Monday, September 24, 2012

Web Master Problems

Are there any accomplished Web Masters out there?  Here's an example of why our web site is a mess with various browsers.  I need help.    Jerry

Historical Newspapers

Has anyone else been using the VCPL Historical Newspapers database.  I have found it to be a gold mine.

Looking for my Tolles/Toles family in CT I selected all the CT newspapers and searched on TOLLES OR TOLLS.  This morning I just downloaded article # 114.  I have found obits and/or estate settlement notices beginning in January 1775.

There are a few tricks that might be of interest.

If you don't find your search term highlighted in the article that comes up notice that at the top right is a message .  Click the arrow at the right side of that message and the second page will appear.

The news print from the 1700s and 1800s is seldom crisp and so there are many false returns. For the most part the "hits" can be examined in the small box that is displayed for the hit but sometimes you have to open the article and look for the yellow highlighted word that was hit upon.  For TOLLES OR TOLES there were hits on 'boxes', 'tolerate' etc.  Remember, the character that looks like an 'f' is actually an 's'.

There are several ways to capture the article you have found.  The method that works for me is to first open a MS Notepad screen, type the information that identifies the clipping, highlight and copy it (CTRL-C).  Go back to the article, hoover your mouse over the PDF icon at the top right of the screen.  Wait for the very long URL Newsbank identifier for the article to appear at the bottom of the screen.  Now click the PDF icon.  The article appears my itself, right click and save it.  Before you actually save the file paste (CTRL-V) the identifying information you copied from Notepad in front of the Newsbank file name.  Save the file with the very long but necessary file name.

If you click the PDF icon before the Newsbank URL is finished coming in you will get an error message saying "no data received."

Here is an example of the file name that results:
1775 Jan 18 CT Journal New Haven Thomas Tolles drowned pl_009242012_0826_16011_553.pdf

Here is a screen shot that explains it better:


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Use your camera as a scanner

     I just downloaded a great new app (Android) which turns the smart phone into a scanner!  I've been testing it and WOW, it works GREAT!!  It is a free app named "CamScanner".

     Once downloaded and installed you tap the icon for CamScan the app comes up with a row of icons at the bottom and a list of folders on the left.

     To begin tap the camera icon at the bottom left.  The phone's camera turns on with a row of icons on the bottom, SETTINGS, SHUTTER, GALLERY, SINGLE SCAN  point the camera to the page of writing and press the shutter control.  The scan is made and the photo presented.   Touch the CHECK MARK at the bottom right to move to the next step or click the 'X' to discard or the CURVED ARROW to take you back a step.

     Now the text photo is presented with a frame that has buttons on the corners and in the middle of each side.  It is a simple matter to adjust the frame to correctly encompass the text you wish to capture.

     When you have it correctly framed touch the CHECK MARK.  The image is automatically trimmed and you are given controls to adjust the image.  CONTRAST, BRIGHTNESS and GAMMA can be adjusted.

     Again touch the CHECK MARK.  The Image is saved into the folder of your choice.  Click the SHARE button and a pdf file is created and you are presented with an array of choices (ten locations on my phone; Upload, FAX, Print, Bluetooth, Dropbox, Email, Picassa, Gmail, Bump, Google Drive) where you would like to send the finished pdf.

     OCR (optical character reader) is performed on the file so when you open it with Acrobat it is searchable.

     This app works smoothly and, although I've only had it for a short while, I think it promises to be a great help to researchers, especially in libraries where copies are 25 or 50 cents or it is not possible to make copies at all.

     I am anxious to try this app on the microfilm reader in the library.  When I get a request for an obituary and find it on the microfilm I usually photograph the screen with my digital camera but that then requires several editing steps before the obit is ready to send to the person requesting it.  This app promises to make that procedure very much easier, allowing me to immediately send the document by email.

     I don't know whether Apple has a similar app for the iPhone, they probably do.

     Give it a try and let us know what you think.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Track Down Living People Online

About Genealogy: Newsletter by Kimberly Powell

Tracing living people online presents a unique challenge as privacy laws often protect the records genealogists generally use the most. However, current public records, newspapers, yearbooks, and other resources offer their own assistance with tracking down living cousins, classmates, or birth parents -- even for those tough cases where you may not have a name!

See More About:  people search  finding living people  phone directories



- How to Research Methodist Ancestors

- Historical Methodist Church Records & Archives Online

Monday, September 17, 2012

iArchives, FGS & NARA collaborate to digitize 1812 Pension Applications

iArchives to Collaborate with FGS to Digitize War of 1812 Pension Applications

The following announcement was written by iArchives, a subsidiary of It is the division that operates (formerly Fold3 will be the first online home of the digital pension applications

Lindon, UT – iArchives today announced a collaboration with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) to digitize 180,000 pension applications, or an estimated 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files. The collection will be available on iArchives’ military records website,, home of more than 94 million historical records.

The multi-year project will consist of scanning the pension files at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and creating a searchable index to the digital images. FGS has targeted the War of 1812 Pension Applications as a high priority project based on the value of the content for genealogists as well as the importance of preserving the fragile records.

“Our goal with any collaboration is to honor our nation’s heritage by preserving the records of our past,” said Patricia Oxley, President of FGS. “In the specific case of the War of 1812 pension records, there is an added priority due to their frail state where not acting may mean sacrificing these for future generations.”

With the burden of proof on the applicant to qualify for a pension, those applying proved participation in the war by including dozens of vividly descriptive pages. Details recorded include military battle stories, service dates, mentions of fellow soldiers, family relations, marriages, widows’ maiden names and many other clues significant to researchers. The breadth of information allows the pension files to tell the richest story of that time period.

“The most popular database on Fold3 today is the Revolutionary War Pensions which is very similar content,” said Brian Hansen, General Manager at Fold3. “Our users have been asking for the War of 1812 pension records for some time, and I expect this collection to be very popular based on the rich war time detail it contains. We are pleased to make these records available for free on Fold3 as a result of FGS fundraising efforts to subsidize the production cost.”

FGS is proud to be leading the national fundraising to support this project and is actively seeking donations from genealogical and historical societies, patriotic and military heritage societies, as well as interested corporations and individuals. iArchives is providing a dollar-for-dollar match of each donation through a provision of services. To learn more and contribute to the Preserve the Pensions project, visit

About iArchives

iArchives is a leading digitization service provider and subsidiary of (NASDAQ: ACOM). The company operates Fold3, the leading U.S. military record resource on the web with more than 94 million records online. The site provides searchable original documents, providing subscribers with a view of the events, places and people in the conflicts that shaped the American nation and the world. For more information, visit

About FGS

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), founded in 1976, links the genealogical community by serving the needs of its member societies, providing products and services needed by member societies, and marshaling the resources of its member organizations. FGS represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies and engages in projects that help genealogical societies strengthen and grow as well as call attention to records preservation and access issues. FGS can be found on the web at

Created by fold3_catalog 30 Apr 2011

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Brady Civil War Photos FREE
Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Index FREE
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War of 1812 Pension Files FREE UPDATED
Vietnam Veterans Memorial FREE
Civil War "Widows' Pensions" FREE UPDATED

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Copy Books of George Washington's Correspondence

Explore events that preoccupied George Washington during his years as president through these letters. The 
NARA M570. Explore events that preoccupied George Washington during his years as president through these letters. The correspondence includes items as simple as trip itineraries to more complex issues such as the conduct of the US in wars of other nations, and Thomas Jefferson's opinion of the constitutionality of the Residence Act in 1790.…More

Constitutional Convention Records - FOLD3 - FREE

Constitutional Convention Records

Convened in Philadelphia in May 1787, the Constitutional Convention created one of the most important documents of the new nation - the United States Constitution. Under this title you will also find Bankson's Journal, which includes the important delegate credentials from "Ratifications of the Constitution," and drafts of the Virginia Plan, which ultimately led to a bicameral Congress consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate.…More

Papers of the Continental Congress - FOLD3- FREE

Papers of the Continental Congress

Official records of the original colonies and the early United States. The First Continental Congress (1774) addressed "intolerable acts" by the British. The Second Continental Congress (1775-1781) created the Declaration of Independence and the first national government. The Congress of the Confederation (1781-1789) followed. Read important papers, letters, treaties, and reports--famous and obscure--relating to the formation of the new nation, as penned by the founding fathers.…More

Project Blue Book - UFO Investigations- FOLD3 - FREE

Project Blue Book - UFO Investigations

Nearly 13,000 government UFO reports. From Alaska to Arizona, from Florida to Labrador, UFO sightings were reported from within North America and even around the world.

From Alaska to Arizona, from Florida to Labrador, UFO sightings were reported from within North America and even around the world. They are documented in these files. Very few photographs are included in these records. Instead these are text descriptions of encounters or sightings during the years 1947 to 1969. Names of people involved in the sightings are excluded. They are arranged chronologically, then by location.…More

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WWII US Air Force Photos

View thousands of World War II era photographs of aircraft, equipment, air races, bombing tests, and military personnel - at work and play. Photos are grouped by regional "war theater" and then alphabetically by category, including subjects as diverse as recreation, rescue, aircraft, and miscellaneous. Each sub-category reveals intriguing captions further identifying the photographs.…More

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US Milestone Documents

Documents that have shaped American history.View images of the originals and learn where each document is archived. This collection provides a first-hand look at some of the nation's high and low points.

(NOTE: You can also download documents such as the Magna Carta, Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, Lincoln's 1st and 2nd Innagural Speech and much more at Bartleby's Books )

WAR OF 1812 - FOLD3 - FREE

War of 1812 Pension Files

The first applications were based on disability or death of a soldier. Beginning in 1871, they were based on service. A veteran's pension file typically includes his rank, place of residence, age or date of birth, and time of service.

War of 1812 Pension Files

The War of 1812 pension files resulted from a man’s service during the war, 1812-1815. They were granted to the veteran, his widow, or his heirs.


The documents in this collection include full pension application files for soldiers and sailors who served in the War of 1812, as well as for their widows and children, or other heirs. The first applications were filed by servicemen who were disabled as a result of their service, or by widows who lost a husband in the war.

The descriptive pamphlet for the Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files, M313, published by NARA, provides a great deal of background and explanatory information about the pension files and the acts that provided for them.

The pension provisions already in existence for veterans of the regular and volunteer forces were applied to veterans of the War of 1812 and to their surviving dependents by acts of January 29, 1813 (2 Stat. 794), and April 16, 1816 (3 Stat. 285). Other similar or supplementary acts providing benefits on account of death or disability were passed by Congress between 1813 and 1871.

Information relating to the War of 1812 pension acts, and the attached table, are excerpted from: Glasson, William Henry, and David Kinley. 1918. Federal military pensions in the United States. New York [etc.]: Oxford University Press, American Branch.

FOLD3 - FREE - PA Archives


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Sunday, September 16, 2012

The 'Brick Wall Box'

Today at our Sept meeting Bob Weaver started a project called "The Brick Wall Box."  Anyone who is "stuck" whether it is a real brick wall or you just need some help and advice.  Look for this little red box on top of the file cabinet behind the Gen Room desk.  Take a form, fill it out with your problem.  Give us enough information to identify the person you're stuck on.  Give full names, years of birth and death and dates and places where they lived and as much additional information as you have.  One of our volunteers will take your request, investigate it and let you know what we recommend as a course of action.

You can also eMail your brick wall to

Be sure to leave your contact information, preferably an email address.  We'll do everything we can.


September meeting

We had a great meeting yesterday.  The lesson by Rosemary Sutton was standing room only and the general meeting was packed.  Kim Dolce gave a good presentation about the newspapers available on the VCPL web site.  She had a handout for everyone which I will put on our web site as soon as I can.  The minutes of the board meeting and minutes of the general meeting will also be posted ASAP.

The Fall 2012 newsletter is finished.  Linda Williamson has proof read it and I have some corrections to make then we'll get it out.

There were several visitors present and several took membership applications.

There was hesitation to pay a years dues when we're nearly in the fourth quarter.  Perhaps we should allow new members to have their membership begin in the new year after a certain date.  What do you think?

                                                                   Kim Dolce

                                                                The general meeting.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Most Esteemed Ancestor Contest

R&B Members;

I just received a message from Howard Fisher.  So far he has received NO entries to this contest.  We asked Howard to take this on, now it is our responsibility to participate in this contest.

Please sit down and write up an entry.  Tell us who your most esteemed ancestor is in 500 words or less.

You can bring it to the meeting on the 16th or eMail it to Howard (Esteemed or bring it in or mail it to the Gen Room (131 East Howry Ave, DeLand 32724-0612 Attn: R&B Gen Soc.)

The prizes are $100 first place, $50 second place and $25 third place.  It's really pretty easy money and will be fun.

The deadline for submission is November 15th, plenty of time to write an entry.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

FOLD3 from Kim Dolce

Fm: Kim Dolce
5 Sept 2012
You may or may know that Volusia County Public Libraries recently added Fold3 to its list of databases.  Fold3, formerly Footnote, is a combination of genealogy and history sources, and it can be accessed from home as well as in the library.  I'm attaching the press release here and hoping you can share it with your genealogy societies.
Kim E. Dolce
Genealogy/Reference Librarian
Daytona Beach Regional Library
105 E. Magnolia Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL
386-257-6036 ext. 16315

New historical and genealogical databases available at
Volusia County public libraries

The Volusia County Public Library has added Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives Plus and The Holocaust Archives to its online eResources.

Fold3 combines an unprecedented collection of original historical documents and personal histories including convenient access to US military records. Included is access to several special collections, including the African American Archives, American Revolution Archives, Native American Archives, US Bureau of Investigation Case File Archives, and World War II Archives.  Another addition is the Holocaust Collection. Through their partnership with the National Archives, Fold3 has scanned and indexed valuable records that tell the story of the Holocaust. Patrons can explore everything from Holocaust assets to death camp records to interrogation reports to the Nuremburg trials.

Library card holders can access these and other databases at: Learn more about the library system at, or by contacting your local branch.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2013 Speakers


It will be a great year, here are some of the great speakers Bob & Carol have scheduled
This schedule may change, we'll keep you updated.

Here is the present listing of speakers and topics for the Jan thru April meetings for 2013.

Date               Speaker                      Topic
1-20-13    Louise Caccamise          History of DeLand Street Names

2-17-13    Ann Staley                        Overlooked Research Sources:
                                                                   A Gold Mine To be Discovered

3-17-13    George Morgan               Alternate Records You May
                                                                   Never Have Considered

4-21-13    Barbara Costello              Historical and Genealogical
                                                                   Treasures in the Government
                                                                   Documents at the Stetson
                                                                   DuPont-Ball Library.

                                                                   Note: Barbara is the Government
                                                                   Documents/Research Librarian at
                                                                   Stetson University.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Online Census

Once again I've learned not to stop with a census search on Ancestry.  I was looking for the Roger Tolles family.   Roger appears in the 1820 Census in Phelps Twp., Ontario County, New York.  He is said to have died "when Charles was only 7" so about 1830.

Ancestry doesn't find him in any other census.  His wife was Mariah Dean so, if Roger died  before the 1830 census she should appear with the children, probaly near by.  

Searching for Mariah Tolles with every imaginable variation of the spelling of Tolles doesn't get a hit at all on Ancestry and Heritage Quest has no index for 1830 but I know she must have been there.

Going to the printed index for the 1830 New York Census (available in the Gen Room) I find a Mariah Toles with this listing in the index:  TOLES, MARIAH   YA_ES  314   BENTON.  I remember that her son Henry had married in Penn Yan, Yates County, New York in 1848.  This must surely be her.

So, how to get to the actual census page?  Heritage Quest Online has the entire census from 1790 to 1930.  It is much like microfilm, no index, just crank through and hope you find something before your eyes blur over.  There is, however an option to SEARCH BY PAGE NUMBER.  Great, page 314.

Big snag, they want a roll number before you can enter the page.  Roll number is not provided by the printed index.

Here's how to get around the problem:  Selecting BROWSE and filling in the date, 1830, state, New York, County, Yates and location, Benton takes you to the first page of the Benton census and provides this: Series: M19 Roll 117 Page 291. Now, with the roll number go back to SEARCH BY PAGE NUMBER.  Enter the date, the roll number and page 314 from the printed index.

There it is.  One more clue to the Tolles family.  She is shown age 30-40 with six children, 3 girls and 3 boys.  This pretty much confirms Roger's death as before 1830.   The question, what happened to the 6 children from Roger's first marriage?

I pick Mariah (aka Ara Mariah) up again in the 1850 Census living with her daughter Harriet (Tolles) Morrow in Pulteney, Steuben County, NY then the whole family moves to Indiana.

Big surprise.  Both Mariah and Roger are listed in the  "Cemeteries of Steuben County Indiana" as being buried in the Circle Hill Cemetery, Angola, Indiana, Sec 7 Lot 14.

How this is possible I do not know.

On to the next hill ;-)   If this was easy it wouldn't be any fun.


Western New York old newspapers

You may have seen the information about the Fulton NY web site that has old newspapers.  There are over 19,648,000 pages in their collection.   Both Esther Gould and Pete Harrington have mentioned it and I put it in the news letter a while back.  I myself didn't pay much attention until last night.

I'm researching Dr. Roger B. Tolles, trying to find who his father was so I can link him to all of the Tolles mentioned in Donald Lines Jacobus' "Families of Ancient New Haven".  It as been an impossible task so far. Many people have entered information on the www that is undocumented and much of it demonstrably false.

To facilitate my search I drew up a time line then went to Google Maps and cut and pasted until I had a map that showed all of the places I knew Roger and his family had been.   Those places included the Western NY counties of Genessee, Ontario, Yates and Steuben.

Nearby Oswego county caught my eye as one of my own lines lived there before they migrated west.  My eye wandered over the map of Oswego and there was Fulton!  Hmmmm, not far from the area I am searching, I remembered the Fulton site that Esther talked about.

How fortunate that I remembered that site.  It is a wonderful resource.  I found small mentions of my Dr. Roger B. Tolles in Geneva NY Gazette 1818-1823 and Geneva NY Gazette Advertiser 1829-1832. Nothing that broke down the wall but additional clues to establish that this man actually lived and worked in the area.  I was afraid, until now, that he was a ghost.  I would have loved to have found an obituary but haven't given up hope.

I was impressed enough with the site that I made a small donation via Pay Pal and have left a note for my daughter to donate some of my many external hard drives for their use "when I don't need them any more" (as my Grandmother used to say.)

Newspapers are becoming more and more available.  Most are on subscriptions sites but every now and then one encounters an obscure site like this that provides the service FREE.

Hopefully, as time goes on, the subscription sites will "merge" until we have just one or two sites and only one subscription fee with access to all digital newspapers.  It is beginning with Ancestry's purchase of  Some see this as ominous, I think it is inevitable and will benefit researchers.

So don't overlook old newspapers, Google has many, Chronicling America (Library of Congress) has many, including many of the DeLand papers.  

Florida Online Historical Newspapers lists all FL papers available from various  sources.

And, if you have family in Western New York go to Old Fulton NY Post Cards  and search their collection.