Archive for April, 2009

Dateline April 29, 1927 17 pound baby born with two teeth

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

A tribute to my amazing grandmother…written by my mama

Doctors at a medical convention at the University of Georgia were called to the home of Herman and Irene Bowden to meet with the woman there who had just finished and 11 month pregnancy and given birth to a 17 pound daughter with two shiny new teeth. The daughter? Helan Carle Bowden. No one knows why Adele Thrasher Bowden decided to spell the “Helan” so differently, but to the end of her life Helan would say…that’s Helan with an “a” not an “e”. The “Carle” was for her father Carl Micajah Bowden. After such a nightmare pregnancy and birth, Adele knew she would have no more children, so this one would be given the boy’s name they had chosen. READ MORE HERE

One of the most useful links you will ever bookmark

Friday, April 24th, 2009

How many times have we run across a genealogy site that we bookmark because it has interesting and/or useful information on it? Sometimes its sits in the bookmark folder for years and we forget about it until one day, in your research, you run across something that reminds you of it and you say “oh yeah! I forgot about that site, I will go back and get that info I never copied last time I visited”? You click on the link eager with anticipation and then…you get that nasty screen that tells you the website no longer exists…at best the site is still there but the the information you were wanting has been pulled for whatever reason and you sit there with your bubble burst. Well never fear…this IS a little glimmer of hope.

It always amazes me that when someone mentions the above scenario to me and I ask if they’ve check the Way Back Machine…I get dead silence…and then…”What’s that?” Such a thing happened with a cousin last week. There was a personal site that had transcriptions of letters written home by one of her ancestors during the War Between the States, she had read them, but had never gotten around to printing them out, when she DID go to do it, the website was gone. I asked if she’d tried the Way Back Machine…and as usual, “No, what’s that?”

For those of you that don’t know, the Way Back Machine is a website that has cached versions of just about every website that was ever on the internet, and they can, in some instances go back YEARS. Its one of the greatest tools I know of especially when so many “family” sites come and go and loads of genweb sites change hands and information gets lost or removed for whatever reason.

Using what my cousin needed, here is an example, this was the original URL for the website

if you click on that you will see message “Sorry. It looks like there isn’t a page on our website at the address you requested (or it may be temporarily unavailable).”

now…if you go to and enter the url and click the “take me back” button it will take you here*/

and you can see they have cached versions of the website from 2001 to 2006. You simply need to explore each cached version to see if they have what you are looking for.

I wont say this will work 100% of the time, but more often than not it will, so its most definitely worth trying and its DEFINITELY worthy of a place in your bookmark folder!!

Unearthed caskets hold mystery bodies

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Unearthed caskets hold mystery bodies


Saturday, April 11, 2009 3:14 AM
By Dana Wilson

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio — Archaeologists found human remains inside some of the caskets that surfaced this week because of erosion along the eastern bank of Alum Creek in Delaware County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said yesterday.

Four of the five unearthed caskets contained bones, but their identities are a mystery because no headstones or markers were found at the excavation site, said Aaron Smith, an archaeologist with the Corps’ Huntington District.

“That’s worsened, in this case, because records of the cemetery were burned in a fire,” Smith said.

The remains were buried at least 50 years ago in what was once Cheshire Cemetery, but they apparently were left behind when the Alum Creek Dam was built in 1973 and the cemetery was relocated.

Remnants of pine boxes that lined the graves were exposed along the reservoir’s shoreline, Smith said. The caskets will remain intact during the Corps’ investigation out of respect for the deceased and their families. “We’re not opening them up entirely.”

The Corps already has contracted with DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, which is authorized to move the remains, Corps officials said.

“What’s expected is, they’ll move those remains to the cemetery where all the other caskets were moved,” said Chuck Minsker, a Corps spokesman.

The site is 2 miles north of the Alum Creek Dam near the intersection of Cheshire and Africa roads. Authorities have roped off that area, and park officers are monitoring it to discourage the curious.

The Corps plans to search for more remains in five or six nearby areas, Smith said.

Early records of the old Cheshire Cemetery were kept by a local family but were destroyed when the family’s home was struck by lightning and caught fire, said Bill Wachtel, whose grandparents lived on a farm that was across the street from the former cemetery.

The reservoir’s construction was hotly contested because it buried a lot of local farms, he said. His grandparents moved in

1974 when the area was flooded.

“I hunted all that ground up there when I was a kid,” Wachtel said. “My grandfather was probably the last one to move.”

He and his grandfather helped move the cemetery when it was relocated by the Corps, and he said he suspects that other graves haven’t been unearthed.

“There’s more there,” he said.

Just because its on the internet, doesnt mean its true

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I found this really cool site today, and after reading through it, I thought how well this applies to genealogy research. This is a site made to teach elementary school kids that just because they find it on the web, it doesnt always mean its true.

Its called All About Explorers and can be found at All About Explorers it has taken all the major explorers and written fake biographies about them, my favorites are the one for Christopher Columbus and Samuel de Champlain but actually they are all worth reading to see how these great men have been written about for the purpose of this lesson.

SO many times I have run across things in researching on line that I know for a fact are not true but still get propagated all over the place. My poor mother has been trying to dispell bad facts about one branch of her family for years, but because one person put the bad info out there online, people have taken it as gospel and posted all over the place and I’m afraid it will be a tangle that will never become unknotted…thankfully she has taken the time to document it in her files so that at least her children, grandchildren and so forth will know the bad info if and when the ever come across it.

I see this kind of thing in the family trees put up on Ancestry, there are many on there with wrong information about my husbands family, I know, I’ve done the research, I’ve disproved it, just as my mother has with her, but you’d have better luck finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow than getting people to change it, because “its on the internet”.

I bet I could go right now and grab someone’s family tree, download the gedcom file, go in and mess with a bunch of stuff and add erroneous facts (just like the explorer site) reupload it, and within 6 months you’d find a bunch of people that had just taken what I’d done and posted it every place they could find that relates to that surname. Some of you are laughing, I can hear you…and its because you know I’m right.

I’m begging you, please remember, the internet is a TOOL, it is not the repository for all that is factual. Take what you find and use it to investigate on your own, if you come to the same conclusions then great…at least you will know you have the correct information, DON’T always believe that someone else’s research is right, or you will end up being one of the many causes of aneurysms around the globe.

Now, I’m going to go and try not to perpetrate the experiment I explained above

Ancestry’s new seance service!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

THIS one made me laugh and laugh

New Seance Service

Online family history company’s April Fool’s joke gets big response

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

This begs the question…when does a joke become a lie and vice versa…am I the only one bothered by the tactics of this “april fools joke”? Especially when the president flat out says he’s making money off of it

The Salt Lake Tribune

A Provo company drove up its Web traffic significantly with a little April Fool’s joke involving President Barack Obama and 18 million users of Facebook., a 2 -year-old family and social networking company, sent out e-mails to active users of its “We’re Related” application on Facebook, the Web site that allows people to connect with each other and share information about their lives.

“Hi,” said the e-mail, “Barack Obama (Washington, DC) has confirmed you as his fourth cousin once removed.”

The e-mail mimicked those the company sends out to users of “We’re Related,” which allows customers to connect to family members via their Facebook pages.

Steve Nickle, president of, said the joke drove up traffic to the company’s Web site, where users learned the message was an April Fool’s joke.

“We already have very significant traffic,” he said. “Today we’ve had three to five times more traffic than normal.”

Nickle said that only a small percentage of people did not find the joke funny.

The company’s Facebook application has been downloaded 34 million times, Nickle said, ranking it in the top five at that site. The e-mail was sent only to those who were actively using “We’re Related.”

Nickle said the application drives traffic to the company’s Web site and also allows it to sell targeted ads.

The company, which is readying a family social networking site, provides access

to genealogy and family history records. It has run on venture capital but Nickle said the company has a positive cash flow.

Alabama mass grave may contain bodies from 1870s epidemic

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Construction workers at a city lot in downtown Montgomery stumbled upon numerous bodies Tuesday morning. At least one mud-colored skull and a large bone could be seen protruding through the freshly broken dirt.

Montgomery Police spokesman Major Huey Thornton said it’s believed the bodies are from a mass grave of victims who died of a Yellow fever outbreak sometime in the early 1800’s.

A structure built on the burial mound in the 1940’s was recently torn down in order for the city to build a new complex, Thornton said. He added that officials don’t believe there’s any cause for concern. The lot where the remains were found butts up against the Oakwood Cemetery property.

State historians say the burials were quite common in the 19th century as Yellow fever spread throughout the south. “They had to bury the bodies quickly,” said state archivist Rickie Brunner. “They were scared that having dead bodies around may spread the disease even more.”

With construction now at a standstill, research begins. “Burials are always an interesting window in the past, because we forget what things were like at that time,” Brunner said.

The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia says Yellow fever is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. The disease is common in tropical regions like Africa and parts of South America according to the CDC, and is very rare in the United States. In fact, there hasn’t been an epidemic of the illness in the U.S. since 1905.

Research showed that the outbreaks caused mass panic and quarantines. The checking of boat passengers and train riders for symptoms was not uncommon. And though the mass grave is making news today for having been under our feet for so long without our knowledge, it too was a common practice when the fever claimed its victims.

The construction site has now been turned over to a historical society for research purposes. It’s not known when, or if construction will begin again on that site.

Discuss here

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