Continuing Your Ancestral Search Offline


Continuing Your Ancestral Search Offline
Since 1972
A publication of:
Muskegon County Genealogical Society
c/o Hackley Public Library
Torrent House
315 W. Webster Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49440-1208
[email protected]
Find us on
Past President:
Vice President:
Dawn Westcomb Kelley
Jane Appleton Schapka
Kathy Broughton DeCormier
Karen Page Frazier
Nancy Clark Spoon
County Clerk ................. Jane Gates
Dawn Kelley
Barb Martin
Facebook ...................... Norman Dagen
Historian ....................... Board Members
History Book Project ..... Kathy DeCormier
Hospitality...................... Jane Weber
John Slater
Phyllis Slater
Library ........................... Barb Martin
Membership .................. Paula Halloran
Newsletter ..................... Kay Bosch
Pioneer Cert. Program.. Board Members
Programs & Publicity..... Board Members
Special Projects ........... Dawn Kelley
Website ......................... Shelly Nelson
Vol. 15 No. 5
May 2015
Thursday, May 14th at 7pm—V.F.W. #3195
5209 Grand Haven Rd.
Continuing Your Ancestral
Search Offline
Speaker Kris Rzepczynski from the Library of Michigan in Lansing
Despite the ever-increasing amount of information
available online, researchers still need to utilize
libraries, archives, courthouses, cemeteries, and other
locations. This program will explore resources not
typically found online as well as onsite research
strategies for identifying and locating them.
Currently a Senior Archivist at the Archives of
Michigan, Kris previously worked for 12 years at the
Library of Michigan as the Michigan/Genealogy Coordinator. He holds
a Masters in Library and Information Science from Wayne State
University, a Master of Arts in History from Western Michigan
University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of
Michigan. Kris has presented at national, state, and local conferences,
including the National Genealogical Society, Federation of
Genealogical Societies, Ohio Genealogical Society, Public Library
Association, Historical Society of Michigan, Michigan Library
Association, and for dozens of local genealogical societies. In addition,
he is the Vice-President of Membership for the Federation of
Genealogical Societies and a Past President of the Mid-Michigan
Genealogical Society. His memberships also include the Association of
Professional Genealogists, Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan,
Historical Society of Michigan, Historical Society of Greater Lansing,
and Michigan Library Association
Saturday, May 9th, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Note this is prior to our next meeting!
Space is limited, so please pre-register either online at
[email protected] or call the Torrent House, Local History &
Genealogy Dept. at 231-722-7276 ext. 240 to hold your spot. All
members are welcome to come to the Saturday Workshops.
How About Some Genealogical Trivia!
1. In 1892 Italy raised the age a girl could be married to what age?
2. In 1752 England and the American Colonies had only 354 days in the calendar so the calendar was
changed. How many days were lost ( I know, it’s a “gimmie” - but worth knowing)?
Our April meeting had a DVD
program, "Discovering Your Roots"
by Professor John Colletta. Learning
helpful strategies along with 10 tips
for interviewing relatives were
The air smelled of baked sweet
treats with Kay Bosch's home baked
banana bread and corn bread
dessert. Chocolate lovers also feasted on brownies baked by
Connie Van DeKoppel. The Slaters' brought the water we so
depend on. Thanks to these considerate members.
Dawn Kelley and Joan Gawron are appreciated for their
donated items.
Kudos to Pam Harrison for being a good Twig Talk reader at
finding the Easter egg for a prize. Other prompted sleuths
were Judy Tierney, Carl Esh, Phyllis Slater, Connie Van
DeVanKoppel, and Marcia Wiersma. Two door prizes went to
Pat Straley and Bonnie Vokits. Sherran Esh won the ticket
draw while the free draw had winner Jackie Engle.
In May, we will be looking for ONE example of
something not found online. Examples can be birth,
marriage, death, divorce, incarceration, baptism, citizenship,
or land records/certificates. Perhaps you have a family Bible,
ancestor writing, poem, art work, surname book & etc.
See You at the
May’s Meeting!
How would you like to win this
brand new book? This book can
be yours! Just buy a ticket or
tickets at our May’s meeting.
How far are you on a story for Volume
II of the History of Muskegon County
book? If you are lost, and don’t know
where to begin, let us know and we
will guide you. It is easier than you
think! Just pick a member of your
family. Pick yourself. Pick a friend. It
doesn’t need to be anyone from a long
time ago. If you write about yourself and your current
family it will be in print for future generations!
Remember that today’s details will be there for our
descendants to remember us by. Any family stories you
share will be in print forever. Remember that what may
not be important to us, will be for future generations…..
You don’t want to miss out on Volume II of this historical book,
especially if you missed Volume I! We will have workshops as
needed, and offer one on one help to anyone who would like it;
but here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Do you want to write about one person or a family? You
can share anything you want. If you have one ancestor in
mind, you can write about him or her. If you prefer to write
about an entire family, that is also welcome. The sky is the
limit when you write your story.
2. Start with the name (full, with married if applicable), dates
of all events you want to include (i.e. birth, marriage,
babies, any other important events, and death), places lived,
born, died, etc….The old “who, what, where, when, and
why” apply.
3. Or do you want to write about a business or group? That is
also doable. We have had many people put businesses in.
How about a church, a group, a farm, a school? Anything is
welcome. Think about how it came to be, interesting things
would include the trials and tribulations on making it work.
4. Set your story type. By this I mean, what do you want to
focus on? An entire life? The time in Muskegon County? A
specific historical event (i.e. war time) and how it affected
them? You can focus on the life from birth to death, even if
your ancestor only lived here for a portion of their life. If
you know of any interesting stories from the people/place
you are writing about, that would be great too. Any folklore
you can include? Just make sure you mention that it is a
family story or folklore. Those make for very interesting
5. Have someone proofread your story. Not just for typos or
grammatical errors, but for the correctness of the story
itself. Does it make sense to a stranger?
This is just the beginning, but a good start in your journey. We
want all of our members to have at least one story in one of our
books. Please help us accomplish that goal. Write your story or
stories! You are more than welcome to write several.
You can get more information from our site or just email us. You
can get the form with all the details and the deadline for
submissions to get you started. If you would like help getting
started and/ or writing your story, please let us know. We are
here to help you. You will see more information on this coming
soon. Email us at [email protected] for more info.
If you would like to help us put this book together we can
certainly use the help! Just email us at the address above for
more information.
Muskegon County Building 990
Terrace St. Use the front entrance on
Terrace St.
MCGS volunteers are there every
Wednesday from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Twig Talk Vol. 15 No. 5, May 2015
The Family Tree Historical Maps
Book Europe: A Country-byCountry Atlas of European
History, 1700s-1900s, by Allison Dolan
Barbados West Indies: Consisting Mainly of
Peers & Ashcroft & Others, compiled and edited by
Joanne Mcree Sanders (Gift of Colonial Dames)
The Roll of the House of Lacy: Pedigrees, Military
Memoirs and Synoptical History of the Ancient
and Illustrious Family of De Lacy, collected and
compiled by De Lacy-Bellingari (Gift of Colonial
The William Ward Genealogy: The History of the
Descendants of William Ward of Sudbury, MA
1638-1925, by Charles Martyn (Gift of Colonial
Colonial Records of Marlborough, MA (Gift of
Colonial Dames)
Michigan History Directory, 14th Edition
1860 Federal Census Index for Ottawa County,
Michigan, by Evelyn Sawyer
Genealogist's Guide to Southeastern Wisconsin,
compiled by Victoria Wilson & Nicole
Most of us have ancestors that have
come to the US from another
country. But what if you do not
know where they came in and
Did you know that Ellis Island was
not the only port of call for our
ancestors? Did you know that it had a predecessor called Castle
Garden? There is much to learn about why our ancestors came
into the US where they did. Let’s try and sort some of it out.
Often, where they came in depended on where they left from.
In the early 19th and 20th Centuries there were just 5 major
ports of call. They were of course, New York, and included
Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans. In the 1880’s
New York saw about three quarters of the immigrant arrivals.
But there were about 90 other ports where immigrants could
have arrived, again depending on where they came from. They
included these more used ports: Detroit; Galveston, Texas;
Gloucester and New Bedford, Mass.; Gulfport and Pascagoula,
Miss.; Key West, Fla.; Portland, Maine; Providence, RI; San
Francisco, Ca; Savannah, Ga.; and Seattle, Wa.
Immigrants didn't always follow their countrymen's leads; their
destination ports many times depended on things like what
tickets cost, when the next ship was leaving, where their
relatives had already settled, and where they'd heard jobs were
available. So don't limit your search to ports you've heard
Germans or Swedes or Hungarians used. Instead, examine your
research to see which destinations make the most sense for
your family's situation. And search for clues that suggest exactly
where your ancestor arrived.
According to the “Top 10 Reviews” and the World Wide Web, this is the latest ranking for
the best searchable software for your genealogy. Ancestry still remains on top.
So what subscription site is the best? Well, once again, reigns supreme. Next on the list is MyHeritage. Then comes
MocavoGold. In 4th place is 5th place goes to Then comes WorldVitalRecords, with
OneGreatFamily right behind. Behind those sites comes MyTrees and GenealogyBank. Rounding out the top 10 is
TheGenealogicalResearchLibrary. Take time to look these sites up, check their prices (and look for special deals), and take
advantage of free trials. Just a note: When you are going to take advantage of a free trial you will want to have all of your
information ready to input for your searches. Often you will find that if you enter into a trial period with the proper information in
hand, you can complete your research with that site during the trial period and never have to subscribe. Just remember to cancel
your trial before they slap the subscription costs on you.
I have tried most all of these sites out and I must say they all have their perks I do like quite a bit. Mocavo Gold is
great for the very low price. I found a bit hard to learn. FindMyPast was very nice and easy. WorldVitalRecords was
very easy and informative. OneGreatFamily has had a lot of consumer complaints against it with the BBB. MyTrees was nicely set
up with tons of records to show. GenealogyBank is always a great Go-To site for me. TheGenealogicalResearchLibrary has many
many records available and is very easy to use.
I hope you will take the time to check out all that is available to you on the web! Happy Hunting.
Twig Talk Vol. 15 No.5, May 2015
Ireland – The birth, marriage and
death indexes at
are now back online and working
and available to search. Birth
records over 100 years old,
marriage records over 75 years old
and death records over 50 years
old can be searched. You need to
give your name and agree to the
terms that the search is for
genealogical purposes. Remember, these are just indexes.
Ireland – The Irish Genealogical Research Society has copies of
their annual journal The Irish Ancestor. This journal has been
published since 1937 and has hundreds of articles on Irish
genealogy. The articles can be searched by family name and
US – The Plainfield Public Library of Plainfield, New Jersey has
published online two new resources. First are local city
directories for the years 1870 to 1982. The early city
directories cover Rahway and Plainfield New Jersey, and the
most recent directories appear to cover all of Union
US - The second is a collection of seven different early
Plainfield newspapers for the years 1868 to 1916. Access is
UK – FamilySearch has put about 10 million records online
from Westminster rate books. A rate book was a property tax
book. In the early days, these books were prepared by local
parishes, which were responsible for maintaining roads,
sewers, lighting, etc. This collection covers the period from
1634 to 1900 from the city of Westminster. Records list the
head of household, the owner, the street address and the rate
owed. The collection can be searched by first and last name.
UK – Harvard University has begun a multi-year project to put
their collection of early English manor rolls online. They
include court rolls, account rolls and other documents from
various English manors. They range in date from 1282 to 1770.
The largest collection comes from Cheshire, with additional
rolls from Hampshire, Sussex, Staffordshire and Suffolk.
Access is free.
Information Courtesy of GenealogyInTimeOnline
US – FamilySearch has indexed about 1.3 million Texas marriage
records. The records cover the years from 1837 to 1977. They
can be searched by first name and last name. This collection
currently covers 183 out of 254 counties in Texas. Records list
the name of the bride and groom, date of marriage and who
officiated at the marriage. Access is free.
Czech – FamilySearch has put online a collection of 66,000
school register images. These images cover the years from 1799
to 1953 and come from the Opava State Regional Archive. They
cover the Moravia region of the former Czechoslovakia.
Records give the full name of the child, date of birth, place of
birth, religion, father’s full name and the place of residence. The
records are in Czech and can be searched by district. Access is
Mexico – FamilySearch has indexed 411,000 civil registration
records from the state of Coahuila, Mexico. These are standard
birth, marriage and death records and cover the years 1861 to
1998. The records can be searched by first name and last name.
Access is free.
New Zealand – FamilySearch has added 770,000 images to their
collection of New Zealand probate records. This collection
covers the years 1843 to 1998. Some of the records are already
indexed and can be searched by first name, last name, probate
place and year. Access is free.
all of us have a tradesman or craftsman –
a butcher, baker or candlestick maker –
somewhere in our ancestry, and Adèle
Emm's handbook is the perfect guide to
finding out about them – about their lives,
their work and the world they lived in.
This book examines their practices and
traditions, and identifies and explains the
many sources you can go to in order to
discover more about them and their families. Chapters cover
the guilds, the merchants, shopkeepers, builders, smiths and
metalworkers, cordwainers and shoemakers, tailors and
dressmakers, coopers, wheelwrights and carriage-makers, and a
long list of other trades and crafts. The training and
apprenticeships of individuals who worked in these trades and
crafts are described, as are their skills and working conditions
and the genealogical resources that preserve their history and
give an insight into their lives. Insight is given to the National
Archives, the census, newspapers, wills, and websites and gives
advice on how to use them. Tracing Your Trade & Craftsman
Ancestors is by Adele Emm. Available on and
other websites.
Twig Talk Vol. 15 No. 5, May 2015
Here is a list of some other ports to check and the
will recognized as the oldest Civil War
approximate/various years they were used most:
Veteran of Fruitport Twp. of Muskegon
County on Sunday, May 31, 2015—see
more details on page 6
Alabama-Mobile 1832-1924
Alaska-Eagle, Hyder, Katchakan, Nome, Skagway 1906-1946
Conneticut,-Bridgeport, Fairfield, New Haven, New London,
Saybrook 1820-1870
Delaware-Wilmington 1820-1848
District of Columbia 1820-1821
Georgia-Darian, Savannah 1820-1945
Idaho-Eastport, Porthill
Louisianna-Lake Charles, New Orleans 1908-1954
Maine-Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Frenchman's Bay, Kennebunk, Passamaquoddy,
Portland, Maine, Waldoboro, Yarmouth 1820-1873
Maryland-Annapolis, Baltimore, Havre de Grace 1820-1849
Massachusetts-Barnstable, Dighton, Edgartown, Fall River,
Gloucester, Hingham, Marblehead, Nantucket, New Bedford,
Newburyport, Plymouth, Salem 1820-1870
Michigan-Detroit, Port Huron, Saint Clair, Saint Mary 1903-1965
Minnesota-Baudette, Duluth, International Falls, Mineral Center, Pigeon River,
Pine Creek, Ranier, Roseau, Two Harbors, Warroad
New Hampshire-Portsmouth 1820-1861
New Jersey-Cape May, Little Egg Harbor, Newark, Perth Amboy 1820-1836
New York-Buffalo, Cape Vincent, Champaigne, Charlotte, Clayton, Fort Covington,
Hogansburg, Lewiston, Louisville, Malone, Mooers, Morristown, Nvando,
Ogdensburg, Oswegatchie, Oswego, Rochester, Rooseveltown, Rouses Point, Sag
Harbor, Thousand Island, Trout River, Waddington 1820-present
Rhode Island-Bristol, Newport, Providence, Warren 1820-1943
South Carolina-Charleston, Georgetown, Port Royal 1820-1924
Vermont-Beecher Falls, Canaan, Highgate Springs, Island Pond,
Newport, Norton, Vermont, Richford, Saint Albans, Swanton 1895-1924
Virginia-Alexandria, East River, Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Petersburg,
Portsmouth, Richmond 1820-1865
If you know your ancestor came through Ellis Island (or
even any other port) you can use these tips to help find
Try multiple spellings.
Did they “Americanize” their name?
Try variations and advanced search techniques.
Search for last name and first initial.
Search for women under their maiden name.
Look through other passenger names for a friend or relative.
Reverse the first and last names.
“X” means they were temporarily detained.
“S.I. or “B.S.I” means they were held for a special hearing.
Try different ships and dates of arrival.
For Ellis Island, use their multitude of resources for searching.
1. 12
2. 11
Jackie Engel – Norton Shores, MI
SURNAMES: Maycroft, Park, Walling, Tower
From the Muskegon Chronicle
January 27, 1941
Twig Talk Vol. 15 No.5, May 2015
Important Upcoming Dates 2015
Regular Meetings
Board Meetings
7:00 p.m.
VFW Post 3195
5209 Grand Haven Road
10:15 a.m. Torrent House
Unless stated otherwise
May 14
June 11
August 13
September 10
October 8
November 12
No meetings in
July or December
May 8
June 5
August 7
September 4
October 2
November 6
No meetings in
July or December
Prior to 7:00 meetings
We have a NEW Power Point for
our Announcements
Genealogy Family
Family History Workshops
Torrent House Local History &
Genealogy Dept., 315 W. Webster
2 sessions!
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Please preregister online at
[email protected]
or call 231-722-7276 ext. 240
May 9
August 8
September 12
October 10
November 14
No workshops in
June, July, & December
Walter Lewis Continued from page 5
Upcoming Programs
On Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 2pm the Fruitport Historical
Society will be honoring the last surviving Civil War Veteran
from Fruitport, Walter Lewis and dedicating a historical panel
written about him and his family. The Lewis Family has a
proud American Military Tradition, with his Great Great Grand
Father serving with George Washington during the French
and Indian War and into the American Revolution. Come
celebrate with us as we dedicate a new panel in his honor
and rededicate the original monument that was presented to
him in 1939. The Sons of the Union Veterans will be present
to offer their official respects as well as other patriot and
historical features. All are welcome. The event will be held
in the Village of Fruitport at the Veterans Memorial Park,
located on 3rd Avenue across the street from the Post
June 11th Meeting Topic - “The Graveyard
Shift”, speaker Diane Oslund
Aug. 8th Meeting “Common Sources in Uncommon
Places”, speaker Karen Krugman
Daughter of society member Jane Appleton Schapka,
will be speaking at Hackley Public Library.
The Fruitport Historical Society was formed to preserve and
present our shared heritage and make sure the past is not
forgotten. Fruitport was once a very important town, with lots
of great history that many people just don't know about. Our
mission is to bring those memories back to life. At the Civil
War event we will also be having an archival collection
tent. If you or anyone you know has any memorabilia from
Fruitport history such as: letters, business documents,
photographs, journals or diaries, we would love to see
it. Scanners will be available to scan the image or document
to preserve it for future generations.
Twig Talk Vol. 15 No. 5, May 2015