Sunday, August 22, 2010

Church Record Sunday: PCA Historical Center

This website for the Presbyterian Church in America  (PCA) Historical Center has quite a bit for those who are interested in history and those who want to preserve their history.

By clicking on the tab for the Collection Overview, you can learn more about the archive's holdings. The homepage for the Collection Overview includes a list of organizations and individual names for with they have records. The Research Library link on this page provides a list of 19th and 20th century Presbyterian periodicals with indexes. This website appears to be a work in progress as this page shows upcoming links for their card catalog and manuscript holdings.

Under the Local Historians tab you will find resources for church historians including how to write a church history. This is a great guide for even those of other religious faiths and what better way to do genealogy then by preserving our own history? This page also provides a year by year summary of church histories that they have received and archive.

Never been to an archive?  There is even an article on this website about how to research at an archive.

This website is an important resource for learning about what is available for your Presbyterian ancestors and what you can do to write history for your descendants.

Thanks to Miriam Robbins Midkiff for letting me know about this resource. Miriam has a bunch of great resources she works on including her websites Online Historical Newspaper, Online Historical Directories and her blog AnceStories

Thursday, August 12, 2010

On the Bookshelf: Fruits of Victory. The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Missouri was touring the World War I Museum in Kansas City. Let me just say that if you go to Kansas City, this museum is a must stop. They have the largest collection of World War I artifacts outside of Britain. When you go, plan on spending the whole day there checking out the exhibits. You can also go downstairs and research in their library

While at the museum I picked up a book that is a fabulous history of the Woman's Land Army. This book is Fruits of Victory by Elaine F. Weiss. What was the Women's Land Army you ask?  "From 1917 to 1920 the Women's Land Army brought thousands of city workers, teachers, artists, businesswomen, and college students into rurual America to take over the farm work after men were called to wartime service." These women played a vital part in America's history but their service is pretty much forgotten.

Elaine F. Weiss also has a website that is a good resource for learning more about the book and the role that these women played.

This book is a good reminder that some of the things are ancestors were part of will never be found in an online computer database. One of my soapbox issue is the importance of libraries, museums and archives to our research. Checking out those sources will only enhance your research and help you to better know your ancestors. What I love about authors like Weiss is that they do the interviews and archival research that brings these long forgotten aspects of history to us so that we can then use it in our understanding of our family history.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Church Record Sunday: Shaker Records at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has such great resources for the genealogist.  One such resource is their collection of Shaker documents.  According to the finding aid for this collection, the manuscripts include:

 "The Shaker Collection includes correspondence, diaries and journals,
recipes, photographs, financial and legal papers, community laws and rules, church records such as covenants, hymns and hymnals, orders and instructions, spiritual communications, prayers, inspirational writings and drawings, registers, lists of members, logbooks, lectures and speeches, and writings by and about members, including poetry, autobiographical,biographical, and historical sketches, essays, memoirs, testimonies, and notes and book drafts. Most of the collection concerns the period from 1792 to 1937, although some retrospective material relates to events as early as 1676."