The decision by Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp to close the Georgia Department of Archives and History to the public has sparked outrage and concern across the nation. Here are a few responses to this decision.
Friday, August 24, 2012 marked the 68th anniversary of the crash of the B-24 bomber The Little Lulu. My grandfather, Sgt. Thad J. Watson Sr., was killed in that crash, along with all but one of his crew members. A child of a soldier who served on The Little Lulu, before my grandfather’s crew, has created a blog dedicated to honoring and remembering the members of the 464th Battle Group. Friday’s post contained more information on the crash of The Little Lulu, as well as photographs of the crash site.
Michael Hait recently announced the publication of the second edition of his eBook, Online State Resources for Genealogy. I had the pleasure of hearing Michael speak about this very subject this past June at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that Michael knows his subject well. Anyone interested in making the best use of their at-home research time would do well to have a copy of this eBook.
I’m always interested when Boy Scouts take on history (since my son is a Scout and a budding historian), so I was delighted to see this article: Boy Scout Takes on Massive Job of Replacing Civil War Headstones in Harrisburg Cemetery.
One of my favorite blogs is Reclaiming Kin by Robyn Smith. Robyn is a Southern researcher (mostly). Her blog provides an excellent model for publishing a family history online. I particularly enjoyed two of her more recent posts, the earliest on Alabama Convict Records and a newer one, Criminals in the Family: Joseph Harbour about one of her wayward ancestors. If nothing else, stop by Robyn’s blog to see all the wonderful pictures she’s placed online.
Finally, Elizabeth Shown Mills is one of the more well-known names in genealogical circles. There’s a reason for that, one of which is her volume on source citation, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (available through Heritage Books and other retailers). The companion web site, Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage offers a number of resources, including forums where researchers can post their own citation problems and a section of QuickLessons. In the latter, Elizabeth covers a number of interesting topics, such as “QuickLesson 2: Sources vs. Information vs. Evidence vs. Proof,” a timeless topic. All of the QuickLessons provide a fascinating glimpse into the analytical mind of one of the top researchers of our time.
There’s hope yet for burned records. The National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis is working to restore, among other things, military personnel records damaged in a 1973 fire that devestated the NPRC’s holdings. This is exciting news for those of us whose ancestors’ paperwork may have been affected by that fire.
Julie Tarr gives 4 Reasons to Convert Your Genealogy Research into Writing, a timely reminder to all genealogists. Julie’s blog focuses on genealogical writing.
Finally, Robyn at Reclaiming Kin has an informative post about Ex-Slave Pension Records, a source with incredible potential for documenting the lives of former slaves. Robyn has taken the time to capture several images showing a range of the documents one might find in this collection.
This week instead of featuring posts or articles from various places around the Internet, I wanted to highlight several blogs I try to keep track of.
Planting the Seeds is written by Michael Hait, a certified genealogist whose specialties include the Mid-Atlantic states and African-American genealogy. Michael generally uses his blog to discuss professional issues, but anyone who would like to grow as a researcher will find much useful information, including a series of discussions on methodologies.
Judy G. Russell is the Legal Genealogist, and she usually blogs about just that: the legal aspects of genealogy. For instance, Fi. fa. Fo Fum! helps genealogists decipher the abbreviations used in historical court records. While you’re visiting Judy, be sure to congratulate her on becoming a certified genealogist.
The Clue Wagon is the product of Kerry Scott, a Midwestern genealogist with a wicked sense of humor. Her front page reads, “My name is Kerry. I like dead people.” My favorite two posts are 7 Reasons Why the Zombie Apocalypse Would Be Good for Genealogists and In Which I Piss Off Pretty Much the Entire Genealogist Establishment. The latter describes a genealogy drinking game. Sprite recommended.
Finally, I wanted to highlight a very new blog by a genealogist who literally cut her teeth on historical records. Rachal Mills Lennon is a Southern genealogist whose blog is linked to her professional web site, Finding Southern Ancestors. Rachal’s blog has only three posts (so far!), but all three are excellent examples of how to solve difficult Southern research problems. Two of those three place Nancy (Justice) Wade with her correct husband using records from the old Pendleton and Spartanburg Districts in South Carolina, localities from which many Rabun County families came.
I hope y’all take the time to poke around on these blogs. They are all well worth the reading time.
Lots of new web sites and articles to share today.
Genealogist unearths contribution made by local militia in the War of 1812 from thestar.com discusses the work of genealogist Janice Nickerson documenting contributions made by Toronto militiamen to the War of 1812, and her upcoming book York’s Sacrifice.
Harold Henderson wrote a great article, Climbing the Spiral Staircase, about the learning curve all genealogists experience. I recommend this one to every genealogist, regardless of skill level or interest.
The Boston Channel published an article, Murder Suspect’s DNA Linked to Mayflower Kin, detailing how investigators hope to use DNA to eventually find the person who killed a teenaged girl near Seattle in 1991. Forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick is contributing to the investigation.
If Helen F. M. Leary is the Grand Old Dame of genealogy, then Elizabeth Shown Mills is certainly its First Lady. Mills recently debuted her web site, Historic Pathways, which features a collection of her writings over her several decades as a historian and genealogist.
Need a vacation? Try the new wave in travel: genealogical tourism. About research conducted by Carla Santos and Grace Yan.
Archaeologists comb newly found Civil War POW camp by Russ Bynum for the Associated Press, about Camp Lawton, located in southeast Georgia.
1890 Georgia tax digests online as census substitute by Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr., for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This nifty article gives brief directions for using a search function to find tax holders, as well as locations for the original records.
Historic events shifted families into, out of Western North Carolina. This column in the Asheville Citizen-Times was written by Franklin, NC, local Dee Gibson-Roles.
Here’s a wonderful story about a slave ancestor found in Southern Claims Commission records at Reclaiming Kin.
Stories of the LRWMA, a blog dedicated to documenting the history of what is now the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area in northeast Georgia.
18th-Century Ship Found at Trade Center Site by David W. Dunlap for The New York Times.
Georgia Black Crackers. Not a blog post, but the blog itself. Mavis, the author, details (among other things) her search for Grandpa Jasper and Grandma Jane Pierce. Very interesting.