Tuesday, August 31, 2004

My Country Awake

My Country Awake
Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
- Rabindranath Tagore (Recited by Martin Sheen on The Actor's Studio)

We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them. - William Arthur Ward

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Privilege of Voting

This has been zipping around the 'Net at the speed of email. Reflect a moment, and pay attention. Thanks to Deane for passing it along to me.

A short history lesson on the privilege of voting

The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."

They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because--why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining? Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie Iron Jawed Angels. It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder. All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself. "One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie," she said. "What would those women think of the way I use--or don't use--my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn." The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her "all over again."

HBO will run the movie periodically before releasing it on video and DVD. I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I want it shown on Bunko night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."

Please pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women.

The young women of today, free to study, to speak, to write, to choose their occupation, should remember that every inch of this freedom was bought for them at a great price. It is for them to show their gratitude by helping onward the reforms of their own times, by spreading the light of freedom and of truth still wider. The debt that each generation owes to the past it must pay to the future. - Abigail Scott Duniway, suffrage organizer in the Pacific Northwest

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Slavery Era Insurance Policies Registry

Current version of this page is now at: http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2006/02/slavery-research.html

The State of Illinois has put their report of the policies issued to slaveholders for death or damage of their slaves during the slavery era from every licensed insurer (or predecessor company): http://www.ins.state.il.us/Consumer/SlaveryReporting.nsf

Listed are compiled reports by slave name, and by slave holder name. The slaves and slave holders aren't just in Illinois, but all over the United States. A sample finding for the search "walters":

Slave Holder Name: Wm Bowen
Slave Holder County/Parish: Fredricksburg
Slave Holder State: VA
Slave Name: John Walters
Slave County/Parish: Fredricksburg
Slave State: VA
Slave Other: Policy Number(s): 453
Slave Job/Skill:
Machine builder and pattern maker

Clicking on Wm Bowen's name, I get a bit more information:

Name of Slave: John Walters
County/Parish: Fredricksburg
State: VA
Other Identifying Info (policy no. etc): Policy Number(s): 453
Job/Occupation/Skill (optional if known): Machine builder and pattern maker

Slave Holder Name: Wm Bowen
County/Parish: Fredricksburg
State: VA
Reporting Insurer: New York Life Insurance Company

California Slavery Era Insurance Registry: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/SEIR/main.htm
Alphabetical lists by name of slave, and slave holder. No search, but entire database is available.

AfriGeneas is the place to start African American genealogy, slave or free: http://www.afrigeneas.com/

NARA has federal records: http://www.archives.gov/research_room/genealogy/research_topics/african_american_research.html

Also essential is the Freedman's Bureau Online: http://freedmensbureau.com/

New initiatives just in time for Black History Month - African-American Migration from the Schomburg Center: http://www.inmotionaame.org/

A partnership between leading black media placement firms has been created to digitize back-issues from more than 200 black newspapers throughout the US to create an Internet-searchable database. For more info, see: http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2005/02/new_collaborati.html

Africa WorldGenWeb Page: http://www.worldgenweb.org/africa.html

African-Native American History and Genealogy Home Page: http://www.african-nativeamerican.com/

African American Research Center: http://www.ancestry.com/aahistory

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System - US Colored Troops: http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/

Exploitation and oppression is not a matter of race. It is the system, the apparatus of world-wide brigandage called imperialism, which made the Powers behave the way they did. - Han Suyin, 1917-, Chinese writer, feminist, physician

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Süss Collection

Die Sammlung Süss of Henri Süss have been microfilmed by the LDS. Here is their description of the 44 volumes: "The Süss Collection contains the genealogies from Bühl, Niederrödern, Hatten, Oberbetschdorf, Rittershofen, Birlenbach, Cröttweiler, Fröschweiler, Kutzenhausen, Langensulzbach, Nehweiler bei Wörth, Preuschdorf, Rothbach, Sulz, Westhofen, Wörth, and Zutzendorf complied from parish registers and civil records. The families are arranged alphabetically within each community. Some of the volumes are indexed by family surname. Text in German."

To find all 14 films, do an Author search in the Family History Library Catalog: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp on "Suss, Henri". Daniel Debus has integrated the surnames into Alsabase: http://ddebus.free.fr/, giving you an finding aid to the Süss Collection. See contact N°900002.

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities. - Maya Angelou

Travels in Alsace & Lorraine Articles Online

Source: Post by Robert Behra to the Alsace-Lorraine list 27 Jun 2004
Among the journals that have been digitized by the Bibliothèque Nationale is one called Le Tour du monde : nouveau journal des voyages, published in Paris between 1860 and 1914. In the mid-1880s this journal ran a series of articles by Charles Grad, an Alsatian deputy to the German Reichstag, that documented his travels through Alsace and Lorraine. These articles formed the base for Charles Grad's book L'Alsace : le pays et ses habitants (Paris : Hachette, 1889; and later editions). That book has also been digitized by the BnF. Below I give links to the serialized articles and then to the book.

Article A travers l'Alsace et la Lorraine (this is probably not a complete set, since the BnF's collection of Le Tour du monde seems to be missing some volumes during this period)

1) http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-104974&I=149&Y=Image

2) http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-104976&I=84&Y=Image

3) http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-104977&I=372&Y=Image

4) http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-104978&I=148&Y=Image

5) http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-34420&I=84&Y=Image

6) http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-34421&I=244&Y=Image

7) http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-104979&I=276&Y=Image

8) http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-104980&I=211&Y=Image

If you initially get an error message saying the content isn't available ("Le document que vous avez demandé n'est pas accessible") just hit the reload button and it should come up.

The book L'Alsace : le pays et ses habitants: http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/Image/CadresPage?O=NUMM-37434&M=pageseule&Y=Image

You can navigate within these resources using the < [back] and > [forward] buttons, or by going to the table of contents ("Aller Table des Matières") in the book and then putting a specific page number into the Aller Page box.

Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense; no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has. - Rene Descartes

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Graphics Sites for Website Building

Fonts: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/08/40-excellent-freefonts-for-professional-design/

Clip Art

Clip art of civilizations, cultures and eras: http://webclipart.about.com/od/civilizations/

Pennsylvania Department Clip Art: http://www.einpgh.org/clp/exhibit/pahomex5.html

Graphic Maps clipart and maps: http://www.graphicmaps.com/custmaps.htm

Clip Art and Banners: http://geneasearch.com/st7.htm

J.O.D's Old Fashioned Black and White Clip Art Collection: http://www.oldfashionedclipart.com/clip.htm or http://www.users.fl.net.au/~joanod/clip.htm

ImageMagick Studio: http://www.imagemagick.org/MagickStudio/scripts/MagickStudio.cgi/
   Resize, rotate, sharpen, color reduce, paint on or add special effects to your image and save the completed work in the same or differing image format on the web.

Digital Blasphemy 3D Wallpaper: http://www.digitalblasphemy.com/dbhome.shtml


VisiBone Webmaster's Color Lab: http://www.visibone.com/colorlab/

Web Safe Colors Chart: http://seurat.art.udel.edu/Site/InfoDocs/WebColor/WebColors.html

HTML Tutorial - 216 web safe colors: http://www.pagetutor.com/pagetutor/makapage/picker/index.html

Clickable RGB "Safe Colors":

We belong someplace. The day we are given a name we are also given a place which no one but us can fill. - Maya Angelou

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Ain't I A Woman?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman? - Sojourner Truth, c1797-1883

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Washington State Historical Records

Washington Census, Naturalization records, and Social Security Death Index: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/search.aspx

Census Records: 1847 Lewis County Heads of Family, 1851 Lewis County, 1854 & 1857 Pierce County, 1857 & 1871 Clallam County.

1857 King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, & Wahkiakum Counties.

1871 Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Skamania, Snohomish, Stevens, Thurston, Whatcom, & Yakima Counties.

1875 & 1877 Jefferson County.

1878 Jefferson & Stevens County.

1879 Grays Harbor, Mason, & Pierce Counties.

1880 Mason County

1883 Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Island, Klickitat, & Yakima Counties.

1885 Asotin, Cowlitz, Douglas, Franklin, Grays Harbor, Kittitas, Skagit, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla County (Partial), Whatcom, & Yakima Counties.

1887 Asotin, Cowlitz, Douglas, Garfield, Island, Kittitas, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Spokane County (Partial), Stevens, & Yakima Counties.

1889 Clallam, Island, & Skagit Counties.

1892 Columbia, Douglas, Island, & Walla Walla County (Partial).

1860 Federal Census (Partial), 1910 Federal Census, 1910 Federal Census Clear Lake Precinct

Naturalization Records: Adams, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Grant, Island, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, San Juan, Skamania, Spokane, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom and Yakima Counties. Supreme Court Register.

Additional/Miscellaneous Records: Brinnon Cemetery;

McNeil Island Area Burial Removal Permits 1917-1938, Burial Transit Permits 1944-1961, Register of Births 1914-1923, Register of Deaths 1914-1935;

McNeil Island Death Records 1940-1943, Disinterment Permits 1937-1938.

Oaths of Office, Physicians, Seatco Prison at Bucoda, Soldier's Home & Colony.

Spokane County Birth Index 1890-1906, Marriage Index 1880-1903, World War I Soldiers Veterans Home.

Walla Walla City Register of Births 1907, Register of Deaths 1907

Walla Walla County Death Returns 1903-1906

Walla Walla Penitentiary, World War I Serviceman Cards (Aaberg - Baukol only

Social Security Death Index: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/search_ssdiwa.aspx
Social Security card issued in Washington State, last residence in Washington state, or last benefit payment mailed to an address in Washington State just prior to death. The database contains approximately 1,434,000 records (as of July 2004).

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. - Jane Howard, 1935-1996, US journalist, writer

Preserve Your Research

The key to preserving research is publishing. Not just your GEDCOM online, not just on CD-ROM, but in actual book form. Who will buy your book? What is the best way to organize your book? Where will you get the time to do the work?

There are two main types of family histories; the descendancy book, which is all the descendants of one or a couple of ancestors, and the ancestral book, which is all the ancestors of a person or family. Think about how you have done your research, and you'll know which form to choose.

The question of who will buy your book is important, because the wider the scope of your book, the more possible buyers you will have. If you choose to research all of the descendants of a seventeenth century couple, you will have a LARGE book, and hundreds or even thousands of potential purchasers. How will you find all these people? Hopefully your research has led you to contacts with many cousins, with whom you have shared research tasks. These cousins will become your partners in the writing and publishing, right along with the research. If you have not found cousins yet, start posting data and queries to the genealogy mail lists and message boards! See How to Use Rootsweb for some ideas on getting started. Become the beautiful flower drawing the bees and butterflies to you, with the nectar of your shared research and queries.

No matter what type of book you write, or how large it is, be sure to include an index. As you write and compile your book, you will find the word processor to be your best friend. Even if you use your genealogy program to "write" your book, you will want to use that automatically generated text as a rough draft only. Family stories and your own voice are what bring a book to life, and the stories are worth telling even if your research has proven parts or all of them incorrect or mistaken. If you can't put the story in your own words, quote a family member, with their permission. The more you speak in your own voice, and allow family members to be heard, the better your book will be. Let the past come alive! I use the word processor Open Office, which is open source and FREE. It is available for Windows and Linux.

I hope you will consider including copies of documents and photographs in your book. Also, you should explain your reasoning, your proof for the relationships you assert. Notice I said YOUR proof, not the documents' proof. Documents can only document; it is your task to prove your arguments. If some relationships are cloudy, it is even more important to include copies of documents, and your explanation of various possibilities. Remember, your book will not be the last word. Once your fellow researchers have your book in their hands, your reasoning will be tested, and perhaps disputed. Isn't that great?

Where will you get the time to do the book? You are already writing your book! You are finding documents, pondering their implications, and writing queries based upon your findings. Your book is just the organized collection of these parts. In fact, some people choose to write small books - say, 3 generations of one family - so that this task is manageable. Once you have the text, included documents and pictures, and index just the way you want them, visit your local copy shop, and ask their advice about publishing. You may be able to print out the text and index on one of their printers to make the best possible copy for reproduction. Even if you decide to write a major work and publish in hard-cover, your copy shop will be able to help you in pre-press and photograph preparation.

Once you have a master copy, it's time to reproduce and bind. Consider having a few extra master copies made, because with family history, there are some interesting possibilities open to you. One is the Allen County Public Library, who will photocopy your unbound master copy, and bind the photocopied book to place on their shelves. They will return your master copy, along with a free bound photocopy! Pretty cool offer. I found this mentioned in the Genealogy Blog, here: http://genealogyblog.com/index.php?p=2490. To use this service, "mail your unbound 'master copy' to Steve Myers, Assistant Manager, Historical Genealogy Department, PO Box 2270, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-2270. Include a note that reads, 'Photocopy Exchange Program.'" Thanks to Curt Witcher for writing about this great service to genealogists all over the world.

Another way to get your book circulated is to donate a copy to the Family History Library. If you permit them to microfilm your book, you will get a free microfilmed copy of your own, along with your original master copy back. For more information about this service, see: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Library/FHL/frameset_library.asp?PAGE=library_donations.asp
Of course, you can also donate a bound copy of your book. People will be able to consult your bound copy only at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Books do not circulate to the Family History Centers unless they are microfilmed.

You may want to donate a copy to your local library, or libraries local to the subject family. Your book will become much better known if researchers who travel to the localities where your family lived are able to consult your book. Be sure to include contact information in the book, if you want to continue to sell copies!

I haven't written my first book yet. This collection of ideas has come from my history as the newsletter editor of my local genealogy society, The South King County Genealogy Society, as well as speeches and workshops I've attended, and good genealogy books published by fellow researchers. As I refine my ideas, this post will be updated.

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row. - Alice Paul, 1885-1977, US lawyer; founded the World Woman's Party, 1913; author of proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution

Saturday, August 07, 2004

The Future, as seen in the Past

Transportation Futuristics: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/news_events/exhibits/futuristics/

Worth more than a glance; this is a great site! What happened to all that optimism?

There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors and no slave who has not had a king among his. - Helen Keller