31 October 2010

Next Genealogical Events: Anoka County and Little Rock, Arkansas

I hope to see some of my blog readers at these events where I am presenting this week.

Monday, November 1st, 7:00 p.m. for the Anoka County Genealogical Society at Coon Rapids United Methodist Church, 10506 Hanson Boulevard NW. The topic is "The WPA Era: What it Created for Genealogists."

Saturday, November 6th, all day seminar in Little Rock, Arkansas for the Arkansas Genealogical Society. The event takes place at the Holiday Inn-Airport. Click on the link to see about the cost, location and about the Friday evening lectures. My Saturday topics are:
  • Tho’ They Were Poor
  • Old Settlers
  • The WPA Era: What it Created for Genealogists
  • Railroad Records and Railway History: Methods for Tracking

25 October 2010

Genealogy Institute registration savings

Still thinking about attending the 2011 edition of the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy? Think quickly and you save $25.00! If you register today through October 31st you save that $25.00 off the full registration pricee. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, there are many 5 day courses from which to choose.

Click here for the description of the intermediate American Records and Research course that I coordinate. Click here for a list of all the courses.

Voting? Genealogy too!

I really don't think there should be a question mark in that title. Whether it be our national, state, county, or city elections it should not be a question. I feel it is a right, a privilege and a duty. I'd like to take that a step further and talk about organizations. Churches, schools, civic groups, businesses, and other entities also have elections. But today I want to talk about our genealogical organizations.

Let's say you receive a ballot for your genealogical society's elections in the mail. It might require finding a pen and then a stamp to return it. You read it quickly, form some opinions, but set it aside to take care of later. Three months later you find it under a stack of paper on your kitchen counter or desk. The deadline has passed. The society's newsletter announces the election results. Doggone it, that candidate you were planning on NOT voting for is a winner. You worked on a committee with that person and know they did not follow through, missed too many meetings, etc. What if that person beat their opponent by just one vote? Your vote

24 October 2010

Great Weekend in Portland, Oregon

I just returned from a great weekend in Portland where I presented an all day seminar for the Genealogical Forum of Oregon. The audience was attentive and the folks who got me from one place to another treated me so wonderfully. I thank Connie, Leslie, April, Gerry, Tom, Jeanette, and all the others who did all the work to make the seminar and my weekend run well.

As usually happens I had some fun conversations with fellow genealogists who had roots in Minnesota or who had lived here themselves. I only wish some of them were distant cousins who could fill in some of my missing ancestral details!

I had a surprise after my first lecture as I was talking to some of the registrants and answering their questions. A woman walked up and I realized it was Luci Baker Johnson from the Seattle area. She took the train down (with Peri Muhich) to surprise me. Luci is a former resident of St. Paul, Minnesota. She wasn't the only longtime friend I saw at the event. Ruth, Janice, Sue, Jim, Eileen, Pat, and a few others were there. A fun day!

After the seminar I was fortunate to spend some time at the GFO library. This is a huge collection covering all parts of the U.S. and many foreign locations. I was impressed with the many shelves of WPA Historical Records Surveys of courthouses! And these included counties far beyond Multnomah. I also liked that current issues of various genealogical, historical, and family periodicals are right out on easily accessible shelves. The library has an extensive microfilm collection, some original records from the county, and indexes to many Oregon and Portland area records. If you live in the area, be sure to visit this library. Check the GFO website for the address and hours.

20 October 2010

Fire destroys house in Utah, but genealogy materials preserved

I regularly read the Salt Lake Tribune online and today was catching up on some of that reading and saw this amazing story. A home in Wellsville, Utah was almost completely destroyed by a fire. Such a scary thought for anyone and for a genealogist with decades of family history materials the word fire strikes terror. This is a story that is different.

The article state, "Matt Leishman said he was surprised to go through the rubble of his parents’ home Monday afternoon and find one room that was virtually untouched — the one containing many years’ worth of his mother’s family genealogical records. The family was able to fully recover all the documents related to the family history, although some were soaked with water."

Read the full story by clicking here.

18 October 2010

Family History Month and Halloween: celebrate together

It's easy to do this by taking advantage of a cemetery tour in your area. October brings historical cemetery tours in many localities. Beware of the ghosts!

I found these examples:

The easy way to find them is to do a keyword search in your favorite search engine. Try keyword combinations like these:
  • cemetery tour history
  • cemetery tour histor*
  • Halloween cemetery tour
  • cemetery tour Atlanta
  • cemetery tour St. Paul
  • cemetery tour Tennessee

16 October 2010

LaCrosse, Wisconsin Library to receive special award

On October 24th, the La Crosse Public Library’s Archives "will receive the 2010 Governor’s Award for Archival Achievement. It recognizes not only the library’s extensive archives but the ways they’ve been made accessible, [Wisconsin] state archivist Peter Gottlieb said.
“A lot of archives are content to wait for people to find them,” Gottlieb said. “What makes Anita’s [Anita Doering] program a natural winner is the initiative to connect what you have with how you can help people. They’re not passive. They really get out there in front of people.”

You may read the full story in the LaCrosseTribune.

Visit the library's Genealogy section of its website for details on the great holdings. It's been a while since I researched there, but I remember it was a good place for research. This is also a helpful library if you have Winona, Minnesota family connections.

15 October 2010

Need a speaker for your group's 2011 genealogical or historical event?

I am currently booking my speaking services for 2011 genealogical, ethnic, and historical society events. I also enjoy speaking for family, reunion, civic, church, and other groups. I don't book for every week, but do have plenty of available dates for 2011. A few inquiries about 2012 events have already been received.

My presentations are lively, educational, entertaining, and the day includes time for questions and answers. When I am with your group I am all yours! I love to interact with your attendees and share my genealogical expertise and knowledge with them. Not only do I talk about the wonderful records, I tell your registrants how to find these records, the ways in which they are useful, and the various ways to advance their own expertise. Reviews by audiences tell me that I keep them awake, informed, and that they want me to return. I bring my own computer and projector for a PowerPoint presentation and each lecture is accompanied by an extensive handout.

Once we are under contract, I promote your event on this blog in two ways. First is as a couple of posts that get seen by thousands of genealogists who either view the blog or see the posting via a reader. Second, I also add it to my list (see right hand column) of places where I will be making appearances. There is a live link to your organization's website so that readers may obtain registration and other details.

If your group provides me with a quantity of flyers or brochures about the event at which I speak, I will distribute these at other events and at libraries and historical societies I visit (where permitted).

When your society books me for a full day event (up to and including 4 lectures), I am happy to add in one of my lighter luncheon or dinner talks at no extra charge. Please contact me via email: PaulaStuartWarren@gmail.com with information on your group and the approximate date of your event. I will respond with my availability for your date and include as an attachment my full Speaker's Information Packet. This includes biographical and resume information, list of topics, capsule descriptions, cost, and arrangements detail. If you would also like references, just let me know.

Blog Action Day 2010 Water

Today thousands of bloggers from over 125 different countries are writing about about water issues in their communities and around the world. I thought about this in my life and the lives of my ancestors.

Today water access and shortages affect us all and that includes all the countries where my ancestors were born. I remember thinking about how neat outdoor water pumps were when I visited farms as a child. Most of my ancestors didn't even have that luxury. They likely had to carry water to their homes from some distant source. Today that has not change for many residents of our world, even in this 21st Century.

I have lived at the edge of a small town where we did not have city water. The well water wasn't even responding kindly to treatment and the water was not drinkable, clothing was ruined in the laundry, and showers weren't exactly refreshing. Imagine having that problem day in and day out in many countries.

Reading about water issues over the past year has given me the impetus to buy less individual bottles of water, to not let the shower run more than needed, and to be so grateful for rain. Every time you think it is time to green up that lawn, stand in that shower for 30 minutes, or to do only small loads in the washer or dishwasher, remember that many others have access to very little water and that the water supply in many places is not increasing.

Read more about water conditions worldwide at http://blog.blogactionday.org/

14 October 2010

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Deadline

The 2011 edition of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy will be held January 10-14 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. This is less than two blocks from the Family History Library. It's always been a great place for an institute because you can learn so much from a variety of fantastic instructors over 5 days and then put it to use each day at the FHL. I just checked and there is still room in some of the courses. The registration deadline to save $25.00 is October 31st. The fee for courses is $320 by 31 Oct 2010, thereafter $345. Includes course materials, an orientation breakfast, and the Friday night banquet. less than Evening classes and additional breakfast or dinner tickets are extra. You may register online and just charge it to your credit card. It's a simple process.

This includes the intermediate course on American Records and Research that I coordinate. 2011 is my 13th year at SLIG. A couple of features of this course that are different from others are the extensive hands-on work in both class and at the FHL. Each registrant in this course has the opportunity for a guided tour of the FHL with some inside tips. Also you may sign up for one-on-one consultations. All this is included in the course fee. You actually get more than the 20 hours that most other courses offer. The list of classes is at the Utah Genealogical Association's website.

You might also be interested in the guide to Salt Lake City that appeared in today's Salt Lake Tribune.

13 October 2010

Pennsylvania State Archives closing for 4 months

According to a press release, the Pennsylvania State Archives will close from Oct. 18 through Feb. 3, 2011, for needed renovations. October 16th is the last day researchers can visit the facility in person, but the staff will continue to respond to telephone, e-mail, and postal inquiries during the renovations.

"Barbara Franco, PHMC executive director, said the $250,000 project will expand and modernize the existing lobby and public research areas. A larger vestibule is required to facilitate access for people with disabilities and will include automatic doors. The work will provide more space for the increasing number of researchers, as well as new wiring and additional computers to improve access to the collections. Security systems will also be upgraded."

A good reason to double check with a research repository before any research trip. Visit the PA State Archives website to learn more.

Salt Lake Christmas Tour adds Thomas MacEntee

I just received this press release from Leland Meitzler. This sounds like a great experience.

Featured Speaker To Offer Technology Education for Genealogists

October 13, 2010 – Bountiful, Utah: The 2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour – an annual genealogy event in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary – is pleased to announce that noted genealogist and technology educator Thomas MacEntee will be joining in the holiday fun as its featured speaker. The Tour takes place beginning Sunday, December 5, 2010 and runs through Saturday, December 11, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Over a five-day period, MacEntee will offer eight different presentations covering various aspects of genealogy and how technology and social media can be used to expand the genealogy experience. Topics include “Building a Research Toolbox,” “Facebook for Genealogists,” “Build a Genealogy Blog,” and “Twitter: It Isn’t Just ‘What I Had For Breakfast’ Anymore.”

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour ( www.SaltLakeChristmasTour.com ) is an annual event attracting genealogists

NY State Archives INCREASES hours

Yes, you read that correctly. The New York State Archives in Albany is adding Saturday hours as of this Saturday, 16 October 2010. This is wonderful in contrast to the many archives, historical societies, libraries, and other research facilities that have seriously reduced hours. This archives is open full days so that researchers have time to order, study, and copy records.

The archives is located in the Cultural Education Center building. The NY State Archives website is at http://www.archives.nysed.gov/aindex.shtml.  "The New York State Archives is located in the Cultural Education Center (CEC) in Albany, New York. The CEC is at the south end of the Empire State Plaza, across Madison Avenue (Route 20) from the Plaza (at the opposite end from the Capitol). Public access to the Archives is gained via the Reference Room" which is located on the eleventh floor of the CEC and is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

On Saturdays, free public parking will be available in the Madison Avenue parking lots adjacent to the CEC.  Directions and parking information is available on the New York State Museum website at http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/information/general/muswhere.html.

The archives as a great Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/nysarchives.

I have a list of things to do at that facility if I ever have the chance to get there.

12 October 2010

FamilySearch Beta update

Just catching up on some recent press releases that have been patiently waiting in my inbox!

 We made some additional enhancements this week at beta.familysearch.org. The following post describing the updates along with visual illustrations can be found at FamilySearch Blogs. Enjoy!

October 8, 2010
We released another substantial update to the FamilySearch Beta website. In addition to the four major updates outlined below, we’ve made a large number of improvements under the hood that aren’t really visible to users of the site but make a big difference in the overall performance and function of the site. Here’s the quick list of updates.

·         Redesigned Home Page
·         Brand New – Getting Started Section
·         Redesigned Learning Resources including online Research Courses
·         Just Released - FamilySearch Center Section

06 October 2010

October is . . .

National Cancer Awareness Month, National Anti-Bullying Month, Family History Month, and American Archives Month. All are very special to me.

My mom had breast cancer, my paternal grandmother, maternal grandaunt, and others suffered from this horrible disease. I have some very dear gay friends who have suffered at the hands of bullies. I have only an inkling of all that horrific feeling. All my life I have been picked on for being so short, wearing glasses, and for being overweight. Several of those gay friends helped me through a time several years ago when I was being bullied. The bullying must stop. I hope I never learn that my fellow genealogists have been the bullies -- we should respect all human lives, loves, and embrace each other in a special way.

Family history month is important because it is a great equalizer. It doesn't matter if we are tall, short, thin, wear glasses, go to church or not, are straight, gay, or can't type! Family history helps us understand what tough times our ancestral families went through. Family history helps us understand who we are. And part of discovering that history comes from research at archives.

Celebrate October and invest in the importance of these four vital designations and all that they mean to our lives. End the month being silly on Halloween. Silly, but not overly teasing, bullying, or forgetting that we are all brothers and sisters. Treat everyone equally in all facets of live.

Historical projects in Minnesota

One way to find out about what historical projects are cropping up around Minnesota is by checking out the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants program that operates under the auspices of the Minnesota Historical Society. Grants are awarded for projects that will preserve and enhance Minnesota’s cultural and historical resources. Libraries, archives, churches, historical societies, ethnic organizations, universities, cities, and other groups have been the award recipients. Many of the projects have a direct impact on family history. Just a sampling of the grants in the last couple years:
  • Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (Saint Paul) - To record, preserve and make available oral/visual histories of deaf, deaf/blind and
    hard of hearing Minnesotans, $64,100. 
  • Macalester College, DeWitt Wallace Library (Saint Paul) - To digitize and make accessible issues of the college's student and community newspapers and catalogs, $10,888. 
  • Blue Earth County Historical Society (Mankato) - To add 140 rolls of microfilmed newspapers to broaden public accessibility to primary records, $3,837.
  • Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County (Moorhead) - To add 126 rolls of microfilmed

05 October 2010

Ancestry in Kingman, Arizona (Mojave County)?

Genealogical research on families in this area is about to become easier. The county is digitizing 600 volumes of old records. The article quotes Microfilm Records Technician Stephanie Ciofalo, "As the article says "I love these old books," Ciofalo said. "The handwriting was amazing in those days. This is Mohave County's history. These records will be available to the public and much more accessible in digital format. That's why we are doing this; to preserve the books and to allow ease of access for the public."

People will be able to request information and the County Recorder's Office will be able to access the material and print it out but there will be a charge for the copy. I wonder if they will allow the public to view the digitized material? Oftentimes we find valuable details by reading through a book of deeds or other court records.

Click here to read the article in the 3 October online Daily Miner.

Ancestral Journeys blog: David Suddarth

I am going to begin publicizing (as my schedule permits) some of the blogs and websites of my professional genealogist colleagues. This first one is from David Suddarth, a fellow member of the Northland Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, whose blog is titled "Ancestral Journeys."

David shared these words about his blog:

"My blog is mainly a family blog mainly concerning the names SUDDARTH, MONROE, MURRAY, LEDDY and RICE.  Although family specific, I try to use my own research to illustrate research methodolgy, different types of records and the ways in which they can be used."

Visit his blog at: http://dwsuddarth.wordpress.com/

03 October 2010

Researching Delaware family history?

According to DoverPost.com (October 1st) The Delaware Public Archives has produced a series of twelve videos that provide info about the holdings and research at the Archives. Each video is two minutes long. Click here to view the videos.The topics include Visiting the Archives, Manuscript Genealogies, Vital Statistics, Tombstone Records, Photographs, and Orphans Court Records.

Thomas M. Summers, Manage of Outreach Services for the Archives, is the man you see in the videos. Also check out their Facebook page and blog. All of these along with the Delaware Public Archives website provide extensive details about their holdings and research.

Makes me wish I had some Delaware ancestry.