Archive for January, 2013

January 6, 2013

A Sunday Walk Around the Blogs

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.

January 5, 2013

William Hamby’s Estate in Rabun County’s Writs

While compiling Rabun County’s earliest writs and petitions for publication (available soon), I came across an 1843 court case between the heirs of the estate of William Hamby and the administrator of the estate, James Hamby. Naturally, the petition named all the heirs “to the second degree”: Ezekiel Hamby; Jonothan Roach and his wife, Huldah (Hamby) Roach; Benjamin Shelton and his wife, Keziah (Hamby) Shelton; Daniel Inman and his wife, Rebecca (Hamby) Inman; Martha Hamby; Sophia Hamby; Martha Hamby, the mother of William Hamby, the decedent; Amos Forrister and his wife Elizabeth (Hamby) Forester; James Hamby, the estate’s administrator; and Thomas K. Forrister and his wife, Polly (Hamby) Forrister.

The initial petition provides excellent information on the dynamics of this Hamby family, but there are many other documents attached to this suit, including an inventory of the estate, the sale of personal property from the estate, and the deceased’s account books,1 all of which were written into the record.2 The latter two items should be of particular interest to area researchers, even those uninterested in the Hamby family per se, because they can be used to reconstruct William Hamby’s neighborhood.

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January 4, 2013

Feature Friday: The Life and Times of C. J. Crunkleton

I keep waiting for someone to ask me why I included all the local and regional news in my book on Rabun County’s earliest newspapers, instead of only the obituaries and death notices as many compilers do.

No one’s asked, but I think it’s an important question, and my answer is this: Newspapers are, in and of themselves, an important resource outside of the fact that they can serve as a substitute for vital and court records. To demonstrate this, let’s look at excerpts from early issues of The Clayton Tribune and The Tallulah Falls Spray pertaining to a gentleman named C. J. Crunkleton.

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January 3, 2013

Free Census Resource Courtesy of Michael Hait, and a Few Other Things as Well

Michael Hait recently announced the release of a free PDF e-book, U. S. Census Pathfinder. Yes, my friends, this is a free resource for those who want to find information about U. S. censuses on the web. But don’t take my word for it. Reviews are abounding, including a thorough one by Judy G. Russell.

If you haven’t poked around Michael’s professional web site, please take the time to do so. In addition to a list of publications, with links to online articles where available, many free to the public, Michael has generously placed several case studies and other free resources on his web site as well. There are plenty of fascinating and informative tidbits available there for researchers of any stripe.

Happy hunting!

January 2, 2013

Oh, Please, Mr. Mailman, Won’t You Bring Me Something Good?

I love my genealogy periodicals, as y’all well know. Perhaps I’m a bit obsessed with them as well, but that could be because I’m an avid and somewhat compulsive reader. Or just nosey, but who’s to say?

I confess that each quarter around the time I expect the National Genealogical Society Quarterly to be published, I begin checking the NGS web site every day to see if the latest one is available. I revel in the fact that the Association of Professional Genealogists posts their quarterly online, and that the Executive Director e-mails an announcement to the APG list when it’s ready for viewing. And the back issues of many excellent journals available through such worthies as the New England Historic Genealogical Society, there for the reading whenever I have a few spare moments! But I’ll not expound upon that subject again.

What I love most is receiving crisp new copies of my favorite reading material in the mail. Every quarter, and sometimes more frequently, the mailman delivers these lovelies right to the bottom of my driveway, many encased in plastic or paper envelopes to protect the glorious contents. On those days, I race to work, shoo everyone off, shut myself away in my office, and take at least a few moments to savor the feel of paper, the smell of the freshly minted page, and the hope that this time, perhaps, my family or an associated one will make an appearance within.

When I’m expecting a particular issue and it seems to never arrive, I often walk away from my mailbox with a disappointed slump. As the days drag on and I open the hatch to find only junk mail and bills, I reach around and pat the inside, just to be sure, and can’t help myself from entertaining an inkling of a notion that my mailman is sitting in his car right at that moment enjoying my copy of A Lot of Bunkum. Dratted mailman, I say with my fist raised in the air as the traffic whizzes by, I curse you and your journal-reading ways!

But the next day, as if by magic, the long-awaited periodical arrives in the mail, seal unbroken, and I laugh off my suspicions. Oh, Dawn, you silly goose, I think, to suspect the mailman of such a thing. And then I receive another e-mail that a new issue is hot off the press. As I trundle down my driveway each morning thereafter, I stare at my mailbox with suspicion and some weighty consideration. Would a camera catch him in the act? And really, how much could one guard dog eat?

Yet there he is, the much-anticipated issue in one hand, the other raised in a friendly wave, and all is well in the world.

Until the next quarter…