Tag Archives: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

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:

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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.”..”

 

Other Travelers Part 10 – Tracing the 1918 Flu Epidemic

(Part of an On-going Series – “Other Travelers”)

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn – SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

Have you gotten the flu this season?

Not the 24 hour stomach flu (which is bad enough), but the upper respiratory Influenza A or B?  Flu has hit this year especially hard, killing several children. But it is nothing close to the amount of deaths in the Pandemic of 1918.

Perhaps your ancestors were affected by that epidemic – one hundred years ago this year?  Whole families were wiped out.

 

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Let’s get some insight:

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From Standford Children’s Health:

“What are the different types of influenza?

Influenza viruses are divided into three types designated as A, B, and C:

  • Influenza types A and B are responsible for epidemics of respiratory illness that occur almost every winter and often lead to increased rates of hospitalization and death. Public health efforts to control the impact of influenza focus on types A and B. One of the reasons the flu remains a problem is because the viruses actually change their structure regularly. This means that people are exposed to new types of the virus each year.
  • Influenza type C usually causes either a very mild respiratory illness or no symptoms at all. It does not cause epidemics and does not have the severe public health impact that influenza types A and B do….
  1. A person infected with an influenza virus develops antibodies against that virus.
  2. The virus changes.
  3. The “older” antibodies no longer recognizes the “newer” virus when the next flu season comes around.
  4. The person becomes infected again.

The older antibodies can, however, give some protection against getting the flu again. Currently, three different influenza viruses circulate worldwide: two type A viruses and one type B virus. Vaccines given each year to protect against the flu contain the influenza virus strain from each type that is expected to cause the flu that year.

What causes influenza?

An influenza virus is generally passed from person to person through the air. .. with infected person who sneezes or coughs. The virus can also live for a short time on objects …can get the flu virus by touching something that has been handled by someone infected with the virus and then touching his or her own mouth, nose, or eyes.

People are generally the most contagious with the flu 24 hours before they start having symptoms  (emphasis mine) and during the time they have the most symptoms. That’s why it is hard to prevent the spread of the flu, especially among children, because they do not always know they are sick while they are still spreading the disease. The risk of infecting others usually stops around the seventh day of the infection.”

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See the source image

Most entertainments, churches, social clubs, libraries, movie houses, etc. were eventually shut down.  But they tried wearing masks for awhile!

Officials Wearing Gauze Masks

Milkmen(?) braving the Flu to deliver milk to stores, and to people’s homes

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The Flu Epidemic rapidly made many children orphans, dependent on the care of others.

Many families died of neglect or starvation, remaining isolated in their homes, afraid to come out for supplies or medical attention.  Some neighbors were afraid to enter the homes of those who were sick.  So many medical doctors were in the War, ill, or overwhelmed.  anyone with medical training was asked to help, and some communities recruited  volunteers to care for the sick.

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From Standford University, by Molly Billings, June, 1997 modified RDS February, 2005:

“The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI) … It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as “Spanish Flu” or “La Grippe” the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster…

In the two years that this scourge ravaged the earth, a fifth of the world’s population was infected. The flu was most deadly for people ages 20 to 40. This pattern of morbidity was unusual for influenza which is usually a killer of the elderly and young children. It infected 28% of all Americans (Tice).

An estimated 675,000 Americans died of influenza during the pandemic, ten times as many as in the world war. Of the U.S. soldiers who died in Europe, half of them fell to the influenza virus and not to the enemy (Deseret News). An estimated 43,000 servicemen mobilized for WWI died of influenza (Crosby). 1918 would go down as unforgettable year of suffering and death and yet of peace…

The effect of the influenza epidemic was so severe that the average life span in the US was depressed by 10 years.   (Emphasis mine.)…

In 1918 children would skip rope to the rhyme (Crawford):

 

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History is reflected in children’s games, and in songs.

(“Ring-around-the Rosie” is NOT from the time of the Black Plaque!)

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The mandatory gauze masks were not always very effective.  There is the story of 4 women who wore masks while playing cards one evening.  By the next morning three of them were dead from Influenza.

 

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In an effort to boost the War effort, President Woodrow Wilson (and others) initially tried to ignore the pandemic, and suppress news about it.  How depressing that so many of those who survived the war, ended up dying of influenza.  Whole shiploads of military men were affected, some never making it to serve in the War.

The cause of most of the deaths in this pandemic was the secondary pneumonia.  There were no antibiotics.  Influenza frequently has secondary infections – strep throat, ear infections, Pink Eye, etc.  But this time it was more than that. (see explanation below.)

Be alert if you see several people in your ancestor’s family die suddenly, and within a few days of each other, especially if between September 1918 and about June 1919.  A death certificate may not mention flu/influenza, but pneumonia, etc. as cause of death.  Or there might not have been a police officer/medical person/undertaker/county recorder available to make any registration. (see explanation below.)  Some members of the family may have been buried in a mass grave with no records.

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From History.com

The first wave of the 1918 pandemic occurred in the spring and was generally mild. The sick …experienced … typical flu symptoms….

However, a second, highly contagious wave of influenza appeared with a vengeance in the fall of that same year. Victims died within hours or days of developing symptoms, their skin turning blue and their lungs filling with fluid that caused them to suffocate….

Despite the fact that the 1918 flu wasn’t isolated to one place, it became known around the world as the Spanish flu, as Spain was hit hard by the disease and was not subject to the wartime news blackouts that affected other European countries. (Even Spain’s king, Alfonso XIII, reportedly contracted the flu.)

One unusual aspect of the 1918 flu was that it struck down many previously healthy, young people—a group normally resistant to this type of infectious illness—including a number of World War I servicemen…. Forty percent of the U.S. Navy was hit with the flu, while 36 percent of the Army became ill, and troops moving around the world in crowded ships and trains helped to spread the killer virus.

Although the death toll attributed to the Spanish flu is often estimated at 20 million to 50 million victims worldwide, other estimates run as high as 100 million victims. The exact numbers are impossible to know due to a lack of medical record-keeping in many places.

…Even President Woodrow Wilson reportedly contracted the flu in early 1919 while negotiating the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I.

When the 1918 flu hit, doctors and scientists were unsure what caused it or how to treat it. Unlike today, there were no effective vaccines or antivirals, drugs that treat the flu. (The first licensed flu vaccine appeared in America in the 1940s….)

Complicating matters was the fact that World War I had left parts of America with a shortage of physicians and other health workers. And of the available medical personnel in the U.S., many came down with the flu themselves.

Additionally, hospitals in some areas were so overloaded with flu patients that schools, private homes and other buildings had to be converted into makeshift hospitals, some of which were staffed by medical students.

Officials in some communities imposed quarantines, ordered citizens to wear masks and shut down public places, including schools, churches and theaters. People were advised to avoid shaking hands and to stay indoors, libraries put a halt on lending books and regulations were passed banning spitting… the Sanitary Code.”

The flu took a heavy human toll, wiping out entire families and leaving countless widows and orphans in its wake. Funeral parlors were overwhelmed and bodies piled up. Many people had to dig graves for their own family members.

The flu was also detrimental to the economy. In the United States, businesses were forced to shut down because so many employees were sick. Basic services such as mail delivery and garbage collection were hindered due to flu-stricken workers.

In some places there weren’t enough farm workers to harvest crops. Even state and local health departments closed for business, hampering efforts to chronicle the spread of the 1918 flu and provide the public with answers about it.

By the summer of 1919, the flu pandemic came to an end, as those that were infected either died or developed immunity.

Almost 90 years later, in 2008, researchers announced they’d discovered what made the 1918 flu so deadly: A group of three genes enabled the virus to weaken a victim’s bronchial tubes and lungs and clear the way for bacterial pneumonia.

Since 1918, there have been several other influenza pandemics, although none as deadly.”

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The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic was world wide:

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The ultimate “other Travelers” in this story are the viruses and bacteria that exploded throughout the world for those 15 months 1918 – 1919.

PBS has a very good “American Experience” documentary of the topic

Aired January 2, 2018

Influenza 1918

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/influenza/

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The American military in World War I and the influenza pandemic were closely connected. Influenza spread in The crowded conditions of military camps in the United States and in the trenches of the Western Front in Europe. The virus traveled with military personnel from camp to camp and across the Atlantic military transit ships.  September – November 1918, influenza and pneumonia sickened many in the military at the height of the American military involvement in the war.  This affected the war.

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Public Health Rep. 2010; 125(Suppl 3): 82–91.

INFLUENZA IN THE CAMPS

(read the entire article by clicking the links above.)

“…the virus traveled west and south, arriving at Camp Grant, Illinois, on Saturday, September 21, 1918, with 70 hospital admissions. “So sudden and appalling was the visitation that it required the greatest energy and cooperation of every officer, every man, and every nurse to meet the emergency,” wrote one observer.4 (p. 749) Hospital admissions rose to 194, then 370, then 492, to a high of 788 admissions on September 29. Hospital officials summoned all officers on leave, converted barracks to hospital wards, and by “extreme effort” expanded the hospital capacity from “10 occupied beds to a capacity of 4,102 beds in six days.”4 (p.751)

Influenza still overwhelmed every department. The hospital laboratory resorted to local civilian facilities to perform specimen tests. Camp ophthalmologists saw patients with conjunctivitis, an influenza complication, and ear, nose, and throat specialists saw those with other dangerous secondary infections. As individuals became seriously ill, camp officials sent out “danger” or “death” telegrams to families and loved ones, but soon they received so many return calls, telegrams, and visitors, they had to set up a separate hospital tent as an information bureau. Medical personnel were not immune. Eleven of the 81 medical officers fell ill, and three civilian and three Army nurses died. The epidemic even caused the Medical Department to drop its prohibition on black nurses so that Camp Grant called African American nurses to care for patients. The women had to wait, however, until separate, segregated accommodations could be constructed.”

 

National Archives: World War I Centennial

As the largest repository of American World War I records, the National Archives invites you to browse the wealth of records and information documenting the U.S. experience in this conflict, including photographs, documents, audiovisual recordings, educational resources, articles, blog posts, lectures, and events.

Veteran’s Service Records:

https://www.archives.gov/veterans

 

 

 

Finding Native American Indian Ancestors


Finding Native American Indian Ancestors

January 22, 2018

Vicki’s note – The following is a collection of  on-line  sites I found that may help you find Native American Indian Ancestors.

The Dawes Commission was organized in 1893 to accept applications for tribal enrollment between 1899 and 1907 from Native American Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes who resided in the Indian Territory, which later became the eastern portion of Oklahoma.

The Five Civilized Tribes consist of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole and Chickasaw Indians.

There are several places to get access to the Dawes rolls (and other United States Federal Special Censuses) to see if your ancestor is listed:

The information is quoted from the sites:

Fold3 by Ancestry – The Dawes Rolls

 

Tulsa Oklahoma Public Library:

http://guides.tulsalibrary.org/c.php?g=695441&p=4931366

Locating American Indian ancestors may be possible if they were members of one of the Five Civilized Tribes living in Oklahoma. These tribes developed a relationship with the United States government long before other tribes. Because of this long-standing relationship, tribal records exist for most of the 19th century. These records are available and can be used to discover and document American Indian ancestors.

The Five Civilized Tribes consist of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole tribes. These tribes were removed to Oklahoma in the late 1830’s and early 1840’s from their homelands in the southeastern United States. Each tribe was given land in what was then known as Indian Territory.

Rolls were taken from the time of arrival in Oklahoma, and some pre-removal rolls exist. Rolls will vary by tribe and date, and the information on each roll varies depending on the reason the roll was taken. Some rolls are only lists of names.

Between 1898-1906, the Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes were taken to determine individuals who qualified for membership in the tribes. This roll is what is used today to determine tribal enrollment.

The Genealogy Center has tribal records of the Five Civilized Tribes dating from the 1850’s to around 1910’s. This microfilmed collection of materials is generated by the tribal governments. Included are census records, accounts of legislative sessions, court dockets, correspondence, election records, treasurer’s records, materials relating to land allotment and leases and school records. The records are not indexed, but each film rolls has a description.

To be on the Final Rolls, or Dawes Rolls, your ancestor had to be living continuously with the tribe in Oklahoma. The first step is to determine the name of an ancestor who was living in Indian Territory between 1898-1906 and who will be on the 1900 federal census. Knowing the approximate age of the ancestor at that time the roll was taken and the names of any family members (parents, children, spouses) who may have been listed with them will be helpful in verifying the correct family on the rolls. If you are not sure of the age of your ancestor or other names of family members, you may need to acquire more information from other family members, or find a later family member on the 1930 or 1940 federal census and trace backwards to the 1900 from there.

Next, you need to find your ancester on the 1900 federal census for Indian Territory. As part of the questionaire asked by the census taker, the race of your ancester will be noted in one of the columns. If your ancestor is listed as “white” or “w,” then it is unlikely they will be enrolled in the Final Rolls. Once you have verified your ancestor as non-white and living in Oklahoma in 1900, you will use the Final Dawes Rolls Index to find their census card number, or CC#. You may search by your ancestors name, and the index will provide you with the tribe, blood, and CC# along with other relevant information. The “blood” section will be members with Indian blood. The “minor” and “newborn” sections are names of children who enrolled. The “by marriage” section will be the names of whites who were married to tribal members and the “freedmen” will be the names of the former slave families who were adopted into the tribes. Be sure to check the age of the person listed in the results of your search to verify it is the correct person. You may also see what other family members were listed on the card with your ancestor.

Now you are ready to look up your ancestor’s enrollment card and application packet (for all tribes except Creek) in our Fold3 database (only available at the Genealogy Center). Under “Native American Archives” browse the Dawes Enrollment Cards or Dawes Packets (you will search both the same way). Select your ancestor’s tribe, their group (noted under “Tribe & Enrollment” in the index), card number, and then name. The census cards were the enrollment cards that were filled out for each family member who enrolled. Besides names of other family members, census cards contain the name of the father and mother of each individual, the former slave owner’s name of the freedmen families, the place of residence of the family and earlier rolls that the family was listed on. These census cards may also help connect to earlier rolls of the tribe.

The information on the census card was taken from the application made by each enrollee. Applications exist for both accepted and rejected applicants. These packets usually include a transcript of the interview with the enrollee, which can provide interesting and useful information about your ancestors.

NARA – National Archives

https://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/dawes

THIRTEENTH CENSUS OF THE UNITED STATES: 1910
SPECIAL INQUIRIES RELATING TO INDIANS

https://www.archives.gov/files/research/genealogy/charts-forms/1910-indians.pdf

http://www.comanchelodge.com/cherokee-rolls.html

US Census Rolls recorded between 1817-1924

(East of the Mississippi River)

  • 1817 Reservations Rolls – Cherokees wanting a 640 acre tract in the East.
  • 1817-1835 Emigration Rolls – Cherokees whom filed to emigrate to Arkansas.
  • 1835 Henderson Roll – Cherokee Census for ALA, GA, TN, NC.
  • 1848 Mullay Roll – Census for NC Cherokee remaining after removal.
  • 1851 Siler Roll – Eastern Cherokee Payment Roll.
  • 1852 Chapman Roll – Payment Roll based on Siler Roll.
  • 1869 Swetland Roll – Authorizition of Payment for NC Cherokee
  • 1883 Hester Roll – Eastern Cherokee Roll.
  • 1908 Churchill Roll – Eastern Band Cherokee (Rejections etc.)
  • 1909 Guion Miller East Roll – Eastern Cherokee Roll.
  • 1924 Baker Roll – Current Membership Roll for Eastern Cherokee.

 

US Census Rolls recorded between 1851-1909

 (West of the Mississippi River)

  • 1851 Old Settlers Rolls – Cherokee Old Settlers living West prior to 1839.
  • 1852 Drennan Roll – First Census after Trail of Tears.
  • 1898-1914 Dawes Roll – Final Allotment Rolls.
  • 1909 Guion Miller Roll – Entitlement Rolls for Allotments.

*Lookups are available for Dawes Roll “Plus” of 1898. These records contain the roll number, Miller Roll application number, ages & relationships. These are the final roll records for Cherokee Nation Citizens of Cherokee Blood.

**We also offer lookups in Guion Miller Roll “Plus” of 1909. These records contain information for those Cherokee on both Dawes & Miller Rolls, this includes applicants accepted and NOT ACCEPTED for claims against the federal government for treaty violations. These records are very valuable and include: Dawes Roll Number, Census Card Number, Degree of Cherokee Blood for each applicant and surname information.

When requesting a lookup please be specific on what names and records you desire a lookup on, and I will see what I can find. The Cherokee records are part of my private collection in my personal library, I do not obtain this information on-line so please don’t write asking where on the internet I obtained my information.

Note: Please use the above search box provided for the Dawes Rolls to confirm an individual is present. For Guion Miller Rolls you may now search them on-line at the National Archives & Records Administration.

http://www.genealogynation.com/dna/

http://www.okhistory.org/research/dawes

Order Copies

The Research Center offers Dawes enrollment packets for a flat fee of $35. We also offer Dawes allotment packets for $35. Be certain to include the information listed in the index, including the individual’s name, census card number, roll number, and tribe. To order by mail use the printable order form or call 405-522-5225 and please have your credit card ready.

The Oklahoma Historical Society collections include the Dawes census cards and enrollment packets, if available. Census cards list information about the enrollee, and may include information about their family members.

Enrollment packets may provide further details about the individual and their family, including marriage, birth, and death information. Allotment packets contain information about the individual’s land allotment, plat maps, correspondence, and other documents. Enrollment and allotment packets vary in length from a single page to more than 100 pages.

About the Dawes Rolls

Officially known as The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, the Dawes Rolls list individuals who applied and were approved for membership in the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.) Enrollment for the Dawes Rolls began in 1898 and ended in 1906.

What kind of information will I find on the Dawes Rolls?

The rolls list the individual’s name, age, sex, blood degree, census card number and page, enrollment number, and tribe.

In most cases the ages indicated on the rolls are the age of individuals around 1902. Those listed as “newborns” and “minors” were born after the initial enrollment began in 1898, but before March of 1907.

Tribal association will be listed as “By Blood,” “Intermarriage,” or “Freedmen.” Intermarriage indicates the person was married to a citizen of the tribe. You may also see the letters “I W” for Intermarried White. Freedmen were the former slaves of the Five Civilized Tribes and their descendants.

What information do I need before I search?

Basic information includes the name of a person who was alive and living in the Indian Territory during the enrollment period. If the individual was a married woman, you should look for her under her married name.

I cannot locate my ancestor in the index. What should I do now?

Look for your ancestor on the 1900 US census. If your ancestor did not live in Indian Territory it is extremely unlikely they will be on the rolls. If they were living in Indian Territory check the available lists for rejected Dawes applications. Consider the possibility your ancestor belonged to another tribe or preferred not to be recognized as Indian.

For further information about tribal citizenship, contact the tribe directly.

Oklahoma History Center | 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 | 405-521-2491

What’s New at the NARA – United States National Archives and Records Administration?

Vicki’s note – mostly from the NARA site. 

Here is a NARA hint from our speaker Katherine Kemnitz, genealogist, from last weeks program on “Formating, Printing and Self-Publishing a Book”.

In her research on  NARA, Katherine noticed that she had a hard time finding her soldier ancestor Clem.  She discovered that between 1877 – 1900s that the NARA hired extra clerks to catalog all Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans.  The clerks would combine several soldiers of various names into one folder with one name, if those soldiers were only short -term enlistments, and only on one pay record.  The only way to see the other soldier’s (names/information) was if someone looked into the folder.

There are so many free tools and resources at NARA.  Click on the links.:

October 16, 2017

What’s New at the NARA – United States National Archives and Records Administration?

 

https://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy

What’s New?

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

October 25, 2017

On Wednesday, October 25, the National Archives will host the fifth virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast. Viewers can participate with the presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube.

All of the session videos and handouts will be available from             this web page free of charge. You can watch the sessions and download the materials at your convenience.

Are you going to miss the live broadcast? We have you covered! The video broadcasts and the presentation materials will continue to be available after the live event.

NARA is hosting its 5th annual Virtual Genealogy Fair on October 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. The fair will be broadcast live from YouTube.

The Genealogy Fair is NARA’s biggest genealogy event of the year and will feature sessions that offer advice on family history research for all skill levels.

The topics include:

– Federal government documents on birth, childhood, and death

-Recently recovered military personnel files

-Japanese Americans during World War II

-19th century tax assessments

-A special presentation on taking care of your family heirlooms

 

Can I start my family history research by typing a name in the search box?

Our search box will not help you find information on a specific person.  However, we have many tools and resources that can lead you to information about our holdings.  Many of our records have been digitized and are made available by our Digitization Partners.

Civil War Soldier Genealogy Records

Vicki’s note – Diane Haddad answers a question from a FamilyTreeMagazine.com reader:

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Find Genealogy Records for a Civil War Soldier

5/16/2017
You’ve got questions about discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history; our experts have the answers.
Q. All I know is that my great-grandfather Joseph A. Harbison fought for the Union in the Civil War. He enlisted from Pennsylvania. How do I get information about him?

 

A.The National Park Service has given you a great place to start in its Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database (CWSS). You can search for Union or Confederate soldiers and African-American Union sailors. Our search turned up a Joseph H. Harbison in the 11th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry. Is this your great-grandfather with an incorrect middle initial? Before making the call, you’ll want to consult this man’s service records. CWSS gives you the microfilm number you need to order copies (for a fee) of a service file from the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Order Online site.

In the CWSS search results, click on a unit name for details on when and where the unit was raised and the battles it fought, and how many members died from bullets and disease. Another way to confirm the Joseph we found is your great-grandfather: Check the 1860 US census for for other Joseph Harbisons in the counties where the Pennsylvania 11th was raised.

Your great-grandfather may have applied for a military pension. Look for the General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. I found a Joseph Harbison who filed for a pension in Pennsylvania July 29, 1890 (his application number is 495309). Keep in mind this could be a different Joseph; request copies of the originals from NARA to be sure.

For more information on researching Civil War ancestors, see Family Tree Magazine’s step-by-step Civil War Genealogy Guide.

Genealogy Records for Civil War Soldiers

Vicki’s note – article from Legacy Family Tree. 

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Find Genealogy Records for a Civil War Soldier
5/16/2017
You’ve got questions about discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history; our experts have the answers.
Q. All I know is that my great-grandfather Joseph A. Harbison fought for the Union in the Civil War. He enlisted from Pennsylvania. How do I get information about him?

 

A.The National Park Service has given you a great place to start in its Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database (CWSS). You can search for Union or Confederate soldiers and African-American Union sailors. Our search turned up a Joseph H. Harbison in the 11th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry. Is this your great-grandfather with an incorrect middle initial? Before making the call, you’ll want to consult this man’s service records. CWSS gives you the microfilm number you need to order copies (for a fee) of a service file from the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Order Online site.

In the CWSS search results, click on a unit name for details on when and where the unit was raised and the battles it fought, and how many members died from bullets and disease. Another way to confirm the Joseph we found is your great-grandfather: Check the 1860 US census for for other Joseph Harbisons in the counties where the Pennsylvania 11th was raised.

Your great-grandfather may have applied for a military pension. Look for the General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. I found a Joseph Harbison who filed for a pension in Pennsylvania July 29, 1890 (his application number is 495309). Keep in mind this could be a different Joseph; request copies of the originals from NARA to be sure.

For more information on researching Civil War ancestors, see Family Tree Magazine’s step-by-step Civil War Genealogy Guide.

Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives (NARA) – Free Webinar

Vicki’s  notes – free genealogy webinars:

Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives (NARA) –

Free Webinar by Claire Kluskens

Here is a link to the webinar, if you missed the April 14, 2017 Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program.  This was just one session in a 2 day 2016 NARA conference (online) which had several sessions.  The Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives (NARA) -Webinar by Claire Kluskens was the first session on day 1.  You can print the handouts if you click on the links.

There are also links to the previous several year’s of conferences.  You can watch any of them, all free.

2016 National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Session Videos & Handouts

On October 26 & 27, 2016, the National Archives hosted the fourth virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast. Viewers participated with the presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube. All of the session videos and handouts remain available from this web page free of charge.

You can watch the sessions and download the materials at your convenience.

Session Schedule

Day 1, October 26:  Watch entire day on YouTube

                  Session Ttitle
                         1 Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives by Claire Kluskens
                         2 The Best National Archives Records Genealogists Aren’t Using by Lori Cox-Paul
                         3 National Archives Innovative Online Resources and Tools to Help with Your Genealogical Research by Sarah Swanson and Kelly Osborn
                         4 You too can be a Citizen Archivist! Getting the most out of the National Archives Catalog by Suzanne Isaacs and Meredith Doviak
                         5 Department of State Records for Genealogical Research by David Pfeiffer
                         6 Grave Yards and Genealogy: American Battle Monuments Commission by Ryan Bass

Day 2, October 27:  Watch entire day on YouTube

                  Session Title
Welcoming Remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero
                         7 Nonpopulation Census: Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Social Statistics by Claire Kluskens
                         8 The Morning After – Changes as Reflected in Morning Reports (Army and Air Force) by Theresa Fitzgerald
                         9 The Iwo Jima Flag Raisers – Chaos, Controversy and World War II Marine Corps Personnel Records by Bryan K. McGraw
                        10 What’s New in the Lou: A Look at the Latest Accessions at the National Archives at St. Louis by David Hardin
                        11 Faces of the National Park Service by Cara L. Moore
Closing Remarks by Acting Executive for Research Services Ann Cummings

Transcripts

Transcripts from the live captioning and chat sessions are available. To request them, please send an email to: KYR@nara.gov.


Background:  The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. For information on National Archives holdings see www.archives.gov.

Regarding links outside of the National Archives Website (Archives.gov): We have provided a link to this site because it has information that may interest you. This link is not an endorsement by the National Archives of the opinions, products, or services presented on this site, or any sites linked to it. The National Archives is not responsible for the legality or accuracy of information on this site, the policies, or for any costs incurred while using this site.

Posters and Web Pages from Previous Genealogy Fairs

See previous Virtual Genealogy Fair sessions and presentation materials for the years 2013, 2014, and 2015.

How to Trace WW1 Military Ancestors

Vicki’s Note  – an article from Family Tree Magazine Insider – a good follow-up to our NARA Webinar tomorrow, Friday April 14, 10 a.m. at the Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program.
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

6 Records to Trace Ancestors Who Served in World War I
Posted by Diane HaddadThe United States declared war on Germany 100 years ago this month, on April 6, 1917, joining the side of the Allies in the Great War. See all the countries caught up in the conflict in our timeline of World War I war declarations.

More than 650,000 from Canada and Newfoundland and about 4 million from the United States served in the military. These are two of the US Expeditionary Force soldiers in my family:

On the left is Joe Seeger, who enlisted September 1917; and on the right is his brother Norbert (with their father), who enlisted July 1918.

Loss of WWI Service Records in NPRC Fire
When you go to research your WWI ancestors’ military service, you’ll make a sad discovery: More than 80 percent of US Army service records for those discharged between Nov. 1, 1912 and Jan. 1, 1960 (which includes WWI soldiers) were destroyed in a 1973 fire at the National Archives’ National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. (You can request surviving WWI service records following these instructions.)

But there are other ways to trace your ancestor’s WWI service, including:

1. Draft Registration Cards
More than 24 million men (including immigrants who hadn’t naturalized) registered for the draft in 1917 and 1918, although not all of them served. These are widely available on genealogy websites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.

2. State Adjutant General Rosters
Most states issued a roster of soldiers in World War I. Both Joe and Norbert are listed in The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the World War, 1917-18, on Ancestry.com as Ohio Soldiers in WWI, 1917-1918.

3. WWI Transport Service Records
Fold3 just published this collection of passenger lists of military transport ships. Norbert was listed with Supply Co. 336, leaving New York City Oct 27, 1918, and arriving in Liverpool Nov. 8. I had to scroll through the records to find a page with a date and ports.

He was on another ship Nov. 11, but I can’t find a page noting where it took him. His last transport took him home: The USS Orizaba departed Brest, France, July 29, 1919, and arrived at Newport News, Va., Aug. 6.

4. Discharge Papers
Most discharged service members registered with their local courthouses on return to their communities. I can’t find my WWI servicemen among the veteran discharges in FamilySearch’s records for Hamilton County, Ohio, so here’s the record for another man:



5. Veterans Surveys
Many communities asked local veterans to complete surveys about their service in the World War. My cousin three times removed Louis E. Thoss filled out this one for the Kentucky Council of Defense (it’s now part of the Kenton County Public Library’s genealogy database).

The US Army Military History Institute also has a collection of WWI veterans questionnaires completed in the late 1970s, along with photos, letters, memoirs and other materials.

6. Military Headstone Application
When Joe died in 1941, his sister applied for a military headstone based on his WWI service. These are on National Archives microfilm, and digitized on Ancestry.com.

You’ll find more ways to research your World War I ancestors in these articles:

Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Fold3 | Military records | World War One Genealogy

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 2:54:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [2]

How to Use Some Unique Military Records – Webinars from the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair 2016

Vicki’s note – here are some free webinars that can be watched on Youtube even though the Fair is done.  We will be watching the Wednesday 10:05 a.m. webinar “Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives” by Claire Kluskens in 2017 for one of our programs.  She demonstrates a lot of basic helpful genealogy techniques.

How to Use Some Unique Military Records – Webinars from the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair 2016

October 26 & 27, 2016

On October 26 & 27, 2016 (Wednesday & Thursday), the National Archives is hosting a two-day, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast. Viewers have the opportunity to participate with the presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube. All of the session videos and handouts will be available from this web page free of charge. You can watch the sessions and download the materials at your convenience. The videos and materials will remain available after the event. Registration is not required.

Session Schedule

Day 1: Wednesday, October 26 (eastern daylight time)

Watch entire day on YouTube US National Archives YouTube Channel

Captioning

Time Activity
10 a.m. Welcoming Remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero
10:05 a.m. Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives by Claire Kluskens
11 a.m. The Best National Archives Records Genealogists Aren’t Using by Lori Cox-Paul
12 p.m. National Archives Innovative Online Resources and Tools to Help with Your Genealogical Research by Sarah Swanson and Kelly Osborn
1 p.m. You too can be a Citizen Archivist! Getting the most out of the National Archives Catalog by Suzanne Isaacs and Meredith Doviak
2 p.m. Department of State Records for Genealogical Research by David Pfeiffer
3 p.m. Grave Yards and Genealogy: American Battle Monuments Commission by Ryan Bass

Day 2: Thursday, October 27 (eastern daylight time)

Watch entire day on YouTube US National Archives YouTube Channel

Captioning

Time Activity
10 a.m. Nonpopulation Census: Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Social Statistics by Claire Kluskens
11 a.m. The Morning After – Changes as Reflected in Morning Reports (Army and Air Force) by Theresa Fitzgerald
12 p.m. The Iwo Jima Flag Raisers – Chaos, Controversy and World War II Marine Corps Personnel Records by Bryan K. McGraw
1 p.m. What’s New in the Lou: A Look at the Latest Accessions at the National Archives at St. Louis by David Hardin
2 p.m. Faces of the National Park Service by Cara L. Moore
3 p.m. Closing Remarks by Acting Executive for Research Services Ann Cummings

 

 


Background:  The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials. For information on National Archives holdings see www.archives.gov.

Regarding links outside of the National Archives Website (Archives.gov): We have provided a link to this site because it has information that may interest you. This link is not an endorsement by the National Archives of the opinions, products, or services presented on this site, or any sites linked to it. The National Archives is not responsible for the legality or accuracy of information on this site, the policies, or for any costs incurred while using this site.

12 Free Websites to Search for & Honor Fallen Military Ancestors on Memorial Day

(Vicki’s note – Happy Memorial Day holidays, as we remember the reason we honor those who served in the military. Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Post by Family Tree Magazine Diane Hadad):

12 Free Websites to Search for & Honor Fallen Military Ancestors on Memorial Day
Posted by Diane

“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance … Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”


First Decoration Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, 1868.
Library of Congress.

These are the words of Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, who declared in 1868 that May 30 would be a day to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers with flowers.


Daisies gathered for Decoration Day, 1899.
Library of Congress
.

After World War I, Decoration Day became an opportunity to honor Americans who’ve died serving in any war. The term “Memorial Day” was first used in 1882 and became common after the Second World War. A 1967 law made it the official name of the holiday.


Decoration Day at Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, New York City, 1917.
Library of Congress.

To help you honor your military ancestors, we’ve gathered these websites where you can search for those who died serving in US wars:

  • Nationwide Gravesite Locator database from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which catalogs burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA national cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, other military and Department of the Interior cemeteries, and private cemeteries (after 1997) when the grave is marked with a government marker

If you’re ready to learn more about your family’s military heritage, you’ll want our genealogy guides to two of the most important types of military records: compiled service records (CMSRs) and pension records. Download these expert guides in ShopFamilyTree.com and start using them today.

Grave Decorated on Decoration Day, Gallipolis, Ohio, 1943.
Library of Congress.