Sunday, May 27, 2012

Never Forget: Memorial Day 2012

Fredericksburg National Cemetery (Virginia). Published by Walter H. Miller

The image above is a postcard (photo by Walter H. Miller) of the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. The information on the back states:

"...a part of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg, VA. Here are buried some 15,000 Union dead, of which 12,000 are unknown, from the four battlefields in and around Fredericksburg. The monument is to Union General A. A. Humphreys." (emphasis mine).

In our family Memorial Day has been a time where we have visited cemeteries and placed flags on the graves of those buried in the Riverside National Cemetery (California). It's a good time to remember the soldiers in our own families and take some time to learn more about their lives and deaths.

Riverside National Cemetery (California), Photo (c) 2011 Gena Philibert-Ortega

Last year in a blog posting for Memorial Day, I provided a short history of the holiday and the poem In Flanders Fields. You can read that post here.

This article by a California newspaper columnist, John Hunneman,  is about his pursuit of his Civil War ancestor, a  Private in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry. Some great ideas for research from a non-genealogist.

To learn more about the men and women in your family who fought for our freedom, check out the webpage Research Military Records on the National Archives website.

Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day.

Church Record Sunday: An Irish Guide to Church Records

Got Irish ancestors? Then you might want to check out this wonderful guide to Irish church records. An Irish Genealogical Source. A Guide to Church Records is a PDF document published  by the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland with 337 pages of information about church records. This Guide provides a reference to church records located throughout Ireland. The Guide states it has tried to include "churches within each civil parish" (page 32).

The Guide provides a history of church records in Ireland and a history of various denominations including Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Protestant and Church of Ireland. From there it provides information on various parishes and where records are located.

This is a must-have reference if you have Irish ancestors.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Women's Research Resource: Women’s Lives During the Civil War


Attie, Jeanie. Patriotic Toil: Northern Women and the American Civil War. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1998.

Berkin, Carol. Civil War Wives: The Lives and Times of Angelina Grimké Weld, Varina Howell Davis, and Julia Dent Grant. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.

Blanton, DeAnne, and Lauren M. Cook. They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002.

Camp, Stephanie M. H. Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women and Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Clinton, Catherine, and Nina Silber. Battle Scars: Gender and Sexuality in the American Civil War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006

Collins, Gail. America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines. New York: William Morrow, 2003.

Creighton, Margaret S. The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg's Hidden History : Immigrants, Women, and African-Americans in the Civil War's Defining Battle. New York: Basic Books, 2005.

Culpepper, Marilyn M. Trials and Triumphs: Women of the American Civil War. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1991.

Culpepper, Marilyn M. Women of the Civil War South: Personal Accounts from Diaries, Letters, and Postwar Reminiscences. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co, 2004

Edwards, Laura F. Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Faust, Drew G. Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

Forbes, Ella. African American Women During the Civil War. New York: Garland, 1998

Giesberg, Judith A. Civil War Sisterhood: The U.S. Sanitary Commission and Women's Politics in Transition. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2000.

Giesberg, Judith A. Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Home Front. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

Graf, Mercedes. On the Field of Mercy: Women Medical Volunteers from the Civil War to the First World War. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2010.

Johnston, Carolyn. Cherokee Women in Crisis: Trail of Tears, Civil War, and Allotment, 1838-1907. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2003.

Leonard, Elizabeth D. Yankee Women: Gender Battles in the Civil War. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994.

Leonard, Elizabeth D. All the Daring of the Soldier: Women of the Civil War Armies. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1999.

Lowry, Thomas P. Confederate Heroines: 120 Southern Women Convicted by Union Military Justice. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006

McSherry, Frank D, Charles Waugh, and Martin H. Greenberg. Civil War Women: The Civil War Seen Through Women's Eyes in Stories by Louisa May Alcott, Kate Chopin, Eudora Welty, and Other Great Women Writers. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.

McDevitt, Theresa. Women and the American Civil War: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2003.

Petite, Mary D. The Women Will Howl: The Union Army Capture of Roswell and New Manchester, Georgia, and the Forced Relocation of Mill Workers. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co, 2008.

Revels, Tracy J. Grander in Her Daughters: Florida's Women During the Civil War. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2004.

Rhoades, Nancy L, Lucy E. Bailey, and Edwin L. Lybarger. Wanted--correspondence: Women's Letters to a Union Soldier. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2009.

Richard, Patricia L. Busy Hands: Images of the Family in the Northern Civil War Effort. New York: Fordham University Press, 2003.

Schultz, Jane E. Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Silber, Nina. Daughters of the Union: Northern Women Fight the Civil War. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2005.

Sizer, Lyde C. The Political Work of Northern Women Writers and the Civil War, 1850-1872. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Sullivan, Walter. The War the Women Lived: Female Voices from the Confederate South. Nashville: J.S. Sanders, 1995.

Taylor, Susie K. Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman's Civil War Memoir. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006.

Waugh, Charles, and Martin H. Greenberg. The Women's War in the South: Recollections and Reflections of the American Civil War. Nashville, Tenn: Cumberland House, 1999.

Whites, LeeAnn, and Alecia P. Long. Occupied Women: Gender, Military Occupation, and the American Civil War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009.

Winkler, H D. Stealing Secrets: How a Few Daring Women Deceived Generals, Impacted Battles, and Altered the Course of the Civil War. Naperville, Ill: Cumberland House, 2010.

Wood, Kirsten E. Masterful Women: Slaveholding Widows from the American Revolution Through the Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Young, Elizabeth. Disarming the Nation: Women's Writing and the American Civil War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.


"Additional Women's Collections / Special Collections : UTSA Library." UTSA Library : The University of Texas at San Antonio

"American Women's History: The Civil WarEra." Middle Tennessee State University

"American Women's Letters & Diaries." Middle Tennessee State University.

Blanton, DeAnne. "Prologue: Selected Articles." National Archives and Records Administration.

"Civil War Women: Primary Sources on the Internet." Duke University Libraries - Home.

"Hearts at Home: Southern Women in the Civil War." University of Virginia Library.

North American Women's Letters and Diaries

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Presbyterian History from the Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives

The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives and Records Office has uploaded the Presbyterian History, a publication of the Committee on History of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. The issues available online presently cover May 2002 to May 2012 and many of the articles have genealogical value including:

  • "The Impact of the Residential School Experience on the Contemporary Approach of The Presbyterian Church in Canada to Relationship with Aboriginal Peoples" by Mary F. Campbell (May 2006)

  • "A Short History of St. Andrew's Church, Saint John, N.B.: The Mother Kirk of Presbyterianism in the Maritime Provinces" by Joan Cho (November 2004)

  • "The Native Residential School System in Canada and The Presbyterian Church in Canada" by Peter Bush (May 2004)

  • "The Presbyterian Church in Canada and the 1918-1919 Flu Epidemic" by Peter Bush (November 2003)

  • "Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery: A Short History" by a Board of the Presbytery of Winnipeg Charged with the Care and Administration of the Kildonan Presbyterian Cemetery (October 2002)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Join Me on a Virtual Book Tour for My New Book, From The Family Kitchen

Photo (c) Gary Clark,, 2012
Next week I will be guest posting on some of my favorite  genealogy blogs as part of a virtual book tour for my new book, From the Family Kitchen. Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Family Recipes.

Join me as we explore food, family and genealogy. Comment on any of these blog posts and be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of the book. I will draw the name of a lucky winner on Monday, May 29th.

The following are the blogs, blog authors and dates:

Monday, May 21. Renee Zamora of Renee’s Genealogy Blog . Guest Blog Post: Why Combine Food History with Family History?

Tuesday, May 22. Gayle Gresham from Colorado Reflections. Guest Blog Post: Finding Cookbooks in the West.

Wednesday, May 23. Ruby Coleman of Genealogy Lines. Guest Blog Post: Preserving Food Heritage.

Thursday, May 24. Ruth Blair of the Passionate Genealogist.  Guest Blog Post: Your Family’s Food History: Questions to Ask.

Friday, May 25. Food.Family.Ephemera.  Special Edition of Food Friday: Woman's Glory, Slovenian Women, and Pink Tea.

Saturday, May 26.  Missy Corley of Bayside Research Services. Guest Blog Post: Finding Community Cookbook Collections.

Monday, May 07, 2012

What if You Can't Go to NGS 2012?

Last year for the FGS conference I posted an article on how to "attend" the conference from home.  What If You Can't Go To FGS 2011 was a look at ways you could still participate in the conference from home and even look towards attending in 2012.  I followed that posting with one entitled What if You Can’t Go to RootsTech 2012 . Conferences can mean a lot of expense for participants. So what if you can’t go to NGS 2012? All is not lost, there are still ways you can participate.

Follow #NGS2012 on Twitter. By using the NGS hashtag #NGS2012 you can follow the latest news from  the conference including information about vendors, presentations and events. For more about the NGS conference and social media see Social Networking at the Conference .

Check out the NGS Bloggers. Whether you follow them on Facebook, Twitter,  or their blogs, you are sure to learn about what is happening both during and after the conference.  A list of official bloggers can be found on the NGS Conference Blog  . Content provider and NGS 2012 vendor Accessible Archives  has made following the Official Bloggers easier by creating a Google Reader Bundle.

Learn More by Checking Out Conference Tools.  Exhibitor and Speaker spotlights found on the NGS Conference Blog  provide important information that you can follow up on by checking out vendors and speaker's websites, blogs and social media postings.

What About Next Year? In my original posting for FGS 2011, I wrote "The FGS conference (or RootsTech or NGS) is yearly,  start planning now to attend next year. With 12 months until the next conference you can work on finances, clearing your calendar and arranging for someone to take care of family members or even bring them with you. (Those who know me often see my kids trailing behind me.) I have written before on this blog and also in an article for Internet Genealogy about saving money so you can do more genealogy.  And I mean it. Yes, I use coupons, specials and discounts so that I can save money and go to conferences. Save money now to store away but also consider ways to save during the conference like finding a roommate, shopping for travel deals, etc. Start now, it's always great to have something to look forward to."

Not convinced it’s important to save up to go to a conference. Check out this NGS Video on What to Expect .There's no doubt in my mind that conferences can be a valuable part of your genealogical education.

It's impossible to go to every genealogy conference. Fortunately, conference organizers are finding ways for those unable to attend to still participate. Take advantage of these opportunities and let conference organizers know how much you appreciate attending from home.

Press Release for From the Family Kitchen

For Immediate Release
Gena Philibert-Ortega

Explore the Food Your Ancestors Ate in New Book by Gena Philibert-Ortega
What do suet pudding, turtle soup and roast squirrel have in common? They are all foods our ancestors ate. In From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes, a new book by author Gena Philibert-Ortega published by Family Tree Magazine, readers can learn more about food history and how to blend foodways and traditions into their family histories.
“Learning about our ancestors is so much more than just finding out when and where they were born or died,” says Philibert-Ortega. “Food history helps bring our ancestors to life and gives us a better understanding of their day-to-day lives.”
From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes explores food history and explains how to incorporate those stories, images and recipes into family history. Divided into three sections, this social history begins by looking at the food history of immigrants and the regional differences of food throughout the United States. It explores the history of cookbooks in the United States and gives step-by-step instructions on locating and researching recipes that ancestors would have cooked. Part 2 features a glossary or historical cooking terms and measurements, plus a collection of historical recipes from the turn of the 20th century. Part 3 is a beautiful recipe journal where readers can record their favorite family recipes along with memories of the dish, making this book a keepsake that will be enjoyed years to come.
“This book spans generations,” says Allison Dolan, publisher/editorial director of Family Tree Magazine. “I can’t think of a better way to introduce younger generations to their heritage then by preparing a meal their ancestors would have eaten and then spend the meal sharing family history stories.”           
From the Family Kitchen also includes:
§  Methods for gathering family recipes
§  Interview questions to help loved ones record their food memories
§  Places to search for historical recipes
§  An explanation of how immigrants influenced the American diet
§  A look at how technology changed the way people eat
§  A glossary of historical cooking terms
§  Modern equivalents to historical units of measure

From the Family Kitchen is available in a hardback keepsake edition from and other online booksellers. It’s also available as an ebook for the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes&Noble Nook.

About the author
Gena Philibert-Ortega holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master’s degree in Religion. Presenting on various subjects involving genealogy, women’s studies and social history, Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States and virtually to audiences worldwide. Gena is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines including Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle, GenWeekly and the WorldVitalRecords newsletter. She is the author of the books Putting the Pieces Together and Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) and From the Family Kitchen. Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes (F+W Media, 2012). Gena is editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s journal Crossroads. An instructor for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, Gena has written courses about social media and Google. She serves as Vice-President for the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a Director for the California State Genealogical Alliance and on the board of the Utah Genealogical Association. Her current research interests include social history, community cookbooks, signature quilts and researching women’s lives.

About Family Tree Magazine
Family Tree Magazine is part of the Genealogy Community at F+W Media,Inc. which also encompasses Family Tree University online courses and webinars, genealogy books and the  online store. These publications and products are devoted to providing engaging, easy-to-understand instruction that makes genealogy a hobby anyone can do.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Resources for Moravian Church Ancestors

The Moravian Church, organized in 1457 in Prague, grew out of the Reformation Movement in what is now the Czech Republic. Long before Martin Luther and his call for the reform of the Catholic Church, John Hus (1369-1415) was protesting some of the practices of the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchy, including the paying of indulgences, demanding that the mass and the Bible be translated in the language of the people and the offering of communion with both bread and wine. Hus paid with his life for his beliefs; in 1415 he was burned at the stake for heresy. Although founded in the area of the present day Czech Republic, the Moravian Church began to spread throughout Europe.

In 1734, Moravians began to establish settlements in North America. The first settlement was in Georgia, when this settlement proved to be unsuccessful, the Moravians moved on to Pennsylvania. Eventually two headquarters, a northern and southern were established, Bethlehem in Pennsylvania and Winston-Salem in North Carolina. Today the Moravian Church is worldwide and has congregations in sixteen American states, in the District of Columbia and in two Canadian Provinces.

The Moravians are a Christian denomination who believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord. They believe in the sacrament and in baptism. Their motto is "In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things, love."

God's Acre Moravian Cemetery. From author's collection


According to the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, the Moravians were important historians of early North Carolina history because , "they brought with them the habit of keeping precise records of all current events." The Moravians did not just record events affecting their own community, they recorded information about the area, the weather, and people who visited their community. These records were deposited in the Moravian Archives.

The Moravian Archives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina , established in 1753,  allows family historians the opportunity to research their Moravian ancestors in person and by mail. The Archives holdings include over 12,000 memoirs of Moravian church members. These memoirs are complied at the death of the member by their minister. The memoirs are compilation of their spiritual life here on earth. It includes birth and death date information.

Other records available to the researcher include The Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, which are twelve volumes that contain genealogical and historical information. This series is still being written and includes the minutes from church meetings. This series is available at the Moravian Archives.

For those who cannot make the trip to North Carolina to do research, you can write to the Archives for information on your ancestor. There is a fee for research requests. The Archives does not provide photocopies of their documents. For more information on the Archives and their services, please check out their website .

To better understand the life of the Moravian people you can read an account written by a member. The memoirs of AnneMarie Worbass are online. You can view her actual written pages, all in German, or a translation . For more books on the Moravians, check out the Moravian Historical Society. The Historical Society also includes a vast genealogical collection that includes obituaries, family charts, and cemetery books for Moravians who lived in the Lehigh Valley.


For more information on the Moravian Church:

Moravian Church of North America  includes a history of the church and their beliefs.

Moravian Archives  includes archival information on the history of the Moravian Church and its members.

Old Salem  is the actual town that the Moravians founded in 1766 in North Carolina. Now it is a living history restoration with exhibits, demonstrations and shops.

Moravian Church Genealogy Links  is a webpage with links to various Moravian resources that will help you with your research.

The Moravian Museum of Bethlehem  is the home for information on the Moravian settlement at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

**This article originally appeared in GenWeekly 15 Dec 2005.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

My Three Must Do Activities for NGS 2012

It’s hard to believe but in less than a week the National Genealogical Society Annual Conference  will converge upon Cincinnati, Ohio. You may be aware by now that I have been chosen to be one of the Official Bloggers for #NGS2012. (Thank you NGS for that honor). 

As I think about the conference I also started to think about what I hope to get out of the experience. Conferences can be an expensive proposition so it seems appropriate to set some goals about what I want to achieve by attending NGS. Now I have attended many NGS conferences and have always found them to be worthwhile. My three goals for this conference are below.

  • I’ve already marked the conference schedule with everything I want to see. And like usual I have marked multiple presentations at the same hour. I am hoping to use some of my time attending presentations that stretch my thinking. Because there is no earthly way I will get to all the presentations I would like to see I do plan on buying audio files of presentations that were recorded that I did not have a chance to attend. I love audio files and listen to them again and again for ideas of how I can enhance my own research.

  • One of my big plans is to network. I’m excited about the release of my new book From the Family Kitchen (F + W Media, 2012) and am looking forward to showing it to everyone. I will also be signing my book at the Family Tree Magazine booth on Friday at 1pm. But I am also excited at hearing about other projects that genealogists have been working on. The excitement that a conference can provide is a great shot in the arm for tackling new and existing projects when you get back home.

  • Tour the Exhibit Hall again and again. I’m always curious to see what’s new in the world of genealogy. From what books I must have to the latest gadgets, I will be spending some time looking around the exhibit hall to see what is new and can enhance my research.

So that’s my list. What are your three must do activities for NGS 2012?