This week we report on why people want to gather more information via digital preservation, a hidden cemetery in Indiana, a photo collection of a Japanese-American internment camp in Wyoming, and a slew of events and classes in Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio and Canada.
We offered two views of digital preservation in last week’s North American News edition.
As promised, writer Mike Ashenfelder of the Library of Congress’ preservation blog - Signal - has provided Part 2 of his first post..
In Part 1, he wrote that“relational databases are the engines that drive digital genealogy. Databases make it possible to quickly search through enormous quantities of records, find the person you’re looking for and discover related people and events. And when institutions collaborate and share databases, statistical information becomes enriched.”
In Part 2, he addresses why modern genealogists want to gather this information.
“Brian Lambkin, director of the Centre for Migration Studies, said that adding multimedia, geospatial data and more, enriches the biographical information about a person. “Potentially there’s a biography to be written about every single individual,” said Lambkin.”
This is what researchers call “adding flesh to the bones.” Family history research is much more than merely a dry list of names and dates. We want to know more about our ancestors and this includes all aspects of their lives. Ashenfelder’s post provides numerous examples of projects and sites that try to do just that.
Click here to read Part 2.
A Hidden Cemetery in Indiana
One doesn't expect to find a cemetery under a cornfield, but when the city of Terre Haute received a donated field for a training site, that's exactly what they found.
No maps, no markings, just rows of corn - until they dug a trench for a water line and the backhoe operator found a skull. Today, an anthropology professor and his students, from Indiana State University, are attempting to gather clues of the site. Many individuals have rested there since the late 1800s, at the site which was used by the Vigo County Home for the Poor.
The students are using ground-penetrating radar to find the boundaries of the old cemeteries and determine how many graves are there. In the spring, if they receive approval, the students would remove and relocate the graves.
Students also sieve the dirt they remove by the bucketful, and find buttons, nails, bone fragments - even wedding rings - and other bits and pieces.
Read the complete story here.
Preserving Images of a World War II Experience
Patti Hirahara of California began documenting and organizing photos of the Japanese-American experience of being an internee at a wartime camp. Her father and grandfather - who became the camp photographers - were a part of family number 37105 at the 46,000-acre internment camp in Heart Mountain, Wyoming, which served as home to 11,000 interred Japanese-Americans from 1942-1945.
Hirahara has delivered more than 2,000 photos to Washington State University, which has received a grant for nearly $50,000 to digitize the collection and make it available on its website. The university will hold the largest private collection of photos taken during that period at an internment camp.
Read the story here.
Building a society in North Palm Beach, Florida
Do you know someone interested in family history who lives in that city? If so you might want to forward this article to them. It's the story of a woman and her husband who caught the "bug" and started a genealogy club at their local library. It began 11 years ago with five people and has grown to 40 members, who participate in a range of activities.
For more information - you might even want to start your own society - click here.
Broadcasts, Conferences and Classes
Geneablogger Radio: Well-known geneablogger DearMYRTLE will host the show on Friday, September 30. The topic is "Digging Deeper: Dealing with Conflicting Evidence." Experienced genealogists Barbara Matthews CG, Claire V. Brisson-Banks AG and Michael Hait CG will share how they tackle challenges when old documents show conflicting information about an ancestor.
Listeners are invited to share their own evidence nightmares by calling in during the live show. There's also an active chat room during the show. The program begins at 10pm East Coast, 9pm Central, 8pm Mountain and 7pm Pacific, but anyone around the world can join in once they calculate the correct time in their own country. For more information, click here.
Kentucky: The Louisville Genealogical Society sponsors an annual Family History Seminar and Book Fair. This year's event, on October 15, will feature nationally-known speaker John T. Humphrey, a specialist on German genealogy. He is the author of numerous books, including "Finding Your German Ancestors: A Practical Guide for Genealogists."
His scheduled talks include: Find your German ancestor's place of origin; using church records effectively; German immigration, migration and settlement patterns in the US; and reconstructing families on the colonial frontier. There will also be eight free classes, with expert instructors, covering diverse subjects.
Ohio: The Galion (Ohio) Public Library will offer three free fall programs in October: "Creating Your Memoirs," "Preparing for a Cemetery Research Trip," and a social media workshop. Registration is required. Click here for more information.
Minnesota:A free family history fair will be held in Minneapolis on Saturday, October 22, at the Hennepin County Library. The event is sponsored by the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Genealogy experts will talk about resources, gathering family stories and software. Local and national organizations will host ethnic and genealogy interest tables, along with a tour of the Minneapolis Central Library's genealogy resources.
Experts will speak on adventures in family history, discovering family history in your attic and around the dinner table, finding ancestors in other countries, useful resources for finding ancestors on the Internet, exploring school resources for family history, gathering family stories, and more. For more information, click here.
Canada: Brian Henry will give a workshop on writing memoirs and family history on Saturday, November 19, in Kingston, Ontario. The workshop will introduce attendees to the tricks and conventions of telling true stories and will demonstrate how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. For information on how to register, click here.
We'd like to hear your views on these stories, if you plan to attend an event or class, or tune in to Geneablogger Radio. Let us know. We look forward to reading your comments.