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Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
Standard Edition

A Weekly Summary of Events and Topics of Interest to Online Genealogists

Vol. 8 No. 5 – February 3, 2003

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Copyright© 2003 by Richard W. Eastman. All rights reserved.


- In Memoriam
- Celebrating Black History Month
- Discovering Your African-American Ancestors
- Florida's Historical Treasures At Risk
- (+) The Best Free Genealogy Programs
- Social Security Death Records Explained
- Irish Immigrants of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank
- Last Widow of Union Veteran Dies at 93
- Follow-Up: Another Spam Mail
- Upcoming Events

A Plus Sign (+) denotes an article that appears only in the Plus Edition of this newsletter.

- In Memoriam

This week's newsletter is dedicated to the memory of the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia - Mission STS-107. This international team of five men and two women left behind a legacy of bravery and quest for knowledge that all of us should emulate.

We all will honor the memories of Shuttle Commander Rick Husband, and crew members Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, William McCool and Ilan Ramon for many years.

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History month in the United States. With that in mind, I would like to mention some of the better resources for African-American genealogy research that are available on the Web and elsewhere. Very few of these sites have online records available. However, most of them offer excellent tutorials and background information. Armed with this information, you should be able to narrow the focus of your own search.

Here are some of the better sites that I know of:

Afrigeneas, probably the best-known Black American genealogy site:

The AFRO-American Almanac:

The Freedmen's Bureau Online:

Amistad Research Center:

Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner Guide by the late David Thackery at

African American Research by Roseann Reinemuth Hogan, Ph.D. at

The Challenge of African American Research by Curt Witcher at

The Southern Claims Commission by Reginald Washington at

The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and African American Genealogical Research by Reginald Washington at

Institutions of Memory and the Documentation of African Americans in Federal Records by Walter B. Hill, Jr. at

The Britannica Guide to Black History:

The Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture:

Cyndi's List also has a listing of Black genealogy and heritage societies at:

You can also find several good books about African-American genealogy research. I will describe a new one in a separate article. I also highly recommend Tony Burroughs' Black Roots: A Beginner’s Guide. You can read my review of that book in a past newsletter at: At the time I wrote that review, the book sold for $16.00, but I notice that Barnes & Nobles' Web site now lists it for $14.40.

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter Discussion Board at and click on "Discussion Board."

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Discovering Your African-American Ancestors

Franklin Carter Smith and Emily Anne Croom have collaborated on a new book that was released a few weeks ago. The full title is A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors – How to find and record your unique heritage." I had a chance to read the book this week.

Discovering Your African-American Ancestors is divided into three parts:

Section One covers post-Civil War era to present. The information presented here is important to all genealogists researching American ancestry. The information given includes how to research census records, local, county and state resources, vital records, and even oral histories.

Section Two covers pre-Civil War research, the era that is most difficult for Black American genealogy research. The book describes the available documentation specifically related to the pre-Civil War era, such as slave records and documents regarding slave-owning families. It also shows how to research the 11% of African Americans who were free at this time in American history.

Section Three offers detailed case studies of three African-American families and how these research tactics yielded substantial information regarding their lineage. These case studies serve as examples of how you might plan your family tree research efforts.

Discovering Your African-American Ancestors is written in a conversational style. A lot of information is presented in its 250 pages. The authors introduce every topic well but generally do not go deep into any particular subject. The book also has numerous blank forms, examples, outlines, maps, and other aids to help you document your research accurately.

These two authors have excellent credentials to write the book: Franklin Carter Smith is employed at the Houston Public Library and is a Doctor of Jurisprudence. He has been an avid family historian since 1977, having successfully traced his slave ancestry. He also has been published in Family Tree magazine. Emily Anne Croom is the author of several genealogy books, including Unpuzzling Your Past, Unpuzzling Your Past Workbook, and the Genealogist's Companion and Sourcebook.

All in all, Discovering Your African-American Ancestors is a good book and one that many Black Americans will want to read. Your local bookstore may have it in stock or else can order it for you if you specify ISBN 1558706054, published by Betterway Books.

You can also order this book safely online at the Betterway Books Web site at for $21.99.

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter Discussion Board at and click on "Discussion Board."

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Florida's Historical Treasures At Risk

Pam Cooper, President of the Florida State Genealogical Society, has issued a warning that all genealogists should read. Your immediate action is needed. Please write letters and e-mail messages.

Here is the message from Pam Cooper:

      The Florida State Genealogical Society board has unanimously approved joining a coalition to oppose Governor Bush's proposed budget regarding the dismantling of the Florida State Library and Archives.

      The coalition currently consists of the following organizations:

      Florida Historical Society

      Florida Archaeological Council

      Florida Anthropological Society

      Florida Trust for Historic Preservation

      Florida Association of Museums

      A statement will be drafted the week of Jan 27. It will be discussed among the coalition chairs and the statement will then be finalized and sent to the Governor.

      I am asking for your help. Please write, email, and visit your Florida legislators. Make them aware of this very grievous error that they are about to commit. We cannot lose Florida's treasures.

      I would recommend people outside of Florida to send letters and e-mails to:

      Governor Bush
      The Capitol
      Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
      Telephone: (850) 488-4441
      FAX (850) 487-0801

      Emails and addresses for the House of Representatives and Senators can be found at



      Below are the details, as I know them today.

1. The Governor has proposed for the 2003-4 budget ZERO dollars for the Florida State Library and Information Services Division.

2. It has been proposed that the Florida State Library be eliminated and holdings transferred to Florida State University in Tallahassee by July 1.

3. The proposed budget cuts $17.6 million from the Florida State University (FSU) state funding and President T. K. Wetherell said, "The way it looks is that someone wants us to assume a responsibility but with no money (provided)." In addition, FSU has limited parking, and their own library is lacking so much space that they use warehouses for some of their holdings. The FSU library would need to hire more staff to facilitate the book processing and increased reference questions and at the same time, reduce their expenditures.

4. The Florida State Library and Archives Division is now part of the Department of State, and is responsible for the State Library, the State Archives, state record keeping, and library development services/grants programs for public libraries throughout the state.

5. The proposal for the Bureau of Archives and Records Management is for the Records Management responsibilities to become a part of the Department of Management, and for the State Archives to fall under the parks department of the Department of Environmental Protection.

6. The project will be in jeopardy. This site now contains the photographic collection (over 90,00 pictures), Florida Pension Application Files, Spanish Land Grants, Call and Brevard Family Papers, and many more documents of Florida's early history.

7. The Governor's budget must not pass the Florida Legislature. Session will begin March 4th. We still have time to change the tide.

      Below are newspaper articles via the Internet:

      Is state library about to die? - Tallahassee Democrat

      Bush: Agency merger would save millions - Tallahassee Democrat

      Library could be victim of Bush cuts - Orlando Sentinel


      Folks: First, thanks to all for their good wishes on my retirement. I hope to see many of you at the Reception on January 30, so we can visit again for a short time. I am beginning to settle into my new routines, which includes time each day in surfing the Internet and WWW.

      During my searching, I came across the Governor's Recommended Budget for FY2003-04. I assume many of you have seen the e-version of this document by now. It came out on Tuesday.

      One of the most startling changes is the elimination of the Department of State and the Department of Community Affairs to form a new "Department of State and Community Partnerships". The two departments did have a combined workforce of 1026 FTE and a budget of $913,580,202. The new Department will have a workforce of 597 FTE and a budget of $740,738,101. ALSO, the divisions of Library and Information Services, Cultural Affairs, and Historical Resources are eliminated and NOT part of the new Department. In fact, it is difficult to find the word "library" in the recommended budget. The new Department has a new [Division of] Community Planning and Assistance, and within that new division there is a new unit called "Community Assistance Grants" which has the responsibility to administer grants for community development and revitalization ($91.2 million), cultural opportunities ($16.4 million for cultural and historic preservation grants), EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT ($45.6 million in library grants and library construction), executive leadership and support services ($10.1 million -117 positions to administer grants); and land resources ($82.3 million). Somewhere between 25 and 29 of the positions in executive leadership and support services would be assigned administration and support of library grants.

      "Educational Support" is made up of the following grants: State Aid to Libraries $32.4 million (no change); Library Cooperative Grants 1.2 million (no change); Library Construction Grants 5,996,157; Federal Aid to Libraries 5,996,157.

      It would appear that the only staff assigned to administer these grants would be the 25-29 positions in current Bureau of Library Development and Administration Service units, in the current Division of Library and Information Services. This would be the ONLY staff! I did learn that an error was made in the Governor's Recommended Budget, and that instead of State Archives and Records Management being transferred to the Department of Management Services, it is now proposed to be transferred to the Department of Environmental Protection under State Parks and Recreation. DEP is going to be the new home for Archives and Records Management and the staff will be reduced. I suspect that the Florida Memory program as currently funded would be in jeopardy. The state Library of Florida (Bureau of Library and Network Services) is slated to close effective July 1, 2003, with the layoff of all 36 employees in that unit. The collections are supposed to go to Florida State University, although that university does not have any room to house 10.7 linear miles of materials in the State Library. FSU Library currently utilizes two warehouses for its overflow collection. The closure includes the State Library's operations in the Capitol, called "Legislative Library Services". The antecedents of the State Library began with Statehood in 1845, and the creation of what became the State Library was among the first 15 acts of the new state's legislature. Much of Florida's history is in the collections:

      Florida Collection - contains over 236,000 items including printed materials, state government document, maps, and microfilm reels. There is also an unprecedented 113-file drawer of pamphlets, manuscripts, and other materials collected by W.T. Cash, Dorothy Dodd, and State Library staff for nearly 80 years. The Florida collection contains materials acquired by the State Library before the Civil War and during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [There is a rumor that this collection would follow the State Archives to State Parks and Recreation.]

      General Collection - contains nearly 900,000 items including bound books, federal documents, periodicals, films, 9700+ videos with public performance rights, and materials in the legislative library service. [I have heard that one of the reasons to disburse this collection is because it only had some 70,000 circulations from its 330,000 bound books collection each year. While this may seem small in comparison to public libraries, when one compares the circulation to the other state libraries in the nation, Florida ranked 10th in circulation. Florida also ranked 2nd in the nation in reference transactions and 6th in public service hours. The State Library is a special library, not a public library, and can only be compared with statistics of other state libraries.]

      The concept of the Division of Library and Information Services was to be a "one-stop shop" for Florida residents to have free access to information about Florida's history, culture, and life in all formats including visual images, and provide assistance in the development of library, archival, and records management services statewide.

      Questions for the library community: With the proposed elimination of the State Library and a cost savings of approximately $3 million annually, what happens to the state documents depository program? What happens to Florida's interlibrary loan network (FLIN)? Audio-visual services? And will public access to the collections be preserved in an academic setting? What is the definition of public access?

      With the elimination of FLIN, will libraries now be allowed to charge one another for interlibrary loans?

      What kind of access will be afforded to the State Archives? With a reduction in staff, will lawyers, legislative staff, and other researchers have as easy an access to these resources as currently afforded? Will genealogists still have the public access they have enjoyed? Will the popular Saturday hours continue? How will new materials for the collection be acquired for the state's genealogy collection since a portion of the State Library's book budget is dedicated to that purpose?

      How will be maintained in a DEP setting since it received some of its support from federal LSTA grants?

      When all of the institutions (State Library, State Archives, Legislative Library Services, Records Management and State Records Center) currently in the Division of Library and Information Services are no longer together, how long do you believe that "library grants" and the consultants in Library Development will survive? One only needs look at the experience in the Department of Education and the elimination of consultants for some insight about what may happen. When there is no longer a "State Library" presence in Tallahassee, embodied in the R.A. Gray Building, how fast will the visibility and support for library grants and programs disappear?

      What is going to happen to the Gray Building? Is it to become empty?

      I have been surprised with the SILENCE of the Florida Library Association about these matters since the news has been out for several days. Perhaps you should contact the FLA President and find out what response the Association is going to make to these proposals. I understand that a meeting called under the auspices of the FLA Legislative Committee on January 30 at the Leon County Library from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to assist them in developing an FLA response may be having some difficulties. Are you planning to attend? Somebody needs to be asking questions. Although I am now retired, as an honorary life member of FLA, I think I have the right to call this situation to the attention of a wider audience. For those receiving this email, I would appreciate your sending it to colleagues on library list serves and by other means. I no longer have the resource to hit a few buttons and blanket the state with a message.

      Best wishes to all of you!!


      Submitted by:
      Pam Cooper
      Co-Chair, FGS/FSGS 2003 Conference
      President, Florida State Genealogical Society
      Chair, Librarians Serving Genealogists
      P. O. Box 7066 Vero Beach, FL 32961-7066

To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter Discussion Board at and click on "Discussion Board."

[Return to Table of Contents]

- (+) The Best Free Genealogy Programs

This is a Plus Edition-only article. For more information about how to subscribe to the Plus Edition, go to

[Return to Table of Contents]

- Social Security Death Records Explained

Several genealogy sites offer access to Social Security Death Records. If you are looking for information about individuals who died on the United States in the last third of the twentieth century, this can be a valuable database. For many people, this database may be the only clue as to place of birth of a deceased relative.

The Social Security Administration was created by an act of law in 1935 as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal program. The act provided for a retirement system for many Americans, although not all. The act also created a new governmental agency to manage the program. In the following 68 years, the Social Security Administration has become one of the largest agencies in the federal government.

The original Social Security Act provided benefits for workers in industry but did not cover government employees, railroad workers, or many other occupations. As the years went by, the original Act was expanded several times, and today almost all American workers make contributions to the Social Security system.

The Social Security Administration provides public domain information of all deaths reported to the agency. A number of genealogy companies purchase an index to this data and make it available on Web sites and on CD-ROM disks. The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) database is an index to basic information about persons with Social Security numbers whose deaths have been reported to the Social Security Administration.

The SSDI contains the following information about deceased individuals:

  • Social Security number (which is omitted on some genealogy databases)
  • Surname
  • Given name
  • Date of death
  • Date of birth
  • Last known residence
  • Address used on the last benefit payment check
  • Date and place of issuance of the Social Security Number

This information alone can provide clues; but, remember that this online database is only an index -- an abbreviated listing. When a person applies for a Social Security Card, he or she must give their current address, date and place of birth, father's name, and mother's maiden name. Note that the index does not list place of birth or maiden name. However, that information is recorded on the original application forms, and copies of those applications may be obtained by mail.

The Social Security Administration, or SSA, began computerizing its records in 1962 and did not convert everything to digital records for another two or three years. Earlier death information probably still exists on paper records in some dusty filing cabinet, but most of the pre-1962 records have never been computerized. About 98% percent of the people in the SSDI died after 1962, although a very few death dates have been recorded for as early as 1937. Some of the online Web sites advertise that the data they possess will contain information about deaths as early as 1937, but that claim is a bit misleading; 98% of the information is for 1962 and later.

For many years, the SSA only recorded the deaths of those people who were receiving Social Security benefits. That is, when a pension check was being issued monthly, the SSA had to be notified of the death of the recipient in order to stop future payments. Most deaths recorded in the SSA database in the 1960s through 1980s were only those of retired persons drawing SSA benefits or for widows or a few dependents of deceased recipients of SSA benefits. During those years, you will not find death information for those who never received benefits, for example, those too young to qualify or those who were receiving benefits from other retirement plans, such as railroad pensions or teachers' pensions.

In the late 1980s and after, all deaths in the U.S. were reported to the Social Security Administration and recorded in the SSDI. You can find deaths of children and non-retired adults listed for the 1990s, but not for earlier years.

Because legal aliens in the U.S. can obtain a Social Security card, their names may appear in the SSDI if their deaths were reported. Some 400,000 railroad retirees are also included in the SSDI.

The Social Security number is the most valuable piece of information when seeking a number of other documents. It is essential for ordering paper copies of originals; you can order copies of the documents associated with this number to obtain information of a birth place, a maiden name, or parents’ names. Furthermore, finding a Social Security number together with a birth and death date can help in a request for a death certificate or obituary from some other source.

The Social Security Administration makes copies of the original Social Security application form (the SS-5) available to third parties who request information on a deceased individual. You may obtain a photocopy of the SS-5 form by writing to:

Social Security Administration

Box 57

Baltimore, MD 21203

The Social Security Administration charges $27.00 for each individual copy ($16 for an abbreviated NUMIDENT form, but most genealogists will prefer the SS-5 itself).


Social Security Numbers

It is interesting to note that you can tell where a Social Security Number was issued simply by looking at the first few digits of the number. This does not tell where the person was born, only where he or she was living when the number was issued. Nonetheless, it can be a valuable clue as to where to look for additional information.

The Social Security Account Number (SSAN) is divided into three sets of digits. For example, let’s take 123-45-6789. The 3 digits in the first group indicate the state or territory in which the number was originally issued. The second group of 2 numbers is used to define the people within the state. The third group of 4 digits is simply issued in numerical sequence.

The following list shows the area indicated by first 3 digits only:

  • 001-003 New Hampshire

  • 004-007 Maine

  • 008-009 Vermont

  • 010-034 Massachusetts

  • 035-039 Rhode Island

  • 040-049 Connecticut

  • 050-134 New York

  • 135-158 New Jersey

  • 159-211 Pennsylvania

  • 212-220 Maryland

  • 221-222 Delaware

  • 223-231 Virginia

  • 232-236 West Virginia

  • 237-246 North Carolina

  • 247-251 South Carolina

  • 252-260 Georgia

  • 261-267 Florida

  • 268-302 Ohio

  • 303-317 Indiana

  • 318-361 Illinois

  • 362-386 Michigan

  • 387-399 Wisconsin

  • 400-407 Kentucky

  • 408-415 Tennessee

  • 416-424 Alabama

  • 425-428 Mississippi

  • 429-432 Arkansas

  • 433-439 Louisiana

  • 440-448 Oklahoma

  • 449-467 Texas

  • 468-477 Minnesota

  • 478-485 Iowa

  • 486-500 Missouri

  • 501-502 North Dakota

  • 503-504 South Dakota

  • 505-508 Nebraska

  • 509-515 Kansas

  • 516-519 Idaho

  • 520 Wyoming

  • 521-524 Colorado

  • 525 New Mexico (also 585 below)

  • 526-527 Arizona

  • 528-529 Utah

  • 530 Nevada

  • 531-539 Washington

  • 540-544 Oregon

  • 545-573 California

  • 574 Alaska

  • 575-576 Hawaii

  • 577-579 District of Columbia

  • 580 U.S. Virgin Islands

  • 581-585 Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa

  • 585 New Mexico (some 585 numbers)

  • 586-699 Unassigned

  • 700-729 Railroad Retirement Board

  • 730-899 Unassigned

  • A few Social Security Numbers beginning with a 9 have been issued, but these are very rare.

    You can access the Social Security Death Index at no charge on a number of Web sites, including:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) offer the Social Security Death Index on their popular Family Search site.'s Family Finder Search at searches the Social Security Death Index in addition to several other databases.

    To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter Discussion Board at and click on "Discussion Board."

    [Return to Table of Contents]

    - Irish Immigrants of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank

    The Irish Emigrant Society of the mid-1800s was composed mostly of Irish-born New York City residents. The Society served many purposes, mostly helping Irish immigrants get established in their new lives in and around New York City. In April 1850, the Society chartered a new bank to be called the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank. The bank opened its doors for the first time on September 30, 1850, at 51 Chambers Street, near New York's City Hall. This was a convenient location for the Irish neighborhoods in the downtown districts. The new bank was open daily from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Saturday.

    The records of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank have been preserved and microfilmed. These records provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives and personal finances of thousands of New Yorkers. While the majority of the bank's customers were Irish immigrants, many other immigrants established bank accounts there as well in its first years, including 317 born in Germany, 91 from England, 52 from Scotland, 14 from Poland, and 2 from Wales.

    These records also provide a wealth of genealogy information. Accounts were often opened by married couples while others were joint accounts of family members. Since many of the early account holders were illiterate, the bank established "Test Books" containing detailed personal information about each customer, containing such information as birth location (sometimes including the village in Ireland), and, if applicable, the ship on which the immigrant sailed to America.

    You may find information in these bank records that cannot be found elsewhere. For many people, these bank account books may provide the only reference to their place of origin in Ireland. Also, upon the death of an individual, the funds were transferred to his or her heirs. If you do not know the parents of a particular person, you can search the records of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank to see if the person was ever the recipient of transferred funds. If so, the bank records will then tell you the name of the deceased, who is often the parent of the beneficiary.

    Details in the Test Book include the following:

    Name of Account Holder
    Account Number
    Place of Birth (often giving the town/village and county in Ireland)
    Date account was opened

    As valuable as these records are, genealogists have had problems using them. First of all, only a few copies of the microfilm have been produced. It may be difficult to find a library that has the microfilms. (The original paper records are held at the New York Public Library.) Next, the records are in chronological order with no index. There are 59 reels of microfilmed records. Finding your ancestor might require the reading of thousands of pages of handwritten information.

    Kevin Rich has now provided a valuable new book that solves many of the problems. This week I had a chance to review his first volume, Irish Immigrants of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, 1850-1853, Volume I. Rich has extracted the records of those years and entered the data into a computer database. That database was then used to produce the contents of the new book. Reading records in typeset is obviously much easier than reading original handwritten records of varying penmanship. Best of all, Kevin Rich has added an every-name index at the end of the book so that finding information about a particular person now requires seconds instead of the many hours formerly required. Account numbers are also included in the book so that the reader may find the original record on microfilm much more quickly, if desired.

    Reading the records in this new book provides insight into the lives of many people. I found that Patrick Hanley, a native of Killteren, Townland & Parish, County Roscommon, arrived in New York on July 3, 1844. His father Patrick was deceased, and his mother Ann Gray was also living in New York. Patrick was married to Mary Conroy from Vossbellagh of the same parish in Ireland that Patrick was from. They had two children, but both were deceased when Patrick opened his bank account on June 19, 1851. This example is but one of the thousands of records to be found in the Irish Immigrants of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank.

    Author Kevin Rich also has added a listing of the materials found on the 59 reels of microfilm. Finally, he included a list of abbreviations commonly found in these records.

    Irish Immigrants of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, 1850-1853, Volume I is a great resource for anyone researching the Irish of New York City. It also has records of 2,500 depositors, including a number of immigrants from countries other than Ireland. This 296-page hardbound book belongs on the shelf of every library that serves the descendants of New York's Irish immigrants. I suspect that many individuals will also add this volume to their private library.

    Kevin Rich says that this is the first of several books. He is now working on Volume II, expected to contain the records of another 5,000 depositors. Volume III is in the planning stages.

    Irish Immigrants of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, 1850-1853, Volume I normally sells for $29.99 plus $4.99 shipping and handling. New York State residents should add their local sales tax. However, Kevin Rich has made a generous offer to the readers of this newsletter. He is offering newsletter readers a reduced price of $25.00 for the book. He is even waiving the shipping charges, so the total savings for newsletter readers is $9.98. New York residents do need to add taxes, however.

    In order to qualify for this nearly ten dollar savings, you must order by mail. Place a check or money order for $25.00 into an envelope, and include a copy of this review in the same envelope, so that Kevin will know that the order is from a newsletter reader.

    Checks should be made payable to Broadway-Manhattan Company. The mailing address for these orders is Broadway-Manhattan Company, PO Box 427, Massapequa, NY 11758-9998.

    To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter Discussion Board at and click on "Discussion Board."

    [Return to Table of Contents]

    - Last Widow of Union Veteran Dies at 93

    Gertrude Janeway, the last widow of a Union veteran from the Civil War, died in Blaine, Tennessee, a week ago in the three-room log cabin where she lived most of her life. She was 93 years old. She lived her whole life in Blaine, about 30 miles north of Knoxville. She was a widow for more than six decades after the death of John Janeway, who married her when he was 81 and she was barely 18.

    Mrs. Janeway was born 44 years after the Civil War ended. In 1864 her future husband was a 19-year-old farm boy who ran away to enlist. He sent his horse home and signed up under the surname January because ''he was afraid his people would come and claim him,'' Mrs. Janeway said.

    Janeway-January was captured by Confederates two months later near Athens, Georgia. Paroled, he rejoined his unit — the 14th Illinois Cavalry — and served until the war ended four months later. He spent many years in California before returning home to Tennessee and meeting then-16-year-old Gertrude.

    Mrs. Janeway said her mother refused to sign papers to let her marry him before she turned 18. ''So my man says, 'Well, I will wait for her until you won't have to,' '' she recalled. ''We sparked for three years.''

    She remembered getting married in the middle of a dirt road in 1927 with family and friends gathered around.

    An honorary member of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Mrs. Janeway was the last recognized Union widow. She received a $70 check each month from the Veterans Administration.

    Confederate widow Alberta Martin of Elba, Alabama, is still alive at the age of 95.

    To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter Discussion Board at and click on "Discussion Board."

    [Return to Table of Contents]

    - Follow-Up: Another Spam Mail

    In last week's newsletter, I described one variation of the e-mails received from the lads in Lagos: the Nigerian scams. These e-mail messages claim to offer a chance to make millions of dollars if you will first empty your savings account in order to bribe Nigerian officials. Once you help, the sender of the e-mail message promises to offer you a percentage of hundreds of millions of dollars that are being held in escrow. Of course, the only bribery payments every made are to the senders of the scam mail messages. Some hapless soles who believed these messages reportedly have flown to Lagos or to nearby countries, only to be murdered by the con artists.

    This week a slightly different message appeared in my e-mail. Unlike the previous messages, this one appears to be aimed only at Americans. Like many of the previous messages, it references millions of dollars to be made from the oil industry.

    Is this also a well-organized scam? I leave it to you to decide as I offer the following without comment… but with tongue in cheek:



    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am George Walker Bush, son of the former President of the United States of America George Herbert Bush, and currently serving as President of the United States of America. This letter might surprise you because we have not met neither in person nor by correspondence. I came to know of you in my search for a reliable and reputable person to handle a very confidential business transaction, which involves the transfer of a huge sum of money to an account requiring maximum confidence.

    I am writing you in absolute confidence primarily to seek your assistance in acquiring oil funds that are presently trapped in the Republic of Iraq. My partners and I solicit your assistance in completing a transaction begun by my father, who has long been actively engaged in the extraction of petroleum in the United States of America, and bravely served his country as director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

    In the decade of the nineteen-eighties, my father, then Vice-President of the United States of America, sought to work with the good offices of the President of the Republic of Iraq to regain lost oil revenue sources in the neighbouring Islamic Republic of Iran. This unsuccessful venture was soon followed by a falling out with his Iraqi partner, who sought to acquire additional oil revenue sources in the neighbouring Emirate of Kuwait, a wholly-owner US-British subsidiary.

    My father re-secured the petroleum assets of Kuwait in 1991 at a cost of sixty-one billion US dollars ($61,000,000,000). Out of that cost, thirty-six billion dollars ($36,000,000,000) were supplied by his partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf monarchies, and sixteen billion dollars ($16,000,000,000) by German and Japanese partners. But my father's former Iraqi business partner remained in control of the Republic of Iraq and its petroleum reserves.

    My family is calling for your urgent assistance in funding the removal of the President of the Republic of Iraq and acquiring the petroleum assets of his country, as compensation for removing him from power. Unfortunately, our partners from 1991 are not willing to shoulder the burden of this new venture, which in its upcoming phase may cost the sum of one hundred billion to two hundred billion dollars ($100,000,000,000 - $200,000,000,000), both in the initial acquisition and long-term management.

    Without the funds from our 1991 partners, we would not be able to acquire the oil revenue trapped within Iraq. That is why my family and our colleagues are urgently seeking your gracious assistance. Our distinguished colleagues in this business transaction include the sitting Vice-President of the United States of America, Richard Cheney, who is an original partner in the Iraq venture and former head of the Halliburton oil company, and Condoleeza Rice, whose professional dedication to the venture was demonstrated in the naming of a Chevron oil tanker after her.

    I would beseech you to transfer a sum equaling ten to twenty-five percent (10-25 %) of your yearly income to our account to aid in this important venture. The Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America will function as our trusted intermediary. I propose that you make this transfer before the fifteenth (15th) of the month of April.

    I know that a transaction of this magnitude would make anyone apprehensive and worried. But I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. A bold step taken shall not be regretted, I assure you. Please do be informed that this business transaction is 100% legal. If you do not wish to co-operate in this transaction, please contact our intermediary representatives to further discuss the matter.

    I pray that you understand our plight. My family and our colleagues will be forever grateful. Please reply in strict confidence to the contact numbers below.

    Sincerely with warm regards,


    To discuss this story further, please visit the newsletter Discussion Board at and click on "Discussion Board."

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    - Upcoming Events

    The Upcoming Events section of this newsletter is published once per month, usually in the first newsletter of each month. Each event will be listed very briefly: date(s), location and brief details, followed by either an e-mail address or a Web page that you can use to find more information. Since detailed information is available via e-mail or the Web, I will not list the details in this newsletter. If you do contact any of these organizations, please tell them where you heard about the event.

    Here are the listings, arranged by date. An asterisk indicates a new listing that has been added since the last time this list was published:

    *Feb. 4, Feb. 18, Mar. 4, and Mar. 18 - Rochester, Michigan: A series of lectures will be held on Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.:

    *Feb. 8 - Sun City, AZ: The West Valley Genealogical Society Annual Seminar.

    *Feb. 13 – Phoenix, AZ: Statehood Day Program on the Legislative Lawn, 1700 W. Washington, State Capitol. Many activities.

    Feb. 21 & 22 – Mesa, AZ: The Czech/Slovak Genealogical Society and CSGI (International) will host a winter symposium on research in Czech / Slovak and related topics in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    Feb. 22, 2003 - St. Charles, IL: The DuPage County (IL) Genealogy Society will host its Twenty-eighth Annual Conference offering a three track program with 12 sessions.

    * 22-23 – Mesa, AZ: Arizona Scottish Gathering & Highland Games. Highland games, vendors, entertainment and food.

    Mar. 1 - Lake Havasu City, AZ: The Lake Havasu Genealogical Society, Inc will hold its Annual Seminar with featured speaker Jean White.

    *Mar. 1 - Tucson, AZ: The Arizona State Genealogical Society is holding its Spring 2003 Seminar, "Let’s Make A Quilt: Sewing Your Family Together." contact Ginny Ginn, 520.886.8698.

    Mar. 1 – Atlanta, GA: Sherry Irvine, CGRS, will present four lectures for the Georgia Genealogical Society.

    Mar. 2 & 3 – Phoenix, AZ: The Annual Arizona Convocation sponsored by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.

    *Mar. 13 & 14 – Provo, UT: The sixth annual Computerized Genealogy Conference will have a theme of "Rethinking Research in a Digital World."

    Mar. 22 - Rohnert Park, CA: Sharon DeBartolo Carmack will be all-day speaker for the Sonoma County Genealogical Society’s meeting.

    Mar. 22 – AZ: The AzGAB Annual Workshop. Location and time to be determined.

    *Mar. 22 - Eugene, OR: The Oregon Genealogical Society will present "Breaking Through Those Brick Walls," featuring Cindy Webb, Joan A. Hunter, and Leslie Brinkley Lawson.

    Mar. 23-30: The Genealogy Friends of Plano Libraries, Inc. of Plano, Texas plan a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for March.

    Apr. 5 – Phoenix, AZ: The Annual Book Festival sponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council and the Arizona State Library. Time and details will be forthcoming.

    Apr. 5 – Carmichael, CA: The Annual Spring Seminar of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society with featured speaker Robert Minert.

    April 5- Dallas, Texas: The Dallas Genealogical Society will host the fifth lecture of its 2002/3 Lecture Series, "Developing Genealogical Skills." The speaker will be Barbara Vines Little, who will speak on "Untold Treasures: Manuscript Records and Rare Books on Film", "Chancery Records: The Secrets They Hold; The Families They Reveal", "When You Can't Do It Yourself", and "Taxes: Milk Them For All They're Worth."

    *Apr. 5 - Port Charlotte, FL: The Charlotte County Genealogical Society, Inc. will present noted genealogist, author, columnist and speaker George Morgan in "A Spring Fling Genealogy Symposium."

    *Apr. 5 - Trenton NJ: The Genealogical Society of New Jersey and The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania will jointly sponsor an all day educational program featuring two lectures by noted British historian, George Redmonds, and two by other known speakers.

    *April 12- Barrie, Ontario: The Simcoe County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will host the Regional Conference, "Tracing Ancestors Near and Far," featuring Kahlile B. Mehr, AG, MLS, MA, Collection Development Specialist, Family History Library, Salt Lake City.

    April 23 - 27 – Melbourne, Australia: The 10th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry will be accompanied by an extensive trade exhibition, local and international speakers, an extensive social program, and so much more.

    *Apr. 24-26 – Columbus, OH: The Ohio Genealogical Society's 2003 Annual Conference "Ohio: 200 Years of Heritage" will feature nationally acclaimed speaker, Kip Sperry.

    May 3 – Prescott, AZ: The Northern Arizona Genealogical Society is hosting Jana Sloan Broglin as their annual seminar speaker.

    May 3 & 4, London, England: Family History Fair, Royal Horticultural Hall, Greycoat Street SW1. A comprehensive range of exhibitors and lecture programmes. Tickets £6 per day (or £4 in advance with ssae).

    May 12 – 26 - Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland: "Visit Appalachia’s Ancestral Homelands—Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland" – The East Tennessee Historical Society 2003 tour.

    June 27-29 - Philadelphia, PA: The National Underground Railroad Family Reunion Festival. Descendants of "conductors," "station masters," abolitionists, fugitives, historians, educators and all those associated with the Underground Railroad and the public are encouraged to attend.

    *Jul. 12 - Whitewater, WI: "Pathways to the German Homeland" is the subject of the German Interest Group-Wisconsin workshop.

    Jul. 18-20 - Shippensburg, PA: "Mother Cumberland - A Harvest of Memories: Reunion 2003" is for anyone with an ancestor of any surname who lived in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania during the 1700s.

    July 20-25 - Washington, DC: The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies and host member Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington invite you to attend the premiere conference for Jewish genealogists. This conference will attract more than a thousand attendees.

    Aug. 16 – Victoria, BC: The Norman Morison Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary. The Hudson’s Bay Co. ship, ‘Norman Morison’s’ last trip to Victoria arrived in 1853. A celebration is planned for descendants of passengers on any of the 3 trips of the ‘Norman Morison.’

    October 1-11 - Boston to Quebec; Join the California Genealogical Society for a spectacular New England/Canada Fall Foliage cruise with great genealogical lectures presented by George F. Sanborn Jr. FASG FSAC and David Allen Lambert. The 10-day cruise sails round trip from Boston and will make stops in Maine, Nova Scotia, Quebec and New Brunswick.

    October 4 - Oxford, England: Oxfordshire Family History Society Open Day 2003 will include a demonstration and workshop on the scanning of old photographs, an assortment of visiting societies, dealers in second hand books and postcards, sales of microfiche readers and the like, a beginners' helpdesk, computing demonstrations giving advice on such things as which genealogical software package to choose, and the use of the internet in family history.

    Nov. 6-9 - North Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA: 7th New England Regional Genealogical Conference. The theme is "New England: America's Melting Pot." Speakers include: Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, John Philip Colletta, Maureen A. Taylor, Dick Eastman, and Pamela Clark Cerutti.

    If you would like to see your event listed in future newsletters, send an e-mail to: You must include either a Web page that gives details or an e-mail address for the organization or for someone within the organization who is willing to supply the meeting details upon request. Please limit your listings to events where you expect 100 or more people to attend.

    [Return to Table of Contents]

    The PR Budget for this newsletter is $0.00. I rely upon "word of mouse" advertising in which you recommend this newsletter to your friends. This newsletter is a private project of mine, and I have a zero budget for a publicity campaign to get more readers.

    In each issue, I try to offer you useful, interesting and sometimes amusing information to help you with your genealogy efforts. Can you take a minute to help me out in return? If you think this newsletter is a worthwhile read, please tell your friends. Better yet, suggest they can read the Standard Edition or subscribe to the Plus Edition at


    Are you interested in the articles in this newsletter? Would you like to learn more or ask questions or make comments about these articles? Join this newsletter’s online discussion group. Go to and click on "Discussion Board."

    You can also search past newsletters at the same address:

    If you would like to submit news, information or press releases for possible inclusion in future newsletters, send them to The author does reserve the right to accept or reject any articles submitted.

    COPYRIGHTS and Other Legal Things:

    The contents of this newsletter are copyright by Richard W. Eastman with the following exception:

    Many of the articles published in these newsletters contain quotes or references from others, especially from other Web sites, software user’s manuals, press releases and other public announcements. Any words in this newsletter attributed to another person or organization remain the copyrighted materials of the original author(s).

    This document is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in this document represents the views of Richard W. Eastman with one exception: words written by other authors and republished herein are the views solely of those authors. All information provided in this document is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. The reader assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document.

    You are hereby granted rights, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute articles from this newsletter to other parties provided:

      1. You do so strictly for non-commercial purposes
      2. Articles marked with a Plus Sign (+) are not to be redistributed. Those articles are solely for the use of Plus Edition subscribers.
      3. You may not republish any articles containing words attributed to another person or organization until you obtain permission from that person or organization. While you do have permission to republish words written by Richard W. Eastman, you do not have automatic authority to republish words written by others, even if their words appear in this newsletter.

    Also, please include the following statement with any articles you re-distribute:

    The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2003 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

    Anyone complying with the above does not need to ask permission in advance.

    Permission to use the words in this document for commercial purposes usually is granted. However, commercial use requires advance authorization.

    Thank you for your cooperation.


    Be aware that the biggest problem faced when sending e-mail newsletters is spam filters in e-mail servers. Although the problem plagues many, many newsletters and other types of perfectly legitimate email, this newsletter seems to be particularly susceptible. It is quite long, and contains numerous examples of the kinds of things that spam blacklists, in their infinite wisdom, have deemed to be "spam like." Therefore, numerous email servers will delete this newsletter under the assumption that it is spam.

    If you all of a sudden stop receiving your copy of the newsletter (and this happens more than you might think), don't just assume I skipped an issue or there's something wrong with the newsletter's distribution. I rarely skip an issue without noting that in advance. If you stop receiving the newsletter, chances are that it's not a problem with your subscription; it's a problem with your mail server or your spam filter. That is the number one cause of newsletter subscription problems.


    Dick Eastman is a frequent presenter at major genealogy conferences. He has published articles in Genealogical Computing and Family Chronicle magazines and for a number of Web sites. He was an advisor to PBS' Ancestry series and appeared as a guest in one of the episodes. He serves on the Advisory Board of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and is a past Director of GENTECH and of the New England Computer Genealogists. Dick is the author of YOUR ROOTS: Total Genealogy Planning On Your Computer published by Ziff-Davis Press. He also manages three Genealogy Forums on CompuServe. He can be reached at: Due to the volume of e-mail received, he is unable to answer every e-mail message received.

    If you have questions or comments about the article in this newsletter, go to and then click on "Discussion Board." Post your message there. You will receive then assistance from Dick Eastman or from a number of other people.


    To obtain a subscription to Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter – Plus Edition, go to

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    [Return to Table of Contents]