30 September 2011

Sacramento Archives Crawl

What a great idea. Tomorrow, Saturday October 1, 2011, the archival community in Sacramento, California is sponsoring the free Sacramento Archives Crawl. This is a neat opportunity that appeared in my news feed from the Sacramento Bee newspaper. "Four historical organizations are partnering in the crawl and include the California State Archives, California State Library, The Central Library, and the Center for Sacramento History." The public gets to see a lot of behind the scenes activity. Free parking is provided, too.

For more details check out this blog: http://www.sacarchivescrawl.blogspot.com/

I have heard of art crawls and similar things for a group of bars and restaurants. Love that it's occurring in the area of history. Wish I was going to be in Sacramento tomorrow. I have researched at three of these places but would love to see more behind the scenes.

28 September 2011

Proud to announce a Civil War Prisoners website

I received a very special email tonight. It was about a friend's years of work being preserved and even better, being shared. I first met fellow Minnesotans Jack and Carol Lundquist in the 1990s when they joined us on the group research trips we used to lead to the Family History Library. I would still see them when we had occasional trip reunions. Sadly, Jack passed away a few years ago. Carol wanted his special research projects preserved and I am happy to announce that she has done just that. Jack loved history and especially that surrounding the Civil War. One of Carol's Civil War ancestors was imprisoned during the Civil War. 
Carol wrote to me: "You know how important Jack's Civil War research (obsession?) was to him.  Well, I'm thrilled to announce the birth of www.CivilWarPrisoners.com.  It's up and live and I'm already getting some very nice feedback from some of the Civil War groups that Jack worked with.  After two years, I feel like I can breathe again knowing that his work is preserved - it's really been weighing on me.Jack never would have cared about a website, but I wanted to be sure and preserve his work."  
What is it? Jack worked long and hard to document Civil War prisoners at Andersonville and Cahaba. Because more than 800 prisoners from Cahaba perished when the steamboat Sultana exploded in 1865. As the website says: "Jack combined a lifelong love of history, especially the Civil War, with a mind that loved crunching data. After retirement in 1990 he initially set out to research only the Sultana Disaster with the aim of compiling the most accurate list of names of those who were on the ship. This soon expanded into researching Cahaba Prison, and then Andersonville as well as other Southern prisons such as Salisbury and Florence."
Check out Jack (and Carol's work):  CivilWarPrisoners.com - Main Page

22 September 2011

FGS Radio Show: Facebook Issues Confronting Genealogy Societies

The Saturday, September 24th, the online episode of the Federation of Genealogical Society's radio show is entitled "Your Society’s Facebook Presence." Using a Q&A format which was popular in workshops at the recent FGS 2011 conference, host Thomas MacEntee will review some of the issues involved with making sure your genealogy society can harness the power of Facebook. Has your society wanted to create a Facebook page to attract new members and to keep current members posted on society news and events? Do you have concerns about privacy or the proper way to create a solid Facebook presence?

The Elgin (IL) Genealogical Society will be in the weekly FGS Member Society in the "Society Spotlight" feature.

Click here to create a reminder to listen to FGS Radio this Saturday.

Saturday, September 24, 2011
2-3pm Eastern US
1-2pm Central US
12-1pm Mountain US
11am-12pm Pacific US

Join us for the next episode of FGS Radio - My Society, an Internet radio show on Blog talk Radio presented by the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Facebook is a great and free way to promote your society and its events.

Need a reminder for the show? Click here, now: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mysociety/2011/09/24/your-societys-facebook-presence

A bit of disclosure: I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

FamilySearch.org adds 16 million more images

Have you checked FamilySearch.org lately? Just this week alone more than 16 million digitized images have been added.

As their press release says, "Among the 16 million records added to FamilySearch.org  this week, over six million are from the United States, including new collections from California, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. Additionally, five million new Civil Registration and Catholic Church records from Mexico are now available for free viewing at FamilySearch.org. Begin searching now!"

Click here to see the full list that is accompanied by the number of images. It will be worth your time!

Education in Minnesota during Family History Month

October is Family History Month and the Minnesota Genealogical Society offers some opportunities for us to expand our knowledge including these:

October 7-8, Edina Minnesota: North Star Conference featuring one of the Genealogy Guys, George G. Morgan, and other great speakers.

October 22, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Family History Fair in conjunction with the Minneapolis Central Library of the Hennepin County Library system.

Click here to visit the MGS website for more details.

21 September 2011

Alzheimer's Action Day: My Mom

My Mom passed away in 2008. For far too many years before that she suffered from Alzheimer's. Far too many years. Looking back to the early 1990s we can now recognize behavior that may have been early signs.

Mom was also having those small strokes that affected her behavior. We had begun to talk every 2-3 days in the 1980s and that is something I miss a lot. My Mom was not easy to live with. She was a stickler for neatness, things being done only her way, and at her time no matter what worked for everyone else. Plus she was a strict mother. All that said, no human being should ever have to go through what she did.

Mom would have been mortified if she knew her once careful and coordinated dressing, haircut, and classy jewelry were reduced to stained clothing, bedhead, and no jewelry. She would have be embarrassed to realize that she hit the people she loved and those who helped care for her. She would have rather missed going out in public than to have others be embarrassed by her behavior. To know that she had to be fed at the end would have given her nightmares and they probably did happen.

She did have a few lucid moments. One time she asked me whose little boys those were in her living room. I said they were Katie's (my daughter) boys. She said Katie was too young to have kids. I would watch old movies with her and she would nod when I talked about watching movies in our old living room where I grew up. I never told her my husband had left me as it wouldn't have been understood or so I thought. I was sitting with her one day as Sarah, one of the caregivers, was feeding her. Sarah and I were talking about the change in my life and we suddenly noticed tears running down my mother's face. She understood. From then on I talked to her as if she really did understand things and just told her about things going on in the family. I would sometimes explain in detail about the person to whom I was referring. She lost her ability to speak but at times the frightened look in her eyes said volumes.

No one should have to live almost as a vegetable, unable to talk any longer, and unable to enjoy life for a dozen years or more. My father became her security blanket and she would panic if one of us took him to do errands. That knowledge would have shocked this once strong woman who was very self-sufficient and yes, controlling. In the study of my family's history I have not come across knowledge that would lead me to think we have a history of Alzheimer's or any form of prolonged dementia. So, why Mom?

17 September 2011

2011 FGS Conference is over and I am smiling

Am I glad? Somewhat. Am I sad? Very much so. It was a great week made even greater because of wonderful volunteers. I have some new friends. They understand me. They love research, learning, networking and working well together. We laughed, teased, and even addressed issues together and I am still smiling. This was the second time I co-chaired a FGS Conference and I will do it again in 2013 for FGS Fort Wayne with Dawne Slater-Putt. I am smiling about that. It really is a neat volunteer experience.

Post-conference let-down hit me really hard. I was tired but also found it difficult to leave Springfield where I had so much fun. Springfield treated us royally. The main conference team was also amazing. They know who they are and I hope I don't miss any names. They all made me smile. Josh, Pat, David, Susie, Janice, Thomas, Linda, Julie, Kim, Cath, Sue, Amy, Jane, Carol, Karen, Polly, Stephanie, Dan, Sue, Tim, Jean, James, Gordon, George, and Drew. The Illinois State Genealogical Society, the local host, rocks!

I found this to be a conference where the education seemed to have great importance. The level of chatter around the convention center and the hotels showed that networking was right up there, too. During breaks in sessions the aisles of the convention center filled. The new FGS Booth design was a smash hit. Sue T. did an amazing job on that. FGS board and committee meetings went well with many folks piping up to take on tasks and give sensible advice. I walked away from those meetings with a good feeling. The volunteer training that Josh and I did for many of those who helped out over the week was fun. We joked a bit, were silly, but also talked about our guests for the week and that we needed to see to as many of their needs as possible. That made me smile.

I watched some of our key volunteers walk up to the folks from Birmingham (FGS 2012, August 29-September 1) and offer help and advice. That made me smile. Yes, I am working on the team for that conference, too. I will be once again be doing the conference blog and also co-chairing National Publicity with Thomas MacEntee.

I have heard from many who attended that they had a good time during the week. That makes me smile. Though I didn't get to spend as much time with friends as I hoped to, it was still great to see them. I was able to see many of the speakers and greet them. One plan I had was to get around to each vendor in the Exhibit Hall and thank them for being there but too much running around and also some need to rest the tired feet kept me from doing that. Their dedication to the genealogical audience makes me smile.

We could not have put this conference together without the platinum sponsors, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch. More smiling. And other sponsors Family Chronicle, New England Historic Genealogical Society, RootsMagic, and ProQuest, too. And the many participating organizations that sponsored lectures and luncheons and the many door prize donors. Many other reasons for smiles.

I want to publicly thank my co-chair, Josh Taylor, a special colleague and friend who asked me to join the committee. Pat Oxley, President of FGS, was there with us every step of the way. FGS 2011 was truly a team effort and I thank each and every one of you who was a part of it.

Register for SLIG 2012 soon and save $50.00

Five days of in-depth genealogical education. Five days of networking in small groups. Five days of learning from faculty representing a wealth of knowledge. That's SLIG 2012. Plus, of you register for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) by October 30th you save $50.00. SLIG offers multiple courses taught by some of the top U.S. genealogists. There is still room in some of the courses. Another neat aspect of the SLIG courses is the proximity to the Family History Library so that you can put your new or enhanced knowledge to work immediately.

I am the coordinator for Course I, an intermediate level offering: American Records and Research: Focusing on Families. In addition to some hands-on work, interaction with the instructors, and one-on-one consultations at the FHL, the course line up is helpful. Check out the details here.

No matter which course you choose, your week will be amazing. Save January 23-27, 2012 on your calendar and participate in a great week.