Friday, November 24, 2006

LDS Family History Library Donation Policy

Gifts of family genealogies, organized collections and other records that contain genealogical information are welcome. You can even write a history of your family and place a copy in the library. Please use the authorized gift form when making a donation. Contact the Genealogical Society of Utah on the fifth floor of the Church Office Building (801-538-2978) for more information on the types of materials the library can accept and how to prepare your materials.

For more details, see Donations to the Family History Library.

The Huguenots settle in America

Melissa Slate contributed the article, "What are Huguenots?", offering a brief history of the French Huguenots.

Legal documents yield a wealth of clues

Karan Pittman contributed the article, "Legal Terms Provide Clues", offering a basic knowledge of legal terms necessary for successful family history research.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Fayetteville Observer, November 23, 2006 was mentioned in Catherine Pritchard's article, "Relatives should be first source for family tree," (which happens to be one of our primary "mantras"). And Thanksgiving is a perfect time to get other family members interested.

Another 1880 Census Resource launched an installment (502,894 records) of its first census today, the 1880 Census. "This is the first of many census indexes that we hope to have at," Paul Allen said. "We want these indexes to be accessible and affordable to everyone." (web site:

Thanksgiving Story

Teenage Thomas Hull's ancestral journey was highlighted in "Student proves ties to Pilgrims" this week in the Yakima Herald Republic. This 15-year-old documented his ancestry back to the ship the Pilgrims sailed on in 1620.

Collection of Funeral Programs Saving Memories

Vincent T. Davis put together a great article for the San Antonio Express-News about a project involving more than 614 funeral programs, dating from the 1940s to the present, that were preserved in the Texana Room at the San Antonio Public Library. "If you don't have any history, then you don't have anything to build on."

If you stumble across an interesting collection, contact your local library to see if they're interested in preserving local history.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Restoring Familial Foliage

Jan James shares a bunch of great tips in "Uncorking the genealogy bottle" an article in last week's San Joaquin County Record. About genealogy as a hobby, "you cannot get away from the history of it that connects your family," she said. "You're almost living their life again."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

National Adoption Month

Penny Lofton's article "Becoming a forever family" published last week in the The Ocala Star-Banner, and reminds us that November is National Adoption Month, "a month when we pay tribute and thank those who have adopted children and loved them as their own."

Brown University Cataloguing Rare Maps

Here's an article from the Boston Globe about a new project at Brown Univ. to catalogue a collection of rare maps. "Officials say the push to catalog the artifacts -- some brittle with age, and many dating back 100 years or more -- will make them more accessible to the public and help those interested in urban studies, genealogy and other research areas."

The Value of Old Documents

You'll see me mention the phrases "genealogical" and "family history" value often on this blog, so I thought it would be appropriate to explain the subtle differences. There's a third phrase that I think we're all familiar with, "sentimental" value.

When you find that old "shoebox" in your closet, or your parents, it will be filled with items of different values. And when I'm talking about value, it's not in dollars.

If an item has vital statistics on it or relationship information, then it has genealogical value. An old drivers license may show the date of birth. An old newspaper clipping may list a child's parents. And then there are the obvious documents: birth, marriage and death certificates. But my point is that ANY document with this kind of core information has genealogical value.

Your family tree will identify all of the people you are related to, along with their core information (birth/marriage/death) and their relationships to other people (parent/child). But going beyond the basic genealogy is what I refer to as "family history". What activities filled the lives of the people on your tree? Their education, employment, community involvement, and military service are just a few examples of family historical information.

If you find an item in that mentions a person's name, a date and a place, it has family history value. Things like member lists from clubs and societies, yearbooks, magazines and newsletters from employers, military and Masonic rosters, all offer clues into a person's life. That's family history value.

An item may possess these "values", but be of no use to you -- either you don't know the people mentioned or you're not interested. But, other researchers may be very interested. You may have a item that mentions other individuals in a Lodge or Cavalry unit.

As you approach that trash can with a pile of documents, think about their value before discarding them. Not sure who to give them to? Don't worry, that's what this blog is all about.

Monday, November 20, 2006

World War II Internment Camp Sites

There was an article published Friday in The Honolulu Advertiser about the "120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were unjustly and unconstitutionally detained behind barbed wire during World War II. " In "Senate backs bill to preserve internment camp sites" we are reminded of this very sad but important chapter in our nation's history.

Detailed diary offers invaluable insight

Here's an article from the The Clarion Ledger about The Diary of David Gavin. Families mentioned in the pages are: Aberly (Averly), Appleby, Canaday, Clayton, Firman (Furman), Horn, Hughs (Hughes), Huger, Inabinet, Koger, Moorer, Muckenfuss, Murray, Myers, Pye, Rowe, Rumph, Shuler, Sistrunk, Utsey and West. The article reminds us that "Journal keepers are one of the biggest blessings you can find in your family research."

Coincidently this week, one of our writers, Ruby Coleman, submitted an article, Ancestral Memoirs, on how to locate letters, diaries or journals that contain first hand accounts!

New National Cemetery in South Carolina

There's an announcement on the U. S. Army web site about Fort Jackson being selected as the site for a new national cemetery to be established. Construction is slated to begin in fiscal 2008, with interments beginning about a year after that.

National Family History Day, 2006

According to a post on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services web site, Acting Surgeon General Kenneth P. Moritsugu, M.D., M.P.H., has declared Thanksgiving 2006 to be the third annual National Family History Day. "Over the holiday or at other times when families gather, the Surgeon General encourages Americans to talk about, and to write down, the health problems that seem to run in their family. "

Resources related to the Surgeon General's Family Health Initiative are available at New materials for 2006 include a printable PDF brochure entitled "Before You Start" and a redesigned, user-friendly PDF version of the tool, both of which are available in English and Spanish.

New England Railroad Superintendents

New England Railroad Superintendents 1850 Members - Reports and Other Paper of the New England Association of Railroad Superintendents from the Commencement of the Society to January 1st, 1850. What I find most interesting about this document is that I don't recognize many of the railroad names. They must be early predecessors of other more "famous" lines.

Hess grocery bind Yates family

"Memories of small Hess grocery bind Yates family" in Monday's edition of the The Altus Times and the Frederick Leader provides extensive genealogical details of the YATES family, along with some local history of this family-run grocery store.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Stoner Creek/Stayton Cemetery

"Searching for buried history" published last week in the Central Kentucky News-Journal shares the story of Phyllis and Butch Johnston as they uncovered some of the tombstones from this forgotten cemetery (a rumored burial ground for a Civil War soldier) and attempted to document those interred.