Monday, November 19, 2012

149 Years of The Gettysburg Address

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

The other side of the postcard states:

This is a fac-simile of the Tablet adopted by the War Department, in pursuance of the Act of Congress ordering the erection of Tablets bearing Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in all National Cemeteries and Military Parks.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Here's a Genealogy Gift Idea: Historic Newspapers

There's nothing like ephemera. I could spend days perusing antique stores, used bookstores, and vintage paper fairs looking for tidbits that shine a light on how life was for our ancestors. Ephemera provides  social history that is crucial in better understanding our ancestors.

One way to help others get excited about family history is to share a piece of ephemera that has familial significance for them. Historic Newspapers <> allows you to do just that.

According to their website, "With over 6 million newspapers, Historic Newspapers own a unique archive a (sic) original newspapers dating back over two hundred years. Some of these are extremely rare and cover such news events as Trafalgar, Waterloo, the gruesome coverage of Jack the Ripper, famous battles, and more recently Lunar Landings and 9-11." Historic Newspapers has 200 years worth of newspapers.

The idea is that you can choose a date meaningful to you and receive original newspapers from that date. While you may choose a date specific to your life,  like a birthday or anniversary, I chose an event I wanted to know more about, the battle of Palau. I was interested in this because my paternal great-uncle fought in this battle during World War II and I wanted to get a sense of what was going on during that time.

Below are the two newspapers I received.

I've researched this particular uncle's service quite a bit but reading actual newspapers that were printed during the time of the battle and that reported on the War  was amazing.

If you just like vintage newspapers, check out their current unique collections. As of this writing they had newspapers available from the Napoleonic wars, Victorian newspapers, and those detailing the crimes of Jack the Ripper.

Historic Newspapers has an archive of newspapers from all over the world with the bulk being from the United States and the UK, including many regional titles. When I entered my birth date into their website they had 10 different newspapers for that one day. So in many instances you have a choice of which newspaper  you would prefer.

The newspaper came beautifully wrapped in a box. (This photo doesn't do the box justice.)

Thinking of a unique family history oriented holiday gift? Think about sending an original historic newspaper. I am going to be ordering more newspapers to help add some social history to some of the events in my ancestor's lives.

Historic Newspapers has offered my readers a 15% discount on their total order. Just use the code: 14Today when you check out.

Disclaimer: Historic Newspapers contacted me and asked if I would be interested in their product. I provided a date  of interest and they provided me, free of charge, two newspapers from that time period so I could review their service. They did not pay me a fee nor did they tell me what to say. If I didn't like the product I would not have it here. All the thoughts in this review are strictly mine.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Women's Research Resource: Knitting Social History

Knitting? You're probably thinking, "what does knitting have to do with genealogy?" In researching women, social history is an important piece of the puzzle. Paying attention to women's activities can help lead to additional records.

Elderly woman, knitting. From the George Eastman House via Flickr The Commons

I have to admit I have always loved knitting. Do I knit? No. I've tried to learn and maybe will attempt it again one day. But I love reading about knitting, whether it's stories of women providing for their families through knitting  or for a war effort, it's a story of women's lives that needs to be told.

Judy Weightman, a writer and editor has two posts about war time knitting. Over Here: Knitting on the Homefront in World War I and More Knitting History: WWII. Women helped the war effort in many ways, knitting was just one.

I have been wanting to read this social history of knitting, No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting by Anne Macdonald on my eReader. Seems like this week might be when I finally read it. Another social history of knitting is The Loving Stitch: A History of Knitting and Spinning in New Zealand by Heather Nicolson looks like a great read as well. The books description calls it a "history of the domestic lives of women" just what we genealogists need to better understand our ancestor's lives.

To find records that involve knitting check out ArchiveGrid. They have listed over 700 records that include the keyword "knitting." JSTOR is another great place to look for social history articles on knitting.

Interested in more social history about knitting? You may want to look at this bibliography, Knitting: A Global History  by Charity Naeve Johnson.

Did you have female ancestors that knit? Think about sharing photos of them, their creations or even the patterns they used.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Shaker Collections

The Shakers of Mount Lebanon, NY... From Library of Congress via Flickr The Commons

This week I watched the Ken Burns documentary about the Shakers and have had the song Simple Gifts in my head ever since. So here are some manuscript collections  for those who had family who practiced the Shaker religion.

Shaker Records 1769-1893 (South Union, Logan County, Kentucky) (UNC)

Shaker collection of records concerning the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, 1676-1837 (Enfield, Conn; Pleasant Hill and South Union, Kentucky) (LOC)

Shaker Collection, 1784-1992 (New York State Library)

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village Library

Shaker Collection, 1792-1937 (Johns Hopkins University Libraries)

For a list of over 1300 collections having to do with the Shakers, see ArchiveGrid