Sassy Jane Genealogy Blog

1 May 2016

Archives MayDay 2016

Today is Archives MayDay 2016 – the one day each year when the entire archives profession pays attention to emergency preparedness by writing, reviewing, and revising disaster preparedness plans.

At home, too often our emergency planning takes second place to more pressing demands. So I think it’s smart to take a leaf from the Society of American Archivists and take time today to review the emergency plans for your family history data. (I’m going to assume that everyone has already ensured their personal safety so that we can focus on data. But if you need to improve your personal safety measures, visit

A starting place for your data and papers:

Are you backing up your data?
If you are, could you grab that hard drive and go with only a few minutes’ warning?
Is that backup automated? Don’t depend on remembering once a month to make a backup. Let your […]

28 Apr 2016

Visiting Prussia for the Time-Traveling Genealogy Blog Party

Courtesy of Elizabeth O’Neal at LittleBytesofLife,
my entry is
Visiting Prussia for the Time-Traveling Genealogy Blog Party
Here’s this party’s theme:

You and The Doctor (of Doctor Who fame [who of course is David Tennant – hubba hubba]) have just finished saving the Earth from nasty, alien monsters. As your reward, The Doctor has offered to take you for a ride in his TARDIS to meet one of your ancestors!

Who is the ancestor you will meet?
I long to know Friedrich Wilhelm Alexander KIRSCHSTEIN, my great-great-grandfather, who has been my most persistent brick wall for lo these many many years. He married my great-great-grandmother, Florentine Mathilde BRAUN, on 20 Oct 1847 in Rawitsch, Posen, Prussia (now Poland). But before that he might as well have been a ghost for the past six years I’ve been looking for him and his parents. Until very recently, dundundun.*

What question(s) do you need him/her to answer?
When I meet him, I will heroically refrain from shaking him […]

17 Apr 2016

Free Colorado Digital Archives for Genealogy

Free Colorado Digital Archives for Genealogy
is part of  Sassy Jane Genealogy‘s States on Sunday series,
providing links to free digital resources for each of the fifty states.
Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library
“Founded in 2009 and situated in downtown Denver, the Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library (CC&W) advances understanding of Rocky Mountain history. CC&W builds unique digital research collections, reviews Colorado publications, and produces mini-documentaries.” Search the catalog at Notable collections include:

American West    (Adam Matthew Digital)

Contains the digitized contents of The Graff Collection of Western Americana at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Contents include original manuscripts, ephemeral material (including trade cards, wanted posters, photos, claim certificates, news-sheets, etc.), maps, and rare printed works.

Search online databases at
Colorado Cemetery Records at
Colorado Historic Newspapers

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) includes digitized pages from newspaper titles published in Colorado from 1859 to 1923. Search by keyword or browse by newspaper title, […]

16 Apr 2016

Georgetown Univerity’s Search for Slave Descendants

From the front page of the New York Times this morning, one of the most important and compelling articles I’ve ever read about slavery, reparations, and genealogy, documenting Georgetown University’s Search for Slave Descendants.

In the fall of 1838, two of Georgetown’s Jesuit priests arranged for the sale of 272 human beings owned by the university. The slaves worked on a Maryland plantation and their labors supplied Georgetown with cash. When the plantation was no longer profitable, the university’s leaders arranged to sell most of the slaves, who were sent to New Orleans for auction.

An inspector scrutinized the “cargo” on Dec. 6, 1838. “Examined and found correct,” he wrote of Cornelius and the 129 other people he found on the ship.
The notation betrayed no hint of the turmoil on board. But priests at the Jesuit plantations recounted the panic and fear they witnessed when the slaves departed.
Some children were sold without […]