25 May 2015


A few months back I attended a short introduction meeting to a well regarded pre-needs service that features no frills cremation.  Years ago when I first heard of cremation, along with first hearing about Hinduism and reincarnation, I thought it made sense as an option.   With the cost of funerals and burials outrageous (I was quoted $25,000 average to be buried in the same town my parents are - were - for much less) it is more the ONLY OPTION for many, including me.  As it turns out the cost of this pre-paid no frills cremation in a much larger more expensive city than that town is far less that $5000.  I had been quoted double that for cremation in the smaller town.

My feeling is that when my time comes nobody is going to travel to my funeral or to see a stone in a cemetery.  Wouldn't it be better to just have my urn (or in this case a wood memory box) shipped somewhere or better yet, to someone who will then spread my ashes?

But you know, as a genealogist, someone who checks into FIND A GRAVE as a resource, as well as tombstone projects, cemetery records, and burial records, to accept being so - so - disappeared - is a thought.

What I did not want was a burial at sea.  Romantic a notion it is I've spent little time on boats and generally expect to get sea sick.  I love the view of the ocean, but no, I would only want my ashes to be spread in view of the ocean, not in it. 

And really, I can imagine the memory box with my ashes in it, turning up at a Garage Sale, or stashed in a moldering basement, or, if you've seen the funny film, MEET THE PARENTS, sabotaged by a cat as a litter box.  (!)

To go back to the beginning of this story though, this recent inquiry of funeral costs started because I called a cemetery to find out if a burial record I had could be confirmed.  Was there a tombstone and what was the plot number should I come visit.  The cemetery asked me to send the death certificate that stated that the burial had taken place there.  They said there had been a flood but basically, they would look into it but could not identify the burial as is.  They even said that perhaps there had been an "illegal" burial which was that relatives would have buried the person in the middle of the night there... I doubted that, as  there was the county death certificate stating the name of the funeral home and the priest and the cemetery.

While I was on the phone, I asked what it might cost, if the grave was located and did not have a stone, to put a simple stone on it.  I was shocked when I was told the cost would be $10,000. 

Sorry but $10,000 is for a college education, a business start-up, a newer used car.  I personally wouldn't spend that much on a wedding.

Still, I thought that with dozens of descendants alive, maybe they would want to pitch in for the tombstone. 

There are so many forgotten people.  The woman who was buried, probably legally, whose grave was so poor as to never have had a stone, or perhaps that was washed away in a flood, died young and horribly, with young children in the house.  Today, dead since the 1920's, she is the great mother of two, the grandmother of two, the great grandmother of several...  Only her DNA survives.

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16 May 2015


The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives, established online in January 2000  is AMAZING!

Quote, "GG Archives offers one of the largest collections of Social and Cultural historical documents from the 1800s through 1954 with concentrations in Steamship and Ocean Liner documents and photographs, Passenger Lists (Transatlantic European Voyages; Some Australian and South African), U.S. Navy Archives and additional materials covering World Wars I and II, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Immigration documents from Ellis Island, Castle Garden and other Immigration Stations. Learn how to use the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives to get the most out of your visit.

*** Spice up your family history project with pictures of the ship your ancestors came to the U.S. on  but don't stop there, find a poster, menu, or ticket, that they may have used or one like it.  Just remember that the use of pictures for personal use for free - a family publication that isn't being sold - but for profit one must research the image source and respect copyright.

13 May 2015


Images from Dover Publications
(Search this blog for posts using the subject IMMIGRATION!)
Here is the link to RED STAR information

05 May 2015


This morning I learned that there is a "controversy" because the actor Ben Affleck, who was one of the stars whose family genealogy was explored on the Louis Henry Gates Jr. show WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? asked that it not be revealed that some ancestor of his owned slaves.  Apparently when private e-mails were hacked in a recent Hollywood scandal, and these e-mails were publicized, it was discovered that he had asked for this consideration and it was given.


I completely agree with what LOUIS HENRY GATES Jr. explained, especially because I have been watching the previous seasons on DVD and my criticism was that there was perhaps too much emphasis on the whole slave - slave owners thing.  Affleck would have been just one more, and well, the rest of his family was more interesting, providing, over all, a more interesting show and series.

I think ANYONE whose personal family history is going to be revealed to the world in these shows SHOULD have a say about what goes on the air.

I wonder how it is that anyone with such fame and the according WEALTH needs to have their genealogy done for free in exchange for their personal family heritage - any of it - and their reactions to it - as entertainment!  Sometimes I've winced watching.

Professional genealogists are expensive but affordable to the well-to-do and the wealthy and being able to trust your genealogist is important.  As is that the genealogist keep to professional behavior which is to report to the person paying for our services.  We are not spies.  We are not scam artists.  We are not reporting into tabloids.  And now we should also have the client sign that they are not using the information for illegal purposes - such as stalking.

Doing it on your own is a middle class - working class endeavor - which is why the subscription databases which are free at so many Family History Centers and Public Libraries - are so appealing.  These databases have opened genealogy up to the masses.

So,  famous people who can afford PRIVACY allow their fame to attract an audience.

I would sure like to see what the contracts signed for the show look like!

The shame is not in Affleck being sensitive.  Other guests with slave owner ancestry appeared to be appropriately mortified, and we are not responsible for what our ancestors did or didn't do anyway.  These days we agree slavery was and is wrong.  DID YOU KNOW THAT MORE WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE SEX TRAFFICKED right now than the entire population of Africans brought to the America's unwillingly? Apparently it is still OK for the female to be the ultimate slave because this would not be happening if men were not buying.

The shame is that e-mail is increasingly useless due to hackers.  It used to be that it saved you a phone bill long distance, but now, these hackers also feel it isn't enough to personally read your life and get to know you so they can set up an Identity Theft, but they want the WORLD to know your business, in an attempt to show off.  Why are not more of them in prison instead of hackers conventions? 

An e-mail that I use in conjunction to this blog has been hacked three times.  Each time it was caught and I changed the passwords.  However, it felt to me like someone - perhaps a genealogy database company - was trying to screw things up for me.  I never ever use the e-mails associated with this blog for anything personal!

C 2015  Ancestry Worship Genealogy - All Rights Reserved including Internet and International Rights

28 April 2015


YAHOO NEWS - DUMPSTER BABY MEETS BIOLOGICAL PARENT  full article by Avianne Tan re Good Morning America

WHAT A STORY!  This one made me cry...

Robin Barton was found in a dumpster recently after birth with his umbilical chord still attached and covered with garbage by a police officer, who is now retired.  A recent reunion with the officer who saved his life lead to his BIOLOGICAL FATHER contacting him!

Buenina is the officer who found him.
Meza is his biological father.


Barton always knew he was adopted, but only recently did he ask his adoptive parents to tell him the whole story, Buelna said. After Barton learned what had happened, he called the Santa Ana Police Department right away to get reconnected with Buelna and to thank him, Buelna added.

The reunion made the local news. Meza saw it on T.V., and he called the police department, which verified he was the father before allowing him to meet with Barton on Sunday, Buelna said.

Meza told KABC he had been searching for Barton for years.

"For 24 years, I always said I would like to find him, and I finally did," he said.

Barton, who was raised an only child, now has five sisters from his biological father and more relatives who he's thrilled to meet, Buelna said.

“I’m going to meet as many family members as I can,” he told KABC.

Buelna is also making plans for Barton to finally meet his biological mother, who is currently in Tijuana, Mexico, he added.

Barton told KABC, "I forgive her because she was a young woman in a very compromising position."


22 April 2015




The Native American National Council will offer amnesty to the estimated 240 million illegal white immigrants living in the United States....

“We will give Europeans the option to apply for Native Citizenship,” explained Chief Sauti of the Nez Perce tribe. “To obtain legal status, each applicant must write a heartfelt apology for their ancestors’ crimes, pay an application fee of $5,000, and, if currently on any ancestral Native land, they must relinquish that land to NANC or pay the market price, which we decide.

“Any illegal European who has a criminal record of any sort, minus traffic and parking tickets, will be deported back to their native land. Anybody with contagious diseases like HIV, smallpox, herpes, etc, will not qualify and will also be deported.”


When I saw this headline I thought it was a joke.  And I'm still not sure it isn't.  I think it was meant as humor or jest.  I realize it was said to make a point.  The worst thing about it is Anti White Racist.  The kind of Racism that is politically correct these days.

So here's the thing.  I'm one of millions of American's whose ancestors did not own slaves, were not slaves, were not Native American, and did nothing to move or otherwise kill Native Americans.  Yes I am sure.  My bloodline wasn't here early enough to participate. 

So where did this fellow get his figure of 240 million?

What does he plan for the millions who are part Native American by blood?  Will they get a discount?

Will we all have to present our genealogies to some Native American council to prove we have nothing to apologize for?  (Did you know that the Nazi's expected people to turn over their genealogies to prove they had no Jewish blood?)

I've read around and took a college course or two about Native American history and culture and spirituality and know enough to know that all tribes were not - as they seem to be today - united.  In fact some of them battled each other historically, often for resources.  Early settlers who were farm steading and pioneering were, in general, shocked by Native American tactics which seemed excessively brutal compared to the European standards of battle at the time, which felt almost gentlemanly to them in comparison. An example was that some Native Americans killed not just men who were not at war with them, but women and children in attacks that spread fear across the land. 

I've read about the Trail of Tears; one family I researched for had ancestors who were both marched and pointing the guns, as well as some who hid in the hills because before 1840 they were already intermarried with Natives.

It's a stereotype to think that Native Americans were all smoking "peace pipes" and getting along because they were not.  That is all newish as is the New Age adoption and interpretation of the religious beliefs of various tribes. There were more tribes with variant cultures in California and the resources were so good that they seem not to have fought each other for them but some tribes were famous for stealing from other tribes.  And now with gambling and casinos legal on reservations there are issues arising about who can benefit.

When someone tells me they are Native American I ask WHAT TRIBE(S)?  Because I still want to help and direct them towards the best resources for them.  If someone tells me that they want to prove their Native Americaness in order to get tribal benefits including casino rights, I will do my best, but I know that it may take more than the documentation.

Who is Native American and on what basis is now also challenged by DNA tests.

I have no "ancestral crimes" to apologize for here in the US and besides the Biblical "sins of the fathers" warning, I'm not sure ANYONE is responsible for ANYONE ELSE's SOUL - Behavior - or Crimes, unless maybe were talking parents being responsible for their children. 

But let's say that you're doing your genealogy and you find out that someone whose blood flows through you was a criminal back in the day.  They were arrested.  They died in prison.  There is nothing you can do about the past but try to learn from it and try to do better.  I've met those people who unveiled a family secret, that someone killed their wife - domestic violence - or that they were a Nazi.  I even worked with one woman who was pretty sure that she was the result of a Nazi breeding program.


I've helped Native Americans with their genealogy and also have helped White people who know or suspect they are part Native American - even before there was DNA tests.  I've reached out to tribes for help on their end for others who want to track family history and rarely gotten any response.

The question of diseases is also controversial.  I've heard it repeatedly that Whites deliberately killed off Native Americans with smallpox.  This is part of something that can be considered anti-White racism even if it is repeated by college professors with agendas or even printed in some bad books. 

I've heard Whites don't get and die of smallpox and were thus only carriers.  That they went as far as to give Native Americans blankets full of the disease.


Some of my own White ancestors in the European Country of Hungary are documented to have died of smallpox.  There were horrible killing epidemics there and in other "White" countries.  I've seen Church records of all sorts of epidemics sweeping through Europe... you turn the page and dozens are dying off - cholera - typhus. A village of 200 houses and 50 people are dead in a month or two.  Let's remember the misunderstood plagues.  Medical science is still trying to figure out the flu that killed off millions in the early 20th century.  My own ancestors were spared that though they said that ALL THEIR NEIGHBORS LOST AT LEAST ONE FAMILY MEMBER.  They credited that a priest had blessed their house and marked the door.

There were also smallpox and other epidemics that killed White European people in early America, including the Philadelphia of our founding fathers.  PEOPLE WERE SO FRIGHTENED OF CATCHING IT THAT THEY WOULD ABANDON DIEING FAMILY and come back only after they were dead to bury them.  Ignorance about disease was prevalent then.  We know so much more now.  And with our scientific knowledge we should reconsider repeating this ignorance. Yes, people who have never been exposed to a disease before are often going to die from it, with no "natural resistance" at all.  We await "natural resistance" to Ebola!

C 2015  Ancestry Worship Genealogy - All Rights Reserved including Internet and International Rights

15 April 2015


Benjamin Franklin is one of my favorite American Historical Figures but before watching this film my reference for him came from a series about the Presidents of the United States, which he was never though highly involved in colonial history, and his time as an envoy for the Colonies in Paris, France, history classes, reading around him and reading one of his books.  The thing I most love about Franklin is his willingness to experiment and invent and his sense of humor.
This is a four part series that begins with his humble beginnings, covers an era from 1706-1753 when he became a printer and publisher in Philadelphia and his scientific experiments with electricity and lightening.  As a publisher wanting to sell newspapers he invented a much older woman character and wrote opinion from her point of view. His invention of the lightening rod is still used all over the world today.  A point well made is that our ideas about Franklin and our images of him come from his senior hood but was once a young handsome man about town and his genius was apparent early on.
Franklin was a bit promiscuous before he married but seems to have married well when it came to his choice of a wife, Deborah.  When his mind turned towards marriage and children, his mind turned towards making money as a necessity of life, rather than for grandeur. When he was successful he took a departure from the circumstances of his early life and became an influential person but you could say that he was never in any of it just for the money. 
From 1755-1776  Franklin lived separate of his faithful, loyal, and capable wife, Deborah.  He lived in London, never knowing when exactly he was coming back, and indeed she died before he got back to Philadelphia, so theirs was a long distance relationship kept together by letters.  His son went to London with him and distanced himself from his humble background in America, which increasingly caused a split between father and son in their world view, especially when it came to the independence of the Colonies from England.  His son was a Loyalist.  They never resolved their differences.
It wasn't until the American Revolution in 1776 that the Franklin that I most knew about, the diplomat to France during the American Revolution who hung out with aristocrats aiming to please him and attempted to get funding for the revolution from the French government/King, the one portrayed as enjoying the women, came to be.  He returned to the United States in 1790 but is credited with playing a very important role in creating our Constitution.  In this film the idea that in his last years of life he was a womanizer is questioned and downplayed.  Franklin is quoted at being amused by the way the French offered themselves and their women to him because they had heard he liked the ladies, as if he is surprised by it.  The indication is that his involvement was greatly exaggerated.  Perhaps a more Puritan or Protestant viewpoint of his behavior was in play.

All in all, one for my home collection.

C 2015 Ancestry Worship BlogSpot  All Rights Reserved including Internet and International Rights

14 April 2015




With brushes, erasers and glue, archivists are now hard at work to prepare them for digitizing, in both Vilnius and at the New York-base YIVO Institute for Jewish Research that has spearheaded the bid to reunite the "lost" collection.                              
The aim is to put the more than one million manuscripts online in a digital archive highlighting pre-war Jewish life in Eastern Europe. It is expected to take seven years.
"During the 1920s and 1930s, all these materials were together here in Vilnius. They constituted a single whole that was torn apart first by the Nazis and then by the Soviets," Jonathan Brent, the institute's executive director, told AFP in a telephone interview from New York.  

A Note from  Ancestry Worship Genealogy

Throughout central and eastern Europe where the Catholic church dominated, records were kept by priests, who were sometimes the only people who could read and write in the area, and physically kept in the churches, which were often the sturdiest structures made of stone when most houses were made of wood.  In the larger cities where there were large Jewish or other religious congregations the Rabbis sometimes kept records, but I've seen Catholic church records that include people of other faiths - not just mixed marriages.

Records kept by Jewish people will include some interesting information that are not kept by other religions such as WHO THE MIDWIFE WAS and WHO PERFORMED A CIRCUMCISM and the mother's maiden name is always recorded, where as in many Catholic - Latin records I have found many baptisms that only gave the father's name.