Tuesday, December 30, 2014

494. Holidays...With A Twist!

  Genealogy took a back seat for a few days, as my gorgeous lady Wanda and I and 2000+ other folks celebrated Christmas aboard the Island Princess between Cartagena and Aruba. Here the two of us are on the waterfront at Oranjestad, Aruba. In the 80's every day...sigh. Had to come back home though and reenter actual life. [Eat your hearts out!]

Saturday, December 13, 2014

493. Christmas Gift For Your Family Cemetery Crawler?

I get the monthly electronic newsletter from the Indiana Historical Bureau. I noticed this new item for sale at their bookshop in the Indiana State Library. It's from the National Library Bindery and it's for keeping track of your ancestral tombstones. It costs $16.55, and they say it includes a reference guide for decoding tombstone symbols.


 Their instructions--Purchases may be made via a visit to our office.  The IHB Book shop accepts cash, check, and major credit cards. Seniors over 62 get a 20% discount.
You may also order by telephone (317-232-2535), fax (317-232-1659), or e-mail (ihb@history.in.gov).  For phone and web orders: for security reasons, credit cards cannot be accepted via email.  We do accept credit card payments over the phone.   Paying by check?  An invoice will be enclosed with your order. Please remit payment by check upon receipt.
If you have a tax exempt number, include that with your order. All sales are final. Prices cannot be guaranteed and some publications are in limited supply.  

[I have not inspected this log book, but it might make a good gift item. Genealogists are soooo hard to buy for!]

Thursday, December 11, 2014

492. Have Any Prairie Homesteaders In the Family?

    Like many of us here in the Northwest Territory area, I had a number of relatives who moved on to homestead in the Nebraska-Kansas-Iowa-Dakota area. Some were successful and some were not. Some moved on and some came back.
    As a 21st century American living a comfortable suburban lifestyle, I have a hard time trying to understand the difficulties those folks had to handle. Is it the same for you?
    Yesterday I saw an interesting movie called "The Homesman," which stars Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank. It impressed me as a very close simulation of the life those prairie people of mine led out on that mid-1800's frontier. Most of my folks came from the hilly and green mountain areas of the East, so the flat, dry plains must have been a rude shock.
    If you want to put yourself in the place of some of your tough frontier relatives, you might give this film a look. (OK, yeah, in a comfortable safe theater seat, but what can you do!)

Monday, December 8, 2014

491. Digital Library of Appalachia

   While browsing through some genealogy blogs recently, I spotted an item of interest to me, the below pictured website. A large number of my ancestors and relatives lived in Appalachia, primarily northern West Virginia, where I was born and raised.
   The DLA website is a product of a group of colleges and universities from West Virginia down to North Carolina and Tennessee. A list of these is on the site. The items posted are from their respective Special Collections departments.
   If you have family connections up and down the Blue Ridge and the Smokies, you may want to check this out, especially if those family connections are verging into the brick wall category. It may take some time and slogging, but there are lots of family research tools available.
   As a "for instance," the below list shows an 1845 list of poor children in Smyth County, Virginia. Pre-Civil War records in many southern counties can be scarce. This is just one example of the kind of materials you can find in local Special Collections and Archives.
   The website address is dla.acaweb.org/cdm/.  Get in there in dig like your coal mining ancestors!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

490. Genealogy Cruises Getting Popular

    I've never been on one, but I get emails and postal mailings often about cruises that focus on genealogy. I suppose you can call them "floating conferences." The one below came in recently. Might make a good Christmas present for your favorite genealogist. If you are a non-genealogist spouse, you will have plenty to do while your better half attends sessions. Hey, a win-win event!

Friday, November 28, 2014

489. Let's Trash The Race Forms

    I watched the last of Henry Louis Gates’ Finding Your Roots programs on Tuesday evening. One thing that struck me as I viewed this episode with a strong emphasis on DNA profiles is that we need to put the whole race thing behind us, not only as genealogists but as Americans.
    Nearly everyone featured on his programs-and on most other TV genealogy series-had a multi-racial as well as a multi-ethnic background. This is a standard American family feature. Yet on every form you fill out for nearly any purpose, you have to choose a “race.” I think it’s time to consign those kinds of forms to the trash dump. They are un-American and foster nothing but divisiveness.
    As of now I plan to choose only “Other” on those forms and mark “Human” when I have a choice. If I have no choice, I will never again mark “White.” What exactly is “White” anyway? Nobody I’ve ever seen is white, which is the color of copy paper. If you see anyone white, they’re probably dead.
    Let’s start lobbying the government and companies to eliminate the “Race” block on any and all forms. We are people, period-hard to pigeonhole, hard to categorize, difficult to fit into blocks. Any good genealogist recognizes that fact. 
    Most of our ancestors are real individuals, one of a kind folks. I think we should recognize that fact, dump the race blocks, and move on.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

488. GSMC Show-And-Tell Session, Dec. 13

I always enjoy the last monthly program of the Genealogical Society of Marion County. Listening to everyone present their genealogical successes of the past year is great family history. GSMC itself has some good events to brag about. I've not been to Marquette Manor before, so that will be a new thing. Why not plan to drop by, enjoy a good meal, visit with some genealogy friends, and share in the holiday season? We promise you will be very welcome!

Friday, November 21, 2014

487. IGS Grants Program Deadline Is December 31. Hurry!

[The end-of-the-year deadline season is fast approaching. Here is another program that needs to be done quickly if your group has a project that needs some extra cash.]

            The Indiana Genealogical Society has a Genealogy Grant Program to support the efforts of local genealogical and historical groups. To date, the program has awarded over $15,000 in grants.
            Grants are $500 each and may be awarded in three categories:
Cemetery Restoration Grant--Given for a project to restore and/or renovate an Indiana pioneer cemetery.
Resource Development Grant--Given for a project to develop a new Indiana genealogical resource in either a printed or electronic format.
Chapter Resource Grant--Given to an Indiana Genealogical Society Chapter for a project to support the operation of that society.
            Grants are subject to the following restrictions:
All work on the grant project must be completed within twelve months of the grant award.
The grantee society must provide a written summary report to the IGS following the project's completion.
A society may only receive one grant from the program per grant year, although that society may apply for more than one grant type each year.
Applicants must complete all parts of the application form. The submitted application form will be evaluated by the IGS Board of Directors. The Board's decision on the grant awards will be final.
            The grant application deadline is December 31 of each year. Notifications will be sent to all applicants, and the winners will be recognized at the IGS annual conference the following April.
Note: The IGS may elect not to award a grant in a category, if, in the opinion of the IGS Board, a suitable project has not been proposed in that category.

            Go to the IGS website at www.indgensoc.org to print out the application form.
            For more information on the grant program, please contact the Grants Manager:
Mike Lewman, 1867 S. 600 West, Montezuma, IN 47862   Phone (765) 569-5935 home
(765) 562-2341 cell   E-mail mblewman@yahoo.com