Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Which county was that?

A patron came in this week looking for marriage information from 1786 for Washington County, TN. She had researched enough to know Washington County, TN came out of Washington County, NC. The challenge was we needed to go back even farther in the history of this region to really find where she needed to look. Turns out Washington County, NC wasn't formed until 1799 which is after her ancestor's marriage. It came out of Tyrrell County which was formed in 1729. I found this information in the Red Book, which was discussed in a previous blog. After determing the right county name for the time frame we had to find where the records of marriages might be available for research. The Red Book gives me that information as well. The book ultimately directs her to the Index to Marriage Bonds Filed in the North Carolina State Archives, a microfiche which is available through the local Family History Center. Hopefully she'll find the marriage in the index and then can contact the North Carolina State Archives for a copy of the record itself. We could have wasted a lot of time looking in the wrong records and awaiting an interlibrary loan if we had not first researched the history of the county. In genealogy it's important to know you're looking in the right place before jumping in.
One other note, she had a copy of two pages from a book and did not know the source. It included a titled list. We were able to Google the title list and come up with the source which was an 1850 National Genealogical Register Quarterly which has been added to the Google Books collection. That too saved us a wait for an interlibrary loan. Digited Google Books can be a great help in research.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Native American Genealogy

Twice this week, and many times over the years I have been the genealogy librarian here, I've had people ask me "how do I trace my American Indian heritage?" The short answer is "the same way you trace your other heritage." That in itself is not a short or easy process. A longer answer involves several questions. Why do you think you have American Indian heritage? Why do you want to know? Have you started tracing any of your family tree? If you feel certain you had Amerian Indian ancestors do you know which tribe(s)? The answers tell you where to go to begin or continue your research. There are several sources in our collection that can guide you. A Research Guide to the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma by Vickie L. Herron-Luster (Windmill Publications, 1997). A Student's Guide to Native American Genealogy by Barrie E. Kavasch (Oryx Press, 1996). How to Research American Indian Bloodlines by Cecelia Svinth-Carpenter (Heritage Quest 2001). Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes by Rachel Mills Lennon (Genealogical Publishing Co. 2002). Black Indian Genealogy Research by Angela Y Walton-Raji (Heritage Books 1993). Each tribe has its own requirements for admittance and most have a web site that will tell you what you must do. Whatever your reason for wanting to know, get started in your family tree research and even if you don't find American Indian heritage you'll probably find some interesting people all the same.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Library will be closed April 18

Due to a city planned outage of all computer systems (for system upgrades) the library will be closed Sunday, April 18. Please plan your research dates accordingly. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rebels with a cause?

During the times of the Civil War, and for some years afterward the official end of the war, Missouri was not a safe place to be. So divided in its loyalties, and with so much undeveloped land, it was a great place to be a bushwhacker. A bushwhacker could be someone for the north or the south who would hide in the bushes and attack (whack) unsuspecting persons. They fought the war but not within the regular army. In 1875, Dr. J.M. Allen of Liberty, MO attempted to create a list of people in MO who had fought for the Confederacy in the First Missouri Brigade. He came up with a list of over 500 and said they were “branded as rebels”. Other lists have been compiled through the years of bushwhackers, southern sympathizers who were ordinary citizens, Confederates, Partisan Rangers, and members of Governor Jackson’s volunteers who were known as the Missouri State Guards, or others not allowed to vote after the war. All of these lists, along with additional sources such as diaries, letters, and military reports, have been used to create a source titled Branded as Rebels by Joanne Chiles Eakin and Donald R. Hale (copyright 1993). The people are listed alphabetically and some photographs are included. The famous (Tucker Hill) and the obscure (Pvt. John William Kite) are included. Come see what you can find out about your ancestor who spent time in MO. The book can be found at R Gen 929.3 EAK.