27 November 2013

$2.3 Million in National Archives Grants for Historical Records Projects

I received this press release from the National Archives yesterday. The projects include some wonderful one that will aid family historians!

Washington, DC... Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero has awarded 44 grants totaling $2,283,079 in Federal funds for archives and publishing projects in 32 states, territories, and the District of Columbia.  The National Archives grants program is carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).  A complete list of the new grants is online at www.archives.gov/nhprc/awards/awards-11-13.html

Publishing grants totaling $1.1 million went to nine publishing projects from the U.S. Colonial and Early National Period, including the papers of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas

25 November 2013

A family genealogical connection to Chicago's Soldier Field

One of my favorite lectures to present during seminars is "Your Anytime Library: Success in the Virtual Stacks." It's about finding digitized records, books, pamphlets, and periodicals while lounging in your own home. So much has been placed online that we get excited about it. The number of websites with such material is growing by the day as are the individual collections already online. Each time I present it, the handout needs to be extensively updated to keep up with all the changes. As I say in my preface to the lecture: "Peruse books at any hour without starting the car or breaking into the library? Add newspapers, documents, family trees, pension records, periodicals, and more to the accessible items and you might be housebound for days (months?)."

I periodically check these sites for my family surnames and localities to see if anything new has been added. Tonight I spent extra time on one specific person, my Great Granduncle James Edward Stuart (1842-1931). I have posted about him before. At times he seems to be everywhere online. He was a Brigadier General, served on active duty in three wars, and was Chief Inspector for the Postal Service in Chicago. I have stories about him that don't appear online and I may not share them for a long time!

Tonight I found a connection that would have thrilled my late father. Ol' Jim Stuart was part of the ceremony when Soldier Field in Chicago received its current name. Soldier Field is the home of the Chicago Bears. It seems particularly fitting to find this bit of history in a week when the Chicago Bears will be playing the Minnesota Vikings. Alas, they are playing here at the Metrodome and not at Soldier Field. On a future trip to Chicago, I just might take a tour of Soldier Field now that I have a connection and know more about its name.

I found this on Hathitrust.org and the digitized and searchable book is Chicago's Great Century, 1833-1933, by Henry Justin Smith. (page 176, Chicago: Consolidated Publishers, 1933).

09 November 2013

Appalachian research collection accepted at University of Kentucky

National Public Radio station WUKY at the University of Kentucky is reporting that the papers of  "distinguished Appalachian history professor, Ron Eller who’s retiring from UK at the end of the academic year" have been accepted in the Special Collections Library.

Click here to read the story. I imagine it will be some time before the collection is open to researchers. In the meantime, I will just dream of the Kentucky gems I might find in his papers.

04 November 2013

Local historical society blogs are gems

Have you checked for blogs written by staff at the city and county historical societies in ancestral localities? You might find one for a place where you lived as a child. These cover a variety of topics including photos of people and places, overviews of research collections, local historical events, biographical notes on local families, historical sites, history of area buildings, cemeteries, churches, and  local disasters.

01 November 2013

Recent FamilySearch Digital Updates

Every time I look at the digitized images on FamilySearch.org I find something new. A recent press release reported "FamilySearch has added more than 135 million indexed records and images from Brazil, Canada, England, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,227,603 indexed records from the new Canada Census, 1911, collection, the 949,214 indexed records and images from the Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965, collection, and the 132,330,416 indexed records from the United States Public Records Index ."

The updates also include material from England, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, and from Indiana and other states. Search these collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org. I find a lot of current day connections via the Public Records Index.