Archive for March, 2008

Pike County Ga Gen Web page has a new home!!

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I am extremely happy and pleased to announce that the first county to move their county page to Ancestrally Challenged is Pike County Ga!!!!!

Barbara and her volunteers have worked very very hard to get loads of information up to help researchers and I couldnt more honored that they chose this site as their new home!!!!

Visit them at Pike County, GA Gen Web page

Ancestrally Challenged is offering space for Genweb sites to move to

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

I thought I would put this out there, in case anyone here either runs a genweb site or knows someone that does.

I am offering space for free on my server to genweb sites that would like to move to their “own space”. The first one, for Pike County Ga is being loaded up now.

This space is being offered for free BUT, yes there are a few buts, I have a few rules about it.

1. We all know how I feel about those crappy genweb sites that dont look like they really care about themselves, the ones full of dead links, nothing BUT links and the ones that really have no information. So to move to my server for free, they must be an active site that strives to have material and files actually on the site, in other words its run by a co-ordinator that gives a crap what their page has to offer others.

2. All I ask is that the page put a link to this site on it

3. The person that manages the website must be able to design/upload files via an FTP program, because of security on the server it is not possible to ftp via the internet

Anyone interested can send me a link to the existing site and I will look at it…I know Im sounding a tad picky, but if I’m going to host it I think I have the right to require a “quality” county site smile.gif

I will have access of course to the county page, but I will in no way up or download anything to it (unless asked by the page owner) and information will not be “copied” here without the express permission of the page owner (I dont want anyone thinking Im out to steal files lol)

If there are questions please ask on the forum here

What do you want in a genealogy site?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Well, it has been a week since the announcement that rootsweb was absorbed by Ancestry. I have spent a week reading the discussions on the mailing lists, blogs etc. I have seen people defend the action and I’ve seen groups jump like rats on a sinking ship.

Consider this my one year “state of the union” address lol

I honestly do not know what I think about what happened, I would *like* to take Ancestry at their word, but we all know they’ve tried to pull the wool over our eyes before. This is not bashing their recent move. This is about what I envision a genealogy site should be, this is about what I need people to do to help get us where I want us to be. This is about the fact that I cannot stand sites that charge money to access things that other people have submitted. This is about, I cannot do this by myself.
Lots of us have worked on our own genealogy projects. Lots of us have transcribed something, survery a cemetery, worked on some part of a census etc. AC is only as good as the contributors, AC is only going to help other people when we share what we have.

For a year now I and a handful of other members (and we are well over 600 now) have done our best to share resources, transcriptions, files, etc that I personally have done. I have several things that I’m working on transcribing to add to the site….but just a few people absolutely cannot get enough information up to help an entire nation of researchers looking for things. So here are some ideas that I had to hopefully get you, the AC member, to contribute some (in no particular order)

1. If you put a query out on a rootsweb mailing list, or ancestry message board etc…. Come here and post it as well, I KNOW, I know, I know, we all get busy….but if we can make time to put a query out somewhere else, it only takes a few minutes more to add it here.. It’s been proven MANY times that google searches bring up the AC post in the results, not a rootsweb mailing list post and as I have said many times…the more places you have your query the more people that will see it. Believe it or not, not everyone uses the rootsweb mailing list. I have had people find my own personal queries from this board and contact me.
2. If you have a death certificate/birth certificate/marriage license/ cemetery or tombstone picture(s) or transcription(s)/Bible records post them here too
3. If you have done like I have and transcribed even one particular district on a census, post It here too. You never know who is going to see it.
4. How many of you submit to find a grave? If you submit there, there is no reason you cannot post It here too.
5. Obituaries…we had QUITE a run when the obituary forum started, but it has died off. I KNOW more of us have more obituaries laying around.
6. Have you sent off for military service records or pension records? Share them with us!!
7. If you volunteer to do lookups, remember to check back to see if someone needs your assistance
8. If you post a query, remember to check back to see if any of us have questions for you..OR actually found something for you.

This site has the potential to do SUCH good for people….it already has, we have hooked up cousins, we have found people or records that other people didn’t have the resources to find and for what cost? TIME, that’s all it takes. So many of us revel in helping someone break through that wall, it makes us feel good to help someone else and take our minds off OUR brick walls.

This site is not going anywhere, it will never merge with anyone else, it will never sell out to anyone else, it will never ask you for money, all it will ever ask you for…is to share and to show the sites out there to make a buck, that it CAN be done, just out of kindness and the willingness to share.

I also want to remind everyone that this site DOES have a section for members to talk about non-genealogy related stuff. Sometimes you just want to lighten up and joke around. I see it start to happen on the mailing lists and people have a good time until someone comes in with the “I’m tired of reading about this, it has nothing to do with -insert mailing list name- please take it off the list. People by nature like to feel a comradery with the people they “communicate” with on a daily or weekly basis. As much as I do research, believe it or not there ARE times I’d like to hear a good joke or hear about something interesting that’s going on with a member…so remember there is the chit chat forum just to hang out in and take our genealogy hats off.

Last, but certainly not least, if you don’t understand how the board works ASK, don’t just mail me and ask me to delete you because “it’s too hard”. It REALLY is easy to use and I am MORE than happy to work with you until you understand it.

If anyone else has ideas for how others can contribute I would love to hear them….so don’t be shy!!!! So please post in the thread I have made for this here
What do you want in a genealogy site


Civil War soldier’s diary going home

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Let this be a lesson to all those who throw up family bibles on ebay for profit and may God bless Mr. Hammontree for his perseverance

Friday, March 21, 2008
By Dean Baker, Columbian staff writer

While sorting through his late aunt’s effects in Downey, Calif., Mitch Hammontree found a leather-bound book, which he was amazed to discover was the diary of a Confederate soldier.

Now, after a lot of research, Hammontree and his wife, Cindy, have decided to take the diary back to where it was written in Savannah, Ga., more than 140 years ago. Next week, they will hand the little book over to the descendants of the soldier, A.S. Quarterman.

The Washougal couple found the relatives using the Internet and the telephone.

“They have treated us like family,” said Hammontree, 53, a businessman who plans to open a Quiznos sandwich shop at The Crossing, the new development in Washougal, in May.

He also found among his aunt’s effects some letters from his father, who served with Gen. George S. Patton in World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge.

But, he said, the greatest prize was the Confederate soldier’s record.

“It’s really fascinating when you can touch something like this and say, gosh, that’s part of my family history and the history of the country as a whole,” said Hammontree, an avid genealogical researcher.

Rest of story here

Missouri Death Certificates online 1910-1957

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

The Missouri Death Certificate Database containing over 2.1 million death certificates was placed online one year before its scheduled completion, according to Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office.

Researchers have immediate, free access to online images of Missouri death certificates over 50 years old, including those of famous Missourians like author Laura Ingalls Wilder, musician and composer John William “Blind” Boone, outlaw Frank James and political boss Tom Pendergast. Family historians, biographers, and other researchers can use these death certificates to discover key information about an ancestor or important historical figure, including occupation, burial site, birthplace, and the names of an individual’s parents and spouse.

Over 600 students and volunteers from across the United States and other countries spent 32,810 hours preparing certificates for scanning and entering data into the index.

This is FANTASTIC news!! To see a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s death cert… Go Here

Frozen remains of WWII airman identified

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Frozen remains of WWII airman identified

The U.S. military has identified frozen remains found atop a California glacier as those of a World War II era airman who vanished more than half a century ago.

Ernest G. Munn had been missing since his training flight disappeared over the Sierra Nevada mountain range on November 18, 1942, the U.S. military said Monday. He was 23 at the time.

Last year, two hikers found the frozen remains of a man with blond, wavy hair in a remote area of Kings Canyon, east of Fresno, California. A tattered sweater still clung to the body, and an unopened parachute lay nearby, said Peter Sketel, one of the hikers who made the discovery.

DNA analysis confirmed that the remains were Munn’s, the Department of Defense said Monday. The military has notified his family in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

“You don’t often have an opportunity in life to provide people with the answers to questions that they have always wanted to know the answer to,” Sketel told CNN Tuesday. “Having the ability to supply that information just makes me really happy.”

Munn was one of three cadets who, along with their lieutenant, took off from Mather Field in California on a routine training flight nearly 66 years ago. The AT-7 Navigator aircraft carried about five hours of fuel but never returned to base, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Authorities searched for the men for a month — without success.

Five years later, in 1947, hikers on Darwin Glacier in the Sierra Nevada mountain range discovered plane wreckage but found no bodies.

Then, in October 2005, backpackers discovered frozen human remains of a crew member, later identified as Leo M. Mustonen.

Two years later, in 2007, Sketel and a friend were in the area researching a book that Sketel is writing about the ill-fated flight.

About 100 feet from where Mustonen’s body was found, Sketel discovered the remains of a second man emerging from a melting glacier.

At first he thought it was a tree, Sketel said.

“And as I got closer and closer, I noticed what turned out to be a gold ring on his left ring finger,” he said.

DNA retrieved from Munn’s family matched samples from the remains.

With two of the missing airmen now identified, authorities continue their search for the others.

Munn was the oldest of four children. He did well in school and watched over his three little sisters, his family told CNN in 2005.

“He was my idol,” one of his sisters told CNN. “He was tall and good-looking. And when he walked in, they said, ‘Here comes the blond bomber.’ And I would say, ‘That’s my brother.’”

At 23, he enlisted in the Army, kissed his sisters goodbye and told his mother never to cut her long hair.

Authorities have notified his sisters, now in their 80s, about the match. Munn is expected to be buried in May in Colerain, Ohio.

His mother lived to be 102, never cut her hair and died awaiting word on his fate

Discuss here

National Archives and memory sticks

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Now, I dont know about all locations, but at the SE regional archives here in georgia, you can now take your usb memory sticks with you and instead of having to print out microfilm records on paper, you can pdf them to your stick!!!

No more paying for the copies you made, just plug the memory stick in and scan from the microfilm reader straight into a pdf file that you can print out later at your leisure,

If you’re planning on visiting a regional national archvies near you…call them up and ask them if they are doing this like the one here is. I cant tell you how much easier this is. I now have military records I needed for my family tree program in electronic form without the hassel of scanning them from a paper copy (and we all know how crappy those usually turn out)

Discuss Here

Rare Helen Keller pic with doll discovered

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Story as posted on CNN

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) — Researchers have uncovered a rare photograph of a young Helen Keller with her teacher Anne Sullivan, nearly 120 years after it was taken on Cape Cod and tucked inside a family album.

The photograph, shot in July 1888 in Brewster, shows an 8-year-old Helen sitting outside in a light-colored dress, holding Sullivan’s hand and cradling one of her beloved dolls.

Experts on Keller’s life believe it could be the earliest photo of the two women together and the only one showing the blind and deaf child with a doll — the first word Keller spelled for Sullivan after they met in 1887 — according to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, which now has the photo.

“It’s really one of the best images I’ve seen in a long, long time,” said Helen Selsdon, an archivist at the American Federation for the Blind, where Keller worked for more than 40 years. “This is just a huge visual addition to the history of Helen and Annie.”

For more than a century, though, the photograph was hidden in an album that belonged to the family of Thaxter Spencer, an 87-year-old man in Waltham.

Continue to read and discuss

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