Friday, May 31, 2013

Genealogy Articles That Caught My Eye:
Price Increase at Newspaper Archive
For those of you who subscribe to will notice a huge increase in their pricing. However, there are a couple of options: check with your local library to see if they have a subscription, subscribe to which includes NewspaperArchive information, or join the Southern California Genealogical Society which offers access free to their members (membership is $35/year).
From Ellis Island to the Department of Homeland Security, our history is the history of United States immigration and nationality law and policy. This section explores the roots of the nation’s legal immigration system and the immigrant roots of your own family. [Click here]
Every genealogist and his sister wants to find one. But after years of searching, many find a document that raises as many questions as it answers. This is especially true of passenger lists dating after 1892, which are frequently found to have a variety of markings, codes, and annotations squeezed into the margins and small blank spaces above and behind information written in the list form's columns. [Click here]
FamilySearch recently published an online image base containing 5.776 million Massachusetts deeds from 1620-1986. It contains land and property records from the Massachusetts Land Office and county courthouses. The records include land grants, patents, deeds, and mortgages. This collection includes all counties in Massachusetts. [Click here]

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

George Waitt: a Chain of Links to Malden, Massachusetts

It is with great pleasure that I announce publication of my first journal article, "George Waitt, a Chain of Links to Malden, Massachusetts." Included in the current edition of MASSOG, the journal of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, it is the result of a year-long journey of research and refinement.

Any project of this scope relies on the cooperation, support and input of a team whose goal is to provide a quality analysis of the facts, and arrive at a well documented conclusion. During this process, I have had outstanding support from the following individuals and organizations:
  • To Robert “Bob” Waitt, for writing his wonderful book about George Waitt and family of Stevens County, Washington.
  • The Stevens County Historical Society, who searched their archives and found documents and newspaper articles about George Waitt.
  • To Edward Lewis, of Northeast Family Research, Salem, New Hampshire, who worked tirelessly to help eliminate possible matches, and located the “deed” at the Registry of Deeds for the South District of Middlesex County, in Cambridge.
  • Luana Darby, of Lineages by Luana, West Jordon, Utah, who retrieved copies of Nathaniel Waitt’s probate file from microfilm at the Family History Library.
  • The Washington State Archives, Eastern Region Branch, Cheney, who helped locate the marriage records of George and Josephine.
  • To the Boston Public Library and the Library of Congress for helping locate legal notices from Boston area newspapers.
  • To Liz Loveland and the Boston BU Alumni group, who reviewed draft research and gave valuable input on further resources.
  • Sue Waite-Langley, of, whose tremendous knowledge of DNA research helped support the early hypothesis that George’s family came from the Malden, Massachusetts, area.
  • To George Martin, editor of MASSOG, and to Helen Ullmann, who did the final edits, for their professionalism, and gentle suggestions.
  • Finally, to Dick Waitt, for his support, encouragement, and confidence in the outcome; he was a pleasure to work with.

Dahlstrom, Steven L. "George Waitt: a Chain of Links to Malden, Massachusetts." MASSOG Vol. 37, No. 1 (2013): 24–31.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Finding Evidence to Support a Conclusion

Algernon Ridley’s wife Margaret Hilton Ridley, died 23 August 1948 at Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, California. Her death certificate lists her parents as D. C. and Margaret Hilton, and her birth place as Salisbury, Missouri.[1]

This is a classic example of finding all of the records that pertain to a particular question and building a case for a genealogical conclusion. In this case, the question is, "Who were Margaret's parents?" Her death certificate provides one piece of evidence and gives her parents names as D. C. and Margaret Hilton.

However, there is more to the story. I have compiled all of my research into a "Draft" proof summary, and invite you to read through it and give me your help. It appears as though her parents are Jacob Eccles (Ecles) and Mary K. Riddell (Riddle). But, the evidence is inconclusive.

I would LOVE to hear your comments and suggestions for solving this mystery. Please contact me directly, or leave your comments.

Click here to view the document.

[1] California, Department of Public Health, Certificate of Death, no. 12414, filed 25 August 1948 (5 October 1948); Margaret Hilton Ridley, died 23 August 1948 at Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, California; digital image, "California, County Birth and Death Records, 1849-1994, Los Angeles, Death Certificates 1948 no. 10900-13250," FamilySearch ( : accessed 6 February 2013), image 1587 of 2447.