Family History Expos – Georgia 2011

Georgia Family History Expo – Duluth, Georgia 2011

Over 400 genealogists gathered in Duluth, Georgia, for the annual Family History Expo held at the Gwinnett Center on Nov. 11-12, 2011.

Now in its second year, this conference has the size and feel of a national conference. There were over 60 informative family history sessions taught by two dozen experienced national speakers. Topics covered at this premier event for genealogists ranged from “Searching Your Scottish Ancestors” to “Special Sources for Confederate Research in the National Archives.” Thanks to the conference’s solid organization and the Gwinnett Center’s well-managed layout, it was easy for genealogists to mingle with nationally-recognized speakers and take the time to ask meaningful, detailed questions.

For example, the Family History Expo made it easy for working genealogists to attend by having sessions scheduled well into the evening. Working genealogists that couldn’t make the day-time sessions could attend sessions at night as well as all day on Saturday.

The speakers and vendors each shared their latest genealogy insights and tips. One nifty new application I learned about at this conference is a free family tree software program from TreeSeek.com. This application creates a nine-generation family tree fan chart that is easy to share with relatives and other researchers, as shown below. TreeSeek pulls family data from Geni or FamilySearch.Genealogists will find this free family tree software program a terrific way to easily share some of their family discoveries with relatives over the Holidays.

In addition to traditional family tree charts this program can also create a “Name Cloud” familiar to those of us working with 21st Century genealogy computing. Tom Kemp, GenealogyBank’s Director of Genealogy Products, gave three lectures at the Expo, all focused on the value of newspapers for genealogists.

Friday, Nov. 11: “African American Newspapers”

(Beginner Level) Tom talked about the more than 270

African American newspapers in GenealogyBank’s collection, published from 1827-1999—the largest collection of African American newspapers online. He provided practical advice for genealogists, such as: methods for efficient searching; and how to clip and save newspaper articles about your family. The lecture gave practical examples of the type of information family historians can find in these old newspapers, such as this obituary of Mary Stamps that appeared in the Atlanta Age (Georgia) 13 January 1900, page 2.

Saturday, Nov. 12: “21st Century Genealogy”
(All Levels) For this lecture, Tom concentrated on the ten essential online resources that you need to research your family online, save time, and improve the accuracy of your family history. He showed his audience how to cut through the clutter on the Internet and focus on the ten core resources with the reliable, essential content that genealogists use to document and preserve their family trees.

Genealogy sites Tom discussed included:
· Ancestry
· FamilySearch
· GenealogyBank
· Google Books
· Internet Archive
· Scribd

As Tom told his audience: “It’s a great day for genealogy! Researchers need to know about these terrific online genealogy resources.” Saturday, Nov. 12: “Newspapers: Finding the Details about Your Family”
It was standing room only for this 2011 Family History Expo session, in which Tom explained how to use the more than 5,700 newspapers in GenealogyBank’s
online newspaper archives, published from 1690-Today. He taught how to search efficiently, and clip and save newspaper articles about your family—providing practical tips for searching these online newspapers published over the past three centuries.

Celebrate Family History Month with GenealogyBank – Special Offer

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In celebration of family history month, GenealogyBank has extended their
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Featuring more than 4,400 U.S. newspapers, over 1 billion names from all 50 states,
GenealogyBank is the most extensive historical online newspaper archive designed specifically for family history research. By providing access to rare and hard-to-find newspapers from 1690 to the present day, GenealogyBank gives researchers the opportunity to discover unique, long-forgotten information about their American ancestors.

In addition to over 705 million articles—each of which can be printed and preserved for your family heritage — GenealogyBank also offers over 32 million modern obituaries, more than 87 million death records, over 253,000 reports including military lists, pension requests and the largest collection of U.S. serial set documents online.

There’s never been a better time to explore your family history at GenealogyBank!

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Finding Your “Roots” at Alex Haley Museum Opening

Alex Haley home dedicated as a genealogy library and museum.

When 17-year-old violinist Joseph Matthews performed at the dedication of the Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center, he had no idea he would discover his family roots. Joseph, a high school senior from Memphis, Tennessee, was among hundreds who participated in two days of festivities at the Interpretive Center located behind Mr. Haley’s boyhood home in Henning, Tennessee. The center was dedicated on Friday, 13 August, 2010.

Mr. Haley, who passed away in 1992, received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1976 novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The book tells of his ancestors being sold into slavery in West Africa and their migration from North Carolina to Tennessee. The following year a TV series of Roots, described as “eight straight days of the Super Bowl,” aired and remains the highest rated TV miniseries in television history. Among the significant impact of Roots was a surge in interest throughout the world in family history research.

TIP: Search the Largest Collection of African American newspapers is in GenealogyBank.

Inside the museum Joseph and his family visited a FamilySearch center sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through the free online program FamilySearch.org, Joseph explored his ancestral lines. “Basically we were able to type in my grandmother’s mother’s and father’s name, and from there we searched their records and we were able to find information about their parents as well as their siblings, birthdates, wedding dates, things of that nature,” said Matthews. “We made a couple of steps to where we can make some pretty good discoveries in the future as to our family lineage. We’re going to find out a lot more about our family and where we came from.”

According to Art Johnson, FamilySearch area manager, the placement of the FamilySearch center within the Alex Haley Museum is a perfect fit, “I think it’s a great opportunity to simply share the message of family history and genealogy to individuals that come in and commemorate the accomplishments and successes of Mr. Haley’s life. It’s an opportunity to simply bring people in and help them understand their heritage the way that Mr. Haley did.”
William Haley, Alex’s son, said that resources available through
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are very valuable in searching African-American ancestry. “I always send them to the LDS Church. I say, ‘Well find an LDS Church with a history portion and go in there and they will help you find out who you are and it doesn’t matter what country or anything, they will help you.’ Folks are very surprised at that, but it’s true.”

This is one of several related projects supported by the Church. In 2001, FamilySearch released the Freedman’s Bank records on CD, a unique searchable database documenting several generations of African-Americans immediately following the Civil War. In 2006, FamilySearch participated in the
Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society’s (AAHGS) national conference in Salt Lake City. An African-American family history conference is held in Salt Lake City each year.

The Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center and FamilySearch center are located in Henning, Tennessee, about 45 miles northeast of Memphis.

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GenealogyBank – Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I had a basic question yesterday that reminded me of one of the core values of GenealogyBank – it’s flexible search engine.

A woman wrote asking for the obituary notice of her father – who had died in December 2008 – but she had not included her father’s name. So I wrote back asking her for that detail.

While I waited for her response I thought - you know, GenealogyBank’s search engine can find his obituary even without knowing his name.

Here’s how I did it.

Step One.

I first entered what I knew – the name of his daughter and the month/year that he died. I left all of the other search fields blank. I reasoned that the obituary would likely include the name of his children and close relatives – in this case, the name of his daughter.

Step Two

There was only one hit that met that search criteria.

Step Three
Bingo – it was the correct obituary.

Tip: Be flexible in your searches.

GenealogyBank indexes over 4,200 newspapers published over the last 300+ years. You may search by the name of the deceased or by other persons named in the obituary or news article. Search on every clue.

African American Funeral Program Collection Online

Hat’s off to the: East Central Georgia Regional Library. They have put their African American Funeral Program Collection online.

This impressive collection has more than 1,000 funeral programs from the greater Augusta, Georgia area. They date from 1933 to 2008, with the bulk of the collection starting from 1960 to 2008.

According to the website:

The programs typically contain a photograph of the deceased, an obituary, a list of surviving relatives, and the order of service. The collection provides extensive genealogical information about the deceased, including birth and death dates, maiden names, names of relatives, past residences, and place of burial. Alongside this genealogical information, the obituaries provide a rich source of local history about African Americans. Many of the people included in this collection were prominent in their communities, and many were involved locally in the struggle for civil rights.

The African American Funeral Programs from the East Central Georgia Regional Library is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia in association with the East Central Georgia Regional Library as part of Georgia HomePLACE. The project is supported with federal LSTA funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
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Nantucket, MA Newspapers 1816-1849 Now Online

GenealogyBank has put the Nantucket, Massachusetts archive of historical newspapers: 1816-1849 online.

Click here to search Nantucket, Massachusetts Newspapers 1816-1849 online

Or click on the individual titles below to search a specific Nantucket, MA newspaper:
Inquirer and Mirror 1822-1832
Nantucket Gazette 1816-1817
Nantucket Inquirer 1821-1849

TIP: Other Handy Massachusetts Sites:
Search over 275 Massachusetts newspapers:
Click Here to Search All Massachusetts Newspapers 1690-1975
Click Here to Search All Massachusetts Obituaries 1985-Today

Massachusetts Death Records
Click Here to Search Massachusetts Deaths 1937-2009 (Free)

Pittsfield, MA Historical Newspapers 1788-1922; 1998-Today

GenealogyBank has set up a handy site for searching Pittsfield, Massachusetts’ archive of historical newspapers: 1788-1922, 1998-Today.

Pittsfield, Massachusetts Newspapers
Click here to search Pittsfield, MA newspapers 1788-1922
Click here to search Pittsfield, MA obituaries from 1998-Today

Or click on the individual titles below to search a specific Pittsfield, MA newspaper:
Berkshire Chronicle 1788-1790
Berkshire County Eagle 1826-1828
Berkshire County Whig 1841-1849
Berkshire Eagle 1998-Today
Berkshire Gazette 1798-1800
Berkshire Reporter 1807-1815
Pittsfield Sun 1861-1873
Sun 1795-1922

TIP: Other Handy Massachusetts Sites:
Search over 275 Massachusetts newspapers:
Click Here to Search Massachusetts Newspapers 1690-1975
Click Here to Search Massachusetts Obituaries 1985-Today

Massachusetts Death Records
Click Here to Search Massachusetts Deaths 1937-2009 (Free)

B-Ann Moorhouse (1925-2008)

Joy Rich, Editor, Dorot: The Journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society (New York), contacted me with the sad news that B-Ann Moorhouse has passed away.
She was a terrific genealogist. When I began researching in the 1960s I got to know her and always appreciated her kindness and assistance.

With permission I am reposting Joy’s announcement of her passing.

I write to you with a heavy heart about the passing of B-Ann Moorhouse. B-Ann was a professional genealogist (and a CG) for several decades. She was loved and respected by the enormous number of people whose lives she touched.

B-Ann was the epitome of kindness and graciousness. She believed in people and encouraged them to fulfill their potential. She was always eager to share – especially with the next generation of professional genealogists and with librarians and archivists – the astonishing amount of wisdom, knowledge, and insight she had in the field of genealogy, particularly concerning Irish and colonial American genealogy.

Another area of great interest to B-Ann was the history of African American families in Brooklyn. B-Ann was the founder in 1978 of the Ulster Historical Foundation’s Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild, a research co-operative established to link people worldwide who shared a common interest in Irish genealogy. She also founded the Genealogy Workshop at the Brooklyn Historical Society, which, at the time, was named the Long Island Historical Society.

She authored numerous articles for genealogical publications, abstracted Kings County, New York, administration proceedings and typed them on an extremely temperamental computer, and created finding aids for New York City for several New York state censuses. B-Ann was given access to basements and storage rooms in New York City’s Municipal Archives (when it was still in the Tweed Courthouse), Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court, and the Long Island Historical Society. Left to her own devices, she proceeded to rummage around and found many hidden treasures that she brought to light.

B-Ann passed away on February 15, 2008, in Georgia. Her beloved niece, Ann, who assured me that B-Ann died peacefully, moved her there last year so that she could care for B-Ann in her last months. It will bring a smile to your lips to know that, under Ann’s care, our B-Ann of the small frame gained sixteen pounds in six months.

Soon before she moved to Georgia, Jim Garrity and I paid her what turned out to be our final visit. We took her for a stroll on the promenade in her Brooklyn Heights neighborhood and then out to dinner. We had a wonderful time. It is just one of so many good memories of her that we will have with us always.

B-Ann will be dearly missed by her friends and her family.

Joy Rich
Brooklyn, NY