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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 [...]

10 Apr 2016

Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 3

Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 3 is part of  Sassy Jane Genealogy's States on Sunday series, providing links to free digital resources for each of the fifty states. Part 1 featured the major resources available. Part 2 includes institutional and small organization links. Part 3 today concludes the entries for California. The state's resources are so numerous, it is impossible to list them all here. Researchers are advised to search for specific public library and genealogical society resources by geographic areas to find additional resources. Ethnic Resources African Americans in California 1,800 items found in 60 collections at Calisphere, predominantly historic images. Chinese in California Collection Pon Doo Chew: Affadavit to establish nativity and identity, 1926 (courtesy Ethnic Studies Library, University of California, Berkeley) UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library The Chinese in California presents a balanced perspective on a tumultuous and changing history of this community in California. Major issues explored in these records [...]

3 Apr 2016

Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 2

Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 2 is part of  Sassy Jane Genealogy's States on Sunday series, providing links to free digital resources for each of the fifty states. Part 1 featured the major resources available. Part 2 includes institutional and small organization links. Part 3 concludes the entries for California. The state's resources are so numerous, it is impossible to list them all here. Researchers are advised to search for specific public library and genealogical society resources by geographic areas to find additional resources. Access Genealogy California 1861 Placer County, California Directory https://www.accessgenealogy.com/california/1861-placer-county-california-directory.htm California Census Map 1910 https://www.accessgenealogy.com/california/1910-california-census-map.htm [California] Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875 http://caahgp.genealogyvillage.com/pacific_coast/ California Digital Library Free Digitized Genealogy and Family History Books https://archive.org/details/cdl?and[]=genealogy CaliforniaGenealogy.org California Gold Rush "Most Wanted" Website http://www.californiagenealogy.org/goldrush/ Website for "Most Wanted (most elusive, brick wall) ancestors lost in California during the time of the Gold Rush 1840s-1880s." California [...]

19 Mar 2016

Why We Do Genealogy

How many times have you been asked why we do genealogy? Back when I was a working archivist-librarian, the bosses who held the pursestrings would ask me why we should even bother with all that old stuff. After all, it was so expensive to take care of and nobody really cared about those dusty old archives. My immediate, though internal, answer was always, "How can you not care about history?" None of my grad school classes in history or library science prepared me to justify archival preservation, research, or outreach, especially to bosses who had never done primary-source research themselves. Eventually I figured out ways (with more or less success) to make preservation and access to the historical records in my care palatable to administrators who only had eyes on the bottom line. Courtesy TenementMuseum.org A few years ago, I posted about a visit to the Tenement Museum, one of the best [...]