January 13, 2013
Some interesting blog posts and news from around the genealogy world.
Jay Fonkert writes about Katharyn Fawkner and the Fountain of Youth. Poor Kate forgot how to count her years as she grew older. Of course, I don’t know a single woman who would ever fib about her age…
If you weren’t “doing genealogy” before the Internet, then you can get a good taste of what it was like through two posts from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings: Genealogy Searching Then and Now – Part 1: Then (Pre-1999) and Genealogy Searching Then and Now – Part 2: Now (2013). If you’ve only ever researched your family on the Internet, then Randy’s post is especially pertinent, particularly his reminder that comparatively few records have been digitized and placed online.
At UpFront with NGS, Diane L. Richard poses the question, Do We Still Need Libraries? I agree with Diane. What do you think?
Elizabeth Shown Mills has a new QuickLesson online: QuickLesson 15: Plagiarism–Five “Copywrongs” of Historical Writing.
January 6, 2013
This past week, straddling the old year and the new, brought some interesting posts.
Kerry Scott of Clue Wagon‘s first post of the new year exhibits her usual no-nonsense wit with In Which I Assign You A New Year’s Resolution. Hint: It’s about merging family trees.
Judith Beaman Scott (no relation?) of Puzzles of the Past is Preparing for SLIG (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy). I admit to some envy. She’s taking the Advanced Genealogical Methods track, which is on my list of education to-dos.
The writers at the Augusta Genealogy and Local History Blog just reported that planning has begun to transfer the Georgia Archives to the University of Georgia system. Good news for researchers, I hope.
The new conferences keep a-comin’, proving that genealogy is a growing industry. Your Genetic Genealogist just announced that a DNA and Genetic Genealogy conference will be held in conjunction with the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in June of this year. Looks like there will be a whole passel of good speakers, too, so those of y’all attending the Jamboree are in for a real treat.
The Board for Certification of Genealogists has a new blog, BCG SpringBoard: News and Notes. Great news for us all!
Finally, a touching story out of the Midwest. A Detroit couple found World War II love letters, photos, and discharge papers while remodeling their home. Let’s hope an interested family member who will take care of these precious documents steps forward.
December 23, 2012
The past couple of weeks have brought some interesting and informative articles and posts.
Elizabeth Shown Mills has released three new QuickLessons on Evidence Explained, the companion web site to her book by the same name: QuickLesson 12: Chasing an Online Document into Its Rabbit Hole, QuickLesson 13: Classes of Evidence–Direct, Indirect & Negative, and QuickLesson 14: Petitions–What Can We Do with a List of Names?. If you’re not studying these QuickLessons, you’re losing out on an excellent (and free!) educational opportunity, presented by one of genealogy’s leading minds.
Michael Hait has posted on two important topics this past week, The most important thing you can ever prove, about discovering, sorting out, and proving identity, and Genealogical fallacies in logic. Both are excellent tutorials on how to avoid pitfalls in our analyses.
Harold Henderson, one of genealogy’s best writers, has a new article available on Archives called Why We Don’t Write, and How We Can, in which he reminds us that researching is only part of the battle.
September 23, 2012
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.
August 26, 2012
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.
July 8, 2012
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.
March 4, 2012
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.
February 26, 2012
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.
January 15, 2012
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.
August 28, 2011
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.