Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Genealogy Roots Blog!

Oops! While I wasn't paying attention, the Genealogy Roots Blog quietly turned 2. Yesterday was the blog's second anniversary. My first post, about the Missouri Death Certificates Index, was on April 18, 2006.

So a humble and slightly late happy birthday to the Genealogy Roots Blog. A big thank you to everyone who reads this.

Also, we have some new subscribers who are coming over from the old Genealogy Roots Newsletter, which is being shut down and replaced by this blog. The newsletter that inspired this blog goes back to 2001. So welcome new subscribers. Thanks for dropping by.

Hello to Randy Seaver and Megan Smolenyak, who also started genealogy blogging in April 2006.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Lillian Asplund's Shoebox Full of Titanic Memories

A shoebox full of letters and other items relating to the family of Lillian Asplund, was found after her death and will be auctioned off later this month. Lillian Asplund was the last American survivor of the Titanic when she died in 2006. She was also the last survivor who was old enough to remember the events. There is presently only one living Titanic survivor, Millvina Dean of Southampton, England, who was a two-month-old baby at the time of the Titanic tragedy.

On April 10, 1912 Carl Asplund bought seven third class tickets for the Titanic's first trip from Southampton, England to New York City. The tickets were for himself, his wife Selma (then aged 38), and their five children: Filip (13), Clarence (9), twins Lillian and Carl (both 5), and Felix (3). Of the seven family members only three survived the Titanic's sinking: Selma, who died in 1964, Felix, who died in 1983, and Lillian, who died in 2006. The two surviving children, Lillian and Felix, never married and neither had children.

Asplund family on the Carpathia passenger list of Titanic Survivors
The image above is a portion of the Carpathia passenger list showing the three surviving members of the Asplund family. The Carpathia rescued 705 of the Titanic's survivors and brought them to New York on April 18, 1912. See: Partial List of Survivors of the Titanic who were taken aboard the Carpathia at the U.S. National Archives website.

The shoebox was found among the possessions of Lillian Asplund, who rarely spoke about the tragedy. It includes photographs, her parents' wedding rings, a rare Titanic ticket and letters. For more on this story and some photographs see: The Titanic historical treasure trove discovered in a shoe box after death of last living survivor

For more on ship passenger lists see: What Passenger Lists are Online?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Directory of Historical Newspapers on the Internet

The directory of U.S. historical newspapers at the Genealogy Research Guides Website was recently revised and expanded. This directory includes links to online collections of historical newspapers or indexes from about 20 states. Individual newspapers are usually not listed unless they are for a large city (such as the New York Times) or represent an important historic period (such as the Civil War). The directory can be found at:

Historical Newspapers and Indexes On The Internet - USA