19 July 2017

Founders Online – nitty gritty records of their lives might help document your 18th and early 19th century ancestors!


Founders Online – nitty gritty records of their lives might help document your 18th and early 19th century ancestors!

Recently, I keep finding myself looking at some document in the Founders Online website which then led me to The George Washington Financial Papers Project and I also visited the George Washington Papers (Library of Congress) all of which have digitized documents online.  Guess what, all of our nation’s founders ran households (or households were run for them) and many of those records survive.  Guess what, these men transacted business with locals just like everyone else.  You may find through research that your ancestors were some of whom these individuals did business with and so are listed in their extant ledgers. The ledger I checked out included a name index in the front and depending which website you consult, you can search across the content that is digitized.


In researching some Virginia families I kept finding nuggets in the financial papers of George Washington. I’m sure the same is true for the other Founders.

Don’t assume that just because your ancestors may not have socialized with these gentlemen that they did not conduct business with them or their households.






Did your ancestors do business with a Founding Father?

How did your ancestors interact with the Founding Fathers?




.





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18 July 2017

Union County Iowa Fair Accepting Genealogy & History Department Submissions!



Union County Iowa Fair Accepting Genealogy & History Department Submissions!

I love this!

Summer is a slow time for genealogy news and so I was just searching around on genealogy + news + July + 2017 (sometimes news just doesn’t fall into my lap!) and I came across a blurb about Union County (IA) and its upcoming fair and that genealogy & history submissions were being accepted.

I had no idea that county fairs included such.  Of course, I live some place where we have a state fair and no local

I accessed the Fair book online (check out pages 29-32) and the divisions included are (1) Records & Legal Documents, (2) Books & Stories, (3) Charts & Maps, (4) Single Pictures, (5) Pictures in Display with Related Items, (6) Heirlooms & Artifacts, (7) Funeral & Cemetery, (8) Historical, (9) Research, and there is also a (10) Junior (Ages 16 and under) division.  Additionally, two beginning genealogy workshops and a children’s coloring contest are held!

Sounds like such a fun event and what a great way to show pride in your ancestors and share such with the community.

Of course, I had to see if there are other fairs that include genealogy materials!  And, yes, there are.  Here is a smattering of the few I discovered:







What other county or state fairs showcase genealogy and/or history-related submissions?

Have you shared your “ancestors” to county fair attendees?




.
Editor’s Note: I learned about the fair via Wanting genealogy exhibits at county fair (Creston News Advertiser)





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17 July 2017

2017 Donald Mosher Award for Colonial Virginia Research Applications Sought by BCG


2017 Donald Mosher Award for Colonial Virginia Research Applications Sought by BCG

From our friends at the Board for Certification for Genealogists (BCG) …

The $500 Donald Mosher Award for Colonial Virginia is offered annually by the BCG Education Fund for current research in any of three categories:

- Three-generation Family genealogies beginning with a 17th- or 18th-century Virginia family.
- Studies of immigrant origins focusing on a 17th- or 18th-century Virginia immigrant whose pre-Virginia origins have not been previously documented.
- Projects that make accessible obscure or difficult, previously unpublished 17th- or 18th-century Virginia source material.

Award applications are accepted for projects published in 2017 or intended for future publication. Applications must be submitted by 31 December to MosherAward@bcgcertification.org.

A more complete description and directions for applications is at:

A list of previous Mosher Award winners, as well as information about other BCG Education Fund programs is at:
http://www.bcgcertification.org/educationfund/index.html





What other genealogy-related upcoming award deadlines are you aware of?










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14 July 2017

FREE Archival Magazines – Don’t Miss Out!


FREE Archival Magazines – Don’t Miss Out!

Just like the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a regular features magazine, Prologue, as does the Library of Congress (LOC), Library of Congress Magazine, the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC), also has one called Signatures.

These are lush magazines, FREE for anyone to read, that take you deep into the heart of these archives as they both inform and entertain us. And, for the very serious amongst us, every article revolves around a service or archive offered by the repository and some eye candy to attract us to read each article is always appreciated ;-)






What was your favorite article?

Is there another large archive that also publishes a periodic magazine?









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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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13 July 2017

RPAC Encourages Family Historians to Support NARA and Library of Congress

Created by  cafecredit, https://www.flickr.com/photos/cafecredit/27432402060/sizes/l  [CC-BY-ND-2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)], via flickr

RPAC Encourages Family Historians to Support NARA and Library of Congress

As many of us celebrated the 4th of July holiday last week, the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) posted a message reminding us that the 2018 federal budget is being worked on and that the two named great resources to genealogists could be at risk.  Each of us can work to ensure that invaluable and venerable programs are recognized for all that they have done in terms of preserving our history and ensuring access to it and what is still needed to be done.

With thanks to Jan Alpert and Barbara Matthews.

On May 22, 2017, President Trump released more details about his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget. Overall there were cuts to many of the programs that genealogists regularly use. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is targeted for a $16.6 million reduction in addition to the elimination of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), an archival grant making arm of the National Archives which provides local and state funding in the preservation of essential historical materials making them more accessible to the public. Since 1964 NHPRC has provided grants to every state and you can view a detailed list for the last thirty years at https://www.archives.gov/nhprc/projects/states-territories. When the NARA budget is cut the hours at the Washington D.C., College Park, Maryland, and Regional Archives are usually reduced. As staff cuts are made to meet the budget, our fees are often increased and the delivery time is extended for document requests. Genealogists are the largest customer base of the National Archives. If we don’t support NARA, who will?

The Library of Congress is slated to receive a $56 million increase in the FY 2018 proposed Trump budget. In addition to the library being a world-class research facility, genealogists also are benefitting from Chronicling America which is digitizing early American newspapers from 1836 to 1922 and digitizing the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of cities across the United States which have survived. If your state newspapers are being digitized, it is likely in partnership with the Library of Congress. The budget negotiations will continue for months, so although the Library of Congress is well positioned in the Trump proposed budget, funding could be reduced before the final budget is approved. Let’s not take that chance.

As genealogists, we need to support the funding of projects which provide digitization and online access to historical documents. We have the most impact if we write our Congressional Representatives. On the RPAC website http://www.fgs.org/rpac we have provided a copy of this article with links to sample letters you can send in support of NARA, NHPRC, and/or the Library of Congress. With each sample letter we have provided a chart showing the actual FY 2016 and FY 2017 funding in comparison to the proposed FY 2018 budget.



If RPAC is new to you, check out the About RPAC page.



What other federal budget items could directly or indirectly affect genealogical research?









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12 July 2017

1926 Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States Now Digitized and Accessible on Library of Congress Website

Schoolchildren from Deszno, Sanok, an ancestral village for my ancestors,
https://www.loc.gov/resource/pldec.073/?sp=71 

1926 Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States Now Digitized and Accessible on Library of Congress Website

Though my immigrant ancestors had already relocated to the U.S. by 1910, I know that family remained in their communities until at least the end of WWII.  At which time, some were forcibly relocated to the Ukraine.

That’s why this new online addition caught my eye.  I wondered if anyone bearing my ancestor’s surname, living in Poland, signed a declaration.  I did find an entry for Deszno, though, no familiar surnames were listed.  I was less successful with Pietrusza (aka Wola Pietrusza) … and, I didn’t look too hard.

You definitely want to do the following.


Second, review the About this Collection page.

Third, check out the place names index created by the Library of Congress staff.  This index gets you exactly to which volume with page numbers where you will find the list(s) for your target community.



Did you find any of your extended family?  If yes, you now have their signature, something you may not have had before!










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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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11 July 2017

Founding Era of DC as Seen Through the Eyes (and Papers) of Women

Founding Era of DC as Seen Through the Eyes (and Papers) of Women

The Library of Congress recently put online two collections that will interest not just historians and also genealogists. First person perspective both through intentional writings and in the documents one leaves behind just really enrich our research as we learn more about the people, places and dynamics of a locale where our ancestors may have lived.


As stated in the blog post about Margaret Bayard Smith’s Papers …

For anyone interested in the founding era in Washington, D.C., the writings of Margaret Bayard Smith (1778–1844) and Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton (ca. 1775–1865) and are essential sources. Both lived their entire adult lives in the capital city and, as members of the city’s elite, were friends with one another and important political figures of the era. Their proximity to power made them unusual, but their writings also illustrate what it was like to be a woman in the early republic…

Beyond revealing her emotions and private life, the papers are rich with details of the politics of the early national era. Readers can get a further taste of the richness of Smith’s writing in her 1809 accounts of James Madison’s inauguration (original and published transcription) and her visit to Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello (original and published transcription). Those looking for political references will find the most in the correspondence with her sisters, Maria Bayard Boyd and Jane Bayard Kirkpatrick. Discussions of religion and slavery are found throughout the papers. The eight reels of microfilm now online are helpfully broken down by date, correspondent’s name or both in the finding aid.

As stated in the blog post about Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton …

Thornton came from much more humble origins than Smith. She was born around 1775 to Ann Brodeau, who emigrated to Philadelphia from England that year to establish a school. The identity of her father is a mystery. He may have been English clergyman William Dodd, who was hanged for forgery two years later. At only 15, she married 31-year-old William Thornton, an architect from the British West Indian island of Tortola. He helped plan the capital city, designed the United States Capitol and served as head of the Patent Office.

The couple came to Washington in 1792, before the city was built, and, like the Smiths, became fixtures of the Washington elite. While William Thornton is better known, and a volume of his writings has been published—the Manuscript Division also has a large collection of his papers—Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton’s writings are an important source of information about daily life in Washington.

  

What most surprised you about these women as documented in their papers?

What was your favorite find? 










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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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10 July 2017

Find A Grave – the same and yet different!


Find A Grave – the same and yet different!

Are you an avid fan of Find A Grave?  Do you regularly add memorials to it?

If yes, check out the Beta revision of the website now available for you to review and also use. 

The easiest way to get to the new site is to go to the old one and then click where it says “Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.” Or, you can click here. When you get to the new page, a window will pop up telling you a bit about why the website is changing.

The search feature is quite different looking though seems to provide the same options.  I often search on a surname within a particular county and in a way, it’s even easier as when I clicked on Cemetery Location and started typing in Wake, it then brought up Wake County, North Carolina, United States of America and I didn’t have to work my way down the old drop down menu.

As expected the look and feel of each memorial page has changed and the same information is still there, just organized and presented a bit differently.

Please do provide your feedback on the Beta version.  In the bottom right-hand corner of each page is a mustard colored bubble which you can click on and provide feedback.

Do know that both the original and the Beta version are fully workable.  You can use either platform to make changes to existing memorials or add new memorials. 

You can easily go between the two versions of the website by using the toggles on the main page of each directing you to the other version.


What do you think?  What is your favorite “new” aspect?  Are there any older elements that you think don’t work quite as well in the Beta? 

REMEMBER – your feedback on the Beta site is both encouraged and welcome!








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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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06 July 2017

Internet Archive + HathiTrust + Google Books = Digital Book-apalooza!

Internet Archive + HathiTrust + Google Books = Digital Book-apalooza!

Continuing my nostalgic run through some resources that are part of my genealogy “go to” bag, let’s now talk about digital books (and more) and my three favorite resources – Internet Archive and HathiTrust and Google Books.

I didn’t realize until writing this article that I’ve not previously done a dedicated piece on HathiTrust.  Sacre bleu as the French might say!  At least I can spread the word about it now.

These are all excellent resources for digitized books.  There are many many books of interest to genealogists and family historians that are now in the public domain. Directories, histories of churches, legislative journals and related, abstracted/transcribed records collections, and much more.  These websites all make full digital books available.

HathiTrust and Google Books also give some insight into select books that are either incompletely digitized and/or are not digitized though searchable in a limited fashion.  This latter option gives you some insight into a book that might interest you and which you’ll then need to get your hands on physically, either via purchase or interlibrary loan (check out OCLC & Worldcat + FamilySearch Catalog = Very Happy Genealogists!).

If you have not yet visited all three of these sites, stop whatever you are doing, grab a drink, settle in, and just explore.  Odds are you will find some tidbit about either your family or community that you didn’t know before.

To learn more about these websites (except HathiTrust as already stated), check out …





What “go to” resources for digitized books do you use regularly as you research your ancestors?



Editor’s Note: Catch up on my posts about some other favorites – Linkpendium, Archivegrid, Death Online, and Jstor .





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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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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
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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