Deb's Monthly Review
bullet September 2000 bullet Festivals for Travelers,
Sites of the Month,
Special Feature, Quotes,
Opinions, Rants, Praises.


Find this:

Special Quote
"If I have been able to see
farther than others, it was because I
stood on the shoulders of giants."
--Sir Isaac Newton
To parents, teachers, and other guardians of children:
The Review is a place where adults or kids should be able
to stop by and browse.
But, remember - I have no control over outside links.
For happiest results, please surf the Web with your kids!


The Artsy Site
Of The Month:

Big Eyed Art Bonanza
1960's and 1970's pitiful creatures.

Personal Home Page
Of The Month:

Den of Confusion
Honesty, humor and vulnerability presented in unique style.

Web Page Design Site
Of The Month:

Search Engine Tutorial
Easy to understand, quick, simple tips.

Seasonal Site
Of The Month:

Bird Checklists of the United States
A great resource for fall (and year-round)
migratory bird viewing.

Just Fun Site
Of The Month:

Library Cats Map
A charming look at feline mascots.

Downright Serious Site
Of The Month:

Getting Out of the Military's Delayed Entry Program
Young people changing their minds shouldn't be
a criminal act--here's help.

Historical Site
Of The Month:

How The Blues Affected Race Relations
Music's mysterious way of bringing people together.


Think you know it all???
Prove it at
And if you don't know something you can get some answers there.


September Events
festivals For September Travelers

September 1-3, 2000
Totah Festival
Farmington Civic Center,
Farmington, New Mexico.
Native American marketplace, auction of handwoven rugs, pow-wow with ceremonies, music and dance. The festival is from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm.
Further information: Call 505-599-1174.

September 1-3, 2000
Caramel Festival
Main Street area,
Winchester, Ohio.
Steel brass band, bluegrass music, carnival rides, baby contest, gospel sing, games, culinary auction, parade, raffle, lots of food.
Further information: Call 937-695-0236.

September 1-3, 2000
Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival
College Park,
Winchester, Kentucky.
Street dance, 5k run, food, arts and crafts, entertainment.
Further information: Call 859-744-0556.

September 1-3, 2000
Greek Festival
Convention Center at 13th and J Streets,
Sacramento, California.
Sponsored by the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Greek dancing and displays, plenty of music and food.
Further information: Call 916-443-2033.

September 1-3, 2000
West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival
Main Street,
Clarksburg, West Virginia.
Arts and crafts, bocce tournament, carnival rides, dance, music, food parade, pageant.
Further information: Call 304-622-7314.

September 1-4, 2000
Long's Park Art and Craft Festival
Long's Park,
Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
200 exhibitors display arts and crafts in an outdoor setting with music and food.
Further information: Call 717-295-7054
Fax 717-290-71123.

September 1-4, 2000
Apple Butter Weekend
Blennerhassett Island Historical Park,
Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Arts and crafts, historical displays and museum exhibits, food.
Further information: Call 304-420-4800.

September 1-4, 2000
Hearts of Gold Canaloupe Festival
various venues,
Fallon, Nevada.
Mud volleyball, cantaloupe bowling, farmer's market, arts and crafts, plenty of food.
Further information: Call 775-423-2544
Fax 775-687-6779.

September 1-4, 2000
Bumbershoot - The Seattle Festival
Seattle Center,
Seattle, Washington.
Now in its 30th year, this is a rather non-mainstream festival of the arts. You can experience everything from circus acts to a film festival to readings to a "sit and spin" DJ competition. There is an admission charge for adults (slight charge for seniors).
Further information: Call 206-281-8111.

September 2-3, 2000
Tumbleweed Music Festival
Howard Amon Park,
Richland, Washington.
By finding patrons and other funding, the Three Rivers Folklife Society and the city of Richmond have managed to keep this a mostly free event. There will be vendors, food, and music from performers such as the Academy Children's Theatre, Ye Merrie Greenwood Madrigal Singers, Tri-City Fiddle Kids, Mountain Thyme, Michael Johnathon and Shanghaid on the Willamette. A couple of the special concerts do have an admission fee.
Further information: Call 509-943-ARTS.

September 2-3, 2000
Blackberry Festival
Bremerton, Washington.
Children's events, berry fun run, fly-in, entertainment, 30-mile and 50-mile bike rides, car show, lots of foods using blackberries. Over 70,000 people are expected to visit.
Further information: Call 360-377-3041.

September 2-3, 2000
Craft Festival at Winterthur
Winterthur Museum,
Winterthur, Delaware.
Contemporary and traditional art works, demonstrattions, mini tours of the museum, children's activities, music and food .
Further information: Call 800-448-3883,
TTY 302-888-4907.

September 2-3, 2000
Down Home Days Arts and Crafts Festival
unsure of venue,
Buffalo, West Virginia.
Arts and crafts, visit Delta Queen Showboat, pioneer encampment, entertainment, food.
Further information: Call 304-937-2475 or

September 2-3, 2000
Canmore Highland Games
Centennial Park,
Canmore, Alberta.
Celtic concerts, sheep dog demonstrations, piping, drumming, highland dancing, 10.6k Hill Run, clan booths, wares for sale.
Further information: Call 403-678-9454.

September 2-3, 2000
Joyful Noise
Cuyahoga County Fairground,
Berea, Ohio.
Carnival rides, food, softball tournament, Christian motorcyclists gathering, children's area, fireworks, and music by performers such as First Call, Phil Keaggy, Virtue and Pam Thumm.
Information and Ticket information:
Call 800-942-1140.

September 2-3, 2000
Washington Irish Festival
Montgomery County Fairground,
Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Cherish the Ladies, Danu, Dervish, The Baltimore All-Stars Ceili Band and others provide music for the event. There are also dance classes, demonstrations, sheep dog trials, Connemara ponies and Irish Wolfhounds on display, and lots of food.
Ticket information:
Call 301-565-0654 or 877-278-0655.

September 2-4, 2000
100th Wagner Labor Day Celebration
park setting,
Wagner, South Dakota.
Rodeo, basketball and softball, square dance, polka dance, parade, kiddie parade, arts in the park. Some events have admission charge.
Further information: Call 605-384-3646.

September 2-4, 2000
Greek Festival
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church,
St, Louis, Missouri.
Bazaar, costumed entertainers, food, dance, music and games.
Further information: Call 314-361-6924.

September 2-4, 2000
Hick Festival
4-H Camp,
Parsons, West Virginia.
Arts and crafts, horseshoe pitching, turkey calling contest, gospel sing, cake walk, fiddle and banjo competitions, barbecue, lumberjacking events, music, queen and her court, food.
Further information: Call 304-478-2660.

September 2-4, 2000
Sausalito Art Festival
Marinship Park,
Sausalito, California.
Since 1952 this community has held its festival to allow artisans and the public to meet and mingle. The artists are selected by a jury committee. Many of the artists present will happily allow you to commission custom projects. You can view works in the media of sculpture, fiber, photography, watercolor, metalwork, jewelery, and more. In addition there will be children's art projects, entertainers, plenty of music, and a gourmet food court which includes wines. There is an admission, but that hasn't kept away crowds of over 50,000.
Further information: Call 415-331-3757 or 415-332-3555.

September 2-4, 2000
Tapestry in Talent
Park Avenue/Almaden Boulevard,
San Jose, California.
Arts and crafts, food vendors, commercial and community booths, musical entertainment.
Further information: Call 408-494-3590.

September 2-17, 2000
Moab Music Festival
Old City Park (and other venues),
Moab, Utah.
The La Sal Mountains are the backdrop for this event. There is a Colorado River Benefit Concert, an evening of "Go West!" with cowboy songs at Pack Creek Ranch, and much more. The concerts are ticketed.
Further information: Call 435-259-7003.

September 3-4, 2000
Mullet Festival
Lillian Community Club,
Lillian, Alabama.
For the uninitiated, a mullet is a fish. This celebration includes a mullet dinner, 5k run, games, mullet fling, raffle, auction, music and dancing, food.
Further information: Call 334-961-3504.

September 3-10, 2000
Begonia Festival
various venues,
Capitola, California.
This event is in its 48th year. Nautical parade, (this is a beachside community), begonia displays, sand sculpture contest, fishing derby, rowboat races, arts and crafts.
Further information: Call 831-476-3566.

September 5-9, 2000
Weston Coal Festival
Downtown area,
Wellston, Ohio.
Coal Miner Olympics, gospel music, teddy bear show, art show, carnival rides, parade, queen and her court, karaoke contest, sundae eating contest, quilt and needlework show, craft show, car show, 5k run and walk, dessert contest.
Further information: Call 740-384-2720.

September 5-10, 2000
Tennessee Soybean Festival
various venues,
Martin, Tennessee.
Street fair, pancake breakfast, circus, car show, mayor's luncheon, shuffleboard tournament, quilt show, barbecue cookoff, street dance.
Further information: Call 901-587-4750.

September 6-9, 2000
Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival
various venues,
Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Biggest tomato contest, tomato fudge.
Further information: Call 614-866-2861.

September 7-10, 2000
Michigan State Potato Festival
Curtis Park (and other venues),
Edmore, Michigan.
Square dancing, farm equipment show, parade, fireworks, carnival, pancake breakfast, arts and crafts show, children's events, 5k spud run, mashed potato wrestling, potato foods.
Further information: Call 517-427-1095.

September 7-10, 2000
Yellow Daisy Festival
East Meadow of Stone Mountain Park,
Stone Mountain, Georgia.
The festival is free with park admission, which is about $6.00. Over 400 artists gang together to display their wares amid the yellow Confederate Daisies. There is a kid corner, plenty of lovely paths, wandering entertainment, and food.
Further information: Call 770-498-5633.

September 8-10, 2000
St. Louis Art Fair
Business district streets,
St. Louis, Missouri.
There are usually over 100,000 visitors attending this festival. Jazz, folk and gospel music (and other genres) will be performed, plus over 150 artists display their work in fiber, glass, ceramics, printmaking, metal, sculpture, drawing and painting, wood and mixed media.
Further information: Call 314-863-0278.

September 8-10, 2000
Marigold Festival
Mineral Springs Park (and other venues),
Pekin, Illinois.
Medallion treasure hunt, speech tournament, garden contest, family fest, beauty pageant, over 360 arts and crafts booths, food concessions, petting zoo, sand volleyball, parade, concerts, marigold garden displays around town.
Further information: Call 309-346-21106.

September 8-10, 2000
Mushroom Festival
Kennett Square,
Kennett, Pennsylvania.
Block party with swing music, Brewfest, cooking and growing demonstrations, crafts, childen's events, antique car and motorcycle show, parade, gourmet food including lots of mushrooms.
Further information: Call 888-440-9920.

September 9-10, 2000
Wausau Festival of Arts
Downtown Pedestrian Mall,
Wausau, Wisconsin.
Over 100 juried artists display and sell their works. There will also be a silent auction, children's area, performing artists, food.
Further information: Call 715-842-1676
Fax 715-848-8314.

September 9-10, 2000
Art & Apples Festival
Rochester Municipal Park,
Rochester, Michigan.
Children's art area, strolling barbershop chorus, other musical entertainment, plus over 300 artists display and sell in various media.
Further information: Call 248-651-4110.

September 9-10, 2000
Central New York TomatoFest
Emerson Park,
Auburn, New York.
In its 14th year, this event contributes a major portion of its proceeds to local food pantries. Plenty of arts and crafts and food add to the fun. Canned goods are requested at the admission gate, and are also distributed to the food pantries.
Further information: Call 315-255-0142.

September 9-10, 2000
Clothesline Festival
Memorial Art Gallery grounds,
Rochester, New York.
More than 600 artists appear. Local radio and TV personalities visit, there is a children's art area, and there are food and beverage vendors. All proceeds benefit the Gallery.
Further information: Call 716-473-7720
TTY 716-473-6152.

September 9-10, 2000
Railroad Heritage Festival
Walnut Street downtown,
Spooner, Wisconsin.
Arts and crafts, demonstrations, fiddle contest, model railroad show, kiddie parade, railroad art show.
Further information: Call 715-635-2168.

September 9-10, 2000
Brandywine Arts Festival
Wilmington, Delaware.
Arts and crafts, Entertainment, charity auction, food.
Further information: Call 302-656-0135 or

September 9-10, 2000
Helvetia Community Fair
Helvetia, West Virginia.
This fair is celebrating its 86th year. Swiss displays, yodeling, music, arts and crafts, food, livestock exhibits.
Further information: Call 304-924-6435.

September 9-10, 2000
Holiday Road(?),
Tomah, Wisconsin.
Juried arts and crafts, hayrides, pony rides, petting zoo, folk music, antique vehicles on display, Amish baked goods and other foods.
Further information: Call 608-374-3330
Fax 608-374-3340.

September 9-16, 2000
King Coal Festival
unsure of venue,
Williamson, West Virginia.
Pet show, queen and her court, music, outdoor arts and crafts fair, music, food.
Further information: Call 304-235-5560.

September 10, 2000
Takoma Park Folk Festival
Takoma Park Municipal Center,
Takoma Park, Maryland.
Handcrafted items, Kids' Irish jam session, six stages of music and dance entertainment, Romanian folk dance workshop, East African stories with music and dance, and food vendors offering treats such as pizza, veggie burgers, snow cones and roasted almonds. Please, no pets.
Further information: Call 301-589-3717.

September 13-16, 2000
Morton Pumpkin Festival
Jefferson Street area,
Morton, Illinois.
Softball, art show at the library, pumpkin decorating contest, local store window display competition, kiddie parade, special day for kids, pumpkin cookery contest, 10k race, Punkin Chuckin, 2 mile walk/run, lip sync contest, and treats such as pumpkin fudge, soft-serve pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin chili and pumpkin pie.
Further information: Call 309-263-2491 or
888-765-6588 (PNKNLUV).

September 16-17, 2000
Wildwood Park,
Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Arts and crafts, pumpkin and scarecrow decorating contests, music, bakeoff, games, food.
Further information: Call 800-422-4541
Fax 715-387-8925.

September 15-17, 2000
Wo Zha Wa Arts and Crafts Fair
Bowman Park on Broadway,
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
200 arts and crafts exhibitors, farmer's market, music and food. This will be the festival's 33rd year.
Further information: Call 800-223-3557.

September 16-17, 2000
Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival
Old Mill Park,
Mill Valley, California.
Art by quality California artists, children's entertainment and crafts, food.
Further information: Call 415-381-1643.

September 16-17, 2000
Greek Festival
Church of the Annunciation on Tokay Avenue,
Modesto, California.
Cultural exhibits, lots of Greek music and dancing, gift shop, plenty of Greek foods.
Further information: Call 209-522-7694.

September 16-17, 2000
Italian Festa
Jack London Square,
Oakland, California.
Food demonstrations by Andy Lo Russo, farmer's market, costumed dancers, music, children's activities, Italian heritage display, handmade arts and crafts.
Further information: Call 510-208-4647.

September 16-17, 2000
Oakley Almond Festival
O' Hara Park,
Oakley, California.
Parade, car show, Love-A-Nut Fun Run, almond recipe contest, kid's area, arts and crafts booths, music (Elvin Bishop is scheduled to perform this year), souvenirs, lots of almonds, bass tournament. Admission is free.
Further information: Call 925-625-1035.

September 16-17, 2000
Johnny Appleseed Festival
Archer Park,
Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Visit the gravesite of Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) while you attend the festival This year there will be a children's area (which is also where they have the Native American village and the Civil War encampment), speeches by Abraham Lincoln (played by Fritz Kline), antiques and collectibles, pioneer village and country store, demonstrations of blacksmithing and wooden musical instrument making, craft booths, farmer's market, trader's market, food vendors (including many foods cooked over traditional open fires), music and costumed entertainment. Please consider leaving your pet(s) at home. The crowds will be tremendous. If you must bring your pets, local ordinances require them to be leashed.
Further information: Call 219-427-6003
Fax 219-427-6020.

September 16-24, 2000
Leaf Peepers Festival
various venues,
Davis, West Virginia.
Arts and crafts demonstrations, cake walk, breakfast biking (admission), mountain bike races, duck race, dog show, juggling class, concert (admission), photo contest, fall colors walk, dart challenge, guided trail walks, bird walk, much more.
Further information: Call 304-259-5315 or

September 21-23, 2000
Seven Sweets and Sours Festival
Kitchen Kettle Village,
Intercourse, Pennsylvania.
Class on making a centerpiece from a pumpkin, take a turn at a foot-powered ice cream maker, square dancing, maple cotton candy making, chicken barbecue, strolling scarecrow, hymn sing, puppet shows, kid tent, plus many jams, jellies, relish, pumpkin butter and more..
More details: Call 717-768-8261 or

September 21-24, 2000
Benson Mule Days
Chamber Park and Downtown,
Benson, North Carolina.
Mule weight-pulling and racing contests, concert by Billy Joe Royal, rodeo, street dance, parade, bluegrass and gospel music, carnival rides and more.
More details: Call 919-894-3825.

September 23-24, 2000
Salsa Fest
Salinas Valley Fair Grounds,
King City, Carolina.
Salsa challenge for pros and one for home salsa-makers, children's area, quilt challenge and show, mercantile, with music by Angelina, A Lighter Shade of Brown, and other entertainers.
More details: Call 831-385-3281 ext. 26.

September 21-24, 2000
Blythewood Kudzu Festival
IGA Parking Lot,
Blythewood, South Carolina.
This event is in its 25th season. Kudzu is the fastest growing thing in the South, by reputation, growing up to a foot a day in ideal conditions. Fortunately, there are those who value its presence and choose to celebrate its more attractive qualities, so you can enjoy a carnival, music, vendors, food (try some baked kudzu leaf tips or potato-flavored kudzu chips) and a pageant. And it's all done with a wacky sense of humor and lots of fun.
More details: Fax 520-244-2784.

September 22-24, 2000
Plaza Art Fair
Country Club Plaza,
Kansas City, Missouri.
A quarter of a million people attend this event, which began in 1932. Kids art workshop, musical entertainment, food from vendors and plaza restaurants.
More details: Call 816-753-0100.

September 22-24, 2000
Warrens Cranberry Festival
various venues,
Warrens, Wisconsin.
A hundred thousand are expected to enjoy this festival, with 650 arts and crafts and other vendor booths. There are also cranberry harvest tours, a parade and a recipe contest.
More details: Call 608-378-4200
Fax 608-378-4250.

September 23-24, 2000
Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival
Clackamas County Fairgrounds,
Canby, Oregon.
One part of this event is the workshops, which include dyeing, spinning, mosaic knitting, felting and fleece judging. There are tapestry and table loom demonstrations.
More details: Call 503-628-1205.

September 23-24, 2000
Golden Days Harvest Festival
Mill Street downtown,
Green Lake, Wisconsin.
Civil War encampment, car show, entertainment, games, parade, farmer's market, street dance, vendors, food faire.
More details: Call 920-294-3231
or 800-253-7354.

September 23-24, 2000
Wenatchee River Salmon Festival
Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery,
Leavenworth, Washington.
Nature presentations, Indian encampment, salmon storytelling tent, arts and crafts, migration golf, hatchery tours, music, food.
More details: Call 509-548-6662.

September 28 - October 1, 2000
Preston County Buckwheat Festival
Cow Palace (and other venues),
Kingwood, West Virginia.
Livestock juding and exhibits, music, bicycle decorating contest, arts and crafts, buckwheat cake dinners, 5k Classic, draft horse pulling contest, school exhibits, banjo and fiddler's contest, car show, pet show, turkey calling contest, drawing for new car, Wheeling symphony performance.
More details: Call 304-329-0021.

September 29 - October 1, 2000
California Festival
Linden Avenue area,
Carpinteria, California.
Petting zoo and games for children, 3 stages of musical entertainment, arts and crafts, and food.
More details: Call 805-684-0038.

September 29 - October 8, 2000
Autumn Leaf Festival
Front Street area downtown,
Leavenworth, Washington.
Leavenworth is a Bavarian-style village. The festival includes heritage walks, Art in the Park, entertainment, a street dance, library used book sale, kid's parade, craft fair, drill team competition, Lion's Club breakfast, 12k fun run, spaghetti dinner.
More details: Call 509-548-5807.

September 30 - October 1, 2000
Harvest Fest
Main Street,
Spearfish, South Dakota.
Quilt show, 10k run, apple pie contest, art competition, home brew competition, craft vendors, music, food vendors. Admission is free.
More details: Call 605-642-2626.

September 30 - October 1, 2000
Old Pecan Street Festival
6th Street,
Austin, Texas.
150,000 are expected to attend this event in its 19th season. Over 250 juried artists display and sell their work, while visitors enjoy 5 stages of entertainment and enjoy festival food.
More details: Call 512-441-9015
Fax 512-441-9016.

September 30 - October 1, 2000
Italian Family Festa
San Jose, California.
Art and photo exhibits, costumed performers, music, games, plenty of authentic Italian foods .
More details: Call 408-293-7122.

September 30 - October 1, 2000
Kokanee Salmon Festival
U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center,
South Lake Tahoe, California.
Salmon run, kids fun run, displays and nature talks, music.
More details: Call 530-573-2674.

September 30 - October 1, 2000
Hilton Apple Fest
Festival grounds off West Avenue and Rt. 259,
Hilton, New York.
This event is celebrating its 20th year. Arts and crafts, auto show, Apple Of Your Eye photo contest, book signings, musical entertainment.
More details: Call 716-234-3378.

September 30 - October 2, 2000
Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival
Custer State Park,
Custer, South Dakota.
The public is invited to experience the annual roundup of the park's 1500 bison, which are checked, vaccinated and then either released back into the park or sold at auction to control the population. There is also an arts festival, a pancake breakfast, and a chile cookoff.
More details: Call 605-255-4515.

September 30 - October 3, 2000
Four Flags Area Apple Festival
Festival Grounds at 17th and Lake,
Niles, Michigan.
Games and carnival rides, crafts, parade.
More details: Call 616-683-8870.

It's always best to call ahead to verify festival information.

Looking for information on travel agents and other travel assistance?
You can get a bi-monthly magazine by signing up at Travigator II

Popcorn's a great after-school treat. Spice it up with these!
Popcorn Pal White Cheddar seasoning
Popcorn Pal Cajun Spice seasoning
Popcorn Pal Ranch seasoning
Popcorn Pal Nacho Cheese seasoning

Great sprinkled on toast or English muffins:
Honey Cinnamon Sugar
Maple Cinnamon Sugar

Click on the Great American Spice icon to order!

Buy great spices at great prices


Out On A Limb Looking For Roots
Part Two

Last month we took a brief look at how to begin researching one's genealogy. If you've had a chance take any of those first steps, the chances are good that you found out quite a bit of information. The chances are also good that you've already got plenty of questions about how to proceed.

We won't be able to cover everything, even in several parts. So we'll start with a few basic resources, and then point to some deeper possibilities.

If you got your birth mother's name and birth father's name, maybe you went on to find out things such as marriage dates and places or their birthdates and/or places. Remember what we said last time about starting with yourself and working backward? In the beginning this will keep you from flying off in too many directions at once. So, let's say you think you know when and where your parents had their wedding (I realize families are very complicated these days and that we might be looking at more than one marriage, but for purposes of discussion, let's keep it simple. ) If you think your parents were married in the same county you live in, in the Faith Baptist Church on June 7, 1956, you already have some great clues. Churches often keep records, and so do county courthouses. If your town has a newspaper, there may have been details of the engagement and/or wedding ceremony, including relatives who attended from other places. So now you have three places to begin looking: the church, the county courthouse and the newspaper archives.

Once you have established records that confirm the marriage of your parents, you will probably also have many other clues to help you, such as your mother's maiden name. If she was very young when she married, a parent may have had to sign for her to be married. Witnesses to legal documents are often relatives, so take note of each witness. You may find out the names of your parents' parents. It helps to keep notes as you research, and this works best in different ways for different people. In the beginning it may be enough to write everything in a notebook, but you will soon find that you have too much information for that. Some people use index cards, file folders, even computer software to organize notes.

You may reach stone walls now and then, and find yourself unable to always work backward in a direct line. When this happens, I find it best to work on some other facet of the family. If you have not found anything new on your maternal grandmother for some time, work on finding more information on your paternal grandfather.

In order to obtain things such as birth records, you may find a site such as the Vital Records Information for United States helpful. States and U.S. territories are listed, plus there is also a link to information on obtaining foreign records. Each state or office seems to have its own pet procedures, so do follow them carefully. They will usually want to know your relationship to the person whose records you are requesting and your purpose in obtaining copies. Keep your answers simple and to the point. You will pay a fee for each copy. It's worth it, especially when the papers come and you confirm information or even gain new clues.

Another valuable resource is the Federal Census Records. But don't run down and try to find your parents on one unless they were here before 1920. The records are not open to the public for 70 years. You can obtain copies of census records from microfilm copies stored at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and also in many libraries and offices of genealogical societies. If you don't know how to make copies, ask the library personnel.

There is so much to say about census records that I can only touch on the subject in a short forum such as this, but I will give you one really big tip. When you get to a page in a census form that has the people you are looking for, don't make copies of only that page. Copy the page before and the page after that page also, so that when you get home you can look at them again and again. The people listed in nearby households may very well have been close relatives, since families and close friends in the past often settled in neighborhoods together. So if your grandmother and grandfather were listed as residing at 1211 North Powell Street, it's possible that your great grandmother was living at 1213, right next door. Even if surnames don't appear to match, make the copies. Marriages or other circumstances may have led to different last names even in close relatives.

Soundex: Developed in the 1930's the Soundex system is a way to index surnames which sound similar, but have variant spellings. The National Archives uses Soundex to index the Federal census records, making it easier to find similar names. The code for a surname always begins with the first letter of the surname and is followed by three digits that represent following consonants. It's really just another way of abbreviating the sound of a surname. If you want to know the Soundex code for a surname you can go to this Soundex Conversion Program. Type in a name and hit ENTER and a page will come up giving you the code for that name.

The cards on which the original material was entered have been put onto microfilm, and they include a list of relationship abbreviations. The Soundex index also gave information such as the age and birthplace of the head of the household, others living in the house, and the Census record Volume number, enumeration district, sheet and line. So you can then use this information to find the copy of the census listing. Not all the census years were done in Soundex code.

Here's another thing to remember when you look through Soundex records and census records. This information was handwritten by someone, and you will be somewhat at the mercy of whoever did the writing. (This is another good reason to obtain copies of more than one page of information, since you will likely see a larger handwriting sample and be more likely to decipher their work.)

Also, it can be quite difficult to ascertain ages by the census, because the census taker often wrote down the age of someone in a household and their birthyear would depend on whether or not they had already had their birthday that year that the census taker came around. Just be aware that you may find what seems to be discrepancies. Again, this information was gathered by humans, and can contain errors.

Did your ancestors own land? Were they homesteaders or perhaps farmers? You can often find a good deal of information through land records. Modern deeds are stored in the local courthouses, but throughout history the location of deeds varied. You may need to do some homework to find out where the deeds of a certain locale were recorded and kept. If you are able to look over a deed, but are not able to make a copy, here's a handy form you can use to list the information the deed might contain.
Military service can leave some good clues, especially if the ancestor you are researching was a man. (until the 20th Century, women served mostly as nurses or in some type of secondary capacity which was not official, so records of their service may be difficult to find.) The National Archives contains tremendous material on those who have served in the U.S military. You may need to fill out certain forms in order to obtain information.

Only a small percentage of genealogical information has been published on the internet at this point. Most of the best records are still in closets and drawers, in courthouse files, in family Bibles, in library holdings, in book stores and on cemetery gravestones. But the internet is full of great resources, especially if your ability to travel is limited. And many other people are doing their own research. Most of them are eager to help you if they can.

Until now, we've spent most of our energy on the idea of people who might be only a generation or two behind you. Next time we'll take a look at earlier American records, foreign resources and also some tips for folks who are sometimes considered to be of "minority" heritage, since research can be especially difficult for people in that situation.


A Little Browsing...

We're pleased to host the work of artisan Joan Garnand on our little patch of light on the web. Joan's creations are finally finding their way out of her Tennessee community and into the hearts of admirers everywhere.
Check out Joan's zucchini/squash casserole recipe.
This busy lady also began her TV stint this spring, and is sharing her cake decorating and candy-making skills on a local Chattanooga station.

bullet bullet bullet

We're always hearing what evil things corporations do, so I'd like to take a moment to give kudos to Monsanto Company, which is taking steps to share its rice genome database with researchers around the world in an effort to battle hunger and malnutrition everywhere. They hope their efforts will increase the development of grains such as "golden rice", which contains increased levels of beta-carotene, which the human body converts to Vitamin A. Professor Ingo Potrykus and Dr. Peter Beyer (with help from the Rockefeller Foundation) have been the principle developers of golden rice. As corporations and agencies reach out to support one another, we can look forward to better nutrition and health for Planet Earth's inhabitants. You can read more about Monsanto's rice genome project at

I love watching those with younger limbs go skateboarding. They glide along, jump curbs, flip the boards and land (mostly) on their feet again. If you are a skateboarder (or have one at your house), have a look at this product with a bit more dare built into it, the Bladeboard.

Hhhhhhhhhhhmmmm. Maybe every young person should be required to play this game before they assume a real one is all fun. Take a look at Babyz

Need to know how to reinstall Windows? Can't find a file you're sure you downloaded? Need to find some hardware reviews? You might start at Cyberwalker.

Can you write a TV script by November 15? If so, you could be a winner in the Scriptalooza competition. (There is also a screenplay competition.)

Want to freeze some of that garden produce? Here are tips on freezing foods.
I have a few tips of my own to add. When you want to freeze chopped onion or bell peppers, place the chopped contents on a cookie sheet and freeze so that the pieces are separate. Then pack and freeze in bags or other containers. If you do this you can remove small amounts of the vegetable without having a whole "brick" of bell pepper to contend with.
I don't freeze celery anymore, because I don't care for the texture it develops. Instead I buy the bulk dehydrated celery from American Spice (see their link further up on this page).
My last tip has nothing to do with produce, but rather with cookie dough. If you are alone or in a small family, why make a large batch of chocolate chip (or similar "drop" cookie dough), and then bake and freeze all the cookies at once? Instead, bake only the cookies you want for that day, and then freeze the rest of the dough in tight containers or freezer bags. That way, when you want cookies again, you thaw the dough in the refrigerator for about a day, and then you bake and get fresh cookies again. (You can also drop the cookie dough onto cookie sheets and freeze the dough drops to bake later, though personally I find it not worth the extra step.)

bullet bullet bullet


Find great restaurant reviews and more at


A Good Investment Of Time And Money...

We're not currently linking to the
Blueprints For Greenbacks site.
The author is taking a hiatus from
book sales to pursue other interests.

vertical divider

Rubber stamp collectors!
Did you send for yours yet?
Anne-Made Designs has a 258-page catalog.
To get yours, you'll need a check for $8.50.
(if you are new to stamping, I should tell you
it's a common practice to pay for catalogs)

This will get you a full catalog and supplements, plus first-timers
get a 3-by-5 card of assorted unmounted stamps to
enjoy (Anne's choice).

Send your $8.50 to:
Anne-Made Designs
Anne Olney
PO Box 697-D
Erwin TN 37650

You can tell Anne I sent you,
but she'll give you prompt, professional
service anyway--it's just her style.


Lentils are a great source of protein building blocks, folic acid and both soluble and insoluble fiber.
They're fast to cook, versatile to use in many dishes, kind to our planet (meat proteins take much more of the planet resources to produce) and are tasty and filling.
You can buy white lentils, black Beluga lentils, petite crimson lentils and French green lentils online from Indian Harvest.

Gourmet Gifts @ Indian Harvest! Click to Shop!


bullet Graphic Hunters, take note! bullet
All graphics on this page (except the links to other sites, the Home and the email graphics below) are original. If you want to use any for your non-commercial page, please do.
A thanks on your page and a link back to this page would be in order. Do drop me a line or two of email so I can see and enjoy your page.

Deb's Monthly Review is copyrighted!
Do be a dear and ask before you lift whole portions of the Special Review or something.
Remember! Those of us who publish on the web are not saying our work is in the public domain.
When in doubt about your use of someone else's writings or graphics, ask!
If you want to use graphics or text on a commercial page, contact me first, please, and we'll work something out.

Please don't link back to the graphics on these pages - copy them to your own server! Thanks!


Deb's Monthly Review Archive.

September 1997
October 1997
November 1997
December 1997

January 1998
February 1998
March 1998
April 1998
May 1998
June 1998
July 1998
August 1998
September 1998
October 1998
November 1998
December 1998

January 1999
February 1999
March 1999
April 1999
May 1999
June 1999
July 1999
August 1999
September 1999
October 1999
November 1999
December 1999

January 2000
February 2000
March 2000
April 2000
May 2000
June 2000
July 2000
August 2000

Note: The issue which had the Special Feature on clothing for people with special needs is here.

Note: Links on past Monthly Review Pages are NOT kept up-to-date!
If I have linked to your site in the past and you make a change, I will attempt to update
the link if you let me know about it.

Fill out this Form to be notified
when the next Monthly Review is up.
You can also use the form to be taken off
the Notify List, or to send me comments
and suggestions.

    When you send me information via the form,
it's only for my use and for the Notify List.
This means you'll get an email from me once
or twice a month, mostly to let you know the
new issue is in place.

I do not sell or share your information with
people who compile mailing lists.

Visit My Other Pages

sign that says home imageHome Page
(though I spend little time there)
Deb's Mystery (And Other) Books Page
Deb's Favorite Movies Page Deb's TV Page
Deb's Selected Bookmarks Deb's List of WWW "Of The" Sites
This Page Was Last Updated On August 31, 2000

Send me email
envelope image

Deb's Monthly Review copyright Deb Thompson©