April 11, 2013

Announcing SAGA, a New Genealogical Society for the Southern Appalachians

What do you do when there are no genealogical societies nearby and local historical societies are less than friendly to genealogists? Why, you start your own society, of course!

We’ve been hard at work over the past few months organizing the Southern Appalachians Genealogical Association (SAGA). I’m pleased to announce that as of April 10, we are officially organized and open to new members.

SAGA is a regional genealogical society, covering those families who lived in Appalachia in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. When most people think of the Appalachians, their mind goes straight to West Virginia and Kentucky, but the Appalachians extend much further south. Researchers whose ancestors lived in the Southern Appalachians face many of the same problems encountered by those researching in the mid- and northern sections, and need the same kind of support.

SAGA aims to provide this support by offering a society specifically geared toward researchers with Southern Appalachian ancestors and by actively encouraging the development of resources for those researchers, while promoting scholarship and high standards of research.

If you have ancestors who lived in the Southern Appalachians and are interested in joining our fledgling Society, please visit our web site. We look forward to hearing from you!

April 8, 2013

When Was Amy (Nichols) Ledford Born?

Last week, I briefly discussed documentation for John Ledford’s date of death. The conflicts between the information presented in various records pertaining to John’s death were fairly easy to resolve. His wife’s date of birth presents a much stickier situation.

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April 5, 2013

Upcoming Lectures

I am presenting the following topics over the next few months.

On Saturday, 13 April 2013, I will be at the Genealogical Computer Society of GA in Roswell. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Our first topic will be “Foundations of Research into the Past: Essential Skills for Genealogists,” which provides an overview of the basic research process. A problem-solving workshop will follow, based around a case study using indirect evidence to tie Amy (Nichols) Ledford of Macon Co., NC, to her parents and siblings.

On Monday, 13 May 2013, I will be at the Central Georgia Genealogical Society in Warner Robins discussing the topic, “Finding the Extra! Extra! in Newspapers.” The meeting begins at 8 p.m. Newspapers are a particular favorite of mine, and I look forward to discussing their uses with this group.

On Tuesday, 2 July 2013, I will be at the Rabun County Public Library in Clayton to present “Digging the Foundations of Research into the Past.” The presentation begins at 1 p.m. in the library’s meeting room.

Visitors are welcome at all programs. Y’all come!

April 2, 2013

John Ledford’s Date of Death

Today is the 120th anniversary of the death of my great-great-great grandfather, John Ledford.

John Ledford
Mar 1 1822
Apr 1 1894
1

Given the date on his tombstone, y’all probably think I’ve gone ’round the bend, but no, I haven’t. (Not yet, anyway.)

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March 31, 2013

A Sunday Walk Around the Blogs

Elizabeth Shown Mills has posted QuickLesson 16: Speculation, Hypothesis, Interpretation & Proof on Evidence Explained, the companion web site to her book of the same name. This woman’s mind is amazing.

Vivian Price Saffold has worked hard to gain support for the Georgia Archives, in part through her blog, Georgia Archives Matters, and can at last report a small victory: at the end of the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly, the Archives was budgeted $300,000 in funding for the upcoming fiscal year, slightly more than had been expected.

The National Genealogical Society, via Diane L. Richard at UpFront with NGS, announces a hands-on research week in Washington, D. C., to be held November 3 – 9 this year. The session is led by Craig Roberts Scott and Patricia Walls Stamm, and will include research at the National Archives and Records Administration, the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, and the Library of Congress. This one’s definitely a must-do!

Judy G. Russell has an epiphany regarding War of 1812 pension files, to every researcher’s benefit.

Happy Easter!

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March 24, 2013

Four Years and Counting

It’s been four years today since I moved my blog to WordPress. To all my readers, a big and heartfelt thank you, and to my family and friends, thank you for your support. Here’s to the blogosphere and the wonderful opportunities it offers!

Photo courtesy of Jon Sullivan

March 24, 2013

A Sunday Walk around the Blogs

Barbara Matthews discussed the 2011 Model Act and Regulations and its potential effect on genealogical research on the Massachusetts Genealogical Council’s blog, the MGC Sentinel. The Model Act regulates vital records. The latest version includes recommendations that would prohibit public access to these records well beyond what most states require now.

Angela McGhie of Adventures in Genealogy Education shares unexpected lessons (part one and part two) she learned from Thomas W. Jones’ recent lecture, “Variables in Professional Genealogists’ Approaches to Research,” presented at the Association of Professional Genealogists‘ recent Professional Management Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.

Speaking of Tom Jones, his highly anticipated new book Mastering Genealogical Proof is now available for pre-order through the National Genealogical Society.

March 17, 2013

A Sunday Walk Around the Blogs

I’m catching up on several weeks of blog posts and news articles with this one.

For those who are concerned about issues surrounding the Georgia Archives, Georgia Archives Matters has published a series of updates on legislation concerning funding and the possible move of the Archives to the University System of Georgia. Please read these posts and contact your state legislators in support of the Archives.

Dave Tabler of Appalachian History published an interesting story on a local-ish family, The Meaders Family of White County GA keeps pottery traditions alive.

Charlie of Carolina Family Roots shared some excellent tips on newspaper research and Chesterfield County SC research sources. If you’ve ever considered joining a lineage society, you might also be interested in his post, Pitfalls: Some Approved Genealogies Are Wrong.

Brenda Joyce Jerome of Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog discusses The Value of Researching Deeds.

Robyn at Reclaiming Kin shared an interesting post on the Legacy of the Rosenwald Schools.

Heather Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy published Photograph Friday ~ The Battle Road between Lexington and Concord. This area is definitely going on my travel bucket list!

Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, brings another look at the law, this time the the laws of the church. (When I read Judy’s blog, I’m nearly always struck with a Who’da thunk? change of perspective.)

And just in time for St. Patrick’s Day…

March 16, 2013

Saturday Skills: Setting Research Goals

Over the past little while, I’ve had several inquiries by researchers asking if I could point them in the right direction with their research. In some cases, I was able to help because the researchers could explain exactly what they needed. The remaining researchers did not, and in return, I asked a series of questions designed to elicit their research goals for the particular individual or family they needed help with.

The thing is, we all have goals in the back of our minds for the research we’re conducting. When we look at a particular ancestor or family, we think, Wow, it sure would be great to know who Dixie Lou’s parents were or I wish I could figure out where Bobby Jean is buried.

Go ahead, try it. Now, see what I mean? The goals are there whether we articulate them or not.

Unfortunately, formal goal setting is one simple action researchers fail to do, yet it is a necessary step in the research process. Defining and articulating the research focus (i.e. the goal of the research) can keep research on track and help the research process flow efficiently.

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February 24, 2013

A Sunday Walk Around the Blogs

What did Southerners do before large power companies and the TVA brought electricity to rural areas? They made their own power, of course! Appalachian History reprinted an article by Rabun Countian Linda Barden called A Look Back: When the Lights Came On. A fascinating look at the entrepreneurial spirit.

Judy G. Russell puts a new spin on historical context with her post, The law of holidays. Judy also published an excellent post on Copyright, terms of use and Pinterest. If you’re using that site, this is a must-read.

Last summer at Samford University Library’s Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research, I had the privilege of listening to a talk given by Michael Hait on his work reconstructing a Maryland slave community. Part of Michael’s research toward that end was published in the December 2012 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Michael’s blog post Writing the Ridgelys describes some of his behind the scenes efforts on both fronts.

Whenever anyone uses probate records for research, I give a little cheer, so imagine my happy dance when Randy Seaver posted Mining Cornelius Feather’s Probate Records for Genealogy Nuggets.

The Internet has been a boon to genealogists in many ways, including the ability to research using digital images of original records. What happens when those images are taken offline and we need to provide a source citation for them? Harold Henderson addresses this problem in It’s Gone! Now What?

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