Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Amy Coffin's Genealogy Blogging Book

I ordered Amy Coffin's new ebook The Big Genealogy Blog Book and read it in a morning. Love it!

This is a book with a very tight focus -- writing genealogy blogs.  I liked the ideas for quality control; it's amazing how often the simplest things get overlooked by even long-time bloggers.  Anyone who has been around the genealogy blog world will recognize the "52 weeks" lists, and it's convenient to have them all in one place.  A society that followed the suggestions for a society blog would have a winner, and i expect the same would be true for the tips for genealogy professionals.

This book shows off one of the true virtues of the digital book movement -- it's only as long as it needs to be, and is priced accordingly.  Very nicely done!

Now I just need to implement some of her clever ideas...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wichita Newspapers online

I stand corrected -- there are some Wichita papers availalbe online.  The Library of Congress Chronicling America site has several Wichita newspapers digitized and online.  Looks like the Eagle is covered until about 1906.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Setting Family History Priorities

While working at the MHGS library Saturday morning, I chatted with a woman who had come in to see if we had anything to help her prove her second or third DAR ancestor (I was unclear on the count because she has also proven some on her husband's line for her daughter).  As the conversation wound about, as it does, she told us that she was one of the very first women in the Army Women's Auxiliary and had been in the first group of women sent to Hawaii after Pearl Harbor.  As she rattled off an impressive list of military and government jobs she has held in her 93 years, I wondered -- why on earth was she spending time searching backup DAR ancestors when she could be writing a memoir about all the fascinating things she's done?  There are probably hundreds of people who could work on those DAR lines, but only she can record what it was like to be one of the first Chief Clerks in the Army during WWII!

I told her she should write her autobiography, but I doubt she listened to me.  I'll have to work on her daughter <evil grin>.  It would be a great pity to lose her story.

I wonder if there's anyone in Wichita working with folks on their memoirs or recording oral histories. I'll have to check into that...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Progress on the Sorting Job

Well, after two weeks, I've made a lot of progress on my sorting job for MHGS.  As things stand now, I have:

  • half a paper grocery bag of church directories, yearbooks and other things that will go into the general library resources
  • half a bag of things to sell, including some 1970's Bollywood postcards, one of which I found listed on EBay for more than $50!
  • about a linear foot of genealogically-useful things sorted into surname folders for the library vertical files
  • and a full tub of pictures that still need organizing.
If you're in the Wichita area and are interested in the Posey or Stockert families, there's some great stuff here.

One of the things in the photo tub is a photo album of pictures of Warren and Nancy Burbank, mostly taken on a 1951 car trip through Hannibal, MO, Wichita and Dodge City, KS, Colorado, and Nevada State Park.  There is an envelope with a San Francisco return address.  Every! photo is labeled, but they were taped into the album so many are stuck together.  I'm not finding any Wichita link, other than a couple of vacation photos, so we'd like to return the album to its family rather than store it on the off chance a Burbank wanders into the library.  Contact me!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Family Mystery Gets a Twist

I found this on Monday:


The Death of Thomas Moreen In Wyoming

Left His Family 19 Years Ago

Salina, Kas., July 24 -- Philip Moreen of this county has just learned of his father's death in Wyoming and that he and his sister, Mrs. T. Carroll of Denver, are the only heirs to a large fortune left by the parent.  Thomas Moreen was formerly a resident of this county and left his family nineteen years ago. Fourteen years ago he was heard from indirectly for the last time. Mrs. Carroll in reading a paper last week read the obituary of Thomas Moreen and immediate correspondence developed the fact that he was her father. The fortune was made in mining and the cattle business. Philip Moreen and his sister will go to Wyoming early next week to claim their estate.

Kansas City Star, July 24, 1907, page 5

I just recently heard the family story about Thomas' disappearance, and had not heard about this subsequent development at all.   Now I'm dying to know more.  Unfortunately, Wyoming is a big place, and the easy things haven't worked.
  • Thomas isn't indexed in the 1900 census in Wyoming, at least under the name Thomas Moreen
  • Wyoming didn't start requiring death recording at the state level until 1908
  • The Wyoming newspaper project hasn't gotten very far on digitizing newspapers for the time period I'm interested in and I'm not finding a Denver paper for the time, either.
  •'s collection of digitized Salina papers doesn't yet have 1907.
  • He doesn't show up in the BLM land patent database
I talked to someone who is in the cattle business in Wyoming and he suggested brand registries and the state cattlemen's association.  
  • I found a brand book for Wyoming, but it starts after a 1909 law and was published in 1913.  State registration of brands started in 1909; before that they were registered at the county level, and all I know is the state.
  • I need to email the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.  According to Wikipedia, they were well established by the early 1900s and kept brand and member info; some of their records have been moved to the University of Wyoming, so I'll need to contact them, too.
"Mining" seems a bit non-specific to be much help, but if the cattle thing doesn't work, I'll start pursuing it. 

Of course, all this assumes that Thomas' cattle and mining business was conducted in Wyoming, but without that I have nothing, so I think I'll run with it for a while.  If I need to, I can run up to Salina and search the papers on microfilm next week...Anyone up for hamburgers at the Cozy?