Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 3

Posted on June 23, 2016 in Professional Genealogist


I pursued my education plan as described in Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 2, moving closer to my retirement. It was now time to proceed to the next step in launching my small business–I needed to build a support team.

But first and foremost, I needed a name for my company. I wanted a name that people would remember but not one that was too cute. I complained to my husband that I could not come up with a name for my company (I am very bad at naming things). He looked at me and said, “Old Bones”. I said, “No. It’s too cute.” Days later, it was still in my head and I realized that this was a memorable name. I checked to see what companies might already be using it and found several named Old Bones (none genealogy-related), so I added Genealogy and Old Bones Genealogy was born.

First, I selected a local accountant. I was lucky here because an accountant from an excellent firm decided to work from home at least one day a week and they lived less than a mile from my home. My small business classes helped me arrive at a preliminary decision to incorporate my company as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). Some of my questions for my accountant were:

1. Should I form an LLC?
2. What are the financial pros and cons of this decision?
3. If I go with an LLC, what else do I need to consider at the federal, state and county levels?
4. Would any of these considerations be the same if I did not form an LLC?

As an LLC, I found that I would have the option of filing my taxes as either a sole proprietor or a corporation. If I filed as a corporation, I would be an employee of the corporation and therefore, need to do a payroll.

I have used Quicken Deluxe for many years for my personal finances. If I needed to do a payroll, I would have to transition to and learn QuickBooks. If I selected the sole proprietor, I would just need to update my current Quicken to Quicken Home and Business, greatly reducing both my costs and learning curve. A no-brainer.

After a very productive meeting with my new accountant, I was firmer in my decision to form an LLC but I still wanted to learn about the legal implications. It was time to find a lawyer. I did not in my personal ignorance desire to incorporate online or by using any of the other “quickie” methods open to me. If you go to a company whose service is incorporating businesses, what do you think their recommendation would be?

I wanted a lawyer whose specialty was business law, primarily Maryland business law. I found one in my county, who seemed to fit the bill. That visit ended up generating a lot of documents with my signature on them. It was so scary, I almost chickened out at the last minute. I did form an LLC and I also protected my company name within Maryland. Protecting it nation-wide would have been much too expensive.

So I now had the first two members of my startup team: an accountant and a lawyer.

The final member of my startup team was unexpected. During one of my instructor appointments at NIGS, my instructor and I started chatting about my new business startup. My instructor, Sharon Murphy, mentioned that she just started a mentoring service. She planned to mentor professional genealogists who were building a new business or growing their existing company. Last year I was interviewed about my business and the second post “Entrepreneur Connection: Interview with Eileen Souza of Old Bones Genealogy – Part 2”, focused on the topic of mentoring and how it has helped me with my business. The addition of Sharon as my mentor completed my startup team.

Accountant, lawyer, mentor—great partners to support the launch of my business.

In Part 4, I will discuss my struggles with business planning.


Posted in Professional Genealogist | 3 Comments

Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 2

Posted on June 14, 2016 in Genealogical Technology, Genealogy Education

iStock_000086512353_Full sm

In my prior post, “Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 1”, I gave a brief overview of how I arrived at my decision to transition to a professional genealogist. Now that I decided, I had to determine what I needed to do to make that happen. My first thought was education. I knew I needed to improve my skills and to work to standards; so I began developing my education plan. I identified my strengths and weaknesses to define where I desired to focus my training.

First: Small Business Knowledge

I had worked my entire career as a salaried employee, so I knew little to nothing about running a business. I did have project management and technical skills from my current occupation but no knowledge of marketing, sales, business accounting, or any of the other roles one needs in running a small business.

I was very lucky in this area as I found that my local community college was offering small business classes in partnership with a sponsoring organization. The best news was that the classes were free. I immediately registered and completed the free core classes:

  • Launching Your New Business
  • Small Business Accounting
  • Create Your Strategic Business Plan
  • Creating & Updating a Marketing Plan

Second: Genealogy Skills and Knowledge

I identified several areas where I believed I needed to improve:

  • Maryland records
  • General genealogy knowledge
  • Specific genealogy business knowledge

Maryland Records
First of all, I was planning to run my business in Maryland. My family research was all in Pennsylvania so I knew I had a lot learn about Maryland resources and records before I could accept clients.

Since, I planned to specialize in my home county of Carroll County, Maryland and the surrounding counties: Baltimore, Frederick, and Howard. I decided that the best way to learn more about these counties and their records was to join the genealogical society in each county. The dues were not expensive and the members of these societies have a wealth of knowledge about their local records. Over the years, through these memberships, I have become well-versed in local Maryland records.

General genealogy knowledge
Next, I felt it was very important to be able to provide educational credentials on my genealogy resume, so I began investigating what education was available to me. This was back on 2008, so the choices were somewhat different than we have today.

I finally selected the National Institute of Genealogical Studies (NIGS). They offered several certificate programs which could all be done online. I elected to pursue the certificate in Genealogical Studies with a specialty in American Records. In March, 2011, I wrote a guest post for Angela McGhie’s Adventures in Genealogy Education blog called “Spotlighting the National Institute of Genealogical Studies” that delineates my experiences with NIGS. Keep in mind that both the post and my experiences are somewhat out of date since I graduated in 2013. Based on what I’ve seen; the offerings are even better than when I attended.

Specific Genealogy business knowledge
Lastly, I realized that, while the business classes I took were excellent, they were directed at the more common types of small businesses. None really gave me much knowledge on how to approach running a genealogy business.

In 2009, I discovered the ProGen Study Groups and I was able to get accepted into ProGen 4. This is really an excellent no-cost educational opportunity that focuses on the business of genealogy. The 18-month commitment to the program is well worth it. Via small study groups, we went chapter by chapter through the book Professional Genealogist edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. There were monthly homework assignments with lots of feedback from peer reviews. I found that many of these assignments were usable as baselines when I launched my new business. I completed this program in 2011.

Third: Alternative Education

While formal classes are excellent, there are other educational opportunities that can help fill in the gaps or extend your knowledge – conferences, self-study, and institutes. I decided that I needed to add some of these options to my education plan. I was lucky to find the article, “Elizabeth Shown Mills 10-Point Blueprint” in Angela McGhie’s Adventures in Genealogy Education blog.

From her blueprint, I selected the following educational activities:

  1. To acquire knowledge of source citations, I read Chapters 1 & 2 in Mills, E. S. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007 (newer edition available). I also use it as a reference with its associated QuickSheet. I completed this activity in 2008. I am now using the third edition published in 2015.
  2. To acquire additional knowledge and skills in US records, I read Greenwood, Val D. Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 3d ed., Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001, which I finished in December 2013.
  3. To meet and network with other professional and aspiring genealogists, I attended the 2010 APG Roundtable, the 2010 APG PMC and the 2010 FGS Annual Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee on August 16-21, 2010. I loved this conference and all the people I met were gracious, kind and helpful to a newbie like me.
  4. To polish my skill set, I attended an institute. Since I live in the Baltimore-Washington area, I decided that the National Institute of Genealogical Research (NIGR) was my best option since it would teach me the ins and outs of using NARA. I completed this institute in July 2012. This institute is now named the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed)

Again, this was my journey. There are many old and new opportunities to improve your knowledge and skills today. In my next post, I plan to discuss how I used professional and support services when I launched my new business.


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Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 1

Posted on June 7, 2016 in Genealogical Technology, Genealogy Education


I want to say right upfront—there is no one right way to achieve this goal. I decided to write this series of posts because I found that I am frequently asked what one needs to do to become a professional genealogist. If you think you are skilled in genealogy research, have a good grounding in running a small business, then you can just declare yourself a professional genealogist, but…

Back in 2008, I knew I would be retiring in a few years and realized I wanted to turn my genealogy hobby into a business that I would operate upon my retirement. While I had been researching my family in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania for over twelve years at that time, I felt I needed to do more to prepare to turn professional.

My family basically lived in one county in Pennsylvania. I now lived in Maryland so I knew my onsite business would need to be based on Maryland research.  I needed to learn more about what resources and records were available, with a particular emphasis on Maryland.

My first question was “What does a professional genealogist do?  I wanted to be one but did I really know what a professional genealogist (may also be known as a family historian) actually did. To find out, I decided that my first step was to hire one to do some research on my family—one of my brick walls. I did a Google search for “professional genealogist pennsylvania”

The first thing I discovered is the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), a society whose members are all professional genealogists. This turned out to be a great site to start my search to hire a genealogist because they offer a searchable “Find a Professional” categorized directory of their members.  APG also publishes Hiring a Professional  and Becoming a Professional Genealogist.

The next thing I discovered was the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). This is the board that sets the standards and awards certification. Certification results from evaluation of work samples in a portfolio submission. Their site also offers a “Find A Genealogist” directory of certified genealogists.

Finally, I selected my genealogist from the list of certified genealogists on the BCG site. There are a great many excellent genealogists on the APG site as well. My final choice had expertize in exactly the area of research that interested me. I initiated contact, received a price quote and proceeded to continue with this genealogist for the entire project. I received their recommendations for the first phase of the project, provided them the research I had completed to date and received a report on the results.

The proposed approach was something I would not have thought about so I knew I had a lot to learn. It was an interesting learning experience and moved my research on my brick wall forward a bit. If you have never used a professional, I highly recommend the experience.

My next step was developing an education plan that I will discuss in Part 2.

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Monday’s Mysteries – Who is David Meisberger and Why Is He Posing as My 2nd Great Grandfather?

Posted on May 30, 2016 in Genealogy Puzzles, Monday's Mysteries

I have been collecting Pennsylvania death certificates for my ancestors. So far, I have accumulated one-hundred and thirty-seven (137) certificates. In doing so, I have uncovered a huge puzzle concerning my 2nd great-grandfather, Theobald Casper Meisberger, reflected in his children’s death certificates.

Theobald died on 13 June 1900 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.  His wife, Mary Catherine Strausser, predeceased him on 25 September 1897, also in Coal Township.  So they both died prior to mandatory state registration of births and deaths, which in Pennsylvania began in 1906.  Before 1906 and after 1893, most of the counties required registration of births and deaths but it was not strictly enforced. I was not able to obtain their death records nor have I been able to find an obituary for either of them. The death dates I have were obtained from their tombstones and cemetery records.

I have been able to collect death certificates for seven of their nine children.   Two of the children died prior to state issued death certificates.

The first death occurred on 14 February 1928 and was Margaret E. (Meisberger) Madara. The informant was her son, Arthur, who was Theobald’s grandson.  Arthur listed Margaret’s father as David Meisberger.

Next was her brother, William T. Meisberger, who died on 2 March 1929. The informant on this certificate was their brother, D. [David] T. [Theodore] Meisberger, and he listed his father as David Meisberger.

Death Certificate of William T. Meisberger Died 2 March 1929 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

Death Certificate of William T. Meisberger Died 2 March 1929 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

John A, Meisberger, another brother, died on 31 March 1936. Again, the informant was his brother D. [David] T. [Theodore] Meisberger and he listed his father as Theobald Casper Meisberger.

Mary E. (Meisberger) Gunther, a sister, died on 4 February 1941. The informant was her daughter, my grandmother, Lorraine (Gunther) Noble. She listed Mary’s father as David Meisberger.

Sara M. (Meisberger) Depner, another sister, died on 12 April 1948. The informant was someone unknown to me named Mary B. Asner. She also listed Sara’s father as David Meisberger.

David T. [Theodore] Meisberger, the brother who was the informant on two of his sibling’s death certificates, died on 27 May 1955. The informant, named Mrs. Marie Meisberger, may have been his wife but there is nothing to confirm this relationship.  She stated that David’s father was David Theobald Meisberger.

Johanna (Meisberger) Burns, another sister, died 25 September 1957. The informant was her son, Casper E. Burns and he listed her father as David T. Meisberger.

As you can see, six of the seven death certificates have the father listed as David Meisberger. To top it all off, the same son, David T. Meisberger, who correctly identifies his father as Theobald on John’s certificate; identifies him as David on William’s certificate.

In his birth certificate, Theobald is named Theobald Casper, son of Michael Meisberger and Margarethe Bettinger. His marriage record from the Diocese of Harrisburg, the 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 US census records, his passenger list entry and his tombstone all list his name as Theobald. None of the deeds for his properties, his naturalization papers, his signatures, or a news article mentioning he was a constable, list him as David. In fact, no record that I have collected or seen related to my 2nd great-grandfather show him as being named David–until these death certificates.

We are supposed to be able to explain every conflict in our data. I thought I had an explanation of this conflict. The birth certificate I have is a civil registration of birth. I do not have copies of the parish registers that would record the baptism of Theobald.

Theobald’s family were Roman Catholic and baptism in this faith requires a saint’s name. My theory was that he was baptized David Theobald because Theobald may not be a Saint’s name. I just searched the web for Saint Theobald and found three saints named Theobald so this theory is out. I do need to attempt to get copies of the parish registers for this family from Germany.

I welcome any and all comments that would assist me in explaining this very strange puzzle.


Posted in Genealogy Puzzles, Monday's Mysteries | 4 Comments

A Great Genealogical Find – Lord Baltimore’s Receipt Book

How would you like to acquire a copy of your 18th century ancestor’s signature? I found this amazing discovery while browsing around the Archives of Maryland Online website.

A sample page from Lord Baltimore’s Receipt Book

A sample page from Lord Baltimore’s Receipt Book


The database contains Lord Baltimore’s Receipt Book, MS 174 and Document #911 in the Calvert Papers held by the Maryland Historical Society (1). This document was digitized from the microfilm in a partnership with the Maryland State Archives. I viewed the digital images.

The database is named 1749-1750 Lord Baltimore’s Receipt Book; but this is a bit misleading as the entries actually range from 1729 through 1750. The receipt book is part of a microfilm publication, Records of the States, prepared by the Library of Congress in association with the University of North Carolina, and edited under the direction of William Sumner Jenkins in 1949. The above title is taken from this collection. You can find more information on this project on pages 1 – 8 of this database.

While the receipt book is not indexed, it is very easy to browse as it is only 144 pages. It starts on page 9, with the first entry dated 26 March 1729; and it ends on page 152, with the entry dated 17 July 1750.

When I first viewed these images, I thought the receipts were for rent or other payments received by Lord Baltimore, but the longer I viewed it, the more I believed that it may be a record of Lord Baltimore’s payments for goods and services.

Each receipt begins with the words “REceiv’d of the Right Honourable the Lord Baltimore” and ends with the signature of an individual. Many of the signatures are preceded by the words “by me” [as in received by me?].

It is this wording that began my speculation on how this receipt book was used. I checked with the Maryland State Archives and the Maryland Historical Society but neither could shed any light on the content. I believe these words indicate that the signatory is acknowledging receipt of payment from Lord Baltimore.

I would welcome any feedback from any Maryland historians and others who may be familiar with this resource.

This database is included in the early state records collections under Miscellaneous Records. This collection also contains digital images of other interesting early records collected by William Sumner Jenkins.

The Archives of Maryland Online (AOMOL) currently provides access to over 471,000 historical documents that form the constitutional, legal, legislative, judicial, and administrative basis of Maryland’s government. Online access enables users to research such topics as constitutional records, city directories, land records, military records and many early state records.  If you are prompted for a user name and password, in most instances, the user name/password of aaco/aaco# will work, but instructions should be provided as to how to register your own.


(1)  Charles, Lord Baltimore’s receipt book, 1729-1750, Calvert Papers, MS 174-911, MdHS.

Posted in Genealogical Tips, Interesting Finds, Maryland Research Tips | 3 Comments

Tombstone Tuesday – Edward Noble (1827 – 1872)

Posted on May 17, 2016 in Tombstone Tuesday
Edward Noble b. 1827 d. 1872, photo courtesy of RoadRunner at

Edward Noble b. 1827 d. 1872, photo courtesy of RoadRunner at

The photo is of the tombstone of my great-great-grandfather, Edward Noble. Edward and his family, including my great-grandfather Thomas, were found in the 1870 US Federal census. Edward and his wife Mary were born in Ireland; and all the children, prior to that last two, were born in England. Since Edward died prior to 1880, this is his only appearance in the census records.

The World War II Draft Registration of my grandfather, William J. Noble, stated that his father, Thomas Noble, was born in Durham County, England. With this clue, I was able to find Thomas with his parents in the 1861 UK census.

Edward was born about 1826/7 in Ireland. He immigrated to England, possibly during the famine. He and Mary Devine had a son, Thomas (my great-grandfather) in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in Nov 1851. He married Mary Devine in 1852 in Newbottle, Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, England.
They then had another son in Liverpool; relocated to Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, England; had three additional children; then migrated to the US around 1865. The entire family appears in the 1861 UK census in Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, England and the entire family, except for James who died in 1862 in England, appears in the 1870 US census in Locust Gap, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Mary appears as a widow in the 1880 US census so I knew Edward died between 1870 and 1880.

Since then, I have been trying to find Edward in Ireland. Edward and his family were Roman Catholic not Church of Ireland. I found this tombstone on Find A Grave last July. What is really exciting about this tombstone is that is states where Edward was from in Ireland. Edward is buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Mount Carmel, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

This is my latest transcription of this tombstone:
the memory of
a native of [Dun?????] Parish of
[Achill?] County Mayo Ireland
Departed this life May 10, 1872
in the 45th year of his age
May his soul rest in peace Amen
Erected by his wife Mary Noble

born May 2, 1867 [1869], died June 4, 1871

As you can see, I was able to transcribe every bit of the tombstone except the exact location of his home town/townland and parish. I even contacted another volunteer to try to obtain a better photo but this photo turned out to be the best.

The person who took this photo and entered the memorial into Find A Grave believes that it says “a native of Dooniver Parish of Achill”. I seem to see more letters then that in each place name which creates my difficulty with my transcription.

Achill is the only parish starting with an A and ending in double-L in Mayo; also the only parish ending with a double-L in Mayo period. There are no parishes ending in “th” in Mayo; in case this is not a “ll” but rather a “th”. See “this life”.

Any help with this transcription is welcome. Although County Mayo is more than I had before, I am really anxious to find the actual location within County Mayo. If you feel you can help, please leave a comment and I will contact you by email with a copy of the photo, allowing it to be enlarged. Maybe some cousins out there know this information.


Posted in Tombstone Tuesday | 2 Comments

Society Saturday – Practical Use of the Mighty FAN Club: Case Study of a Shadowy Female

Posted on May 14, 2016 in Society Saturday

ccgslogocolorvsmallThe Carroll County Genealogical Society’s upcoming meeting on Monday, May 16, 2016 at 7:30 PM features Sharon Cook MacInnes. A dedicated genealogist since 1976–long before the internet revolution–Sharon Cook MacInnes, Ph.D., gradually uncovered her ancestry and discovered through on-site research that she has deep American roots and a passion for family history.

Sharon is an alumna of National Institute of Genealogical Research (NIGR), the advanced methodology course at Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and three sessions at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) for which she now teaches.  She specializes in Pennsylvania research, methodology, and federal land records and has written books documenting the earliest landowners of Pennsylvania in seven counties and western PA. She maintains the website at on which she posts 19th-Century Pennsylvania landowner maps and atlases as a service for researchers.

Sharon will be presenting Practical Use of the Mighty FAN Club: Case Study of a Shadowy Female. Have you followed an ancestor as far back as you can through the records until you hit the proverbial brick wall? You probably know that the only way to make any more progress is through studying the FAN Club (Friends, Associates, Neighbors). What does that actually look like in practice?

This case revolves around a woman in the shadows whose married name was even disputed and whose maiden name seemed hopelessly obscure. Using the few records left by her and her FAN Club as she settled in three states, we track her movements, uncover something of her character and life, and discover her birth family. Hints and indirect evidence are gleaned from her will, a manuscript, land and tax records, a county history, maps, and military records. Along the way, we learn the identity and origin of her husband. Techniques in this presentation should encourage participants to think more creatively about breaching that brick wall.

Meetings of the Carroll County Genealogical Society (CCGS) are held the third Monday of each month, March through May and September through November, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dixon Room, Westminster Library at 50 East Main Street, Westminster. Refreshments are available at 7:00 p.m. and the meetings are free and open to the public.  An annual dinner is held each June and a holiday party each December.  These are for members and their guests, with reservations made in advance.

Please come to our meeting and bring a friend. You will meet other folks interested in family research and genealogy and enjoy delightful talks that may help you in your own research.  I look forward to seeing new faces!

You can also come early and take advantage of our large collection of books and other materials housed at the Westminster Branch of the CCPL.  On Thursday afternoons, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., one or more society volunteers will be on hand to assist researchers. Of course, this collection is available to all anytime the library is open.

Volunteers from the society will be staffing an exhibit on May 21, 2016 at the Celebrating America Weekend event, which is being held at Emerald Hill, 1838 Emerald Hill Lane, Westminster, MD 21157. Bring the family and stop by to say “Hello”.

CCGS Genealogical Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo copyright by Eileen Souza

CCGS Genealogical Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo copyright by Eileen Souza



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Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) – My Favorite Photo of My Mother

Posted on May 7, 2016 in Family Memories, Saturday Night Fun

Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings has given us this Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment.

1) This is Mother’s Day weekend, so please go through the photographs you have of your mother and share one of your favorite photograph of her. Just one. Oh, tell us why it’s one of your favorites, and tell us something about your mother, too.

Here’s mine:

Mickey Furlani corr sm

This photo has a story. My mother, Marguerite Noble Furlani, died in 1985 of emphysema. While cleaning out her belongings I found this photo, which I had never seen before. I asked my Dad about it. He told me she was 23 when this was taken. Since they were married in 26 July 1941 and she would have been 23 on her birthday of 21 May 21 1941, I suspect this may have been a birthday photo.

I asked my Dad about the color of her dress and secretly took the photo to an expert in coloring photos. He hand-colored this photo beautifully. I had it framed and gave it to my Dad for Christmas 1985. He opened it and cried. This is the first time I ever saw my Dad cry.

When my Dad died in 1989, I took the photo, in its frame home with me, and it has the place of honor in my living room.

My mother was born 21 May 1918 in Ranshaw, Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. She married William C. Furlani, my Dad, on 26 July 1941 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, since that is where her parents currently lived. The newspaper said they honeymooned in Wildwood, New Jersey but she always told me it was Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I think my mother, who was known as Mickey, would be very pleased if I would honor her for her most loved activity—10 pin bowling. I found 143 articles in the Chester/Delaware County Times about my mother. They almost all featured her bowling wins.

She was about 38 years old the first time she went bowling in 1956. She joined a team in a league. That year she entered the Chester City tournament and won! She was a natural. Over her entire bowling career, her average was never under 200. She probably could have gone pro but, in those days, women stayed at home with their families. She bowled until she could no longer perform due to the illness that would eventually kill her.

One of my favorite stories is of the famous left-handed bowler Earl Anthony, who visited our area. Somehow or another, he and my mother met and he was so impressed with her skills that he gave her some pointers to improve her game. I remember her telling me that he laid in the alley and had her practice rolling the ball down the alley without hitting him.

My mother was a wonderful active woman. She knew everyone in town. We lived in Essington, Tinicum Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. I loved to go with her as she ran errands and visited folks around town. I remember that her friends called her Gas-Ass Mickey because she was always on the move.

Happy Mother Day, Mom!

Posted in Family Memories, Saturday Night Fun | 1 Comment

Family Recipe Friday – Eileen’s Corn Fritters

Posted on April 29, 2016 in Family Recipes

My mother taught me to make these corn fritters. They are good for breakfast with maple syrup and eggs but even better for dinner. I grew up making them almost every Friday. Fridays were always meatless back in those days and corn fritters went well with vegetarian baked beans.

When I was a kid, I used to love to dip the corn fritters into the baked beans (Okay, I confess—I still do). Corn fritters make a great summer side dish for any grilled meat. They also pair well with baked beans and fried chicken for an easy dinner.

This recipe makes around 8 fritters, depending upon their size.

Eileen’s Corn Fritters

corn fritters 1


Amount        Measure              Ingredient

1                 whole                      egg

1 1/3          cups                        flour

1 1/2         teaspoons               baking powder

1                teaspoons               salt

1               17 oz. can                creamed corn

Crisco or other solid shortening


Mix all ingredients except shortening in a bowl. In a large size frying pan put enough Crisco to fry fritters (about 3/4 inches to start). Fritters should float; if they don’t, you need to add more shortening.  I always used a large electric frying pan with deep sides.

Use a tablespoon to measure fritters into frying pan just like you were spooning out pancake batter. Remove the batch of fritters after browning and drain on paper towel. You may need to add more shortening before frying the next batch.


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Maryland City Directories Online (Tuesday’s Tip)

Posted on April 12, 2016 in Maryland Research Tips, Tuesday's Tips

The Archives of Maryland Online (AOMOL) currently provides access to over 471,000 historical documents that form the constitutional, legal, legislative, judicial, and administrative basis of Maryland’s government. Online access enables users to research such topics as constitutional records, city directories, land records, military records and many early state records. If you are prompted for a user name and password, in most instances, the user name/password of aaco/aaco# will work, but instructions should be provided as to how to register your own.

Matchett’s Baltimore Director 1827, vol. 491, page 3, Archives of Maryland Online

Matchett’s Baltimore Directory 1827, vol. 491, page 3, Archives of Maryland Online

One of the state records collections that I would like to discuss today is City Directories. This collection contains digital images of the various microfilmed pages of these directories, but it also includes a transcription of each page so this collection is searchable.

The collection includes city directories from Annapolis (1910 and 1924), Baltimore City (1827 – 1856 but not all years) and the first African-American city directories for Baltimore (1913 – 1946).

The page also includes a useful link to Baltimore City directories (1800 – 1850, 1850 – 1890, 1900 – 1950) that are available online through the University of Maryland.  The link provided by AOMOL takes you to the University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives home page. This link takes you directly to the digital Baltimore City directories.

The city directories at the University of Maryland are digital images only and cannot be searched for specific data, such as surname. You must view them page by page as if you were looking at the original book. One advantage here is that the each of the books are in alphabetical order by surname or business name.

The University of Maryland has many other useful digital collections. Additional sources for Maryland City Directories can be found at Maryland Directories at

Posted in Maryland Research Tips, Tuesday's Tips | Leave a comment