genealogy

30 Aug 2015

SAA Archives Change Lives

Proud of my profession today with this new outreach effort from the Society of American Archivists. Enjoy this video from SAA Archives Change Lives. “Archives take lives and make them legacies.” What a wonderful one-sentence summation of archives and genealogy.

Have archives changed your life? Tell SAA about it here. (This page is designed for professionals, but I’m sure SAA wants to hear from users, too.)

28 Aug 2015

Finding Old U.S. Newspapers

Interested in finding old U.S. Newspapers by state and for free?
From 1982 to 2011, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded the United States Newspaper Program (USNP) to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm newspapers published in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present.
The USNP supported projects in each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each project was conducted by a single organization within a state or territory, usually the state’s largest newspaper repository. Project’s staff inventoried holdings in public libraries, county courthouses, newspaper offices, historical museums, college and university libraries, archives, and historical societies. Catalog records were entered into WorldCat. Microfilm copies of USNP newspapers are generally available to researchers anywhere in the country through interlibrary loan.
I’ve included the dollar amount of each state project, to reinforce the reality that access to information always requires funding. The dollar amount includes funds for planning, implementation, and continuation of multi-stage projects. The list provides the approximate number of titles and newspaper pages that were cataloged and microfilmed.

I’ve also included the lead agency in each state with URLs for their newspaper project Web sites. Please note, however, that not all institutions maintain a Web site specifically for their USNP projects.

(The links are current but if you find a dead one, use the comments section to let me know.)

Work continues to digitize selected United States newspapers through the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), in partnership with the Library of Congress. To view the NDNP digital resources at the Library of Congress, go to Chronicling America at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/.

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ALABAMA

The Alabama Coalition for the Preservation of Newspapers (CPAN) was responsible for the production of over 19.6 million pages of newspaper microfilm in the state. The Alabama Department of Archives and History serves as the repository for CPAN master microfilm produced using NEH USNP grant funds as well as the microfilm members continued to produce after the end of the project. The project received $571,563 in NEH support.

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Web site: http://www.archives.alabama.gov/newsmicro/search.cfm

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ALASKA

The project has microfilmed 100,000 pages of such papers as the Forty-Ninth Star and the Esquimaux, an 1866 newspaper for men laying Western Union’s overland line. Included are handwritten newspapers from before the U.S. purchase of Alaska. The project received $650,190 in NEH support.

Alaska State Library

Web site: http://library.state.ak.us/hist/newspaper/newspaper.html

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ARIZONA

The Arizona project has microfilmed over 1,212,881 pages of newsprint from 57 towns in all 15 counties of the state. Titles preserved include the Williams News, the Arizona Record, the Copper Era, and El Sol. Holdings are searchable online by title, city, county, and subject. The project received $1,033,226 in NEH support.

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

Web site: http://adnp.azlibrary.gov/cdm/otherresources/

[…]

22 Aug 2015

GenDisasters

GenDisasters is an online database of “information on the [U.S. and Canadian] historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents our ancestors endured,” as well as information about their lives and deaths.

I was working on a client’s tree and she needed more information about a family member who died in a civilian airplane accident in 1942 and I discovered GenDisasters in the course of my search. The site had a transcript of a United Press wire story, confirming the loss of this family member and providing enough detail to find more records.

What can you find at GenDisasters? Browse this database by disaster, year, or state, or you can search the content by name or other keywords. Newspaper articles and photographs about train wrecks, fires, floods, shipwrecks, plane crashes, accidents and other disasters.  Most of these articles list the dead and injured or missing. Individual accidents and deaths are included, together with well-known disasters, such as the 1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in […]

16 Aug 2015

Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa?

Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha Ha Ha!
During the election of 1884, Republicans tried unsuccessfully to discredit Grover Cleveland, a Democrat from New York, with tales of his debauched lifestyle and immoral character, using this ditty to allude to a love child allegedly born to Cleveland and widow Maria Crofts Halpin. The jury’s still out on that particular presidential contretemps.

But thanks to genetic genealogy, the truth has recently been uncovered on another presidential mystery:
Peter Baker’s piece in the 12 Aug 2015 issue of the New York Times is titled, “DNA Is Said to Solve a Mystery of Warren Harding’s Love Life.” In his article, Baker sheds lights on recurring questions about paramour Nan Britton and President Warren Harding:

She was denounced as a “degenerate” and a “pervert,” accused of lying for money and shamed for waging a “diabolical” campaign of falsehoods against the president’s family that tore away […]