Weekly Planner: Dust Off and Protect Forgotten Files

If you have some old paper files that you haven’t worked with in a while, pull them out and examine them. What condition are they in? Are important records in sheet protectors? Carefully remove any staples, clips, or paper clips that may rust, and remove rubber bands that may melt. Look for signs of deterioration and evidence of pests. Are the storage conditions prolonging the files’ longevity or hastening their demise? Look for information on preservation in the Ancestry.com Learning Center by searching the Library for the term “preservation,” locate information online or in reputable publications, or seek professional advice. The steps you take now to preserve these records will increase the odds that you’ll be able to refer to them down the road.

Researching Neglected Lines, by Juliana Smith

Before I dive in to this week’s column, I’d like to apologize to all who have received corrupted, duplicate, or otherwise garbled newsletters over the past couple weeks. There were some necessary back-end technological changes that have made life a little “challenging” for those of us on the newsletter front. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience.

Today I decided to take out some of my frustrations on a somewhat neglected family line (I’m noticing I have a few these days). I seem to focus on my Kellys for the most part, so today I sidestepped to my Tobin line to see if I could make some progress there. I don’t know as much as I’d like about Thomas Tobin (my third great-grandfather) and his family, so I thought he’d be a good place to start.

Maybe you’ve been a little neglectful of one of your ancestral lines too. So why do we abandon a family line? Brick wall? Lack of accessible resources? Let’s take a look at some reasons and possible solutions. Continue reading

Ancestral Biographies, by Michael John Neill

Of all my children’s ancestors, only two have biographies in old county histories. There are no letters or diaries left behind that provide insight into how our family lived one hundred years ago. Those who have such materials are extremely fortunate. This week we look at some other places to get biographical information and consider one of the great ironies of genealogical research.

A comprehensive search of genealogical sources can turn up biographical information. Of course county histories, obituaries, and home sources are potential sources of personal details beyond the vital statistics of births, marriages, and deaths. Pension files and court records are two great places to potentially learn more about your ancestor. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Know It All?

from Paula Stuart-Warren, CG

I firmly believe that no genealogist knows it all. It took me a while to be able to admit I did not really know it all; the old ego gets in the way. Standing up in front of an audience or being interviewed can be a tricky experience if you don’t know the correct reply to a question. The same goes for our own family history research. How on earth could we know it all? Think about how many cities, counties, states, provinces, countries, and types of records exist. How many nationalities and religions are in your background? My ancestors come from at least seven countries. Their religions also number seven at this point. Continue reading

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Your Quick Tips

Portland Maine Directories
I have been researching my ancestors who traveled to Portland from other areas and states. The Maine Directories have been a great help in finding these people. If someone has died, they list that person’s name and the exact date they passed away. They continue to list the widow or widower until they pass away, and then they list that death date.
 
The information shows the person’s name, address, and what he or she does for a living. It helps to fill in the gaps between the census years. I am so pleased with the information I have found there.
 
Barbara D. Edgar Continue reading

Photo Corner

Bessie Haddox HullContributed by Teresa Hull-Vaughan, Portland, Oregon
Teresa’s great-grandmother, Bessie Haddox Hull. She and husband, Henry Hull, were proprietors of the Santoy House hotel in Santoy, Ohio, where my grandfather was born. After Henry’s death, she placed ads in the Zanesville (Ohio) Times Recorder for giving psychic readings. These ads occurred from the mid-1940s to about 1968.

 Peggy Allen SmithClick on the images to enlarge them.

Contributed by Dia Bigler
This is Dia’s grandmother, Peggy Allen Smith. She was my father’s (Cordell A. Smith) mother. Another interesting photo from Dia is also available on the 24/7 Family History Circle blog

The Year Was 1789

French RevolutionThe year was 1789 and in the U.S. a young government was beginning to take shape. In its first nationwide election, the popular Revolutionary War general, George Washington, became the country’s first president and was sworn in at the first capitol of the United States, Federal Hall in New York City.

In France, a rebellion was underway and with the storming of the Bastille prison, the French Revolution began. In its reporting on the subject, The Times of London, England had the following to say of the conflict:

The spirit of liberty which so long lay in a state of death, oppressed by the hand of power, received its first spark of returning animation, by the incautious and impolitic assistance afforded to America. The French soldier on his return from that emancipated continent, told a glorious tale to his countrymen–”That the arms of France had given freedome to thirteen United States, and planted the standard of liberty on the battlements of New York and Philadelphia.” The idea of such a noble deed became a general object of admiration, the [facets?] of a similar state were eagerly longed for by all ranks of people, and the vox populi had this force of argument–”If France gave freedom to America, why should she not unchain the arbitrary fetters which bind her own people.” Continue reading

Professional Genealogists Re-Form Chapter in St. Louis

Some people say that “the second time around” is better. Maybe that’s why some genealogists in St. Louis have just re-established a professional genealogists’ organization.

The group is called the St. Louis Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). It is the 23rd chapter of APG, an international organization with more than 1,600 members. Members are researchers, writers, lecturers and others in fields related to family history who do professional-type work for hire or themselves.

Patricia Walls Stamm, Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer of St. Louis, said, “Since we previously chartered one of the first APG chapters back in 1997 (and later disbanded), we thought it was high time we re-established our group.

“Our core group members are all far more experienced as genealogists and businesspersons than we were nine years ago, so we decided to focus the reconstituted chapter on our own professional development.” She said members will tour unique, little-known research facilities in the St. Louis area and promote the skills and services of professional genealogists.

For more information, visit the APG Web site at apgen.org or contact Stamm at pat.stlu@att.net.

 

FGS Offers Discounted Registration to Boston Conference for Ancestry.com Subscribers

Going to Boston? Planning to visit the birthplace of American genealogy and attend the FGS/NEHGS Conference 30 August-2 September? If you are subscriber to Ancestry.com, you are also eligible for a $30 discount on the price of a full registration. Go to the conference’s main page to learn more about the conference and to register. At the end of the registration process you will be asked to apply any discount codes. Enter the word Ancestry and the price of registration automatically will be reduced by $30.

This conference, presented by the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the New England Historic Genealogical Society, promises to be the largest genealogical event ever held in the United States. It features more than 350 educational opportunities in classes, workshops, and luncheon presentations and an occasion to hear outstanding speakers from five countries — England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the U.S. Take one of the advanced workshops or attend the specialized Librarian’s Day or Professional Management Conference sessions.

Visit RootsWeb.com, Ancestry.com, and many of the volunteers from the USGenWeb project, and other genealogical organizations. Download the grid brochure and personal scheduler to see what’s available and when.