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If you are looking for your southern ancestors’ story, you need to know about the textile mills. Join me at NGS in Raleigh May 9-13, specifically Thursday Morning at 8am (yes, you can do it!) for The Industrial Revolution Comes Home: Textile Mills and Your Ancestors and we will talk about Ruth, murder, communists, and many other things that impacted your post Civil War Southern family. See you then!
I have 3 conferences scheduled this year (so far) where you can hear me speak.
At RootsTech I am doing a couple of military talks including one on my favorite subject, the Civil War! And I have three talks scheduled for NGS. The era of the textile mills is really fascinating and has an interesting history in the North and South Carolina area. And it’s a new talk. And the Research Guides talk will be a bit of a different take. Promise! I don’t have the titles for the Texas Conferences but the subjects are Tax Lists, which are an excellent resource in Texas and Collateral Research.
Hope I see you somewhere!
- Salt Lake City, RootsTech 2017, Feb 8-11, 2017:
- Billy Yank or Johnny Reb: Civil War Ancestors; Wednesday, 4:30pm, Room 250A, Session RT 7642
- Discovering Your Ancestor’s War Story; Friday, 4:30pm, Room 250A, Session RT 1301
- Raleigh, North Carolina, Family History Lives Here, NGS, 10-13 May 2017
- Austin, Texas, 2017 Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR), May 22-25
We don’t own our family history. We simply preserve it for the next generation.
— Rosemary Alva
I had a great time with the San Diego Genealogy Society and San Diego Historical Society!
You can find the slides from my lectures How Do I Know I Am Right and Finding and Researching Women on my Slides and Presentations Page. (Note: I updated the How Do I Know I’m Right so it works!)
Also, I will be in Annadale, Virginia doing an all day presentation for the Fairfax Genealogy Society on October 29th.
Register today at Fairfax Genealogical Society 13th Annual Fair for:
- Finding Forgotten Stories
- Researching Your Southern Ancestors Online
- Cousin Bait: Make Social Media Work For You
- Putting Food on the Table & A Roof Over Their Heads
Amy Johnson Crow wrote about Breaking Out of Your Genealogy Comfort Zone. Seemed like a good idea. I’ve felt a little bit uninspired in my genealogy research lately. I needed a new approach. Amy broke out of her comfort zone by taking a non genealogy class and improving her social media skills.
So this idea has been rolling around in my head: Where do I need to improve my skill set? As I wrote up my proposal for a Civil War class for NGS 2017, it occurred to me, that I focus on researching Civil War and the records, but what about the war itself? The years leading up to it, the years after it? And how did it change the lives of my ancestors? Context is everything.
I turned to The Google and found this gem: Hist 119: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 It’s a free college course taught by Yale Professor David W Blight.
Yes, please. 🙂
Even if I never watched a single session, the required texts alone are worth it! No discussion of records or the GPS, but lots of discussion about the mindset of the people on both sides.
And understanding our ancestors in the context of their time and place will make us better genealogists.
And I’ve gained some new inspiration to tackle old problems with some new ideas. How do you break out of your comfort zone and learn new things?
On my latest research trip I stopped by Buffalo Baptist Church Cemetery in Blacksburg, South Carolina. Now I had seen the graves on Find A Grave. And I had looked on Google to see the cemetery.
I could see it was broken into two sets of graves. But it is always so different when you pull up to a cemetery. Each one has its own feeling, its own character.
Next to the road in the first graveyard, I found the older graves. They were starting to turn black and many were unreadable. The ones that caught my eye were the bright white ones. They marked the Confederate graves and I believe they all came from the veterans administration. It was mowed and kept up, but the graves had a forgotten by time feel to them.
The very first grave I saw that caught my eye was Lansford M Hopper.
I actually said out loud, “Well, hello there.” Do any of you talk to your people when you find them?
Lansford was my 3rd great grandfather who survived the Civil War, but was murdered by his nephew when they were working on a road in 1870.
Looking at his grave marker, I realized he had been in the 18th SC Vol Infantry. I have him down as being in the 28th North Carolina Infantry. There is some work to do there.
Most of the white stones that marked Confederate Graves stood in front of the original ones. My 2nd great grandmother, Delila Parthenia Hopper was born in October of 1861. Her father died when she was nine. I can just imagine the family standing in front of the grave. Susan, Lansford’s wife, was left alone with 7 children. She was pregnant with number 8. She had raised them throughout the war without him and now she was his widow.
I continued walking through this section of the cemetery. Maybe 200 stones at most. And all the Confederates for the most part served in the 17th or 18th SC Infantry. I haven’t really researched that bunch yet. But this group lived together, fought together, and eventually died in the same place.
I’ve proposed a new class for NGS 2017 in Raleigh, North Carolina titled: Researching the Civil War in the Southern Community. A small community like this is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Hopefully it gets accepted!
But how do you easily make copies? And cut down on the expense? Some court houses charge 0.50 cents a copy! And that can add up quickly. Also, the books that you find deeds and other documents in can be very difficult to photocopy. Sometimes you have to take them apart which is very time consuming; sometimes you have to balance a heavy book on a photocopier.
Not all courthouses will allow you to take pictures of documents. And you should always ask and follow the rules. ALWAYS!
It takes 3 copies of the image and chooses the best one. You can then crop it on your phone or use the full image. You can also choose between black & white, color or photo. I usually go with photo because I want the detail of how the document looked. On this map, you would hate to lose the detail that the color provides.
Once I’ve scanned all the pages in the document, I can then save it or my preferences is to email to myself. I label the document with the book and page numbers so I can source it correctly later, and then when I get home, I can go through my email and start processing the documents.
I think I probably made twice as many copies as I would have if I had gone with the photocopier method. And save a lot of money. I must have copied around 250 pages. At 0.50 cents a page that is $125. Money better spent elsewhere!
It’s an affordable app and I suspect you’ll be happy with the results. And thanks to my friend Kathleen for introducing me to it.
Last weekend, I was in Wytheville, Virginia doing a little research and giving a couple of Lectures.
On Friday, I was lucky enough to spend time at the Wythe County Genealogical and Historical Association Regional Research Center:
This is their new home. Wonderful building, with lots and lots of great material. I spent time digging through notes and researching, including this map which has land owned by a John Snavely that I found in Joseph Cameron’s notes. Not sure which John Snavely this is, but given that the land was sold to Joe Hounshell in 1833 and I have a John Snavely in my records who lived from 1760-1833, I suspect that it is him. No known relationship, but it is likely it is related to my Snavelys some how.
Then I hopped over to the Wythe County Courthouse, where my cousin Bev Repass Hoch took me down to the basement and I was able to look through original chancery records, wills and deeds. Heaven! These particular deeds were from the early 1800s. Didn’t find my ancestors in there, but such a joy to look through these records.
The next day, I was lucky enough to present two lectures. I’ve included links to the PDFs for the slides below.
J Paul Hawthorne started this fun little exercise for all of us genealogists. Map where your ancestors were born in a tree. (Template here)
You can understand why my research focuses in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina:
To change it up a bit, I broke it down into counties as well:
It’s a fun little exercise!