My grandmother turned 89 today. She is one of the sweetest most giving women you could ever meet and has been a wonderful example to me. It is her and her own love of history that started me down the road to family history. I will be forever grateful for her and her influence in my life.
Penn Libraries has a compiliation of newspapers available online on their website . You can see a list with a brief description of all the newspapers organized by state. They also have a nice map feature that helps you visually see what newspapers were published where throughout the country.
If you narrow it by state you can see what newspapers are available online for specific locations. Sadly there is nothing for Marion or Clay county Illinois.
The website seems to be well done and I'm excited to keep checking back in looking for updates on my family locations.
I have been working on the Descendancy of James Cole Alderson, my great great grandfather, and came across an old goldmine today.
There is a book available on familysearch.org called Alderson: Alderson families living in North America thru 1920 by Cross, James Allison, 1928-.
Turns out there is also a webpage called Alderson Cousins that is dedicated to the three main Alderson lines that first immigrated to the United States. One of which I am descended from: Richard Alderson Richmond, VA mid-1600s.
There is also an old newsletter available on the website that was published for multiple years. I have only skimmed through the first four issues but found information relating to my family.
Volume 1, Number 4 includes marriage records from the early 19th century in Maury, TN, including some of my relatives.
Story has it that my great grandfather, John Chester Bigelow, and his mother, Mary Elizabeth Richards Bigelow, contributed to the local paper of Salem, Marion, Illinois in the 1940-50's. I forget how, but I have it in my head that the paper was the Salem Times-Commoner. I have tried and tried over the years to figure out how to get my hands on that paper and today google came through and I finally found a lead!
Turns out there is a website called the Illinois Newspaper Project (SCORE!) pulled together by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library in Urbana, Illinois. When I did a search for Salem, Marion, Illinois I came up with many hits, one of which was for the Times-Commoner.
Another paper of interest because of the years it covers is the Salem Republican. Again not available online (YET).
Frankly there are many papers on the list for Salem that would be worth looking into. My family is in Marion county for many years and multiple generations and family lines... There are 51 newspapers that come up currently for Marion county alone. I can only imagine the treasure trove of information to be uncovered. Obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements, graduations... In fact one of those papers, looks like the Democrat, published this article in 1949 about my great great grandmother, Mary (Minnie) Elizabeth Richards Bigelow. (Newspaper clipping in possession of my grandmother)
And another newspaper published the wedding notice of my great grandparents: John Chester Bigelow and Charleen Margaret Condon. They were married in 1920.
Now all I need to figure out is how to get to one of these libraries and then I'd have to move in for a few months. Not likely going to happen in the near future... one can hope they digitize it though, right?!?
Family history work, the seeking out of my ancestors, is important to me for many reasons. One of those reasons is because of what I believe.
I am a Mormon.
The following comes from the website http://mormon.org by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Why Family History is Important
Those of us who have been bitten by the family history bug know how fun it can be. But this isn’t why we have the largest genealogical library in the world and why 15 million Mormons are encouraged to research their family roots. Rather, we are driven by our doctrine that teaches that marriage and families can continue beyond this life. But this can only happen when families are sealed together in one of the Lord’s holy temples around the world and united for all eternity.
That’s fine for all of us today who have the chance to be sealed in a temple, but what about our ancestors who die without the opportunity to receive ordinances like baptism, or the blessings of being an eternal family? Does it make sense that God would simply say, "Too bad, tough luck?" Of course it doesn’t. When Christ organized His Church anciently, it included vicarious work for the dead and the practice of performing ordinances for deceased relatives "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" (1 Corinthians 15:29). Christ’s restoration of his original Church to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith included the ancient practice of performing these ordinances for our deceased relatives in holy temples. The gospel of Jesus Christ includes the same blessings today in holy temples.
Genealogical or family history research is the essential forerunner of temple work for our deceased ancestors. We do it to obtain names and other genealogical information so these temple ordinances can be performed for our kindred dead. Our ancestors then are taught the gospel in the spirit world and have the choice to accept or reject the work performed for them. Mother Teresa once said that "loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty." The thought that this poverty of loneliness—this being unwanted and separated from loved ones—could extend beyond this life is truly sad and something temple work can prevent.
Simple things you can do NOW to get yourself and your family
involved in family history work and thus gain access to the promised blessings
that come with it.
These tips come from a class I taught a few months ago.
1. Interview Family Members and
Share Their Stories Online
There is a lot of information available online about interview relatives as well as fabulous tools to make it easier. I encourage you to learn more.
A few simple tips are:
•Decide who you want to
•Prepare a list of
questions. •Avoid questions that can be
answered Yes or No. •Make an appointment beforehand. •Keep the interview to a
reasonable amount of time. •Use a digital recorder,
smartphone app, or camera to record your interview •Take notes. •Transcribe and share notes as a
courtesy and to check accuracy. FamilySearch.org has made it easy to upload and share memories -stories and photos- online. Be sure to check them out at https://familysearch.org/photos/
2. Take and Share Photos This goes along with sharing stories. Taking photos of living relatives, heirlooms, and so forth, can provide powerful experiences for future generations. Sharing photos in your possession is an important part of preserving them. Technology has made it really simple to do.
The photo sharing application on familysearch.org allows patrons to upload photos and add names, descriptions, and other information. https://familysearch.org/photos/
3. Discover Your Fan Chart Fan charts allow you to see four+ generations at one time. They are a helpful tool that is easy to understand that you can use when sharing your tree with fellow family members. They also easily allow you to see holes in your family tree.
There are various places where you can get your fan chart printed. One website that pulls your information from familysearch and creates a fan chart for you that you can print is www.createfan.com.
4. Record Your Life Remember that telling your own story is a part of doing family history. Keeping a record of your life is important. Your way of capturing your own story can be as unique as you are.
5. Get Involved in Indexing FamilySearch indexing unlocks access to the world's records by making them searchable for free at familysearch.org. This is a monumental effort that anyone can participate in. Every little bit helps and we all benefit.
6. Find Your Cousins Also known as descendancy research this is the process of finding the descendants of your ancestors. There are many benefits to doing descendancy research. Some of these include:
•Researching forward in time can help you break down your brick walls •Find relatives researching the same line •Find relatives who know stories and have photos of your common ancestor •Records are more readily available as you move forward in time 7. Search Out Your Ancestors Probably obvious, but always continue to research your ancestors. Record availability is always changing and doors open every day.
There are many wonderful people in my life that made it possible for me to attend RootsTech this year. (Biggest thank you's go to my husband and my mother-in-law for taking care of my peeps). I was also blessed to be able to attend with my mother. Happy day(s)!
It was very exciting to be back in the thick of things as far as family history happenings. Rootstech is the place to be to learn and experience the new technologies and techniques involved in family history work. In the forefront of the event was familysearch.org with all of their amazing updates and the hottest news of their recent partnerships with ancestry.com, findmypast.com and myheritage.com. Exciting things to come!
The big focus of this years' conference was on stories (as expressed by the video I posted earlier that was visible throughout the conference). Many of the classes focused on the power and importance of stories. Personally this is one of my weaknesses. I am NOT a born storyteller, my parents are not storytellers, there are not many stories that have been passed down through the ages (that is except for my grandmother's stories about her dogs). I now feel the pressure and know that it is my position (dare I say responsibility... uh lets go with opportunity) to create and preserve the stories of my ancestors. That's a challenge to be tackled in pieces...
I was able to attend Rootstech 2014 and this is a video that familysearch shared. Literally it was everywhere: on multiple big screens before the keynote speakers, in the expo hall, even on screens set up in the halls throughout the conference center. Some might have been annoyed with this. I on the other hand took it in at every chance. I am touched by this video every time.
There is power, peace, perspective, strength to be found in Family History.
My ward (congregation) has sure put me to work. Since my assignment as family history consultant I have given a presentation about small and simple things you can do in family history for a women's class, started teaching a seven lesson class once a week, given a brief presentation to about 100 people about familysearch, and I am now preparing to teach two more classes to youth groups in the next couple weeks. Oh and I'm working in our local family history center a few hours this week.
I'm feeling BUSY!
It's a good busy and it is exciting to be a part of it all!
Amid all these assignments I have had to quickly become very familiar with Familysearch.org. And lucky me it had recently gone through a complete overhaul shortly before I was called. I have worked with new.familysearch.org and I have searched records on labs.familysearch.org but both of those are old hat to this new system.
There are so many wonderful features on familysearch.org now. Be sure to check them out!
This is where you can keep track of your pedigree. It is similar to new.familysearch.org but so much smoother and user friendly. The ability to add sources is greatly improved over the new system. Especially with sources that are coming directly off of familysearch.org. I've been spending a lot of time just adding sources to the information that is already on my tree. It makes me feel so much better when information can be supported and verified by sources!
Photos and Stories:
This new feature is AWESOME! You can find and/or share heritage photos on the website and link them to your family lines. This is a great way to preserve and share important photos that you have inherited. I have been slowly working on adding the photos I digitized at my grandma's a few years ago. My husband has benefited from other family members uploading photos and stories onto his family line. He has a second cousin that is transcribing a personal history and we have been able to read the stories and share them with our children. It is amazing to read about Josh's pioneer heritage and the sacrifices they made for their families and the gospel.
This is where you can gain access to all the millions of records being indexed by thousands of volunteers worldwide. It is an amazing collection that is FREE and growing daily.
Familysearch.org has also made it really easy to find, prepare, request and manage the temple work for our ancestors. So much better that when I started doing family history and you had to go to a FHC and work on a dos program. :P
Another thing I am really impressed with is familysearch's helpcenter. They have dozens of videos to help you with familysearch, teach you how to do family history research, online research help, etc...
This has been particularly helpful as I have been learning about familysearch.
The ease and accessibility of this website and many more popping up all over the internet is a testimony to me of the importance of family work. It is a blessing to be a part of this work that is accelerating a such an exciting speed.
Goodness, it's been almost 4 years since my last post on this blog. A lot of personal history has been made in those four years including a few highlights like moving across the country, buying our first home, and three additions to the family-- two children and a dog. I've also been very actively involved with the youth group in my church. Let's just say it hasn't been exactly the "season" for Family History Work.
Well, the seasons are changing a bit. I am sadly no longer working with the youth but I have been reassigned as a family history consultant. The external push I needed to get back into the swing of things! I've dived back in but my skills are a little cold and the water is more like a river that has been constantly changing; I'm still trying to get my bearings.
**Images taken by Gladys S. at the Clay County Courthouse in 2009.
Money to Nathan T. Daniel, Grandson of Levi Daniel
Febuary the 15th Ad 1861
Recd of George Daniels Administrator of the Estate of Levi Daniel Decd Twenty seven dollars annd five cents in full of Nathan T. Daniel Intrest of the personal Estate of said Deceased
Basel T. Daniel
Guardian of Nathan T. Daniel
The undersigned appraisers of the personal estate of Levi Daniel, deceased, do certify that the family of the deceased consisted of the said Mary A. Daniel, that the foregoing schedule of articles of personal property allowed by the appraisers and a true estimate of the value of the same respectively, and that being all she is entitled to, out of articles named is said statute in our judgement, it being suitable to the condition in life of the said Mary A. Daniel and are of value as above estimated.
Witness our hands and seals this 28th day of January 1859
William D. Carrell
William T. Smith
(Collectivily All) Appraisers
(back of document, note for filing)
Levi Daniel Decd
Childs Dower Bill
Recorded in Book
F on page 397
J. A. Apperson Clerk
Standing Left: Elva Alderson (Adams)- she married Ernie Adams son of Emma Daniels (sister of Arthur Daniels) i.e. she married the nephew of Ellen's husband Standing Right: Estne Alderson (never married)
Seated Left to Right:
William Wesley Alderson
Lora Blanch Daniels (Barksdale) daughter of Ellen and Arthur Daniels
Ellen Otilla Alderson Daniels (My Great-Grandmother)-wife of Arthur Thomas Daniels
Frankie Helen Daniels (Monical) daughter of Ellen and Arthur Daniels
Isadora Winders Alderson
Picture of John Dennis Daniels' obituary. Original in the possession of my grandmother. Newspaper unknown.
John D Daniels, 65, of Salem died 7:10 am. Tuesday, Good Samaritan Hospital, Mount Vernon; born Marion County; married Myrtle Mackey, Dec. 24, 1924, LaSalle County; leaves wife; son William, Salem; daughter Mrs. Maxine Smart, Maywood; brother Bob, Decatur; sister Mrs. Laura Barksdale, Iuka; four grandchildren; services 1 pm. Thursday, Bowman Funeral Home, Salem; burial Paradise Cemetery, Salem; call after 4 pm Wednesday.