Tuesday, March 30, 2021

EWGS Spring Seminar Will Be A Big WOWEE!


P.S. By today, March 30, it's too late to submit your photos, but not to late to enjoy the day! Register at the www.EWGSI.org website. 

Spring Seminar
Saturday, April 3
Spring Seminar  (Seminar)
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Meeting via Zoom
We have 2 NATIONALLY known speakers!!
Karen Stanbary - Author/Lecturer will be presenting:
1) DNA: A Power Tool in the Genealogist's Tool Box - Learn the many ways DNA test results confirm and advance documentary research. Fun and entertaining lecture. All levels.
2) The Everleigh Sisters: A Case Study in Conflict Resolution - Minnie and Ada Everleigh, Chicago's most famous pair of sisters, fabricated many details of their lives in order to run their shady business. Learn to sort the fact from the fiction.
Maureen Taylor - The Photo Detective will be presenting:
Photo Detective Roadshow - EWGS members submit photos and Maureen does a live show weighing in on our mysteries! 
Please submit photos to Lynn Krogh at lynndenyse@msn.com and please include any information you know about the photo. Maureen will choose 10-15 photos to talk about and help solve your mysteries!
Cost is $25 for EWGS members and $40 for non-members.
Stay tuned for more registration information!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Church Records: What You Need To Know


Sunny Morton, on (YouTube's) Lisa Louise Cooke’s Elevenses with Lisa, 28 Jan 2021:

Sunny’s stated goal with her presentation was:  How might YOU use church records to answer your own genealogy questions?

In answer to Lisa’s question to her about what is the most unique thing about U.S. church records, Sunny’s answer was: their diversity!  “Think how many churches there are, even in a tiny rural town. Each one is unique, even if it is part of a bigger “mother” organization. It was a very U.S. “thing” for folks to do their own thing and that philosophy spilled over to their churches too. A group could, and often did, carve out their own church from the parent church.

Think of “church records” as looking through a lens at a uniquely American town, a unique ancestor and his unique time. “We’re always looking for things to make our ancestor more alive and more interesting………. We want more of his/her social history and church records might give us that part of his story.”

Think of the many and varied kinds of “church records:” registers, histories, jubilee celebrations and certainly the expected vital records. “Churches reflect the history of a town. Even if a person did not believe, nor was a member of a certain church, they might have joined friends/family in that church’s social activities …… maybe the only “fun” in town!

Sunny cited a study showing an immigrant’s home town is most likely to show up in church records…. Some 70% and way above any other kind of record.

TIP:  Be sure to research/check both civil and church records for vital records, especially marriage.

TIP: Many denominations have regional archives which could have records of a closed church…. IE, go from the top down if bottom up doesn’t work.

TIP:  Obituary might give church name; then go after the records of that church.

TIP: Part of a story she shared was using PERSI to find a list of members in a small rural (black) church……this list was published as a local group’s publishing of their local records.

TIP:  Cannot apply what record you find in XX church as something you’ll find in another denomination’s records. Must ask: why did that denomination keep records? And then ask where are they?

**In church records you might/can/will find many unique stories and often answers to stubborn, long-standing questions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Ice Cream, Ice Cream, We All Scream for Ice Cream


Who invented ice cream? According to "Grandma" Google: 

An ice-cream-like food was first eaten in China in 618-97AD. King Tang of Shang, had 94 ice men who helped to make a dish of buffalo milk, flour and camphor. A kind of ice-cream was invented in China about 200 BC when a milk and rice mixture was frozen by packing it into snow.

Historians estimate that this recipe evolved into ice cream sometime in the 16th century. England seems to have discovered ice cream at the same time, or perhaps even earlier than the Italians. "Cream Ice," as it was called, appeared regularly at the table of Charles I during the 17th century.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Nearly one quarter of Americans will say "chocolate" in some form, with vanilla a close second. My favorite is a long-ago flavor offered by Baskin-Robbins, Mississippi Mud, the thickest, deepest, gooey-ist chocolate one could imagine. 

According to Costco Connections, July 2020 issue: "There's no end to the bizarre and wondrous ice cream flavors in the world."  Here are some examples:

Whiskey & Prune - Australia
Foie Gras - France
Beef Tongue - Japan
Squid Ink - Japan
Crocodile Egg - Philippines
Gin & Tonic - Spain
Garlic - United States
Lobster - United States

Which one would you not never try????

Friday, March 19, 2021

EWGS Writing Contest...... Sent In Your Entry?


You don't have to wear a red hat or black boots to enter the EWGS Writing Contest. 

All you need to do is sit down and WRITE. The theme for 2021 centers around family legend, rumor or a skeleton in the closet. Wouldn't you like to tell your story, be it spicy or bland? 

I have submitted my story, yahoo. I just told the stories I remember about an ancestor and some were sad and some were "juicy." The side benefit of doing this is that you've created a mini-biography for an ancestor that can then be saved and shared. That would make you a winner in any contest. 

All the entering details are on our website (www.EWGSI.org) under Members Only as this is a contest for EWGS members only. There will be prizes: 1st place-$100.  2nd place-$75.  3rd place-$50.   Entries are due 31 May 2021. 

So get your pencil and hop to it. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Coats of Arms: Does Your Family Have One?


Our EWGS member (and former door-greeter at meetings…when we HAD meetings)….in February 2021, Tony Birch  (aka Anthony Durnford deGray Birch), compiled this bit for me to share with you. He be our local expert for sure. (This cartoon is from Google, not Tony.)


COATS OF ARMS:  As one studies their family history it is not unusual to come across a wonderful image of something (looks like a squirrel), with your family surname written upon it and perhaps a motto.  Aha!  You have just found your family coat-of-arms.


The study of these images and how they might relate to your ancestors is called Heraldry.  Unfortunately, there is really no such thing as a “family coat of arms” and it is unlikely you can claim the image as your personal coat of arms.  The rules of Heraldry state that arms are granted to an individual - almost always a man.  Rule setting bodies that make the grants are found in many countries:  England’s College of Arms  is an example.


Nonetheless, “Family Arms” evolved in the 18th Century and have widespread use.  Though not “official,” family arms are well documented in the literature and may provide useful information about your ancestors.  The image of the squirrel might be identified to a family that lived in Nutsville, PA, in 1876.


I have reference books on American Heraldry and would be pleased to help  family historians decipher a coat of arms.  I can be found at da3mj4@gmail.com.



HERALDRY:  Heraldry is the use of symbols to identify an individual.  Over time these symbols became hereditary - they were handed down according to specific rules.  Heraldry has now become the term used to encompass the science and art of these hereditary symbols.  A more precise term is “armory.”


Heraldry can be a tool for the family historian and may provide clues about the lives and activities of your ancestors.  The study of your ancestors’ heraldry may also identify some intriguing mysteries which may provide the basis for further research.


There are many origins of heraldry, but it is mostly attributed to 12th Century Europe.  Symbols were used to identify Knights in battle.  Heralds displayed the symbols of their “masters” and the symbols also appeared on battle armor to identify the wearer.


Most heraldry experts state that heraldry is not identified to a general surname.  They make it clear that there are no arms for “Smith,” but perhaps there are for a Sir Henry Arthur Smith of Andover, England.  However, there are authoritative texts on family arms that can be quite useful to the family historian.


The rules of heraldry state that arms are granted to an individual - almost always a man.  A woman may claim her father’s arms if she had no surviving brothers or sons of brothers.


If you have arms associated with your ancestors, the main question is are they real (blessed by an official body such as the English College of Arms)?  Are these arms consistent with your family tree?


Major reference texts are Ordinaries (identifying which symbols were used by which families) and Armorials (identifying which persons/families used which symbols).  There are also specialized reference texts (e.g. mottoes and crests).


The peerage (Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, and Barons) always had arms as did Baronets and Knights. Esquires and Gentlemen may or may not have arms.  If the arms had supporters (animals on each side) and crowns, then clearly a peer was involved.  If you have arms associated with an ancestor, any symbol on those arms must be a part of their ancestry.  Conversely, not all ancestors of your ancestor are represented on the arms of your ancestor (provided that the arms were correct in the first place).


The language of heraldry is mostly attributed to Norman French.  To “blazon” is to describe the design of the arms.  The “coat of arms” is made up of the crest, wreath, mantling, helmet, supporters, shield, compartment, and motto.  Each of these parts can tell you something about the owner.  The shape of the shield may identify a woman or a country of origin.


The blazon (description) of a coat of arms follows a very specific set of rules which are universally followed.  These rules result in the depiction of a coat of arms which can be described in detail without the benefit of a picture, drawing, or the use of colors.  Examples include Tinctures which describe a limited palette of colors and patterns, Hatching uses lines and dots to indicate the metals and colors of a coat of arms, Charges identify symbols (like a cross or a standing lion), Cadences uses symbols to indicate sons on paternal arms in order of birth, Marshalling allows two or more coats to appear on a shield (and may identify marriage partners, children, grandchildren, and marriages to an heiress of arms), Crowns and Helms can denote noble rank, Mottos can help solve puzzles on the origin of family artifacts, Cantons can explain the history of a coat of arms and Crests (which must be associated with a coat of arms) that can provide the link to a family.


Bookplates came about as soon as individuals began owning books.  In the 18th and 19th Centuries bookplates often used a heraldic symbol.  Finding old bookplates with ancestors’ coat of arms/crests might aid your study as would wax seals used by your ancestors.  These bookplates and wax seals can help to identify marriage partners, grandparents, etc.


Tomb art can be a helpful heraldic source.  Coats of arms/crests were often displayed and the Tomb inscription may identify the history of an ancestral coat of arms.


Other excellent places to find heraldry of your ancestors would include Visitations and family histories.  Old family pedigrees often displayed coats of arms for significant individuals.


I have reference books on American Heraldry and would be pleased to help  family historians decipher a coat of arms.  I can be found at da3mj4@gmail.com

Friday, March 12, 2021

Maple Stars and Stripes..... Do Check It Out

 For our February 2021 EWGS program, Margie Beldin shared a wonderful presentation with us on Finding Our French-Canadian Ancestors. Many of us, including me, have no F-C ancestry, but I was intrigued to learn so as to possibly be of help to others.  

One thing that Margie shared with us was that WE ABSOLUTELY MUST tune in to this FREE podcast by Sandra Goodwin. There are 96 podcasts posted to her website (maplestarsandstripes.com) with more to come. Here's a snip-blurb of #96 posted just last month. 

A good genealogist, in my opinion, is one who either (1) knows everything or (2) knows where to find everything. I know nobody who fits that #1 category and we all can be in the #2 category.  If you need help with your French-Canadian ancestry, I'll right off refer you to the Maple Stars and Stripes podcasts!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Chinese Year of the Ox

 The Chinese New Year begins on February 12th; on that day in 2021 Chinese said goodbye to the Year of the Rat and welcomed in the Year of the Ox. 

What does this mean to we westerners? Nothing, really, but it is a fun thought. If you were born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 or this year, 2021, you were born under the Sign of the Ox. 

Every creature in the zodiac represents the personality and character traits people born in that year are supposed to have. People born in the Year of the Ox are reliable, strong, fair, patient, kind, methodical, calm, and trustworthy. Not all the traits are positive though; oxen are also opinionated and stubborn.

Do you know anybody born in those years who seems to embody those traits??? Might that explain something about an ancestor????  Just a thought. 

China Zodiac Animal - Ox2021 is the Year of the Ox according to Chinese zodiac. This is a Year of Metal Ox, starting from Feb. 12, 2021 (Chinese New Year) and lasting to Jan. 31, 2022. Ox is the second in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign. Years of the Ox include 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033...

Oxen used to be capable farming tools in an agricultural society, which attach to the symbol of diligence, persistence, and honesty. In Chinese culture, Ox is a faithful friend that made great contributions to the development of the society. Like the ox, people born in the Year of the Ox are industrious, cautious, hold their faith firmly, and always glad to offer help.

It is said that Ox ranks the second among the Chinese zodiacs because it helped the Rat but was later tricked by it. The myth goes that the Jade Emperor declared the order of zodiac signs would be based on the arrival orders of 12 animals. Ox could have arrived the first but it kindly gave a ride to Rat. However, when arriving, Rat just jumped to the terminus ahead of Ox, and thus Ox lost the first place

Earthly Branch of Birth Year: Chou
Wu Xing (The Five Elements): Tu (Earth)
Yin Yang: Yin

Friday, March 5, 2021

Come Join the EWGS Virtual Meeting Tomorrow!!


Records: 1 to 6 of 6

Monthly Meeting
Saturday, March 6
Monthly Meeting  (EWGS Meetings)
12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Meeting via Zoom
Jane Haldeman will present: 
Researching Colonial American Ancestors: Southern Colonies
Did your ancestor live in one of the Original Thirteen Colonies? Were they here before the Revolutionary War? Each colonist came to the “new world” for different reasons and each colony was different. They came for both religious and economic opportunities. The Southern Colonies, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia were rural, with planters and farmers. Besides English immigrants there were Scots, Scots-Irish, Germans and Africans. Find out what records are available and where they are, so you can learn about your Southern Colonial American Ancestors.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy

Does that book title ring something in your mind? It might should because for 50 years this book by Val Greenwood has been "the gold standard" textbook for learning how to do American genealogy. 


 I tuned in to hear Val Greenwood during RootsTech because I was kinda surprised to learn he was still going strong. I say that because the first edition of his book was in 1969!  During that RootsTech interview, he said "The computer age was born, grew up, had children and now grandchildren. My book's first edition did not mention "technology" and the second edition had only a brief chapter. The advances in technology are both mind boggling and wonderful."

"Much has and will continue to change but the basics of genealogy will not change...... we still seek adequate evidence to document our ancestors' lives." 

Val Greenwood's Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy would be a super addition to your library and a perfect personal study textbook.  Be sure to get the 4th Edition, 2017.  You can order the book from Amazon or from Genealogical Publishing Company.