Sunday, February 19, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Manzanar

Catholic Church, Manzanar by Ansel Adams.
Today is the 70th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which ordered the internment of Japanese American citizens. These American citizens were interned in camps across the West. One of these camps, Manzanar, located in the Eastern Sierra region of California near the city of Independence is now a National Historical Site.

For this Church Record Sunday, I am focusing on Manzanar because my book Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra has a chapter devoted to it, so I have a little more knowledge about it than the other camps. I had the opportunity to research the cemetery at Manzanar as well as meet several of the staff  who work at the site.

To learn more about the churches at Manzanar you can search the finding aid for the Manzanar collection at UCLA available online at  Online Archive of California. This finding aid also includes links to the Manzanar newspaper.

Celebrated photographer Ansel Adams in one of the photographers who took photos of Manzanar and those interned there. His collection is available online at the American Memory portion of the  Library of Congress website. This collection includes a photo of the Catholic church house at Manzanar (shown above) and the Buddhist church house.

For another depiction of  Christian religious life at Manzanar see this  short 3 minute film clip .  Books about Manzanar can be found on WorldCat.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Jefferson County (IN) Public Library History Rescue Project

The History Rescue Project is housed on the Jefferson County Public Library's website. This project involves records detailing 200 years of history in Madison and Hanover, Indiana. One of the categories of records available are church records.

Approximately 17 churches are represented in this collection including Broadway Second Baptist, Ryker's Ridge Baptist, St. John's Madison German Church and Wesley Chapel. Transcriptions of names are available on the website from what looks to be largely membership records. Some information about the church and/or the records can also be found on each record's page.

The History Rescue Project includes much more than church records. Researchers with ancestors from this area will want to search other links that include birth records, city directories, family histories, funeral home records, land and tax records, marriage records, military and obituaries just to name a few.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Church Record Sunday: Kansas Historical Society Manuscripts

As I learn about new genealogy sources I am amazed at what is available to us today that would have been difficult if not impossible to find 20 plus years ago. Take for instance the availability of online finding aids, guides and catalogs for manuscript collections.

The website for the Kansas Historical Society is one of my favorites. It should be yours too, even if you have absolutely no Kansas ancestors. One reason can be found in their large newspaper collection available on microfilm to anyone through interlibrary loan. They have newspapers from throughout the United States.

For Church Record Sunday, if you do have Kansas ancestors, you may be interested in their manuscript collections which includes church records. Church records available include:

There are other records in this collection to consider including those of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and some religious based schools.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

What If You Can't Go?: RootsTech 2012 Edition

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 thought it fitting to post an update for those unable to go to RootsTech this year. All is not lost, there are still ways you can participate.

Download the RootsTech Syllabus. I love that RootsTech has provided the syllabus for the conference for free on their website. This allows everyone to share in what is happening  and for those of us not able to attend, we can still benefit from the presentations. To download the syllabus, see  the RootsTech Downloads page.

Follow RootsTech on Twitter. By using the RootsTech hashtag #rootstech you can follow the latest news from  the conference including information about vendors, presentations and events.

Check out the RootsTech 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. Click here for a list of RootsTech Bloggers.

Attend RootsTech from Home. RootsTech is live streaming 14 presentations starting on Thursday. You can find the list of presentations and times by going to their homepage and scrolling down.

Be a Winner. RootsMagic is holding an online scavenger hunt where you can win an iPad 2. Winners will include both RootsTech attendees and non-attendees. Look for the announcement tomorrow about which blogs will have clues. To learn more about this giveaway, see the RootsMagic  blog.

What About Next Year? In my original posting for FGS 2011, I wrote "The FGS conference (or RootsTech) 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."

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.