Posted in Conferences and workshops, Research tips

RootsTech 2018 – And You Are [Not] There

I was not invited to Prom in 1975.  Not that I am bitter.  But have you ever felt left out?  Sometimes I feel that way when RootsTech rolls around. It’s like Prom for 20,000 genealogists, minus the disco ball and awkward photos (it was the 70s, ya know!)

It seems like everyone is going, and maybe you wish you could be there but it’s not happening for one reason or another.  I hear your *sigh* and want you to know I’m here for you.  There’s no need to feel like everyone else but you is going to the party. I’m not bitter.  In fact, I’m kinda excited, because RootsTech has made it possible for all of us to join in the fun!  Here is a link to their online streaming schedule so once a day you can put on your tuxedo or ball gown, settle in to a comfortable armchair, and soak up the RootsTech vibes. Continue reading “RootsTech 2018 – And You Are [Not] There”

Posted in Conferences and workshops, Institutes, Research tips

SLIG 2018: Need to change up your lunch options?

After five days at SLIG you might want to add some variety to your life by trying out a new lunch spot. Did you know there are some great little places within a block and a half of the Hilton? Just head east on Broadway (300 S.) and cross Main Street to find a cluster of eateries you might not know about. Some I have tried, and some come highly recommended by my son, who worked a few blocks away for ten years. On Main Street you will find J-Dawgs for amazing and cheap hot dogs. Continue reading “SLIG 2018: Need to change up your lunch options?”

Posted in Archives and Libraries, National Archives, Research tips

Learn more about NARA records at “The Twelve Key” blog

good2no

I just came across an excellent blog for any of you who are interested in U.S. National Archives records, and wanted to share a link to it.  It is called The Twelve Key, by Claire Prechtel Kluskens, who is a senior reference and projects archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, DC.

In my first visit to her blog I learned about the carded medical records for Mexican War volunteers in a link to an article she wrote about it for NGS Magazine in 2014, and I was able to order my great-great grandfather’s medical record from the Mexican War.  According to his pension file, which I obtained years ago, he had been hospitalized when he lost a finger “in a charge made by lancers” at the Battle of Buena Vista.  I am very interested to see his medical record!  I’ll post it here when I receive it.

The Twelve Key website has links to Kluskens’ extensive historical and genealogical publications, as well as research guides she has produced for the National Archives, and syllabus materials for lectures.  You are going to love this website!

Posted in Research tips

Where to Download Thousands of Free eBooks

Here’s a post on the Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter I thought would be good to share, because who doesn’t like “free”?

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

It would be a stretch to say this article relates to genealogy; however, I have found that many genealogists are also avid readers with a broad range of literary interests. With this in mind, I thought I would share some ideas for those times when you want to enjoy reading a good book on a different subject.

Did you know you can obtain thousands of free ebooks to read online, download to your computer, or transfer to your Kindle, iPad, or other ebook reader?

Many of the available ebooks are electronic versions of classic literature. In other words, they are old books and are out of copyright. However, mixed in with these are quite a few more modern books where copyright permission has been obtained.

Most of these books can be read on a Kindle, iPad, or Nook, as well as on the screen of any Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, or…

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Posted in Mining, Research tips

Was your ancestor a miner?

Was your ancestor a miner- (1)
“We have it rich.” Washing and panning gold, Rockerville, Dak. Old timers, Spriggs, Lamb and Dillon at work, Grabill, John C. H., photographer, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/99613951/

Settlers had a variety of “pushes” or “pulls” that influenced them to hitch up a wagon and make the trek Out West.  The 1800s was a time of unprecedented territorial growth for America, and the native peoples of the West saw an influx of settlers of every kind.

Frontier forts gave some soldiers their first glimpse of the region and they decided to settle there after their service was finished.  Trappers and traders followed native trails and established trading posts utilized by other migrating groups. The Homestead Act, the end of the Civil War, and the transcontinental railroad brought waves of families looking for opportunity.  Foreign countries sent colonists to stake claims in the West, and religious groups sought refuge in the region.

A lesser-known influence on the settlement of the West as a whole was the mining industry.  Most people are aware of the California Gold Rush, and some may know about the Nevada Comstock Lode, but how many of these other mineral strikes are you familiar with?

  • 1849 California
  • 1850 Queen Charlotte, B.C.
  • 1850 Northern Nevada
  • 1856-1858 Arizona (silver)
  • 1858-1961 British Columbia
  • 1858 Cherry Creek (Denver)
  • 1859 Pike’s Peak, Colorado
  • 1859 Virginia City, Nevada
  • 1860 Idaho
  • 1863 Black Hills, Montana
  • 1860s/1870s East. Oregon
  • 1870’s Leadville, Colorado
  • 1870’s – 1880’s Arizona
  • 1890’s Silver at Creede Gold at Cripple Creek, Colorado

Mining influenced the creation of territories and states, and here’s how:

  1. The discovery of gold, silver, copper, lead, etc. was broadcast through word of mouth or newspapers.
  2. Miners flooded into an area
  3. Temporary mining communities sprang up, and sometimes mining companies were created.
  4. These settlements preceded any form of government, and they were rough places.  There were mostly men, and the diversions that came along with that—saloons and brothels and such.  Add to that sudden wealth in some cases and frustration in others, and the potential for crime was high.  It was every man for himself, and sometimes the mining companies were the closest thing to government for solving grievances.
  5. Military was dispatched to the area to help keep order, and then when enough people were in an area they started to want official government for protection and adjudication of problems.
  6. Territorial governments followed along with a Court system.
  7. More people moved into the area once territories were created.
  8. When enough people settled in a territory a state was created.

Was your ancestor a miner?  Where can you find records for him? It varies by state and county—there are no hard and fast rules.  Here are a few places you might look:

  • Look for mining claims in deed records in county courthouses
  • Look for mining claims on the glorecords.blm.gov website (Bureau of Land Management)
  • State archives often have records of mining companies, mining districts, and mining accidents
  • Newspapers can be a resource for mining records, especially specialized mining newspapers
  • Some states have mining departments with knowledgeable personnel, indexes, and maps
  • Mining museums have been established in many areas, and often have libraries
  • Do a Google search for “[state] mining records”
  • NARA regional archives have some mining records