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President’s Message for August 2022

The webmaster has been busy this past month adding additional volumes of the Nassau Genealogist to our online collection. Recent additions include biographies, obituaries, newspaper excerpts, several articles on the Goodbread family. These all came from volume V of TNG which were published back in 1998. Please take a look at them when you get the chance if you have Nassau County ancestors. The Nassau County Genealogist: Online Table of Contents Too often genealogists think military records are only there to provide information on your ancestors military service. They are there for that, but as we like to emphasize, they often can provide the genealogical record you need but just cannot find elsewhere. Pension files are often what we like to point researchers to. I discovered a Bible record (or a non existent town record) in my 5th Great-Grandfather Zebulon Crane’s Revolutionary Pension record. It wasn’t even for his family, it was for his wife’s family, but that record helped verify the relationships which I thought were correct but could never positively prove. This month I accidently discovered another source of military records, the Southern Claims Commission Files. If you know me and my family you realize that I would never have need of these for my own family records, My ancestor’s are just a bunch of Yankees that go back to the Mayflower and French-Canadian back to the founding of Quebec. But I was working on updating my Tennessee Genealogy website where I have had an index of these …

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Abel Partridge Family in Auburn Records - cropped

President’s Message for July 2022

The first week of July always greets us with celebrations around the founding of the United States and the hot and sultry Florida weather. While I enjoyed the celebrations, especially our neighborhood fireworks show, I am definitely ready for some cooler weather. In the mean time I’m hibernating in my house while working on genealogy. One of the tasks I took on this month was straightening out the ancestry of an Abel Partridge of Ward, Massachusetts, whom most genealogists recorded as the son of Eli Partridge and Rachel Sheffield who resided in Medway, Massachusetts and Chesterfield, New Hampshire. I found however, that he wasn’t their son, he was the “supposed” son of Abel Partridge and Hannah Cheney of Medfield, Massachusetts. In this instance the “supposed” is how this child was listed in the published vital records of Medfield, Massachusetts, and it implies he was born out of wedlock. Worn, torn, and mutilated, by 1850 the original Medfield vital record books usefulness were nearing the end. Yet the original records would be copied three times over the next 50 years, first by a town clerk in 1850 who was able to consult the books before they were singed, then by two separate committees, one in 1876 created after a fire at the town hall almost burned the records, and the final in 1903, which resulted in the publishing of the Medfield Vital Records “tan book.” As I reviewed these multiple copies doing that “reasonably exhaustive search of all records” we’re suppose …

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President’s Message for June 2022

Summer is in full swing here on our little Island paradise and as such, my attention has been drawn to things other than Amelia Island genealogy. I expect many of you are in the same boat as I am. But don’t get so busy that you miss out completely on all of our summer general meetings. The program committee has been actively finding some top quality speakers for this summer period. Case in point, last months professional genealogical speaker, Drew Smith. Drew regaled us with his genealogical knowledge and ability to speak that expertise in an efficient manner that everyone could understand. FAN research remains one of the most used tools in the genealogy toolbox for solving brick-wall problems. If you missed the meeting which was virtually broadcast in, then you missed a really good presentation! Not to be overshadowed, this months speaker comes direct from Washington DC where she is the Chief Historian for the U.S. Census Bureau. You won’t find any higher level of knowledge on the process of taking a census. From the earliest in 1790 to the latest 1950 release she will explain how the census has been taken over time. This is an extremely important subject for genealogists, as it can help explain how mistakes were made in past census, like Seline Martin being attached to the wrong family during the 1870 census, for example.. When you understand how these census were taken, how often the facts were written by hand before it made it …

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President’s Message for May 2022

We were treated to another entertaining presentation in March by Chip Kirkpatrick as he shared his passion of metal detecting and presented examples of historical finds he has discovered in the vicinity of Nassau County. The good news for those who were unable to attend the presentation is Chip has a YouTube video of a similar presentation that you can watch at your convenience. Speaking of video’s, May’s speaker will be presented via teleconferencing. While we had several teleconferenced meetings during the Covid shutdown, we have not had one while we were doing in-person meetings. For our membership, this is one of those meetings you really need to see. We’re bring to you Drew Smith, one of the two who make up the Genealogy Guys podcast show. Drew will show you how to use Cluster Research (aka FAN Club) to get around the brick walls in your research. FAN is an acronym for Friends, Associates, and Neighbors. Genealogists have learned that most ancestors relocated from one location to another as a group, not by themselves. I wrote about FAN research or Cluster Research in the February 2019 edition of Geneline where I also provided various tutorials you could watch. This method of research remains one of the best tools in the chest for solving brick walls. Come on out and join us at the Fernandina Branch Library on 17 May at 7pm! AIGS Website Development The website has made several large strides over the past month. A search has been …

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President’s Message for April 2022

I have been working on a post for the AIGS website featuring the family of Levin Tomlinson. The foundation for the post is an article published in The Nassau County Genealogist Vol. XX #3, pp.41-44, called “Tomlinson Family.” My plan is to expand that synopsis about the family, to extend it, and to source it properly, something that the limited size of our periodical does not allow. I have no relationship to the Tomlinson family and would appreciate any information on the family not currently published in the older article. Thanks! In my Beginning Genealogy Class on the PROCESS method of genealogy research the E stands for “Extract Important Information” and it challengers researchers to slow down and extract or transcribe important events and facts from the records found when they conduct their reasonably exhaustive research. It’s a step overlooked by new and seasoned genealogists alike because it consumes valuable research time. The Levin Tomlinson Family is such a case. The answer to unproven facts in genealogies found online, and even in our own article, could easily have been resolved with a careful analysis of the broken pieces of Levin’s gravestone. An image most all online trees have or link to. Putting those pieces of stone back together as Jim Miller and Bob Frey did in 2013, and photographing it, enables a few minor mysteries about the family to be solved and sourced. Another new post published recently concerns the early history of Fernandina, An Island Frontier from its discovery …

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President’s Message for March 2022

We had a packed house for last month’s general meeting and it was good to see not only our regular membership, but many returning guests as well. I appreciate Medardo Monzon’s presentation on The Genealogy of Genes. I found it both useful and instructive! We often take for granted the wonderful creation that is the human being and forget that we are all a lot more alike then we are different from each other. DNA can bring us back to the reality of our similarities. Our beginning genealogy classes are over for 2022 and for the last class I introduced a DNA conundrum. A cousin had contacted me and believed she descended from a particular line of Martin’s in my family tree. She could not prove whom, but the DNA pointed to that likelihood. Our problem was identifying the child of Charles and Mary Martin of Highgate who was the Charles Martin who married Marguerite Commanda, an Ojibwa, her gr-gr-grandparents. Since my cousin and I will both write about our findings I’ll wait until then to provide the exhaustive details for everyone. Let’s just say we tracked Seleme Martin from his birth identity in Highgate VT and his marriage to Phebe Lucia, to that of Charles Martin who married Marguerite on the Nipissing Reservation in Ontario, to that of Samuel Martel who married Marie Presse in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, and back to his original identity when he died in St. Albans, Vermont as Seleme. In this puzzle we had to …

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President’s Message for February 2022

As I write this message today I can announce a successful conclusion to the 2022 Beginner’s Class! I wish to express my deep appreciation to Jean Mann for volunteering to head up Education Committee and spearheading the classes this year. Without her volunteering we would not have been able to have them. Volunteers is what makes this organization work, nobody is a paid employee! Please consider volunteering someplace! In 2019 I started a 102 Genealogy Class where I was going to provide instruction in the computer lab at the Fernandina Beach Library where class members could log in to the websites I was teaching from to have a more hands-on experience. Unfortunately, Covid interrupted those classes. Since I am both President and Webmaster for AIGS at this time, I believe it would be too big of a task for me to attempt to start those classes back up. This is why it is important that members volunteer!!! OK… off my soapbox. RootsTech 2022 is starting up shortly. It will run from 3-5 March and is 100% virtual and 100% free! RootsTech, for those that haven’t heard about it, is a large genealogy conference (over 1,500 sessions) put on by FamilySearch each year. Since Covid they have been doing it virtually enabling anyone to access a very large array of genealogy instruction from your home. You should take a look at what type of presentations they will have and see if any interest you. Our February monthly meeting with Medardo Monzon …

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President’s Message for January 2022

2021 has passed into the books and 2022 is here providing new opportunities for your genealogical research. In 2022 we can look forward to the 1950 United States Census being released and the 1921 United Kingdom Census. First up, however, is the advent of free access to the Periodical Source Index (PERSI). PERSI is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. Our own Nassau County Genealogist is indexed within it. This index has moved multiple times through the years from website to website, first being located at Ancestry.com, then MyHeritage.com and to its present location at FindMyPast.com. It is however moving again, and this time will finally be free at the Allen County Pulbic Library Genealogy Center website. The BIG reveal occurs on a virtual genealogy program occuring Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 2:30 pm EST. I plan to attend! Details on their website! As I prepare for the classes I instruct in our Beginner’s Course this year I am reminded of the importance of Land Records, a record which often is overlooked by genealogists as non-genealogically important. I discovered one of my 3rd Gr-Grandfather’s land records includes a list of personal items that he sells to his son along with his land parcel, thereby he didn’t need a will to close out his estate. There are no estate records for him. If you have ancestors for which you cannot find estate records, and they died in old age, perhaps you should check …

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President’s Message for November 2021

We had a successful general meeting in October with Theron Rogers presentation about Find-A-Grave and his ramblings around the country while riding his Harley and photographing cemeteries. I thank him profusely for making the trip down here from Gainesville Georgia and I hope he enjoyed his stay while here! I understand he even ventured into Bosque Bello and photographed a few gravestones. Speaking of gravestones, I came across a photograph on Facebook, of all places, of my 5th gr-grandfather’s grave. John Predom travels around Vermont photographing and documenting Revolutionary War Soldiers memorials and places them in an album he keeps on Facebook. The first photograph he placed back in 2019 was of a grave where etched into the stone you can barely make out the name of David Rich. My genealogy tentacles stood up when I scrolled past the photo as I thought, I have a David Rich in Vermont who served in the Revolutionary War! Sure enough, it was my David. A lot of Revolutionary War soldiers served for brief engagements when the enemy neared their home location. That was the way it was for David. He first served as a scout in what was deemed the “Strafford Alarm” of July 1777 where almost the entirety of the inhabitants of Strafford fled the town, pushing their stock to the Connecticut River where they hoped they would find safety around Hanover, New Hampshire. Once there, David and three other men from Strafford accompanied the scouts back into the woods to …

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Land Records - OR Index North

President’s Message for October 2021

Land records are considered one of the most underused resources for amateur genealogists. September’s meeting featured AIGS own land record guru, James “Jim” Shroads. Jim made a living, late in life, by digging into these types of records for his legal practice. When you find people like Jim who are willing to share their knowledge of specific types of records, you should seek them out! Jim took what could have been a difficult subject matter and brought it down to a level that we could all understand. Well done Jim! If you missed his presentation, it was not recorded. Sorry! However, he instructs during our Beginning Genealogy Classes, and Land and Courthouse Records is one of the topics, so I expect he’ll repeat this presentation during January’s classes. Speaking of which, we are now taking reservations for our 2022 Beginning Genealogy Classes! Limited to only 24 seats, these classes fill up quickly. More details can be found here: Beginning Genealogy Course – First Session. Opportunities exist in our society for members to seek out and get assistance with their family history research. From our 1,000+ genealogy book collection at the Fernandina Beach library, our general meetings featuring specific genealogy topics, to our new Special Interest Group subjects, you can find a vast array of educational opportunities to increase your genealogy knowledge throughout the year. If ever you have a question, the library committee staffs the question and answer sessions at the library, and are more than willing to assist you …

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