Was checking out the new databases that went up this week and found a big update to the Historical Newspapers went up yesterday. Two million pages were added for ten states and two Canadian provinces. There are now newspapers available for all fifty states withÂ the additionsÂ from Hawaii and Wyoming.
I was especially thrilled to see one fromÂ my mother’s home town included. I’m going to have lots of fun mining that one for goodies! I checked and already see seventy hits on one of our family surnames!
Here’s a list of the new titles:Â
“Have a bias toward action–let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.”
– Indira Gandhi
Take stock of your genealogical workspace and determine where you need to improve organization. Check out office supply stores for products that could help you turn trouble spots around. You may find a good sale price during the holiday season, and if youâ€™re really good, maybe a special Santa will leave some organizational products under your tree.
The other day I was browsing through some of the genealogy blogs on the Web, and I ran across a post on the Carnival of Genealogy. â€œBlog carnivalsâ€ collect posts on a related topic and link to them in one place–kind of like one-stop-shopping for bloggers. The current topic they have posted is â€œChristmas Wish Lists for Genealogists.â€ As I scanned through the various posts, I found myself nodding in agreement with some and took solace in posts by folks like me who wish to get caught up with their filing, database entering, and other little tasks that tend to pile up.
That is my one genealogical holiday wish, and it comes at a critical time. With an upcoming birthday in the family and holiday get-togethers on the calendar, this is a dangerous time of year for my family history. To top it off, Iâ€™m working on another project with my mom–a project that has had me pulling out documents for various branches of my family tree and just about every reference book I own. All of this clutter and the nice stack of records I pillaged from the recently added U.S. passports database have conspired to turn my office into a war zone.
The danger lies in the temptation to just box up the clutter and stash it in a closet until after the holidays–out of sight from holiday guests and out of mind for me. But that just makes things worse. Plus I need my closet space to stash presents.
The good news is that my fate is in my own hands. I can do the annual â€œstash it now/regret it laterâ€ thing, or I can take a little time and come out of this holiday season a little more organized than I went in. Today I choose the latter! Continue reading
Each of us has our own brick wall ancestor or family. Mine is Ira William Sargent, who, along with his wife and two children, was apparently dropped off by aliens in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1880. Regular readers will remember Ira from previous articles.
Occasionally I type Iraâ€™s name in the search box at Ancestry to see if a new potential match appears in any recently released databases. I keep track of all the â€œfalseâ€ leads–those Iras who, for one reason or another are â€œnot mine.â€ This tracking is important and includes where I located the â€œIraâ€ and why I think he is not mine. The spreadsheet of Iras continues to grow over time and is an integral part of my research process.
A few months ago, a â€œnewâ€ Ira surfaced in the Iowa State Census database at Ancestry. I immediately checked it out and viewed the complete record image.
Based upon the family structure, this Ira was not one I had already located and eliminated. However, that does not mean he is automatically â€œmine.â€ Continue reading
This recent Thanksgiving got me thinking about the definition of family. Several years ago one of my grandchildren had a family history school project. She corrected me on the charts we prepared together. She asked why we werenâ€™t including one aunt, one uncle, and one grandpa. They are certainly family but not relatives by blood. The aunt is a family friend, the uncle is my brother-in-lawâ€™s brother, and Grandpa Bud is his father. Additionally, I have others who call me Mom or Grandma. The oldest granddaughter calls them my fake children and grandchildren. (Donâ€™t get upset, the term fake is used lovingly between us; that is a story for another time.) My children and now my grandchildren have always had many â€œrelativesâ€ that donâ€™t fit into the spaces in genealogy software or paper charts. This yearâ€™s Thanksgiving celebrations were spent with many good people who are not blood relatives. I have some special genealogy families, too. Will future generations know who all these people are in my life and yours? Donâ€™t forget to include them as you document your familyâ€™s history and add their names to pictures. Have you written the story of their connection to you? Maybe it is time.Â
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Researching the Landscape
I live in a rural county and do a lot of research for people who cannot come to our area. They frequently want to know what the area is like. We describe the (lack of) roads, the flat land, etc.
I recently decided to try the same thing for my children and grandchildren. Our roots are heavy in Pennsylvania. When one drives through there it is lovely to see the tiny communities tucked in between the mountains. I am going to start taking photos of the areas our roots grew in. Since we were there pre-Revolutionary War, I have started reading articles describing the hardships at that time.
My grandmother was born in Nebraska in 1903. Most of the housing there was sod houses. She and her two oldest brothers were born there. I have done some Web searching and located photos of several types of sod houses and have printed them off.
Families are so much more than names and dates. This is making ours come alive.
Gloria Hall Continue reading
The year was 1809 and Europe was embroiled in the Napoleonic Wars. In 1809 a major campaign was fought against Austria, which had rebelled against French control.Â Major battles at Aspern-Essling and Wagram involved Napoleon moving his force of more than 60,000 troops across the Danube via hastily constructed bridges.
British troops were also fighting French troops in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War, which had begun the prior year.
Prior to 1809, Finland had been under Swedish control, but with the Porvoo Diet in 1809, Finland established itself the nation, Grand Duchy of Finland, under the protection of Russia.
In the U.S., the Embargo Act of 1807 was lifted and replaced by the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809.Â The Embargo Act prohibited the export of U.S. goods and kept American ships from visiting foreign ports. The 1809 legislation softened it by limiting the embargo to England and France. Like the Embargo Act, this legislation hurt the U.S. more than the intended targets.
In the U.S., westward expansion was picking up, and in 1809, Illinois Territory was split off of Indiana Territory. It encompassed the current state of Illinois, Wisconsin, parts of Michigan’s upper peninsula, and Minnesota.
Expansion would be further aided by Robert Fulton, who after making improvements to a steamboat patented by James Watts, filed a patent and began steamboat service between New York City and Albany along the Hudson River.Â As this mode of transportation became more popular, it became easier to travel to the interior of the U.S. via the Great Lakes and other waterways.
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Contributed by William Adna Crawford
This is a Christmas card from 1933. My father, Adna Romulus Crawford from Ironton, Ohio, and his wife, Wilhelmina Elizabeth Lowe from New York City, along with their first son, William Adna Crawford (me).
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Contributed by Rose Beyke, Winslow, Indiana
This photo shows my great-uncle, Denver Bolin, feeding a goat as a small boy. It was probably taken around 1919. Denver was born 28 March 1916 in Hawesville, Kentucky, and moved to the Winslow area of Pike County, Indiana, where this photo was taken. He recently passed away in February of 2007 at the age of ninety years.