Websites/Resources

Tombstone Tuesday: Kemp Plummer Battle Sr.

This is my first Tombstone Tuesday post and since I had the perfect opportunity to do one, I thought I would.  This is the tombstone of Kemp Plummer Battle Sr.   Kemp was what you would call a “prominent” North Carolinian; he was highly active and involved in many matters of the state, including serving as President of my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kemp is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina next to his wife and other family members.  Last month I created his FindAGrave entry, which was surprising to me that he did not already have one given his social position, and two days ago, my picture request was fulfilled by a FindAGrave volunteer!

Now, why would I interested in Kemp?  I am interested in him and his family because he was the last slaveowner of a branch of my family.   My third great-grandmother, Mariah Wimberly McNair was the daughter of Della Battle and Allen Wimberly.   Della and at least one of her children, were slaves of Kemp’s plantation in Edgecomebe County, North Carolina, that he inherited from his father-in-law,  James S. Battle.  I know that Della was his slave from the wonderful resource of Dr. Barnetta McGhee -White on cohabitation records from North Carolina, Somebody Knows My Name.

I have not yet gotten to the point where I’ve begun to examine family estate and court records (which Robyn describes a perfect example to do so in her recent blog post), but when I do have that opportunity, I want to be clear on all the family members.  Creating a Battle family tree, allows me to do so in order that I am adequately prepared.

Hmmm… would you call it ironic that I went to the University of the man who enslaved my ancestors?  I personally don’t have any misfeelings about this – history was what it was, but at the same time, I do feel connected in a way, to this family.

Facebook Frenzy

Facebook is now allowing users to grab a vanity URL.  Thanks to watching my Twitter stream and seeing a couple of fellow genealogists tweet about getting theirs, I was able to go over and snag my name. You can now catch me at http://www.facebook.com/taneya

This past week I’ve been exploring Jing further for screen capture, so I decided to take a video of the frequency of Twitter updates on the hashtag #facebook – very interesting!

Looking for Medical Images?

Here’s some information from my professional life as a medical librarian — today I read on the Reference Shelf blog about the National Library of Medicine’s revised Image search from their History of Medicine Division. I did a fellowship at the National Library of Medicine in 2001 and am also again currently funded by them while I pursue my MPH degree. I try to keep up with their latest goingson, a feat that becomes increasingly more difficult with everything I have going on, but I was delighted to come across this news.

The Images collection of the National Library of Medicine (more than 70,000 images) can be found here. Their previous search used to be fairly simple and did not offer many options. The new version however is full of great features including

– the ability to embed images
– create collections of images
– compile images & create a presentation
– a “share” link to email to others
– download hi-resolution images
– easy image zoom-in
– ability to drag images around (like you can drag a Google Map around)
– sidebar options to refine results that shows “who”, “what” and “where” details
– printer friendly formatting
-selection of a variety of page display options

and more that I am sure I am not capturing. If you have any medical connections in any of your genealogy work, I recommend spending some time on the site.

I myself did a search on my own university and came across photos of people who’s names I certainly recognize. Now, I bet you anything I could just go upstairs to our Historical Collections and see some of these same pictures (and others), but it’s cool to see them online like this! What would make this an even better resource would be to have the ability to add comments and additional information to the images posted.

As an example, below is the picture of Elliott Voss Newman (1914-1973). He was a cardiologist, biomedical informatics pioneer, and founder/director of Vanderbilt’s Clinical Research Center from 1952 to 1973. My library has his papers collection in our holdings and many of my classmates in my MPH program are members of the university’s Elliott V. Newman Society which supports the research growth of clinicians on campus. It’s nice to put a face to the name. However, none of this information about Mr. Newman is apparent from the NLM entry. This is why I would find it beneficial to allow input from users.

Thanks NLM for an enhanced site!

My Dream Citation Tool – EasyBib + Genealogy

Some may know that I use EasyBib to format some of the citations I use in my genealogy work.  I posted about EasyBib last year (see post) and last night I had a thought — why not ask EasyBib to put their templates to use for genealogy work?

So, I sent them a tweet asking offering the suggestion and I’ve followed up with a more detailed email.  Wouldn’t you like to be able to use a web-based form to format your genealogy citations in the formats suggested by Elizabeth Shown Mills? Everything from Birth/Death Certificates to FHL Microfilm?  Mark posted on his ThinkGenealogy blog that Legacy 7 does this, but not everyone uses Legacy 7.   I myself am more of a cloud computer and the advantages inherent with that (see Eastman’s blog post) so I think this would be cool.    I think Thomas would agree with me too.

New Book about Wessyngton Plantation

A couple of weeks ago, when I bought In Search of Our Roots, I’d also seen a book by John F. Baker Jr. called The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation.  Tonight, I went ahead and purchased this book too.  I will probably not be able to start reading it right away, but I’m glad to own it now.   The Wessyngton Plantation was here in Tennessee and the author used their papers held on file at the Tennessee State Library & Archives for some of his research, so this is very close to home for me.   You can read more about the plantation in the online version of Profiles of African-Americans in Tennessee

In the book, the author accounts his family’s background, as well as information about other slave family descendants as he discovered them through his research. Again, this is another example of my previously expressed wish that books of this nature also do accompanying online family trees to faciliate later discovery by others and possible extended family members.  One of the main ancestors of the author is Granville Washington 1831-1898) of which I find no information in Ancestry Trees in a quick and dirty search.  

Biographies + Online gedcoms/family trees are my desire. Who will be the first author to do it?  I am encouraged though to see that on his website, Mr. Baker does have a few representative documents and some newspaper articles about his research.  He is on Facebook, on MySpace, and has a blog too where he continues to share his research.   This looks like a great start to my dream :-)

And, unlike Gates’ book, his is searcheable over at Google Books.  Mr. Baker will be here in Nashville for a book signing in a week, I must try to go!

See below for a two mintue overview of the book

Latest Addition to my Genealogy Bookshelf

Last weekend, I picked up the new book from Henry Louis Gates, In Search of Our Roots. This is the companion book to the African-American Lives 2 special from last year.

I just started reading the book yesterday and I am enjoying it  There are profiles in the book for the highlights of the research Gates and his collaborators did to learn more about each person’s family tree.  Some of the people featured are Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle, Quincy Jones and Maya Angelou.

As I began to read the book, I wondered how much of their tree information was available online?  Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a supplemental online tree to go along with the book where a reader could interactively navigate?  Also, it would be useful to have the information online to faciliate discovery by other researchers (perhaps distant cousins) to connect to the research conducted.

On the African-American Lives site, there is an interactive timeline that includes major milestones in black history as well as major milestones in each of the participants history, but it is an image based representation, thus not indexable or searcheable.

I’ve been thinking about this concept lately as I read another book, The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White. This book details the family history of white and black Hairstons of Virginia & North Carolina and is full of genealogical details.  One thing that was quite noticeable for me is that the author has a tree structure for the white Hairstons, but so far, I’ve not seen a tree structure for the black Hairston’s he discusses.  I have searched online for tree information for some of those families and not been able to find anything online in a consistent manner.

Here is my wish and desire — for both these books, and any others that chroncile family history having an companion online tree (perhaps at Ancestry Family Trees, WeRelate, or FamilyHistoryLink would be an interesting way to share some of the work online in a way that is more easily discovered by others.  Alternatively, at the site they could use my favorite genealogy software, TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding to provide an online view to the trees.  At the minimum, the Gates book could have been made searcheable at Google Books (update 8/15/09 – it is now searcheable);  the Hairstons book is searcheable.  In the age of web 2.0/ Genealogy 2.0, this would be a wonderful means for establishing more connections!

Search Enhancements At GenealogyBank

I really need to go to bed, but I just had to post this!

I was sneaking a peek in GenealogyBank.com tonight and noticed that they have made some enhancements to their search interface for the Historical Newspapers Collection.   When you go to the search screen, you are shown several new search options that were not there last time I searched about a month ago.  I don’t see an announcement on the GenealogyBank blog though. (update 2/18/09 — today, they made a blog post about it)

The first new item on the search screen is the option to search the *updated content* that is added to the database.  GB often adds new pages and I’d written to them several months ago that it would be nice to be able to search the new additions only.  I was told that it was coming, and now it’s here.  At the time of this post, the options for searching just the updated content allow you to select things added since Feb 2009, since Jan 2009, or since Dec 2008.

genealogybank

They have also added a graphic map of the United States with blue dots to represent locations where they have newspaper content.   While it’s not my dream vision of seeing a Google Maps ultra-mashup of all the online digitized newspapers online, it is a nice view to get a sense for where they have coverage and where they don’t.  I wish all providers of historical newspapers would do something similar.   Beneath the graphic is a list of all the states and you can select which states to limit your search to.  Previously, you could only select one state at at time; now you can select multiple states.

If you haven’t searched GenealogyBank in awhile, you should revisit it.  If you are not a subscriber,  try out the one-month trial.  (No affiliation, just a very happy customer).

To add to my excitement about the new search options, I also found something of great interest to me.  In my last post, I shared how this week has been all about my Koonce research.   A lot has happened this past week with that.  Well, as I often do, I did a keyword search for a city of interest for blog fodder, and one of my results was a slave runaway advertisement that I’d seen before and blogged about previously.  I’d selected to search new content only, so even though this was something I’d seen before, I knew that often ads were run in multiple issues.  I decided to take a look at this particular issue of  the New Bern Sentinel and as I was browsing the pages, I came across this marriage announcement

kooncedavid_marriage

Source: “Marriage: David Nunn & Alice Koonce.” New Bern Sentinel 6 Sept. 1823. GenealogyBank. 16 Feb. 2009 <http://www.genealogybank.com>.

This is the marriage notice of David Nunn and Alice Koonce who married in Jones County, North Carolina in 1823.  I am quite happy to see this! I have Alice Koonce & David Nunn in my “other” Koonce gedcom collection.  I added David & Alice after *meeting* Jennifer, another African-American Koonce researcher who is descended from a slave David sold to his brother-in-law Isaac, named Solomon.   Isaac, as part of some of the pioneer families migrating from North Carolina, moved to Tennessee, bringing Solomon with him and that is where Jennifer’s family is from.  She’s got a wonderful website and blog with more details.  In any case, I just happened to browse the pages and I see a notice of David & Alice’s wedding.   Up until now, I’d only had secondary sources for their marriage.   I can’t believe I have yet another Koonce-related discovery and I wasn’t even searching for it!

Death of Innocence

deathofinnocence Today I picked up the book, The Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America by Mamie Till-Mobley. Mamie is the mother of Emmett Till. I’ve blogged previously about a connection I share with Emmett Till – one of my maternal grandmother’s brothers married into the family of Moses Wright – Emmett’s great-uncle from whose home he was taken. I’m looking forward to reading Mamie’s book and learning more about the events of what happened.

Using Google Maps

My mother was born in 1951 and when she was born her family lived at 100 Brooklyn Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.  Here is a picture of her uncle June, with her older brother Stanley that was taken around the time he was about 10 months old; my mother was not yet born. 

One day, my mother sent me an email after she was playing around in Google Maps.  The building is still there!  We weren’t absolutely sure it was the same building until I realized the iron gate behind my uncles in this picture are in fact the same as what is there now. 

When I and my brother were born in ’75 and ’78 respectively, my parents lived at 372 167th Street in Bronx, NY.  This picture of my mother with my cousin (born in ’77) was taken in front of the building. 

Here is the Google Maps pic from now and the grocery store my mother tells me they would go to often on the 1st floor is also still there!

The picture of my mother and cousin was taken from the opposite direction as what you can see in the above Google Maps picture, but when I turn the view around, you can see the same background as what is in their picture. 

I love it! I think it’s cool that I’m able to use this technology to get a recent picture of the residences. I really need to do this for other places associated with my family.

Flickr is Great

I’ve been spending some time the past few days searching images in Flickr. There are so many great pictures that people are sharing and I’ve enjoyed looking through them.  I am searching Flickr for pictures relevant to my genealogical interest and I’ve been surprised to find as much as I have. 

Back in April of 2007, I blogged about learning of Somerset Place, a plantation owned by Josiah Collins who had more than 300 slaves. While in Flickr, I discovered someone who had a set of pictures from a visit she made to the plantation. 

You can see the rest of her Flickr set here.