Monday, January 30, 2012

Motivation Monday: Featured in "May I Introduce To You..."!

Today I was honored to be featured in Gini Webb's (of Ginisology) “May I Introduce To You . . .” series at Geneabloggers.

In the section about "How Amanda Follows the Rest of Us," I forgot to include that I'll also often read posts that appear in the "roll-up" widgets for daily and weekly blog prompts on Geneabloggers. I've discovered some new blogs to follow that way. I also find new blogs to follow with people who comment on my blog posts.

So - please comment! And thank you for stopping by my blog!

[The photo is of me at age 10 and is the inspiration for my username in most places.]

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

ALA RUSA "Genealogy is Bigger in Texas" Preconference - part 3

The third presentation at the American Library Association (ALA) Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) History Section's genealogy preconference at the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on January 20 was by William Forsyth of Proquest on their genealogy/history database products for libraries.  Proquest sponsored this free preconference and provided yummy breakfast goodies and a delicious lunch.

Thanks to the TexShare Database Program, over 700 libraries in Texas have access to Proquest's Heritage Quest Online database, and to Texas maps in the Digital Sanborn Maps collection.  A number of larger public library systems have access to all the maps in the latter collection (as do some universities), as well as to the Ancestry Library Edition (NOT the same as

Heritage Quest has some unique content that's not in either Ancestry.  Its Genealogy and Local History Book Collection has over 24,000 family histories, local histories, and primary sources.  Because the database will mark "hits" in the book of your search terms, you can quickly scan though your results.

Many academic libraries (and some larger public libraries) subscribe to at least one title in Proquest Historical Newspapers.  My university subscribes only to The New York Times, 1851-2007, but I have used it often in genealogical research.  I was pleased to see that ProQuest has a clean new user interface, AND a new way to search obituaries and death notices directly.

It was interesting to hear about a couple genealogy products I was not aware of.  ProQuest Sanborn Maps Geo Edition has geocoded Sanborn maps (1867-1970) that are searchable by address and GPS coordinates. You can also overlay Sanborn maps with current maps (street, satellite, and hybrid layers) to see how an area has changed.  Currently, though, this is only available for certain cities in certain states, and Texas is not one of them.

Another new product to me was Historic Maps Works Library Edition, which is an exclusive distribution and development partnership between ProQuest and Historic Map Works.  The latter is a company that scans and uploads old maps and geocodes them to modern maps.  This allows users to search by modern day address or GPS coordinates (currently only available for 12 states, mostly in the northeast, via ProQuest). Users can also search by keywords, town names, map publishers, or year; or browse by geographic location through a point-and-click world map.

Below is an example (from the Historic Map Works site) of an Abilene 1885 Sanborn map (in color) overlayed onto a Google Map from today (on the left), and an enlargement of one city block overlayed onto a Google Hybrid (satellite and map, on the right):

Forsyth demonstrated the use of some of these products with an interesting case study of his own:  his great-grandfather, Ellend Erickson, a Norwegian immigrant who served in the Union Army during the Civil War and was later elected to the Minnesota State Legislature.  The handout we got on Proquest is here.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

ALA RUSA "Genealogy is Bigger in Texas" Preconference - part 2

The second presentation at the American Library Association (ALA) Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) History Section's genealogy preconference at the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas on January 20 was by Ari Wilkins, a staff member at the Dallas Public Library and a principal with Black Genesis.  It was entitled "The Story Behind the Fountain Hughes Case Study - Cross Country Research."
Fountain Hughes was a former slave who was interviewed about his life by Hermond Norwood, a Library of Congress engineer at the time, in Baltimore, Maryland, in June 1949, when Fountain claimed to be 101 years old. The recording is one of only 26 in the Library of Congress' American Folklife Center's Archive of Folk Culture and is currently part of the Voices from the Days of Slavery collection.  Ari began her presentation by playing portions of the interview.
Ari decided to follow his life, documenting the places where he lived, and she used a variety of resources.  In the recorded interview, Hughes said he, his mother, and his father "belonged to Burnley" and that he was "born in Charlottesville, Virginia."  Working backward through census and other records, she verifed that he was owned by the Burnley family in Albemarle County, Virginia, which is the same county where Charlottesville is located. Using a tax record of the slave owner that documented his age, she determined that he was probably born around 1860, and thus he was about 89 when he was interviewed, not 101.

In the interview, Fountain Hughes said, "My grandfather belong to Thomas Jefferson," and "my father got killed in the Army" [in the Civil War].  It's not clear who Fountain's father was.  He may have accompanied a Burnley master in the war as a servant.  His grandfather was probably Wormley Hughes, who became the head gardener at Monticello, and whose mother was a sister to Sally Hemings.

She also found contact information for the sole surviving direct descendant of Fountain, using the Reference USA database.  She recorded an interview with her which she played for us.  Shallie Barrett Marshall remembered her great-grandfather living with the family when she was a child.

This was a fascinating case study, and Ari provided a handout listing resources for African-American and slave era genealogical research, including a list of misconceptions about such research.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

ALA RUSA "Genealogy is Bigger in Texas" Preconference - part 1

Yesterday I was fortunate to be able to attend the American Library Association (ALA) Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) History Section's genealogy preconference at the Midwinter Meeting being held January 20-24 in Dallas.  It was titled "Genealogy is Bigger in Texas" and ran from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Dallas Public Library. The preconference was free (thanks to sponsorship by Proquest, who also provided yummy breakfast goodies and a delicious lunch), but required preregistration due to limited seating.

The day was so chock-full of good information that there was barely time for bathroom breaks, let alone a visit to the Dallas Library's awesome genealogy and Texas/Dallas history collections.  In fact, the first speaker was Lloyd Bockstruck, who retired July 31, 2009, as supervisor of that genealogy section (where he served since 1973), on "growing a collection during harsh economic times."  My photo of Bockstruck is blurry, so I'm using one from his days as a genealogy columnist with the Dallas Morning News.  My mother clipped a number of his columns when my parents lived in Lancaster (a Dallas suburb) in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and she still has them in her files.

The only time I might have been able to tour the rest of the library was from 10 to 10:30 AM - but if I had, I might have missed out on winning a door prize, awarded by Michael J. Hall, Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch.  My prize was the set of the first two volumes of Texas First Families Lineages (volume 3 will be published in November), a $60+ value that I'll be adding to my library's genealogy collection.

Other presenters were Ari Wilkins of Black Genesis on an African-American genealogy case study, William Forsyth of Proquest on their genealogy/history products, Aaron Holt from the National Archives in Fort Worth on their Native American holdings, and Sue Kaufman of the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research of the Houston Public Library on their holdings and services.  Watch for blog posts on each of their presentations in the near future.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Stop SOPA and PIPA

End Piracy, Not Liberty

 Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Elizabeth Baker Williams, 1737-1762, Jamaica

 Elizabeth Williams
Wife of  Col Tho Williams
Daughter of Willm & Martha Baker
Departed This Life
April the 2 1762
Aged 24 Years & Five Months

This grave is in a ground floor room at the Good Hope Plantation Great House in Trelawny Parish, Jamaica (near Falmouth).  Thomas Williams built the house for his first wife who sadly died, probably of malaria.  The tour guides said Jamaica has a rich history of Santería and Obeah (sometimes spelled Obi, Obea or Obia) voodoo and the natives say the room is haunted by a “Doppi” or ghost.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Year! Motivation Monday - Genealogy Goals for 2012

Okay, I'm about two weeks behind on this one, but I have a good excuse - I was out of town January 6-15 and trying to get some 2011 year-end stuff done in the days before I left - I've been playing catch-up in my life since Thanksgiving!

I'm not much for New Year's resolutions, at least not speaking them aloud or putting them on paper, as inevitably I don't achieve them. But maybe that's been part of the problem; not enough accountability.

Part of what's motivated me to try to set some genealogy goals for this year was a conference stipend from the Texas Library Association's archives, genealogy, and local history group. As it turns out, I will be unable to attend all of this year's conference (one of the requirements to receive the stipend), but I doubt that I would be a high-ranking candidate for the stipend this year anyway.  I have not been as involved as I should be in local genealogy and historical societies (joining Hood County's at their January 23 meeting) and even in the library association's district/system meetings (other than annual conference and North Texas Library Partners' TechNet,) although I am attending the Reference and User Services Association's History Section free genealogy preconference at the ALA (American Library Association) Midwinter Conference in Dallas this Friday..  I just did a presentation on "Social Media in Genealogy and Family History" at Tarleton's Texas Social Media Research Institute's first Social Media Conference, and I'm hoping to do that presentation somewhere else.  Maybe

Besides attending the local genealogy/historical society meetings (monthly except for July, August, and December), I'm going to try to post in this blog at least once a week (Amy Coffin's 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy should help, as should Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Blog Editorial Calendars) and back up my data once a month.

I'm also hoping to combine partial attendance at this year's state library conference in April in Houston with some research there (assuming I figure out in advance exactly where I need to go and what I need to look for) on my mother's ancestors, some of whom immigrated there from Lithuania, as well as in Bremond and Hearne which are on the drive there.

Finally, after a bad experience trying to have microfilm sent to the local Family History Center (which I'll blog about later), I will make lemonade out of lemons by trying out the Family History Center in the town of my place of work - one of the lemons being that the upcoming retirement of my workplace's local history expert means that I'll be working Thursday evenings this spring, meaning I could take some Thursday afternoons to do some research there

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.