Thursday, May 24, 2018


While I personally do not collect data from visitors to my blog, Google must collect some information for the statistics that I am able to view which are part of Blogger and are not the same as Google Analytics.  In those statistics, I can see information such as the countries visitors live in and which posts have how many page views, but Google does not share your specific, individually identifiable information with me.

Commenters are asked for their name and email address. If you do not wish to share that information, please do not comment, or comment anonymously which I do allow when comments are open. If you wish to ask me a question privately please use the contact form. I will need your email to respond but will not share that information with anyone and can delete that information at any time by request. If you have left a comment in the past and wish your information to be deleted, please contact me.

I will not personally share any information about visitors or users with anyone.

Google's Privacy Policy can be found here.

This policy will be updated as I learn more about the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

I Can't Seem To Hit Delete Just Yet

If this blog is still here, Sunday will be my 6th Blogiversary. That is just one of the things bothering me when I consider hitting that delete button.

The other big one is that I have a couple of posts which are part of Heather Wilkinson Rojo's Honor Roll Project. Her links come back to my posts, so if I delete this blog, those links will disappear, and they have already helped at least one person.

Today before I leave for work I am going to disable comments and remove the contact form. Later I will post a temporary privacy statement.

I may change my mind later, I am still leaning towards moving my blog to another platform, but I just can't hit delete on something I've worked on for almost six years.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

GDPR and my Blog

Hi everyone.

I'm sorry to say that I just don't have the time right now to deal with what I would need to do in order to be compliant with this new law applying to readers from the EU and Google (Blogger) has not been responsive to requests for help from their users in any forum that I can find.

I have saved my posts and hope to move to a new platform in the next few months, or if I decide that I can keep my blog here I have 90 days to reactivate it once deactivated.

If you need any of the resources or instructions to find records that I have shared, please save that information for yourself in the next two days, I will be deleting my blog on the 24th, at least for now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

New Records for my Swedish-American Ancestors

Anna Olivia Johnson, Selma Josefina Carlin, Mathilda Alfina Johnson

One of the many blogs that I read regularly is Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings. Among his regular features is a weekly post with new and updated record collections at Ancestry. Well, I must not have read his May 6th post very closely because I missed a new record set for my Swedish-American ancestors: U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Swedish-American Church Records, 1800-1946. Luckily for me, I stumbled on it yesterday but I'll have to be sure to read those posts more closely from now on.

I was very excited to find these records for two reasons. My Swedish ancestors settled in Manchster, Connecticut. A few years ago I was able to get into the vaults in their Town Hall during a Family History Day to look through their index books but discovered that the actual records are $20 a pop. This new record set gives me a lot of the same information in a different context, with additional information like the baptismal dates and burial dates that would not be found on the civil records.

Second, like Lutheran churches in Sweden, the affiliates of the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in America kept member lists and recorded when people joined the church as well as when immigrants entered the United States. For years I have searched in vain for any records pertaining to my great-grandmother Mathilda Alfina Johnson's immigration to the United States, now I have a big clue that I hope will help.

Click to enlarge

I knew from oral history that Alfina came with her sister Anna and their friend Selma, now I have this church record that confirms the same immigration date for the three women. Having a possible date is also huge, obviously, and confirms what I suspected, that if they sailed to New York and arrived on September 5, 1890, as stated above, they would have come through the Barge Office, the first federal immigration processing center which opened in April of 1890.

Although there is still much information that I need to confirm with other sources, I am very happy to have these records for now and the clues they have provided!

Monday, April 16, 2018

My Farming Families in 1871 Quebec - The John Deans

I have long wanted to know what the Deanholme Farm was like back when it belonged to my 2nd great-grandfather, John Dean. Four non-population schedules from 1871 have given me part of that answer.

John purchased the farm on May 1, 18681. When he was enumerated in the 1871 census the dwelling house was a log cabin built by a previous owner2. Living here were:

John Dean - 32 yrs
Elizabeth Dean (née Nimmo) 29 yrs - who was likely about 2 months pregnant
Samuel Dean 15 yrs - John's brother who was also enumerated at his parents' farm.
James Dean 8/12 yrs (8 months) - John and Elizabeth's son
Elizabeth Nimmo (née Louden) 67 yrs.- Elizabeth's mother3

Schedule No. 3 - Public institutions, Real Estate, Agricultural Vehicles and Implements4

Grand total of acres of land owned - 163
Number of dwelling houses owned - 1
Number of barns and stables owned - 2
Number of carriages and sleighs - 2
Number of cars, wagons and sleds - 2
Pleasure or common boats - 0
Number of ploughs and cultivators - 1
Reapers and mowers - 0
Horse rakes - 0
Thrashing machines - 0
Fanning mills - 0

Schedule No. 4 - Cultivated land and products5.

Range - 5, Lot 25
Total number of acres occupied - 163
Number of acres improved - 20
Number of acres in pasture - 8
Number of acres of salt or dyked marsh - 0
Number of acres in gardens or orchards - 0

Number of acres of wheat - 1/4
Bushels of spring wheat - 10
Bushels of autumn wheat - 0

Bushels of barley - 0
Bushels of oats - 200
Bushels of rye - 0
Bushels of peas - 6
Bushels of beans - 0
Bushels of buckwheat - 50
Bushels of corn - 10

Root Crops
Acres of potatoes - 1
Bushels of potatoes - 200
Bushels of turnips - 180
Bushels of mangel wurtzel and other beets - 0
Bushels of carrots or other roots - 12

Hay crop
Acres - 20
Tonnes - 20
Bushels of grass or clover seed - 0
Bushels of flax seed - 0

Plants, fruits or other products
Pounds of flax and hemp - 0
Pounds of hops - 0
Pounds of tobacco - 0
Pounds of grapes - 0
Bushels of apples - 0
Bushels of pears, plums, and other fruits - 0
Pounds of maple sugar - 200

Schedule No. 5 - Livestock, Animal Products, Home-made fabrics and furs6

Live stock
Horses over 3 years old - 2
Colts and fillies - 0
Working oxen - 0 
Milk cows - 5
Other horned cattle - 6
Sheep - 7
Swine - 1
Hives of bees - 0

Animal products
Cattle killed or sold for slaughter or export - 2
Sheep killed or sold for slaughter or export - 7
Swine killed or sold for slaughter or export - 1
Pounds of butter - 300
Pounds of home-made cheese - 0
Pounds of honey - 0
Pounds of wool - 43

Home-made fabrics
Yards of home-made cloth and flannel - 17
Yards of home-made linen - 0

Beaver's skins - 0
Musk rats - 0
Minks - 0
Otters - 0
Seals - 0
Martins - 0
Foxes - 0
Bears - 0
Moose, caribou and deer - 0
Number of all other furs - 0

Schedule No. 7 - Return of Products of the Forest7

Square pine - Number of cubic feet
White - 0
Red - 0
Cubic feet of square oak - 0
Cubic feet of square or sided tamarack - 0
Cubic feet of square or sided birth and maple - 0
Cubic feet of square elm - 0

Cubic feet of walnut
Black - 0
Other species - 0 
Cubic feet of hickory - 0
Cubit feet of all other square or sided timber - 0
Number of census standard pine logs - 0
Number of census standard spruce and other logs - 0
Number of spars and masts - 0
Thousands of staves -0
Cords of lath-wood - 0
Cords of tall-bark - 0
Cords of fire-wood - 225
Remarks - ______ (Blank)

There were a few things I am surprised were not part of this census. One was milk production. It also would have been interesting to know if there were chickens or turkeys on the farm and if the John Deans were selling eggs.

This summer I was fortunate to find a small news item regarding the local market in May of 18878.

This lets me know that with further newspaper searches and some luck I may find more information about how John Dean's crops made it from his farm to local tables. And the local historical and genealogical societies are still an untapped resource for me as well.

Of course, there is a part of me that wishes all of this information would come to me all at once like a book, but really, what would the fun be in that?
1. Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records 1637-1935, Repertoire et index de notaires>Saint-Francois>Felton, Edouard Pellew (1861-1907) Digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed April 5, 2018) Sale dated May 1, 1868, from Gilbert Emery to John Dean. I haven't ordered the contract yet but these details match oral family history.
2. Reg Conner, The Vine and the Branches (North Hatley, Quebec, 1898), 99.
3. 1871 Census of Canada, Sub-district "d" - divn No 1, Stanstead County, Quebec; population schedule p. 51, dwelling 189 and family 191, John Dean household, digital image Ancestry ( : accessed April 13, 2018,) citing Statistics Canada Fonds, Microfilm reel C-10089.
4. 1871 Census (Canada), Stanstead County, Province of Quebec, Tableau No. 3 Etablissements Publics, Propriété Foncières, Voitures et Instruments d'Agriculture [Return of Public Institutions, real & personal estate], District 141, Sub-district Div. No. 1 Hatley, p. 10 (handwritten), line 10; image, Library & Archives Canada ( : accessed April 6, 2018), microfilm publication C-10089, page 571 of 670.
5. 1871 Census (Canada), Stanstead County, Province of Quebec, Tableau No. 4 Terres cultivées, Produits des Champs, Plantes et Fruits [Return of cultivated land and products], District 141, Sub-district Div. No. 1 Hatley, p. 10 (handwritten), line 10; image, Library & Archives Canada ( : accessed April 6, 2018), microfilm publication C-10089, page 577 of 670.
6. 1871 Census (Canada), Stanstead County, Province of Quebec, Tableau No. 5 Animaux vivants, Produits animaux, Etoffes de Ménage et Fourrerres [Livestock, animal products, home-made fabrics and furs], District 141, Sub-district Div. No. 1 Hatley, p. 10 (handwritten), line 10; image, Library & Archives Canada ( : accessed April 6, 2018), microfilm publication C-10089, page 583 of 670.
7. 1871 Census (Canada), Stanstead County, Province of Quebec, Tableau No. 7 Produits de Forëts [Return of Products of the forest], District 141, Sub-district Div. No. 1 Hatley, p. 10 (handwritten), line 10; image, Library & Archives Canada ( : accessed April 6, 2018), microfilm publication C-10089, page 591 of 670.
8. "The Market," Sherbrooke Weekly Examiner, 6 May 1887, p.2, col. 3; digital images, Google News Archives ( : accessed 17 June 2017.)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

1851 and 1871 Canadian Census Non-Population Schedules

While doing some Canadian census research a few months ago, I could have sworn I read that none of the non-population schedules had survived for any year. Thankfully, I was wrong; some of the non-population schedules do exist for the 1851 Censuses of Canada East (Quebec) and Canada West (Ontario) and for the 1871 Census of Canada.

Sadly, not even the population schedule survived for Stanstead County, Quebec from 1851 and that is where most of my Canadian ancestors lived then. Also, while I am fortunate to have the population schedules for my families in Sherrington, Huntingdon County, Quebec, it appears that those agricultural schedules did not survive. Nevertheless, I can still point you in the right direction.

To find the 1851 agricultural schedules which are not indexed, go to the Library and Archives Canada website and find the Online Records drop-down in the blue bar near the top, then choose Censuses from the drop-down.

Then click on 1851 Census.

Then on Schedules.

Which will bring you to this page. After choosing the schedule you want, you will get a PDF file with links to various pages which you'll have to look through to find your family. As you can see, enumerator instructions are available by following the LAC instructions.

Finding your family in the 1871 non-population schedules is a bit different. First, you'll need to have a look at your family in Schedule No. 1, the population schedule, and take note of the page number, the line number of your head of household and the district and sub-district information for your family.

Next, I went to the page for the 1871 Census (Canada) and scrolled down to the green box.

Clicking on the finding aid for Quebec brought me to the list of microfilm numbers by District and sub-district.

Now, back to the screen with the green box and this time you choose Microform Digitization Tool.

This will bring you to the list of microfilm reels. Once you find the right reel, you will have to search through the images because they are not indexed. Have those district and sub-district names and numbers handy.

Once you find the right sub-district, you'll need the page and line number of your head of household from Schedule No. 1 in order to find him or her on the rest of the schedules. John Dean was on Page 51, line 8.

Using the page and line numbers, you can find your ancestor.  This is schedule 3 - Return of public institutions, real estate, agricultural vehicles and implements. It appears that some of my Quebec ancestors were enumerated on forms in French in 1871 and some on forms in English. If you need a translation of the headings, they are above the green box as shown above under Schedules.  My farming ancestors had information in Schedules 3, 4, 5 and 7. Any schedules shown as "missing" probably just weren't taken, mining schedules wouldn't have been completed if an area had no mines.

I hope you find as much wonderful information as I did. More about that in another post.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Spring Finding Family Genealogy Series at NARA (NY)

After ten years of researching my family, I made my first trip to the NYC branch of the National Archives last month for the first part of four in their Spring Finding Family Genealogy series.

The New York branch of NARA is located in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at 1 Bowling Green in lower Manhattan. Donald and I probably walked right by it when we visited Castle Garden two years ago.

This is the view from just past the Custom House. Unfortunately, I only had a camera phone but you can see Castle Garden in the distance and if you look right above the left side of the building you can just make out the Statue of Liberty. I knew this wouldn't be a great photo, but I was at the perfect elevation here to see these landmarks this way.

Back to the reason for my post. D. Joshua Taylor, host of Genealogy Roadshow but more importantly, President of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B), made the first presentation in this series, "How the NYG&B Can Help You in Your Research."

Joshua Taylor is an excellent speaker. His enthusiasm is infectious and made me want to dig right back into my New York ancestry and find those elusive parents of my 2nd great-grandfather, Benjamin Smith. Although I have promised myself to try to maintain focus on my Kezar line and Donald's Scalise line, for now, I know where I am going first as soon as it is time to turn to my Smiths again - right to the NYG&B website.

The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society will be celebrating 150 years next year and is one of the few older societies that admitted women as members right from the beginning and, as Joshua Taylor pointed out, has always had a focus on the stories of our ancestors as the society's name implies. Although many of the resources available on the NYG&B website are behind a paywall, if you have NY ancestry it looks like it is well worth the membership price of $70 for one year or $125 for two years. There are many really interesting resources and membership benefits including a peer-reviewed quarterly journal with archives online and basic Find My Past membership.

On the train home, I tweeted about my excitement after the meeting and the societies twitter account responded with a link to a blog post from January that they recommended as a good place to start, and I will recommend it as well: Eleven ways to use the NYG&B website to improve your skills and find ancestors.

Another way to see for free what the society has available is this YouTube video which shows viewers around the site.

NYG&B is also part of the group leading the fight against the recent decision by the NYC Health Department to codify restrictions to birth records for 125 years and death records for 75 years. See the NYG&B Facebook page here for a recording of Joshua Taylor's update from yesterday.

I have no affiliation or relationship with the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, but I will be a member once I turn my attention back to my NY ancestors.