Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

North Carolina Bible Records

The State Library of North Carolina and State Archives have been busy adding records to North Carolina Family Records Online. They have added 249 new records this week, bringing the total number of records in the project to 731.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Heritage Quest Training for Tennessee Residents

If you are a resident of Tennessee, you may be interested in webinars on the use of Heritage Quest being offered by the Tennessee Electronic Library on March 16 and March 18, 2010. Beginner and advanced workshops are being offered. You must register in advance.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All of U.S. History Will Be Taught in NC High Schools

I'm really glad to see that the state of North Carolina changed its mind because of folks who complained. All of U.S. history will be taught in North Carolina high schools, not just 1877 to the present.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

U.S. History in High Schools

Apparently there is a proposal in North Carolina to cut pre-1877 United States history from the high school curriculum. As a genealogist, I find this distubring.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 FGS Conference Registration is Open

Registration for the 2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, scheduled for 18-21 August 2010 in beautiful Knoxville, Tennessee, is now open. This year’s conference theme is “Rediscovering America’s First Frontier,” and is co-hosted by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society.

The conference schedule includes 173 presentations by 73 noted speakers, including a large number of sponsored luncheons with speakers. There will be two exciting evening events: “Come Sit a Spell: Ballads, Mountain Stories, and Country Fare,” organized by the host societies; and the annual gala FGS banquet, “An Evening in Old Appalachia,” which will be held at the fascinating Museum of Appalachia.


The exciting program includes a completely redesigned “Focus on Societies” day that will present societies’ officers, as well as their members and volunteers, with all new programs and focus group sessions to help improve their operations and effectiveness.


ProQuest is sponsoring Librarians Day, a full day of free sessions for librarians and archivists that includes a tour of the outstanding McClung Historical Collection of the Knox County Public Library.


FamilySearch will present an extensive track of sessions about its resources and projects that you won’t want to miss. Ancestry.com will present a free day of classes for the public and conference attendees on Saturday, plus they will offer free document scanning sessions to attendees by appointment throughout the conference. The Genealogy Guys Podcast will also be there to record a “live” session at the conference.


The Exhibit Hall will be filled with a wide array of vendors and organizations, and a special Spotlight on Societies area will showcase local and regional genealogical and historical societies. There will be extended Exhibit Hall hours on Friday evening, followed by a gala reception, hosted by FamilySearch, to kick off the 1812 Pension Files Digitization Project.


There are more activities and research opportunities too numerous to list. However, you can learn all about the 2010 FGS Conference and register for this exciting four-day event at http://www.fgs.org/2010conference. Be sure to also visit or subscribe to the FGS Conference Blog at http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org for lots more information and travel advice.

We look forward to seeing you in Knoxville in August!


Cherel Henderson and Pat Oxley

National Conference Co-Chairs

2010 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference

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National Park Service Brochures and Genealogical Research

As I was cataloging, one of the folded brochures that individuals often pick up at various places in the National Park Service, I was impressed with the amount of background information that the brochure presented that would be useful for genealogists. This particular brochure was for the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York. It's SUDOC classification is I 29.21:AF 8. Unfortunately this brochure is not available electronically so you'll have to visit a government documents repository to locate it. Here's a partial listing of some of the items a genealogical researcher might find in this brochure:

  • Partial listing of countries from which early Africans came to colonial America
  • Brief description of the rights of "company slaves" in 1626 in New Amsterdam
  • Information on a 1644 petition which granted a limited amount of "freedom" to some
  • Effect of the English taking control of New Amsterdam in 1664 on slavery
  • Description of typical duties of men, women, and children enslaved in New York
  • Information on the "Negros Buriel Ground" (as it was called on a 1755 map)
  • Laws regarding burial of blacks, African funerals, etc.
  • Information on the archaeological finds that brought this location and its "residents" back into prominence

Friday, February 12, 2010

A First Time for Everything

Today I was cataloging some recent arrivals for our government documents collection for which we had failed to receive (at least to date) records from Marcive. One of these documents was a map of the Holly Springs and Tombigbee National Forests in Mississippi which is near the area in which I grew up. As I began to look at the map, I noticed that they had labeled U.S. 78 not only U.S. 78 but also Interstate 22. Now, those of us who have travelled that road frequently know that the corridor is the "Future I-22" so I was a bit surprised to already see its new moniker on an official government map.

As I began to think about this, I thought of all the street name changes I've encountered over the years. For example, the 1930 census of Amory, Mississippi includes the street names for the town, but they do not match up with present-day street names. I was eventually able to pinpoint most of the locations by asking my parents. Even they did not remember the old names for the streets, but they were able to tell me the locations of the streets when I told them who lived on the streets. I'm sure that if I'd gone to the trouble of locating an older map of the town that I might have been able to find the names of the streets and then compare to a newer map to identify the present-day locations. After all, there was a "first time" that the new name appeared on a map.

By the way, this particular national forest map would be useful for persons researching areas near the national forests because it shows the sections, townships, and ranges for of not only the forest itself but also the nearby land. The main part of Holly Springs National Forest shows significant portions of Benton, Marshall, Union, Lafayette, and Pontotoc Counties. The Yalobusha Unit for that county shows a large part of Yalobusha County and a small part of Grenada County. For the Tombigbee National Forest, the Trace Unit map shows a large portion of Chickasaw County, some of Pontotoc County, and a couple of sections in Lee County. The Ackerman Unit map shows a significant amount of Winston County and parts of Choctaw and Oktibbeha Counties. The interesting thing is that landmarks such as churches are also identified on the map as well as bodies of water (down to the creek level).

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