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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Wee Snippets (3)

RAOGK or Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness
RAOGK is a grassroots movement that consists of volunteers who agree that once per month they will do local legwork (such as take a photo of a tombstone at a specified location or obtain a record from the local county courthouse) for one person who requests a reimbursing the RAOGK volunteer for costs such as videotape, photocopies, or postage. RAOGK as that the person who received the benefit of a favor in turn volunteer to perform a similar act of genealogical kindness for someone who needs a favor in the locality where she/he resides. Random acts of genealogical kindness was started by researchers at one small web site, but it has grown rapidly into an international movement.  Real all about it and sign up as a volunteer if you can at
Thanks to Heritage, PO Box 162905, Miami, FL 33116-2905.

Was it a cell phone or something else?
Don't be surprised if you hear what sounds like a cell phone ringing when you are outdoors.  Starlings are natural mimics. The Romans taught them to imitate human speech, birdcalls, whinnying of horses, etc. They can even imitate the sound of chain saws and now cell phones!  Reports from Denmark to Australia confirm this!
Thanks to The Immigrant Genealogical Society Newsletter, PO Box 7369, Burbank, CA 91510-7369.

The General Gazetteer of 1823 is now on-line
Sometimes we find our research blocked by the inability to locate a place-name on a map.  This can often be caused by the change of a name, or unexpected spelling. The General Gazetteer of 1823 will show you what existed and where in 1823. This 1823 Gazetteer is now online for your examination.  Go to
Thanks to The Immigrant Genealogical Society Newsletter, PO Box 7369, Burbank, CA 91510-7369.

New national and state veteran's  cemeteries planned by VA
The new Ft. Still National Cemetery will soon open in Oklahoma and The Veteran's Administration plans to open five more new national cemeteries in the next five years. A Veteran's Administration grant program pays for building and equipping new state veterans cemeteries.  Fifty state cemeteries have been built with Veteran's Administration grants. The Veteran's Administration continues to expand existing national cemeteries and may purchase land next to cemeteries that are nearing capacity.  Sometimes other agencies transfer surplus land to The Veteran's Administration.  Citizens may purchase property and donate it for cemetery expansion.

With five cemeteries built in the last four years, one ready to open and five on the drawing board, and The Veteran's Administration-grant cemeteries planned by the states, burial services will be within commuting distances of 80 percent of America's veterans by 2003. Some of the oldest national cemeteries developed at Civil War battlefields and prison camps are historic landmarks.  Yet, they too are expanding to meet today's needs. A Confederate prison in Salisbury, North Carolina, that held 10,000 Union soldiers became a death camp for more than 8,000 men due to shortages of food, clothing and medicine.  The Salisbury National Cemetery, established in 1863, ran out of grave space and a nearby Veteran's Administration medical center transferred 50 surplus acres for its use. The Fort Scott Kansas National Cemetery began as a part of a western frontier Army fort built in 1842.  The 10.5 acre cemetery was approaching its burial limit when local veterans took out a loan and bought adjacent acreage.

To learn more about VA burial benefits for veterans call 1-800-827-1000 or visit the Veteran's Administration National Cemetery Administration at www.cem.Veteran'
Thanks to the Express News - North & West - 5 March, 2002 via Inscriptions, Newsletter of the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society, 6100 West Mequon Rd., Mequon, WI 53092-1951.

Clan Henderson Society surpasses 3,000 members!
Alexandria, Virginia August 9, 2002 - Acknowledged by most Clans, Societies and Associations to be the fastest growing Clan Society in the United States and Canada, the Clan Henderson Society has recently moved past the three thousand mark in its membership rolls.  Dottie Henderson, the Society Secretary, has notified the Societies officers that Michael S. Henderson of Lexington, Kentucky who submitted his membership forms in July, pushed the Society past this landmark number.  Membership in the Society has grown by over 200 during the past year which continues a trend that began in the year 2000. The Clan Society has maintained a low cost for membership and only recently (January 1, 2002) increased the fee to include an automatic contribution from each membership (new and renewal) to a fund established for its regional commissioners to assist in the management of their regions. Prior to this fund being set aside, the commissioners were responsible for all event fees which included not only tent space but often entry fees as well.  Some events have been as expensive as $250 for a single tent space which makes the burden on individuals who are convening for clan society or association somewhat prohibitive in cost.

The Henderson Society now assists in the disbursement of these costs by permitting the commissioner to budget for event costs each year, with the funds established or current membership.  This approach has been well received by Clan Henderson Society commissioners and the cost to individual members is so minimal so the database continues to grow. The Clan Henderson Society will continue to produce innovative ideas which have an affect on their total database membership and are willing to talk with other clans, societies and associations about the progress they are making in their continuing membership drive.
For more information on Clan Henderson Society of the United States and Canada, write to 7504 Range Road, Alexandria, VA 22306-2422.

Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1965 now online
These online volumes list all of the soldiers who participated in Wisconsin's Civil War regiments.  Known collectively as the Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1965, two volumes were compiled in 1886 from archival records and an alphabetical index was published in 1914. Together these 3,000 pages give Civil War service details on about 90,000 Wisconsin soldiers.  Search for soldiers by last name and/or regiment and company.  Browse this free resource at

Once you have found your soldier in the Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, order a photocopy of your Wisconsin ancestor's Civil War service record,  For most soldiers these records show soldier name, rank, age and birthplace; hair and eye color, complexion, height, occupation, and residence; when, where and by whom enlisted; term of service; place where the enlistment was credited; and date and manner of termination of service.  A special "remarks" section list promotions, special duties, leaves of absence, engagements, injuries, and if the soldier died in service, date and place of death and sometimes place of burial.  Fees apply.  Note: these are not National Archives pension records.
Check it out at

Check out the genealogy resources at
Here are a few resources and service that they offer.
Genealogical research service - Order Wisconsin birth, marriage and death records issued before October 1907 and Civil War service records for soldiers who served in Wisconsin units.  Submit your request and pay by credit card online.  Our trained staff will search the indexes, print out all relevant records, and mail them to you within 28 days.
Wisconsin local history & biography articles - Read more than 16,000 articles clipped from Wisconsin newspapers between 1850 and 1950, totaling nearly 50,000 pages.
Search for people by name or browse articles from a particular community, including biographical sketches, interviews, obituaries, reminiscences, and much more. 
Wisconsin historical images - View more than 250 Wisconsin photographs taken between 1870 and 1970 and order quality reproductions of any that you would like to own.
Some postcards, prints and posters are included, too.  Browse through large subject groupings such as "transportation" and "domestic life" or search for specific people and places. 
Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, 1861-1965 - Discover what happened to any Wisconsin Soldier, or browse regiment and company muster rolls.  Nearly 90,000 soldiers are documented on 3,000 pages.
For even more information request the unpublished records on which these volumes were based from our online Genealogical Research Service.
Planning a visit to the Wisconsin Historical Society?  Get directions, hours, and phone numbers.  Search our library and archives catalogs from home before you come.  Read more than 50 pages of description about our genealogical collections and services.  Learn how to make the most of your time in Madison.  All this and more at

Searching for information on the CURRY (CURRIE) surname.  My ancestor, ARCHIBALD CURRY born Jan. 21, 1728 in Scotland, married SARAH MCDONALD born Aug. 29, 1738 in Scotland.  They married Sept. 22, 1757 in Scotland.  In 1759 they came across the Atlantic to the Delaware/Maryland area.  I am a descendent through their son ALEXANDER born Oct. 14, 1770 in Baltimore, Maryland.  ARCHIBALD was a soldier in the Revolutionary War under General Washington.  I have also heard that SARAH's father was JAMES MCDONALD, he came to America after the Jacobite Rebellion.  Patrick Jones, 6154 Pointview Lane, St. Louis, MO 63123.

The descendants of Pierre Chastian invite you to their reunion!
All descendants of Pierre Chastain are invited to the 27th annual reunion of the family association of October 11-13, 2002. The most common spelling variations of the name are Chasteen, Chastaine, Chastine, Shasteen, Chasten, Castine and Shastid.
The Pierre Chastain Family Association will meet this year at the Quality Inn, 15127 US Highway 19 South in Thomasville, Georgia.  This historic part of Georgia has much Chastain history. Research, family history and mini discussion sessions on informative topics will be featured.  The association is dedicated to the development and preservation of Chastain family genealogical and historical records. A family membership in the Association is currently $15.00 annually.  If interested in joining, contact, Jim Chesteen, Rt. 2, Box 289-J3, Kosciusko, MS 39090 or email at  For any further questions, please contact Publicity Chairman, Carrie Chastain at

The Alabama Genealogical Society plans seminar in October
The Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc. will hold its all day Fall Seminar Saturday, October 19, 2002 at the Alabama State Capitol Auditorium, Montgomery, Alabama.  Registration begins at 9:00 AM and  the event will adjourn at 3:30 PM.  The featured speaker is George C. Morgan, internationally recognized author. The subject for the seminar lectures are: Genealogical Orienteering: Using maps to find the right place and Bring um' back to life: Developing an ancestor profile in the morning.  And in the afternoon the lectures are: Bits about Obits: Reading between the lines and Planning is the Key: A very successful Genealogical reasearch trip. Preregistration deadline is Saturday, October 5, 2002 for $20.00.  A check made payable to Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc. should be sent to: Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc., AGS Treasurer, Paul Saeger, 1012 Southlake Cove, Birmingham, AL 35244-3282.

The real McCoy?
The definition is: as in "the real McCoy," meaning the genuine article, the original, not the substitute.  "The real McCoy" is a phrase that is begging for an explanation of its origins.  Where ever it comes from, "the real McCoy" is used to emphatically assert the originality of an object, idea or reputation. There is not but one context in which to use the word: "Estelle swore that her silver car was a Delorean, but when Virgil saw the doors swing outward, he knew it wasn't the real McCoy."  In 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in a letter, "For society, there is nae sae muckle; but there's myself - the Johnstone, ye ken - he's the real Mackay, whatever."  "Whatever?"  Perhaps Stevenson didn't quite know if he wanted to say Mackay or McCoy. The origins of  "the real McCoy" are unclear.  The top contender is a marketing jingle from Messrs. Mackay of Edinburgh, who made a brand of fine Scotch whisky that they promoted as "the real Mackay" from 1870 onward. During the Prohibition years in the United States (1919-1933), the phrase was extended to an hard liquor from Canada was opposed to lesser domestic brands.  Since "the real Mackay" was already in the language, a widening of the phrase's scope in the alcoholic spectrum makes sense. Now we know.  Thanks to Word of the Day from
Ed note:  "MacCoy/McCoy" is truly an allied family or sept of the Clan Mackay!

Here's a quick tip on reading photocopies
Jerry Grover wrote, "I have successfully read illegible photocopies of old wills by using the following method: Scan the document in black and white, then load the image into your photo manipulation software. Finally, make a negative of the image (this function sometimes found on the "effects" menu).  Impossible to read bits suddenly appear quite legible."

Births and deaths on the high seas
When a birth or death occurs on the high seas, whether on an aircraft or on a ship, the determination of where the record is filed is decided in terms of the direction in which the craft was headed at the time of the event. If the craft was outbound or docked at a foreign post, requests for copies of the record should be made to the U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520. If the craft was inbound and the port of entry was in the U.S., write to the registration offices in the city where the craft landed in the U.S. If the craft was of U.S. Registry, contact the U.S. Coast Guard at the port of entry.

Can't find a book? Here's help!
Can't find a book?  "Hello Central" is a book finder for Genealogists.  Go to  You can also post books you are searching for.
Thanks to the Lake Havasu Genealogical Society, Inc., Newsletter, PO Box 953, 1750 N. McCulloch Blvd., Lake Havasu City, AZ 86405-0953.

Return to Oct/Nov 2002 Index Page


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