31 August 2011

War of 1812 Pension Project has a deadline

This is an ongoing project and fundraising effort to digitize and preserve the 7.2 million images from the War of 1812 pension and bounty land records files. Digitized because genealogists and others wanted them preserved. These files supply individual, family, military, national, state, and community history. And if we get this all funded, then the images will be online for anyone to view and copy for FREE. This is another project of the Federation of Genealogical Societies ongoing Malcolm Stern NARA fund which helps to preserve records at the U.S. National Archives and make them accessible.

A special effort by the Indiana Genealogical Society (IGS) ends tomorrow, August 31, 2011. I donated. Have you? I want to be able to stand and cheer with pride when the IGS check is presented to the War of 1812 Project fund at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Springfield, Illinois next week. I want to say I am a part of this.

From the IGS website: The Indiana Genealogical Society is proud to support the Federation of Genealogical Societies' "Preserve The Pensions" campaign, which aims to raise $3.7 million to digitize the War of 1812 pension files held at the National Archives and make them freely accessible online. The digitized pension files will be available for free on Fold3.com - see http://go.fold3.com/1812pensions/ to view the files that are available so far. Ancestry.com is matching match ALL donations up to $10,000, meaning that donations made to that point for make to the $10,000+ Match Challenge will actually be QUADRUPLED! And IGS is matching donations up to $15,000

If you donated $50.00 that means IGS' match made it $100.00 and for that first $10,000 total, a match from Ancestry.com, it means your $50.00 meant $200 to fund the project. 

Donate today so you can stand up and cheer no matter where you will be next week when the check is presented. The Archivist of the United States will be there at the ceremony. Let's remind him how smart, important, and supportive we family historians are.

17 August 2011

Loving a library!

And they aren't even genealogists. Claude Peck and Rick Nelson write for the [Minneapolis] StarTribune on food, clothing trends, culture, and more. They are usually lighthearted and sometimes irreverent in their conversations. I was surprised to see their column today "Downtown library a real town hall" in praise of the Minneapolis Central Library. This library is part of the well-known and heavily used Hennepin County Library system. This location is at 300 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. It is a beautiful building and many more items are on open shelves than in the old downtown library which often didn't look like a library because so many books were in closed storage and had to be requested. Now browsing is wonderful.

Click here to read their conversation.

If you live in the area and haven't visited the downtown library to do some family history research, it's time you put that visit on your calendar. Special collections is a must but it is not open as many hours as the main parts of the library. The library has many databases, old city directories, newspaper clippings, newspaper indexes, genealogy periodicals, yearbooks, censuses, and a wealth of things you might be interested in.

14 August 2011

Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference online registration ends August 20th

Saturday, August 20th is the last day to register online for the upcoming FGS Conference in Springfield, Illinois. You may also mail in a registration as long as it is postmarked by the 20th.

If you have already registered, what about adding one or more of the luncheons, a workshop, the FGS 35th Anniversary celebration, or purchasing a printed syllabus? The deadline is the same for all these.

If you register on or before that date (or postmarked no later than the 20th) you will be able to have access to the syllabus BEFORE the conference! It won't be too long till we registrants hear from the syllabus team that it is accessible online. Then we can read the sections of interest and print those for the sessions we plan to attend.

I am a National Conference Co-Chair for this event and I hope to see many blog readers at the conference that takes place from September 7-10. Education, fun, networking, a full Exhibit Hall, and excellent door prizes await. Check out the many details at:

Hastings, Nebraska psychiatric hospital burials

The Adams County [Nebraska] Historical Society has posted the names of 957 people buried in a former psychiatric hospital cemetery in Hastings, Nebraska. The burials cover 1889 to 1957. It was a state funded institution and researchers can expect to find that the individuals were sent to Hastings from all over Nebraska. This site also has some history of the institution.

In order to obtain this information, the historical society had to battle for in in a court battle. Congratulations to the society for undertaking this important task.

To check the list click here. This site also has some history of the institution

04 August 2011

Awesome Library of Congress Documentary

I really need to get back to my client work this morning, but something else has captured my interest. It's a 91 minute documentary about the Library of Congress by C-SPAN. I assume it must have been broadcast on C-SPAN but I have missed it.

"The Library of Congress, is a behind-the-scenes look at the national repository, providing the history of the institution, a tour of its iconic Jefferson Building, and glimpses of some of the library's rare book, photo, and map collections. The film also featured some of the presidential papers housed at the Library of Congress, ranging from George Washington through Calvin Coolidge. Viewers learned how the library uses technology to preserve its holdings and expand public access to them, as well as how technology is helping to uncover new information about some of the items in its collections."

The images, the history (of the library and the country), the statistics, and all the rest are enlightening. It's been a long time since I researched or visited the LOC and now I am itching to go back.

Is it worth your 91 minutes? I am not finished yet, but am enthralled by it. Click here to view it.

03 August 2011

Minnesota Normal Schools publications

That's Normal School as in teacher's colleges. Many such schools across the country had newsletters and that includes those in Minnesota. These provide great insight into the school, curriculum, faculty, students, alumni, and education in general. In Minnesota most of these became state universities. Some of these school publications had literary offerings, ads from local businesses, famous quotations, community information and other details. These are great research resources.

Those from two of the state normal schools have been digitized and are available online for free.
  • The Mankatonian: published monthly by students at the Mankato Normal School; 1891-1913 digitized.
  • Normalia: published by the St. Cloud Normal School; 1892 - 1904 digitized.

Both newspapers are searchable by keyword but don't neglect to do some browsing page by page to get a feel for the time period.

These are part of Minnesota Reflections which has nearly 62,000 images and documents shared by more than 120 cultural heritage organizations across the state. This site offers a variety of resources on Minnesota's history for researchers, educators, students and the public." The main page lists recent additions and upcoming digital images. The photographs on this site are phenomenal and give great insight into the state's history and include images of the schools, faculty, and students.

Be ready to spend some time on the websites browsing through the collections. I keep finding things I missed previously or maybe they were just added!

The image above is from The Mankatonian, Volume 2, Issue 2, October 1892.

FamilySearch updates

1.8 Million Records and Images Added to 23 U.S. Collections

Additions Made to Collections from Seven Other Countries

2 August 2011

Historic records from eight countries have been digitized and added to FamilySearch.org. In addition to 1.8 million new U.S. records, collections from seven other countries were added: Canada, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, and Poland. There are many gems for curious minds, such as the updates to the South Dakota 1945 State Census, New York court records, Indiana marriage records, or how about the service affidavits of Utahans who served in the militia during the Indian Wars from 1909-1917. Begin searching now at FamilySearch.org.

02 August 2011

New adoptees support service in Minnesota

The Minneapolis StarTribune carried a story today about adult adoptees and a new support service: "Adoptees Have Answers opened last year to offer services for and about adult adoptees, including support groups, public events and webinars."

Quoting from the article: The group aims to support adoptees but also to promote a better understanding of what it's like to be adopted. The hope is that parents, social workers, adoption professionals, therapists and lawmakers will be listening. "We believe there is a basic underlying situation, when a child and her original mother are separated, that has lifelong consequences," said Kate Maloney, manager of Adoptees Have Answers. "We need to be really, really sensitive to those lifelong issues."

Services and support aside, it's still a struggle for adult adoptees to find out more about their birth families and it's costly as the article alludes to. Costly to learn about themselves. Still this way in 2011. Sad.

Click here to read the full story.