Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Archives Preservation

Do you have old photos and negatives, letters, digital photos and files?
Would you like to learn how best to preserve them?
Attend a FREE Archives Preservation Roadshow at NARA on May 14th.
Bring your questions about preserving personal or family documents (in any format) and get advice from trained archivists and museum professionals from a variety of backgrounds and institutions around the area. Get in-person information about how to preserve: Photographic prints and negatives; letters and other family documents; moving images (films) and audio; electronic documents, and digital photos; and much, much more…
For more information, check out http://seattlearchivesroadshow.wordpress.com/
or email SeattleArchivesRoadshow@gmail.com.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another limited time Freebie

Now that you've all exhausted the free Civil War resources at Ancestry.com, I'm happy to report another freebie. In honor of National Library Week, the Gale Press is offering free access to their databases. I'm not sure when a week turned into 14 days, but the free access is good from April 10th through April 24th, so there are a few days left to explore.
Just go to http://www.gale.cengage.com/NLW/ and scroll down to the database links. Of the 6 choices, I'm guessing those of most interest to SGS members will be the Gale News Vault, with over 10 million scanned and indexed pages, and the "Slavery and Anti-Slavery" archive.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free Ancestry Civil War Databases

Have you heard about the FREE access that Ancestry is offering to their Civil War databases this week? The offer is good from today (April 7th) until next Thursday (April 14th). What's even better is that they've added a number of NEW resources. Here's a link to the list of CW resources now available to everyone: http://www.ancestry.com/civilwar_sub?flash=true&o_iid=47474&o_lid=47474
In addition, Footnote.com is offering free access to their Civil War records, too. Such a deal!
I spent a little time this afternoon playing with the "Civil War Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865" on Ancestry. They're organized by state (Union only), then Congressional District. After searching for a few of my Missouri names and finding nothing, I discovered that you don't have to put a name (of any kind) in the search box. I just put "Hickory County, Missouri" in the "Lived In" box on the left. Amazingly, I got quite a nice alphabetized list of all the men included in this county. Since so many of my family names are often horrendously misspelled, finding them by searching for my surnames is almost impossible. This way of searching led me to all the men in the county. Also interesting is that these records INCLUDE men who already served, with notations as to unit and length of service.
If you find other cool info in these free resources, please leave a comment.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Are you ready for the 1940 Census?

I was just reading Randy Seaver's blog (http://www.geneamusings.com/), which is always entertaining and often thought provoking. Today he wrote about preparing for the release of the 1940 US Census in 364 days. Reading his list of people he'd like to find and where they were living on April 1, 1940 made me realize that I have a lot of work to do. I think both of my parents were in the US Army in April 1940, but am not really positive. How the heck am I going to find them in the census? I don't have a clue where my father's family were, so will need to do a lot of prep work on them. And my mother's parents and grandparents were all in "rural" areas--i.e., places with less than 2500 population (a lot less, in their cases!).
It's interesting to see what questions were asked in the 1940 census (check out Ancestry's info page at http://www.1940census.net/1940_census_questions.php). Also frustrating to learn that "supplementary questions" were only asked of 5% of the population--two people per page of 40 names. I'm hoping that at least the census takers had to ask those supplementary questions of adults, not just anyone whose name appeared on lines 14 and 29.
Randy suggests making a list of EVERYONE in your extended family who was alive in 1940 and trying to find a 1940 address for them now, before the census records are made public. Then we'll all be ready to grab those 1940 US census pages next year on April 2nd! Sounds like a good idea to me...in my spare time.