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  • 13 May 2021 8:04 PM | Anonymous

    The following book review was written by this newsletter’s Book Review Editor, Bobbi King:

    A Taylor Double Ancestry

    By Arthur Orison Taylor (1923); edited by E.F. Vogt (2021).
    Self-published. 2021. 215 pages.

    It’s a generous person who edits and publishes another author’s work. Particularly when the original manuscript was typed and handwritten nearly a century ago, crafted onto one hundred fifty-eight fragile onionskin papers, spent decades in storage, with an expansive hand-notated diagram that charts twenty-eight generations of ancestors. The chart is reprinted in the back of the book with its meticulous hand lettering and rigorously-drawn connecting lines, truly a family gem of a document.

    The original author of this Taylor genealogy is Arthur Orison Taylor, born in 1858 and died in 1948. He assembled the ancestries of his father’s and his mother’s families, both his parents being born coincidentally with the same surname; hence the title of the book: A Taylor Double Ancestry. The record was safeguarded by his family, passed down to his granddaughter, then to her daughter and husband Lynn Munroe Vogt and Eugene Francis Vogt, who thus became the curators of the family genealogy.

    The Vogts have painstakingly edited through all the material, checked as many sources as they could, and published A Taylor Double Ancestry. The book is divided into two parts: Part I is about the paternal Taylors, and Part II is about the maternal Taylors. The two parts are divided into chapters, with each chapter devoted to one surname. There are fifty-two surname-chapters with descriptive narrative, charts, and reference notes.

    All the book’s content is of the author’s 1923 work, none of the editors’ own, except for the editing and footnoting. So the information reflects work done in 1923, and backwards from that date. The only current information is a genealogy descendant chart for the author, Arthur Orison Taylor, which illustrates his descendants up to today. So you won’t find much information about the Taylors after 1923, but there is plenty to read about for all the generations previous to this time.

    The fruition of the Vogts’ work honors the original author and contributes to an enduring Taylor legacy.

    A Taylor Double Ancestry, written by Arthur Orison Taylor with editing and updates by E.F. Vogt, is available from a number of online book stores. You can find many of them by starting at:

  • 13 May 2021 11:55 AM | Anonymous

    A web site you looked at some time ago may have since been deleted. If you want information from that now-unavailable web page, did you know that you might be able to find the information from an online archive?

    An article by Mark Hill has been published on the Discover Magazine web site that describes the Internet Archive and its subsidiary, the Wayback Machine. It also describes how to use them.

    You might want to read the article now. In addition, I would suggest you bookmark that page so that you can find it in the future anytime you have a need to retrieve data from a no-longer-available web page.

    NOTE: As explained in the article, not all web pages are archived forever. However, millions of pages have already been archived and many more are being added every day.

    You can read all this and more at:

  • 13 May 2021 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    Would you like to hold dual citizenship? Namely in your present country plus another country? (In these turbulent times, that is strongly recommended. See for dozens of articles about legally obtaining multiple passports.) Does your DNA test indicted that you have ancestry from Sierra Leone?

    If so, you will be interested in this announcement from

    WASHINGTON, May 13, 2021 --, the Black-owned pioneers of genetic ancestry tracing for people of African descent, today announced an unprecedented partnership with the Sierra Leone government through the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and its facilitating agency The Monuments and Relics Commission that formalizes a citizenship offering for customers whose ancestry trace to the fifth most peaceful country in Africa.

    On April 29 in State House, Freetown, President and Co-founder Dr. Gina Paige and Sierra Leone Minister of Tourism Madam Memunatu Pratt marked the occasion in a special Agreement Signing, presenting 59 Sierra Leone passports to the inaugural recipients under the new partnership. The Agreement was signed in the presence of Sierra Leone's President His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio, who underscored his commitment to the partnership.

    "We welcome you to acquire land, live in our communities, invest, build capacity and take advantage of business opportunities," said President Bio during the citizenship conferment ceremony.

    From Your DNA to Your Passport's Partnership Director and an architect of Ghana's Year of Return Diallo Sumbry worked closely with the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs to foster the relationship and establish core guidelines for the now official program. The first step is to obtain an authentic Certificate of Ancestry featuring a special Seal validating Sierra Leone ancestry. With a second trip to the country scheduled for this fall as part of the Family Reunion trips, people interested in getting started can submit a request at

    "This partnership is perhaps the most significant milestone for African Ancestry since we created a way for Black people to trace their African roots using DNA 18 years ago," said Dr. Gina Paige. "It has transformed the total experience of what it is to be an customer," said Paige. looks to expand the program to the more than 30 countries in Africa where they trace ancestry in the coming years. Visit for more information.

  • 12 May 2021 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    What killed grandma?

    If you find a death certificate for great-great-grandma and it lists the cause of death as "Hectical Complaint," you probably will ask, "What's that?"

    Yes, I had to look that up. Luckily, there is a one-page "dictionary" on USGenNet that can be a very useful tool for any genealogist who is reading old documents. It shows old medical terminology and then shows the modern-day name for each.

    You can find Old Disease Names Frequently found on Death Certificates at

    My thanks to Pierre Clouthier of Progeny Genealogy Inc. for pointing to that page.

  • 12 May 2021 12:24 PM | Anonymous

    This is an extract from an article by Lisa Kanarek:

    Our elders have rich stories to share. There’s no better time than now to sit down and hit Record.

    Getting Started

    First, don’t assume that your subject will agree to be interviewed. Last year I asked my mom to let me record her life story. Her response? “No. I don’t have anything to say.” It turns out that her attitude is common.

    There are times when you find someone who says, ‘No one wants to hear my story,’” says Kate Carter, founder and CEO of LifeChronicles, a nonprofit that records life stories of seniors and seriously ill patients. She suggests telling a loved one, “This would mean so much to me and to future generations of our family.” By making it about the family, it takes the pressure off the person being asked to share their memories.

    There is much, much more in the article. You can read the entire article at:

  • 11 May 2021 7:42 PM | Anonymous

    With the world’s citizens confined to their homes during the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans spent time delving into genealogy research. Interest in family history research is certainly not new — the success of TV series like “Who Do You Think You Are?” and the popularity of home DNA testing kits has fueled a more than decade-long trend — but the pandemic has spurred greater enthusiasm in finding family roots. As international travel restrictions are eased, this surging interest could translate into heritage trips, particularly to Europe.

    The thrill of tracing family lineage online pales in comparison to the excitement of in-person revelations, making a trip more meaningful by fostering a deeper personal connection with a destination.

    Prior to the pandemic, European ancestry tourism was booming in popularity. Increasingly, hotels have rolled out special heritage programs and tour operators have developed personalized itineraries for genealogical tourists; even partnered with Cunard to launch a transatlantic “Journey of Genealogy” aboard the Queen Mary 2. For Americans with European family trees, the most popular destinations for such trips are IrelandItalyGermanyScotland and Eastern Europe.

    The full story may be found in the Travel Agent Central web site at:

    Have you planned a trip back to your ancestral homeland(s)?

  • 11 May 2021 7:37 PM | Anonymous

    Last week, just weeks before the trial of Dr. Gerald Mortimer was scheduled to begin, the court dismissed the case with prejudice – meaning the case is permanently over.

    It’s not clear exactly why the case was dismissed after three years, however, generally, if a judge agrees to dismiss a case at such a late stage, it is because an out-of-court settlement between the parties has been reached. Settlement agreements are not open to the public.

    Mortimer admitted to using his own sperm to inseminate several of his patients after one of his former clients, Sally Ashby, and her daughter, Kelli Rowlette, filed a lawsuit against him in 2018. Ashby sought Mortimer for fertility treatments in 1980, when she and her then-husband, Howard Fowler, struggled to conceive naturally.

    Last week, just weeks before the trial of Dr. Gerald Mortimer was scheduled to begin, the court dismissed the case with prejudice – meaning the case is permanently over.

    It’s not clear exactly why the case was dismissed after three years, however, generally, if a judge agrees to dismiss a case at such a late stage, it is because an out-of-court settlement between the parties has been reached. Settlement agreements are not open to the public.

    Mortimer admitted to using his own sperm to inseminate several of his patients after one of his former clients, Sally Ashby, and her daughter, Kelli Rowlette, filed a lawsuit against him in 2018. Ashby sought Mortimer for fertility treatments in 1980, when she and her then-husband, Howard Fowler, struggled to conceive naturally.

    You can read more in an article by Grace Hansen in the East Idaho News web site at:

  • 11 May 2021 5:29 PM | Anonymous

    You may find information about your ancestors and other relatives in this new online database. If not, you certainly can learn more about the times in which they lived. All 41 volumes of the South Dakota Historical Collections have been digitized by the S.D. State Library.

    From 1902 to 1982, the Historical Collection series was published biennially by the Department of History — now the S.D. State Historical Society — as part of its mission to collect, preserve, and make accessible the history of the state. All 41 volumes are now available in the Featured Collections section of the S.D. State Library’s Digital Collections.

    “These volumes cover a wide array of topics and are a valuable resource for students, teachers, and scholarly researchers,” Mary Stadick Smith, S.D. Department of Education, said. “Six editors presided over the S.D. Historical Collections during its run, including Doane Robinson, Will G. Robinson, and Dayton Canaday. Their different editing styles and interests are evident throughout the volumes. Taken as a whole, the series represents an evolution in perspectives on the state’s history, heritage, and culture. In 1989 an index to the collection was compiled and published to aid researchers.”

    You can learn more in an article by Del Bartels in the (South Dakota) Capital Journal at:

  • 11 May 2021 5:18 PM | Anonymous

    A pair of state grants will enable Syracuse University professors and staff to digitize valuable records pertaining to Oakwood Cemetery and Syracuse’s Latino community.

    The grants, awarded by the Central New York Libraries Resource Council, will support two projects: converting decades-old death and burial records for Oakwood Cemetery into a searchable database and expanding digital access to cultural artifacts in the La Casita Cultural Center’s archives.

    The Oakwood Cemetery project, which received $5,000 in grant funding, will convert handwritten notes in books from the cemetery into a digital format. The project will consist of two phases, according to Meg Craig, an adjunct professor of magazine, news and digital journalism and one of the project’s leads.

    The first phase, which involves scanning the pages into virtual documents, will be the responsibility of the resource council and will only take a few months. The second and more time-consuming phase will require student interns to translate the records on the scanned pages into a searchable database. The grant will cover their wages.

    “(These records) have sort of just been mouldering in the storage room for who knows how long, probably since they were written,” Craig said. “These books are kind of literally falling apart. They’re extremely old, going back 150 years or more. It’s still data — just data the way it used to be, which is written into a physical book.”

    You can read more in an article by Chris Hippensteel published in The Daily Orange at:

  • 11 May 2021 8:20 AM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    Explore over 1 million new United States, Enlisted and Officer Muster Rolls and Rosters, 1916-1939. And 2.6M more Catholic Church Records this week on FamilySearch from Venezuela 1577–1995Guatemala 1581–1977Bolivia 1566–1996, and Mexico (Coahuila 1627–1978, Distrito Federal 1514–1970, Guerrero 1576–1979, Jalisco 1590–1979, México 1567–1970, Nayarit 1596–1967, Oaxaca 1559–1988, Puebla 1545–1977, San Luis Potosí 1586–1977, Tamaulipas 1703–1964, and Zacatecas 1605–1980). 

    Look for new leads for your ancestral research questions in additional US Military Records, Bureau of Land Management Tract Books 1800– ca. 1955, and expanded US collections for Illinois, IowaLouisiana, and Wisconsin

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

    (The full list is very long, too long to list here. However, you can find the full list at:

    About FamilySearch

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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