Comments:

Many times you can gain ideas concerning where to look for additional information by letting the "magic" of motion, color and sound to enter your mind involving movies that portray approximately the living conditions of your ancestors.

Music will awaken your soul and deepen your understanding of the suffering and bravery your ancestors endured that you might enjoy your freedoms today.

Sometimes while watching a movie I am prompted to jot down a thought that leads me to better understanding why my family moved to another county or state.  Sometimes I am allowed to live the live of a country boy torn between doing my chores and going fishing.  Between joining the military along with all my friends or staying home.

At times of making an important decision you will see the simply folk kneel down and ask their Father in Heaven for his guidance.

You will hear simple truths given in little sayings that guided their lives.

  • "A stitch in time saves nine."

  • "Pay me now or pay me later."
  • "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Contents:

  1. Research your Surnames
  2. Getting Organized -
    Where to Start?

  3. Genealogy Source Citing
    & Documentation

  4. Genealogy ON-line Sources

  5. Education & Tutorials

  6. Famous Family Trees

  7. Historical Research

  8. Using Movies for
    Genealogy Research Ideas

 

I encourage you to begin your Family Tree research, learn all you can about your family names and document your research to share with your family and others. 

Research of your family names helps you build your Family Tree and to know who your ancestors were & who you can become!

Click on articles of interest too you in this side column Contents:

 

How to Use Movies for Genealogy Research Ideas
by Gary L. Foster

1.  movie - moby dick  Moby Dick, 1956 by Warner Brothers
    Description: Gregory Peck triumphs in his starring role as the obsessed Capt. Ahab in this big-screen version of Herman Melville's classic novel. Ahab longs to hunt down and kill Moby Dick, the great white whale who tore off Ahab's leg years ago. Unfortunately, his maniacal fixation spreads to the crew and ultimately leads to disaster. The legendary John Huston directed this faithful adaptation, which racked up numerous critics' awards.
    Genealogy Ideas: If any of your ancestors were sailors then this film will fill you with ideas as to how they lived, thought, married and faced the challenges of the sea.  How the men left their families behind in villages near the wharfs to wait for their return.  Sometimes accidents caused permanent injuries or short lived lives.  A church was often the comfort needed by the sailors as they departed knowing they may be gone for a year or more.  All sailors were familiar with the Bible stories of Jonah and the Whale, The Apostles who became fishers of men and Jesus Christ who gave hope to all mankind for a better life.  Find the records of families who lived in these villages in the local parishes and a history of the area in museums.
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2.  movie - gone with the wind  Gone with the Wind,  1939 with Clarke Gable & Vivien Leigh.  The first new Technicolor print in 37 years is now available from the original film, digital sound and moments of digitally cleaned-up footage scattered throughout its three hours and 42 minutes all make for a gorgeous sight-and-sound experience.
    Description: Margaret Mitchell's sweeping Civil War saga remains one of the greatest examples of cinematic storytelling. Vivien Leigh's tempestuous Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable's handsome rogue Rhett Butler bicker and battle from antebellum plantations to the streets of postwar Atlanta.
    Genealogy Ideas: This movie helps you "feel" the Civil War as it divides family and country.  It depicts the Irish landowners prize possession, land.  The role of the black servants and the miseries they had to endure.  The feeling of southern pride and the shallowness of war and destruction.  You will cry when you see courthouses and churches burn and their most precious records with them.  From this movie you will experience the human spirit and unmask its glories and devilments.  We re-build our genealogies and family stories from the remaining records that have like us survived!
    Reference Websites:

 

3.  movie - The Last Sin Eater   The Last Sin Eater, 2007

    Description: Ten-year-old Cadi Forbes (Liana Liberato) lives in an 1850s Appalachian community proud of its faith and its ability to keep secrets close to home. Wracked with guilt over the tragic death of her little sister, Cadi seeks out the only person she believes can help her -- The Sin Eater (Peter Wingfield). Michael Landon Jr. directs and Henry Thomas and Oscar winner Louise Fletcher star in Brian Bird's screen adaptation of Francine Rivers's novel.
    Genealogy Ideas: The setting during the early 1800's features Welsh immigrants settling into the Appalachian Mountains in a similar environment to their previous homes in Wales/England.  They knew how to live in the mountains, till the meadow land and plant and harvest seeds.  They brought to their new American homes many of their Celtic religious practices.  One tradition was the ringing of the "Passing Bell" which brought the community appointed "Sin Eater" to come to the graveside and remove the departed's mortal sins by eating a food offering.  People feared to look upon the sin eater for fear of bringing bad luck upon themselves.  Centuries of Celtic beliefs influenced these Welsh immigrants as they lived together, plowed the rich dark soil and watered it with cool spring waters.  Many or our English and European ancestors came to the America's with their Celtic beliefs mixed with Christianity.  This movie will give you a new understanding of the superstitious natures and traditions of our forefathers.
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4.  movie - North and South  North and South, 2004, Episodes 1-4

    Description: Set against the backdrop of Victorian England's industrial north, it follows the fortunes of Margaret Hale, one of 19th century literature's most original heroines.  Played by Daniela Denby-Ashe, Margaret is a privileged, middle class southerner who is forced to settle in the northern town of Milton.  Margaret takes instant offence to the town and its people. She becomes terribly lonely and hates the dirt, noise and lack of civilization, blaming their new way of life for her mother's ailing health.  Her distaste for the town and its people extends to handsome and charismatic cotton mill owner John Thornton, (Richard Armitage), whom she believes epitomizes everything she dislikes about the North.  However, Margaret gradually begins to settle in Milton. Her social conscience awakens and she befriends some of the local mill workers, learning about their poverty and workplace struggles.  As events conspire to throw Margaret and Thornton together, the two spirited characters have to overcome their repressed physical attraction for one another and conquer prejudices of class and circumstance.
    Genealogy Ideas:  Very good setting for seeing the life styles of the factory workers in northern England as they labored amongst adverse working conditions.  The love of parents for their children, the plain clothing of the townspeople, food choices, traditions and beliefs will help you to see and feel perhaps the way of life your English ancestors came to America from.  The factory owners problems show the pressures they felt in trying to do what is right by their workers and earn a profit.  If the factory failed everyone would be worse off without employment.  The union offered hope of better working conditions but was objected by the owners who saw their profits threatened by increasing costs.
     Reference Websites:

5.  Cranford Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell 2007,
                 2 Discs, Parts 1 thru 3. 

    Description: After the Civil War, the Baxter family struggles to eke out an existence. All the children -- except for 11-year-old Jody -- have died, leaving Ma (Jane Wyman) embittered, Jody lonely and Penny (Gregory Peck) working hard. Jody befriends an orphaned fawn, but as the fawn grows, it continually breaks into the small garden that is the family's source of food and money. The choice they face in this award-winning film is potentially tragic. The novel "Cranford" as written by Elizabeth Gaskell is really very short. To get enough material for this series, the producers added elements and characters from several other Gaskell works including: 'My Lady Ludlow' and 'Mr. Harrison's Confessions' creating a combined story. 

Academy Award winner Dame Judi Dench leads a stellar cast in this top-notch BBC miniseries adaptation of the classic novels of celebrated Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell. Stage and screen veterans Imelda Staunton and Eileen Atkins also star this complicated portrait of a group of women inhabiting a town wrestling with modernity and the inevitability of change.
    Genealogy Ideas:  The setting for this movie is during the 1847 - 1850's of Cranford, Middlesex Parish, near London in England.  The story line reveals its past traditions of hundreds of years of people who live, work and die within a few miles of their birth and seldom if ever travel outside of their farming village.  The women especially conduct themselves in the prim and proper attire of a community that prides itself in conducting ones affairs in every circumstance.  Your ancestors were part of this time period and perhaps have left your family with stories of their experiences?  If not, take note of some of their daily act ivies: reading by candle light, pressing flowers in the family Bible, eating meals together, constant fellowship amongst the village women for every circumstance that would arise, the town gossip listening to every hushed word said or expression implied and immediately spreading it faster than the setting sun, matchmaking for every eligible bachelor, finding men's faults especially seeing his intentions by every word he speaks or kindness he conveys to another woman.  With the coming of the railroad the villagers feared the changes that may come and especially the bringing into their village strangers.  Another common practice exercised amongst all classes was the keeping of each person in their proper place determined by their birth.  The rich remained rich and the poor never saw any other choice offered them.  Women were not to work at men's occupations and young girls were not to be educated except amongst the well to do families of society.  The observance of holidays was a big event and looked upon as a time of great joy and socializing.  The sending and receiving of a "card" from an admirer with a properly worded message brought great excitement.  This setting will stir your interest in the 1850's time period of changes about to take place in the lives of villagers in rural England.
     Reference Websites:

6.  The Yearling The Yearling, 1946,
    Description: After the Civil War, the Baxter family struggles to eke out an existence. All the children -- except for 11-year-old Jody -- have died, leaving Ma (Jane Wyman) embittered, Jody lonely and Penny (Gregory Peck) working hard. Jody befriends an orphaned fawn, but as the fawn grows, it continually breaks into the small garden that is the family's source of food and money. The choice they face in this award-winning film is potentially tragic.
    Genealogy Ideas:  In 1878 after the Civil War the Baxter family struggles to make a living out in the forests of Arkansas.  All of their children had died except for a son named Jody.  They faced the unknown together with neighbors quite a ways away.  They hungered when crops failed and toiled by their own labors to plant again.  They endured and dreamed for a better day.  We have inherited the world they gave to us.  Everyone had to work to live.  The father and son agreed they had to stick together in order to have peace in the family with "ma".  There wasn't much time for a young boy to play or to be idle.

The mother became worn down & discouraged when things didn't go well for the family.  She had lost all of her younger children too early frontier deaths and felt sorrow. 

The son learned to help his father with his chores and the responsibilities that come with life.  A special relationship existed between the father and his son and with the wild and domestic animals.  There was an ever present danger of being back in the forests and being snake bit or attacked by a wild animal that could shorten one's life or cause a disability of a limb.

Country doctors were always a long ways away with limited medical training so childbirth and many injuries were not attended to immediately.  Death changed a families well being, especially if it were to one of the parents.

The crops were always at risk due to the uncertain weather that could rain for 6 days and rot every food item in the fields.  Hope for a better day was all you could cling too.  Family arguments caused the father to exclaim, "Does a man have to die to find peace?"

When faced with starvation a person built a powerful reason to keep working and sacrificing for a better day.  In the end the best things in life is the love we have for each family member and they for us.

Many of our ancestors met these type of challenges and overcame the obstacles because they did not stop trying... It is our legacy to do the same.
Reference Websites:

7.  The Great Debaters  The Great Debaters, 2007
    Description:
When African-American poet Mel Tolson (Denzel Washington, who also directs) creates a debate team at historically black Wiley College, he pushes the team to a level of excellence that allows them to challenge powerhouse Harvard in 1935. But despite public success, personal clashes foment as the father (Forest Whitaker) of one of Tolson's students resents his son's loyalty to his coach. Denzel Whitaker co-stars in this drama based on a true story.
    Genealogy Ideas:  Deep southern emotions of black and Caucasians are brought to the screen to reveal the era of the 1930's in historically black Wiley College.

White supremacy and Black in-equality along with long held prejudices of citizen rights are based on true stories.

Right prevails thru debate with students of Harvard University to set a 10 year record of awards for the small college of Wiley in southern Texas.

Did your ancestors black or white live through the time period in America when this principle of equality for all was being experienced?  Did your family ever feel the fear of others who may use force against you because of your skin color?

Education of young minds becomes the obvious answer to lift a person to a new social standard accompanied with personal responsibilities.

Research your family histories to see for yourself the value of an education in setting a higher expectation of yourself and for your family to follow.

What part did your ancestorís place in history experience?  What can you learn from their experience?  What can you apply to your family to meet the challenges they face today?
    Reference Websites:

 

8.  Our Mutual Friend  Our Mutual Friends,
    Description: 

    Genealogy Ideas:  

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9.  Gettysburg  Gettysburg, 1993

    Description:  The fiercest battle fought on American soil comes to the screen in a stunning production that painstakingly re-creates the events of three fateful days in July 1863. Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen and Richard Jordan play key roles in this magnificent epic (based on Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels), which was filmed at actual battle locations and rigorously authenticated -- right down to the boots.

The fiercest battle fought on American soil comes to the screen in a stunning production that painstakingly re-creates the events of three fateful days in July 1863. Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen and Richard Jordan play key roles in this magnificent epic (based on Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels), which was filmed at actual battle locations and rigorously authenticated -- right down to the boots.
    Genealogy Ideas:  This movie depicts the feelings of both the Union and Confederacy officers and soldiers as they prepared for the "show down fight" between the largest assembled army of men all from the United States to ever fight in America against Americans. 

The men fought for different reasons; some for the fun of it, some for the rightness of the cause for freeing the slaves and others for honor of their serving with their neighbors, family members and men of their county and state.  Southern boys fought for the right to live their lives the way they wanted and questioned why the Northerners couldn't do the same. 

Uniforms and equipment favored the Union.  Fighting from their hearts and wits the Confederates fought like a wounded bear and would not surrender their positions until it was taken from them by a superior force.  Generals depended on the Calvary to bring them reports of all troop positions and who was leading them so defenses could be made.

Fighting from the top of a mountain was always the preferred position and the Union army anchored themselves behind rocks and trees and waited for the Confederates to come running uphill out of breath and short on ammunition but full of fight. 

After the third day of bloody fighting the remaining Army of Virginia headed home leaving the Union to bury the dead and total the losses.  The South was mortally wounded because of their losses and the end of hostilities was coming. 

Nearly every family in America lost sons to this American Rebellion, injured men returned to their homes to re-build their lives and begin their dreams again.
    Reference Websites: 

  • Gettysburg - Detailed information resource for the Battle of Gettysburg, The Gettysburg Address, and the present day National Park.

  • Gettysburg National Military Park - The Park Service's site on the battlefield. In Depth section includes news, a virtual tour and details of the Gettysburg Cyclorama.

  • The Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation -  Dedication of Gettysburg cemetery, Abraham Lincoln Government of for and by the people.

10.  Pride and Prejudice
    Description: 

   Genealogy Ideas:  

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11.  Emma
     Description: 

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12.  Sense and Sensibility
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13.  A Room with a View
     Description: 

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14.  My Boy Jack
     Description: 

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15.  Upstairs Downstairs
     Description: 

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16.  Prime Suspect
     Description: 

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17.  Bleak House
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18.  David Copperfield
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19.  Oliver Twist
     Description: 

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20.  The Forsyth Saga
     Description: 

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21.  Wives and Daughters
     Description: 

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22.  Doctor Zhivago
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23.  Armistad
     Description: 

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24.  Persuasion
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25.  Northanger Abbey
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26.  Mansfield Park
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27.  Miss Austen Regrets
     Description: 

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28.  Lark Rise to Candleford (Series)
   
Description: 

   Genealogy Ideas:  

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29.  (additional movie reviews coming soon by Gary Foster)