Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Should I use software to track my genealogy research?

Or am I fine with the papers in files?  Join us Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 10:30am for a presentation by John Wylie on the pros and cons of using genealogy software to track your family history research. Learn how to pick the software program that’s right for you. A professional genealogist since 1990, John Wyle serves the Texas State Genealogical Society as 1st VP, the Association of Professional Genealogists as national secretary (2006-2009) and the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society as past president and current library liaison. He is the founder of Gentech.

No pre-registration required.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guide to County Records in the North Carolina State Archives/Holiday closings

If you have ancestors who lived in North Carolina you might want to take a look at our new source Guide to County Records in the North Carolina State Archives (12th revised ed.) It is a county-by-county information source for what records are available there including such items as tax and fiscal records, land records, court records, corporations and partnerships, and estate records in addition to the usual vital records we all look for. This source will be on our new items shelf this month and next month and then you can find it at R Gen 929.3756 NOR.

Holiday Hours: We are open today and tomorrow 10am-6pm. Then we are closed December 23-26 and will reopen Dec 27 for normal hours. Then we'll be closed again December 31 and January 1 and resume normal hours January 2, 2011.

Be sure you have your calendar marked for our program January 22 at 10:30am.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Early American Handwriting

You do not have to research too far into your family history before you are bound to run into handwritten documents. Reading the handwriting can be a real research headache. It's amazing how much the letters have changed through the years. Once you've figured out the letters and words then you have to know what they meant in the context of the time. One of the books we have in our collection to help you with this task is a book by Kip Sperry entitled Reading Early American Handwriting (copyright 1998. Published by Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc.). In this book Sperry notes "many of the colonial American handwriting styles passed through several phases, deriving principally from secretary hand and court hand used in Great Britain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Other influences were from the Italic hand and Latin script. Although some consistency may be seen on colonial American documents, handwriting styles varied in different parts of the country and for different time periods." Chapter titles include "guidelines for reading old documents, abbreviations and contractions, terms, numbers and Roman numerals, dates and calendar change", and a whole chapter on alphabets and handwriting styles. When you find a document you can't decipher, come check out this book and see if it will help you. It can be found at Gen 427.973 SPE

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies

In the early 1700s King George II of England issued an Act that allowed for those who had lived in the American or West Indian Colonies for at least 7 years, with some exceptions, to become naturalized citizens of England. The list was begun in the Colonies in 1740. Many of these individuals, of course, produced descendants who later became Americans. This book (title above) was first published in 1921. It "contains all the returns sent from the Colonies to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations in pursuance of  Act 13 George II." The lists continued until roughly 1765. The  individuals were naturalized in Jamaica, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. The book has small type so bring your magnifying glass, but there's a nice 30 page index of names, as wells as state divisions within the book. You can find this new source on our new books shelf for the next couple of months and then at R Gen 929.373 NAT.