Sunday, March 25, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Union Dorcas Society

One of the ways women have historically worked is by volunteering with benevolent societies and in ways that help others. The Dorcas Society is named after Dorcas, found in the New Testament. According to Wikipedia, the first Dorcas Society was founded in 1834 in the Isle of Man. Dorcas Societies are affiliated with churches. As you consider the women in your family tree, you may want to research what Dorcas Society records still exist including documents, photos and even cookbooks.

One such collection can be found in the Maryland Room of the Talbot Free Library. A manuscript collection documenting  the Union Dorcas Society (founded in 1834) are housed there and include minutes, committee books, treasurer's books, subscribers, reports and ephemera. This collection spans 1848 to the 1980s.

The description for this collection reads, "The Union Dorcas Society was established in 1834 by a group of sixteen women who helped those who were less fortunate...The Society is the oldest, all-woman, on-going charitable organization in Maryland."

Friday, March 23, 2012

On the Bookshelf: Generations Publishes Kids’ Genealogy Textbooks

Note from Gena: It's always exciting to hear about new genealogy books. This announcement is especially exciting because it involves teaching genealogy to kids. These would be a great way to make history more exciting for kids in school, for those who homeschool or even as a project for the Cub Scout/Boy Scout genealogy belt loop or merit badge.

Chicago, Illinois – March 23, 2012: Professional Genealogist, Jennifer Holik, of Generations publishes six new genealogy textbooks for kids. Parents, teachers, and genealogical societies looking for a how-to genealogy textbook for elementary through high school-aged students need to look no further. In Branching Out, a new series available from Generations, author and professional genealogist Jennifer Holik provides parents and educators with the tools they need to teach genealogical research skills to children and teens.

Through thirty fun and educational lessons, students will learn the foundations of genealogy and how to begin research on a level that they can understand and enjoy. Each lesson contains a clearly defined goal, all necessary vocabulary, additional reading assignments, and lesson and homework assignments to extend understanding of the concept.

The Branching Out series of books begins with six paperback textbooks which are also available as a PDF or PowerPoint download. The PowerPoint files, which were created with the visual and hands-on learner in mind, contain the same information as the textbooks with a few fun and interactive extras.
The Branching Out: Genealogy Lessons for Adults will be released in April with additional books for families, genealogical societies, and educators to be published later in 2012.

The books are available on CreateSpace in paperback form at the links provided. The PDF and PowerPoint files are available at the Generations Store at:

If you live in the Chicagoland area, you can meet Jennifer and purchase books at the Fountaindale Public Library’s Author Fair on Saturday, April 14, 2012. For more information visit the Generations Blog.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Catholic Resources

Researching a Catholic ancestor? The following are a sampling of websites and books that may assist in your research.


Catholic Encyclopedia at

Locating Catholic Church Records in New Mexico and Southern Colorado at

Catholic Record Society of the diocese of Columbus at

Catholic Archives of Texas at

Local Catholic Church and Family History at

The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives at

Catholic, Cyndi’s List at

The Official Catholic Directory at


Humling, V. (1995). U.S. Catholic sources: a diocesan research guide. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry.

Warner, M. D. L. W., Munnick, H. D., Beckham, S. D., & Munnick, A. R. (1972). Catholic Church records of the Pacific Northwest. St. Paul, Or: French Prairie Press.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Women's Research Resource: Women at Work Collection

Yesterday, I mentioned Historypin for Church Record Sunday. A  collection that provides a unique look at women is the Women at Work Collection featuring images from the US National Archives. This collection of images is a good reminder that women have historically been an important part of the American workplace. Starting with a photo of women welders from 1918 this tour includes "Rosie the Riveters" from the World War II era.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Church Photos on Historypin

Historypin is a social media website where you can "pin" photos, stories, video and audio clips to a map of the world.  While there are individuals using Historypin there are also repositories using it to highlight their collections such as the National Archives. Historypin can be browsed by collection or by location. I have also found it useful to Google a keyword and the word 'Historypin' to find what I specifically want.

Historypin does include church photos. New York Historic Churches is a nice collection of 19th century church building photos, with information about each church. As you take the "tour" of this collection it also includes a Google Map that shows where each church is/was located.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Women's Research Resource: ViVa Women's History

ViVa, found on the website for the International Institute for Social History , is  "a current bibliography of women's and gender history in historical and women's studies journals." This index covers 1975 to the present year and currently has over 12,000 records. While this isn't an index to find your individual ancestor's name it can help you find some social history to better understand their lives.

For a list of journals indexed on ViVa click here. You can search this database by keyword or browse by year. There is also an advanced search feature.