26 July 2014

Origins of a Letter

     A few years ago, I received a copy of an article that transcribed a letter written by Frank E Leaphart, my 3rd Great-Grandfather and a Civil War soldier.  It was unclear where the article was published - a book, a magazine? - or where the original letter was stored - an archive, by an individual? - or if there was any information in the publication aside from the letter.  I've been trying to find the origins of the letter ever since receiving it.

   I recently picked up the July/August issue of Family Tree Magazine which included the article "Better Together."  It explains the collaboration between FindMyPast.com and the Periodical Source Index (PERSI).  Before reading this article, I had heard of both of these, but hadn't used either.  But I was intrigued by the idea of PERSI, which is an index of genealogical magazines and journals, many of which have been digitized.  So I went to search.findmypast.com/search/periodical-source-index and did a surname search for "Leaphart," which turned up five results (I started with Leaphart because it's a local variation of Liebhardt and if I find it, I know it's my family).  To my absolute surprise, one of those results was "F. E. Leaphart Civil War letter to wife Julie, 1863."  My letter!

     When I clicked on the article, I was met with a payment wall.  Do I pay? First off, my article has not been digitized.  Secondly, on the search page, I am given the name of the article, the periodical title and the publication year.  This is enough to find the article, but not enough to do so easily.  I could contact the periodical personally and request back issues or assistance looking up the article - but how often do they publish? Monthly? Quarterly?  That's potentially a lot of issues to purchase.  They might not even be in business anymore.  So I went ahead and purchased a single month subscription to FindMyPast.com in order to access the full results.

     As I said, particular article was not digitized, but that's ok.  Now that I'm past the pay wall, I have information on the exact volume that the article is published in.  I can use his information to fill out a form (pdf) to request up to six articles at a time for a fee of $7.50, plus 20¢ per page.  And I very quickly found six articles to request - this is a treasure trove!  I'll be waiting excited for the articles that I requested and will probably find a more to request in the mean time.

31 May 2014

Finding PawPaw's CCC Camp

     A few years ago, I obtained my PawPaw's Civilian Conservation Corps records.  They indicated that he, Thomas Craft, served at Camp SP-3 at Albemarle, North Carolina.   The records gave me a lot of information about him, but not much about the location where he served.  I've searched on and off for more information, but tonight I must have finally done something right.

     I discovered that my PawPaw served at Camp Doughton, which helped to build Morrow Mountain State Park.  I found mention of the park's grand opening, which mentioned the CCC, and then found a silent video, posted by the State Archive of North Carolina on YouTube, which has some scenes of the camp.  Looks like I'll need to plan a trip to visit this park some time in the future.

Camp scenes begin at the 3 minute mark

27 May 2014

Membership Complete (DAR)

     My DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) membership journey is complete.  I was inducted last week during the May meeting, which was a sort of end of the year luncheon.  Getting to this point took quite a while, though mainly due to my own procrastination.

      I first considered joining back in November of 2009 on a completely different line than I ended up joining on.  But, once I contacted the local DAR chapter, it only took about 6 months to hand in my documents, have the application completed, signed, sent off and accepted.   I still seems like a long time, but in that time period I was able to attend meetings and get to know a bit more about the local chapter.  When I got my membership number (and access to more of the website), as well as the chapter newsletter, I felt like I had access to more information.  But I still feel like there's more to learn.  They have a lot of information online, but at the same time, it's about the organization, while the activities really take place at a chapter level.  And the local chapter's website is very cookie cutter.

     The next meeting isn't until September.  During the last meeting the officer positions changed, so I assume that they take the summer to learn about their jobs and plan for the upcoming year.  I'm taking the time to work on a project under the Genealogical Records committee, which is an online indexing program.  The current project, BookSync, is very simple and involves taking previously indexed records and attaching them electronically to the correct page (skipping pages with non-indexed material) and tagging Family Bibles for special recognition.  If you do a certain amount of pages, you are eligible to purchase a pin to wear in recognition.

     And that brings me to the topic of pins.  There are tons of them, some available to anyone, such as chapter and ancestor bars, some to identify positions held, such as Regent, some to identify achievements, such as the BookWorm pin for indexing, and others to show financial contributions.  But they are a bit pricey and can only be worn during official DAR functions.  I think they would be nice to have, but that I wouldn't be able to wear them often (and I'm still confused on the dress code). I'd estimate that only about 1/3 or fewer members wear them at meetings.  If you are a member - what are your thoughts on pins?

     But pins aren't the reason I decided to join the DAR.  I had two goals in mind: 1. to see if my research held up to their standards; 2. to get involved in something and be more social.  I'm looking forward to next September and hope to get involved in a committee or two.  Hopefully I'll get a lot out of my membership.


29 April 2014

The March Begins

     More Sesquicentennial history goodness, this time from Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center.  Each week, for 37 weeks, there will be a short video detailing Sherman's march across Georgia.

     I had a great many ancestors' in Sherman's path, in both Georgia and in his return path through South Carolina.  Some families, such as those living in Emanuel County, Georgia, and Lexington County, South Carolina, were directly in Sherman's path.  This video series is of great interest to me and I hope to learn many new things.

     Right now, you can watch Week One (Apr 21-27) and Week Two (Apr 28-May 4), or view a list of all videos.


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