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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Searching for The Ships List Mailing List

Pat asked about the abbreviation F/O
I saw a message on rootsweb, by DC Smithin from 4/12/2000 where s/he defined F/O. The meaning of this abbreviation had been bothering me for over a year. I would like to thank this person but cannot find him. The ShipsList-L doesn't seem to exist anymore. Can you help me?
Hello Pat - F/O is an abbreviation found on naturalization records and the message you referred to states in part

 "Final Order.  This is usually recorded on the petition (or perhaps some otherdocument prior to 1906) indicating the final order of the court (i.e., the court ordered that the person be naturalized, or the court ordered that the person's petition for naturalization be denied)."

The Ships List Mailing list is still alive and well and run by Sue Swiggum. I am not sure why you thought it didn't exist anymore. Researchers can subscribe to the list or search The Ships List archives at

 You can also obtain more information on Naturalization Records as well as search online records, by going to website

Monday, July 16, 2012

Query About a Naturalization Record and Ships Passenger List

Bob asked a very interesting question which I believe this may be useful to other genealogy researchers.  Here is my edited version of Bob's email:

My 2nd great grandfather was Michael McGinnis.  He is said to have been born 1805-1807 in Dublin, Ireland. He was m. to Catherine McGuire in Ireland. Children born in Ireland were: Patrick- abt.1826, Edward-abt. 1829, and two daughters- abt.1831 &1834.  A daughter, Ellen was born in New York, Dec. 27, 1836. The family inferentially dates his immigration to America between Jan.1835-Dec. 1836, possibly on the Barque Tweed (although no other family members are shown).  
He lived in Johnson Co., Iowa from 1841 until his death Jan. 11, 1870. I recently found his date of naturalization, July 22, 1844, in Dist. Court, of Keokuk Co., Sigournery, IA. The card only shows his name and country of birth as Ireland. No other information.  Do you think there would be a Declaration of Intent record somewhere?  I've checked Keokuk Co. clerk and recorder, public library, historical society, and genealogical society, without success.
Bob - For naturalization records you may want to visit the USA section of  Since your ancestor naturalized in 1844, you will want to look at "Naturalization Records Before 1906". There should be a Declaration of Intent for your ancestor and it will almost certainly have more details such as exact date of arrival, but may not have an exact location of birth.

Continue reading at Hunting For an Elusive Passenger List and Naturalization Record

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Does Sharing a Great-Grandmother Prohibit Cousins from Marrying

One of my pet peeves is anonymous queries to AskOliveTree. I figure if someone is writing to ask for some help or advice, the least they can do is provide their first name. So, against my usual "rule" of ignoring any requests without a name attached, I'm going to answer this one which was was not signed:

Maybe you can help me... my question to you is that I met a cousin by facebook and I we like each other Im starting to like him. My grandma is halfsister with his grandma they are from the same mother but different dads so we only share a great grandma so I would like to know if is ok if we have a relationship and can we have kids?
AskOliveTree answer: It depends. Different countries have different laws regarding degrees of cousinship and legal marriages. Different religions have different rules about who can marry.

Your relationship with your cousin is considered Canon Degree 3 and Civil Degree VI (6).  This is probably not a problem at all, but you should find out what laws your country or religion have regarding Canon or Civil Degrees of relationships and marriage.

Canon Degree is simply the furthest number of generations back to a common ancestor (in this case it is 3 - parents, grandparents and great-grandmother)

Civil Degree adds both individuals generational numbers back to that common ancestor. For you and your cousin it is 3 each, giving you Civil Degree of 6.