Archive for the ‘Web site reviews’ Category

Dateline April 29, 1927 17 pound baby born with two teeth

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

A tribute to my amazing grandmother…written by my mama

Doctors at a medical convention at the University of Georgia were called to the home of Herman and Irene Bowden to meet with the woman there who had just finished and 11 month pregnancy and given birth to a 17 pound daughter with two shiny new teeth. The daughter? Helan Carle Bowden. No one knows why Adele Thrasher Bowden decided to spell the “Helan” so differently, but to the end of her life Helan would say…that’s Helan with an “a” not an “e”. The “Carle” was for her father Carl Micajah Bowden. After such a nightmare pregnancy and birth, Adele knew she would have no more children, so this one would be given the boy’s name they had chosen. READ MORE HERE

Bartow County, GA (genweb site)

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

This spotlight is on a county I never ever thought I’d have research in, Bartow County, GA. It seems my husband had a family member who’s confederate pension payments were transferred there about 1915. A search at the archives did not yield any pension records for this county, so I did what any genealogist “in the know” would do…. I looked for a genweb site. Normally I am SO disappointed in genweb sites, most I run into are run so poorly, with no effort by the administrator and no contribution by researchers that I almost hate looking one up, so imagine my surprise when I surfed my way to Bartow Co, GA and found such a wealth of information I felt like I’d found the pot at the end of the rainbow. Unfortunately there was nothing pertaining to confederate pensions, but this is what I DID find.

Marriage Record Transcripts and 15,024 Images online!!! Volunteers have taken the time to digitally record marriage records from 1837 to 1947. This is not just an index with names and dates, this is an actual image of the marriage record itself!!!

Cemetery Index – this is a very extensive index done by volunteers that includes not only names and dates of graves but notes of inscriptions on the graves and MANY photographs of the tombstones themselves. Each Cemetery includes directions with a google map as well.

Census records – they are working on transcribing the county census records (and are in need of volunteers to get this completed)

Funeral Record Index – these provide a wealth of information, tt has inclusions such as obituaries, a casket size by age chart, lists of county officials, hospitals, and transportation schedules. For each funeral, he lists: name, date and time of funeral, clergyman, date of burial, where buried, age, color, occupation, birthplace, last residence, husband’s name, father’s name and country of birth, mother’s name and country of birth, physician, cause of death, person ordering funeral, and relative’s names. The following costs may be included: removing remains, embalming, shaving and laying out, casket, mattress, burial robe, slippers, gloves, flowers, funeral notices, musicians, hearse, opening grave, vault charges, coaches, etc. The status of each account is also given. Some accounts have the song titles and pallbearers listed.

Newspaper Extracts – Volunteers are working transcribing many years and many different papers in the county including news stories and records of marriages and deaths. This is a FANTASTIC collection of information and includes such stories as the following

Transcribed by: Laurel Baty
We urge upon our town authorities the importance of discontinuing the burial of the dead in the grave yard formerly attached to the Baptist Church in this place, and the taking of steps for its removal. The town is rapidly building up in that direction, and it is located on one of the most commanding eminences around the place. By removing it, many more beautiful building lots will be brought into market, which, otherwise, will mar the uniformity of our streets and place, as well as bring the grave yard in the very heart of the private residence part of the town. Stop the interment of the dead there now, and it will not be a very great undertaking to remove those who have already been buried there, but let it continue another year or two, and it will be impractical to attempt it.

Obituaries – At the present they have over 4100 obituaries transcribed and online such as the following from 1867:

Transcribed by: Laurel Baty
A youth, James, son of Dr. William Anderson, who lives near Vellula, while fishing last Saturday, was bitten by a moccasin. From the effect of the wound inflicted, he died, Monday morning. His age was about fifteen years. Dr. Anderson was formerly of Cass county, in this state. Boys can’t be too careful in looking out for snakes, whose poison at this time is so fatal. They are no respecters for persons

There are other records as well, marriage announcements, wills, deeds, military records that you can search through.

This is one county that definitely has it together and has a crew of people that realize just how much they CAN help fellow researches that may not have the ability to travel to the county to do research onsite. While I have only been able to find one reference to anything in the Byers/Byars/Mashburn family I am researching, it was great to find the marriage record!!! I am never quite lucky enough to be able to find information from a family I am researching on a county site, but in this case it is certainly not from a failed genealogy site, I cannot say enough good things about Arlene Woody, the coordinator, and her crew for their perseverance and outstanding work. This is a group I would definitely recommend volunteering for if you had the time. I see this site only getting bigger and better!!!

Thanks for all you do and all you’ve provided!!


Monday, July 9th, 2007

Last week, through a rootsweb mailing list, I found a very cool site. GenDisasters Events that Touched Our Ancestors’ Lives Amazingly it does not seem to be own by the generations network!!! I can’t tell you what a fantastic idea I think this site is. It gives us transcriptions FOR FREE for disasters such as earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, hurricaines, floods, train and ship wrecks and explosions. It also gives us a very good glimpse of newspaper reporting from the 1800 & 1900’s. Its VERY well organized and includes some photos of some of the disasters as well. Its great for giving researches a look at the coverage these type of events got in the past.

My only problems with the site is that is has heavy heavy advertising on it and most of these links seem to take you to pay sites such Ancestry, urging you to try their free trial, and Genealogy Bank but they do take you other places for information as well such as rootsweb, several state archives lists and wikipedia (for area information) etc.

We can only hope they continue to provide these transcriptions for free and/or Ancestry doesn’t overtake them, so make sure to check it out!!

They have a call out for volunteers to transcribe articles for them, so if you have the time to help them out make sure to visit the Volunteers page

I would like to give kudos to the person that runs this site, it’s a fantastic fantastic idea and I would like to thank them for the information being free!!!

Madison County, GA (genweb site)

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

For our very first spotlight, I have chosen the Madison County, GA genweb site. My mother has spoken so highly of this site and how great it is I thought it deserved to be first (cause we ALL know we should listen to our mama’s!!)

You can find the site at Madison County, GA and it is run by Jeanne Arguelles.

I am sure most of us have had our share of trying to use genweb sites to the point of migraines, but Madison is different. It’s main page is very well laid out and orderly and the information they provide online to researchers in outstanding!!! One of my favorite parts is the Letters and Memorabilia.

Having recently sat down with my mother and read copies of old letters between our family members its nice that someone has taken the time to share (and transcribe so faithfully) a part of history a lot of people don’t get to see. It gives a glimpse into the “life and times” that you don’t always get to see. The same can be said for the Oral History part as well. So many of us grow up hearing stories and we are in a day and age now that we just don’t always recognize the importance of sharing those with other researchers. Sometimes these things can give you tidbits that you will never glean from bible records or wills.

The attention paid to the Obituaries section shows a level of contribution not always found in county websites and it is a joy to search and read.

I cannot say enough about the cemeteries page….Each and every person that has contributed to it has taken the time to make notes (and add pictures when they could) that will let a person know right from the beginning if it’s worth a trip to visit for their research and/or save them the time of having to hunt things up themselves.

FREE Census records transcription and images are available…. can you believe that? its FREE to search every census the county has from 1820-1930, 8 of them even have the actual image files of the census page….that is just too fantastic.

Other records available include: Vital Records (Birth, Death, Marriage), Military, Bible, Court, Local History, Land Records, 1840 Tax Roll, Wills, Newspapers and Biographies and Family Groups.

This is definitely one county site that others could stand to learn from and it will be a joy to anyone researching that area and on our grading scale (1-10 tombstones, 10 being the best) we give it 10 tombstones!!!!!

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