Helpful Hints, Search Engines & New Databases
- The Olive Tree Genealogy Newsletter --- helping you find the roots
and branches of your family tree.
V. 2 #21: Helpful Hints
Hello everyone, and Happy Holidays! You are probably all as busy as I
have been. OTG volunteers have been busy, and have sent many new
databases but they aren't online yet. My son who is a soldier arrives
home today on leave so I will not be working very much on my sites
while he's here - I want to enjoy every minute with him that I can! I
will get those new databases ready to go online in the New Year, so
keep checking back.
And now a little tale of woe.... which will give you some idea of
what webmasters encounter as they try to work on their sites for
visitors to enjoy. Recently my host server decided (with little more
than 10 hours notice) to move three of my sites (Olive Tree
Genealogy, Past Voices & Naturalization Records) to another host and
server. This happened Dec. 9th and I've had nothing but problems ever
since. Pages were truncated (bits chopped off), my counters and date
stamps don't work, my contact email isn't working properly..... and
the headaches continue.
I haven't been able to reach technical support to get these problems
fixed, even after being on hold for 45 minutes and more... Those of
us who were moved (200 sites) were told we'd have better service and
more goodies to manage our sites, making the experience even better
for visitors. Since we didn't have any choice about moving, and I've
yet to see any benefits (only headaches) I'm not convinced! We were
also told to not make any changes to our sites until the 'bugs' are
ironed out. So please be patient as I try to get the broken things
fixed before I upload any of the new files sent by volunteers
recently. WIth my son's arrival today I don't have the time or
inclination to spend hours on hold (listening to music I don't like!)
so I may wait until after the holidays to try to solve anything but
the most urgent problems.
I want to talk a little bit today about OTG and about Search Engines.
I hope my hints and ideas will help you make better use of your time,
and have more success in finding that elusive ancestor.
But first - the new databases since our last Newsletter ---
NATURALIZATION PETITIONS INDEX 1850-1860
I've uploaded more naturalization records on
NaturalizationRecords.com. Thanks goes to new volunteer
transcriber Georgia Roessler who is hard at work on these
It is an index to Naturalization Petitions for New York,
for the years 1850-1860.
is the list of A Surnames. Links are provided near the
bottom of the page for all completed surname letters (A, B,
C, E and F)
I have uploaded A, B, C, E and F (D and G will follow later
this week, the rest over the next few months) There are
1,659 individuals listed in the surnames online so far,
this is going to be a HUGE database for researchers to
Please be patient waiting for all the surnames to be
completed - Georgia has to read some difficult handwriting
to transcribe these records. Then she has someone proof her
work, then she sends it to me and I proof it one last time
before coding it and getting it ready to go online. Free
databases are a lot of work :-)
Details are given online as to how to obtain the complete
record if you are lucky enough to find an ancestor here!
will give you a Directory of Links to all online Naturalization
Records for New York
Good luck, hope you find an ancestor. Remember, all records
on NaturalizationRecords. com are FREE for all to use.
MISSOURI NEWSPAPER TRANSCRIPTS
19 new files have been uploaded into the Archives for
"Charlotte's Pearls" at
These new files added to the Archives are for the newspaper
the Jefferson Democrat (Missouri) 1875.
Charlotte's Pearls cover the Jefferson Leader 1866-1868; Jefferson
Democrat 1870-1877 & 1887-1888; Jefferson Watchman 1883-1884; DE SOTO
WEEKLY FACTS 1895-1899 with more being put online weekly.
OLIVE TREE GENEALOGY - BIG & CONFUSING? OR REQUIRES PATIENCE BUT WELL
Olive Tree Genealogy is a huge site covering several different topics
(Ships lists, Palatines, Mennonites, Huguenots, Native American,
Loyalists, Military, USA, Canada). It has three separate components
for each topic!
FIRST is its free databases - there are almost 1,500 now. There is
also a Directory of Links to offsite databases. I've tried to mark
each of my databases with my Olive Tree logo.
SECOND are its tutorials and help files, found in the articles
section and in each specific section of the site. Here I tried to
guide you with mini-tutorials about using various records, such as
census, land records, ships passenger lists, PERSI, and more.
THIRD is its Resource Guides. I wrote these Resource Guides based on
my own experience in searching various records - ships passenger
lists, Huguenots, Native Americans, Canadian Immigration, Palatines
and so on. Each section has its own Guide (You'll see it listed in
the Index Choices for the specific section you are interested in) In
it you'll find lists of resources - books, microfilm, little-known
records on microfilm or fiche, and CD ROMs.
We all love Search engines -- "Oh boy, I can type in my ancestor's
name and in 30 seconds I'll know if he's on this site!" Not so.....
in fact, I reluctantly set up a Search engine on Olive Tree
Genealogy. I hear you gasping "What??? How can I find my ancestors
without a search engine, why wouldn't you want one on your site??"
I didn't want one because researchers often skip over the data and
just type a name or two in a search engine. When they get no results,
they leave, disappointed. But why did they get no results? Are there
really no records on their ancestor? OR, did they miss them? 90% of
the time, the visitor missed that sought-after ancestor. They also
missed my new (free) databases and my Resource Guides.
Why does this happen? Partially it's because of how the free
databases are put online for you. I don't change the original
records. They go online exactly as written. If the document records
your ancestor John Aloysius Simpson as "Jno. Simson" that is how you
will find it on Olive Tree Genealogy. I don't change it to what I
think the name is. Most of you will search for "John Simpson" because
you know that is his name! Will you think to try variant spellings?
Will you think to try abbreviations or alternate names such as Jno.,
Jonathan, J. J.A.? What if he were recorded under his middle name
instead of his first? Will you type that into the search engine?
Read the rest of this helpful article, and learn more about OTG's *2*
internal search engines at http://olivetreegenealogy.com/#se
SHIPS PASSENGER LISTS & SEARCH ENGINES
Olive Tree Genealogy is proud to present more than 1,000 free ships
lists transcriptions. Start browsing those lists plus thousands of
off-site lists at my Directory of Ships Passenger Lists on the
Internet. (http://olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/ ) You can find
passengers on ships list by country of arrival, by state of arrival,
or by ethnic group.
Try out the custom search engines I have created for every passenger
list now online on dozens of sites on the internet!!!
(http://olivetreegenealogy.com/ships/search_ships.shtml )This saves
you hours of time hunting on other sites, following link after link
after link, or using Google and getting thousands of unwanted 'hits'.
If you are new to OTG, please take a moment to read the helpful
suggestions for success at http://olivetreegenealogy.com/ . You can
also visit my Site Map at http://olivetreegenealogy.com/sitemap.shtml
or read my FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) at
You can also check the list of FREE new databases uploaded to OTG and
sister sites since Jan. 2003 (the lists don't go back any earlier
than that date) at http://olivetreegenealogy.com/freedata.shtml
Until next newsletter,