Sunday, March 29, 2015

NoteWorthy Reads #8

Image via Pixabay.com
Image via Pixabay.com

For me, Noteworthy Reads are articles, websites, or blog posts I found this week which are fascinating, interesting and/or helpful, and occasionally “wacky” or “wonderful” will likely sneak in as well. It’s not going to be a “best of” post because I don’t have the knowledge to make that determination. I don’t even promise that the articles & blog posts will be written that week – just that I found them that week. At the end of each quarter I’ll review the posts to determine which entries should be put in my Resource pages; the rest will still be available through the blog's search function.

Note: Just because I list an article does not mean I endorse its contents. It just means I want to be able to find it easily in the future when I may want to consider the issue in more depth.

For week-ending 3/28/15

CANADA

New Mennonite Photo Archive in Canada explanation article from the University of Waterloo’s Mennonite Archives of Ontario, contains a link to the new database (MAID)  which currently has over 80,000 descriptions of photos and over 9,000 images and will be expanding.

DNA




EDUCATION

Webinars by Michael John Neill offered by Rootdig.com, $5.00 to $8.50, covers a wide variety of topics: optimum use of various databases, finding female ancestors, breaking down brick walls, case studies, land, methodology, and others.

The 2015 Illinois State Genealogical Society’s Webinar Series listing, free, one per month April through December, variety of topics. Be sure to read FAQs.

The 2015 Southern California Genealogical Society Webinar Series listing, free, two per month. Be sure to read FAQs.


HISTORY






INTERESTING ARTICLE

The Stories that Bind Us – What are the Twenty Questions?  – the more of these answers kids know “were associated with higher levels of self-esteem, an internal locus of control ( a belief in one's own capacity to control what happens to him or her), better family functioning, lower levels of anxiety, fewer behavioral problems, and better chances for good outcomes if a child faces educational or emotional/behavioral difficulties.” The thing is, these are good Family History questions!

IRELAND



NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS

OldMagazineArticles.com – fascinating site! “The old articles, essays, poetry, cartoons and photographs that can be found on the site have all been collected from a number of different libraries, bookshops and yard sales throughout the United States and Europe.” Wide variety. Read the “About Us” and FAQs at the bottom of the main page.


SCOTLAND




TIPS

It’s All About Access by the Organize Your Family History blog  – “what’s really meaningful is easy access to your information, both physical and electronic.”

Eleven Things I Would Do Differently and A Dozen Things I Got Right by on the DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy blog.

How Do We #GenChat?  by Your Roots Are Showing, Dearie!  – very helpful! #Genchat is a Twitter based 1-hour long Genealogy conversation every other Friday night at 7pm Pacific, 8pm Mountain, 9pm Central or 10pm Eastern. I’ve only managed to do it once but it was interesting and fun & this looks like it will make it much easier to participate!


TOOLS

Which Black’s?  by The Legal Genealogist: Discusses which edition of Black’s Legal Dictionary is best for genealogy in that it contains definitions of those old legal terms in old deeds, estates and old court cases involving your ancestors. Unfortunately not the one I have but now I know where to get the one I’ll need at a reasonable price (cheaper than the one I have).

And More Dictionaries, wherein The Legal Genealogist provides the names of and information on where to find similar resources for England, Australia, and Canada.

List of Genealogical Societies in the Federation of Genealogical Societies  and their websites and contact info; 438 of them.


Souvenir Books via the Genealogy: Beyond the BMD blog – I never would have thought of these, but now I will be looking for them!

The blog for The National Genealogical Society, Upfront With NGS, has been running a 6-part series, titled “20 Free and (Relatively New Genealogy and Family History Resources” -- that’s 20 resources each post! They cover an amazing variety of topics and don’t seem to be in any order whatsoever as far as I can tell, but you can go through them and bookmark the ones that will be helpful for you.  I’ve been waiting for the series to be finished to put the series in a NoteWorthy post. I will list direct links to each post. Have fun!









USA


    OHIO


Western Reserve Historical Society’s online databases, includes funeral home Indices, Cuyahoga County Cemetery Inscription Index,Jewish marriage & death notices, 1907 Voter Registration Index, Cleveland Servicemen Photo database, among others.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Letter From A Soldier

Climbing My Family Tree: Letter from A Soldier, Big Piney Examiner, Big Piney, Wyoming 1 August 1918
Letter From A Soldier, Big Piney Examiner, Big Piney, Wyoming 1 August 1918

I love finding things that give me a picture into my ancestors' history and/or the times or place. When I was researching my great-grand-aunt Grace Gregor Bentley, I found a letter to her from her middle son, Benjamin F. Bentley (my first cousin, twice removed), printed in the Big Piney Examiner (Big Piney, Wyoming) on August 1, 1918. In the letter, he describes his life in Camp MacArthur, Texas after he had joined the Army during WW1.

My transcription:

"LETTER FROM SOLDIER

DEAR MOTHER,
We, we arrived at our training camp at last, here at Camp MacArthur, Texas, it is quite a nice camp here but not so pretty as Fort Logan.

The cotton here is short this year, it looks like sunflowers and about knee high, the country is flat with little groves of locust trees. In some fields the corn is ripe and right beside the ripe corn, young corn is just beginning to grow. It is sure hot but not so uncomfortable as one might expect – we sure sweat an awful lot, they say when one quits sweating down here he is sick. They are keeping us in quarantine for the first two weeks, they do all of the new recruits the same way at Denver.

The officers here said we were the best looking bunch of men that had come in here. We are all training together in companies. Nate Sanford, Bradley and Bill Moffit of Daniel, are in my company. The training is easy so far, just squad formation in plattons (sic), and they are teaching us the right face left face – right dress and that lung exercise.

Out of each squad of eight men they just took one man for a corporal, just lined us up and the captain walked down the line and gave us the once over, he picked me. We corporals have to train after supper every night, I am getting along fine. A lot of them got scared or mad at the extra training, but I am going to stick right with it although it isn’t as pleasant as being a private. I have to know where those seven men are all the time and answer roll call for all eight of us and see that they keep shaved and the tent clean and all that goes with this army life. The extra training at night sure helps, as I can keep about two jumps ahead of the rest of my squad, they are all good boys too and are all from Wyoming, but strangers to me.

I like this army life better every day, the grub is good and lots of it, only the kitchen policies, pile beans, soup and pudding all on the same plate – I eat three plates full three times a day and am hungry all the time at that.

They just assigned this company to the infantry – that is O.K. with me as I like to train. The fastest of us will go into another company as we learn the different drills, so you see a corporal has to keep on the jump all the time. We have to train every day and Sunday’s (sic) too, with only a few minutes off at a time. I sure improve that time practicing the drills behind the tent. Those square dances in Wyoming are easy alongside of the right flank march, flank march double time and a lot of other stuff – I have to stand so straight I almost tip over but the officers carry themselves that way all the time. After we get trained we will be assigned a new squad to train, with only a lieutenant over a lot of corporals.

The officers are sure fine men, very pleasant and all of them are Southerners and talk with that slow drawl and don’t sound their r's at all.

This is an aviation camp, about fifty planes in the air all the time. There is a world of stuff to write about but I will write again soon.

Your son,

Benj. F. Bentley
42d Company Infantry Replacement Camp
Camp MacArthur Texas" 


Benjamin later got to France with the army; he served about a year and by the end of the war was a 1st sergeant, according the news article about his death. He survived the war but died only eight years later in a horrible work-related accident in Olympia, Washington, where he worked as a longshoreman. He was hit in the head by a timber and knocked into the bay while he was helping to load a ship (the Nyhaug). Despite a round the clock search, his body was not recovered for nine days, He left behind a widow, Kathryn (Cavanaugh) Bentley and three children, Thomas L., born about 1921; Dora Berenice, born about 1924; and Benjamin, Jr., born about 1926.



---------------------------------


"Letter From Soldier," 1 August 1918 Big Piney Examiner, p. 1; "Cavanaugh-Bentley", 1 July 1920 Big Piney Examiner, p. 3 (found at NewspaperArchive.com); "Accident Results in Death of Ben Bentley at Olympia," 2 September 1926 Pinedale Roundup, p.1 (found at NewspaperArchive.com); "Bay Gives up Body of Port Worker; Blow Caused Death," The Morning Olympian (Olympia, WA), Thursday, September 2, 1926, pp. 1 and 6 (found at GenealogyBank.com).

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NoteWorthy Reads #7

Climbing My Family Tree: NoteWorthy Reads #7
image from Pixabay.com


For week-ending 3/21/15

For me, Noteworthy Reads are articles, websites, or blog posts I found this week which are fascinating, interesting and/or helpful, and occasionally “wacky” or “wonderful” will likely sneak in as well. It’s not going to be a “best of” post because I don’t have the knowledge to make that determination. I don’t even promise that the articles & blog posts will be written that week – just that I found them that week. At the end of each quarter I’ll review the posts to determine which entries should be put in my Resource pages; the rest will still be available through the blog's search function.


Note: Just because I list an article does not mean I endorse its contents. It just means I want to be able to find it easily in the future when I may want to consider the issue in more depth.


DNA

UK Mapped Out by Genetic Ancestry by Nature.com – “Finest-scale DNA survey of any country reveals historical migrations.”

HISTORY

136-Year Old Pair Of Levi’s Was Built To Last, from Mashable.com – surprising what a pair of jeans has to say about history

How A Brilliant Intelligence Officer Used ‘Monopoly’ to Free WWII POWs by Mental Floss – a fascinating story

10 Historical Inventions Patented by Women by the Crestleaf blog - very interesting


IRELAND

The Irish Genealogist Database - The Irish Genealogical Research Society’s annual journal, The Irish Genealogist, (1937- present) has been scanned in full to create a searchable resource of more than a quarter of a million names.


TIPS

Searching With Wildcards and Boolean Operators from Fishwrap, the Official Blog of Newspapers.com – this would work on almost any searchable resource or search site

When Searching Databases Doesn’t Work from the Mocavo blog

Are You Organized Enough? by Organize Your Family History blog

How To Find Black Sheep Ancestors, Part 1: Church Records and How to Use Tax Records to Solve Genealogy Problems, by Colonial Roots blog 

TOOLS

U.S. Federal Agricultural Census Questions from the Search Tip of the Day blog. Link to .pdf file which contains explanations for those impossible to read categories at the top pf the form. 

Maps and Deeds: The Perfect Combination from The National Institute for Genealogical Studies blog

Preserving Old Cassette Tapes from Ancestor Soup blog - this could be quite useful.


USA - KENTUCKY

The Kentucky Digital Library is made up of thousands of digital documents found at 20 libraries, archives and institutions in Kentucky, but through this portal all collections are searchable at once.


USA - MICHIGAN

Finding New Death Certificates on SeekingMichigan on No Story Too Small – lots of blogs had posts on the newly expanded death certificate database this week. I chose Amy’s because she illustrates how to search it with screenshots.

OFF TOPIC BUT WORTH IT

The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino  from ButYouDontLookSick.com – explains what everyday living is like with a chronic illness or disability, using an easy to understand analogy, For those who don't have a chronic illness but have a friend or loved one or client with one and want to better understand what it's like to live with one.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Women's History Month

Climbing My Family Tree: Myrtie Mabel Wilcox 1899
Myrtie Mabel Wilcox, 1899
Click to make bigger

March is Women’s History month. It is designed to recognize and honor women’s participation and accomplishments in history. One of my goals in research my family’s history has been to tell the women’s stories too. And I have discovered that I have some fascinating forebears --- about half a dozen blogs last week were adamant the “ancestors” only refers to direct blood line; what is the word for previous generation collateral family members? I haven’t figured it out. But they’re all family, and they all have stories. Some of the most interesting stories come from women in my family. So I thought I’d point out some of my favorites in this post to give some of my newer readers an opportunity to get to know them.

Myrtle Belle Bailey (1880-1970), my great-grand-aunt, on my Mom’s side, lived a fascinating life and never married. She was a missionary to China from 1917 – 1954. She lived through two revolutions, the Japanese invasion and occupation of Hong Kong and the Asama Maru – Gripsholm prisoner of war exchange. And thankfully, her local newspaper loved to write about and interview her! 

Mariah/Maria Williams Bailey Huber (abt 1815-after 1900) , my 3rd great grandmother, on my Mom’s side, was twice widowed, and lost one son in the Civil War. She drew a Mother’s pension based on his service.

Myrtie Mabel Wilcox (1879-1953), my paternal great-grandmother, a Michigan farmer’s wife in the late 19th and early 20th century. And due to her daughter Lucille Henn Robson’s book Members of the Flock, I can describe her life in those times surprisingly well (and found old advertizing pictures to illustrate them) and am so glad I didn’t live then!

Generosa/Rosa Henn Strauss (1836-1908), my  2nd great – grand aunt. She was born in Germany and emigrated to the US with the rest of the family. Her life was fairly normal until she married. Thereafter, tragedy followed tragedy until she was adjudged insane and committed (and much of this made the local papers).


I actually think all of my historical family members are fascinating, however, I decided to keep my list today down to a non-overwhelming number. I hope you enjoy reading about them! 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

NoteWorthy Reads #6

Climbing My Family Tree: NoteWorthy Reads #6
photo via Pixabay.com
For week-ending 3/14/15

For me, Noteworthy Reads are articles, websites, or blogposts I found this week which are fascinating, interesting and/or helpful, and occasionally “wacky” or “wonderful” will likely sneak in as well. It’s not going to be a “best of” post because I don’t have the knowledge to make that determination. I don’t even promise that the articles & blogposts will be written that week – just that I found them that week. At the end of each quarter I’ll review the posts to determine which entries should be put in my Resource pages; the rest will still be available through the blog's search function.

Note: Just because I list an article does not mean I endorse its contents. It just means I want to be able to find it easily in the future when I may want to consider the issue in more depth.


DNA

20 Do’s and Don’ts of DNA  from Roots Revealed blog – read the comments as well.


EDUCATION

James Tanner of Genealogy’s Star  has been running a series on Understanding Real Property Legal Descriptions For Genealogists. This week’s entry was on Homesteading. Thus far he has 10 other entries in this series; there are links to them at the bottom of this post.


FUN

Geneapalooza Genealogy Panel Cartoons. *snert!*  Go Look!

19 Strange Professions of Your Ancestors That Don’t Exist Today  – from the Crest Leaf blog. Made me feel OLD since I worked during college and law school as # 2! (Other than the outfits, it was virtually the same as the picture.)


GREAT STORIES




HISTORY


Becoming A Legal Person (Canada – Women) from ‘On a Flesh and Bone Foundation’: and Irish History blog  Women weren't people until 1929 in Canada! The story of how the law was changed to recognize women as people.

“Deputy Husbands”  from Vita Brevis - In 18th & 19th centuries women could sometimes act as surrogates for their husbands in business 


IMAGES (for illustration of family story or for blogging)

Flickr: The Commons – List of Participating Institutions [click on each institutions’ icon to get to their collection] hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives, with no known copyright restrictions. Includes images from Internet Archive Book Images; Museums from Great Britain, France, Finland, Sweden, Finland, Australia, USA, Mennonites, Ireland, NASA, Scotland, etc.; the Law Society of Upper Canada (this is not remotely an exhaustive list – go look!)


IRELAND

Irish Genealogy: 70 Top Resources for Finding your Irish Ancestors from the Crest Leaf blog.  Wow! This just made my research of my Bailey and Bennett lines much easier!

Irish Societies Make Journal Articles Available Online from The British GENES Blog. This will help in researching my Irish ancestors, too! 


TIPS



How To Easily Translate a French Website into English (or just about any other combination of languages) from the Genealogy al la Carte blog 


Asking For Help The Right Way by Aunt Barb’s Papers - How to make sure your request for help in a Facebook genealogy group, or other social media setting, isn't "set up for failure".

  
TOOLS


Katherine R. Willson’s Updated List “Genealogy on Facebook”  4,500 + links to genea groups  from the Genealogy al la Carte blog 
  

USA

Sons of the American Revolution Patriot & Grave Index  - database of Revolutionary War patriots gravesites 

ILLINOIS

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections  -  hoping this will be helpful for my Erwin, Conley, Craig lines 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Favorite Blogs

Image from Pixabay.com





I love genealogy blogs. Nearly everything I know about doing genealogy I've learned by reading blogs. I follow a whole bunch of genealogy blogs via Feedly.com -- I counted about 200 the other day.

I've finally gotten  the time to get my Favorite Blogs page updated and back up on the page bars above. This page does not list two hundred blogs. These are my favorite blogs. I read each of their posts and am invariably entertained and learn something. I've also interacted in some way with most of them, commenting of their blog, asking questions or making a suggestion, emails, etc., and discovered that each blogger I have talked to (well, written) is a really nice person.

Each blog name listed on the page links to the blog in question. Drop in and take a look around, click through and explore. Each one of those blogs are worth your time, for the stories, the fun, the advice, the ideas of where to look next....

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Genealogical Societies and Conferences

via Shutterstock, copyright to travellight

One of my New Year’s goals for this year was to join one or more genealogical and /or historical societies in the states or counties where my ancestors resided. Last year I often found very helpful information on county and state historical society and genealogical websites, and several of them indicated that they had further resources that were only available to members. I wasn't in a place last where I could get good use out of such resources last year (moving too fast in order to keep up with my challenge), but this year is a different story.

So I've been looking at my logical choices, based on where my ancestors were: (alphabetically) the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the Indiana Genealogical Society, the Maryland Genealogical Society, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, North Carolina Genealogical Society, the Ohio Genealogical Society, and, the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania.  Michigan would be logical as well, but I've not found a state genealogical society for Michigan. Either way, that’s a lot. It doesn't make sense for me to join one until I get to the ancestor who lives there, so I think I’ll start with Ohio, then Indiana and Illinois.

I took my first step into these sort of waters on the last Saturday in February and attended a meeting of the Capital District Genealogical Society. To my current knowledge I don’t have any ancestors from this area, but it’s local for me, and I thought I could learn more about how to do proper genealogical research and what’s available where, in general. I also look at it as a possible way to make new friends with similar interests, although I didn't necessarily start off on the best foot with that. You see I’m an introvert (I’m told I don’t come off that way online according to online friends I've actually met; they've all been surprised I’m not talkative as they expected, at least not at first – after I get to know you, it’s a whole different story!). Anyway, as an introvert, it’s hard to walk into group where I know no one, and I don’t know what to say.  I told myself before I went in that I had to talk, had to initiate conversations. (Ack!) Each person there was friendly and welcoming when I did speak to them. They were a nice group of people, even when I tried their patience, lol – you see, the second half of the program was on “Learning from Genealogy Blogs” and I just kind of lit up and dived into the lecture conversation, splashing about (wince).

I joined the Society while I was there, and will go back. The next session, on March 28,  is on “Long Distance Ancestors,” which would be a help since I only have a few generations of one branch in New York (so far); most of my ancestors are at a distance from me -- as shown by the list of genealogical societies above.  

They also sold me on going to the New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse in September – the program looks fantastic, including several sessions with one of my  favorite bloggers, Judy Russell of The Legal Genealogist, and speakers from several organizations that I use and respect. It looks really interesting and really helpful. Enough so, that I intend to go, even though instead of walking into a venue with 40 people I don’t know, there will be hundreds I don’t know. …but it will be fascinating!