Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Monday, June 28, 2004

In Sheep's Clothing

Several years ago in the public library of a large metropolitan area where I lived, I stumbled upon the beginning of a mystery series where the sleuth was a genealogist named Torie O'Shea. Since that time, I've been devouring Rett MacPherson's series. Last night I finished reading her latest. I actually purchased it as soon as it came out but I had such a backlog of things to read that I didn't get around to it until this past weekend. It did not disappoint me. O'Shea visits her aunt in Minnesota in this installment. She investigates a mysterious diary from the past that was found in her aunt's home. Of course, there is a murder in the present which Torie is able to solve. I don't want to give anything away so I won't go into further detail. If you haven't discovered the series, it is worth a trip to your local library or bookstore!

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Ashland County, Wisconsin

I've been typing up an historical sketch of Ashland County that was published in 1881. While I'm far from done with it, the parts I have been able to post thus far detail some of the missionary work of the Jesuits and the early formation of the county. It is interesting to see that there was settlement in that area in the 17th century when most people only think of the Eastern seaboard having Europeans there.

Zachariah Butler Autobiography

Jerry L. Butler contributed an autobiographical sketch written by one of his ancestors to the Lee County MSGenWeb site. It is a very interesting description of how Zachariah Butler was orphaned at an early age, apprenticed for a time, worked for his brothers for awhile, and how he struck out on his own with a blind horse (and a wife). It makes for some rather interesting reading.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Genealogists and Vacations

I'll admit it - a vacation isn't complete without a trip to a cemetery, courthouse, and/or library. The longer I work on genealogy, the more i find myself trying to figure out how I can squeeze in a trip to a certain county to find a record in a courthouse or go by and take a photo of someone's grave or even see what resources the local library might have that I don't have available on a regular basis. I'm really wanting to plan a trip to New England, but with gas prices as they are, I don't really know that's the best idea right now. Also, it would be hard to decide how long to stay in each location I want to visit. I know that there are lots of New England locations where I need to do research. In the state of New Hampshire, most of my ancestors were in Rockingham and Grafton counties. I would also need to visit the state capital for resources there. In Massachusetts, Ipswich and some nearby towns and villages would be my main focus although one ancestor spent about 3 years in Boston before moving to Ipswich. I would also need to plan to spend some time at NEHGS' library. In Rhode Island, one of my ancestors was one of the original 1660 settlers of Block Island. I've found evidence that he spent winter months in Newport so I'd need to visit both of those as well as Providence. Then there is Maine. I just want to go there! I want to see the coast and lighthouses and go to Bar Harbor as well. Now - when will I have a full year of vacation? LOL

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Random Thoughts

I'm getting a bit behind on my blogging! I began doing some reach over the weekend on my nephew's maternal lines. I took a look at some online census reports and also spent some time at the McClung Collection in Knoxville researching one branch who lived in Page County, Virginia. I found quite a bit of interesting material but I've got a lot of data entry ahead of me! I always make sure that I cite my stuff as I enter it. The first genealogy software program I owned lacked citing capabilities. I tried to do it as best I could in the 10 lines of notes I was allowed, but that just wasn't enough space and I often had to rely on my memory or on what I had in file folders or notebooks. I'm really glad that I have migrated to a newer piece of software which is more functional.

I spent Monday evening making a presentation to the Jefferson County Genealogical Society about using the Internet in genealogical research. Folks seemed to really enjoy my presentation. I shared tips about watching for the integrity of sources as well as a few of my favorite places for research as well some places to go to get a good start!

Friday, June 18, 2004

Rev. Stephen Bachiler

One of my more interesting ancestors is the Rev. Stephen Bachiler (sometimes spelled Batchedler or other variations). The Lane Public Library in Hampton, New Hampshire maintains a page of articles relating to him. At the bottom of that page, I discovered a link to a descendants site. While I normally hate geocities sites because of all the popups, I had to mention this one even if it is lacking in visual appeal and the data is presented awkwardly.

Mifflin County, PAGenWeb

It's been awhile since I had visited the Mifflin County PAGenWeb site, but I was thrilled to see some new data on there. Most of the Amish lines I'm researching lived in this county for awhile. It's always great to find more information online, and I plan to spend a little more time on this USGenWeb county page.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Publisher with County Pictorial Histories

While surfing the web, I stumbled across the site for Turner Publishing which has several county histories available for purchase. Most of the histories are pictorial histories. A few of the histories focus on cities or churches or families. I had a couple of families who lived in the three corner area of Monroe, Itawamba, and Lee counties in Mississippi. I noticed that they had a history for Lee county.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Telfair County GAGenWeb

I adopted Telfair County in the GAGenWeb project this week and posted it online today after receiving the account information. Although it is a work in progress, it is now available for researchers to use. My grandfather's sister Emma lived in that county as did another cousin.

Gateway Family Historian

St. Louis Public Library released the Spring issue of Gateway Family Historian online. They are the library which houses the National Genealogical Society's collection. The focus of the spring issue is Kentucky research.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Top 101 for 2004

Family Tree Magazine has come out with its annual list of the top 101 web sites for genealogy for the year 2004.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & Museum, Mansfield, MO

This past week I had the opportunity to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri while en route to the Association of Christian Librarians' conference in Springfield, Missouri. As a genealogist, I was absolutely thrilled with the museum. It was full of items, articles, and other things that would truly help someone researching the Ingalls or Wilder families. A friend of mine and I decided that we needed a museum to store all of our family history research and artifacts! If you are ever in the area of the home, it is definitely worth a visit!

Summer Reading for Genealogists

George Morgan posted his annual list for summer reading for Genealogists on Ancestry Daily News this week. The first title on the list is the book I'm presently reading, Isle of Canes. It is written by one of my favorite genealogical writers, Elizabeth Shown Mills and is based upon her years of research of multiracial families residing in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. This is the same area that was the setting for Lalita Tademy's Cane River. I always enjoy Rett MacPherson's novels with fictional genealogist Torie O'Shea. Her newest book In Sheep's Clothing is also on my summer reading list.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Welcome to My Family History Page

Welcome to my family history blog. I intend to post discoveries relating to genealogical and family history research and to local history resources of interest to researchers.