31 January 2017

The Time is Now to Communicate Your Support For Humanities!


The Time is Now to Communicate Your Support For Humanities!

This news regarding possible cuts to National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and other agency funding comes to us via the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) via the National Coalition for History, of which RPAC is a member.

The National Coalition for History is a non-profit educational organization providing leadership in history related advocacy.

We represent the interests of a diverse number of groups including historians, archivists, researchers, teachers, students, preservationists, political scientists, museum professionals, genealogists, and other stakeholders

These organizations are following the lead of NEH via the National Humanities Alliance (NHA). Here is a link to some historical context, legislators, and key talking appoints as the budget takes shape.

Posted by National Humanities Alliance on January 19, 2017
Click here to send a message to your Members of Congress and the President to let them know that you value the National Endowment for the Humanities.

News broke this morning that the in-coming Trump Administration has a budget blueprint that proposes the elimination of NEH, along with other cultural agencies, and a major downsizing of others.

This news has elicited great concern from the humanities community, and it is undoubtedly time to rally support for the National Endowment for the Humanities…

For genealogists, we are quite familiar with NEH via the Chronicling America (newspaper) project, the recently announced Common Heritage Grant program, its Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions, as well as via other funding initiatives.


Let’s make sure that our heritage is preserved!! Contact your elected officials to let them know the value of continuing to fund NEH grant programs.


What NEH funded program is near and dear to your heart?






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27 January 2017

Online Archive Documenting Pearl Harbor Attack


Online Archive Documenting Pearl Harbor Attack

Japanese professor creates online archive documenting Pearl Harbor attack

On Dec. 7, 1941, Peter Willett was feeding his rabbits in the backyard of his house at Ford Island, which sits in the middle of Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor.

He noticed planes heading toward the island. He thought they were U.S. military aircraft, but one of them flew so low over his head that he could see the Japanese emblem.

Then a second plane started shooting its machine gun, marking the beginning of Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack and the Pacific War.

“Peter raced into the house, waking his mother and sister. They calmly took showers and dressed in their Sunday best because they refused to be taken prisoner in their nightgowns,” a text attached to an old photo of Peter reads on a new web archive documenting the 1941 attack.

The website (1941.mapping.jp) was launched Wednesday, the 75th anniversary of the fateful event, by Hidenori Watanave, associate professor of information technology and design at Tokyo Metropolitan University.

It’s a powerful visual first-hand view of this historic day.


What association did your family have with Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack?






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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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26 January 2017

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and Archdiocese of Boston Announce Historic Collaboration: Millions of 18th and 19th Century Sacramental Records To Be Searchable Online



New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and Archdiocese of Boston Announce Historic Collaboration:  Millions of 18th and 19th Century Sacramental Records To Be Searchable Online

From our friends at the New England Historic Genealogic Society (NEHGS) …

January 10, 2017—Boston, Massachusetts—New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (RCAB) have announced a multi-year collaboration to create an online searchable database of millions of sacramental records from over 100 parishes across greater Boston. This is the first time a significant number of sacramental records from any U.S.-based archdiocese has been made available in an online digital format.

The project spans parish records from 1789 to 1900, a period of significant growth for the Catholic Church in Boston and surrounding towns. The records to be digitized predate the founding of the first Catholic Church in Boston. They document several sacraments of the Catholic Church, including baptism, confirmation, holy communion, marriage, holy orders, and the anointing of the sick.

These historic records contain detailed information about the Catholic parishioners of greater Boston, their relationships with each other, their church, and their community. Historians, genealogists, scholars, and the public at large will now have online access to unique data from the Catholic Church’s earliest founding in Boston.

While the project will take several years to complete, images of the oldest records from the earliest parishes are available to browse now—after a free online registration—on AmericanAncestors.org, the award-winning website for NEHGS. Name-searchable records will be available later in the year, and will be accessible with an NEHGS membership.
NEHGS will also be working with the archdiocese to preserve the physical volumes that contain the records, many of which are crumbling from age.

This historic effort to preserve and make accessible the records of Archdiocese of Boston by digitizing them will take several years to complete, depending upon how quickly the project can be fully funded. The New England Historic Genealogical Society is launching a Historic Catholic Records Fund with a $1 million goal to enable philanthropy to support this extraordinary project. Information about contributing to this fund can be found at CatholicRecords.AmericanAncestors.org.

“The Archdiocese of Boston and New England Historic Genealogical Society understand the significance of these records for Catholics, but also for historians and researchers of all backgrounds,” said Cardinal Se├ín P. O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston. “We are grateful for this opportunity to preserve these records for future generations.” The Cardinal also noted that the collaboration will provide indispensable assistance to Catholics by consolidating resources and providing a breadth of information unavailable elsewhere.

You can read the rest of the press release and access related materials here.

 \



Which Catholic Boston-based ancestor do you hope to find in these records?






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25 January 2017

Virginia Reenslavement Petitions – A Little Known Bit of History


Virginia Reenslavement Petitions – A Little Known Bit of History

So many records, so little time!

Out of the Box, Notes from the Archives @ The Library of Virginia had a recent blog post, A Last Resort: Madison County Reenslavement Petitions.  Though there are many facets of law regarding those enslaved that I am familiar with, I wasn’t familiar with this one.

In 1856, the General Assembly decided that free African Americans could petition their county or city court to be enslaved. These individuals had to be at least twenty-one if male or eighteen if female and they could choose their own master. Once the General Assembly accepted the petition, the only difference between someone who was born a slave and someone who was enslaved as an adult was that the children of a woman born while she was free remained free.

The mentioned article gives you the details on “why” someone might seek to be re-enslaved and provides a case study illustrating the need/interest for one family who in 1859 petitioned for reenslavement.

I did a search in Virginia Heritage and found that there are 9 entries where we find the term reenslavement (Madison, Northumberland, Powhatan, and Norfolk Counties amongst others are mentioned).

A book written by Ted Maris-Wolf, Family Bonds – Free Blacks and Re-enslavement Law in Antebellum Virginia (available for purchase) covers this topic further.


I have yet to come across a similar law in North Carolina nor in other southern states, have you?

What law(s) have you come across that you were unprepared for?







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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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24 January 2017

The Keepers Registry – Who is Ensuring Long-Term Access to Scholarly and Cultural Content?


The Keepers Registry – Who is Ensuring Long-Term Access to Scholarly and Cultural Content?

I didn’t know about The Keepers Registry until I read this piece in The Signal (The Keepers Registry: Ensuring the Future of the Digital Scholarly Record), via The Signal (a blog of The Library of Congress).

The Keepers Registry acts as a global monitor on the archiving arrangements for electronic journals.

The Keepers Registry was developed by EDINA, a centre for digital expertise and online service delivery at the University of Edinburgh, and the ISSN International Centre in Paris. It was first developed as outcome of the Jisc-funded Piloting an E-journals Preservation Registry Service (PEPRS) project, and the beta service first launched in 2011. There is further background information on the PEPRS project website.

The Keepers are the participating archiving agencies acting as stewards of digital content. There are currently twelve participating agencies. Each agency runs a programme for the archiving of e-journals and is making metadata on the journals in their programme available to the Keepers Registry.

Several of the “keepers” are new to me archives.


It’s always great to read about records preservation.


What other projects are you aware of beyond whose goal is to preserve scholarly and cultural content?







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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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23 January 2017

Worldwide Archive Finder



Worldwide Archive Finder

The National Archives (of the UK) has a neat webpage, Find an archive in the UK and beyond.  Obviously, its strength are the archives of the UK and it also includes archives from around the world.  Scroll down to “Find archives by country.”  When you find a country of interest, click on the name and you will be taken to a list of archives for that locale.  The list for the United States currently includes 276 entries.

The list is not complete and it doesn’t include some of the bigger national archives, such as The National Archives of Finland.

That said, for Oldham Lancashire, a haunting ground of my ancestors it does include the Oldham Local Studies Library and also the Oldham Hulme Grammar Schools Archive.  The latter is new to me and of great interest as my mum attended that particular school for a few years (and, I think my grandfather and his sister did also (though I need to verify that))! 

I definitely did not need to learn about this now; I have so many other things that I must do!  Well, I guess feeding our genealogical soul on occasion is important also!



What neat archive did you learn existed that you weren’t familiar with using this database?







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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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20 January 2017

12 Million Declassified CIA Pages Now Online


12 Million Declassified CIA Pages Now Online

On Facebook, The Society of American Archivists (SAA) shared this link, The CIA’s Secret History Is Now Online (BuzzFeed News)

But today the CIA posted the Castro record on its website along with more than 12 million pages of the agency’s other declassified documents that have eluded the public, journalists, and historians for nearly two decades. 

Just to corroborate, given all the press about Fake News, I checked out the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Press Release page and found CIA Posts More Than 12 Million Pages of CREST Records Online.

You can search the archive (CREST) here and also learn about its history.
Odds are that you won’t find a family member listed and you could learn more historical context for a place or event relevant to your family history.

I found it funny, that Oldham (Lancashire, England) was noted in a London Daily Telegraph, 14 July 1980 news items “Oldham, Lancs … Soviet news agency Tass yesterday; as sites of secret schools for agent’s training to, dis…? rupt the Moscow’ Olympics” … I wonder what my gran thought when she read this back in the day.




What particular document caught your eye?

Did you find an ancestor or family member mentioned?







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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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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 January 2017

International Tracing Service (ITS) Has Published ENTIRE Inventory Online!!


International Tracing Service (ITS) Has Published ENTIRE Inventory Online!!

Via IAJGS Public Records Access Alert from the International Tracing Service (ITS) …

The International Tracing Service (ITS) has published its complete inventory on the internet. The inventory offers an overview of the ITS’s archival holdings, which comprise some 30 million documents on National Socialist persecution and forced labour as well as the fates of the survivors. The archive’s original documents have been inscribed in the UNESCO documentary heritage register “Memory of the World” since 2013.

“With the aid of the general inventory, archive users can gain a good impression of the structure and contents of our holdings,” explains archive director Dr. Christian Groh. “This will greatly facilitate research into specific subjects and preparation for a visit to the archive.” The inventory offers basic information on the individual sub-collections. This includes, for example, the title, size and access number as well as a brief description of the contents. The searchable structure of the general inventory is shown as a navigable tree. It is also possible to carry out searches on the basis of keywords. The general inventory is available in German and English.

The indexing of the extensive holdings, however, has not yet reached completion. For reasons of transparency, the ITS has deliberately decided to include parts of the holdings that have undergone only preliminary or superficial indexing to date in its general online inventory. One by one, the existing information on the sub-collections will be supplemented with detailed descriptions of the contents to permit more in-depth access to the documents. The general inventory on our website reflects the current status of the indexing process, as the data is retrieved directly from the digital ITS archive.

Link to the general inventory:

This database will greatly improve access to this massive collection of interest to Jewish and non-Jewish researchers alike.



What did you find in the ITS inventory that might help with your own research?







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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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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
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