Immigrant navigation

Emigrant tracking

Announcements • News • Queries

Announcements and news 2005

Genealogy and history researchers refused permission to church documents in Vasa, Finland

Nazi hunter Wiesenthal dead at 96

Google Earth Used to Find Ancient Roman Villa

Leif Mether is dead

Castle Garden Database is Online

Canadian Directories

Canadian Bill Opens Census Records

Extreme genealogy

Cave painting

Nigerian scam e-mail

Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world

Google Maps adds Satellite Photos

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

Norwegian jokes

The Vinland Map Debate

Branching back

Oldest modern human remains found

De indiska rötterna



News 2004-05 V

News 2004 IV

News 2003 III

News 2002 II

News 2001-02 I
















































































































































































Genealogy and history researchers refused permission to church documents in Vasa, Finland


"Finska församlingen drog in tillstånd för forskare och tog bort mikrofilmerna."... Vasabladet 24.11.2005

Kirkkoherran avattava arkistonsa
"Vaasan suomalaisen seurakunnan kirkkoherra Krister Koskela teki keväällä päätöksen, että sataa vuotta nuorempia kirkon väestökirjatietoja ei enää anneta tutkijoiden luettavaksi."... Pohjalainen 24.11.2005

Diskutera släktforskning i Österbotten


"...there is no freedom without justice..."

Nazi hunter Wiesenthal dead at 96

Holocaust survivor dedicated his life to fighting prejudice

"...In his book "Justice, Not Vengeance," Wiesenthal wrote: "Survival is a privilege which entails obligations. I am forever asking myself what I can do for those who have not survived.
"The answer I have found for myself (and which need not necessarily be the answer for every survivor) is: I want to be their mouthpiece, I want to keep their memory alive, to make sure the dead live on in that memory."..." Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2005 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at  September 20, 2005 "Google Earth Used to Find Ancient Roman Villa" »

Google Earth Used to Find Ancient Roman Villa
Using satellite images from Google Maps and Google Earth, an Italian computer programmer has stumbled upon the remains of an ancient villa. Luca Mori was studying maps of the region around his town of Sorbolo, near Parma, Italy, when he noticed a prominent oval, shaded form more than 500 meters long. It was the meander of an ancient river, visible because former watercourses absorb different amounts of moisture from the air than their surroundings do.
His eye was caught by unusual 'rectangular shadows' nearby. Curious, he analyzed the image further, and concluded that the lines must represent a buried structure of human origin. Eventually, he traced out what looked like the inner courtyards of a villa.
You can
(requires subscription/ed.SS)
OK, if we can use Google Earth to find 2,000-year-old construction, we can assume that it will also find newer construction. I spent some time looking at the location of my great-grandfather's farm but didn't find anything that I recognized as older construction.
Who will be first to make a genealogically-significant find by using Google Earth or other satellite imaging services? If you do, please post a message after this article at to let everyone know.


Leif Mether is dead

The Excecutive Director and the member of the Board of the Genealogical Society of Finland, Leif Mether, died Friday evening 16 September after a few months' severe illness. He is known to have been instrumental in the Genealogical Society's main projects during the last two decades - to internet users the HisKi project and the web site of the Society are the most wellknown ones. 19.09.2005/SS.

Castle Garden Database is Online

New York Bay, Castle Garden [Castle Clinton], and Statue of Liberty. Photo attributed to W.H. Jackson created/published between 1880 and 1897.


The image is from Libray of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection (Search by keyword "castle garden")

For more information about the online Castle Garden immigration database or to search the records yourself, go to

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2005 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at  August 02, 2005

Castle Garden Database is Online

Ellis Island seems to receive all the publicity for immigrants arriving in New York City. Many people do not realize that Ellis Island did not begin operations until 1892. More than 73 million Americans can trace their ancestry to immigrants who arrived in New York City prior to that year. From 1830 until 1890, these new arrivals first stepped ashore at Castle Garden in lower Manhattan.

The site of Castle Garden remains as one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City. American Indians fished from its banks, and the first Dutch settlers built a low, stone wall with cannons, a battery to protect the harbor and New Amsterdam. The stone wall was later converted to a street that is now the well-known financial center called Wall Street.

The Castle Garden immigration processing center started operation in 1830. By 1890, Castle Garden was overcrowded by the arriving throngs and there was no room to expand the facility as the ocean and the city surrounded it.

After reviewing several possible sites, the United States government selected Ellis Island for the establishment of a new federal immigration center for New York. On the island, it would be easier to screen and protect the new immigrants before they proceeded out onto the streets of Manhattan. Castle Garden processed its last immigrant in April 1890.

After the closing of Castle Garden in 1890, immigrants were processed at an old barge office in Manhattan until the opening of the Ellis Island Immigration Center on January 1, 1892. A huge fire at Ellis Island occurred during the night of June 14, 1897. The fire burned the entire immigration complex to the ground. Nobody was hurt, and nobody knows why it happened or who started it. However, many state and federal records were lost in that fire.

Immigration processing was moved back to the old barge office in Manhattan while Ellis Island was being rebuilt. In December of 1900, the new Main Building on Ellis Island was opened and 2,251 immigrants were received that day. In a single day in 1907, 11,747 immigrants were processed at Ellis Island. .

Castle Garden was soon forgotten by almost everyone, with the exception of those who processed through the facility and later generations of family genealogists. Castle Garden was soon converted to other uses. A theater stood on the site for many years and was used by the likes of Phineas T. Barnum. Today it is a city park, called Battery Park, and is the departure point for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. Today's Battery Park is actually bigger now than it once was, because it has been extended into the harbor over the years, by landfill.

While the Ellis Island fire of 1897 did destroy some of the records of Castle Garden, the ships' manifest records of those years survived.

Now the Battery Conservancy has created an online database of information about 10 million immigrants for the years 1830 through 1892, the years before Ellis Island opened. All the records are extracted from the original ship manifests. If you are one of the more than 73 million Americans who are descended from those who entered at Castle Garden, you can probably find your ancestors in this database.

This week I went to the Castle Garden site and conducted several searches with great success. I found that the site's free "Quick Search" allows you to search by first name, last name, date range, place of origin, occupation and name of ship. You can search by any combination of those elements. Anything that is unknown can be left blank. The result will be a display of all the "matches" to the parameters you supply.

As usual, I started with my own surname. A few seconds later I was looking at a list of 78 immigrants who share the same last name as my own. I was a bit disappointed to find that one immigrant was listed with a first name of "Mr." while his wife's first name was listed as "Mrs." Another's first name was listed as "Professor" and a third seemed to have the first name of "Unknown." However, the rest of the entries had true first names or initials listed, as expected.

By clicking on menu items, I found that Professor Eastman was 34 years old when he arrived from Liverpool, England, on the ship Abyssinia on February 17, 1871. He was also a music professor. Perhaps that is enough information for a descendant to make he connection, even without a listed first name.

The following is an example of a more typical entry:

Occupation: Farmer
Age: 35
Sex: M
Literacy: U
Arrived: 1884-05-05
Origin: England
Port: Liverpool & Queenstown
Last Residence:
Destination: USA
Plan: Unknown
Ship: Alaska
Passage: Unknown

The Quick Search that I used allows you to easily find an individual orfamily. Quick Searches are free of charge.

The site also offers Advanced Searches: the ability to search a cross reference more fields within the database. An Advanced Search allows everything that a Quick Search allows plus the ability to search by gender, age upon arrival and destination. The site states that Advanced Searches are "ideal for scholars and those interested in genealogical research." An Advanced Search costs $45.

Unless you are searching for a very common surname, I suspect that the free Quick Searches will suffice for most genealogists. is a great resource for educators, scholars, students, family historians, and the interested public. The site currently has 10 million records in its database with another 2 million records yet to be entered. Donations are solicited to help maintain this site for all.

For more information about the online Castle Garden immigration database or to search the records yourself, go to

Posted by Dick Eastman on August 02, 2005 | Permalink

Canadian Directories

announcement from Library and Archives Canada

"Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the launch of phase two of the Canadian Directories site. The addition of 80 new directories to our growing database brings a total of 95 searchable directories to the site.

With this phase, we have focused upon the regions of Ottawa, Halifax and environs; these regions were selected to complement the digital initiatives of our colleagues across the nation, including Bibliothèque nationale de Quèbec and Our Roots: Canada's Local Histories Online.

In addition, we've introduced a new section entitled CityScapes, which offers a brief historical overview of the cities whose directories have been digitized.

Plans for future additions to our site include directories for the Kingston and London, Ontario areas."


Canadian Bill Opens Census Records

The Canadian Bill S-18, which allows public access to 20th-century census records, is finally about to become law. It is reported that the Library and Archives of Canada has already scanned images of the 1911 National Census of Canada and they should be available online almost immediately. Canadian genealogists may be able to spend the summer looking for ancestors in these 1911 records.

Read more at: A complete history of the project can be found at: Canada Archives is at:

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 6 July 2005, Vol. 8, No. 27.

Extreme genealogy
BBC News, UK - Jun 3, 2005 By Megan Lane.

..."A family tree researched by conventional methods can only go back so far before patchy records stymie progress. Now amateur genealogists are turning to DNA testing to trace their ancestry. But how much can this tell us about where we come from?"...

..."This shows my maternal ancestor to be Ursula, the oldest of the seven daughters of Eve, who lived 45,000 years ago in northern Greece. Her people were cave-dwelling hunter-gatherers, tall and slender by comparison to the Neanderthals with whom they shared the land for another 20,000 years. The first European cave paintings date from this period."... BBC News


Cave painting
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia..Retrieved from "" 24.06.2005 The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL

Cave or rock paintings are painted on cave or rock walls and ceilings, usually dating to prehistoric times. Rock paintings are made since the Upper Paleolithic, 40,000 years ago.

1 European rock paintings
2 African rock paintings
3 Australian rock paintings

European rock paintings

The cave paintings of Lascaux were done in the Upper Old




The cave paintings of Lascaux were done in the Upper Old Stone Age


When Europeans first encountered the Magdalenian paintings of southwestern France (Lascaux) and Cantabrian Spain (Altamira) some 150 years ago, they were considered to be hoaxes by academics. The new Darwinian thinking on evolution was interpreted as meaning that early humans could not have been sufficiently advanced to create art. Emile Cartailhac, one of the most respected prehistorians of the late nineteenth century believed they had been thought up by Creationists to support their ideas and ridicule Darwin's. Recent reappraisals and increasing numbers of discoveries have illustrated their authenticity and indicated the high levels of artistry of Upper Palaeolithic humans who used only basic tools. Cave paintings can also give valuable clues as to the culture and beliefs of that era.

The age of the paintings in many sites remains a contentious issue, since methods like radiocarbon dating can be easily misled by contaminated samples of older or newer material, and caves and rocky overhangs are typically littered with debris from many time periods. The choice of subject matter can indicate date such as the reindeer at the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas which imply the art is from the last ice age. The oldest cave is that of Chauvet, and is 32,000 years old.

The commonest themes in cave paintings are large wild animals, such as bison, horses, aurochs, and deer, and tracings of human hands as well as abstract patterns, called Maccaroni by Breuill. Drawings of humans are rare and are usually schematic rather than the more naturalistic animal subjects. Cave art may have begun in the Aurignacian period (Hohle Fels, Germany), but reached its apogee in the late Magdalenian.

The paintings were drawn with red and yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide and charcoal. Sometimes the silhouette of the animal was incised in the rock first. Stone lamps provided some light. Abb³ Breuill interpreted the paintings as being hunting magic, meant to increase the number of animals. As there are some clay sculptures that seem to have been the targets of spears, this may partly be true, but does not explain the pictures of beasts of prey such as the sabre-toothed lion or the bear.

An alternative and more modern theory, based on studies of more modern hunter-gatherer societies, is that the paintings were made by Cro-Magnon shamen. The shamen would retreat into the darkness of the caves, enter into a trance state and then paint images of their visions, perhaps with some notion of drawing power out of the cave walls themselves. This goes some way towards explaining the remoteness of some of the paintings (which often occur in deep or small caves) and the variety of subject matter (from prey animals to predators and human hand-prints). However, as will all prehistory, it is impossible to be certain due to the relative lack of material evidence and the many pitfalls associated with trying to understand the prehistoric mindset with a modern mind.

In 2003, cave etchings also were discovered in Creswell Crags, Nottinghamshire, England.

Well known cave paintings include those of:

  • Lascaux, France
  • La Marche, near Lussac-les-Chateaux, France
  • Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave, near Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, France
  • Altamira, near Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain

African rock paintings

At Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg, South Africa, now thought to be some 3,000 years old, the paintings by the San people who settled in the area some 8,000 years ago depict animals and humans, and are thought to represent religious beliefs.

Cave paintings are found in the Tassili n'Ajjer mountains in southeast Algeria also in Mesak Settafet and Tadrart in Libya and other Sahara region including: Ayr mountains, Niger and Tibesti, Chad.

Australian rock paintings

Significant early cave paintings have also been found in Australia.


Photos & documents. Queries about unidentified objects & persons in photos:

click at the thumbnails

Someone sent this photo to me to see if I knew any of the people. But I don't know who they are. I thought you'd be interested in seeing what used to be referred to as a "general store" where they sold a little of everything. I noticed shoes on the rack outside the store.

Reply to June Pelo
jmpelo at

Jag har skannat in fotografier ur ett gammal fotoalbum som min farfarsfar&mor tog med sig hem från San Francisco. Bl.a. ett skojigt fotografi på två soldater. Troligen någon vän/släkting från Finland som skickat fotografiet åt dem till USA? Vet du någonting mera om den här uniformen/militärgraden? Troligen är det ryska armén (armékläderna i Amerika såg troligtvis lite annorlunda ut).

Svar/reply to Christer Åstrand
christer at

Does anybody know the name of the book in which this photo from Sideby has been published? The photo must have been taken before 1916 as the place to the south of the Lassfolk (Solgård) house, where the village shop was built in 1916, is still empty

Excavations at the Wolf Cave

Extra finds in 2005


Carta Marina satellite images

Ancient mariners surprise oceanographers (pdf-file) Peter Miller tells how satellite imagery unlocked the long lost secrets of the Carta Marina map (credit James Ford Bell Library, University of Minnesota) drawn by Olaus Magnus almost 500 years ago.

Rossby, H.T., and P.I. Miller, Ocean eddies in the 1539 Carta Marina by Olaus Magnus, Oceanography, 16 (4), 77-88. (3 MB PDF file)





Replies to

Free Tell A Friend from

































































































































































































































































Post queries and photos to eMIG Message Board

eMIG Archive

Sign the
GUESTBOOK & the Guestmap


SAVE YOUR EUROS, DOLLARS, and POUNDS. Another variant of the so-called Nigerian scam e-mail is making the rounds again and fooling some genealogists.

The e-mail may appear to be sent by a barrister, (attorney) representing the estate of some long-lost relative you never knew you had (your last name may be inserted into the e-mail message) who perished along with his family in a car or airplane accident recently.

The scammer will claim to have gone to a lot of trouble to find you in order to give you a share of the (usually) millions of dollars available if you'll just forward your bank account information to him or send him some money. He may claim to have found you through RootsWeb. Do not respond to such scams.

The country involved is not always Nigeria. Ghana, South Africa and other West African states are sometimes mentioned. Occasionally the scam operates from other countries, such as the Netherlands (Amsterdam), the United Kingdom (London), Spain (Madrid), or Canada (Toronto).

The United States Federal Trade Commission has issued a consumer alert about this Nigerian scam. Americans who receive an offer via e-mail from someone claiming to need your help getting money out of Nigeria -- or any other country, for that matter -- forward it to the FTC at

There are myriad variants of this scam -- including "winning notifications" from a lottery company, fake charities, and fake church scams. Ignore them all. Save your money for genealogical research.

Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 25 May 2005, Vol. 8, No. 21.

Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world

Scientists begin to unlock the secrets of papyrus scraps bearing long-lost words by the literary giants of Greece and Rome.
By David Keys and Nicholas Pyke The Independent 17 April 2005

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2005 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at  April 06, 2005

Google Maps adds Satellite Photos - Wow!

I wrote about the new Google Maps service about six weeks ago. You can read that article here. Now Google has added something even more spectacular: satellite photographs. To be sure, other companies have offered satellite photos before but the Google pictures are the best quality that I have seen on a consumer-oriented service. These things also have significant genealogy potential as well.

Google's new high-resolution satellite images enable you to zoom in on homes and businesses using satellite images, an advance that may raise privacy concerns. The new service appeared on Google on Monday and is part of the package acquired when the company bought digital mapmaker Keyhole Corp. for an undisclosed amount nearly six months ago. Keyhole was previously available through Google but at a price of $29.95 a month. The new service added this week is free.

When going to, you still see the same menus as described in my earlier article. Next, enter an address or a longitude and latitude or any of several other options, such as the phrase "pizza" followed by your ZIP code. Google then displays a map of whatever you asked for. If you look closely, you will note a new link in the upper right corner that did not exist before Monday. It says "Satellite." Click on that you will be rewarded with a satellite view of the same area as the map you were looking at.

I first entered my home address and took a look at the map of my neighborhood. Then I clicked on "Satellite" and was looking at a picture of the same neighborhood. The local golf course really shows up well.

I could also see the house where I live. Then I started zooming in, using the menus on the left. At maximum resolution, I was looking not only at the roof of my home as well as the roofs of the immediate neighbors. I could also determine the irregular shapes of my front yard, back yard and the driveway. The hedge along the edge of the property was very obvious as was one particular rhododendron bush. You have to admit that these satellite photos are rather good when you can see individual rhododendron bushes! There was a speck in the driveway that may or may not have been my tan-colored pickup truck. I did not see any autos on the roads in my neighborhood but when looking at the office building of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, it was easy to pick out individual cars and trucks parked along Newbury Street!

Next, the display can be moved to the north, south, east or west. When scrolling, the screen does not repaint. Instead, it scrolls smoothly. It is almost like flying over the neighborhood.

These photos have some serious genealogy uses. Do you have the address of great-grandfather's farm? You can now "visit" the property even though it may be thousands of miles away. Want to find the cemetery where your ancestor is buried? No problem. I was able to look at a cemetery near my house and even see some individual tombstones as "white flecks" in the photo. OK, so I guess we have to wait a few more years before we have the technology to read the inscriptions!

These photos do not cover all the U.S., however. Google's free satellite maps initially will be limited to North America, with images covering roughly half the United States. Rural areas especially have not yet been added to Google's images. When looking for my great-grandfather's farm I found that the satellite images of Bangor, Maine were not as high resolution as some other areas. I could see satellite photos of the area but was not able to zoom in as far for a "close up" view.

These satellite maps and images probably will unnerve some people, even as the technology impresses others. That's because the Keyhole technology is designed to provide close-up perspective of specific addresses. Keyhole's previous government ties also have raised anxieties.

Founded in 2001, Keyhole raised some money in 2003 from In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm backed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Leading up to the Google sale, Keyhole's roughly 10,000 customers included a cross-section of government agencies.

Google believes most people will like the convenience of generating a satellite image with a few clicks of a computer mouse. The company envisions people using the service as a way to scout a hotel's proximity to the beach for a possible vacation or size up the neighborhood where an apartment is for rent. However, I bet the first thing that you look at will be your own neighborhood.

To try the satellite photos yourself, go to

------------------------------------------------- customized Google Satellite Map

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation Announces Database ... Business Wire (press release), CA - Mar 28, 2005 SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 28, 2005--Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a non-profit research organization building the world's most ...

For more information, visit

Norwegian jokes contributed by June

The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around.

When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fire chief and said, "All our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact."

But the roaring flames held the firefighters off. Soon more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate.

As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire department who could bring out the company's secret files.

From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight.

It was the nearby Norwegian rural township volunteer fire company composed mainly of Norwegians over the age of 65. To everyone's amazement, that little run-down fire engine roared right past all the newer sleek engines that were parked outside the plant.

Without even slowing down it drove straight into the middle of the inferno.

Outside, the other firemen watched as the Norwegian old timers jumped off right in the middle of the fire & fought it back on all sides.

It was a performance and effort never seen before.

Within a short time, the Norske old timers had extinguished the fire and had saved the secret formulas.

The grateful chemical company president announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave fire fighters.

The local TV news reporter rushed in to capture the event on film,asking their chief, "What are you going to do with all that money?"

"Vell," said Ole Larsen, the 70-year-old fire chief, "Da first thing ve gonna do is fix da brakes on dat focking truck!

The Vinland Map Debate - fake or authentic

The Vinland Map -- Some "Finer Points" of the Debate J. Huston McCulloch

Forskare granskar Vinlandskartan på nytt Svenska Dagbladet | 4 mars 2005

Vinlandskartans bläck är medeltida visar nya rön Nu är det klart. Vinlandskartan är äkta. I alla fall enligt kemisten Jacqueline S Olin vid Smithsonian Institution i Washington. Svenska Dagbladet 1 november 2004

A Saga of Wormholes and Anatase (subscription) Review by William W. Fitzhugh Science 4 March 2005: 1413-1414.

Norse Map or German Hoax? Still No Rest for Vinland Washington Post February 16 2004

Determination of the Radiocarbon Age of Parchment of the Vinland Map by D J Donahue, J S Olin, G Harbottle, Radiocarbon, vol. 44, nr. 1 (aug. 2002)

Analysis of pigmentary materials on the Vinland Map and Tartar Relation by Raman microprobe spectroscopy New fight over old map: Debate over oldest map of America flares again (subscription) Nature (Aug. 2002).

Vinland Re-read by Paul Saenger (Review Article on the Vinland Map)

Analyzing the Vinland Map : Timeline of the Vinland Map debate

Vinland Map Picture

Branching back

Researching your family tree is a painstaking endeavor, but the knowledge you gain is priceless.

By Tod Hill, Staten Island Advance (NY), February 13, 2005.

Oldest modern human remains found along the Omo River in southernmost Ethiopia near the town of Kibish. Two skulls, known as Omo I and II were originally found by the team of Richard Leakey in 1967. The original dating of the fossils was 130,000 years, but using an alternative technique they have now been shown to be 195,000 years old

Stratigraphic placement and age of modern humans from Kibish, Ethiopia Nature 433, 733 - 736 (17 February 2005);

..."Our preferred estimate of the age of the Kibish hominids is 195 5 kyr, making them the earliest well-dated anatomically modern humans yet described."

W R Rishi Indira Gandhi Y Tähtelä  A Sari

De indiska rötterna (in Swedish) av Gunni Nordström

Ett folk behöver kunskap om sitt förflutna för att kunna utvecklas, brukar man säga. Det zigenska folket har i det avseendet varit sällsynt vanlottat: trots mängden av litteratur om zigenare i olika länder finns det nästan inga säkra kunskaper om dem. Myterna har frodats desto mer.

I mars 1976 for en grupp finska zigenare till Indien för att söka sina rötter...

Scholary works on the Indian roots of the Roma People:

















































































































































Marcelino Jané


Emigrant tracking












S/S ARCTURUS of the Finland Steamship Company

Genealogy research





Maritime history links




©2001-2006 web editor Staffan Storteir (SS)