Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who do you think you are?

The new television show Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC primetime) has stirred up interest in this fun hobby of tracing a family tree. So I'm bringing back my Genealogy 101 class. This year I'm going to make it a two-part class. Part 1 will be on June 19 from 10:15am - 11:45am in the Dulaney Room of the Roy & Helen Hall Library (101 E. Hunt Street, McKinney, 75069). We will talk about the four corners of the puzzle of an individual, the correct way to record your data for other researchers to understand and to save you research time in the future, where to look for the records you need, and distribute helpful forms for recording your data. Part 2 will be on June 26 from 10:15am - 11:45am in the Genealogy Department of this same library. Often a new researcher learns the basics of research, then sits down to a computer and gets frustrated trying to find the records. The fact is only about 90% of what you need has been digitized to computer access; this means you need to get into the books. But how do you walk into a library and know which books might help you and which might be a total waste of your time? Part 2 is where we'll cover this valuable information by meeting in the department and looking at the books. Since we do have a "hands-on" part to this workshop attendance is limited to the first 15 people to register. You can register by sending me an email at tluscombe@mckinneytexas.org. If you have any questions about the class you can call me at 972-547-7323.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era

Veteran genealogy guide author William Dollarhide has a new book in print and we've added it to our collection. The full title is Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era: online and published military or civilian name lists, 1861-1869, and post-war veteran lists. The title alone tells you it is more than just a list of soldiers and their regiments. The war affected all of our ancestor families during and after the war.  As with all of Dollarhide's work it is very thorough. Sections include Nationwide Resource Groups, Statewide Resource Groups, Online and Published Resources by State or Territory (there are 4 pages for Texas), and Best Civil War Resource Centers for Local and County Research. He makes this caveat in his introduction. "This book was not written as a guide to Civil War narratives as such, but a guide to the various records in which one will find the lists of names of both soldiers and civilians." You'll find this valuable source at R Gen 929.37 DOL.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Planning a trip to the TSLAC

For those of you who have been unable to get to some of the records you need for the past 2 years due to the closing of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for renovations, get ready to make that trip. They are scheduled to reopen in June with renovations completed.
Keep in mind some of the guidelines we discussed in planning a research trip. Go to the web site and review their research guidelines. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/guidelines.html .This is one of those repositories that doesn't let you take your computer and your briefcase full of your research papers into the research room with you. This same web site will let you make a list of exactly which sources you want to review before you get there so you don't waste valuable time. Also take a look at the "missing archives" page http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/missingintro.html so you know not to search for something that won't be found. While you're in Austin you also might plan a visit to the Texas General Land Office. It has land grant records and maps dating to the 18th century. Here's their web site. http://www.glo.state.tx.us/archives/archives.html Remember that visiting our library is a great way to plan ahead for your research trip to Austin using the books discussed in my blog of March 30.

Library closed Sunday, May 16, 2010

Due to a city planned outage of all computer systems (for system upgrades) the library will be closed Sunday, May 16, 2010. Please plan your research dates accordingly. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Civil War P.O.W.s

The American Civil War was such a dark time in the nation's history. As with all wars there are at least two sides, and each one tends to take prisoners from the opposing side(s). The prisoner of war camps during this war were particularly dreadful. The soldiers themselves did not have enough provisions for their own needs so the prisoners were even worse off. One book you can consult to possibly find information on your ancestor is Confederate P.O.W.'s: soldiers & sailors who died in Federal Prisons & Military Hospitals in the North. It was compiled by the Office of the Commissioner for Marking Graves of Confederate Dead, War Department 1912. (1994 reprint edition Ericson Books). The names are listed alphabetically within each city and state where the prison or military hospital was located. Included is the individual's name, rank, company, regiment, date of death, and locality of the grave. There is an extensive index of 100 pages so worry not if you don't know where your ancestor may have been housed. One note of interest "the North" included a couple of states we might think of as "the South" - Maryland and Kentucky. You can find this book at R Gen 929.3 Con
Here are a few other titles related to the American Civil War prisons in our collection: Civil War Prisoners Sent to Missouri State Prison (R Gen 929.3778 EAK), Johnson's Island Prison: Civil War Prison for Confederate Officers, Lake Erie, OH (R Gen 929.3772 DOU), Prisoners of War 1861-65: a record of personal experiences, and a study of the condition and treatment of prisoners on both sides during the War of Rebellion (R Gen 929.3772 STU), To Die in Chicago: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas 1862-65 (Gen 973.772 LEV), Andersonville Prison: Union soldiers buried there (R Gen 929.3758 AND).