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!