28 February 2014

Upfront Mini Bytes – UK Maps, Canadian & Troy (NY) Newspapers, US Army Military History, Vatican Records, Lexipedia, Irish Pensioners and Yearbooks

Welcome to our newest edition of our bi-weekly feature Upfront Mini Bytes.  In Upfront Mini Bytes we provide eight tasty bits of genealogy news that will help give you a deeper byte into your family history research. Each item is short and sweet.  We encourage you to check out the links to articles, blog posts, resources, and anything genealogical!

We hope you found the past editions helpful.  Use your favorite search engine with “Upfront with NGS” “Mini Bytes” or use this Google search link.

Do you have questions, suggestions for future posts, or comments?  Please post a comment or send an e-mail to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org.

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If you research UK ancestry and you like maps, check out the British Library Online Gallery, which has a collection of georeferenced maps. Do know that the collection actually includes maps from around the world.

Newspapers are always a great genealogical research tool, and they are fun to look at.  Bowling Green State University has a Historical Canadian Newspapers Online collection that you will want to check out.  You can access National & Multiprovince Newspapers and also newspapers by province.

U.S. Army Center of Military History has over 600 publications online, covering most US conflicts, that you can access for FREE in PDF format.  You can also order print versions of these publications.


Researching Catholics or Catholicism?  Check out the online Vatican Library: Catalogues – Manuscripts page. Though an interface is available in English, the results are in the native language of the documents found.

When writing up our family histories, we sometimes seek synonyms or antonyms as we find ourselves getting a bit repetitious.  I stumbled upon Lexipedia, which provides a neat visual representation of parts of speech and relationships. Image is an example of the result for “death.”

To be honest, U.S. Civil War military pensioners living abroad just never crossed my mind until I read U.S. Military Pensioners in 19th Century Ireland: A Listing and Appeal. See this list of “220 people who were receiving money in Ireland as a result of services rendered to the United States military. Based on an 1883 List of Pensioners.

If you or your family members came from Euclid Ohio, check out this online collection of yearbooks, which covers the years 1921-2000






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27 February 2014

“The First Frontier” for African American Research guest post by Sharon Leslie Morgan


If you are the only person in your family who has undertaken the mission of exploring your family roots, you know what a lonely pursuit it can be. That is why it is a good idea to convene with other like minds (albeit unrelated) every once in a while. Among others, the annual NGS conference is a great opportunity to do this.

I attended my first NGS conference in 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina. Previously, I was aware of and attended only conferences specifically targeted to African Americans. I found the convocations of the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) and the International Black Genealogy Summit (IBGS) of inestimable value but was skeptical of attending one that I felt was unlikely to address the unique challenges I face as a descendant of slaves. Still, I went to an NGS conference and ended up amazed by the number and quality of presentations, organizations, companies, and researchers I found there. In addition to partaking in conference activities, I took a side trip to Sullivan Island, the largest slave port in North America, where I sat on the Toni Morrison Society sponsored “bench by the side of the road.”

The upcoming NGS conference in Richmond, Virginia (May 7-10, 2014), is equally promising. Under the banner “The First Frontier,” it promises “at least one session every hour of every day for those who have Virginia ancestors.” For African Americans, that is a big promise indeed since Virginia holds such special prominence as the nexus of America’s domestic slave trade. In the wake of the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny” that propelled white settlers ever westward, creating an insatiable demand for slaves, more than 1.2 million people were “sold down river” from Richmond into the deep South. That means many of us will be inexorably led to Virginia in our ongoing quest for genealogical information.

In general, the NGS conference offers a wealth of content to aid in researching slaveholders. In addition, there are three modules specifically related to African American research:
  •      United States Colored Troops Civil War Widows’ Pension Applications, presented by Bernice Bennett
  •           The “Free Negro” Delimma in Virginia: Under-utilized Documents for Blacks and Whites, presented by Leslie Anderson
  •           Records of the Slave Claims Commissions, presented by Michael Hait

If you decide to attend, I would suggest that you read Richmond’s Unhealed History by Rev. Benjamin Campbell (Brandylane Publishers, 2011) in preparation for your visit. It provides a “detailed look at the history of Richmond and examines the contradictions and crises that have formed the city over more than four centuries.” 

Once there, I would urge you to participate in the Hope in the Cities walking tour of the Richmond Slave Trail, which begins at Manchester Docks on the James River and chronicles Virginia’s history as the center of trade in enslaved people from Africa to Virginia (until 1775) and away from Virginia to other locations (from 1830-1865).

Click here for the conference brochure. Through March 24th the cost of attendance is $230 for non-members. NGS annual membership is $65 (which provides a reduced rate of $195 for the conference). 



Sharon Leslie Morgan is the founder of OurBlackAncestry.com, a website dedicated to African American family research. She is co-author of Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade (Beacon Press, 2012). This blog expresses the views of the author and should not be attributed to the National Genealogical Society.


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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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26 February 2014

Forgotten Ashes -- no one should be forgotten and homeless after death



It’s always nice to read about efforts to help those who are deceased to finally go “home.”

A recent article National Database Launched to Identify Unclaimed Cremated Remains brought to my attention the issue that “every year, thousands of cremated remains go unclaimed for a variety of reasons at funeral homes, cremation providers and local and state agencies across the country.”

To try and connected these unclaimed remains with family, a new website Forgotten Ashes has been launched by Michael Neal, a PA funeral director. Currently the majority of entries are related to the Oregon State Hospital with some PA entries also.  “Anyone can log on to view the registry, and cremation providers may apply for online privileges to upload information related to their own unclaimed inventory at absolutely no cost.”

Let’s bring our genealogical skills to help these funeral directors connect these forgotten deceased family members with their now living relatives.





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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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25 February 2014

All-Black Navy Band Broke a Racial Barrier


Another article spotted in my local newspaper “Professor’s book recalls all-black Navy band” recently caught my eye.

During Black History Month we are frequently reminded of some of the landmark moments of the Civil Rights era.  Just like with genealogy research, not all advancements (or big moments) were made (occurred) in the spotlight or in expected ways.  Much that happens in the world is by individuals or small groups taking “one step at a time” which in hind-sight ends up being momentous.

In this case ... “a Naval pilot training school opened at the UNC-CH, The late Frank Porter Graham, then the school’s president, and members of the Roosevelt administration, decided to recruit an all-black band [B-1] to play at the school.”  At the time, blacks were only allowed to serve the Navy as mess men and stewards.


An online exhibition by the University of North Carolina, A Nursery of Patriotism, also talks about this same band ...

The precedent-setting all-black Navy Pre-Flight School band was designated as the official band for the Chapel Hill cadets in 1942. Until that time, the Navy had only assigned blacks as mess hands and cooks. During its time in Chapel Hill, the band played for flag-raising ceremonies, regimental reviews, wartime rallies, and social occasions.

This was the start of the Navy becoming integrated after blacks were banned from serving after WWI. It started with a band, a vibrant and necessary part of Navy life. “The Navy now recognizes the members of B-1 as the ones who integrated its ranks.”

In your family tree, did you have family members who were instrumental in breaking a “racial barrier?” If so, please tell us about them and what they did.



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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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24 February 2014

Travel via Wagon Trails, Trains, and Automobiles "Oh My!"


Travel – something we all do, whether it’s a walk to the mailbox, a cross country (or international) trip for vacation, or a move to a new residence.  We often take for granted the modes of transportation available to us and the speed with which we can traverse large distances.

I recently discovered a neat resource, Travel Western North Carolina. It talks about wagon trails in the 1890s, the train in the 1910s and the automobile in the 1930s.  A travel map is laid out for each mode, when you place your cursor over an identified “stop” on the route, a picture pops up and if you click on the “Tour the town” link, information contemporaneous to the timeline is shared. It really gives you a visual feel for the mode of transport overlaid on the time period when it was booming.


What a neat way to vicariously travel as our ancestors would have at the turn of the last century.

As always, this sparked my interest in whether there are similar website resources that have been created for other locales?  I didn’t see anything comparable though I did come across some interesting resources about travel.

+ 18th-Century Modes of Travel (Colonial Williamsburg) – do check out the slideshow illustrating modes of travel
+ A Brief History of Transportation (Ancient times to the present)

Has such a resource been created for a locale you have researched?


Editor's Note: Another Upfront with NGS post dealing with traveling is How fast could you travel across the U.S. in the 1800s?





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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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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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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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21 February 2014

Your Family: Past, Present, and Future

Image accompanies referenced article

A really neat blog post that has been making the rounds is Your Family: Past, Present, and Future.  I’ve even come across individuals, with no known genealogical tendencies, cross-posting this on Facebook.

It’s a very visual perspective on genealogy and the context of how we, our ancestors and our descendants fit into the big picture.  It’s a fun read.

Consider sharing it with your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others.  It just might spark some interest in them to learn more about their own family.  They might learn what we already know, every family has some really neat stories to tell!

The author ends by stating ... “In any case, for now, there’s really only one good way to learn about where you came from—so start asking.”

A statement all of us family historians can certainly identify with!



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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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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
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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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20 February 2014

National Genealogical Society Announces Release of Mobile Conference App 2014 Family History Conference Richmond, Virginia 7–10 May 2014


Arlington, VA, 20 February 2014: The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the release of the Mobile Conference App for the NGS 2014 Family History Conference, which will be held 7‒10 May 2014, in Richmond, Virginia.  To download the free NGS Conference App, go to http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/mobile-app/.

The NGS Conference App is available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and web-enabled devices. Search your app store for NGS 2014.

New this year is a five-minute video that reviews highlights of the app and explains how to use the key features. The video can be found on the NGS conference website at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/mobile-app/, then click on the App Video Tutorial.

Some of the convenient features on the app:

·        The Dashboard keeps you organized with up-to-the-minute information.
·        About This Show keeps all conference information in one place.
·        Alerts allow attendees to receive important real-time communications from NGS.
·        The built-in Twitter feed allows you to follow and join in on the conference chatter.

The Twitter hashtag is #NGS2014GEN.
·        Sync your schedule across multiple devices.
·        Attendees can locate exhibitors they plan to visit.
·        Connect, message, and share schedules with your colleagues through the Friends feature.
·        Link to syllabus material for each lecture, which will be available about 22 April 2014.

We encourage you to begin using the app now so you can improve your conference experience in Richmond.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-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.



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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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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
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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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19 February 2014

Hospital Records -- Where Are They? What Might You Learn?



I always like reading articles that remind me a forgotten avenue of research or inform me of one I hadn’t considered before.  The former was the case with Robin Foster’s Seven places to find hospital records (Examiner.com).

When looking at a death certificate, though I always pay attention to who, what, where and when, if I am seeking more information, my focus is typically on “where” is the person buried (and are there other family buried there?) and “who” handled the funeral/cremation (did they do the same for other family members?). 

I have sometimes flirted with information regarding the hospital and that often is more in the context to see if a local newspaper may have published hospital admission (and related) information.

Or, if there is a chance that a person was “committed” for psychiatric reasons, I have sometimes sought those records.

Given Robin’s list, I decided to what the NC Archives has in its collection.  I learned that it has a lot of non-textual (aka photographs) records.  I also found the following kinds of records:
+ English and British Records (pre-end of Revolutionary War) – many entries referencing Greenwich Hospital
+ Maps showing hospitals amongst other landmarks
+ Military hospital records
+ Organizational records (e.g. Rex Hospital School of Nursing)
+ Private Collections (e.g. New Marine Hospital, Wilmington, 1858-1859)
+ Soldiers’ Home Association Hospital Registers et al
+ State Hospital records
+ Small record collections such as:
+ Accounts and reports for City Hospital of Wilmington, 1897-1898
+ Elizabeth City Hospital Company (folder includes 2 civil actions, 1916, 1918)
+ Petition for and commitment of Albert Smith to the State Hospital for epileptics, 1927
+ Rex Hospital records (two suits, John McLeod vs. David W. Stone & H. Harris, trustees of Rex Hospitals vs. R. P. Finch) 1843-1844

and many more types of records.

To date, I have only examined the Soldiers’ Home Association records and I just may have to check out some other of the listed records.


Have you researched into Hospital Records? Where have you found them?  What made them invaluable to your research?


Editor’s Note: Some related Upfront with NGS posts that you might find interesting





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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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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
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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 2014

Quilts served as "road map" to freedom for slaves -- Fact or Fiction?


Though one can get plenty of news available online, I still get a “print” newspaper which I can read while I eat my breakfast and have a cup of coffee.  I find I just “see” more of the newspapers content and it’s always fun when an article catches my eye.

This Sunday, the article “Artist: Quilts Guided Slaves” grabbed my attention.  What a fascinating read.  And, it’s something that could make sense ...

Because many slaves couldn’t read, their supporters came up with a “road map” of patterns they could rely on while traveling the Underground Railroad ...

This idea is similarly discussed in Did Quilts Hold Codes to the Underground Railroad? (National Geographic News)


You can learn a lot about the timeline of this topic in Betsy Ross redux: the Underground Railroad "Quilt Code".

Ignoring the controversy, an interesting element is that it reminded me of the "Underground Railroad" and the challenges faced by those enslaved and seeking freedom and those who helped them.  As we celebrate Black History Month, isn't being reminded of such history what this month is all about?

What do you think?  Is the idea of a quilt code plausible? Have you ever heard rumors of such?






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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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Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
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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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17 February 2014

National Genealogical Society Research Trip to Fort Wayne, IN 20–23 August 2014


Arlington, VA, 17 February 2014: Registration is now open for the NGS research trip to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 20–23 August 2014. Under the guidance of research consultants Janet A. Alpert and Patricia Walls Stamm, cg, cgl, participants will have four days to research at one of the largest genealogical libraries in the Midwest. This is the first time NGS is sponsoring a research trip to Fort Wayne. Won’t you join us? For more information, or to register for the trip, visit http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/ft_wayne_research_trip.

The Allen County Public Library is home to the Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Collection, the second largest genealogy collection in the United States. The NGS four-day, three-night trip will give participants access to more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 microforms to choose from for family history research during the library’s hours of Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. The library is also home to PERSI, the Periodical Source Index. The library has a copy of every article indexed in PERSI in more than 11,000 periodicals. For additional information about the Allen County Public Library, visit their website and print the genealogy center brochure: http://www.genealogycenter.org/pdf/AboutUsBrochure.pdf.

The research trip includes:  
  • Online orientation, training, and preparation assistance for the Allen County Public Library
  • Four days of research at the Allen County Public Library
  • Meet and Greet at the hotel 
  • Research consultations with group leaders throughout the trip
  • Three nights at the Courtyard by Marriott, which includes
    • free Internet in rooms
    • parking for one car, or
    • airport transfers
  • Fees, taxes, and gratuities included
The package price, which does not include transportation to Fort Wayne, varies depending upon room occupancy and National Genealogical Society membership status. Payment is required in full at the time of registration. Fees are as follows:


Member
Non-Member
Single Room
Before June 2
June 2 and after

$525
$675

$675
$825
Double/Shared Room
Before June 2
June 2 and after

$350
$500

$500
$650
Person with non-researching spouse1
Before June 2
June 2 and after

$600
$750

$750
$900
1non-researching spouse receives the benefits of the double room and any events planned.

The research consultants, Janet A. Alpert and Patricia Walls Stamm, cg, cgl, will be available throughout the trip to help guide the trip participants.

Janet A. Alpert (Jan) was president of the National Genealogical Society from 2006‒2010. She served on the NGS board from 2004‒2010. She is a co-chair for the NGS Family History Conference in RichmondVirginia, 7‒10 May 2014. She is also chair of the Records Preservation and Access Committee, a national committee that educates state and federal legislators on the need for access to public records. She has been researching her ancestors since 1981 and has done research in all the New England states, New YorkPennsylvaniaOhioIndianaMichiganIllinois, and Missouri. Her heritage is mostly English, German, and Dutch. Jan is also a member of the DAR and has research experience in military records. She retired in 2004 from a 35-year career in the title insurance industry. She and her husband live seasonally in Hilton Head IslandSouth Carolina, and HollandMichigan.

Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL, serves as the Education Manager of the National Genealogical Society. Pat lectures on a wide variety of topics at many of the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies national conferences. She is a graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). Pat is a course coordinator at Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) and teaches at St. Louis Community College.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia, 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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