30 June 2007

National Archives Central Plains Region

I spent the last week researching at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration regional branch in Kansas City. Friday afternoon was spent on Leavenworth Prison records. Some prisoners have extensive files with names, birthplace, offense, when sentenced, aliases, previous prison/jail stays, fingerprints, letters from and about the prisoner requesting parole or a different job in prison, mulitple health forms, and lists of visitors and correspondents -- complete with where they live and the relationship to the prisoner. Each file is a bit different. The prisoners were from many states.

And how did I know what I wanted to look at? Go to http://www.archives.gov/ and in the search box at the top of the page simply type "Lavenworth Prison index." The index covering 1895-1920 is online. These records are part of Record Group 129, Records of the Bureau of Prisons, United State Penitentiary Leavenworth, Kansas, Federal Inmate Case Files 1895-1920.
I did find files for a client but none for my own family so far. I had some possibilities but they did not turn out to be family.

If you are hesitant about checking such records, reread the first paragraph and it might convince you of the value of the information in these files. On the opening page for NARA's website, click on the "Locations and Hours" in the left most column and link to details for all the regions and more.

22 June 2007

ZCMI Center in Salt Lake City

For those of you who like to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, here's an update on the changes in the surrounding area. A news article in today's Salt Lake Tribune tells that the last two retail tenants in the almost empty ZCMI Center shopping mall will be out in a few weeks. Then the mall will be demolished. The Crossroads Plaza mall is already mostly gone. These complexes and other buildings will be replaced by City Creek Center, a retail, office, and residential complex. Project completion is scheduled for mid-2011.

June 22nd article: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_6205712

Downtown Rising http://www.downtownrising.com/city_creek/

The Gateway shopping and entertainment area remains open and continues to add more elements. It now has an Office Depot store!

14 June 2007

Drive-In Movie Memories and Lists

Some of you are old enough to remember when there were drive-in movies everywhere. My childhood favorite outdoor theater has been replaced by a grocery store, an office supply store, a Mexican restaurant and by one of my favorite bagel places.

There are still some of these drive-ins in use today. I started writing this post after reading one of the Minneapolis StarTribune's blogs: http://www.buzz.mn/?q=node/1539. I love nostalgia. This article had a link to "Cinema History Around the World" that has lists of current regular and drive-in movie theaters as well as long list of those demolished or simply out of business. Check it out at http://www.cinematour.com/main.php

I agree with the blog author, James Lileks, about the childhood memories. We always had to be in our pj's before going to the drive-in. As we got older we did object to this! It was so much fun if there was money to visit the snack bar -- otherwise we brought our own kool-aid and popcorn.

My 3 youngest grandchildren who live about 2.5 hours north of me are taking turns staying with me in the next few weeks. I promised to take them to a drive-in, the food kind, which will be a new experience for them. We still have a few in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area that have the speaker type order boxes and the food order is delivered to your car. I wonder if I can find a drive-in movie with something suitable for them?

11 June 2007

FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference is hosted this year by the Allen County Public Library. The ACPL is the home of the world-renowned Genealogy Center. The conference dates are August 15-18, 2007. These conferences are filled with lectures, workshops, meal events, books, software, and lots of networking time -- all designed to enhance our family history research.

Registration for the four-day event is simple. The easiest way is to register online. You may also print the registration form and mail it in. Just go to http://www.fgsconference.org/ to learn more about this exciting educational event.

That website tells about the hotels with rooms for conference goers, and shares details on speakers, lectures, roommate service, genealogical vendors (booths are still available), youth fair, keynote speaker, banquet speaker, a day for professional genealogists, and, and, and. . . Future blog posts right here will share more conference details.

Be sure to visit the sponsors' page to see the logos of the wonderful sponsors that help to make these conferences happen.

If you aren't familiar with the ACPL check out its website http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/ and click on Genealogy.

Depending upon which door you exit from at the convention center, you are less than a block from the library. Even better, the library will have extended hours during the conference week. Hurray! Keep checking my blog for more details on the newly expanded ACPL and the tantalizing Genealogy Center. I had the pleasure of touring and researching there this past April.

The regular hours are posted first, followed by the extended hours.

Monday: 9:oo a.m to 9:o0 p.m.

Tuesday: 9:oo a.m to 9:o0 p.m.

Wednesday: 9:oo a.m to 9:o0 p.m. and then until midnight for conference registrants

Thursday: 9:oo a.m to 9:o0 p.m. and then until midnight for conference registrants

Friday: 9:00 a.m. -6:oo p.m. with 6:o0 a.m. to 9:00 a.m for conference registrants

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. -6: oo p.m. with 6:o0 a.m. to 9:00 a.m for conference registrants

06 June 2007

Novels with a genealogy connection

Pam Eagleson, CG, from Maine, shared details on a book with some genealogical research connections. From time to time I will post info on such books or movies on this blog. Please share your favorites. (Send to PSWResearch@comcast.net)

"My book group just finished reading David Baldacci's Wish You Well (2000, first trade edition 2007). It is totally different than any thing he's ever written and he said in an interview a couple of months ago on CBS's Sunday Morning that it is his favorite book. It’s basically a novel he wrote after doing several oral history interviews with his mother. He writes of how important chronicling the history of one's family is -- of the countless hours researching his own family's history. He warns that there are so many people who have either lost family memories forever or who are perilously close to doing so. The last section of this new trade edition includes a section with photos on his family research, a reading group guide and getting started on your family tree. Check out his website http://www.davidbaldacci.com/ and follow the link on the left side to the Other Writing section and click on Essays and then the second one on Origins of Wish You Well. FYI-He used the Library of Virginia extensively in his research for this novel. He lives in Richmond. This book is now required reading in several schools."

The Ohio Genealogical Society Summer Workshop 24-29 June 2007

Held at the The Ohio Genealogical Society Library, 713 S Main St., Mansfield, OH 44907-1644. For fees, registration, lodging and other questions: Phone 419-756-7294 or check http://www.ogs.org/.

The week begins with registration and reception at Library - Sunday June 24, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. followed by five full days of learning on topics such as land, church, probate, military, researching women, newspapers, German, Italian, British Isles, Scots-Irish, and several states. There will be time to research in the OGS Library. Instructors, Robert Keener’ Jana Broglin, CG; Shirley Hodges; Dwane Grace; Sandy Malitz; Brent Morgan; Elissa Powell, CG; Karen Bennett, CG; Sunda Peters; Kay Hudson; Ted Minier; Tom Neel; Wally Huskonen, CG; Paul Morehouse.

05 June 2007

Learn and relax on a spectacular Genealogy Cruise

Special Note: Unfortunately, this cruise was cancelled in June by the travel agency.

A Genealogy Cruise?

Late this coming autumn Fly Away Travel is hosting this perfect type of vacation. From October 27-November 3, join me and others for this event. I was a part of another genealogy cruise a couple of years ago and the experience was better than terrific.

Cruises often offer lectures, workshops, and other great activities. This Genealogy "Seminar at Sea" is a special part of a large cruise. To attend the genealogy sessions, you must book your cruise through Fly Away Travel. As a passenger, you will be able to partake of all activities on the cruise. (And, of course, the wonderful food.)

Do you have a spouse, friend, sibling, child, or significant other who cannot understand how you can spend an entire day at a genealogy seminar or in a library? This is the perfect way to attend a seminar and still spend time with them. They will be so busy and pampered that they won't even care when you attend a session.

Cruise Details
The cruise departs from Miami on October 27th and returns to Miami on November 3d. Cabins are still available. The ship is the brand new Royal Carribean's Liberty of the Seas. This cruise has an Eastern itinerary that includes stops in San Juan, St. Maarten, and Labadee, Haiti (Royal Caribbean's private island). The genealogy sessions are offered on the three days at sea so that you may enjoy the shore days with no conflicting events. The Liberty of the Seas just had its maiden voyage in May. We get to spend the week on a new, up-to-date, and clean ship.

Amenities aboard the Liberty of the Seas include a water park, fitness center, live music, rock climbing wall, dancing, shops, casino, spectacular views, many restaurants, 24 hour room service, and a mini-gold course. Or, you may just find yourself a deck chair and relax. There are plenty of these chairs on-board. You might consider bringing along a costume for Halloween - but it is not a requirement. I saw some pictures of the genealogists and speakers from the 2006 cruise. I am already thinking about what I might wear.

The Speakers
The lineup of speakers is just one of the treats for this cruise. John Colletta, Stephen Danko, Michael J. Leclerc, Paul Milner, George Morgan, Donna Moughty, Laura Prescott, Drew Smith, and Paula Stuart-Warren. The list of topics is online and I have already found several that I want to attend. The areas of expertise of this impressive group and the lectures they will give cover just about all areas of genealogy. Handouts for the sessions are included in the price.

More than just learning
I am already planning my days on the cruise. Let's see, sunshine, massage, spending some money in the shops and on land, playing mini-golf, and karaoke (some of my colleagues have already told me I WILL participate -- oh, are they in for a surprise and a headache when they hear my voice.)

Need a roommate?
If you are seeking someone to share your cabin, let FLY AWAY TRAVEL know -- they may have the name of someone else looking for a roommate. Talk to fellow members of your genealogical society and convince them they need to register for this week -- and don't forget to mention that you are looking for a roommate to share the expenses.

Let's Have Fun
I look forward to seeing some "old" friends and meeting new friends on the genealogy part of the cruise. There are still cabins left so reserve your spot now before they are gone.

For more info
Genealogy Cruise http://www.genealogycruises.com/
Travel Agency http://www.flyawaytravel.com/
Royal Carribean http://www.royalcaribbean.com/
Paula Stuart-Warren PSWResearch@comcast.net

01 June 2007

Upcoming Event: Minnesota Genealogical Society

June 16, 2007, Willmar, Minnesota

Minnesota Genealogical Society/Heritage Searchers of Kandiyohi County: MGS Annual Greater Minnesota Meeting

A full day of genealogical lectures, vendors, networking, and more for only $15.00. A box lunch is available for $6.50 if MGS receives your order and payment by June 9th. You don't have to be a member of MGS or Heritage Searchers to attend this event.

Some of the topics:
"Capturing the importance of ordinary people through oral history
"Beginning Genealogy"
"Researching Military Records"
"The WPA Era: What It Created for Genealogists"
"Census - U.S. & State - How to get the most out of them!""The Family History Library and Its 4000+ Family History Centers: How to Further Your Research from the United States to Europe"
"What's New at the DAR"."Research Rewards in County Courthouses and Town Hall Records" "Genealogical Research Using the Internet"

I will be presenting two of these, the WPA and Courthouses.

For full details: http://www.mngs.org/

Welcome to Genealogical Eclectica

That is really the title. Don't bother checking the dictionary to see what "eclectica" means -- I tossed around many ideas and liked this gramatically incorrect one. This blog will not be on just one topic related to history and genealogy. It will cover a variety of topics, thus it will be eclectic. I will keep you posted on my activities, genealogical events in a broad range of geographic areas, research tips, current and past news, volunteerism, networking and many other subjects. At times you may have to endure news about my family. My family goes far beyond my beloved children and grandchildren. I am Mom or Grandma to a lot of my colleagues. No, they are not all on my birthday or Christmas gift giving list! But, they all have a special place in my heart.

Why did I really begin this blog? Fellow genealogists and other friends often ask where I will be lecturing or researching. They tell me to keep them posted so they can keep up with me. Other ask what is new in genealogy or at a particular library, archive, or historical society.

This blog seems to be the easiest way to reach many people. I do have to warn you that postings will not always be every day. At times there may be one a week and sometimes there might be several in one day. You will be able to post comments. If you see that I have misstated something, have a typo, or just have something to add to the discussion, please join in.