Viewing Tip

If you see a large "X" at the top right of Ask Olive Tree Genealogy blog, click on the "X" to close it. Closing the "X" will give you the best viewing experience and allow you to leave a comment on a blog post

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Online Search Engines are a Genealogist's Friend

Diane wrote to Olive Tree Genealogy with this question


These 2 ancestors [William and Martha Medcalf] emigrated from Ireland to Ontario Canada in 1819 with 10 children we think. They are from Delgany, Country Wicklow but have not been able to access any information about them before coming to Canada. Much appreciated for any suggestions.

Diane - this is where Google is your friend (or any other search engine you prefer). A quick search using search terms "delgany ireland church records" brought several results indicating that these records are online.

After going to the website and downloading the PDF files for the transcribed records of THE PARISH REGISTERS OF CHRIST CHURCH, DELGANY VOLUME 2 BAPTISMS 1777-1819, MARRIAGES 1777-1819 & BURIALS 1777-1819, I found the following baptisms for children of William and Martha:

23 Nov 1809 Eliz’th MEDCALF Will’m/Martha, Downs
27 Jun 1805 John MEDCALF Wm/Martha, Downs
9 Feb 1812 Henry MEDCALF Wm/Martha, Downs
16 Oct 1813 Will’m MEDCALF Wm/Martha, Downs

"Downs" is their residence. I am sure you can find much more by downloading and searching more records.

You should also search the Upper Canada Land Petitions to see if the family applied for land once in Canada. Their petitions may reveal more about their lives in Ireland. You may wish to read my tutorials on searching those petitions and finding the actual images onlline once you have completed your search in the index.

Using Land Petitions to Learn about an Ancestor

Finding an Ancestor in the Challenging Upper Canada Land Books

Searching Ontario Canada Land Records, eh? 

 In fact I did a quick search and here are the results for MEDCALF. Using my tutorials to guide you, you can now find the actual petitions online using the index information for any names below that are of interest.

 

It appears that one of William and Martha's sons (Francis Henry Medcalf) became a mayor in Toronto Ontario. There may be quite a bit of biographical information about him in Toronto archives or libraries.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Are We Related?

My series of books on my direct McGinnis Family ancestry
D. McGinnis asked Olive Tree Genealogy about our identical surnames:

My name is D. McGinnis.  I was born in Iowa in 1935.  I was just curious if you had come across my line of the mcginnis family.  I have not come across your name in my geanological wanderings.  Are we related somehow?
Olive Tree Genealogy Answer:  The McGinnis surname is one of the most common in Ireland. It is also wide-spread across North America. Without knowing your McGinnis ancestry to compare with what I know of mine, and without knowing if paths ever crossed geographically, there is no way to answer your question.  We could compare DNA results if you had yours done.

Please see my McGinnis family information on my website and see if you spot anything familiar. I have written a series of books on my direct McGinnis line (see image) but I am also working on a book on the 7 sons and 2 daughters of John McGinnis who came from Ireland to Canada in the 1830s which I hope to finish by the end of this year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FInding a Ships Passenger List in 1852

Recently Billy F. wrote to ask Olive Tree Genealogy about a ships' passenger list. Here is Billy's email:


I can't seem to locate the ship's manifest on-line - but my cousin sent me a copy of the Ships Manifest. ( so I know it exists ) Our family ( Fields  - 5 family members ) came  over from Liverpool on the SS City of Washington in 1852. Pithin Page  was the Master.

My question is that I noticed that you wrote that ships coming to the States before 1855 had no receiving station - what does that exactly mean? Is there anyway to find out the location ( or most likely ) where the ship docked and let off my anscestors??? Or do you think I will never know the answer?

Can you point me to a place I can go that might be able to give me as much information as possible? Ex. - who did all of these ship's manifests filled out by the Masters get turned in to ???  If they all got saved, someone must be holding them  ( correct ??? )
Olive Tree Genealogy's answer:

Billy you haven't told me where your ancestor landed - America? Canada? Or somewhere else?  If it was in Canada, you have a challenge ahead of you. 


Before 1865 ships passenger list to Canada did not have to be archived. There are some lists but the challenge is finding them as they are few and far between. However there are substitute lists such as Shipping Company Records, Immigration Agent Records, St. Lawrence Steamship Records, etc. See Filling in the Gaps at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/canada/ for links to alternate records for pre 1865 immigration AND for details on any that are available only offline.

If your ancestor landed in America you can search passenger lists from 1820 on at Ancestry.com. They have published indexes and images for all ships landing in USA.  In fact I had a quick look and Ancestry.com has published indexes and images for the City of Washington landing in New York in March, July, and October of 1852.

Re your comment that I wrote "ships coming to the States before 1855 had no receiving station" that is not an accurate quote. I assume you are talking about my page online for ships arriving in New York at http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/tousa_ny.shtml. The accurate quote on my page, which referred only to New York, is "1624-31 July 1855: no receiving station" 

For years after 1855 I provided the name of the receiving station. It is important to understand that a receiving station was an official place that received and processed passengers. That does not mean ships did not land in New York before 1855, it simply means there was no official place to process them.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

More Questions Answered re Relationshp Terms

Ann asked about relationship terms:

What is my sons relationship to a) my first cousin and b) to her children. And what is my sons relationship to my nieces children.
I keep coming up with the same answer to each of the questions but surely they cant be the same??
No they aren't the same. First thing you should note is that you have different generations so there will be some times removed (as in 2nd cousin 3 times removed). Times removed refers to the number of generations between each person.

Then you have cousins versus nieces so right away you have different relationships.

For example the child of your first cousin is your son's second cousin. 
Your first cousin is your son's first cousin once removed

You could try Steve Morse's Relationship Calculator.  Read his instructions and start entering your terms. Also try this Relationship chart as it may be easier to use.




Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Finding Burial or Death Records in 1855 in Ontario

Norma asked Olive Tree Genealogy about her 2nd great-grandfather who died in Ontario Canada in 1855.

I have not been able to find death record and/or obituaries for my 2nd great-grandfather and his eldest son, John Bergey.
 
Henry S Bergey, wife Elizabeth Clemmer, and their first three children moved to Waterloo County around 1848. Three daughters were born between 1849 and 1854 in Waterloo.
 
My curiosity is about cause of death of both father, Henry S. Bergey, d. 17 Feb. 1855 and eldest son, John Bergey, d. 21 February 1855.
Olive Tree Genealogy answer:

Norma, vital records were not kept in Ontario before 1869. That means that deaths in 1855 should be sought in local church burial records and cemetery records. However, even if found, the cause of death is unlikely to be recorded.  

You might be well advised to check local newspapers of the time (if there are any to be found) to see if you can find a death notice. But don't overlook finding out what diseases might have been happening in February 1855. Perhaps there was a cholera or diptheria outbreak, and this would likely have been noted in a newspaper. 



 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Start with Yourself and Work Backwards

This question came to Ask Olive Tree Genealogy today. The answer is so simple I'm jumping Joanne to the head of the queue! 

My name is Joanne Rich (married name)
Joanne Bersane (maiden name)
Bersane name comes from Italy, not sure about married name. How do I find out if ancestors were Jewish
 Joanne - Genealogy research is always done the same way. You start with yourself and work backwards. Gather documentation of your parents, their parents, and so on. Documentation consists of census records, birth records, marriage records, death records, obituaries and more. Ask older family members for details of their births, marriages, places of residence, information on their parents and grandparents, etc

See http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/beginner/ for more help

Keep going backwards in time, tracing your family ancestry. As you trace back you should discover information on religion and ethnicity of your ancestors.

Lastly, be prepared to spend the next dozens of years researching. Genealogy is not a quick fix. It's not fast and it's not always easy. 

Best of luck!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Finding Out if Ancestors were Jewish

Jenn S. asked for help with


My paternal 3rd great grandfather, Samuel Abraham(s) was born about 1806 according to the England 1841 Census.  I know I should either add or subtract 5 to that as they were know to round the number.

When Samuel and Mary Cockayne married there were no parents listed.  I contacted the church and verified that the parents were not listed.  Samuel died, I believe, 1849 in Nantwich, England and it was listed that his father was Marcus.  So if his father was Marcus, he did not follow the pattern which all families followed during that time by naming his first son the name of his father.  His children, that I know of, are as follows:  Lewis abt. 1831-1891, Samuel 1834-1836, Caroline abt. 1836-?, Charlotte abt. 1837-1902, George H. 1838-1840, Harriet abt. 1840, Mark Henry abt. 1842-? and Eliza abt. 1846-?.
Our name was change to Brahams. Also, we are not Jewish. Abrahams i commonly a Jewish name and there was a story told that the Abrahams were Jewish until one of the boys married a Christian and they were cast away from the family. Could that have been Samuel and is that why I can't find anything? So those are my things about Samuel.

Jenn - Naming patterns were not followed by all families as you stated in your query. Some families followed them but many did not. And I note that there was a child named Mark Henry  - Mark being a shortened form for Marcus.

A Charlotte and Catherine Abraham of the right ages can be found in the Hebrew Girls Boarding School, Palestine Place in 1851. They are in the census for that year for Tower Hamlet, St. John's, Bethnal Green, Middlesex England. So it seems there may be some truth to your family lore.

Also you might want to make note of the fact that some of the children are listed twice in the 1841 census - once with their parents Samuel and Mary, but also in Manchester with Mary Cockayne age 63 with daughters Eliza and Fanny as well as the Abraham children Lewis, Caroline and Charlotte. 

A quick search for a few of the children turned up Harriet's baptism - as Harriet Ellen Abrahams to Samuel and Mary on 29 Aug 1849 in Manchester. Her birth date is given as 18 Aug 1839 and Samuel is noted as a Commercial Traveller. He is not recorded as being deceased at that time although another record indicates he was buried 30 Jul 1849 in Nantwich. A second child named Eliza Cockayne was baptised the same day to Samuel and Mary (whose name is given as Mary Ann). Her birth was 1845.


If I were you I would search each of the children thoroughly - see who they married, when and where they died. Look for burial records, obituaries, church death records to gain more information on the family.