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Cemetery tours
September 11, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
This past Saturday, I did a tour of Woodmere with a small group of people.  Some of them are descendants of the Peel family.  The Peels ran a monument business just across the street from Woodmere in the early days.  I had a booklet that showed an advertisement for the company and sent it to the family prior to the tour.  What a delightful surprise it was when they presented me with a t-shirt they had made for their family and included one for me.  On the back is the photo of the advertisement.  We had such a great time and it is always a pleasure doing these tours.  We had a box lunch, had a few prizes, and roamed the grounds on what was the most perfect day to do a tour.  As we roamed, one of the attendees stumbled upon the graves of his relatives that was unknown to him--what a find!  The weather was great--just the right temperature and the sun was shining.  And the leaves on the trees are just beginning to turn so thanks to all who attended and made the day so enjoyable. 
A Message From Legacy
August 3, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
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Dear Legacy user,

We are proud to share with you the biggest step forward we have ever made with our Legacy Family Tree software and our FamilyTreeWebinars.com webinar series. We have entered into an acquisition agreement with MyHeritage, a leading global destination for family history and DNA with 91 million users in 196 countries. The acquisition will provide the resources and cutting edge technologies to advance and expand both our #1 rated software and our #1 rated webinar series. Think Legacy is good now? Watch out future – here we come!

How will all this affect you? Entirely positively. Here’s a flavor of what you can expect in the future:

A host of new features in Legacy software – we will be developing future versions of Legacy together. We have already started working on the new Tree Sync feature (to optionally have your Legacy file in a private or collaborative tree at MyHeritage)

• Improved webinar platform to surpass the 1,000-virtual seat limitation we currently have

• Significant discounts on MyHeritage services and DNA kits for Legacy users and webinar viewers not available anywhere else

• Most importantly, you can expect the same high-quality support and service that you have come to expect from us. The entire Legacy and webinar teams will continue on at MyHeritage in our existing roles. 

“The more I’ve learned about and experimented with MyHeritage, the more I have felt we need to partner together,” said Geoff Rasmussen, founder of the FamilyTreeWebinars.com webinar series and “the face” of Legacy Family Tree software. “The technology behind their online trees and historical records is incredible – second to none. MyHeritage has positioned itself to become the leader of the future of the genealogy industry and we can be a part of it. It’s the perfect match – our software and webinars combined with their resources, technologies, and international reach will help both of us accomplish our mission – to help the world find their ancestors.” 

We have published a separate article on our blog that addresses more of the details and has answers to questions you might have. Just as we are excited to contribute to the success of our new owners at MyHeritage, they, too, are anxious to elevate our Legacy software and webinar series to levels that have been beyond our reach. 

To celebrate the acquisition, we are offering a limited time, never-offered-before discount on Legacy 9 software and annual webinar memberships. Through Sunday, August 13 (Geoff’s birthday), take 50% off: 

- Legacy 9 software – from $34.95 $17.48

- 1 year webinar membership (or extension) – $49.95 $24.98 

Click here to get Legacy software or webinar membership at 50% off. 

Thank you all for your continuing support as we enter this exciting new chapter in the Millennia story.

Best regards,
Dave, Ken, Geoff, and everyone at the Legacy Family Tree / Millennia team

More About LDS Film Distribution
July 14, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
Their press release:

Family History Microfilm Discontinuation


On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services.  (The last day to order microfilm will be on August 31, 2017.)

The change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.

• Online access to digital images of records allows FamilySearch to reach many more people, faster and more efficiently.

• FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections.

• Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide.

• The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

• Family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home.

Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in 3 places on FamilySearch.org under Search.

• Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.

• Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.

• Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.

When approved by priesthood leaders, centers may continue to maintain microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch after microfilm ordering ends. Centers have the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.

Family Search Making Changes
June 28, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
Family Search is changing their policy of ordering microfilm from their family history centers.  August 31, 2017 will be the last day that you can request microfilm from their collection.
Woodmere is NOT Burying Headstones!
June 18, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
I received an email from someone who has posted information on FindAGrave.  She was informed by someone that Woodmere Cemetery was burying headstones to make mowing easier.  If you know me, I have not been a fan of FindAGrave for some time, and now I have another reason to support that.  Trying to get people to get their facts straight is something that is challenging.  Many, many, MANY years ago, the cemetery was purchased by a lawn maintenance company.  THEY were the ones that, at that time, deliberately knocked over monuments so that they would not have to trim around them.  Once buried, it created an 'empty' field where simply using mowers was all it took to mow the grass in one sweep.  Weedwackers were not required.  HOWEVER, the current owners of Woodmere Cemetery now does not do that.  When family find that their loved ones have monuments or headstones buried, they can be uncovered and raised by the grounds crew at no charge.  But please research what you are about to post before you get people in an uproar over things that are not true. 
Happy Memorial Day to You
May 27, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
It is a constant parade at Woodmere Memorial Day weekend.  How wonderful to know that those who fought for us have not been forgotten.  There will be a military tribute Monday for those who are interested honoring specifically a few noted war heroes.  This is open to the public.  There are many soldiers at Woodmere who either gave their lives in the wars or lived to tell their heartpulling stories about life in the war zones.  Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion in WWII.  He is buried in the Ferndale section next to his wife who died 30+ years later.  There is James Vernor who lost an eye in the Civil War but lived to come home to invent Vernor's Ginger Ale.  You can find him in section D.  James Vreeland, a Civil War soldier, was buried elsewhere but years ago was reburied at Woodmere in section South Lake.  There are the Schultz'--parents of the young soldier, Howard, who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima.  He is in section Parkview.  While in section Parkview, you will find PFC Earl Zimmer.  Earl died when the Marines landed on Guam and he was buried at sea.  There is a memorial grave there for him. So walk the grounds.  You will find many headstones giving the branches and ranks of many of our brave whose lives, now gone, are not forgotten.  Flags will dot the cemetery and it could not be a better tribute form them than that.
Vernor's--Just Not the Same
May 18, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
We had a great time last Saturday driving and walking around Woodmere hearing and telling stories of those whose last residence is now at the cemetery.  Some gravesites are always visited, and that includes that of James Vernor, the creator of Vernor's Ginger Ale.  All through the years, we remember the 'barrel aged 4 years' tagged on the can or bottle.  Then it changed to 3 years, then 6 months.  The last I remember, it simply said barrel aged.  Now, they don't even say that.  That could be because the formula is simply that: a formula.  The ingredients for the regular Ginger Ale says carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup (one of the worst things you can put into your body), citric acid, sodium benoate (preservative), caramel color, natural and artificial flavors.  The diet version is even worse:  carbonated water, aspartame (that certainly has been in the news and not for being nutritional), citric acid, caramel color, sodium benzoate (preservative), natural and artifical flavors, potassium citrate. PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE.  Poor James.  I am sure that noise we heard was him turning over in his grave.  Shame on the American Bottling Company for allowing such a change in the recipe.  Not an ounce of ginger in sight. 
Abandoned Places, Abandoned Records
March 20, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
This is not the first article I have read about abandoned funeral homes or even churches or cemeteries. 
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2016-jan-inside-an-abandoned-downtown-funeral-home  What disturbs me is that so many of these places can be the source that may solve a mystery or two for genealogists.  Old businesses, old buildings, old records--all provide significant information that help us construct our ancestors' lives.  A record book, at one time, in Woodmere's records gave places of birth.  There were a couple where a state or country was not given, but instead, for place of birth it said 'Atlantic Ocean.'  What a find if one had been searching all over for a birth record.  It may be up to us to rescue these records (following the proper procedures)--they can be donated to museums, libraries, historical societies, etc.
Woodmere Photographs Stolen
February 4, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
It is a very sad day when photographs of the cemetery displayed in its buildings are stolen.  Fortunately, they are duplicates but for someone to have the audacity to take something that does not belong to them and to deny others seeing what the cemetery looked like so many decades ago is very disgusting.  To have to lock everything down is absurd.  Who knows who took them?  Was it the person who inquired about the history of the cemetery?  Was it the person who is writing about a somewhat famous person buried here and stole them for their book?  I get inquiries all the time about Woodmere and its history but to steal something that is a pictoral history of this historic cemetery is so appaling.  So if you see these photographs (originally in black frames) or if you were the one who did it, please have the decency to put them back. 
A Funny Item in the Detroit Free Press
January 24, 2017 By: Gail Hershenzon
"A suicder at Laporte made a will leaving "his darned old wife the rope with which he hung himself."  The Detroit Free Press, February 8, 1873
Detroit's Woodmere Cemetery by Gail D. Hershenzon Image: Photo 1 Image: Photo 8 Image: Vintage Family Photo 1 Image: Photo 2 Image: Photo 7 Michigan Memorial Park by Gail D. Hershenzon