Rootsweb Review as a Resource

One free online genealogy resource is the Rootsweb Review which you can receive by email on a regular basis by subscribing by going to the newsletter management center (by clicking the previous link).

The selections below come from the August 11, 2010 newsletter and were submitted to Rootsweb Review by readers/subscribers.

Challenging Spelling
I want to pass on a story about the search for my great grandfather, John McDowall. By the time I started searching for my mother’s parents, my grandparents had passed away. Mom knew very little about them. The one thing mother said was that her father INSISTED that his name be spelled with an “a”, though his sister, Mary, spelled it McDowell. My aunt Margie had told me that John McDowall had come from Scotland when he was l6, and changed his name because “people wouldn’t pronounce it properly”. With that, I gave up!!! Where to start???

In 2007, I received an email from someone named Bruce McDowall, spelled with an “a”!, from Melbourne, Australia! It had taken him two years of research to find me, going thru my cousin Mildred in Kansas, who gave him a regular address (not email). He went to my home town high school and found my email … and here we are. He identified not only my great grandfather but his parents AND their parents, with the spelling of William McDouall in l756. I will now continue the search for the other branches of this family.

Thanks to Diane Etherson

A Census Tickle
I had photos in my baby book of my mother’s family, but I didn’t have any names. I started my search looking for my grandparents’ name and information. When I started searching the census records, I couldn’t find my maternal grandfather anywhere. I finally started looking at the census page he should have been on line by line. It was then that I found they had transcribed his first name Ritchie as Bitchie.

Thanks to Christy Hutchinson in Texas

Census Note
This was written in the margin of the 1803 Census for Oglethorpe County Georgia, Capt Parmenas English District.

“Fishing Creek Academites part morallised the rest get drunk run in debt can’t pay go to jail breakout and run away.”

Thanks to Terry Robertson

Have a story, question, genealogy resource, or tip you’d like to share with RootsWeb Review readers? Send it to

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the editor or of

Permission to reprint articles from RootsWeb Review is granted unless specifically stated otherwise, provided:

the reprint is used for non-commercial, educational purposes; and
the following notice appears at the end of the article: Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 11 August 2010, Vol. 13, No. 8


Brigham Young University Genealogy Resources

It’s hard to avoid getting excited in the weekly workshops taught by new member Vickie Petersen at the public library in Mineola.

Sharing that excitement usually starts with someone making a “Eureka, look what I’ve found” noise like “wow” or a similar noise. Sometimes, however, it’s just finding a new resource.

One such experience last Thursday (note: meeting Thursdays 10-noon at the library near the genealogy room) was when Vickie shared the Brigham Young University genealogy resources pages. You can get there by going to We started out on the page where you can print free blank forms to use in research at, but starting anywhere will give you lots of links and pages to explore.

If you want to take a look, set aside some time. There are links all over the first page (and subsequent pages) which can take you to interesting and helpful information and resources.

This is not the FamilySearch or New FamilySearch site, but there are links that will take you there and to lots of other trustworthy and interesting genealogy sources. Some are pay and some are free, but even the pay ones will let you look around at some things without any charges.

Heritage Quest at Home

Wood County Genealogical Society members who have a membership in the Quitman Public Library can access the Heritage Quest genealogical site (and other TexShare Databases for research) from their home computers at To sign in however, you’ll need a login ID and password.

  • You can get these from the librarian at the Quitman Public Library.
  • Members in other towns may also find that their home libraries where they have memberships will have a slightly different link and different login ID and password. Again, if your library participates in the TexShare Databases, they will share this information with members of their library.

    Library of Congress Site Free Newspaper Views

    One of the places you can do free research online is the Library of Congress Chronicling America site at The Search Pages option at that location will search all of the papers now available. For a state-specific search, click on the View Newspaper Pages link. You can search by a person’s name or a location or by any words that might have appeared in the newspapers scanned.

    The results will let you see images of the newspaper pages with your search terms highlighted. Use the magnify button to make the type large enough to read. Then you can print out the pages or save a .pdf file to your computer.

    The story below is an example of one story I found after searching on the word “Quitman.”

    Jim Hale a Young Farmer Loses His
    Life as He was Returning Home — Dogs
    Were placed on the Track of the
    Murders at Once.
    Mineola, Tex., Jan 9. — Jim Hale a young farmer living near Quitman was shot and killed about 6 o’clock Thursday evening.

    Hale had been in Quitman Thursday and had a difficulty with a man who lives there. About 6 o’clock he left for his home on horseback

    The horse reached home and was found at the lot gate about 10 o’clock with the bridle rein securely tied around the pommel of the saddle. This excited Young Hale’s father who immediately started for Quitman to look for his son. On the road he called on some of his neighbors who went with him. When about two miles east of Quitman they found Young Hale lying in the road shot through the head.

    The ball entered the temple passing through the brain and came out on the opposite side of the head. He was taken home and died about 8 o’clock yesterday morning. A telephone message from Quitman just received stated that two men on horseback were seen riding hurriedly away from the place where Hale was found immediately after the pistol shot was heard and one of the horses had been identified. Also that an arrest would be made in a few minutes. Hound s were placed on the trail of the horses and tracked them by a circuitous route into the town of Quitman.

    Shiner gazette. (Shiner, Tex.) 1893-current, January 13, 1897, Image 2. Image and text provided by University of North Texas, Denton

    New Page of Links Added

    As requested by several members of the society, a page of general research links has been added to the Bulletin website. Additional suggestions are solicited. When you have one, you can send it in an email to

    Links: Family History Month

    October is traditionally Family History Month. Kimberly Powell at has ten suggestions on how individuals can celebrate this month.You can see the suggestions at this clickable link: