Unique WPA Works Progress Administration Job – Librarians on Horseback

Unique WPA Works Progress Administration Job – Librarians on Horseback

Feb 17, 2019

Vicki’s note – The United States Great Depression required creative wide-ranging ideas to address the loss of jobs.  The Works Progress Administration was an American New Deal agency, created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, employing millions of people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects.  One of the more unique solutions to getting women jobs, was to pay them to be librarians on horseback.  They were called book women, but served the role of librarians in the Appalachians. 

Those women must have worked very hard, and found great satisfaction. 


Records of the Work Projects Administration [WPA] are in the NARA National Archives Records Administration for this job and others.

You can also look under their “History Hub” to seek records by topic:


NARA’s answer to a search on History Hub question about PA WPA records and photographs of projects was:

“There is a list available on microfilm that lists WPA projects in all states. This list is available from us as three microfilm publications. The publications are broken down into three separate indexes known as the T-935, T-936, and T-937 indexes. T-935 covers the years 1935 to 1937. T-936 covers 1938 only. T-937 covers 1939 to 1942. Each index is arranged alphabetically by state and thereunder by county, and thereunder by municipality. Blair County, Pennsylvania, would be on T-935 roll 57, T-936 roll 11, and T-937 roll 14.

You also may first wish to check with the state archives and other colleges and universities in the state to see if they already have copies of these indexes.

You can also view these rolls in the Microfilm Reading Room at our College Park, Maryland, facility. Please see: https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park for more information on doing research in College Park.

Our regional archive in Philadelphia does not have copies of these rolls of microfilm.

National Archives microfilm publications are available on microfilm or to be digitized and placed on a DVD for $125 per roll/disk. There is a form you can use to request copies of microfilm available online  at: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/order/microfilm-order-form.pdf  You can send in the NATF Form 36 with your payment.  If you wish to pay by using a MasterCard or VISA credit card, you should return the form (noting type of credit card, account number, expiration date, and your signature) to the National Archives Trust Fund, Cashier (BCT), 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD  20740. Your account will be verified before the rolls/DVDs are shipped.  Alternatively, you may order online by going to: http://www.archives.gov/shop/ and clicking on “Request & Order Reproductions Online.” Select “microfilm.” You can type in the microfilm publication number, such as T936, and click on “search.” A listing of the publication title(s) will appear. Click on the name of the publication.  That will take you to a summary page.  On the right hand side of the page will be a pdf file. Click on “View Important Publication Details.” to view the contents of the microfilm rolls. In the middle of the summary page, you can click on “Continue to Order” to purchase the rolls in which you are interested.

For photos of WPA projects, you will want to contact our Still Pictures unit. Their email address is stillpix@nara.gov

The book women article from ALA American Library Association magazine quotes an article from Atlas Obscura:

Below are excepts.  You can read the whole article here.

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“The Women Who Rode Miles on Horseback to Deliver Library Books

Librarians are amazing.

They were known as the “book women.” They would saddle up, usually at dawn, to pick their way along snowy hillsides and through muddy creeks with a simple goal: to deliver reading material to Kentucky’s isolated mountain communities.

The Pack Horse Library initiative was part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), created to help lift America out of the Great Depression, during which, by 1933, unemployment had risen to 40 percent in Appalachia. Roving horseback libraries weren’t entirely new to Kentucky, but this initiative was an opportunity to boost both employment and literacy at the same time….

(The libraries accepted) …”donations of books and magazines regardless of how old or worn they may be.”…

Old magazines and newspapers were cut and pasted into scrapbooks with particular themes—recipes, for example, or crafts… old Christmas cards were circulated to use as bookmarks and prevent damage from dog-eared pages.”

“…In addition to providing reading materials, the book women served as touchstones for these communities. They tried to fill book requests, sometimes stopped to read to those who couldn’t, and helped nurture local pride. As one recipient said, “Them books you brought us has saved our lives.”..”



DNA GEDmatch is now Genesis

DNA GEDmatch is now Genesis

15 Feb 2019

Vicki’s note – GEDmatch has been a database that one can use to compare DNA results from various DNA testing sites.  I have not gotten to registering my DNA results there yet, and now we all know that it has changed to Genesis. Read Shannon Combs Bennett’s full article here.

My Ancestry.com DNA ethnic groupings test results have recently changed radically from the original analysis.  Now I am confused about my identity!  Some ethnic designations dropped and others were added.   It is due to having so many more people taking DNA tests, that they are able to better assign designations.  I also registered my DNA test to MyHeritage.com which had even more different results.  It will be interesting to see more when I register with Genesis.

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“GEDmatch Updates to Genesis: What You Need to Know

Last week, GEDmatch announced it had moved to a new platform, Genesis. So what does that mean for users? This post will break down what you need to know about the new interface—and how it may impact your DNA research.In early February, users were notified of the GEDmatch-Genesis migration.

…GEDmatch sets itself apart as one of the most useful free third-party tools for genetic genealogy…Those who have already uploaded tests to GEDmatch will not need to do so again. All GEDmatch kits migrated to Genesis, so users do not need to create a new account…”


Milwaukee County Genealogical Society Conference April 13, 2019


Milwaukee County Genealogical Society Conference April 13, 2019

Feb 12, 2019

Vicki’s note – here is a registration information for this conference if you want to go:

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Dear Genealogical Societies, History Centers & Museums:
I am attaching PDF copies of our 21st Biennial Conference being held at the Best Western Milwaukee Airport,
5105 South Howell Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The date is April 13, 2019 with registration from 8:30 A.M.
to 9:00 A.M. and a Welcome Introduction until 9:15 A.M. when the Workshop will start.
If you have members who wish to attend
please have them log into Milwaukee County Genealogical Society – click – Welcome to Milwaukee County 
Genealogical Society:
    1.  On the left hand side is a menu
    2.  Go to Events & Monthly Programs
    3.  With the right hand scroll, scroll down to April 13, 2019
    4.  An overview of the day is there.  To get a printable copy click on For More Information
    5.  This will allow a person to print 4 pages of information out for the Conference.
We hope that members of your organization will join us on April 13, 2019.
Thank you for your help with getting this information out for the Conference.
Karla M. Kazianka
Milwaukee County Genealogical Society
2019 conference

CAGGNI Program – Pandemic 1918! Fighting Influenza During the Great War

CAGGNI Program – Pandemic 1918! Fighting Influenza During the Great War

Feb 12, 2019

Vicki’s note – here is a CAGGNI Computer Assisted Genealogical Group of Northern Illinois program that is close enough for Beloit WI folks to attend:

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Pandemic 1918! Fighting Influenza during the Great War NIU Hoffman Estates, 5555 Trillium Blvd.
Date: 16 Feb 2019 10:30 AM CST

Pandemic 1918! Fighting Influenza During the Great War

by Tina Beaird

More than 30 percent of Americans were estimated to have contracted the Spanish Influenza in 1918 and millions of people lost their lives. Explore the timeline of the outbreak and hear tales of how the U.S. Army, Navy and civilian population centers tried desperately to combat the disease. Discover resources for tracing your influenza victims through newspapers, government records, medical journals, hospital registers and more.

Tina Beaird, owner of Tamarack Genealogy, lectures on military research, genealogical methodology and archival preservation at national, state and local conferences. She is a governing board member of the Oswego Heritage Association, Northern Illinois Historical League and Illinois State Historical Records Advisory board. Tina volunteers her time with several local historical and genealogical societies scanning and indexing historic records.

**NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE: NIU Hoffman Estates, 5555 Trillium Blvd.

For more information: Pandemic 1918! Fighting Influenza during the Great War

Feb. 8, 2019 Program on Maps


Feb. 8, 2019 Program on Maps


Vicki Ruthe Hahn

Here is the handout for the Stateline Genealogy Club February 8, 2019  program on maps.  Unfortunately, I will not be there due to not coordinating well from one year to the next.  I did not have my 2019 calendar when I planned a vacation to Arizona based on the schedules of my children and their families.  Guess what? February 8 is the second Friday of the month! Duh. Sorry about that.

The program will go on with some Beloit Library staff member starting the webinars.  I just wanted members to have an electronic copy of the links, so that you can access them more easily if needed.

BYU Brigham Young University is a great new resource that I found for learning how to do genealogy.

Have fun learning, and see you next time on March 8.  I endured the bitter double digits cold last week in Wisconsin, but I am avoiding the ice storms and cold again this week in sunny balmy 40 – 60 degrees Arizona.  Drive safely and stay warm.


February 8, 2019 Program “Using Maps in Genealogy” Handout

Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library

Play these videos:

Maps – BYU Family History Library (YouTube):

  • Locating Your Ancestors Exactly From Maps and Gazetteers – James Tanner = 56 minutes


  • Land Ownership Maps – Nicky Smith (11 minutes; only play minutes 2 – 11) = 9 minutes.


  • S. Land Records – John Hendrix = 49 minutes


  • Sanborn Maps – Bonnie Barker= 6.30 minutes (turn down the volume to minimize hum)



Other BYU videos – Using Maps, (and other topics) are at:


Sanborn Maps:

BYU Family History Library Resources, unless otherwise noted, these are available on internet. https://sites.lib.byu.edu/familyhistory/alphabetical-list/#S

Book – “Fire Insurance Maps: Their History and Application”, by Diane L. Oswald

Maps Links:

Library of Congress – https://www.loc.gov/maps/?q=maps

David Rumsey Map Collection – https://www.davidrumsey.com/

University of Iowa – Counties Histories Atlases – http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/atlases/

Google the Place Name plus Cadastral, Parcel, Land Ownership, Survey, Plat, Atlas, (plus Map)

WISCAT – https://www.wiscat.net/MVC/  – Interlibrary Loan thru your public library

OCLC World Cat – https://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=maps  –  Interlibrary Loan thru your public library




A Genealogy Resource that Is Seldom Used – The Internet Archive

A Genealogy Resource that Is Seldom Used –

The Internet Archive


Vicki’s note – I am sorry that I have been behind in letting you know about the programs held by the stateline area group – CAGGNI Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois, based in Schaumburg Illinois.

Below is a recent program that we missed, but I still going to give you some information and the link to the Genealogy Resource that Is Seldom Used – The Internet Archive :

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“Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.”

About the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public. Our mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.

We began in 1996 by archiving the Internet itself, a medium that was just beginning to grow in use. Like newspapers, the content published on the web was ephemeral – but unlike newspapers, no one was saving it. Today we have 20+ years of web history accessible through the Wayback Machine and we work with 450+ library and other partners through our Archive-It program to identify important web pages.

As our web archive grew, so did our commitment to providing digital versions of other published works. Today our archive contains:

Anyone with a free account can upload media to the Internet Archive. We work with thousands of partners globally to save copies of their work into special collections.

Because we are a library, we pay special attention to books. Not everyone has access to a public or academic library with a good collection, so to provide universal access we need to provide digital versions of books. We began a program to digitize books in 2005 and today we scan 1,000 books per day in 28 locations around the world. Books published prior to 1923 are available for download, and hundreds of thousands of modern books can be borrowed through our Open Library site. Some of our digitized books are only available to the print disabled…”

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“Internet Archive: The Amazing Genealogical Resource You’re Not Using! Schaumburg Library, Roselle & Schaumburg Rds., Adult Classroom
Date: 19 Jan 2019 10:30 AM CST

Internet Archive: The Amazing Genealogical Resource You’re Not Using!

by Debra Dudek

Can’t find it on Ancestry?  Learn all about Internet Archive and its amazing collection of city directories, county histories, gazetteers, yearbooks and family genealogies.  If you haven’t been on this site yet, you’re missing a lot of fantastic resources.

Debra M. Dudek is head of Adult and Teen Services at the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook, IL.  Ms. Dudek specializes in British genealogy and technology topics.  She is currently pursuing a second masters degree in Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.”

Irish Cultural Center, McClelland Library in Phoenix Arizona


Irish Cultural Center, McClelland Library

in Phoenix Arizona


Vicki’s Note – Can’t afford to go to Ireland to do your Irish research?  How about warm Arizona?  That sounds tempting, as we are plenty frozen here in Wisconsin.  Or we can utilize their many on-line resources – links to Irish (and Great Britain, and United States/World) databases, as well as genealogy forms to download. Look all the way down that page to the list of online links to Irish websites:

Click on the link here.

I will be adding these links to the BLOG “Genealogy Links and Helps tab, under Forms, Irish Ancestors, etc.

Continue to the bottom of that page for the Genealogy Services ($5 a day to search at the Library and access to experts), Genealogy Forms and Guides (including a list of websites, and Irish history),  Genealogy Classes (at the Library),  and the Genealogy Collection at the Library.

Genealogy Classes at University of Wisconsin Madison – Washington & Waukesha Campuses

Genealogy Classes at University of Wisconsin Madison – Washington & Waukesha Campuses


Vicki’s note – I am sharing an education opportunity for genealogy classes at University of Wisconsin Madison – Washington & Waukesha Campuses.  Just type “genealogy” as a search on the classes link below.  These are not on-line and there is a cost, but an option if you live close enough:

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“Good afternoon,

I wanted to take some time to introduce our NEW non-credit personal enrichment genealogy courses that we have to offer at both our UWM at Washington County and Waukesha campuses.

Attached you will find a flyer with one campus on each side.  We are offering both a manual process course as well as a technology centered course.

Here is a link to each of our Continuing Course catalogs where you can find the classes under the “Writing” category.

Washington County Campus: https://ce.uwc.edu/washington/catalog

Waukesha Campus: https://ce.uwc.edu/waukesha/catalog

If you feel that these courses would be of interest to your members, we ask that you would please forward the information to them.  If you would like printed flyers, I am more than happy to send those your way, just let me know.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing back from you,

Abby L. Streicher

Program Manager at Washington Co & Waukesha Campuses

Continuing Education & Professional Development

1500 N. University Drive | Waukesha, WI 53188

Ph. 262.521-5460 | Direct Ph. 262.521.5516


Waukesha: www.waukesha.uwc.edu/ce

Washington: http://washington.uwc.edu/community/continuing-ed

2020 United States Census will be April 1, 2020

2020 United States Census will be April 1, 2020

17 Jan 2019

Census 2020 Transparent

Vicki’s note – the 72 year rule means that the 1950 United States Census information will be available in 2022 for genealogists to search.  It may take awhile for volunteers to transcribe/index the 1950 Census information just like the 1940 Census information in 2012. 

Information below is from Wikipedia, ALA American Library Association, and the United States Census Bureau:

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The 2020 United States Census, known as Census 2020, will be the twenty-fourth United States Census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, will be April 1, 2020.

As required by the United States Constitution, the U.S. Census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The 2010 United States Census was the previous census completed. Participation in the U.S. Census is required by law in Title 13 of the United States Code.[2] As per the 72-year rule, personally identifiable information is scheduled to become available in 2092.[3]

US Census Bureau:

Read more details here United States Census Bureau.

ALA American Library Association:

In 2020, the Census will be conducted primarily online for the first time.

Why the Census is Important

  • Representation: The decennial count of all U.S. residents is required by the U.S. Constitution to determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College (known as reapportionment). This data is also the basis for drawing districts for federal, state, and local offices (known as redistricting).
  • Funding: The Census is key to the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding to states and localities (such as grants to states under the Library Services and Technology Act).
  • Information: Data resulting from the Census is widely used by researchers, governments, businesses, and other organizations (to, for example, plan for library services).


Learn More

Oakwood Cemetery, Waukegan Illinois 24th Cemetery Walk 2018

Oakwood Cemetery, Waukegan Illinois

24th Cemetery Walk 2018

13 Jan 2019

Vicki’s note – Thanks to Ron Zarnick for sharing this Facebook video (see below.)

  Waukegan Illinois also has an Oakwood Cemetery.   See connections to the Waukegan Oakwood Cemetery grave site map, and a video of the Waukegan Historical Society 2015 Cemetery Walk including Ray Bradbury.  Read more about the history of Waukegan Illinois.

I also updated the BLOG “Genealogy Links and Helps” tab with links under ”

Vital Records – Birth, Death, Marriage (see also States; Countries by name): Death Certificates:

with links to databases that show what disease/reason the “cause of death” number (120 below) refers to, and a translation of historic/current medical terms for diseases:

See the source image

For some reason, one of my most popular postings on this BLOG is the “Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago Illinois”.

The Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library did the tour of Oakwood Cemetery in Beloit WI in August 2018.  See BLOG posting “Stateline Travelers Part 10 – Visiting the Beloit Wisconsin Pioneers at Oakwood Cemetery Tour; Cemetery Clues .

We will also have the Program November 8, 2019 – “Stateline Travelers – Chicago Gangsters Connections to Northern Illinois & Wisconsin”, by (me) speaker Vicki Ruthe Hahn. I will get more information on this video for as I create that program.  🙂

See complete list of The Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library 2019 programs. (Also available on the BLOG tab at the top.)

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Waukegan Illinois 24th Oakwood Cemetery Walk 2018, is called “Typical Illinois.” The actors tell us stories of Chicago Gangsters involvement in Waukegan, an Illinois Governor on trial, a writer of the Illinois Constitution, a visit from the White Sox & Cubs and more.

Click here to watch the one hour video tour.

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