#TreeChallenge Find My Past extends free records until May 31st

Hope you've tried the hints at Findmypast.com. You can search all 1.8 billion records for free until Midnight May 31st. All you have to do is upload a Gedcom of your family data and let their search engines find hints. How many hints popped up for my family? A lot. I LOVE these hints. My family history research got a lot easier. Every time you share what you've found on social media with the hashtag ... Continue Reading

Take the Find My Past #TreeChallenge

  I'm going to take the challenge and you can too!  I've uploaded a Gedcom file of my family tree to Findmypast to see if I can discover new ancestors with their MyHints feature. From May 23 to 30th, all 1.8 billion records included in the MyHint feature will be available for FREE. This include over 116 million United States Marriages, over 10 million Irish Catholic parish register, and 570 million UK births, marriages, and ... Continue Reading

Orphan Photos and Found Pictures in the News

"You can't save them all." When I mentioned to a friend how painful it is to see an abandoned family photo she reminded me of all the thousands if not millions of images are out there lost to family. She's right. I can't save every photo I see, but my new Instagram account @photodetective is my small part to try to reunite these forgotten photos with relatives. This week two news stories brought attention to ... Continue Reading

Mother and Daughter

  This unidentified bride and her mother posed circa 1914. The shawl collars on both of their dresses help place them in a time frame. So do the flowers. Edwardian era bouquets were large with trailing ribbons, vines or flowers. Large lilies dominate the greenery. On her head this bride wears a type cap of flowers with a long veil.  Her mother's corsage consists of a single piece of greenery, perhaps a fern, with an ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesday: Decorated with Flowers

  A. M.Estrella of Fall River, Massachusetts took this photograph in the first decade of the twentieth century. There is something really charming about the enhancements on this image. The pink flowers with green leaves were stamped on the image with ink.   The bride wears a lovely striped silk dress with a full veil.  Her groom holds a pair of gloves in his hands.  Could the couple have requested this all over green and ... Continue Reading

Oldest Living Revolutionary Widows

As of June 30, 1898 five women appeared on the pension rolls as widows of Revolutionary War soldiers. Esther Damon of Plymouth Union, Vermont age 84 Nancy Jones of Jonesboro, Tennessee age 84 Rebecca Mayo of Newbern, Virginia age 85 Mary Snead of Parksley, Virginia age 82 Nancy Weatherman of Lineback, Tennessee age 88 I've searched for years for images of these women. Esther Damon appears in volume 1 of the Last Muster Series and ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesday: A Couple from the Mid-1890s and Crayon Swindlers

The spectacle of the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wedding is outside the pocketbooks of modern brides, nineteenth century high society wedding with white gowns, diamonds and multi-course reception meals were too expensive and frivolous for most of our ancestors as well. It was pretty typical for a man to purchase a wedding suit to be married in and for his bride to wear a new dress for the event. It was usually a dress the bride ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesday: General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Daughter Minnie

When Maria Ewing Sherman married Thomas William Fitch on October 1, 1874.   Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman and his wife, Ellen Boyle Ewing  had several children including their oldest, Maria who was known as Minnie.  Her marriage to Naval Lieutenant Thomas William Fitch was a Washington social event attended by President and Mrs. Grant. It was covered by newspapers across the country. The bride and groom wed at 9:30 am at St. Aloysius ... Continue Reading

Celebrity Wedding: Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren, 1863

No doubt about it. P.T. Barnum was a showman extraordinaire.  He knew how to get attention. In April 1863, two of his stars General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton) and Minnie (Lorinia) Warren married.  These well-known celebrities were well known to the American public. Their wedding was a spectacle. Warren's dress was designed and made by Madame Demorest, at her establishment in New York City. Demorset was a fashion trend-setter with her magazine, "Demorest's." Two thousand ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesdays: 1890 Veil

Wedding circa 1890 In the late 1880s to early 1890s brides wore headdresses and long veils. Leaves and seed pearls piled high on top of up-swept hair was the fashion. Long trailing ribbons of pearls and greenery frame her face. The groom wears a matching corsage. Continue Reading