Monday, August 29, 2011

Found: Cousins in's U.S. School Yearbook Collection recently announced that it had expanded its U.S. School Yearbooks Collection. I tried it out and found my cousin, Milton Siekkinen, and his wife-to-be, Mary Jeanette Scovill, in The Dart, the 1939 Ashtabula High School yearbook. Milton was listed as a participant in Glee Club and Mixed Chorus. Mary Jeannette's activities included Band (she was secretary-treasurer), Girl Reserves [?], Hobby Association, and Salesman [?]. Ironically, they were shown on the same page.

Following is the complete announcement by


PROVO, UTAH – August 24, 2011 –, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced a massive expansion of the world’s most extensive searchable collection of U.S. school yearbooks online. The company has added nearly 25,000 new yearbooks to the collection, which now totals over 35,000 and carries 155 million records encompassing the years 1884 to 2009. The U.S. Yearbook Collection includes close to seven million images from thousands of U.S. high schools, junior highs, academies, colleges and universities.

The U.S. Yearbook Collection provides candid photos and insight into a relative’s appearance and extracurricular activities during their formative school years. The information and images contained in the collection also reveal insightful historical and cultural trends about fashion, style, politics, sports and social beliefs over the past 125 years of U.S. history. With the addition of the new records, family historians can more easily find what their current family members and ancestors looked like as youngsters and discover the types of activities in which they were involved. This collection can help tell a more complete story by offering rich details and providing context about the time their family members were in school.

"Our school years are often some of the most memorable times of our lives,” said Josh Hanna, Executive Vice President. “With the additions we’ve made to our U.S. School Yearbook collection, millions of Americans can experience their family members’ school years vicariously through the photos and records contained in this important collection. The details they include are often difficult to find, and while you’re searching, you might just find a famous classmate.”

For anyone interested in discovering their ancestors in the online yearbook collection, visit to search the full collection.

I would recommend that you check for your ancestors and even cousins in this database.

Launching a New Blog about My Genealogy

For a couple years now, I have been publishing a blog called NEOhio Genealogy Blog. It has provided me with a platform for commenting on genealogical resources, events, and news in Cleveland, Ohio, and the 12 counties in Northeastern Ohio (aka the Western Reserve).

Now I think I have the hang of blogging, so I am starting a second blog. This one will focus  on recording my personal activities in genealogical research, hence the blog's name: Collecting Ancestors.

I've used this name with the full knowledge that the practice of collecting names and dates is looked upon with disfavor by serious genealogists. But the practice of collecting can be serious too. There are serious collectors of cars and stamps and antiques. These collectors pay attention to the provenance of their collectibles. In the same way, I intend to write about how I have "collected" ancestors, and researched the facts about them that establish and prove descendency.

In publishing the blog, I plan to describe some of the techniques I have used, along with the successes and failures that I have encountered along the way.

I believe the blog will provide me with a means of tracking my genealogical research activities in a more organized fashion.

Finally, because blogging is a type of cloud computing, I will be able to access it for creating new posts and for reading old posts wherever I am.

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