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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - October/November 2004
Wee Snippets (1)

Mad Piper saluted by stamp issue honoring D-Day exploits

   Scotland’s “Mad Piper” has been immortalized in a series of stamps issued to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

   Bill Millin, 81, found fame as the soldier who piped Lord Lovet’s II Commando Brigade ashore during the landings at Sword Beach in Normandy on 6 June 1944.

   Mr. Millen, originally from Sandyhills, Glasgow, played himself in the film, The Longest Day, alongside Sean Connery and John Wayne.

   Now, an image of him stepping onto the Normandy beachhead has been included on a stamp depicting the greatest seashore invasion ever undertaken.  The stamps have been issued by the government of the Isle of Man ahead of celebrations to mark the day when Allied forces landed in France.

From:  MacAonghais a-rithist!!  International Association of Clan MacInnes, 8232 Kay Court, Annandale, VA 22003-2201.

Vesterheim plans a genealogical tour to Salt Lake City next April

Final plans are now available for the Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library sponsored research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, on April 10-17, 2005.

Participating in this tour will give you an opportunity to work with the largest collection of genealogical materials in the world.  Plans include registration on Sunday evening, and orientation to the Family History Library on Monday morning.

Jerry Paulson and Carol Culbertson will be available to assist you with your Norwegian research and will be available for personal consultations.  Specialists from the Family History Library will also be available.

Transportation is on your own.  The cost is $1,100 for Vesterheim Genealogical Center members and includes hotel accommodations at the Best Western Salt Lake City Plaza Hotel.  

Write to the Center to receive a brochure on this exciting trip.  The address is Vesterheim Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library, 415 West Main Street, Madison, WI 53703-3116.

Source:  Norwegian Tracks, Vesterheim Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library, 415 West Main Street, Madison WI 53703-3116.

Two new books will add to your reading pleasure

GATHERING THE CLANS: Tracing Scottish Ancestry on the Internet by Alan Stewart

            Whether new to family history, or to Scottish research, or to the use of the Internet for either, everyone will find this book a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide. 

            As well as dealing with the records of those who left Scotland for a better life in North America, Australia, or even England and Wales, the author explains the sources for ancestors who joined the forces, how DNA can help research, and the benefits of joining a family history society.

            Appendices provide lists of useful websites, details of charges for access to on-line records and much information that is unavailable elsewhere.  This book will be welcomed as much by professional genealogists as by amateurs and beginners.

            The price is £9.99.  ISBN #: 1-86077-291-9.

            To order the book, contact Carolyn Oliver, Publicity Department, Phillimore & Co., Ltd. (Publisher), Sopwyke Manor Barn, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 2BG; or email her at  The fax is 01243 787639.

THE GREAT SCOT: A Novel of Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s Legendary Warrior King.

The novel is written by Duncan A. Bruce, a descendant of one of four Bruce Brothers. 

In Mel Gibson’s award-winning movie Braveheart, the character Robert the Bruce succeeded Wallace after the English King had Wallace drawn and quartered.  Whereas Wallace started the revolution against English rule, it was Robert the Bruce who became the great Scottish King who defeated the largest English Army ever to invade Scotland at The Battle of Bannockburn.  Robert the Bruce has gone on to almost mythical status among the Scots and for the first time in more than thirty years is the subject of this stirring historical novel.

Duncan A. Bruce has done an incredible job of research on 14th century Scottish history, bringing it to life in a way that the reader can feel transported there.  Scotland’s history is in every page of the superlative novel.

The price of the novel is $25.95, clothback.  Contact St. Martin’s Press, 175 5th Ave., NY, NY 10010-7848.  Call 212-674-5151.  ISBN # 0-312-32396.  You might wish to email 

The Williamsburg Scottish Festival invites you to join them in celebration

On Saturday, September 25th, the Williamsburg Scottish Festival and Celtic Celebration will be held at the Jamestown Beach Campsites, Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, Virginia.

            Everyone is invited to meet Chief Danus Skene of Skene and make plans to attend the Clan Skene Annual General Business Meeting.  The honored Clan is Clan Skene.  The honored guest, of course, is Danus Skene of Skene.

            For additional information about the Clan and the Festival, visit or contact Lisa Comp, Secretary/Editor of Clan Skene Association, Inc. Newsletter, 1 Middlesex Avenue, Goose Creek, South Carolina 29445; e-mail address:

From:  Clan Skene Association, Inc. Newsletter, 1 Middlesex Ave., Goose Creek, SC 29445.

Try these good eats!  Wild Rice Dressing with cranberries and cashews  (serves 6-8)


8 ounces (about 2 cups) Wild Lake Rice (Mansomin)
5 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2-3 tablespoons butter or mild cooking oil
1 cup chopped celery
¾  red chopped onion
1 cup cashews or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
Freshly ground black pepper


            Rinse the rice in three changes of hot tap water and drain well.  In a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat, bring rice, chicken broth and salt to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and cook about 35 minutes, until the wild rice has absorbed most of the broth and is tender but not “rolled back.”

            Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the celery, red onion, nuts and cranberries.  Sauté’ for about 5 minutes, until the celery and onion are slightly softened and the nuts turn golden.

            Add the cooked rice to the skillet and toss to combine all ingredients.  Sauté’ over medium-high heat until any remaining liquid has evaporated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve dressing with roast duck, goose or turkey.

            Reference:  Native Peoples Arts and Lifeways.  For more information, call Native Harvest at 218-573-3448.  Website at  Submitted – Medicine Chief “Burning Hawk.”

Thanks to American Cherokee Confederacy NEWS, National Tribal Office, 619 Pine Cone Road, Albany, GA 31705-6906.

Now you can order English BMD records online

            You can now order English birth, marriage, death certificates online if you know the full GRO reference (name, quarter and year, registration district, volume and page number).

            Free research assessments from British-based researchers are also available.  Researchers personally visit archives throughout England and Scotland, searching original birth, marriage, census, church, and other records not available on the Internet.

            Visit for more information.

Source:  Whittier Area Genealogical Society (WAGS) Newsletter, PO Box 4367, Whittier, CA 90607-4367.

The list of ship arrivals at Ellis Island is now complete!!

            Stephen P. Morse’s project to compile a complete list of every ship arrival at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1924 is now complete.  It can be accessed at

            For each arrival the database has the microfilm roll, volume, frame, date, ship-name, and ports.  Now, for the first time, there is a searchable list of every ship arrival along with links to the associated manifest pages.  This means you can now search for persons not found in the Ellis Island Database because of misspelling or misindexing if you know the name of the ship on which the immigrant came.

            The list consists of a total of 84,000 ship arrivals.  The work was done by a team of over 50 volunteers who read through every one of the 3700 rolls of Ellis Island microfilms from 1892 to 1924.

From:  WAGS Newsletter, PO Box 4367, Whittier, CA 90607-4367.

The use of finger rings has been around for a long time

            While there is a touch of barbarism in wearing rings on the fingers, yet the civilized hand has so long been adorned by them, that it would look plain and unfinished without its hoops of gold. 

            The ancient Romans wore the ring on the joint just under the nail.  The Hebrews wore it on the right hand alone.  The Greeks wore their rings on the fourth finger of the left hand, the Gauls and Britons on the third finger of the left hand.  In Pliny’s time the betrothal ring was an iron hoop, set with a loadstone instead of gem.

            The Romans were even greater slaves to fashion than we of the present.  They had winter and summer rings, the weight and color of the rings being adapted to the season.  The Greeks wore weekly rings, which were charms, and were always intaglios and cameos.  Talismanic rings were also in use among the Romans.

            Seal rings were heirlooms and of great value in business transactions.  The wedding ring is of great antiquity.  It is a common thing to find wives who have been married a lifetime, yet never have allowed the wedding ring to slip over the finger joint.  It is considered unlucky to take it off.  To lose it indicates a misfortune.

Taken from the Roanoke News, December 18, 1884.

Source:  Halifax County Genealogical Society, PO Box 447, Halifax, NC 27839.

You can still order Macfie tartan in cotton

            There is still some cotton Macfie tartan available.  However, the web site to purchase it has been moved.

            You can now order it from their web site at  Peter Wilson is still the contact person and you can contact him directly at 704-556-1555 or email them at

            We believe the price will remain at $15.99 a yard.

Thanks to The Newsbeat, Newsletter of the Macfie Clan Society of America, 420 Ash Drive, Baxter, TN 38544.

See if you can decipher this!

            As genealogists and family historians, we are always put in the position of trying to decipher documents that we find whether they are written in current English, “old” English, or other languages.  Our brains are wonder “computers” which decipher squiggles and lines which are often difficult to decode, let alone difficult to see.

            Here is an example of how wonderful our brains are:  (“enjoy”)


            According to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in what order the ltteers in a word are, the only iprmoatnt thing is that the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pcclae.  The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm.  This is bcuseae the human mind deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe.

            AMZANIG HUH?

Our thanks for this article go to The Prospector, Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society, PO Box 1929, Las Vegas, NV 89125-1929.

Do you know you can prowl with WorldCat?

            WorldCat is a database within the OCLC (Online Catalog of the Library of Congress) FirstSearch reference service.  WorldCat is a general-purpose catalog with a special section devoted to local and family history.  It is available exclusively through libraries or other organizations and cannot be purchased by individuals.  Check to see if your library has access to WorldCat on their website.  If not, ask.  If they have it, your prowls could begin tomorrow.

            WorldCat is a catalog of materials held in more than 7,600 libraries in the Unites States and the rest of the world: public, academic, state and national libraries; archives; and historical societies.  The catalog references regular and special collections – including digitized materials – devoted to local history.  More than 900 million library holdings of 54 million items will be found in WorldCat.

            Some examples of the types of materials which are cited are: 

  • Historic newspapers (some of which have been catalogued and preserved through the United States Newspaper program, including newspapers in many languages)

  • Newspapers from non-U.S. countries

  • Historic photographs (e.g., from the collections of the Denver Public Library Western History/Genealogy Department and the Colorado Historical Society)

  • Church histories

  • Cemetery records

  • Civil War and other military records

  • Town histories

  • Slavery and anti-slavery materials

  • Black biographical dictionaries

  • Oral histories

  • Diaries and journals

  • Probate records

  • Burial records

  • Obituaries

  • Microfilmed genealogy and local history collections

  • Indexes to wills

  • Indexes to births, marriages, and deaths

  • Family histories

  • Family bibles

  • Manuscripts from archives

  • General genealogical resources such as directories, handbooks and magazines.

The collections include many materials that were created locally but are long out of print.  Also, many non-U.S. materials are listed, i.e., more than 27,000 non-English language newspapers.

            If you find material you would like to search, ask your librarian if inter-library loan or copy service is available.  Or, the OCLC website suggests you seek the material at web-based booksellers, visit the holding library, or locate a researcher in the area who could visit for you.

            See the website at for more information – and start prowling.

The above information is from the OCLC and WorldCat website.  The URL is given above.

Source:  Federation of Genealogical Societies FORUM, PO Box 200940, Austin, TX 78720-0940.


            We recently learned of the passing of Jeanne Henley of New Hampshire.  She was born February 13, 1925 and was a descendant of Angus MacPhee born in South Uist, Scotland, 1768.  He came to Prince Edward Island in 1803 supposedly on the POLLY.  Angus and his brother Hugh settled on lot 55.  Great-grandfather – Donald Angus MacPhee; Grandmother – Mary Jane MacLean; Mother – Margaret Wood. 

            Janet Elfers’ brother, Thomas Burnet Macfie passed away on January 3, 2004.  She also noted that her oldest brother, Eddie, was buried at sea 60 years ago during WWII on the same month and day.  Eddie’s ship, the USS Turner DD-648 was torpedoed and sunk along the New Jersey coast, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  Two Scotsmen who served our country bravely.  Tom was a POW in a Japanese camp for 3-1/2 years.  The servicemen who came and carried him out were sailors.  Tom did not know his brother was already in the arms of our Lord.

            Joseph Arthur Cathey, Ann Parker’s uncle, died June 14, 2004.  He was born May 23, 1908, Montpelier, Idaho to parents:  Joseph Webster Cathey, born Waynesville, North Carolina; and Anna Evodia Erickson, born Goteborg, Sweden.

            Stephanie Wolf reports that her uncle James Cathey died on Monday, June 21, in California.  He was 74.  He is survived by three children and three grandchildren, by his sister and one brother, and by his aunt.

            The Cornish Society of Greater Milwaukee lost a dear friend when Fred Heise died on Thursday, July 8, 2004 at the age of 92.  Beloved husband of the late Audrey (nee Prideaux).  He was the loving father of Diane (Herbert) Kriese, Kathryn (Chat) Irmiger, James (Lynn) Heise, and Jill (Bruce) Peterson.  He was the grandfather of eight boys and the great-grandfather of three.  He is survived by other family and Scouting friends.

            Fred was a retiree of Mueller Climatrol and a graduate of Bay View High School, class of 1930.  He was extremely active and involved in all aspects of Scouting for over 80 years.  He was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award and Order of the Arrow, and a member of the North and South Side Youngtimers.

            Fred was also a long-time member of the board of the Cornish Society of Greater Milwaukee.  He volunteered at the folk fair every year.

            His dedication to the Society will be greatly missed.

            George Leon Ellis, age 66 of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, passed away on Thursday, May 20, 2004 at his home.  He was born April 29, 1938 in Los Angeles, California, son of William and Juanita (Wyatt) Ellis.  He was raised and educated in the San Fernando Valley.  He was proud to have served his country while he was in the United States Navy, serving with the First Medical Battalion, First Marine Division.  He later returned to California where he trained as a pipefitter.  He was a member of the National Automatic Sprinklers Industry, Local #709.

            He was united in marriage to Jill Berry on December 13, 1973 in Studio City, California.  They raised horses, including driving ponies, and enjoyed attending horse shows around the country.  After George retired, he and Jill had the good fortune of traveling the country in their motor home.  They recently moved to Douglas County, Oregon, settling in Myrtle Creek where they found many dear and beloved friends.  George was very active in the Douglas County Scottish Society and the Clan Macpherson Association and thoroughly enjoyed attending the Scottish Highland Games around the country and in Scotland.  He was recently investitured as a Chevalier (Knight of the Order) in the Knights Templar of Jerusalem.  George still served his country as a volunteer driver for the Disabled American Veterans.

            He is survived by his wife of over thirty years, Jill of Myrtle Creek; his daughter, Tamra Barnard and her husband Cliff; his son Ian Ellis and his wife Angela; a stepdaughter, Judy Kelley and her husband Scott; two stepsons, George Duncan, and David Duncan and his wife Nieves.  He also leaves three brothers, Bill, Jim, and Bob Ellis; as well as two sisters, Dodie Brown and Judy Muraco.  His grandchildren are Joshua, Leanne, and Shanna Cushman, Nicole Kelley, Malarie Barnard, Nathan Kelley, Chance Duncan, Nieves Duncan, and Lela and Crysta Ellis.  George has one great-grandson, Bradley Morrison.

            Memorial Services were held at the Tri-City Presbyterian Church in Myrtle Creek, on Saturday, June 19, 2004.  Officiating was Reverend Patrick Webber.  Graveside services were held at the Roseburg National Cemetery.  George was buried with military rites by the VFW District Twelve Honor Guard.

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