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# Friday, June 24, 2011
Genealogy News Corral, June 20-24
Posted by Diane

  • The National Genealogical Society has created The NGS Weekly, a “newspaper” that pulls feeds from various genealogy blog posts. You can subscribe to get e-mail notifications when the page is updated.

Civil War | FamilySearch | Genealogy societies | Genealogy Web Sites | UK and Irish roots
Friday, June 24, 2011 1:21:58 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
# Wednesday, June 22, 2011
150 Years Ago Today in the Civil War: Religion
Posted by Diane

On a site called Baptists and the American Civil War: In Their Own Words, I found a diary entry by John Beauchamp Jones, a novelist and reporter who went to work for the Confederate government in Richmond. (The site is a digital project by historian Bruce T. Gourley, executive director of the Baptist History and Heritage Society.)

June 22, 1861, Jones wrote about a chance meeting with Confederate president Jefferson Davis. It begins “Fighting for our homes and holy altars, there is no intermission on Sunday.”

He goes on to describe a chance encounter with Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the office on a Sunday, helping Davis find a letter in his secretary’s office. You can read the entire diary entry here.

A bit from Life in Civil War America about the Baptist denomination of the time:

On the eve of the Civil War, Baptists were one of the largest denominations in the country and among those that were considerably more widespread and influential in the South than in the North.

At the time of the war, there were some 11,219 Baptist churches in the country, with about two-thirds in Southern states (an especially telling proportion when one considers that the white population of the North was about three-and-a-half times larger than that of the South). Value of Baptist church property was an estimated $19,746,378.

In 1845, Northern and Southern Baptists split over the issue of slavery, and the latter formed a separate denomination under the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Other large denominations at the time included Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Roman Catholics, though Americans were active in many faiths. Interestingly, Abraham Lincoln was the first US president to use the phrase "One nation under God," but he wasn't baptized and never joined a church.

Here's our listing of organizations for researching religious records.

You can nominate a Civil War event for this series—just click Comments below or e-mail me.


Church records | Civil War | Social History
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 3:45:30 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Research Trip Tips in the Latest Family Tree Magazine Free Podcast
Posted by Diane

Hit the road with us this summer! The June episode of the free Family Tree Magazine podcast, hosted by Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems, offers up advice for taking research trips and preserving your ancestors' souvenirs.

We’ll also discuss rapper 50 Cent’s journey to South Carolina to learn about his roots, the Early American Roads and Trails website, and our state research webinars.

You can listen through iTunes and on FamilyTreeMagazine.com.


Family Tree Magazine's Podcast

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Genealogy Web Sites | Podcasts | Research Tips
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 1:19:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Organize Your Family History Value Pack
Posted by Diane


I’m one of those people who get a little stressed out by clutter. When there’s too much stuff jumbled around—whether it’s papers on my desk, icons on my desktop, family photos or genealogy documents—my anxiety level ticks up ever so slightly. (My friends tease me about the day Leo becomes mobile and starts emptying the kitchen cabinets onto the floor.)

That’s why the Organize Your Family History Value Pack is this week’s Editor’s Pick. That and the price, steeply discounted through June 30

Whether you work on paper or do everything online or a combo of both, getting your research and your workspace organized is important to keeping track of your family tree.

Here’s what’s in the Organize Your Family History Value Pack:

  • Organize Your Genealogy Family Tree University Independent Study course digital download

  • Organization Made Easy: 5 Simple Ways to Get Your Family History in Order on-demand webinar

  • Organize Your Genealogy Life! CD

  • Organize Now! A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Ford Berry 

It’ll help you research more efficiently—you’ll develop a system for filing notes, documents and photos (on paper and your hard drive); learn how to plan and accomplish your next research step; and make the most of your limited research time. And until the last day of June, the whole kaboodle is $49.99—72 percent off full price.

Click here to learn more about the Organize Your Family History Value Pack


Editor's Pick | Research Tips | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 11:20:37 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Monday, June 20, 2011
Photo Gift Ideas
Posted by Diane

So I promised to share the photo gift my son (with some help from me) gave his daddy for father’s day:


I had a picture I snapped of Leo with his dad printed on canvas (that’s why there’s a shiny spot on the left side of the picture—it’s the flash reflecting off the canvas), so it resembles a painting. I took advantage of a great sale at CanvasPeople.com, but other photo-gift sites such as Shutterfly and Snapfish can do this for you, too.

The frame (minus the glass and backing) came from our local Michael’s store, and the canvas is hung from a picture hanger tapped into the canvas stretcher.

You’ll get more ideas for displaying family photos from our Family Photo Essentials CD

We also suggest family history-themed gifts in this free “Giving Trees” article on FamilyTreeMagazine.com


Genealogy fun | Photos
Monday, June 20, 2011 12:37:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [15]
# Friday, June 17, 2011
150 Years Ago Today in the Civil War: East Tennessee Convention
Posted by Diane

A second round of East Tennessee Convention meetings was held June 17-20, 1861, in Greeneville, Tenn. Delegates from East Tennessee and one county in Middle Tennessee drafted a memo to the Tennessee government asking permission to leave the Confederacy and form an independent state aligned with the Union.

The Tennessee legislature rejected the convention’s request, and the governor stationed Confederate forces in East Tennessee.

Late in 1861, Scott County resolved to break away from Tennessee and form the Free and Independent State of Scott. The law remained on the books until it was re-discovered and repealed in 1986, though neither the Union nor the Confederacy had ever recognized the state.

As early as the 1840s, Andrew Johnson, then a Tennessee state senator, introduced state legislation—which failed—calling for East Tennessee to separate from the rest of the state. After the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, Unionists and secessionists campaigned for their causes throughout the state. Early referendums failed on whether to hold a convention discussing secession, but June 8, 1861, Tennesseeans voted in favor of an ordinance to secede. Most eastern counties remained heavily against.

According to Life in Civil War America, more battles were fought in Tennessee than any other state except Virginia. After the Union victory at Fort Donelson in 1862, Johnson became the state’s military governor.

Remember, you can nominate a Civil War event for this series—just click Comments or e-mail me.


Civil War
Friday, June 17, 2011 12:22:29 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
Genealogy News Corral, June 13-17
Posted by Diane

  • The renowned genealogy portal site Cyndi’s List has been upgraded with improved navigation, a custom database, and a custom administrative interface to make using the site quicker and easier for both visitors and Cyndi. Visit the site at CyndisList.com.

Genealogy societies | Genealogy Software | Genealogy Web Sites | immigration records | UK and Irish roots
Friday, June 17, 2011 11:38:07 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [3]
We Knew Him When!
Posted by Diane

Back in the January 2008 Family Tree Magazine, we had an article about Anthony Ray, a young genealogist, member of California’s Antelope Valley Genealogical Society and webmaster of The Berreyesa Researcher

Anthony, now a junior majoring in music at West Coast Bible College in Lancaster, Calif., has just been awarded the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant. (Can we spot ‘em or what?)

Here's Anthony:

He was introduced as the grant winner during a banquet at last week’s Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank.

You can read our 2008 article on Anthony Ray here and see the press release about the Suzanne Winsor Freeman grant here


Genealogy Events | Genealogy for kids
Friday, June 17, 2011 10:24:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Thursday, June 16, 2011
A Marriage Certificate Finds its Family
Posted by Grace

Whenever I find loose family photos or paperwork at antique malls (which is very often, because I love antiquing), I always feel sad for the families separated from the ephemera. On a trip home recently, my dad showed me a marriage certificate he'd found in an estate sale cleanout. (Guess where I get the antiques habit from?)

This beautiful certificate was for Walter C. Peck of Cleveland, Ohio, and Irene E. Kershner of Berwick, Pa., who were married on July 5, 1924, in Berwick, Pa., by the Rev. H.R. Shipe. I just had to know if this marriage certificate had a family that would want it.

So I did a little genealogical detective work on Ancestry.com.


(Click the image to enlarge it)

I found a Walter (age 31) and Irene Peck (29) living at 1273 Bonnieview, Lakewood, Ohio, in the 1930 census (recorded on April 5, 1930). They had two children, Clarke (5) and Carlos (8 months), and Walter was a ticket agent for a steam railroad. They rented their home for $50 a month and owned a radio set.

But Irene also showed up listed with her parents, William and Sarah Kershner, at 373 Monroe, Berwick Township, Pa., on the 1930 census (recorded April 8, 1930). Her two sons, Clark (listed as 4 and 11 months) and Carlos (7 months), are also included. (I'm figuring they were visiting during enumeration time.) I found the Kershners at the same address in the 1910 census, with Irene, 10 at the time, being among seven listed children.

Irene pops up in the 1920 census as a sister-in-law to Jacob and Lucretia Nagel in Lakewood, Ohio. She worked as a stenographer at a chemical company.

A WWI draft registration card filled out June 5, 1918, for a Walter Clark Peck living at 1339 E. 80th St. in Cleveland states he worked at a chemical company in Cleveland -- perhaps Walter and Irene had a workplace romance. Walter's emergency contact was his mother, Elizabeth Peck, who lived at the same address. Walter shows up on the 1910 and 1920 censuses living with his parents, Clark W. and Bessie Peck, in Cleveland.

Ohio death records show Walter C. Peck, born in 1897, died at home in Fairview Park, Ohio, on Nov. 13, 1961. I couldn't find a death date for Irene; Carlos Peck passed away in 2002.

But Clark Peck is still alive, and I called him on the phone today. He's a bit hard of hearing, so I mostly spoke to his wife, Beryl (Heiser) Peck, who confirmed pretty much everything I'd found.

Beryl said Walter Peck and Irene Kershner had met at Grasselli Chemical in Cleveland, where they'd both worked. Walter later worked for the Canadian Pacific Rail for many years; Beryl said Walter traveled around the world a couple times before he passed away in his 60s. Irene lived until the last 1980s. Now in his late 80s, Dr. Clark Peck practiced dentistry and taught at Case Western Reserve University for 30 years. He and Beryl now live in Westlake, Ohio, and have two children and many grandchildren.

By the time I got off the phone, I was tearing up from happiness. Beryl thanked me multiple times for contacting them -- I'll be mailing out the marriage certificate (and a copy of this blog post) to her and Clark today. I'm so glad that this beautiful record will return to its family -- and stay with them for many years to come.


Related resources:
Ancestry.com | saving and sharing family history | Vital Records
Thursday, June 16, 2011 2:49:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [11]
Build Your Genealogy Skills From Home at Our Virtual Conference
Posted by Diane

We’ve been keeping something up our sleeves for the end of the summer, but it’s time to let the cat out, at least a little bit.

We're planning our Family Tree University Summer 2011 Virtual Conference to give you an intensive dose of genealogy education without leaving home (or the library, or your sister’s house, or the table at the coffee shop where you’ve parked your laptop). 

The Virtual Conference is an online workshop from Friday, Aug. 19, to Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011. Attendees get an all-access pass to view 15 pre-recorded video classes and participate in live chats. You can join in every day or as your weekend schedule allows.

Classes are organized into three tracks:

  • genealogy technology
  • research strategies
  • ethnic research

A detailed list of classes and instructors is coming soon.

You’ll be able to download classes to watch again later or access ones you’ve missed, and you'll get a swag bag of ShopFamilyTree.com goodies.

Stop by Family Tree University for more Virtual Conference details and our early bird discount code on tuition (good until July 15)


Family Tree University | Genealogy Events | Webinars
Thursday, June 16, 2011 11:08:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [7]