Monday, August 7, 2017

Find A Grave is finally moving to its new site/look!

Just posted an update this morning to a Find a Grave memorial. When I clicked on the link to check it our, the link in the email message they sent me took me to the "new" Find-A-Grave website. There is a yellow bar across the top of the memorial I was looking at that said, "Preview Note: You can use this new version of Find A Grave to make changes on existing and new memorials. Back to the old site." That last sentence gave me the option to go back to the old site, but my experience with Ancestry related sites is this won't last long. So we get over the AncestryDNA setup changes, the new changes with MyHeritage acquiring Legacy software, and now Ancestry is moving Find A Grave to its new site/look. Oh just wonderful. If you don't want something to change, wait 15 minutes and it is guaranteed to change or just take one of my classes. ;-) So what is next, another AncestryDNA change, new tool or report graphic? My money is on the latter. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

US National Cemetery Interment Control Forms

Arlington National Cemetery

While doing some research on one of my three great aunt's husbands this afternoon, I ran across a set of military records I have not seen before (now there is a shocker). If you had someone who was buried in any of the "US National Cemeteries" between 1928-1962, they now have the images from the US National Cemetery Interment Control Forms at Ancestry. These forms are a gold mine of family information. You must have an Ancestry sub or access to the Ancestry Library collection to access it. The link is Good hunting de Larry Van Horn

Oh yes, this is my great aunt Marguerite Lillian Van Horn-Black-Warner-Lamb I was researching. She divorced the first two. She was the daughter of Dr. William Law Van Horn and Mattie Parry Mallory. She was born 8 Jan 1882 in Columbia, Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, and died 20 Oct 1982 in Pinellas County, Florida.Her Find A Grave Memorial number is 21129411.

Alphabetical Statehood Dates

State & Statehood Date

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
(Gayle Van Horn-Gayle's Family History:

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.
(Gayle Van Horn-Gayle's Family History:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tri-County Community College Fall 2017 Genealogy Classes

Here is a list of the genealogy classes that I will be teaching this fall on the TCCC Peachtree campus (Indigo building classroom).

The Tuesday night class will be the newly revised Beginner/Intermediate Genealogy class. I continue to evolve this classes to embrace current research and technology enhancements in genealogy research, If you have not taken one of my beginner/intermediate classes recently, I strongly urge you to take this one. It will help you get current with the latest genealogy research advancements.

If we do not have enough students sign up for the Tuesday night classes, I will implement an alternate schedule of TBA classes listed below..

Our Thursday night class is a full blown Legacy 9 class now that the new edition has been released. We will be digging much deeper into using this great genealogy program than what we did in the spring semester class.

You are welcome to get on the class interest list right now. Call Lisa Long at (828) 835-4241. Seating for these classes are limited to seats available in the Indigo classroom so get on the list before we max out and you miss out.

Fall 2017 TCCC Genealogy Classes

Genealogy – Searching for Your Ancestors

Who am I and where did I come from? It's that intriguing question that has made genealogy research one of America's most popular hobbies. But where does one begin such research? What resources exist? How can you prove that what you find is true and valid? How do you go beyond America's borders to find roots in other English speaking nations? Searching for your Ancestors offers the beginner and even experienced genealogists alike a fresh approach to genealogy research. Subjects cover the full gambit from organizing your research to exploring your family history using traditional and electronic research, social media, and the newest genealogy tool – DNA testing. Whether you are new to genealogy or have been family hunting since microfilm days, this course will assist you in researching your family in the 21st century. This course is a prerequisite for many of the advanced genealogy courses offered at TCCC. 32.5 hours (13 weeks)

August 22-November 14     Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.          
Genealogy – Legacy 9 Genealogy Software (New)

You can do genealogy on paper. That is how it used to be done until only a few decades ago. But if you are researching your family history and not using genealogy software, you’re crazy to do it without. This genealogy class is an introductory course teaching the fundamentals of the new Legacy 9, the gold standard of genealogy software. It will include instruction on the program menus, basic data entry, importing and exporting projects, SourceWriter, creating and printing reports, hashtags and all of the new features in Legacy 9 and more. This course is a requirement to take any of the advanced Legacy courses offered at TCCC. This class is open for all students interested in genealogy and documenting their family history, so there is no prerequisite class. 32.5 hrs. (13 weeks)

August 24-November 16    Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Alternate Genealogy Class Schedule 

Genealogy – Genealogy DNA for the Beginner (New)

We all have seen those DNA commercials on television, but are they legit and can they help you find your family roots? Science can help you with your genealogy research, but you are going to have to take that DNA test first. These "low cost" autosomal DNA tests are available at, 23andMe, or Family Tree DNA. This new course will cover the new and expanding field of genetic genealogy basics and is designed for the DNA newcomer and other genealogists who want to get the most from their DNA testing results. Some of the topics to be covered include an introduction to DNA testing and technical terms, how DNA testing will help your genealogy research, what are your ethnic origins, how to interpret your results and the latest changes made in the spring of 2017 (AncestryDNA Genetic Communities). If you want to demystify genetic genealogy, and you want to use this new and exciting research tool in your family history study, then this course is for you.10 hrs. (4 weeks)

TBA  Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Genealogy – Conquering the Chaos – How to Manage a Genealogy Project

Are you faced with "piles" of genealogy paper records, correspondence, charts, and genealogy forms in your family history work-space or electronic files scattered all over the computer hard drive? Most successful genealogist will usually end up with an embarrassment of riches - too much information in too many places. Whether you work on paper, electronically scan your genealogy records/files or do everything online, getting organized is essential to keeping track of ancestors and the records you have found about them. This course will rescue you from unhelpful habits and get your workspace—virtual or physical—tidy again. 7.5 hrs. (4 weeks)

TBA  Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Genealogy – GenSmarts – Artificial Intelligence for Your Genealogy Projects (New)

How many people do you have documented in family history files? 1000? 10,000? 50,000? How do you manage to stay on top of all that data? Are there research techniques you’ve missed or under-applied?  Do you fall into the trap of spending too much time in a favorite/familiar part of your tree? When’s the last time you went through each person and looked for new research ideas? There is a third party utility program that can help you with those tasks and more. GenSmarts can cover your entire tree in seconds and point out areas that deserve more attention. GenSmarts is a utility that uses artificial intelligence to analyze your existing genealogy file and produce research recommendations. This is an introductory class in using GemSmarts with your favorite genealogy database. Prerequisite: Must use genealogy software (no only Internet trees) to use this software. 5 hrs. (2 weeks)

TBA  Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Genealogy – Using Google to Research Your Family History (New)

This course introduces the Internet’s most popular search engine and will teach you how to use it in your genealogy research. Students will be exposed to the Google search engine and various Google applications to help them accomplish this research. This course is for advanced genealogy students only. Students must have completed the Genealogy Beginner/Intermediate course prior to enrollment. 7.5 hrs. (3 weeks)

TBA  Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

GEDMatch One-to-One Columns Revealed

Wonder what all those columns on your GEDMatch One-to-One Page mean? Here is a good explanation. Click on pic to enlatge.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Did my ancestor really have a middle name in 1608?

One of the issues that cause people to fail in getting a AncestryDNA leaf hint or record hint at Ancestry is the "middle name problem."

Right now I'm in the middle of writing my weekly genealogy column, part of my syndicated genealogy newspaper series, on consistent data entry into our genealogy databases and online trees.

While putting words on the computer screen, I reminded myself of one of my genealogy my pet peeves -- middle names in the 17th and 18th centuries. This is just one of the parameters that will cause a computerized match not to occur. I see a middle name in a 17th or 18th century person and I will move

But don't just trust my words on this subject, one of my cousins Bob W. Baird, wrote a great article on middle name usage on his website at

Here is an excerpt from cousin Bob's Genealogy Cabinet genealogy website.

"The use of two given names – a first name and a middle name – was essentially unknown in Europe until the late Middle Ages, and even then the practice was limited to a few distinct cultural groups.

"Middle names among English-speakers were essentially nonexistent until the mid-1600s, remained quite rare for another century or so, and did not become common until well after the American Revolution.

"Among the British stock of the southern colonies middle names were rarely bestowed on children until after the Revolution and did not become customary until the mid-1800s."

You can read Bob's full article on the subject at the link above.

So the next time you see someone with a middle name in an online tree or genealogy who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries I hope Bob's words on this subject will give you pause before you click that information blindly into your online tree or genealogy project.

Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet

One of my favorite cousin's Bob Baird, has posted some really great genealogy articles on his website at Some of this material is essential for anyone doing colonial era research. It often demolishes many of the myths that have been promulgated by genealogist for many years (i.e. people had middle names in the colonial period, etc).

Here is the latest list of article that he has published on a wide variety of topics. If you are a colonial researchers these are all must reads.


This is a collection of articles that I’ve written over the years to help others better understand and interpret old records.    We can often infer valuable information from context and language that might not be obvious from the record itself.  Many of these articles are specific to colonial Virginia but are generally applicable to other southern colonies as well, and some will be useful in researching the 19th century south as well.

Some General Information of a Legal Nature

Wills, Probate, Succession, and Inheritance


Taxes & Tithables

Parish Records

Names & Naming Practices

Sunday, April 9, 2017

What can you do with small ethnic percentages?

Author and DNA expert Blaine Bettinger posted this great Genetic Genealogy Tip:on his Facebook group.

Small ethnicity percentages (1 to 2% or less). What can we do with those? Which are real and which are noise? Here's what I do, and I'd love to hear what others do. I do not take small percentages at face value; instead, I analyze them with multiple calculators, preferably where I can "see" the segment(s) on the chromosome(s).

For example, let's say I've tested at 23andMe, and there's a single Native American segment on chromosome 3. I take the raw data to GEDmatch and use SEVERAL calculators (my favorite is Dodecad World9) to determine whether the same segment is identified on chromosome 3. Identifying the same segment using two or more calculators, which typically use slightly different algorithms and reference populations, vastly improves my confidence in the characterization of that segment as being Native American.

If you've tested at AncestryDNA or Family Tree DNA, you won't have the initial chromosome painting, but you can still use GEDmatch to perform the segment identification using multiple calculators.

I never use just percentages anywhere. I always visualize the segments on the chromosomes.

[One other trick - look for the segment in multiple generations. For example, is the segment there in a previous or later generation? Is the segment larger in a previous generation? If you see it in the same place in multiple generations, that again increases my confidence.]

United States Enumeration District Maps for the 1900-1940 US Censuses


From Genealogy Tip of the Day- FamilySearch has enumeration district maps online for the early 20th century. This can be an excellent way to access old city street maps.

Autosomal vs. Y-DNA Testing


What can Y-DNA testing do for you?

Blaine Bettinger discusses whether to use autosomal DNA or a Y-DNA test to answer a genealogical question on the Family Tree Magazine website at

New Ancestor Discovery using Ancestry’s Genetic Communities

Andre Kearns on his blog shares an idea on how users might leverage Genetic Communities to potentially discover new ancestors. Full article posted online at

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Family Tree DNA myOrigins Ethnicity Update

FTDNA has updated their myOrgins ethnicity estimates for people who have posted autosomal DNA results to their site according to Roberta Estes on her DNAsXplained blog.

Not only are the ethnicity percentages updated, sometimes significantly, but so are the clusters and the user interface.

Because of the new clusters and reference populations, the entire data base has been rerun. In essence, this isn’t just an update, but an entirely new version of myOrigins.

New Population Clusters

The updated version of myOrigins includes 24 reference populations, an increase of 6 from the previous 18 clusters.

The new clusters are:

  • East Central Africa
  • West Africa
  • South Central Africa
Central/South Asian
  • South Central Asia
  • Oceania
  • Central Asia
East Asian
  • Northeast Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Siberia
  • West and Central Europe
  • East Europe
  • Iberia
  • Southeast Europe
  • British Isles
  • Finland
  • Scandinavia
Jewish Diaspora
  • Sephardic Diaspora
  • Ashkenazi Diaspora
Middle Eastern
  • East Middle East
  • West Middle East
  • Asia Minor
  • North Africa
New World
  • North and Central America
  • South and Central America
Note that this grouping divides Native American between North and South America and includes the long-awaited Sephardic cluster.

See the full story on Roberta's blog at