What can I say? I’m a librarian, these types of announcements make me happy
Megan Smolenyak posted on her weekly round-up that the back issues of Ancestry Magazine are now available in Google Books. Ancestry announced in January that the magazine would be discontinued, so how great it is now to have access to all the issues they’ve done! This is a great model for any other publishers/organizations that may be discontinuing.
That’s 96 issues of goodness to read through. Where am I ever going to find the time? Access the issues here.
The topic of the first Carnival of African-American Genelaogy prompts us all to consider our individual roles in slave research. Luckie, our gracious carnival host, provides four topic areas to choose from for this initial go-round. I have chosen to blog about the following:
As a descendant of slaves, have you been able to work with or even meet other researchers who are descendants of slave owners?
To this question I would definitely have to yell a big resounding YES! My Koonce ancestry is the line that in many ways to which I feel most connected and I’ve researched my family back to former slaves of Jones & Craven counties North Carolina. Though I’ve not yet found my exact slaveowner, I have narrowed it down to a few potential candidates, both white Koonce men of Jones County. I am so connected to my Koonce name that I decided this past year to start a surname-focused blog about Koonce families. Well, since starting the project I have been able to connect with many different Koonce researchers & families, both black & white, and one of the highlights of this whole experience was the research trip I took to a nearby city with John Paul Koonce
Taneya Koonce & John Paul Koonce
John invited me to go with him and his wife to Fayetteville, TN in April 2009 (read more on my blog post about it) and we had a great time! John is a descendant in the white Koonce lineage of which my potential slaveowners likely belonged to and for years was active in all things Koonce-genealogy related – even publishing a newsletter for a brief period of time. He’s still involved in Koonce genealogy matters and I look to him as a wonderful resource for information. We have worked together to locate information on various Koonce families and though there’s not been a specific connection yet to my own Koonce family, I have enjoyed the interactions nevertheless.
Additionally, I’ve had so many other encounters with white Koonce descendants and received nothing but the kindest words of encouragement and appreciation for all the efforts being made to help us understand the joint family history more thoroughly. Slavery was not a pleasant time for our history, but hopefully, the more we all continue to make connections and bridge gaps in our collective knowledge of our ancestors.
I am a medical librarian/information specialist by profession, and our professional group is the Medical Library Association. New to the annual meeting this year in DC is the e-conference; the ability to register to “attend” the conference virtually and get online access to several elements of the conference – audio of sessions with electronic content, streaming video of keynote & plenary sessions, posters & various 5-minute presentations. The e-conference fee for association members is only $100 (compared to $460 for physical registration).
There is also an interactive online portal planned to accompany the e-conference. This e-conference concept is brand new to our association this year. Last year, online access to posters was experimented with and that must have gone well. I am glad to see the organizers try to provide access for those that can’t attend. The other major component of the meeting, the paper presentation sessions, are not included in the e-conference this year, but maybe they will expand to include that next year if the experiment goes well. I am looking forward to seeing MLA’s after-meeting assessment of how well this approach works.
Wouldn’t an approach like this be wonderful for genealogy conferences?
So many goodies are being posted at the Internet Archive, but here is another one definitely worth mentioning. The Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center has started uploading NARA microfilm records of the Veterans Administration Pension Cards: 1907-1933. Military records are still sources that I’m quite unfamiliar, but a just looking through the records themselves + Google searching quickly made me realize how valuable these can be for genealogical research.
The pension records are arranged alphabetically by surname; the entire collection has 2, 539 reels and includes about 2 million cards (Microfilm collection M850 at NARA). Two types of cards are included – those for soldiers themselves and then the Army/Navy Widow Cards.
What kind of information can you find on them? These listed below, plus more.
Unit of service
Rate and dates of payment
Date of death
And, on the widow cards you’ll find
Rate & record of payments
Record of any payments made to minors
As I write this a little more than 30 reels from the “A” alphabet have been deposited to the IA. To help keep track of them I have created a spreadsheet that lists each roll and I will continue to add to it as they add more. I can only hope that ACPL Genealogy Center will start a list/directory on their website though and/or blogs about it soon – I may get tired before they get all 2,539 reels done! UPDATE: Curt Witcher, Manager of the Genealogy Center, just confirmed for me via email that they do plan on putting all the reels up.
If you’d like a version of the surname listing for all reels in a more accessible format, I spliced those pages off and uploaded them to Scribd. You can get it below. I’m looking forward to seeing more of these reels come online.
Just a quick post this time, but I’ve had so many connections come out the woodwork this week from sharing family tree information online it’s been crazy.
got an email from a possible cousin based on her husband’s lineage from former slaves on the Kemp P. Battle plantation in Edgecombe County, NC where my 4th great-grandparents were also slaves. There may be a blood connection between the slaves, but we aren’t sure and so are beginning to work collaboratively on trying to figure it all out. She found me based on a blog post I did after Robyn sent me some labor contract information
was contacted through Ancestry from a cousin who is descended from a sister of my 3rd great-grandfather, Edward Kilpatrick of Craven County, NC. I did not have any additional information for his sister Caroline, but through the cousin, I learned that she married a gentleman named Robert White and they moved to Pitt county. More information to add to the family tree!
got a follow-up email related to my stepmother’s Frye ancestry. We think we have linked her tentative 3rd great-grandfather Leonard Frye to a very large Frye family w/ ancestry going way back. more to do on that line…
through my genealogy site was contacted by a Koonce descendant. No relation to me, but since I collect Koonces I have part of his family tree on the site. I will begin adding his branch to the tree later this weekend. He is descended from Phillip H. Koonce of Shelby County, Texas.
was contacted by someone interested in the spouse of someone who’s tree I’ve been working on as the Picot family associated with Washington County, NC – one of my GenWeb projects.
my cousin emailed me tonight to call my great-uncle. He is a brother of my maternal grandmother and is very interested in helping to figure out the origins of his Lawhorn surname. I called him and he saw an obituary in a nearby city paper of a woman whose last name was Lawhorne and informed me as a possible lead. He said his father told him that his father came from Georgia, but we are still working on that. It was great to talk to him too!
All of this has been in the last 4 days. I have hardly had time to follow-up on all of these leads, but I hope to squeeze in some time this weekend. I’ve got major projects due for school over the next couple of weeks and have a couple of activities planned on the weekend, so we’ll see. I haven’t even watched the tonight or last week’s episodes of Faces of America yet!
I have an idea. I’m always on the lookout for something that will help me capture information most effectively for my genealogical research and I like to experiment. This morning, I’ve seen a product that I’m interested in trying out – a hand wand portable scanner.
This portable hand scanner allows you to scan books, newspapers, receipts, etc to an SD card and then download the images to a computer. Why do I want one? If this were to work successfully for me, it would mean that I could save money on photocopies when I visit research libraries. This particular model is by VuPoint and I’ve used another one of their products before; a slide scanner. While the slide scanner ended up not working out for me it was not because of the product, but more the fact that it wasn’t designed for how I wanted to use it.
I’m particularly anxious to try out this hand scanner and will be looking for a source to purchase it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Guess what? I’m featured as a guest blogger on the Worldcat.org blog! While I have not yet participated in the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy series yet this year, I was particularly interested in the goal of Week 5 – to explore Worldcat.org. As a librarian, I’ve been familiar with Worldcat for many years and since the Worldcat.org site launched have been an avid user. Just as Week 5 was coming to an end I emailed WorldCat to let them know that many genealogists were exploring the site and posting their experiences with it and that they may be interested in this user perspective.
Then, one the marketing directors, Alice, emailed me back saying that she had indeed been aware of the series and even invited me to guest blog about it! So, my post went live today.
On top of this, I also inquired about WorldCat’s possibility of more extensively linking to books that are available full-text online (for example, through Google Books or the Internet Archive). As a user of WorldCat, I’ve recently seen a potential value as I’ve been closely monitoring books uploaded to Internet Archive. Alice reminded me that they do indeed already have an integration with Google Books and are exploring how to do this with the Internet Archive. Wouldn’t it be great if we could also know of full-text of books from the WorldCat item record? I’ve been very pleased with how responsive WorldCat has been to suggestions & feedback. I think I’ll have to consider this as my post for Week 5 now, even though it’s about two weeks late
Taking a tip from a blog I follow for professional purposes, I’ve added a new series of icons to the right sidebar of my blog. If you read this through a feed reader, here is an image of it just for you.
Through the icons you can follow my RSS feed, get email updates, follow me on Twitter, follow me on Google Buzz, or find me on Facebook. Isn’t this cool? I’ve been wanting to do something like this for awhile now, so finding this setup was perfect. Now I just need to add this on all my other blogs!
This Tombstone Tuesday post is not for someone in my family, but rather that of a co-worker. The furthest back I’ve traced her Faith lineage is to the mother of this ancestor, Balthazaar “Balthus” Faith.
This image of his tombstone is courtesy of an upload from a FindAGrave volunteer at his gravesite in the Calvary Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. Balthazaar was born in April 11, 1811 in Germany, emigrating to this country from Berne, Bavaria. His father died in Germany, but his mother, Mary, came over to this county with him and they settled in Maryland. While in Maryland, Balthus married Emily Gordon and together they would have at least 5 children (that I know of). My coworker is descended from their son Joseph Faith. The family moved to Springfield in 1867.