25 February 2011

National Archives hunts for missing treasures with recovery team

An article in the Washington Post by  By Lisa Rein, Washington Post Staff Writer, really caught my eye.  It focuses on NARA recovering "stolen" treasures of the National Archives.  Unfortunately, the "theft" of treasures from archives and repositories is "big business" though now NARA and other similar institutions have new technology and advanced techniques to first prevent anything "walking out the door" while also recovering what has already done so.

23 February 2011, FRANKLIN, TENN. - "Among the Civil War buffs wandering through the tables of muskets and faded daguerreotypes of Union soldiers for sale here are four federal agents.

One raids houses and carries a gun. But right now he's handing out innocuous-looking brochures to the relic hunters walking by, as the sweet smell of glazed nuts wafts from a concession stand. "Does that document belong in the National Archives?" the brochure asks.

The agents have flown to a fairground outside Nashville to the country's biggest Civil War show to hunt for stolen treasure - robbed right from the nation's attic."


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Two New NARA Videos Commemorate Black History Month


A new video short on Madam C. J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker, one of the great American entrepreneurs of the early 20th century, was born to former slaves and grew up in destitution. Her great-great granddaughter -- A'Lelia Bundles -- tells Madam Walker's story with help from documents in the National Archives. Bundles -- a former broadcast network news executive and secretary of the Foundation for the National Archives -- is the author of "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker." She drew on documents in the Archives to depict the Louisiana plantation on which Madam Walker was born, Walker's early life as an orphan and washerwoman, and ultimately her triumph as one of the creators of the modern hair care and cosmetics industry. Bundles also found some surprises in the Archives: Madam Walker's philanthropy and civil rights activism led to her being targeted by the federal government as a "subversive negro."





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Two Bills Pending in Maine Regarding Vital Records Access!


There are two bills pending in Maine which effect access to vital records. The first bill LD 258, is sponsored by Rep. Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea, and amends LD 1781 [PL 601] which was passed last year and which closed Maine's vital records for 100 years. LD 258 "An Act Relating to Access to Vital Records" will have a public hearing before the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services on Wednesday, March 2, at in room 209, Cross Office Building

A copy of the bill can be found at http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_125th/billtexts/HP021101.asp.  LD 258 was written by Maine Genealogical Society (MGS) vice-president Helen Shaw, CG, who is coordinating testimony for the public hearing. If you have any questions, please contact her at hashaw@earthlink.net or at 207-236-2468.

Testimony may be presented in person or can be submitted ahead of time by e-mail to the HHS Committee Clerk, Lisa Cote at: lisa.cote@legislature.Maine.gov OR via Snail Mail at: Committee on Health & Human Services, c/o Legislative Information, 100 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

There is another bill to amend the law, LD 388, which will be presented at the same time.

Each year several state legislatures try to restrict access to vital records due to concerns about privacy and identity theft.
NGS is a member of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) which works with the genealogical community in educating state legislators about the importance of access to vital records including tracing ones family health history. We also point out to legislators that most identity theft is caused by large electronic data bases being stolen, not by someone visiting a state or county vital records office.

Now is the time to spread the word to genealogists in Maine to come to the public hearing or send in testimony and to contact their representatives and senators to support this bill. If you live out-of-state but have researched your Maine ancestors in the vital records, your written testimony is encouraged.

For more information on RPAC visit http://www.fgs.org/rpac.




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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23 February 2011

The Jan/Feb/Mar issue of the NGS Magazine is now online

The Jan/Feb/Mar issue of the NGS Magazine is now online.


Inside this issue you will find:
  • “Cemetery Research in Italy
  • “Last rites for the honored dead: Records of military burials in national cemeteries”
  • “Leave no stone unturned”
  • “Organizing a cousin camp: Linking families to each other and their ancestors”
  • “Case Study: Finish the story”
  • “Voyage of discovery: Finding the story of a World War II sailor”
  • “The power of family legends: How I am related to Roy Rogers”
  • “Genealogical finger prints: Making sure of identity”
  • and much more!
Remember also that past editions (2005-present) are available via the NGS Magazine archives and NGS members have full access to these.

Not a member? Click here to read more about member benefits or join today!





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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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A Genealogist’s Dream! Salt Lake City, 16–23 October 2011


Have you been considering a research trip to Salt Lake City (SLC)?  If so, the planned NGS Research Trip to SLC scheduled 16–23 October 2011 might be just the opportunity you’ve been hoping for!

The Family History Library in SLC is the largest genealogical library in the world. You will have access to more than two million rolls of microfilm (more than 142,000 square feet on five floors), hundreds of thousands of microfiche, and a huge collection of genealogical books. The library opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 9:00 p.m. every day except Monday when it closes at 5:00 p.m.  It is closed on Sundays and certain holidays.

Image from http://stephendanko.com/blog/814
The ability to easily access microfilm and have so many books at your fingertips is such a delight!  I think every genealogist would enjoy spending such a week.  The planned NGS Research Trip is such an opportunity.

If you take this trip, besides access to the largest genealogical library in the world, you will also have the benefit of two experienced trip directors to help you navigate both the records and the layout of what is a large facility.  When visiting such a large facility, access to experienced trip directors can really help facilitate the speed and ease with which you are able to do your research.

The trip is limited to thirty attendees and the deadline for registering is 1 October 2011.  Full details are available on the NGS website.  What a great way to kick your family history research into high gear for the 2011 holidays!



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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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The Scottish Council on Archives invites your feedback


Dear All,

Greetings from Edinburgh. I am writing to you from an organisation called the Scottish Council on Archives. We are the leading body for the advocacy and development of archive services in Scotland, and we support and promote archival services throughout the nation and beyond. If you would like more information about what we do then I invite you to visit our website, http://www.scoarch.org.uk/.

The links between Scotland and the United States of America are irrefutable and a great source of pride for both countries. Speaking in 2002 our then Deputy First Minister for Scotland stated that there are an estimated twenty-five million Americans with Scottish and Scots-Irish descent, significantly eclipsing Scotland’s own population. Household names such as Alexander Graham Bell and Andrew Carnegie, from America’s 5th President James Monroe, to the current Barack Obama, the Scots-American ‘family’ has an extensive and illustrious lineage.

One of the main aims of the Scottish Council on Archives is to raise awareness and promote the numerous facilities and capabilities of archival collections throughout Scotland.  ‘Ancestral Tourism’ and genealogical research are commonplace and the facilities provided by Scottish archives are numerous. However, there is so much more to experience. For example, as I am sure you know America’s National Tartan Day is celebrated on the 6th April to coincide with the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath. However, did you know that the original document, dated 1320, forms part of the collection held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh and can be viewed online (http://www.nas.gov.uk/about/090401.asp). Similarly the official Scottish Register of Tartans is available to all at http://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/. Furthermore, the Scottish Archive Network (http://www.scan.org.uk/) is an electronic catalogue of more than fifty Scottish archives. Other resources such as university collections and regional services cannot be ignored. To give an example, the cutting-edge Heart of Hawick Heritage Hub (http://www.heartofhawick.co.uk/heritagehub/) includes an extensive image gallery, exhibitions and a blog for those interested in finding out about family history, communities and industries associated with the Borders region of Scotland.

We are keen to understand how people from outside Scotland experience and utilise these various resources and what we can do to improve. We want to forge relationships and connections on an international level and share stories about people’s experiences. What did you discover and where? How did it make a difference to your research? Did you uncover anything surprising, unique or unexpected? What facilities would you like to see in the future? How do you feel your local archives compare?

While we are very interested in hearing your suggestions and comments, I should point out that we are unable to help with enquiries relating to specific requests for information. Any questions of a specialised nature should be directed to that particular archive, a list of which can be found at http://www.scan.org.uk/.

Finally, let me thank you for your time and for considering these questions and should you feel that this may be of interest to any other organisation please forward this email.

O Scotia! My dear, my native soil!
For whom my warmest wish to heaven is sent;
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content. (Robert Burns, ‘The Cotter’s Saturday Night’)

Yours sincerely,

Ben Bennett

SCOTTISH COUNCIL ON ARCHIVES

General Register House,
2 Princes Street
Rm. 21, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY
T:    0131 535 1362
M:  0773 858 5845




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21 February 2011

In Memoriam: Sandra Hargreaves Luebking


17 February 2011Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, noted genealogist and one of the genealogy community’s best leaders who died on Thursday, 17 February 2011 at Lemont, Illinois, surrounded by her family. Funeral arrangements are still pending at this time. [Editor’s Note – see update given below]

A nationally known author, editor, instructor, lecturer, and researcher, Sandra was the editor of the FGS FORUM for over 22 years. Known for her radiant smile and helpful ways, almost everyone who was a member of or worked with a genealogical society, or attended a conference knew Sandra. In nearly three decades as a professional genealogist, she presented over one thousand lectures.

Beginning in 1979, Sandra taught annually at Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and twice accompanied their British Research tour. From 1990 to 2007 she was Course I Coordinator for IGHR. From 1994 until its close in 2005, Sandra was Intermediate Studies Coordinator for the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America (at the University of Illinois, sponsored by the Illinois State Genealogical Society). With Loretto Dennis Szucs, Sandra co-edited three award-winning books, including two editions of The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy; and The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches. Sandra also wrote two chapters for Professional Genealogy (Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor) titled “Genealogical Education” and “Fee Setting.”

Helping thousands of people to find their Chicago/Cook County roots, Sandra conducted research projects for the Smithsonian Institute, numerous publishers and attorneys, and an international clientele from Australia, England, Finland, Germany and Sweden. She was a past trustee for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and a volunteer research assistant at the National Archives—Great Lakes Region.

Sandra’s honors included the Professional Achievement Award from the APG (2008); the Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award from FGS (2008); lecturer for the Richard Slatten Lecture Series by the Friends of the Virginia State Archives (2003) and, lecturer for the Willard Heiss Memorial Lecture at the 79th Annual Indiana History Conference (Indiana Historical Society) (1999). She was a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association (1996) and was named Outstanding IGHR Alumni by Samford University in 1995.

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Her family says there will not be a funeral, but that a memorial service is being planned for her instead. The memorial will be held on Saturday, April 2 at at the Chapel Hill Gardens on Roosevelt Road in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. A map showing the location may be found at http://www.chapelhillgardenswest.com/dm20/en_US/locations/26/2674/directions.page?





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Register NOW for the 2011 Family History Conference and SAVE!

NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY 
2011 FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, 11–14 MAY 2011
Where the Past is Still Present

(21 February 2011) —REGISTER NOW FOR THE CONFERENCE AND SAVE!

The NGS 2011 Family History Conference will be held 11–14 May 2011 at the Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418. More than seventy-five nationally recognized speakers will provide over 180 lectures on a wide variety of topics including research in South Carolina and the surrounding states, migration patterns, religious records, research methodology, and problem solving. The conference program will also include lectures about researching various ethnic groups including Germans, Cherokee, African Americans, Irish, and Scots-Irish. Participants who register for the conference by 11 March 2011 will save thirty-five dollars on an early bird full-conference registration.

General sessions at the conference will include an update on the “Transformation of the National Archives and Records Administration” by David S. Ferriero, the tenth archivist of the United States; author Buzzy Jackson, PhD, will provide her perspective on “Shaking the Family Tree: A Writer’s Perspective on Turning Research Into Writing;” and South Carolina Senator Glenn F. McConnell will talk about “The Hunley: Where Science and History Come Together to Tell Time.”

Space is still available for several conference social events sponsored by the South Carolina Genealogical Society including a wine and cheese reception and tour of the Charleston Museum, a harbor dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Carolina, and a southern barbeque dinner at the Charleston Rifle Club. Also available are a choice of three luncheons each day sponsored by various genealogical organizations, which include an entertaining speaker. The featured speaker at the National Genealogical Society banquet on Friday evening will be Stephen B. Bacon, Major USAF (retired), whose presentation “Separating Fact from Myth: A Look at the US Civil War from Both Sides,” will include examples of uniforms, armaments, flags, and other memorabilia from the war.

Special Saturday workshops include an all day beginner's workshop, "Genealogy 101: Getting Started with Family History," and a "Kids' Kamp" for children and young adults ages eight through sixteen.

A detailed conference registration brochure can be viewed and printed at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/conference_info.  Space is limited to the social events and workshops, so register early.

An exhibit area with more than one hundred exhibitors will be open and free to the public Wednesday through Saturday and will offer the latest in genealogical software, online research providers, and DNA testing services.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, VA-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.  Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.




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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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18 February 2011

Black History Month Resource Spotlight #2

February is when we celebrate Black History Month. Throughout this month we will be posting resources to help with your African American ancestral research, some available via NGS, and some available elsewhere.  Some will help you directly with your genealogy while others might educate you on relevant historical topics.

This spotlight covers several wonderful resources for African American genealogy research.  We could publish resources every day all month and still not cover all that is out there!

If you have a favorite African American research resource you’d like to see us mention, please drop a note to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org
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Ancestry.com has added five new collections to their African American Historical Record Collection
  • US Colored Troops Service Records, 1861-1867: Approximately 178,000 African American troops served the Union in the final two years of the US Civil War. Their compiled service records include enlistment papers, casualty sheets, death reports, and correspondence.
  • Slave Ship Manifests from Savannah, 1789-1859: Although the transatlantic slave trade was banned in 1807, the internal transportation of slaves remained, especially as the tobacco industry diminished in the North while the cotton industry boomed in the South. These port records document the arrival and departure of more than 10,000 slaves through the port of Savannah, GA.
  • Slave Ship Manifests from New Orleans, 1807-1860: Another important Southern port, this collection includes records for more than 100,000 slaves who arrived or departed through the port of New Orleans.
  •  Freedmen’s Bureau Records, 1865-1878: The Freedmen’s Bureau was formed after the Civil War to aid in Reconstruction efforts. This collection contains hundreds of thousands of records relating to former slaves the Bureau helped find work, to establish schools, negotiate contracts, seek medical care, legalize marriages and more.
  • Slave Narratives, 1936-1938 (updated): In the early 1930s, an effort began to document the life stories of 3,500 former slaves. The result is a series of moving, individual accounts of their lives, as told in their own words.

This new online database contains records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths in colonial New Orleans — including those of African slaves, who until now have been nearly invisible to genealogical research. The time period covered is 1777-1801.

February’s Black History Month is the perfect time to investigate the tremendous contributions that African Americans have made to the history and cultural development of the United States. In this feature, teachers, parents, and students will be introduced to some of the best resources for telling the story of African Americans as well as some of the most influential voices and the most memorable images from that history, literature, and culture.

Areas to explore are: Slavery & Abolitionism, Civil War: 54th Regiment, Up From Slavery, W.E.B. Dubois and NAACP, Great Migration, Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, Raisin in the Sun, Barack Obama, Picturing America, Featured Lessons, and Featured Websites. 

The Library of Congress and The National Archives Celebrate African American History Month


Is Your Local State Library and/or Archive Celebrating Black History Month?

Many local and state archives and libraries celebrate Black History Month.  For example, The State Library of North Carolina has created a page devoted to Black History Month and has a great collection of resources. I also found that the Springfield City (MA) Library, Westfield State College Ely Library (MA), Arlington Public Library (VA), County of Los Angeles Public Library (CA) and many, many more public facilities across the country are offering informative programs and providing easy access to available research materials.  Do check out what your local library is doing to celebrate Black History Month.


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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