Friday, January 28, 2005

Movies Early 2005

It's a new year; I'll start afresh. Watched Lost in Yonkers (1993) tonight, and I wish I were more impressed. As always, Richard Dreyfuss is wonderful -- all the acting was wonderful, as was the writing (based on a Simon play), the sets, costumes, lighting -- all super. Maybe it was just too leisurely? It lacked that spark for me, to make it compelling. Near miss, though.

Watched an oldie, tonight - The Thin Man (1934). What a delight! Funny, classy, effervescent -- although they didn't drink gallons of champagne, but instead bathtubs full of whiskey! Wow, people used to drink and smoke a lot in "the pictures." I absolutely loved the film, and will watch out for the rest of them. William Powell and Myrna Loy were just delightful.

Well, last night a fascinating film, musical French murder mystery! 8 femmes (2002), known here as 8 Women. One murdered man, and 8 suspects, trapped in a house together: Danielle Darrieux played Mamy, the mother-in-law of the murdered man, and sang my favorite song of the 8. Catherine Deneuve was Gaby, Marcel's wife. Isabelle Huppert was Augustine, Gaby's resentful sister. Emmanuelle Béart was Louise, the maid. Fanny Ardant was Pierrette, Marcel's estranged sister. Virginie Ledoyen was a radiant Suzon, the older daughter, just home for the holidays from college. Ludivine Sagnier was Catherine, the younger sister, and Firmine Richard was Madame Chanel, the cook. Marvelous cast, fun writing, great SET. Fun, fun, fun!

For a complete change of pace, tonight a drama I checked out of the library on DVD, The Circle, or Dayereh (2000) by Iranian director Jafar Panahi. Very powerful, mysterious, haunting, -- banned in Iran. I don't think it is just about religion, just about women, or even just about the authoritarian regime in Iran. It is about humans, and how we can enlarge our circle of restrictions by supporting one another. Great acting, wonderful script, masterful shooting. See this film.

Thanks to Debra, tonight we saw Garden State (2004), which I so regretted missing in the theater. It was just GREAT, and it is unbelievable that this is Zach Braff's first film as director -- and writer! SO excellent! I enjoyed watching the deleted scenes, too -- although I think the film was definitely better without almost all of them. Ian Holm's big scene was wonderful -- too bad it couldn't have fit, but the film was better without it. :( Natalie Portman was good -- almost erased her Star Wars drek in my head - not that it was HER fault!

Tonight was a very wierd echo of last night's Garden State. We saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) which had the shut-down fellow being brought to full life by the full-of-life girlfriend, although that is where the parallels stop. This one zigged and zagged, but while mystifying sometimes, ultimately made sense. The imagery was wonderful, script was intricate but understandable, acting was TOP-NOTCH -- completely enjoyable and satisfying. Carrey & Winslet get better and better with every outing. Check out the DVD for some of the extras, too. Completely wonderful.

Masterful, gripping, chilling. Richard III (1995) is Sir Ian McKellen's staging of Shakespeare's famous tale of murder, ambition and betrayal. Sir Ian is magnificently evil as Richard, and Kristin Scott Thomas as his doomed wife, and widow of his brother (whom Richard murdered) was also GREAT. Jim Broadbent, who I last saw in Iris (2001), was also VERY good as the smiling but ultimately doomed Buckingham. Richard would not honor anything less than total and instant obediance, you see. I also enjoyed Robert Downey Jr.'s small part. Was he smitten with his sister the Queen? Set in a mythical 30s fascist England, Richard III springs to awful and powerful life.

Tonight, watched The Grudge (2004) with Colin. Interested horror film based on a Japanese folk tale, which was first made as a Japanese film. Sam Raimi was interested in bringing it to American audiences, so it was re-made in Japan and Hollywood, with American lead actors, but the original Japanese director and crew, and the same locations, aside from the house. Just being in a foreign culture would be disturbing as well as exciting, and this fact was built into the new script. Creepy, scary, and interesting. Seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar as a character other than Buffy was cool too! She's good, and I hope she can break out of the teen super-hero role she had for so many years as The Slayer. Nice to have no "Hollywood happy ending", too.

More horror - May (2002), Nastasia's movie. Delightfully gory and twisted! Black comedy morphing into horror, mixed up with a little bit of twisty sex. If you can't deal with blood (and sewing), this one's not for you! "If you can't find a friend... make one."

Piñero (2001). I just checked the DVD out of my local library, and was blown away. Benjamin Bratt carried it off totally, and I thought that the back and forth color/black and white and time-shifting was perfect to portray the fractured nature of this troubled genius. I loved the plays and poetry being woven in with the glimpses of popular culture. Great film, although it doesn't quite escape from the biopic genre.

Favorite Movies (mid-2004):

Latest and Favorite Films (late 2004):

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a doorway for the human spirit. - Helen Keller

Monday, January 24, 2005

Le Centre Départemental d'Histoire des Familles (CDHF)

How to use the Le Centre Départemental d'Histoire des Familles (CDHF) website. Thanks to my partner in the Alsace Chat project, Jean-Pierre Daeschler, for forwarding the CDHF announcement. They have recently added new data. I can't read French, but Babelfish has helped me figure out some of it. Giliane and Lorine kindly sent the list some explanations of how to read and use the site. Thank you, Giliane and Lorine!

   Marriages by bride or groom's name. Listed are Groom's surname, firstname on top, Bride's surname, firstname in the middle, year on the bottom. Remember, the data is more for the Department du Haut-Rhin, and it is far from complete When you find a marriage record from an ancestor, you can click on a little blue basket on the right, which will put this in a "basket" and you can then order a copy of the record. The order is not online, but it produces a form with the details on the data you need, which you print and mail to them.

   This is the best link, because it provides a lot of information on what they have collected over the years, and it is mostly for Haut-Rhin, although you can find details on some Bas-Rhin towns. From this link you can access several databases, i.e. marriages in the selected town; archives, military, "optants", armoiries, village pictures etc.

All databases:
   Lorine (from Olive Tree Genealogy), says a bit about this part:

This is where you find the list of all the databases - in the box on the right (Les bases sont accessibles dans les différents cadres de droite.) See the box labelled: Patronymes. That is all the databases. Under the title are clickable lists of the databases, including names of soldiers (soldats) etc. You can use wildcards in your search (acceptent les caractéres jokers). They are the * to replace zero or more characters and the question
mark ? to replace one character in your search.

Click on one (soldats). There is a page explaining that specific database and the words Accéder à la base. You must click on that link to search. A new page loads. Type your search term into the box, then click the little arrow.

Lorine's search: I went to the soldats one, typed in JEANNE, and got no results.It came up with a reminder about using wildcards, so I typed in JEAN* and got 14 results. You can order articles (they show beside the names you find when you search the databases). You add articles to your basket (panier) top right, where it says utilisation and under that panier. If you click on the panier vide' (empty basket/cart) you will find another page of explanation starting with the heading Panier vide (empty basket/cart). Then it explains the 2 hour anonymous cookie life. You can add the articles to your basket but if you go past 2 hours, they are all lost.

So I tried it with my search of the SOLDATS database. Did the "JEAN*" search again and then clicked on the article to the right of the first name. There's a bit of info, including author's name, and a price. The first button/icon to the right says, in a little bubble when you run your mouse over it, ADD TO YOUR BASKET (ajouter au panier). The second says MORE INFORMATION (plus d'informations). I clicked, it was added and a window popped confirming that. Then go to the top RIGHT of the page. 3 icons in a row - first is "access the cart/basket" (acces au panier) second is "Write to us" (nous contacter) third is "print" (imprimer). When I clicked to access (see) my basket (panier) it showed the article!

Thanks to Giliane and Lorine for helping us understand how better to make use of this wonderful resource. Thanks for any clarifications, additions, or corrections.

The greatest and noblest pleasure which we have in this world is to discover new truths, and the next is to shake off old prejudices. - Frederick II (the Great)

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Roots-L Arkansas Resources:

Arkansas Genealogy Mail Lists:

Arkansas GenWeb:

Linkpendium Arkansas links:

Arkansas Old Newspapers:

Bill Couch's "Original Arkansas Genealogy":

Arkansas Genealogical Society:

Free Arkansas Census and County Formation Maps:

$$$ Pictorial History of Arkansas Up to 1890, database online. Provo, Utah:, Inc., 2003. Original data: Hempstead, Fay. A Pictorial History of Arkansas From Earliest Times To the Year 1890. St. Louis and New York: N. D. Thompson Publishing, 1890. subscribers can search this database at:

No loss of flood and lightning, no destruction of cities and temples by hostile forces of nature, has deprived man of so many noble lives and impulses as those which his intolerance has destroyed. - Helen Keller

Free Information at

The up-to-date version of this post will be maintained at:

There is still lots of free info on Ancestry. In fact, recently two Census indexes have been added; the US 1880 every-name index, and the 1881 UK Census. The Message boards are free, as is the Ancestry World Tree. The My Ancestry Search Profile is pretty cool, and is free, although the results may point to subscription databases. The Learning Center is still free, which has loads of great articles. They also offer the free trial program, Family Tree Maker, although you do have to register to get that. Finally, the Research Registry is free for all.

Two census indexes for free searching: the 1880 U.S. Federal Census and the 1881 England, Wales, Isle of Man, and Channel Islands Census. The 1880 U.S. Federal Census is an every-name index and the last census available census for the 1800s. More about this: The 1881 census every-name index includes enumerations for England, Wales, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands.

Message Boards: or

Ancestry World Tree:
(database also accessible from Rootsweb:

My Ancestry:

Learning Center:

Ancestry has a Research Registry, which is a way for you to connect with people working on the same surnames or families as you. Access the Research Registry through the Message Boards tab on On the right side of the page you'll see a box titled Research Registry. From here you can search for others working on specific surnames or add your own research profiles so that others can find you. Note that if you are not an subscriber or registered site user, you will probably have to register your name and e-mail address in to access the Research Registry. This registration is free. Rootsweb has a similar, older database, the RootsWeb Surname List:

And don't forget, since Ancestry purchased Rootsweb, that all of that fabulous material is still available free, thanks to Ancestry:

I have to admit, they seem to "hide" the free information, but it is there. I'm sure we all miss the "10 days for free on all new databases" that they did for so many years. Also remember, if you can't afford a membership, there are LOTS of library systems that subscribe, so be sure to check the website of your local or county library system. I have access to both Ancestry *and* Heritage Quest through my county library system.

Posting One (and only one) GEDCOM file at Rootsweb WorldConnect, Ancestry World Tree, and Ancestry Online Family Tree:

Search the White Pages at Ancestry:

$$$ AIS Census Indexes at Ancestry:

Interview Questions:

Charts and Forms (incl. blank census forms, Pedigree/Ancestral Chart & Family Group Sheets):

Rootsweb, and how to Use it:

Need to search list archives? Use Rootsweb Listsearches:

Easy List Unsubscribing:

Sharing Your Family History at Rootsweb:

Valorie's Genealogy Lists:

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. - Arthur Golden

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Those who know me, know that I'm not a fan of President Bush. However, I am an idealist, and remain hopeful for the future. I didn't listen to the speech, but I did read the text. While there are hidden ideas disguised by patriotic rhetoric with with I take issue, there are also ideas I hope Bush and his government will hold themselves to. So often the US has shown immense hypocracy, supposedly supporting democracy and human rights, but in reality propping up or even creating tyrannies such as that of Saddam Hussein and in much of Central and South America. Is there pressure on General Mussarif to step down, or at least give up control of the Pakistani Army? If lack of freedom creates terrorism, where are all the Chinese terrorists? There was not a word about fundamentalist Islam and the threat it poses to the world. If liberty and freedom are good for the rest of the world, why are we still suffering under the Patriot Act?

If "freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities" -- why is Bush continuing to say that he supports the amending the Constitution to take away the rights of gay Americans to marry as they choose? Rights that should be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment?

There is one partial sentence in the speech I love: "Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself." I hope each reader will make that choice.

I am in complete concord with the penultimate paragraph, and I hope Mr. Bush and I agree on the meaning:
We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner "Freedom Now" - they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.
The Daily Show's scoreboard: Freedom - 27     Liberty - 15


I have no point-by-point examination of the State of the Union speech, because it all sounded like so much double-talk to me. However, Bush's central point about Social Security sounds completely BOGUS to me. Sending part of the contributions to so-called "private accounts" will *help* the predicted shortfall? Huh? Besides, people have been able to contribute to their own IRAs for many years. Those are truly private accounts. For more, see


Bill Moyer's explanation of the thinking on the Right - The Delusional Is No Longer Marginal:
   Can critical thinking really be in such decline? Religious faith has not meant the abandonment of thought, before.

Open Letter to President Bush and Those Who Voted For Him:

Call to Action:


The war - Deja Vu (All Over Again):

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere:

Modern Reality Cannot Be Amended:

Gay Marriage:

Marriage, the Bible, and Mr. Bush:

Open Letter to Dr. Laura concerning her Condemnation of Homosexual People:

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism:

Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people. - Jawaharlal Nehru

Train Ticket

Just a joke, boys....

Train Ticket

Three women and three men are traveling by train to the Super Bowl. At the station, the three men each buy a ticket and watch as the three women buy just one ticket.

"How are the three of you going to travel on only one ticket?" asks one of the men.

"Watch and learn," answers one of the women.

They all board the train. The three men take their respective seats but all three women cram into a toilet together and close the door. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the toilet door and says, "Ticket, please."

The door opens just a crack, and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The men see this happen and agree it was quite a clever idea; so, after the
game, they decide to do the same thing on the return trip and save some money. When they get to the station they buy a single ticket for the return trip but see, to their astonishment, that the three women don't buy any ticket at all!!

"How are you going to travel without a ticket?" says one perplexed man.

"Watch and learn," answer the women.

When they board the train, the three men cram themselves into a toilet, and the three women cram into another toilet just down the way. Shortly after the train is on its way, one of the women leaves her toilet and walks over to the toilet in which the men are hiding. The woman knocks on their door and says, "Ticket, please."

I'm still trying to figure out why men ever think they are smarter than women.

Contributed by my friend and distant cousin Don Gossick. Thanks, Don!

Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute. Set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. - anon

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tsunami Before & After

Horrible damage apparent from sattelite photos:

If There is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. - William Penn

Monday, January 17, 2005

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people. - Coretta Scott King, March 31, 1998

Saturday, January 15, 2005

South Carolina

South Carolina Dept. of Archives & History has put many databases online, searchable by surname, location, or topic. There is a Soundex option, and you can tailor your searches using Boolean search terms, and by limiting to a year-range. Here are a few samples:


Plat Collection of John McCrady ca.1680-1929 8,107
Judgment Rolls (Charleston District) 1791-1839 22,776
Renunciations of Dower Books (Charleston County) 1787-1887 992
Petitions and Decrees in Summary Process (Charleston District) 1791-1823 4,583
Petitions to Practice Law (Charleston District Court of Equity) 1804-1808 8
Accounts Audited of Claims Growing Out of the Revolution 1778-1804 11,170
Memorial Books (Copy Series) 1731-1778 21,515
Individual Tax Returns for 1824 1825 5,172
Petitions to Practice Law (Constitutional Court) 1820 1
Judgment Rolls (Court of Common Pleas) 1703-1790 14,981
Renunciations of Dower Books (Court of Common Pleas) 1726-1786 2,028
Petitions and Decrees in Summary Process (Common Pleas) 1783-1790 292
Petitions to Practice Law (Court of Appeals [1824-36]) 1825-1836 154

The entire list is here:

The documents are grouped as follows:
Index to Multiple Record Series ca. 1675-1929 - 172,325 items
Will Transcripts 1782-1855 - 10,567 items
Confederate Pension Applications 1919-1938 - 10,242 items
Plats for State Land Grants 1784-1868 - 51,701 items
Legislative Papers 1782-1866 - 52,567 items
Criminal Journals 1769-1776 - 2,087 items
School Insurance Photographs 1935-1952 - 2,662 items
TOTAL: 302,151 items

Search databases that index records located at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History:

RootsWeb South Carolina Resources:

South Carolina:

A society unwilling to confront its social reality in a timely manner is doomed to experience the consequences in later generations and possibly forever. - William Greider

Sunday, January 09, 2005

US Centennial Gazetteer, Newspaper Union List

The centennial gazetteer of the United States: A geographical and statistical encyclopædia of the states, territories, counties, townships, villages, post offices, mountains, rivers, lakes, etc., in the American union. By A. von Steinwehr. Publication date: [c1874] By Steinwehr, Adolph Wilhelm August Friedrich von, 1822-1877, comp.

Title Page:
Preface Page:
Abbreviations Used page:

Index (Letter of the alphabet, and start page):
A - 59      H - 378     O - 663     V - 910
B - 98      I - 420      P - 688     W - 925
C - 162    J - 437     Q - 744     X - 1002
D - 256    K - 455     R - 746     Y - 1003
E - 287    L - 473      S - 781     Z - 1009
F - 312    M - 522     T - 869    
G - 344    N - 611     U - 899    

US Gazetteer 1874


UNION LIST:;cc=moa;sid=86abce17a967313b6464b5007b6eb760;rgn=full%20text;idno=AAM7032.0001.001;view=image;seq=00000003

Centennial Newspaper Exhibition, 1876. A Complete list of American Newspapers. A statement of the industries, characteristics, population and location of towns in which they are published; also, A descriptive account of the great newspapers of the day. NY; G.P.Rowell & Co., 1876.

Alabama, 17-19
Alaska (none)
Arizona Terr., 166
Arkansas, 19-20
California, 20-25
Colorado Terr., 166-167
Connecticut, 25-26
Dakotas Terr., 167-168
Delaware, 26-27
D.C., 27
Florida, 27-28
Georgia, 28-31
Hawaii (none)
Idaho Terr., 168
Illinois, 31-44
Indiana, 44-52
Iowa, 52-61
Kansas, 61-64
Kentucky, 54-67
Louisiana, 67-69
Maine (pps.69-71
Maryland, 71-73
Massachusetts, 73-79
Michigan, 79-86
Minnesota, 86-89
Mississippi, 89-91
Missouri, 91-98
Montanta Terr., 168
Nebraska, 98-100
Nevada, 100-101
New Hampshire, 101-102
New Jersey, 102-106
New Mexico Terr., 168
New York, 106-122
North Carolina, 123-124
North Dakota (see Dakotas)
Ohio, 124-135
Oklahoma (Indian Terr.), 168
Oregon, 135
Pennsylvania, 135-147
Rhode Island, 147-148
South Carolina, 148-149
South Dakota (see Dakotas)
Tennessee, 149-152
Texas, 152-155
Utah Terr., 168-169
Vermont, 155-157
Virginia, 157-159
Washington Terr., 169
West Virginia, 159-161
Wisconsin, 161-166
Wyoming Terr., 169

Many of these newspapers will be available ILL (inter-library loan). Check the United States Newspaper Program: for the location of the newspapers you want on microfilm.

Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you. You only have to become quiet enough to hear them. - Debbie Ford

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Twelve Secular Saints

12 Secular Saints I found from Tim Pierce's blog -- thanks for the link, Tim! Thanks to Vito for creating this wonderful series.

Saint 12 - Alfred Kinsey:

Saint 11 - Carl Sagan:

Saint 10 - Alice Walker:

Saint 9 - Harry Houdini:

Saint 8 - James Watson, Saint 7 - Francis Crick, Saint 6 - Rosalind Franklin:

Saint 5 - Victoria Woodhull:

Saint 4 - Richard Dawkins:

Saint 3 - Ayn Rand:

Saint 2 - Galileo Galilei:

Saint 1 - of course, Charles Darwin:

This is a *wonderful* series; you simply must see the art and read the text. Thank you again, Vito.

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. - Joseph Campbell

Friday, January 07, 2005

Huguenot Research

Huguenots of France and Elsewhere:

Huguenots Refugees - French protestants driven to exile: History:

Huguenot History:

The Huguenot Website:


The Wars of Religion, Part I:

Deutsche Hugenotten-Gesellschaft e.V.:

German Huguenot Bibliography:

Huguenot History Germany:

Finding German Waldensians:

Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland:

Thanks to Rob Hausman and Eric Richendollar for gathering these links for the Alsace-Lorraine list

Do not judge men by mere appearances; for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy. - E. H. Chapin

Monday, January 03, 2005

Finding Scots

The up-to-date version of this post will be maintained at:

The first place to search is the IGI (International Genealogical Index):

Start with a bit of information, and only enter more details to narrow down your search results.

Usually the indexed baptisms and marriage information are part of the IGI. If you have searched the IGI without success for your person of interest, searching the Old Parish Register (OPR) indexes and OPRs themselves is still useful, in case they were missed. Baptisms and marriages in the OPRs can be searched using a computerized index, either on a county basis or searching over the whole country. The index gives the reference number for the relevant microfilm roll together with the frame number (page), allowing you to go straight to the record you are interested in, once you order in the OPR film.

You can access the Old Parish Registers online, by opening an account at However, you must find the record you want in the IGI first, then pay them to transcribe the record. Scotland's People has an index of Scottish births 1553-1903, marriages 1553-1928, deaths 1855-1953, and indexed census data 1881-1901. Again, you find your record in the indexes, then order a copy of the original record. Sometimes Scotland's People has records that were missed in the IGI, and thus not available through Scot's Origins.

It only costs about $3.50 to order the OPR film you want to your local FHC. If you search the OPR yourself, you can find collateral relatives too. You can also consult the indexes to baptisms and marriages on microfiche and CD-ROM in the FHC. Be aware that the computerized versions are merely indexes, and you should always consult the film of the OPRs themselves.

The birth/baptism/christening index usually contain the individual's name, parent's name, event, date of event, parish, county, and film reference numbers. The marriage index usually contains the husband and wife's name, date of marriage, parish and county, and reference numbers. From the reference number you can order the microfilm which may or may not contain more information. The OPRs vary widely in quality and completeness. For more information about using your local FHC, see:

A new source of digitized death records is the McKirdy Index of Scottish Death Records 1855-1875. Rather than the church records, these are the indexed civil records.

Was he a minister? Check out Scottish Ministers Index (Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae):

Scottish Maps:

Scotland Research Links:

Also, Using Batch Numbers and the IGI:

Make the Family History Library Catalog SING for you:

Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe. - Slim Aitken