Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Coined Traditions



Coins Left on Tombstones

While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave.
These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America's military, and these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.
A coin left on a headstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier's family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited.
A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together, while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the soldier when he was killed.
According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans.
In the US, this practice became common during the Vietnam war, due to the political divide in the country over the war; leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier's family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war.
Some Vietnam veterans would leave coins as a "down payment" to buy their fallen comrades a beer or play a hand of cards when they would finally be reunited.
The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men and women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.



While "Cleaning of the Stones" at the National Cemetery in Holly. I noticed a quarter placed on one of the stones. Later I also noticed a nickel placed on another stone. I was so touched with this that I took pictures.I googled about the coins, and found this out. I am very proud to share this.
A coin left on a headstone lets the deceased soldiers family know that somebody stopped by to pay their respect. Leaving a penny means you visited.
A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together. If you served with the soldier, you leave a dime. A quarter is very significant because it means that you were there when that soldier died.

Origins:   Humans have been leaving mementos on and within the final resting places of loved ones almost from the beginning of the species. Excavations of even the earliest graves uncover goods meant to serve the deceased in the next world, such as pottery, weapons and beads.
The earliest known coins date to the late seventh century B.C. As societies began embracing monetary systems, coins began being left in the graves of its citizens merely as yet another way of equipping the dear departed in the afterlife.
Mythologies within certain cultures added specific purpose for coins being left with the dead. In Greek mythology, Charon, the ferryman of Hades, required payment for his services. A coin was therefore placed in the mouth of the dear departed to ensure he would ferry the deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron and into the world of the dead rather than leave him to wander the shore for a hundred years. In England and the U.S., pennies were routinely placed on the closed eyes of the dead, yet the purpose for that practice was not clear — some say it was to keep the eyes of the corpse from flying open,
yet the eyes, once shut by the person laying out the body, do not reopen.
In these more modern days, coins and other small items are sometimes discovered on grave markers, be they plaques resting atop the sod or tombstones erected at the head of the burial plot. These small tokens are left by visitors for no greater purpose than to indicate that someone has visited that particular grave. It has long been a tradition among Jews, for example, to leave a small stone or pebble atop a headstone just to show that someone who cared had stopped by. Coins (especially pennies) are favored by others who wish to demonstrate that the deceased has not been forgotten and that instead his loved ones still visit him.
Sometimes these small remembrances convey meaning specific to the person buried in that plot. For more than twenty years, every month someone has been leaving one Campbell's tomato soup can and a pocketful of change on the plain black granite tombstone that marks the grave of Andy Warhol. The soup can is easy to explain, given Warhol's iconic use of that commodity in his art, but the handful of change remains a bit of a mystery. In similar vein, visitors often leave pebbles, coins and maple leaf pins at the grave of Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, the man who replaced Canada's Red Ensign with the Maple Leaf flag.
Regarding the 'tradition' of soldiers leaving on the headstones of fallen comrades varying denominations of coins to denote their relationship with the deceased, the earliest reference to this practice we've found so far dates only to June 2009, when it appeared as a web site post. The version now commonly circulated in e-mail appears to have been drawn from it, albeit some changes have slipped in, such as "A buddy who served in the same outfit, or was with the deceased when he died, might leave a quarter" becoming "By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the soldier when he was killed."
Despite the claim of this tradition's dating back to the days of the Roman Empire, there's no reason to suppose that it does. A coin might be placed in the mouth of a fallen
Roman soldier (to get him across the River Styx), but his comrades wouldn't be leaving their money on his grave, but rather expending it on a funeral banquet in his honor.
Given the lack of evidence that anyone anywhere is following this 'tradition,' it is perhaps best regarded not as an actual practice, but instead as someone's idea of what should be.
Yet military folk do sometimes leave very special remembrances at the graves of deceased servicemen: challenge coins. These tokens identify their bearers as members of particular units and are prized and cherished by those to whom they have been given; thus any challenge coins found
at gravesites were almost certainly left there by comrades-in-arms of the deceased.
It needs be mentioned that not only coins, medallions, and stones have been found on military headstones. In July 2013, a wife of a deceased serviceman discovered another woman's name on her husband's marker in place of her own. Edna Fielden, widow of Air Force Master Sergeant Billy Fielden (buried at Fort Logan Cemetery in Denver 25 years earlier) was shocked to discover the headstone bore the inscription "Dolores" over the legend "His Wife" when she brought her grandchildren to visit the grave.
http://www.snopes.com/military/coins.asp

Friday, October 16, 2015

46 Million Swedish Household Records Now Available



an excerpt from My Heritage Blog

We are happy to announce that we've added over 46 million Swedish records to MyHeritage SuperSearch. The high quality parish register records, spanning 1880 to 1920, are now available, indexed and searchable online for the first time. These records include information about births, deaths, marriages, addresses and changes in household composition. They provide a unique view into the lives of Swedish people living at that time, making this collection a fantastic family history resource for anyone with Swedish heritage.

Swedish Household Examination Books are the primary source for researching the lives of individuals and families throughout the Parishes of Sweden, from the late 1600s to modern times. The books were created and kept by the Swedish Lutheran Church, which was tasked with keeping the official records of the Swedish population until 1991.

Each book or series of books represents a 3-10 year period of time within a parish. Every year, until 1894, the parish priest would visit each home and test each individual’s knowledge of the catechism. They would also collect information about births, marriages, deaths, where people had moved to or from, etc. Each year the priest would return to update the previously recorded information, noting changes within the population of the home. Because the books were updated annually, families can be traced from year to year, and often from location to location throughout the country.

After 1894, the examinations were replaced by Församlingsbok, records of the Church of Sweden which were used to officially enumerate the population from year to year. The focus on examining doctrinal knowledge of the catechism was removed and instead the records were more focused on enumerating the Swedish population.

Additional article at: http://blog.myheritage.com/2015/10/46-million-swedish-household-records-now-available/

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Setting the Record Straight on Colonial Provinces and Colony Names


 
While entering states into your genealogy databases - have you ever wondered what the correct name for Georgia or the other twelve, before they became a state ? While most researchers opt for listing these as they are now known, during colonial days, Delaware, Maryland and the others were not states, but instead were known as  a colony or a province. Virginia during colonial days was known as Colony and Dominion of Virginia. The following list can assist your research as well as keeping a concise and correct name for those once known as the Thirteen Colonies.

Thirteen Colonies

The chart below lists the 13 original colonies in alphabetical order, along with information about when each colony was founded and when each colony became a state:
 

Founded
Statehood
Connecticut
1636
 
January 9, 1788
Delaware
1638
December 7, 1787
Georgia
1732
January 2, 1788
Maryland
1633
April 28, 1788
Massachusetts
1620
February 6, 1788
New Hampshire
1638
June 21, 1788
New Jersey
1664
December 18, 1787
New York
1626
July 26, 1788
North Carolina
1653
November 21, 1789
Pennsylvania
1682
December 12, 1787
Rhode Island
1636
May 29, 1790
South Carolina
1663
May 23, 1788
Virginia
1607
June 25, 1788

Contemporary documents usually list the thirteen colonies of British North America in geographical order, from the north to the south.


·         Province of New Hampshire, later New Hampshire, a crown colony

·         Province of Massachusetts Bay, later Massachusetts and Maine, a crown colony

·         Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, later Rhode Island, a crown colony

·         Connecticut Colony, later Connecticut, a crown colony


·         Province of New York, later New York and Vermont,[3] a crown colony

·         Province of New Jersey, later New Jersey, a crown colony

·         Province of Pennsylvania, later Pennsylvania, a proprietary colony

·         Delaware Colony (before 1776, the Lower Counties on Delaware), later Delaware, a proprietary colony


(Virginia and Maryland comprised the Chesapeake Colonies)

·        Province of Maryland, later Maryland, a proprietary colony

·        Colony and Dominion of Virginia, later Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia, a crown colony

·        Province of North Carolina, later North Carolina and Tennessee, a crown colony

·        Province of South Carolina, later South Carolina, a crown colony

·        Province of Georgia, later Georgia, northern sections of Alabama and Mississippi, a crown colony

Other divisions prior to 1730
Dominion of New England
Created in 1685 by a decree from King James II that consolidated Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth Colony, Rhode Island, Connecticut,Province of New York, East Jersey, and West Jersey into a single larger colony. The experiment collapsed afterthe Glorious Revolution of 1688–89, and the nine former colonies re-established their separate identities in 1689.
Massachusetts Bay Colony
Settled in 1630 by Puritans from England. The colonial charter was revoked in 1684, and a new charter establishing an enlarged Province of Massachusetts Bay was issued in 1691.
Settled in 1622 (An earlier attempt to settle the Popham Colony in Sagadahoc, Maine (near present-day Phippsburg and Popham Beach State Park) in 1607 was abandoned after only one year). The Massachusetts Bay Colony claimed the Maine territory (then limited to present-day southernmost Maine) in the 1650s. Parts of Maine east of the Kennebec River were also part of New York in the second half of the 17th century. These areas were formally made part of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in the charter of 1691.
Settled in 1620 by the Pilgrims. Plymouth was merged into the Province of Massachusetts Bay in the charter of 1691.
Founded in 1635 and merged with Connecticut Colony in 1644.
Settled in late 1637. New Haven was absorbed by Connecticut Colony with the issuance of the Connecticut Charter in 1662, partly as royal punishment by King Charles II for harboring the regicide judges who sentenced King Charles I to death.
Settled as part of New Netherland in the 1610s, New Jersey was captured (along with New York) by English forces in 1664. New Jersey was divided into two separate colonies in 1674, which were reunited in 1702.
Founded in 1663. Carolina colony was divided into two colonies, North Carolina and South Carolina, in 1712. Both colonies became royal colonies in 1729.





 
 
 
 

 
 


 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cleaning Up Locations in Legacy

I like to enter my locations in a standard and uniform way for both the long location and short location fields. I also check to make sure that the pin is where it is supposed to be on the map. Sometimes I am in a hurry and I don’t do this when I first enter the location. Periodically I go through and clean them up.  When I have finished with a location I tag it so that I know it has been done (you can also use the verified check box for this). That way I can keep tabs of my progress. Also, take advantage of sorting. Sorting your list in all the different ways that you can will show you duplicates you didn't even know you had.
You can start cleaning up your locations list by going to >>View >> Master List and then select Location.
 
 
 
Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.
For video tech tips checkout the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.
 
Michele Simmons Lewis is part of the technical support team at Millennia, the makers of the Legacy Family Tree software program. With over 20 years of research experience, Michele’s passion is helping new genealogists get started on the right foot through her writings, classes and lectures. She is the former staff genealogist and weekly columnist for the McDuffie Mirror and now authors Ancestoring, a blog geared toward the beginner/intermediate researcher.
(Legacy)