Tombstone Tuesday – Theobald Meisberger (1837 – 1900)

Posted on July 26, 2016 in Tombstone Tuesday
My Tombstone Tuesday for this week is the monument of my 2nd great grandfather, Theobald Casper Meisberger, in St. Edward’s Cemetery, Coal Township, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania.

R12-L21 Theobald Meisberger on monument. Photo courtesy of John Haile

R12-L21 Theobald Meisberger on monument. Photo courtesy of John Haile

The grave is located in range 12, lot 21, grave 1 of the cemetery. He died 13 June 1900 and according to the cemetery record, he was buried 13 June 1900. The grave has a headstone that says Father.

The monument inscription reads





DEC. 25, 1837.


June 13, 1900.


62Y. 5M. 18D.


Theobald’s parents were Michel Meisberger (1812 – 1878) and Margarethe Bettinger Meisberger (1807 – 1879). Theobald married Mary Catherine Strausser (1842 – 1897) in 1860. They had nine children, including my ancestor Eva Meisberger (1861 – 1941).

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Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 4

Posted on July 16, 2016 in Professional Genealogist
iStock_Business Plan_Small

I completed most of my education, was now incorporated and, getting ready to launch my new business. It was now time to proceed to the next step – business planning. Two of the small business classes I took, “Create Your Strategic Business Plan” & “Creating & Updating a Marketing Plan”, provided me with some initial knowledge of business planning.

One of the things I had to struggle with is that since I never had my own business, I did not know what my business should do. In June 2010, I was required to prepare a business plan as a homework assignment for the ProGen Study Group. As a template, I basically followed the sections spelled out in Chapter 9 of the book Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Between my classes and this exercise, I understood the planning process better.

When I finally needed to develop my actual business plan for my fledgling company, I looked at many templates that I found online. I selected a template provided by the Small Business Association (SBA), but I ended up modifying it. Since I took the above classes in creating business and marketing plans, I noticed that much of the content was redundant for me. I did not need borrow any money to launch my business so the sections on finances, meant to inform prospective lenders, were not necessary in my business plan. I do an annual operating budget so I do project my revenues and expenses for the plan year.

I wanted to streamline the process as much as possible. All the marketing content was currently included in both the business and marketing plans. I took out all of the marketing sections in the business plan so they were now only located in the marketing plan. With this change my business plan remains relatively static unless I change my services, business model, or organization—all of which would be infrequent.  I update my marketing plan annually using the following outlines.

Outline for Business Plan
Confidentiality Agreement
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Company Description
Resources, Repositories and Services
Management and Organization
Management Team
Security and Confidentiality
Industry Description and Analysis
Marketing Plan
Operating Budget
Client Agreement
The Association of Professional Genealogists Code of Ethics

Outline for Marketing Plan
Executive Summary
Business Overview
The Current Genealogy Market
Target Market
Market Segment
Competitive Edge
Marketing and Sales Strategies
Marketing Strategy
Prior Accomplishments
Sales Strategy
Marketing Research Materials
Business Card
Other Marketing Tools (Optional)

I find this approach works very well for me since it lets me focus on the marketing aspects of planning. The bottom line is that I found out that everything I do with business turns out to be marketing, even when dealing with clients, such as, managing a client’s expectations or closing a contract–that’s all marketing.

How many clients I want, what kind of income I need, do I expand or contract my market, how do I get my clients–that goes all in the marketing plan. During the year I only have to monitor the marketing plan.  If I decide to add a service, change my organization or business model, I would need to update my business plan; but I don’t see that happening for a while.

This is how I handle my planning process but there are many different ways this can be accomplished. My next topic may span multiple posts as I will be discussing what I learned about marketing a genealogy business and my marketing decisions.


See the earlier posts in this series:
Introduction – Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 1
Education – Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 2
Support Team – Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 3

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Sunday’s Obituary – Bonaventura Bianchi (1885 – 1906)

Posted on July 10, 2016 in Sundays Obituary

Recently, I sent away for a bunch of obituaries from the Mount Carmel Library in Mount Carmel, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Yesterday I received my copies and they contained a surprise.

When browsing their index, I found two obituaries listed—one for Ventura Bianchi and one for Vinton Bianchi, both published the same day by different newspapers—so I ordered both. The results are an excellent example of obtaining as many documents as possible for an event and the reliability of those documents.

For years I only had the obituary from the Mount Carmel Item. With this order, I received a duplicate of that obituary and an additional obituary from the Daily News. The following is a table I created to highlight the differences between the two obituaries.

Sundays Obituary- Bonaventura Bianch sm

My great-grandfather is Bonaventura Bianchi. He was born in Italy either in 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858 or 1859. July 1855 is listed in the 1900 US census entry, and his death certificate shows 12 June 1855. His tombstone has 1859 and my great-aunt Lucy said he was born in 1858. The age on his passenger list computes to a birth year of 1856. The two obituaries give different ages: Mount Carmel Item, 1855 and Daily News, 1857. Until I find a birth record in Italy, I have been using the birth date of 12 June 1855 that is on his death certificate. This information was provided by his eldest son, Peter.

His death certificate gives his date of death as 25 December 1906 at 5:30 PM. The Daily News gives 6:00 PM as the time of death and the Mount Carmel Item states the time of death was 5:50 PM.

His death certificate states that he is buried in St. Peter’s cemetery (aka Merriam Hill cemetery). I can personally attest to this since I visited his grave and took a photo of his tombstone at St. Peter’s. The Mount Carmel Item has him correctly buried in Merriam Hill but the Daily News has him buried in St. Mary’s cemetery, an entirely different location.

His name on the death certificate is Ventura Bianchi. I have seen his given name with the variants and/or nicknames of Bonaventura, Ventura, Vinton, Walley, Bonaventure and Victor. The Daily News obituary calls him Ventura, while the Mount Carmel Item calls him Vinton.

While the Mount Carmel Item does not name his children, the Daily News does—all twelve of them. They did get my great-aunt Lucy’s name wrong calling her Percy. They do both end in “y”. one thing struck me funny—neither paper named my great-grandmother, Maria. They just referred to her as his widow.

The final discrepancy is occupation. The Daily News called him a hotel keeper, while the Mount Carmel Item called him a miner. I have other documentation showing that he was a miner. In his death certificate, his son called him a rockman (aka miner). The Daily News also said that he belonged to four Italian and Tyrolean societies.

The most exciting part of finding this second obituary is the information on the societies and occupation because they give me more clues to research. The fact that he also joined Tyrolean societies may mean that like my grandfather, Candido Furlani, Bonaventura may also be from Trentino Alto-Adige in Italy. Now Trentino province in Italy, prior to the end of WWI, this area was the southern portion of the Tyrol and part of the Austrian-Hungary Empire. This information may help to narrow down my search. I would still have to find the town or village he came from to be able to search the church records. As to the hotel keeper occupation, it is possible that when he retired from mining, he went to work in a hotel. Something else to pursue.


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10 Ways to Avoid Common Genealogy Mistakes (Tuesday’s Tip)

Posted on June 28, 2016 in Tuesday's Tip
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Genealogy is not something that can be done from start to finish in a weekend or even a year of weekends. It is, however, an enjoyable activity that is done by millions of people. While you enjoy doing your family research, I am sure you would like your family tree to be as accurate as possible. Here are 10 ways to avoid genealogy’s most common mistakes:

  1. Talk to your family. You relatives know more about your family than the Internet. Write down what they know. More information acquired before hitting the Internet increases your chances of making good selections about what you add to your tree. And while you are doing that, you are helping to preserve their knowledge.
  1. Use caution in your research. Genealogy records found online or elsewhere that are not original documents may have errors. Abstracting or transcribing old documents can introduce typos and other transcription errors. In the case of abstracting, there may be other important information on the original. Knowing whether family history books are accurate without proper citations (as footnotes or endnotes), can be difficult. It is important to try to use the original documents, if available.
  1. Unless you have a very rare surname with a unique spelling, you will need to do more research to determine if you are actually related to another person with the same name.
  1. While not impossible, it is unlikely that you are related to a Royal family since they tended to be inbred.
  1. Another popular myth has immigrants’ names being changed at Ellis Island (or earlier officials). Your ancestor may have had their name slaughtered at the port of departure where the passenger list was created or they may have decided to become Americans by changing their name themselves; but it was not changed by officials at the port of entry.
  1. Spelling was standardized in the US and UK during the 19th and 20th centuries. Yet today British English and American English still have dissimilar spelling standardizations. Do not assume because it is not spelled the way you know it that it is not your line. Confirm a fact/relationship using more than just a name.
  1. While sometimes you must guess, either keep your guesses in a separate tree and only move the fact into your real tree when it is no longer a guess or note that the fact is a guess. Otherwise, no one will have confidence in your research.
  1. Everyone can make mistakes. Periodically check your data for these common errors: parents born before their children, people living more than 125 years and a child linked to more than one set of parents. Fix all the mistakes that you find as soon as you discover them. You want to avoid inadvertently tracing entire lines of people that have no relationship to you.
  1. When using other people’s family tree data, it is safest to treat it as a clue and do further research. Even the best research may change if new data surfaces since the original data was uncovered.
  1. Lastly, there is a principle in genealogy research known as a “reasonably exhaustive search”. This means that you must keep searching for all documents that may apply to the facts you are researching. All documents are not online. While new records are added frequently, if not daily, online records are still the tip of the iceberg. You need to extend your research to libraries, societies, archives and other repositories to ensure valid results.



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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.


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Becoming a Professional Genealogist: My Journey – Part 2

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


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