The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Nothin’ like a few million FREE IMAGES to spice up your family story!

Flickr - IA

The Internet Archive folks recently posted over 2.5 million IMAGES onto the photo-sharing website, Flickr.  Extracted from thousands of books originally searchable by text ONLY at Internet Archive.  Now the images can be searched on Flickr!

Why is this a big deal for genealogists?  We get perty pictures to go with our family histories!  Even though they are mostly “old” images past copyright, you’ll  surely discover a visual gem or two to accompany your ancestors’ stories.

Whether it be something specific like a photo of a long-gone family homestead or generic such as a period steam liner used to illustrate an immigrant family’s trans-Atlantic journey – it’s probably in there.  Remember, we’re talking over two-and-a-half million images here!

So, if you had MacLarens in Windsor, Ontario around 1900, they may have been “manufacturing” cheese…


Or perhaps some of your family lived near Chicago’s Garfield Park.  Here’s a close-up of that area from 1921.  There are several other neighborhoods available for viewing/downloading!


Maybe you’re the 3rd-great-grandchild of Dr. P. Edward Seguin, who set up practice in Royalton, Minnesota.  Do a Flickr search for him now and his photo comes right up!  He’s the one with the facial hair (heh).

Seguin 01

Then you hit a link and the original book is shown in its entirety; you’ll see the image in context and maybe find a few more words to go with your Man of 10,000 Lakes.

Seguin 02

Nice stash there, guy.  Oh, and check out his goateed colleague, George Allen Love, M.D. — Dr. Love!  (And yes, I love stuff “finding me” like this.)  Time to break out some Kiss!…

And while most early records aren’t OCR-friendly, they are definitely considered to be images.  Such as the below Allen County, Indiana Circuit Court Index from 1824.  (Hi ACPL!)  All images are downloadable, with Flickr’s excellent choices ranging from thumbnail to original.  I always grab the original, then re-size that as needed.

Allen 02

You can also download several stock photo-type items without the worry of being busted by the copyright police!  Like this large uppercase “C” for your the background of your Carlson Family homepage.


Anyway, you get the idea.  That is to NOT overlook this incredible Flickr/Internet Archive e-collection while gathering all sorts of images for your family story.

Then there’s this one image we will ALL use when we finish our family histories and they’re complete.

Adam & Eve


Oh, and PhotoShop, etc. can also straighten images to make them even PERTIER!


And if YOU think that your ancestry can be traced all the way back to Adam & Eve, do NOT hire me — the Online Genealogist!!




Who Do You Think You Are? Inside scoop!!!


Wasn’t that Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods’ second-highest-charting single, which reached #15 on Billboard Magazine’s US Top Pop 100 chart in the summer of 1974?  It was a follow-up to their #1 Billy Don’t Be A Hero that spring.  THAT Who Do You Think You Are??

Then that’s it.  That’s all I know about it.

Anyway, there’s supposed to be this show on television – the name of which escapes me now – that’s a cross between Roots and Antiques Roadshow with a heavy dose of The Amazing Race.  But subscribing to basic cable, I don’t get the “special channel” it’s on.  (Didn’t it used to be on NBC??)

But I see on their website, which shall remain nameless, the first three full episodes of the season.  So I watched.  All three.  Not at once.  Consecutively.


[Meanwhile, after viewing 135 minutes of the afore-non-mentioned show…]

Wow.  Unfortunately, the “easily hopping from one set of original records to the next” isn’t a reality for most of us.  Yeah, we HOPE to get there “one day”, but by the time we’ve climbed up several generations, that’s dozens of locations spanning either the country, or most likely, the globe.

Anyway, that’s what struck me the most after watching the shows.  And that some genealogy newbie will assume it’s “that simple” and quickly done, when it usually isn’t.  Which, to me, is the best part of genealogy!

The hunt and subsequent challenge of piecing together pieces and parts of a particular person.  Giving them a biography that they would’ve never had otherwise, as most were certainly not famous or extraordinary. “Jus’ normal folk like you and me!”

I always wonder if they’re “somewhere” cheering us on, like they “know” we’re researching them.  I’ve had some INEXPLICABLE genealogical finds over the years, where I’m left thinking “Getting a little help, perhaps?”  Hmmmmm…  (Whole other blog post…)

And now you’re left going “What the %@!!# is he talkin‘ about?”, as I seemed to have gotten off track there somewhat.  Though, I’m sure you’ve all had at least one of those moments.

…Oh yeah, opinion of the shows – which I fully refuse to promote for free!!…

Eh, they were OK.


And if you think genealogy is also OK, but you can’t fly around the world to research, like on that SHOW there; hire ME!!  I’ll do the virtual flying around for you!!  (And yes, despite the naysayers, it can be done.)



Why is the 1900 Federal Census the only one that actually has the month and year of birth?

1900 Census

I don’t know; I thought you guys had an idea.

Census years prior to and after 1900 only show AGE.  Why is that?

I’ve always thought that was a great feature and have been wondering why the Feds went back to AGE only.  I mean, they could’ve made it YEAR and AGE if the month entries were giving them headaches.  Yes, in typical governmental redundancy, the age is also listed in 1900.  Apparently, for those who couldn’t do the math!

Also curious is that for 1910, one of the few changes from 1900 was the removal of that month and year of birth!

So, hopping online, I go directly to the government’s official census website.

Hmmmm, this “shake-up” probably had something to do with the 1910 reversion to AGE only.

1900 Census 02

So, I do a quickie Google search and got only the fact that in 1910, the birth month and year columns were gone.  But not why.

Well, I really hate to Google and run, but as of right now, I’m satisfied with “Month/Year fell victim of governmental reorganization”, which is a very vague and lame sort-of catch-all reason.

Any 1900/1910 Federal Census experts out there with another explanation??


Now, you could always HIRE the online genealogist, if this mystery is really really bothering you now.


Google Street View History Feature

I’m really liking what Google Street View has available for the more-photographed areas – historic views of the same place!  Sure, it only goes back to 2008 in most cases, but it’s still interesting enough, documenting local history, albeit very briefly.

I’ll use the Kilton Public Library in my hometown of West Lebanon, New Hampshire as an example here.  In October 2008, it was an empty lot.


In July 2009, most of the frame was up.


Completed by September 2012.


And the latest shot, from July 2013.


And here’s a similar example, but reversed.  This building was just south of the library in October 2008.


Why “was”?  Because it was GONE by July 2009.


To see what’s available for a particular view, click on the clock and a history box will come up.  This example has four such views to choose from.


What does this have to do with online genealogy?  Well, it’s online and historic, but not very helpful genealogy-wise…yet.

Imagine this feature in 100 years, though!  Better yet, a great “What if?…” is if it went back 100 years now; how cool would THAT be?

Google has been attempting to do something like that in their user-submitted historic photos of various areas, but that’s not quite the same.

The main point in bringing this up is how QUICKLY things can change.  I found these two prime examples within yards of each other!

Moral of the Story:  Capture it NOW in photographs; before it’s GONE and you CAN’T.

T-O-G Biz 01


The Computer Genealogist: Documenting Electronic Sources

Very interesting on-topic article.


T-O-G Biz 01

Welcome to… The Online Genealogist!

Well, here goes nothing! Which is actually a big SOMETHING…

Post Navigation