Nancy

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3 Feb 2017

Searching the Historic American Buildings Survey

Interested in searching the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) to find a connection between an ancestor and a specific place?
HABS was established in 1933 when Charles E. Peterson, a young landscape architect proposed the project. It was initially founded as a “constructive make-work program for architects, draftsmen and photographers left jobless by the Great Depression. By creating an archive of historic architecture, HABS provided a database of primary source material and documentation for the then-fledgling historic preservation movement.”
Today, a division of the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) administers HABS, the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), and the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). Records include “556,900 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 38,600 historic structures and sites dating from Pre-Columbian times to the twentieth century.” The collection is managed by the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
When I searched HABS for churches in Cook County, Illinois, I […]

14 Jan 2017

Finding German Place Names at Meyersgaz.org

Using the essential Meyers Orts German gazetteer just got easier. Try finding German place names at Meyersgaz.org, which provides maps and translations.

Meyersgaz.org is a new site for searching the indispensable Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs (Meyers-Orts for short). As FamilySearch notes,
This gazetteer of the German Empire is the gazetteer to use to locate place names in German research. It was originally compiled in 1912. This gazetteer is the gazetteer to use because it includes all areas that were part of the pre-World War I German Empire. Gazetteers published after World War I may not include parts of the Empire that were lost to bordering countries. Overall, this gazetteer includes more than 210,000 cities, towns, hamlets, villages, etc.
Meyers Orts is available in print at libraries and searchable index at Ancestry and FamilySearch.

But for English-speaking researchers, Meyers Orts can be tricky to use. This historical reference work is, of course, published in German and in […]

13 Jan 2017

You Are in FamilyTreeNow.com Whether or Not You Want to Be

Right now, you are in FamilyTreeNow.com whether or not you want to be. Information about you and other living family members has been aggregated and is available for free. From the Washington Post, an article today entitled “You’ve Probably Never Heard of This Creepy Genealogy Site. But It Knows a Lot About You.” Abby Ohlheiser writes,
There are many “people search” sites and data brokers out there, like Spokeo, or Intelius, that also know a lot about you. This is not news, at least for the Internet-literate. And the information on FamilyTreeNow comes largely from the public records and other legally accessible sources that those other data brokers use. What makes FamilyTreeNow stand out on the creepy scale, though, is how easy the site makes it for anyone to access that information all at once, and free.

…Unusually for a site like this, FamilyTreeNow doesn’t require a fee, or even the creation of an account, to access […]

9 Jan 2017

World War II Diaries of Friendship, Suffering, Death

From the Washington Post today, a story of World War II diaries of friendship, suffering, death now preserved at the Library of Congress.

In September 1944, after two years of suffering in POW camps in the Philippines, U.S. Army Lt. George Washington Pearcy was being transferred to one of Japan’s “hell ships,” bound for captivity in the enemy’s home islands.
Before he left, he entrusted his diary to a fellow prisoner who was staying behind. Pearcy had written the diary on the backs of tin-can labels and other scraps of paper, and he wanted to make sure it survived him.

He gave it to Lt. Robert F. Augur, a friend who had lost a leg in the fighting at Corregidor in 1942 and who kept a small journal of his own.

Pearcy, 29, was killed a few weeks later when the prison ship Arisan Maru was torpedoed by an American submarine. Augur, 34, […]

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