JUNE 2007


Written and Published Online by John Silver

w/contributing articles by various Silver cousins



Dear Cousins and Friends,


Spring and summer are here all in one, after an extended winter. I’m already sunburned, my hands are blistered and my back is killing me. But I’ll take it in stride.

We have a letter from Cousin Rex and his bride Margaret. I’ll include it in the fact that most of it is good news.  Also, a letter from Cousin Gladys Gibbs. She is doing fine and says that sister Georgia is whizzing around in her wheel chair enjoying herself. And a letter from Shelby Jenkins whose husband, L.B. is a descendant of Virgie Silver, daughter of George Tilton Silver. We were happy to send her a family pedigree and provide her with the passwords to our Silver Internet site.  It’s always great to hear from a “new cousin.”

I’m using most of the newsletter space this time to bring you news from the Granite Mountain Project. I think it is important to get this news out to everyone interested in genealogy. It is an almost unbelievable breakthrough that anyone can use to do their own family research.

Until next month, enjoy the nice weather.

Cousin John


Cousin Rex Redmon writes; 


Hello John,

I hope all is well with you and your family. Margaret and I are doing well after both of us having surgery two weeks ago. She had cataract surgery and has recovered well enough to drive without her glasses. I had the first surgery on my vocal cords for opening a breathing passage. The surgeon sliced a small piece of the vocal cords off to open the breathing passage. I will not know until Tuesday coming the results of the surgery. I still have a strong voice with some slight hoarseness which will be permanent. At this time however, we do not feel we have enough of a passage to breath on my own again without the benefit of the trachea implant. That means more surgery and then hopefully we can remove the trachea implant.  

John, today I was wandering around in Inman, SC, a small suburban town outside of Spartanburg, SC, and came upon an old Methodist church organized in 1786. The name of the church was Shilo Methodist Church. I wandered through the cemetery looking for familiar names and I saw the name of Silver on a tombstone. I wrote the information on a card, brought it home with me and looked for the family on the Silver Family Website.  Bingo! There they were. Carl Linwood Silver, born 11/15/1890 died Jan 5, 1961. He was married to Bessie F.  He must have moved to the area to work in the textile mills after the turn of the last century as Inman is an old textile town. He is a cousin of mine as he descends from Rev. Thomas Silver.  I thought you might find that information interesting. There were not any other Silvers in the cemetery. 

Take care...

Cousin Rex



Cousins Jim and Ada Hauser forwarded this message about Heritage Quest: 


We are pleased to announce that access to HeritageQuest Online will soon be free through selected family history centers. The HeritageQuest collection is one of the largest online collections of genealogical information available.

At present, only centers in the United States who 1) have installed LANDesk, 2) have more than two PCs, and 3) are open at least 10 hours per week will qualify to have access to this service. Selected centers in other countries will also receive access. Access to HeritageQuest Online will be available for on site usage only. You will be notified separately within two weeks if your center qualifies.

Please note that patrons may also access the HeritageQuest Online collection for free through over 4400 U.S. public libraries (both in the library and from home using their valid library card).

Our desire is to provide many excellent resources for patrons to more easily and successfully pursue their family history. We will therefore continue to add more record collections through FamilySearch Indexing and other agreements with record providers.

Should you have questions, please contact FamilySearch support at 1-866-406-1830.

Family History Center Support - [email protected]



Cousins Jim and Ada Hauser passed this story along; 


Revolutionary War Records Are First Fruits
of New Record Services Program


FamilySearch Teams with Service Providers
to Expedite Historic Records Access


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH-FamilySearch and Footnote announced today the first project of the new Records Access program-to digitize and index the historic U.S. Revolutionary War Pension records. The Record Access program helps archives and other records custodians publish their collections online. A significant collection of genealogical and historical significance will be accessible online by leveraging the resources of FamilySearch, the world's largest repository of genealogical information, with those of Footnote.

Footnote is one of the new breed of genealogy web sites working with FamilySearch to digitally preserve, in! dex, and publish the world's records in concert with archives around the world. As part of the agreement, FamilySearch will digitize the images currently held in the National Archives Record and Administration's collection (NARA) in Washington, D.C., and Footnote will create the electronic indexes. When complete, the indexes and images will be viewable at Family History Centers and at Indexes will also be available at Numerous other national and international projects are under development at this time and will be announced as agreements are signed or data is published. To see examples of the Revolutionary War Pension Files, go to

Records custodians worldwide are experiencing growing pressure to provi! de access to their records online while maintaining control and ownership. At the same time, websites that provide digitizing and publishing services are struggling with the staggering costs," said Wayne Metcalfe, director of Records Services for FamilySearch. "The new Record Access program takes advantage of FamilySearch's resources and creates an economical and effective forum where records custodians and genealogy websites can work together to accomplish their respective objectives," added Metcalfe.

FamilySearch's new Records Access program provides tools and assistance to records custodians who want to publish their collection using state-of-the-art digital cameras, software, and web-based applications. FamilySearch Records Services has representatives worldwide who can work with archivists to determine how FamilySearch and affiliates can help them achieve their digital preservation and publication needs.

Family History Center Support - [email protected]



The following collection is available from the HeritageQuest Online Collection, referenced in the previous email. There are two ways patrons may gain free access to the collection:

1. Family History Library and selected Family History Centers, and
2. Over 1,000 local public libraries (both in the library and online with a valid library card)

U.S. Federal Census

1790 — images and every name index
1800 — images and every name index
1830 — images only
1840 — images only
1850 — images only
1860 — images and head of household index
1870 — images and head of household index
1880 — images and every name index
1890 — images and every name index
1900 — images and head of household index
1910 — images and head of household index
1920 — images and head of household index
1930 — images and partial head of household index

Genealogy and Local History Book Collection

Over 20,000 local histories and primary sources linked to 7.5 million full text images. Includes compiled genealogies, documentary collections, church records, military records, vital records, and more.

Periodical Source Index (PERSI)

Comprehensive subject index covering 1.9 million genealogy and local history periodicals indexed from over 6,300 periodicals written in English and French.

Revolutionary War Pension Application Records and Bounty-Land Warrants

Selected genealogical records from over 80,000 application files that are based on the participation of American officers and enlisted men.

Freedman’s Bank Records

Documents over 70,000 bank depositors and nearly 480,000 of their dependants and heirs through the Freedman’s Savings and Trust (the primary bank for America’s freed slaves and others from 1865! to 1874).

Family History Center Support - [email protected]



We have reached agreements with the following organizations to provide online services in the family history centers in North America.

World Vital Records (
Kindred Konnections (
Godfrey Memorial Library (

Additional information and a time line for availability will be forthcoming. We will communicate this information to you as soon as it is made available.

Should you have questions, please contact FamilySearch support at 1-866-406-1830.



80 billion family files to go online
lds Church Plans to be History Clearinghouse

 By Carrie A. Moore, Deseret morning news
thursday, may 17, 2007


In what officials say will be a quantum leap forward in providing family history information online, the LDS Church has announced a plan designed to eventually help provide access to as many as 80 billion family records on the Web, in addition to the tens of billions of records it is currently indexing out of its own Granite Vault microfilm archives.

The new Records Access program is being announced this week at the annual meeting of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) in Richmond, Va. The announcement details specifics of how the church is creating partnerships with various archives and other records depositories in a move to become the world's premier international "clearinghouse" for family history.

The first cooperative project under the new program will be to digitize and index U.S. Revolutionary War Pension records with the National Archives in Washington, meaning anyone with ancestors who served in that war will soon be able to access details about that family member online.

Steve W. Anderson, manager of marketing for the church's, said the church is working to arrange agreements with commercial Web sites and genealogical organizations worldwide to provide digitizing, indexing and online posting for billions of records, many of which have never been indexed at all, let alone been available online.

"Archives all have two things in mind: preservation and making records available," he said. "When push comes to shove, they would rather preserve them than share them, but most would like to do both."

The church is forming agreements with organizations to help film or digitally image their collections, which can be posted on an organization's Web site, as well as on In some cases, FamilySearch will simply provide a link to a specific organization's Web site, where a small fee for access will be charged to view the records.

The program "recruits volunteers from around the world to index a batch of records at a time. They transcribe those pieces of information — names, dates, locations, marriage, death and birth dates — and make an index that allows the record to be searched by name or place or event," Anderson said.

The project not only will provide "vital statistics," but by imaging the documents, users will be able to pull up a digitized image of the actual record itself. "That's a whole different experience, to see an image of the original document," he said.

The program provides the flexibility necessary to work with small archives as well as giant repositories, he said. It helps those without any resources to complete the entire imaging, indexing and online posting process, and those with more resources who may simply need help posting information online or driving traffic to their Web site.

Once the church has signed an agreement to work with a specific organization, personnel there "typically want to recruit their own patrons to help them index. But with imaging the documents — taking digital photos of them — we do that for them in almost all cases. ... They want preservation-quality digital images, and we do that better than anybody. We've been doing it for decades," to produce the 2.4 million rolls of microfilm that now reside in the church's Granite Mountain near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, Anderson said.

FamilySearch can also put indexing projects in progress on its Web site, where volunteers can help index public collections of records. The Revolutionary War records are a "perfect example. We're doing the imaging, posting on our site and will recruit volunteers to help index." An online family history Web site called will create electronic indexes of the records and host the actual images there for public access.

The indexes and images of those records will also be viewable at LDS Family History Centers, as well as at

Anderson said "numerous other national and international projects" of a similar nature are now under development and will be announced as agreements are signed or data is published.

As a result of the "affiliate arrangement," Anderson said will "have all the indexes for everything. You can think of it more or less like a Google — you go there to find the source of information you're looking for. Sometimes we're the source, and sometimes a third party is the source."

At least one or two similar agreements are expected to be announced this week in Virginia, Anderson said, noting several of the church's family history specialists are presenting at the conference this week.

While some Web sites may eventually use their information as a money-making enterprise, as commercial family history companies now do, Anderson said the church is not charging partners to help them make their records available.

Church officials have been looking to form such partnerships "for some time now," Anderson said, but have had to push forward the development of technology that would allow it to happen with "the way we scan, photo, transfer and archive. Because some of the necessary technology wasn't available, we had to develop it ourselves."

Working with a scanner producer, the church helped develop high-speed scanners that can scan a roll of microfilm in "a couple of minutes," as opposed to an hour or more that traditional scanners required.

New software developed to process that information into images and make it ready for processing, as well as to manage the warehousing of such huge information banks, also had to be created, Anderson said. "Almost every step of the way, there were significant engineering projects or hardware that needed to be developed."

Now that the technology is in place, the Records Access project will mean "at least 20 billion unique new names that will be in those records (to be posted online), but I'm not uncomfortable saying it could be 80 billion." That's compared with a total of about 5 billion names now online, he said.

The new technology and resulting "affiliate" agreements through FamilySearch will "fundamentally change people's ability to find their ancestors and connect with their families online. It's just going to be a real watershed event," Anderson said.



Genealogy Web site adds 90 million war records

 By Donna Borak The Associated Press
May 25, 2007


For every generation in this country there has been a war. And with wars come millions of records that can shed light on family history, detailing everything from the color of soldiers' eyes to what their neighbors may have said about them. 

On Thursday, Provo, Utah's unveiled more than 90 million U.S. war records from the first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607 through the Vietnam War's end in 1975. The site also has the names of 3.5 million U.S. soldiers killed in action, including 2,000 of the more than 3,000 who have died in Iraq. 

“The history of our families is intertwined with the history of our country,” said Tim Sullivan, chief executive of ''Almost every family has a family member or a loved one that has served their country in the military.''

The records, which can be accessed free until the anniversary of D-Day on June 6, came from the National Archives and Records Administration and include 37 million images, draft registration cards from both world wars, military yearbooks, prisoner-of-war records from four wars, unit rosters from the Marine Corps from 1893 through 1958, and Civil War pension records, among others.

The popularity of genealogy in the U.S. has increased steadily alongside the Internet's growth. Specialized search engines on sites such as, and, along with general search portals such as Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc., have helped fuel interest. 

“The Internet has created this massive democratization in the whole family history world,” said Megan Smolenyak, chief family historian for “ It's like a global game of tag.”, which is owned by Generations Network, spent $3 million to digitize the military records. It took nearly a year, including 1,500 handwriting specialists racking up 270,000 hours to review the oldest records.

The 10-year-old company obviously doesn't have every U.S. military record. Over the past four centuries, some have been lost or destroyed. Some records remain classified. 

However, this is the first time a for-profit Web site is featuring this many military records as part of a $100 million investment in what Sullivan says is the largest genealogy Web site with 900,000 paying subscribers. He joined 18 months ago after leaving the CEO post at online dating giant

After June 6, users can pay $155.40 a year for unlimited access to thousands of U.S. record databases, Sullivan said. 

Budget constraints and a long list of unfinished priorities have limited federal efforts to make roughly 9 billion public documents available online, said National Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper.

“In a perfect world, we would do all this ourselves and it would be up there for free,” she said. “While we continue to work to make our materials accessible as widely as possible, we can't do everything.”

Subscribers can set up their own family tree pages on the site and combine personal information with public records from the site.



Another article via Jim and Ada Hauser; 


Agreement reached to open nazi archives

By Robert BergeR, the berger report


An Israeli man passes a large picture showing the Nazi death camp of Birkenau in Poland at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.  An 11-nation commission has decided to open a vast archive documenting Nazi atrocities during World War II. It could help bring closure to the families of millions of victims.

The German archive contains 50 million documents that will be opened to historians and Holocaust scholars for the first time.  The files hold virtually everything the Nazis recorded in the death camps, where six million Jews were killed. They contain 17 million names of Jews, homosexuals, the mentally ill, gypsies and other people who were sent to the camps and forced into slave labor.

The breakthrough came last month when Germany agreed to soften its privacy protection rules, in response to pressure from Jewish groups.  The opening of the archive was welcomed by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

Nazi hunter Ephraim Zuroff, who heads the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel, says it is an important step.  “This is a veritable gold mine of information,” he said. “Including what happened to hundreds of thousands of Jews who disappeared without a trace.  There is a lot of information about individuals, their fate," said Zuroff. "People who were incarcerated in concentration camps, what happened to them, how they were killed. There is information on the post-war escape of Nazi war criminals."

Zuroff told VOA that it is especially significant to relatives of the victims.  "Listen, if you are looking for a file on your grandfather, and until now it's not been accessible, then I would say that it is pretty important for you, and you would not be the only person in that situation," he said. "I think there is a desire by many people to learn about the fate of their loved ones during the Holocaust."

Zuroff says the archives should have been opened decades ago, but it is better late than never.



John Silver
Genealogist & Editor
64S Fairfield Drive
Dover, DE 19901
[email protected]

Barney Kaufman
7408 Lake Drive
Manassas, VA 20111-1960
[email protected]