26 April 2010

NGS/Salt Lake City - Days 0-1

Day 0
Yesterday I drove from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City with a stop in Las Vegas. My cousin located the rest of his mom's photos so I stopped for a short visit and to get the pictures. Imagine my surprise when it wasn't just a few photos, but instead five albums full! One of which is my grandaunt and uncle's wedding album. I resisted looking through. But you know the first thing I did when I got into my hotel room? The oldest photograph is a cabinet card from ca. 1897 and the most recent is the 1970s. Most of the photos I have never seen before. They are in the old black paper albums and the paper is brittle. The glue holding the pictures on the pages is no longer sticky and a lot of pictures are no longer attached. Those that are come off every easily. Which might be a good thing. Before whoever glued them in, wrote a description on the back of most photos telling when it was taken and who's in the picture. Now the bag is sitting on the hotel desk with a sign saying "fragile! please don't touch." I don't want to let them out of my sight! But oh, the FHL, the conference...

Day 1
Today was a full day planned at the Family History Library. Went strait to the 3rd floor and the books. My big breakthrough of the day was Aaron Hall, my gr-gr-gr-gr-grandfather. I found a death date for him and another wife and some more kids.[1] His widow, my gr-gr-gr-gr-grandmother Harriet (McKinney) Hall, sued James E. Hall, son of Aaron hall for her dower. It lists all 10 of his children by name and the eldest two daughters with their husband's names. Did I say ten children? Aaron married Harriet in 1835 and they had five children before Aaron's death in 1845. According to the record, only the youngest 6 children were minors (these are the ones I knew of). So where did Aaron get four more children? The lovely Scioto County Marriage Records has two entries for Aaron Hall: the one with Harriet McKinney and a second entry where an Aaron Hall m. Margaret Edison 15 Feb 1815.[2] In those years before full census enumeration it seems I had missed an entire family. Tomorrow after the BCG Education Fund I'm going back to the FHL to look at the microfilm of the Chancery Book for the full record. Most of the rest of today was spent with microfilms, digitalizing different pages from different places. Most of these records I've looked at before or knew what the record would say. Tomorrow I think I'll tackle land records or perhaps all those marriage records.

[1] Caryn R. Shoemaker, comp., Selected Abstracts from Common Pleas and Chancery Complete Records, Scioto County, Ohio (1810-1875) (Minford, OH: n.p., 1985), 199.
[2] Caryn R. Fuller Shoemaker & Betty J. Sisler Rudity, Marriage Records of Scioto County, Ohio, 1803-1860 (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., Inc., 2003), 54.

22 April 2010

News and Notes

I got accepted to grad school! In the fall I will be starting the history and archives management programs at Simmons College in Boston, MA. Now I need to learn how to deal with cold since I've only lived in Los Angeles and Phoenix. I hear layers are a must.

Sunday I leave for the NGS Conference in Salt Lake City. I'm attending the BCG Education Fund Workshop on Tuesday. Saturday I will be teaching part of the Kids Family History Camp. All of my free time will be spent at the Family History Library. I look forward to meeting y'all face-to-face.

My goal of having my BGC portfolio completed by the NGS conference did not happen. I still have reports that need to be written up. New goal is by the FGS conference, which I am almost sure that I will be attending, since I will be in the area at that time. I have my first (paying) client and that has been quite a learning experience.

Ancestry.com has digitalized more 1850-1880 non-population schedules, including agricultural, Industry, Manufacturing, and Social Statistics, added to the mortality schedule.
Read the press release here.
They have schedule for the following states:
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina

13 April 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - A Sad Story

I was visiting a friend this weekend in Lemoore, California. She has a cemetery a few blocks from her apartment, so of course we visited it. Lemoore Cemetery is very well kept. One particular stone caught our attention.

We wanted to know what happened to this family, so we went to the Hanford Library, which has the local newspapers on microfilm.

A sad story that makes you hold dear your loved ones.

    Lemoore Cemetery (1441 N. Lemoore Ave., Lemoore, Calif.), grave marker, Camara, photographed by author, 9 April 2010.
    Ruth Gomes, "Four Killed in Collision," The Hanford (California)Sentinel, 26 July 1966, p. 1.
    "Funeral: Paula Camara, Joseph Camara, Jefferey Camara, James Camara," The Hanford (California) Sentinel, 28 July 1966.

COG 93: The Genealogical Proof Standard

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is a five-step process to creating and maintain a professional level genealogy by the Board for Certification of Genealogist (BCG).The GPS is not just for professional genealogist! Rather, everyone should be following its' steps to create a quality genealogy.

Genealogical Proof Standard:
  • A reasonably exhaustive search;
  • complete and accurate source citations;
  • analysis and correlation of the collected information;
  • resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
  • a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.
The GPS is explained more on the BGS's website.

I wrote a series of posts as I prepared a lecture on the GPS. Each post looks at a step, breaking it down, explaining what it means and how to follow it. 

Links to the articles: into, step 1, step 2, step 3, step 4, step 5, and an example

The Genealogical Proof Standard, part 7

 Let's use the Genealogical Proof Standard to solve a research problem:

I was given information from a cousin that Nina Estelle Rutter was born 16 May 1866 in Hopkinton, South Fork Township, Delaware County, Iowa to Alonzo John and Mary Emily (Finch) Rutter. I want to check the validity of this information.

1. A reasonable exhaustive search
I have my research statement. What records might contain this information?
  • birth record
  • death record
  • marriage record
  • censuses
  • birth announcement
  • obituary
  • family Bible
  • grave marker
  • other family members' records
Let's start with online databases, since I don't have to go anywhere to access them. Since Nina was reportedly born in 1866, let's check the 1870 census:
The Rutter family was enumerated in Delaware Township, Delaware County, Iowa.[1]

Nina E. Rutter listed as 4 years old, born in Iowa. This would make her date of birth abt. 1866. [3rd generation-Original, Secondary, Indirect]

In 1880 the Rutter family was living in Elgin Township, Lyon County, Iowa.[2]
Nina Rutter is now 14 years old, born in Iowa. [3rd generation-Original, Secondary, Indirect]

I know that the family moved again in July 1883,[3] to Pipestone, Pipestone County, Minnesota. On 8 November 1883 Nina E. Rutter's obituary was published in the Pipestone County Star.[4] [2nd generation-Original, Primary, Indirect]

If she was 17 years, 5 months, and 17 days old upon her death on 4 November 1883, then she would have been born 18 May 1866.

Nina was born before Delaware County, Iowa started recording birth. Her birth was not recorded in the county, nor are any of her siblings' births recorded. Her death is not recorded in Pipestone County, Minnesota. If her grave was marked, the has not marker survived. The cemetery has no record of her burial (see this post). Nina never married, so there is no marriage record. She died before her father, Alonzo John Rutter, applied for a Civil War pension and thus she is not listed among his surviving children in the application.

2. Complete and accurate citation of sources
I used endnotes. To see my citations, please scroll to the end of this post.

3. Analysis and correlation of the collected information
   Original information: secondary, direct.
I do not know what the origin of the information is.
   1870 census: 3rd generation-original, secondary, indirect.
Third generation original explains that it is a (3) digital image of a (2) microfilmed (1) original. It is secondary because I do not know who provided the information (when in doubt, always refer to information as secondary). It is indirect because it does not tell me the exact information.
   1880 census: 3rd generation-original, secondary, indirect. (see above explanation)
   Obituary: 2nd generation-original, primary, indirect. It is a (2) microfilm of the (1) original newspaper. One of her family members, most likely a parent, provided the information. However, it does not tell me exactly when she was born, rather I need to do some math to come up with a date.

4. Resolution of conflicting information
All of the sources agree that Nina was born abt. 1866 in Iowa.

5. A soundly reasoned, and coherently written conclusion
Family lore has Nina E[stelle?] Rutter’s birth as 16 May 1866 in Hopkinton, South Fork Township, Delaware County, Iowa. The 1870[1] and 1880 US censuses[2] agree that Nina was born ca. 1866 in Iowa. The family had been living in Delaware County, Iowa since her parents, Alonzo John and Mary Emily (Finch) Rutter were married in 1856.[5] Births were not required to be registered in the county when she was born and there is no record of her birth. The Rutter family had recently moved to Pipestone, Pipestone County, Minnesota when Nina died there on 4 November 1883.[4] Her obituary appeared in the Pipestone County Star, stating that she was 17 years, 5 months, and 7 days old upon her death. This would make her date of birth 18 May 1866. Nina’s death was not recorded in Pipestone County. All of the sources agree that she was born in (May) 1866 in (Delaware County,) Iowa, most likely on the 16th or 18th day.
Sources [Endnotes]

[1] 1870 U.S. census, Delaware County, Iowa, population schedule, Manchester post office, Delaware Township, p. 24, dwelling 196, family 191, Alonzo J. Rutter; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : downloaded 16 October 2005); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M593, roll 387.
[2] 1880 U.S. census, Lyon County, Iowa, population schedule, Elgin Township, enumeration district (ED) 146, p. 12D, dwelling 74, family 76, Alonzo Rutter; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : downloaded 15 October 2005); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication T9, roll 352; FHL microfilm 1254352.
[3]  "Fifty Years Ago," Pipestone County (Minnesota) Star, 26 July 1933; "A.J. Rutter, a gentleman from Rock Rapids, Ia., arrived in town...;" microfilm held by the Pipestone County Historical Society and Museum.
[4] "Died," Nina E. Rutter obituary, Pipestone County (Minnesota) Star, 8 November 1883, p. 3; microfilm held by the Pipestone County Historical Society and Museum.
[5] Delaware County, Iowa, "Marriage Record, 1851-1861," p. 189, Alonzo J. Rutter-Mary E. Finch marriage license and return, December 1856; Delaware County Recorder's Office, Manchester.
For detailed posts on each part of the Genealogical Proof Standard, see step 1, step 2, step 3, step 4, and step 5.

05 April 2010

Archivist of the United States at the NGS Conference

From the NGS Conference blog:

Come join us in welcoming the 10th Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero.

The Meet and Greet event will take place in Room 355B of the Salt Palace Convention Center from 4:30 to 5:30 PM on Thursday, 29 April.

Mr. Ferriero was sworn into office on 13 November 2009 and is the first librarian to serve in the post. He has worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was the University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. In 2004, he became the Director of the New York Public Libraries. Mr. Ferriero also served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

The Meet and Greet will immediately follow the Records Preservation and Access Meeting. Both events are open to all conference attendees.