Thursday, August 23, 2012

Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Holdings

Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Holdings

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Family Tree Legends REVISITED...

Originally posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Revisiting for updated information. 

Family Tree Legends is now 100% FREE!
Download the software from here. (now leads to
When you are asked to enter a serial number, enter the following: 1A752-42184-B74A3-AD752


Family Tree Legends has been purchased by; so, while the software is still free, you would need to find the installation file or compromise and use My Heritage's Family Tree Builder software (which I am not keen on, but I do like the reports it generates).  

Since the old download link now leads to the My Heritage site, I thought it prudent to share this with the rest of the genealogical community.

In an effort to keep a great and simplistic piece of software readily available for everyone, I have searched the internet for everyone and have found the best download site for it:

There are three links listed on that site, one for the USA, one for the UK, and the last for the RO...please make sure that when you download the software to use the above information, which was what was posted on the company's website before the download page transferred to the website.

~ Vince ~ 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Mother's Mom, Jeanette Katherine (Cutler, Pollister) Smith

So, I have been researching my mother's line quite a bit this year, more so than my father's line, and I had very recently (and finally) found my grandmother's obituary. From there, I was able to extract quite a bit of information, including the Funeral Home, the Cemetery, the presiding Priest/Pastor and my grandmother's living relatives (as of 2008).

I was quite excited by the new finds, a mere two weeks ago. I began entering everything that I could from the Obituary, I was then also able to locate records for my grandmother on This was a great find, I just wish I had photographs to go with the Obit and such...

I did, however, find my grandmother's marriage announcement and divorce decree on and found a bit more information on, where I entered quite a bit of information as well.

I am going to try to reach out to some of the relatives marked in my grandmother's documents, to see if they are still around. If they are, then it will be a great experience...

I have much work to do in the coming days....

~ Vince ~ 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Genealogy Class or Genealogy Schooled?!

So, Genealogy Tip of the Day asked their Facebook friends and followers the following question: Who has taken an actual Beginning Genealogy class? I am teaching a class starting next week for 8 weeks.

I began writing my response, but had realized that it was more something that I should post on my blog, since this is another long winded memory that had been evoked, so I just wanted to put this where it really belonged....


I had picked it up quite by accident over 25 years ago. I was just keeping family history, as far as I was concerned, and have always considered myself a Historian and a Linguist, because that is my main point of research and achievement: Ancient Histories and Languages.

At some point someone asked me "are you into genealogy", and I responded something to the affect of "You mean geology? Sure, my dad used to take us rock hunting all the time as kids!"

Boy did I have egg on my face when the definition was provided to me...LOL! Around that point, I began considering myself the Family Historian and Genealogist, and began researching this new word "Genealogy" at the local library.

I began buying a few books here and there and reading all I could on the different aspects of genealogy, but at some point realized it was really detective work that was being done, and so began reading books on detective work, which lead to me watching all sorts of  detective and lawyer shows (like Perry Mason) to reason out how these people think and to make sure I saw things in the same kind of light as detectives and lawyers.

Fast forward a few years; enter the introduction of the personal computer and my first computer: a Fujitsu Monte Carlo laptop, which had a whopping 775 megabyte hard drive and 64 megabytes of RAM!

I began my online activities like most had so many years ago: with America Online. Chat rooms lead to external web pages, which lead me to a company called Broderbund, who made a curious program called Family Tree Maker, which was designed specifically for entering your family's history! I was intrigued and bought my first copy, version 3...when it got to my house, I didn't really know what I was doing with it, so I just kind of put it off to the side. Fast forward another year or so, and I stumbled on the curiously named company once more, but it seemed they had a newer version of the program out, version 5, which I was not going to buy over the phone this time, because I did not want to wait. Instead, I went looking for the software for a few months, but failed to find it.

Fast forward another year, and I was purchasing my first desktop computer from CompUSA: an HP Pavilion, which had an astounding 30 gigabyte hard drive! I was amazed at how fast this computer was by way of comparison to my old laptop!

While I was standing in line, there was a display rack of clearance items, and there I found Broderbund Family Tree Maker 5, on clearance for $20.00! I grabbed it and added it to my cart and began my journey home, excited at what the future was going to hold for me and these new "toys".

However, because I was in the middle of college and my MCSE track, I couldn't really devote a lot of time to genealogy, so once again the curiously named company's software was put to the side. Enter the 1999 to 2000 holiday season. College was out for a few weeks, and I was cooped up inside the home, avoiding the snow and bad weather as much as possible.

I realized that I had never really messed around with the software, although I did install it, so I had finally opened it up and realized "WOW! This is SOOO SIMPLE!!!"

I entered all the data I knew, my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grand parents, etc. It was great, I had entered in about a hundred people in one sitting and I was so excited! I began digging into my scrap books, my boxes of pictures and obituaries, finding more and more people.

I suddenly had a friend drop by, in the middle of a storm, because he could not drive in it all the way home, and he asked if he could hang our for a while. Of course I said yes, and he came into my little office where I was working and we began talking about everything that I had been doing and he was really intrigued and then proffered me a bit of sage advice that I had never even thought of: "Why don't you just look for all that information online?"

It hit me like a ton of bricks, "look online"! The words were so simple, yet for some reason I had never thought of them! I didn't think that this kind of information could be found online, but he said he had to just look up his mother's obituary online recently, and so he knows there are places to go, such as the news paper websites for the towns where the family member lived, which would have all that information online, generally for free!

So, there I was, drinking hot chocolate with a friend and finding obituaries online. This was before I even knew what a scanner was, so I thought I had to type everything by hand that I was reading online until my friend suggested something else to me: "Why not just copy and paste it from the website into the program?!"

I could have been knocked over with a feather at this point, because everything he was saying was stuff that while it seemed so simple had never occurred to me whatsoever! Copying the article into Microsoft Word and Notepad became second nature, as did saving the webpages to a folder where I could access their information locally any time I wanted, and so I did not have to mess around waiting for AOL to connect so I could get online to wait for the page to load, etc.

Then one day I had gone as far as I could go, to my great grand father's name and my great grand mother's name...I was stuck at 191 people for about four years, and I was getting rather discouraged by the absence of information about my family members.

Then, in 2004, I moved to Arizona and instead of being cooped up inside because it was too cold, I had cooped up inside because it was too hot! So, I began working on my genealogy again, filling in details to the family tree inside FTM5 that I had not filled in previously and just generally exploring the program more and more, learning the different types of files that it could create, etc.

Fast forward to late 2007: new computer and laptop, same great program. While trying to find more family online, I began searching for tips on Italian Genealogy, since I could never find any books that deal specifically with just ITALIAN genealogy, and I happened upon this great website where the admins and other forum goers had been of great help to me and had opened the floodgate doors for me!

It's now late 2008, and in just a eight months time, I had gone from 191 people in my family tree to over 3,000! I had been so lucky to find great people to assist me with resources, and had even connected with a few distant yet living relatives who were also into genealogy, and who had studied certain aspects of their family and also had links to my family tree, but they did not have what happened to my direct ancestors, they only had their names and parents and siblings, which is what I also had. We all wanted to know what happened to the family, and we all found out, and because I had been working so hard on my family tree for so long, I had not thought to back up any of my data in quite some time -- at least six months that I could remember...

I thought I was safe, I had a test database and I had my real database which is where I entered information to...well, I meant to open the GEDCOM file for the town my ancestors were from that someone had created and I accidentally merged it with my real family file and all most immediately had a brief power surge / power outage, so I could not unmerge the GEDCOM file from my family tree.

When I got back into FTM5, and checked the family file status, I had gone from just over 3,000 people to over 12,000 people! WHOA!!! I DID NOT MEAN TO DO THAT!!! NOOOO!!!!

I felt defeated by my own research, and since I had no way to unmerge the file or to even know which of these people I was related to at this point, I just kind of gave up for a while. I still read about genealogy here and there, and I even tried new software periodically as it came out, but I just wasn't very pleased with anything different than what I had used for the better part of a decade.

I tried repeatedly to rebuild and recreate my family tree, but it was always to no avail, because I tried working on the family histories on so many different computers that it just didn't work...I had pretty much given up...

Then, just this year while I was going through some old CDs that I found packed away, I stumbled on a backed up version of my family tree file that had 1,500 people in it! I was ecstatic!!!

I began combing the file, only to realize that this file was slightly corrupted with relationship mistakes and duplicate individuals, not to mention that it included over 300 people who were extended EXTENDED EXTENDED family! I couldn't let the file be so compromised, not when I was so close to being able to begin working on my family history once more!

So, I began with my father's uncle's wife's great grand parents and began removing and deleting people from there. I followed all their lines back over all the people who I had entered information on over the years, and I began removing them all. The family file status went from over 1,500 to just over 1,100 people, due to merging duplicate individuals and removing incorrect people and fixing relationship mistakes, etc.

I am now just under 1,300 people once more, and I am about to go on a spree of data corrections once more, fixing dates, adding exact instead of approximated dates, et. seq...

I find myself reading over these words and the main question comes back, did anyone ever take a beginners genealogy class? No, I have not, but genealogy sure has schooled me to make constant and regular backups, away from the main hard drive and main computer and main files!

I use Google Drive ( as an offsite storage location for my GEDCOM files as well as my FTW, FTB and FBK files from Family Tree Maker (version 9 was the last version that once it was installed you could just copy the installed folder onto a flash drive and run it from there), I use to upload GED files to, I use email and email them to myself on multiple email accounts, I keep a copy of my most current GED file on one of my flash drives, making sure to date each one, and I also have an external hard drive which I keep regular genealogy backups on.

Yeah, I think I had been schooled...

~ Vince ~ 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Death Records, Social Security Death Index Master File, Family Findings

So while searching the Internet for "Social Security Death Index CD DVD", I happened upon the above website...tucking it away here for reference, because I am sure that I will use it again!

I have been researching my mother's family, and I have been looking more and more at all the ancestors I currently have and have been going over them again with a fine tooth comb, so to speak. I have checked more and more census data, finding more and more images of the censuses from London, England and from Aberkenfig, Glamorgan, Wales.

These have lead me to the states of New York, Connecticut, Maine and then Massachusetts, in that order. It is amazing when a couple has children in Wales, then in England, then in the United States -- especially when the majority of children born over seas stayed over seas.

One of my mom's ancestors was James Ridler; he was born December 24th, 1857 in Loxborough, Somerset, England. He married a woman named Mary Ann Wilmott who was born in November of either of 1852 or 1854 in Somerton, Somerset, England.

The 1881 Wales census shows they had three children born in Aberkenfig, Glamorgan, Wales. Passenger manifests and corresponding census data show they also had another child in Cambridge, London, England.

Birth certificates, death certificates and census data show they also had a child born in New Rochelle, New York, USA then the family moved to Connecticut, and they had six more children thereafter, totaling a whopping eleven children!

The oldest child (James H. Ridler) was born about 1875. The next in line was Mary A. Ridler, born about 1878; then, Eliza J. Ridler who was born about 1880. These are the three children who remained overseas.

Next down the line was Eleanor Mary Ridler, born in Cambridge, England in March of 1883; she traveled with her parents at the age of 17 from England to the United States in 1891.

Harriett B. Ridler was born in New Rochelle, New York, on March 16th, 1892; then Florence May Ridler was born in Connecticut in May of 1894.

James and Mary Ann didn't stop there though, because in June of 1896 they gave birth to Robert Ridler in Connecticut, and I have record of four more children whose dates of births I do not have on file yet. Those four children were Alfred, Bill (possibly "William"), Suzna (not sure if spelling is correct; my mom has many memories of Suzna from when she was a child) and Ruby...still looking for more information about their lives and deaths, and I know I will find it eventually...

I wish they had the Social Security Death Index back then, at the times of their births. Thankfully, some of the children of James Ridler and Mary Ann Wilmott were young enough, so they may have been issued Social Security Numbers (SSNs) prior to their deaths.

I will check the above website to see, cross reference it with the old Broderbund Family Tree Maker Family Archive CD # 110, which has the Social Security Death Index from 1937 to 1999...that should help for cross referencing the names in the indexes, but still, to make certain, I will also cross reference them in either Fold3, Family Search or Genealogy Bank.

I will write an update to this post if and when I find the elusive ancestors...

~ Vince ~  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Social Security Death Index: 61 Million Records to Enhance Your Family Research

SCORE!!! This is what I have been looking for! Something that was akin to the Family Tree Maker / Family Archives CDs that I used to purchase! This CD (or, more probable, DVD) is only $19.95 + Shipping and Handling, it says...Think I am going to give these guys a call tomorrow morning! Their telephone number is listed as 902–681–3102...

Social Security Death Index: 61 Million Records to Enhance Your Family Research

Social Security Sleuthing - The Social Security Death Master File

Social Security Sleuthing - The Social Security Death Master File

Social Security Sleuthing
By Pamela Boyer Porter, CGRS, CGL
The Social Security Death Master File

Commonly referred to as the “Social Security Death Index”, the Social Security Death Master File (SSDMF) is a database created by the Social Security Administration. The SSA’s original SSDMF database file contains the following information fields: Social Security number, last name, first name, date of death, date of birth, zip code of last residence, and zip code of lump sum payment to beneficiary. It also may contain a special state or country residence code, especially if the person died outside the U.S.
At first glance, many genealogists think this is readily available information that they probably already have. Don’t overlook this resource! It can provide a previously unknown Social Security number, enabling you to order the individual’s Social Security application or claims file, leading to discovery of a birth place, a maiden name, or parents’ names. Finding a birth and death date and Social Security number can help in a request for a death certificate or obituary. The SSDMF can provide clues to the person’s residence when he or she first received a Social Security card, or to a possible last residence. It can provide a clue about where the lump-sum distribution beneficiary lived. SSDMF searches can help fill in the gaps on collateral lines, especially for somewhat unusual surnames.
The SSA does not provide direct public access to this database of approximately 58 million deaths. However, the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service does sell the information to various genealogical services or vendors. The 17 magnetic reels of tape cost about $6,000 for the entire file, with quarterly updates. Genealogical vendors who purchase the SSDMF use the information to develop their own indexes. Several companies include a version of the SSDI with their genealogical database programs. Some companies offer the SSDI for sale on CD-ROMs. Various versions of the SSDI are available on the Internet (see Internet Resources–Social Security Death Index). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) Family History Centers all offer free use of the SSDI as part of their FamilySearch™ computer system.
Who’s in the Social Security Death Master File?
Many false assumptions are made about who can be found in this widely available computer resource. First, let’s clear up some common misconceptions about the file. The SSDMF is not an index to all deceased individuals who have held Social Security numbers. It is not a database of all deceased who have received Social Security benefits, or whose families have received survivor benefits. The SSDMF does not contain only the names of persons who died after 1962. The SSDMF does not contain only the names of U.S. citizens.
So, whose name does appear in the SSDMF? This database contains names and basic information about persons with Social Security numbers whose deaths have been reported to the Social Security Administration. A survivor requesting death benefits may have reported the death to SSA. It may have been reported to stop Social Security benefits to the deceased. Funeral homes often report deaths to the SSA as a service to family members. Beginning in 1962, the SSA began to use a computer database for processing requests for benefits. About 98 percent of the people in the SSDMF died after 1962, but a few death dates go back as far as 1937. Legal aliens in the U.S. can obtain a Social Security card, so their names may appear in the SSDMF, if their deaths were reported. Some 400,000 railroad retirees are also included in the SSDMF.
Using the Social Security Death Master File
The commercial versions of the SSDMF vary in what information they include, and in how you can search the file. For example, the LDS FamilySearch™ version of the SSDI includes individuals who died in foreign countries—other versions may not. Some allow a search of first name only, a good resource for finding a female for whom you know only a maiden name. Some provide only the zip code of residence and final payment, while others list a place name with the zip code. Be creative in your searches, and be selective about the version of the SSDI that you use.
Be aware of data entry errors made in the original SSDMF database, which get passed on to all commercial versions. Kathleen Hinckley, CGRS, a specialist in twentieth century research, provides a compilation of surname errors found in the death master file on her Family Detective web site (see Internet Resources). 
Social Security Claims Files
A Social Security claim file exists when an individual or survivors receive any kind of Social Security benefits. Most claims files contain copies of supporting documentation, such as birth certificates, death certificates, naturalization papers, or proof of age and relationship for survivor benefits. Many who applied for early Social Security benefits were born before birth registration was required, and their Social Security claims files may provide proof of birth in the form of other primary source documents. Unfortunately, most claim files are destroyed about five years after the death of the claimant or surviving beneficiaries.
Writing for More Information
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), SSA will fulfill requests for copies of original SS-5 Social Security Number Applications of deceased persons for $27.00, if you provide the Social Security number. If you do not know the Social Security number, the search fee is $29.00. Be sure to include the person’s Social Security number, full name (including maiden and name at death), sex, date and place of birth, date of death, and parents’ names. Provide proof of death, or state that the person is listed in the SSA Death Master File. Include the following statement: “Microprint required—Printout not sufficient.” A computer extract of a Social Security Number Application can be obtained for $16.00, if you provide the Social Security number. If you do not know the Social Security number, a computer extract is $18.00.
Under the FOIA, the SSA also fulfills requests for claim file searches for deceased persons for a fee of $14, plus 10 cents per page for photocopies, and postage. Write a letter containing the same information given above and request the person’s claim file. You do not need to request a microprint—if the requested file still exists, you will receive photocopies of its contents. The search fee is non-refundable, even if no record is found.
Mail SS-5 and Claim File Requests and payment to:
Social Security Administration
OEO FOIA Workgroup
300 N. Green Street
P.O. Box 33022
Baltimore, MD 21290-3022
Internet Resources
Social Security Sleuthing
An on-line article by Pamela Boyer Porter, CGRS
Social Security Administration
The Web site of the Social Security Administration provides copious amounts of information about Social Security’s history and benefits, including an on-line SSA manual.
National Archives and Records Administration
NARA’s web site contains some useful information about Social Security records for the genealogist or historian.
Railroad Retirement Board
Visit RRB’s site to learn the history of railroad retirement and how it is affected by Social Security.
Family Detective
This web page provides a frequently updated compilation of Social Security death master file data entry errors.
Social Security Death Index
The following Internet sites offer free on-line searches of the SSDI:
Family Tree Maker™
Kindred Konnections Family History Research Center
Lineages, Inc.

Selected Readings
Allen, Desmond Walls and Carolyn E. Billingsley. Social Security Applications: A Genealogical Resource. Conway, Arkansas: Research Associates, 1995.
Family History SourceGuide™ — U.S. Social Security Death Index. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1990. Available online at <> or at Family History Centers.
Gehring, Jake. “Social Security Death Master File: A Much Misunderstood Index.” Online <>. Printout dated 11 May 2000.
Hinckley, Kathleen W. Locating Lost Family Members & Friends. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 1999. Chapter 7, “Social Security Administration,” pages 55-72.
Hinckley, Kathleen W. “Skillbuilding: The Social Security Death [Benefits] Index.”OnBoard, Newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, vol. 5, no. 1 (January 1999).
Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, The Source, A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, Inc., 1997. Chapter 18, “Tracking Twentieth-Century Ancestors,” pages 636-639, by Kathleen W. Hinckley, contains helpful information about Social Security records.
 The U.S. Social Security Act was passed in 1935. Was your ancestor one of the first 30 million U.S. residents who received Social Security numbers between November 1936 and June 1937, or one who applied for a number later? Social Security Administration (SSA) applications dating from 1936 can be helpful to the genealogist seeking facts about an ancestor. The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) of some 55 million deaths reported to the SSA is widely available, and can provide other important clues. Learn the facts about what is available for genealogists from SSA records, and why these twentieth-century resources can be so helpful to earlier research.
History of Social Security
A few dates in the Social Security historical timeline are important to genealogists. Knowing what the law required or allowed regarding Social Security at a given time allows researchers to analyze information that may be available for their ancestors.
14 Aug 1935  
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law.
Approximately 30 million U.S. residents apply for and receive Social Security numbers.
1 Jan 1937  
Workers begin acquiring credits toward old-age insurance benefits, and payroll tax (FICA) withholding begins.
Application for Social Security Number no longer includes employer information.
Electronic requests for benefits become commonly used, resulting in what is known as the Social Security Death Index.
Issuance of Social Security numbers beginning with 700-728 to railroad employees was discontinued.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare into law. Many citizens over age 65 receive Social Security cards for the first time.
Department of Defense begins using Social Security numbers instead of military service numbers to identify Armed Forces personnel.
SSA is required by law to issue Social Security numbers to any legally admitted alien upon entry, and to obtain evidence of age and citizenship or alien status and identity.
SSA begins assigning Social Security numbers and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, and the area number assigned is based on the mailing address zip code from the application.
SSA program enables parents to automatically obtain a Social Security number for a newborn infant when the birth is registered with the state.
What’s in a Number?
A nine-digit Social Security number is composed of three parts:
  • The Area Number
    The first three digits in a Social Security number comprise the Area number. Before 1972, this number identified the state in which the applicant’s original Social Security card was issued. Since 1972, all Social Security numbers have been assigned and issued from one office in Baltimore, and the Area number identifies the mailing address zip code of the applicant. An applicant’s mailing address, either before or after 1972, may not be the same as the residence. The Area number is merely an indicator that an applicant resided in or used an address in a particular state at the time the Social Security card was originally issued. A list of area numbers and corresponding states is available on the SSA’s Web site (see Internet Resources) or in The Source, A Guidebook of American Genealogy (see Selected Readings).
  • The Group Number
    The middle two digits of a Social Security number range from 01 to 99, but they are not issued in consecutive order. The SSA World Wide Web site contains a frequently updated list of the latest Group numbers issued within each area.
  • The Serial Number The last four digits of a Social Security number run serially from 0001 through 9999.
Employees of U.S. railroads earn retirement through the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), but they also have Social Security cards. Before June 1963, railroad employees received special Social Security numbers in the 700-728 area range. After that date, their numbers were assigned based on their mailing address, just like everyone else.
The SS-5: Application for Social Security Number
Chances are if an individual worked in the United States after 1935, he or she applied for and received a Social Security number. Even non-citizens have Social Security numbers. The SS-5, Application for Social Security Number, contains the following information: Social Security number, full name (including women’s maiden names), address at time of application, employer and employer’s address (pre-1947 applications only), age at last birthday, date and place of birth, parents’ full names (including mother’s maiden name), sex, color, and whether the applicant had previously applied for Social Security or Railroad Retirement. It also contains the application date and the applicant’s signature.
In the 1970s, the SSA microfilmed all SS-5 application forms, created a computer database of selected information from the forms, and destroyed the originals. This SSA internal computer database contains some, but not all, of the information on the original applications. When requesting an SS-5, genealogists generally should ask for a microprint of the microfilmed original, rather than a printout or abstract from the SSA computer database. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Benefits of Accreditation | ICAPGen

Very informative...highly recommended.... ~ Vince ~

Why become an
Accredited Genealogist® Professional?

There are many benefits to becoming accredited through ICAPGen. Some of these include:
  • You will become part of an international organization with over fifty years of experience and good will.
  • You will demonstrate that you have acquired substantial knowledge and the ability to process and analyze genealogical information in a timely manner.
  • Your name will be advertised on the ICAPGen website, bringing you clients and credibility. You can update your Internet profile at any time and include information about yourself that may be of interest to prospective clients.
  • You will be more appealing to consumers who seek expert genealogical assistance, since you will have proven your research abilities and signed a code of ethics.
  • You will be able to use the Accredited Genealogist® or AG® postnomials after your name.
  • You will receive opportunities for local and international networking and service.
  • You will receive a certificate for display and an identification card.
  • You will receive a letter of introduction, upon request, should the requirement arise.
  • You will have a professional credential that will stand in most courts as a qualified expert witness in estate and kinship matters.
  • You may have opportunities to present at ICAPGen-sponsored conferences as well as other seminars, workshops, and conferences throughout the nation.
  • You may receive opportunities to serve within the ICAPGen organization.
  • You may rest assured that ICAPGen will defend the credential and certification marks should the need arise.
  • Your credential will provide a reasonable means for resolving any disputes that might arise between a client and you.
  • You will receive information and educational material through e-mail messages and our quarterly newsletter.
We want you to join us!
For more information about the application process, please click here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Year and Day of Each Census

OK, since I am always looking for the census dates by year online, I figured I would just compile the data here for my reference, since this seems the best place to locate and organize my thoughts, extended as they may be some times. 

The below information was gathered from many sites, and cross referenced against the census website -- which, incidentally, has a LOT of surprising downloads for genealogists! 

Anyways, with out further adieu, here is the Census day by year info! 

1790 August 2
1800 August 4
1810 August 6
1820 August 7
1830 June 1
1840 June 1
1850 June 1
1860 June 1
1870 June 1
1880 June 1
1890 June 1
1900 June 1
1910 April 15
1920 January 1
1930 April 15
1940 April 1 
1950 April 1 
1960 April 1 
1970 April 1 
1980 April 1 
1990 April 1 
2000 April 1 
2010 April 1 

A Childhood Memory

I had a great memory triggered today by smelling some cinnamon raisin bread from one of the local grocery stores (Basha's) it a childhood memory, if you will, of a very special pastry that I ate all through the 80's and into the 90's...

Anyone remember J.J. Nissen Cinnamon Buns? They used to come in this aluminum tray inside a white box. Back in the early to mid 90's, the Wonder Bread company bought the company. Shortly thereafter, they discontinued the whole product line.

I absolutely LOVED J.J. Nissen Cinnamon Buns!!! I used to eat them a tray at a time, and we would get two trays every week (one for me and one for the rest of the family)

After church on Sundays, we would go from Saint Rita's Parish on Temple Street in Haverhill, Massachusetts, to the local family bakery around the corner, Fantini's bakery. We would pick up freshly baked French bread sticks and freshly baked Portuguese Sweet Breads (once again, one of each for me and one of each for the rest of the family).

Afterwards, we would sometimes drive across the street to the little mom and pop sandwich shop, called Benedetti's Deli, on Washington Street, Haverhill, Massachusetts, to pick up lunch. We would eat our sandwiches in the car on the way home or sometimes on the way to one of the grocery stores we shopped at in Plaistow, New Hampshire (we did our grocery shopping there because there were no taxes in New Hampshire on food, clothing, etc., but there were taxes on most things in Massachusetts).

Anyways, we would do the weekly grocery shopping in Plaistow, then we would take the 15 mile drive home with our groceries, and everyone would help put them away. Afterwards, we would relax for an hour or so, then my dad would always make dinner for us -- I usually wound up helping him, or just sitting in the kitchen and watching him.

Memories like these are what helped me to remember how to make home made sauce, meat balls, stuffed peppers, lasagna, and so much more. I learned how to make cinnamon buns from my mom, and I don't remember where she learned it (think it was my Grammy's recipe), but I wrote down the recipe and have made them ever since I was in 6th grade.

Speaking of my Grammy, I had been chatting online with a fellow genealogist; she had posted a link to a recipe for Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta and Almonds...I love sweet potatoes, but not with feta cheese...she triggered a few more memories about my Grammy yesterday: My Grammy used to make THE BEST candied yams and THE BEST peanut butter fudge...she used to use Marshmallow Fluff instead of regular marshmallows...YUMMMM!!!!! The fudge was so soft and, I wish I had THAT recipe! Well, that and the recipe for her candied yams...never had any candied yams like hers again...I remember she used dark Karol syrup and she used like a stick of butter, as well as plenty of brown sugar and something else, but I just cannot remember what it was for the life of me... 

I still love the taste of cinnamon buns, but I have had some really bad store made and local bakery ones... I need to make some again, but it takes a few hours to make them and a full night to let the dough rise...oh well, guess I am gonna have to just break down and make some...

I miss the  J.J. Nissen Cinnamon Buns...I wish the Wonder Bread Company would bring them back, especially to Arizona!!! Think I need to write them a letter...anyone wanna join the letter writing to try to get them back? lol

~ Vince ~ 

Monday, August 6, 2012

SS-5 & Genealogy - How to Request a Copy of a Social Security Application Form

SS-5 & Genealogy - How to Request a Copy of a Social Security Application Form

Just sharing a link here, so that I can track it down again for later use. I have a specific friend in mind for this post; the friend was adopted as a child and this person is now in their 50's and still does  not know who their biological parents are. I look forward to assisting them in finding the information and possibly reuniting that friend with brothers and sisters, if any were ever had...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Adoption Puzzle - Why are Adoptees Denied Their Rights?

Very good question...why are adoptees denied their rights?

What are the laws for adoptees from state to state and country to country?

Well, I am not really sure yet, but I can tell you this much: I will find out.

I think I am going to do an alphabetical list of states, and then put all the information for each state on it's own area, so that I can easily access the information. I will also need to create a chart that lists the laws from year to year, so that any changes that happened in the laws can be referenced as well...

History: The "72 Year Rule"

Few things I wish we could change: The Census from every 10 years to every 5 years and the 72 Year Rule to a 52 Year Rule...that would make life so much easier...

History: The "72 Year Rule"

The "72 Year Rule"

1940 poster
View larger image

Records from the 1940 census are still
protected by the "72 Year Rule." The
National Archives released them on
April 2, 2012.
The U.S. government will not release personally identifiable information about an individual to any other individual or agency until 72 years after it is collected for the decennial census. This "72-Year Rule" (92 Stat. 915; Public Law 95-416; October 5, 1978) restricts access to decennial census records to all but the individual named on the record or their legal heir.
For More information about the origin of the "72-Year Rule," see the following:
  • Letter from Census Bureau Dirctor, Roy V. Peel to Archivist of the United States, Wayne C. Grover, concerning the 72-year lapse between collection and release of decennial census records, August 26, 1952.
  • Letter from Archivist of the United States, Wayne C. Grover to Census Bureau Director Roy V. Peel, in reply to Peel's August 1952 letter (above), October 10, 1952.
  • Letter from Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dixon, Jr., to General Counsel, General Services Administration, William G. Casselman II, Esg., concerning the origins of the "72 year Rule" its evolution to 1973, June 14, 1973.
After 72 years, the records are released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration. In accordance with the 72-Year Rule, the National Archives released the 1930records in April 2002 and most recently, the 1940 records were released April 2, 2012.
For more information about the availability of census records, download Availability of Census Records About Individuals [PDF 150KB].
For more information about using census records for genealogical purposes, visit the Genealogy and Genealogy Publications pages.


REGINA D’ITALIA – 1907 – IMO 0000000

1907, 6560grt, 131m. x 16m
120 1st. and 1900 3rd. class passengers
Sir James Laing, Sunderland (622) for Lloyd Sabaudo
She had been laid down as SARDINIAN PRINCE for the Prince Line
Launched and completed as REGINA D’ITALIA
Served the New York and South Atlantic routes
Broken up in Italy in October 1928
Collection the late Pedro Caminha, Paris

RE D’ITALIA – 1907 – IMO 0000000

1907, 6560grt, 131m. x 16m
120 1st. and 1900 3rd. class passengers
Sir James Laing, Sunderland (621)
She had been laid down as PIEDMONTESE PRINCE for the Prince Line
Launched and completed as RE D’ITALIA for Lloyd Sabaudo
Served the New York and South Atlantic routes
Broken up at Genoa in 1929
Collection of the late Pedro Caminha, Paris

BARNES & NOBLE | In Search of Kings: What Became of the Passengers of the Re d'Italia by Tony De Bolfo, HarperCollins Publishers Australia | Paperback

I have presented two links below: the first is to purchase the book new from Barnes & Noble for under $20.00 U.S., and the second is to the page where the rest of the content below had come from.

I liked reading the brief synopsis that the author had written, especially since it dealt with the Regina d'Italia, which is another of the ships which my ancestors traveled on, arriving at Ellis Island on 22 March 1908.

Once again, it was my father's great grand father Nicola Maria and my father's great uncle Domenico Nicola who were traveling together, on their way to see my father's grand father...

I will filter the image and post it here later...
~ Vince ~ 

BARNES & NOBLE | In Search of Kings: What Became of the Passengers of the Re d'Italia by Tony De Bolfo, HarperCollins Publishers Australia | Paperback

In Search of Kings: What Became of the Passengers of the Re d'Italia

$16.69 price
$17.95 List Price (Save 7%)

In Search Of Kings

What became of the passengers
of the Re d’Italia

In 1994, Melbourne journalist and author Tony De Bolfo developed a burning desire to discover what prompted his grandfather and two brothers to leave their homeland in Italy for a new life in Australia.
He turned to his great uncle, Igino De Bolfo – the only surviving member of the original trio who undertook that arduous forty-six day voyage aboard the steamship Re d’Italia (King of Italy) in 1927.
Over an eight-year period, the author uncovered extraordinary tales of love and friendship, suicide and murder, tragedy and success.
“In these pages dripping sweat, blood, guts and tears, there are great subjects for a score of novels.” - Nino Randazzo, Italian Senator, former editor Il Globo
In Search Of Kings is available through Harper Collins Publishers

Brief history of SS Regina d’Italia
and Lloyd Sabaudo line

Originally laid down as the Sardinian Prince, the Regina d’Italia was one of three steamships built by Sunderland Shipbuilder James Laing for the Lloyd Sabaudo Line in 1906, along with the Principe di Piemonte and the flagship, Re d’Italia.
With a tonnage of 6149 grt, length of 430 ft, beam of 52ft 8in and service speed of 14 knots, the Regina d’Italia was launched on January 20, 1907. On May 15 of that year, the Regina d’Italia commenced her maiden voyage from Genoa to New York. The following October, she inaugurated the company’s Genoa-South America service as the steamship Tomaso di Savoia was not ready.

When a massive earthquake rocked Messina in December 1908, the Regina d’Italia, together with the Re d’Italia, was used as a hospital ship. Three years later, she served as a floating hospital during the Italo-Turkish war between Benghazi and Derna.

In 1920, the Regina d’Italia’s accommodation was reduced to first and third class only. Two years later she was transferred to the South American service and in the final years of her life completed a handful of voyages to Australia.

The Regina d’Italia was broken up for scrap at Genoa in October 1928, a year before the Re d’Italia. The Principe di Piemonte was sold to the Cunard Line in 1916 and renamed Folia. On March 11, 1917, the Folia was torpedoed by a German submarine of the coast of Youghal, Eire, resulting in the loss of seven lives.

While the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana in Milan confirmed ownership of the copyright of Dall’Italia All’Australia, the organisation was able to provide few, if any, details regarding the film’s history, other than its year of production, 1925.

However, the National Archives of Australia’s Melbourne office yielded valuable information relating to the voyages the Regina d’Italia made to Australia pre-1925.

The Regina d’Italia, under the command of Master Ettore Zitelli, sailed into Fremantle on September 14, 1924. The relevant passenger list, kept on microfilm at the Melbourne archive, also carried the name of the film’s director, Angelo Drovetti, amongst the hundreds of disembarkees. Drovetti was listed as a single man of 38 years of age, whose forwarding address was “aboard the Regina d’Italia”.

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In Search of Kings

In Search of Kings

Author: Tony Debolfo

ISBN:  9780732279011
ISBN-10:  0732279011
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Date Published:  28/04/2004
Format:  Paperback Book
Pages:  480
Language:  English
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Book Description:
The classic Australian migrant story from acclaimed writer and journalist Tony de Bolfo. In 1994, Melbourne journalist Tony De Bolfo developed a burning need to discover what prompted his grandfather and two brothers to leave their homeland in northern Italy for a new life in Australia. He turned to his great-uncle Igino De Bolfo, the only surviving member of the original trio who undertook that arduous 46-day voyage aboard the steamship Re d'Italia (King of Italy) 75 years ago. But what began as simple curiosity became an overwhelming obsession for Tony, which led him on his own unbelievable voyage of discovery. Working from the original passenger list, he set out to uncover the life stories of the 105 men, women and children who accompanied his forebears down the gangway, into the unknown. Tony's search involved regular correspondence, countless phone calls and thousands of kilometres. It took him interstate and overseas and brought him in contact with many descendants, and in some cases the passengers themselves. Many years later after that voyage, Tony uncovered extraordinary tales of love and friendship, suicide and murder, tragedy and success. And along the way he has even discovered something about himself.

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The "Regina d'Italia" was a 6,560 gross ton ship, built by Sir J.Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland (engines by G. Clark Ltd, Sunderland) in 1907. Her details were - length 430 ft x beam 52.7 ft, two funnels, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 14 knots. There was accommodation for 120-1st and 1,900-3rd class passengers. Originally laid down as the "Sardinian Prince" for the British owned Prince Line, she was purchased on the stocks by Lloyd Sabaudo and launched on 20th Jan. 1907 as the "Regina d'Italia. She sailed on her maiden voyage from Genoa to Naples, Palermo and New York on 15th May 1907, made two Genoa - South America voyages the same year and in Dec. 1908 she was used as a hospital ship after the Messina earthquake. She continued New York sailing's during the Great War up until the end of 1916 when regular passenger voyages on this route were discontinued by the company. On 10th Apr. 1919, she resumed N. Atlantic sailing's when she left Genoa for Marseilles and New York and in 1920 was refitted to carry 2nd and 3rd class passengers only. On 20th Jan. 1920 she arrived at New York from Constanza, Constantinople, Smyrna, Piraeus and Messina and started her last Genoa-Naples-Boston-New York voyage on 14th Mar. 1922. In Apr. 1922 she transferred to the Genoa - South America service, except for a single round voyage between Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Halifax and New York commencing 22nd May 1924. In Oct. 1928 she was scrapped in Italy.

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