June 30th, 2008 at 3:54 pm (Articles)
If you are looking for info from old newspapers, this is the age to live in. I am so impressed with the new digitizing projects. Take a look at all the many projects around the nation diligently preparing for us the digitized newspapers.
On the internet, many of the states list their newspaper projects. I for one am planning on using many of them. This is so cool. I am very excited. We no longer have to write all those letters or make all those phone calls, looking for that lost relative. I always think of my cousin Maxine, who has done years of this. She spent countless years compiling her own archives of sorts.
Lucky us. Now we can click on the internet and look at many of the old newspapers. If you have not tried this, take a look. I don’t know about you, but I could get lost in all the history alone.
The Digital Newspaper Project for Wyoming is many months off from its launch, but I will try to keep you informed as the release is announced.
Erin McKinney from the Wyoming State Library is one of the key people working on the new Digital Newspaper Project for Wyoming. She has sent the following information:
For the sheer volume of information they contain, newspapers are the single most important printed record of human activity. Historians, genealogists, and other scholars rely on them to provide a first-hand and sometimes the only account of local news. The Wyoming Newspaper Project will make newspapers printed in Wyoming between 1849 and 1922 accessible in an easily searchable format.
The Wyoming State Archives has finished copying the master microfilm onto polyester film and sending those copies to the vendor. The vendor is busy scanning reels and processing images. The Wyoming State Library has been receiving 1 TB hard drives full of data every few weeks, and loading them onto the server. As of early May, we have 20 newspapers loaded for ten cities. We have begun hiring metadata workers to start augmenting the records. The project is really starting to take off, but right now it is all behind the scenes. We don’t have an anticipated launch date, but for more information and project updates, please see http://wyonewspapers.org/
Special thanks to all of the people responsible in any way for the Digital Newspaper Projects everywhere.
If you know of a special project that would help other genealogists, let me know. I would love to hear from you!
June 15th, 2008 at 3:00 pm (Articles, Self Help Articles)
Through the years I have tried to do genealogy research in several different ways and from many different sources. Two of my favorite places are the state Vital Records offices or State Archives. They are usually most helpful and go out of their way to help you find the records you need.
For instance, my mothers line in from Chariton County, Missouri. About 15 years ago I began writing to the Missouri State Archives. The office sent me a form to fill out with instructions to send the form back with payment for the look-up (the fee at that time was 50 cents a look-up). Also there was information stating that only one look-up would be permitted at one time.
I sent the request off and waited. To my surprise a few weeks later I received an envelope with a copy of the record (marriage record) I needed, along with another blank form. Again I filled out the form and this time asked for death record info. A few weeks later that record arrived. As time went, on I continued this path of requests and mailings. From time to time there would be a note stating there was nothing found, but on the whole it was a very valuable tool. When the Missouri State Archives could not find what I needed, they would send suggestions with the “unable to fill” notice. I found this very helpful.
Each office will have its own rules and regulations, as well as charges and fees. Hint: if your research does not require a notarized copy, request a photocopy. Photocopies are much cheaper. Be prepared to pay, but you can also request a scanned copy sent to your e-mail. Not all offices have this available, but there are a few. Think outside the box. Ask questions. See what all they offer.
Most states have a State Archive and all have a Vital Records Office. These offices are there for our use. Give them a try.
To locate the state archive offices try:
To locate the vital records offices try:
Good Luck with your research!
June 11th, 2008 at 2:09 pm (Articles)
It is summer time, finally. If you are wondering what to do with your summer vacation, try a Genealogy Vacation. This is a great time to visit those places where the family originally came from. There is a lot to be learned from seeing for yourself where and how your ancestors lived. It could be so fun and educational, a little something for the whole family.
It is always a good idea to call ahead if you have family contacts and set a date to meet. Also do your research. Get to know the area, if you have never been there. So often there is so much to see and do, that you might get carried away and miss some of your most important stops.
A few years ago, a good friend and I took a trip to Coalville, Utah. Her family came from there, the Fletcher’s, Shaw’s, and Clark’s. My family also came from that area, the Wilson’s. We knew that our family lines came from there, but we wanted to see the cemetery and local records, as well as take pictures. It was a great summer day. Just warm and sunny. We stopped by the City Hall and local church. The people there were very helpful. After a few rolls of film and a long talk with the very nice lady at City Hall, we found lots of new starts to spur on our research.
All in all, it was a great way to spend the day.
Try to visit the old family locations whenever possible. You can learn a lot about the people there. I always like to have a more rounded idea of what the family members where really like. You know, are they from a railroad or coal mining town, were they farmers or ranchers, did they run a business, and if they were educated, was it a regular school as we know it or was there a one-room schoolhouse. These are just a few facts the help, but do you homework. It really helps.
Share your stories and ideas. We can all use a little help.