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The Daily Genealogist: Lost and Found Again: Photos of African Americans on the Plains

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Lost and Found Again: Photos of African Americans on the Plains
For decades photographer Douglas Keister held on to 280 plate-glass negatives he’d acquired at age seventeen in Lincoln, Nebraska. “Almost by accident, he realized, he had conserved a rare glimpse into the everyday lives of an African-American community on the Great Plains.”

The Daily Genealogist: The Old Connecticut Path

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

The Weekly Genealogist Survey

Last week’s survey asked whether any of your ancestors earned a living on the water. 3,636 people answered this survey. The results are:

  • 25%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was a fisherman, lobsterman, or oysterman.
  • 10%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was a whaler.
  • 37%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was on the crew of a merchant ship or commercial vessel.
  • 9%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was on the crew of a passenger ship.
  • 32%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors served on a Navy or Coast Guard ship.
  • 27%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was employed in a maritime-related trade on land. (ex. shipbuilder)
  • 19%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors was a "boatman" — a rather ambiguous term that could encompass a range of maritime-related activities.
  • 11%, Yes, at least one of my ancestors earned a living on the water through another occupation.
  • 10%, I don't know.
  • 18%, No, none of my ancestors earned a living on the water. 

This week’s survey asks whether you or any of your ancestors have traveled on the Old Connecticut Path. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist: Are You Carrying the Redhead Gene?

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Are You Carrying the Redhead Gene?
“A British ancestry company, BritainsDNA, is now offering parents the chance to see if their children might inherit the so-called ‘ginger gene,’ The Telegraph reports."

The Daily Genealogist: Maritime Ancestors

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked about whether any of your ancestors worked on a railroad or mass transit system. 3,358 people answered this survey. The results are:

48%, Yes, one or more of my ancestors worked for a railroad.

7%, Yes, one or more of my ancestors worked for an urban area’s transit system (subway, trolley, streetcar, cable car, etc.)

7%, Yes, one or more of my ancestors helped to build a railroad or urban transit system.

15%, I don’t know if I have any ancestors who worked for a railroad or transit system.

22%, No, I have no ancestors who worked for a railroad or transit system.

 

This week’s survey asks about maritime ancestors. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist: Atlas of the Great Irish Famine

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

A lavish and substantial volume, The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, edited by Joseph Crowley, William J. Smyth, and Mike Murphy was published in Ireland in August 2012 by Cork University Press; it was published later in the year in the United States by New York University. The work was the winner of the Best Irish Published Book of the year for 2012. For those interested in Irish history, and especially those interested in knowing more about what pushed their ancestors to emigrate, this is a book well worth reading and becoming immersed in.

The December 9, 2012, Boston Sunday Globe offered a summary: “For decades following the famine, little was said or written about it. Today it is the subject of a monumental study. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine . . . is aimed at general readers as well as academics. It analyzes the famine on a parish-by-parish basis, contemplating the details of daily life, and it situates the Famine in the context of others throughout the world. It includes essays by more than fifty scholars — examining, among other subjects, relief measures and land reform — as well as maps, period illustrations, and archival documents."

During the Great Famine, between 1845 and 1852, over a million Irish people died and nearly one and a half million fled the country, most to North America. The facts and poignant details behind those impossibly hard-to-grasp numbers are all in the atlas. An Amazon.com user gave his review of the book the title, “An Atlas Made Me Cry,” and I think that comment probably provides the best short summary of how powerful this volume is.

The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine has its own website. The book is available for patrons to use at the NEHGS Library, and it is currently offered for purchase on Amazon.com for $66.45.


The Daily Genealogist: McDaniel Students Research African-American Cemetery

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

McDaniel Students Research African-American Cemetery
Students from Maryland’s McDaniel College are documenting African-American residents of Libertytown, Frederick County, as part of Professor Rick Smith's January session class on tracing family histories.

The Daily Genealogist: Railroad Worker Ancestors

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Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked about what kind of information you thought would be the most helpful for writing your family history. 2,967 people answered this survey. The results are:

44%, How to narrow my focus and determine the appropriate scope
50%, How to organize my materials into a book or article
23%, How to export my data from a genealogical software program
31%, How to apply genealogical style and numbering to my writing
31%, How to use Microsoft Word in the most efficient way
28%, How to format my text into pleasing-looking pages
19%, How to select appropriate illustrations
29%, How to create an index
27%, How to get from a draft manuscript to a printed book or article
25%, How to choose a printer or publisher
18%, I am not thinking of writing a family history

This week’s survey asks if you have ancestors who worked on the railroad. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist: Capitola

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Genealogist

CAPITOLA (f): Capitola “Black Cap” Black is the spunky, cross-dressing heroine of The Hidden Hand: Or, Capitola the Madcap (serialized 1859, published in book form 1888) by Mrs. E.D.E.N. [Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte] Southworth (1819–1899). Searchable census indexes for 1860 and 1870 bring up 202 and 595 Capitolas respectively, suggesting the popularity of serial fiction in general, and of this novel in particular. Towns in California (www.capitola.net) and Texas (extinct) were named for this heroine.

The Daily Genealogist: Fayetteville Public Library, Arkansas

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Fayetteville Public Library, Arkansas

Fayetteville is located in northwest Arkansas. It is the county seat of Washington County and home to the University of Arkansas. The Fayetteville Public Library has made resources from its Grace Keith Genealogical Collection available online. Click on the designated links in the center of the homepage to access them.

Fayetteville Public Library Genealogy Database
The Fayetteville Public Library genealogy database comprises three separate indexes. They are: Obituary Records, School Records, and Land Records. The Obituary Records index covers the period from 1868 through 2010. Click on the link to access the search page. Three newspapers have been indexed — Northwest Arkansas Times, Fayetteville Weekly Democrat, and Fayetteville Daily Democrat. The database can be searched by last name, first name, middle name/initial, date of birth, and date of death. The data fields are the same as the search fields plus newspaper title abbreviation and date. The School Records index covers the early years of the twentieth century. The database can be searched by surname and given name of the student and the surname and given name of the enroller. The data fields are surname and given name of the student, age/date of birth of the student, school name, district number, and the surname and given name of the enroller. The Land Records index covers the years 1830 through 1903. The database can be searched by grantor name (surname or full name), grantee name (surname or full name), and date. The data fields are grantor name, grantee name, claim type, date, and book and page number.

Washington County Land Records
Using this database, researchers can search Washington County land records for the period from 1834 to 1891. Select a search type — grantor or grantee — and enter a name in the search boxes. You can limit the search by document type — deeds, land, mortgages — or search all types at once. It is also possible to search the database by book and page numbers, if you know them. You can also choose to have the search results sorted by name or number. The data fields in the search results contain the document type, grantee’s name, grantor’s name, and book and page number. The book and page number field is an active link. Click on it to view the digitized document. Use the Return to Search Page link to return to the search results. Click on the volume and page number links at the bottom of the page to view the previous or next page in the volume.

Washington County Marriage Record Search
Washington County marriage records can be searched for the years 1845 to 1941. Select a search type — bride or groom — then enter a name in the search boxes. It is also possible to search the database by book and page numbers, if you know them. You can also choose to have the search results sorted by name or number. The data fields in the search results contain the bride’s full name, the groom’s full name, and the book letter and page number. The book and page field is an active link. Click on it to view the digitized document. Use the Return to Search Page link to return to the search results. Click on the volume and page links at the bottom of the page to view the previous or next page in the volume.


The Daily Genealogist: Forgotten New England

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Our latest blog profile features Forgotten New England, written by Ryan W. Owen. Here, Ryan introduces his blog:

My blog, Forgotten New England, went live in September 2011, more than twenty years after I started researching my family history. I started Forgotten New England to explore genealogy and regional history, but most of my entries explore the history of Lowell, Massachusetts, and my ancestors' relationship with the city. Five generations of my family were born in Lowell. I use Forgotten New England to document their stories and the minutiae that likely shaped and affected their lives. The research helps me to add leaves to the names, dates, and places forming the branches and limbs of my family tree.

Growing up, history, to me, meant names I recognized through municipal landmarks, faces I had encountered on currency, and places I had seen on maps. I, like my grade school peers, was generally uninterested in history. That changed in the sixth grade, when I created a family tree for class. Some classmates had interesting connections — including a cousinship with the teacher. In my family, I learned about ancestors named McNamara, Lannon, Hare, and Machado, which the world seemed to have forgotten. In the following years, I studied my ancestors’ photographs and learned their stories. I studied their eras, their neighborhoods, the personalities that fascinated them, and the gripes that irritated them. Forgotten New England is history that recreates the world of our ancestors, as they lived it, with all the dirt, sweat, worries, fears, dreams, and fascinations that consumed them.

My work on Forgotten New England led me to become a board member of the Lowell Historical Society. I also write Forgotten Billerica, a local history column that runs in the Billerica Minuteman twice monthly.


The Daily Genealogist: Secret Message Engraved by Irishman in Abraham Lincoln’s Watch

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Secret Message Engraved by Irishman in Abraham Lincoln’s Watch
“The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History opened Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch this past March, and discovered a secretly engraved message that turned an unsubstantiated family story into a confirmed historical event.”

The Daily Genealogist: Photos Take Long Journey to Area

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Photos Take Long Journey to Area
How a box of mid-century photographs belonging to a Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, couple made its way from Seattle back to Ohio. 

The Daily Genealogist: Struggling to Attract Visitors, Historic Houses May Face Day of Reckoning

(Stories of Interest) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Struggling to Attract Visitors, Historic Houses May Face Day of Reckoning
“We all know of Monticello and Mount Vernon, and they’re fabulous,” said Sarah Scarbrough, who is director of Virginia’s Executive Mansion. “But there are so many other homes in Virginia, and they’ve been struggling. The severity of the problem is alarming.”

The Daily Genealogist: Writing Your Family History

(Surveys) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Last week’s survey asked about your genealogical resolutions for 2013. 3,138 people answered this survey. The results are:

  • 69%, I will organize research papers and files that I have accumulated.
  • 52%, I will write up some of my family history.
  • 43%, I will share genealogy stories with my family.
  • 10%, I will join a new society.
  • 28%, I will attend a conference or other genealogical education program.
  • 22%, I will take a research trip to a distant repository I have been meaning to visit.
  • 34%, I will take a research trip to a location where my ancestors lived.
  • 15%, I will take a DNA test for genealogical purposes.
  • 22%, I have other genealogical resolutions not listed above.
  • 10%, I am not making any genealogical resolutions this year.

 This week’s survey asks about what information you would find helpful in writing your family history. Take the survey now!


The Daily Genealogist: Silome

(Name Origins) Permanent link
 
Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Genealogist

SILOME (f): Silome Hurd, b. Woodbury, Conn. 29 Dec. 1715, daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Cothren 3:15), may have been named not for the Salome who caused such trouble for John the Baptist, but for the Pool of Siloam, in Jerusalem, which, according to the Gospel of John, was said to have healing powers. Or “Silome” could be a mistake for the name SILENCE.

The Daily Genealogist: North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

(Spotlight) Permanent link
 
Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is a statewide digitization and digital publishing program. It is part of the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Center’s online collections come from cultural heritage institutions across North Carolina. Click on the Collections link in the menu bar to access them. Select the collection you would like to view from the dropdown list.

Images of North Carolina
The Images of North Carolina collection contains more than 4,500 items from nearly thirty different repositories. There are photos and postcards of people and places in more than forty North Carolina counties from the late nineteenth century to the present. You can search by keyword, view all items, and browse by location or subject.

North Carolina City Directories
City directories for nearly sixty North Carolina cities and towns located in about forty counties have been digitized and uploaded to the website. They cover the period from 1860 through 1953. You can search by keywords and browse by city, county, or date.

North Carolina Memory
The North Carolina Memory collection contains more than 2,000 digitized items related to North Carolinians past and present. The collection can be searched by keywords or browsed by item type or location. The types of items in the collection include account books, bills of lading, correspondence, death registers, funeral programs, indentures, land grants, pamphlets, financial records, and many more. The items are primarily from (or related to) North Carolina, but some items also have connections to other places, including South Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Connecticut, Georgia, and Africa.

North Carolina Newspapers
This collection comprises nearly forty community and twenty student newspapers from towns and schools throughout North Carolina. The collection can be searched by keyword and location and limited by title and date range. You can also browse through the newspapers by location and by title.

North Carolina Yearbooks
The North Carolina Yearbooks collection contains nearly seventy college and university yearbooks and fifty high school yearbooks from fourteen counties. They cover the period from the 1890s to the present and include both public and private schools. Clicking on the North Carolina Yearbooks link in the menu bar will open the College & University main page. Enter the institution’s name in the search box to begin your search or click on the institution’s name to browse. To view the high school yearbooks collection click on the High School Yearbooks button at the top of the page. As noted on the website, many of the yearbooks in the high school collection are from schools that no longer exist. Enter the institution’s name in the search box to begin your search or click on the county’s name in the list and select a school.


The Daily Genealogist: Recent Reader Responses

(A Note from the Editor) Permanent link
 
Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

This week, at the end of the holiday season, we share reader comments made in response to recent surveys, a name origin column, and a story of interest.

Responses to surveys on saving holiday cards and genealogical gift-giving:

Jeannette Maxey of Kalamazoo, Michigan: I had a card that my parents and I exchanged for well over twenty years, each year telling the other how cheap we were that we could only afford “this ratty, old Christmas card.” Beginning in 1960, the card went back and forth between my house in Midland and then Kalamazoo, Michigan, and their home in Bloomington, Indiana. It was great fun, but the post office lost it; one year it never arrived.

Anne B. Wagner of Portsmouth, Rhode Island: No genealogical presents are on my list for Santa. However, I am giving genealogical presents in the form of old family movies from 1927 to about 1954, which have been transferred to DVD, as well as a representative sampling of our children's childhood snapshots, scanned to DVD.

A response to the Christmas name origin column:

Leslie Nutbrown of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada: I thought you might find it interesting to know that I have several ancestors in several generations with the name Christmas. Christmas Warren was born in 1848 in Marnhull, Dorset, England. His grandfather was Christmas Kendall, born in 1774. His father was Christmas Kendall, born in 1730. His grandfather was Christmas Keinell, born December 25, 1650, in Marnhull. So the name Christmas spanned almost 200 years in this family and only the first one to bear the name was born on Christmas Day.

[On the topic of the Christmas surname, readers might enjoy an article in The Hamilton [Ontario] Spectator, “Don’t Call Her Merry Christmas,” which features a profile of Hamilton resident Mary Christmas and a brief discussion of the Christmas surname.]

A response to the story of interest on the daughter of a Civil War veteran (Kearney Woman is a Living Link to the Civil War):

Aline (Grandier) Hornaday: I was interested to read the story about the daughter of a Civil War veteran, a living link with her father's long-ago war service. Perhaps you'd also be interested to know that I am the daughter of a Franco-Prussian War [1870–71] veteran, who is now long gone but still sorely missed! I am a proud American citizen by birth — I was born in San Diego, California. My father became an American citizen and was very pleased to vote and carry out the responsibilities of citizenship. I am sure there must be many others with the same sort of historical connections with the past!


The Daily Genealogist: Cook County Poor Farm to Be Preserved

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Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Cook County Poor Farm to Be Preserved
A site twenty-five miles south of Chicago, which served as a working farm, an infirmary, and a burial ground for Cook County's indigents, will become the Oak Forest Heritage Preserve. If funding can be secured, the second phase of the project will allow access to records of the 90,000 people buried in the cemetery.

The Daily Genealogist: Watch Collector’s Find Brings a Lincolnesque Journey

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Betlock Lynn

Lynn Betlock
Editor

Watch Collector’s Find Brings a Lincolnesque Journey
A Duxbury, Mass., resident discovered that a watch he purchased on eBay had a fascinating history.

The Daily Genealogist: Arethusa

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

ARETHUSA (f): A spring. A nymph. (Century Encyclopaedia of Names, 1905). Arethusa Bigelow (1786–1811), daughter of Andrew and Sarah (Fawcett) Bigelow of Boylston, Mass., m. 21 August 1803 Calvin Dunton of Boylston (Patricia Bigelow, ed., The Bigelow Family Genealogy, Volume I: Six Generations of Descendants of John Biglo (1617–1703) of Watertown, Massachusetts [1986], p. 211). The name was sometimes abbreviated to THUSA.

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