Apr 10, 2015
Lisa Louise Cooke
Niche record collections that
might just be what you are looking for. Interview with genetic
genealogist CeCe Moore about using DNA for genealogy research,
adoption, and the Finding Your Roots TV show. Announcement of the
Genealogy Gems Book Club book for the 2nd quarter of 2015. A
listener shares an update on adoption records in
CANADIAN MENNONITE PHOTO ARCHIVE: A new databaseis now online with over 80,000 images of Mennonite life from across Canada and dating back to 1860s. A press release says that the archive “is a project of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada and includes Mennonite archival partners in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.” An online ordering system allows visitors to order image copies for noncommercial use.
GEORGIA NEWSPAPERS: The Digital Library of Georgia has launched an archive of north Georgia historical newspapers. “The North Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive provides online access to six newspaper titles published in three north Georgia cities (Dalton, Gainesville, and Rome) from 1850 to 1922. Consisting of over 33,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date. The site is compatible with all current browsers and the newspaper page images can be viewed without the use of plug-ins or additional software downloads. The archive includes the following north Georgia newspaper titles: Gainesville News (1902-1922), Georgia Cracker (Gainesville) (1894-1902), North Georgia Citizen (Dalton) (1868-1921), Rome Courier (1850-1855), Rome Tri-Weekly Courier (1860-1880), Rome Weekly Courier (1860-1878). The Digital Library of Georgia will add additional titles from the region over time.
OHIO GENEALOGY INDEX. The Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, OH has created an onlineGenealogy Index to some of its most valuable and unique genealogical records, including original funeral home and Bible records. Also in the index are Jewish marriages and death notices, an index of names in a significant African-American manuscript collection, a 1907 Cleveland voter registration index, a photo database of Cleveland military personnel from WWII and the Korean War and a biographical sketch name index. Currently, there are about 320,000 records in the index; more are being added on an ongoing basis. The Society primarily archives records relating to Cleveland and northeast Ohio. Soon to be added are indexes to the 1870 mortality census for Ashtabula, Ohio and indexes to several church records collections.
WWII CADET NURSING CORPS (US): The WWII Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, new on Fold3, contain membership cards of women who joined. According to Fold3, the cards “are organized by state, nursing school, and cadet name. Some cards include the date of admission to the school, date of admission to the corps, and date of graduation (or date of other reason for termination from the school). Others contain details like the woman’s marital status, father’s/husband’s name and profession, years of college completed, place of residence, and how they heard about the corps. Still others also record the woman’s age in addition to the previously mentioned information.”
MICHIGAN DEATHS. Images of Michigan death certificates from 1921-1939 are now available for free at Seeking Michigan. “The index for records from 1940-1952 will be made available in the next few weeks, with additional certificate images to be released each year as privacy restrictions are lifted (1940 images will be released in January 2016),” says a press release.
NEW ZEALAND ORAL HISTORIES. A new web archive of oral histories of New Zealand nurses is now available. “The aim of this website is to capture this rich history and create a resource that nurses, students, academics and family members can access in order to gain a better understanding of nursing history in New Zealand,” says the site’s home page. The site contains a “large collection of oral histories including abstracts, recordings, photos and other information. These histories have been collected from nurses who trained during the 1950s and 1960s and capture both the everyday elements of nursing practice along with some of the more unusual. Here you are able to listen to stories, read brief abstracts, and view photos of the nurses.” Got a story to tell? They are accepting new interviews. There’s also a section on hospitals and one on nursing uniforms.
WWI WOMEN. FindMyPast has posted over 9,500 UK records that illustrate the various roles played by woman during the Frist World War. These include:
§ Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Service Records 1917-1920. It’s a relatively small collection but rich in material on each woman.
§ British Women’s Royal Naval Service officer files 1917-1919 (ADM 318) details the service history of women who served as officers in the Women’s Royal Naval Service during the First World War.
§ British Women’s Royal Naval Service Ratings’ Service Registers 1918-1919 contains the details of nearly 7,000 enlisted women who served as Wrens during the First World War.
§ British Women’s Royal Air Force Service Records 1918-1920 is an index of 31,090 Women’s Royal Air Force service records held by The National Archives.
Adoption: Recently Genealogy Gems Premium member Katharine wrote in this with newsworthy gem: “Recent adoption records are being released in Ohio. Such an exciting time for those adoptees yearning to connect with their bloodlines! Before the bill took effect, they allowed birth mothers to redact their names. Out of 400,000 only around 110 took them up on that. There’s also a preference form with the birth records where the mother can request not to be contacted. I wonder how often that might not be respected. It’s such an interesting situation for someone to be in.”
Thanks for the news, Katharine. She sent us this link to a local news story that covers the story.
Want to learn more about accessing adoption records in any state? Check out the U.S. Adoption Research page at the FamilySearch wiki for a terrific overview and helpful links.
Also, try running a Google search for the name of the state and the keywords adoption and genealogy. You’ll find lots of great resources, like this page on adoption records at the Pennsylvania state library or this online resource from the State Historical Society of Missouri.
The right Google search can shorten your search for the records you want! This tip brought to you by the newly-published, fully-revised and updated 2nd edition of The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Second Edition by Lisa Louise Cooke.
GEM: CeCe Moore on DNA
CeCe writes the popular award-winning blog “Your Genetic Genealogist” and is a well-known speaker. Currently she is working as the genetic genealogy consultant for two PBS television shows “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” and “Genealogy Roadshow”. She serves as the lead “Ancestry Advisor” to 23andMe and is the Co-Director of the Global Adoptee Genealogy Project. She is frequently consulted by and quoted in the press in regard to the emerging personal genomics industry.
GEM: Genealogy Gems Book Club
We got excellent response from readers and listeners about Orphan Train, our first quarter book. Book Club member and listener Karen said, “I just finished "Orphan Train" and thought it was very good. It's hard to believe that children were treated like that. I've often thought while doing my own genealogy research that it's amazing any of us are here at all given the difficult lives many of our ancestors lived.”
But now it’s time to talk about our next Genealogy Gems Book Club selection. Our next book is The Lost Ancestor (The Forensic Genealogist) (Volume 2) , the most recent book in a mystery series by British author Nathan Dylan Goodwin.
In The Lost Ancestor , we meet the hero of the series, Morton Farrier. He’s a forensic genealogist whose cases are usually quite tame, but occasionally he takes on a job that leads him into dark and dangerous corners of the past and the present. He reminds me a bit of that famous fictional British detective, Sid Halley in Dick Francis’ books, because Morton takes at least a punch or a bullet and threats to his personal life in just about every episode. Fortunately his girlfriend is a police officer in training, so she doesn’t mind these occupational hazards so much.
Morton is hired to find out what happened to his client’s great-aunt Mary, who disappeared without a trace a century ago. A tame enough premise, but then we get to the historical setting of her life story: a grand English estate where she’s a maid who’s thinking above her status. This is a drama that will speak to Downtown Abbey lovers for sure. With her proximity to a grand family comes proximity to money and power, which have a definite effect on how Mary’s story unfolds. We follow Morton to his favorite research haunts—where he scuffles with his nemesis, a grumpy librarian and envy his budget, which allows him to order vital records at will by express mail. Maybe we don’t envy the lumps and risks he takes, but they’re fun to read.
The Lost Ancestor has a different feel than our previous two books, best-sellers that were a little more literary. I hope you will find it a welcome change of pace. This is a genealogy-specific find and a great choice for both men and women. It’s an excellent pick for holidays, weekend relaxing, or curling up indoors or outdoors, whatever the weather permits in your corner of the world. My hammock just went up, and it’s still hanging there empty and hopeful for it to warm up just a little more.
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