The Reliability of Oral Histories Considered

[Music; loud with fast, heavy beat] [Baritone voice with emergency pace and tone]:“Eyewitness News! The [Valley’s][Metroplex’s][Tri-State Area’s][Ark-La-Tex’s][Bay Area’s][Central Coast’s][Middle Tennessee’s] Most Reliable Newscast! With the entire Eyewitness News Team! This is Eyewitness News at Six [o’clock]!” That voicer (or words and music to that effect) has been heard on television stations all over America at one time or another in …Continue reading →


Fathers Day 2011

Craig is taking the day off to spend time with his father. This reprise from 2009 will never be stale. At this morning’s Mass in my parish, a petition during the Prayers of the Faithful was “for all fathers and all others who keep us safe and secure.”   The second half seemed to constitute a de facto definition of “father.”  …Continue reading →


General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic

  General Orders No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters. I.     The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the …Continue reading →


Smallpox, History, Genealogy, and Context

This is a true story about science and public policy that should get the attention of genealogists and historians: A little more than thirty years ago, the World Health Organization declared that smallpox had been effectively eradicated around the globe.  Smallpox was an especially nasty disease that in the 20th century alone killed half a billion people. Its demise was …Continue reading →

OFF Replies to “Those Oldies But Goodies”

After having posted about “ancient research aids,”  I got a very pleasant email from John Bacus, a product manager on’s search engine.  He pointed out the “location filters” on the search engine.  They are located just under the location box in each search box, just as the name filters are just beneath the name boxes.  These filters,allow a user …Continue reading →


Research Note: Those Oldies but Goodies (“Ancient” Research Aids)

I must say that I’m always excited to hear of new processes, new software, new methods, new hardware, new, new, new, new everything! Now while I’m not one who must go out and be the first to have something new, just for the sake of being first to have it, I will usually upgrade as soon as I possibly can …Continue reading →


Edna Micheau is 90 years old!

Check out today’s special birthday slideshow to the right – – – – – –> Edna Mary Micheau Penny was born on May 10, 1921 in St. Louis Missouri. Her parents were Joseph Perry Micheau (1888-1975) of Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, and Edna Julia Lewis (1890-1989), of Carbondale, Illinois.  From the time she was born until 2008 she lived almost …Continue reading →


This Mother of Mine: One of God’s Greatest Gifts

All good mothers come from God. Eventually God takes them back. I’ve been blessed to have mine remain here a while longer but that doesn’t cease my appreciation of her as a gift from God. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! A Portrait of My Mom Portions of this post appeared previously in July 2007 under the title “Mom’s Diamond Jubilee” Mom …Continue reading →


Research Note: The SSDI (Part II)

This article is about the Social Security Death Index, not Social Security Disability Insurance. In our last post we learned a few things about the Social Security Death Index. First we found out that the government doesn’t use the term SSDI; this term is used by nongovernmental concerns to describe the product that they derive from the Social Security Administration’s …Continue reading →


Research Note: A Bit of Info about SSDI

A poster on the APG public mailing list recently asserted that she had come across an error in the date of death listed for a person on the SSDI. She questioned how this could happen when the entry was supposedly verified by a family member.  In response another poster said that as far as she knew, the Social Security Administration …Continue reading →

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