Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Vocabulary words

DearREADERS,

Ol' Myrt's granddaughter Aubrey works with new kindergarten vocabulary words every week. And Myrt has added a few new terms of her own to the mix. Aubrey can tell you the definition of the following decidedly NOT kindergarten-level words:

-- evergreen
-- deciduous
-- clarify

I read recently that when faced with life in a "foreign" country, our immigrant ancestors had challenges with language and local colloquialisms.

Ol' Myrt here can certainly relate, having developed a fondness for "sunny, warm beaches" and "balmy sub-tropical nights." In fact, talking with Russ back in Florida yesterday (experiencing 80 degrees Fahrenheit with little humidity) was a stark contrast to the weather here in the intermountain west (snowy, with a high today of 28.) Now I am having to learn such terms as defined by the good folks at Dictionary.com:

-- alpenglow: a reddish glow seen near sunset or sunrise on the summits of mountains.

--wind-chill factor: The temperature of windless air that would have the same effect on exposed human skin as a given combination of wind speed and air temperature.

Last evening the local TV station, KSL Channel 5 talked about the upcoming SNOW storm as being a CAT2. To my Florida state of mind that means category 2 HURRICANE.

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HERE IS THE BREAKDOWN OF THE snowCAT scale
From http://www.ksl.com
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CAT1
Average number per year: 23 per yr.
Valley Floor accumulation: .1" to 2"
Accumulation in Benches: .1" to 3"


CAT2
Average number per year: 7 per yr.
Valley Floor accumulation: 2" to 4"
Accumulation in Benches: 3 to 6"

CAT3
Average number per year: 3 per yr.
Valley Floor accumulation: 4" to 8"
Accumulation in Benches: 6" to 12"

CAT4
Average number per year: 1 in 2 yrs.
Valley Floor accumulation: 8" to 12"
Accumulation in Benches: 12" to 21"

CAT5
Average number per year: 1 in 25 yrs
Valley Floor accumulation: 12" +
Accumulation in Benches: 21" +

To ol' Myrt here, benches are those hard wooden things you sit on at church, though here, benches are the lower not-too-steep portions of the mountains where people have built houses. Since we dont' have mountains in Florida, I have nothing with which to compare. (!)

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GENEALOGY ANYONE?
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If you need to find the definition of an archaic GENEALOGY term, check out the links at Cyndi's List: http://www.cyndislist.com/diction.htm

My bookmarked favorites include:
-- http://www.acronymfinder.com/

-- Dan Burrow's Genealogy Glossary
http://www.rootsweb.com/~nsdigby/lists/glossary.htm

-- The Genealogists Handbook Kentuckiana Common (and not so common) Abbreviations
http://www.kentuckianagenealogy.org/guide/help/abbreviations.html

-- FamilySearch Glossary
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Policy/FSI_sitemap.asp#

-- FamilySearch Word Lists
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/rg/research/type/Word_List.asp

-- How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/index.html

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A BOOK ON THE TOPIC, WHICH MAY PROVE USEFUL
--------------------------------------------------------
-- Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide for Family Historians (paperback) by Kip Sperry

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour 29 Nov 2005

DearREADERS,
Today's new edition of DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR internet radio show is now available!

During this show Ol' Myrt here interviews Michael Booth, creator of Personal Historian, where we learn, step-by-step to set up a new project, and have fun learning to use this wonderful software program. Also, hear the reprise of an interview with Katherine Scott Sturdevant, co-author of Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History and author of Organizing and Preserving Your Heirloom Documents. Topics include preserving old documents, creating an interview "tote bag," how to make secure purchases online, and a brief tour of the GENUKI website for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Island, Wales, and the Isle of Man.

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TO LISTEN either:
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- Click the "update" button on your iTUNES or other podcast software if you are currently subscribed to Myrt's podcast

~ or ~

-- Go to http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/05/1129r.htm

That is where you will find the show page, with clickable links to the websites and items discussed during the show.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
READERS' FEEDBACK: Implements, Harry Potter & ASSIGNMENT

DearREADERS,
Ol' Myrt here is gratified at the terrific response to the column "Little known implements." One reader who moved south even offered to send me her old mittens and gloves to keep me warm in this frozen northland. For the original column see:
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1128.htm.

Here is a smattering of your comments, followed by an ASSIGNMENT for everyone.

--------------------------------------------------------
From: Marlena

DearMYRTLE,
I have a two-piece cast iron ruffler. The top part is curved and fluted, whereas the bottom is flat and fluted. One heated it on the coal or wood stove and then put a piece of material between the two halves, rolled the top over the bottom and Voila! ruffles on your clothes. I also have the pieces of a still my grandmother-in-law used to make whiskey during prohibition, but we won't go into that too deeply. And a brush cut and curved to fit into a cream separator from the days when people milked more or less by hand. And a wooden hay fork with a very long handle to put hay on a wagon before the days of balers. And a milk can from the days before bulk tanks. And last of all, 2 very sharp camel nose plugs, for guiding said camel when one is riding it.

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From: DeLoris

DearMYRTLE,
As a child I churned many churn s full of butter. I am 74 years old and I was born and raised on a farm, where if one did not work, one did not eat. We did not have electric until I was 16 years old. I loved my farm life. Keep your column coming, it is salve to my soul.

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From: EGood64137@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,

Old "STUFF" -- The All-Bran muffin recipe on the back of the box of Kellogg's(?) All Bran. My chore was to make muffins each week to go with Saturday's home baked beans and brown bread! The trigger-like shifting gear on the steering wheel of the 1936 Terraplane automobile. The butter churn, of course. The "ski-skates" which were about 20 or 30 inches long that would strap onto your shoes so you could ski on the sidewalk in the winter. Remember the rabbit-skin mittens? Guess you can tell, I grew up in the cold northeast part of the country! -- Good luck with your list, there are bound to be many memories stirred at your request.

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From: Dolly

DearMYRTLE,
I enjoyed this column so much! (Although we live in Maryland now, we are Montanans. And very familiar with s**w and i*e.)

No household implements have been passed down, sorry to say. Mementoes? My granddaughter probably still has doll clothes made from flour sacks about 1944. Interesting memories? On a rural farm, I do remember my mother ironing clothes with a heavy iron (made of iron!) heated on the wood stove, and watching her refill the kerosene lanterns. But thousands of folks my age will have those same memories. Years ago, I bought a reproduction 1897 Sears, Roebuck catalog. It's fascinating to browse -- gift idea for your favorite genealogist?

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From: Jknitl@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,

LOL There are a plethora of items this latest generation can't even fathom. Like, why would one ever watch a black and white TV. Many don't know what a 5 and 1/4 inch floppy disk is, and soon won't know why we had the smaller floppies.

How about a hand cranked meat grinder? Or a pastry cutter? A meat cleaver? I'll bet I have more things in the kitchen the kids don't recognize as having any purpose than things they do recognize. If it can't be nuked, why would you want it? Yet I tossed out an old microwave popcorn popper the other day and was asked what it was.

A zillion and one things more I could list, but I'm tired of typing!

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From: Terry

DearMYRTLE,
I loved your story. Just think, you will be ready to go to Alberta [Canada] once you go through boot camp in northern Utah. We had a high school buddy and family that lived across the tracks on a hill in the 1950s, mid century past. They had milk cows and hogs back then. They lived in a wood boarded rental house that had one layer of lumber, no inside walls covering and a pot-belly stove in the middle of the house/living room. That was a warm spot to churn the butter in, as the cold wind whistled through the wall, as they were living on the top of a north-facing hill.

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From:
Cis1052@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,
I do love the ideas that you throw out and we respond to. Thanks for including us in your quests. Happy Thanksgiving. My favorite is the small corn cobs that were used in the outhouses. And you know what for.

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From: Mary Finley

DearMYRTLE,
Alas! Opportunity passed me by in an antique shop about five years ago. My beloved father and his father before him had an ice business. In that shop sat ICE TONGS, not the bitty tongs in an ice bucket, but those big black iron tongs that gripped [huge] blocks of ice. I said "That's not an antique"! (Translated... "I remember Daddy's ice tongs very well, and anything I remember CAN'T be an antique!") I would love to borrow Hermione's "Time Turner" to purchase those ice tongs.

--------------------------------------------------------
DearREADERS,
Your recollections of days gone by have touched my heart and made me giggle. Wouldn't we all wish for Harry Potter's side-kick Hermione's necklace charm, to turn back the hands of time to those happy moments of our past.

--------------------------------------------------------
OK, now here's your ASSIGNMENT
--------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE write one paragraph of your recollections of the past and share it:
-- via email with younger generations
-- via email with your siblings to get a conversation going
-- by placing it in notes in your genealogy program under YOUR name.

The folks who've written for today's column are a step ahead of every else. Each can just copy/paste his/her paragraph and distribute this as ol' Myrt here has requested.
PS. The link at Amazon.com to the reproduction 1897 Sears Catalog mentioned by Dolly is:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0791046265/102-0699060-8677720?v=glance&n=283155&n=507846&s=books&v=glance

If you like, it also comes bundled with an 1895 Monkey Ward (ooops... Montgomery Ward) Catalog.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Monday, November 28, 2005

Check the courthouse again: Great Falls Montana, case in point

DearREADERS,
Have you ever been the recipient of a reply from a distant courthouse stating "we don't have those old records anymore" ?

CHECK the courthouse again and again. Maybe the records have been misplaced. Or perhaps the records have been inventoried for a couple of decades or even half a century. Case in point: look what was JUST ANNOUNCED for Cascade County, Montana in the GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE ONLINE today!

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Records get a good sorting
By KIM SKORNOGOSKI
Tribune Staff Writer
Originally published November 28, 2005
"For the volunteers with the Great Falls Genealogy Society, the mustier and dustier the better.
The group got what they wanted when they agreed to tackle sorting through the mounds of county documents stored in courthouse and county annex basements, the old and new jails and three semi-trailers.


Since beginning the project in spring 2004, as many as seven volunteers at a time logged more than 1,100 hours indexing, organizing and moving records dating back to the birth of Cascade County in 1888."

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To read more about 150 marriage entry books (!!), teacher's reports and dancing licenses found stuffed haphazardly in drawers and cabinets by reading the entire article:
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051128/NEWS01/511280307/1002

No wonder we can't find anything. Staffing problems being what they are, the current workload of any courthouse takes precedence over those old records. In the case of Manatee County Florida, much had been moved to an annex, known as the historical records library. It wasn't fully inventoried until our local genealogy society completed the task in 1991.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
What I learned from great-grampa's death certificate

DearREADERS,
On my day off this week, ol' Myrt here naturally gravitated to the Family History Library. I decided to go for a quick fix and obtain an easily-found 1929 death certificate in Salt Lake County before I tackled the mysterious identify of the parents of that ancestor's great-grandparents in parish registers of St. Luke's (Old Street), Middlesex, England circa 1750s.
Here is part of what I already knew about my dad's paternal grandfather, from my grandmother Myrtle's family records.

-- NAME: Alma Oades Player
-- BIRTH: 12 Dec 1862, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
-- DEATH: 26 Nov 1929, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

At home in Florida, I have a picture taken just after all of Alma's children attended the funeral. One had been distant from the family for a number of years, but managed to return for the solemn occasion. I also knew that Alma's parents and grandparents were pioneers who made the trek west enduring dire circumstances.

--------------------------------------------------------
Here's how ol' Myrt located the death certificate
--------------------------------------------------------
1. I checked the Family History Library Catalog
http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp

2. I clicked the "PLACE" search button, and specified "Salt Lake" as part of "Utah" (without the quote marks.) Note I did NOT type COUNTY after Salt Lake, as I had previous experience understanding that designation isn't necessary.

3. I scrolled down and clicked on the topic "VITAL RECORDS."

4. I chose to see the details for the record group titled "Death records of Salt Lake City, Utah, 1848 - Sept. 1950 Salt Lake City (Utah). Office of Vital Statistics" since it covered the time period of my ancestor's 1929 death.

5. I noted that the collection was filmed in 1950 by the Genealogical Society of Utah and that it contained 31 microfilm reels.

6. To determine which film covered 1929, I clicked the grey button in the upper right labeled "VIEW FILM NOTES."

7. I scrolled down to make a note that the Death registers 1928-1929 were located on FHL US/CAN Film 26564.

8. I was already on the US/CAN (US and Canada) film floor, so I merely went to the drawer and pulled film #26564.

--------------------------------------------------------
What I learned from great-grampa's death certificate
--------------------------------------------------------
See thumbnail and full-size copy of the certificate online at:
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/05/1131.htm

-- My grandfather's name was typed incorrectly as Alma Odds Player.
-- He lived at 522 Grant Street in Salt Lake City.
-- His birth date was listed as Dec 12, 1861. I knew this as 1862.
-- He was listed as 67 years 11 months and 4 days of age, when he was actually 66 years of age at his death according to Grandma Myrtle's records. She was his daughter-in-law and lived across the street from him for many years.
-- Male, white, widower of Mary E. Player; this much I knew.
-- He was a contractor, retired 2 years; this was new to me.
-- His father was Charles Wm. Player, born in England. I had previously only known his father to be Charles Player.
-- His mother was Betsy Odds, known as Betsy Oades to me.
-- The informant was Acel Richardson of 908 West 1st North. I knew of Acel was a son-in-law from my father speaking with his aunts, Alma's sisters Mabel & Nora.
-- Date of death was 26 Nov 1929 as previously known.
-- Cause of death was described as "unknown, but natural" and there was no physician attending.
-- Signed by J. J. Galligan, Assistant Health Commissioner.
-- Deseret Mortuary Co. was in charge of arrangements.
-- The burial permit number was Z-1971.
-- Burial was at the City Cemetery on 12/1/29.
-- There was no number associated with the Salt Lake City death certificates. Fill-in-the plank forms were printed 4 to a page, and completed in rough chronological order.

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What's NEXT for ol' Myrt?
--------------------------------------------------------
-- Check the Salt Lake City birth records in 1861 and 1862 to determine which birth date is accurate.
-- Verify the spelling of his name on the birth certificate.

Just how do we feel about death certificates? Are they reliable? What do you think? Have you also found conflicting info in death certificates? In my opinion, the most reliable bit of information is the death date. Everything else is up to interpretation. After all, although Acel was a much loved son-in-law, he wasn't around to attend his father-in-law's birth, so his report of Alma's birth date is second or third-hand info at best.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Sunday, November 27, 2005

STARS & STRIPES: Native American Indian Heritage Month

From: Stars & Stripes
European edition, Monday, November 28, 2005

"November is recognized by the American military as Native American Indian Heritage Month. How important is it for the military to recognize specific cultures and ethnic groups?
Today in European Spotlight, Stripes talks with Col. Bradley Harper, a Native American and commander of the U.S. medical clinic in Vicenza, Italy." See:
http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=33311
Ancestry.com Class Action Lawsuit

DearREADERS,

THANKS to Dick Eastman

http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2005/11/ancestrycom_set.html
for being on top of this one. His Nov 22nd newsletter was my first notice that a remedy is being sought by those who signed up for annual membership payable on a monthly basis.

For details of the suit, and to determine if you qualify for benefits see the required notice at the Ancestry.com website:


http://www.ancestry.com/legal/class.aspx?o_iid=21156&o_lid=21156&o_it=20875

To receive the benefits of the proposed settlement, you must ensure that MyFamily.com, Inc. and Ancestry.com are able to contact you by e mail. See Section I.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Little known implements

DearREADERS,
Last evening here in Northern Utah, as ol' Myrt ventured out to rescue her son-in-law from a broken-down (albeit newer) car, the delight of the falling snow was immediately overcome by the necessity of removing said snow from the back window of the car. Insufficiently protected by the carport, the last 1/3 of the Pontiac was blanketed by the white stuff, and ol' Myrt needed to do something if she was to drive safely with full vision in the rearview.

What seems commonplace to northerners is lost to this grandma from the south gulf-coast of Florida, who had to use her de-mittened hand to swipe away the half-inch of accumulated cold stuff from the rear window. At the very least, one must take care to brush the snow AWAY from oneself, lest the resulting pileup fall unceremoniously on one's foot, only to become melted and seek entry to one's sneakers via the shoelaces. Taylor later explained that job is better completed by the judicious use of the snow scraper stored in the trunk.

Now what self-respecting Floridian keeps a snow scraper in the trunk?

In fact, to complete this article, I googled for a picture of the required implement, and discovered everything from a hefty hand-held "snow broom" for reaching heavy snows on a car's roof, to a gas-powered "snow blower" for the sidewalks. There are ice-scrapers with broom bristles on the opposite side of the blade, a thoughtful appliance ready to meet whatever icy strands or blowy snows these northern US winters might present.

And of course, ol' Myrt here, is ever thinking about her favorite topic -- GENEALOGY.

And since everything in Myrt's view can be likened to family history, please make note:

-- Very few 21st century wives make their own butter at home, but if your ancestor lived at the turn of the previous century, she would have been quite taken by a dog-powered butter churn as advertised in a circa 1906 Sears Roebuck Catalog.








-- Nary a person under 30 even knows of the traditional use of each year's edition of the Sears Roebuck Catalog -- as "papier de toilette" in the proverbial outhouse.

This entire subject makes ol' Myrt's mind spin, wondering what odd household or farm implement may have descended through YOUR family, whose very purpose may escape all except the most ardent students of history. Drop me a line, and share what you know, so that as discerning family historians, we can keep abreast of everything old (aside from our own wrinkles.)

ALL THE BETTER to understand our ancestors, my dears.Happy family tree climbing!

Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Thursday, November 24, 2005

ACROSS MY DESK: ArchiveCDBooksUSA expansion

NOTE: The following was just received from Bob Velke of Archivescdbooksusa.com. All inquiries should be addressed to him at: bvelke@archivecdbooksusa.com

--------------------------------------------------------
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Bob Velke
Archive CD Books USA
9110 Red Branch Road, Suite "O"
Columbia, Maryland 21045
(410) 715-2260 x150
http://www.archivecdbooksusa.com
bvelke@archivecdbooksusa.com

Family history archiving project expands to the United States

Columbia, Maryland – 24 November 2005 - The international Archive CD Books Project today announced its expansion and renewed focus on family history resources within the United States with the debut of a new partner company, Archive CD Books USA (www.ArchiveCDBooksUSA.com).

The project makes digital reproductions of old family history resources available to the public, donates original publications to libraries and other institutions, and cooperates with those repositories to preserve their existing collections for future generations. Its uncommon focus on book preservation has led to cooperative relationships with some of the most important repositories of family history records in the world, including Trinity College in Ireland and The National Archives of England and Wales.

Many organized efforts to digitize old books result in the destruction of the original so that its loose pages can be fed through high-speed scanners. But the idea of cutting off an old leather binding is unthinkable to historians and book lovers. "The Archive CD Books project focuses on giving the public access to these fragile resources, some of which are more than 400 years old, while protecting the original so that it is still available to scholars in another 400 years," said Rod Neep, who founded the project in the UK in 2000.

In recent years, the popularity of the project has led to the opening of branch offices in Ireland, Australia, and Canada. "The new U.S. affiliate is key to our goal of making these family history resources accessible to researchers around the world," said Neep. "After a false start under different management in 2003, the new U.S. partner company brings respected leadership and renewed focus on the priorities of American researchers," he said.

The principal of the new Archive CD Books USA is Bob Velke, who also founded Wholly Genes Software in 1991. That company’s cornerstone software product, The Master Genealogist, has earned the reputation as the most powerful family history project manager on the market and is preferred by experienced researchers in more than 40 countries around the world.

Archive CD Books USA also benefits from the experience and reputation of Robert Charles Anderson, one of the pre-eminent genealogists in the United States. Anderson is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and is the Director of the Great Migration Study Project for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, editor of the Great Migration Newsletter, and co-editor of The American Genealogist. He serves as Genealogical Consultant to the new company.

"Like others in the genealogical community," said Velke, "we are passionate about old books. But some of the most valuable resources are held in protective custody and out of reach of researchers. By cooperating with libraries, societies, and other book lovers and by applying professional digitizing and preservation techniques, we are very pleased to help put that material back in circulation and into the hands of family history researchers who need them."

In addition to the thousands of digitized rare books which it makes available from its partner companies, Archive CD Books USA has already accumulated nearly a thousand rare books of its own through purchases, gifts, and promised loans to the project. One of the company’s debut products is a digital version of "A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England" by James Savage which was originally published in 1860 and is now offered for just $9.95 on CD-ROM. "Even a hundred and forty years after publication," said Anderson, "Savage's four-volume set remains the starting point for most research problems in seventeenth-century New England. No other single source covers the first century of New England settlement so broadly."

Even experienced researchers would benefit from the full-text search that is supported by the digitized version of this important work. It reveals thousands of embedded references to people and places which are lost to those who rely on the book’s simple alphabetical list of surname headings.

The company web site (www.ArchiveCDBooksUSA.com) offers a free newsletter for those who want to be notified of special offers and the release of new titles. Dealer inquiries are also encouraged.

For information: http://www.archivecdbooksusa.com
Contact: bvelke@archivecdbooksusa.com
Phone: 410-715-2260 x150
###

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Installing PAF on your flash drive

DearREADERS,

We've simply got to start thinking about regularly using those cute little flash drives when doing genealogical research. I can envision two purposes:

-- to store digital copies of documents from microfilm

-- to store our genealogy databases for quick review

Here is a link to a VERY IMPORTANT paper from the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group on the topic of how to install your genealogy database and the program to read it on a flash drive. In this example, the SVCGG suggests using PAF (Personal Ancestral File) but the principles will probably work with any other genealogy management program. See:
http://www.svpafug.org/install.pdf

--------------------------------------------------------
WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
--------------------------------------------------------
1. Compared to a laptop, a flash drive is a lot less costly and a lot easier to keep close to your vest when doing research at a library or archive. Of course, I mean that quite literally, since we tend to "wear" the flash drives on lanyards around our necks. We're assuming that the research facility has a computer you can use, with an available USB port. Checking for names in our database is always helpful, particularly as it seems we're more likely to find relevant data (with two earlier generations) on a here-to-fore lesser-known sibling of our ancestors than on our well-remembered direct lines. Confirming a relationship by a quick check of our genealogy database will determine if the new information dovetails with our known ancestry.

2. It would have been great to use a flash drive to store the copies from microfilm that I made last Saturday at the FHL. One of the probate packets I copied had 73 documents (69MB of digital copies.) Those certainly fit on a CD, but the flash drive storage is less bulky, and won't incur additional expense each time I do additional research. In my case, I had closed the first CD before it was full because I thought my research was finished for the day. But as luck would have it during the last hour, I found the intriguing probate file of my Nancy Jane (Swanker) GOERING's mother Mary SWANKER in Union County, Iowa records on film. Because of the argumentative nature of the heirs, there were numerous documents filed with the court. It is with a preponderance of evidence that I can build my case for Nancy Goering and Jane Goering being the same individual, aka Nancy Jane Swanker per her marriage entry to my Ferdinand GOERING, 10 Feb 1875 in Union County, Iowa.

Well, suffice it to say that I need every last document. I DID save $.23 per page over making a paper copy of each of the 73 pages. But without a flash drive, I had to purchase a second CD for the file storage.

--------------------------------------------------------
WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?
--------------------------------------------------------
Well, it's just plain cumbersome to protect your laptop when you are in the stacks at a library or archive. Would-be thieves are carrying cable cutters now days! As library computers become more numerous, the use of flash drives will be more readily accepted. The Family History Library here in Salt Lake City has microfilm-to-CD workstations equipped with a USB connection wire to facilitate front-side access to USB ports where their computers don't have them built-in in the front panel.

NOW I know what to talk with Santa about for Christmas.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

22 Nov 2005 DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour

DearREADERS,
This is the lineup for today's show, now available for you to listen to 24/7 on the web. Please also note the "Links We Mention" and "Listening to the Show" directions below. Elizabeth Powell Crowe, author of Genealogy Online, returns to discuss mortality schedules. This may be useful if you suspect an ancestor died during the 12 months prior to census day on some of the more recent US federal enumerations When Myrt Googled for mortality schedules, some of these sites came up on the hit list:





LINKS WE MENTION



ACROSS MY DESK



LISTENING TO THE SHOW

PREFERRED Automatic PodCast - Receive each week's file automatically as a PodCast (using iTunes, etc.) by subscribing to the podcast using the following media RSS feed code: http://www.ourmedia.org/mediarss/user/33644


Listen-as-you-click Method #1 - Click here to listen at OurMedia.org. This link opens another webpage, with an online audio player. You may have to click the play button several times before the file will play, particularly on slow internet connections.

Listen-as-you-click Method #2 - Click here to listen at Archives.org This link downloads the file, then opens the default .mp3 player on your computer.

If you wish to learn more about how to receive DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour automatically as a podcast (to hear on any .mp3 player) see detailed directions at: http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/listenhow.htm

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207


READERS' RESPONSE: SB Association

DearREADERS,

RE:
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1124.htm THANKFULLY, we've got folks who responded with the following information:

--------------------------------------------------------
From: jimmy reynolds
DearMYRTLE,
My grandfather and great grandfather were Southern Baptist Preachers and were members of Southern Baptist Assn. Both were members of the SB Assn. I checked with the Sonrise Baptist Church here in Santee, CA. I was told It is still active. Hope this will help. Son rise is spelled correctly and they are the head of the Southern Baptist Campground in California.

--------------------------------------------------------
From: BJSGen@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,
"The Union Leagues were a group of organizations formed in the north to support the war and were basically patriotic in nature. They later became a way to shape public opinion, and “became a vibrant political force that left its stamp upon both the Civil War and Reconstruction.” (p 34) The idea grew out of the Wide Awake clubs that were organized in 1860 by the Republican party. (p. 34-5) While the Wide Awake clubs were generally disbanded after the 1860 election, the idea sprang up two years later to counter secessionism, in the form of secret and semi-secret societies. These groups were armed “with ‘knives, hatchets, shotguns, anything they can get their hands on.’” (p. 35)

The so-called exposés of the KGC, OAK, and SoL that were published in the newspapers added to the membership of these Union Leagues, and were good for the newspapers circulation as well. It was a process that fed on itself. The movement was good for politicians too. For example, “Governor Kirkwood [of Iowa] lent a hand to the practice of beating the bushes in search of golden circle members and encouraging the spread of the Union League as a patriotic countermeasure.” (p. 49)

The Spartan Band (SB) was another northern patriotic organization. It was a “semi-military organization” It was organized by John Wilson and John Trimble Jr., an “ex-pedagogue, an ex-abolitionist, and an ex-minister (Episcopalian).” (p. 49) The SB, while a northern patriotic society like the Union Leagues, was more like the unsuccessful KGC, OAK, and SoL, in that it “struggled for existence. The Union Leagues, unlike all the rest, flourished. (pp. 50-51)
"

From: Frank L. Klement, Dark Lanterns: Secret Political Societies, Conspiracies, and Treason Trials in the Civil War. Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge, LA. 1984.
--------------------------------------------------------

DearREADERS,
Since the original query from Rhonda included a reference to an ancestor's "certificate which made him a Colonel in the SB Association. It was signed by the National Secretary, John Trimble, Jr." it would appear that the Spartan Band is the definition our researcher seeks.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
What was the SB Association?

From: Rhonda
DearMYRTLE,
Can someone shed some light on the old fraternal association referred to as the SB Association? In October, 1863, my great-grandfather was awarded an impressive certificate which made him a Colonel in the SB Association. It was signed by the National Secretary, John Trimble, Jr. This was during a period when my GGF was a Captain in the Union Army, stationed at Memphis, TN. Would you happen to know anything about this organization?

DearRHONDA,
You get 2 columns with your input this week, I guess. Since he served in the Union Army, we can rule out "southern bankers association." Just kidding.

Ol' Myrt here googled for SB Association, and discovered a lot about Spina Bifida, but your ancestor could hardly have served in the military with this medical history.

When I Googled for fraternal organizations, I came across a site http://www.phoenixmasonry.org that listed abbreviations including:

-- SB Sons of Benjamin
-- SB Star of Bethlehem
-- SB Spartan Band
-- SB of A
--------------------------------------------------------
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF THE SONS OF BENJAMIN
"This Jewish men's fraternal order was first established in New York City in 1877. It utilized a secret ritual form of initiation for new members, and was headquartered in New York City. It was founded by members of the Order of B'rith Abraham, the Masonic Fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and incorporated some of their ceremonial into their order. The order also established lodges strictly for women. The order is now defunct." From Denis P. McGowan's history of this order:
http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/fraternalism/jewish_orders.htm

--------------------------------------------------------
ANCIENT & ILLUSTRIOUS ORDER OF THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM
Wheaton College has a collection, cataloged online as "National Christian Association Archives (SC-29)" with manuscripts about this fraternal organization. See:
http://www.wheaton.edu/learnres/ARCSC/collects/sc29/subjectfiles.htm

--------------------------------------------------------
We're going to need some reader input here, to assist Rhonda. Got any more ideas gang?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Monday, November 21, 2005

CCC Civilian Conservation Corps

From: Rhonda Houston [mailto:rfhouston@mindspring.com]
DearMYRTLE.
Below is the research I have done concerning the CCC and how to find each state's information. At the library you will have to request via interlibrary loan "The Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Papers: A Guide" ISBN 0-932486-37-1.

THESE LINKS ARE FROM JAMES F. JUSTIN'S CCC WEBSITE -
-- Online CCC Museum http://members.aol.com/famjustin/ccchis.html

-- Email James F. Justin with any questions.

-- How to research the CCC - Getting Started, Getting Times and Place of Service Next Step, What Did The Camp Do? http://members.aol.com/famjustin/cccgov.html

-- Miscellaneous Federal Government Records - http://members.aol.com/famjustin/cccdesig.html

-- CCC Alumni Groups and Museums - http://www.cccalumni.org/ (National parks are often the central gathering place of the CCC alumni groups. They are also often the site of the CCC Museums.)

CCC-- y Records or Logs - http://www.cccalumni.org/

DearRHONDA,

THANK-YOU for your extensive research, which has been summarized in this column. The CCC Civilian Conservation Corp was similar to the WPA in that it provided employment during the 1930s depression era in the United States. From http://www.cccalumni.org/history1.html we read "CCC enrollees throughout the country were credited with renewing the nation's decimated forests by planting an estimated three billion trees from 1933 to 1942. [...]

In what would later be called "The Hundred Days," President Roosevelt revitalized the faith of the nation with several measures, one of which was the Emergency Conservation Work (ECW) Act, more commonly known as the Civilian Conservation Corps. With this action, he brought together two wasted resources, the young men and the land, in an effort to save both. [...]

By April 1934, the Corps, now on a firm foundation, faced the beginning of its second year with near universal approval and praised of the country. This young, inexperienced $30-a-month labor battalion had met and exceeded all expectations. The impact of mandatory, monthly $25.00 allotment checks to families was felt in the economy of the cities and towns all across the nation. More than $72,000,000 in allotments was making life a little easier for the people at home. In communities close to the camps, local purchases averaging about $5,000 monthly staved off failure of many small businesses."

Ol' Myrt suggests going to the Library of Congress website http://www.loc.gov where one can search the American Memories Project to find multi-media info about CCC projects. Some of these projects are part of the "Built in America" collection, but do not limit your review to this collection http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer/index.html


It was in this collection that you'll find specific references to CCC projects, some jointly with the National Parks service or the US Forest Service. Each of these collections include period photos, sketches and typed descriptions of the projects, including this sampling of projects:

-- Hornet Ranger Station, Four Horse Barn, Forest Service Road No. 50002, Council vicinity, Adams County, ID
-- Chattanooga National Military Park Tour Roads, Chattanooga vicinity, Hamilton County, TN
-- Mount McKinley Headquarters, Employee Residence, McKinley Station, Yukon-Koyukuk District, AK
-- Parsons Nursery, South side of U.S. Route 219, Parsons vicinity, Tucker County, WV
-- Grand Canal, North side of Salt River, Tempe, Maricopa County, AZ
-- J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge, Dam 326, Along Lower Souris River, Kramer vicinity, Bottineau County, ND

In my research, ol' Myrt here debunked a mistake in her understanding of the CCC as being a youth only organization. "[...] the President issued Executive Order 6129, dated May 11, 1933, authorizing the immediate enrollment of about 25,000 veterans of the Spanish American War and WW1, with no age or marital restrictions." See: http://www.cccalumni.org/history1.html

Myrt knows of several individuals who were in the CCC. How about writing a summary of your work, including a photo taken at that time? If you send me a copy, I'll make another column featuring your experiences.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Sunday, November 20, 2005

ACROSS MY DESK: DNA SWAB & DNA ANALYSIS

[Readers will note that Ugo Perego of the SMGF was a guest on DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR 27 Sept 2005. The podcast can still be accessed at: http://www.dearmyrtle.com/listen.htm . Myrt heard more about this offer from Sorensen when attending the Logan Genealogy Jamboree. A representative from Relative Genetics explained some of the facets of current DNA research, which generally is most successful on the direct male line. -- All inquiries should be addressed to SMGF's ]

--------------------------------------------------------
PRESS RELEASE
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Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and Relative Genetics Team Up to Reward Participants in Non-Profit DNA-Ancestry Database

SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 14, 2005--Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), a non-profit research organization dedicated to fostering global family history research and family connections by building the world's largest database of correlated genetic and genealogical information, and Relative Genetics, a leading global provider of genetic testing solutions for private companies, individuals, family organizations and genealogists, have joined forces to reward family history hobbyists who submit DNA samples and ancestry records for inclusion in the Foundation's rapidly expanding database.

Beginning today, those who submit their DNA sample (obtained with a swish of mouthwash) along with a four-generation pedigree chart to SMGF for inclusion in its database will qualify for a coupon for a steeply discounted price on a sophisticated analysis of their DNA by Relative Genetics laboratory. Those who have already donated their DNA profile and family history to the SMGF database will be eligible for the discount as well. By redeeming the coupon, SMGF participants will be able to obtain a 26 Marker Y-chromosome Paternal Line Analysis on their DNA or a mtDNA Maternal Line Analysis for the price of $95, a savings of approximately 40 percent.

All DNA-pedigree donors also have the satisfaction of participating in a visionary project that is forever changing the way ancestry research is done. The relatively new science of molecular genealogy links individuals to their ancestors using genetic profiles, eliminating guesswork and dead-ends caused by surname changes and missing historical records. Today, a visitor to the SMGF Web site (www.smgf.org) can enter the numerical values from their own Y-chromosome DNA profile into the database's drop-down menus and query a subset of 13,489 individual genetic profiles or genotypes. These Y-chromosome genetic profiles are linked to more than 550,000 individual ancestors representing over 9,400 paternal-line surnames. In total SMGF has collected 60,000 DNA samples from around the world with genealogies linked to over 2.5 million ancestral records. This additional data will be made available in future releases.

The research project is a multi-cultural, multi-racial and ecumenical endeavor that collaborates internationally with diverse universities on a database that includes genetic-genealogy information from around the globe. The goal of genetically mapping humanity's entire family tree in a free online database has an idealistic and visionary purpose. "I believe that if people know how closely related we all are, then we will treat each other better," said James LeVoy Sorenson, a renowned medical device entrepreneur who came up with the idea for the Foundation.

New participants may take advantage of this one-time coupon offer by requesting a kit from http://smgf.org/request_a_free_kit.html. New participants must submit a four-generation pedigree chart along with a mouthwash/saliva sample to qualify for the coupon. Past SMGF participants may take advantage of this offer by filling out and submitting the online form found at http://smgf.org/coupon_request.html.

About Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) is a non-profit research organization that collects and analyzes DNA samples in order to create the world's most comprehensive correlated genetic and genealogical database. SMGF's database uses sophisticated DNA analysis to link individuals together, allowing public access to the database while maintaining strict confidentiality of participants' information. Information is available at the Foundation's Web site,
http://www.smgf.org.

About Relative Genetics
Relative Genetics (
www.relativegenetics.com) provides genetic testing solutions to help genealogists build the branches of their family trees. The company's comprehensive testing services allow private companies, individuals, family organizations and genealogists around the world to establish relationships and identity through DNA testing, genetic interpretation and genealogical analysis. Relative Genetics offers the most complete specialized genetic testing capabilities available under one roof for extended family and ancestral origin testing.

Contacts
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, Salt Lake City
David Parkinson, 801-287-9472 (Press)
dparks@sorenson.com
CONNECTICUT WPA EFFORTS - Headstone Inscriptions

From: Dunkhart@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,
In Connecticut the WPA performed an invaluable service for genealogists by reading and recording almost all tombstones up to the year 1934. Of course by now many of these [tombstones] are illegible. I don't know if any other states had this service. In Connecticut the record in the state library among other places, is called the "Hale Collection."

DearDUNK,
Funny you should mention the CT tombstone readings through 1934 as a project of the WPA (Works Progress Administration.) Just yesterday I was at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, looking up the results of the effort for a friend with ancestors who lived in Bethlehem, Connecticut. Below is a copy of the report I am sending with the photocopies, as an example of how to report your findings to a distant cousin when doing research for him/her.
Please note the [ ] square brackets are my comments.

I dare not fax this report to my friend, as the result will prove even less readable on the receiving end. I'll send this out priority snail mail in the morning.

--------------------------------------------------------
THIS IS WHAT I WAS REQUESTED TO FIND & PHOTOCOPY:
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-- 974.61/B2/V3h Headstone Inscriptions Bethlehem. Bishop, Susannah, wife of Daniel died Jan 5, 1795, age 40

-- 974.61/B2/V3h Headstone Inscriptions Bethlehem. Cemetery Transcription from Burial Ground next to Bishop house: Daniel Bishop died 7 Jan 1813 age 66

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THIS IS WHAT I FOUND 19 Nov 2005
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HEADSTONE INSCRIPTIONS of Bethlehem, Conn.
FACILITY: Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
CALL #: US/CAN Books 974.61/B2 V3h
The book is a thin volume and was created and bound from a photocopy of the typescript that is barely legible, but is somewhat decipherable. The resulting photocopies are simply terrible, despite working with several photocopy machines and employing the assistance of the copy room staff. Copies are indicated below. Of necessity, I've transcribed each page as well, except for the map. The title page explains the origin of the work:

"This list of inscriptions, Town of Bethlehem, was copied Nov 1934 under the auspices of the F.E.R.A. and the W.P.A. sponsored by the Connecticut State Library, was compiled under the supervision of Charles R. Hale, State Military Necrologist, assisted by Miss Mary H, Sabin, Secretary.
Hartford, Connecticut, December 1937."

-- TITLE PAGE (with publication date of Dec 1937)
-- * NO COPYRIGHT PAGE
-- INDEX (showing only all "Bishop" entries)
-- LIST OF CEMETERIES (page 62)
-- PHOTOCOPIES of pp 16, 21, 22 & 47 (Bishop entries)
-- TRANSCRIPT OF EACH BISHOP ENTRY
-- MAP INDICATING LOCATION OF CEMETERIES (P 63)


CEMETERY & LOCATION
1. Old - 1/4 mile north of center
2. Carmel Hill - West dies of town
3. Bethlehem - 1/2 mile south of center
4. Private - Northwest part of town on land of Leonard Bross

[Transcript of pages 16, 21 & 22 not included in this column]

ITEM: Headstone Inscriptions, IBID (Private Cemetery, Bethlehem, Conn. copied by David Davis, Date Oct 22, 1934)
PAGE: 47
LINE: 1-3
Bishop, Daniel, died Jan. 7, 1818 [or possibly 1813], age 63 [or possibly 66].
Bishop, Susannah, wife of Daniel, died Jan 5, 1795, age 49 [or possibly 40].
Bishop, Irene, died Jan 9, 1826, age 33.

--------------------------------------------------------
RECOMMENDATION FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
--------------------------------------------------------
Since the book form of the photocopies I viewed at the FHL is stamped "Bethlehem Public Library, Bethlehem, Conn." I recommend that the original typescript be consulted, by contacting the library. Perhaps a copy closer to the original can be more readily deciphered.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Friday, November 18, 2005

Township Maps

From: MaryAnn Johnson
DearMYRTLE,
I would like to know if you know of any site online that has maps of the townships within the counties of the United States.

DearMARYANN,

Indeed there are a number of township map projects on the web. Indeed maps of all sorts are so plentiful, you'll more than likely be able to find references to maps of the area where your ancestors once lived, even if we're talking decades or centuries in the past.

--------------------------------------------------------
SOME ARE AVAILABLE AT USGENWEB STATE SITES
--------------------------------------------------------
-- Oklahoma Township Maps
http://www.rootsweb.com/~okgenweb/twpmaps/
This website also explains how sections within a township are numbered: "Sections measure one mile square. These sections are numbered beginning with sec.1 on the northeast corner and continues to the west, south to 7, east to 12. The pattern is repeated until all 36 sections are number. This represents 36 Sq. miles."

--------------------------------------------------------
SOME ARE PROVIDED BY STATE AGENCIES
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-- Pennsylvania Township Search
http://www.psats.org/tsearch.html

-- Stats Indiana
http://www.stats.indiana.edu/maptools/townships.htm

-- IRAD Illinois
http://www.toi.org/mapsbody.htm

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SOME ARE PROVIDED BY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
--------------------------------------------------------
-- Minnesota township maps were prepared by the Koochiching County Engineer's office, last updated 1991.
http://www.titleminnesota.com/townlinks.htm

-- Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Maps for sale
http://genealogy.lv/1864Lancaster/townships.htm

-- USGeological Survey Maps
http://www.usgs.gov/

--------------------------------------------------------
SOME ARE HIGHLY DETAILED
--------------------------------------------------------
If you are interested in the united counties of Leeds & Grenville in Ontario Canada, check out the highly detailed map showing all the roads within the township, the Heritage Map of the Township of Rideau Lakes http://www.twprideaulakes.on.ca/heritage/rideaulakes-heritage-map.pdf

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SOME ARE MODERN WHILE THESE ARE FROM PREVIOUS CENTURIES
--------------------------------------------------------
-- Canadian County Atlas Project - Maritimes, Ontario & Quebec
http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/CountyAtlas/aboutatlases.html "Between 1874 and 1881, approximately forty county atlases were published in Canada, covering counties in the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec. Thirty-two of these atlases were produced for Ontario by the following five companies: H. Belden & Co. (17); H.R. Page & Co. (8); Walker & Miles (5); J.H. Meacham & Co. (1); H. Parsell (1). Two types of county atlases exist for Ontario, those which covered a single county or multiple adjacent counties, and those which were published as supplements to Dominion of Canada atlases. In total, 40 Ontario counties were covered by these 32 atlases."

-- USGenWeb Digital Map Library
http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/maps/

-- For an example of how boundaries changed over the years we note that on 17 May 1873, the board of supervisors divided the county into eight political townships: Red Land, Lee, Saline, White Oak, Whiteville, Smith, Miller, and Harper in Cleveland County, Arkansas
http://www.rootsweb.com/~arclevel/township_maps.htm

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LOCATING MAPS
--------------------------------------------------------
How did ol' Myrt here locate these map sites listed above? Well, I spent about 10 minutes at Google.com (didn't even use Google Maps) and searched for the term 'townland map' (without quotes.)

I decided to get more specific, and Googled for 'king county township maps' and was given the following useful site:
-- King County WA Map Portal
http://www.metrokc.gov/gis/mapportal/

Indeed, maps (including township maps) are so plentiful, that ol' Myrt cannot possibly mention them all here. Try Googling on your own for a specific locality at http://www.Google.com to see what you can find.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And speaking of West Virginia

Just received the following announcement from FamilySearch.org. This is the first of the new indexes to scanned images. FamilySearch Archive did the indexing part, and the state of West Virginia is hosting the images. Just a hint of things to come. BRAVO! -- Myrt :)

--------------------------------------------------------
FamilySearch(TM) News Release
For Immediate Release
November 16, 2005
Genealogists with West Virginia Roots Score Big Time

State puts free database of vital records online

Salt Lake City, Utah-Thanks to the help of FamilySearch Archive (Genealogy Society of Utah), searching those elusive ancestors with West Virginian origins or connections may now be just a mouse click away. FamilySearch scanned and indexed the records and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History is hosting them online. The free database consists of millions of West Virginia births, deaths, and marriages - a goldmine for genealogists and historians. Researchers and curiosity seekers can now search and view scanned images of original birth, death, and marriage records from six counties, as well as most statewide death certificates from 1917-54 at www.wvculture.org/vrr.

The database has over 3.5 million names linked to 1.4 million original images of birth, marriage, and death records from Calhoun, Gilmer, Hardy, Harrison, Mineral and Pendleton counties. The record dates vary by county and type of record, but typically range from 1816 to 1929. Birth records are for the period 1853-1930, county death records for 1853-1969/1970, and county marriage records from the creation of the county until the late 1960s, all of which are searchable by name, county, and date.

FamilySearch filmed, scanned, and created the automatic index at the heart of the online database. Paul Nauta, manager of Public Affairs for FamilySearch said, "Birth, marriage, and death records together in a single database are particularly attractive to researchers because multiple generations of ancestors can be found on one document, and you can track their growth and whereabouts over time as noted by births, marriages, and deaths in the family." All users have to do is type in an ancestor’s name to search the free database. They can also view a high quality, scanned image of the original document. The project required 2,500 volunteers and 64,000 hours to complete. West Virginia plans to add records from additional counties in the future.

FamilySearch is a nonprofit entity committed to preserving and increasing access to vital records of genealogical significance and producing high-quality products and services for the family historian. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources with vital records from over 110 countries, territories, and possessions and provides free access through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 5000 branches (family history centers) in 70 countries.

Paul Nauta
Manager of Public Affairs
Family & Church History Department
WPA & West Virginia

DearREADERS,
Tuesday's DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR (still available at 24/7 at DearMYRTLE.com) briefly discussed a query from Myrt's message board from Natalie Dailey who states: "Help! My grandfather's Social Security application [SS5] states that in 1937 his present employer was WPA #354. He was Thomas William Dailey and lived in Monongalia County, West Virginia. Where do I go from here? Thanks in advance for anything information offered."

Ol' Myrt's response was to explain that WPA was the Works Projects (sometimes also called Progress) Administration. I Googled for WPA +West Virginia and found all sorts of online links explaining the program including:

-- (WPA), "former U.S. government agency, established in 1935 by executive order of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the Works Progress Administration; it was renamed the Work Projects Administration in 1939, when it was made part of the Federal Works Agency. Created when unemployment was widespread, the WPA—headed by Harry L. Hopkins until 1938—was designed to increase the purchasing power of persons on relief by employing them on useful projects. WPA's building program included the construction of 116,000 buildings, 78,000 bridges, and 651,000 mi (1,047,000 km) of road and the improvement of 800 airports. Also a part of WPA's diversified activities were the Federal Art Project, the Federal Writers' Project, and the Federal Theatre Project. Close to 10,000 drawings, paintings, and sculptured works were produced through WPA, and many public buildings (especially post offices) were decorated with murals." See:
http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/W/WorkP1roj.asp

-- "While some of these projects are fairly well-known, such as the Soundex Index to the U.S. Federal Censuses (1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920), and Soundex Indexes to Naturalization Petitions in several regions of the country, many of the projects were smaller and may have escaped the attention of many researchers." See:
http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=798

--------------------------------------------------------
MOST NOTABLE, is the Federal Writers' Project, which is housed at the Library of Congress. Online versions of many of these projects are found at:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wpaintro/wpahome.html. Here we read the overview as follows: "These life histories were written by the staff of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers' Project for the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936-1940. The Library of Congress collection includes 2,900 documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states. Typically 2,000-15,000 words in length, the documents consist of drafts and revisions, varying in form from narrative to dialogue to report to case history. The histories describe the informant's family education, income, occupation, political views, religion and mores, medical needs, diet and miscellaneous observations. Pseudonyms are often substituted for individuals and places named in the narrative texts."

--------------------------------------------------------
A BOOK ON WEST VIRGINIA was compiled by the WPA. The Broward County, Florida Library has a reference, and scanned image of the dust jacket. The book is described as "WEST VIRGINIA: A GUIDE TO THE MOUNTAIN STATE/Compiled by workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of West Virginia.— New York: Oxford University Press, 1941.—xxxi, 559 p.: ill., maps, b&w photos; 21 cm.—(American Guide Series)." Scroll down the page to see the entry at:
http://www.co.broward.fl.us/library/bienes/lii10227.htm

More about this book and West Virginia history by Jerry B. Thomas is located at: http://www.wvculture.org/history/journal_wvh/wvh52-7.html

--------------------------------------------------------
A MESSAGE BOARD POSTING from Chris Dunham explained "I assume that this would be Work Projects Administration Project Number 354. The National Archives has a ton of records from the WPA:
http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/069.html
This page says that field-office records from West Virginia alone fill 27 microfilm rolls. It also says that these projects "were planned, initiated, and sponsored by cities, counties, or states." You might have better luck checking West Virginian sources before wading through the federal records. Contact county and state historians/archivists to see what WPA records exist. You might also check newspapers published in the area in 1937, to see if any local WPA projects were mentioned."

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

South Caroliniana Library Catalog

DearREADERS,
THANKS to bjsgen for sending me this link to the new South Caroliniana Library website. Why am I excited about this? Well, I discovered when doing research at the South Carolina State Archives that the manuscripts are housed across town at the South Caroliniana Library on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. It was at that facility that I discovered the many file boxes on my GIST family. While mine went from 1679 Maryland to Missouri by 1850, it was marvelous to unearth some original documents, and numerous letters and notes on the Mordeci Gist side of the family.

The South Caroliniana Library
http://libcat.csd.sc.edu/screens/opacmenu_s14.html

If you are searching for the online catalog for future research at a library, consider finding its link by going to: http://www.libdex.com/ It’s the index to over 18,000 libraries throughout the world.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

ACROSS MY DESK: "Family Search Scam" - Oh, Really Now?

NOTE: The following article appeared on Leland Meitzler's Genealogy Blog:
http://genealogyblog.com/general/family-search-scam-4547

Leland is the editor of HERITAGE QUEST MAGAZINE, a well-regarded publication/
All inquiries should be addressed to him at:
info@heritagequestmagazine.com

Read more at http://www.genealogyblog.com/

--------------------------------------------------------
Family Search Scam" - Oh, Really Now?
By Leland Meitzler 11/15/2005 9:51 pm
--------------------------------------------------------
Our access to the online versions of the Social Security Death Index may be in danger if we don’t speak up and let our voices be heard.

I copied the following paragraph directly from the KSTU Fox 13 website today. I don’t know whether our Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, here in Utah is just uninformed - or if our local Fox affiliate is just trying to make a story where one does not exist. This "story" ran a number of times today on KSTU here in the Salt Lake valley.

Family Search Scam
Are family ancestory websites helping identity thieves? Utah’s Attorney General thinks so. There are millions of family search sites on-line and included with many individual names are also social security numbers. The state attorney general’s office says sites like these are feeding ID thieves. In Utah, where identity theft is a booming business, sites like these are not helping. The attorney general’s office says it will continue to try and get family search sites to avoid giving full social security numbers.


What the heck is the issue? I really don’t know that anyone is putting up social security numbers of live folks at all. Sure - the social security death index is online, hosted by Familysearch, Rootsweb, Ancestry and even the Washington State Secretary of State. However, the last I knew that was public-domain data sold by the federal government itself.

Folks - I am coming to believe that we can very quickly lose access to many of the records that we now take for granted. And this is all happening in the name of national security as well as the reduction of identity theft.

The sad part about all this is that there is little or no evidence that the terrorists and identity thieves are using our open records against us. Come on - show me the evidence. Show me the evidence that taking more rights away from us is going to actually make us more secure. And if it really does - is it worth it?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR 15 Nov 2005

DearREADERS,
This is the lineup for today's show, now available for you to listen to 24/7 on the web. Please also note the "Links We Mention" and "Listening to the Show" directions below. Myrt's guests include:

-- BARBARA SCHULZ, Regent of the Osceola Chapter of the NSDAR, and a Colonial Dames of the XVII Century registrar. She will share a great method for being organized when it comes to proving your generations for a lineage society application.

-- GEOFF RASMUSSEN, from LegacyFamilyTree.com and GenealogyDaily.com to discuss his article "Three Proven Methods for Getting Responses from your Living Relatives." One of the methods calls for using Legacy Family Tree version 6 to compose a descendant's report with blank lines so your cousins can "fill in the blanks" in response to your query. You'll want to download a standard version of Legacy to test it out for free. Ol' Myrt here is sure you'll want to upgrade to the deluxe version once you get into this program. Here is a list of comparisons from:
-- "Family Feud" from Smart Computing August 2005 (Need Acrobat Reader for this PDF file)
-- Legacy Family Tree 4.0: Smart Computing
-- PC Magazine Names Legacy "Editors' Choice" in Software Comparison
-- Genealogical Software Report Card
-- Legacy vs. PAF
-- Legacy vs. Family Tree Maker
-- Legacy vs. Family Origins
-- Top 9 Reasons Family Tree Maker users are now Legacy Users!

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MIGHTYMOUSE TOUR
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Our friend, MAGGIE STEWART, editor of the USGenWeb Archives Newsletter joins Myrt on a tour of the main USGenWeb pages located at USGenWeb.com

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LINKS WE MENTION see this page for clickable links
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1115r.htm
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-- NSDAR - National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
-- Colonial Dames of the XVII Century
-- Legacy News Blog
-- FamilySearch Research Outlines
-- Genealogy Calendar
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ACROSS MY DESK
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GENEALOGY POINTERS (11-15-05) from Genealogical.com In This Issue:
-- "Two New Works on 'First Settlers.' Part I: Adventurers of Purse and Person VIRGINIA, Volume Two"--an Article by Gary Boyd Roberts
-- New Series Focuses on Highland Origins of 18th-Century Scottish Emigrants
-- Featured Books & CDs for November
-- Three Essential Reference Tools by Elizabeth Shown Mills
-- Sale on CDs & Books for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas

Those "3 essential reference tools" by Elizabeth Shown Mills include:
-- EVIDENCE! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian
-- QUICKSHEET: Citing Online Historical Resources
-- PROFESSIONAL GENEALOGY: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR LAPTOP SCREEN

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LISTENING TO THE SHOW
All links are found on the show page at:
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1115r.htm
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1. PREFERRED Automatic PodCast - Receive each week's file automatically as a PodCast (using iTunes, etc.) by subscribing to the podcast by inserting a special code.

2. Listen-as-you-click Method #1 - OurMedia.org This link opens another webpage, with an online audio player. You may have to click the play button several times before the file will play, particularly on slow internet connections.

3. Listen-as-you-click Method #2 - Archives.org This link downloads the file, then opens the default .mp3 player on your computer.

NOTE: If you wish to learn more about how to receive DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour automatically as a podcast (to hear on any .mp3 player) see detailed directions at: http://www.DearMYRTLE.com/listenhow.htm

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com