Making Connections: Cyber Sleuthing, Hessians, Medicine Men

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Out of Place

Your article “Secrets of a Cyber Sleuth” (October 2004) was very informative. Every researcher on the Web should read it.

Yesterday, I found myself on someone’s Web page as being 100 years older than I am. I do not mind getting old, but that was a little too much. The site had my husband’s given name wrong and listed the wrong person for my mother’s father. Chicago also was spelled wrong.

When I see a place name spelled wrong, I know the researcher hasn’t taken the time to check his or her work. So many times I have seen Stirling, Scotland, spelled Sterling. It cannot be that hard to look up the name in an atlas before entering data onto a Web page. Nor is it hard for everyone to see how careless you are with your research.

Estella Pryor, South Portland, Maine

Help With Hessians

James M. Beidler’s “Germane Advice” (October 2004) provides a wonderful guide to researching German roots. I noticed one missing source, however. More than 30,000 German soldiers fought for the British during the American Revolution. Roughly 5,000 of these “Hessians” stayed in the United States when their countrymen returned home, and many Americans descend from them (see <>).

The Johannes Schwalm Historical Association supports historical and genealogical research related to the German soldiers who remained behind. The association publishes journals, and researchers can access its registry lists and publications on its Web site <>. Anyone hearing hints of a Hessian ancestor should visit this site.

Janice Anton Nolin, Huntsville, Ala.

Alternative Medicine

The “Finding Physicians” article in your October 2004 issue was so similar to my search for my great-grandpa Chandler that I had to write. If the submitter does the searches described in the article and still doesn’t turn up any information regarding the doctor, he or she should consider that he may have been a patent medicine man (as in medicine shows).

That’s what I discovered about Grandpa Chandler, who left Pennsylvania, came to Ohio and traveled many Midwestern and Western states. We were fortunate enough to have a label from one of his medications that clearly states “patent medicine,” as well as an original 1883 newspaper from Carrollton, Ky., in which he advertised. I recall reading in a AAA guide that people in the Kittaning, Pa., area were bottling and selling the water for health purposes, which may have been how some Pennsylvania “doctors” got their start. A medicine man! Much more interesting for the family history than a plain old doctor!

Jan Davis, Gahanna, Ohio

Southwestern Success

I wanted to let you know what a great value my first issue of Family Tree Magazine was. I have ancestors who settled near Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., in the 1920s. With the help of my first issue (August 2004), I downloaded seven death certificates and two birth certificates in 10 minutes. That saved me a total of $100 if I had ordered them all from the Office of Vital Records. I also discovered (after years of searching) that my great-grandma Helen Zansler Crawford actually died in Tucson — not in Kansas City, Mo., as I had been told.

I am sold on your magazine and read it cover to cover immediately. I look forward to subscribing for years to come.

Dorothea Williams

From the April 2005 Family Tree Magazine