City directories are useful for the year-by-year portrait they can paint of our ancestors. They document their moves, changes in occupation, and may note the widowed status of a wife who has recently lost her husband. All of this information can be obtained by simply looking up an ancestor’s name. But consider the other types of information Read More
Linda Barnickel is a professional archivist and freelance writer. She is the author of the award-winning book,Milliken’s Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and Memory (LSU Press, 2013) and has written on numerous historical, genealogical, and archives-related subjects. Learn more about her work at lindabarnickel.com.
Her voice is raspy, at times, nearly impossible to understand. At 105 years-old, Alice Mikel Duffield had seen her share of living. Though her hearing and eyesight was failing, her memories remained strong. She could tell me with pride about the new outfit she got when she left the service in 1918, when she had Read More
This is a guest post by Linda Barnickel What are Finding Aids? Finding aids are documents which are created by archives staff to assist researchers in learning about, navigating, and using individual archival collections. Many are available online from the institutions’ websites; others may be only available in hard-copy format for on-site use at the Read More
This is a guest post by Linda Barnickel. Hundreds of thousands of records and manuscripts in their original form are housed in archives throughout the country. Archives, as used in this post, refers to unique, unpublished records of government, organizations, businesses or other institutions. CONTEXT So, how do you go about identifying a collection of Read More
Guest post by Linda Barnickel. October is Archives Month, and archival institutions throughout the U.S. are celebrating! This is the perfect chance to take the plunge if you’ve always wanted to go to an archive, but have hesitated to do so. Many institutions plan special events including open houses, exhibits, programs, and a variety of Read More
Guest Post by Linda Barnickel There’s a name for it. “Library anxiety.” We learned about this in library school. Symptoms: anxiety, uncertainty, sudden shyness, fear, worry that one might seem woefully ignorant, embarrassment, bewilderment, lack of confidence, and perhaps even shame that one should “know better” or already know the answers before the questions are Read More
Today, we are going to look at how pension records created after the Civil War can help identify and reconnect slave-era families and relationships in the South. This article will assume that you have already identified someone in your family who may have served in the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), and that you already have Read More