Shamokin Cemetery

I’ve been away for a long while, dealing with issues, but I’m happy to report that I’ve picked up my pen, so to speak, and I’m back to blogging for genealogy!

My first post is about the Shamokin Cemetery in Shamokin, Northumberland County, PA. The Shamokin Festival, aka Anthracite Heritage Festival, will be held this month on the 27th and 28th, and the cemetery will be providing historical tours on Saturday, May 28, 2016.

I have many relatives buried in this cemetery, and I would have appreciated this website years ago as I tromped about the graves looking for family. But now you won’t have to as the burials are all listed on the website with all the info that is available!  You can search for your loved ones at this link by clicking here. There are also maps of the cemetery so you can easily find the grave of your loved one. Just keep in mind, not every grave has a marker, so you might not find a stone to photograph.

I have to offer kudos to the kind folks who have taken their time to put up and maintain this new genealogical resource! Sites like these are so valuable for those who live far and near.

If you are in the area over the Memorial Day weekend, stop by Shamokin and enjoy the festival and visit the cemetery.


Ancestry’s newest records



Ancestry has a new batch of records they are offering and from the information I have read, they are the only ones to have this resource.  The newest addition are U.S. Wills and Probate records.

Boasting more than 150 million documents from all 50 states, this collection is only available at Ancestry.  Ancestry recommends that you review their research guide to aide in your hunt for records.  And the records are only available to research on their new site.

I decided to put the records to the test and pick a relative that passed in the early part of 1900, 1916 to be exact.  I know he had a will because I had gone to the courthouse and viewed it.  But after searching for him in the collection, alas, he was not listed.  One thing I did like were the tips Ancestry offered while you are looking at the records.  Clicking on those boxes and reading the tips might help you not overlook something.

I’m sure additional records will be added as time goes on, so don’t become discouraged if you don’t find your relative.

Dublin workhouses



Findmypast has put up a collection of 1.5 million records of admission and discharge from the Dublin workhouses. This collection spans 1840 – 1919 and covers both unions.

A workhouse was a place that an individual or family could go if they had no means to support themselves. The workhouse would supply them with minimal needs and often a menial job.

A typical record lists the names of family members, age, occupation, religion, illnesses or infirmities, their original parish and the general condition of their clothes and/or cleanliness.

You will need a subscription to access these records. Currently it is $19.95 for a month or $199.50 for a year.

Search your family for free this July 4th!


Ancestry is offering free access to many records that pertain to the original 13 colonies this July 4th weekend.  If you haven’t started your family research, this might be a perfect time to cross that item off your to-do list!  Access will be free until July 5th.  Take advantage of this great opportunity and explore where you came from!

Search the DAR Records



The DAR or Daughters of the American Revolution, has a wonderful collection of searchable online records.  These records have been amassed from the organizations conception in 1890.  The gem in the collection is the newly added Bible records.

Remember going to Grandmas when you were younger and seeing a family Bible on the coffee table with beautiful color charts filled out with family marriages, births, and deaths?  Pages like those are now part of the DAR’s collection, however, the images themselves are not available for viewing outside of the library.   Hopefully, the DAR will make the images available online in the future.  Head on over there and see if you can find some information on relatives you’ve been hunting!

New York City Records


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Indexes to New York City births (1878-1909), marriages (1866-1937) and deaths (1862-1948) are new and free for everyone to search on Ancestry. This is a wonderful resource for genealogists!

Also, if you are doing research for relatives who lived in NY, don’t forget and their vast collection of New York Online Genealogy records.  Use of this site is free.

Polish – American Marriage database



The Polish-American Marriage database contains the names of couples of Polish origin who were married in select locations in the Northeast United States. The information was taken from marriage records, newspaper marriage announcements, town reports, parish histories or information submitted by Society members. The time period generally covered by these lists is 1892-1940. To date, there are 30,227 names listed and it is free!  You can also obtain additional documentation for some of these marriage entries, principally from Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey; there is a $2.00 processing fee plus a  self-addressed stamped envelope.

Conscientious Objectors in the Civil War



Pennsylvania is the only northern state known to have a list of conscientious objectors, men who refused military service due to religious beliefs.  Many of these objectors were from the Quaker, Mennonite (and Amish), and Dunkard churches.  If you have ancestors in your family tree who were of age during the war but did not serve, perhaps they were one of the many objectors.  You can search for relatives at the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania’s, Conscientious Objectors database.

The list is broken down into alphabetical groups and clicking on a list, opens it in a PDF type format.  You can search the list using Ctrl+f.

Conscientious objectors didn’t get off free.  They had to pay $300 or an equivalent service.  Many would say that was a small sacrifice, all things considered.   Approximately 3,211,067 soldiers fought in the war.  Of those, it is estimated that 620,000 died from combat, accident, or disease.  To give a visual of the Civil War compared to others, consider this bar graph:

war casualties

Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the war with an estimated 51,000 casualties.  Most of the dead were buried on the battlefields, others buried at the hospital where they succumbed.  At most battlefields, the dead were exhumed and moved to National or Confederate cemeteries, however, there are undoubtedly thousands if not tens of thousands of Civil War soldiers in unknown battlefield graves.

Chronicling America


Happy March 1st.  For those of us in Pennsylvania, March is coming in like a lion.  There is nothing better than a snowy day to do a little genealogy research or step back in time to see what things were like on this day in another year.  You can do just that by visiting the Library of Congress’s site, Chronicling America.

The site boasts 5 million historic newspaper pages from 25 different states from 1836-1922.  I clicked on the One Hundred Years Ago and was taken to the Evening Ledger, which was published in Philadelphia.  You can sort to show papers from a particular state as well, even by year.

Enjoy your snowy Sunday by browsing old newspapers, when times were simpler, and Sunday’s really were leisurely.

Funeral Cards



Funeral cards can be a great source of information.  What are funeral cards you ask? They are the remembrance papers given out at funerals that typically provide information about the deceased’s life.  While not considered a reliable source for information, since the information is given by family members, they can provide vital clues.  Genealogy Today has a searchable index of these cards online.

I did a general search for one of the surnames in my on line – Frey.  My search resulted in five hits and the year and state the information comes from was also listed.


This might be a good tip to check out if you are having trouble finding death information for someone in your line.

Also, if you have cards of your own that you’d like to share, the site accepts those submissions as well!


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