Thursday, January 11, 2018

Roots Web Site is Currently Unavailable

We have been in the process of improving the site throughout 2017, and as a result of an issue we recently became aware of, we have taken the site offline while we work to resolve it. We take the security of our contributors and our viewers seriously. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but protecting our users’ personal information is our top priority.

Update: January 9, 2018

We have spent the last few weeks reviewing the functionality on RootsWeb and have created a plan to bring many of your contributions back online over the next few months. As we stated before, our first priority is security, and ensuring that every part of RootsWeb meets our stringent security standards. Our next priority is getting you, the users of RootsWeb and its services, access to your content.

Right now, the best way for us to meet both goals is to begin bringing portions of RootsWeb back online in a read-only state. This means you will have access to content, but you will not be able to load new content in these sections. While this may not be ideal, it is the best way for us to protect RootsWeb users while also providing the ability to use the content you value. This is an interim step while we continue to evaluate the potential for bringing more of the RootsWeb services back online in a more complete manner.

Here’s our current plan:
Hosted Web Sites: Soon we will begin bringing Hosted Web Sites back online. We will start with a few hundred and then add more over time, giving us a chance to scan the content.

Family Trees/WorldConnect: Family Trees or WorldConnect allows you to upload a GEDCOM file and publish it for others to see. It is currently being reviewed by our software engineers and security team and we plan on having a read-only, searchable version up in the next few weeks. The ability to upload new GEDCOM files will be available in the coming months.

Mailing Lists: Mailing Lists have been functioning as normal, but the archives have been unavailable. We plan to make the archives available to you once we have WorldConnect available to you in a readable version.

We will be making decisions about other functionality over time.

We appreciate your patience as we bring the different pieces of RootsWeb back online in a secure manner. You, our contributors and viewers, are what has made RootsWeb the vibrant free genealogy community it is.

The RootsWeb Team

Monday, August 7, 2017

Six Google Search Tricks

1. Apply Quotation Marks
Also known as a string search this is one of the best, and most obvious ways, to limit search results in Google. When you type in a name like James Wilcox, Google will search the entire title and text of pages for those terms. They do not need to be related to each other – so you may turn up a page with James and Wilcox, but not necessarily a page where these terms appear together.

Use “James Wilcox” or “Wilcox, James” to limit results (remember that many genealogy related sites place the last name first). Also apply quotations around terms like “obituary” to make them exact — otherwise Google will substitute other words like ‘death’ or ‘died.’ This can be helpful in some situations, but for others is can be a big hassle and turn up many unwanted results.
2. Use the Minus Sign
Oftentimes when we are searching for ancestors, especially those with common names, we may find that a certain person or location we’re NOT looking for turns up again and again, clouding our results. For instance, a James Wilcox who lived in Somerset keeps coming up for us. He’s definitely not our guy, so we’ll exclude the term Somerset.

Place a minus sign before a term to exclude these unwanted results (Example: “wilcox, james” 1837 mahala -somerset). The minus sign can be placed in front of many terms to further refine results ( -dunbar -somerset -1907) or term strings (-“Wilcox, James Robinson”). Just make sure that the minus sign is placed directly before the term with no space in between. This works to exclude specific sites as well (-rootsweb).

3. Get Site Specific Results
Would you like to get search results only for a specific website, such as FamilySearch?

Use ‘site:SITEURL’ before a term or terms to do this. Example: “wilcox, james” –note that we didn’t place a space between ‘site:’ and the url and that we didn’t include the ‘http://www’ part either.

4. Search Only Page Titles
When looking for a specific ancestor is can be very helpful to have the pages you turn up only be ones that focus on that individual alone. Or, when searching for a surname, to find articles centered around that specific last name. Making sure a search term appears in the title of the page is a good way to do this. This isn’t always true of course, and you’ll miss a lot of results this way, but when looking for discussions about a person, biographies or in-depth data it can be a very helpful trick.

To search only web page titles use ‘allintitle:’ Example: allintitle: “Wilcox, James.” You can also search only the text, and exclude the titles, by using ‘allintext:’

 5. Search a Date Range
This is one of the best and most underused Google search tips for genealogists. This super cool trick lets you search multiple dates at one time without having to enter them individually. This is hugely helpful if you are looking for birth, marriage or death records (or any date based source) but don’t know the exact date of an event.

Just add DATE..DATE to your search box to accomplish this (two periods in between the dates like this 1900..1910).  For instance, we know that James Wilcox was most likely born between 1835 and 1839 based on the information we have, so we could search for “Wilcox, James” 1835..1839. This will bring up only pages that include one or all of the dates 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838 and 1839. It will not exclude pages that include other dates (which we usually would not want to do.) But if we did want to do that we could exclude any date by typing -DATE, such as -1840 after our other terms.

6. Search for Terms Near Each Other
One of the most frustrating things about searching for ancestors in Google is that, while the engine will search an entire page for your terms, your terms may not have any association to each other. As mentioned early on in this article, that can cause major problems for genealogists since many pages include long lists of dates and names. It is entirely possible, for example, to find the exact names, dates and other details you’re looking for — but not in relation to each other in any way. For instance, our searches for James Wilcox and 1837 turned up pages that include James Wilcox and the date 1837, but that date was often applied to other people on the page.

However, there is a way to ask Google to find terms near each other! Enter AROUND(1) between terms to do this. An example would be: “James Wilcox” AROUND(10) 1837. That means we want Google to look for pages where the exact name James Wilcox appears within 10 words of the date 1837. You can change the modifying number to anything you want (“James Wilcox” AROUND(3) 1837 or “James Wilcox AROUND(1) Mahala) a lower number means a closer association and thus, usually, fewer results. We can also apply this to multiple terms (Example: “Wilcox, James” AROUND(10) Mahala AROUND(5) 1837). You will be blown away by how much this helps you find more relevant results.

 We hope these ‘secret’ tips help you in your Google genealogy searches! Don’t forget to combine them to maximize your results. And, when you’re done trying these out, check out our Google Image Search for Genealogy help article for more tips. 

Note: Sometimes when you apply these operators, especially if you do so several times in a row, Google may check to make sure you’re a real person and not a computer by transferring you to a captcha verification page. Don’t worry, just type in the characters and proceed  — and try not to get too excited that you’re geeky enough to be considered a computer by Google. 🙂

 Also note that when you’re at the home page, there is a “Settings” link in the lower right-hand corner. Click it and you’ll get a drop “up” menu. From there, click “Advanced Search.” There, you’ll find fields that you can fill in for all of these six helpful hints and more.
(LVH/Family Roots & Branches)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

What's in a Nickname ?

Abby Abigail 

Addie Adelina 

Aggie,also Nancy (Scotish usage) Agnes, Agatha 

Allie Alice, Althea 

Alma Almarinda

Amy Amelia 

Annette Ann, Anne 

Axey Achsah 

Babs, Barb, Babbie Barbara 

Becky Rebecca 

Bee Beatrice, Beatrix 

Belle, Bella Arabella, Isabel 

Berty Bertha,Roberta 

Betty, Bess, Betsy, Beth Elizabeth 

Biddy Obedience, Bridget

Cam Camilia 

Candy Candace

Carrie Caroline 

Cassie Cassandra

Cathy, Kate, Kathy, Kit, Kay, Kitty Catherine

Chrissie, Christie, Chris Christina 

Cicely, Cis Cecelia 

Cinda, Cindy Lucinda, Cinderella

Clara Clarissa 

Clemmie Clementine 

Collete Nicolette 

Connie Constance 

Corley Cornelia 

Creasy, Crecy Lucretia 

Deb, Debby Deborah 

Delia Cordelia 

Della Adelina 

Dicey, Diza Eudicia, Boadicea 

Dona Caledonia 

Dot, Dolly Dorothy 

TR>  Dotie Theordosia, Doris,

Dorothy, Odette,

Delores, Dora

Drucie Drucilla 

Eddie, Edy Edwina, Edith 

Effie Euphemia 

Ella Eleanor, Gabriella 

Ellen, Elle Eleanor, Helen 

Elsie Alice, Elsbeth 

Emma Erminia 

Essie Esther 

Ethel Ethelinda 

Eudora, Dora Theodora 

Eunie, Nicey, Nicy Eugenia, Eunice 

Eura or Ura  Eura or Ura Eureka 

Eva Evangeline, Evaline 

Fanny, Frank Frances 

Flo, Flossie, Flora Florence 

Freddie Fredericka 

Gail Abigail

Genie, Gene  Eugenia

Gertie Gertrude

Gincey, Jenny Jane

Greta Margaret

Grissel Griselda

Gussia Augusta

Gwen Gwendolyn

Hallie Mahalia

Hatty, Hattie  Harriett

Hepsy Hephzibah

Hetty Henrietta

Hulda Mahulda

Janet, Jeanne, Jennet, Jenny Jane, Virginia

Jess Jessie

Jessie Jessica

Josie, Jo Josepha, Josephine

Judy Judith

Juliet Julia

Karen Karenhappuch

Kate, Kathy, Kay, Kitty K(C)atherine

Leitha Alletha, Tellitha

Lena Helena, Magdalena

Letty Lettice, Letitia

Lexie Alexa, Alexandra

Lila Delilah

Lina Selina

Linda Malinda, Ethelinda

Livvy Lavinia, Olivia

Liz, Liza, Lizzy, Libby Elizabeth, Eliza

Lotta, Lottie  Charlotte

Lou, Louie, Lu, Lulu  Louisa, Louise

Lucy Lucinda

Lula Tallulah

Madge, Margie  Margaret, Margery, Marjorie

Mae, May Mary

Mag, Maggy  Margaret

Mandy Amanda

Milly Emily, Amelia, Millicent, Mildred

Minnie Mary, Minerva

Modlin Magdalena - German Usage

Molly, Polly Mary

Mona Desdemona, Ramona

Myra Almira, Palmyra

Nabby Abigail

Nan, Nancy, Nanny  Agnes - Scotish usage

Nan, Nancy, Nanny  Ann, Anne, Anna - English usage

Neecy Permecia

Nell, Nelly Eleanor, Ellen, Helen, Penelope

Nerva, Nerve Minerva

Netty Antionette, Henriells, Joannette, Zan(n)etta 

Nicey Eunice

Nina Ann, Anna, Penina

Nita Anita , Juanita

Noma Naomi

Nona Winona

Nora Eleanor, Honora, Leonora

Ola Viola, Tuliola

Ollie Olivia, Ollvine

Pam Pamala

Patsy, Patty, Pat  Martha, Patricia

Peg, Peggy Margaret

Phemie Euphemia

Pheny Josephine

Polly, Poll Mary, Paulina

Prissy Pricilla

Prudy, Prue Prudance

Reba Rebecca

Rena Serena, Irena, Arrena

Rita Marguerita

Roxie Roxanne

Sadie, Sally, Sal  Sarah, Sara

Sam, Sammy Samantha

Sandra Cassandra

Sheba Bathsheba

Sillah Drusiliah, Drucilla, Priscilla

Sinah Arcena

Sis, Sisley, Sesaley Cecilia

Sophy Sophia

Sue, Suke, Suky, Susie  Susan, Susannah

Tabby Tabitha

Tammy Tamira

Tamzine Thomasine

Tempy Temperance

Terry, Tess Theresa

Theny Bethena

Thursa, Thursday, Thurze Theresa

Tilda, Tilly Mathilda, Matilda

Tina Albertina, Christina

Tish Letitia

Trix, Trixy Beatrix, Beatrice

Trudy Gertrude

Vergie Virginia

Viney, Vinnie Lavinia

Willie Williamana, any femine form of William

Wilmett, Wilmot  Wilhelmina

Winnie Winifred

Xina Christina

Zilla Zerilda, Luzilla, Barzilla

Zoey Zoe

Originally compiled by Ernest Connally and Pauline Jones Gandrud, added to by Joan Wright and others.

Dates of Statehoods – Alphabetical

Date of Statehood

December 14, 1819
January 03, 1959
February 14, 1912
June 15, 1836
September 09, 1850
August 01, 1876
January 09, 1788
December 07, 1787
March 03, 1845
January 02, 1788
August 21, 1959
July 03, 1890
December 03, 1818
December 11, 1816
December 28, 1846
January 29, 1861
June 01, 1792
April 30, 1812
March 15, 1820
April 28, 1788
February 06, 1788
January 26, 1837
May 11, 1858
December 10, 1817
August 10, 1821
November 08, 1889
March 01, 1867
October 31, 1864
New Hampshire
June 21, 1788
New Jersey
December 18, 1787
New Mexico
January 06, 1912
New York
July 26, 1788
North Carolina
November 21, 1789
North Dakota
November 02, 1889
March 01, 1803
November 16, 1907
February 14, 1859
December 12, 1787
Rhode Island
May 29, 1790
South Carolina
May 23, 1788
South Dakota
November 02, 1889
June 01, 1796
December 29, 1845
January 04, 1896
March 04, 1791
June 25, 1788
November 11, 1889
West Virginia
June 20, 1863
May 29, 1848
July 10, 1890

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Following the Hennington's to Burnt Corn, Alabama

Down Federal Road in Burnt Corn, Alabama
Among the many enjoyable things about researching your family, is to travel to the area they once lived. While it may not look as it did in their time, you can hopefully get a feel for the area. If it has remained  a rural countryside, chances are, not that much may have changed.

A few weeks ago while traveling to Mississippi, we stopped in Burnt Corn, Alabama in Monroe County. That county was once home to Harper Lee (To Kill a Mocking Bird) and Truman Capote (In Cold Blood). They were childhood friends and lived in nearby Monroeville during the 1930's.

Our trek to Burnt Corn, was to investigate this very small rural area in southwest Alabama. During the 1800's  the town was thriving and the land was prime for cotton growers, including some from my own Hennington family.  Rev. William Hennington was also a circuit preacher in Monroe and Wilcox counties. His mother and two brothers  (both Methodist preachers) moved on to Copiah County, Mississippi.

Old casket factory and general store 
Burnt Corn today is listed as a ghost town, although there are some residents nearby and scattered along the rolling hills on the way to Monroeville and Evergreen, Alabama. The main road that runs through the center of the town, was once the Federal Road. Originally the town began as a trading post settlement at an intersection of Indian trails on the 'Old Wolf Path.' This horse path, became the Federal Road, and was used as a migration trail for western migration of settlers.

Burnt Corn Post Office
Deserted buildings along the Federal Road are the old barber shop, general store (doubling as the post office) a casket factory, Brantley's Store (with the Coca Cola sign still clearly visable), and additional out buildings. We were the only ones in Burnt Corn that day - which made it really feel like a ghost town.

For an extra glimpse of Burnt Corn, follow this You Tube video at:
(photos by Larry Van Horn)