December 2009 Newsletter

By , December 11, 2009

News & Articles of Interest to Durham-Orange genealogists
PO Box 4703, Chapel Hill , NC 27515-4703
2010 dues – $20
Richard Ellington – President

Table of Contents:

Meeting Annuoncements
November 2009 Meeting Minutes
Update your Membership Information
Call for Volunteers
Grave Shelters
Trading Path Association December First Sunday Hike
DAR Free Online Databases
Family Search, Inc Record Search Update
Free Genealogy Software
Got Native Connections?
Preservation Tip of the Month
Genealogy Glossary
Websites of Possible Interest
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Parting Words


The next general meeting of the Durham-Orange Genealogical Society (D-OGS) will be held on Wednesday evening, 2 December 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Golden Corral NC55, just south of the intersection of NC54 and NC55. Address: 5006 NC Highway 55, Durham, NC 27713, (919) 544-2275 – Map: I understand there is a Senior Discount for those 60+.

This is not a regular meeting. There will be no speaker or fixed program. This is our annual “birthday party” so there should be some festivities for everyone to enjoy. Come and enjoy the fellowship of your fellow D-OGS members and their guests. Dress will be as formal or casual as you require.

Please RSVP if you are planning on attending to We need to give the restaurant an approximate count for seating purposes. When you arrive, pay for your meal and proceed to the right to their meeting/party room. This is a good time to bring your spouse so that you can introduce them to all those people that you have mentioned during the last year – yes, we plan on having name tags.

We will also have our Birthday Quiz once again. Please send your questions (and answers) of a genealogical or local historical nature to Carol Boggs: Cathy and Rob Elias have been gathering prizes as they have toured the country genealogically this year.


Computer Interest Group (CIG):

The next computer interest group (CIG) meeting of the Durham-Orange Genealogical Society (D-OGS) will be held on Saturday, 12 December 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the downstairs small conference room of the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive, Chapel Hill, NC. Click here for map.

“My Native American Cousins Are On Footnote!”

No kidding!! To illustrate that almost everything comes across your path when you utilize some of the genealogy search engines and other digital and electronic tools available to us these days we’ll look at some of them a bit more closely. And did you hear that microfilms may be coming back? Just as we’re learning that CDs won’t last as long as our Polaroid photos did, we come to another twist in the road. Come to the CIG and let’s talk about what these changes mean to us. We will also discuss the items that were on the agenda for the November meeting that was canceled. Please send me those URLs for emerging tools and events.

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D-OGS Meeting Minutes – November 4, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 7:07 pm at Duke Homestead Visitor’s Center

The program was “The Culture of Southern Folk Death” by speakers John W. Clauser, Jr. (originally scheduled for September 2009.) Mr. Clauser is the President of Of Grave Concerns, Inc. and a retired archaeologist with the NC Office of State Archaeology with 35 years of experience.

He apologized for not showing up in September but said he put it down on his calendar for Thursday…not Wednesday. He said he was all ready to come and make his presentation when he learned he was a day late!

He said his topic was Southern Folk Cemeteries and began by pointing out that burial practices vary around the world.

He said the “sanctity of the grave” in NC law is for the purpose of getting rid of the dead without offending the living.

He said the tradition of Southern Folk Cemeteries was burial on the family farmstead. Why? Roads were poor and the next hill over was convenient and visible from the home. The theory was live right and be buried in the family plot. Children who had not yet been baptized were often buried outside of the plot.

May 30 is Confederate Memorial Day and this is a time for the families to come together, tend to the graves and pass along information about who was buried where and the oral history of those interred in the plot as most of the graves would be marked with fieldstones, wood or other markers without identification. It became so ingrained in those who followed the tradition that someone sitting in the house could not recall who was buried in the family plot but, take them to the actual site, and the information would come almost automatically as they walked about the grounds.

With the present dwindling of family farms and the dispersal of family members across the country, this oral tradition is being lost…and the identification of the graves along with it. A cemetery requires maintenance. It takes 30 years for signs of a cemetery to disappear. This is a natural progression.

John said cemetery design is culturally determined. There is no right or wrong way to do it…it was what was felt to be right. It usually wasn’t a conscious decision. There is also no right or wrong markers and are not based on race, economic status or religion.

Many old cemeteries are discovered during construction as the land is cleared off. Many were located on high ground and this could be because (a) high ground is considered sacred, (b) why waste good bottom ground or (c) high ground provides a dry grave.  Most are found on an east facing slope of ridge in what is perceived to be high ground. It might not actually be the highest ground.

Mr. Clauser said there is an organized chaos to cemeteries in that most remains are placed in an east/west position with the head to the west and they are laid out in rows and columns. North/south burials generally designate a witch, murderer or suicide.

As stated earlier, markers were a matter of making do using any available material. Marking in most cemeteries does not equal head and foot markers. There is an African tradition that is seen in the South that strips the plant life off graves. There are also burial mounds from the Middle Eastern traditions.

There are traditional plants that can give you a clue to the location of unmarked cemeteries:

  • Daylilies
  • Periwinkle
  • Red cedar
  • Yucca
  • Prickly pear cactus

Poured concrete mounds started in the early 1900s. In Raleigh behind the YWCA there are wooden markers dated in the 1940s.

If you find an abandoned cemetery, contact the North Carolina Cemetery Survey at and download the file on their site, fill it out and submit it.

Mr. Clauser was thanked with a warm round of applause and Rob opened the Business Meeting.

The minutes were approved as printed in the newsletter. (I want to offer a warm thank you to Carol Boggs for stepping in for me and doing a wonderful job on the minutes last month – Tonya.)

Lucinda Munger, Orange County Library Director, appeared with floor plans and gave us an update on the new OC Library. It will be a 2-story building on West Margaret Lane, with wireless Internet access throughout. There will be a perpetual book sale and a meeting room that holds 100 with a separate entrance and exit and its own kitchen. This will enable meetings to continue until 10 PM. She also pointed out the free parking near the building.

The first floor will be mainly dedicated to the children, the second floor will have an enclosed teen room, conference rooms and two study rooms that could hold up to 6 people. There will also be the periodicals, large print books, audio-visual materials and local history center on the top floor. This is where the existing NC Room materials will be housed.

The opening is hopefully scheduled for January 2010.

Cathy Elias said she has more Trading Paths if you can deliver any more copies.

After discussion on whether we wanted to hold our Birthday Party on December 2 or 9, Richard said he had reserved space at the Golden Corral at 54 & 55 for December 2. The majority of the attendees were available either day so it was decided to stay with the December 2 date at 6:00 PM.

CIG will not meet in November as there was no space available. Also Carol is looking for someone to moderate this group.

It was announced that the Spring Genealogy Workshop will be April 10, 2010 (subject to change) and Tonya is looking for people to serve on her committee as well as present programs and help the day of the event.

The slate of officers to be voted on was read out and Carol Boggs moved to adopt the slate as read, which was seconded and accepted:

  • President — Richard Ellington
  • Program VP — vacant but looking for three members willing to serve on a joint committee for programs
  • Secretary — Tonya Krout
  • Treasurer — Ginny Thomas
  • 1st Director — Fred Mowry (filling Ginny’s unexpired 1 year term)
  • 2nd Director — vacant 2 year term

The Treasurer reported that the bank statement showed $2263.55 but she had written some checks which brought it to $1971.46.

Respectfully Submitted,
Tonya Krout, Secretary

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Update your membership information

We are planning to produce a new membership directory to distribute to members only and we need your help. This info will be helpful in contacting other D-OGS members directly and privately for things such as shared surnames, etc. We want to produce a new updated list containing:

  • member name
  • member residence address/mailing address
  • phone number
  • email address

If you have recently moved, changed your phone number, changed your email address or changed your name, please let us know by:

  • sending an email to
  • sending a note to the D-OGS mailbox (P.O. Box 4703, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-4703)
  • or calling Richard Ellington @ 919-967-4168.

If you are unsure whether or not we have your current address info, please send the complete current info to us, just in case.

Please note: If you do NOT want any or all of your address information (such as residence address/mailing address) to be given out to other members, please let us know what you want kept private. Otherwise, we will publish the full name and address info. This membership address information will NOT be released to anyone except dues-paying D-OGS members. Our hope is that you will use this info to contact fellow D-OGS members for collaboration and sharing of family information that is common to you.

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We still need volunteers for 2010 officer positions

Once again we have no one who is willing to take on the off ice of D-OGS VP/Program Chair. In trying to respond to the need, we are asking for at least three volunteers to serve on a committee that would function as a “program committee” without any one person having the full responsibility. If we don’t get enough volunteers, I am going to start drafting members! We already have several programs planned or accounted, such as our “Show and Tell” and our December “Birthday Party”.

We also need one more volunteer to serve as an at-large director for two years. This position serves on the board of directors and represents the general membership in planning and executing programs, budgets, etc. Would someone please step up?

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Grave Shelters

I saw this query posted on the Family Tree Magazine website. I thought it might be interesting to some of our members, in light our last month’s program on Southern cemetery traditions, presented by John Clauser.

Q. I’ve been trying to find more about the low wooden structures built over some graves in mostly (or only?) Southern cemeteries.

A. Grave houses, also called a grave shelters, were common in the South, especially Appalachian areas, to protect loved ones’ graves from the elements and grave robbers. They usually resemble small houses with peaked roofs, and could be made of logs, lumber, stones or brick. Some grave houses were open sided, like the one in this Melungeon cemetery.

Sometimes a single house may have sheltered more than one grave, such as the Airmount Grave Shelter, built in 1853 in the Airmount Cemetery near Thomasville, Ala.

According to Tennessee GenWeb, a grave house is different from a mausoleum: “The grave house is built over an ‘in earth’ interment, while in the mausoleum the bodies are above ground, often being placed in a alcove in the walls.”

You can see photos and get more information at Tennessee GenWeb, on the Redbone Heritage Foundation website and on the Forum.

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Trading Path Association December First Sunday Hike

ON THE ROAD TO FEW’S TAVERN – James Few, Sr was a Quaker tavern operator. His nephew, also called James Few, was hung after the Battle of Alamance during the Regulator uprising (1771). Shortly thereafter, James, Sr. and his brother and neighbor, William Few, who operated a mill near James’ tavern, left the Eno River valley. For many years, for reasons obscure local historians believed that Few’s Tavern was located near Ayr Mount, on the east edge of Hillsborough, North Carolina. But our St. Mary’s Project uncovered what is very likely a tavern site on the bluff above the Eno River just upstream from where Buckquarter Creek enters that river.

For our December First Sunday Hike we will visit the tavern site to view the remains and we’ll approach the tavern by way of the 18th century road from what was later called “Fanny’s Ford”. Those of you who attended the November First Sunday Hike will note similarities between this road and the stone-wall-lined road we visited on November 1st. The tavern site is crisscrossed with free stacked stonework that needs to be seen.

We will meet in the parking lot above the Swinging Bridge in the Cole Mill section of Eno River State Park off of Pleasant Green Road in Orange County, NC on December 6. We will depart the parking lot at about 2 PM and be back by 4 PM. The course of the hike, except around the tavern, will be on cleared but unpaved state park trails. There will be some climbing and the trails are, at best, uneven surfaces. The heartier hikers may choose to ford the river a time or two as we pass both Fanny’s Ford and Few’s Ford. There will be signs pointing the way to the parking area at each turn from the intersection of Pleasant Green Road and Cole Mill Road.

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DAR Databases now online for free

The following announcement was written by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR):

After nearly a decade of scanning, indexing, and other behind-the-scenes work by DAR members and employees, the Daughters of the American Revolution is pleased to announce the availability of the DAR Genealogical Research System on our public website. Here are the direct links: or (and click on the Library button at the top, then the second tab in the left-hand column).

The GRS is a growing collection of databases that provide access to many materials collected by the DAR over the past 119 years. Included in this collection of databases is the GRC National Index which has been available to researchers for the past few years. There are still some kinks we’re working out here and there.

When you go to the link above, you will find several tabs that will enable searching in the various databases:

Ancestor – established DAR Revolutionary War Ancestors and basic information about them with listings of the applications submitted by descendants who joined the DAR [updated daily]

Member – limited access to information on deceased/former DAR members – not current members.

Descendants – index of generations in applications between the DAR member and the Revolutionary War ancestor. There is much eighteenth and nineteenth-century information here. [ongoing indexing project]

GRC – everyname index to 20,000 typescript volumes (some still being indexed) of genealogical records such as cemeteries, Bibles, etc. This index is not limited to the period of the American Revolution at all.

Resources [In particular, the digitized DAR Library Revolutionary Pension Extract Card Index and the Analytical Index Cards.

Other information sources will be coming in the near future, mostly relating to Revolutionary War service, bibliographies, Forgotten Patriots (updates), etc. Read the introductions to these to learn why these are both important genealogical indexes. For example, the Rev. War pension index includes the names of people mentioned in those pensions that were abstracted (not just the pensioner or widow)!!!!]

Library Catalog – our book, periodical, and manuscript holdings

Each of these has interrelated content, and a description of each is given more fully on the website. You will notice restricted information in many search results. This is the result of a concerted effort to protect the identity of our members while providing historical genealogical information to researchers.
The national numbers of members (without the names of living members) given in the search results are needed to order copies of applications and supplemental applications. They do not lead online researchers to any other information about the member.

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FamilySearch Record Search Update: Brazil, Indiana Marriages, Italy, Netherlands, and 1920 U.S. Census

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

5 November 2009

The Indiana marriages, Netherlands, 1920 U.S. Census, Brazil, and Italy collections were recently added or updated in FamilySearch’s Record Search pilot.

FamilySearch applauds members of the Indiana Genealogical Society and FamilySearch volunteers for the great work done on the Indiana Marriages collection. Volunteers are indexing marriage records from 1811 to 1959. The recent update will surely be attractive to those with Indiana roots.
The new Brazil Catholic Church Records and Naples, Italy, Civil Registration collections are a sampling of what’s coming to for these countries.  See the chart below for a list of all the newly added collections.

These collections can be searched for free at the Record Search pilot (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).

None of this would be possible without the great contributions made by many online volunteers who help make these collections freely available by donating a few minutes of their time and talents through the FamilySearch Indexing program. Thank you!

Collection Name Indexed Records Digital Images Comments
Indiana Marriages, 1811–1959 134,338 Updated index-only collection. This is a joint volunteer indexing project with the Indiana Genealogical Society.
Netherlands, Limburg Parish Register Transcripts, 1600–1822 26,607 Updated image browse only collection; part of an ongoing project.
1920 United States Census 11,687,573 Added indexes for Pennsylvania, Idaho, and West Virginia.
Brazil Catholic Church Records 121,718 New image browse only collection; part of an ongoing project.
Italy, Napoli Province, Municipal Records, Castellammare di Stabia 199,602 New image browse only collection; part of an ongoing project.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Free genealogy software

According to an article in a recent Dick Eastman genealogy newsletter, RootsMagic version 4 now has a free “Essentials” version available for download from their website. This free “lite” version has many core features found in the retail version but it not as complete as what you pay for. Their website is if you want to give it a try.

Also, Legacy Family Tree software is available in a free version as well as a retail version. You can download the free version from their website at  Their current free version is 7.0. They will require you to register with them for the “freebie” so they can send you notices of updates and other news.

These software titles are designed to run on any Windows platform. Both of these firms are very reputable and offer fine products. However, D-OGS does not endorse either of these firms. Use at your own risk. Remember, genealogy research is habit-forming.

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Got Native American Connections?

The following was received from

We are excited to announce the release of our latest interactive collection: the Native American collection. Working together with the National Archives and Allen County Library, has created a collection featuring over 1.8 million records that will help people discover new details about Native American history and genealogy.

Visit the Native American Microsite today and explore records only found on

  • Ratified Indian Treaties – dating back to 1722
  • Indian Census Rolls – featuring personal information including age, place of residence and degree of Indian blood
  • The Guion Miller Roll – perhaps the most important source of Cherokee genealogical research
  • Dawes Packets – containing original applications for tribal enrollments
  • And other documents relating to the Five Civilized Tribes

Please know that this is a “for pay” site. You can look check out the collection and decide if it is worth your own time and money.

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Preservation Tip of the Month–Storing Oversized Documents

By Becky Schipper

Oversized documents such as abstracts, maps, and charts, should be interleaved with pH balanced, buffered tissue or paper made for long term storage. Documents should be placed in map cases or flat file boxes for storing.  List the contents of each box or case on the outside so that the items inside are not handled more than is necessary. Rolling or folding oversized materials should be avoided as both of these treatments can cause damage that may not be reversible. Before moving oversized documents, place them on a sturdy sheet of card stock that is larger than the item you are moving.

(This article was “stolen” from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Gems newsletter)

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Can you help these people?

Che Gonzalez, 56 Spring Street, Oberlin, OH 44074 – Phone: 440-774-1658 – Email:

Surnames: LEARY

Query: I am seeking information on Julia Memeriel Leary. She is the mother of Lewis Sheridan, Henrietta, Sarah Jane, and John Sinclair Leary. Are there records of siblings? Did she die before her husband, Matthew Nathaniel Leary (born 1802)?
Margaret Watson, 5408 Ridgemont Ct, Midland, TX 79707 – 432-699-6231 –


Seeking information on JESSE WATSON (born 1753 in Orange Co., NC; died about 1816 in Person Co., NC) and wife MARY HOWERTON/HOWERTAIN married about 02 Aug 1772 in the same area. I would appreciate any information on their parents, etc. Children born to this union were Susannah (born about 1780; died 1819; married Norris Compton 27 Oct 1801); Frances (born about 1774); Elijah (born between 1767-1775; married Elizabeth Cadell Green on 18 Aug 1797 in Person Co.); Jesse Watson, Jr. (b. 1790 Orange Co.; died after 1860 in Greenville Co., SC; married Catharine Carnal 31 Oct 1812); Charles Watson (born about 1784); Elizabeth Watson (born about 1799; married Norris Compton after her sister Susannah died); Mary “Polly” Howerton (born 14 Feb 1800; married James E. Flack 13 Mar 1822; died 1875 in Marshall Co., AL).
Michael Glenn, 21 Ellsworth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1901 – 412-606-7019 –

Surnames: EVANS

I am looking for information regarding the Native American Evans family that lived in Durham County. My great grandfather’s name was Lonnie Evans and he had a union (not sure if marriage) with Anna Mae Glenn. Together they had four children: Grace, Lillian, Anna, and ? (He was a boy and died of pneumonia at 2yrs old). Family lore suggests that Lonnie Evans was a mixed race man of primarily Native American Indian stock. I’m wondering if my Lonnie Evans was associated with the Goinstown Indian community or even the mixed race community of Person County. There’s a chance he could have come from a group of Evans from Chatham County down near Buckinghorn area within Chatham.

There are so many possibilities but no strong leads. One of Lonnie’s daughters is my grandmother who was born in 1917. Apparently, Lonnie died before my grandmother was born. My grandmother was the youngest of four siblings. Please see what you could find concerning this matter for me to assist me in my genealogy project. Thank you!
Teresa Sanford, 1463 Sexton Road, Resaca, Georgia 30735 – 706-625-3374-


I am seeking information on William Holsomback who was supposed to be born in Person County or counties close by. He was born on 10 April 1829. He moved to Georgia prior to 1850. I am trying to locate his parents’ names and info. Mother possibly named Francis. Any help would be so much appreciated. I notice there was a book on the Holsomback family.

Thanks, Vicki Sanford

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Genealogical glossary

  • ABEYANCE – a condition of undetermined ownership, as of an estate that has not yet been assigned
  • ABRUPTIO – [Latin, breaking off] a divorce, most often found in church records, parish books and legal documents.
  • ABSTRACT – a statement summarizing the essential facts contained in a document or record
  • ABSTRACT BOOK – record books containing abstracts of the information contained on deeds or land entries, usually listed in alphabetical order by surnames of the purchasers
  • ABSTRACT OF TITLE – a short description of a piece of property and the history of its title
  • ABUT – adjoin, as in two real properties
    • An individual of French heritage inhabiting Acadia (the Canadian Maritimes, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, as well as the Magdalenes, St. Pierre & Miquelon, and the northern New England
    • A descendant of French settlers of Acadia who were resettled in Louisiana, commonly known as “Cajuns”
  • ACCELERATED INDEX – an index prepared by computer, such as a census index

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Websites of Possible Interest

North Carolina Folklife Institute – Since 1974 the North Carolina Folklife Institute has supported programs and projects that recognize, document, and present traditional culture in North Carolina. They invite you to make our website a resource for information about North Carolina’s most authentic folk cultures and traditional arts and artists. Check back often for news and regular updates.

Their website has tabs for “NC Travel”, “NC Food” and other areas of interest. If you would like to buy a CD of traditional Piedmont fiddle music from Joe Thompson from Mebane, you can get it here.  Thompson is one of the very last African American fiddlers in the region’s tradition. A North Carolina Folk Heritage winner, he has played Piedmont stringband music for audiences around the world. He is also the inspiration and mentor of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a group of young African American talents who are attempting to carry on Joe’s tradition in music.

Contact the NCFI

The North Carolina Folklife Institute gratefully acknowledges the support of the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.


190,000 Welsh Wills Online – The BBC recently published an article about the end of a five-year project to make 190,000 wills available online has been completed. The project is complete and the wills are available now. About 800,000 pages of documents have been placed on the National Library of Wales’ website.

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth said the wills dated from the 14th Century until 1858, when civil probate was introduced, and 1,000 of them were written in Welsh. It said the project was “good news for family historians, social historians…and the inquisitive”.

You can read more at the BBC web site here and on the National Library of Wales web site here

(This article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

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Calendar of Upcoming Events

“Disease & Distress!” – Workshop in Toronto, Ontario – Saturday 28 November 2009 – The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library have joined together to sponsor “Disease & Distress!”, an all-day workshop on how our ancestors handled adversity. With expert speakers from Ontario and the United States, this event will offer a window on our ancestors’ struggles with hardships and devastation – from the “white plague” to life on the WWI home front – and the footprints they left behind. Early registration rates are available until October 23rd.

For program and registration details, visit To check availability, call 416-733-2608 (voice mail) or e-mail

FREE December Genealogy Workshops – Family History Center, Cherry Hill, NJ

Thursday, December 3, 2009 (11:00 AM)
– Preparing For Your Trip to the Auld Sod (D. Fox)

Saturday, December 5, 2009, (10:00 AM) – Newspaper Research: Obituaries and Beyond (S. Jordon)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
– The Stepping Stones for Genealogy (10:00 AM) (T. Mirarchi)
– Tracing Your Italian Ancestors (12:00 PM) (T. Mirarchi)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009, (10:30 AM)
– Writing Lifestories (A. Young)

LOCATION: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 252 Evesham Road, Cherry Hill, New Jersey – (856) 795-8841


Duke Homestead State Historic Site – December 4 & 11 Christmas at the Homestead. Celebrate an 1870 Christmas during evening tours of the Homestead.  The tour features period decorations, caroling, hot apple cider, and other goodies.  7-9 p.m.

Historic stagville – December 6: HOLIDAY SPECIAL EVENT

Wake County genealogical society December meeting – Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in the  Olivia Raney Local History Library, 4016 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610. The program will be “Family History Holiday Crafts for You and Your Family!” This will be a fun meeting with refreshments and holiday crafts appropriate for genealogists and their families. We invite all members to bring their families to the meeting — spouses, siblings, kids, grandkids — everyone is welcome! We have several craft projects lined up. We’ll supply the materials and you supply the enthusiasm!

Bennett place state historic site – December 12-13 Christmas in the Carolinas During the Civil War. Visit Bennett Place during the holiday season and witness how Christmas was celebrated in the Piedmont Carolinas. The farm will be decorated in a typical Christmas fashion. Music, caroling, and refreshments will be served. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Alamance county genealogical society December meeting – December 14 at 7:00 p.m., at the Western Steak House, 142 N. Graham-Hopedale Road Burlington, NC 27215, 336-227-1448. The program will be the Annual Christmas Bazaar.

Carl Sandburg College workshops – Carl Sandburg College has announced its annual spring series of genealogy computing workshops for March and April 2010.

Topics include:

*Using – 26 March 2010
*Using – 27 March 2010
*Using Family Tree Maker – (2 days) – 4 and 9 April 2010
*More Problem-Solving – 16 April 2010
*Searching Free Online Scanned Books – 30 April 2010

We’ve brought our prices back to old levels–$35 a day. Handouts are included, lunch is on your own, or you can brown bag it.

Sessions are held in state of the art computer facilities and each attendee will have their own computer to use. Registration is limited, but you do not need to live in the Carl Sandburg district to enroll.

Galesburg is easily accessible via interstate. The college has no housing, but there are several motels within a mile of the college. Questions about the workshops can be sent to me at either or

More information (including registration details) is available at

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Thanksgiving Divorce

A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.”

“Pop, what are you talking about?” the son screams.

We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the father says. “We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her.”

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone.  “Like heck they’re getting divorced,” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this.”

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. “Okay,” he says, “they’re coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way.”

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Parting Thought

We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

If you have any items of interest that you would like to submit for future publication, please contact Richard Ellington at or 919.967.4168

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