Friday, September 27, 2013

Ancestor Appreciation Day, 2013

Some of my dear ancestors on Ancestor Appreciation Day.  I'm so grateful to them!

Thank you, dear ancestors!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Automaton Boy Writer

This video about a beautiful, 240-year-old, mechanical boy has nothing to do with family history (unless you're a descendant of Swiss watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz) but I thought it was fascinating.  Perhaps you will enjoy it, too.

I have never seen this boy in person but many, many years ago I visited a museum in Philadelphia and saw a machine similar to this (sans boy) which wrote and made drawings.  I was amazed that someone could create such a machine.  Enjoy.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Book of Me - My Favourite Season

Autumn!  It's autumn I look forward to all year.  It is the breath of fresh air after months of miserable heat and humidity.  It is a bright season after the dry, dead grasses at the end of summer.  It is a season of light, and hope, and joy.  Autumn is exquisite.

There are so many reasons to love autumn:
● its warm, golden glow
● crisp, frosty mornings
● acorns, buckeyes, seedpods; gourds and Indian corn
● fresh-picked, crisp apples
● pumpkin pie
● the rich, heady fragrance of fallen leaves
● the bluest of blue skies
● cool, grey, rainy days
● the sun rising later each morning
● bright leaves in reds, oranges, yellows, burgundies
● walking in the fallen leaves, crunching and kicking
● shorter days with the angle of the sun's rays lower in the sky
● wool sweaters, because it's finally cool enough to wear them
● the beautiful browns, greys, tans, and rust colors of trees and brambles at fall's end

I grew up in a small community at a time when people raked the dead leaves into piles and burned them.  My mother usually began raking while I was at school.  Walking home I could smell the burning leaves, usually not just from my mom's pile but from others doing the same thing.  It was a delicious smell and one that I still enjoy.  The smoke and odor were very unwelcome when one had clothes hanging out to dry, though.  It seemed like the neighbors usually cared for each other and did not burn clothes when someone else's laundry was on a clothesline.  The generally safe days to burn were Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday because laundry was done on Mondays and Thursdays.

An even earlier memory of autumn is from the time I was a toddler, still sleeping in a crib.  I didn't know it was autumn at the time but remembering the light, the house doors closed to the outside chill, the warmth in our home, it was most certainly that most beautiful of all seasons.  I remember coming downstairs to the living room after an afternoon nap with the golden sunshine coming through the west-facing window.  It was late afternoon with the sun low in the sky, yet it was still a while till suppertime.  It's a very cozy memory.  Isn't it strange how we can remember only a moment and the atmosphere that surrounded it and not remember other details?

School starts in the fall.  Even as a child I loved paper -- in stacks, in tablets, in books, in all its forms -- and when school started, there was more of it.  I loved school supplies and finding the perfect cardboard box to hold crayons and pencils.  Even now, I can open a new box of crayons, take a whiff, and be whisked back to the first days of elementary school.  I loved reading and school desks, the walk to school, being with friends -- and it all happened in the fall! 

While in college I discovered Golden Autumn, a cologne by Prince Matchabelli.  I could not now describe its fragrance but if its scent wafted through a room I would recognize it.  If autumn could be captured in a fragrance, Golden Autumn would be that fragrance.

I'm enjoy this year's first first few days of autumn.  The leaves have just begun to turn, the days have been warm, the evenings crisp and cool enough for a blanket.  Yet to come are the brightest days of fall after the leaves have turned.  I think autumn has always been my favorite season and I think it always will be.

This is another post in The Book of Me series, created by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest.

The photo at the top of this post was taken by Amy V. Miller and was graciously made available by her at Flickr via PhotoPin.  As beautiful as the photo is, it can only be a gentle reminder of autumn.  I don't think any photo can truly capture autumn's beauty.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Newfangled - Monday Musings

Newfangled (sometimes used with contraption) was a word my father used occasionally when some new, non-essential invention came along.  I knew what the word meant because of the way he used it but decided to see how the dictionary defines it.   From Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
newfangled, adj.
1. newmade; formed with the affectation of novelty
2. disposed to change; inclined to novelties; given to new theories or fashions
I don't suppose a new, modern washer can be classified as newfangled but it feels newfangled to me.  Our old washer with a center post died a few weeks ago and we found ourselves shopping for a new one.  I did some research online and we chose our new model based on the recommendations of several organizations and individuals.

Our new washer is bright, shiny -- and newfangled.  It doesn't work like our old one.  Our old washer worked like this:  I pushed a knob, turned it, then pulled it back out and the water started running into the washer.  If I changed my mind about water temperature or length of wash, I just turned the knob and the water temperature changed.  With the lid open and the water running, I added the laundry soap and after a few more minutes, the clothes, then closed the lid and went about my other chores.  I returned about 30 minutes later and removed the clothes, clean and fresh.

With our new washer, I push a button to turn it on, turn a knob, push 3 more buttons, close the lid, push one last button and the water -- doesn't run into the washer.  The washer whirrs about 6 times, then is silent.  A minute or so later the water drizzles into the machine and it whirrs some more.  After a few more minutes the water begins running into the washer.  During the time that the water is running into the washer, I must push a button to be able to open the lid, wait for the lid to release, add the laundry soap and clothes, close the lid, and push a button again.  Should I happen to change my mind about water temperature or length of wash or any other variable, I have to turn the washer off and start the process all over again.  Newfangled is an adjustment.  We hope our water bill does not increase because of our new washer.

There's one other aspect of this washer that's a little frustrating:  I'm not convinced it's getting our clothes and linens clean.  It's a high-efficiency washer but thinking back, none of the recommendations and evaluations I read online commented on the cleanliness of the clothes.  (Did you hear my little sigh?)  There's no way to see what the washer's doing when it's running.  Without a center post, how is it getting the clothes clean, I wonder.  (I wonder this a lot.)

As I consider my situation with this new washer I'm imagining my foremothers and the newfangled methods of doing laundry they maneuvered through from their earliest years until their deaths.  Perhaps not all of my foremothers dealt with laundry changes but certainly my mother and grandmother did.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress
In her youngest days it's possible that my grandmother boiled water in a kettle on a wood stove to heat water for laundry.  I know she used a washboard and washed clothes by hand when her daughters were young.  My mom may have helped with that method of laundry, too.  And the wash was always hung out on a clothes line to dry -- except in winter when it was hung in the basement.

Library of Congress image
By the time I was a child, both Mom and Gramma had electric washing machines with electric wringers.  They lightened the workload by doing the swishing and churning to clean the clothes, but after washing someone fed the clothes through the electric wringer by hand.  They fell into the rinse water, were swished again, then put through the wringer once more.  They were carried outside in a basket where they were hung to dry.

When these new electric washing machines were first introduced did my grandmother wonder about their efficiency?  Did she wonder if her clothes were really getting clean without the hands-on work of the old method?  She may have but in the end she embraced the new, labor-saving methods.

Later Mom had an electric washer that was completely hands-off (except for putting the clothes into the washer and removing them when the rinse cycle was finished).  It was much like our washer that died, one that was easy to use and old-fashioned (as opposed to newfangled -- though when she first brought it into her home, it was newfangled to her).  In fact, I'm wondering if, when she first used her new hands-off washing machine she, too, wondered whether it was actually getting the clothes clean.  (Can  you tell that clean clothes are a theme running through the work of the women in my family?)

I would not wish to go back to heating water on a stove, to washboards, or to electric wringers into which clothes were fed by hand, but I'm not yet embracing my newfangled, high efficiency washer.  I might like it a little more if the water bill is lower....  And I would definitely like it more if I were convinced it was cleaning our clothes.  Maybe I'm just old-fashioned. 

How about you?  Do you embrace newfangled?


Friday, September 20, 2013

Boys Will Be Boys - Friday Funny

My brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Eva, have 7 grandsons ages 3 to 9.  The last time they were there all together Eva wanted a picture of them by height.  She wrote, "I told them we could do this quick - one picture.  They did not cooperate."  For that we have the joy of seeing seven boys being boys!  I laughed and laughed when the photos arrived.  I hope they bring a smile to your face, too.

 Noah (3); Seth (~3); Aedan (~6); Ian (~7); Max (7); Caleb (7); and Jacob (~9)

The older boys seem to be making an effort to stand attentively, but finally... 

they give up, too, and begin clowning around.

So much for one quick picture!

Happy Friday to you!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Book of Me - The Physical Me

about 1987
A mirror is not my friend.  I spend as little time as possible looking into one.  My mom assured me on more than one occasion during her lifetime that I was neither pretty nor attractive.  The truth she told but perhaps a secondary motive was to prevent pride and vanity.  Someone once described me as having no vanity but the fact that I don't like to be photographed probably indicates that I'm at least a little vain.

Many physical traits endure from childhood.  I have green eyes, am big-boned, fair-skinned, and freckled.  (The freckled part is something I've consistently denied because it was a cause for teasing when I was young.  Even now if you mention my freckles in person, I will point to a freckle on my arm and claim that I have only one.)  When younger I had brown, wavy (sometimes curly) hair that some people thought looked slightly reddish -- but only in the summer sun.  Now it's thinner and there's plenty of grey in it.  When I renewed my driver's license this year the clerk asked if I wanted to change the "brown" to "grey" on my license.  I asked her if it was more grey than brown and she suggested we leave it as brown.  (Very kind of her.)  I still see a nearly even mix of brown and grey when I happen to notice. 

Being big-boned, I have never been thin, but the years and some physical ailments have been less than kind to my weight.  About 10 years ago arthritis in my hips prevented all but essential physical activity.  It seemed that one day I had hip pain and two months later the doctor told me my only choice was to have hip replacements:  the cartilage was nearly gone.  He gave me a brochure illustrating the procedure.  Upon seeing what would be done I declared, "No way."  Arthritis is persistent and said, "Yes, way."  Within two years the cartilage was completely gone, I could barely move, and finally resolved myself to surgery.  I scheduled the first surgery in the spring, the second 5 months later.  The result was no more pain and two 12" fraternal-twin scars.  The problem is that even when immobile, one is no less hungry.  My weight and I continue to battle each other daily.  But the weight now is the result of my battle against loving chocolate and other "weighty" foods, not the result of immobility.  Many days I win, some days I lose.  Right now I'm winning the battle of losing weight -- until I lose the battle with food again.  (How is it that one can eat 4 ounces of chocolate and wake up the next morning having gained a pound?!)

Other scars?  I was jumping rope with a friend when I was about eight.  Her brother, several years younger, picked up a rock and threw it at me.  Can you believe a 5-year-old managed to hit a jumping girl in the forehead?  He should have become a baseball pitcher with that aim!  It bled profusely.  We rushed into my friend's house where her older sister was (but not her mother) and grabbed some towels.  I've forgotten details of the care but remember that I was never again allowed to visit friends unless their mothers were home.  The hole in my forehead healed but I have a small scar and a little dent where the rock hit.

More scars?  Yes.  One on my back from the removal of a cyst; scars on both feet from surgeries; a scar on the back of my head when I fell while sliding down a student-iced sidewalk in college; a scar on my wrist from attempting to prevent an inevitable dog fight.  (The dog went after me instead of her intended victim.)  And then there's the 12" scar on my leg from an auto accident.  Are you reading this and thinking that I'm accident prone?  I would agree.  So that's enough about my scars.

a fairly recent photo
I'm ungrowing, too.  I used to be 5' 5 1/2" tall.  I claim that the prosthetic hips decreased my height by an inch or more and age is probably also taking its toll.  At my last physical exam I was 5' 3 1/2" tall.

Age is taking its toll in other ways.  I have worn bifocals for nearly 20 years and am thrilled to be able to see because of them.  (But I don't wear make-up because I can't see well enough without glasses to apply it.)  I see that I'm beginning to have "jowls" and there's that other sag under my neck. I won't mention the other physical side effects of age....

I tried to photograph my hands but failed to produce a blog-worthy image.  Suffice it to say that my fingers and palms are of about equal length and my palm is somewhat squarish.  My fingers are crooked now, probably from arthritis and maybe also because of the way I use them.  I have very strong hands.  Everyone in my family passes the pickle, mustard, and relish jars to me to open.  I suppose it won't be too many years before I'll be passing them to someone else.

Oh, fingerprints!  Yes, I have fingerprints stored somewhere in federal government files.  My husband and I were required to be fingerprinted before entering the Peace Corps several decades ago.

All told, I'm as healthy as a horse, a blessing beyond any I deserve.  No heart problems, no high blood pressure, no diabetes; all the blood tests the doctors normally require for people my age are within normal ranges.  Of course, things can change in an instant.  I hope they don't but if they do, I'll be grateful for all the years of health.

(Just for the record, my clothing of choice is longish, not-too-tightly-fitting dresses.  Friends chuckle to learn that I do all my cleaning, even scrubbing floors on my hands and knees, in dresses.  I'm a comfort lover and find dresses very comfortable.  In fact, I haven't worn pants for 35 years.)

I wanted to share this video about women who describe themselves to a forensic artist.  He draws them from their own descriptions and then again from the descriptions of objective observers.  I thought it was very telling regarding women's perceptions of themselves.

This is the third in a series of posts for The Book of Me, Written by You, a meme developed by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Book of Me - My Birth

This is the second week in The Book of Me, Written by You and the questions are about my birth.

I come from a long line of non-storytellers so I'm left with documents to tell the story. 

Do you have any baby photos?
I have never seen a newborn photo of myself.  I doubt any were taken.  I don't think they got around to photos until I was about 6 months old.

Where were you born?
Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, Ohio

Who was present at your birth?
As far as I know, only my mother; Doctor Thomas; R. McMasters, the nurse; and me

I weighted 7 pounds and was 20 1/2 inches long.

What day was it?  Time?
It was a Monday in January at 5:52 a.m.  Because it the middle of January I always assumed it was a cold, snowy day.  Contemporary newspapers tell a different story:  the high was 43 degrees, the low 32.  Not so cold.  (Hooray for free, online newspaper images!)

Did you have hair?  Eye colour?
Mom recorded by eyes as blue and left the line for hair color blank.  I think they called it peach fuzz.

Are you a twin?
No but how I wished it were so when I was a child.  My father was a twin and I have a niece and nephew who are twins.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Finding the Source Title of Images at FamilySearch - Tuesday's Tip

When I add a source to RootsMagic it asks for the item title.  If the image/source I've found at FamilySearch (and sometimes on, too) comes from a collection, such as county marriage records, I'm given this:

Citing this Record
"Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Sep 2013), Christian Gerner and Amanda Daubenspeck, 1886.

This information is helpful and I especially like the fact that it gives me a direct link to the image of the record, but it doesn't tell me which county.  To my way of thinking, it only gives me the title of the collection in FamilySearch, not the title of the source.

I can go back one screen and look at the indexing information (shown below) but I still don't have the title of the record where this document was originally recorded.

But if I return to the screen with the image of the document, just above it there's a box where I can type the image number I want to view.

I can easily move within the online book/image collection by typing a number in that image number box.  If I type "1" it will take me to the beginning of the book where, hopefully, I will be able to find a title.  It will probably not be at image 1, but by image 3 or 4, I should see a title.

In this case, at image 3 I found the title which had been typed when the microfilm was originally made.  That was good, but I thought I should be able to see the title page or cover of the actual book, so I moved ahead another page or two.

At image 5 there was a photograph of the cover of the docket book from which the image had come. 

I feel much happier using "Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Marriage License Docket 3" or some variation of that instead of "Pennsylvania, County Marriages" as the title of my source.

Of course I also include the citation information provided by FamilySearch, including the direct link, in my documentation.  

Am I being too particular?  I don't think so.  It's important to me to know where the record was created and recorded, know the physical location of the actual source, as well as being able to find it online.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Extra Fine Tarts, Cookies - Gramma's Webster's Recipe Book - Family Recipe Friday

I'm not sure what makes these tarts "extra fine" but maybe it's the coconut. Coconut is one of my least favorite baking ingredients but when this recipe was new, perhaps in the early 1900s, coconut may have been an uncommon, special, and expensive ingredient.

As for the cookies, they're made with molasses and baked in muffin tins or gem pans.  From what I can tell, gem pans were similar to muffin tins except generally made of cast iron and had rounded bottoms.  Some recipes called for heating the pans in the oven before filling and baking.  I think for this tart recipe the gem pans were not to be pre-heated.  Maybe these cookies are more like gingerbread or sweet bread than cookies.  Now that fall's here, I think I'll try them.  The challenge may be the less-than-exact measurement of "rounded tablespoons" of shortening.  Too much or too little shortening can ruin a recipe.

As with all of the previous recipes, no oven temperatures (other than "moderate") or baking times are given.

Extra fine Tarts
Line gem tins with
pie crust place in
them 1 tsp. jam or jelly
Mix 1 egg with 2/3 cup sugar
butter size of egg small
pkg. coconut   beat to-gether
and fill remaining part
of tart space

1/2 cup Molasses
1/2   "   B. Sugar
3 rounded tables-
poon Shorting [sic]
1/2 cup boiling water
1 egg        1 1/2 cup flour
1 teas. Soda
1   "   ginger
1/2 cup cinaimon [sic]
Pinch Salt.
Stir molasses,
Sugar, Shorting
into Boiling Water
Sift spices with
flour  also
Salt & Soda (over)
add first mixture
& Stir In last of
all the well
beaten eggs
Butter muffin
tins or gem pans
fill 3/4 full &
bake 20 min. in
moderate oven
The image of the pans, above, comes from Household Discoveries: an Encyclopaedia of Practical Recipes and Processes by Sidney Morse and Isabel Gordon Curtis, New York:  Success Company, 1909, p. 31.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Documents for Christian Gerner (the Younger)

Christian was the topic of another post (and has been in several posts about his family).  I posted the image for his marriage record but did not transcribe it, and since his death certificate just recently arrived, this is the first time I've had the opportunity to post it.  Marriage before death.

No. 3895
Christian Gerner born in Clarion Co. Penna on the 12th day of July A. D. 1854, residing at Washington Washington Co. Penna occupation Driller not related by blood or marriage to the person whom he desires to marry has not been married before

Amanda Daubenspeck born in Armstrong Co Pa on the 16th day of May A. D. 1858, residing at Clarion County Pa .... has not been married before

Marriage License issued Oct. 22 1886....
Married October 22, 1886
By Rev. D. Jones    Duplicate certificate returned Nov 11th 1886

State of California
Department of Public Health
Vital Statistics
Standard Certificate of Death

  1.  Place of Death:  Dist. No. 3002     Local Registered No. 63
       County of Orange
       City... of Anaheim   Street and No. 525 E. Adele
  2.  Full Name  Christian Gerner
       Residence:  No. 525 E. Adele
  3.  Sex Male
  4.  Color or Race  White
  5.  Single, Married....  Married
5A.  If Married... name of husband or wife  Amanda J. Gerner
  6.  Date of Birth   June 12 1854
  7.  Age  81 yr.  3 Mo.  27 Days
  8.  Trade, profession...  Oil Worker
  9.  Industry or business...  [blank]
10.  Date deceased last worked at this occupation   1918
11.  Total Years spent in this occupation   43
12.  Birthplace (city or town)  Clarion County
       State or Country  Pennsylvania
13.  Name   Christian Gerner
14.  Birthplace (city or town)  [blank]
       State or country   Germany
15.  Maiden Name   Mary Stahl
16.  Birthplace (city or town)   [blank]
       State or country   Germany
17.  Length of residence
       A.  City, town, etc.   16 yrs
       B.  In California  22 yrs
       C.  In U.S.... [blank]
18.  Informant   ML Gerner
       Address  Anaheim Calif
19.  Burial, Creamation....   Entombment
       Place   Melrose Abbey, Orange     Date   10-11-35
20.  Embalmer   License No.  1688.  Signature  J. Ben Kaulbars [not a signature]
       Funeral Directors   Backs-Teery & Campbell
       Address  Anaheim, Calif
21.  Filed   Oct 11 1935
       KH Sutherland, MD
       Charles E Griffith Dep Local Registrar
22.  Date of Death   October 9, 1935
23.  Medical Certificate of Death
       I hereby Certify, that I attended deceased from Sept 27 to Oct 9 '35; that I last
       saw him alive on Oct 9 '35 and that death occurred on the above stated date at
       the hour of 3 P.M.
       The principal cause of death and related causes of importance in order of onset,
       were as follows:
       Cerebral Degeneration     Date of onset 1930
       Other contributory causes of importance:
       Arteriosclerosis                 Date of onset  1925
       Empyema                           Date of onset   9/1935
24.  Coroner's Certificate of Death   [blank]
25.  If death was due to external causes ...  [blank]
26.  If disease/injury related ...  [blank]
27.  Signature   J W Truxaw [not a signature]
       Address   Anaheim , Calif.
28.  When required by Law   [blank]

State of California County of Orange SS.
Certified Copy of Vital Records
Date Issued  Jun 26 2013 [rubber stamped]
Hugh Nguyen Clerk-Recorder Orange County, California
This a true and exact reproduction of the document officially registered and placed on file in the office of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder.

  • The marriage record gives Christian's birth date as July 12, 1854; the death certificate gives it as June 12, 1854.  At least the year is the same.
  • Is the death certificate a photocopy of the actual death certificate or a court transcription?  I wonder because there are no signatures.  However, the font and placement of the typing on the death certificate make me think it IS a copy of the original.  If it were computer generated, they could do (and I think they would have done) a better job of aligning words on the lines and within the boxes.
  • Empyema is a collection of pus in an already existing body cavity.  It seems that it most commonly affects the lungs.
  • What did "cerebral degeneration" mean in 1935?  Was it senility?  Was it a precursor of Alzheimer's disease?  These days it seems to be an umbrella term that includes Alzheimer's, hydrocephalus, Reye's syndrome, as well as some other diseases.  


Monday, September 2, 2013

The Book of Me - Who Am I?

The Book of Me, Written by You is a new meme written and developed by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest.  It is being hosted at Geneabloggers, where a new prompt will be published every Saturday.   The hope is that for just an hour or so each week, participants will focus on recording memories and information about themselves for their posterity.  (And then we will go back to thinking, researching, and writing about our ancestors!)

I'll begin this publicly but may not publish my responses to all the prompts, or even complete all the responses.  Here goes!

Prompt #1:  Who Am I?
Ask yourself 20 times, "Who are you?"  Record 20 or more different responses.

I am
  • a beloved daughter of God and a daughter of earthly parents.
  • a sister, sister-in-law, cousin, wife.
  • a mother.
  • a descendant -- a member of a very large family.
  • a lover of life (despite it's challenges!).
  • an Airedale lover.  (If I can't have an Airedale I don't want a dog.)
  • a quilter.
  • an introvert and a very private person (which makes it surprising that I'm publishing this meme; it may be too public for me).  Read Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain to learn more about that aspect of who I am. 
  • a wonderer.  If my mind isn't actively engaged in what I'm doing, I'm wondering about one thing or another, more often than not something about my ancestors, their lives, how to find them, their living situations, etc.
  • a shameless chocoholic.  My current favorite is Nestle Crunch bars but when it gets cooler I'll go back to Reese's minis.  And then there's Heggy's peanut patties and chocolate covered marshmallows, for all seasons.
  • a family historian.
  • a covenant keeper.
  • a collector:  of seed pods, bird nests, feathers, beautiful natural objects; fabric; paper and office supplies;
  • a reader.
  • a writer.
  • a friend.
  • a researcher.  Anything that interests me, for however brief or long the research may be to find answers to my questions.  I'm grateful for the internet which has brought the world to my home.  Books did that before but in a slightly more detached way, perhaps. 
  • a learner.  I learn best by reading first, then sometimes by seeing illustrations or photos, and finally by doing and referencing back to what I've read.
  • a blogger, which is a lot like being a writer, but different.
  • an attentive listener.  A perfect fit is an introvert who likes to listen and someone who loves to talk.
  • a thrift store shopper.  They are the department stores where I can find one-of-a-kind items.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

They're Not Just Records. . .

I fell in love with this poster when I first saw it.  The image and title speak to me in so many ways.  When I search records, I'm always thinking about the person--the individual--and his or her life, trying to put the person in the context of his environment and life situation.  I search for records of real people, not just names and dates.

This poster comes from the booklet, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Privacy Stewardship, published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, p. 20.  It was created to encourage the protection of records for living people.

The USCIS genealogy website offers a link to a Genealogy Notebook and has a Family History Research page.  I did not spend much time at the website because as far as I know, my ancestors came to the U.S. before federal records were kept.  If you have ancestors who came to America more recently, you may find helpful information there.

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