWar.org

Ancestry.com | Genealogy Events | Historic preservation | Libraries and Archives | Museums | NARA
Friday, June 10, 2011 10:02:14 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]