Thursday, January 6, 2011


Hello, everyone.  This is my first time blogging here.  Russell asked me to write something about my latest trip to Scotland, which was a personal research trip for me and a golfing and fishing trip for my husband. Russell is an old cemetery hunter, so his jealousy over my adventures prompted him to "order" me to post. Ha!

I spent a lot of time in three old Scottish cemeteries, some of the graves dating back to the 1500s.  I noticed some things I had not noticed before and I wanted to share them with you.

First, I have never written down EVERYTHING on the headstones before; usually, just the names and dates.  But I decided to write down everything this time and, boy, did it help me out! 

For an example, one woman relative had "Wife, Mother" on her headstone.  I wrote this down and wondered why I was and then when I got back to the motel room, I got on my computer and checked and I did not have any children listed for her.  But she obviously had children.  But all the other genealogists in my family, and me, had never found any children for her.  So I spent a day in the city archives and, lo and behold, I found birth records for two daughters.  One of these I also found a death record for at age 17, FROM CHILDBIRTH!  This added yet another generation to this branch of the tree.  In the future, I am going to look for more of her descendants. I would never have known about this family if I had not written all the words from the stone.

The second tip for the day is to take photographs of the headstones. A lot of vandalism had occurred in one of the cemeteries I visited.  So when I got there, there were stones that had been broken to pieces.  I was very disappointed, but when I visited the local library, some kind soul had taken photographs of all the headstones in that graveyard before the vandalism. So I had photographs.  This has prompted me to plan to take photographs of all the headstones in the small cemetery that is a few miles from my house here in Wisconsin.  You never know when something natural (flood, rain wear-and-tear) or man-made can ruin the stones.

So there you go!  My first post on this blog and I've already given two tips.  Yes!!!!!

Mrs. Olivia Ferguson McDaniel
The Genealogy Dude

A Service We Provide - Lineage Society Research

A few months ago, we were contacted by an Indiana woman who wanted to join the Daughters of the American Revolution, so she could join her friends in the local chapter's activities.  She had heard over the years that she had a Patriot ancestor, but did not know who it was.  So she hired us to do the research and complete the nomination packet for her.

I took over the project myself because I am the resident expert on military records.  I wrote a master's thesis on the Florida volunteers in the Mexican War, am researching and writing a book on an antebellum U.S. Army officer, and have done a lot of military research for my own family, which includes men from every war except the Spanish-American War.

Our client was nice enough to provide us with the death certificates of her parents and her own birth certificate.  These are valuable documents and we made sure that her birth certificate (copy) was closely guarded due to identity theft concerns.

Using online census records, online marriage indices, and other online tools, coupled with a visit to one state archives, two churches, and one university special collections department, I found all the information needed to prove her ancestry back to a Patriot.  It actually turned out that she had two such ancestors - father and son.  After doing a little bit more work, I discovered that there were two more Patriot ancestors in close proximity genealogy-wise (the son above married a woman whose father was also a Patriot) and we had four Patriot ancestors for her, which means four pins when she is finally inducted.

Because of our research, we also put together a packet for her for the XVII Century Society.  Some more research into one of the family lines showed a Jamestown ancestor, making her eligible for the Jamestowne Society.  She also wanted us to prepare for a gift the nomination packet for her two brothers into the Sons of the American Revolution.  We did just that for a small fee.

These are only some of the services we provide.  As I said, I usually do the military records research because 1) I am the expert and 2) I love doing it.  More on our other services in the next few days.

Russell D. James, MA, MLIS, CA

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happenings at The Genealogy Dude!!!

We contracted a great company named Pixel Perfect Softworks in Pensacola to build a basic Web site for us.  You can find it at  They not only built the site, but they also went through all the red tape for us in purchasing the domain name.

And in the past few days they provided us a new service for them - they created a Twitter account for us and even a Facebook fan page.  How cool is that!!!  The links to both will soon be on the Web site and we'll work hard to get them linked here.  I'm not the tech savvy person of our bunch, so Russell or Olivia will probably do that. 

Olivia is in Edinburgh doing research for a client - she gets all the cool travel assignments.  The rest of us pretty much stay home in the U.S., though I may be going to Canada soon.

Len K.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Genealogy is America's favorite hobby.  We at The Genealogy Dude are here to find your ancestors, to discover who they were and what they did.  We exist for your research needs.  Visit our Web site and see just who we are and what we can do for you.

We also design heraldic crests to immortalize your family in an official way only a coat of arms can provide.

See the link to the side to find our Web site and contract us to begin using our services.

From time to time, we will post interesting genealogy finds, research tips, and other tidbits informative to the genealogy enthusiast.