Posts Tagged ‘Family History’

Why Research Family History?

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Family history research is a fascinating study which once you start it will probably turn into a passion.

Many people have asked themselves where they come from, where are their roots, and these questions reflect a yearning that all of us have. Genealogy is the science of tracing your family tree. It is a kind of detective work or paper chase game. The results are often unpredictable but always fascinating.

family history researchFamily history research has recently gained a powerful tool in the internet. Now that it is possible to do a keyword or name search almost instantly, it has become much easier to trace a family tree. Easier at least than in days gone by, when a researcher had to spend a lot of time trudging around a dusty archive library, or waiting several weeks for a reply from one records office or another.

Even with the internet though, there are some parts of one’s family tree which will be impossible to reconstruct due to certain historical circumstances. One example that comes to mind is the fire that destroyed the Irish records office in Dublin in the nineteenth century.

So you have decided to try to trace your family tree. The question is, where do you start?

Probably the best starting point is to talk to members of your own family, particularly elders, and try to get them to remember as much as they can about the past, and about their relatives and forebears. This can be very useful in providing some jumping off points for further investigations. The facts they are able to give may well help you to refine and focus your search right from the start, thereby saving a lot of potentially wasted time and effort.

Talking to people about the past is something that should be done in a sensitive way, as it can often awaken memories which people would rather forget.

Next you should decide what aspect of your family history you are going to investigate. Are you interested in finding out about everything you can about everyone related to you? Or do you prefer a more narrow focus, such as tracing one particular branch? Or perhaps you will keep an open mind at first until you find something in your family tree that provokes your interest.

Some people even trace their spouse’s family. A friend of mine who is divorced nevertheless is tracing her husband’s ancestors on behalf of her children, since her ex-husband is descended from an old aristocratic family who were very powerful and influential in medieval England.

There are many different reasons for wanting to research family history, each one of them is interesting to the individual researcher, and all of them have been greatly facilitated by the arrival of the internet.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/genealogy-articles/why-research-family-history-524090.html

Author: Robert Paterson

About the Author:

For more ideas, see our Genealogy blog http://phe-genealogy.blogspot.com/

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Testing Your Maternal Family History Using the Most Popular Dna Test

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

For genealogy researchers, having traced ancestors on your mother’s side, you may have a solid paper trail up to a certain point. But what do you do if the paper trail has gone cold and your family history research has come to a stop. What do you do then? How can you progress your genealogy beyond that?

DNA testing is one way to keep your genealogy research progressing forward on your maternal side. DNA testing gets more popular every year, yet many still don’t understand some of the basics of how it works. The value of any DNA test is that it can show connections where there is a missing paper trail or the trail ends. If you have a good paper trail as far back as you desire you probably don’t need DNA testing, but once the trail ends it may help you make solid connections that would not have been noticed otherwise.

At first DNA testing was used as a tool mostly for male researchers. Initially only the male Y-Chromosome test proved of any value in connecting lines, but this was only on a father’s line. Eventually a popular genealogy DNA test that females could take was perfected. Females were no longer completely left out of genealogy DNA testing. In this article we will examine a DNA test, which females can take, that might by valuable for family history research.

What is the DNA Test Females Can Take?

The most popular maternity test for genealogist is the Mitochondrial DNA test, otherwise known as the mtDNA test. This test traces DNA that is passed only through the mother’s side, from female to female. It cannot be used to track the male lines on your mother’s side. The distinctiveness of this test is that either a male or female can take it. Both sexes inherit this type of DNA through their maternal lines. Yet, only females pass it down.

As in any DNA test, if a match is found between two females, or males, who take this form of genealogy test, then those two people are indeed related on the maternal side, somewhere in history. The dilemma is figuring out exactly where on your family lines you have a common ancestor. In DNA terms we call that the Most Recent Common Ancestor or MRCA. The biggest goal of DNA testing is to get as close as possible to the MRCA for a group of people, or at least the person you want to compare with.

Mitochondrial DNA changes very slowly over time, if at all, so if you don’t exactly match another mtDNA donor it most likely means your common maternal ancestor is very far in the past. This is different than the male only Y-Chromosome test where changes can occur much more recently or quicker, in relation to time itself.

DNA Testing Benefits for Genealogy Research on the Maternal Side

dna testingThe benefit of the mtDNA test is it will tell you how far in the past, within a range, you share a common ancestor with someone else. The results may give you some idea how your family members migrated and what groups you are related to. From there you will need to find paper trails connecting each other, but you will at least have some idea where to start or where a commonality exists.

The more sets of mtDNA results you have from many participants the easier it will be to understand what the matches mean and how you may connect genealogically on your maternal side. This makes it important to get a large group of people to test mtDNA, so that you have more results to compare. Gradually matches will be found and surprises uncovered, all which will give you more clues as to your maternal ancestry. That is why this test remains popular for female and male genealogist alike.

Dr Geoff Swinfield will be lecturing on DNA and family history as part of the "Ask the Experts"  workshops run by the Society of Genealogists at the forthcoming Family History Conference in Nottingham. He has a Ph.D. in genetics and has used this training to apply genealogical research to the study of families at risk from genetic diseases. Why  not come along and have a great four day conference

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/genealogy-articles/testing-your-maternal-family-history-using-the-most-popular-dna-test-740947.html

Author: Mark Jordan

About the Author:

Mark D. Jordan is a writer and genealogy researcher from Pennsylvania. A recommended genealogy website is Researching Your Family History. More family research information can be read at Family History Blog

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Family History 3 Creative Ways to Leave Your Own Legacy

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I am sure you are interested in create a compelling family history with all your digital memories. The chances are that you’re already doing many of the right things. You’re probably already capturing lots of good digital memories. Hopefully you’ve started converting your non-digital files to digital format. Maybe you’re even better than the average family about getting that video camera out often, and incorporating it into special events and every-day life.

Here are 3 creative methods you can use that add a whole new level to your memories and family history?

Step 1: Historical changes

Think about the world twenty years ago. So much has changed between now and then? Encapsulating this in how you record and save your memories will be fascinating not only later in your life but also for your future generations. There are many details that you can trap. The variances in your family beliefs, family habits, past times and even family sporting endeavors.

Step 2: Technological changes

Technological advancement adds a completely new element to the times of your family’s experiences. Fifteen years ago, only a few privileged people had car phones. Now, tiny little cell phones are common technology; most of the people you pass in the street are carrying them or talking on them. You can note technology advancement, use new technology for recording your life experiences even comment on the many changes in your journaling or videoing.

Step 3: Political Changes

Overarching political and historical changes can have great effects on your family’s life. These can include positive events, such as the removal of the Berlin Wall, and negative events, such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the US. While drastically different in consequence, these historical events have had a great impact, in many ways, on your life. You can record and save details or even your feelings or personal experiences on these outcomes.

Adding creative new elements to your digital family history with these 3 unique methods creates a whole new level of complexity and richness in your digital family legacy for the future. Not only will your family members and future generations be able to view video and photos of your life, but they’ll know about the important events and every-day life that may have been a part of your family’s reality.

There are many ways in which you can “trap” this kind if information. You can write it in a digital journal, copy it from a blog or website and save it in a relevant file that corresponds with an event in your life or you can even save news clips or videos. You could also video or audio record your thoughts, feelings and experiences for a more personal touch. There are so many digital mediums now for storing these occurrences and it really does add enormous value. Think about how it makes you “feel” when you look back and think about how your Grand Parents lived during World War II. Are you fascinated? If so your future generations will wonder the same about you and the forces that shaped your life. So why not give them a chance to see what it was really like.

Many family historians and genealogists will be attending  theInternational Family History Conference in Nottingham, England in August 2009. It is great fun meeting other poeple with like minded interests and of course attending the expert lectures from the family history, social history and miltary history world as well as experts from the Society of Genealogists

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/babies-articles/family-history-3-creative-ways-to-leave-your-own-legacy-436750.html

Author: Tim Lassig

About the Author:

Tim Lassig is the creator of Treasure Chest Software, a unique software program specifically designed to preserve all your family history in a digital display to protect it for you and your future generations to admire. Tim has taken digital technology and morphed it into a life inspiring range of tools to help you create a digital legacy and family heirloom for your future. Don’t lose a single memory! Easily preserve and protect your family history today at: www.preservemyfamilyhistory.com
Feel free to post, send this or use it in your newsletter, but only as it is.

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Tracing One’s Roots Via Family History Genealogy

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

family history

The family has always been considered as the strongest force in the society. Known as the most fundamental civilization in the world, it defines the rise and fall of every community and group. In whatever culture, the family has always played a major role in unifying the people of its race. Even in today’s modern era when the limits of socialization are starting to get shattered and the boundaries of communication are slowly disappearing, the family remains basic in every human life. Nobody is so independent and free as to be able to exist without a family.

Today’s world is one which is highly characterized by individualism and eccentricity. Many people are concerned with moving on into the future and the majority is actually living for tomorrow. You may think it just usual for today’s generation to bother less about their origin, about who they really are, where they come from, and issues concerning the past. Ironically, however, there is a growing interest about the search for people’s ancestors. Family history genealogy is gaining more and more attention from those who are after their past life and relatives.

Genealogy can be considered as the science of relationships, simply because this field deals with the tracing of a particular person’s family and relatives, both in the past and in the present, alive or dead. People venture out in the search for their families because of various reasons. Some may want to find a kin who has been lost due to circumstances beyond their control. Concrete examples were those involved in the World War who were forced to leave their homes for safety and spent the rest of their life wandering in foreign lands. Others, on the other hand, engage in this endeavor because of the desire for material possessions and power. Believing that they may be perhaps connected to someone of great influence, they risk the chance for the hope of something good in return.

family history

Genealogy and the search for one’s history may vary in depth. This can be as simple as tracing the names of people related to you, forming a family tree, and indicating to which specific family in your clan a particular person belongs. Or, this can also be as deep as researching and finding out the personal life of each family member that you are able to find.

Modern technology has made family history genealogy more interesting and has opened a wider door for those people who are serious about their family search. The science of heredity and the study about DNA have made it even more possible for two persons to determine if they belong to the same line of ancestry. Various online sites are also available now to aid people find practically anybody with just the entry of simple facts. There are even computer programs which have been specifically designed for this purpose. 

genealogy

Starting your family history is easy, and this can be done using different means. The experience is like a treasure hunt that will lead you to unknown and exciting places, and you will never know what you will discover and what treasures await you at the end of your adventure.
 

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Your Family History comes alive with My Family Tree

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Make history come alive with genealogy culture view

If you have already completed your British genealogy records or you are planning on completing them, you might want to consider incorporating a "culture view" into your British genealogy project.

What is a Culture View?

A culture view is simply the photos, documents, graphics and records that compliment your British genealogy and family history narrative1 from a cultural, political or historical context.

Start Your British Genealogy Culture View

For example, to begin your British genealogy culture view you could purchase a book of remembrance, (or anything that will organize your genealogical information effectively) and on one side of the book’s fold, place information about your ancestor(s) and on the opposite page insert excerpts of popular culture, inventions, photos, newspaper clippings, famous people, political happenings or even drawings of clothing fashions that were typical during your ancestor’s time period. You can of course keep track of genealogical and historical information in digital formats as well.

Give Me a Double?

If you currently live in a country besides Great Britain, you might consider adding additional references to a cultural view of the country that you currently call home. Wouldn’t it be great for your kids to see comparative cultural references to historical happenings that occurred in Great Britain and the country you currently reside in? What a great way to learn about your British genealogy and the history of your homeland(s)!

Famous People

A great way to start your British genealogy culture view would be to include references to famous persons who lived during the time periods that your ancestors lived in. If you have found the information for British ancestors who lived during the 19th century for instance, you could include references to the following famous British persons2:

  • Charles Darwin
  • Michael Faraday
  • Charles Dickens
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Jane Austen
  • William Booth
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • William Wilberforce
  • Horatio Nelson
  • Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out more about your ancestors might have fit into the bigger picture?

Food

Everyone can relate to food! Your ancestors probably enjoyed their daily fare just as much as you do, but do you know what they ate? Start investigating their preferred tastes and see what types of comestibles were common during their time period by investigating the origination dates of the following British edibles 3:

Yorkshire pudding

Scones (these scones may not be the types of scones that you are used to)

Marmalade

Crisps

"Meat and two vegs"

Bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes)

Black pudding

Fish and chips

Steak and kidney pie

Cornish pasties

Gravy

Rhubarb crumble

Bread and butter

Pudding

Trifle

Spotted dick

Mushy peas (traditionally a side dish for fish and chips)

Pie and mash

Tea

Clotted cream

Bacon sarnies or bacon butties

Butterfly cakes

Kedgeree

Fruit cake

Blancmange

Custard

In your British genealogy culture view, you may also want to include references to literature, elite professions, the British language and even political movements. A British genealogy culture view can take a lot of time but is worth it if it brings families closer.

About the Author: Marci Crane is a web content specialist for 10x Marketing in Orem, Utah. For more information in regards to British genealogy or creating genealogy records that are perfect for your book of remembrance, please fell free to contact a Price & Associates representative.

1A family history narrative is simply the written stories, anecdotes and legends that make your genealogy data (i.e. names, dates) come alive.

2 http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/famous_people.htm

3 http://www.lingolex.com/cc/foods.htmhttp://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/glossary/index.htm

By 10x Marketing
Published: 1/4/2007

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Ancestry.com: The Best Website to Learn About Your Genealogy

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

At the forthcoming genealogical conference in Nottingham there will be a lecture stream by the Society of Genealogists on starting your family hsitory research. One of these lectures is entitled "The Top Ten Genealogy Sites". Ancestry.com with their otehr websites such as Ancestry.co.uk have made a place amongst this top ten with their wealth of  useful data. The Society of Genealogists has free access to anyone in their library in London.

Many people try and trace their ancestry for a lot of reasons. Some do it for medical reasons to find out about a mysterious disease that their family is suffering from, others do it for honoring their dead relatives, and there are people who find it as an interesting hobby and find it fun to do so. It is a fact that it’s always interesting to know about facts about your family’s past. You never know, maybe your great-great-great-great-great grandfather was a famous person back in the old days.

  

These are some of the reasons why you should learn about your genealogy. Maybe if you find out enough about your family, there might be an illegitimate child that gave birth to the great-great-great grandfather of the President of the United States which makes you and the president very distant relatives. It is always fun and also a bit surprising finding out about your past.

However, you have to consider that as time progresses, some pasts are forgotten in the mists of time. It is very important that you should consider that finding out about one’s past is very difficult especially if you don’t know about your great grandfather for some reasons. You also have to consider past historical events, such as war, the Great Depression and migration. In the United States, you have to consider that this country is composed of different races. There are people living here who have different traces of ancestry. There are Germans, Africans, Russians, Latin, and others. Some people don’t even know that they had foreign ancestry and you also have to consider that some last names have been Americanized.

These are some of the reasons why it can be difficult to trace your genealogy or your ancestry. However, technology can make it easier for you to find out about your past. There are available websites today that specializes in genealogy. One of these websites that are considered to be reputable and can definitely help you find long lost relatives is the Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com is a genealogy website that can help you find out about your family’s past.

There are professionals here that can help you gather documents, such as birth, immigration, death, marriage documents, medical records, and other vital documents about your family. You need to realize that these documents are very hard to find and will require you to pay a fee for the professionals working with Ancestry.com to find it for you. Today, there are more than four billion names in Ancestry.com database. If you know the complete name of your grandparents or great-great grandparents, you can start your search for your ancestors from here.

Ancestry.com offers the best services at a very reasonable cost. You have to consider that knowing about your family’s past is priceless. Who knows, maybe you are the great-great-great-great-great grandchild of a famous Native American or a famous European who migrated in the United States.

So, if you want to know about your genealogy the easy way, you should get the services of Ancestry.com. Here, you can start your very own family tree and show it to the members of your family and friends about your proud past.

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Let Genealogy Help You Find your long lost Invisible Irish Relatives

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Invisible relatives may pertain to those people who are difficult to find or are hidden relatives perhaps. A relative can be considered missing if he or she does not appear even in one of the volume of records containing your family’s history. Detailed information of your invisible relative can be hard to uncover. You don’t probably suspect that he or she exists before you begin your research.

irish genealogy

You need to know some of the reasons why such things happen.

-    Women are most often categorized as invisible relatives. Keep in mind that women didn’t have legal identities of their own in many countries. They are not regularly mentioned in community records. In Ireland, property was rarely registered in the name of a woman from 18th to 19th century. When registration of civil marriages took place in 1865, only the father’s name of both couples is listed.

-    If family members disapprove a relationship, thinking that it can bring disgrace to their family, they hide it consciously. For example, a widow who wanted to marry again but her children are all grown up.

-    It runs in the tradition of the Irish, they always want to portray the best face and feet forward. They omit sad memories from the tales about their family. Thus, infants and young children who are already dead were never mentioned again. 

-    Some common records used in Irish genealogy research are incomplete. The contents have entirely missed important things about the person. Maybe, they failed to anticipate that the latest generation would likely want to know about their origins.  Some census in the U.S has this problem. Former spouses were never mentioned on the record as well as the date of immigration until 1900.

So, some Irish who are just starting to find their genealogy can face a lot of challenges. It is advisable not to rely much on what they find on the written records. However, any piece of information is important to help you in your research. No matter how small the information is, you can unravel many things once you dig deeper.

Never assume that the norms in the 20th and 21st century made sense 50, 100, or 100 years ago. Try to learn and understand that norms vary according to time and place. Considering all the records (both Irish and American) are helpful in solving the jigsaw puzzles of your life, in case your family already migrated in the U.S. This process is also similar in other countries.

irish family history map

There are factors that you should concentrate on when finding an invisible Irish relative. Checking the census can be effective in finding the persons who are related to the one you are looking for. Another is to learn some significant traditions associated with the place. For example, in Ireland, the naming tradition is very popular. Irish men name their oldest son after their grandfather. If the person is already married, then search for the marriage record. Take note, during the 1860, divorce is not favored in Ireland. So, better check for death records also in case the name changed.

Finally, be patient as your research progresses. After all, it is worthwhile to embrace your origin again and find the missing part of your life. 

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Professional Genealogy Research Advantages: The Gift of Learning Your Ancestry

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Many people are eager to find out their ancestors as well as where they come from. Thus, learning the history of your family becomes a popular objective.  It can start from a hobby during weekends to everyday pastime and even to a regular job. In fact, a very attractive alternative for a day job or incomplete research is to rely on a genealogy research done by professionals. The advantages that it provides can be a gift for you.

1.    Speed. Using trained and certified genealogists in conducting research can allow you to take the advantages of their previous experiences and expertise. Certified genealogists already know what they are going to do thus their research are efficient. Let their efficiency and speed work for you.

2.    Training. Trained genealogists always have systematic plans. Their tasks are listed from the very beginning of the research until the end. They get the most relevant and the best information rather than sifting over countless census, probates, and other records. Their experience combined with a thorough training is effective for knowing what to find, where to find, and how to find. Researching your family history requires knowledge of various resources, from books to microfilms to computerized records, from correspondence indices to probates to censuses. 

3.    Geographical access. Even though the internet has become a good source for plenty of records, some information are not yet entered in the computer. To obtain these records, you need to send money and letters to archive offices located in far places. When you choose a professional research service, make sure that the location is closer to a huge resource such as the Family History Library, or the National Archives, each stores millions of important documents as does the Society of Genealogists in England.

4.    Accuracy. Many years of genealogy practice exposes you to a lot of conflicting information. For example you have learned from your mother that the birthday of your great grandmother is in June however the official record reveals that it is February. There also instances that the documents disagree. You should be able to determine the right source. Say, John Smith is your great grandfather and he passed away in 1995. So, how would you be able to find the true John Smith?

Trained researchers already know everything on how to analyze conflicting sources as well as identify the individuals accurately. Based on their experience and training, they are able to judge the date that appears to be more accurate. Likewise, they can determine your ancestor with the name of John Smith.

Assessment of source material takes several years of experience in the field of genealogy. Professional genealogists can ensure that their works have accuracy. 

5.    Qualified access. Most resources are very sensitive. Some have even restricted access. Many archives have strict rules regarding the use of their resources. It can include the person who wants to access particular information, the procedure of accessing the materials, the researcher’s return incentives, and others. Certified genealogists are familiarized with these restrictions already. They have the expertise in researching in such environments and handling documents. Moreover, only professional genealogists are permitted to do the research in archives with only limited access.

Learning your ancestry is fun as well as a unique gift. Remember, to avoid any hassles, ask for the help of professionals.

At the forthcoming  International Genealogical Conference there will be many professional researchers in attendance both as lecturers and conference delegates as well as from the Society of Genealogists. This family history conference will be a great one off lifetime opportunity to meet members ofAGRA and the FFHS face to face

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Five Key Genealogy Factors to Trace Your Lineage

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

The study to trace family lineage is termed as genealogy. It entails for you to collect the names of your living and departed relatives. Additionally, you are to establish the relationship among every member on primary, secondary or incidental facts. An individual studying genealogy is referred to as a genealogist. 

A genealogist who wishes to seek familial information must have an understanding of genealogical facts. The facts you need to be familiar with and study are the following: 

Family Name

The family name (surname or last name) serves as an important tool in genealogic research. For some genealogists, it serves as the stepping stone to start the search. 

Commonly, a family name originated from the name of the father itself, the location of your ancestors, the employment of the individual, and/or the nickname of the individual itself is needed.

To locate your ancestors’ family name, you may want to look at documents of birth, marriage and death certificates. Census returns and trade directories are also helpful. 

Location

Locating the place of your ancestors is an essential part in finding out your lineage. To locate the place names, you need to search into vital, land, court, probate and estate records.

Sometimes the place’s name is puzzling due to the order of location being cited. Hence, if you are starting with your own family tree, it is important to follow the standard place name writing protocol. You need to record names of places from the smallest to the largest location. For example, the town should come first before the county. After listing the county, the state will follow and country is the location last entry. 

Given Name

Long-ago, the given name is not duly important in genealogy study. However, given names or first names are now considered as an essential tool in a genealogy study and search. 

Given names are said to be a representation of deliberate choice of parents. Some of the common naming patterns are:

?    First name of a son obtained from the paternal grandfather’s name
?    First name of a daughter obtained from the maternal grandmother’s name

Date

Dates in genealogical search vary.  It may pertain to the birth, baptism, marriage or the death date of either your living and deceased relatives.

The above-mentioned dates can be found in the following records: vital, church, bible, military, and census. Newspapers are also a tool for you to be able to find dates. Other helpful tools are Social Security Death and International Genealogical Indexes. 

family lineage

Employment

The type of job your ancestors have is a good tool to help you in your family lineage quest. Aside from knowing what your ancestors did for a living, the kind of occupation of your ancestors will also help you to distinguish between two similar surnames. 
You can find the type of employment in the birth, marriage or death certificates of your ancestor. Other sources are the city directories, obituary records, and the Social Security Administration.  

Family name, location, given name, date and employment are five key factors that will serve as a great help for you as you trace you family lineage. It is important however, that as you find out facts regarding the five factors to take into account its reliability.

Names of course are in fact a study in their own right and many people study the history of an individual surname. These people are known as one-namers and usually members of the Guild of One-Name Studies (GOONS). The Halsted Trust who are organising the forthcoming International Genealogy Conference later in 2009 are  an organisation instigated in order to further the surname Halsted and all its variants.

There will be lectures on one-name studies as part of this conference and many eminent one-namers will be in attendance including Derek Palgrave, the president of GOONS and a trsutee of the Halsted Trust

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