Almost Wordless Wednesday:

The newest branch on the Silver family tree:

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Little Miss A
born January 21, 2014
2:46 p.m.
6 lbs. 3 oz., 17.5 in.

On her blessing day, April 13, 2014:

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I realize I haven’t posted here in a very long time, but I haven’t had a lot of time for family history research let alone time to update the blog due to these five cuties:

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I am looking forward to getting back into it though!

26 more days!

Some of you may have noticed the bright new button at the top of my sidebar. I am an official 1940 U.S. Census Blog Ambassador, which just means that I get to share some of my passions with you and spread the word about what’s happening in April.

It’s no secret that I love family history; in fact I love all kinds of history.  But you probably don’t know that I love census records.  Yes, I do!  I think it’s because the census shows families. Birth records don’t do that, marriage records don’t do that, death records don’t do that.  But census records do.  Families are very important to me and there have been a number of family members that I have searched for in vital records to no avail.  But I’ve been able to find them on the census with their families and make sure they’re accounted for.

It is really thrilling to me when I find the actual names of my family members written out on U.S. Census forms.  So I am really excited for April 2, when the 1940 U.S. Census is released by the National Archives.  The 1940 Census is the first census ever to be released digitally.  This new video prepared by the Archives explain the preparations that have gone on behind the scenes to digitize the microfilmed images and have them ready to go on April 2.  Take a look (and know that the scratchy music at the beginning only lasts a few seconds!):

The 1940s have always fascinated me so I am especially looking forward to searching this census.  As the video points out, it describes a country that has just survived the Depression.  It reflects “all of the economic dislocation, how many people were immigrants, how many people had what level of education.”  And it’s a snapshot in time of a country on the brink of war.  This is fascinating stuff to me!

Although the census images will be available in April, it will take a long time to search out our families.  135 million Americans, 3.9 million digital images–you do the math.  The images will be searchable by enumeration districts if you can figure out where your family lived in 1940, but it will be so much easier when there is an index created for the census . . . which is where you come in!

The 1940 U.S. Census Community Project is how that index will be created.  The more volunteers the better.  If you have never done FamilySearch Indexing before, well, why not give it a try?  Download the software from the Indexing website and just start doing it.  You can do as much or as little as you like.  Index a few names when you have time; you can always come back and finish a batch later.  If you’re a busy mom like me, you’ll love a project that gets done and actually stays done!

Personally I can’t wait to find my grandparents somewhere in those images.

Who are you hoping to find?  Leave me a comment and let me know, and let me know if you’ll help me index come April 2!

Thanks!

The family of William Nyren and Elizabeth Anne

William Nyren Silver and Elizabeth Anne Chamberlain were married on July 29, 1811, in St. Paul’s Church in Halifax.  Their union was blessed with seven children:

  1. Eliza Silver, born 18 Oct 1812, died 14 Dec 1827.
  2. William Chamberlain Silver, born 3 Dec 1814, died 23 Feb 1903. Married Margaret Ann Etter Sep 1840.
  3. Frances Silver, born 5 Dec 1816.  Married Alexander Fraser 22 Feb 1843
  4. John C Silver, born 21 Nov 1818, died 28 Jun 1898 in Norris Point, Newfoundland.
    Married  1) Mary Ann Silver (his first cousin) on 16 Jul 1849
    2) Caroline Sams 1 Aug 1888
  5. James Money Silver, born 23 Aug 1820, died 16 Sep 1872 in Hastings, Minnesota.  Married Amy Tupper 3 Apr 1843 at St. John’s Anglican Church, Cornwallis, Nova Scotia.
  6. Charles Stuart Silver, born 15 Mar 1822, died July 1870 in a shipwreck.  Married Elizabeth Burke of Edinburgh, Scotland.
  7. Sarah Silver, born 6 Aug 1824, died 9 Jun 1853.  Married John Stairs of Halifax 20 Jan 1846.

Several family trees “out there” have an Elizabeth Silver listed as a daughter of this family and married to a Thomas Quin and/or Thomas Hunt.  These marriages take place in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, rather than in Halifax.  There is a large clan of Silvers (sometimes spelled Silber) of German descent in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.  They are not related to our Halifax Silvers but can sure make research tricky!

More can be learned about the Lunenburg Silvers at this website.

Collaboration is the key

I recently attended the genealogy/technology conference Rootstech here in Salt Lake and one of the major messages of the conference, at least for me, was “collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!”

I also attended a presentation by Ron Tanner from FamilySearch this past weekend about the upcoming merging of the newFamilySearch trees into FamilySearch.org.  It will have an open edit feature where anyone could potentially change anything.  You could sense some trepidation in the room when he talked about this.  As genealogists we can tend to get possessive of our research and our conclusions and we don’t want anyone to touch “my tree.”  He actually called it “My-tree-itis” and told us we needed to get over it!

I thought he gave a very convincing case for having an open edit universal family tree.  Too many of us have worked alone for too long and we’ve been wasting way too much time repeating research that has previously been done because we’re not talking to each other and we’re not sharing our findings.  We need to quit duplicating efforts and put our time and energy into moving the work forward.

I have a regular blog, you could probably even call it a “mommy blog,” where I document our current family story.  It also serves as a record of our adventures in homeschooling our boys.  I’ve “met” some of the most wonderful people, and made some really truly good friends, just by putting myself out there and sharing our experiences through that blog!  I also have another (sad and neglected at the moment) family history blog for my husband’s grandmother’s line that goes back to the 1750s in the Kennebec River valley up in Maine.  Even with the little work I’ve done on that blog, we’ve come in contact with a number of people who are also researching the Goodwin family.  Google searches can be a wonderful thing!  We were even privileged to meet up with a few distant cousins on a recent trip to the East Coast.

With yet another blog, I hope to make even more connections with family members from the Silver side so we can move that work forward.  I’ve felt the desire to track down all the descendants of William Nyren Silver and his wife Elizabeth, but I know I can’t accomplish that task by myself.  Already, from forum posts on ancestry.com and elsewhere (some left over ten years ago), I’ve been able to connect and collaborate with cousins from a number of places: Washington state, Minnesota (now Virginia), New Brunswick, and even Scotland.  For what has really felt like minimal work on my end, I’ve been blessed to receive photos, family trees, newspaper articles, even some Christmas cards!  It really has been amazing to see what happens when we work together.

What I wish I had started 10 years ago

Shortly after my husband and I got married, we began discussing our various family histories.  I am descended from a multitude of Mormon pioneers on my mother’s side and my dad’s great-grandparents save one all joined the LDS church in Europe in the late 1800s and moved to Utah sooner or later, which is where we currently reside.

My husband Bill, on the other hand, did not know much about his ancestry save a few family legends.  Now that I was a Silver by marriage, the one that caught my attention was the story of four Silver brothers who were supposedly in the dry goods business together and outfitted ships for sea voyages out of Halifax.

So we began our search for the facts behind the legend.  On Sunday afternoons we’d wander over to the local family history center to see what we could dig up.

Years later I can say that we have found those four brothers, as well as three sisters, the death of their mother, their father’s subsequent remarriage, and the birth of three more Silver sons.

Ten years ago, I don’t even think I knew what blogging was!  But it would be so nice now to have a detailed log of all the facts, faces, and names we’ve run across in our searching.  I have notebooks full of scribbled research notes, family trees compiled in various places, and file folders stuffed with interesting bits of information, but I decided it was high time to begin a family history blog as a means of keeping track of our family information in one place.  Having been blessed with four Silver boys of our own and a desire to help them understand more of their heritage, we hope this blog will be a family effort as we continue to track down all the relations of William Nyren Silver of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Better late than never, right?