Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Different Point of View

Most of the time when I have read fictional books about the Japanese-American internment experience during World War II, it has been from the point of view of one of those interned. Jamie Ford offers us a different perspective in Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. The hotel is the Panama Hotel in Seattle, Washington where restorers discover belongings left behind by some of the Japanese-Americans who were evacuated. Henry Lee, a Chinese-American, sees someone bringing out a parasol that he is certain belonged to Keiko Okabe, his very special Japanese friend from school. Back in 1942 he and Keiko had been very special friends even though his father, a Chinese businessman, had a very strong dislike for the Japanese. Henry goes into the hotel where he locates, with the help of his son, Keiko's sketchbook and a record that had meant a lot to Keiko and himself. This is Henry and Keiko's story, told from Henry's perspective. It shows the reader that the Japanese were not the only ones affected by this dark chapter in American history. After a stay at a temporary camp, Keiko's family was relocated to Minidoka in Idaho. Although this book was fictitious, the Minidoka War Relocation Center was a real place. The site is now part of the National Park System. Chapter 9 of Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites tells about Minidoka in great detail. Although it is named Minidoka, it was actually nearer Jerome. Friends of Minidoka also has some interesting historical information on this facility. Their further reading page lists several resources that would be useful for persons researching ancestors who were relocated to Minidoka. I located a map on this site of war relocation facilities. I know that I have read books set in Manzanar in California and Topaz in Utah. I think the thing that surprised me most is that two were located in Arkansas. This might be an interesting topic to pursue when I'm in Little Rock for FGS if I have time.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Save Money and Register for FGS Before July 1

It once seemed to be in the distant future. The countdown clock has been ticking. The Federation of Genealogical Societies and Arkansas Genealogical Society Conference "Passages through Time" will be here in just over two months!

July 1st is the very last day to register at a discount for this conference and save big on a full conference registration. It is only $175.00 if you register by then. Divide that amount by four full days of conference activities with all those lectures to choose from and it is a educational bargain. If you register after that date, it will cost $50.00 more.

Go to www.fgsconference.org and register online with the easy to follow directions. If you print the registration form and mail it in, be sure it is postmarked on or before July 1, 2009. If you are registering online you may do that using your Visa, Master Card, or Discover charge card. The system does not accept debit cards.

Of course, registrations will be accepted after July 1 but the discount will be gone. Register now and join other family historians, professional genealogists, librarians, archivists, and writers from Arkansas and states all over the country at this genealogical, educational, and networking bonanza.

For the latest on conference happenings, tourism, transportation, and many other items, visit the Conference News Blog at www.fgsconferenceblog.org.

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Enjoyable Music

Most of you know that I have quite eclectic music tastes, but I've really been listening mostly to classical music lately. I was listening to Mississippi Public Radio on my return from the Department of Archives & History in Jackson the other day when I heard Tom Manoff's review of the selections we were about to hear. I enjoy Rachmaninov so I was delighted to learn that the upcoming selections were some of his piano preludes. They were going to be performed by Steven Osborne. They played about half of the 24 Preludes on the CD. I really can't say enough good things about Osborne's performance of these pieces. I must say, however, that I was disappointed earlier today when I went to the iTunes store and did not find this album. Classical music is so hard to find because so few retailers stock it. If iTunes doesn't offer it soon, I'm sure that I'll be ordering the CD from an online source because this is one that I know I will listen to over and over again! I highly recommend Steven Osborne's Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes. (Just in case the FTC is reading this: I have not been compensated by any party for this review. It's just the opinion of one person who heard something and really liked it.)

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Remembering Farrah

I've always loved detective shows, and when the first episode of Charlie's Angels aired in 1976, I became an instant fan of the show. There was the mysterious Charlie whose face we never saw, but we all knew that actor John Forsythe provided the voice. I think we all had the intro to the show memorized:


Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties but I took them all away from all that and now they work for me. My name is Charlie.


One of those three little girls was Jill Monroe, who was portrayed by Farrah Fawcett-Majors, as she was then known. After her break up with the 6 Million Dollar Man (Lee Majors), she dropped the Majors and went by Farrah Fawcett. I honestly don't know which of the three angels I liked best, but I do know that I had my hair "feathered" like Fawcett's at some point. I was very upset by Fawcett's early departure from the show, but I came to like her character's sister Kris Monroe (played by Cheryl Ladd) within a very short time. I enjoyed Fawcett's forced guest appearances the season after she left.


I remember seeing one or two movies with Farrah Fawcett after her departure from Charlie's Angels, but they did not capture me as did her role as a private investigator.

I miss the days of good television, and I'd love to watch a few episodes of the first couple of seasons of Charlie's Angels to watch Jill, Kelly, Sabrina, and Bosley do a little investigating.

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Thursday's Picks

Here's a round-up of some finds:

I got a chuckle out of the opening sentences in this article in the News-Observer: Maybe North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue should consider joining South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford in Argentina. Her polling numbers have already headed south.

Duke basketball note: Prayers for the family of Elliot Williams. We hate to see him go.

Book note: Lesa reviewed Driftwood Summer. A bookstore in a 200-year-old cottage. The setting alone has me sold!

Summer reading lists: Rebecca Blood, one of the earliest bloggers and author of The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog, has a round-up of summer reading lists. By the way, I still use some content from this book when teaching about blogs and blogging. See this excerpt on Weblog ethics from her book. Speaking of the reading lists Rebecca highlighted, I found a few interesting books on them. Nancy Pearl's list included Narrow Dog to Indian River which is about a couple of folks who are in the 70s who took a narrowboat down the Intercoastal Waterway. Their adventures sound exciting enough that I might try to get this from a library. Summer House by Nancy Thayer made the list by Buzz Sugar. It sounds like it involves family relationships and involves a house on Nantucket that has been in the family for a long time. I'm not usually a big fan of "chick lit," but the family angle gives this one an appeal.

One more reading list: For those going to FGS/AGS in Little Rock who wish to read some fiction set in Little Rock, the FGS blog has a list. I have a friend who has begun a themed approach to reading. She likes to read books about places she is going to visit during that month or the month before the visit. Some of you may wish to read about Arkansas during August!

As I was driving back from Jackson on Tuesday, I heard a debate over the pronunciation of Cuyahoga River. Some pronounce it with a short o as in the word "hog." Others pronounce it with a long o as in the word "hoagie." I will have to admit that until I heard some of the NPR folks pronouncing it with the short o on Monday afternoon as I was driving from Jackson to Hattiesburg that I'd never heard it pronounced that way. They were commenting on the river fire in 1969. I lived in Cincinnati for a total of 12 years, and I think that all the news folks there pronounced it with a long o. Apparently they did an informal survey, calling several government offices and the libraries and historical societies in the Cleveland area on Tuesday and came up with a fairly even split on the pronunciation. When I saw this post on the pronunciation of Appalachian, I was reminded of the other debate. Needless to say, this post was created in reference to the pronunciation of the trail that the South Carolina governor had led his staffers to believe he was hiking. I have heard it pronounced both ways, but since I live in Appalachia now, most of locals pronounce it with a short a, so I believe that is the correct pronunciation.

Great Appalachian photo: I love this fog picture.

Another book note: I had seen Dr. Kessler's book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, among some book notices received at the library. This extended review and summary in the New York Times is interesting.

Ohio Libraries: Amy alerts us to a threat to public library funding in Ohio. As someone who resided in Cincinnati for twelve years, I'm very concerned about this issue. I was a heavy user of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in those years. I hate to think how their wonderful genealogical collection would be impacted by such a drastic cut in funding. I loved having a great regional branch near my home as well as a couple of other branches where I could pick up fiction to read. Many of the titles were available at only one or two branches in the system, but I could have them delivered to one of the branches nearer my home. One of the things I have missed most about Ohio was the wonderful public library! I remember my first visit to Morristown's public library. It was so woefully inadequate for my tastes in reading. I knew very quickly that I would have to begin purchasing books. In fact, I regret having disposed of many books in my personal fiction collection before moving. The public library in Ohio met all my needs, but I was short-sighted in thinking that Tennessee's public libraries would compare. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that up to half of Cincinnati's branches may close if the governor gets his way. As Amy says, "Save Ohio's public libraries." Lesa also mentions the situation in Ohio. (Actually, Lesa's first post on the subject is here.)

A Taste of Summer: Nicole's strawberry pie is making me hungry!

Bookshelves: I think I'll pass on the upside down approach.

More book notes: Maggie has reviewed The Heretic's Daughter which is on my to-be-read list. Since my 8th great grand-aunt Mary Perkins Bradbury is one of the accused witches, I have read a lot more about this period of history, both fiction and non-fiction. Sage has a post at "Musings" about The Cape Fear by Malcolm Ross. Sounds like an interesting read for those with North Carolina roots. Ann Arbor District Library alerts us to a couple of new books on herb gardening. I no longer live in the Midwest so one would be limited in its usefulness to me, but the other one sounds promising. I usually keep a few herbs growing in a container garden.

Chris alerts us to a free month's trial of Images of America. This is an Alexander Street database based on the popular series of photographic books by Arcadia Publishing. I love this series of books and own several of them!

18th and 19th century gardening: J. L. Bell alerted me to a wonderful blog on 18th and 19th century gardens. Check out the other blogs J. L. mentioned via the link on his name. Several are worth a look!

Louisiana obituaries online: Paula alerts us to the availability of a new database of Louisiana obituaries from New Orleans Public Library.

Historic House workshop in Alabama: Birmingham Public Library and Jefferson County Historical Commission are teaming up to offer a workshop on researching historic dwellings. It will be held July 18, 2009, and it is free. You don't even have to register! If I lived a little closer, I would definitely attend this one!

Furniture: I'm always in need of more bookshelves. Kim found an interesting sofa that appears to be a great way of adding a few extra shelves!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Researching in Jackson

I spent the last couple of days researching at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson, Mississippi. I had a list of items that I wanted to find, and I made it through that list. My biggest disappointment is that the Mississippi History bookstore in the building was closed this week for inventory. They lost sales, but I saved money because I am sure I would have found some items that I would have purchased. My second greatest disappointment had to do with their microfilm reader/printers. They had none that would scan to a computer so a digital image of the file could be saved in spite of the fact that the archives are in a brand new state of the art building. It makes no sense to me why they are using reader/printers that are about 10-15 years old in a new facility. I enjoyed talking with the volunteer who was staffing the media reading room on Monday. You could tell that she was very enthusiastic about researching her own genealogy. She also told me of the plight of her own genealogical society. Membership is in decline, and it is very difficult to get people to stand for office. I wish that I could count on my fingers the number of times I've heard that same story, but I don't have that many fingers. Societies need to adapt to the twenty-first century. What worked in the 1960s and 1970s doesn't work today to attract new members. I shared with her about the FGS conference in Little Rock in the fall. She said that her society used to be a member of FGS but no longer was. I assured her that one's society didn't have to be an FGS member to attend the conference. I think that society and many others just like it could benefit from some of the workshops aimed at society management. I did have a successful trip. I've been trying to figure out why my mom's great grandmother said that she was married in 1835 on her confederate widow's pension application when the marriage certificate says 1844 and neither she nor her husband were residents of Mississippi in 1835. I found out that Mom's grandfather's brother died a year earlier than his tombstone states. The tombstone says 1941, but the death certificate says 1940. I just happened to run across his death certificate as I was looking for another person. Those were the major discrepancies that were found but easily resolved because one record was created at the time of the event and the other later. There were many other records that I would have liked to browse, but I knew that I had only a limited amount of time. Next time I will be able to tackle a few more things. I'm really surprised that I made it all the way through my list of things I wanted to accomplish on that trip. I usually end up with at least one or two things that have to be saved for the next trip! I ran into a nasty storm on the way back to my parents' house in Amory. It was extremely windy. The severe thunderstorm warning that was issued right after I got through the worst of it indicated that the winds were up to 60 m.p.h. I certainly think some of the gusts could have been in that neighborhood.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Facebook: Some Applications are Seriously Flawed

I've seen a few Facebook applications lately that need new statisticians. There's one application that supposedly answers the question "How common is your birthday?" I've seen answers varying from 1% to 6% for the persons who have taken this quiz. There are 366 possible dates. Only 365 of those occur each year. One of those occurs every 4 years with the exception of certain millennial years. 1/365.25 = approx. .2738%. In other words, I'm skeptical that anyone's birthday is even 1%.

Then there is one that calculates how common one's last name is. When you consider all the surname possibilities in the world and the amount of people, do you really think that something other than a very common surname such as "Smith" would garner more than a 1% share of surnames, yet I saw a fairly uncommon name with 2% just moments ago.

It's obvious that the people who can't spell when they create the online Facebook quizzes are also the ones who are computing the statistics for some of these applications.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday in Mississippi

I arrived in Mississippi on Monday. It's hot here. I knew I was in trouble when the weather forecasters were saying something about temperatures being near the century mark. It might not have been so bad, but my car's air conditioner was not working properly. I have an appointment with the Honda dealer for servicing tomorrow. I hope the problem is whatever the cheapest solution will be -- maybe freon?

Needless to say I'm trying to work out of Mom and Dad's house until the auto A/C is working a little better. I do have to make some trips to some courthouses and other repositories and to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History while I'm here, but I'm not in a hurry. I'm making good progress on one of the projects for this trip. The other project mostly involves visiting a courthouse to gather additional documentation so it's on hold until Friday.

Now . . . a few of my favorite recent blog posts:

I love roses and Amy has done a great job of capturing the beauty of the roses near Rye, New Hampshire.

I have really enjoyed most of Monica Ferris' needlework mystery series. Monica offers her readers some tips on saving money on their needlework hobby. I will have to admit that I prefer non-DMC and Anchor fibers, but I am trying to go to my "stash" more often these days when I do stitch. I think my favorite part of her post is where she tells how she came about writing the series and admits to errors in her first book. The store which served as inspiration for Betsy's store in the series is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and I'm looking forward to visiting it next summer when the Association of Christian Librarians' conference is in that area.

Speaking of stitching, I first knew about Taneya when she was more into stitching than genealogy. She had created a wonderful database of cross-stitch magazines. I rejoiced with her when she developed a passion for researching her family. Taneya shares with us a wonderful "find" that she made as a result of a connection made through another genealogy blog.

All of us have had that moment when we see hope in cracking one of our brick walls only to have some additional evidence come to light which casts a little doubt on the subject. Craig shares with us his Gines/Gimes/Simms situation.

I love books. Dick Eastman points us all to a great site for finding used genealogy books -- biblio.com. It was featured slightly beforehand at Lifehacker.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bookstores Meme

Boston Bibliophile created an interesting meme about bookstores.

What's your favorite bookstore?
I love a lot of bookstores. I have two favorites in Knoxville. One is Borders. I know that is boring, but our Borders is actually better than the Barnes & Noble. My other favorite is McKays Used Books & CDs. I'm going to have to include some stores that are not bricks and mortar in my response though. At the genealogy conferences, I love browsing Craig's Heritage Books display. I do also occasionally order online from him. I probably use Amazon.com more than any other bookstore.

Have you ever traveled out of state or out of the country, just to visit a particular bookstore?
When I lived near a state line, I frequently shopped at bookstores on the other side of the state line.

Have you ever gone on a date to a bookstore? Would you consider a bookstore to be a romantic place?
I can't think of a date that only involved a bookstore. I have been on dates where we stopped for a short time in one. Romantic? I guess that depends on the company.

What's the latest you've stayed out at night at a bookstore?
Hmmmm . . . I'd say I've left Borders close to their closing time before which is 11 p.m.

Do you like to go with friends or by yourself?
All of the above.

What would your dream bookstore be like?
Lots of regional histories from various parts of the country, great mystery section, genealogical records books, good cookbooks section, good piano music selection, and other things as the mood strikes me!

What's your favorite specialty bookstore and what does it specialize in?
Heritage Books - Genealogy, of course.

Have you ever worked at a bookstore or wanted to? Do people ever mistake you for a bookstore employee and ask you questions as you browse?
I've never worked in a bookstore, but I'm a librarian -- and yes, I do get questions about books as I browse, but some of those are from people who know me from the library.

Do you like bookstore cafes? Would you consider a bookstore a social destination as opposed to strictly a retail destination?
Love them. I almost always get a specialty coffee to drink while I browse.

What's the silliest thing you've ever done in a bookstore? Ever been kicked out of one?
I've never been kicked out of one. I can't think of anything really silly I've done in one.

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Four Days of Genealogy Know-How


Actually 4.25 days if you count the activities on the day before one of the genealogy extravaganzas of 2009. The Federation of Genealogical Societies and its local host, the Arkansas Genealogical Society, invite you and your readers to beautiful Little Rock this September 2-5 for this Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists. Previous host cities have been Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Fort Wayne, and Orlando. Almost 200 lectures, workshops and other presentations await your inquiring mind. What else will you find at such a conference? Many of the countries top researchers, speakers, vendors, archivists, librarians, editors and others in the field of genealogy will be converging on Little Rock eager to share their genealogical knowledge and experience. The conference theme is “Passages through Time” and you will come away with the energy and knowledge to take you through time to research your ancestry with up-to-date techniques, records, and databases.

Register by July 1, 2009 and save $50.00
off the full conference registration. Your full conference registration provides entrance to all lectures during the full four days except for a few with an extra fee. Hear speakers from all around the United States. Ask them questions, learn from your fellow genealogists, figure out ways to find Grandma Griffin’s marriage record, purchase books, CDs, software, maps, databases, memberships, and come away with a renewed energy that can only be found at such a conference. Learn about military, land, school, tax, county, court, probate and other record types. Learn ways to get around brick-wall research. You will receive tickets that enables you to participate in door prize drawings. A conference tote bag and a CD containing the handouts from 99% of the lectures is also yours. If you wish this material in paper form, that is available for a low fee.

Registrants to date are coming from all over the U.S. and some from Canada. This conference has topics for everyone no matter how long you have been doing genealogy. Wednedays’ Networking Luncheon will have some tables designated for specific discussion topics including genealogy bloggers, Arkansas research, military research, Tennessee research and others.

For more details visit www.fgsconference.org and keep up-to-date on conference news, tips, previews, and more at www.fgsconferenceblog.org. See you in September! Be a part of the more than a thousand registrants who will be attending.

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Odds & Ends

The Library of Congress has a new photostream at Flickr to highlight some of the newspaper supplements in their Chronicling America collection. Chronicling America has digital images of newspaper pages from eleven states plus the District of Columbia for the years 1880-1910. They also have a directory which includes newspapers published from 1690 to the present.

Nicole Engard found a Today Show video about the importance of libraries in these tough economic times.

Europeana is in beta. There are 4 million items in the collection. It contains images, sounds, text, and video. A search for "genealogy" does return hits. Check it out.

I've been adding to this post all day so it's time to post it!

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Saving Jefferson County, Indiana History

Many of you know that the Jefferson County, Indiana courthouse went up in flames last month. The local genealogical society is collecting signatures on a petition to get the attention of county leaders about the need to preserve the records that can be salvaged.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Adventures in Flying

I spent the latter part of the morning in the Springfield, Missouri airport doing some last minute visiting with conference friends who were also heading out before catching my late morning flight. As we were sitting in the terminal, we watched a bird flying around INSIDE the terminal. Alison tried to get a picture, but I'm not sure she ever succeeded in getting one that is recognizable. However, there were plenty of us there to witness it!

I discovered that one of my fellow librarians from the conference was actually my seat-mate on the first leg of my flight. The flight from Springfield to Memphis was uneventful; however, I did have a very tight connection. We landed about 12:30 in Memphis, and according to my boarding pass, my flight to Atlanta left at 12:50. I raced my way through one terminal and way down into the next to try to catch the flight before it left. I discovered that the departure time had been misprinted on my boarding pass at the Springfield airport, and that I actually had about 30 minutes until the plane departed. I decided that I had enough time to go back to Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue and grab a sandwich before boarding. By the time I got back to the gate, they were boarding so I ate the sandwich on the plane. Yes, it's as good as all the hype you get from the Food Network!

I witnessed something I'd never seen on a plane before on the flight from Memphis to Atlanta. A guy got the little phone/microphone from the flight attendant and asked everyone to direct their attention to the front of the cabin. This was highly irregular at that point in the flight so we assumed it was the pilot or co-pilot at first. Instead it was a guy who was proposing to his girlfriend of 5 years. He got down on his knees and asked her to marry him. We all applauded when she accepted. A plane is certainly not a very romantic setting, but perhaps they'd met on a Memphis to Atlanta flight or something. At the end of the flight, the flight attendant said that if anyone else wanted to propose that she was single and available. Most everyone laughed.

I had a much more comfortable connection in Atlanta. Our plane arrived all the way at the end of one terminal, and my next gate was two terminals away. I had plenty of time to get there. The Atlanta to Asheville leg was pretty uneventful. I was ready to go grab my bag and hit the road. As I waited for my bag to make its way onto the carousel, suddenly the attendant said, "That's it. That's all the bags." There were still about 6 of us awaiting luggage. We had to follow him to the check-in counters. The agent said that my bag was in Atlanta. She said that they would deliver it to my house. She verified my address and phone number and gave me claim information. I went on and took my carry-on and headed back across the mountain into Tennessee. I've been checking the bag status all night at the web site. I get a message that my bag has still not been located. That's kind of scary when I'd been told that it was in Atlanta. I just assumed that it would make it on the next flight to Asheville and that I'd get the bag later in the night or tomorrow. (I'd heard of people getting their luggage between 2 and 4 a.m. sometimes.) The web site, however, states that they don't make residential deliveries after 10 p.m. It also says that if the delivery service is UPS ground that no weekend deliveries are made. I certainly hope that my luggage makes it here before Monday or Tuesday! If I'd known all of this, I think I would have offered to stay in Asheville until the next flight arrived from Atlanta or had them send it to Tri-Cities or Knoxville if it could have made it to one of those in a timely fashion.

I guess I've been really lucky over the years. This is the first luggage incident that I've had. I've had lots of tight connections before, but this is the first delayed or lost bag I've ever had. I'm just thankful that I'm home now where I do have other clothes I can wear. I'm praying that my luggage will arrive tomorrow! I'd even drive back to Asheville to pick it up! (Of course, they are planning to deliver it. I just don't want to wait until next week because it interferes with other plans.)

UPDATE: I just checked after I posted this. My luggage is now in Asheville!

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Monday, June 08, 2009

FamilyTreeDNA Special

I recently assumed duties as administrator of the Thornton DNA project. Today I received a notice that between June 9 and June 24 that FamilyTreeDNA will be offering a special pricing for new participants to the project. For only $119, persons will receive the 37 marker Y-DNA test AND the mtDNA testing! That's less than half price! If you've been thinking about joining one of the surname projects, now is the time to join!

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5 Year Blogiversary

Would you believe that this blog is 5 years old today? I actually created the first post in a workshop on blogging at the Association of Christian Librarians' annual conference. It is appropriate that this year's ACL conference begins this evening. I eventually decided to broaden the scope of my blog a bit, but genealogy has always been a big part of the blog.

I'm not really up at 3:01 a.m. (At least I hope I'm not.) I made this a scheduled post so that I wouldn't forget to mark this blogiversary which I'm very likely to have done since I'll be in Springfield, Missouri at the time it is posted.

P.S. "Blogiversary" is the correct spelling. Several have been spelling the term differently lately, but the official spelling is parallel to the word anniversary.

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Laundry & Packing

That's what has to be done the day before a trip. It's almost time for the Association of Christian Librarians annual conference. I will be flying to Springfield, Missouri tomorrow. If my friend is tied up with a meeting on Monday, I may have some time to kill. I decided to glance at the few Missouri branches I have and then to check the Springfield-Greene County Library to see if they had anything that would match my needs. I estimate that I could peruse the relevant resources in less than 30 minutes there. My branches were too far north to match the genealogical collection scope.

My great-great grandfather lived in Johnson County Missouri for about 3 years in the 1880s. There was nothing in their collection that was late enough to even make it worth searching for him or for the brother of my great grandfather who would have also been there with his father.

The other potential line was in Saline County. It's not my direct line, but DNA has shown that this group is related to my ancestors. There were a couple of books of records -- one of deeds and one of marriages -- that showed potential. They had a history of the county that had biographies, but that work is available on Internet Archive. There is one page of relevance specifically to the family besides the general county history which is also useful. However, there is no need to use that work in the library since I have access from the comfort of home!

I'm not really sure it is worth the trip to the library because the sources available there will be available elsewhere that would have a larger collection for Saline County. I'll probably just go explore a cemetery for a genealogy fix if my friend is tied up in a meeting.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Amy Kime Arner posted a link on Facebook today to an Associated Press article about the slave cabins on Magnolia Plantation. That reminded me of my visit to that plantation about four years ago. When I discovered that I had not placed pictures of my visit online, I decided that it was time to place a few on the blog.

Above: This is one of the slave cabins. I would love to see the restoration that they mentioned. Perhaps I'll be able to do that when NGS visits Charleston in 2011 if I don't make it there before then. More information is available on the Slave Cabin Restoration Project.
This is the plantation house. It was built before the Revolutionary War, according to the Web site. I don't recall how many prior houses the tour guides told us there had been, and I did not see that information on the Web site.
This was a swampy area that I seem to remember being near the slave cabins. It was beautiful. There were alligators sunning themselves on specially placed boards in the midst of these swampy spots.
This is along the Ashley River which borders the property. It's one of my favorite photos from the trip.
Since Magnolia Plantations has absolutely gorgeous gardens, I would be remiss not including a photo of some of the beautiful plants. I chose these lovely blooms.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What $550 Bought in 1828

I'm in the midst of analyzing a lot of records for a report. I came across an interesting chattel deed from 1828. Here's a list of what $550 could buy in 1828 in northeast Mississippi:

  • negro boy Harry (age 24)
  • one sorrell horse
  • one clock
  • two feather beds and furniture
  • 8 head of cattle
  • 30 head of hogs
  • one woman’s saddle
  • one man’s saddle
  • 8 chairs
  • 2 pots
  • 2 ovens
  • one skillet
  • 3 pails
  • one washing tub
  • 3 tin pans
  • 2 tin buckets
  • 12 plates
  • one desk
  • one set of tea cups and saucers
  • 2 glass pitchers
  • one trunk
  • one band box
  • one sugar box
  • one looking glass
  • one set of knives and forks
  • one loom
  • 3 bedsteads
  • one table
  • one spinning wheel
  • one pair cotton cards
  • 2 bottles

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Southern Capitals

For your reading pleasure, hop on over to Southern Byways and read about the world capitals in the south. I must confess that I have no idea why any place would pride itself in being the fruitcake capital of the world, and apparently there are two which claim this title.

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Musings Monday

from Boston Bibliophile: How much time (or how many pages) do you give a book that you aren't really enjoying before you'll set it aside? If you're reading it for a book group discussion, or for review, will you give it more of a chance then, say, a book you're reading for your own interest? Why, or why not?


It's been awhile since I've participated in one of the book memes. That's partly because I've been so busy with other things that I've had less time to read. In fact, I've sometimes been way behind on blog reading and have just skimmed blogs when I've had a chance to do so. Many times it would be much later in the week before I got to a meme such as "Musings Monday" which was intended for a certain day. This one caught my attention, and I'm seeing it on Monday morning, so I'm going to attempt to answer it.

I will always try to read at least 50 pages, but I'm really far more generous and usually "grin and bear it" for over 100 pages before completely setting a book aside. If I'm supposed to write a review, I will often attempt to "skim" or "speed read" the rest of the book to the best of my ability so that I can fulfill my duties.

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