Dec 04

The Allan Kendall Orchestra and Santa Claus in Disguise

This morning when I opened a 6″x9″ envelope from a stranger named Arthur from Swanzey, New Hampshire. I was stunned to find two photographs of the Allen Kendall Orchestra taken in 1956 and a CD of their event on New Years Eve 1955. Tears flowed (and continue to trickle down as I write this post) as I read the accompanying letter.

“I was looking up Allan Kendall on the web the other day and up came your REMEMBERING WHS, CLASS of ’59….”

Arthur you have made me believe in Santa Claus once again. I’m so touched by your taking the time to send me the CD from the 1955 reel-to-reel tape and the photographs. This is the best present ever!

The original post that Arthur found can be read by visiting

Wishing all of you a wonderful, memorable, and safe holiday Season

Nov 10

New Georgia Will Books by Ted O Brooke

Ted O Brooke has had a busy year completing several books on Georgia wills that have been in progress for several years. Now it is a time for celebration!

  •   Georgia Will Directory, 1733-1860 by Ted O. Brooke
    Includes all 15,271 testator references from both colonial records and all Georgia counties created before 1861, including all testator references for 1733-1860 from Georgia Stray Wills, 1733-1900. Arranged in a user-friendly format, self-indexed with all names in alphabetical order by surname and given name. Complete source reference for every will, giving county, date of probate, source record and exact page number where will is found.
    2013. 412 (+xxxxii) pages. Hardbound. $35.
  •   Georgia Will Directory, 1861-1900 by Ted O. Brooke
    Includes all 20,097 testator references from all Georgia counties created before 1901, including all testator references for 1861-1900 from Georgia Stray Wills, 1733-1900. Arranged in a user-friendly format, self-indexed with all names in alphabetical order by surname and given name. Complete source reference for every will, giving county, date of probate, source record and exact page number where will is found.
    2013. 529 (+xxx) pages. Hardbound. $35.

Special, Ted is offering the two directories (when purchased together) for $60.00 postpaid!!!

  • Georgia Stray Wills, 1733-1900 by Ted O. Brooke
    Collected and abstracted from 541 Georgia wills dated prior to 1901, located in Georgia Supreme Court case files, Superior Court records, original wills filed in county probate offices and the Georgia Archives, private papers, secondary published records and various other obscure and inconspicuous sources which, with very few exceptions, are not found recorded in Georgia colonial or county probate records. Fully indexed for all names including slaves.
    2013. 548 (+xxiv) pages. Hardbound. $35.

Visit Ted’s website at
or order directly from him at
2055 Foster Drive
Cumming, GA 30040-3549

About Ted

Brooke_05Theodore (“Ted”) Owen Brooke was born 1943, Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia. He graduated from Tucker (DeKalb Co., GA) High School in 1961 and attended Georgia Tech. He was married in 1968 and has two children: Robert, born 1970, and Ashley, born 1974, who married Matthew Baughman and they have two children, Carter and Harrison Baughman. Ted retired from AT&T in 1996 and has been engaged in genealogical and historical pursuits since then.

Ted is a member of the Georgia Genealogical Society since 1976, having served as Treasurer and Vice President and is a member of the East Georgia Genealogical Society, Carroll County Genealogical Society, Coweta County Genealogical Society and the Virginia Genealogical Society.

Ted is the author or co-author of twenty books, including the latest, Pickens County, Georgia Cemeteries, published in 2009 with co-author Linda Geiger.

He was listed in both editions of Who’s Who in Genealogy & Heraldry, Volume 1 (1981) and in Volume 2 (1990).

Oct 06

Georgia’s Virtual Vault

Now that the Georgia Archives is a part of the University System of Georgia rather that the Office of the Secretary of State, the website is being revised under the University System — not an easy or quick task!

This post is written to assist individuals who are trying to locate the online images, but are now having difficulty doing so. I know that I became rather frustrated until I finally discovered that the following steps would get me to those files, I love so much.

  1. Go to
  2. Select the first option, “Ad Hoc Collection”
  3. Locate the Gray bar immediately under the header, “Georgia Archives University System of Georgia
    Select “Browse All”
  4. You’ll notice about four options in the vertical bar on the left
    Click on “Show 33 more”
  5. You’ll now find all of the categories that you may wish to use.

For example, you might be interested in the collection called, “Georgia Death Certificates.” If that is the case, the from step #5,

 Click on the box in front of “Georgia Death Certificates”
  2. Click on “OK” in the bottom right corner of that box
  3. Now you may scroll through the certificate images (in alpha order)
or type in a name in the search box at the top of the page. I suggest typing in only the surname. If you can’t find what you want, then try a spelling variation of that surname. If that search is too much, then add search by “surname, given name.”

Note: Something Cool! When searching by surname alone, you may get more hits than you think you want, but there is a silver lining! The surname search will frequently include names of parents with that surname of informants. What a wonderful way to determine maiden names of mothers. I’d be re-missed, however, if I didn’t offer a word of caution. the names of parents offered on death certificates are not always correct. Use your newly found piece of evidence with extreme caution.

© Linda Woodward Geiger


Jul 15

FGS Announces Two Free Genealogy Webinars

Note: Copy originally published by FGS, 10 July 2013

The Federation of Genealogical Societies announces two new webinars focusing on the use of military records in genealogical research.  These webinars are FREE and open to the public!


  • Discovering Local & State Militia Records
    Presenter: J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA
    Date: Tuesday, 16 July 2013, 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central

    Take a closer look at the wide variety of records documenting our local militia companies. From annual muster to supplies and appointment of Officers, learn how these records may be used in your family research. Learn more about the military organization of citizens called for the purpose of local defense, who served this country from the Revolution through 1812 and on to the development of the National Guard.

    J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA a full-time professional researcher & educator, formerly APG President and FGS officer. You will find him researching for clients including Who Do You Think You Are?, African American Lives or Biography’s uneXplained. With his love for teaching, you will see him at SLIG, IGHR, numerous webinars or at your local society.

  • Researching in the Post War Records of 1812
    Presenter: Craig Scott, MA, CG
    Date: Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central

    This lecture will focus on the records created by the War Department after the War. It will include compiled military service records, pensions and pension payments.

    Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG is the President and CEO of Heritage Books, Inc., a genealogical publishing firm with over 4,900 titles in print. A professional genealogical and historical researcher for more than twenty-eight years, he specializes in the records of the National Archives, especially those that relate to the military. He is the Coordinator of the Advanced Military Track at IGHR and SLIG.

Jun 15

Longer Hours for the Georgia Archives

Good News about the Georgia Archives may be found at

As of July 1st the Archives will be increasing hours and adding staff!

Jan 03

Learning Opportunities for Family Historians & Genealogists

Let Us Resolve to Become Better Acquainted with the Records We Use & and Learn about New Possibilities!

25849748.thmFree Webinars



Legacy Family Tree:

Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Extension Series:

Illinois State Genealogical Society:

GeneaWebinars Blog:

Conferences and Week-long workshops


New England Regional Genealogical Consortium (NERGC): 

NGS Conference:

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree:

FGS Conference:

Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR):

National Institute of Genealogical Research (NIGR):

Utah Genealogical Association (UGA), Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG):

Please let us know of those that we may have missed!

Nov 14

Educational Opportunities: Building a Personal Library

It is likely that a novice or beginning family historian will need a little guidance in order to begin their new adventure climbing their family tree. It is the duty, in my humble opinion, of the novice to become educated so that their work will meet current standards.

There are many educational opportunities available and for the next week or so, I plan to discuss many of those opportunities on a series of blogs. This is the first of the series.

Over the years numerous “how-to” books have been published some of which may be available at a local library.  Here is a list of my top ten choices for  the library of a novice genealogist.

  1. Croom, Emily Anne. Unpuzzling Your Past, A Basic Guide to Genealogy. 3d ed. White Hall, Va.: Betterway Publications, Inc., 1995.
  2. Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy. 3d ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2000.
  3. Hatcher, Patricia Law. Locating Your Roots: Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records.Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2003.
  4. Hinckley, Kathleen W. Your Guide to the Federal Census for Genealogists, Researchers, and Family Historians.Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2002.
  5. Kashuba, Melinda. Walking With You Ancestors: A Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography.Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2005.
  6. Melnyk, Marcia Yannizzee. The Weekend Genealogist: Timesaving Techniques for Effective Research. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 2000.
  7. Mills, Elizabeth Shown.  Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2007.
  8. National Archives Trust Fund Board. Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1985.
  9. Rose, Christine. Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures. San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2004.
  10. Szucs, Loretta, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds. The Source: a Guidebook of American Genealogy. 3d edition. Provo: Ancestry, Inc., 2006.

If you have other favorites for the beginner, please share them in the “Comments” area below.

© Linda Woodward Geiger.

Nov 11

Honoring U.S. Servicemen and Veterans

I am thankful for all U.S. Servicemen for helping to preserve and gain human rights for our country!  

Aug 29

Community Indexing Projects at FamilySearch

The community index project, spearheaded by FamilySearch, was a stellar example of what happens when the genealogical community makes a collaborative effort. The project was completed several months ahead of schedule. Those of you that participated may be having withdrawal symptoms. If so, I’ve got the perfect cure!

Family Search has instigated two new community projects and still need your voluntary assistance.

  1. From Sea to Shining Sea: Helping Everyone Find U.S.  Immigrant Ancestors—500 million names in 200 million records including passenger arrival lists and naturalization records. With the current 50,000 volunteers, the project is anticipated to take four years to complete. If you are interested in this project, please go to
  2. Italian Ancestors: Making Italy civil Registration Records Freely Searchable Online—500 million names in 115 million records. At this time there are 800 volunteers and the expected completion time is 30 years. Ouch! Please go to to sign up for this terrific community project!

More information on the FamilySearch community projects will be heading your way shortly!

May 06

The Village Festival at Big Canoe

Yesterday, The Village Festival at Big Canoe made its debut. The festival will be a weekly event on Saturday morning (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) through the end of October.

According to plan I arrived a few short minutes before opening, and was horrified to see that parking was already at a premium and swarms of people. “Suck it in,” I told myself, “find a place to park, and then pretend that you alone will be visiting each stand.” Easier said than done for this wimpy agoraphobic.  None-the-less, I did manage to make a very quick tour of the booths, pick up a few business cards, and snap a few shots with my phone.

Coles Lake Creamery from Carrollton, Georgia, had a lovely display for their goat cheese and homemade soap products. They are a small grade A dairy milking about 35 does. I came home with a three pack of onion & chives, garlic, and Italian herb cheeses. Delicious! These young men appear to be relatively new in the world of marketing and as of yet do not have a business card to say nothing about a website.

Jim Oneacre had a marvelous selection of homemade baskets, “Baskets by Jim.” I hope to find a need for another basket before next week. Jim doesn’t take credit cards and I did not much cash with me. I will plan ahead in the future.

Etowah River Pottery had a nice display of soap dishes, teaspoon holders (think I’d call them teabag holders), This small company from Dahlonega also had a nice selection of homemade soap.

All in all the market place was successful and hopefully the crowds will simmer down a bit as the season wears on. There is one need from improvement, however. More space needs to be provided for parking and something must be done about the dreadful traffic flow problem. Hopefully Bill Burns will see that problem is minimized by next week.

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All rights Reserved.

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