Monument to Judge Toulmin dedicated today in Baldwin County. He was also president of Transylvania University (where I attended as a Freshman) 1794-96. In 1804 he was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson as judge for a territory that included what is now Baldwin County, Alabama, where my daughter lives.
Archive for December, 2009
This New Year’s Eve, write down for your descendants what this decade meant to you.
This decade had bad parts, but for me good ones, too! Two editions of the book. Both kids graduated college. I got to move to the Gulf Coast, which is something I’ve wanted all my life. A trip to the BVI for our 30th wedding anniversary.
I could have done without my mother’s death, the hurricanes, the economic crisis and of course George W. Bush and all the joy he brought us. But overall, you know, I have some really good memories of the aughts.
How about you?
My mother’s genealogy stuff is all still in Huntsville, and has been since she died. January will be three years. I need to get myself up there to retrieve it all. That’s my New Year’s Resolution!In RE:New Years ResolutionsThe topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be: New Year’s Resolutions! This year is almost over and a new decade is knocking on the door. This is the perfect time to make your New Year resolutions, goals, aims, declarations, intentions, aspirations, objectives, plans, targets, schemes, wishes, or whatever you want to call them! Figure out how you’re going to approach your family history research next year, write it up, and share it with us in the COG. The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2010.Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form (http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_346.html).Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the “comment” box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you’ve written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page (http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_346.html).
My mother helped start, served as President, and organized the first reunion of the Spencer Historical and Genealogical Society. For years she and I edited the journal, LeDespencer. Today for Follow Friday, I’d like to point you to their site: http://www.spencersociety.org/The Spencer Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (SHGS) was originally founded in 1978 as the Spencer Family Association with a nucleus of 38 Charter Members. The Association was renamed in 1990. Current SHGS members descend from many different Spencer lines and reside in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, England, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, and the West Indies.
The objective of the Society is to encourage research and permanent recording of Spencer family history and that of collateral family lines. To meet this objective, the SHGS maintains a Library of books and papers with over 200 titles relating to various Spencer families. These books are available to members for loan and, in some cases, for purchase. Several SHGS members have authored manuscripts and books about Spencer families, and these are in our Library and in the Library of Congress.
The Society also maintains a computerized database, currently containing over 165,000 individuals and 61,000 families of Spencer descendants which were submitted by members and from other sources. It is continuously increasing, and members may request information on their lineage from the database.
The SHGS holds a Reunion every two years in a different part of the country offering members an opportunity to visit places of genealogical interest and to hear speakers on subjects of interest to members. Reunions have been held in Spencer IN, Ft. Wayne IN, Albany NY, Haddam/East Haddam CT, Lexington KY, Salt Lake City UT, Williamsburg VA, Charlotte NC, Geneva OH, Grapevine TX, St. Louis MO, Franklin TN, and Valley Forge PA.
Membership includes online access to le Despencer, the SHGS quarterly journal, which contains Spencer genealogical articles, editorial comments, announcements, and a “Query” setion. Members may submit queries without charge.
Society business is conducted by an elected Board of Directors and a dedicated volunteer staff. The officers and staff do not do research for members, but some information and informal assistance can often be provided on request. Correspondence to an officer or staff member requiring a reply must include a business-size SASE. Members are encouraged to exchange information with other members, and submit articles for publication in le Despencer.
The SPENCER DNA Project was begun in 2001, and has proven to be a valuable tool to researchers attempting to prove their Spencer lineage. This project is coordinated by the SHGS Data Manager but is not financially sponsored by SHGS.
We invite any Spencer descendant, or anyone researching the Spencer surname (including variant spellings), to join SHGS. For further questions, feel free to contact any SHGS Officer as listed on this website.
Sometimes you can find good clues to vital statistics in obituaries, although one must be cautious. My own parents’ published obituaries had minor errors because the family was not thinking clearly at the funeral home. I suspect that is the case with many death notices. Still, the parents and progeny were correct, even if some other particulars were not.
Go to Cyndi’s List and look at the Deaths (http://www.cyndislist.com/deaths.htm) page for a good round-up of sites that specialize in obituaries.
Once you have a place and year of death from an obituary, if your ancestor died in the 20th century, you should look at the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) as a more reliable source for data. This is public record, and you can search it for free at http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/. The results will give you the official birth date, death date, where the Social Security number was issued (usually the place of residence at the time), and where the last payment was made (usually the place of death at the time).
With this information, you can use the state’s vital statistics department to get a copy of birth and death certificates, which are primary sources.
Other sites with SSDI lookup are:
· FamilySearch.org has a page specifically for the SSDI at http://www.familysearch.org/eng/search/ssdi/search_ssdi.asp
· Genealogy.com (home of Family Tree Maker) offers the SSDI for free, but only as part of their Internet Family Finder search. The advantage is searching many resources at once, but the disadvantage is the over-abundance of results to week through. You also can’t search without the last name.
· GenealogyBank.com (access is free at many libraries) has over 84 million records – updated weekly, a quite good source for recent deaths.
· NEHGS – Social Security Death Index Free Access at http://www.newenglandancestors.org/research/Database/ss/default.asp For finding someone who died recently, this free Social Security Death Index search offered at NewEnglandAncestors.org is also very good.
· Railroad Retirement Board at http://www.rrb.gov/mep/genealogy.asp is the place to look if your ancestor worked for a railroad company and covered by the Railroad Retirement Act (after 1936).
· Searching the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) in One Step at http://stevemorse.org/ssdi/ssdi.html. Steve Morse has created a practical search form which augments the search logic of many of the free SSDI search engines on the Web. You can choose which of several SSDI databases to search. This easiest SSDI search interface available, and a favorite of mine.
Press ReleaseDecember 11, 2009
National Archives Hosts Public Forum to Discuss Research Area Changes at Archives I
Washington, DC…On Thursday, December 17, at 1:00 p.m., the National Archives will hold an open public forum to discuss changes under consideration for public research areas in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Genealogists, scholars, Government agency offices, and all other researchers who use the services and facilities of the National Archives are invited to share their needs and concerns. The meeting will take place in the Robert Warner Research Center of the National Archives Building, located at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Research Entrance.In recent years, microfilm usage by researchers has dropped significantly. Given this decreased demand for the numerous and bulky microfilm reader machines, the National Archives now has an opportunity to reallocate space in the building. By reducing the size of the microfilm reading room to the number of stations actually in demand by researchers, the National Archives can expand much-needed office space for staff and public program spaces for visitors, while both maintaining and strengthening researcher services.There have been discussions this fall between researcher representatives and National Archives staff on ways to design and equip proposed new research areas. The National Archives now invites the general public to participate in this discussion. National Archives staff will explain the reasons for undertaking a space plan, its objectives, and the planning process, and will invite comments and answer questions. Alternative proposals will be described and considered at this public forum. The goal is to reallocate space and update equipment and systems so that researchers receive the most value from every square foot of space.Reservations are not required. Those who cannot attend are invited to send written comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 • Telephone: 1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272 1-866-272-6272
An excellent resource for finding vital records is Thomas Jay Kemp’s International Vital Records Handbook. 5th Edition
(Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009).
The new 5th edition has the latest forms and information for each of the 50 states as well as key addresses of repositories and embassies to help you find foreign records. The best part: the forms you find in the book can be photocopied and used for your search. No need to send off for the form, then send off for the record!
I love words, and thinking about how we use them, and then don’t. One such word is “jitney”.
When I was growing up, a small grocery store at the bottom of our hill was called “Jitney Jungle”. Jitney can mean “nickel”. It can also mean “cheap, shoddy, poorly made”. Or to ride on a bus. (Makes one wonder why you’d put such a term in your company’s name….)
The Jitney Jungle was where Mama sent us for a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, or even a package of cigarettes. Getting back up the hill, on a bike, with a carton of milk was not easy, but doable! I haven’t seen one in ages, but apparently they still exist.
According to Reference.com, Jitney-Jungle Stores of America, Inc., one of the largest, privately owned grocery chains in the nation, operates in six southern states: , Alabama , Arkansas , Florida , Louisiana , and Mississippi . Tennessee It is the largest retailer in , its home base, where it enjoys a 25 percent share of the grocery market. It is associated with Delchamps; Sack and Save (McCarty-Holman Company, Inc.); Foodway, Inc.; Megamarkets. Mississippi
The etymology (genealogy of a word!) of “Jitney” seems to be obscure to many dictionaries, but the Financial Dictionary has this history of the word:
“Jitney, or “the jitney game,” is basically the same thing as circular trading. The term originated from “Jitney buses,” which was a derogatory slang term for Ford buses at the beginning of the century. A reporter coined the term by alluding to the five-cent piece it cost back then for a bus ride. It has since been used to refer to something that is cheaply and poorly made.”
- Genealogy Herald’s New Website launched earlier this month. Jeannene Midgette does a great job of collecting the cute, interesting, fun and informative posts of personal genealogy blogs around the Web. Worth a bookmark. This link is just one example of what you will find there.<p></p>
- From the DAR:Just a reminder that the GRS research link is now on line so you can check out your Patriot(s). ”The DAR Genealogical Research System is a combination of several databases created in recent years to organize the large quantity of information that the DAR has collected since its inception in 1890.” http://dar.org/library/online_research.cfm
- From Linkpedium: Linkpendium Now Indexes 8,517,569 Genealogical Web Sites…. just installed 38,677 new US and surname genealogy links from Karen and and the Linkpendium volunteers at http://www.Linkpendium.com/ Linkpendium now indexes 8,517,569 genealogical Web pages in more than 1,421,398 categories.
- From We Tree:Amy Coffin :“Guess where I’m going? I didn’t even have time to tell you about my exciting arrangements to attend the Arizona Family History Expo before the organizers went and made me a Blogger of Honor for the event!”Congrats to Amy!
Press Release:Families Find Roots in CemeteriesUNION, N.J., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ — This is the time of year when people contemplate their resolutions for the year ahead. The intentions range from the common — wellness goals such as weight loss or smoking cessation — to the complicated, such as tracing their families’ genealogies.A Google search of “genealogy” returns results for 4.5 million websites. Moving through the results, one site offers “free family history, family tree, and genealogy records and resources from around the world.” There’s another that allows visitors to create a “free family tree” and once they start working through the screens, discover they must pay a fee to continue to actually access the information.The Internet is a key factor in the emergence of the genealogy industry. The Web makes it quick and convenient to access data through research and collaboration with others — down the street and even in remote areas of the world. In 2002, The New York Times reported that genealogy websites, which started charging consumers for information in the mid 1990s, had grown into an industry approaching the $100 million threshold.According to Bernard Stoecklein, president and CEO of CMS Mid-Atlantic, Inc., a company that provides financial, marketing and consulting services to the cemetery industry throughout New Jersey and New York, the company’s affiliated properties frequently receive calls from for-profit companies that are compiling genealogical information to sell to families on the web.Some of the companies that market genealogical information on the Internet, may contact a cemetery to request information about dozens of lot owners at one time. For the cemetery, helping these companies can be labor intensive and time consuming.”We never allow a company’s request to interfere with the level of service we provide to families,” said Mr. Stoecklein. “Our affiliated cemeteries and memorial parks are built on the principle of ‘people helping people’. CMS’ family service counselors help individuals, couples and families plan for their burial in advance of need and at the time of immediate need. They establish trusted relationships with the families and are there to provide service long after the burial.”Mr. Stoecklein said that when a for-profit company contacts a CMS property for genealogical information, the property charges a small fee for the staff’s time to research the information; however, when a family member requests information about an ancestor’s grave or burial, whenever possible, the family service counselor encourages that person to visit the cemetery to see the grave and permanent memorial, and a family is not charged a fee for this service.Unlike most for-profit businesses today, many cemeteries, including those affiliated with CMS, use the traditional method to maintain family records — typed and handwritten files stored in metal cabinets rather than on disks or microchips.”Our counselors will pull the files, which may date back many decades, and share non-confidential information with the family members,” said Mr. Stoecklein. “One of the reasons that a person selects a monument or flush memorial to mark his or her grave is to provide a legacy for future generations to learn about their heritage. By sharing the public information with their descendants, our cemeteries are helping to fulfill the wishes of the deceased.”In November, a woman who was researching her family tree to trace its health history, visited CMS’ Hollywood Memorial Park and Cemetery, in Union, New Jersey. She knew that 12 of her maternal relatives, including her grandparents, were buried or interred in the memorial park. When she visited the property’s office, she was assisted by Walter Braun, a family service counselor, who provided her with maps of the memorial park and mausoleum. He also directed her to her ancestor’s resting places, and gave her copies of the property’s file cards that contained the plot, lot and mausoleum numbers for her loved ones.”The personal touch is invaluable,” said Mr. Stoecklein. “As keepers of families’ memories, we are privileged to share the information we have on file with their loved ones.”SOURCE CMS Mid-Atlantic, Inc.